Thursday, December 30, 2004

Another Outrageous Ruling Against Mothers, This Time in Florida

I don't know if anyone heard of this case this week.

But a Florida court overturned a single unmarried mother's decision to put her child up for adoption...even though the child was 3 years old already and has been living with the adoptive parents for three years now; PLUS the sperm donor was in jail at the time of the child's birth for assaulting the child's mother while she was pregnant (probably trying to kill her to avoid paying child support)...

This is SUCH an assault on the basic rights of a mother to make a decision in her child's best interest...

When will this crap end...

Now, of course, the courts gave him Joint Custody with the child's mother, (God only knows where that will end)...this convict having Joint Custody of a three year old whose mother he was in jail for assaulting WHILE SHE WAS PREGNANT NO LESS...THIS CARING FATHER...HE COULD HAVE CAUSED HER TO SPONTANEOUSLY ABORT BY ASSAULTING HER...

YET now he has rights...

How convenient now, he can parade around playing father of the year...He's probably paying no child support, yet has the right to parade around like he's a real father.

What do you want to bet that he's dumping this kid off with someone on his Joint Custody time...

This is one of the most outrageous rulings I've heard of in a long time...

Not just a direct assault on the rights of a child, but a direct assault on every women's right to make decisions as she sees fit for her children as a sperm donor should have NO rights to a child whatsoever, NONE...

Florida, btw, is the state that was court ordering women to advertise for the one-night stand sperm donors of their children in newspapers, BEFORE they would approve adoptions...

It's outrageous...

But keeping in mind that women are the electoral majority in the US, this nonsense will end as soon as enough women want it to...

It's that simple ladies, as soon as we want it to...


EVAN S. Florida Contested Adoption

Challenging Florida Law

Evan was born in May 2001 to unmarried biological parents.

Evan's biological mother was 21-years-old and his biological father was 33-years-old at the time of his birth.

Evan's biological father was charged and convicted of assault against the biological mother during the early weeks of her pregnancy.

H served jail time, was put on two years probation, ordered to attend anger management and counseling for domestic violence offenders, and ordered hospitalization as a result of the assault. Evan's biological mother moved to Florida from Maine to be with her family for the duration of her pregnancy...

Evan's biological mother decided to make a private adoption plan during the last months of her pregnancy, and chose family friends, Dawn and Gene S., to adopt her child. During this time, a search was made for the biological father, and certified legal notice was given to him, naming him as father and informing him of the biological mother's intent to place the baby for adoption with the S's after his birth.

After several unsuccessful attempts to get the biological father to communicate regarding his consent for the adoption, or whether or not he intended to claim paternity, the S's proceeded with the adoption process with the knowledge that his consent would not be required if he did not come forward and fulfill at least one of the consent requirements under Florida law; mainly registering his paternity interest with the Office of Vital Statistics.

This was not done.

Evan was born May 5, 2001 and was placed with the S's on May 7, 2001. The adoption petition was filed with the court on May 9, 2001. The basis for the petition was that the biological mother consented to the adoption and the biological father's consent was not required because he had not established his paternity through a court proceeding and he had not acknowledged that he was the father, had not filed acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics and had not provided support to the mother or the child. A finalization for the adoption hearing was set for August 22, 2001.

On June 26, 2001, the S's were notified by their attorney that the biological paternal grandfather, who is an attorney, was requesting DNA testing. After the realization that the biological father himself had not petitioned for the DNA testing, the S's did not go forward with the DNA testing because there was no order by the court. No DNA testing was ever ordered or completed.

The biological father stated in deposition that he came to the conclusion that he was Evan's biological father in April 2001, a month before Evan was born, and after he received notice of the adoption. Even with this knowledge, he still failed to take the necessary steps to insure his parental rights were protected and to keep his son from being placed in an adoption. The S's made diligent efforts to insure that the biological father had an opportunity to make his wishes known before the petition for adoption was ever filed.

When Evan's biological paternal grandfather received the information that the S's would not voluntarily submit Evan to a DNA test without order of the court, Evan's biological father filed an Answer and Objection to the adoption, and on July 18, 2001, he filed a motion to the court demanding immediate custody of Evan. The S's attorney filed a counter suit, motioning the court that the biological father did not complete any of the Florida statute requirements to be entitled to consent to the adoption, one of which was to file an acknowledgement of paternity with the Office of Vital Statistics.

The finalization of adoption hearing, scheduled for August 22, 2001, was changed to a consent hearing in light of the filings made by the biological father, and at that time, the biological father had still not completed any of the legal requirements to be afforded a right to consent. There was not an immediate ruling made on the consent issue, and the biological father's attorney filed another motion in the meantime to re-open testimony to include new evidence.

The "new" evidence submitted was that the biological father had now filed his name and claimed paternity with the Office of Vital Statistics and then furnished a document to the court. After the hearing was granted and this document was allowed as evidence, the judge made his ruling that the biological father's consent was required for the adoption.

The ruling occurred 33 days after the consent hearing date, whereby none of the consent requirements had been; met at the time.

Evan was nearly 5-months-old before the judge erroneously allowed the biological father to fulfill just this one requirement under Florida law -- registering his paternity with the Office of Vital Statistics -- and allow him to claim himself as Evan's biological father, thereby invoking consent requirement to Evan's adoption that did not previously exist.

The S's attorney then filed a motion to the trial court that the biological father had abandoned the baby by not claiming paternity, not coming forward, and not providing for the biological mother or the child after he was made aware that he was the father through certified notice.

The judge subsequently ruled that it was not abandonment.

New evidence came to light in the form of two separate affidavits that claimed the biological father knew about the pregnancy months before he was served notice and a motion was filed by the S's to re-open testimony, as it would have drastically changed the outcome of the "no abandonment ruling."

It was denied.

The biological father then filed a second motion for immediate custody of Evan and a custody hearing was held in February 2002 and custody was awarded to the S's pending an appeal of the trial court decision, citing it was in Evan's best interest to remain in his bonded home.

A third motion was filed by the biological father to remove custody from the S's and it was denied on the basis of there being no new evidence to support a re-hearing.

A visitation hearing was held in September 2002, and the trial court awarded the biological father one 24-hour overnight visit per month to be supervised at all times by his parents. The first overnight visit was held December 2002. Evan was 19-months-old and had only had three previous visits with this family, and had met the biological father only one time prior to February 2002.

Oral argument was heard by the Florida Court of Appeals on February 26, 2003.

Evan's case challenges the stability of the Florida Putative Father Registry and Florida adoption law, specifically the consent statute, as well as jeopardizes Evan's life-long bond with the S's.

The issues on appeal by the S's were as follows:

The trial court erred in incorrectly applying Florida statutes to determine the biological father's consent was required by finding that the S's had not exercised due diligence in their attempt to obtain biological father's consent, and that the biological mother did not inform the biological father of the pregnancy until 37 days before the birth.

a. The S's did exercise due diligence by sending the biological father a certified letter 37 days before the birth informing him that he had been named as father and that the biological mother intended to place the child for adoption, and when that got no response, they contacted his probation officer several times through their counsel in an effort to get him to respond one way or the other.

The biological mother's failure to inform him earlier than 37 days before the birth did not prevent him from complying with the Florida paternity statute (63.062) affording him consent.

The S's argue that the trial court erred in their interpretation of the Florida consent statute (63.062) by allowing the biological father to comply with the statute by granting a motion to enter "newly discovered evidence" after the consent hearing (this evidence was a copy of the document showing the biological father registered with the Office of Vital Statistics nearly 5 months after Evan was born and 33 days after the consent hearing) months after the petition for adoption was filed.

In actuality this was the new evidence that was allowed after the fact.

The judge essentially "made up" a time limit for the biological father to assert his paternity rights by allowing him this extra time to comply by getting this paper signed. This in effect, sets the stage for any biological father to motion the court to allow him to assert his rights whenever he chooses at some indeterminate time in the future, and for it to be allowed by the trial court…it could have a devastating effect on every adoption where a biological father has not asserted paternity rights, nor come forward to claim or deny the child being placed for adoption.

The biological father's substantive and due process rights were protected and not violated.

The trial court erred in denying the S's motion to present new evidence (2 affidavits) that would show that the biological father knew about the pregnancy months before he was served notice, a fact that should drastically change the outcome of the trial court ruling had it been made known.

The Florida Court of Appeals has upheld the trial court’s ruling that Evan’s biological father’s consent was needed.

Hear My Voice views Evan's case as a challenge to putative father registries across the nation in setting this horrible precedent.

The Florida Court has required an agreement involving Evan's biological mother and father, who live in two different states. The Florida Court has ruled that Evan's custody will be divided between both his biological mother and father with no legally protected contact between Evan and his adoptive parents, Dawn and Gene Scott, the only parents he has ever known.

Evan has been denied due process by the court and no hearing has ever been held to address his best interest. The details of Evan's transfer from his life-long family are pending.

Ironically, on the same day that the agreement was presented, Florida's Governor, Jeb Bush, signed a bill establishing a paternity registry where men who believe they have fathered a child can enroll in order to be contacted if the child is offered for adoption.

This law will not affect the Court's decision to remove Evan from his family.


Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Media Feeding Frenzies Directed Against Women

I thought this was a very interesting story about how mothers who murder their children are highlighted within the media but fathers virtually ignored...even though the statistics show us that FATHERS are more likely to murder children then mothers...

