Yesterday was the anniversary of the death of my old girlfriend Bettina Erika Pruckmayr, who was killed during a botched mugging on December 16, 1995 in Washington DC. She was a tireless and passionate fighter for human rights who was one of the first of our generation to devote her career to the cause of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The painful irony is that Bettina, who worked so hard to create a new system of global justice, was killed because of a failure of the US criminal justice system. Her assailant was a man who was released on early parole after serving only 17 years of his 60-year sentence for committing a similar crime. And sadder still, Bettina would not live to see the establishment of the ICC, created by international treaty adopted on July 17, 1998.
While I still grieve your passing, Bettina, I count myself fortunate to have known you during your too-brief life. And I rededicate myself to working toward the more just, peaceful world you fought for. Love, Rik
3 thoughts on “Remembering Bettina (1969-1995)”
It seems so long ago and yet the pain still remains. A scar that can’t be seen by others but is still there. I’ve been remembering Bettina as well. As I’m sure the others who survive her do. If she touched your life you remember her. That was her way.
Hey Rik, Google found your post for me. I have a GoogleAlert set-up to notify anytime a new “pruckmayr” listing is found. My way of keeping tabs on any new articles that may pop-up over time. Mostly I get new postings on research documents associated with her dad or brother. That’s what I expected when I saw the email in my inbox this morning. But I was pleasantly surprised when I saw your name show up.
Follow-up by email.
Thank you for this. It is the first picture I’ve seen of Bettina in decades. I only knew her for a short time when I was a 1L and she had just graduated, yet the advice and friendship she offered will never be forgotten. RIP Bettina!
I worked at the World Federalist Association soon after this terrible crime happened and heard all about Bettina from Scott Hoffman at WFA. Tonight I came across the name and remembered hearing about this devastating incident so I looked up and found the articles from 1995. Though I never met Bettina, I feel connected to her and am so sorry the world lost such a promising and needed human rights activist. I’m so sorry the criminal justice system let her and her family down, but like many of you, I am working for a better world – writing books on having functional world law. My condolences to all of you.
now in Milwaukee, WI