JEHOVAH'S WITNESS MENTAL HEALTH and
JW FAMILICIDE and OTHER JW-ON-JW CRIMES
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The following criminal and other cases, in which the Jehovah's Witnesses religion served as the spiritual element of the perpetrators' and/or other actor's formative environment, or otherwise served as one of the major influencers of the perpetrators' and/or other actor's behavior, are often tragic, and speak for themselves. Court Cases involving Jehovah's Witness Criminals who have been convicted of stealing money from their fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, and similarly related crimes, are summarized on a sister website. Click HERE for FIVE webpages of financial related case summaries.
STATE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA v. T.V.M. was a 2007-08 MURDER and ARSON prosecution which is extremely INTERESTING due to the appearance that the SCANDALOUS aspects of this criminal case have caused both the Jehovah's Witnesses and the ex-JW community to partner in censoring publicity about this scandal. The JWs apparently managed to keep their connection to this murder-arson out of the media when the scandal occurred, and the homosexual-dominated ex-JW community apparently managed to censor later online discussions regarding this scandal.
We have not been able to locate any mention/discussion of this MURDER-ARSON case outside of the December 2007 Supreme Court of Western Australia decision which pertained only to a procedure issue in the prosecution. That decision only briefly indicates:
1. An adult male Jehovah's Witness, named "T.V.M.", was charged in the January 2007 murder of a second adult male Jehovah's Witness. T.V.M. was also charged with committing "arson" during the alleged "murder".
2. T.V.M. and the JW Victim were both "prominent" Jehovah's Witnesses.
3. T.V.M. and the JW Victim were both secret "homosexuals".
4. T.V.M. and the JW Victim were engaged in a secret "homosexual love affair", which apparently precipitated the murder and arson.
Anyone care to provide URLs to media coverage of this murder-arson, the prosecution, and online discussions of this Jehovah's Witness SCANDAL.
SOUTH AFRICA v. VELA MABENA and THANDI MAQUBELA was a 2010-2013 high profile MURDER case which received little if any media attention outside of South Africa. The 60 year-old victim, Judge Patrick Maqubela, was an Acting Judge on the Western Cape High Court Bench, who was seeking a permanent appointment at the time of his death. At the time of his murder, in June 2009, Judge Patrick Maqubela was married to a JEHOVAH'S WITNESS WIFE, Thandi Maqubela, who was one of the two persons charged with the Judge's murder. Thandi Maqubela, then age 52, was also charged with altering her deceased husband's Will, and forging his signature thereto, as well as fraudently submitting such into probate as her husband's Last Will and Testament.
Vela Mabena was a then 46 year-old male JEHOVAH'S WITNESS MINISTER, who reportedly was Thandi Maqubela's business partner in a Forever Living health products distributing business. Interestingly, Vela Mabena was previously the "Chairman" of a School District in South Africa, and a media report links him to efforts to supply needy schools in SA and other African countries with "books". More interestingly, Vela Mabena was arrested at his residence on the grounds of the French Consulate, where his wife was employed.
In the months leading up to the murder, Thandi Maqubela had went to great lengths to document the multiple affairs of her philandering husband. Thandi Maqubela then took the acquired evidence and began a campaign of character assassination against him. In June 2009, after Thandi Maqubela learned that her husband had made plans to divorce her, security staff at one of Judge Patrick Maqubela's apartments which he used when he traveled as a judge discovered Judge Maqubela's partially decomposed corpse in his bedroom. The death was initially attributed to a heart attack, but a criminal investigation was quickly began when more and more incriminatng evidence gradually came to light which pointed at the Judge's wife, and eventually her JW friend and business partner, Vela Mabena. The JW Duo were formally charged with the Judge's murder in March 2010. In November 2013, Thandi Maqubela was found guilty of murdering her husband, but her fellow Jehovah's Witness business partner was found "not guilty". The presiding judge made the point that Vela Mabena had not been proven to have been "innocent" of the murder charge, but that there simply had not been sufficient evidence to convict him. Notably, during the trial, fellow JWs Vela Mabena and Thandi Maqubela claimed to barely know each other. That, despite the fact that Mabena visited Thandi Maqubela at the apartment where Maqubela was found to have murdered her husband, on the day of the murder. The JW Duo also telephoned and texted each other multiple times during the two days before the judge's corpse was discovered, and thereafter.
MASSACHUSETTS v. WEST, MASSACHUSETTS v. WEST, and MASSACHUSETTS v. WEST was/is a series of 2006-7 Massachusetts criminal court cases, which involve an African-American family of Jehovah's Witnesses living in the Marlborough area. The defendant in these cases is the husband, George West, 49, who was employed as a Hudson police officer from 1986 until 1999, when West retired from the Hudson Police Department because the use of deadly force and the carrying of a weapon conflicted with his religious beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness. West also served several years as the department’s DARE officer.
Interestingly, in March 1999, George West had been the subject of national media attention, which publicized his resignation from his career as a police officer due his WatchTower beliefs that prohibited the carrying of a firearm. Apparently, George West had been reared as a JW, but he apparently had been inactive as a JW until he became active again sometime around 1995/6.
