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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 4, 1993)
Daily Nebraskan Thursday, November 4,1993
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Senate backs victim service
By Matthew Waite
ASUN senators passed an emer
gency resolution Wednesday in sup
port of a new victim support service.
The resolution, introduced by Gen
eral Studies Sen. Mark Byars, sup
ported the creation of the Victim Ser
vices Center at the University of Ne
Byars said be
cause of recent
ing the assault of
Ong on Oct. 17
and the ongoing
trial of Roger
Bjorklund, who is charged with first
degree murder in the slaying of UNL
student Candice Harms — the ser
vice needed recognition from the
Association of Students of the Uni
versity of Nebraska.
“We need to realize that there are
victims of these crimes, and they need
our support,” Byars said.
Lisa Cauble, coordinator of vic
tim services, told ASUN senators the
center provided a place for victims to
talk about their experiences. She said
all information given by victims and
about victims would be confidential.
Cauble said part of the reason she
was heading up the program was be
cause of her past experiences with
crime. She said she was the first
carjacking victim in Lincoln, and her
brother was kidnapped.
“At that time there were no sup
port systems for families,” Cauble
Byars brought the measure before
the senate after listening to a presen
tation by Cauble.
Cauble said the service had helped
between 35 and 40 people, and they
had talked to hundreds more.
“The presentation had an impact
on me,” Byars said. He said the issue
was fresh in the senators’ minds,
which contributed to the measure be
ing brought up on emergency status.
Cauble said she appreciated
ASUN’s support. The program is a
pilot program and is up for review
and renewal at the end of the aca
“It’s nice to know that students
arc aware of recent incidents and arc
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concerned enough to try to do some
thing about them,” Cauble said. “With
the support that I have so far from the
campus community, (the program)
Byars said the resolution was ben
eficial to both ASUN and victim ser
vices. He said it helped get the word
out about the service and it helped
students, which Byars said was
“This was a simple and effective
way to do that,” Byars said.
The general education require
ments bill that was scheduled for de
bate was pulled off the agenda be
cause ASUN President Keith Benes
was unable to attend the meeting.
Benes said he pulled the bill from
the agenda because he had to attend
the NU Board of Regents presiden
tial selection committee meeting.
He said the bill would be brought
before the senate next week, when he
would be able to answer questions
about the bill.
Benes said he was trying to get
someone from the Academic Affairs
Office to speak to senators about the
Continued from Page 1
Endacott adjourned the court
shortly after the jury read a letter
police say Bjorklund sent to Candice
Harms’ father, Stan Harms, on Dec.
24. Bjorklund is on trial for the mur
der of Candice Harms, a University
of Nebraska-Lincoln student.
In the letter, police say, Bjorklund
expressed regret about what happened
to Candice Harms and said he hoped
to meet her parents in heaven. He
asked the Harmses to forgive him in
the letter, police say, but he did not
specify what he needed to be forgiv
Stan Harms said when he received
the letter, he did not read it. He said
he turned the letter over to police the
following day, and he received a pho
tocopy to read.
Prosecutors spent the afternoon
session questioning those who were
involved with delivering the letter,
including James McKinney, former
acting director of the Lancaster Coun
ty Corrections Department.
McKinney, now with the Iowa
Department of Corrections, said he
found out about the letter four days
after it was dated.
Helvie said because McKinney
didn’t see the letter being written, he
A fraternity member attempts to block the camera
filming the scene of the accident Wednesday.
Continued from Page 1
UNL Police Chief Ken Cauble
said Knoll was conscious and
breathing when he was taken to
Lincoln General Hospital. Cauble
called the incident an accident.
Details of Knoll’s injuries were
not known Wednesday evening.
As emergency teams placed
Knoll in an ambulance, fraternity
members attempted to use shirts
and their bodies to block televi
sion news cameramen from film
ing their house and Knoll’s stretch
After Knoll was taken to the
hospital, university and Lincoln
police officers walked around the
inside and outside of the house,
shining flashlights on the open
third-floor bathroom window.
could not know the circumstances
under which it had been written or
whether police influenced the writ
Much of the morning testimony
centered on handwriting analysts,
who were asked to conclude whether
Bjorklund wrote the letter.
Marlin Rauscher, a handwriting
and fingerprint expert with the Lin
coln Police Department, testified he
thought Bjorklund wrote the letter.
“It is my opinion no one other
than Roger Dale Bjorklund wrote the
letter and the envelope,” he said.
Rauscher compared the writing in
the letter with a sample of Bjorklund’s
handwriting police obtained Sept. 29
through a court order.
