STAMFORD, Conn. -- It was guilt over her sister Renate’s unsolved murder that drove her to speak up about domestic violence, NBC news anchor Tamron Hall told the crowd Thursday at a Stamford fundraiser.
“It haunts me, it haunts me,” she said about her sister’s unsolved 2004 killing. “So while I am chasing forgiveness from my sister, it has allowed me a platform to help other people."
Hall made her comments to a crowd of about 500 people gathered to hear her Thursday afternoon at the Stamford Marriott as the guest speaker at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s 12th Annual Voices of Courage Spring Luncheon. The center, with offices in Stamford and Norwalk, also serves Darien, New Canaan, Weston, Westport and Wilton.
Hall, co-host of NBC’s "Today" show and host of MSNBC’s "NewsNation," was careful not to name the person who lived with her sister or to call him a suspect in her death.
But Hall said her sister – an excellent swimmer - was found dead floating face down in the pool at Renate’s home. Police said Renate had suffered blunt force trauma to her head and her fingernails had been torn off.
Police have not made an arrest in her sister's death, Hall said. Officers were suspicious but didn’t have clear evidence of a suspect, she said.
Her sister had spoken to their mother the day before her killing to say she wanted out of the relationship, Hall said.
“I am not proud of my role as advocate because I was forced into it by shame,” she said out guilt in not acting more forcefully earlier in her sister’s sometimes stormy relationship.
“I have learned that my story of pain, our mistakes, can and will help someone else and it will save a life,” she said.
Although she said she failed her sister, Hall said she wants to ensure that she doesn’t fail anyone else.
The guests at the noontime luncheon were impressed with Hall’s telling of her personal tragedy.
“She’s wonderful because she is a voice about this problem,” said Guadalupe Ramos of Stamford.
Ramos, a freelance journalist, said she has written frequently about domestic violence.
“Sometimes I know the victims, they are my friends, and it is very important for the community to be together to eliminate this monster,” she said of domestic violence.