The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein



Thursday, June 29, 2006

Society has to be kept safe

Seems about fair to me:

Donald Boyd, who represented himself during his trial, had slashed himself with a razor in front of jurors while making his own closing argument last month. The jury later needed only 45 minutes to convict him of repeatedly beating and raping a woman in her Cliffside Park apartment in 2002.

As a result, the judge sentenced him to life in prison, and then added 60 extra years.
Categories:

Boy sent to jail, cell mate is child molester

A teenage boy, not even old enough to drive was convicted of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. According to court records, the boy pulled a semi-automatic handgun on a 14-year-old acquaintance during a marijuana deal.
I think most of us agree that this boy was convicted of a crime, and should receive some type of punishment. He not only committed a crime, in attempting to rob someone, he was already committing a crime by participating in a drug deal. Add to it that he pulled a gun out, and well- let's be honest- he's no "misunderstood angel".
However, despite my belief in tough punishment- I think this one may just be going over the line by a few miles.

His first cellmate was his 16-year-old codefendant. He was later moved into a cell with Quinton Fisher, who, according to court records, pleaded guilty to two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of having carnal knowledge of a child between the ages of 13 and 15.

Are we punishing the boy or rewarding a paedophile? I can't imagine anything worse that serving a child up to a known child molester, while enclosed in a cell with minimal protection. Just who is the idiot behind this?
I'm not defending this young boys actions, I'm not saying that he shouldn't be punished... all I'm saying is that it's a bit odd for the state to step in and offer him as desert for some sicko.
Categories: ,

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Excuse the interruption...

I was informed that the circus being held by the pedophiles concerning my actions (in which I merely informed Save the Children that the donation sent in was sent as a celebration Alice Day, the pedo Christmas, if you will)
I thought I had done a rather good job of explaining my stand on a few things, but clearly I was wrong. Opps.
So, what follows is a letter posted on the internet, written by self admitted pedophile Todd Nickerson- in which he still mis represents who I am, and what I believe. I'm going to block quote the letter, in portions so that you don't mistake his words with my responses.


Continue Reading



To Whom It May Concern:

Recently I sent your organization a donation amounting to $1,535, sent as three different money orders in two separate envelopes. The first two payments, totaling $1300, was sent in the first envelope, the remaining $235 about a week later. The $1300 has been returned to me, leading me to believe that the final amount was either kept by your organization or never received. I am not overly concerned about the $235, but I felt you should know that it was sent.

Does Lindsay Ashford even know the correct amount? Because according to him it totaled $1650.00, but we won't be too concerned about which of you is lying. So let's move on.
At any rate, it has come to my attention that, due to complaints by a handful of people, this donation was rejected. While I can understand that you would not wish to associate your organization with activities that are harmful to children, especially if they are illegal, you should realize that I am not a criminal, nor is Lindsay Ashford. A modicum of research on the part of your organization can easily determine this—both Lindsay and myself have prominent websites which discuss our ideas and orientations, which would hardly be possible if we were criminals. No, what you have objected to is not a crime—it's an idea.

I didn't complain. I informed them of where the money came from. Sue me. And, yes I personally object to your desires.
Furthermore, it has been made clear on the blog of the person who contacted you that you have given out personal information of mine. Again, I am not a criminal, and research on your part would've easily determined this. What your organization has done is a violation of trust and my privacy. While it is clear that Save the Children occasionally has reason to give out personal information, as outlined on this webpage ( http://www.savethechildren.org/policies/privacy.asp), it is clear that this situation does not fit any of the criteria outlined therein. The person you gave my information to is not a third party "with whom Save the Children chooses to do business," nor was she "law or a regulatory authority" which compelled you to give out that information. You may not have violated the law, but the person in your organization who provided this information knows very well that he/she had no compelling reason to provide this information.

You should refer to my post which this portion of the letter is about. It clearly states that someone CONFIRMED the donation, and where it came from. So, if I say Todd Nickerson of Tennessee sent you X amount of funds, on behalf of Lindsay Ashford who runs puellula, and they look at their computer and say "yes we did receive that", then they didn't tell me anything I didn't already know.
Again, I am not highly concerned about my information going out per se—it's a matter of public record anyway. What I am concerned about is an obvious prejudice and animosity toward a distinct minority, which, if you are not aware, is both touted and encouraged on the blog of the person to whom you provided my information. She operates under the online nick Lost in Lima Ohio (LILO), and here are some sample quotes from her blog here: ( http://lostinlimaohio.blogspot.com/)

I don't have prejudice* against anyone.
1.
*1. An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
2. A preconceived preference or idea.
2. The act or state of holding unreasonable preconceived judgments or convictions. See synonyms at predilection.
3. Irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion.
4. Detriment or injury caused to a person by the preconceived, unfavorable conviction of another or others.

1. I have knowledge of pedophiles. You'll just have to take my word at that one.
2. MY judgments are not unreasonable.
3. Nor are my feeling (suspicion or hatred) irrational.
4. You do that yourself, to yourself. Seek help. Professional help, from someone trained in handling sickos.
So there, now that part should be cleared up for you.
Save the Children already has my web address, as I attach it to the closing of my email. It's auto inserted for me.
And again, the information was not provided, it was confirmed. You can't provide me with something I already am aware of.

"Absolute Zero. As in "we'll accept absolutely zero of your demented justifications for the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children". It's the anti-pedophile site you should be blogging rolling right about now. While it's a new blog in the making, being born just this month, it has promising potential, and a rather large group of talented writers. A bit more "in your face" with their stand on protecting children, but let's face it would you really want them to be any less firm when it comes to protecting children?
If you're kind enough to click over, you may just notice a familiar blogger on their growing list of contributors. So why not head over now?"

Indeed, let's. And here are some quotes from the AZ blog ( http://absolutezerounited.blogspot.com/)

"I believe in wiping these monsters off of the face of the earth so that no one has to live in fear."

"Pedophiles should not only be kept away from children, they should be eliminated from society all together."

"One and the same? What's the difference? Some have acted, some have not. That is the only difference. There is also nothing "amusing" about it."

All of these quotes come from the same person, someone who obviously sees those of us with attractions but have not acted on it as one in the same as the people who have acted on those attractions, and in truly abusive ways, and she and her cohorts believe in "wiping [us] off the face of the earth." LILO and Sues are friends, and LILO supports the people on AZ. She may not claim to threaten, but she certainly doesn't object to others inciting violence again us, like Sues when she says, "Tell it to Bubba when he is giving YOU the anal probe. That is enough 'positive impact' for me."

I have been threatened by these people personally for my attractions and beliefs—not for anything I've done personally. And these are guys to whom your organization has given my grandmother's home address to, which is where I currently live. You see, the person who gave out this info did not stop to consider that she/he might be endangering the lives of others by giving it out—all they heard was "pedophile" and assumed the worst. This is the level of hysteria and prejudice we deal with every day, not for any actions we have committed but merely for an orientation we didn't choose but are trying to make the best of.

This is where it becomes really fun. First, I've never met Sue. In fact up until a few days ago- I had no idea who she was, or that she even existed. We may agree on certain things, but I believe true friendship takes years to develop, and having just learned of her existence... well you should be able to see where this is going. Linking to a site, and suggesting that others visit it, does not make me "friends" with anyone. It makes my readers "aware" of the site, and I trust my readers to be able to use their own judgment in deciding the value of the site.

I have never claimed to be friends with anyone, and merely linking to one does not mean that I know them well enough to be a judge of their personal character. While I may choose to link to numerous blogs written by numerous people, it does not mean that any those people are my friends, or that I condone every single action or thing they do and say. Like previously mentioned in other posts, I am willing to take responsibility for what I say, but not for what is said by others. Feel free to assume that if I didn't write it, I don't expect to be held accountable for it. Are you, Todd, willing to be held accountable for everything Lindsay Ashford says and does? How about other pedophiles, can I make the assumption that by merely chatting with them a few times, you condone and encourage every thing they do? I would imagine that you are less than willing to be held responsible for others words or actions.

Just as you have the legal right to spread your demented "ideas" about how sexual relationships with children should be "okay and accepted", others have the legal right to say that they would like to see you in prison, or even wiped off the face of the earth. It may hurt your feelings, but I suggest that you learn to suck it up and deal with it. You want the truth about how people feel about your kind- well that's the truth. Society is not only unaccepting of your blatantly flaunted "ideas", it is repulsed by them. And it is those every "ideas" that others want dispelled from the world.


