Tuesday, December 30, 2008

They Don't Really Put Innocent People in Prison! Do They?

Americans seem somehow to live with an "if-they're-in-prison-they-must-have-done-something-wrong" philosophy. Perhaps that is why it is so difficult for me to convince people that I have found one of the innocent ones and work on her behalf--because she has no access to the internet on her own.

Here is another example:

Another Wrongful Conviction in Houston
By TChris, Section Innocence Cases Posted on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 03:38:59 PM EST

Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt insists his department bears no responsibility for Ricardo Rachell's wrongful arrest, conviction, and incarceration. When the police arrested Rachell for sexually assaulting a minor, they recovered physical evidence that could have been tested for DNA. The department's notoriously unreliable crime lab had been closed, so the evidence wasn't tested. Prosecutors didn't order DNA testing and nobody told the defense that the evidence existed.
While Rachell was in jail, the officers involved in his arrest investigated a string of similar assaults in their district. If that fact caused them any concern for Rachell's innocence, they did nothing about it.
[more ...]
Jurors sentenced Rachell to 40 years in prison in a case built largely on eyewitness testimony from the victim and one of his 8-year-old friends. More than five years later, DNA evidence — available but never tested before Rachell's trial — cleared him of any involvement in the attack. ...
Eventually, DNA evidence linked registered sex offender Andrew Wayne Hawthorne to at least one of those assaults, and he pleaded guilty in three cases. He is serving a 60-year prison sentence.
There's plenty of blame to distribute, but the Houston Police Department deserves a large slice.

Monday, December 29, 2008

What Ever Happened to My Little Boy?...What Ever Happened to My Son?

by Aine O’Brocken
written for Elsa Newman, as I think she might say it, if she had access to the internet
©2008, Aine O’Brocken

He was such perfection at the moment he was born. I knew I held someone special in my arms. I named him Herbert. Herbert Ian Newman Slobodow.

Herbie loved everyone and was afraid of no one. He would grow, I knew, to be like his grandfather—my father, who never came across a stranger—only friends he was meeting for the first time.

And, to my great delight, he bonded wonderfully with me. We delighted in each other.

Herbert would come to love the violin. By the time he was eight, his skill was extraordinary for a child that age. At one of his lessons, his teacher called the previous student back as the older boy was leaving—a high-school boy of no small skill himself—to look at Herbie’s bow hold. The child held the bow like an adult.

And he played—to use a trite expression—like an angel. As a child he had begun playing classical music. His concentration was superb. I have photos of him playing, his face displaying the peace and serenity of a mini-virtuouso who had found his calling. He was happy and content with himself and his instrument.

Here I must add that no ADD child, no ADHD child could play that way, play so well. I know this from violin teachers; I know it from violinists themselves. Playing the violin takes focus…love…dedication…and concentration. Herbie had them all, even at the age of seven. This thought is crucial to the question of ADD/ADHD—which Herbie’s father insists that he has. Herbie’s father sees to it that my son uses amphetamines to control a disease—which he doesn’t have. Strange behavior.

Herbie was a child deeply committed to kindness. When he was very young and in school, the teacher put his locker right next to the locker of a little girl with a hearing problem—because that teacher knew Herbie could be depended on to help her, without suggestions from adults.

The child Herbie loved life and loved living. He was a good boy, seldom needing discipline of any kind. And a part of his joy in life and loving was the joy of loving me—his mother. And I loved him in return with a love equaled only by my love for his younger brother, Lars.

Some of my dearest treasures from where I sit now—in a prison cell I did nothing to deserve—are my memories of my sons and their joyful exuberance in the simple things of life as well as the monumental moments.

Oh…the little-boy joys of climbing into a hollow tree and having your picture taken. Herbie is on the right, Lars on the left—or you might say, in a manner of speaking, Lars is extended from one side to the other.

Herbie and Lars both loved going to camp. When he was living with me, Herbie would come home from day camp dirty from the top of his head to the soles of his sandals. When he was living with his father, he came home as sparkling clean as when he had left in the morning, as if he were terrified of creating dirty clothes—or a less-than-squeaky-clean Herbert.

The clothes, of course, although possessing a distinctive potential to bring out his father’s wrath, were a personal problem for Herbie, since as I understand it, his father—although the boy was too short to reach the buttons at the back of the machine--made Herbie do the family laundry. “What do you do,” I once asked, “if you can’t reach the buttons?”

“I jump,” answered Herbie.

“But what if you miss?” I went on.

“Then Dad hits me,” replied my son, eyes downcast.

That last paragraph introduces a new element into my view of Herbie’s life. When Herbie was seven-ish and Lars five-ish, their father and I began the process of separation, divorce and custody decisions.

I wonder if any mother ever believes that the man she chooses to marry and father her children might molest and abuse those children.

I suppose not. I suppose every woman expects the man of her choice will be the ideal husband to her and ideal father for her children, should children be in the couple’s future.

I know the thought never entered my mind…not when I met Arlen Slobodow…not when I married him…not when I brought our two sons into the world.

And yet, when we filed divorce proceedings and the question of custody raised its head, a horror virtually beyond belief began for my sons and me.

When the disclosures first started, they were couched in such symbolic language that I failed to understand what the boys were trying to tell me. For just one example, Herbie, coming home from a visit to “Dad’s”, spoke of a snake there that bit him. Another example: teachers reported that Herbie, after a rain, walked the playground at school in search of worms—and then either ate or pretended to eat them, saying, “Mmmmm. These are really good.”

Only after the disclosures began in earnest and I began a written record, did I understand what was going on. The father I had chosen for my sons was molesting them sexually. And he was abusing them in every other way he could think of mentally, emotionally, physically, verbally and spiritually.

When their father would come to get them for a visit, Herbie would hang onto a table, screaming, “Mom! Mom! Don’t let him take me.” But the courts had spoken. I had complete faith in the justice system of the United States to protect my children. At every step, I trusted and tried to work through that system.

I should not have done so. The system failed me and my sons in every way. Herbie warned me: “Mom, you’ve got to do something! Dad is going to take us away from you.”

But I knew he was wrong. The American justice system could not possibly be so corrupt that it would order children into the custody of their abuser. Yet when the length and frequency of their father’s visits were increased by the court? Lo and behold, the frequency and seriousness of the disclosures likewise increased.

“Aha!” gloated the father’s attorney. “See? Elsa Newman is making this up, so that she will gain custody. It’s all made up! More visits, more complaints from the mother!”

Except I was not the one making the complaints. The victims of their father’s unspeakable abuses were speaking. And of course the more time they spent with him the more abuses there were to disclose. Duh!

Meanwhile, my sons struggled frantically to tell the truth and find someone besides me to believe them. I had taught them to tell the truth. They believed in the truth. They believed that if you told the truth, people would believe you.

They were wrong. And how far did their struggle go? Let me give you just one example. During an interrogation by law enforcement authorities in DC, the boys emerged, glowing—knowing they had held to the truth to the very end.

What that end was emerged only when, on the way home, the boys asked me, “Mom? What’s kids’ prison?”

The burly law officer who had questioned them had apparently informed them that if they refused to tell the truth—that is to say the version of “reality” he wanted to hear—they would be sent to “kids’ prison.”

Herbie found what he thought would be a solution. In conference with Lars, during an unguarded moment on the part of law enforcement, Herbie suggested that they should tell the officers that their dad was “neece.” They would not say “nice,” and thereby lie. They had too much integrity, even at such an early age. Rather they would pronounce dad “neece.”

So, at the end of this interrogation, the boys announced to law enforcement that their father was, indeed, a “neece” man. Law enforcement heard what they wanted to hear, which was “nice,” and released the boys for me to take them home.

Thus do children learn that telling the truth is a pointless activity.

For nearly a year, the boys were in treatment with a psychiatrist, who in fact, reported abuse early on. Nothing came of the report. The abuse continued. Now, although I have repeatedly asked Dr. Jill Scharff, that psychiatrist, to release the boys’ records to me, she refuses to do so.

Again, it is thus that children learn to devalue truth.

Herbie once asked me, “Why won’t the courts listen to me? I tell them what happened, and they won’t listen.” I had no explanation.

Thus do children learn to devalue themselves.

Remember the child who played the violin so beautifully? That was Herbie. He had had three different teachers. During visits to his father, he did not do well in the violin. At length, the third teacher called me, practically in tears. “Please,” she said, “don’t let his father bring him anymore. He was here today. He was dirty. He was unkempt. He was unprepared. He tried to play, but couldn’t do it.”

Herbie had an explanation as to why he did not do well when he was at dad’s. “When I try to play, he hits me in the crotch.”

Thus do children learn to devalue what they had once loved.

When the boys visited their father, they were often invited to the workroom in the basement for drawing sessions. They were made to draw according to their father’s instructions: nice pictures of dad; ugly, scrawled pictures of mom; nice pictures of the guardian ad litem; ugly pictures of mom’s attorneys.

Thus do children learn to despise where once they loved and bonded.

Their father would also practice correct speaking with them. There were many sessions like this one: “Who is nicer?” he would ask, “mom or dad?”

Herbie would answer, “You are both nice,” hoping to escape punishment.

Lars would answer, “You are, Dad.”

And Dad would say, “Lars has the right answer.”