George West was convicted in October 2006 on charges relating to an attack on his wife in June, when he was charged with assault and battery, and assault with a dangerous weapon. West was given a one-year term in jail, but was sentenced only to time served of 42 days, with the remainder of his one-year sentence suspended until October 2008. West also had been charged with assault and battery, and unarmed burglary, for a September 2006 Labor Day weekend incident, after which West served the 42 days. Fatima West had a restraining order discontinued on August 28, when Fatima and George shopped for a new car for her. On September 1, Fatima filed for a legal separation. On Labor Day, September 4, Fatima and the two teenaged children spent time with George West at his Clinton apartment. Later that evening, during the AM hours of September 5, George West was arrested after attempting to enter Fatima's apartment.
In November 2007, George West was arrested on charges of assault and battery (three counts), kidnapping, intimidating a witness, and threatening to commit a crime, when West allegedly attacked his wife, Fatima West, on Thanksgiving weekend. Due to the probation violation, West was ordered to serve the remaining days from the 2006 conviction in protective custody at the Billerica House of Correction, because he was once a police officer. The judge set bail after West's release from Billerica at $2500.00 cash, with conditions that West stay away from his wife and two teenaged children, not use drugs or alcohol, and complete an education program. During these incidents, West has not been charged with attacking his 15 year-old daughter, or his 11 year-old son, although his wife allegedly told police that in years past that West had repeatedly threatened to kill them, her, as well as himself. Fatima West allegedly also has told police that her husband is mentally ill. Reportedly, both the wife and daughter have called police on various occasions, and both have testified against George, but both also have testified in George's favor on occasion.
ILLINOIS v. LAWRENCE SLACK and ILLINOIS v. CONSTANCE SLACK were two 2006 Illinois criminal court cases which involved a homeschooling family of African-American Jehovah's Witnesses who lived in Chicago, Illinois. Larry Slack and his wife, Constance Slack, homeschooled their six children, despite the fact that Larry was a fulltime mechanic at the Chicago Transit Authority, and Constance was a fulltime Registered Nurse at La Rabida Children's Hospital.
Cook County Judge Sumner lamented, "Of the cases I have presided over myself or seen go through this building, this situation, bar none, is the worst I have ever seen or heard." The two Jehovah's Witness Parents were convicted of the beating death of their 12 year-old daughter, Laree Slack, and the beating of their 6 year-old son, in November 2001. Judge Sumner stated that Laree Slack suffered more torture than many prisoners of war who undergo human rights violations. Larry Slack was convicted of committing aggravated battery on his 6 year-old son, and first degree murder of Laree Slack. Larry Slack was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Constance Slack, who cut a deal with prosecutors to testify against her husband, pleaded guilty to murder, but received only a 25 year sentence.
Typical of parents who are Jehovah's Witnesses and/or homeschoolers, Larry and Constance Slack were strict disciplinarians. Each of their six children, who in November 2001, ranged in age from 6 to 16, were assigned various chores and responsibilities in the Slack household. Given that both parents worked fulltime jobs in the Chicago area, these children must have also been responsible for their own homeschool education.
On Saturday night, November 10, 2001, Larry and Constance had been planning to go out to eat, but Constance could not find her wallet and credit cards, which she believed to be in one of her jackets or work smocks. Larry ordered all six children to search for them. Dissatisfied that the 6 year-old son was not looking hard enough, Larry Slack lashed the child several times with a thick Romex electrical cable, which the Slacks regularly used to discipline their children. When Constance's wallet and credit cards continued to go un-found, the parents became enraged over finding some laundry scattered about the house. Twelve year-old, Laree Slack, was in charge of washing and putting away the family's clothing, so Constance Slack's lost items were blamed on Laree.
The 41 year-old, 400+ pound, Larry Slack then began to beat Laree with the Romex electrical cable, in sessions of 39-blows, for what eventually amounted to nearly two hours of beating. At first, Larry bent his 12 year-old daughter over a large metal toolbox. When Laree would not hold still during her beating, Larry ordered his two older teenaged boys to tie her face down onto a metal bedframe, where Larry continued the lashing. When Laree began to scream, Constance first stuck a sock in her mouth. When Laree eventually spit out the sock, Larry ordered his sons to fetch a towel to stuff in her mouth. He then tied a scarf over the towel and used a stick to wind the scarf like a tourniquet. Lalece Slack, then 13, testified at the murder trial that she went to the basement of her family's home and turned on the washer and dryer to drown out the sounds of her sister being beaten upstairs.
The full details of what occurred during those two hours of torture are blurred. Both Larry and Constance took turns beating the child with electrical cables that may have varied in thickness. At some point, exhausted from delivering the dozens of blows, Larry even took a break to watch television. In what seems to indicate that something even more disgusting may have been going on in this Jehovah's Witness household, at some point, Larry ordered the two teenaged sons to pull off her pants. At some point, Larry also cut off his daugher's shirt. Larry repeatedly ordered the teenaged boys to flip Laree over from side to the other for her next session of 39-blows. The flailing mostly naked girl was beaten bloody on her back, chest, stomach, and legs. When the beating finally stopped, Larry ordered the boys to carry Laree down to the basement and place her on an old mattress, where she eventually died of internal bleeding.
The Slacks told police that they had meted out the "biblical punishment" of "40 lashes minus one" only three times. At trial, Larry Slack denied intending to harm Laree - only discipline her. Larry even testified that Laree smiled at him and spoke with him after the beating. However, a Medical Examiner testified that Laree had actually been hit "hundreds" of times. Various neighbors described Larry and Constance Slack as "devout Jehovah's Witnesses", who occasionally had attempted to convert them to their WatchTower religion. A reporter who went to view the Slack's residence after the tragedy reported that he found WatchTower and homeschooling publications scattered on an exterior staircase.