Second, after fathers are stepfathers or boyfriends, other MEN who are frequently the perpetrators of murders of children...that women get arrested for as accessories...

Once again women in their roles as mothers being degraded by the media and thus making it easier to make public policies harmful to women based upon these media 'feeding' frenzies...


While Murderous Moms Shock, Homicidal Dads Ignored


By Julie Ostrowski

Andrea Yates faces life in prison after enduring a frenzy of media coverage.

The weekend following her sentencing, newspapers reported that at least two fathers killed or tried to kill their children.

They received scant public attention.


The weekend after Andrea Yates was convicted of drowning her five children in a bathtub and sentenced to life in prison, authorities say at least two men killed or tried to kill their families of four or more children.

These cases, however, garnered fleeting attention, underscoring the difference in how the media treats mothers and fathers accused of killing their children.

On Saturday, the same day the story on Yates' life sentence hit the newspapers, two New York City tabloids ran articles about killer dads. On page two of the New York Daily News, opposite the Yates story on page three, was a piece headlined: "Dad's rage nearly fatal: Family narrowly escapes fire sparked by tax woes." The story went on to explain that a Brooklyn man, allegedly distraught over owing money to the Internal Revenue Service, became intoxicated, barricaded his front door, and tried to set his house on fire with his wife and four children, ages 9, 8, 6, and 2, all inside. Police arrived in time to save the family after a call from the man's wife.

Buried on page 16 of the New York Post was a tiny, three-paragraph Associated Press report out of Oregon under the headline: "Family of six dead in murder-suicide." The first paragraph read: "A father apparently shot his four children and wife to death in their bedrooms, then used the rifle to kill himself, authorities said."

And while the Yates case was generating extensive coverage, the media hardly noted the case of Adair Garcia, a 30-year-old father of six living near Los Angeles, who was arrested on Feb. 21 for murdering his five children, ages 2 to 10. "Apparently despondent over marital troubles," he "allegedly lighted a charcoal grill . . . in the living room of the family's home," the Los Angeles Times reported.

All of the children died from asphyxiation. And, in contrast to the nearly instantaneous decision by the district attorney in the Yates case to seek the death penalty, the district attorney in the Garcia case has not decided whether he will do so.

Women Who Kill Seen as 'Mad' or 'Bad'

These stories do not leave as indelible an impression as the story of Yates, dubbed "Killer Mom" by FOX News, and "Tub Mom" on page one of Saturday's Daily News, say experts who study women who kill."

The press kept calling Yates 'mad' or 'bad.' That's because we have certain expectations for men and women. We don't expect women to murder their children," said Cheryl L. Meyer, co-author of "Mothers Who Kill Their Children: Understanding the Acts of Moms From Susan Smith to the 'Prom Mom.'

"While men kill more than women overall (men commit homicide roughly eight times as often as women), they are punished less severely in cases of child murders, said Meyer, whose research found that female prisoners convicted of killing their children with the help of a male partner received stiffer penalties than those men.

Meyer, an associate professor of psychology at Wright State University, and her co-authors, interviewed 40 women in prisons following their convictions for killing their children in the 1990s. She said in approximately eight of those cases, mothers killed their children with the assistance of a male partner, either the child's father, stepfather or the mother's boyfriend.

In those cases, the mothers received penalties equal to or harsher than those the men received.

In one instance, Meyer said, one couple received the same sentence even though the woman was at work at the time of the actual murder, which took place at her home.

Still, women are not charged with capital crimes nearly as often as men, and when they are charged, jurors are less likely to send women to death row, said Annette M. Lamoreaux, the East Texas Regional Director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Right now, there are 54 women on death row in the United States--less than 2 percent of the total death-row population. There are six women on death row in Texas, two as a result of convictions in the murders of their own children. In the past 100 years, 47 women have been executed in the United States.

Since 1976, eight women have been executed nationwide."What's in store for Andrea is a tremendous amount of psychological and probably even physical abuse from the other inmates--unbelievable abuse," Meyer said, since no one, including prison inmates, likes a mother who kills her kids.

Women, Men Respond Differently to Yates

Lamoreaux, however, believes women have responded sympathetically to Yates. "Men have a very strong reaction and women have a different one," she said. Men, Lamoreaux said, don't understand how Yates could kill her own children. "Men are like 'Oh my God. If I was her husband and I came home to that, then I would've killed her,'" she said one man told her. But many women identify with Yates: "They see her as someone who could be a sister or a girlfriend."

The notion of a "maternal instinct" based on unconditional love is a fallacy, argues anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy in her book "Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection."

While mothers have a stake in nurturing their children, Hrdy believes that a mother's devotion is dictated, in part, by a long list of factors including economic circumstances, gender roles and how much support she receives from others.

"Because killing one's own infant is so abhorrent to us, even less comprehensible to many people than is male brutality toward an unrelated infant, there is a tendency to compartmentalize the mother's actions as the intentional killing of the infant, and to consider her behavior in isolation from her circumstances, even though they are functionally related," Hrdy writes.

"When we treat infanticide as an aberration, and as a crime (which, of course, in all modern societies, it is), we are likely to obscure underlying motivations. Many people snatch at implausible straws so as to cling to the conviction that the emotional ambivalence many mothers feel about investing in infants is 'unnatural,' and hence very rare and completely separate from more common, or 'normal,' maternal emotions," she writes.

"No connections are drawn between the ordinary distancing of a new mother from her infant, on the one hand, and these very extreme failures of maternal bonding that end in tragedy, on the other.

Even those who accept that infanticide takes place--among heathens, somewhere else--are often reluctant to accept its natural occurrence among civilized people or Christian people. "Insanity Law Mirrors View of InfanticideTexas's insanity law, used as a defense by attorneys for Yates, reflects the discrepancy Hrdy describes, and is faulty, said Lamoreaux, a defense attorney who has worked on death-penalty cases for 11 years. She said the Texas law's requirement that to use insanity as a defense, it must be proved that the defendant's could not distinguish between right and wrong.

That legal standard "is a black and white notion and it doesn't really comport with our modern notions of mental illness," she said. "The law is very narrow here." Insanity-defense laws vary by state. New York, for example, has an added requirement in its law that defendants must be shown to lack substantial capacity to know the nature or consequence of their actions."

The [life] sentence was entirely appropriate given the evidence of her mental illness, but it is certainly difficult to be happy that this woman has been sent to 40 years in prison and will most likely die in prison," Lamoreaux said.

Julie Ostrowski is a freelance writer based in New York.


Mother: Other Name for Natural Advocate of Her Childrens' Best Interest

Friday, December 24, 2004

Inappropriate Outcome for Various Reasons...

The outcome in this case was only partially correct.

Custody going to the girl's mother was correct...

However child support should NOT have been awarded to the mother...

Nor should visitation have been awarded to the sperm donor in this case.

First of all, marriage is the framework that all societies have set up to protect the rights of fathers and the rest of the surrounding community vis-a-vis children. Men who chose to procreate outside marriage take the risk that they will have no legal rights to any children created outside of that framework and that's the way it should be, as a two-second sperm donation in the back seat of a car or in a drunken encounter during a one-night stand should NOT entitle you to rights...

I'm sorry but a accidental sperm donor is NOT a father, nor should he be treated as one.

This mother fled nine years ago because our current public policy enables men, who have not followed through on their responsibilities as fathers to still get a chance to be what I call a 'half-a@@ed dad"...He doesn't marry the mother and/or make any real public or financial commitment to the woman taking all the risk of bearing his children, leaving that for the rest of us to pick up the tab for that, but as soon as the child is born he is suddenly allowed to emerge and accept laurel leaves as a 'father'...

This after doing nothing outside of a two-minute sperm donation...

It's ridiculous...

Men who do NOT marry the mothers of children should NOT be allowed any legal rights to these children. Of course, they should not be forced into paying child support either...I suggest that perhaps we should change the rules of engagement by denying any individual person the right to go to court for either visitation or child support UNLESS they are married...ONLY the STATE should be allowed the option of obtaining support from a never-married father.

This way fathers who insist on continuing to procreate with mothers and creating children neither can support can still be held financially responsible for said children as the STATE can go to court to get reimbursement for public benefits given to the child BUT never-married parents cannot do there will be no financial incentive for the self-supporting single parent to have children out of wedlock unless they can support them alone, as they won't be able to sue a never-married parent for custody, child support, or visitation...

NOR will a never-married father be allowed to emotionally abuse the mothers of their children by holding these ongoing custody battles over their heads.

AT the same time, society (all the rest of us) will not have to pay for children of parents who cannot support them as the STATE, representing taxpayers can STILL go after reimbursement for public benefits.

Whatever private arrangements parents make between themselves is fine but neither will be allowed into court unless a marriage license is produced. As let's face it people. what is the incentive for men to get married if they can get the EXACT SAME LEGAL RIGHTS AS A MARRIED MAN TO CHILDREN SIMPLY BY GETTING THEIR NAME ON A PIECE OF PAPER...

Answer: NONE...

This public policy change will cut down on MUCH of this nonsense going on lately, most of which appears to be generated by these never-married couples situations where accidental or recreational sperm donors have been given the same rights as a child's mother.

This woman has stated that she 'abducted' her then 5 year old daughter (not that I recognize the concept even, that a mother could ever abduct her own child) because she was afraid that the she could NOT afford the cost of an expensive legal battle to retain custody of her daughter and this is NOT an idle fear. Most non-custodial mothers come from our most backward regions, the South and West and most of them are very low income clearly her fear was very well justified.

