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Ira's family was in town Tuesday to talk to local reporters and circulate some fliers asking for info about Ira's murder. I spoke briefly to her brother Pavel and complimented him for his persistence in trying to get justice  for his sister and for talking to the media so the rest of his family wouldn't have to. I don't think I could do that.

Ira's old roommate Nancy (not her real name)  was there. I hadn't seen her in Jackson's Java since Ira's death. She seemed in good spirits, considering. I asked her how she was holding up. She said OK and asked me how I was holding up. This impressed me. If my roommate and best friend was murdered I don't know how much room I would have in my heart for people who weren't as close. I told her I was pretty good but that the current moment was pretty emotional for me, and that the coffee at Jackson's Java was not as sweet as it used to be since Ira's been gone.

Ira's mother was there. I'd never met her. I debated whether or not to introduce myself and offer condolences. I tend to base a lot of my decisions on the Hippocratic oath ("first do no harm"), and ultimately chose to leave her alone. I think that was the right decision, or at least a not completely bad one.

Nancy  gave me another hug on her way out. She said she would probably be back working and try to make the coffee sweet again . I told her "You're sweet...just like her." Her answer was "nobody's like her."

I didn't want to get into one of those your great/no I'm not/yes you are conversations (they can be fun, but this  wasn't the right time) so I just said to Nancy  "but she gave us a good model to follow, didn't she?". Nancy smiled.

I took one of the reward flyers Pavel left and the next day I hung it outside my office. It's got a picture of Ira along with information about the reward and the case itself. I'd had a picture of Liviu Librescu (it looks just like the blog entry I made about him) where the reward poster is now. It's been over a  year since the Virginia Tech shootings and had probably been up long enough. This makes me think about the similarities between Ira and Liviu Librescu...both were unusually good and selfless people unfairly taken from us.

Here's some news footage from Tuesday.