DARIC ROBERT FRANS. Around 7:00 AM, on the morning of Friday, October 20, 2006, unemployed and mentally ill 25 year-old Daric Robert Frans left his Grand Forks, North Dakota, apartment, which he reportedly shared with his father, dressed in camouflage and openly carrying a high-powered M-16 style semi-automatic assault rifle. On his person, Daric R. Frans also was packing a .32 caliber handgun, 10 hunting knives, a collapsible police baton, and 100 rounds of ammunition. At some point, as Daric Frans walked down the sidewalk, he pointed the rifle at an unidentified woman, who called 9-1-1.
Approximately 30 local, county, state, and even Border Patrol officers eventually responded to the scene at the northeast corner of 17th Street and Highway 220, which apparently was near to fast-food restaurants, a day-care center, other businesses, including an adjacent business where Daric Frans' mother worked, and even a High School and a Community College. There, for approximately 30 minutes, Frans fired 35-40 rounds at police, striking at least 3 cruisers. Finally, a state trooper arrived, who also had an assault rifle. The trooper fired three shots, striking Frans once in the hip. Shortly thereafter, Daric Frans shot himself in the head with his .32 caliber handgun, at around 8:00 AM.
Daric Robert Frans left no suicide note, and supposedly had made no threats, so police were left to speculate whether Frans was heading to one of the nearby schools, his mother's place of employment, or somewhere else. Daric Robert Frans, and his two sisters, were reared as a Jehovah's Witness, in the East Grand Forks Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, by parents Doug Frans and Teresa Ostgard Frans, who separated when Daric was 15/16, and later divorced. Although reportedly reared in a nearly idealic formative environment up until the time his parents separated, Daric Frans gradually developed one or more mental illnesses. Frans reportedly had worked in the family business as he grew up, but he had gradually even become unemployable. Frans spent two terms in jail, in late 2003 and early 2004, with one incident involving a handgun.
In an article published a year later, on the first anniversary of after this averted tragedy, that article stated that "his family wants people to know Daric was not a violent, dangerous person intent on killing others, but rather an increasingly troubled man who seemed to lose the ability to go on living. 'He was a beautiful little boy whose life ended tragically,' said his mother, Teresa Frans."
CALIFORNIA v. YANIRA BERNICE VALDERRAMA was a 2010-2011 California murder case. In April 2010, a by then 20 year-old Jehovah's Witness named Yanira Valderrama, who was by then employed as a SECURITY GUARD, was arrested on suspicion of murder, child endangerment, and inflicting great bodily injury while committing a felony. The Orange County District Attorney's office alleged:
At approximately 10 p.m., on Sept. 4, 2009, Valderrama, then 19 years old, is accused of giving birth to a baby boy in her bathroom of her family's Fullerton home. The defendant is accused of putting the newborn in her bathroom toilet when she heard her mother try to enter from the connecting bedroom. No one in her family knew she was pregnant. After Valderrama's mother left the bedroom, the defendant is accused of wrapping the newborn in a t-shirt and throwing the baby into a bedroom trashcan. Shortly after, Valderrama is accused of expelling the placenta and hiding it underneath the bathroom sink. Later that night, Valderrama's mother entered the bathroom and saw, the large amounts blood, and called 9-1-1. The paramedics arrived and transported the placenta, which her mother found under the sink, and the defendant to the hospital. Upon arriving at Anaheim Memorial Hospital, doctors examined Valderrama and determined that she had just given birth and alerted police. That same night, Anaheim police found the discarded newborn in the defendant's bedroom trash can.
Reportedly, the autopsy determined that the newborn baby boy died of "blunt-force injury to the head, and asphyxia while submerged in water." Unbelieveably, in September 2011, Yanira Valderrama and the Orange County DA agreed to a plea bargain in which Valderrama would plead guilty to felony child abuse, and admit to a sentence-enhancing allegation of inflicting great bodily harm, in exchange for a light 5 year prison sentence.
CALIFORNIA v. KNIGHT was a 1999-2006 California murder court decision. On the afternoon of September 26, 1999, a 34 year-old Jehovah's Witness, named Donna Michelle Knight, telephoned a friend, named Debbie Paley, and asked her to come to her apartment. When Paley arrived, the crying and upset Donna Knight told Paley to look in the bathroom. There, Paley found a dead newborn baby wrapped in a towel. Knight explained to Paley that she had given birth to the baby boy that morning. Paley called 9-1-1. Knight, who weighed nearly 300 pounds, told the paramedics that she woke up about 11:00 AM with abdominal and lower back pain, which she thought were the residual effects of a prior car accident. She sat on the toilet in the bathroom, passed some blood clots, and then went back to bed. Knight stated that she did not even know at the time that she was pregnant, nor that she had given birth to a baby. Knight later told police that she only discovered that she had been pregnant, and had delivered the baby, after she woke up and discovered the by-then dead newborn in the toilet. A forensic pathologist performed an autopsy on the baby and found that the baby was born alive and died of asphyxia from drowning in the toilet. Knight eventually admitted that she had suspected that she was pregnant. She also admitted that she realized that she had delivered a baby immediately afterwards, but that she believed the baby was stillborn.
