There was hardly a dry eye in the Huntington Beach council chambers Monday during a discussion of whether to create a memorial honoring a young girl killed 35 years ago.
Council members voted unanimously to create an ad hoc committee made up of Mayor Pro Tem Joe Shaw and council members Dave Sullivan and Joe Carchio to establish the memorial for 12-year-old Robin Samsoe, who was abducted in front of Dwyer Middle School and killed by Rodney Alcala in June 1979.
Alcala is on death row for the murder of Robin and four Los Angeles women in the 1970s.
The council discussed placing a bench or a plaque in Pier Plaza at the city's expense.
Robert Samsoe, Robin's brother, told the council that a memorial could help heal the family's wounds.
Councilwoman Jill Hardy said she was about the same age as Robin when the girl was killed and remembers the lecture she received from her family about what to do when approached by a stranger.
"I really like the idea of bench because I could see myself sitting with my daughter, who is now the same age I was in 1979, and using that as a spot to have that discussion that every parent needs to have," she said while trying to hold back tears.
Councilman Jim Katapodis, a retired Los Angeles Police Department officer, said he remembers every child abduction case during his 35 years of service and said the memorial could serve as an educational tool for parents.
"This is the least the city could do in Robin's memory," Sullivan said.
Sullivan is also asking all branches of the city's public safety services to report on what they are doing to prevent similar crimes.