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Archive for March, 2010

BREAKING NEWS: Adam Walsh Murder Linked To Jeffrey Dahmer

Posted by Sandra On March - 31 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Several witnesses reportedly saw Dahmer with Adam on the day he disappeared in 1981.

Jeffrey Dahmer, Adam Walsh
Jeffrey Dahmer, Adam Walsh (Getty Images)
MIAMI — One of the most infamous murder cases in U.S. history is being linked to notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

A Miami Herald investigation has raised serious questions about the man police say murdered 6 year old Adam Walsh in 1981.

According to the Miami Herald, not only was Dahmer in South Florida at the time Walsh was kidnapped from a Hollywood, Florida shopping mall, there was mounting evidence linking the killer to Walsh.

The evidence includes witnesses who said they saw Dahmer at the mall with Adam that day, one who says he saw Dahmer throw a crying boy into the back of a blue van and people who said he had access to a blue van fitting an early description of the getaway vehicle.

Adam’s body was never recovered.

A severed head identified as Adam’s was found Aug. 10, 1981 in a canal on the northbound side of the Florida Turnpike near mile marker 130.

In 1991, Dahmer emerged as one of the nation’s most infamous killers after his arrest on charges involving decapitation, necrophilia and cannibalism.

He had 11 severed heads in his Milwaukee apartment.

Dahmer was killed in prison in 1994.


‘Dating Game’ Killer, Rodney Alcala, Sentenced to Death

Posted by Sandra On March - 31 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

This is the third time Alcala has been sentenced to death row for killing Robin Samsoe.
Watch Brandon Rudat’s Report

Rodney Alcala, 66Rodney Alcala, 66

SANTA ANA — Convicted serial killer Rodney Alcala has been sentenced to death for killing a 12-year-old Huntington Beach girl and four Los Angeles County women in the 1970s.

Tuesday’s sentencing marked the third time Rodney Alcala has been sent to death row for killing 12-year-old Robin Samsoe.

His two previous convictions for the killing were overturned on appeal.

Marianne Connelly, the mother of Robin Samsoe read this statement to the court before Alcala’s sentence was announced:

“He is a cold blooded evil mass murdering monster that should have died years ago. Losing my precious Robin was the worst tragedy of my life and knowing the defendant tortured his victims makes it even harder to accept. I’m waiting for the day he dies. I only wish I could be the one to administer the (lethal) injection.”

The death sentence was recommended by the Orange County jury that convicted Alcala.

Earlier this month, Alcala waived his rights to have a probation report prepared about him and to have a sentencing hearing within 20 days of his conviction.

Alcala, who represented himself during his murder trial, responded to a question about when the sentencing hearing would be held with, “It doesn’t matter to me. Anything past 20 days is fine with me.”


Child Rapists: Should They Get the Death Penalty?

Posted by Sandra On March - 31 - 2010 2 COMMENTS

lethal injection chamber
Flickr photo by BlatantNews.com

Oklahoma is one of the thirty-five states that use the death penalty. There are various crimes in that state that can carry a punishment of death, but rape of a child is not currently one of them. Lawmakers hope to change that. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a measure that would allow the death penalty for convicted felons who rape a child age six and under.

Yet, just two years ago, in a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional as a punishment for child rape, and overturned death penalty laws in Louisiana and five other states.

Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, said there was “a distinction between intentional first-degree murder on the one hand and non-homicide crimes against individual persons,” even such “devastating” crimes as the rape of a child on the other.

Senator Anthony Sykes, the author of the Oklahoma Bill, says there are some key differences between the Oklahoma bill and those struck down by the Supreme Court, which he thinks will get the bill over the constitutionality hurdle. He plans to amend his bill to require a previous conviction for child rape and include the requirement that the rapist have the intent to kill the child.

The death penalty for child rape bill is controversial in Oklahoma so it remains to be seen if will even pass, never mind put to the Supreme Court test.

What do you think?

Should child rapists get the death penalty?



Priest Accused of Molesting 200 Deaf Boys

Posted by Sandra On March - 29 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
This 1974 photo shows Rev. Lawrence Murphy.
This 1974 photo shows Rev. Lawrence Murphy. (Associated Press)
T. FRANCIS, Wis. — Arthur Budzinski says the first time the priest molested him, he was 12 years old, alone and away from home at a school for the deaf. He says he asked the Rev. Lawrence Murphy to hear his confession, and instead the priest took him into a closet under the stairs and sexually assaulted him.

Budzinski, now 61, was one of about 200 deaf boys at the St. John’s School for the Deaf just outside Milwaukee who say they were molested by the priest decades ago in a case now creating a scandal for the Vatican and threatening to ensnare Pope Benedict XVI.

Some of the allegations became public years ago. But they got renewed attention this week after documents obtained by The New York Times showed that Murphy was spared a defrocking in the mid-1990s because he was protected by the Vatican office led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope.