Thus do children succumb to the forces of brainwashing, simple forces with a child lacking age and wisdom—no matter how great his integrity.

And then came the crime which sent me to prison, although I had neither foreknowledge of the event nor any form of participation in it.

A family friend, Margery Landry—godmother of my two sons, and called “Aunt Margie” by both of them—broke into Arlen Slobodow’s house on a night when he had visitation with the children. I was out of state to attend my niece’s wedding. Margery, she says, was hoping to find evidence of child abuse…of molestation…or of child pornography, which the children had disclosed that their father used them to make.

The events which followed, the struggled between “Aunt Margie” and the children’s father; the accidental shooting of their father, the subsequent 9-1-1 call, in which Arlen Slobodow virtually set up a case for the prosecution against me; the criminal trial in which I was convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder [despite the fact that both these charges were null prossed against Margery Landry]; the appeals court reversal of the jury decision in the criminal trial; the retrial, so that Doug Gansler would not have a blemish on his record when he ran for state office, all of these things had a clear effect on both my sons.

Thus do children learn that the so-called “American justice system” is nothing but a fraud.

Thus do children come into the complete and terrifying control of a man who fathered them, but later said, “I don’t care if the kids grow up f***** up.”

Thus do children change. Thus has my older son has seemed to turn against me.

And thus, a woman I barely know has begun writing this story for me, hoping for publicity that will set me free from a prison I have not deserved—and will set my sons free from the prison of molestation and abuse their father has crafted for them.
Finally, thus it is that this woman has been receiving comments of the following nature on her blogs and citizen journalism sites. The writer variously claims to be my son, Herbie or someone else—using a variety of other names.

[Note from Aine: I publish these because I want readers to have an opportunity to evaluate what this young man is saying about and to me--if it is in fact Herbie who is writing. As you read, please keep in mind that I have researched this case for myself. I have not taken Elsa Newman's word. I have read documents. I have found witnesses. I have no reason to fear the kind of foul-mouthed language and accusations this person uses in his/her comments. The errors belong to the individual. I copied and pasted the comments, to be sure I got them right.]
December 29, 2008: herbie!!! has left a new comment on your post: OOOOOOOOH the fake list of names you put in everyday because it lets you sign it with your internet adress once a day wowow your blood god must be pleased
December 29, 2008: herbie has left a new comment on your post: And who the fuck said anything bad about women, i love women, but you are a disgrace to the gender
December 29, 2008: Herbie!!!!!!! has left a new comment on your post ": ok first off i got nothing to do with ashan i dont even know who the fuck that isi asked my dad, its not himSeccond Im trying to make sure people understand the amount of bullshit you "spew" into your crazy fucking rants.What am i doing? I am telling people the reality of your crazy fucked up blogs.Seriously i know your moms payed writer, but god damn what youwrite looks like some crazy fucking blood god cultist propaganda to make every female in prison look innocent.Just skimming through your wierd bullshit i can tell eather you or mom is sexist against all men.And yes this is herbiedidnt i show you that through argueng with you on my youtubeor do i have to fucking make a video to prove im meyour an ignorant, sexist, lier, cultist, paranoid, skitzophrenic, sellout, easily manipulated, pathetic, responds to your own blogs pretending to be a viewer, obsessed, delusional, and idiotic little old lady from washington who thinks shes never wrong when she always is.p.s. im fucking 15 of course i make grammer errors on the interwebs, dont tell me thats unusual to you

December 25, 2008:
Please remember i do not approve of any of this shit
I dont need help im doing fine, this is just a blog my mom pays her to write so she can get out of jail

December 25, 2008:
… annie post a blog about why you choose to copy and paste stuff mom writes to you on the internet.
Thats right, this person is a payed writer for mom, these are the words of my crazy mom.

December 25, 2008…this is just a sick sellout my mom pays to write articles for her.
These bs blogs come from my mom who thinks lying about my dad will get her out of jail.

December 25, 2008:
… as for being a musician, i only knew 2 songs, twinkle twinkle little star and some other song, and i wasnt to good at them

Ann brocken is just moms hired writer and so all theese articles come from my mom …

December 20, 2008: Shut the fuck up and leave my dad aloneWhat about Washington dc, a bitch named anne cyber bullying, libel, and slander

December 20, 2008: i love you Katherine WinfreeMom go to hell Kathrine Winfree helped me get a way from a lyng manipulative bitch who calls herself mom

December 20, 2008 herbie has left a new comment on your post
Mom and her toolBoth of you are fucking discustingOf course none of that shits real to anyone dumbenough to question "really"Mom i wish my fetus came from some one elsa you nasty whore

December 20, 2008 herbie has left a new comment on your post "
you people are discusting, stalking dads friends now???Now that im telling the truth all you want to do lately is discredit me and insult me, but doesnt bother me coming from a psychopathic sexist working for a manipulative insane bitch with a nasty hole i escaped from. And dont lie about your self, your not little, you fat hell!your not working for anyone but yourself and mom. Your in no way shape or form a reporter, just a hired blogger And your one sick shit … look at what your writing!Its fucking discusting You know none of that shit exists

December 20, 2008 herbisism has left a new comment on your post
…your are a sexist nutjob who has some crazy ideas of female supremacy and see this case as an oppertunity to promote itor just moms hired writer, eather way your a discusting person

December 19, 2008
I BELIEVE YOU, ELSA NEWMAN! YES, I DO! (updated)": …because she pays you to write this shit

December 19, 2008
herbie has left a new comment on your post: Mom your fucking discusting

December 19, 2008
herbie has left a new comment on your post "
NAZI FASCISM IN THE US?": This woman is …some one my mom hired to lie about my dad, why?because all she cares about is herself and getting out of prisonAnd just incase you didnt notice...my dad is jewish and so am i, …

December 19, 2008

herbie has left a new comment on your post: … my mom is …fucking crazy …

December 19, 2008
herbie has left a new comment on your post "
ASHAN--ARE YOU TRYING TO "BLOW SMOKE" ON PRESENT R...": Shut the fuck up mom… you are a crazy bitch and you need some help, but your to crazy to get it, yeah make theese bullshit blogs

December 19, 2008
herbert slobodow has left a new comment on your post: Mom, thats it, final straw, when i confront you on the phone about this, you ignore me and scream at me. Im pretty sure all you do is write these in prison in order to try to justify the way you treated me mom. Making me lie about my own father is a pretty fucked up thing to do.Having your best friend shoot my dad is manipulating your own friends and attempting to kill an innocent man for your own greed.You wanted to be rich, you wanted his money, his house, his children, and then... his life.God stepped in, and in pure luck, she missed a sleeping man, and hit his leg, he managed to fight her off with a shot leg.And what do you do then? you turn on your best friend and say its her fault.Then you have your mom steal from her grandchildren, because she doesnt want to spend her millions of dollers on her own daughter.I got that money back in my collage account, lol another fail for you.So what do you do, isolated in your cell?You hire some one to lie about my dad me and the trial just to prove your innocence.Your not my fucking mother, just a nasty place i crawled out of, thats all you are to me now mom. And real jews dont mention gods name

December 19, 2008
herb bert has left a new comment on your post: She doesnt fucking own me, get that in your head, mom means i came from her, not are owned by her.I find it highly pathetic to make a blog lieng about your self, and have somebody else post it.Mom doesnt stand shit,she acts like a 5 year lies about other people to make it look like its their fault, and sends you to blog about it.

What happened to my little boy? What happened to my son? What happened to the little boy who loved his mother and loved life and loved his brother and loved the violin.

His father happened to him. I suspect that’s what.

Stockholm Syndrome perhaps?

Or just that a molested child sees that a father is strong, because he can get away with whatever, while the mother who tried to protect her children failed. Is my son becoming his father?

I don’t know. All I want to know is what happened to the little boy who loved me. Where did he go?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Two Questions for the Readers

I could use a good solid opinion or two here, or even more.

I’ve begun receiving “hate” mail in the form of comments on my blogs and citizen journalism articles. The writer of this mails refers to himself—I assume the person is of a masculine persuasion—variously as “herbie,” “ herbster,” “herb ert,” “herbisism,” “ashan,” “proceed with caution,” “herbert slobodow,” and “herbie the jew,” among an assortment of other things.

The writer—sorry, but the seventh-grade teacher in me can’t help noticing this—seems unable to spell or capitalize his way out of a paper bag! Now that fact would make me consider the possibility that the writer is not Herbie Slobodow--Elsa Newman’s intelligent, kind, loving, gentle, musician and athletic son, now fifteen years old--but some other person who pretends to be “Herbert” or “Herbster.” I don’t know.

However I cannot imagine any son speaking thus about his mother: “Your not my fucking mother, just a nasty place i crawled out of….” or “Shut the fuck up mom….you are a crazy bitch and you need some help, but your to crazy to get it, yeah make these bullshit blogs…,” “…my mom and her hitler way of the world….” And these are not the only such things he says. Nevertheless the person who leaves comments for me under these names, says these things about Elsa Newman. If this is indeed a child speaking about his mother, it is a strange thing indeed.

