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A Father’s Crusade : Eight years after a CHP officer murdered his daughter, Sam Knott is still trying to childproof the world.

Steve Salerno is a San Diego-based journalist now working on a book about a murder for hire. His last story for the magazine was "Weekend at Camp Sell-a-Lot," on new sales training techniques

At about 9:45 p.m. on a Saturday, two nights past the Christmas of 1986, Sam and Joyce Knott were seized by a living nightmare without pity or precedent. Their 20-year-old daughter, Cara, was guiding her white VW Bug along Interstate 15, San Diego’s interior freeway, back to her home in El Cajon. She had just spent two days in Escondido playing nursemaid to her boyfriend, Wayne Bautista, who was ill with the flu. Her trip should have taken 40 minutes.

The San Diego State honor student was eager to get home--newlywed older sister Cindy and husband Bill were temporarily living with Cara and her parents. A second older sister, Cheryl, was also at home, and brother John, the “baby,” was spending his first holiday season home after heading off to college. Cara and Cheryl had commiserated over the fact that this might well be “the last of the Great Knott Family Christmases,” shindigs locally famous for their elaborate staging and panache.

Cara had phoned Sam and Joyce a little after 8 let them know she was leaving. Cara always phoned; it was a lesson Sam had drummed into his daughter since her earliest days behind the wheel. Thus when she failed to show up by 9:45, an alarm bell went off inside him.

He had Cheryl alert police agencies, then organized a search party, employing the meticulous attention to detail that had made him successful as both a hospital administrator and, more recently, investment counselor. Through the wee hours and into the frigid dawn, the family members drove, crisscrossing the two freeways Cara always took on her trip. They checked each exit, peering through the webby fog that had strung itself like a series of tennis nets between the rocky hills framing the roads. When that proved fruitless, they expanded their search to adjacent parks and mini-malls. Nothing. Sam Knott came home briefly to make more calls to the police and was stunned by the dispatchers’ lack of interest. The responses he got varied from the glib (“girls will be girls”) to the insolent (“If I had a dollar for every call I got about a missing person, I could retire”).

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At sunup, Cindy and Bill made their second pass at an exit just north of Mira Mesa, the approximate midpoint of Cara’s journey. They had given it short shrift the first time around because the off-ramp led only to roads then under construction. But there, in a small dirt cul-de-sac far from the reassuring bustle of the freeway, Cindy Knott and Bill Weick found Cara’s abandoned VW. Looking up, they noted the sign above the exit: Mercy Road.

The couple promptly phoned the San Diego Police Department; the cops took 40 minutes to show up, with Sam in hot pursuit. Leaning on his Olds Cutlass, Sam Knott watched one of the officers walk to the middle of the bridge that traversed a 65-foot canyon. He saw the young policeman glance down and hurriedly motion to a comrade. For a moment, the two officers conferred. Then they returned to their patrol car, opened the trunk and pulled on surgical gloves. It was an image that required no explaining, an image Sam knew, in that moment, he would never be able to purge from his mind.

At the base of the craggy canyon lay Cara Knott. It was later determined that she had been incapacitated with a terrible blow to her forehead, then strangled with a rope and dumped over the steep side of the freeway access road. “She looked,” as one officer put it, “like a frozen Milky Way that’s been slammed against a table.”

The murder of the All-American girl was the lead item in Sunday’s newscasts. The next evening, in an effort to calm female motorists, the California Highway Patrol agreed to provide viewers with a primer in highway safety. To do the ride-along segment, they tabbed an oft-commended 13-year-veteran, Craig Alan Peyer, who had served as the department’s de facto media rep on previous occasions. It was only fitting that Peyer do the piece anyway, as the crime had occurred on his beat.

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In his solemn, resonant voice, Peyer warned female motorists to “stay in your vehicle and lock all doors. Even if you have to wait all night, it’s better to be in the safety of your vehicle than to try to walk and get assistance. Anything can happen. Being a female, you can be raped, robbed, all the way to where you could be killed.”

At this point, the case twisted into the realm of soap opera. By the dozens, young women across San Diego began picking up their phones to report odd nighttime encounters with a CHP officer at Mercy Road; a couple of the calls came to Sam Knott. The women told of being detained by this officer, in the foreboding stillness beneath I-15, for up to 90 minutes. During these interludes he engaged them in “general chit-chat” (as one detainee phrased it) that bore scant relevance to minor equipment infractions for which they supposedly were stopped. Many of the women resembled Cara. Almost all of them drove small cars. A few of them owned Cara Knott’s exact model VW.