Quite honestly, you have no idea of knowing what I object to, because you have never asked. Had you asked, I would willingly have provided you a detailed list of things I object to, including your "ideas". Do I condone violence, no. Do I understand the rage that others feel towards you? Yes.
I clearly have never threatened you. As for what others may or may not have done- well we're back to the "don't pin it on me" from before. I'm just not willing to put myself in that position. But I do believe "wiping you off the face of the earth" would be would be an action better achieved by God, than by a small group of bloggers. There is just way to many of you perverts running around, for anyone to reasonably believe this "wiping" could be accomplished by mankind.

Our lives are often sad, lonely and miserable. We have very little reward for our troubles—we cannot act on our attractions at all, and some of us don't even want to. What we DO have we must fight for tooth and nail, such as a pride in the fact that we do love children and wish to help them in tangible ways. Call it cynical if you like, but is it so wrong to want to be recognized for that? Are we so far different from other groups that have contributed to charity in the name of being recognized as decent, caring people? Is it logical for society to assume that we are all ONLY contributing to make ourselves look good, and in the long run, does it matter to the children from whom the money comes from? Does it not run counter to your organization's principles to deny much-needed monies simply for the sake of politics? Are people going to stop sending donations to Save the Children because a group of girl lovers contributed (and what does it say about them if they DO deny these children money because they happen to dislike a small group of the contributors?) Isn't it better for your organization to weather the small amount of controversy this will generate in the name of helping the kids?

It's an organization that has a simple mission of protecting children, and you have a mission of legalizing child rape. Oh, wait you don't call it that. Because, then people might object to it. Plus, once it's legal- it's not rape anymore. Right?
We raised this money in recognition of Alice Day, which is our day to celebrate girls and do good for them in measurable ways. This is an annual event for our group (which numbers in the hundreds and is growing by leaps and bounds.) Won't you reconsider officially accepting our donation? We will certainly raise more money by next Alice Day (April 25th) and would continue to donate every year that we were allowed to do so.

Sickening.
At any rate, I will not be cashing the check. The money will remain in your accounts, whether you choose to use it or not. This was a tough decision. We really want the money to be put to use assisting children, but we determined that all charities will likely react the same way out of political pressure. Your organization is large and has been around for a long, long time. Surely it can withstand a bit of controversy in the name of doing good.

Sincerely,


Todd E. Nickerson

I hope you don't blame someone for giving out your middle initial. Cause, wow, that'd just be so wrong of them.
I should suggest that you go back, and read Ashford's press release, read the statement which he wrote, making a claim that by accepting the funds Save the Children was in fact accepting Puellula. If you didn't want this to be "political" perhaps you should have reigned in Ashfords press release a bit. After all, he's the one declaring Save the Children's recognition and acceptance of Puellula.

You have to understand that as a parent, I find your "ideas" regarding children repugnant. As a deep believer in God, I find your desires immoral and unholy. And as a person- I find your plight to legalize the sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children down right disgraceful. You flaunt your perversions, as if they should be embraced. I will fight that. Not because I believe that you will ever win this war you have waged against the innocents of children everywhere- because you won't. I do it because I feel that it's important to stand tall and protect the children. And the more people are made aware of your existence (all pedophiles), the more chances we have to protect every child that might have otherwise been victimized by you (any of you).

Now, Todd- as you well are aware, I have attempted to set a few details of your "misinformed and misdirected" letter straight. Perhaps next time you care to include your beliefs about what I believe and who I am in a letter- you'll take the time to actually get some of it right.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Just to set a few things straight...

Some of you are going to be so very lost on this post. But, without getting into exactly what reasons are currently behind this post, I felt I at least need to make a few things clear to some obviously confused people.

I'm Lilo- short for Lost in Lima Ohio. I'm not anyone else.

If you read it here, and it is not in blockquotes and it is signed by me- those are my words. Attribute them to me all you want.

I blog at a total of four places, including this one. If I say something here, I accept full responsibility for it, but it doesn't mean that it's seen as the finial word at the other places where I write. Hell, they might completely disagree with me, but you'll have to take that up with them.

I may blog other places, be a member of certain blogrolls, or even comment at other places. But this is still my home, and I'm still me. Not a "them", just a me- spreading my opinions as I see fit.

I don't do threats. It's just not my style. I may warn you that if you tread near my kids, it'll likely be the last treading you ever do- but that's not a threat, it's a warning. Sort of like the sticker on my door that indicates I live in a "armed house".

I don't "scare" people into doing anything. In fact, that's not my style either. Call me old fashion, but I prefer to inform and then allow people to react as they see fit.

Child molesters, rapist, pedophiles- (or whatever it is that you are calling yourself this week), are
not worth my time. I don't do anything against YOU- I do it FOR the children. You know, the ones that you would corrupt and abuse for your own deviant pleasure. They are worth my time, worth protecting, worth fighting for- you are just another detour on the road much like the people who shake a child to death, or beating them until they are bloody, or commit other atrocious abuses against children are a detour- something that presents a heinous bump in the road of life for these kids, and someone that I will willingly work to expose. But, it's not about you. It's about the children. It's about working to provide them with a better future, striving to protect them from those who would harm them.

Does that offend you? To be cast in with the lot of child murderers, child abusers, and child rapist? Well, it should. You can say all you want that you "love" children- but you are no different from the abusers. You use children as sexual objects, much like an abusive parent uses their child as a punching bag. The sad thing about it is how both get offended at the idea that the problem lies with them.

So, let's recap, and see if possibly this sticks with you:

I'm me. Just me.

My opinions are mine. They may or may not be shared by other people, but that's not for me to decide.

If I wrote it, I claim it; pin it on other people. And don't pin what they say on me.

Child "lusters" are demented, worthless scum of the earth- and I will continue to do whatever is possible to protect children from the likes of them.

Oh, and I don't threaten, scare or do anything else to make people obey my will. It'd be a nice super hero power- to be able to convince folks to abide by my every word... but alas I am no super hero.

If you have questions or concerns, or feel the need to double check something on this list- feel free to let me know. If I say something you doubt is true, or if you want better proof that what I have provided, let me know. And if you think that I should be credited with something that I didn't write, but you imagine I would agree with if I read it- instead of just rushing to say that that's what I think- freaking ask me. I'm not that difficult to contact. In fact, I'll even make it really easy, you can pop over on the right to that little chat box (it's gray and black) type in your questions anonymously and after I receive notice of a comment on there- I'll look it over and POST YOUR ANSWER HERE. How much easier can I make it for you? Or, if you're really concerned about something and want to have an actual conversation about it- it's lostinlimaohio at gmail dot com.

Not three, not two, not one...

Absolute Zero. As in "we'll accept absolutely zero of your demented justifications for the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children".
It's the anti-pedophile site you should be blogging rolling right about now. While it's a new blog in the making, being born just this month, it has promising potential, and a rather large group of talented writers. A bit more "in your face" with their stand on protecting children, but let's face it would you really want them to be any less firm when it comes to protecting children?
If you're kind enough to click over, you may just notice a familiar blogger on their growing list of contributors. So why not head over now?

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Whole Different System for Voting in 2008

Some people will vote along party lines in 2008. Some will vote according to faith, others according to the issues that weigh most on their minds. Some will just vote according to whoever makes the best promises.
It is strange how people will get to making their choice about which person they to lead the Nation, and although I have heard a varied amount of reasons for why people choose one candidate over the other, this by far is the most disturbing, sickening and utterly repulsive reasoning in the history of voting:

I have decided to predict the next president not by the candidate’s political views, savoir-faire and fund-raising prowess but by something completely different. I have decided to make my prediction based upon what lovely First Daughter we can look forward to watching grow up for four to eight years. To give the older candidates a fighting chance, I have decided to evaluate granddaughters as well, but granddaughters will not be weighted as highly since we cannot expect to see First Granddaughters as often as First Daughters.


That is taken directly from the site of self acclaimed paedophile Lindsay Ashford. Yes, the very same Ashford that I recently disclosed had attempted to use a children's charity to further his disgusting and demented corruption of children. (See both links)

What is particularly disturbing about this evaluation of the children of political leaders is that he has added to the insult by posting photos of the children, thus jeopardizing their safety as his minions ponder what deviant actions they could commit against these innocent children.

The list is gathered from both parties and includes images and information on the children/ grandchild of: Senator John Edwards, Governor Mark Warner, Senator Joseph Biden, Senator Tom Daschle, Senator Barack Obama, Senator Chris Dodd, Senator George Allen, Senator Sam Brownback, Governor Mitt Romney, Senator John McCain, Senator Rick Santorum, Representative Mike Pence, and Vice President Dick Cheney.

In case the whole thing with Save the Children, (see earlier posts) didn't tip you off to the fact that I tend to be a "little blogger with a big mouth" that feels it's important to inform people of what is going on, then this next part should quickly pass the message through.

