About Us

Drug Induced Homicide is a dedicated organization committed to addressing the profound impact of drug-induced homicides on families and communities. Operated by victims for victims, it focuses on the crucial need for a shift in perspective among law enforcement and the judicial system to treat drug overdose deaths not as tragic accidents but as prosecutable homicides. This requires a deep understanding of the legal landscape, as the majority of states have adopted various legal theories that can treat drug toxicity deaths as criminal offenses, including the felony murder rule, implied malice, and specific drug-induced homicide statutes.

The organization passionately advocates for the recognition of the criminal nature of drug-induced deaths, emphasizing the importance of holding those responsible for distributing lethal substances accountable. Our work includes raising public awareness, supporting affected families, and pushing for legal reforms to ensure that drug dealers and traffickers face the consequences of their actions​.

Executive Board

Terry Almanza

Founder

druginducedhomicide@gmail.com

Terry Almanza is a retired 28-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, where she served with distinction in the Bureau of Organized Crime assigned to Gang Investigations. However, her journey took a tragic turn when her beloved daughter, Sydney Schergen, fell victim to the scourge of illicit drugs. Sydney, just 18 years old, lost her life to poisoning by MDMA, an event that devastated the hearts of all who loved Sydney. Sydney was kind, beautiful, smart,  …

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Matt Capelouto

President

matt@druginducedhomicide.org

Matt Capelouto’s life took a tragic turn when in 2019 his daughter, Alexandra, just 20 years old home from college, fell victim to fentanyl poisoning. This devastating event propelled Matt into the forefront of activism against the fentanyl crisis, transforming his grief into a powerful force for change. Refusing to accept the initial non-criminal ruling of Alexandra’s death, Matt’s unwavering determination led him …

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Kristy Dyroff

Board Member

kristy.dyroff@druginducedhomicide.org

While driving to work one morning Kristy Dyroff was struck by a drunk driver. After discovering how difficult the Court system was for victims to navigate, she recognized that the Judges lenient sentences were a major part of the problem. So she decided to change that. She was elected Magistrate Judge, where she served for nearly 12 years. She fought for the voices of the victims of all crime to be heard and respected them in her sentencing.

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Dawn Beitzel Allen

Board Member

dawn@druginducedhomicide.org

Dawn Beitzel Allen is a mother of three and grandmother of five. As a lifelong resident of Waukegan IL she has always had a vested interest in the city she was raised in and subsequently raised her children in. Dawn has a deep rooted passion for community service and outreach. Her work as a volunteer started at age 9 where she served alongside of her Grandmother at a local soup kitchen every week for most of her childhood. 

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