Aurora Kin Outraged by Theater Invite

ABC News Blogs
Aurora Kin Outraged by Theater Invite
.

View photo

Aurora Kin Outraged by Theater Invite (ABC News)

ABC's Carol McKinley and Clayton Sandell report:

Families of many of the victims killed in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater massacre are calling an invitation to attend "a special evening of remembrance" when the multiplex reopens later this month "disgusting" and "offensive."

In a letter to the theater owner, Cinemark USA Inc., family members of nine of the murdered victims say the invitation to attend the event was ill-timed, at best. They are calling for a boycott of the theater.

"During the holiday we didn't think anyone or anything could make our grief worse but you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred," the letter says.

On July 20, James Holmes allegedly opened fire inside a crowded midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises." Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded. Holmes has not yet entered a plea.

An official with Plano, Texas-based Cinemark USA Inc. told ABC News Wednesday that the company has no comment on the letter from the families.

"I was appalled at their lack of sensitivity. It's very upsetting," Mary Ellen Hansen told ABC News. Hansen is the great-aunt of six-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, who was killed in the attack. Hansen's niece, Ashley Moser - Veronica's mother - was paralyzed in the shooting and suffered a miscarriage.

"It's been a horrible holiday season, and this letter came on my birthday, Dec. 27, which made it even worse," said Tom Teves, who lost his son Alex in the July 20 shooting.

Family members of the victims say they received the invitation through the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance to attend the Jan. 17 reopening, followed by the screening of a movie. The film was not specified.

"Our family members will never be on this earth with us again and a movie ticket and some token words from people who didn't care enough to reach out to us, nor respond when we reached out to them to talk, is appalling," the families wrote. They said they "will be using every social media tool at our disposal to ask the other victims to ask their friends and family to honor us by boycotting the killing field of our children."

Several lawsuits have already been filed against Cinemark by families of the victims killed as well as some theatergoers wounded that night, citing inadequate security at the theater.

A preliminary hearing in Holmes' case is scheduled for Monday.

HERE IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER:

To the Management of Cinemark USA, Inc.:

During the holiday we didn't think anyone or anything could make our grief worse but you, Cinemark, have managed to do just that by sending us an invitation two days after Christmas inviting us to attend the re-opening of your theater in Aurora where our loved ones were massacred.Thanks for making what is a very difficult holiday season that much more difficult. Timing is everything and yours is awful.

You (Cinemark) has shown, and continues to show, ZERO compassion to the families of the victims whose loved ones were killed in their theater. You, Cinemark, have never once reached out to the families to offer condolences.

This disgusting offer that you'd "like to invite you and a guest to a special evening of remembrance on Thursday, January 17 at 5 PM "followed by the showing of a movie and then telling us to be sure "to reserve our tickets "is wholly offensive to the memory of our loved ones.

Our family members will never be on this earth with us again and a movie ticket and some token words from people who didn't care enough to reach out to us, nor respond when we reached out to them to talk, is appalling.

You (Cinemark) refused our repeated invitations to speak parent to parent with no lawyers involved. Instead, we get invited to attend a "special evening of remembrance" at the very theater where our loved ones lay dead on the floor for over 15 hours. We would give anything to wipe the carnage of that night out of our minds' eye. Thank you for reminding us how your quest for profits has blinded your leadership and made you so callous as to be oblivious to our mental anguish.

We, the families, recognize your thinly veiled publicity ploy for what it is: A great opportunity for you to distance yourselves and divert public scrutiny from your culpability in this massacre.

After reading our response to your ridiculously offensive invitation, you now know why we will not be attending your re-opening celebration and will be using every social media tool at our disposal to ask the other victims to ask their friends and family to honor us by boycotting the killing field of our children.

The Families of the Aurora Cinemark Theatre Massacre

Thomas Teves (father of Alex Teves)

Caren Teves (mother of Alex Teves)

Sandy Phillips (mother of Jessica Ghawi)

Lonnie Phillips (stepfather of Jessica Ghawi)

Jerri Jackson (mother of Matt McQuinn)

Greg Medek (father of Micayla Medek)

Rena Medek (mother of Micayla Medek)

Anita Busch (cousin of Greg and Micayla Medek)

Robert Wingo, (father of Rebecca Ann Wingo's two children)

Scott Larimer (father of John Larimer)

Kathleen Larimer (mother of John Larimer)

Jessica Watts (cousin of Jonathan Blunk)

Robert Sullivan (grandfather of Veronica Moser-Sullivan)

Sue Sullivan (grandmother of Veronica Moser-Sullivan)

Cassandra Sullivan (widow of Alex Sullivan)

View Comments (24)

Recommended for You

  • Detective Seen on Video Berating Uber Driver Is Under Internal Affairs Review, NYPD Says

    A video showing a police detective berating an Uber driver in New York City has gone viral, and the NYPD said the video is under review by the Internal Affairs Bureau and that it will also be investigated by the Civilian Complaint Review Board. The officer in the video has been identified as a…

    Good Morning America12 mins ago
  • College Baseball Player Gets Call to Donate Bone Marrow to Stranger