The Vatican on Thursday strongly defended its decision not to defrock Murphy and denounced what it called a campaign to smear the pope and his aides.

In recent weeks, Benedict has also come under fire over his handling of an abuse case against a priest in Germany three decades ago when he was a cardinal in charge of the Munich Archdiocese.

In the Milwaukee-area case, Murphy was accused of molesting boys in the confessional, in dormitories, in closets and during field trips while working at the school for the deaf from the 1950s through 1974. Murphy died in 1998 at age 72.

Budzinski, now a bicycle and furniture assembler at a department store, said Murphy preyed on him during the 1960s. The priest was fluent in sign language and often told the boys they were handsome, Budzinski said Thursday during an interview in which his daughter interpreted his sign language.

He said he avoided Murphy as much as he could afterward, but when he went to Murphy’s office the following year to make another confession the priest led him to an adjoining room and sexually assaulted him again.

“It seemed like my father would be walking into a trap every time,” said Budzinski’s 26-year-old daughter, Gigi Budzinski.

He said Murphy assaulted him a third time the next year in Budzinski’s bed in his dormitory room. Other boys were similarly assaulted, he said.

“They would sleep in a large open room in bunk beds,” Budzinski’s daughter said. “My father saw other boys being molested, too. They’d never talk about it.”

Church and Vatican documents showed that in the mid-1990s, two Wisconsin bishops urged the Vatican office led by Ratzinger to let them hold a church trial against Murphy.

However, Ratzinger’s deputy at the time decided the alleged molestation occurred too long ago and said Murphy ? then ailing and elderly ? should instead repent and be restricted from celebrating Mass outside of his diocese, according to the documents.

Murphy’s alleged victims also included at least one teen in a juvenile detention center in the 1970s.


Bodies Discovered After “LESTER HOBBS” Amber Alert Vehicle Found

Posted by Sandra On March - 29 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

NewsChannel 8 - Bodies Discovered After Amber Alert Vehicle Found

Norman – The vehicle involved in an Amber Alert more than two months ago has been discovered in Norman and the bodies of two people have been found, officials say.

Norman police were called to a rural area east of Norman at about 2:45 p.m. Monday by a citizen who located the car near Highway 9 and 108th Avenue Southeast.

The white Toyota Paseo driven by Lester Hobbs, suspected in the January 24th beating death of his estranged wife, Tonya Hobbs, has been sought for more than two months. Hobbs is also suspected of having abducted Tonya Hobbs’ daughter, seven-year-old Aja Johnson.
KFOR-TV reports the body of one person was found inside the vehicle while another body was found outside the car. The identities of the bodies discovered have not been released.

It’s unclear how long the vehicle has been there.



Abuse must be reported

Posted by Sandra On March - 29 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

IF it turns out “Hey Dad!” child actor, Sarah Monahan, was abused by her on-screen dad, it’s clear to me he wasn’t the only abuser on the set.

Several other adults abused her trust by not acting to protect her or to act on the allegations when she confided in them during her time on the TV show.

And as our current laws stand, by staying silent about alleged abuse, these adults did nothing wrong.

To put it in perspective, think of it this way. Do 64km/h in a 60km/h zone and they’ll fine you. But if you stay silent when a child says he or she is being molested, chances are there’s little to suggest you could face any strife.

Monahan courageously told various members of her on-screen family she was being abused by her on-screen dad, Robert Hughes.

But did they report these allegations – which have been denied by Hughes – to NSW’s Sex Crimes Squad? No.

They say they did what they could to protect her, but they failed to take the only real action that would have put an end to the abuse – go to the police.

These actors, including Simone Buchanan and Ben Oxenbould, are now rightly copping criticism as they unite in a show of support for their young co-star.

To make matters worse, some of the Hey Dad! stars are reportedly being paid to show their concern on the pages of Woman’s Day and on our screens during A Current Affair.

But where the hell was all this public outrage 20 years ago?

What isn’t well known is that adults’ silence back then was totally legal.

And 20 years later in Victoria – and NSW, where the show was filmed – it seems that nothing has changed.

Unless you are a police officer, teacher, nurse or doctor, you are not legally required to report allegations of child abuse to authorities.

You can’t be held accountable. You can’t be charged. You can’t even be fined.

Well, guess what? That is outrageous.

All child abuse is serious, and must be reported and investigated immediately for the sake of the current and future victims.



Do we need a child abuse registry?

Posted by Sandra On March - 29 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks at a rally on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 24, 2010.

Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is pushing for a national registry of child abusers. “Track child beaters like we do sex offenders,” blares one headline. It sounds like a righteous idea, at first glance. But although it may look like a huge step, and is certainly being announced as such, ultimately it will only make it easier for people to find out what other people already know. And it’s what we don’t know, in cases of child abuse, that tends to do the most harm.