In my opinion, ANY custody fight instigated by a man is a form of extreme emotional abuse...unless the child's mother is abusive or neglectful...

For eons mothers have been considered the obvious, best and most natural guardian for the young of every species, including our own, and I see no reason for a bunch of men trying to avoid paying child support and the social engineers who continue to support them to make any change in that arrangement...


All interested parties should forward a letter to the prosecutor's office that handled this case congratulating them on getting it HALF-RIGHT anyway and stating our opinion on how the rest of the decison should have been handled.

The address is:

Prosecutor's Office
Don Hill Administration Building
20 South Street, 4th Floor
Newark, OH 43055



Mom obtains custody, child support

Former missing girl wants to stay with mother

By LACHELLE SEYMOURAdvocate Reporter

NEWARK -- Sheri Lyn Taylor, a Johnstown woman who allegedly disappeared from her California home nine years ago with her daughter, retained residential custody of the girl Monday after six hours of negotiations.

Taylor will also receive child support from the girl's father, David Brancheau, who will have regular visitation rights.

Authorities allege Taylor left California with her daughter Vanesa Brancheau, in 1995, gave her the assumed name of Ariel Rose Taylor, and lived in Kansas City, Mo., Daytona Beach, Fla., and Pataskala before moving to Johnstown.

She claims she left California because she was afraid David could harm them.

The two were found living in Johnstown in July after a woman recognized Vanesa's picture from the Web site of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Taylor received temporary physical custody of her daughter, now 14, in September after a two-day hearing in front of Licking County Juvenile Judge Robert Hoover.

David Brancheau, of Auburn Hills, Mich., will pay $425 per month in child support, plus processing fees. He can visit with his daughter every fifth weekend of the year, and four to six weeks in the summer.

Brancheau says the final agreement rewards Taylor for keeping his child away from him.

"I feel I had 14 years of parental alienation I didn't cause, and I'm left holding the bag," he said.

He went along with the plan because Vanesa wanted to live with her mother, he said.

Vanesa will be covered under her mother's health insurance plans, but David Brancheau will be temporarily responsible for 67 percent of any uncovered extraordinary expenses for the girl.

Both parents will share travel necessary for extended visitations, like those during holidays or spring and summer break, and will pay attorney and court fees.

Taylor and Brancheau must also avoid making "disparaging" remarks about each other.

Although Taylor's custody issue appears to be over, she faces felony charges of forgery and interference with custody for actions allegedly taken during her nine-year run from her daughter's father.

Taylor allegedly used false documents for school enrollment in the Southwest Licking School District, sparking the forgery charge.

Last month, Taylor chose to be charged by a bill of information, which waived her rights to indictment and review by jury.

Taylor's attorney, John OBora, said he is happy with the outcome of the custody hearing, but declined to comment further citing Taylor's upcoming review for the diversion program.

Acceptance into that program would allow her to avoid jail time for the felony charges and would be similar to serving probation.

OBora believes his client would be a good candidate for diversion, but said she will likely enter a plea if she is not accepted.

Reporter Lachelle Seymour can be reached at (740) 328-8546 or

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Follow the money...Part II

Reading these stories and seeing the pictures of the victims makes one thing clear.

This is mainly a plague impacting minority women.

It's actually sad really when you consider how pivotal African-American women were to the Civil Rights movement in this country. Perhaps it's a question of education here. People need to KNOW their history...

After the Civil War there were roughly about 3 million African Americans in this country, mostly living in poor rural communities in the South. By the sixties that number had increased almost tenfold to reflect the over 30 million African-Americans citizens we have today. That dramatic increase in African-American population numbers NOT only made the Civil Rights movement possible, but was a direct CAUSE of its success. As let's face it, 3 million African-Americans in our society are a minority, 30 million are a respected force to be reckoned with.

Additionally, most of those African American citizens were NOT created through the 'traditional' two-parent families of American myth (as every society, including our own, that has adopted our reproductive strategy has experienced a drastic decline in their population numbers, ie., witness Japan and Singapore, for instance) but most of that population growth was the result of single women having children out of wedlock, as the single mother, has ALWAYS been the engine of growth for the African-American community in our hemisphere.

Of course when that 'reproduction policy' so to speak was making money for the elite in our country it was encouraged and rewarded, NOW that it's costing them money it's an aberration...

Oh please...there is nothing aberrant about a mother wanting to have children whether or not she is married. The maternal instinct is real, it is strong, it exists independent of whether or not a woman is suddenly sporting a marriage license issued by the government. Sorry but it doesn't work that way.

As opposed to what the establishment and public policy wonks have been saying for the last 30 years, single mothers and their children, are not a symbol of pathology for African Americans or a burden to them, but in fact, could be likened to a prototype-army for them that serves to protect the best interest of their community.

Since I assure you that the powers that be do NOT look to how Clarence Thomas or similar establishment types are going to react to various public policies they wish to implement to, for or against the African American community; instead they look to the 'man on the street' to judge HIS reaction. Since that man wearing the do rag on his head, hanging out in the 'hood' everyday is the man who keeps Washington awake at night and careful to do NOTHING too drastic that might upset the community that man represents.

So my question is, who or what would convince an entire people that the very women who have 'saved' their community, with little or no support from others I might add, are now no longer worthy of respect? These women are now seen as a burden, a pathology, as 'bad' mothers not fit to raise their own children.

Well no wonder everybody is trying to kill them...

I believe this is one more result of the disrespect for mothers, particularly single mothers, that has been generated through our media by various social engineering types in the government and legal system including the propaganda machine known as the fathers rights movement and the female emotional terrorists who support them.

Clearly the African-American community has been 'sold' a bill of goods by these groups that has convinced them that the single mother is not concerned about the best interest of their community anymore. That some bureaucrat in Washington trying to enforce child support collection efforts or to cut public benefits budgets is MORE concerned with African-American communities' best interest, then the mothers of that community are...

AND that men, at every level whose only concern is to cut the welfare rolls in our states by forcing lower income parents to pay high child support, have suddenly become the gurus that are supposedly MORE concerned about a community's children then its mothers are...


This is nonsense and the sooner it is exposed the better off we will all be...

As the people who sprout this nonsense give intellectual support to the notion that mothers, particularly single mothers are not worthy of respect, and they are JUST as guilty of murder as if they killed these mothers themselves...


Violence Intersects Lives of Promise
Relatives and Friends Evoke the Women and Their Paths Toward Death
By Donna St. George
Washington Post Staff WriterMonday, December 20, 2004;
Second of three articles

On a Saturday night when her sisters tried to persuade her to go out on the town, Shameka Fludd stayed home. Her workweek had been hectic -- tending children at a Laurel day-care center, then staying late on Friday to clean up. She was three months pregnant and lately more tired than usual.

Her suburban apartment in Columbia was comfortable, set on a tree-shrouded slope in a winding complex of similar units -- a long way from the troubled District neighborhoods where she grew up. At 23, she had two sweet kids, a good job and a close circle of relatives and friends. The pregnancy had come as a surprise. Her circumstances were not ideal, not what a single mother would have chosen if life always happened according to wishes and plans. But she could not bear to have an abortion, she told friends. After five years as a day-care teacher, children had become her calling.

"You don't have to have anything to do with the baby," she told the father. But Tjane Marshall was already a father of two and said a baby would ruin his life, Fludd later told her sisters. His objections upset her, they said. But she did not change her mind.

The couple's clash of wills ended unexpectedly for Fludd in the dark morning hours of May 4, 2003.

That night, her children had stayed with relatives. Fludd was alone, lying in her bed, in a nightgown, prosecutors say, when Marshall dropped by her apartment and asked again about the pregnancy. On the floor near her bed was a copy of Lamaze magazine, with a big, bold cover headline that read: BIRTH.

Hours later, when police were summoned, the magazine was spattered with blood.

Only recently, research has begun to show that cases like Shameka Fludd's are far more common than anyone might have guessed. And as public health experts have begun to home in on the phenomenon of homicide during pregnancy, the Washington region has become a focal point.

Here, experts looking into whether maternal deaths were being undercounted in Maryland and the District discovered in separate studies that a surprising number of pregnancies ended in homicide. Independently, Virginia's chief medical examiner began to probe maternal deaths and identified that 12 percent of them are homicides in her state as well.

Expanding on these findings, The Washington Post conducted a year-long survey of state death record data and documented more than 1,367 maternal killings nationwide since 1990. As startling as the findings are, however, they represent only part of the toll, because no national system exists for tracking maternal homicides.

What has been missing from the research has been the collected stories of the women slain -- more than 125 in the Washington region alone -- who they were, what their relationships were like and how violence intersected their lives at such a pivotal time.

Even in states that track these cases, they are often little more than a checked box on a death-record form -- rarely emerging from the data as young women with lives and hopes and families.

Many, like Fludd, never knew they were in danger.

In the hours that followed, Fludd's grandmother stood in the dark, with Fludd's 7-year-old son and a gathering crowd of shocked relatives and friends. It was difficult for anyone to imagine: Fludd had been shot. She was dead. Who would fire on a pregnant woman in her own bed? There was no sign of a break-in.