I spent the day calling campaign offices about this situation. First, because as a citizen I believe that it is my job (and yours) to keep our leaders informed of the dangers lurking around their children. I may not care for someone's political stand... but I care about the safety of their children. Secondly, I was really interested in knowing just how these people felt when the tables where turned. So often it seems that many ignore the problems of pedophilia, child molesters and the like when they are sitting safely behind their Washington desks. If we can wake them up to remind them about how we feel intimidated and concerned when the child molester moves in next door, by showing them that even their children with all their security around, can be attacked by the likes of Ashford and his minions, then perhaps they will come to be more understanding when making laws, signing bills and doing their jobs we elected them to.

What amazed me the absolute most was the response from Senator Barack Obama public relations guy, who informed me that not only was he not willing to react to this, not willing to make a statement on it, but that he really wasn't that concerned. I can only hope that his boss would have taken a different stand on it. Although, perhaps it was the fact that Obama's children were "in the lead" in Ashfords predicted election results that clouded his better judgment.

By far the best reaction, and the most concerned came from Senator Rick Santorum's office, and his Chief of Staff was truly a pleasure to talk to, despite the fact that our discussion evolved around the most disturbing and disgusting man on the internet.

Adding onto the "pedophile voting" disgrace is the fact that there is potential for these predators to reenact their "donation" plot yet again... only this time it appears that they intended receiver of the funds returned by Save the Children will be someone's campaign funds. In response one member of the child molesters forum suggested that they should write and complain to Senators that their money was returned. The answer he received back?
Instead of writing to Senators to complain, offer to donate to their campaigns... I think that they *will* take the money

Nothing like polluting campaigns even more. Although, I have to wonder just which Senator would be willing to accept funds from an organized group of scum child molesters? If nothing else, it would certainly perk up the nightly news a bit, heh? And perhaps, then our leaders will be more intune to listening to people when it comes to helping protect our children against these predators.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Let me point out...

It's been called into question just why it is that the money sent by paedophiles should be rejected by a charity organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of children. While I can not speak for the organization (And yes, that letter was received directly from Save the Children, and the only thing that was changed was the name. Because Eileen Burke was provided with my real name, and the rest of you are not), I will explain my own thoughts on the matter.
These are my expressions opinions, and do not represent anyone else's.
My Silent War asked if their money was tainted.
Yes, yes it is. You see, reading Lindsay Ashford's "press release" was sickening. His embellishment of the truth is beyond acceptable. And his words about their acceptance of the donation was irresponsible, and self serving :"
in so doing recognized our commitment to aiding the impoverished children of the world and enabled us to do so", according to Save the Children, in both verbal conversations and their written reaction to this "donation", they where not aware of the background of the group that sent the donation, and were certainly not aware of the nature of the group itself. What they sent as a thank you letter is nothing more than a form letter, evident by the exact wording with exception to the amounts sent, not a "personal" thankful acknowledging Puellula's commitment to anything.
The very mission statement provided by Save the Children states the following:

The history of Save the Children is a story of positive change and people - millions of people in thousands of communities around the globe - working together to create opportunities for the world's children to live safe, healthy, and fulfilling lives. In January 1932 in a small room in New York City, a group of concerned citizens gathered to respond to the needs of the proud people of Appalachia hard hit by the Great Depression.

I don't personally see how being cast as a organization that supposedly recognized any commitment of a group of people that encourages the sexual abuse of children, that promotes illegal activities involving the sexual exploitation of minors would benefit a children's charity. Just stop for a moment and think, doesn't the exploitation and sexual abuse of a child completely go against the basic concept of what Save the Children is about? For crying out loud, their name is "SAVE the CHILDREN", not "Cast the kids into a pool of low life scum pedophiles".
Had Lindsay actually been wanting to make a donation to benefit children, he'd have stopped promoting the sexual abuse of them, stopped his "children should be allowed to have sex with who ever feels the desire to take advantage of them" .

The greatest donation that he, or the rest of the pedophiles in the world can make is to go into some intense therapy to help them not only understand why their feelings and behavior is such a danger to a child, and why it is both morally and naturally wrong to engage in sexual relations with a child, but to also help them understand that they should remain as far away from children as humanly possible. I do not believe for a minute that either Ashford himself or his minions continually practice their "love" from afar, and the out come of their exploitation of their victims will be detrimental to these victims.

I know, that from Ashfords selfish ploy to make victimization of children an acceptable norm, that there is little chance of him ever seeking any real help, or avoiding children. While it is sad and tragic for those who will have their childhoods destroyed by him, he clearly cares not. No, Ashfords only purpose in presenting himself as he has is to further his own deviant cause, and his deceitful actions involving Save the Children proves that even more. It would have been just as easy for him to have sent the money in without attaching the money to his group of pedophiles. Had his intent really been about doing something worthwhile, he could have even went as far as to send in the money anonymously. But, as we know, he didn't. Instead, he attached the name of his organization to it, put out a press release pretty much screaming that Save the Children accepted the group, being coy enough to attempt to make it seem as if Save the Children was giving some gold starred stamp of approval.

Another admitted "child luster" (because clearly what they are about is not even close to actual love) took fault with not only the actions of Save the Children's returning the funds, but is also complaining that I was offended enough to call Save the Children. I can only refer back to the single important fact in this matter- it's called SAVE the children. And using wrongly accredited press releases to further your own demented agenda is not beneficial to children. This was never about the children in Ashford's eyes, it was about just how they could con a charity into accepting funds from them so that he could flaunt the fact that someone (mistakenly as it was) had "accepted" something from his pedophile group. He was not out to help, or save the children. Condoning and promoting the sexual exploitation of children committed by child pornography, encouraging the sexual abuse of child by maintaining the ideal that adult- child sexual relationships should not only be accepted worldwide, but are actually beneficial to children is a far away from the idea of "saving" or helping children as one can get.

Now, people have the right to do what they wish with their money. If a group of heinous child predators decides it wants to send money to somewhere, they have the right to do that. But, just as they have the right to send their money, others have the right to refuse it. If accepting the money conflicts with the mission of the organization, or if by accepting it the organization is portrayed as being accepting of the beliefs of those who sent it, or if the organization deems that the money was sent in bad faith- then they are responsible to act accordingly to the situation.

A charity that's mission is about SAVING and helping and bettering the lives of children, sees that YOUR mission is in definite conflict with it's mission, and therefore it returns your funds, the problem doesn't lie with the charity. It lies with you. With the faulted deception with which you sent the money in.

Get over it.

For more reading on this topic, please stop by Rose Desrochers


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Just a Question...

I must admit that since reading the tragic story of Kelsey Briggs months ago, I have been strangely drawn to Oklahoma. I'm not sure if it is the incredible out pouring of love and compassion that I have witnessed while reading through hours of posts on the Kelsey Briggs forums, or exactly why I've grown so attached to some place I've never been. I can't seem to avoid the desire to read their news, to somehow envelope myself in what is going on there. Clicking onto the Oklahoma news sites has become as natural as clicking on to my local news sites.

So, there I was, reading the news from Oklahoma, when I read about
Banyan Blaze Roberts, a 21 month old little boy who was left sleeping in a car by his father. Banyan had a core temperature around 108 degrees when he was found, and later died from over heating. It's something that happens every summer, a parent somewhere forgets a little one in the car, perhaps the windows are left up, with the car turned off. The summer sun heats up the inside of a vehicle, and before we know it- it's headline news. Another child dies.

I never want to wrongly fault anyone over the death of a child. And I'm sure that the father in this case is doing more than his share of grieving, the last thing I want to do it add to that in any way. But, it leaves me wondering.

How does someone forget a child in a car? I mean, I can barely remember hearing about a similar case before I had children of my own, what I do remember about it was the fact that I didn't question how you can forget a child. Back then, there were plenty of times I'd forgotten my keys, my purse, or anything else that wasn't directly attached to me. Something happened when I had that first kid. I suddenly was aware that I had that child, and I lost that ability to understand how someone could forget a kid. I don't know, maybe the endless crying at night which caused my overwhelming tiredness during the day was just to big of a reminder that I now was driving "with baby on board". It could have even been the fact that when getting out of the car, my lack of brushed hair and perfectly applied makeup sent a reminder shooting to my brain that a child was in my care now. It's not that I am any less forgetful, I still leave behind things everyday... but never a child.

I've put a few years of tugging kids around with me under my belt now, I've served my time juggling cranky infants, diaper bags, balky car seats and toddlers running around tugging at my knees. I've been that mom traveling to every store in town with a herd of kids on sugar highs, stopping at the gas station for a fill up on juices rather than gas, carrying more toys and games in the backseat of the car than most Walmarts have. And, I've spent the hours listening to the silence left by a day of rowdy little feet that have finally made their way to bed.