The only possibilities I see are these:

1) Herbert Slobodow has grown to hate his mother and does, indeed, spew such filth about her without conscience and without concern for the picture of himself that he is creating around the world;

2) the material is written, not by Herbie, but by his father, Arlen. Now you understand, Arlen Slobodow is a man who would very possibly consider himself well justified in referring to his former wife as a hole out of which his son had crawled. In addition to that, I have a certain feel for a writer that comes from all those years of teaching language arts. After years spent grading well over a hundred student papers per week, I find myself noticing small mannerisms, points of style, spelling techniques and inconsistencies, punctuation (or lack thereof) capitalization (or lack thereof), a certain turn of phrase typical of a particular writer—whether said writer is a student or a literary personage. And here are some things I know of Arlen Slobodow: he is a writer of scripts, which means that he is quite familiar with the process of putting words into other people’s mouths; is it just possible it could be this father himself, the accused pedophile, who is doing this writing? Arlen tends to write without capitals, without particular concern for punctuation and with little care for correct spelling. That is the second possibility I see.

3) Or there is a third possibility: the material could be written by some friend of Arlen Slobodow or some member of his family other than his older son. I have no particular reason to think this. However, I must acknowledge it as a possibility.

Soooo…what I’m asking here is that if you have read any of these comments, lend me a response. Tell me who you think is writing this garbage about Elsa Newman.

Garbage? Perhaps that is too high-class a name for what this person is spouting--as if Newman did not have enough suffering to do on her own, unjustly imprisoned for a crime committed by someone else, and partly for believing her sons when they said they were being molested by their father…for believing the physical signs of abuse physicians found on their young bodies. When a boy’s anus is stretched and broken and bleeding, Herbie, Herbster, Ashan, Herbie the Jew or whoever you are, it is a clear and documentable sign of sexual molestation, whether or not you choose now to admit that.

And at the time that doctors verified this abuse, you, yourself, were clinging to tables or doorways or your mother—begging not to have to go visit your father, and being forced to leave your mother and go to your father anyhow. People who supervised visits can bear witness to that, Herbster or Herbert or sheepsunion, whoever you are.

And now…although I hate to break it to my readers…I have to tell you that that whole shebang above is merely a lead in to a different question. And that question is about slander.

If the person who calls himself by many names , also calls me many names, is that slander? Let me give you some examples, straight from comments left by the (young?) man(?) of many names.

1. “Ann brocken is just mom’s hired writer and so all these articles come from my mom and her hitler way of the world….” [Gee, I hate it when he says that! I have spent hours virtually every day for the past year working on getting to the truth of the matter, and the kid(?) says I’m being paid to write this.] As if Elsa Newman had some source of money when Arlen Slobodow has a judgement against her for something like two million dollars. Guess again, folks! Besides that, you couldn’t pay me for all this work. I write because I believe in Elsa Newman, because I believe Elsa Newman, because I believe the two little boys who said their father was molesting them and abusing them in other ways, because I believe the physical evidence from these boys’ past, and because I believe that this whole mess has been a horrible miscarriage of justice.

2. [Aine O’Brocken] “is just a sick sellout my mom pays to write articles for her. Oh, that’s a name for me, all right—sick sellout. Ptooie!

3. “by the way annie post a blog about why you choose to copy and paste stuff mom writes to you on the internet.” I can hardly do a blog on that, since your mother/ex-wife (or whatever she is to you, depending on who is writing this crud) has no access to the internet and cannot write to me except by snail mail.

4. “Shut the fuck up and leave my dad alone What about Washington dc, a bitch named anne cyber bullying, libel, and slander.” Bullying, libel and slander—hmmmmm. Sound more like I’m the recipient than the bullier.

5. “You are fucking discusting.”

6. [You are] “a psychopathic sexist working for a manipulative insane bitch.”

7. “ And don’t lie about yourself, your not little, you fat hell!” This, I suppose as a response to my calling myself a little, old lady. And as virtually anyone knows, being a little, old lady has absolutely nothing to do with being little or old or a lady; it’s a state of mind. I’ve been here for years.”

8. “Your one sick shit, no matter how much she pays you, look at what your writing! It’s fucking discusting. You know none of that shit exists.” Quite the contrary, actually. The more time I spend on this case, the more I believe Elsa Newman is telling the truth about everything.

9. “you are a sellout and a sexist…your are a sexist nutjob who has some crazy ideas of female supremacy.” Naw. Anybody knows that women are just a hole for the real humans to crawl out of, don’t they? NOT!

Anyhow, to sum it all up, I am asking two questions of my readers, if any of you will be so kind as to comment.

Question one: who do you think is writing this abusive material about Elsa Newman?

Question two: has herbie/herbster/ashan/herb ert/herbie slobodow (or whoever this writer is) has this person yet crossed the line into slander in his/her name-calling and vicious approach to this writer.

Thanks. I'll be waiting to hear from you.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


An open letter to Herbie...or Herbster...or Herbeest...or Her bee... or canadarm2...or sheepsunion...or however you choose to name yourself today.

I have a few questions that I’d like to ask you. Since you have not yet written using my email address, which I sent you via a comment on a variety of blogs and such, I thought perhaps this would be the best way to get these questions to you, since I know you are reading this particular blog now.

1. How did your mother make you lie?

2. To whom did she make you lie?

3. What kind of lies, exactly, did she make you tell?

I am interested to know exactly what she did to accomplish this. Maybe if I could hear some of your point of view, I could understand better, and I might not be so convinced by the documents I have read.
Beyond that, I would like to say again that I am glad you are expressing yourself. However, I suppose I fall short of complete appreciation of some of the things you say to me and the way you say them, since I had understood from people who know you that you are quite a nice young man, thoughtful and courteous. Aside from that, I do understand that you have had many difficulties in your young life. And if swearing and name-calling makes you feel better about yourself and the vagaries of that life, then go for it.

Since I, of course, was not there, I do not know what really went on when you were younger. But I do know that there have been many, many doctors, pediatricians, social workers, teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists who expressed concerns about you and your brother when you were younger because of many things you told them about feeling unsafe.

Believe it or not I have read through all of the materials myself and made my own decision. While I cannot say exactly what was going on, I can say that something terrible was happening to you when you were younger, some of which had nothing to do with your mom. It is obvious from reading what I have read. One day when you are older, I hope you will get a chance to review some of this and decide for yourself.

What I believe and what many, many intelligent and informed people believe is that your mother is unfairly imprisoned, and that she is innocent of wrongdoing. I do know her friend brought a gun to your house and struggled with your father. I do believe that woman was guilty. I believe she was brought to such a crazy action because she adored you and your brother; you were telling her terrible, terrible things were happening, and she desperately wanted to save you.

Unfortunately, what ended up happening is the worst chain of events possible:, your father’s being shot in the leg, and as for your mother: wrongful conviction, separation from you, and inability to be there for you in your life. I do hope the terrible things that you were mentioning when you were younger are no longer happening, and am truly happy if that has stopped or was misunderstood by all the professionals.

I want to keep my websites going, not to harm you, but to see if one day the public can better understand what has happened to your mother. What happened to your mother is not unique. There are many women all over the country—there are, in fact, thousands of women--who try to get help for their children and end up in jail, or are otherwise blamed. This is very sad.

Would you be interested in talking or writing to other children whose mothers were taken from them when they asked their mothers for help? There are many children out there this happened to. This is a real tragedy. But the reality is that many of them have grown up and are now speaking about what happened to them and to their mothers.
Out of all of this, there many things I do not know. What I do know for sure is that your mother loves you very, very much. She talks and writes frequently about how smart and brave and talented you are, and all the good things she wishes for you. I hope that you can feel that love even if your mom and you disagree right now about what really happened when you were younger.

Sincerely and with great hope and best wishes for you and your brother,

Aine of Brocken

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Question: What kind of man sues a 95-year-old woman and sends his attorney to threaten her?

Answer: That would be the kind of man who sued Rose Newman for $120,000. Just in case you question the numbers, here is the sum in letters: one hundred twenty thousand dollars.

Let me explain a thing or two here about Rose Newman. She has led a difficult life. Her mother died when Rose was born. She lost a son in a freak accident that took his life when the boy was a pre-teen. As most women who have lost children in death can attest, the death of a child is one of the most difficult and emotionally crushing of events any mother can experience.

Newman’s husband died before her, leaving her a widow.

But life was not done with Rose Newman. Events that she has called “even worse” were yet to come. The first of these were disclosures by her two precious grandsons, Elsa’s sons, who insisted that their father was abusing them sexually, as well as physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally and spiritually. The abuses disclosed by the two boys at that time were literally unspeakable. The boys’ treating psychiatrist, Dr. Jill Scharff, not only heard their disclosures, but put enough stock in their veracity that she reported the abuse. The boys also disclosed to family friends, to physicians, to police officers and to others. Nobody was able—or willing--to help them. The abuses apparently continued, worse than ever. When the boys were taken for visits to their father, they would leave screaming and begging their mother not to force them to make the visit.

Enough already! Someone finally listened and came to the assistance of these boys, right?


Living with the knowledge that her grandsons had revealed unspeakable abuses should have been enough torment for Rose Newman. But life was still not finished with her.

Newman’s daughter, Elsa, the younger of her two daughters, was arrested. Eventually, this daughter would be unjustly incarcerated for a crime that did not even exist: there was no murder attempt, although Elsa was convicted of attempted murder. Elsa was also convicted of “conspiracy to commit murder,” despite the fact that the “conspiracy” charge had no co-conspirator.

