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December 12, 2013

Sisters of murder victims find bond


Berg and Kirkpatrick said they believe they are mutually benefiting by their new alliance and are looking forward to assisting the survivors of other victims of violent crimes who are determined to be kept in the loop on parole information. Both mothers, Berg and Kirkpatrick said they have also discussed how they each became extremely protective parents, in no small part because of the anguish each experienced after having the life of a sister snuffed out by a violent criminal.

Berg praised Chenango County Distirct Attorney Joseph McBride and Norwich Police Chief Joseph Angelino for being supportive of her and maintaining vigilance with regard to Pierce’s presence in the city.

Pierce, who does not have a telephone listed in his name, could not be reached for comment. The Daily Star also unsuccessfully attempted to reach his sister, Bonnie Campbell, who attended the trial and later went on to become the attorney general of Iowa and the director of the federal Violence Against Women Office during the administration of President Bill Clinton.

Campbell works for a Des Moines lobbying firm. In 1995, the case involving her brother came up in an interview she gave to People magazine.

“While I had nothing to do with the crime, it left a permanent scar on me,” she told the magazine.

The crime, Berg said, also traumatized the father of Wendy Cooper, Claude Cooper, 79, now in poor health and living at the state Veterans Home in Oxford.

Berg said she refrains from telling her frail father about her recent encounters with the man convicted of killing the eldest of his five children.

“It would break his heart,” she said.

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