Helvie objected to the handwrit
ing sample being entered as evidence
because he said pol ice did not inform
Bjorklund of his Miranda rights be
fore he was instructed to fill out the
form. The jury was removed from
the court for a special hearing about
Endacott then overruled Helvie’s
During the hearing, Lincoln Po
lice Department Sgt. Sandy Myers
said she and Detective Greg Sorensen
met Bjorklund the evening of Sept.
29 at the county jail.
Bjorklund agreed to fill out the
court-ordered handwriting form, but
only after the Country Music Awards
television show was over.
“He said he lived for this one show,
this time of year,” Myers said, “and
he wasn’t going to miss it.”
When officers came back at 10
p.m., Myers said Bjorklund told them
he wanted to fill out the form at the
Lincoln Police Department, where he
could have a soda and cigarettes.
Bjorklund also wrote down vari
ous sentences and phrases the offic
ers dictated to him. Myers said after
one sentence, Bjorklund wrote, “Scott
Barney is a liar.”
Police say Barney, another man
charged in the slaying of Candice
Harms, told them Bjorklund killed
On another section, Bjorklund was
instructed to write a particular pas
sage from the letter police say he
sent to Harms’ parents: “I hope to
meet you and your family in God’s
Instead, Myers said, Bjorklund
wrote, “I hope to meet you and your
family and not Scott Barney in God’s
kin r >m.”
trial will resume Thursday at
Bjorklund trial attracts crowds
By Dionne Searcey
Each day a steady stream of trial
watchers drifts in and out of Court
room No. 2 on the third floor of the
City employees drop in to hear 10
minutes of testimony during their
coffee breaks. Lincoln residents con
ducting legal business carry new li
cense plates and parking ticket re
ceipts into the courtroom. Law stu
dents observe how the real-world le
gal system works.
Roger Bjorklund’s first-degree
murder trial has drawn a daily crowd
of ordinary people, all hoping to ful
fill their own needs by attending.
Tracey Williams, a University of
Nebraska-Lincoln junior in pre-nurs
ing, said she went to the trial because
the death of UNL student Candice
Harms made her face reality.
“It could happen to anyone,” Wil
liams said. ‘This could be a trial for
Williams had never been to a mur
der trial, she said, and didn’t know
what to expect.
“It seemed like it was kind of
slow,” she said.
Terri Teuber, a reporter for
KOLN/KGIN-TV, said many people
expected to sec an action-packcd tri
“They expect it to be glamorous
and fast-moving like what they see
on TV,” she said. Instead, she said,
spectators find a meticulous process
of foundation testimony.
They expect It to be
glamorous and fast
moving like what
they see on TV.
Nonetheless, Teuber said the trial
was well-attended by Lincoln resi
“As far as the courts go, it’s gained
more attention than any trial in 10
years,” Teuber said.
Ryan Osentowski, 19, went to
Tuesday’s hearing with other clients
of the Nebraska Services for the Vi
sually Impaired. Osentowski said he
had been keeping up with the latest
radio and TV reports of the trial.
Jeremy Webster, a 17-year-old
senior at Lincoln High School, expe
rienced his first murder trial Tuesday
as he watched Bjorklund sit in the
“He’s kind of scary, that guy is,”
Webster’s criminal justice class
attended the trial to get a firsthand
view of the legal system.
Webster said he thought most high
school students didn’t know much
about the case.
“They know what happened,” he
said, “but they don’t know the de
On UNL’s campus, student aware
ness about the Harms incident has
increased since the trial began, Judith
Kriss, director of the UNL Women’s
Kriss said several students had
called the Women’s Center with con
cerns about the trial.
“As a result of Candi’s disappear
ance and the horrible details of the
murder, all of our lives are differ
ent,” she said. “I don’t know anyone
who walks with the same sense of
safety as before.”
Women are more afraid to walk to
their cars, she said, and even feel
threatened in their own driveways.
“I’ve talked to women who have
this kind of heightened sense of fear,’
The UNL Women’s Center offered
a support group Monday for students
with concerns about the trial. The
group was to discuss safety and self
defense, she said, but no one came.
“It’s not one of those programs
you offer with the hope of filling the
room,” Kriss said.
Women, she said, probably were
meeting their emotional needs with
friends or family members.
Still, Kriss said, a counselor will
be available from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
every Monday during the trial.
“We wanted to have a place where
people could come with any concern
—Tear for their own personal safety,
concern about the senseless violence
against women,” she said.
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