Registries for child abuse already exist, on the state level, though federal law doesn’t mandate that states keep them. A key factor in the national registry — which was authorized in 2006, but which has not yet been put into place (an extensive feasibility report was published in May 2009) — is that it would centralize the information and allow child protective services easier access to it when abusers cross state lines.

Schumer compared the national registry for child abusers to registries for sex offenders. But that begins to make clear some of the potential shortfalls of the system: For one, tracking sex offenders is only one of the ways we work to prevent repeat crimes, and it doesn’t always work. And, just as in the case of the sex offender registry, this system would only work to track abusers who have been reported — which seems like a point so obvious it’s not worth bringing up, until you think about how underreported child abuse actually is. A report by the National Center on Child Abuse Prevention Research, the “Child Maltreatment Fact Sheet 2006,” gives a sense of it: In cases of fatalities caused by child abuse, only 16 percent of the families were known to child protective services.



Pope accused of failing to act on sex abuse case

Posted by Sandra On March - 25 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

Pope Benedict XVI has been accused of failing to act on complaints from two archbishops in the US about a priest who allegedly abused 200 deaf boys.

The Vatican newspaper said the move was an “ignoble attempt” to smear the Pope.

As a cardinal heading the Vatican office that dealt with sex abuse cases, the future pontiff allegedly failed to respond to letters about the case.

A church trial of the priest was halted after he wrote to the then Cardinal Ratzinger pleading ill health.

The Holy See has recently been plagued by abuse cover-up claims in Europe, echoing a similar scandal that hit the Church in the US eight years ago.



GOP Amendment: No Viagra for Sex Offenders

Posted by Sandra On March - 24 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
(Credit: AP)

As part of their effort to slow (or even stop) passage of the bill that would make changes to the health care legislation signed into law by President Obama Tuesday, Senate Republicans have vowed to introduce hundreds of amendments.

One part of that strategy is to offer amendments on which Democrats would be hard-pressed to cast a “no” vote. If the Senate makes any amendments to the legislation, it has to go back to the House — a possibility that Democrats are hoping to avoid.

GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma (pictured) today released a list of the nine amendments he has filed, and right at the top is a clear illustration of the strategy — an amendment entitled “No Erectile Dysfunction Drugs To Sex Offenders.” Here’s how it’s described:

“This amendment would enact recommendations from the Government Accountability Office to stop fraudulent payments for prescription drugs prescribed by dead providers or, to dead patients. This amendment also prohibits coverage of Viagra and other ED medications to convicted child molesters, rapists, and sex offenders, and prohibits coverage of abortion drugs.”



Five Boys Who Disappeared in 1978 Were Burned Alive, police say

Posted by Sandra On March - 23 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS

NEWARK, N.J. — On an August night 32 years ago, authorities say, three men who believed five teenage boys had stolen their drugs herded them into an abandoned house at gunpoint, tied them up and set the building on fire, burning them alive and leaving no trace.

Those details on one of the coldest and most baffling missing-persons cases New Jersey has ever seen became known Tuesday as prosecutors announced that two of the men had been arrested on a recent tip from a witness. A third suspect died in 2008.

The teens, ages 16 and 17, had not been seen since they disappeared, and the five bodies were never found in the rubble of the destroyed house. The suspects believed the boys had stolen a pound of marijuana from one of them, the Essex County prosecutor’s office said.

One of the suspects, 56-year-old Lee Evans, routinely hired teenagers to help with odd jobs, officials said. He was interviewed in the months after the disappearances but was cleared as a suspect.

Evans, of nearby Irvington, and Philander Hampton, 53, of Jersey City, were charged with murder and arson and are being held on $5 million bail each, prosecutor’s office said.

The boys, Melvin Pittman and Ernest Taylor, both 17, and Alvin Turner, Randy Johnson and Michael McDowell, all 16, were last seen on a busy street near a park where they had played basketball on Aug. 20, 1978.



Boy Scouts, Swim Team and Church: Do You Know Who’s Playing with your Child?

Posted by Sandra On March - 23 - 2010 1 COMMENT

Many times I have written about childhood sexual abuse in the Huffington Post. Those blogs don’t get a lot of reader comments and it is not surprising. It is not a subject that people want to read about, think about, much less formulate comments about. And I totally understand that. So I write about other things as well even though most of them have at least an underlying theme related to the impact of sex in our modern culture.

In the past week or so, it has been difficult to read the Huffington Post or any other news source without coming across stories about sexual abuse. Just when you thought the Catholic Church had paid off enough people to quiet things down, the scandal gets even closer to the Pope himself. In 2001, then Cardinal Ratzinger, in a confidential letter to Catholic bishops regarding the handling of sexual abuse cases, referred to a requirement of secrecy in such cases. It has also been reported that a priest with a known history of sexual abuse was reassigned under the Cardinal’s watch.