Nothing I do, nothing I think of can seem to answer the question as to how you forget a child in the car. I mean, I know it happens. And I know that the pre-mom me had once figured out how it'd be possible... but now I just can't image it.

The news said that Oklahoma has already lost 8 kids since 1998 due to being left in cars, and that five have already died this year throughout the US. It's sad, and it's a situation that never needs to happen, but more than likely it will happen again before the heat of summer subsides. None of us are perfect, and accidents are always going to be a threat- but we can do our part to lessen the chance of it happening again if we remember to never leave a child alone in a car, for any amount of time, for any reason, ever. Don't peek at your sleeping kid, and then run in to catch the phone as it begins to ring thinking you'll be right back out. Don't decide to unload the groceries before unload the most precious items- kids- first. Don't leave kids in the car, alone. Ever.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Save The Children.Org

There are numerous charities out there that advertise themselves as a charity designed to help children in need. Most that you hear of are big enough to advertise in order to continue educating people about their services, and to help gather donations for what is a very worthy cause. Every now and then however, these organizations are given free publicity. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.
For one such charity organization, the free publicity they were getting without their knowledge, wasn't the kind most child focused charities really want.
Let me explain a little. This morning I received the following in a email, from a fellow blogger.

Howdy,

It seems that uber perverts Lindsay Ashford and Todd Nickerson are at it
again. Nickerson, Ashford and their buddies have been trying to give
themselves a 'good face' by donating money to charity! Yep, they managed
to scrounge up over a thousand dollars that they sent in to Save the
Children. What's worse, Save the Children accepte the money and sent
them a thank you letter, that they are now trumpeting as a 'success'
(http://hfp.puellula.com/Press/2006-06-21.html ). I can hardly believe
that Save the Children could have known that these folks were scumbags,
but they are claiming that they said so.


I looked through the link, which also provided the letters sent to them from Save the Children, and went to work contacting Save The Children, requesting a reaction to this "press release" from them. The first person I talked with did not seem interested, and promptly transferred me to voice mail. I called again, and this time explained that I planned on blogging this, and sharing it as much as I possibly could, and that I was only being nice when I offered to give them a chance to react BEFORE I posted it. She did her damnedest to find someone to handle my questions during lunch hour when no one was in the main office. She did also confirm the donations- which under Todd Nickersons name totaled $1300.00 and state in which this perv lives. (Those in TN be warned) .

I sat back and waited, sort of wondering what this organization would do, and honestly, doubting that I'd hear much from anyone about it. Until my phone rang this afternoon, and it was someone from Save the Children. I talked with Eileen Burke of Save the Children this afternoon, and she was kind enough to inform me that since this has been brought to their attention they have already sent a return check for the amount donated to Nickerson. She clearly stated that Save the Children is an organization that in no way supports any type of abuse of children, including the sort promoted by Ashford and his "group". We had a nice conversation, and I was amazingly surprised by their quick action on this matter. She also sent me the following, to share so that the stand by Save the Children on this situation can be known in order to counteract Ashfords "press release".

Lilo* - thanks again for contacting us. Here is a response you can share on your blog and with other crime bloggers. Thanks so much, Eileen Burke

Lilo*,

"We deeply appreciate you contacting us. This problem was first brought to our attention earlier today when another concerned citizen questioned the content and the nature of the group and its blog. We were not aware of the reputations of the individuals when the donations were made. We have already returned the donations and are now looking at ways to see how we can manage such donations in the future. We have also contacted the Connecticut Attorney General on this matter.

Save the Children remains an advocate for the protection - not the exploitation - of children. "

Save the Children


For as much as I know about it, Save the Children is a wonderful organization that reaches out to help children in need, it is a real shame that they have been used in this manner by a group like Girllovers, and hopefully, their prompt reaction to the problem, and great handling of it will inspire others to step up and offer assistance in place of the funds sent by Ashford. It's been rare for me to see companies willing to give up money because of questions surrounding where it came from.

I rarely ever stand up and endorse any charity, and while there are many that have proven to be worthwhile organizations, I can not more clearly state that this particular organization has impressed me by this. They have done what others may not, in returning much needed funds due to questions revolving around the source of funds. For those of you out there interested in make a donation to a respected charity, with integrity beyond the norm, I can't offer anyone more deserving. Perhaps, we can not only make up for the donations returned, but give above and beyond that.

*named changed
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Linked at the following Open Trackback hosting blogs (please visit them, bloggers like traffic) and other blogs covering this topic (marked with a **)
Cao's Blog
123 Beta

Woman Honor Thyself
Rose DesRochers**

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Child Hospitalized After Eating Drugged Candy

First, I'd like to know who in their right mind would lace Sweet Tars with drugs. Given more, I'd like to know what sort of complete idiot would leave the tainted candies out where a child could possibly reach them. But mostly, I'd like to know what parent would take their child to the apartment lived in by said idiot, realise that there was a good chance the child had eaten 9 of the candies, and then take the child home. Not to a hospital, not to any sort of doctor or medical professional but home. And then not call the police, the hospital, or poison control- but call friends to come over.

Cedar Park police said Ashli Rene Freas, 22, was charged Monday with child endangerment after taking her son to the hospital.

An affidavit said Freas and her boyfriend over the weekend took her son to a party at an apartment. They went outside, leaving the boy inside with another adult.

The man who leased the apartment noticed that his roll of SweeTarts, which had been laced with the drug, was open and nine pieces were missing.


Freas took her son home and called friends to come over. Police said a friend called 911 after the boy was hallucinating.

I guess we can only really be thankful that the idiot mother has the luck to have at least one friend with half a brain.
nbc5i.com - News - Child Hospitalized After Eating Drugged Candy

Riding Against Child Abuse

I've always believed that each of us is responsible for doing what we can in an effort to protect those who can not protect themselves. Some do it by volunteering, some by donating what thye can, some simply by talking about it. It doesn't matter if you do as much as the person next to you, as long as you do what you can. Even if all you do is pick up the phone to speak for a child that can not do it for themselves.
It's always moving to see the effort and commimentment other people make when they are supporting a cause they are moved by. And, it's refreshing to take a moment's break from the crimes and bring you the story of one person who is doing more than there part to help fight child abuse.

George Ledbetter is embarking on a journey that will take him from Canada to Mexico. He's doing so to raise awareness and money for Childhelp (www.childhelp.org), an Arizona organization dedicated to helping abused children.

Using his bicycle to try and stop the cycle of child abuse, Ledbetter is on a mission to end a devastating problem that afflicts millions of innocent victims every year.

He's got a long road ahead of him. Ledbetter estimates the ride to be about 1,900 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia to Tijuana Mexico. "I'm going to ride through Washington and pick up highway 101 in Oregon until I get to Highway 1 and parallel the Pacific Ocean. It's going to take about 6 weeks."

You can keep track of Ledbetter's ride by logging onto his webpage (www.fightrider.com). He'll be keeping a journal for people to read.

Riding the entire length of the west coast is apretty amazing feat when you consider how old he is. "I'm 72." That's right, 72 years old. His secret? Plenty of exercise and a healthy lifestyle.


It leaves me to think that if he, at 72, can bike that far in order to raise awareness, just think of what the rest of us could do.

A Tucson Man is Fighting Child Abuse One Pedal at a Time
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The Hats They Wear

In the shop were tools of every sort- hammers, screw drivers, saws, large metal bending machines, an assortment that would have made any construction professional proud. They were all used by a master of the trade, a older man- with a gentle voice, strong hands- roughened by years of hard work, a grandfatherly look mixed flawlessly with a John Wayne character. Anyone who ever met him would describe him as the most trustful man they'd ever met. Down to earth, a man's man who had had an amazing grasp of how to melt the hearts of women in his younger days. Even now, I can say more good things about him than I can bad- it's just the that bad will forever overshadow the image of a man that was almost perfect.
It's often that way with child molesters, they rarely hold the appearance of someone we should shun and warn our children about. To often those that pose the biggest danger to our children, are those that will trustingly let into our homes. They often possess qualities that help them hide the truth about what they are- they're friendly, out going, have charismatic personalities that seem to ease away the very thought that they could cause harm to another person- let alone to a child.
They are smart, have learned to blend in with society and by doing so they can go effortlessly deceiving those that know them best.
William French Anderson was one such person- a competent, highly regarded individual with a successful career and distinguished honor for work in his field. He was a fifth-degree black belt in tae kwon do, had served as a physician for U.S. Olympic teams in the 1980s, is a former professor of biochemistry, molecular biology and pediatrics, once the subject of glowing profiles in the press who was considered for Time’s “Man of the Year,”, was a pioneer in gene therapy research, and is a former director of the University of Southern California’s Gene Therapy Laboratories. His accomplishments won him the respect of those around him, and his personality won him the trust of his friends. Enough trust that he was able to molest their daughter for nearly four years.
The girl revealed the abuse to a counselor, and later exchanged emails with Anderson- which prosecutors said would prove their relationship had a “secret dirty side.”