An after-hours search of the officer’s patrol car yielded a damning length of rope. A check of his duty log revealed a stark absence of activity during the period when Cara had been killed.

On Jan. 15, Officer Craig Peyer, the Border Division’s star officer and sometime safety spokesman, was arrested and charged with the murder of Cara Knott. After two trials (the first ended in a hung jury), Peyer was found guilty in June, 1988, making him the only CHP officer ever convicted of committing a first-degree homicide while on duty.

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Sam Knott had been having trouble enough forgiving law enforcement agencies for their inaction on the night of Cara’s disappearance. The arrest of a police officer was a horror that tore at the faith of a man brought up to believe that life worked in an orderly, righteous manner. In the end, the men and women who promised to protect and serve had done neither.

Drifting between anguish and rage, Sam began making inquiries of his own. The deeper he got into official procedures and protocols, the more clearly he saw the flaws that culminated in his daughter’s brutal death. He gathered his family around him and told them, “We are going to change the system, so maybe this will never happen again.”

As he had done on the night of Cara’s disappearance, Sam took charge: He and his family would become the agents of change in an indifferent society. He would put himself before anyone who would listen, write letters to police chiefs and the president. He would let nothing stop him, not the searing pain of two tense criminal trials, not the ignominy of having to put a dollar value to his daughter’s life in his civil suit against the state.

More than seven years later, Sam remains faithful to the oath he swore on Cara’s behalf. Though his actions have caused laws to be changed and policies revised, there are other laws and other policies that still need changing if Sam is to realize his vision of safer freeways and more accountable police. And if the circumstances of his daughter’s death showed him anything, it was that he could trust no one else to do what needed to be done.

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“At the criminal trial, the jury’s responsibility was to determine whether The Monster was the perpetrator. . . . It is possible, for example, that the jury concluded that regardless how Cara arrived at the bottom of the Mercy Road off-ramp, The Monster was the one who killed her, based on physical evidence linking The Monster to Cara and based on The Monster’s conduct after the killing.”

The name Peyer does not pass Sam Knott’s lips. Ever. In talking, in testifying--even this day at a San Diego Denny’s, Sam substitutes “The Monster” each time he comes across the offending word. He does it matter-of-factly, without special emphasis, exactly as if The Monster were Craig Peyer’s given name. “It’s part of my therapy,” he explains, but it’s more than that: It’s an expression of Sam’s allegorical world view. There are monsters out there. And one must be ever vigilant, take every precaution and then some or the monsters will overcome the forces of good.

Surely among the latter group was Cara Knott. By all accounts, she was the kind of kid who, in the course of a week, might finish first at a track meet, then visit a neighborhood kid who wasn’t feeling well, then stop by the local senior citizens center, then attend a rally on behalf of an endangered species. “Her name means precious, and she was,” says Jaime Bautista, the man who might have become her father-in-law.

Sam took great pains to indoctrinate his youngest daughter in the ground rules of a precarious world. “That’s the overriding tragedy in this tragedy,” notes Paul Pfingst, the prosecutor who secured Peyer’s conviction. “Here’s a girl who did everything right. And she ends up getting killed by a cop.”

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Such is the central irony in Sam’s liability suit against the state. Filed initially in August, 1987, the suit seeks to hold the CHP and the state liable for his daughter’s death. Having made the usual rounds of the judicial system, it is now pending in California Supreme Court; oral arguments should be under way by fall. If the court rules in Knott’s favor, it could have a seismic impact on the question of municipal liability for misdeeds by public employees and on the state’s right to offer testimony during civil proceedings that contradicts testimony in earlier criminal proceedings.

The civil suit is one of Sam’s two most high-profile crusades. The other--installation of an automated tracking system to keep tabs on police officers--is fraught with controversy. Together, the two pursuits command as much as three days out of each Sam Knott week. Because of such absorption, the years have changed him. The gray hair is thinner, the face fleshier; the shoulders seem less chiseled than the set that carried the Knott family through two grueling criminal trials of 1988. Hip replacement surgery has left the 56-year-old with a noticeable hobble that, in another man, might serve as metaphor for what he’s been through. But the handshake is unyielding, the familiar azure eyes are no less so. That much has not changed: When Sam Knott looks at you, you do not look away.

