It was hard for me to watch this entire video, but I challenge you to do it.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve cried daily for the loss of Susan McDonald’s life.  As a Journalist of 20 years who’s seen it all, I still lose sleep about this sad, sad situation.  

I never met her, but her brother is my amazing neighbor, and her niece is my dear friend.  *Her family gave me permission to share the memorial video on Facebook.


Since Susan’s murder in an attempted driveway robbery, my eyes pop open every morning and I immediately scour my emails, newspapers and police reports hoping for a break in the case.

BACKSTORY: Though my mom is from Mississippi, I have limited family in Memphis.  From the day I moved into my home, the McDonald family has been so kind.

At the time, I was a single woman living amongst strangers.  The McDonalds made me feel like I had a Memphis family, from unexpected Christmas cookies to Susan’s brother, Eddie, helping me remove a scary tick from my first puppy’s belly (LOL – Stax is eternally grateful that you got that critter out of his body and I still have that cookie plate that I promise to return!!). Seemingly small moments that are hugely impactful, when you’re alone in a new city.

FASTFORWARD: I can’t help thinking that Susan was on her way to VOLUNTEER for the Overton Park 5-Mile Classic, when the robber shot her in her FACE.

The memorial video is but a glimpse into Susan’s life.  Halfway through the photos, her spirit hits you HARD.

The person who murdered Susan is walking among us.  Surveillance video shows the killer’s car driving to – and fleeing from – the scene.

Please watch her memorial video, watch the video of the getaway car, click on her family’s GoFundMe page solely to donate to the reward to find her killer, and call 901-528-CASH, if you can help police find out who did this.

The reward, now more than $35,000, may be an incentive to turn over Susan’s killer…


…maybe just knowing the beautiful person taken away, and the devastated family left behind, will motivate you to come forward.

I’ve posted her Commercial Appeal obituary from last week below.



Susan Elaine McDonald went to be with our Lord on Saturday, August 1, 2015. She was born on July 11, 1960 to William Edward McDonald Sr. and Carolyn Agee McDonald. She attended Immaculate Conception Grade School and graduated from Central High School in 1978 where she met some of her lifelong friends. She attended Christian Brothers College, Middle Tennessee State University and graduated from Memphis State University in 1984.

During one summer of college, she went with a friend to work the summer in Yellowstone National Park. After graduation she went to work for WREG-TV as a camera operator. While at WREG, she started volunteer work for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and would always work the MDA Telethons over the Labor Day Weekend. This led to a lifetime of volunteer work for many different associations and causes.

She spent many days and nights volunteering at the Overton Park Levitt Shell which was probably her favorite place to spend her free time. In 1988, she moved to New York City and worked as a camera operator for CBS. If you ever watched CBS 60 Minutes thru the early 90’s, Susan was behind the camera filming the show. She also performed camera duties for ESPN, MTV, and Madison Square Garden filming the New York Knicks.
After years of living in Man-hattan, she returned to Memphis and eventually moved to Seattle, WA in 1999 where she worked for Signature Yachts for 10 years.

She moved back to Memphis in 2010 to assist in taking care of her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. She also went to work at V2 Media/ Behind the Scenes in 2010 where she was employed by one of her closest and dearest friends until her death.
Some of Susan’s favorite passions were bike riding the trails at Shelby Farms, watching Notre Dame football and basketball, but her biggest joy of life was the time she could spend with her three nieces whom she cherished and adored.

Susan was a free spirit who loved her family, her friends, her pets, and was endearing to everyone she met. She will be greatly missed by all. She was preceded in death by her parents, Ed and Carolyn, and is survived by three brothers, one sister, and three nieces. Her brothers are Eddie McDonald (Cathy), Kelly McDonald (Emily), Kevin McDonald, and her sister Tracy. Her three nieces are Caitlin McDonald, Abby McDonald, and Erin McDonald.

The family will hold visitation at Canale Funeral Directors on Thursday, August 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. A memorial mass will be held at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on Friday, August 7 at 1:30 p.m. Her ashes will be buried at a later date by the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be made in her name to Memphis Crime Stoppers, the Alzheimer’s Society, The Overton Park Levitt Shell, or the Memphis Humane Society.

Previous Post
Leave a comment


  1. Vicki Brown

     /  August 11, 2015

    Kontji, I too moved here with no family (except my immediate family) and can also attest to the value of good neighbors! So, so sorry for the loss of this reputable lady and the tragic way it happened! Praying that the killer or killers are caught soon and the family can have some closure!! Thanks for this story! You continue to be my favorite reporter!

  2. Audrey

     /  August 12, 2015

    Susan was my aunt’s best friend and all of my mom’s side of the family grew up with her family. Thank you for this beautiful post. Too much crime in this city. People need to value life more.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: