Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Having said that, I must admit that I am not necessarily in such excellent condition as I begin to read it. If I hadn't believed Elsa Newman before--And I do. You know I do. I don't think I've ever doubted her.--I would believe her after just beginning to read this book by Leora N. Rosen and Michelle Etlin.
From the first page of the first chapter, where the authors write about Dr. Elizabeth Morgan* through five case histories--which I have read-- through a discussion of "The System"--which I am just beginning and on to "A Proposed Solution," the two writers are taking me on a journey that makes me want to shed tears... makes me want to shout denunciation of a system that has allowed this to happen...makes me to march into some office, somewhere and read the riot act to somebody. Only I would not have the vaguest idea where to begin.
All I can think of doing is just what I am doing: writing on the net, in blogs and on my own website, as well as any other website that will listen to me. **
Anybody out there got any other ideas?
This thing of Elsa Newman--as well as the thousands of other mothers and children who are suffering like her and her two sons--has got to come to light somehow.
Until I started reading this book, I guess it didn't hit me, just how many mothers are suffering because they are committed to protecting their children who are abused and how many children are being abused in this fashion. At that, I suspect the full reality has not even begun its descent on me yet.
Thousands of women!
Multiple thousands of children!
What have we come to in this country, that we allow this?
What is our legal system about, that it allows our children to suffer and not only allows, but assists in their suffering?
Where are our social agencies, the ones supposed to protect these children?
Of such agencies, Michelle Etlin wrote to me:
"They should 'read the rights' to any mother who approaches social services with her children, if those children say they have been abused by their father or step-father:
"You have the right to remain silent; you have the right to retract your complaint and walk out of here without us doing an investigation; you have the right to stop telling us what your children have described; you have the right to pretend it didn't happen. If you choose not to exercise those rights, anything and everything you say -- and even things you don't actually say but we think you believe -- can and will be used against you in a court of law. You will be treated worse than a convicted criminal, without being charged with any crime, so you cannot hope to prepare a defense. You have no right to appointed counsel or to effective counsel or any other kind of counsel, no right against self-incrimination, no rights at all except you have the right to keep this all to yourself and flee from the tender ministrations of the Department of Children's Services because believe us, you have walked into a snare when you set foot in our offices."
That is what we have come to in this country.
That is what our legal system is about.
There is where our social service agencies live and work.
I am beyond totally disgusted. Far, far beyond.
*Remember Dr. Morgan? She's the physician and surgeon who went to prison rather than tell where her daughter had gone; she believed the child had been raped by the child's father, refused to allow the father to see the child and was sentenced to jail until she chose to tell where the child was.
**Some won't listen. I attempted to post on one site that said I would have to use fictitious names in such a story, if I wanted to publish on their site. Duh! What good is a story about Elsa Newman, if I can't say her name?
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Source: Pediatrician; Head of Child Abuse Unit at his hospital; Professor, Harvard Medical School; served on Presidential Commission on Child Safety.
“Elsa’s children are well cared for by mother….Their father must be delusional…I had no choice but to report the father’s abuse.”
Source: Treating psychiatrist. Treated both children for about a year.
“In 400 emails to me[over a period of 3 years while I helped Elsa pro bono preceding the Landry crime] you’d think I’d have seen something from Elsa that she planned a crime. Nothing. She never even had a bad word to say about [her then-husband].”
Source: Robert Juceam is resident in Fried Frank's New York office. He joined the Firm in 1966, became a partner in 1974 and of counsel to the Firm on March 1, 2006. From 1995 to 2001, he chaired the litigation department in the Washington, DC office.
“In the hours and hours of time spent with Elsa, she never had a bad word about [her ex-husband]. I think I would know who’s a criminal. I was a correctional officer for years.”
Source: Stephanie Peebles, Maryland Department of Corrections
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I’m trying, in the interest of complete truth, to dig deeply into this story of the Elsa Newman case. And today, in the process of my search, I learned something new and completely unexpected.