The opening remarks by Los Angeles prosecutor Cathryn Brougham at Anderson’s trial prompted attorneys for the 69-year-old scientist to demand an immediate mistrial, claiming there was no proof the e-mails referred to sex.
In one of e-mail exchanges Brougham showed jurors, the girl confronts Anderson over the accusations of abuse and he responds: “There is a very bad part of me that, now that I have recognized it, has to be suppressed.”

We'll have to wait through the trial, deliberations, and for the jury; before we can no the outcome of this case. Because, like it so often is, it's a case of the accused crying innocence.
My point, however is to remind you that everyday, in almost every town there is a respectable, friendly, successful, smart, generous and honorable man (or woman) that turns out to not really be all those things. I caution you to remember that not all the bad guys are the scary ones who you walk to the other side of the street to avoid. Sometimes, they are the friend you invite in when they come to your door.
Talk to your children, reinforce the need for them to always trust you with what is happening in their lives, carefully monitor with whom they are permitted to be alone with, and have that difficult conversation about the "monsters" who don't look so scary.
For information on talking to children, please visit these sites:
Talking To Your Children About Sexual Abuse
How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse
Say No! Protecting Children Against Sexual Abuse

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Genetic pioneer on trial for sex abuse - Crime & Punishment - MSNBC.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another Teacher...

Although this one goes without a name currently, we do have some of the information from the investigation into improper conduct by yet another female teacher, this time at a Fort Sumner NM school.

Now, through requested documents, Target 7 learned that the allegations against the female teacher included initiating a sexual relationship with one of her male students and having sex with that student at least three times between February and April of this year.

Also, sometime between January and April of this year, the teacher is accused of kissing a second male student and making offers of sexual contact with several other students. She was also allegedly sending sexually explicit text messages on numerous occasions to several students.


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Teacher Accused Of Having Sexual Relations With Students

Ivan McKinney

Ivan Mckinney had to have been able to see a troubled kid coming from a mile away, after all- he is a former after school counselor, it was his job to be able to spot those that may be a little vulnerable, a little more in need of attention, those that come from a more troubled home than others may. His job required him to spot those kids, reach out to them, and provide them the assistance they needed.
Investigators now believe that it was those same skills that enabled him to reach out to kids and victimize them.

McKinney was charged with multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault to reflect different alleged sex acts, as well as endangering the welfare of a child and providing alcoholic beverages to minors.

McKinney's case is a interesting one, and a scary one at best. It starts with the former counselor having two girls over to his apartment on June 5th. During that encounter, he gave the girls Brandy, and then proceeded to sexually assault one of them while the other was in a different room.
In the June 5 incident, police say the two girls left the youth home at 1 a.m. and called McKinney. At the apartment, he gave the girls soda and brandy, then had sex with the 14-year-old, who was later treated at Hackensack University Medical Center, Lomia said.

Police arrested McKinney a few days later after the girls reported what had allegedly occurred. Officers are investigating whether he sexually assaulted the 16-year-old on prior occasions, Lomia said. Clifton police also are calling on anyone with related information to contact them at 973-470-5259.

McKinney was arrested, and then released on $100,000 bond the the following day, and then because of no other explanation than that this man is a absolute danger, and a obvious predator on the prowl, he makes plans with two more girls, this time from Passaic NJ.
Rowan said one of the girls had run into McKinney this month on Main Avenue in Passaic. She told police that she had known McKinney two years earlier as a counselor in an after-school program at Lincoln Middle School, where she and the other girl are students.
[...]
Rowan gave this account of the Clifton case:

McKinney had given his cellphone number to the girl and made the shopping offer during the initial encounter this month -- police said the exact date was unclear. He met the girls near Passaic High School at 5:30 p.m. They shopped briefly, then stopped by a liquor store, where McKinney bough a bottle of Hennessy brandy and bottles of Corona beer.

About 7 p.m., he rented a room at a Howard Johnson hotel on Route 3 and the three began drinking. The first girl's friend became "totally intoxicated," and McKinney asked the teenager he knew from the after-school program to leave the room. He then raped and committed other sexual acts on the girl who remained.

Of course, McKinney has been arrested yet again, and now faces charges in this last case. He's being held on bail of $300,000- because well, clearly the whole idea of "bail" was such a success the first time, they evidently opted to give him a chance to do it again. Personally, I can't understand the whole idea of why bail should be available at all, but I'm sure that's just my stubborn mind putting the fact that he raped a teenager, bailed himself out of jail, and proceeded to rush his way over to rape yet another teenage girl over the apparent common sense that the judge must have had when they agreed to try this whole bail thing once again. After all, there has to be good reason. Right? I mean a judge would never ever put society in the position of having their safety endangered by letting some perv bail out unless it was with a really god reason. Right?
At this point, so far as I can find, McKinney has not yet bailed out. So, NJ is a tad safer for teenage girls for now.
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Ivan McKinney

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Another Day, Another Judge

This time, the judge is in Ohio. And she didn't give a sad pitiful sentence to a child predator- nope not this judge. This judge dismissed the entire rape case.
First, you have the alleged rapist- a young man accused of raping a nine year old neighbor. Next, Assistant County Prosecutor Mark Schneider, who claims that the judge acknowledged a year ago that she felt the victim lacked credit and had requested that said judge remove herself from the case. We have the judge, who dismissed the case because the prosecutor was late due to writing a motion requesting a new judge for the case. And lastly, we have a victim waiting seven long years for justice, only to be slapped in the face with the dismissal of the case and the release of her rapist.
Of course, we have the judge stepping up to spew out this "excuse":

"What the public doesn't understand, every day judges dismiss cases, because the state was not prepared, witnesses not ready," Gallagher said.

I'm supposing that what the judge fails to understand that this was not the case of the state not being prepared, or the witnesses not ready- this was the case of a judge possibly being biased, and dismissing a case she's been said to have already has doubts about.
Is it shocking that another judge is feeling the need to play God? No, not at all. Does it still have the stench of severe injustice? Of course.
Perhaps, and I throw this out only as a theory- the judge was playing a little "oh, you want to have me removed from the case, well I'll just show you" when she opted to release a alleged rapist and further add salt to the wound of a victim.
I'm starting to wonder what even possesses people to go through the pain of reporting sexual assaults when the system seems so willing to overlook the crime, overlook the pain and suffering and just do nothing...
And then I remember, it's because the system doesn't always fail. Judges don't always rule by their personal opinion. Even today, when it seems to popular to for judges to make a name for themselves by injuring a victim a second time- some put the law before their own "fame".
No matter whether this child gets her day in court or not, she's already passed the most difficult hurdle when it comes to dealing with sexual assault: she's stood up and spoken about what has happened to her, she's left the "victim" stage and been able to move on to being a survivor. She's said by her actions that the accused is the guilty person, rather than believing as so many do that somehow they hold responsibility and therefore they don't take the actions needed to demand justice.
While we have a judge who is hopping on the bandwagon of irresponsible and unacceptable judges, we have a girl surviving and on the road to healing. And, it now becomes our responsibility to step up and say enough is enough with these heinous actions by these judicial clowns.
Sources:
Rape case dismissed over late lawyer
Judge Throws Out Rape Case After Prosecutor Late To Court

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Monday, June 19, 2006

So you want to sue MySpace

I believe, firmly that MySpace lacks anything close to "supervision" of it's members. I believe that they consist, as their policies stand now, of nothing more than a shopping center for those who would use a computer to stalk, seduce and abuse wayward children. As an adult arena- they just might be okay, but at this moment, they clearly are little more than a children's playground.
That being said:
Just how many TV shows, newspaper stories and network news casts need to be seen by a parent before the problem becomes not a MySpace problem but a lack of parental control problem? Let's face it, if you 14 year old kid has a unsupervised MySpace account... And you're okay with that, then you have to be willing to fully accept blame for whatever their usage of the site causes. After all, YOU are the parent. It's not MySpaces job to step in and explain to YOUR kid why meeting someone from the internet is a BAD BAD BAD idea.
Sadly, not everyone gets that little "take some freaking responsibly" idea. Instead when their kid decides to become involved with a stranger meet in some online community, and ends up being assaulted by said person- they feel justified in completely blaming MySpace.