Huh? How could that be?

The woman who committed the actual crime, Margery Landry, although she plead guilty to other aspects of that crime--such as breaking and entering and use of a gun in commission of a crime—refused to plead guilty to crimes she insisted she had not committed, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. These latter two charges were null prossed in the case of Landry.

In the case of Elsa Newman, however, these charges were brought full force against the defendant. She was tried in Montgomery County Maryland, with Katherine Winfree prosecuting.

Rose Newman searched franticaly for a means to help her innocent daughter stay out of prison and free to raise her sons.. Said frantic search took her to an account she had established for these two grandsons.

I do not know precisely. how much this account contained at the time. I do know that all the monies in this account had been placed there either by Rose Newman or her daughter, Elsa. In the first year of each boy’s life, Rose placed $10,000 in the account for the child. In addition, she added $10,000 for each of the following three years of the child’s life. Thus, each child started life with a sum of $40,000. Her daughter Elsa added some monies of her own and, in addition, made some wise investments on behalf of her sons.

As I said before, I do not know the exact amount in this fund at the time of Elsa’s arrest. What I do know is that Rose Newman, believing that justice for and the welfare of her grandsons depended in part on their mother’s having a solid defense team that could return her to her sons, looked to this fund as one source of defense for Elsa. She followed appropriate procedures…she checked every possible legal avenue…and she was informed that the fund was, in fact, available for use to pay attorney’s for the children’s mother. And this is what Rose Newman did.

She used about $70,000 an a vain attempt to help her grandsons keep their mother.

To no avail: Elsa Newman was tried and convicted of the very crimes that Margery Landry said did not exist, the very crimes that were null prossed in Landry’s case.

Upon appeal to Maryland’s highest court, Rose Newman’s daughter was released and the verdict in her case was vacated. The court opined in their majority opinion that there was nothing to connect Elsa Newman to the crime committed by Margery Landry.

And yet...again Rose Newman’s daughter was arrested. Again she was tried. Again she was convicted. She now resides, unjustly imprisoned, at Maryland Correctional Institution at Jessup.

Her children reside in Tampa, Florida, in the custody—by default—of the father they had said abused them so horribly.

And now may we return to the first question that began this story: What kind of man sues a 95-year-old woman and sends his attorney to threaten her?

Answer: that would be the same kind of man who abuses his children…who assaults family friends…who batters his wife to the point she needs to take out protective orders against him…a man who ignores those protective orders and shoves his wife to the sidewalk, stepping over her prone body to enter her house and take whatever he wants.

Holding that this elderly woman had no right to take money from a fund she, herself, had established for her grandsons, in an attempt to protect their mother for them, this man filed a lawsuit against Rose Newman for $120,000.

Hey! Wait a minute! What’s up with that, Aine? You said she used $70,000 for her daughter’s attorney’s fees. Don’t you mean he sued her for $70,000?

Nope…nope…and nope!

Apparently this man and his attorney—one Stacey Blondes Talbott, practicing in Maryland—decided that this 95-year-old woman not only needed to repay what she had used from the fund, but needed to be punished as well. So they set the amount of their lawsuit at $120,000. And they won.

Rose Newman realized she was going to have to come with considerably more money than she had expended. She went right to work on it, realizing, possibly, from her daughter’s experience what happens to people who dare to say the court is wrong.

And that, at last, was the whole story, right? Rose Newman raised the money, and there was an end to it?

Nope…nope…and nope!

Rose Newman didn’t move quite fast enough for “the man” and his attorney. So said attorney proceeded to threaten Mrs. Newman—if she didn’t hurry…if she didn’t come up with the $70,000, plus, of course, the $50, 000 added by the court for a total of $120,000…rapidly enough to suit the plaintiff and his attorney, then the plaintiff and his attorney would “take everything she had.”

Frightened, Mrs. Newman awaited contact from her unjustly incarcerated daughter, to help her understand what had happened. [You may already know that placing a phone call to a prisoner is impossible. You must wait and hope and pray for the prisoner to call you.] Eventually, the phone call came. There is not, however, a lot that an unjustly incarcerated daughter can do for her frightened, 95-year-old mother.

So, Rose Newman has set about putting together enough of her assets to satisfy the judgement against her. Meanwhile, she lives with the fear that she won’t move fast enough to suit the man’s attorney, and she will lose everything she has—and possibly even be forced into the streets.

And we are back to the question which with which I began: What kind of man does this to a 95-year-old woman?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Wow! Don't Know When Anything Has Pleased Me This Much!

Wear the Colors Black and Blue--So Children Don't Have To!

Forwarded to through a protective mothers organization I belong to. According to Jennifer [remember the story of Holly Collins? Jennifer is her daughter, returned to the US to speak out about the horrors of "Court Appointed Child Abuse"] you are free to forward and re-post on blogs, websites, or wherever.

Thus I am proud to repost this item on this blog. The only comment on my own? Go with God and God go with you.


Aine O’Brocken: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Free-Elsa-Newman

Note: Please direct all questions to: mailto:myrainbowkids@orange.nl
Hello, this is Jennifer. It has taken me a month to get everything up and running. Please excuse the delay.
Today November 1 2008 (All Saints Day) is a very special day for me. I would like to introduce my own organization!CA3 Children Against
Court Appointed
Child Abuse
CA3 is an organization founded by adult children who suffered "Court Appointed Child Abuse" also known as "CA-CA"
Mission Statement of CA3:
1.) CA3 will be the voice of every child who is a victim of "CA- CA" Court Appointed Child Abuse!
2.) CA3 will find a way to hold the family court authorities accountable for their "Failure to Protect" children from abuse.
3.) CA3 is determined to stop the "CA-CA"
Court Appointed Child Abuse "CA-CA"1.) The Court was made aware that there had been abuse to the child.2.) The Court ignored or minimized the abuse to the child.3.) The Court ordered the child to be alone in the hands of her/his abuser.
Are you the victim of "CA-CA" Court Appointed Child Abuse?- Your own parent abused you.
- The court was told about the abuse.
- The court ordered you to continue to go alone with your abuser.
- You were abused again with the court knew and basically approved of the abuse that was happening to you.
- You are traumatized from the abuse from your own parent who was supposed to love you.
- You feel betrayed by the United States justice system who was supposed to protect you.
- You are hurt, betrayed and angry and you do not know where to turn for help.
- You are the victim of "CA-CA!" ** Even though "CA-CA" is not acknowledged by any professional board, kids who suffered this abuse know that it exists and we are giving a name to it!Come join us!
We will help you find your voice and together we will try to heal from the CA-CA, Court Appointed Child Abuse.
Dedication:Dedicated to all the children who are still being abused and for those who did not make it out alive…
Please be advised that CA3 is an organization of traumatized kids who have suffered horrendous abuse and we are trying to find our voice. We already intend on being direct, confrontational and vocal. If you are uncomfortable with what we are saying, then you should go root of the problem and Stop the CA-CA (Court Appointed Child Abuse)
Adult Child Board of Directors:Non-Executive Director: Jennifer TveterProblematic Director: Zachary TveterVocal Director: Position Available
Professional Advisory Board Members:President: Dr. Joyanna SilbergSecretary: Connie ValentineTreasurer: Dara Carin
Supporting Organizations:
Courageous Kids
(We will really appreciate it if your organization will stand behind us.)

http://www.ca3cacaca.blogspot.com/Contact: mailto:caca3cacaca@hotmail.com
The CA-CA stops here

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


BACKGROUND INFORMATION: Her name is Rose Newman; she is the mother of Elsa Newman, unjustly incarcerated at Maryland Correctional Institution for Women at Jessup. Elsa was charged and convicted of a crime committed and admitted to by someone else. This someone else was one Margery Landry. Both Landry and Elsa Newman have said repeatedly that Elsa had nothing to do with the crime. In fact, Elsa Newman was out of the state at the time Landry broke into the house of Arlen Slobodow, Elsa Newman’s then-husband.

One of the most fascinating and at the same time judicially reprehensible aspects of the Elsa Newman case is the fact that Landry refused to plead guilty either to attempted murder or to conspiracy, saying neither charge was valid. The court accepted Landry’s statement and allowed her to plead to lesser charges.

In the trial of Elsa Newman, however, attempted murder and conspiracy were exactly the things she was charged with and convicted of. Thus the jury found Elsa Newman guilty of attempted murder—although she was out of state at the time of the incident, and there was, in fact, no "attempted murder," only an accidental shooting; they also found Elsa Newman guilty of conspiracy, although there was no recognized co-conspirator. Strange….stranger…strangest—to say the least.


The woman you see pictured above is 95 years old. She lives alone and on her own, her husband having died years ago. She had three children, one of whom is Elsa Newman, now unjustly incarcerated. Rose Newman also has another daughter, older than Elsa. And she had a son who died in an accident.

According to Rose Newman herself, in a conversation with me, the loss of her son was devastating, as those of you who have lost a child in death will doubtless attest. However, this grand elderly woman met, some years ago, with a tragedy she says is even more devastating: her younger daughter was accused of a crime committed by someone else; this daughter was convicted—although innocent—and was unjustly imprisoned. In addition, the grandchildren involved in this case were effectively stolen from her, as they were, by default, committed to the custody of a father of whom they had revealed unspeakable sexual abuses, as well as virtually every other form of abuse.