    Jake Kinsley sees himself as an average student who plays baseball for his college. "It started back when I was a freshman," said Kinsley, who attends Furman University in South Carolina. Kinsley, who registered at 18 years old, told ABC News that he signed up with the national marrow donor…

    Good Morning America12 mins ago
  • Avril Lavigne and Lyme Disease: Your Questions Answered

    Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By agency estimates, Lavigne is one of 30,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. Dr.…

    Good Morning America15 mins ago
  • All the Best Food Company April Fools' Day Pranks

    Watch your back today, people. It's April 1 and hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.Not one to miss a fun opportunity, food companies are celebrating April Fools’ Day with a variety of pranks that really are just too good to be true. Here’s a look at the best.Foodie Fun For April Fools’…

    Good Morning America31 mins ago
  • 7 April Fool's Day Jokes That Show Techies Have a Sense of Humor

    "Today we’re excited to introduce Smartbox—a better, smarter mailbox that fuses physical mail with everything you love about the electronic kind," Google wrote in a blog post. We've dropped the resolution, and in doing so re-discovered our roots," design lead Daniel Glass said.

    Good Morning America38 mins ago
  • Joe Giudice Opens Up About Teresa's Life in Prison

    "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Joe Giudice is opening up about life without his wife Teresa, who is serving a 15-month prison sentence at Danbury Federal Prison. Giudice spoke to "Extra" and said his four daughters -- Gia, 13, Milania 9, Gabriella, 8, and Audriana, 3 -- keep in touch with…

    Good Morning America38 mins ago
  • North Carolina Teen Writes Rejection Letter to Duke University's Rejection Letter

    One North Carolina teenager decided to fight back with a rejection letter to the rejection letter she said she received from Duke University. “Dear Duke University Admissions,” the letter written by 17-year-old Siobhan O’Dell begins. “Thank you for the rejection letter of March 26, 2015. “This…

    Good Morning America47 mins ago
  • Jamie Dornan Once Stalked Woman on Train for a Role

    Jamie Dornan might be known for his leading role in "Fifty Shades of Grey," but the 32-year-old actor gets even more intense playing a serial killer on the Netflix show "The Fall."In fact, he went so dark one night that he stalked a woman on the train, in efforts to get into his character's…

    Good Morning America58 mins ago
  • Cynthia Lennon: John Lennon's First Wife Dies at 75

    John Lennon's first wife Cynthia Lennon died today at her home in Spain. As stated in the announcement, Cynthia and John had one child together -- Julian, 51. "He's made his mistakes, on the front pages of newspapers, all over the world," Cynthia Lennon said. Cynthia Lennon was married three…

    Good Morning America
  • Miley Cyrus Expresses Outrage Over Controversial Indiana Law

    Miley Cyrus is speaking out against Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “THE BIBLE SAYS (if that's what we are realllllly basing a 2015 bill on) ‘the way that you judge others will be the way that you will be judged’ Which I hope is just as harshly and unfair as those apart…

    Good Morning America
  • Giuliana Rancic Explains Why She's so Thin

    During awards season earlier this year, many in Hollywood noticed Giuliana Rancic's thin figure. The "Fashion Police" co-host said she agrees that she's slim, but added that it's not for the reasons that have been bandied about in the media. "Some people were saying, 'The cancer is probably…

    Good Morning America
  • David Spade Remembers the 'Late Great Chris Farley' on 20th Anniversary of 'Tommy Boy'

    "I'm told that today is the 20th anniversary of Tommyboy," he wrote. "Aside from that making me older than f--- I have to say thanks to everyone who has said nice things to me over the years.

    Good Morning America
  • Germanwings Crash: Video May Show Plane's Final Moments

    Two magazines have reported details of a disturbing video taken from inside the doomed Germanwings plane moments before it crashed into the French Alps, but investigators have denied its existence. While ABC News has not independently confirmed the existence of the video, the editor of Parisian…

    Good Morning America
  • Total Lunar Eclipse Will Be Shortest in a Century

    Don't press the snooze button for this one.The total lunar eclipse set to take over the skies on Saturday will be the shortest in a century, lasting five minutes and turning the moon red, according to NASA.Solar Eclipse 2015: What It Looked Like From SpaceEclipse 2015: Astonishing Images From…

    Good Morning America
  • The Pet Rock Captured a Moment and Made Its Creator a Millionaire

    Gary Ross Dahl devised the perfect pet. Dahl’s Pet Rock was a key innovation of the 1970s, tongue-in-cheek humor for a post-Watergate world, a pop culture fad that made its creator lots of money -- and continued to draw bemused attention in the decades that followed. Dahl, whose death was…

    Good Morning America
  • Avril Lavigne Reveals She Has Lyme Disease

    Rocker Avril Lavigne has revealed the health crisis she hinted to fans about last year on social media -- it's Lyme disease. “She has rarely left her home,” said People staff writer Patrick Gomez.

    Good Morning America
  • What's New on iTunes, Netflix and Hulu for April

    This is no April Fools' joke -- there's a lot to watch on iTunes, Netflix and Hulu for the month. There's hours and hours to watch on these streaming services.Whether it's movies such as the acclaimed "American Sniper" or new shows including Marvel's "Daredevil," many people are going to be glued…

    Good Morning America