During Elsa Newman’s first trial on the “conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree” or whatever they called it, Katherine Winfree showed a series of slides. These slides, as I understand it, were intended to provide the jury with views of the bedroom where the then-husband of Elsa Newman was asleep with his youngest son at the time Margery Landry broke into the house. If my informants are correct, the child was nude; the father was nude from the waist down.
Oh…well…the father said the child had had difficulty sleeping and had come and crawled into Dad’s bed.
Not an uncommon occurrence, you say? I agree. Many a child crawls into a parent’s bed in the night, whether from difficulty sleeping or to find safety after a nightmare.
But why was the child naked?
Why was his father naked from the waist down?
And the thing I just learned today: the child’s shoes and socks were on the floor beside the bed. They were visible in one of the slides shown by prosecutor Katherine Winfree in Elsa Newman’s first trial. You remember…the slides I mentioned above? the ones of the crime scene.
So what this father is telling us is that his younger son was unable to sleep that night. Thus the boy got up from his bed…removed his pajamas…put on his shoes and socks…walked to his father’s room…removed those shoes and socks…and crawled into the bed where his father lay, only partly clothed.
The question: WHY were the shoes and socks beside the bed? I can see only one explanation. And I don't like it at all.
- He said that Elsa and Margery had discussed killing Elsa's then-husband.
- But he also said that Elsa had discussed killing her children, so that the then-husband, who was a "criminal," would be blamed and would go the prison and get what he deserved.
First, I cannot see any way in heaven, earth or hell that Elsa Newman would have even thought of killing either or both of her children. It simply doesn't make sense. This is a wommon with a deep and forever love for her kids. Nope. This one doesn't compute. Not at all.
However, the attorney, Friedman, also said--in the same trial--that the two wommon planned to kill Elsa's husband.
Now folks, I'm not an attorney; I'm a retired schoolteacher. But I can look at these two things and see that you can't have it both ways. Friedman can't assert both things in his testimony during her trial: 1) she was planning to kill her then-husband; or 2) she was planning to kill one or both of the children and blame her then-husband.
So...what is wrong with this testimony? The two segments of testimony are mutually exclusive. There is no way Elsa could have accomplished both of those things Friedman said she had planned.
And what is the truth? Elsa did neither of these things.
THERE IS NO WAY A MOTHER WITH THIS DEEP A LOVE FOR HER CHILDREN WOULD HAVE PLANNED TO KILL THEM. HUH-UH. NEVER. NOT EVER. NO WAY!
And as for the supposed conspiracy against her then-husband, I dare to believe that Maryland's highest court was correct in throwing out the case against her on that alleged conspiracy. And right there is where it should have ended.
WHY didn't it?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Oh, yes...there have been investigations...superificial ones.
Oh, yes...there have been investigations...in the presence of the pedophile father.
Oh, yes...there have been investigations....
But never--to the best of my knowledge, and I think I would have been told by this time--an investigation in the "safe, neutral setting" that is required by routine law inforcement practice and social work practice.
Never such an investigation.
WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?
Monday, June 16, 2008
Fact: Elsa Newman is in prison.
Fact: Her children live far away from her. Their father has custody.
Fact: Elsa loves her children.
Fact: Elsa is worried about her children.
Fact: Elsa believes those children are being abused--sexually, physically, mentally and emotionally--by the custodial parent.
Fact: Part of the prosecution case in Elsa Newman's trial was a 9-1-1 tape in which her estranged husband stated that Elsa had sent someone to try to kill him...
Fact: There is no way on earth he could have known that, even if it were true. Which it isn't.
Fact: I'm left scratching my head in my best I-don't-get-it fashion. The question is this: How could prosecutor Katherine Winfree have used evidence that made a lie of itself?
And then the next logical question: How could that evidence possibly have been successful?
Fact: Elsa Newman is in prison.
