Don’t forget Dale
Murder victim’s family wants his memory kept alive
When Dale Porter of North River was murdered last June in his own driveway, family and friends had no idea that more than a year later, there would still be no charges laid for the crime.
It has been one year and three months since Dale, who was a fisherman, died. His widow Tammy Porter admits she often still doesn’t believe it.
“To me it’s like he’s out fishing and he’s going to come home,” she said with a pause before taking a deep breath. “I just can’t believe it sometimes.”
In that time, the family has stayed quiet, asking to respect their privacy during the difficult time. But now Dale’s wife and children are breaking their silence, hoping to remind the public that he was a husband and a father, but also hoping his killer is brought to justice.
A tear ran down Tammy’s face as she recalled the moment she heard of her husband death.
“I never dreamed, never in a million years. Never,” she said. “You don’t hear about something like that around here. I shouldn’t need to tell my two kids that their father isn’t coming home.”
Although they were separated at the time of his death, Dale and Tammy maintained a relationship and shared custody of their two children.
“They have been through a lot,” Tammy explained, noting her children have to pass their father’s former home every time they go to and from school.
She has since sold the home, but lives less than a kilometre away. And leaving her house draws stares and whispers from every direction.
“It’s hard,” she sobbed. “I hate to go anywhere. The gossip really hurts.”
Rumours of the circumstances surrounding Dale’s death have been circulating not only in the town, but throughout the province. The only details that have been released are he was stabbed multiple times and died from his injuries.
“People don’t realize that spreading these rumours and telling these stories is hurtful,” she explained. “And not just to me, but to our family, to our kids.”
Tammy admitted she only knows for sure what information she has received from the police.
“I hear the gossip too,” she said. “But I don’t know all the details either.”
Even though she doesn’t have any additional information, she did confirm the RCMP investigation unit told her multiple times they have all the evidence they need, but no one has been taken into custody and charged.
A great father
Dale’s daughter, who is now 11, has fond memories of her father. She cried briefly when she started to talk about him.
“When the stars are bright, daddy’s looking down at me,” she said, looking towards the ceiling.
Tammy wiped her daughter’s tears.
“He’s with you all the time, isn’t he?” Her daughter nodded. When asked what memories she has of her father, the 11year-old giggled and said, “All of them.”
Tammy talks with her daughter and her son about Dale frequently. They discuss the good times and the many memories. But sadly, they also discuss situations that would be easier if Dale were still around.
Their son just turned 16 and received his driver’s permit shortly after his birthday. Tammy believes Dale would have been a great driving teacher — she can sometimes be overly cautious.
“Dale was so easy going,” Tammy explained.
Something to say
Everywhere the family goes, someone has something to say. Whether they say it to them, or whisper to someone else near by, Tammy acknowledges she has received stares and glares from both people she knows and complete strangers.
Her daughter loves to play bingo, and has accompanied Tammy and her grandmother numerous times. But the comments have been plentiful.
“People stare and say, ‘That’s the little girl whose father was killed,’ and ‘Oh you look just like your father.’ She doesn’t want to hear those things,” Tammy said.
Unfortunately, rumours have caused the chatter to get worse.
Tammy tried to protect her daughter from the truth when Dale was killed, and told her he died in a car accident. Unfortu- nately, a child at the school told her the truth.
“She came home so upset, and I had to sit her down and tell her that some bad people did some bad things to her father,” Tammy said, wiping a tear from her own cheek.
For months there has been little public information released. In April, RCMP said in a news release that DNA analysis put the police force “in a position to act on these results.”
When The Compass contacted RCMP Staff Sgt. Boyd Merrill in St. John’s, we were told there is no new information, but the case is still open and active.
Tammy feels the investigation into her husband’s death has fallen to the wayside, and the only explanation she claims to have received is, “We have to get our ducks in a row.”
“We used to go to meetings (at the police station) almost every day,” she stated. “Then it was every few days. Then every week, then every month.”
It has been five months since the last meeting, and she has taken her son to every one.
“He was so close with his dad,” Tammy said. “Every time there is a meeting, he comes along so he can be a part of it.”
The family is asking the public to remember Dale and what he went through. He lost his life at the hands of another, but he was a father, a husband, a brother, a son and a friend. He was known for not being able to say no to a request and was always friendly with those he met.
“Yes, I want someone to be held liable,” Tammy said. “But, most of all I don’t want people to forget him.”