And now? Now comes the persecution part. When Elsa Newman’s sons were born, Rose Newman and her daughter started a fund for each of the children. Nobody—that would be nobody at all—except for these two women, the mother and the grandmother, contributed to the funds for the children. As I understand it, Rose Newman contributed $10,000 per child for each of the first four years of each child’s life, for a total of $80,000. Elsa Newman invested the money for her sons, added some additional monies of her own, and the total climbed.

When Elsa Newman was falsely accused of someone else’s crime, Rose Newman carefully checked with attorneys and the court—and upon being assured that she had the right to do so, based upon the best interests of her daughter’s children—Rose Newman put a portion of the children’s funds toward legal assistance for her daughter. The premise here was that keeping their innocent mother out of prison was in the best interest of the two children.

Now, another disaster has struck Rose Newman. The father of the boys, with the assistance of his attorney, Stacey Blondes Talbott, has sued Rose Newman for the money she removed from the account to use on behalf of her grandsons and for their mother’s defense.

The father’s lawsuit was more than successful. Although Rose Newman had used only $70,000 of the money for the defense of the boys’ mother, the court has ordered her to pay $120,000 to the father, supposedly on behalf of the boys. However, since the father somehow managed to have himself appointed as guardian of the funds, it isn’t too difficult to see who is going to end up with both the original $70,000 and the additional $50,000 added by the courts—minus attorneys fees, of course.

So now we have a 95-year-old woman, frantic and scurrying about, trying to gather $120,000 in order to meet the demands of the father, his attorney, and their friends at court.

Not only that, but apparently the father’s attorney has begun harassing Rose Newman, informing her that if she does not come up with the money—immediately, if not sooner—then she will lose everything she has: home, bank account, investments, everything.

I am only 68, although I sometimes stoop to adding a year or two and calling myself seventy-ish. I own my own home, but my bank account is minimal and I have no investments at all. I can barely imagine what it must be like for a woman of 95 to be so threatened—so terrorized (is that too strong a word?)—by this injustice…by this former son-in-law...by this court…by this attorney.

What is it like to be 95 years old and thus threatened? Are these people trying to turn Rose Newman into a bag lady?

My congratulations to Stacey Blondes Talbott! First you help put Rose Newman’s daughter behind bars, despite her innocence. [What do you mean you had nothing to do with that? Remember that wild race to the police station with your box of files when first you heard of Margery Landry’s crime? Practically fell all over ourselves in the rush, didn’t we?]

Then you defend a man accused by his own sons of unspeakable sexual and other abuses.

Then you take on an elderly woman in a seeming attempt to deprive her of everything she has and turn her into the streets.

I stand in stunned awe of such chutzpah!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Read and Listen: I Dare You

But prepare yourself to listen to some of the most horrendous abuses imaginable--no, these are beyond imagining.



I respect these courageous young people more than I can ever say. Go, Jennifer! And I pray God that those who refused to believe your mother will see the truth at last--through you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Click to play
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Please view the slide slow--site below.
Please sign one or both of the petitions, sites given below.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sign this! Please!

The time has come for action! If you have been following my research and writing about Elsa Newman, now is your chance to join in an attempt to find justice for this woman.

Elsa Newman, if you will remember, is the mother unjustly imprisoned in the state of Maryland. She believed her sons when they disclosed to her that their father had been sexually molesting them. But she was the one who ended up accused of a crime and who was imprisoned--despite the fact that Maryland's highest court decided on appeal that there was nothing to connect Newman to the crime.

If you want to read the petition before you sign, just click on the link "Free Elsa Newman," and your computer will take you to the original petition page. On that page you can read the petition and sign--and you can also leave a message, if you choose to do so.

Here is your opportunity to help right a terrible wrong.

Thank you.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Elsa Newman--Who Will Come to the Rescue?

Who will come to the rescue has been removed from this site.

Friends tell me that it comes across as pro-Palin. OMG! And now I suppose they will blame me in the disastrous eventuality that she actually were to become vice president! OMG.

As desperately as I want vindication and justice for Elsa--all I want for Palin is for her to go back to Alaska and let them deal with her there!

Want to know how I really feel about Palin? Try this site:


HEY! Elsa Newman Is Innocent! What Do You Say About That?

Click to play Elsa Newman and sons--again and always
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Thursday, October 9, 2008

How to Conduct a DCF Investigation in Tampa, Florida, USA


NOTE FROM WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE: All comments by the writer are in bold-face type.

Below and in bold-face, you will find a record of significant items that the investigator and the deputy Sheriff either did not notice, chose not to notice, or did not consider as part of this investigation.

Please note that many of the items below are highly significant in view of the fact that Arlen Slobodow has been accused of sexually molesting his sons, as well as abusing them in a wide variety of other ways: physically, mentally, emotionally, verbally and even spiritually.

So…on to the methodology of investigating an allegation of child abuse by social services folk in Tampa. If you were the employee involved, your venture might go like this:

1. Park your car on the street near the house of the suspected abuser.

2. Slip quietly up the front walk, ring the bell and/or knock timidly, hoping the perpetrator will not answer.

3. When no one responds, return very quickly and quietly to your car.

4. Return to your office.

5. Call home of abuser…leave message: “This is Ms. Marvil, of DCF. I will be stopping at your house on Wednesday afternoon, about 4:00 to investigate an allegation of sexual abuse that has been filed against you. Please acknowledge this call, and verify that you will be available during this time.”

6. When abuser fails to acknowledge your call, you make another call a week later, offering a different time, and once again asking for verification.

7. When abuser again fails to acknowledge your call—after another week has passed-- report to your supervisor that no one seems to be present in the home. Ask if you have the correct address.

These are children who should have been in school. Where were they during this time?

8. Having verified that you do, indeed, have the correct address, and the correct phone number, attempt another contact. This is your third call, and two weeks have passed since your original attempt to schedule an interview with this alleged abuser about his alleged sexual abuse of his two sons. You may now begin to worry a bit about the children involved. You have in hand an abuse report from a local person—right in the Tampa area, whose identity must remain confidential, and yet you cannot seem to locate either the children or the alleged perpetrator.

These are children who should have been out and about with friends. Where were they during this time?

9. Just for the sake of your own peace of mind, you drive past the residence once more. There is no sign that anyone, children or adults, are present in the house. Very Strange. It has now been three weeks since your original attempt to schedule an interview with this man and his abused children.

These are children who surely would have been seen in their swimming pool—or at a window.

10. Finally, after a full month, you call again, and a friendly, pleasant gentleman answers, (said gentleman offering in his tone and attitude no hint of the sociopathic tendencies you might have expected in a pedophile who subjects his own children to a wide variety of sexual and other abuses.) Why of course! He would be happy to have you drop by for an interview.

Please note that a full month has passed since the investigator tried to begin her investigation

A month would more that provide time for signs of sexual abuse to vanish. In addition, bruises or welts—which I understand to be among other abuses that were reported—would have time to heal.

And so the interview—after a month of waiting and wondering if the house is actually occupied--is scheduled as suggested: On a Wednesday afternoon, about 4:00—only a month later than originally requested.

11. At just before 4:00 on the newly-designated Wednesday, meet with Deputy from the Hillsborough Country Sheriff’s office, on the street outside the home of the suspected abuser.

12. Walk boldly to the front door with the Deputy. He has a gun, after all. You can now feel safe—just in case this Arlen Slobodow fellow actually turns out to be a child sexual abuser.

13. Knock firmly on the door, emboldened by presence of said Deputy and the aforementioned gun.

14. Enter house. Interview children in the presence of the father, the accused sexual predator. This, of course, will make certain that the children, with the support of their father will be a simple interview, and they will be sure to disclose any abuses—sexual, physical, mental, emotional or verbal that they have suffered at the hands of this “grow-your-own-victims-style” predator.

[Yes…of course I’m being sarcastic! No way were these children going to speak the truth about their father’s abuse when they knew full well that if they spoke the truth, they would get the s*** beat out of them when the investigator and the Deputy departed.
These kids are manipulated and terrified by this man. There is no way they are going to be able to help themselves. They are too far lost in what might be called a “jungle of child abuse.” If they ever escape, then escape will happen through the efforts of someone else. Only there doesn’t seem to be much of anyone else. Except me—and who the hell is going to believe an obnoxious, little, old, lady retired teacher from the back woods of Washington State?]

Let me emphasize again the difficulty of conducting an investigation after the alleged abuser has interfered with the time factor of the investigation—and caused said investigation to take place a month or more after it was originally planned.

Let me emphasize again that signs of sexual abuse could heal in a month.

Let me emphasize again that the bruises and welts reported by someone in the Tampa area would no longer exist, after a month has gone by.

Let me emphasize again that the month this father bought for himself by whatever means—a trip?
Pretending to be absent? Locked doors and windows to give the appearance of absence?—meant time for him to whip his sons into line and be sure the investigation turned out in his favor.