Donna Knight was prosecuted for first degree murder. The prosecution contended that Knight, who was not married, concealed her pregnancy, and killed the baby, because Knight feared repercussions from her Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. The defense contended that Knight had been unaware of her pregnancy due to her large size, and that Knight could not remember what happened when she delivered the baby, because she had taken antidepressants and other medications. The jury found Knight guilty of second degree murder, and she was sentenced to state prison for 15 years to life. On appeal, in 2004, the appellate court reversed the judgment due to possible jury misconduct, and remanded the case to the trial court. Following remand, the trial court held an evidentiary hearing to determine whether there was jury misconduct. The trial court found there was none, and denied Knight's motion for a new trial. On appeal, in 2006, the appellate court affirmed Knight's conviction.
MICHIGAN v. THOMAS was a 2006-7 Michigan court case. On Thursday evening, April 27, 2006, at around 10:30 PM, Raphael Thomas and his live-in baby's-momma, Betty Jenkins, were supposedly "involved in a Bible study" at their Detroit duplex apartment, when Thomas and Jenkins began to argue. Thomas grabbed a can of red spray paint, and began writing various Bible-related words on interior walls throughout their apartment. The argument escalated, and the attention of neighbors was attracted to the couple's screaming and Thomas' throwing furniture, books, and other items, including their television and stereo, out of the apartment. Two neighbors reportedly called 9-1-1, but no police responded. Neighbors also called 9-1-1 at midnight and 1:00 AM, as the argument continued. Police finally responded after the 1:00 AM call, which reported a man spraypainting Bible-related words on parked autos near Thomas' apartment. However, the police apparently did not make contact with Thomas.
At some point in all this, Thomas grabbed his 9 month-old son and left the apartment. After another call from neighbors to 9-1-1, at around 2:20 AM, police responded a second time and finally located Raphael Thomas as he was walking in the neighborhood. Thomas had a knife and was stabbing himself. Thomas' son was thereafter found death in the backyard of a nearby home. The infant had been literally butchered. Thomas told police that he had killed his son to free him from "the evils of the earth".
Thomas was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital, where he received over 200 stitches for 30 self-inflicted knife wounds. Thomas was eventually admitted to the hospital's psychiatric section, where Detroit authorities charged him with the murder of his son. Outcome unknown. The media reported that amongst the items which Thomas had tossed from his apartment were his "Bible" and "other items that may be linked to a Jehovah's Witness". In fact, one of those books was the official songbook of the WatchTower Society, entitled, "Sing Praises To Jehovah", to which noone but those who attend a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses would have access. Interestingly, the couple's argument started about the time of night when attendees of the JW's mid-weekly "Theocratic Ministry School" and "Service Meeting" would have arrived home from such.
FLORIDA v. PARSONS was a 2006 Florida murder case. During the early AM hours of Tuesday, April 4, 2006, a 49 year-old African-American Jehovah's Witness, named Charles Lester Parsons, went to his former girlfriend's place of employment, which was a Exxon-Mobil gasoline station near Riviera Beach, Florida, purchased a container full of gasoline, then went inside the store where his former girlfriend was working behind the counter, doused her with the gasoline, and then struck a match and set her on fire. In the process, Charles L. Parsons also unintentionally ignited the store and even himself as he attempted to flee the scene -- leaving his burning ex-girlfriend to be rescued by other customers.
Charles Parsons, who suffered severe burns to his hands and arms, was treated at a local hospital before eventually being released to the care of Palm Beach County authorities, who charged him with attempted murder and arson. Parsons died at the Palm Beach County Jail Infirmary, on April 22, 2006, reportedly from a blood clot that had traveled from his leg to his lungs.
Charles Lester Parsons was a truck driver, who was known to his friends and family as "Big L". Parsons reportedly did not drink or smoke, and he supposedly had no prior criminal record, nor history of violence. Parsons' funeral was held at a local middle school gymnasium, and the funeral and graveside service were conducted by Walter Embry, an Elder at Parson's local Rivera Beach Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Charles Parsons' former girlfriend was Tanya LaDonna Cohen-Hughey, 38. She suffered third-degree burns over 90 percent of her body, and lived an agonizing 43 days before she died on May 16, 2006. Tanya Hughey was the mother of three children -- Anthony Hughey, 13, Tiara Hughey, 16, and Louis Decquir, 22. Hughey's relationship with the Jehovah's Witnesses, if any, is not known, but Parsons and she had dated for six years prior to their recent breakup. According to another former girlfriend of Parsons', named Margaret Hazel (who was probably a fellow Jehovah's Witness given that she told a reporter that she spoke with Parsons frequently, and last spoke with Parsons on the previous Sunday), the breakup was caused by Hughey's recent reconciliation with her ex-husband, whom Hughey had divorced in 2003 (do the math).
HYPERTHERMIA DEATH OF TODDLER LEFT UNATTENDED IN HOT VAN. On Wedneday, August 2, 2006, a 23 month-old toddler, named Vidal Vela, died from heat stroke after he was left for an uncertain number of hours inside his Jehovah's Witness GrandMother's van, while that van was "reportedly" parked in the GrandMother's unshaded driveway in Topeka, Kansas.
I would encourage readers interested in this case to read as many media reports on this case as they can locate on the internet, because a careful reading of such seems to indicate the possibility that the picture that was presented to the general public may have not included all the pertinent details of what happened on the day in question. Most of the media reports that I have found depend on details provided by a fellow member of the Shawnee Meadows Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, named Carol Jackson, and the local District Attorney Robert Hecht, who refused to prosecute Cynthia C. Keeling. I could locate only one report that also included multiple details from local police, who investigated the case as a possible "involuntary manslaughter" case.