Over time, some would think back to the tension about her pregnancy. It still did not make sense, they thought. "I just don't understand," Brenda Coleman, Fludd's sister, said not long after she was killed. Marshall "didn't have to have anything to do with the baby."

Researchers are just beginning to discover what has been a hidden risk of pregnancy: Pregnant women and new mothers are more likely to be victims of homicide than to die of any single natural cause, several statewide studies have shown.

As public health experts focus new attention on homicide during pregnancy, the Washington region has become a focal point. Research rarely casts light on the lives of those who were slain or how violence entered their lives at such a pivotal time.

The tragedy of maternal homicide lingers in the lives of children left behind, some of them born as their mothers were dying. Older siblings sometimes witnessed the violence. The children often must be raised by their grandparents.

Shortly after the killing, police interviewed Marshall on videotape for nearly three hours. He did not confess but presented a portrait of his life and hers and how the pregnancy had put them at odds. He said his relationship with Fludd was a friendship that became sexual. "She was never my girlfriend . . .," he said. "But she was my friend."

The two had known each other for years, he said -- having met in the D.C. neighborhoods that Fludd had moved away from as a teenager. He knew her cousin, her mother, her sisters. They were together once, back in 1999, but then he was sent to prison on drug and weapons charges.

When he was released, in fall 2002, they got together again.

Fludd, he said, helped him buy clothes and get back on his feet.

For a number of months, they talked or saw each other daily. Fludd was the stable one -- with her own apartment, her job, her kids. Marshall had a job, lost it, fell back into drugs, worked at a basketball gym. He had a number of other girlfriends. By the time Fludd knew she was pregnant, they were still talking but no longer intimate.

On the videotape, he recalled their discussion about the pregnancy. "I told her I didn't really need a child right now. . . . I said it would hurt your life, and it would hurt mine right now. We both have two kids. . . . And she was like, well, yeah, but she wanted to have the baby."

Marshall told police that in previous years he had argued against having each of the two children he already had. "I got two kids," he told the detectives. "I didn't want the first one. I didn't want the second one."

From Fludd's position, the pregnancy looked very different. She had not intended it, she told her friends, but neither did she want to end it. She confided to one friend that a doctor had advised her of medical problems that might preclude her from ever having children again.

When she became pregnant by Marshall, "she felt like it was meant to be," the friend said.

The weekend she was killed, Marshall had called her to suggest they talk about the pregnancy again, Fludd told her friends.

While Fludd was at home that night in her apartment, Marshall went to a late-night party in the District. Witnesses told police that he slipped away for at least an hour. Police obtained records of his cell phone calls, which showed Marshall making calls as he drove north toward Columbia.

In the back seat of his rented car, prosecutors would later say, Marshall carried a "murder bag" packed that Saturday -- an extra pair of Timberland boots, a black hooded sweat shirt, jeans, latex gloves and a .22.

When Marshall -- nicknamed "Bird" -- returned to the District, he recounted the killing to his roommate. In court, the roommate testified that Marshall said he approached Fludd as she lay in bed. He asked her if she was sure the baby was his. When she said yes, he raised his gun.

"Bird! No!"

He shot her in the face.

In court, a jury listened to a taped recording of Marshall talking about the killing to his roommate, who had been wired by police with a hidden recording device. Marshall boasted of his own "genius" in setting up the crime. "I wasn't even close enough to . . . get little splashes on me," he said.

Prosecutor Todd Taylor told a jury of eight men and four women: "He wanted to prevent her from having the child she desperately wanted to have" and "move on with his life without the inconvenience of having another baby, another child to support."

Two months ago, a jury convicted Marshall of first-degree murder.

Sentencing was set for January.

Fludd's grandmother trembled visibly in the courtroom, surrounded by 11 relatives and friends.

She is raising Fludd's son, now 9; Fludd's daughter, now 6, is with her father. "We got justice," she said quietly afterward. "That's all we wanted, and we got it. Shameka can rest in peace."

Monday, December 20, 2004

Mother: Most Beautiful Word in the WORLD...

Mother: Most Beautiful Word in the World

Of course, there will be the usual jealous misfits, who are mad that 'daddy' wasn't included within the list.

Oh well...


Mum's the word, says the world Mother was most loved, while father was absent, Mother is the most beautiful word in the English language, according to a survey of non-English speakers.

More than 40,000 people in 102 countries were polled by the British Council to mark its 70th anniversary. Mother, passion, smile, love and eternity were the top five choices - but father did not even make it into the list of 70 words.

But some unusual choices did make the list, such as peekaboo, flabbergasted, hen night and oi.

SOME OF THE TOP WORDS 1. Mother 2. Passion 3. Smile 4. Love 5. Eternity 48. Peekaboo 50. Kangaroo 61. Oi 63. Hiccup 70. Hen night Fantastic, destiny, freedom, liberty and tranquillity rounded out the top 10.

The British Council promotes the learning of English around the world and teaches the language to more than 500,000 people each year. Chris Wade, director of communications at the council, said the most favoured choices in the list were all strong, positive words. He said: "All of us have a mother and have a reasonable idea of who that person is, it's one piece of certainty we can have and it's also a very powerful word in a variety of cultures. "But I wonder if we would have had the same result if we had done the survey in the UK." He said the list showed the diversity of the English language: "There are words denoting concepts that people aspire to, like freedom; words that sounded fun like peekaboo and others that aren't really words at all but they convey real meaning, like oi."

Other words to make the top 70 included serendipity, loquacious, kangaroo and zing. There were also words imported from other languages, such as renaissance and aqua. Presumably, a maternal kangaroo would be highly rated indeed." We'll grab anything we can take. Lots of words have been stolen over the years," Mr Wade said. " But while other languages may be reluctant to use our words, [this has provided] a real richness in the English has evolved."

He said one English word to have gained widespread usage recently was flip-flop, which came 59th in the survey. Failed US presidential candidate John Kerry was accused by the Republicans of having "flip-flopped" - or changed his stance - on a number of policy areas. "Flip-flop was used a lot during coverage of the US election. If the survey had been done a year ago it probably would not be in the list," said Mr Wade.

Michael Quinion, whose recent book Port Out, Starboard Home examines some of the quirks of the English language, said it was a very "eclectic" list. He said: "These non-English speakers certainly have wonderful English vocabularies. "There seems to be a curious mixture of the formal and the colloquial. Oi is not a word that I would've thought turned up in English manuals all that often." The list also included what Mr Quinion said was his own favourite English word - serendipity, which came 24th. "It's so mellifluous but it's such a nice concept too."


Saturday, December 18, 2004

Follow the Money...

"...the boyfriend did not want to pay child support."

"He did not want a baby, nor did he want any child support obligation."

"...He did it for money. He didn't want to pay child support...

Finally some notice being taken of how the attempts to integrate unwilling men into families has placed more mothers and their children at risk...

It's about time.

Additionally, I will say this is the only GOOD thing that has come from the death of Lacy Peterson...if nothing else this will be Lacy's legacy.

Alerting women to the dangers women in their role as mothers face when we try to force, or our government tries to force, men into being fathers against their will.

Almost a year ago next week, Lacy Peterson, the young wife and mother to be was murdered by her husband. Many have postulated on the reasons and come up with all sorts of elaborate motives why Scott Peterson would do for me I'm still 'old school' so I say 'follow the money' and you'll find the answer every time...


Killings of New, Expectant Mothers Mount

Crimes Poorly Understood by Public, Unaccounted for by Police...

By Donna St. George

Updated: 6:32 p.m. ET Dec. 18, 2004

First of three articles

Their deaths passed quietly.

Tara Chambers, 29, was gunned down on a June morning inside her North Carolina home.

Rebecca Johnson, 16, was shot in the chest as she sat in a pickup truck in Oklahoma.

Ana Diaz, 28, was killed in a parking lot in Reston as she stopped to get a friend on their way to work.

They all were pregnant, with futures that seemed sure to unfold over many years. One was a nurse's assistant who planned to name her daughter T'Kaiya. Another had just bought a house. The youngest was a high school cheerleader.

Their killings produced a few local headlines, then faded, each a seeming aberration in the community where it happened.

But pregnant women like them have been slain in Maryland and Mississippi, in California and Kansas, in Ohio and Illinois.

Jenny McMechen, 24, was shot in a friend's home in Plainfield, Conn., and Kerry Repp, 29, was shot in her Oregon bedroom, and Tasha Winters, 16, was shot in Indiana the day she gave her boyfriend the news. Ardena Carter, 24, was found dead in the Georgia woods, and Kathleen Terry, 22, was run over in Idaho, and Melesha Francis, 26, was strangled in New York, and Thelma Jones, 21, was shot sitting on her back steps in Louisiana — the day her mother ordered a cake for her baby shower.

A year-long examination by The Washington Post of death-record data in states across the country documents the killings of 1,367 pregnant women and new mothers since 1990. This is only part of the national toll, because no reliable system is in place to track such cases.

Largely unseen by the public, it is a phenomenon that is as consequential as it is poorly understood. Even in the past two years — as the Laci Peterson homicide case has become a public fascination, with a jury last week recommending that her husband, Scott, be sentenced to death in her killing — little has been said about the larger convergence of pregnancy and homicide: how often it happens, why, and whether it is a fluke or a social syndrome.

In the Washington region alone, at least three pregnant women have been killed in the past seven weeks — one in St. Mary's County, a second in Manassas, a third in Fairfax County. Another pregnant woman was found slain Thursday in Missouri.