15. Take note of two or three toys carefully set out, to prove that the children have toys to play with.

What I know that the investigator did not know, is that these children are allowed to have virtually no toys. Toys they receive from their mother are routinely broken because “These are not good toys. They come from ‘bad Mom.’”
I know also that there are two drawers of toys—one which the father calls “good toys,” which can be used in his particular form of sexual abuse. These toys will fit easily into a child’s anus, as the father bites or otherwise assaults the child’s penis.
The other drawer contains “bad” toys—gifts from Mom or toys which are not useful to a father bent on sexually using his sons.

16. Take note of the television, carefully turned to age-appropriate children’s programming.

These children are seldom, if ever, permitted to watch television. It always goes on if someone from social services is scheduled to visit, however

17. Take note of food in the kitchen and in the refrigerator, to prove that the children are adequately fed.

Yes…there is plenty of food in the house. Yes…there is plenty of food in the refrigerator and the pantry and other storage places. What the investigator does not know and has no way to learn, however, is that there are times when this father takes great delight in seating himself and one of the boys at the table with a full and tasty meal—while the other boy will actually face a plate with perhaps a single French fry and a drop of catsup—or a single bean, which is all he will be allowed to eat that night.

18. Note the clean house as well as the number of bedrooms—to prove that the children have satisfactory surroundings, and each have their own room.

Of course the house is clean. What kind of man do you think this is? Child sexual abuse in unclean surroundings is no fun at all. And unless the area is clean, he cannot use it as a suitable background for snapshots and videos of child pornography.

19 . Ask the children a few questions: Does your father ever punish you? You know the difference between good touch and bad touch. Does anyone ever touch you with a bad touch? Do you always have plenty of food? Is the house always nice and clean like this? Do you like to play with your toys? What are your favorite TV programs?

20. Listen carefully to the children’s answers and record them.

Child #1: Sometimes he punishes me by making me go to my room and stay there for a while. Then he comes to my room and talks to me about why whatever I did is wrong.

Child #2: That’s right. Sometimes he punishes me by making me go to my room and stay there for a while. Then he comes to my room and talks to me about why whatever I did is wrong.

Child #1: Oh, yes. I know the difference between good and bad touch.

Child #2: Oh, Yes. I know the difference between good and bad touch.

Child #1: Oh, no. Nobody ever touches me with bad touch.

Child #2: Oh, no. Nobody ever touches me with bad touch.

Child #1: Yes, we always have all the food we want.

Child #2: Yes, we always have all the food we want.

Child #1: Oh, yes. Our house is always clean.

Child #2: Yes…our house is always clean.

Child #1: Yes. We have lots of toys. And we like to play with them.

Child #2: Yes. We have lots of toys. And we like to play with them.
Child #1: I don’t really have a favorite. I like cartoons.

Child #2: I don’t really have a favorite, either. I like cartoons, too.

Notice the similarities in the answers provided by the children. Could these answers be the product of forced memorization?

These similarities are quite obvious here in my theoretical presentation of the answers. My purpose here is to assist you in noticing that the same almost uncanny similarities appear in the investigator’s report. Could these children have been coached? Could they have been made to memorize responses? Are they afraid, in front of their father, to vary from the memorized script he has prepared for them?

16. Say good-bye to the alleged pedophile and the children. Return to your office and write the following report:

Child protective investigator met with Hillsborough Deputy Lavallee who wrote Report #06-182223. As child protective investigator and [Deputy] arrived to…residence a van pulled up dropping off one of the sons. Family friend stated she took some kids to Adventure Island and was dropping off [child].

Face-to-face with father, Arlen. Father stated he resides in the home with his two sons. Currently [the other child] is at a friend’s house for a sleepover. Father agreed to pick up [child] and bring him to the home for interview. Re: allegations. Family has lived in Florida for about three years. They previously lived in Maryland & Washington D.C. Father stated that biological mother, Elsa is currently serving a 20 year sentence for conspiring to commit murder against him & accused him of sexually abusing their two sons.

Notice that this father—who has been accused of sexual abuse by his sons themselves, rather than by the mother—neatly links the unjust imprisonment to the claim of child abuse and ties the two ideas into one tidy little package, although the two have nothing to do with each other. Notice here, as well, that Elsa Newman has never been the one who reported abuse. Doctors have reported. Police have reported. Friends, acquaintances, neighbors have reported. Teachers have reported. The children’s guardian ad litem—their attorney—reported. The head of the supervised visits center reported— during a time when Arlen Slobodow was allowed only supervised visits.

Father stated mother had her best friend...

This is blatant falsehood. In the first place, Margery Landry was a family friend, rather than just the mother’s friend. In the second place, Elsa Newman, the mother of the two boys, knew nothing of Landry’s plans. Newman was trying every possible avenue of working within the system. Landry was the one who decided, on her own, to step outside the system.

...try to kill him in front of his children in 2002. He was shot twice in the leg.

Further, Landry had no intention of and made no attempt to try to kill him. Landry had a gun because she had previously been assaulted by Slobodlow and was afraid of him. It seems that Slobodow saw the gun when Landry apparently tried to pull him away from his son, whom she believed him to be actively sexually abusing at the time.

Slobodow tried to turn the gun on Landry. During their scuffle it discharged, and he was struck by one of the two bullets Landry had loaded in the clip. Burn marks on his hand seem to indicate that he may actually have shot himself. Although there were both entrance and exit wounds, Slobodow’s pajama bottoms, covered with blood, had no sign of bullet holes. I guess Landry was right about his state of undress—nude from the waist down.

Another blatant falsehood: although one son—the son in bed with him—may have witnessed this incident of accidental shooting, the other did not.

Yet another item of note: Had Elsa Newman known what was going on, she would never have allowed a gun in the same house with her children.

Father stated that out-of-state abuse allegations were unfounded and

No, out-of-state abuse reports were NOT unfounded. Abuse reports had been made by such authorities as Dr. Jill Scharff, who was the treating psychiatrist for the boys for nearly a year—and who filed an abuse report. Others who filed reports included doctors, teachers, police, the GAL—or attorney for the children—and others.

Father stated he has no criminal record history.

Slobodow’s claims that he had no criminal record in Maryland are false. He had been accused of assault by Margery Landry, and he had more than once violated protective orders taken out by Elsa Newman to protect herself and her sons from this violent father.

Father states he has full custody5 of both boys.

No, Slobodow does not have full custody. He has physical custody by virtue of the fact that his ex-wife is unjustly imprisoned. Since the criminal trial interfered with family court hearings, she was never deprived of custody. The two parents actually share legal custody. In addition, Newman has religious custody, which means that the father should raise his sons as either conservative or orthodox Jews. This he refuses to do.

and is court-ordered to take the boys three times per year to visit mother in prison in Maryland. Father stated sexual abuse allegations all began after divorce/custody issues began. Family has a Maryland appointed [guardian ad litem], Mr. Alan town….

[One child] stopped counseling about 6 months ago (Dr. Mark Prang, Psychologist),

Father stated both children are doing very well in school

The boys may be said to be doing well in school if one ignores such things as wild fluctuation in grades over a period of time: anything from A’s to B’s to C’s to D’s— or if an investigator does not notice that one boy turns himself virtually into a recluse during his first period class, a clear sign that something is bothering him.
Might it be that sexual abuse just before he leaves home each morning would cause such behavior?

& he has no concerns for their well being at this time. Father stated children’s pediatrician is Michael Gaynor.

Father stated there are no court restrictions as far as him taking the children out of state.

I believe this is untrue. I believe Slobodow was not supposed to remove the children from the Maryland/DC areas—but he did, anyhow.

The children were born in Washington D.C. But family lived in Maryland then moved to Florida. Both children went to Essrig Elementary.

L. moved to Muller Magnet School & H. went to Ben Hill for one year then Williams M.S.

Notice the frequent changes in schools the boys attended. Such changes are typical of an abusive parent who does not want teachers to have an opportunity to observe a child or children over an extended period of time.

NOTE [from DCF investigator]: While investigator was conducting the interview father contacted G.A.L. attorney Alan Town by phone who requested to speak to investigator. Investigator advised a current abuse report has been received in Florida and department is aware of on-going history with family. Investigator advised he will be contacted at a later date as collateral.

Interesting timing for this call. Could it have been pre-arranged so the GAL—the attorney supposedly looking out for the children’s interests—would have been forewarned and available to take a phone call and become involved in the investigation at this time?

NOTE [from investigator], F/F with one child. Child stated he is 10 years old in 4th grade at Muller M.S. Child stated he lives with brother, father, 2 geckos & 1 hamster . He takes care of the hamster and his brother takes care of the 2 geckos.

All these pets seem to have died sudden, horrible and inexplicable deaths. The hamster was crushed behind a dresser. One of the geckos was also crushed. I don’t know what happened to the other gecko, but he seems also to have been disappeared. This is typical of what happens to the pets of an abused child or children.

Investigator established [understanding of] good and bad touch. Re: allegations—child denied any type of bad touch by father or anyone else.

On the other hand, before the boys left Maryland and before their mother was unjustly imprisoned, they had disclosed abuse not only to their mother, but to a variety of other people, including Dr. Jill Scharff, who actually reported the abuse.

