Letters for Cara

Four years ago, I wrote here about my friends fight to keep the man who murdered Cara in jail. You can click over to the full post, but I want to make sure it gets read as it's time to mount another letter writing campaign and we need your voice.

Cara.jpg When I was eleven-years-old, I remember being in a car with my dad as he drove us down the 15 freeway. My father pointed to an unfinished off-ramp marked "Mercy Road" and told us how a young woman, Cara Knott, had just been killed there by a police officer named Craig Peyer. He then went on to try to explain that sometimes people who are supposed to be good are simply not. It wasn't an easy thing to understand at eleven. To be honest, I still don't fully understand it.

When I was fifteen and my dad was teaching me how to drive, he taught me something that no father should have to share with his little girl. He instructed me, "If you ever get pulled over by a police officer, and they want you to stop somewhere remote or dark, I want you to refuse." He went on to say that I should drive to a well lit, populated area and if the officer gets mad, just tell him that I remember Cara Knott. He said that if it was a good officer, he would understand. I remember how afraid this made me feel.

When I grew up, I met John. An unassuming, warm, likable man, John easily fit into our circle of friends. After a year of poker games, late night music musings, dinners and laughter, I learned that his sister was Cara Knott. I met the rest of his family at holidays: Cara's mom Joyce, a woman who welcomed me and our new baby into her home and made us feel like we'd known her forever and a pair of sisters who laughed and joked with us like we were part of the family. I never got to know Cara's father, who died of a heart attack and was a tireless champion of victim's rights.

Today I got a letter from my friends, telling me that the man who brutally murdered their sister and daughter was up for parole again. That this man, who taught me at eleven that not even police officers are safe and made me fear getting pulled over by a CHP officer, could possibly walk free. 

They need your help.

Please help keep Craig Peyer where he belongs; where he can never put another family through such hell; where he can never again viciously strangle and bash in the skull of a beautiful, warm young woman or terrorize the hundreds that came forward after Cara's death. Help us keep this generation of little girls, girls like my own Lily and Anya, grow up without this man preying on them.

Here's what you can do:

  • Peyer's parole hearing is set for January 11, 2012 and letters make a huge impact.  If you can, please write and mail a letter yourself.  Think about how this case affects you personally, whether you be a parent, love someone who has been lost to violence or simply are invested in a more peaceful planet.  Tell the parole board why you personally need this man to stay behind bars.  
  • Link to this post or email those people who you feel can help, whether it be to someone who can pass on the message or someone who can write passionately on Cara's behalf. 
  • Don't have the time or energy to write a letter of your own?  That's OK, volume still makes an impact.  Download a form letter (formats: Word or PDF) and modify before mailing it in.  Don't forget to sign it. Of course a personally written statement has more impact, but the form letter still expresses sentiment and adds volume to the public outcry, so please do that if nothing else!
  • Letters need to be received at least 10 days prior to the hearing so please get them into the mail no later than December 26th to allow for holiday mail delays.

Letters should be addressed and mailed to:

California Men's Colony – East
Attn: BPH/Lifer Unit
P.O. Box 8101
San Luis Obispo, CA 93409-8101

Re: Craig Peyer, CDC# D-93018

and to

San Diego County District Attorney's Office
Attn: Lifer Hearing Unit, Lynne Darius
330 W. Broadway, 8th Fl.
San Diego, CA 92101
Fax: 619-615-6451

Re: Craig Peyer, CDC# D-93018

Please be sure to reference Peyer’s name and CDC identification number in your letter: D-93018 and mark the letter "CONFIDENTIAL."

This is a good family who have suffered an impossible loss.  You can help. Please choose to do so. 

Let me know when you've mailed your letters as I'd like to let the Knott's know how many people are backing them up out there.  Last time our combined efforts brought in over 300 letters opposing his parole (in stark contrast to eight supporting it, mostly from his own family members). I believe we can do even better this time and remind the parole board that we are still a united community.