And there is that gravelly voice, adding a distinct macho bite to the nonstop philosophizing for which he is known. The effect of the eyes and voice working in concert can be downright chilling. As the waitress hands him his iced tea, Sam smiles warmly and thanks her; then the smile abruptly wilts as he puts down the glass, fixes his interviewer with that stare, pulls his lips tight against his teeth and snarls: “It’s more functional, if you want to take the moral high ground, to get your hands on the system than on The Monster’ even though you have all these human elements that want to get their hands on The Monster.”

In the earliest days after the murder, an understandably shaky Sam had yet to find his true agenda, so he ran on instinct, mounting a scattershot counterattack against the seemingly gratuitous pain victims were forced to suffer in the aftermath of such a tragedy.

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Fuming over the perfunctory handling given the Knotts’ pleas for help on the night of Cara’s disappearance, Sam paid a visit to San Diego Police Chief Bill Kolender shortly after the murder. “Nobody will take a report,” Sam told him. “They just turn you away. And they’re not even polite about it.” Wryly, he added, “If someone takes your car or your purse, the police jump in immediately. But if your daughter turns up missing . . . .” Kolender agreed to prevail upon his missing-persons unit to be more sensitive in the future.

A CalTrans official remembers Sam storming into his office “a week or so” after the murder, saying, “We have to close that exit. It’s a hot spot for druggies and rapists. It’s unlit. It’s unsafe. It leads nowhere.’ ” Throughout the meeting, Sam maintained his trademark eye contact and spoke with a conviction that left the functionary thinking, I guess this is just how things are gonna be. The exit got shut down within weeks.

Sam had little time to savor such victories. Everywhere he turned, he saw opportunities for his “revictimization.” On Feb. 5, 1987, he picked up his morning copy of the San Diego Union to find a grim Page One account of Cara’s autopsy. Most of this information had been kept from Sam, and as he pored through the account detailing the crushed bones and ruptured organs, he was overcome. Not just with grief, but fury. How could the coroner’s office put this sort of information on 250,000 San Diego doorsteps without first giving at least a courtesy notification to the immediate family?

He drafted a letter to Brian Bilbray, chairman of the County Board of Supervisors, asking his cooperation in bringing about a “more dignified and civilized” procedure “so that other victims’ families will not have to endure this outrage.” The policy was promptly changed.

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“You can’t delegate any of this,” Sam is saying while his sandwich and fries grow cold. “You think you can but you can’t. Oh, there’s plenty of people who’ll ostensibly get behind you and say ‘great idea.’ It’s like the first guy through the barricade: Everybody’s yelling ‘Yeah, go ahead, go get ‘em!’ But they’re yelling this from behind the barricade.”

“Sam is relentless. Sam is thorough. Sam is unstoppable,” says San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, who has found herself across a table from him on various occasions since 1987, when she was a county supervisor.

Relentless. Hearing of a plan to plea-bargain the case down to second-degree murder, Sam began making regular visits to the court building. Prosecutor Joseph Van Orshoven and District Attorney Ed Miller would look out into the corridor and there was Sam, a subtle, often silent reminder of their duty, writing poems to his fallen daughter. “If you’re physically there,” Sam explains, “it becomes ‘What do we do with this guy?’ ” What Miller and Van Orshoven did was go to trial.

Thorough. The hung jury left Sam so frustrated that he had seven jurors come over the house for his own private debriefing on their deliberations. “You’d think the D.A.'s office would have done this,” he says, “but they never did.” Armed with that information and his own list of the prosecutor’s evidentiary oversights and tactical foul-ups, Sam persuaded new prosecutor Paul Pfingst to open a pipeline between the Knotts and the D.A.'s office, and the two men shared ideas on everything down to the placement of court exhibits. “Sam was probably the most involved victim I’ve ever encountered,” recalls Richard D. Huffman, the judge who presided over both trials.

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Unstoppable. In 1987, Dr. Carole Jenny, then affiliated with the Sexual Assault Center at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, told Sam that she’d been trying for almost two years to get the government to fund her research on DNA typing. So Sam Knott spearheaded the nation’s first federal grant for a university forensics lab specializing in DNA analysis. He methodically worked the Washington bureaucracy until he found the individual responsible for shepherding such grants through the system. Sam told the man, “I need this technology for the blood evidence against The Monster that murdered my daughter. Let me bring my family to Washington to plead my case.” He didn’t have to leave El Cajon. The grant to the Sexual Assault Center was approved Oct. 1, 1987.

