This story was published in The Modesto Bee on Feb. 21, 1997
The Assembly adjourned in the memory of Deborah Whitlock on Thursday.
The formal gesture of respect is common in the Assembly and usually happens, at the request of a member, within a few days of a person's death.
In this case, the recognition of Whitlock came nine years later.
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Whitlock was found stabbed to death in her Modesto home in March 1988. Her 3-year-old daughter was asleep in the next room.
In January, Modesto police arrested a man in Arkansas and he has been charged with Whitlock's rape and murder.
Thursday's adjournment was requested by Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced. Cardoza presented Whitlock's mother, Jacque MacDonald, and Modesto police investigator Bill Grogan with resolutions commending them and the Police Department for their parts in keeping active the investigation into Whitlock's killing.
After the slaying, MacDonald embarked on a one-woman crusade to find her daughter's killer. She handed out fliers, placed billboards along Highway 99, and served as host of the television show, "A Victim's Voice," with the help of John Kano on a local Assyrian station.
From the Assembly floor, Cardoza told fellow lawmakers that MacDonald has shown that "one person can make a difference."
Cardoza also credited the Police Department's persistence. He recognized Police Chief Paul Jefferson and Kano.
A crew from the television news magazine "Dateline" filmed the presentation.
Producer Tom Keenan said "Dateline" will devote a segment to MacDonald and her efforts.