Jackie Craine called 911 for help with a domestic violence attack. The call came too late.
Craine was shot 14 times by her estranged ex-boyfriend while in her car, talking on the phone with a dispatcher.
The murder was captured on 911 audiotape. Jackie Craine screamed, “Help me, help me!”
But it was too late.
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Craine’s oldest son also was shot. He was in the car, but survived.
Friday was the anniversary of Craine’s 2012 death outside her Fort Mill home at the hands of James Enrico Diago. Friday was an awful day of remembrance for Craine’s family. It was icy cold, just like in 2012.
“I was the last of us to see her alive, just days before,” said Rena Green, one of Craine’s sisters. “She was at my house, and said she needed a fresh start, away from him.”
Green said the anniversary is a reminder that abuse victims and families need to seek help to avoid what happened to her sister.
“Every one of us can be part of the solution to help others,” Green said.
Diago, a convicted felon at the time, was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 2012, after pleading guilty to murder, attempted murder and weapons charges.
Craine’s family does more than talk about domestic violence. They have created a nonprofit in her memory. Gemstones is a youth development and domestic violence nonprofit aimed at saving other lives, said founder Latia Boulware, Craine’s cousin.
“Domestic violence affects people, especially women, every day,” Boulware said. “We want victims, and anyone around them, to understand it is their business to speak up, to seek help, to stop this epidemic before it gets to the point that happened with Jackie.”
The website for Gemstones says: “Domestic violence can be murder. Don’t be a victim.”
Gemstones has collected cell phones for distribution at shelters, held awareness rallies in York, Lancaster and Chester counties and pushed for tougher laws against abusers.
South Carolina has one of the worst records in America for domestic violence. The state in 2015 was fifth-worst in the nation for domestic violence, according to the Violence Policy Center.
Kevin Brackett, 16th Circuit solicitor, created a domestic violence court in 2015 that coordinates prosecuting such cases with police and law enforcement victim advocates and others. But anyone who knows of or suspects abuse must seek help, said Brackett.
“Victims don’t have to endure this huge problem,” Brackett said. “There is help out there. We encourage anyone who is not just a victim, but might know of a domestic violence issue, to seek help right away.”
Maj. Bryan Zachary of the Fort Mill Police Department, which arrested Diago, called the killing “the worst case imaginable.”
Craine, a hairdresser who had finished massage therapy school and wanted to open a spa, left three children. She had planned to go on with life without Diego, said another of Craine’s sisters, Barbara Green.
“Jackie was a sweet soul; she did not deserve to die,” Barbara Green said. “She was a great mother, and she was taken from her children. We all want to help others avoid days like this anniversary.”
Barbara Green said that helping other victims is a way to keep her sister’s memory alive.
Linda Craine, Jackie’s mother, said the family is determined to help others.
“Jackie was a wonderful person, and we all miss her,” Linda Craine said.
Rena Green works at a hospital and helps victims of domestic violence.
She tells victims her family’s story. Her sister’s story. Her story.
“I want every person I meet to know there is help, and to get that help,” Rena Green said. “Before it is too late.”
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