Family observers add another word: retentive. Of an incident that took place six years ago, he will say, “I went up there on a Friday, it was about 2:15.,” As his sister, Jean Thompson, once remarked, “Whatever you do, don’t lie to him, because he’ll remember what you told him the first time, and he’ll catch you up.”

Sam’s remarkable memory gives his words an immediacy that belies the fact that Cara’s death took place two presidential Administrations ago. When he leans back in his seat at Denny’s to describe the climax of his all-night search for Cara, his gaze moves off to some distant point, his voice slows from its customary staccato to a hypnotic monotone, and one senses that he is actually back there, reliving it all for the thousandth time: “After eight, nine hours on the road, I’m on the west side of I-15, on Penasquitos Boulevard. So here’s Penasquitos, and I’m coming along the side road and it’s just before 6 o’clock and I see this black-and-white come racing down the road. So I chase after it, I’m right on his bumper flashing my lights and he gets right on the freeway then gets right off here at Mercy Road.”

In the months after the murder, detectives noted that Sam would talk to Cara as if she were standing beside him. For Sam Knott, the hands of time remain forever frozen at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 28, 1986.

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During the 18 months it took to convict Craig Peyer, the Knotts had put their lives on hold. Sam worked sporadically if at all. Joyce went on leave from her post as a hospital nutritionist. Cindy and John took time off from school. Cheryl, the family firebrand, stayed close to San Diego, a major concession for someone who on any given day was likely as not to turn up at some archeological dig in Borneo.

For Joyce and the rest of the family, Peyer’s conviction and 25-year-to-life prison sentence ended--or at least resolved--a horrific chapter in their lives.

For Sam, the end of the criminal trial merely freed up his calendar for the burgeoning slate of initiatives that has begun making increasing demands on his time in recent months.

Enter Larry Stirling. The La Mesa Assemblyman had been deeply moved by his constituent’s plight, and as an architect of the city’s police dispatch system, he was shocked at the way it let the Knotts down. “The police had always had this policy of waiting 48 hours before getting involved in a missing-persons case,” says Stirling, now a judge. “The theory was that 70% of the kids are found within 48 hours. But what about the other 30%?”

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In March, 1987, Stirling invited Sam to come to Sacramento. The Knott family looked on stoically as Stirling recounted their story to the Assembly, then led his colleagues through a brief ceremony in Cara’s honor.

The session produced two landmark laws. One effected a major tactical shift, elevating missing-persons reports to a priority status above crimes against property. It also mandated training to improve the handling and routing of such calls. The second bill required the Highway Patrol to respond to calls, like the Knotts’, that clearly fall within its jurisdiction.

Gathering steam, the Knott-Stirling juggernaut rolled on to another of Sam’s pet peeves: bail. Sam had been horrified when Peyer was set free on $1-million bail. He and Stirling brainstormed the first state law compelling judges to consider public safety in setting bail. “Crazy as it sounds,” says Stirling, “in the past, defendants even in murder cases could get low bail simply because they’d kept all their previous court appointments.”

Sam was no less dismayed when Peyer was declared a legal indigent, entitling him to no-cost legal representation. Craig Peyer’s quarter-million-dollar house was not counted in reckoning his assets for purposes of declaring him indigent. Sam wanted real property to be taken into account when determining eligibility for free representation. It took a year before such a measure was passed, by which time the question had become moot for the Knotts--Peyer was already on trial, his high-gloss, court-appointed legal team at his side--but Sam got his wish.

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Sam eventually wrote poems lionizing Stirling for his role in the flurry of new legislation, but looking back, the ex-lawmaker gives Sam all the credit: “His leadership, his strength so galvanized everybody in Sacramento that it was like a bright shining light. It became undeniable that these things had to be done.”

Although there could be no dismissing the fruits of his “Sacramento phase,” Sam remained troubled. Missing-persons laws were unlikely to abort a tragic episode in real time. He returned to an idea that had began to take shape in Sam’s mind within days of Cara’s murder, when he heard from a young woman who’d been stopped by Peyer at Mercy Road. Sam got to thinking: What sort of system was in place to make sure officers were where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to be doing?