Until recently, many of the cases have gone virtually unstudied, uncounted, untracked.

Police agencies across the country do not regularly ask about maternal status when they investigate homicides. And health experts have focused historically on the medical complications of pregnancy — embolism, hemorrhage, infection — not on fatal violence.

"It's very hard to connect the dots when you don't even see the dots," said Elaine Alpert, a public health expert at Boston University.

"It's only just starting to be recognized that there is a trend or any commonalities between these deaths."

Murder rate surprised researchers. The Post's analysis shows that the killings span racial and ethnic groups. In cases whose details were known, 67 percent of women were killed with firearms.

Many women were slain at home — in bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens — usually by men they knew. Husbands. Boyfriends. Lovers.

The cases are not commonplace compared with other homicides but are more frequent than most people know — and have changed the way some experts think about pregnancy.

Five years ago in Maryland, state health researchers Isabelle Horon and Diana Cheng set out to study maternal deaths, using sophisticated methods to spot dozens of overlooked cases in their state. They assumed they would find more deaths from medical complications than the state's statistics showed. The last thing they expected was murder.

But in their study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001, they wrote that in Maryland, "a pregnant or recently pregnant woman is more likely to be a victim of homicide than to die of any other cause."

"It was a huge surprise," said Horon, who recalls paperwork covering the researchers' kitchen tables on weekends and evenings as they sought to understand the astonishing numbers. "We thought we had to have made a mistake. We kept checking and checking and rechecking."

Their findings, as it turned out, were no error. Homicide accounted for 50 of 247 maternal deaths in Maryland over a six-year period — more than 20 percent. It had caused more deaths than cardiovascular disorders, embolisms or accidents.

"People have this misconception that pregnancy is a safe haven," Cheng said.

Building upon the Maryland study and others, The Post contacted 50 states and the District for all possible data about maternal deaths during pregnancy or postpartum months. Few states track homicides in a comprehensive way, but many states could provide some data, mostly from death certificates.

The Post combined what it collected with cases culled from other sources. The resulting 1,367 maternal homicides took place over 14 years. "That's a formidable number — and that's just the tip," said Judith McFarlane, who studies violence and pregnancy at Texas Woman's University and who described the void of reliable numbers as "embarrassing." She observed: "You can't address a problem that we don't document. You can't reduce them. You can't prevent them. In essence, they don't exist."

In all, thirteen states said they had no way of telling how many pregnant and postpartum women had been killed in recent years.

The states included California, where the Peterson case has flashed across television screens and filled newspaper columns since Christmas Eve 2002, when Laci Peterson, eight months pregnant, disappeared. Her body was discovered in San Francisco Bay in April 2003.

That year, California for the first time changed its death certificate process to include a female victim's maternity status, but no data are available yet. In the nation's most populous state, no one can say how many pregnant women like Peterson have been killed.

Three weeks after Peterson disappeared in Modesto, a teenager named Quinnisha Thomas lost her life in Sacramento, 80 miles away. Eight months pregnant, Thomas, 18, was walking home from a grocery store when her ex-boyfriend shot her in the head execution-style because, prosecutors said, he believed fatherhood would get in the way of his music career. "This was a big, major inconvenience for him," prosecutor Mark Curry said.

Other states that say they have no way of counting pregnant and postpartum homicides include Arizona, where mother-to-be Melinda Gonzalez, 20, was found dead in a park when she was three months pregnant; and Pennsylvania, where Christina Colon, 24, five months pregnant, was shot and found dead in a quarry.

Cara Krulewitch, a University of Maryland researcher who has studied maternal deaths in the District and Maryland, contended that states are not to blame so much as the lack of a national focus.

'The FBI collects comprehensive homicide statistics but does not look at pregnancy. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracks maternal health but has no uniform way of monitoring maternal killings. "The system is flawed," Krulewitch said.

In Maryland, which keeps track of cases better than most states, slightly more than 10 percent of all homicides among women ages 14 to 44 happened to a pregnant or postpartum woman in the past decade. If that held true nationally, it would suggest about 295 maternal homicides nationwide a year .

Jacquelyn Campbell of Johns Hopkins University said the number of cases has surprised her, even after many years of research on women's homicides. Although she knew of pregnant homicide victims, she said, "I thought it was a tragedy. I didn't think it was a trend."

Now, she has come to believe: "It's a phenomenon. It probably was always there, but we just didn't know."

The homicides documented by The Post happened in small mountain towns, in tough urban neighborhoods, in quiet suburban subdivisions. The women who died included a college student, a popular waitress, an actress, a church volunteer, a mother of three, a Navy petty officer, an immigrant housekeeper, a businesswoman, a high school athlete, an Army captain, a minister's wife, a Head Start teacher.

More than 100 were teenagers, barely beyond their own girlhoods.

Many already had children — now left behind.

In Tennessee, Kay Briggs found a letter in her mailbox several days after her pregnant daughter was slain in Chesapeake, Va. In it was her daughter's photograph: a beaming Melissa O'Connell, showing off her protruding abdomen. The 33-year-old mother-to-be had mailed it before her husband choked her to death.

"She tried for some time to get pregnant, and it wasn't happening," her mother recalled. "She wanted the baby more than anything."

One recent year of homicides — 2002 — was examined in greater detail to get a closer look at how and why the cases happened. For a group of 72 homicides in 24 states, The Post interviewed family members, friends, prosecutors and police. The analysis showed that nearly two-thirds of the cases had a strong relation to pregnancy or involved a domestic-violence clash in which pregnancy may have been a factor.

The dead included Ceeatta Stewart-McKinnie, 23, a college student in Richmond who was beaten to death by her boyfriend. The couple had dated on and off for years, and she had had abortions previously, prosecutors said. This time, he was married — and she refused to end her pregnancy. Turkey hunters found her bludgeoned body in the woods.

In Chicago, Chavanna Prather, 17, was a high school student who played basketball and worked part time at McDonald's. Prather became intimate with her manager at work, then became pregnant and asked for money for an abortion, police said. She was found dead in a river on the city's South Side. He awaits trial.

In Rochester, N.Y., Zaneta Browne, 29, was at odds with her married boyfriend about her pregnancy in 2002 when he shot her with a .22-caliber rifle. The killer and his wife secretly buried her on rural land, hoping no one would find out. Browne left three children behind. She was nearly four months pregnant with twins.

Louis R. Mizell, who heads a firm that tracks incidents of crime and terrorism, observed that "when husbands or boyfriends attack pregnant partners, it usually has to do with an unwillingness to deal with fatherhood, marriage, child support or public scandal."

Young women may be at more risk than others, several statewide studies suggest — possibly because of more volatile relationships with young men or less money or greater uncertainty about parenthood. Of women whose cases were researched in detail, 16 of 72 were teenage victims — or about one in five.

They included Vanessa Youngbear, a 16-year-old cheerleader in Oklahoma who was nearly seven months pregnant when her ex-boyfriend, then 18, blasted her with a shotgun. Witnesses said the boyfriend had not wanted to pay child support and had worried that he might face charges of statutory rape if authorities found out he had impregnated a minor.

In Nevada, Monalisa Nava was just 14 when she was gunned down — the same age as the ex-boyfriend who allegedly killed her. Nava was happily pregnant, her mother said, but unwilling to move with her boyfriend to Mexico, as he wanted. Police and family members say he shot her in front of her younger brothers as her mother dialed 911, and he has been on the run ever since.

At any age, "pregnancy is a huge, life-altering event for both the male and the female," said Pat Brown, a criminal profiler based in Minneapolis. "It is certainly a more dangerous moment in life. You are escalating people's responsibilities and curtailing their freedoms."

For some men, she said, the situation boils down to one set of unadorned facts: "If the woman doesn't want the baby, she can get an abortion. If the guy doesn't want it, he can't do a damn thing about it. He is stuck with a child for the rest of his life, he is stuck with child support for the rest of his life, and he's stuck with that woman for the rest of his life. If she goes away, the problem goes away."

In New Jersey, the trouble was not over whether to give birth but how to raise the twins that Marlyn Hassan, 29, a bank manager, was expecting. Her husband insisted that she convert to Islam before the babies were born. She was Hindu and "wanted her children to know both religions," her cousin said. He stabbed her to death in their home, then killed her sister and mother.

In Maryland, Kennis Falconer, 26, of Takoma Park, was living with her fiance, by whom she was seven months pregnant, when his other girlfriend, posing as a cosmetics saleswoman, came into her apartment and stabbed her. The deadly love triangle was intensified by the pregnancy, prosecutors said. Falconer's fiancé had decided to stay with her, and the couple had bought a home together a short time earlier.

In California, Raye Rapoza, 34, was nearly eight months along when her husband drove the family's minivan off a 150-foot sea cliff. Prosecutors say he had a history of marital abuse and was fixated on whether the baby was his. Perhaps most of all, "his wife had talked about leaving him, and he wasn't going to let that happen," said Jim Fox, San Mateo County district attorney. The crash killed Rapoza and her 4-year-old daughter. Her husband survived and is awaiting trial.

For many, battery begins during pregnancy. Although maternal homicide is only recently drawing notice, considerable research has been done on battering of pregnant women. Studies go back 20 years, and many experts have come to agree that 4 percent to 8 percent of pregnant women — 160,000 to 320,000 a year — are physically hurt by husbands, boyfriends or partners.