Now, all of you know, I dislike MySpace, and usually am more than willing to pass the blame on to what I consider a careless company that has no regard for the safety of it's users. But, come on even I get tired of watching all the warnings, all the commercials, and reading all the stories. Because, in the end, it's really up to the parents to raise their kids. You should be controlling their online activities, not leaving that up to companies like MySpace whose real motive is the almighty dollar.

Suing MySpace because your kid was allowed online without your parental control is just like throwing your child in a lake, turning your back as they drown, and then suing the state for having a lake in that location.

The girl says a 19-year-old man lied in his profile about being a senior on a football team to gain her trust and phone number.

Pete Solis was arrested in May on a charge of sexual assault of a child. He could not immediately be reached Monday evening.

The suit alleges that MySpace has "absolutely no meaningful protections or security measures to protect underage users."

"(MySpace) has got to take this seriously," said attorney Carl Barry, who is representing the girl and her mother. The suit seeks $30 million.


Girl, 14, sues MySpace.com alleging assault - Yahoo! News

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'Pleasurable' Attack

For a very brief amount of time, yours truly was employed at a facility working with mentally challenged people. These were not the sort of people who would ever be close to being considered "high functioning". They would never be able to raise to the level of living on their own, and for some, even the prospect of them ever being able to tie their own shoes was out of the question. Each one, my "wing" of the facility housed around 12, had developed to different level, a few could maintain a simple conversation with me, others could only communicate through rough gestures. And yet, they all seemed to understand that my role there was to help them. They knew the cooks were there to feed them, the nurses there to make them feel better, and the bosses were there to make sure everything ran smoothly.
In the next level of housing were residents who could function a little more independently. They could be given tasks and accomplish them with a bit less difficulty than the group I was with. You could give them two step instructions, "Go get the newspaper, and take it to so-and-so", and most of the time, they'd be able to accomplish these tasks. The levels of dependency lowered with ever tier, until you reached a group of people who were considered "high functioning". Many of these could hold down jobs, and live semi independently. But with every group, there were still issues, still reminders that these people were not your average people, and that they needed a little more assistance than "normal" people.
To get a bit of an idea on the ranges of mental retardation, wikipedia lists these as the characteristics according to IQ:


IQ score ranges (from DSM-IV):

mild mental retardation: IQ 50–55 to 70; children require mild support; formally called "Educable Mentally Retarded".
moderate retardation: IQ 35–40 to 50–55; children require moderate supervision and assistance; formally called "Trainable Mentally Retarded".
severe mental retardation: IQ 20–25 to 35–40; can be taught basic life skills and simple tasks with supervision.
profound mental retardation: IQ below 20–25; usually caused by a neurological condition; require constant care.

All that being said, it's clear that the group with with I worked was in the profound category, with the highest group described being closer to the mild category.
I know, you're starting to wonder why all this information is important, well I promise I am getting to that. I just want to make sure that you have a solid understanding of what I'll be talking about.
Individuals that have special needs, or are mentally impaired as some prefer to call it, are left to rely on the rest of us to ensure that their needs are taken care of. Imagine having a child well past adulthood, who only had the basic mentality of a young child. To what point would you be willing to step up and take care of them? To what point would you hold their school responsible for ensuring a safe and well balanced learning environment?
It seems that a Colorado Springs school feels that they should in no way be responsible for the fact that while in the position of caring for a mentally challenged girl, they took it on their own behalf to pair her with a peer mentor. The problem wasn't that they included her in this program, no the problem was with the 15 year old student they opted to pair her with. Removed from school for behavior problems 20 times. 0.0 grade point average. Unsupervised time alone with the girl- who would have been 18 at the time, with an IQ of around 50. They school wasn't just lacking in judgement a little, and the outcome wasn't a minor problem- rather the pairing of this girl, and this deviant ended with a teacher finding the two together alone. Now, just being alone isn't a crime, however the fact that the boy was sexually assaulting the girl is a crime.
That's not the end of the story, or even the worse part of it. You see the boy is a juvenile, so he gets his little slap on the wrist; the girl becomes aggressive and begins to display inappropriate behavior; and the school attempts to wash it's hands of the mess it created by refusing to take any sort of responsibility. The parents of the girl attempted to work with the school to find a reasonable outcome to the situation, which has left their once friendly and easy going daughter in a state where she now needs constant supervision. The school, being the pricks they are hire a "professional" to assess the girl that was assaulted, who I'll remind you has the mental capacity of a 4 year old. The results of the "assessment"?

"A professional hired by the district said the assault was pleasurable, not traumatic," said Starr. "He said it ignited her female desires."

And the schools reaction to this assessment? Well, they seemed to have embraced it open arms, treasuring that opinion as if it was a first born child. After all, now their not the least bit responsible for injuring this child, no now their are almost saint like for helping her be in a position to experience a "pleasurable" moment. They have helped enlighten her to a whole new world. Of course, this new enlightenment is bogged down by emotional and physical attributes that she'll never fully understand, she's now been introduced to a world which has opened her up to fearing other people, displaying behavior problems and increasing her need for constant care in order to help protect other people from her "acting out". But lets not talk about the "bad" effects. Let's just focus on the fact that the school found someone outrageous enough to turn a sexual assault into a "pleasurable learning experience". That way the school still looks good, and doesn't have to explain why they allowed the unsupervised contact between a special needs student and a delinquent.
I had read about, and begun writing up this story a few days back, before heading out of state. I didn't have the time I thought I would to finish it while gone, and so the story brewed in my head for a while. As I was returning home I caught Glenn Beck on the radio, and it seems he's picked up the story. And, still after all these days of letting this story simmer in my head, I still can't get past the fact that the school has decided to take the low road in this case. Listening to Beck, I only became more angry that a "expert" a "professional" could reach this conclusion. And that the school would be so willing to embrace it. But, then I keep coming back to one sentence that just won't go away:
The parents of a severely disabled woman suing a Colorado Springs school district over a sexual assault at a high school said the district has refused to mediate a civil lawsuit as one of its experts called the attack "pleasurable" for the woman.

"one of its experts" One? One of it's experts. Kind of makes you wonder what it's OTHER experts thought. I mean, if this idiot was their only expert, they'd have said "...district has refused to mediate a civil lawsuit as its expert called the attack "pleasurable" for the woman..." But they didn't. And they didn't say "their experts", making it that all of them came to the same conclusion. Instead, it says "one of it's experts". I guess it just goes to show that if you shop around enough, you'll find just what it is you are looking for.

ABC News: Parents: Expert Says Attack 'Pleasurable'

Girl Scouts In Prison

Fellow blogger Chrys over at Pettifog forwarded this my way, and all I could do is sit back and shake my head while I read it. I'm not sure what is sadder, the fact that I've already admitted being from the town that the story originates from... or the fact that I didn't even see the story until she sent it.

Lugging boxes filled with sandwiches, Hawaiian Punch, potato chips and sashes bearing merit badges, the girls file into a linoleum-floored visiting room on Wednesday afternoon. They range in age from 6 to 12; they are in shorts and purple Girl Scout T-shirts, in tennis shoes and ankle socks, their hair bouncing in pony tails, swept back with headbands, tied with sparkling barrettes.
Their dads — most of them imprisoned for drug trafficking, serving sentences ranging from 36 months to 18 years — hang back for a few heartbeats, adjusting to an abrupt shift in reality. They have just been strip-searched before being allowed to change into identical polo shirts and khaki trousers, rewards for good behavior and participating in this program.

Before I start on how prison is suppose to be a punishment, not a girl scouts meeting- let me say that I know the importance of having a father in a child's life. And I would never support any actions that would prevent that- unless it was in the best interest of the child. Some people do not have the basic gene in their brain that alerts them that their actions will effect their children. Girls having to visit their fathers in prison is sad. I know, they are attempting to "normalize" something that is not normal. And I see where their intentions are good. But, sometimes the best laid intentions create the biggest problems in the end.
When you take impressionable children and put them in environment which "normalizes" the fact that someone is in jail, it sort of removes the evidence that being in jail is not normal. Is not acceptable, and should not be "rewarded". The fact that one of these girls goes so far as to tell her dad to call her, and appears to not realise that he is in jail- is just said.
Dwayne, 36, is serving three years for drug possession. His daughter, 5-year-old Autumn, is a Daisy scout and the youngest troop member. She's gone to visit relatives on vacation and is not here today. Dwayne looks forlorn, alone at a table of chattering girls and their fathers.

But he smiles when he talks about activities at the meetings. "I like the sewing part," he says, and the other cons nod in agreement and grin sheepishly. "I look forward to it."