And now the Boy Scouts join in with an Oregon case against a troop leader who is on trial for molesting a scout. He has admitted to molesting 17 of the 30 boys in his troop. The court is allowing access to documentation of sexual abuse within the organization known as “the perversion files.” In it are numerous examples of molestation cases, some with the familiar story of the accused being returned to service in the organization.

And finally, a 1972 Olympic gold medalist on the US swim team has come forward to speak about sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her coach beginning at age 11 and continuing for four years. Her charge is that there is not adequate screening and background checks for coaches in the US swim program creating an environment that encourages and supports sexual abuse between coaches and athletes, a claim upheld by numerous other cases that have come to light.



Child rape– youngest boy ever put on sex offenders register

Posted by Sandra On March - 23 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
A teenager who lives in Merseyside who raped a three-year-old girl has become one of the youngest people to be put on the sex offenders register, police confirmed.

The youth, who cannot be named because of his age, was 13 when he attacked his victim in May last year, Lancashire Police said.

Now aged 14, he admitted sexual assault and sexual touching at Blackpool Youth Court on Monday and was sentenced to a 12-month referral order.

He was also placed on the sex offenders register for two-and-a-half years.

Police said the boy, who now lives in Merseyside, is the youngest person in Lancashire to be placed on the register.

The court was told the youth was a sexual abuse victim who was “mimicking” the behaviour of his attacker.

Under the terms of the referral order he will undergo counselling and supervision by a youth offending team.



Are Secret Boy Scout “Perversion Files” Hiding Years of Sex Abuse?

Posted by Sandra On March - 19 - 2010 ADD COMMENTS
(Credit: CBS Graphic)

PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS/AP) Boy Scouts of America has long kept an extensive archive of secret documents that chronicle the sexual abuse of young boys by Scout leaders over the years.

The “perversion files,” a nickname the Boy Scouts are said to have used for the documents, have rarely been seen by the public, but that could all change in the coming weeks in an Oregon courtroom.

A trial is under way for a man who claims the Boy Scouts covered up sexual abuse by Scout leaders for decades, and that he was one of the victims as a child.

The man’s attorney, Kelly Clark, told a jury in his opening statement that about 1,000 files the Boy Scouts were ordered to hand over will show a national pattern of failure to prevent abuse or punish child molesters.

“The Boy Scouts of America ignored clear warning signs that Boy Scouts were being abused,” Clark said.

But Charles “Chuck” Smith, the attorney for the Boy Scouts, said in his opening statement that those files were kept under wraps because they “were replete with confidential information” that should only be reviewed under court order.

He referred to them as “red flag” files to help national scouting leaders weed out sex offenders, especially repeat offenders who may have changed names or moved in order to join another local scouting organization.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America at its headquarters in Irving, Texas, said in a statement that the organization cannot comment on details of the case. But it has worked hard on awareness and prevention efforts, including background checks.



Cardinal apologizes for child abuse ‘failures’

Posted by Sandra On March - 17 - 2010 1 COMMENT

Cardinal Sean Brady has been under fire over the investigation  into a child abuse.
Cardinal Sean Brady has been under fire over the investigation into a child abuse

(CNN) — The head of the Irish Catholic Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, admitted Wednesday that the church’s response to abuse had been “hopelessly inadequate.”

“The church must continue to deal with the enormity of the hurt caused by abuse of children by some clergy … and the hopelessly inadequate response to that abuse in the past,” Brady said Wednesday.

Church leaders must “own up to and take responsibility for any mismanagement or cover-up of child abuse,” he said.

The cardinal also apologized for his role in the church’s investigation into an abusive priest in 1975.

“I want to say to anyone who has been hurt by any failure on my part that I apologize to you with all my heart,” he said at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh, Ireland.

“I also apologize to all those who feel I have let them down. Looking back I am ashamed that I have not always upheld the values that I profess and believe in,” Brady said, according to a copy of the remarks released by Ireland’s Catholic Communications Office.

Has the Catholic Church reached a tipping point?

The deeply Catholic country has been badly shaken by a government-backed report that found the Archdiocese of Dublin and other Catholic Church authorities in Ireland covered up child abuse by priests from 1975 to 2004. Child sexual abuse was widespread then, the report found.




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DREAMCATCHERS FOR ABUSED CHILDREN, INC. is an official non-profit 501(c)3 child abuse & neglect organization. Our mission is to educate the public on all aspects of child abuse such as symptoms, intervention, prevention, statistics, reporting, and helping victims locate the proper resources necessary to achieve a full recovery. We also cover areas such as bullying, teen suicide & prevention, children\'s rights, child trafficking, missing & exploited children, online safety, and pedophiles/sex offenders.

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