The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Community News Network

February 1, 2013

Virginia woman pieces together 17 years lost to amnesia

(Continued)

When she found herself in a group, she often kept quiet and hoped she would go unnoticed. But often her confusion became obvious, which prompted her to withdraw.

Marsha identified one woman in Shawnda's phone as a longtime friend, so Shawnda asked her to lunch. The other woman turned out to be harboring a grudge about the cost of a bridesmaid gown for a wedding Shawnda had called off in her 20s. "I didn't even know I was engaged!" Shawnda said.

Her previous engagement was only one of many surprises from Shawnda's past. In addition to selling timeshares and working as a legal secretary, Shawnda's longest, most accomplished career was as a sheriff's deputy and a correctional officer, jobs she had held for nearly 10 years. She was astonished to find in one of her boxes a stack of paper targets, riddled with bullet holes — a souvenir from her past life.

"I remember sometimes, she would tell [unruly inmates], "No, uh-uh, we're not going to have that kind of mess. It's not going to be that kind of day," said Les Tinsley, her commanding officer when Shawnda worked at Prince William- Manassas Regional Adult Detention Center. "And she would put an end to it."

The woman who could disassemble, clean and put back together a semiautomatic sidearm had to learn from her mother how to use far more ubiquitous tools: a stove, a phone, a can opener.

Shawnda had to put together a new persona, based on what she could learn of her previous self and how she felt about her new identity. In the past she'd been a party girl who could talk like a sailor; now she was a devoted mother and more ardent Christian.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014