Child stated he likes Florida a lot. He stated the weather isn’t as cold as Maryland. Child stated he likes playing on the computer, playing with his hamster or going swimming in his pool. Child stated he has a lot of friends who come over to his house or he goes to their house. He stated he has family like his paternal grandparents who live in Florida and come to visit them. Discipline – Child stated father tells him to go to his room for a while then he will come in his room and talk to him about why whatever he did was wrong. Same for brother. Child presented as an articulate white male with no visible marks of abuse.

Well damn! Of course there were no visible marks of abuse! This father had a month’s warning of the pending investigation! In addition to that, I find it difficult to believe that this investigator would have looked for blood in the underwear from rectal bleeding…or for bite marks on genitals…or for rash on the buttocks…or whatever else would testify to sexual abuse. The hardest abuse in the world to prove seems to be abuse by a member of the victim’s family. A neighbor accused as Arlen Slobodow has been accused would find himself quickly imprisoned and the abused children placed in the custody of their mother.

Child was polite & answered all questions. Child’s facial expressions made an impression to investigator that he has been through this type of questioning numerous times.

Or that he was hiding the truth, for fear of his abusive father’s wrath.
Or perhaps he really had been through it many times, as this allegedly pedophile father had taken them through repeated simulated interviews.

Somehow I have a picture in my mind of this man setting his two sons on a couch and seating himself in front of them with a coffee table between him and them. On the coffee table is a knife—a very sharp knife.

And somehow I can hear him saying, “Boys,”—only he would use their names—“Boys, you see this knife? You see how sharp this is? There’s a woman coming to talk to you sometime soon. We need to be sure to have the right answers for this woman, so I don’t have to use this knife on any portion of your anatomy, if you see what I mean?”
And I can see two young heads bobbing vigorous and terrified assent, clearly aware of what portion of their anatomy Daddy Dearest has in mind.

“So let’s practice a little. Why is this woman coming to see us?”

“H” responds first. “I dunno.”

“L” follows. “Mom has been telling bad stuff about you again.”

“Ahhhhh,” says Daddy Dearest. “L” has the right answer.” His hand moves a little closer to the knife. “Now…the woman will probably ask you about good touch and bad touch. Do you know the difference between good touch and bad touch?”

“Yes, sir,” say the two in unison.

And on and on the questioning goes, with the knife staring the two boys square in the eye, hour after hour or perhaps day after day and week after week—until Daddy Dearest is sure that they have the answers he wants ready on the tips of their tongues.

Not only did this alleged abuser take them through how to talk, but he also worked with them on how to draw. He would take them to the basement and have them draw pictures: bad pictures of “bad mom,” and nice pictures of “dad.”

F/F with other child. Child stated he is 12 years old in 7th grade at Williams M.S. He stated he lives with father, one brother, 3 geckos and one hamster. He stated he takes care of the geckos. Investigator established [understanding] of good and bad touch. Re: allegations – child denied any type of bad touch by father or anyone else.

Child stated all this must be connected to his mother who is “kinda weird.”

RED FLAG! RED FLAG! RED FLAG! This not what Daddy Dearest has told him to say (which, of course, I know, but the investigator would not have known). It is hedging on the part of the child. Does this kid perhaps hope that the investigator will pick up on the red flag and ask some questions about what he means when he says his mom is “kinda” weird? If so, the investigator missed an opportunity. Her miss could have been a deadly mistake for these children.

He stated he has asked his mother in the past why she does these types of things but she never answered him.

Another red flag! Having taught 7th graders for years before I retired, I can say unequivocally that this is an unusual turn of phrase for a kid in 7th grade: “…why she does these types of things

Child stated she has said that his father does all kinds of things that he hasn’t.

Actually, it was the children themselves who made these disclosures of abuse—to a treating psychiatrist, Dr. Jill Scharff, who then reported the abuse; to a police officer who interrogated them for hours in an attempt to force them to recant—and who was finally successful; to a police officer who escorted one of the boys to a restroom, but who said nothing, as well as to many others.

Child says he likes living in Florida because it isn’t cold.

The truth is that when the children lived in Maryland this child loved winter sports such as ice skating.

He stated he has a lot of friends that he spends time with either he goes to their house or they come to his house. He stated his grandparents who live in Florida come to visit and spend time with them. He stated he likes to play video games, tag outside with friends at night or use the computer. Discipline- child stated his father will make him go to his room for a while then he’ll come back and talk to him about it. He stated if that doesn’t work, his father will ground him by not allowing him to play with his video games for about a week or two. Same for his brother.

He stated that his brother gets punished more than he does.

Red flag! If one child is being “punished” more than another, this is one of the signals teachers and others required by law to report abuse of children are taught to watch for.

Again, please notice the similarities in the responses of the two boys, as recorded by the investigator.

He thinks it’s because he [the other child] is just younger. Child’s facial expression made an Impression to investigator that he has been through this type of questioning numerous times.

Sure has—during practice sessions with Daddy Dearest.

Residence is a 4 BD/2BA home with no visible hazardous conditions, adequate food & furnishing. Both children have their own bedrooms.

And you will never notice that as soon as you depart, the toys are put away or broken, especially any that might be gifts from their mother…the television is turned off...the computer goes back on, so the father can go back to work on his child pornography collection…the doors and windows are locked…the food disappears to be doled out at the whim of the father.

How in the name of heaven does anybody prove anything about a man like this?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Although Snopes says online petitions are virtually worthless, I can tell you one thing this one will do: IT WILL ENCOURAGE ELSA NEWMAN, the Maryland mother who now sits in prison while her sons remain in the hands of their abusive father.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Please sign this petition


If you care at all about the very problem I have been writing about, civil/family courts that with the help of psychologists unwilling to report abuse or allowing their personal bias to interfere with correct assessment of participants; attorneys that are looking for wins, instead of looking for truth and justice; witnesses that lie; children's attorney's that choose a side and stay on it, regardless of the reality of the abuse a child or children may be suffering; please go to the site above and sign the petition.

You have nothing to lose. The abused children of the United States have everything to gain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another Case of Court-Ordered Child Abuse

Please remember that these photos were not taken by a professional photographer. But if you look closely, you can see where the arrows point--to places where this child's fingernails were cut below the quick, so that the fingers were bleeding when the child walked into the visit with her mother.
Again, remember that these photos were not taken by a professional. Some of the injuries to Sophia can be difficult to see. In this photo notice the bruising around the eye. This kid has a black eye.

Johanna vonGeldern and Sophia Grace:

With These Pictures, We Come to the Story of a Mother Who Must Pay to See the Daughter Born of Her Own Flesh…and of the Three-Year-Old Child Who Pays a Price of Her Own in Order to be Allowed to Spend Time with Her “Mommy"

This is a picture of a younger Sophia, Johanna vonGeldern's little daughter. Notice the rashy, sort-of-bruised scrape on her face, plus the slightly swollen area around her eye. This injury occurred compliments of Sophia's father and Johanna's one-time boy friend.
Here is how the story began:

Once upon a time there was a mother who gave birth to a beautiful little girl. This little girl had a father, too, since that seems to be one of the rules governing how such things must proceed. If a woman wants to have a beautiful little girl like this one, she must also have a man person willing to provide the sperm, so that she can choose one of said sperm, join it to an egg she has produced from her own body, and begin the process of creating the child of her own flesh and blood. The sperm donor has little to do with the process thereafter, although many a sperm donor proves quite adept at disturbing the process.

As a matter of fact, when Bennett Tocci first learned that Johanna was creating a child, he became furious and demanded that she have an immediate abortion. Johanna refused. Tocci’s fury increased and he became more aggressive and threatening: “If you have this baby, plan on spending every dime you’ve got fighting me for custody. I will use my money, my connections and influence to take this baby away from you. I will take you down, Johanna. I will not share ‘my’ child with anyone. My mother will move in with me and raise the baby. I have already talked to my parents about it.”

When Johanna still refused to give in to Tocci’s demands, he began a legal attack beyond belief, suing for paternal rights over the unborn fetus. This suit occurred in Saratoga County, New York, Family Court in March of 2005.

When Johanna was six months pregnant, January 1, 2005, she filed a Domestic Incident Report with the New York State Police, documenting in detail physical abuse, emotional abuse, and repeated threats from Tocci that he would murder the mother of “his” child. That filing is not the only record of the abuses claimed by Johanna. Other documentation exists in the form of witnesses, obstetrician’s records, pediatrician’s records, shelter records and sworn statements.

Sophia Grace was born later in 2005, and by November 9, 2005, Johanna was still living in fear of Bennett Tocci. On that day, she was forced to call 911 after Tocci completely lost control of himself and shoved Johanna repeatedly back and forth across a living room—while Johanna held seven-month-old Sophia in her arms and tried to protect her baby from the abuse being inflicted. A Jackson County Deputy arrived and removed Tocci from the home.

Then came what Johanna terms “a fatal error on my part.” The pastor of her church, a man named Jack Hollis, arrived almost immediately, with a word of advice: Johanna must not press charges against Tocci for the domestic violence, because—among other things—Tocci would then lose his license to teach. It was this advice and Johanna’s decision to follow said advice and refrain from pressing charges that kept the abuse out of legal records. And it was this advice that turned the whole situation around and turned it against Johanna vonGeldern.

