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My heart goes out to Joan

Keri Ebright Jacobs with an image of Connie Furtado, who was raped and murdered in 1978

Dear Sir,

She signed her book, “To Keri — Images to trigger your memories of Bermuda’s beauty — Joan.”

It was my fifth trip back since returning annually starting in 2018. Prior to that time, I had been away from the island for almost 40 years. Bermuda, and the painful memories, were buried deep inside after my rape in 1978, followed by Connie Furtado’s rape and murder by the same man a few weeks later.

So in May 2022, I walked the End-to-End in Connie’s memory and to honour “Soar: Survivors of Abuse and Rape”. The Royal Gazette published an article about my journey. Every year I return, I carry a picture of Connie and names of other victims of sexual assault as I run the Triangle Challenge or walk the End-to-End. It is my annual pilgrimage to bring awareness, to share comfort and encouragement with other survivors, and to help in my own healing. Joan read the article and reached out to encourage me.

I was set to leave Bermuda the next morning. Joan asked if we could meet briefly as I headed to the airport. It was a quick visit; she handed me a bag of treasures. She gave the gift of her art — her books, prints and ornaments. She gave the gift of herself — writing encouraging notes in each book, so that I could recall good memories of Bermuda instead of the trauma. I was overwhelmed by her generosity and the beauty of her creations.

Over the past two days, I have read Joan Aspinall’s tragedy recounted in several Gazette articles. It has made my heart sick that she and her husband have suffered. I hope and pray for their peace and healing — and for justice.

I will never forget her kindness to me; she, the recent victim, comforting me, the one who had suffered 45 years before.


Silver Spring, Maryland

(Resident of Bermuda 1974-1980)

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