Austin woman attacked in '83 helps bring 'Victim Notification' i - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Austin woman attacked in '83 helps bring 'Victim Notification' into 21st century

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Karin Richmond thumbs through her book, "Blood on the Threshold." It's about a woman named Mirabelle who was violently attacked in the early '80s and spent the next 30 plus years fighting to help others like her.

The names have been changed but Richmond is writing about her life.

According to a 1983 Statesman article, she was in downtown Austin for business when a former hotel employee attacked her...seemingly for no reason.

"I had no idea why. Still don't, still don't," she said.

Richmond writes in her book that the man knocked on her hotel room door...when she opened it, saw that he was carrying a garbage liner and a bottle of Tabasco sauce.

He forced his way in, smashing the bottle in her face, stuffing the garbage bag in her mouth and stabbing her repeatedly in the back.

"My nose had been sliced off and I had been stabbed 12 times and I could feel the carpet in my face," Richmond said.

Richmond says she had a near death experience at this point...hearing the voice of God.

"When your faith in God turns into a knowledge of God it's a pretty profound shift in your soul," she said.

Another guest and the hotel bartender stopped the attack and her attacker was arrested. He was given 90 years.

But in 2012, he was granted parole.

"When I asked the Director of Texas Department of Criminal Justice Victims Services, I asked her how I might be notified if he went off grid. And the look on her face was not good. And she said 'You will get a letter in the U.S. Mail,'" Richmond said.

For Richmond, that was unacceptable. So she began working with the TDCJ and government officials to implement real time victim notification -- her efforts paid off.

Earlier this month, the state sent letters to more than 6,000 victims informing them they now have the option to register for text messages regarding the activities of offenders.

"The statutory victim can register to receive text messages and they'll receive a text message on 3 items. When a warrant is issued, when a warrant is withdrawn and when an arrest is made," said Jason Clark, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"I'm just pleased that there are other women that will now have sufficient time to hide their families or to prepare themselves in a defense maneuver to get out of the way if danger comes lurking toward them," Richmond said.

If you are eligible for the victim notification system, you do have to register to receive the text messages, you're not automatically enrolled.

If you would like to do that, you can e-mail victim.svc@tdcj.state.tx.us or call 800-848-4284.

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