After the 9-1-1 call when Sophia was just seven months old, Johanna allowed Tocci to have daily visitation with the baby. But the results were unexpected. The visits had a clear negative impact on the child. Sophia began hitting herself in the head. She began screaming for no apparent reason. She began crying if someone said the word “no.” She demonstrated an extreme fear of men. Her reaction to any form of confinement was dramatic. And Sophia became hysterical at the mere sight of Tocci’s parents.

Then came further details—more clues that there was something terribly wrong with Sophia’s emotional and physical well being. Every visit brought some new negative: neck injuries; leg injuries; bruises; sullen, withdrawn moods; stretched labia; specks of blood in the child’s diaper; and a persistent anal rash and redness. Johanna was doing her best to cooperate with the Tocci’s. One of the major problems for mothers trying to protect their child or children is that the mother is sometimes literally unable to realize the true horror of what is happening to her offspring. Despite what would seem in retrospect to be obvious signs of abuse, this was part of Johanna’s mind-set: Nobody, but nobody did the things she suspected Tocci and his family were doing . Did they?

Before long, Bennett Tocci began stalking Johanna. Over the next few months, he entered her house unannounced, tampered with her belongings and destroyed her mailbox. The final straw for Johanna, however, was when Bennett Tocci returned Sophia to Johanna with the entire side of her face bruised, scraped and raw.[ See the photo above.] The child was only eleven months old. Tocci handed the child, in her car seat, to Johanna; then he turned and walked away without a word. Johanna looked at the baby and asked, “What happened to her face?” From several feet away, Tocci half turned and said, “Oh…she fell. She’s fine.” And he got into his car and drove away.

Through that incident, Johanna came at last to realize that she needed to go far beyond what she was already doing. In the middle of the night, she moved herself and her daughter to a domestic violence shelter, driving two states away. Behind her she left everything of life as she knew it—except for her baby. She left a beautiful home, her teaching position, her church, her friends and all of life as she had known it.

Since there was nothing in Johanna’s background to give Bennett legal grounds to sue for custody of Sophia, he began to search for a back door to custody. To date, he has “manipulated” she says, people in high places in the state of Florida—Jackson County. He has persuaded these people to prosecute her on “bogus criminal charges.”

“As a consequence,” says Johanna, “of his legal warfare and criminal charges, I am not able to work in my career as an elementary teacher. I am only allowed four visits a month—which I pay for—and I also pay my ex-boyfriend for gas money to transport her to and from visits. It costs me close to $500.00 a month to see my own daughter.

No more than four months after Johanna made her escape from Tocci’s grip, his most devastating act of abuse occurred. He managed to create a criminal charge against Johanna, based on a complaint filed by Tocci’s friend, Jackson County Deputy Rusty Booth. The charge read to this effect: “…violating a court order on March 5, 2006…removing child from jurisdiction contrary to a court order.”

However, there was no court order until the created and illegal “order”suddenly appeared on June 20, 2006. Johanna has a letter stating that her entire family was at the Domestic Violence Shelter in March. Even if there had been a court order in place, leaving for safety reasons is an exception to the law.

But it was not over. On August 15, 2007, Johanna was arrested on this trumped-up “violating a court order” charge, near the shelter where she and Sophia had been staying. The police threw her into the car, as if she were a hardened criminal. She spent the night in a freezing cold cell, hungry and sobbing as if her heart would break over the pain of not knowing what was happening to her daughter. Every breath she took was agony about the pain and fear she imagined the child must be experiencing. Johanna had had no opportunity to say good-by to Sophia or try to explain what was happening.

The police were no help. Detectives advised Johanna that the baby was hysterical and inconsolable and wanted to know if “she had had a nap,” as if a simple thing like a nap would solve the problem of a mother who had suddenly been disappeared from her sight. Johanna tried to explain that the hysteria and panic were quite natural for a child who was still nursing, and who had never been away from her mother for more than four hours at a time, never left with a sitter or a stranger.

Suddenly, like some lost soul, the child was ripped away from her mother and placed in a foster home with total strangers. And the following day, Sophia was handed over to Johanna’s abuser—who was also Sophia’s abuser.

At the time that Johanna left Florida, paternity of Sophia had not even been legally established. No custody order existed. Johanna seems to have been well within her legal rights—as set forth in Section 742 of Florida Statutes to maintain custody and control over her daughter. Yet Johanna feared that Bennett Tocci would follow through on his continual threats to use family money and family influence, as well as “mob connections” he seemed to be constantly boasting about—to hunt Johanna down and kill her as his solution to the problem of gaining control of Sophia.

The first death threat was made in August, 2004, when Tocci sneered at Johanna, “I’ve got our solution. If you are out of the way, I can have total control of her.”

In addition to that charge of violating a court order that didn’t exist, Johannna was to be arrested again—a mere three days before her first scheduled contact with Sophia in over two months—this time for “making a false report of child abuse.”

There was nothing false about the report. Johanna was deathly concerned for her daughter’s safety. Her report was made the day that Sophia was handed over to Tocci.

On that day, Johanna called the abuse hotline, as directed by her attorney, and made a simple, truthful statement about her concerns for Sophia’s safety. Johanna has a sworn statement, taken from a friend, Ruth Hansen, by the lead detective, Rusty Booth, in which Hansen stated that Tocci had been violent, both with Johanna and the baby, during 2005. Hansen further stated that Tocci had been taking baths with Johanna’s infant daughter when Johanna was not at home. It was Hansen’s opinion that these “baths” had caused the baby to “act strangely.”

In December, 2006, before Johanna felt forced to flee with her daughter, the pediatrician’s report shows that Sophia had anal irritation and an anal tear. On the basis of that report, DCF conducted a superficial investigation, concluding that since Sophia’s hymen was intact, Johanna could not be telling the truth. Thus Rusty Booth and the state prosecutor, with the help of DCF, proceeded to charge Johanna with “false reporting of abuse.”

Bennett Tocci is a charming, gregarious elementary school teacher. Behind closed doors, however—where Johanna and Sophia know him well—there is a Tocci that few people have met.

This Bennet Tocci is violent, with a history of drug and alcohol abuse, and has been arrested for driving while intoxicated. He has attempted suicide and displayed impulsive and erratic behavior. He has a special method of achieving climax during sex—the only way he can achieve climax—by fantasizing that he is overpowering and sodomizing a young girl.

Also extremely distressing to Johanna are Tocci’s bouts of paranoid delusion and manic mood swings. During one such episode, Tocci’s father explained to Johanna, “When Bennett gets upset like this, he doesn’t respond because he can’t hear anyone talking to him.” The father’s solution to the problem was to “grab Bennett by the elbow and whisk him out of the house whenever his son ‘lost it’.”

Likewise, there are other examples of mental difficulties in the household. The father, Anthony Tocci, is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and his mother, Natalie, with clinical depression. Both control their illnesses with medication. Two of Bennett Tocci’s uncles committed suicide within the last three years.

Such is the story of Sophia Grace, three-year-old battered child, trapped in her father’s attempt to steal the child from her mother. Legal files show that since Sophia was handed over to her abuser, she is withdrawn, she hits herself in the head, she throws her stuffed puppy on the floor and punishes it, she is emotionally shut down. During visits, she plays a game where her stuffed bunny is sad because he can’t find his mommy.

The first time Johanna managed to see Sophia after two and one-half months, she bent down close to the child and asked the question that choked her throat with tears, “Do you know who I am?” Sophia nodded and smiled softly, but at the same time she appeared dull and lifeless. It is as if, says Johanna, “the sweet, curious, vibrant, joyous little girl I raised has been reduced to a hollow shell.” During visits, Johanna adds, “she revives in my presence, and I catch glimpses of the pure spirit inside her. It is unforgiveable what her ‘father’ and his parents are doing to this child.”

For nearly a year, this problem has been dragged out—intentionally, Johanna believes—by opposing counsel. Tocci is so intent on keeping Johanna out of her daughter’s life that he even found a way to have the judge who granted Johanna visitation removed from the case.

Today, visits consist of Johanna's reminding Sophia how much she is loved. During visits Johanna showers the child with tender care, hoping against hope to make up for some of the tragedy Sophia endures with her father. Johanna shows her photographs, feeds her homemade cookies and gives her homemade cards. And all the time these things are going on, Johanna is asking herself, “What kind of a father wants his child to suffer like this?”

Every visit closes with the same question from Sophia. “Do you have to go bye-bye? I want to stay with you!” How do you explain to a three-year-old where her mommy went—and why? And besides, Johanna is not allowed to discuss any facts about the case, so she must simply smile and pretend everything is fine—when both of them know their hearts are broken.

Sophia was born a free citizen of the United States, but the United States “justice” system has failed to protect her and her mother. Bennett Tocci has filed for sole custody. Johanna has hired five attorneys to combat attempts to convict her of crime. She is still waiting for some of the charges to be dismissed, so she can be Sophia’s mommy once again. She has spent her life savings. She has been forced to file bankruptcy.

And Sophia? She continually cries and asks when she can go to “mommy’s house.”

If we heard about such legal contortions as this in another country, we would shake our heads and declare, “What a shame! What a damn shame!” But it is not taking place elsewhere. It is taking place in the United States of America. It is happening to thousands of women and children. And it is the United States of America and our justice system that is the subject of the head shaking and the shame.

Where is the person—or persons—with authority who will put an end to this kind of gender bias in the courts? An end to this torment of mothers and children?