All media reports indicated that on the day in question that Cynthia C. Keeling was babysitting two grandchildren for her daughter, Lisa Keeling, while Lisa Keeling was at work. Those same reports also state that Cynthia Keeling had picked up and given Lisa Keeling a ride to work that "morning", but without clarifying exactly what time those events occurred. Possibly pertinent was the absence of info in the media reports as to whether "Beetle" Vela's rear-facing safety seat was carried out to the van, placed in the van, and securely strapped in by Lisa Keeling, and/or Cynthia Keeling, and/or Lisa Keeling's 11 year-old daughter, Cynthia Avalos.
Which of the three persons handled Vidal Vela before Lisa Keeling was dropped off at work may not have been mentioned because such may not have been a major issue. Why? That leads us to another "unclear" part of this case. Some of the media reports state that Cynthia Keeling had returned home and left the toddler in her van after "a trip" that morning. Those reports give their readers the impression that the "trip" to which they refer was Cynthia Keeling's dropping off of Lisa Keeling at work.
However, the media reports which quote District Attorney Robert Hecht have Hecht stating that "Beetle" was left unattended for only "FOUR HOURS". Absent from those media reports is the information in other media reports citing the police investigation, which indicated that Lisa Keeling had been dropped off prior to 9:00 AM, and that the dead toddler was not discovered by 11 year-old Cynthia Avalos until around 3:48 PM, when Cynthia Keeling and she got in the van to go pick up Lisa Keeling from work.
So, what "missing facts", which would account for the seemingly "missing 3 hours", were not included in those media reports? After Cynthia Keeling dropped off her daughter at work, prior to 9:00 AM, did Cynthia Keeling then go to the Shawnee Meadows Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses for either "field service", or possibly even a weekday "Congregation Book Study" (given that more than one JW Congregation was reportedly sharing that Kingdom Hall at that time)???
Whenever it was that Cynthia Keeling, Cynthia Avalos, and "Beetle" arrived back at Cynthia Keeling's home, how did Cynthia Keeling and Cynthia Avalos BOTH manage to get out of the van without remembering that "Beetle" was with them, and then go into the house for supposedly FOUR HOURS, or SEVEN HOURS, without ever once thinking about the infant? Further raising questions as to what time it was when Cynthia Keeling arrived home is that she allegedly went into her bedroom and fell asleep while watching a video.
One can't help but wonder whether 11 year-old Cynthia Avalos was even with Cynthia Keeling when Keeling returned home, or whether Avalos might have been with others, who later brought her to Keeling's home. Cynthia Keeling may have had reasons for her lapsed of memory, but every 11 year-old that I have ever known was always on top of everything going on around them. Had other persons been involved in the care and custody of Vidal Vela and/or Cynthia Avalos that morning???
Regardless of the presence or absence of Cynthia Avalos when Cynthia Keeling arrived home, there may have been a good reason that whoever was in the van had forgot that "Beetle" was in there also. The toddler may have already been dead by the time Cynthia Keeling arrived home -- whenever that was. If such were the case, then such would require opening a whole 'nuther can of worms as to why the toddler had been left unattended in a van that still would have been excessively hot in Kansas, in early August, even if it were between 9:00 AM and Noon.
Whatever were the circumstances, reported or unreported, in January 2007, District Attorney Robert Hecht announced that his office would NOT be filing charges against Cynthia Keeling. His announcement reportedly reasoned (as partially excerpted from media reports):
"It is the opinion of this office that there was no conduct which constitutes recklessness as that term is defined by Kansas law, nor was there any guilty intent, nor would the interest of justice, the welfare of the citizens of the State of Kansas, or justice and equity be advanced by the filing of criminal charges against Cynthia C. Keeling. ...
"[The police investigation showed that the conduct of Keeling was] one of forgetfulness of an extreme degree, which resulted in a terrible tragedy, but that her forgetfulness was coupled with and perhaps exacerbated by if not occasioned by her documented medical conditions and the documented prescription medicines that she took and had been taking for a lengthy period of time prior to this event. ..."
Reportedly, Hecht went on to explain that at the time of the death that Cynthia Keeling had been taking 13 prescription medications for her morbid obesity, elbow pain, diabetes, high blood pressure, a degenerative disk disorder impacting her neck and lower back, and a sleep disorder.
NORTH CAROLINA v. DOWEN was a 2005-7 North Carolina court decision. In September 2007, Richard Dowen, Jr., then 34, plea bargained "guilty" to second-degree murder and felony child abuse for the death of his 4 year-old step-son, Randolph Thomas, and was sentenced to 26 years in prison. His wife, Amber Thomas Dowen, then 22, also pled to the same charges, but received only a 13 year prison sentence.
Richard Dowen, Jr. was an OTR semi-truck driver, who owned his own rig, and hauled freight throughout the country on a contract basis. Dowen, 29, had married 17 year-old Amber Thomas, in Texas, in 2002. Thomas already had an infant son out of wedlock, Randolph Thomas, and the couple thereafter had a daughter of their own in mid-2004. The couple spent most of their life on the road, living out of the cab of their semi-truck. Amber Dowen also was pregnant at the time of her arrest.
