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July 14, 2014

Valerie Pride and her daughters. (Silent Witness Photo)

"This is a horrible, horrible day for someone to experience that much tragedy at one time."

The "day" Phoenix Police Sgt. Derek Elmore is referring to is Sept. 6, 1982. At 10 p.m., near 16th Street and Dobbins, a man returned home from the hospital where his 9-year-old daughter had just died after drowning in a bathtub. When he walked in the house, he found his girlfriend and her two young daughters murdered.

Valerie Pride, 33, and her daughters, 8-year-old Shontia and 4-year-old Duana, were all stabbed to death. Because of trace evidence left behind, investigators believe the killer left through the back yard and climbed over the wooden fence to escape. Valerie was an Arizona native and came from a large family. She had five sisters and one brother. She went to South Mountain High School and Arizona State University.

"She worked at Palo Verde Nuclear plant as the first black female electrician there," said Elmore. "A pretty remarkable accomplishment for her at that time."

Valerie loved to rollerblade and spend time with her friends and kids.

Read more about the case.

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About the Author


Years with the company: 18

More on what you do (at work): I put up with Mac & Gaydos every day as well as writing and anchoring newscasts and doing some reporting. I also produce Silent Witness which airs every Monday morning.

Education: I started in radio during high school and kept with it. I also graduated from modeling school, but quickly realized it isn't what I love to do…radio is.

Family: Married. One pet…a cat named Molly (but she thinks her name is Princess).

Favorite food: I love anything cheesy or chocolatey.

Favorite spot in Arizona: Our family cabin in Strawberry.

Favorite news memory: Too many to list but I remember one time I helped rescue a litter of puppies found in a hole on an empty lot…

Favorite movie: I like too many to list any one as a favorite. I don't like sad movies so my LEAST favorite is Marley & Me!

First job: Washing dishes at the restaurant my friend's parents owned when I was 13.

First concert: Rick Springfield at the Arizona State Fair in 1981.

#1 sports team: Suns, Diamondbacks and Cardinals

Outside interests: I sing with the band at church, I bake, I read and I treasure hunt at thrift stores and yard sales. I also love to travel…but not if I have to drive.

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