|Sat, Oct 25, 2014 12:18 AM
|Issue of October 22, 2014
April 16, 2014 | 09:27 AM
Indiana State Police Master Trooper and Det. Rick Magill, who died Nov. 18, 2013, from complications resulting from a stroke, was honored last Tuesday night for his dedication to helping victims of child abuse.
A bench, with a likeness of his image and the inscription "In Memory of ISP Master Trooper Rick Magill — An Advocate For All Children — Dedicated April 8, 2014," was unveiled by his parents, Ron and Linda, during a ceremony at the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition at the Milltown Police Dept.
Magill, who investigated child abuse cases for years, was one of the main driving forces to the formation of the child advocacy center, Crawford County Prosecuting Attorney Cheryl Hillenburg told those gathered at the dedication.
An emotional Indiana Conservation Officer Dennis Talley, Magill's best friend, noted how, while Magill didn't have children of his own, he was an uncle to so many kids, including Talley's.
Talley also told of the first time he heard the song "Alyssa Lies," a song that tells of a young girl's death at the hands of child abuse, which ISP Sgt. Kirby Stailey performed at the dedication.
Talley and Magill, who was having a difficult time during a child abuse investigation, talked for hours in a car one evening, with Magill playing the song over and over.
"I had never investigated child abuse cases. I could only be there to listen to Rick," Talley said, saying his friend was "quite a man, quite a man."
Ron and Linda Magill unveil a bench in memory of their son, former Indiana State Police Master Trooper and Detective Rick Magill, during a program April 8 at the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center in Milltown. The younger Magill, a member of the Child Advocacy coalition, died Nov. 18. Photo by Chris Adams
"I could talk for days about things I like, things that are good," he said. "I could talk for days about Rick Magill."
Hillenburg noted that excess funds raised for the bench will be given to the Southwestern Indiana Child Advocacy Center Coalition to help purchase new recording equipment for the Orange and Martin counties' mobile unit.
Hillenburg said SWICACC, which also serves victims in Daviess, Dubois, Perry and Spencer counties, now conducts up to 200 child interviews per year. While many people helped begin the organization several years ago, Magill, along with Milltown Police Dept. Chief Marshal Ray Saylor, provided the vision, she said.
She added that Magill had the three qualities that make a good law enforcement officer — interest, integrity and curiosity — and encouraged the young officers in attendance to model themselves professionally after him.
"He was absolutely the best law enforcement officer you could ever hope to work with," Hillenburg said.
who lost lives
to child abuse
Following the dedication ceremony, which was led by Saylor and included welcoming and closing prayers by MPD Chaplain Jim Smith, many attendees stayed for the annual Crawford County Prevent Child Abuse vigil.
The vigil, originally to have taken place by the bench, was moved inside the adjacent Masonic Lodge because of rain.
Joyce Oglesby of Corydon, a former victim of child abuse, talked about the struggles she faced while growing up because there was nobody like Magill to help.
Nobody — not the doctor who knew something was wrong but didn't report it, nor the teacher who chastised Oglesby for coming to school smelling of urine but never questioned why, nor the police officer who came to her family's house after her dad hit her mom only to pass a liquor bottle back and forth with him while sitting in the front of the patrol car — cared, she said.
Oglesby, who likened her story to a fairytale, said she finally found help through a Bible distributed by the Gideons.
"That was my hero," she said.
Her experience is why she is encouraged by child advocacy centers like SWICACC, Oglesby said, explaining that they are "some child's link to life."
The key to helping children break free from the "emotional prison of abuse" is knowledge of others to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse, Oglesby said.
"All of us need to be that hero, that justice that I needed as a kid," she said.
The vigil also featured Chelsea Roy, a member of the Peacock Children's Theatre, reading "The Blue Ribbon Story."
The story is Bonnie Finney's account of why she tied a blue ribbon to the antenna of her van almost 25 years ago.
Finney, who lost her 3-year-old grandson to abuse, wrote that the ribbon served as a reminder of the need to fight for victims of child abuse.
"Why blue?" she wrote. "I intend never to forget the battered, bruised bodies of my grandchildren. Blue serves as a constant reminder to me to fight for the protection of our children."
The vigil concluded with a moment of silence for the victims of child abuse.