Research shows that for more than 70 percent of abused women, pregnancy does little to change the status quo. For a smaller group, pregnancy brings a peaceful period, when abuse stops. But that is mostly offset by a third group: the 27 percent for whom domestic abuse starts during pregnancy.

Some experts conclude that pregnancy is more "protective" than dangerous, but McFarlane, of Texas Woman's University, maintains that it goes both ways. "It can be a protective time for an abused woman, but it also can be a very vulnerable time," she said, recounting stories of women who were afraid to even tell a husband or boyfriend they were pregnant.

Many women endure hitting and shoving in pregnancy — or choking and threats to kill — because they want their child to have a father, or because they feel financially dependent or too vulnerable to break away. Some believe a baby will ease the tension.

The analysis of 72 deaths in 2002 shows that nearly 30 percent were caused by violence that did not seem related to childbearing: drug dealing, robberies, errant gunfire.

A total of 15 cases started with a missing-person report — and ended with a body discovered in a remote field or woods.

Near Huron, N.Y., a body was found, with no missing-person report. The woman had been seven months pregnant.

As analyst Mizell said, "You have to wonder how many missing-person cases happened because she was pregnant."

Tammy Baker, 24, was a well-liked bookkeeper who lived in an apartment in Louisa, Va., 30 miles east of Charlottesville, when she met Coleman "Mike" Johnson Jr., a contractor on a repair job at a nearby nuclear power plant.

The two hit it off for a time, then parted ways. One day, Baker called him to say she was pregnant and intended to have the baby. They argued repeatedly by phone, recalls Tracey Ryder, a friend of Baker's. He did not want a baby, nor did he want any child support obligations. But Baker did not change her mind.

By the time Baker was eight months along, she had chosen a name, Savannah, and decorated a room for the baby girl she was expecting; she worked two jobs to save money.

But the conflict with Johnson never went away. On Dec. 3, 1997, Baker stooped down for what looked like a mislaid garbage can lid outside her apartment door.

Beneath the lid were two pipe bombs.

Baker was killed instantly in the explosion, which literally shook the earth in Louisa, and people in the small town found it hard to imagine: Who would kill a pregnant woman?

"He did it for money," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Bondurant. "He didn't want to pay child support."

As in other cases, Johnson at first denied it was his child, then pressed for an abortion, then plotted murder. "It seems to me that these guys hope against hope for a miscarriage or an abortion, but when everything else fails, they take the life of the woman to avoid having the baby," said Jack Levin of Northeastern University.

Ashley Lyons, 18, faced a similar horror in a park near her old high school in Kentucky early this year — on the day she went to her doctor for an ultrasound and learned she would be having a boy. She was 22 weeks along.

She had already picked out a name, Landon, and created a baby journal. As one entry gave way to another, she confided her ex-boyfriend's opposition to the pregnancy. Still, she wrote: "You are the child I have always dreamed about. . . . I know it will be a long time before I meet you, but I can't wait to hold you for the first time."

Excited by the ultrasound Jan. 7, Lyons made plans to show the fetal pictures to her ex-boyfriend, Roger McBeath Jr., 22. She left her family's home, telling her mother she would be back for dinner. But when her father and brother found her, she was sitting in her parked car — with the car engine running and the headlights on.

She had been shot twice in the head and once in the neck. In her lap was her handbag -- half opened — with the ultrasound picture inside, her father said. "He knew that if she had that baby that she would be in his life forever, and he didn't want that," said prosecutor Shawna Jewell.

On a cold Kentucky afternoon, four days later, Lyons was buried with her tiny baby tucked into her arms.

Staff writer David S. Fallis and staff researcher Bobbye Pratt contributed to this report.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company

Friday, December 17, 2004

Raising the Next Generation of Little Girls into Strong, Secure and Self Confident Young Women

I just wanted to do a brief post here about a movie for women, especially mother with young daughters, to AVOID this season: Spanglish starring Adam Sandler...

Every single woman from the mother of his two children to the maid in the movie is painted in a negative light vis-a vis children. Adam Sandler, of course, the male lead is portrayed as the 'savior' of all the poor pathetic women and children in the movie. Shades of the patriarchy raising its head from Hollywood. Please do NOT allow them to hijack this holiday from mothers by promoting this movie...

Of course, as most of us know from everyday life and statistics, more men then women are substance abusers and more men then women commit violent crimes against everyone including other men so this movie is a total and complete lie. Not appropriate to be released during the holidays when hundreds of thousands of mothers, who have already lost custody of their children, will be looking for some recreational activity to do with them only to be subjected to the emotional abuse of having to sit through this vicious attack on mothers.

Do NOT make the mistake of doing this...

Spanglish does nothing but give more ammunition to the social engineering types in our family court who are determined to undermine the bond between mothers and their children and the propaganda machine known as Fathers' Rights...

Of course the usual suspects, including many female 'emotional terrorists' will be praising it, but the reality is that Spanglish is nothing but an exercise in emotional abuse against women and should be avoided like the plague.

Otherwise, enjoy your holiday whatever you celebrate.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Another Lie about Mothers Exposed

The following excerpt was taken from another website..

I thought it was good however to show that fathers make accusations that are false 21% of the time versus mothers who make false accusations only 1.3% of the time...

Yet women are routinely smeared, even by professionals, as making most false accusations.

Another lie...

Two other points:

*74% of the accusations are made against fathers and only 1.3% of them are found to be false. While only 13% of them are made against mothers with another 7% against boyfriends or male step-persons and 21% of these accusations are found to be false.

So just as with every other crime men outnumber women almost 20x...

*This study ONLY included family law cases. They excluded child protection and actual criminal decisions. But what do you want to bet that the number would have featured even MORE fathers lying if they included those cases since everything to do with crime and deviant behavior MEN outnumber women by about 30 to one. This is true worldwide, by the way.

So it's not a cultural thing either as some will try to say.


Are Allegations of Sexual Abuse That Arise During Child Custody Disputes More Likely to Be False?

An Annotated Review of the Research Bala, N. & Schuman, J. (2000).

Allegations of sexual abuse when parents have separated.

Canadian Family Law Quarterly, 17, 191-241.

Excerpt: Canadian Family Law Judgments: Nicholas Bala and John Schuman, two Queen's University law professors, reviewed judges' written decisions in 196 cases between 1990 and 1998 where allegations of either physical or sexual abuse were raised in the context of parental separation. Only family law cases were considered; child protection and criminal decisions were excluded.

The study showed that the judges felt that only a third of unproven cases of child abuse stemming from custody battles involve someone deliberately lying in court.

In these cases, the judges found that fathers were more likely to fabricate the accusations than mothers.

Of female-initiated allegations, just 1.3% were deemed intentionally false by civil courts, compared with 21% when the man in the failed relationship brought similar allegations.

The cases involved 262 alleged child victims (74% of them alleged sexual abuse). Thirty-two percent of these children were under 5 years of age, 46% were 5 to 9 years of age, 13% were 10 or older; for 9% the age was not specified.

About 71% of the allegations were made by mothers (64% custodial and 6% non-custodial), 17% were by fathers (6% custodial and 11% non-custodial), 2% were from grandparents or foster parents.

In about 9% of the cases the child was the prime instigator of the allegations.

This study found that fathers were most likely to be accused of abuse (74%), followed by mothers (13%), mother's boyfriend or stepfather (7%), grandparent (3%) and other relatives, including siblings (3%).


More Slanting of Statistics to Smear Mothers

More Slanting of Statistics to Smear Mothers

"A 1988 Department of Health and Human Services study found that at every income level except the very highest (over $50,000 a year), children living with never-married mothers were more likely than their counterparts in two-parent families to have been expelled or suspended from school, to display emotional problems, and to engage in antisocial behavior."

"except the very highest (over $50,000 a year)

"never married"

Well throwing those qualifications in leaves a whole segment of single mothers out there that were just all smeared with the same brush...NOT that I accept, for even a minute that never-married mothers making less then $50,000 a year are the root of all evil in this society...but this is another good example of what I'm talking about. Trying to pick apart and 'torture' the real numbers to make a point against millions of mothers who might not fit into those narrow walls constructed in that study is another attempt to smear all mothers, not just single mothers, as let's be clear these attacks are NOT just against single mothers, but all mothers...

All women in their role as mothers are being smeared by allowing these lies to continue being put out there as scientific fact...ALL...

It is very difficult to fight a smear-campaign when all the 'facts' appear stacked against you. When in spite of a society's historical memories, biological evidence, your own everyday living experience and basic gut instinct, every media source, along with governmental and private foundation lackeys (including many women) continue trying to convince you that the opposite of what you believe is so.

MOST of the single mothers you know are good and loving mothers who raise fine children. Not every man you know is a bad father, but on average they do not appear to be as concerned with children as mothers are and history backs us up in this assumption by the way. Men as fathers do not come off very well in the historic record, from ancient times right through to our own...I mean let's face it just examining US history, how does a Thomas Jefferson or Frederick Douglass's father come across in the historic record? Jefferson was a wise and wonderful man in many ways, as might have been Douglass's father, yet, as fathers to the children they sired, well frankly they sucked...

Of course they are only two men, but sadly enough, if you read enough history, you'll pretty much find the same universal picture painted throughout...uninvolved, disinterested fathers is actually the BEST case scenario in many cases...The worse situations were the children who were linked to provision of some sort of financial benefit to their fathers, ie., inheritance, or profit as in sale of slaves.