He found that although officers were obliged to report in at regular intervals, and had to maintain a log--"8:10-8:22, removing boxes from the freeway"--there was no objective means of tracking them.

“UPS knows where your package is,” quips Sam, “but the police, they don’t know where their police officer is.”

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Sam raised the issue with anyone who would listen. He told Mayor Maureen O’Connor and her successor, Golding. He told San Diego Sheriff Jim Roache. He told then-Sen. Pete Wilson. He told the County Board of Supervisors, long and often. More recently, he told Bill Clinton.

“What people don’t realize is, basically the system is already in place,” he says, referring to the $8-billion global positioning satellites launched by the Pentagon to coordinate troop movements and now in perpetual orbit about the globe. Sam envisions a system in which a device mounted in law-enforcement vehicles would bounce a signal off a satellite to a central tracking station, pinpointing the location of every car at every moment. “They’re up there, they’re paid for, they’re waiting to be used. It’s a no-brainer.” He says he has even offered to install a pilot program at his own expense. No takers thus far.

But evidence from the scattered tracking applications that do exist suggests that they might not be the panacea Sam envisions. “He gets a little over-enthusiastic sometimes,” says commander Gene Norden of the Irvine Police Department, whose tracking system was on-line almost a year before the murder. “He’ll have people call me so we can tell them what our program is about. He’s extremely high on it--maybe too high, thinking it does things it doesn’t do.” Norton doubts that the Irvine system would have made a difference in Cara’s case.

Former CHP Border Division Chief Ben Killingsworth claims he actually began investigating tracking before Cara was killed, and concluded that the less-sophisticated tracking systems then available would not work very well in hilly San Diego. But “you couldn’t tell that to Sam,” he adds.

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But when the CHP experimented with satellite tracking in 1993, deputy commissioner Dwight Hemick admitted that the system was being field-tested in San Diego “in deference to Sam’s concerns.” And in June, Sam’s seven-year pitch to the Board of Supervisors paid its first dividends. The board voted to explore funding for an omnibus $80-million radio-communications package linking all local law enforcement and fire agencies--a package that includes a vehicle tracking system.

Activism among so-called “homicide survivors"--the oxymoronic phrase used to refer to the families of murder victims--is nothing new. After the savage murder of her daughter Sharon, the late Doris Tate founded an an influential crime-victims advocacy group. Candy Lightner’s rage over her daughter’s death at the hands of a habitual drunk driver evolved into Mothers Against Drunk Driving, whose effect on the national attitude toward drunk driving has been incalculable. The harrowing abduction-murder of John Walsh’s young son, Adam, catapulted Walsh to media celebrity, which he used as a platform for critiquing society’s haphazard approach to locating missing children.

But few people acting without the the backing of an organized group have attacked the system with the blunderbuss vigor of Sam Knott. In large part, Sam has created his causes and brought them to critical mass on his own.

Opinion is divided on the health of Sam’s crusade. Stirling believes that if Sam is overbearing at times, he’s entitled. “The scope of (the Knotts’ tragedy) was a tremendous underlining of the incompetence of the system. They had to find the body themselves. Then they had to show the prosecutor how to prosecute. There’s no reason for a stockbroker to have to interview a jury and write a cookbook to show the D.A. what to do.”

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“The general public would like to believe that when somebody is murdered, we read about it in the newspaper, then it’s over,” says Mike Mantell, chief psychologist with the San Diego police during the Peyer trial, and now in private practice working with trauma victims. “It’s wishful thinking on our parts that when the lights and the cameras and reporters go away the victims put things back together. Well, that’s just not the case. For many people the loss is a tear in the heart that just never ever mends.”

Which is not to say that Sam’s crusades have been universally well received. Law enforcement insiders say the new missing-persons laws impose demands on the 911 system that dilute manpower and force officers to respond to calls that seldom merit a dispatcher’s time. The tracking issue, too, has been denounced as fundamentally misguided. Critics argue that notwithstanding the grimness of the Knotts’ experience, police as a class are the last people parents need to worry about.

It is clear that almost from that fateful Sunday morning, Sam Knott has been attempting to create a legislative and electronic cradle: Missing persons laws that deliver your errant children safely back to your arms within hours. Cosmic surveillance that keeps deviant cops away from them. Lights and sensors everywhere so that nothing sinister can happen in shadows. “ If you can’t keep your children warm and safe in their beds forever, you do the next-best thing: child - proof the world.