He has not told his daughter why he is in prison. "I just told her I was going to college." But Autumn doesn't miss much, even at age 5.

"Every time she walks out that door, she turns to me and says "Call me. We'll talk later."' And Dwayne convulses in laughter. "Like she the parent. Like she the one paying the bills."

Now, we have this 5 year old not understanding that her father is in jail, and thinking he's just at college. Nice. Because after all, it sounds so much better, and hey, why not lie to children. Why not allow them to believe the lies even as we force them to play into them... I'm sure this 5 year old child will be delighted when she grows up to know that not only is her dad liar and a criminal, but all those special visits to his college were actually 2 hours spent behind prison walls
.
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Friday, June 16, 2006

Remembering Ashley- Revisited Post

Sometimes, there are those stories that haunt us. It might be just the heinous nature of the crime, or the young age of a victims... and sometimes it's just all the "what could have been's" that make one tragedy stick out more than another.
Usually, when it comes to finding stories- I never really find myself at a shortage. Sometimes I get cases from recent news headlines, sometimes from other bloggers, and sometimes even from you readers. And then, every great once in a while- I'll be working on something completely different, not really looking for anything new to write about... and a story just seems to find me. I say they find me... because they are normally the ones that really stick with me, that do more than just keep me awake at night, they sink in and stay with me.
Ashley Howley's case was like that. I was working on a story about a missing Columbus Ohio girl, and for some reason Google sent me to the wrong missing girl story. Well, maybe not the wrong one, just not the one I had been looking for. But, something about the story surrounding Ashley's disappearance caught my eye... and it's been with me since.
Next month will mark two full years that Ashley has been gone, lost to those that loved her, her family, her friends. And although her case has been long forgotten by the media... it has not been forgotten by those that knew her best. And, they are desperate to share her story... and hopefully move someone enough to provide the information needed to bring her home.
Ashley's story is told below, by her cousin, please take a moment to read it...



Ashley Lyn Howley, age 20 at time of disappearance, has been missing from Columbus, OH since on or about June 16, 2004.
On June 16, 2004, 2:30 a.m. Ashley called 911 from a neighbor's house very distraught (I have heard the tapes), stating she had been assaulted. On these tapes she can be heard answering yes, it was her estranged boyfriend who had ALLEGEDLY choked, kicked, etc...her. Ashley refused medical treatment and the BF, of course, was nowhere to be found. I would later get an account of what happened from her best friend. She states Ashley told her that this took place in the bedroom, and at one point he choked her to the point of semi-consciousness. He went to the lower level and when she heard him coming back, she "played dead". He stood over her and told her that if he couldn't have her, no one would. He left, WITH HER CELL PHONE. Ashley waited a few minutes, and ran to a neighbor's where she made the 911 call.
She hid in the bushes waiting for help. I should tell you that the BF was on probation at that time for a previous assault on Ashley. She tried to have him "picked up" prior to this night, a minimum of 10 times, to no avail. This guy, according to Ashley's close friends, would not let her go. He reportedly stalked her, and at one point, took her beloved dog to make her see him. When she spoke to people about this, including her dad, she would say that his "rich daddy" will bail him out anyway.
On the afternoon of the 16th, there are several conversations that take place between Ashley and her best friend whom i will refer to as B( again, i verify this through her cell records). She was throwing her belongings into bags, and contemplating going to B's house. The last verifiable conversation was at 4:10 p.m. Ashley has never been heard from again. The estranged BF moved a buddy of his into the apt. (it was in both Ashley's and BF's name), a few days later. Neighbors saw them throwing some of Ashley's belongings into the dumpster. A neighbor asked where Ashley was," BF said she went back to Michigan" Ashley's cell remained active until July 30 with no activity. There were calls made between 3 individuals until early June 18th. We know who these 3 are, it is none other than BF, new roomie, and the alleged drug connection who has quite a story to tell of why Ashley was killed. YES, we know she was killed. The Det. in charge (i use this term loosely) states he got info early on from a "uniform" that Ashley was killed, her body dumped. This was 23 months ago. Ashley's apt was not entered by LE for nearly a month. Ashley's mom reports, and it haunts her every day, that Ashley fought in that apt. In the bathroom of her bedroom on the wall and door was evidence of this. Ashley's animals were still there. ANYONE who knew Ash, knew she would save her animals before herself. Much of her clothing remained hanging in the closet, in BAGS, personal items in her bathroom, etc...matter of fact, by the time LE entered, the place was a complete shambles. One of Ashley's vehicles (the one that was running) was missing. This would turn up a month later in an apartment complex known to one of "the three". This vehicle was released from the police several months ago. I do not know where it is now...I do know that i recently found a police report that IMO could place one of these people right in the middle of this. Here's a question, If BF was so in love, obsessed, why was he NOT LOOKING FOR HER????BECAUSE, HE KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE SHE IS. Oh he called LE, just to "chat". He stated from the very first call "my lawyer says not to talk to you". WHY DO YOU NEED A LAWYER? These calls seemed to be more of the what do you already know type. This is the perfect time to add that this guy has never been formally questioned, talked to, however you want to put it. Nor has "roommate", who has quite a tale to tell...The Det. dismisses him as "a drug addict who keeps changing his story." This drug addict tells the same story to two separate people (they do not know each other). And BTW...THEY'RE ALL DRUG ADDICTS!! You don't get to choose the cast! Ashley herself struggled with this, but she was winning the struggle. B reports that Ashley had gotten kind of a little "pooch", belly, when she stopped using. She was very proud of this as it was her "proof", if only to herself. There are those who say she was using heavily. It really doesn't matter in the end, but, it mattered to Ashley. I think it's appropriate to say here that Ashley had hopes and dreams. I was very close with her from the day she was born until her early teens when she moved to Ohio. She was priceless. Easy going, funny, and so tender hearted. I think people look down on Ashley, LE, and SOME of the media, will not give her case the attention it deserves. She made some poor choices, not many of us can say we haven't somewhere in our lifetime. Looking back on the few early news reports this det. says "I've never had so much information in a missing persons case." This is the very same person who, when i was trying to get an NCIC # to get Ash into the database, said to me, and i swear to GOD, "You probably know more about this than i do...Even if that were true, YOU DON'T SAY THAT OUT LOUD. I have written notes every time i make, or receive a call regarding this case. My first conversation with DET was memorable. He told me that he was the only person handling Ashley's case because "no one else would touch it." WOW. And so began the official non investigation. Add to that, people disappearing off of corrections sites (thank God i made copies), records "disappearing", that should be there. This would be a great time to mention BF's dad has a GOVERNMENT job, and apparently enough money to buy his son out of ANY trouble he may find himself in. Add that to informants who have solid information, only to have it disappear. When Ashley's dad received her cell records, he began calling the #'s. Roommate said " i can't believe you found me so fast." Another man says Ashley called his # VERY DISTRAUGHT, by mistake. His # appears again, for several minutes the next day. WHO IS HE? DET. doesn't know. I asked him today. Going back a ways, there was a wallet turned in, i cannot tell you how i know, that was found with something that made it possible it was Ashley's. DET knew nothing about it, even though it was turned over to his dept. He looked for it, couldn't find it and said "it must not have had to do with her case." WOW AGAIN. There is a lot more...I am not ALLOWED to say anything, in writing anyway, or i will find myself in legal trouble.Oh, and, if you piss off DET, he WILL NOT speak to you again. Ashley's dad is not kept informed of anything, he screwed up. HINDERING THE INVESTIGATION, is what they call it. a grieving father is what i call it. What is most difficult, if you have to pick one thing, it appears many people have information. 100,000.00 will not bring these people forward. I have sensed fear from the very beginning. What is at the bottom of that fear? Oh, one more thing. BF has a sealed juvenile record rumored to detail him, a knife, and another female. Any other information i can give you will be happily given, personally. I need to be able to go to the State of Ohio to find Ashley, C.P.D. won't.

~~wind beneath her wings ...We love you Ashley and will NEVER stop searching...

For Previous Posts On Ashley:
Ashley Howley
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Carnival Of the True Crime Blogs

For whatever topic you might find yourself interested in, there is likely at least one blog dedicated to it. There are political blogs, humor blogs, news blogs, blogs on books, and my personal favorite- crime blogs.
Steve Huff, the mastermind behind Huff's Crime Blog, and best known for being one of the very first (if not the very first) blogger to focus solely on crimes, and the criminals that commit them; has defined a "crime blog" as follows:

CRIMEBLOG
NOUN
A personal website that may provide regularly-updated links to news articles about (typically) "high-profile" crime. A CRIMEBLOG may also include additional independent research, commentary, and speculation by the author about the news story.
SEE ALSO: Websleuthing.
CRIMEBLOGGER, noun
CRIMEBLOGGING, verb

Every week, the writers behind some of the best crime blogs around get together to share the stories that have captivated them, and then present the stories to you through our weekly carnival. This week, I'm pleased to have the honor to host our Carnival of the True Crime Blogs. So, sit back and read a few of the stories that we've been working hard on.