Friday, June 13, 2008
If you've been reading this blog at all and would like to share in something truly beautiful, click on the youtube address below. You will hear a variety of singers perform this song/prayer.
And if you will, as you listen, send peace and positive energy or prayer or however you phrase it on your spiritual path--for Elsa Newman and her sons.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Our Augie has a question for the "why" blog. In fact, I would like to ask several questions on the behalf of Augie.
Augie is a rescue who came to us from an organization in Seattle, Washington, who came upon him when some s******* threw him out of a moving car into traffic.
Augie is both deaf and blind.
Now that you know those things, here are the questions our Aug-Dog wants to ask:
1. I blind, completely blind, and if I can see that there is something seriously wrong in the case of Elsa Newman and her sons, why can't peoples see it?
2. I deaf, completely deaf, and if I can hear the angels crying over Elsa and those boys, why 'a ole judge an' peoples in 'a state a' Maryland not able 'a hear 'em an' help 'at wommon an' 'em kids.
3. Even though I blind and deaf, my sniffer work very well, an' I wanna know w'y 'a whole country not smell 'at 'ere sumpin' rotten inna state a' Maryland.
4. An' I got one more good, solid question: Why 'em Castillo kids dead? Why Elsa's kids inna custody of a nasty pedophile parent? Don't 'em peoples in 'at state...an' 'at county...an' 'at courthouse...an' don't 'at judge an' 'at psychologis' ever learn? Don't laugh! I deaf an' blind, not stupid...an' I know it was the same state...the same county...the same courthouse...the same judge...anna same ole psychologist in both the Newman case anna Castillo case.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I post this so that the questions that follow won't seem too cruel, although somehow I get a better picture of Arsakey running toward his hamster than vice versa. I can't imagine those teensy, short hamster legs working up much speed.
Same with Aitch and the gecko.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
What happened to "Suki," the hamster? Why did a little boy have to tell his mother about the demise of Suki? So sad was this little boy that his mother could virtually "see" his downcast face--even though her only contact with her children is by email or phone? How in the name of heaven does a hamster get "squished" between a bedpost and a wall?
How did a pet gecko meet the same fate--squished?
Just so you know, the killing of pets is typical of the behavior of some pedophile parents. The only reason I know this is that friends of mine had pedophile parents--and talked about how time and again the parent would buy a new pet to please the child--and not long thereafter will kill the pet, in order to assert dominance of the abused child.
Just a question, remember. Just a question.
Monday, June 2, 2008
It seems that I wrote—on more than one blog or website, although I can’t seem to find it now—that there came a time when Elsa had supervised visits. This statement was due to my misunderstanding of material sent to me by one of Elsa’s friends. What I wrote was incorrect. Elsa was never at any time required to have her visits supervised. Apparently her qualifications as a mother were never in question—by anyone.
Another statement Elsa asked me to correct concerns the matter of custody. Let’s see if I can explain this correctly.
--Custody had not been decided, and the custody hearing was still a matter of two weeks or so away.
--Then Marjorie Landry entered the house of the father, when the boys were visiting with him. She shot him. She was arrested. Elsa was arrested.
--The custody hearing was, thus, never held.
--As I understand it, the father of the boys presently has physical custody only because Elsa is in prison.
In 2003, Joan Meier wrote in the JOURNAL OF GENDER, SOCIAL POLICY & THE LAW, "...it is highly unusual for a battered woman in private litigation to be recognized by a court to be sincerely advocating for her children's safety. Rather, her very status as a litigant, a mother , and battered seems to ensure that she will be viewed as, at best, merely self-interested, and at worst, not credible."
I was amazed to read this statement. For so long I have been told that there is a bias in family court--but the bias is toward wommon. Now I read that there is actually a bias against wommon, and I read it in an article by someone who should know.Joan Meier is the executive director of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project at George Washington University Law School.
Is it this bias against wommon which caused such disaster for wommon like Elsa Newman and Amy Castillo? I find that a terrifying thought.