By whatever means necessary.

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CAUTIOUSLY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT THE LONG-RANGE PROSPECTS FOR TRACKING, Sam has turned his thinking to the civil suit. Early in 1991, a jury found for the Knotts, awarding $7.5 million in damages, but it became a hollow victory as Superior Court Judge James R. Milliken effectively dismissed the Highway Patrol from the suit, ruling that the state could be found liable only if Peyer killed Cara in the course of his regular duties. That ruling theoretically leaves Peyer, now broke and in prison, liable for the whole multimillion-dollar award.

Then, that fall, came the ground-breaking resolution of a nine-year court battle in the case of Mary M. v the City of Los Angeles. Raped by an on-duty LAPD officer in 1981, she sought to get the city to pay damages. The case went to the California Supreme Court, which found for the plaintiff. Justice Joyce L. Kennard wrote, “When law enforcement officers abuse their authority by committing crimes against members of the community, they violate public trust. The public employer must be held accountable for their actions.”

Knott attorney Forrest A. Hainline III went to the Supreme Court hoping to have the Mary M. ruling applied to the Peyer suit. The state counterattacked vigorously by seeking the right to amend or even repudiate certain testimony of CHP officials and others during the two criminal trials. The testimony in question concerns the state’s prior knowledge of Peyer’s habits, the danger posed by the Mercy Road exit and the issue of whether Peyer was still acting under the auspices of the CHP when he killed Cara. As Hainline puts it, “The state argued that the rope Peyer killed her with wasn’t a CHP-issue rope, so maybe the state should not be liable. “

The court may order the state to honor the civil jury’s $7.5 million verdict. Or it may send the case back for retrial. Or--Hainline’s greatest fear--it may even overturn its own prior ruling on Mary M. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” says Sam, “but then I’ve been optimistic all my life, and, well, we’ve seen what happened.”

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Hainline finds it astonishing that Sam has held up as well as he has through the ups and downs of litigation, of hearing the facts of his daughter’s death recited again and again. and reaffirmed again. “I don’t know how he bears it--and with grace, no less. You have to think all this would have killed any other man.”

Sam admits that his crusade has taken a toll on the family finances. He also concedes that Joyce is worried about him, that though she once supported him in his victims’ work and even took on a few projects herself, she has come to feel that it’s time for him to move on. “She’s felt that way for a long time now. A long time. Most of what I do is very difficult for her, because she came from a situation where you don’t rock the boat. Meanwhile, I’m inside the boat, throwing furniture off!”

Sometimes Sam thinks maybe she is right, certainly his battle against the forces of evil has exacted its toll on their finances. But there is just so much left to do.

His list of causes is almost endless. He hopes to make society stop romanticizing murderers and to heighten public awareness of those left behind. Toward that end, he distributes $1,000 scholarships in his daughter’s name through the Cara Knott Foundation. “Everybody can name five monsters, but they can’t name five victims,” says Sam. “Meanwhile, all this time, money and energy goes into the appeal process and protecting the killer’s constitutional rights.”

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It galls Sam that Cara’s assassin is accorded conjugal visits with wife Karen. “The Monster gets three days and two nights,” he says in a sing-song parody of a travel brochure. “Isn’t that nice? A little vacation from the drudgery of prison.” His eyes harden and his voice, suddenly, is ice-cold. “And we pay for all this.”

He wants to retrofit freeway call boxes with beacon lights, fog sensors that alert the CHP to dangerous conditions and other high-tech bells and whistles to improve highway safety.

He has been acting as an aide-de-camp to other victims, notably Marc Klaas, father of Polly, whose abduction-murder in October, 1993, sparked nationwide outrage. “The system broke down again,” says Sam, shaking his head. What time he has left, he devotes to the Doris Tate Crime Victims Bureau, which pushes for legislative change and helps survivors cope and marshal resources for the killers’ parole hearings.

Sam is already composing a mental agenda for the year 2005, when Peyer becomes eligible for parole. “You have to get the prosecutor there, prepare evidence--relive the heartache all over again. It’s an enormous undertaking in time, money and emotion. “People say, The Monster got a life sentence. They don’t realize it’s a life sentence for us, too.”

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