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"Tree" was Di Rodio's nickname because she was a tree hugger extraordinaire, in the sense that she loved trees and created artwork depicting them. The image of a tree is carved into her headstone.
All these women have seen their lives disrupted by a mysterious skin disease called urticaria or chronic hives. This painful disorder usually responds to medication but its cause is unknown. Di Rodio had suffered from it since she was in grade school.
Di Rodio was happy. She was about to close escrow on a home in Goleta, and her book was due to be published. Pacific time on June 3, just about the time Di Rodio's mother found her daughter's body. No answer.
Almost 2,100 miles separate Holifield's central Alabama home and the Ventura Keys house where Wendy Di Rodio was found dead by her mother on June 3, 2009. Di Rodio's beloved dogs were with her. Neither reportedly barked at the assailant, although both survived the attack.
It would take two more days before the faithful of Tree's Living Room were officially notified of the slaying.
"We shared love, life, death, kid problems, work problems, man problems and just plain fun," said Betty Bezak, a Tree's Living Room member who lives in suburban Chicago.
She explained, "Let us be together . Here we will find companionship, conversation, support, advice, humor, lots of love and surprises."
Holifield is not Di Rodio's relative, school chum or girlhood friend. Neither did she belong to Di Rodio's swing dance group in Santa Barbara. She has seen Di Rodio only twice for a few hours.
Surprises? Di Rodio was full of them. In late 2002, she and her friend set out in a pickup to pay a call on every member of Tree's Living Room.
arms out to comfort people," said Ann Yusella of Summit Hill, Pa., a member of Tree's Living Room.
Through no one's fault, the crime was overshadowed in Nike Air Presto Olympic
Bezak spoke with Wendy on June 1, 2009, to wish her happy birthday. They talked again the next day.
The two women connected through Nike Presto Blue Grey social networking nearly a dozen years ago. And never, my friends, underestimate bonds formed in electrons.
"She was like the tree of life, constantly reaching her Nike Air Presto Dark Blue
Di Rodio broke away from the larger message board and started Tree's Living Room in May 2001.
"It was the third worst moment of my life. The first two being the deaths of my parents," Bezak said. "Somebody ripped this vivacious person from the world."
Ventura on the anniversary of Di Rodio's death to spend the day with her mother, Florence. Her father, David, died a few months back.
For the past two years, members of Tree's Living Room have traveled to Nike Air Presto Ultra Flyknit Review
"I want to know why nothing has been said in your newspaper since the very first articles about her slaying? Doesn't she deserve justice as anyone else does?" Rita Holifield wrote.
the public eye by the stabbing deaths of Brock and Davina Husted and their unborn child in their Faria Beach home just two weeks before Di Rodio's slaying. Their killings remained a mystery for almost a year before police arrested a suspect who is now awaiting trial.
During Di Rodio's visit to Yusella in Pennsylvania, she bonded with Yusella's daughter Sarah, who was born 40 years to the day after Di Rodio.
The members would call each other three or four times a week and text regularly.
According to Yusella, she became like a grandmother to Sarah, who would later call Di Rodio "the best friend and mentor I ever had in my life."
Holifield can recite the itinerary by heart. Alabama, North Carolina. New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana and then back to California.
Friends keep alive memory of crime victim
The women met on a large online urticaria support group and found themselves gravitating to each other to discuss other subjects.
Di Rodio made truly lifelong friends on an online message board called Tree's Living Room.
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