Posted February 28, 2010

Dear Readers,
We have been receiving requests wanting me to write a small story about our legislation that was recently passed by the Wisconsin state legislature (SB-4) and what this all means to my family and the families of the other victims.

It has been a long and hard battle, and as I’m sure you may already know state and federal legislation can be a very difficult and slow process. Never the less we have finally succeeded after 10 years.

The main goal of the legislation was to protect Wisconsin kids and homeowners from the brutal and criminal acts that have turned the “traveling door-to-door sales industry” into a national tragedy.

Unfortunately Wisconsin has the highest death rate in the United States with eleven documented deaths all directly connected to the “traveling door-to-door sales industry.” Our organization (The Dedicated Memorial Parents Group: has documented a total of 86 deaths and over 300 major felony crimes. These include sexual assault, rape, vehicular homicide and murder.

My involvement, and the main reason why I have spent many thousands of hours working to create this legislation stems from the loss of my beautiful daughter Malinda. She was killed along with six other kids on March 25, 1999. Five other kids were permanently maimed for life including Monica Forgues who at the time was only 15 years old. Monica is paralyzed from the neck down for life. The driver of the van Jeremy Holmes tried to switch seats with the driver side passenger and lost control of the van.

Malinda and 11 of the other kids were ejected from the van traveling at 81 mph. She died from a massive skull fracture and bled to death on a cold cement highway without anyone to hold or comfort her.

I promised Malinda on her grave that I would do my very best to protect other kids that were exploited by this fowl and immoral industry. Unfortunately since Malinda died there have been 44 more documented deaths.

On March 24, 2009 “Malinda's Traveling Sales Crew Protection Act” (SB-4) was passed by the Wisconsin Senate (27-6) and by the Wisconsin House of Representatives (68-30) and on March 26, 2009 Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed the bill into law. The bill will go into effect on April 10, 2010.

You can read about the legislation and the door-to-door sales industry by researching the web site. You can also go to the following link to read the bill:

The site is a database web site that contains thousands of articles, a criminal profiler, a wanted page, breaking news, and many more useful links that will educate and inform you and your readers regarding the dangers and the crimes directly related to the door-to-door sales industry. We also have an educational poster that is free of charge and sent out to anyone interested in spreading the word. You can view the poster here:

Many questions you may have and a introduction to our web sites may be found here:

The criminal profiler can be viewed at this address:

The wanted page can be viewed here:

And Malinda’s memorial page can be viewed here:

After the bill was passed and signed into law here in Wisconsin the families of the Janesville van crash all gathered together on March 28, 2009 to honor and to remember our children. It was the 10th anniversary of the accident. This year’s memorial service was held at the rest stop on Interstate 94. Many family members, police officers, and friends attended the memorial:

I wrote a prayer for the services which may help you understand my loss and the loss of the other families:

The eternal flame of life cannot be smothered by my loss. I have held you in my arms as a child, your tears are my tears, your pain is my pain, my heart is with you now.

This prayer is dedicated to the seven beautiful children who lost their lives on March 25, 1999 to the tragic van crash in Janesville Wisconsin - May God bless them and watch over them throughout eternity.

Dear Lord

We have gathered here today to remember our children and our friends who died here or were critically injured. We bring flowers and we bring tears but most of all we bring our memories. Memories of our beautiful children who were taken from us on March 25, 1999.

We ask you to bless and comfort the 44 more families that have lost loved ones since you were taken from us and to give us the strength to stop this national tragedy before more human lives are destroyed.

Dear Monica, Nicole, Shawn, Staci and Craig we pray that you can overcome the pain and suffering that you have had to endure and that you can find peace and happiness in your lives.

Dear Amber, Marshall, Malinda, Joseph, Peter, Crystal, and Cory you will always be in our hearts and you will always be remembered.

Today after nine years we gather here to honor your memories and to promise you that you did not die in vain. We want you to know how very much we miss you and how very much you are loved.

The flowers and wreaths that we place here today are a symbol of that everlasting love. But in our hearts you will live on forever.

Today after this memorial we will all leave here and go our separate ways. But you will remain with us as we travel into the future. Your laughter, your smile, your silly ways, and your dreams will always be with us.

God bless you and keep you for all eternity.



I hope this helps.


Phil Ellenbecker


Dedicated Memorial Parents Group