The Wrongful Death of John Draheim
John Draheim’s death was not an isolated occurrence; rather, there had been an ongoing pattern of violence against him and his family members.
In October 1999, Bernina Mata, 51, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.
Early Life and Education
John Draheim was born in Eaton, Wisconsin on March 9, 1900 and attended DeBilviss High School and the University of Toledo where he majored in jewelry business.
He worked as a diamond buyer, salesman and store manager until his retirement. Additionally, he served in the Army during World War II.
His wife Phyllis survived him. Together they had five children and 29 grandchildren.
At her trial, prosecutors painted Bernina Mata as coldhearted, man-hating, sexually promiscuous and a heavy drinker with no regret for Draheim’s death. However, an analysis of thousands of pages of court transcripts, mental health records and psychological evaluations reveals much more to her story; she had severe mental illness at the time with flashbacks to traumatic sexual abuse suffered as a child.
John Draheim’s career has taken him in many directions, but his affinity and expertise with newspapers remains at the core of who he is. A longtime employee of The Post-Bulletin, Draheim serves as promotion manager at the newspaper where he oversees their various charitable programs.
He works as a Macintosh computer specialist, software tester for Microsoft and Intuit, and an avid war gamer. Additionally, he loves being outdoors – especially hunting and shooting sporting clays.
He and his wife Ramona have long been dedicated benefactors to Valpo University, including creating the Draheim Fellowship in Engineering and contributing to Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future – Valpo’s $250 million endowment campaign. The Draheims have a deep faith in the quality education provided by Valpo as well as its outstanding service to society.
Achievements and Honors
John Draheim has served as chair of CMA’s Board of Directors for ten years, but will step down from this role to focus on fundraising and development activities.
He also serves as a member of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Board, where he works to develop aspects of their advocacy groups that aim to influence policymaking at both state and federal levels.
He has been a longtime supporter of Valpo. Along with his wife Jan, he and his foundation committed to endowing an endowed fund for faculty development in the College of Engineering as well as annually making contributions to both the Valpo Fund and Dean’s Fund at Valpo. Furthermore, he served on the Campaign Executive Committee for Forever Valpo: Our Future.
John Draheim developed an interest in violin as a child and eventually trained as classical violinist. Later he formed a band that played folk music and released several albums on Arhoolie Records.
Draheim achieved great success as an adult, rising to become a successful businessman and holding key positions within the finance industry. He is currently employed as Vice President and Assistant Treasurer at Harris Corporation.
Draheim’s family has been advocating for clemency for Bernina Mata, who was found guilty of killing him in her Belvidere apartment. They contend that she wasn’t given a fair trial and the prosecution used sexist remarks against her during her hearing.
John Draheim is an American songwriter, musician, and singer-songwriter best known for his work on the films Frozen (2013) and The Princess and the Frog (2009).
Draheim began his career as a classical violinist but soon after ventured into other genres. He played with bands that specialized in Cajun, Old Time, country, Zydeco and folk jazz music; additionally he recorded several solo albums.
Draheim is an eminent philanthropist and longtime Valparaiso University benefactor, serving on its Board of Directors and chairing its Forever Valpo Campaign Executive Committee. Additionally, he’s renowned for his writings, lectures, and books that have been published. Throughout Draheim’s long and illustrious career, he never forgot his New York roots – becoming a loving father, grandfather, brother, and friend to those close to him.