On August 31, 2005, Richard Dowen stopped his rig alongside a highway in Durham, North Carolina, and flagged down a passing Deputy Sheriff, who was asked for directions to the nearest hospital. The Dowens told the Deputy that their son was sick, and needed medical attention. When the Deputy caught a brief look at the 4 year-old, he immediately detained the Dowens, and called for an ambulance. Randolph Thomas died the next day at Duke Hospital. The 4 year-old died from malnutrition, dehydration, and complications from pneumonia. Randolph Thomas, who was 3 feet tall, weighed only 19.5 pounds at time of death. The 4 year-old had been starved to death. He also had signs of prior physical injuries. The Dowens never provided an explanation for his starvation, but their 15 month old daughter showed no signs of having been abused.
The difference in the prison sentences given Richard Dowen and Amber Dowen was attributed to the fact that a court psychologist described Richard Dowen, Jr. as a controlling and domineering husband, who instilled fear in his wife. Richard Dowen, Jr. gradually started to physically abuse his young step-son, and to punish the youngster by withholding food from the child. Amber Dowen, who was also mentally ill as a result of an abusive childhood, did what she thought she could to feed her son without incurring additional wrath from her husband.
Richard Dowen, Jr., was the product of a comfortable Jehovah's Witness upbringing in California. It is believed that Richard Dowen, Sr. was an Elder in the family's local Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Linda Dowen stated that she had home-schooled Richard Jr. and his two siblings, and that Richard Jr. had been a dedicated Jehovah's Witness, who went along with the program so long as he had lived at home. However, in his later teenage years, Richard Jr. began to show signs of developing mental illness -- schizophrenia, paranoia, etc. It is not known if his JW parents got him any professional help. Dowen had been estranged from his parents since leaving home after graduating high school.
Described by his widow, Francine Hinton Toney, as being "strait-laced" during his teen years growing up in Baltimore, Sean Hinton was reared as a Jehovah's Witness. By 1992, then 22 year-old Sean Hinton sought employment as a law enforcement officer with the Baltimore Police Department, in order to support his wife, two infant sons, and a 5 year-old (step?) daughter. By mid-October 1992, all seemed to be going well. Hinton had nearly completed work at the academy, and was undergoing field training. Graduation and becoming a sworn officer were only a few short weeks away. However, on Friday night, October 24, 1992, Sean Hinton had an auto accident in downtown Baltimore, and was arrested and jailed for DUI. Hinton spent most of that Saturday getting out of jail, and getting his auto out of impoundment. Later that same Saturday afternoon, at 5:40 PM, the troubled Sean Hinton penned a short note to his wife, which stated in part:
"Francine you have dealt with me 4 years, and you never seemed to believe I really loved you -- I do love you. You have Jehovah on your side. I have no one. I need Jehovah but I just can't seem to reach him. So I guess I will see someone. Please take care of our children for me."
Shortly thereafter, Sean Hinton left the housing project apartment which he, his wife, and their children shared with Sean's mother, Jean Hinton. Hinton walked out of the project, rather than driving his auto. At 6:48 PM, Hinton telephoned home from Amtrack's Penn Station to say that he would be home shortly. However, when he didn't return by midnight, his mother and wife reported him missing. Hinton did not return home that weekend, nor to his job on Monday.
On Tuesday, November 3, 1992, Sean Hinton's partially decomposed corpse was found floating in NYC harbor. His wrists were tied together using the drawstrings from the jacket he was wearing. His wallet contained a small amount of cash, and multiple pieces of ID. The autopsy indicated that Hinton had died from drowning several days previous. The NYC medical examiner eventually ruled Hinton's death to be a suicide, but issued the death certificate without a cause of death listed. Curiously, the Baltimore Police Department gave the unsworn Hinton a police funeral and burial, paid for all the expenses, and even reportedly paid out Hinton's insurance benefits to his family, despite the fact that due to the DUI, and failing to return to work, Hinton reportedly had been officially recommended for termination on or about October 28/29, 1992.
Because of all those uncertainties, and others too numerous to mention in this summary, Francine Hinton, Jean Hinton, and other family members refused to believe that Hinton had committed suicide, but rather believed that he had been murdered by corrupt members of the Baltimore Police Department. On Tuesday, October 21, 1992, during Hinton's field training, Hinton and two regular drug-enforcement officers busted an alleged drug dealer. That alleged drug dealer later filed a formal complaint in which he accused the three officers of burglarizing drugs and cash from his home while he was in jail. Hinton's family believe that he was murdered to keep him from testifying in the inquiry that later cleared the two drug-enforcement officers.
MARYLAND v. HINTON. The 1992 case of Sean Hinton was brought back to the public's attention in June 2006, when Hinton's by-then 15 year-old son, Ronald Hinton, was arrested for the rape and murder of the 4 year-old female cousin that he was babysitting. The Hinton family resurrected the case in efforts to excuse why Ronald Hinton had essentially confessed to committing the crime to police interrogators. Although Francine Toney believed and still believes that her son was innocent, in May 2008, a Baltimore jury convicted Ronald Hinton of the rape and murder. Hinton was sentenced to life plus 25 years in prison.
