DAWN M. CRUICKSHANK HOFFMAN DIES OF CANCER

BILL EAGER Staff writer
Section: CAPITAL REGION,  Page: B1

Date: Tuesday, November 3, 1992

Dawn M. Cruickshank Hoffman, who as a teenager was convicted of the


1982 shooting death of her millionaire-developer father and more recently


helped raise money for cancer victims, died Saturday while vacationing in Hong Kong.


Hoffman, 27, of Clifton Park, who was known as Dawn Cruickshank until


she took her mother`s surname in recent years, died of a rare form of cancer, friends and relatives said.


According to her sister, Theresa, Dawn Hoffman fought cancer for years


but died unexpectedly while visiting a high school friend. "They had a good day together, they came home about 10, put on their


pajamas and went to bed, and at 5:30 her friend found her on the bathroom


floor," Theresa said.


In a headline-grabbing case involving one of Clifton Park`s wealthiest families, Hoffman was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for killing G.


Alan Cruickshank on Nov. 15, 1982, by shooting him nine times with a rifle at the family`s Lapp Road home.


After the killing, she phoned police and told them "I just killed my


father."


On trial a year later, Hoffman testified that she killed her father to end years of abusive treatment to her and her family. Her father and mother,


Jean, were involved in a divorce at the time and her father was visiting when he was killed.


After the trial, advocates for victims of sexual abuse and incest


rallied in support of her, saying her case illustrates the injustices


experienced by such individuals.


Hoffman was tried on a charge of second-degree murder, but a jury ruled that she acted under "extreme emotional disturbance" because of family


troubles and instead convicted her of first-degree manslaughter.


Originally sentenced to 2 1/3 to 7 years in prison, Hoffman later


received youthful offender status on appeal. In 1986 she was re-sentenced to


five years on probation.


Dawn Hoffman graduated from the exclusive Doane Stuart School in Albany and later attended Siena College. For several years she worked for Stonewood


Realty, a family owned-business. The family also owns and runs Stonewood


Development.


Hoffman also helped raise money for the children`s cancer center at


Albany Medical Center and a foundation that grants vacations and other final


wishes to children with terminal cancer.


Hoffman served on the organizing committee for "Dancing in the Woods," the cancer center`s annual benefit, and for the Children`s Miracle Network


Telethon, friends said, often putting in long hours.


Organizers decided to honor Hoffman at this year`s event, scheduled for Dec. 11, after learning of her death.


"All of the committee wants to hold this year`s event in memory of


Dawn," said William Allen, a co- chairman. "She`s always been a real dedicated volunteer and supporter of the cancer program. I can`t remember when she


hasn`t been involved."


Last year, Allen said, Hoffman rounded up committee members to cut tree branches on family property to use as decorations. Another time, another


friend said, she worked throughout the night at a fund- raising telethon when a group of high school students didn`t show up to answer telephones.


Allen and others declined to discuss Hoffman`s death or how it affected her. Hoffman never discussed it, they said.


"She was always trying to do something for someone else. We`re really


going to miss her," said Donna Beebe, assistant director of development for


children`s center.


Nancy Carey, co-chairwoman of the "Dancing in the Woods" event, called Hoffman a "warm person, very dedicated. Here you had someone who was always


trying to help others, when she could have focused on herself."


Theresa Hoffman said she hopes the public will remember her sister for more than the 1982 death of their father despite the attention it drew. Their father, 42 when he died, was head of an extensive construction and development business.


Dawn Hoffman, Theresa said, made the most of the freedom she was


granted when her lawyers successfully argued against jail time.


"What she did most of the time was work with kids," Theresa said. "She got a lot of pleasure out of that. Working with children helped her deal with her own mortality."


In recent months, Theresa said, she helped organize a trip to Disney


World for a dying child and a trip to Maui for another sick child.


Dawn Hoffman leaves her mother, who has remarried, her sister, and a


half-sister, Whitney.