Now not every man, of course, but a large enough group of them to paint a pretty effective picture of historic fatherhood and remember, these were the men who CONTROLLED the societies they resided within. The ruling classes of their times...they could have worked to change things for children, but didn't...let's keep that in mind...No matter what they say about mothers of our historic past, women did NOT control the societies they lived in, as men did.

Actually if you contrast what it took men thousands of years to do for children, compared to what women have done in just the last 40 years for children in the West, there's no comparison...Life in the last 40 years for most children in our society has improved dramatically and we can thank women in their role as mothers for that...In spite of the 'spin' put out there by those who would continue to try to convince us of how poorly children fare today and to blame MOST of that on women...

Anyway, to make a long story shorter, from the information I provide above, it really would NOT be too hard to classify more MEN as uninvolved or disinterested parents then women...

YET the media, our government, religious leaders, private educational and public policy foundations, many of them other women, KEEP trying to convince us of just the opposite...that contrary to what we know from our own historic memories, everyday living experience and just plain common sense, that mothers, especially single mothers, are somehow not up to the challenge of raising their own children. That fathers and mothers are and should be treated as 'gender neutral' participants where children are concerned since they are both equally invested in said children and both equally concerned about childrens' best interest...

To this I have to say, when did this historic change happen? What evidence do we have to show that fathers are just as invested in children as mothers are? Because they say so now? Excuse me but I need a LOT more information on this historical abnormality before I sign off it...

Since life first crawled out of the primal mist, in every species including our own, MOTHERS have always been nature's first, logical and best choice for raising the young. Included within that biologically unchanging fact, we have to add our own history and collective everyday living experiences...yet now, we are just expected to ignore all this 'history' and start listening to the opinions of 'experts' and social engineers intent upon recreating a 'Brave New World' for us and our children. That everything we believed in the past and experience right now in our everyday lives should be tossed out the window.

Mothers have always been and should continue to be the primary parent in their childrens' lives whether they are single or not...Women invest more in bringing forth life, thus their greater investment will always make them the more 'invested' involved and thus usually better parent. Being a single mother is NO deterrent to being a good mother...and if finances are the problem...well then let's give single mothers access to more of them.

They Left OUT the Most Important Part of This Story

Once again a perfect example of biased reporting in the media...leaving out the ending gives a completely different 'spin' to this whole story...

As the 'other relatives' that this little girl was released to were her father's parents...

Her MOTHER, who had custody of this little girl BEFORE she was kidnapped, at gunpoint, by her father...HER MOTHER was threaten with arrest by Tennessee (even though they didn't even have jurisdiction, as the mother, father and child lived in Kentucky where the child was kidnapped from) the mother was threatened with arrest, IF she even tried to see her child...

AND the father was released on bond, where he is probably right now at his parents' home allowed to see this little girl he kidnapped on a daily basis, while her custodial mother was forced to return home without her daughter...

Kentucky is currently in court trying to force Tennessee to relinguish jurisdiction of this little girl BACK to Kentucky where it belongs and return this child to her mother...WHERE SHE BELONGS...

BUT once again we see where a mother's rights (as well as the child's rights) were totally disregarded...totally, and reading that story would NEVER have told us that...

The bottom line is that who knows WHEN and really IF that mother will EVER get her child back...Who knows...

It's outrageous really...


Local officers arrest Kentucky man involved in Amber Alert abduction

By: John B. CarpenterSource: The Herald-News 11-24-2004

A 6-year-old Kentucky girl who was allegedly kidnapped from her mother Monday, was found safe and sound in Dayton early Tuesday morning. Her father was arrested for stealing a truck in Kentucky, and other charges may be pending.

The Tennessee Department of Safety issued an Amber Alert Monday for the 6-year-old girl, who was allegedly taken from her home in Lexington, Ky., at gunpoint Monday by her father, Lance Franklin Spurlock, 29. Police suspected that Spurlock might be headed for Rhea County where he has family.

At about 11 p.m. Monday, local police received information that Spurlock and his daughter were at a residence in Dayton.

Dayton Police officers Jeff Hill and Rocky Hill and Rhea County Deputy Davin Payne went to the home shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday where they took Spurlock into custody without incident.

Jeff Hill arrested Spurlock on a warrant from Jackson County, Ky., for the unlawful taking of a vehicle worth more than $500. The officers located the stolen 2003 Ford Ranger at the home.
Officers also found a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol at the home, but Spurlock was able to produce a valid Kentucky concealed carry permit for the weapon.

Spurlock was arraigned in Rhea County General Sessions Court Tuesday morning. He was released from the Rhea County Jail on a $25,000 bond shortly thereafter.

Spurlock’s daughter was released into the custody of family members Tuesday, according to Jeff Hill.

Additional charges against Spurlock may be pending in Kentucky.

John Carpenter can be reached at


Saturday, December 04, 2004

What's Wrong with Women - Part II

Listening to, Steven Rhoads, author of "Taking Sex Differences Seriously" talk about his book, I was very impressed with some of his insights. One of the most insightful comments he made was that the 'androgynous' project western society has embarked upon today, in another misguided attempt to minimize the real differences between men and women, is basically indicative of 'misogyny' or hatred of women. Thus, for instance, we see that the root of a lot of the propaganda which has generated our current gender-neutral custody frenzy is a force that is essentially anti-woman. In fact, any objective person after reading through the research he has compiled in his book, would have to come to the inevitably conclusion that the movements that support fathers rights are not really pro-children, as their propagandists would have us believe, but are more anti-woman then anything else.

Some of his facts, such as the worldwide statistic that men kill 28x more persons then women do was even a surprise to me. I knew instintively that men were more violent (as most honest persons would admit) then women, but didn't realize the differences were so high as I only looked at US statistics which indicated a ten to one disparity in violence and murder between the sexes, now I see in fact it's closer to thirty to one just concerning murder, if we include ALL crimes of violence or even ALL anti-social acts men commit that might NOT be illegal per se, who knows how great the disparity would be...

Yet we see one propagandist after another, continue to insist that women are just as violent as men, that there is no differences in fathers and mothers vis-a-vis children or their care, that government monies for domestic violence shelters should be divied up equally between men and women, etc., since men and women are equally victimized by domestic violence in their homes. Statements which are so counter-intuitive to what most of us know to be true from our own lives and NOW even the statistics, that it makes you question the motivations of the persons who sprout these phony factoids since they are such obvious lies.

More shocking through is how many women participate in spreading these lies. What possible reason could they have for aiding and abetting such a misogyny project? I have my own theory about this which I've outlined below.

It appears that for women, at least, the traditional patriarchal family structure that most of us were raised within still dominates our inner lives. It was a comfortable structure for many of us, at least in our heads it was, no matter the reality on the ground. Men existed, again in our heads, as these wonderful, powerful creatures who were all-knowing, well-meaning, wiser then women and children, strong but not threatening. Almost like a young girl controlling some huge, powerful, potentially dangerous (but not to her) animal like a wolf, or a lion, maybe a wild horse. It was dangerous to other people but she was safely shielded by her own unique 'control' of the great creature.

Women now appear to be trying to project this inner childlike imagination (and it is childlike, another attempt to not grow up and be protected by an imaginary daddy) into our outer life as well, since if you look at the movies and TV shows that most of us spend our recreational time living vicariously through, many focus on the same formula as well: women controlling powerful male figures fighting the system, dangerous to others, but not herself. For instance let's review some popular media character sketches that many women are very taken with: the lone police officer fighting the system, usually to capture killer of women; war hero, aka Steven Segal or Chuck Norris, somehow daughter, wife, girlfriend, etc., figures promiently by getting killed, kidnapped, raped, etc., war hero has to rescue them; fathers as single head of family with children, girls in family usually teens (probably women identify with them as opposed to adult women)...and last, but not least, these women by involving themselves in campaigns to re-establish the 'rights' of men, who have been removed from their places of promient both within their homes and society as well, continue this projection of their inner lives onto their outer existence.

Women (particularly the ones who function as advocates for the mens' and fathers' rights groups) appear to represent this segment of women which I just referred to above who have not yet fully accepted the fact that this inner life is false. That men are no more fit to function as head of household (and by extension head of societies) then women are. That, in fact, many of them are less fit to function in these capacities. That due to essential differences between men and women, men actually function less well in certain capacities: one of these being the care of infants and young children due to their inherently lesser investment in bringing forth life...

AND that women, in their role as mothers, are usually the best, natural and most logical representive for the best interests of their children, always have been and will remain so in the future.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

What's Wrong with Woman....

L:istening to a newscast about the latest indignity that woman have to suffer in the war against terrorism: being physically patted down at the airport (and it is women who will have to 'suffer' through this, as guess who will eventually be getting 'felt up' by some big fat slob at the airport who probably hasn't had a girlfriend since grammer school) I was struck by the instigators of this latest excess: other women. Female terrorists who recently hid explosives under their clothes to help their 'brother' Islamic Fundamentalists achieve independence from Russia and thus complete control to impose, you guessed it, Islamic Fundamentalism on THEM...


Sadly enough, it appears that there are women out there in the world who will fight tooth and nail to perpetuate their own enslavement...

AND this is NOT limited to the Islamic World btw, but exists in Western Societies as well...

I realized this when I came across this list last night and realized how MANY women were aiding and abetting the most recent social engineering movement within our court system to displace women in their role as mothers...