Harding of T.O. Crime has been covering a story of grandparents that never should have been, and the child that suffered at their hands, in his entry- Grandparents Grimm.

I’ve spoken at length about the horrible abuse they inflicted upon little Jeffrey Baldwin. [See previous story, here]. There is not much more I can say about it. Sometimes, thinking of Jeffrey and what he suffered is too much to bear, and it causes one deep depression to know that people can be so cruel.





Laura James, the talented writer behind Clews, takes a closer look at the 1968 murder of Sally Mercer, and the doctor who called himself her husband- in The Cold Case Against Dr. Mercer. According to investigators, chances are Dr. Mercer took the vow "till death due us part" a bit to seriously, and opted to make his wife's death come a bit quicker.

Sally Mercer's death investigation was reopened by a cold case squad nearly ten years ago and included exhumation and a second autopsy. So far, local investigators are mum about the details of the prosecution's theory of the case, and the judge has clamped down on pretrial publicity, though it hasn't stopped the lawyers from speaking about the case. It appears that Dr. Mercer will posit that the original autopsy findings were correct -- his wife died of polio, not violence or poison or whatever it is that the prosecutor will contend took her life.

Laura's also done a bit of a mini carnival of her own this week, offering a peek at some of the localized crime blogs, and she's made up a rather impressive list of them- in The Buzz on City Crime Reports.




Trench over at The Trenchcoat Chronicles has updates on the Toby Kerns trial, in his aptly named entry - Yet Another Delay in the Kerns Trial.

It’s been a long and winding road to trial for Marshfield teenager Tobin “Toby” Kerns, but attorneys from both the defense and prosecution are hoping a July status hearing will be the end of the line.

Kerns went before Judge Louis Coffin once again Thursday in Plymouth Juvenile Court, where another pretrial hearing was set for July 17.

Trench also does a magnificent job in tracking the daily crimes involving online communities such as Myspace, Xanga, and LiveJournal, on his MyCrimeSpace blog. For those of you wondering just when the other online communities will start cracking the whip at online pedophiles... I suggest reading his post on Xanga.




Missing and Murdered Children has the details on two Indiana brothers taken at knife point from their home.

The two abductees are Collin J. Walker, a 4-year-old white male and Monte L. Walker, a 2-year-old white male.

The alleged abductor is Katron Lance Walker age 32 years.





Southern Sass has more than a few words on what seems to be Blind Justice when it come to women sexual predators.

Woman have fought for equal rights, equal pay, and respect. Because of great women in the past, I can choose to stay at home or go out and get a job. I can vote. I can marry or stay single. I have all the rights afforded to me, just as any male walking the earth. Why do the scales of justice still seemed to be tipped in my favor?





Home Sweet Home has the news on a Missing child, Murdered Mother.

Alejandra and her mother, who has not been identified, were from Mexico. They were renting a room in another person's home. Sunday the person who was renting the room to her, checked in her room and found the 23 year old woman dead from a stabbing. The baby was missing.





Crime Scene Blog has new information on the person of interest in the Daytona Beach murders.

Police have a new person of interest concerning the investigation into the murders of LaQuetta Mae Gunther, Julie Ann Green and Iwana Patton. But this suspect is not new to police or even to murder.





Tina, over at Randomized Drivel keeps the stories coming at her new address, and presents a sickening case of severe neglect of a child in her entry Rat Bites Result in Neglect Charges.

A fifteen month old boy was placed in the custody of Social Services this past Thursday after it was found he had 100 or so rat bites on his body.





I'm also lucky enough to have the pleasure of introducing you to the newest crime blog in our group- Crime Rant, by crime writters Gregg Olsen and M. William Phelps. Their first post, Defending True Crime or Hate Mongers Love Me is a must read, and if it's any sort of a preview for what is to come... then I'm sure Crime Rant will quickly become a link in your favorites box.
At the risk of sounding myopic (elegant enough word for you, Marilyn?), not to mention blackballed when I decide to write crime fiction, I am appalled by the ignorance crime reviewer Marilyn Stasio displayed in her review of Brian McDonald’s Safe Harbor: A Murder in Nantucket (June 4). To paint true-crime with such a broad brush (the language of true crime is so inelegant it seems to dishonor the dead?) is to slap the faces of Tommy Thompson, Jack Olsen, Joe McGuiness, and other legends of the genre. Why is it a reviewer with Marilyn Stasio’s talent, intelligence and reputation feels the need to wrap her arms around hundreds of nonfiction crime authors working exhaustively at their craft, in order to justify her opinion of one book?

Please take a moment to head over and welcome these fine writers aboard.


And with that, this week's Carnival is complete. I think.
This carnival will be posted on the TTLB Uber Carnival, past Carnivals can be found at Blog Carnival, and if you're interested in joining in future Carnivals, information can be found here on how to join the True Crime Blogs Blogroll.


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Who's Responsible?

When a child is abused, or there is reason to suspect abuse, we all have a moral obligation to stand up and speak out for that child. Each of us hold responsibility to say something, to do something to ensure the protection of a child. We are the adults, and it falls into our hands to protect those who can not protect themselves. However, some people have more than just the average responsibility. Some people have both a moral, and a legal responsibility to report instances of suspected or possible child abuse. Those people include health care professionals, teachers and other educators, other persons. According to the Oklahoma Public Legal Research System, Oklahoma State Statue §10-7103 speaks directly to these individuals.
This isn't about educators or "other persons". This is about the very professionals whose job directly involves protecting the well being of others.
Health care workers, regardless of whether they are physicians or nurses have a unique position. They often are the only outside source that sees the signs of child abuse. They are responsible for treating the effects of abuse, but their responsibilities do not end once the medical attention has been given, and the problem treated. Rather, they must by law report any suspicions of abuse, or suffer penalties for failing to do so.

Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to promptly report any incident as provided in this section may be reported by the Department of Human Services to local law enforcement for criminal investigation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
With that in mind, one has to wonder what became of the two doctors that treated Kelsey Briggs for broken legs.
Regular readers will recall that Kelsey Briggs died October 11th of last year, after being returned to a abusive home by the Oklahoma Judge Craig Keys. Kelsey had suffered months of abuse that left her 2 year old body battered, with broken bones can bruises. Her step father (Mike Porter) has been charged in connection with her death... but there seems to be a never ending list of people who willingly decided to ignore the signs and allow her to remain in a abusive and dangerous home. Along with DHS, who is currently being sue by Lance Briggs, Kelsey's father; in connection with her death- there's Judge Keys, who seems to have been involved in a bit of ex parte with lawyers working on behalf of Raye Dawn Porter in having Kelsey returned to the abusive home, and of course Raye Dawn herself who as Kelsey's mother had overwhelming responsibility to protect Kelsey.
Getting back to the two doctors, Drs. Kelli Koons and Andrea Barrett are now being brought forth to answer questions about just why they failed to step in on Kelsey's abuse, in the form of a lawsuit recently filed against them.
Lance Briggs' lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Pottawatomie County District Court, alleges Drs. Kelli Koons and Andrea Barrett contributed to the death of Kelsey Smith-Briggs by failing to recognize and report she was being abused.

Koons was the girl's pediatrician and Barrett began treating Kelsey in April 2005 for leg fractures. Both practiced at the Shawnee Medical Center.

I'm still wondering why no charges have been files against them. After all, there is a law pertaining to their failure to report the abuse, but I can only assume that the reason for that is likely closely related to the reason why a judge would make a decision based solely on communication with the lawyers which represent someone accused of child abuse. I'm not sure what kind of judicial system is at work down there in Oklahoma. It seems that a least a few people are favorable to allowing criminals to walk free while little children are not only put in harms way, but murdered because of them. I'm not saying the entire system is corrupt... but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck... it just may be a duck. And, Kelsey's case seems to be full of possible "ducks".
If you haven't already, please take a moment to visit Kelsey's Purpose. The site is maintained by those who loved Kelsey, and has forums filled with people seeking justice for a precious child who was stolen from us all. Remember, today you might be reading Kelsey's story, but tomorrow someone you love could be living it. We all have the moral responsibility to stand tall and speak up for those who can not speak for themselves, and by doing so perhaps we can prevent this from happening to the next child.



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