Bereft: The Aftermath of Homicide



Join Victim Support Services for a one-time online grief group for homicide survivors August 14, 2024 from 12:00-1:30PM PST.


How does anyone prepare for a death they can't see coming? How can someone express grief to others who've never traveled the path?


How can any homicide survivor make sense of the senseless?


This one-time, 90-minute online grief group is not a "let's cheer each other on" session. Rather, it's an invitation to safely "companion" with others on a parallel journey; to feel heard, validated, and less isolated while still honoring the uniqueness of each person's experience.  


"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also filled with the overcoming of it."  ----    Helen Keller

This online grief group is free to attend, but we are limiting it to 9 participants in order for attendees to get the most out of the session. If you are interested in attending, a short application is required. We are accepting up to 25 applications through July 19th, 2024, whichever comes first. We will inform you of the status of your application no later than July 24, 2024. 




For any questions, please email Community Support Coordinator, Liberty Miller, at [email protected].



A native Detroiter, Jan Canty, Ph.D. is a psychologist, author, photographer, educator, consultant, podcast host and cancer survivor. She holds a terminal degree in psychology and a postdoctoral fellowship in family therapy from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine in Detroit. It was in the last month of her fellowship training that her life pivoted.


The stormy evening of July 13, 1985, her spouse of 11 years failed to come home. She reported him missing. A week later she was called to Detroit Homicide Division by Detective Landeros, a woman she would grow to trust and respect. Inspector Gil Hill informed her that her spouse was murdered. The media frenzy began.


So began her 30-year redacted life. Two years later she quietly moved deep into the Midwest and taught psychology at a small, rural college away from tourists, airports, memories and intrusive questions. She did not speak of this tragedy for over 30 years. The harsh climate drove her further west after which she adopted two special needs sisters and remarried. She worked as a forensic psychologist in a large mental hospital and taught graduate school in the evening. Her chosen specialty was cross-cultural psychology which lent itself to photography and international travel to remote villages on five continents. Dr. Canty was awarded Faculty of the Year in her second year of teaching.


Life circumstances delivered her to be uniquely qualified to speak about surviving murder - both professionally and personally. She now hosts a twice-monthly podcast called "Domino Effect of Murder" to bring awareness to the real aftermath of murder with interviews of other homicide survivors. The show is sponsored by the Mental Health News Radio Network and is heard in 11 countries. In 2020 she completed a true crime memoir A Life Divided” (in print/ebook and audiobook formats). Her second book, released in 2023 is a 450-page reference book entitled What Now? Navigating the Aftermath of Homicide and Suicide. She has a third book underway.


Dr. Canty presently lives and works (as a consultant) for the federal government near the lush rainforests of the Pacific Northwest where rainfall exceeds 12 feet per year. She spends her free time with her family, two Saint Bernards, engages in photography, gardening and traveling as her health allows.


Learn More About the History of the Community Support Program

Victim Support Services has been awarded a Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) which enables us to launch our new Community Support Program (CSP)! The objective of the program is to enhance and bolster services for individuals affected by crime and violence, promoting a comprehensive approach, designed to address the distinctive needs of victims and survivors of violent crime. The Community Support Program will include FREE trauma-informed support groups, workshops, and other related activities, for eligible participants. Through these support groups and activities, we aim to create a safe space where individuals can come together to share their experiences, find solace, and build connections with others who have faced similar challenges. The power of shared experiences cannot be overstated, and our goal is to facilitate a sense of community, understanding, and empowerment among those who have been affected by violent crime.

The CSP will enable us to:

  1. Expand Reach: Reach a wider audience of individuals who may benefit from participating in support groups, ensuring that our services are accessible to all who need them.
  2. Professional Facilitation: Provide trained facilitators who specialize in trauma-informed care, creating a safe and empathetic environment for participants.
  3. Resource Development: Develop additional resources and materials that will enhance the support group experience and provide valuable information for coping and healing.
  4. Community Outreach: Conduct outreach initiatives to raise awareness about the support groups and encourage individuals to participate.
  5. Strength through Community: By fostering a sense of community and shared strength, and celebrating small victories in the journey towards healing, the program will contribute to the resilience of individuals facing grief.

As we embark on this new chapter, we invite you to stay connected and involved. If you would like to be emailed directly as activities, workshops, groups, and retreats are planned, please email Community Support Coordinator, Liberty Miller at [email protected] to be added to the list. Together, we can create a community that fosters healing, resilience, and strength for all those who have been impacted by violent crime.