It has been said that women appeared to have suffered the most from the disorientation which took place in our society when they were handed the freedom that feminism had won for us...

Perhaps they were right...

I will go more into this in the next post...


Women Who Have Helped the Men's and Fathers' Movement and Who Deserve Recognition

Note: This list is a work in progress. To nominate a candidate, click here.

(List is in alphabetical order)

Bettina Arndt, an Australian lawyer and writer who supports men and fathers

Ileana Basil, a founding director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC).

Fair-minded Canadian columnist Christie Blatchford of the National Post.

Julie M. Batson, co-founder of the organization "Georgians for Child Support Reform" and the PAC "Georgians for Family Law Reform."

Each organization works for the right of children to have both parents in their lives.

Connie Brauer who, along with her husband Vic Harris, founded the Canadian Civil Rights Action Group, which fights against Family Court abuses and for Shared Parenting.

Jan Brown, the Founder and Executive Director of the Battered Men's Helpline in Maine.

Beth Bruno, a fair-minded freelance writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience in mental health and education. Bruno is the author of "Are Dads Welcome in School?"

Julie Carpenter-Hubin, board member of the Columbus, Ohio chapter of Parents And Children for Equality (PACE), which has a program to remove barriers preventing non-custodial parents--mostly fathers--from being more involved in their children's schools.

Mary Cleary, the founder of AMEN (Abused Men) in Ireland. Cleary is committed to the fair and equal treatment of all victims of domestic abuse, without regard to gender.

Canadian Senator Anne Cools, a former shelter director and a pioneer of the battered women's movement who is now a passionate fathers' rights advocate.

Rene Denfeld, author of The New Victorians: A Young Woman's Challenge to the Old Feminist Order Carol Ensign, director of the Valley Oasis Shelter in Lancaster, California, one of the few domestic violence shelters in the country which accepts men. See "Nowhere to Go: Why Does LA County Refuse to Help Male Victims of Domestic Violence?"

Activist Kim Eyer of "The Cop and the Survivor: A Collaborative Effort on Domestic Violence," who has fought to bring attention to male victims of domestic violence.

Carolyn Flores, an advocate for the victims of false accusations of rape, including her own husband, who was convicted without evidence.

Virginia Forton, Executive Director of Moms for Dads, the nonprofit group which, along with Dads of Michigan, is sponsoring Shared Parenting Legislation.

Stephanie Frostic, the founder of Paternity By Choice and an advocate of family planning rights for men.

Fair-minded journalist Marilyn Gardner of the Christian Science Monitor.

Lyndze Gladney, creator of the "Moms for Dads' Rights" club on Yahoo.

Writer Sheridan Hill, author of In Defense of Men.

Susan Horwitz, MSW, a highly respected psychologist working with the Children and Families Behavior Health Clinic at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester NY. She is responsible for having recently conducted an intensive study on the involvement of fathers in the lives of their children. She has validated the Family Court complaints of thousands of men in Monroe County. German author and political activist Karin Jaeckel who first publicized in Germany issues like the disenfranchisement of divorced dads and domestic violence by female perpetrators.

Joan Kelly, Ph.D., a painstaking researcher and evaluator of research who has written for almost three decades of the importance of fathers in the lives of their children.

Kate Kennedy of the Independent Women's Forum and

Madhu Kishwar, founder and editor of the journal Manushi (the Woman) in India. Works for women's rights but has spoken up against misuse of laws by women.

Fair-minded Canadian columnist Donna Laframboise.

Author and ‘60s feminist icon Doris Lessing, who says that in modern culture men are "continually demeaned and insulted by women without a whimper of protest" and that it's time they stood up for themselves.

Australian Anne Lewis, a former victim of domestic violence who has advocated for male victims of domestic violence. She is the author of An Enquiry Into The Adult Male Experience of Heterosexual Abuse.

Kathryn Jean Lopez, executive editor of the National Review, who defended men and attacked feminist falsehoods in "Women Who Lie-- The empress with no clothes: women's studies".

Jayne Major, PhD, a divorce, child custody, PAS and parenting consultant, provides services for fathers to help them adjust to separation and divorce and to remain a significant part of their children's lives. She is the Executive Director of Breakthrough Parenting Services in Los Angeles.

Winnipeg community activist Louise Malenfant, who has been an advocate for men falsely accused of child sexual abuse during divorce proceedings.

Domestic violence researcher Coramae Richey Mann, for her courage to tell unpopular truths about men, women, and domestic violence. See "Domestic Violence: A Two-Way Street".

Melanie Mays, a member of Child's Best Interest, the nonprofit group which sponsored the Tennessee Shared Parenting Bill. See "Tennessee Shared Parenting Bill Could Help Children, Reduce Divorce".

Author and columnist Wendy McElroy, founder of Individualist Feminists

Canadian journalist Candis McLean, who treats men's and fathers' concerns seriously and portrays men fairly.

Canadian Ilana Mercer, fair-minded regular columnist with World Net Daily.

Lady Catherine Meyer, wife of the British Ambassador to the US. Meyer, a victim of an international parental kidnapping, works with the Children's Rights Council and other organizations to help promote every child's right to access to both parents.

Anne Mitchell, founder of the Fathers Rights and Equality Exchange (F.R.E.E).

Nev Moore and Heidi Palanza of Members of Justice for Families, which has fought Child Protective Serices on behalf of falsely accused parents.

Sandra Orozco of Stop Abuse For Everyone (SAFE), an advocate for both female and male domestic violence victims.

Patricia Overberg former director of the Valley Oasis Shelter in Lancaster, California, who courageously changed shelter policy in order to accept male domestic violence victims in the late 1980s.

See "Nowhere to Go: Why Does LA County Refuse to Help Male Victims of Domestic Violence?"

Camille Paglia, author and cultural observer.

Fair-minded columnist Kathleen Parker, who wrote "Were mothers routinely robbed of their children, barred from their homes and jailed for failing to pay extortionate sums, we would see blood in the streets".

Former Women's Studies professor Daphne Patai, author of Professing Feminism and Heterophobia.

Jocelyn Payne of Women Against Male-Bashing (W.O.M.B.).

Crime journalist Patricia Pearson, author of When She Was Bad: Violent Women and the Myth of Innocence.

British Author and journalist Melanie Phillips who has written in defense of male victims of domestic violence and against the feminist "women aren't violent" myth.

Paternity fraud activist Raegan Phillips, founder of Women Against Paternity Fraud.

Author/activist Erin Pizzey, who set up the first battered women's shelter ever in England in 1971 and now advocates for abused men.

Sue Price, a caring, dedicated, hard-working Australian Men's and fathers' activist.

Sociology professor Claire Renzetti, author of Violent Betrayal: Partner Abuse in Lesbian Relationships, for her courage to tell unpopular truths about men, women, and domestic violence. See "Domestic Violence: A Two-Way Street"

Katie Roiphe author of The Morning After: Sex, Fear, and Feminism on Campus.

Trudy Schuett, publisher of the Desert Light Journal, who has been denounced by feminists as a "fathers' rights whore".

Kimberly Schuld, director of the Independent Women's Forum's Title IX Play Fair! Project. See "Title IX Lawsuits are Endangering Men's College Sports".

Washington attorney Lisa Scott, who has advocated for male victims of domestic violence and against pro-female bias in the judicial system. She is the founder of Taking Action against Bias in the System (TABS).

Reverend Bunny Sewell, co-director of Family Resources and Research in Naples, FL , who has counseled and advocated for male victims of domestic violence.

Tracey Sisco of Moms for Dad's Rights, a paralegal who specializes in getting dads custody of their children after lawyers have given up.

Lisa Smith of U.S. Citizens Against Paternity Fraud (US-CAPF). Lisa has helped counsel paternity fraud victims nationwide.

Megan Smith, the Director of Project Development for the Men's Health Network in Washington, DC. See "Men's ‘Silent Health Crisis' Cries Out for Men's Health Act".

Eeva Sodhi, who has been instrumental in getting Statistics Canada to eliminate much of its anti-male bias in reporting domestic violence statistics.

Domestic Violence researcher Reena Sommer, Ph.D., author of How Stats Canada Distorted the Public Perception of Domestic Violence in Canada.

Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism?

The War Against Boys Domestic violence researcher Susan Steinmetz for her courage to tell unpopular truths about men, women, and domestic violence.

See "Domestic Violence: A Two-Way Street" Ivy Stewart of the Independent Women's Forum.

Christine Stolba of the Independent Women's Forum, author of Lying in a Room of One's Own: How Women's Studies Textbooks Miseducate Students.

Ann Swango, a child advocate, a member of the Children's Rights Council in Washington DC, and the director of PACE of Kentucky. Swango has worked to set fair and realistic child support obligations.

Dianna Thompson is a founder and the executive director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC). She is the leader of America's "second-wives" movement and is the founder of the Second Wives Crusade (SWC).

Deborah Watkins, former President of the Tarrant County (Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas) Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and now the president of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter of the National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM).

Cathy Young, author of Ceasefire: , Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve Equality.

Katherine K. Young, co-author of Spreading Misandry: The Teaching of Contempt for Men in Popular Culture, a painstaking expose of how men are portrayed negatively in movies and television The many female opinion page editors who have had the courage to swim against the stream and publish my pro-male, pro-father opinion columns.