Background Checks can help prevent crime in the workplace, which is often someone’s home.
Suzanne Fairman was 53 years old when she was abducted, raped, and murdered by a contractor in her home in South Richmond, Virginia. Following unanswered texts and a welfare check, she was found dead, submerged in her bathtub in May 2019 “after she failed to arrive in Florida for a planned trip to visit her mom over Mother’s Day weekend.” Her assailant, Thomas Clark, 61, is a Henrico County, Virginia resident, “had a lengthy criminal record,” which wasn’t fully considered before he started work at the family home. In November 2021, Clark was found guilty of first-degree murder, and other offenses. Among other offenses, “Clark was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1988 for forcibly raping a woman in Alexandria, [Virginia]…He also pleaded guilty in 2005 to attempted robbery and received a 10-year sentence.”
This tragic story is a reminder that criminal background checks can help prevent tragedies.
Sources: Jill Sederstrom, Contractor Convicted Of Raping And Murdering College Administrator Who Complained About His Work On Her Deck, Yahoo! News, Nov. 18, 2021, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/contractor-convicted-raping-murdering-college-122300454.html; Jury finds Henrico man guilty of killing VCU employee, Suzanne Fairman, NBC-12 (Richmond), Nov. 16, 2021,https://www.nbc12.com/2021/11/17/jury-finds-henrico-man-guilty-killing-vcu-employee-suzanne-fairman/.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More