IN RE MENTAL HEALTH OF C.R.C. was a 2003-4 Montana involuntary commitment proceeding which concerned a self-proclaimed Jehovah's Witness female named C.R.C., of Libby, Montana. In July 2003, the Lincoln County Sheriff and a Libby Police Sergeant responded to a telephone call from a neighbor reporting yelling and gunshots from the area of CRC's mobile home. The officers found CRC to be upset -- pacing and yelling inside her home, alone. They also discovered that CRC had no water nor electric service, and the home was in a state of uncleanliness. Concerned that CRC might hurt herself or others, she was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital, where doctors assessed as having psychosis with agitation. CRC physically resisted being taken into custody, and restraint and sedation at the hospital. The local prosecutor initiated involuntary commitment proceedings, and the local court committed CRC to Montana State Hospital. In June 2004, the Montana appellate court vacated the commitment order holding that there had not been sufficient evidence that CRC was a threat to herself or others.
This Jehovah's Witness Couple, Kevin Hensley, 46, and Nancy Gillespie Hensley, 45, of East Boston, evidently had developed marital problemes, despite their 22 years of marriage, during which they parented four children: Kerry Hensley, 20, Pat Hensley, 17, Candace Hensley, 10, and Kevin Hensley Jr., age 6. On January 9, 2002, Nancy Hensley filed for divorce, had her husband removed from the couple's home, and obtained a restraining order against Kevin Hensley, who had threatened to kill her if she sought a divorce. On Thursday afternoon, January 31, 2002, apparently knowing that it was his wife's day-off from work, Kevin Hensley left early from his job as a City of Boston employee, and somehow gained entry to the family home through a rear door. Hensley first beat his wife, and thereafter strangled her to death in their bedroom using one of his neckties. Nancy Hensley's corpse reportedly was found a few hours later in a basement bathroom by the couple's oldest daughter, Kerry Hensley.
After the murder, Kevin Hensley fled to New Hampshire, where he attempted to commit suicide. Police found an already unconscious Hensley, in the ski resort town of Waterville Valley, sitting in his wife's idling car, with a hose running from the car's exhaust system into the vehicle.
One of Nancy Gillespie Hensley's three siblings claimed that Kevin Hensley had mentally abused their sister for years, while a family friend accused unidentified persons of interfering in the couple's problems, and "guiding" Nancy Hensley to divorce her husband. Neighbors described the JW couple and their children as having an idealic family life. It is possible that Nancy Hensley had only recently sought employment outside the home, and such had initiated a desire for a new life independent from her husband.
"Appellant was charged with stalking Solis from March 1, 2001 through May 14, 2002. The undisputed evidence showed, among other things, that from at least August, September, or October 2001 through May 2002, appellant repeatedly sent flowers, letters, gifts, and cards to Solis - eventually almost daily- and that he actually called and went to her mother's place of business, when Solis and her mother had the same first and last name. The jury could rationally have believed that these actions constituted a course of conduct, occurring on more than one occasion, that was directed specifically at Solis. ... ..."Appellant repeatedly sent flowers, letters, gifts, and cards to Solis, eventually almost daily, and went to and called her mother's place of business. Once, appellant placed a gift on the car of Solis's friend, which was the same color as Solis's car, and which the jury could rationally have believed that appellant thought was actually Solis's car. After Solis first reported appellant's behavior to a church elder, Leon Kinloch, in either June or in the Fall of 2001, the church elders decided to 'monitor the situation' and to try to prevent appellant from sitting near Solis. However, they were unsuccessful at preventing his approaching her: 'on multiple occasions,' appellant would position himself 'to either get in close proximity to [Solis] to pass her notes or to get in her line of sight to establish some sort of-what appeared to be to try to establish some sort of eye contact.' After the elders had asked him to leave the congregation because of his actions toward Solis, appellant 'often would drive through the parking lot of our Kingdom Hall'; after the elders told him not to drive through the parking lot, appellant at least once stood in another church's nearby parking lot in sight of those (including Solis) exiting the church. Solis testified that she believed that appellant was waiting specifically for her because he 'kept staring at me ... ,' although she followed up by admitting that she did not know whether he was actually waiting for her. Finally, Elder Kinloch explained that Solis had come to him in the Fall of 2001 complaining that 'according to her, [appellant had] been following her.' ... ..."... when Solis first reported appellant's behavior to church Elder Kinloch in either June or in the Fall of 2001, Elder Kinloch described Solis's demeanor as 'very concerned.' Elder Kinloch described Solis's demeanor during the period that the church's 'monitoring' period and afterwards as 'very, very concerned,' 'very, very jittery and jumpy,' 'incredibly nervous,' 'consistently nervous,' 'extremely jumpy,' and 'maybe even frightened so much so that she was hesitant to attend meetings,' 'so fearful of the situation that she actually stopped coming to the Kingdom Hall,' 'afraid of her shadow,' and 'consistently in fear of someone coming up behind her.' The elder explained that Solis's demeanor over the last three years had changed 'dramatically.' ... ..."... In addition to Officer Veazy's doing so, Elder Kinloch talked to appellant about the situation, asking him to stop sending Solis things, at least once in November or December 2001 and possibly more than once. When appellant's behavior toward Solis continued, the church elders eventually asked appellant to leave the congregation. ... ..."Solis had never even spoken to appellant, encouraged appellant to take any interest in her, or had any contact with appellant (except for her written refusals to have lunch with him the very first time that he sent her notes) at any time before or after he began his efforts in March 2001. Nonetheless, starting in August, September, or October 2001, appellant repeatedly and persistently - and, later, even daily- pursued Solis through letters, cards, flowers, and gifts. Appellant called and came to Solis's mother's store and left things in the mailbox there. Appellant's letters used language that one might use if one were intimate with someone or knew that person extremely well, stating that he and Solis would marry, referring to their children and grandchildren, and often speaking in language that indicated that he believed that their love was deep and mutual and that their marriage was a fait accompli. Appellant also referred to Solis's buttocks, to wanting to see her breasts, and to how they would keep his bedroom busy after they were married - all without her having spoken even one word to him.
"Even after Elder Kinloch had told him to leave Solis alone and to leave the congregation, appellant 'often would drive through the parking lot of our Kingdom Hall' and at least once stood nearby in sight of those (including Solis) exiting the church. Appellant's efforts became more frequent as time went on, and he continued his conduct even after he had been advised by Officer Veazy (January 2002) and Elder Kinloch (Fall of 2001) that Solis was terrified or did not welcome his advances and that he should leave her alone; even after he had been expelled from the church because of his behavior toward Solis; and even after he had been arrested for this offense.
"Even as early as January 2002, Officer Veazy was 'concerned' with appellant's behavior because '[i]t just wasn't normal' and because appellant had admitted already having watched Solis for a very long time. The officer also opined that, although Solis did not mention on her first visit to him that appellant had injured or threatened to injure her, the officer 'could understand where [Solis] was coming from,' given appellant's conduct. As for appellant's conduct at church meetings, Solis explained: '[W]e even got up to move [at church] and he kind of just got mad and he, you know, stormed out a couple of times when the Elders told him, you know, 'You can't sit there' or 'You can't do that.' ... ... ."
CONNECTICUT v. WEST was a 2005 Connecticut Supreme Court decision which affirmed the 2001 trial court decision. In August 2001, a by-then 26 year-old Jehovah's Witness Licensed Practical Nurse, named Chasity West, who had been employed at the local state prison, was convicted on a variety of burglary, assault, attempted murder, and murder charges resulting from her role in the July 1998 "JW Family Love Triangle" attack against three other Jehovah's Witness relatives in her Windsor and Bristol, Connecticut family. West was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release, plus seventy years.
Arnold and Tammi Cuyler married sometime around 1990. Tammi Cuyler, a Supervisor with Connecticut's Department of Children and Families, was a Jehovah's Witness from a large extended Jehovah's Witness family, so it likely can be assumed that Arnold Cuyler, a banker, was probably also a JW. Jarrell Cuyler was born around 1991. Lindsey Cuyler was born in August 1995.
In August 1995, Tammi Cuyler's 21 year-old Jehovah's Witness first cousin and babysitter, Chasity West, began an affair with 31 year-old Arnold Cuyler. Arnold Cuyler and Tammi Cuyler separated soon thereafter, and divorced in March 1996. Apparently, Arnold Cuyler and Chasity West were able to keep their affair a secret given that Chasity West and her mother, Joyce West, who was Tammi Cuyler's aunt, continued to baby-sit for Jarrell Cuyler and Lindsey Cuyler until sometime in 1997. It was not even until early 1998 that Tammi Cuyler first reported the affair to the Elders of the her Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Possibly more than one Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses was involved, but Chasity West lied and denied the affair to whichever group of Elders conducted her own "judicial hearing". There are also "hints" that Arnold Cuyler, who was living in Bristol at that time, may have also been approached by JW Elders from one or more Congregations, and that he also may have denied the affair.
Arnold Cuyler and Chasity West maintained an ongoing relationship from August 1995 forward, but Arnold Cuyler rejected West's attempts to get married and move away from Connecticut and the prying eyes of all their Jehovah's Witness family members. Arnold Cuyler used as his excuse his parental obligations to his young son and daughter.
Keeping it in the family, Chasity West paid $3400.00 to Alexis Grajales, the 18 year-old boyfriend of another [probable JW] cousin, India Riley, to help her solve the "children problem". Using a key copied from a house key that Chasity West, who was reportedly accompanied by yet another cousin named Amber Riley, had stolen out of Lindsey's diaper bag while the children were being babysat by a Great-Grandmother, Chasity West and Alexis Grajales entered the home of Tammi Cuyler around 2:00 AM on July 9, 1998. While Grajales restrained Tammi Cuyler, Chasity West attempted to cut the throats and wrists of Jarrell Cuyler and Lindsey Cuyler with a box cutter. West nearly decapitated Jarrell Cuyler, but Lindsey Cuyler survived deep cuts to her throat and arms. Curiously, no attempt was made to kill nor seriously injure Tammi Cuyler. Danny Henderson, Tammi Cuyler's 18 month-old nephew, whom she was babysitting, also went untouched.
Chasity West and Alexis Grajales were eventually arrested and charged for the crimes. Alexis Grajales turned states witness and testified against West because he allegedly had been under the impression that West was only going to vandalize Tammi Cuyler's home. During the trial, Chasity West alleged that Tammi Cuyler's father, Wallace Henderson, had sexually abused her when she was a child. Joyce West also alleged that Wallace Henderson had also sexually abused Tammi Henderson when she was a child.
Joyce West, mother, and Paul West Jr., brother, each gave specific testimony during the trial, that if believed, would have negated parts of the case established by the prosecution against Chasity West. Joyce West even testified that Chasity West was at home at the time of the attack. Reportedly, by the end of the trial, various segments of these JW families were extremely upset with other segments. During the police investigation of this case, Roberto Marquez, 23, of Hartford, Connecticut, was charged with tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. Outcome unknown.
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