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These THREE webpages will include summaries of cases of CHILD ABUSE of a non-sexual type -- including physical, mental, emotional, psychological, etc. -- committed by Jehovah's Witness Perpetrators. Some of these victims suffered gruesome torture and/or deaths. Additionally, victims and non-victims alike must come to understand that the life-long effects of mental abuse, emotional abuse, and psychological abuse suffered by Children of Jehovah's Witness Parents can be just as disastrous as sexual or physical abuse. Victims of mental abuse, emotional abuse, and psychological abuse should be encouraged to report their abuse to the proper authorities as actively as victims of physical and sexual abuse are encouraged to report their abuse to the proper authorities.
Some of the following victims probably were also sexually molested by their tormentors, but the record did not note such for whatever reason. If you were looking for court cases about CHILD MOLESTATION and SEXUAL ABUSE committed by Jehovah's Witness Perpetrators, we also have a separate SIX-page section of those type court case summaries.
ATTENTION BAPTIZED - UNBAPTIZED JEHOVAH'S WITNESS CHILDREN
Every state within the United States of America has established special laws which protect its citizens whom are under the age of 18 from abuse and neglect committed against them by any other person. State laws protect Minors from every form of abuse -- sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, etc. State laws protect Minors from abuse committed by any other person -- natural parents, foster parents, grandparents, other relatives, or any other adult attempting to exercise authority and control over them.
Children of Jehovah's Witness Parents who have made the mistake of being baptized into the WatchTower religious cult before reaching the age of 18 years-old should always remember that they still remain under the special protection of their state's child protection laws until they become an adult. Regardless of whatever mistake -- minor or major -- that a baptized child of Jehovah's Witness Parents may have made, any punitive actions taken by their Jehovah's Witness Parents or the Congregation Elders must comply with that state's child protection laws.
It is our personal opinion that no Minor -- baptized or not -- should ever meet with any individual Congregation Elder, or group of Congregation Elders, for any reason whatsoever, unless that Minor is accompanied AT ALL TIMES during that meeting by one or both JW Parents. Do NOT assume that just because the Congregation Elders or your JW Parents tell you that they are following proper procedures -- the WatchTower Society's procedures, the Congregation's procedures, or otherwise -- that such procedures comply with your state's child protection laws. If something does not seem appropriate to you, you may wish to register your objection, refuse to speak, or under appropriate circumstances, even contact law enforcement. It is our personal opinion that if a Minor -- baptized or not -- is ever "tricked" or "intimidated" into being interrogated alone by one or more Congregation Elders, that Minor should notify Child Protective Services what happened to them as soon as possible thereafter.
It is our personal opinion that no Minor -- baptized or not -- should ever appear before a 2-Elder Congregation Investigation Committee or a 3-Elder Congregation Judicial Committee, even if accompanied by a JW Parent, until that Minor has first notified their local Child Protective Services agency of what all is happening in their life, and then, only after CPS has investigated the situation and recommended to the Minor that they appear before either the Congregation Investigation Committee or the Congregation Judicial Committee.
If a BAPTIZED MINOR is ever formally sanctioned or "shunned" in any manner whatsoever by a Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses -- "marked", "privately reproved", "publicly reproved", "disfellowshipped", or otherwise -- it is our personal opinion that that BAPTIZED MINOR should notify Child Protective Services as soon as possible. In such scenarios, older, "mature" baptized Minors may wish to consult with a CPS professional about the propriety of contacting the local news media with their story.
Child Protective Services can be contacted directly, or Minors may more conveniently speak with one of their schoolteachers, school nurses, school counselors, or other school administrator. These professionals have all been trained how to handle such an inquiry, and they will do so CONFIDENTIALLY.
NEW YORK v. JAMES SULLIVAN was a 1909 New York criminal court case which aptly demonstrates how the WatchTower Cult has historically viewed children and child-rearing. Also see opening section of this website's HOME PAGE linked above.
James Sullivan was the 15 YEAR-OLD son of BETHELITE and WATCHTOWER PILGRIM, Owen L. Sullivan, whom also had two older daughters and a son-in-law who all were BETHELITES at WatchTower HQ in Brooklyn. Those two older daughters were the children of O. L. Sullivan and his deceased first wife (Alabama), while James Sullivan had been born to O. L. Sullivan and his second wife in 1894 -- soon after their marriage (Tennessee).
It appears that Owen L. Sullivan had become a WATCHTOWER BETHELITE sometime around 1907, so we are guessing that James Sullivan's mother had died sometime shortly prior to 1907, and that after her death, O. L. Sullivan had abandoned the rearing of his then 13 year-old son to either relatives or a boarding school. At some unknown point in time, WATCHTOWER BETHELITE and PILGRIM, O. L. Sullivan, had forced James Sullivan to live at Fox River Academy, which was a SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST "school" located in Illinois. Notably, the name of that "school" had been changed in 1908 from Sheridan Industrial School to Fox River Academy -- admittedly to improve the "institution's" image. In reality, this "school" was a working farm where the students were required to perform all of the manual labor when they were otherwise not being indoctrinated with SDA beliefs and practices, and given a free basic education in exchange.
James Sullivan foreseeably did not like living as a "slave" at Fox River Academy, and ran away to live with relatives sometime during the Spring of 1909. Around July 1909, 15 year-old James Sullivan traveled to WatchTower HQ, in Brooklyn, where he thought that he would find his "loving" father, Owen L. Sullivan. However, at the time, O. L. Sullivan was traveling with Charles Taze Russell in the western Pacific states. Apparently, BETHELITE brother-in-law A. G. Wakefield arranged for James Sullivan to also become a BETHELITE and work at WatchTower HQ. After a month or so of performing slave labor for room and board at WatchTower HQ, James Sullivan ran away to relatives living in Philadelphia.
James Sullivan apparently was "tricked" into returning to WatchTower HQ, where brother-in-law, Averett G. Wakefield, and James Sullivan's two half-sisters had him arrested and jailed with the intent of having him legally declared a "juvenile delinquent", and shipped off to a REFORM SCHOOL. Outcome unknown.
This opening court case serves as a "lesson" for both the EMPLOYEES OF CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES and the victims whom they are supposed to be protecting. Victims should understand that if they are continuing to be abused even after the intervention of CPS then they should REPORT their situation to anyone and everyone who will listen -- Teachers, Police Officers, Newspapers, Television Reporters, etc. Do not allow CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES to fail you.
CALIFORNIA v. RYAN MICHAEL MARSHALL was a 1985-2008 California capital murder case which gives us a look at the formative years of convicted murderer, Ryan Marshall, who was reared by a domineering Jehovah's Witness Father and a subservient Jehovah's Witness Mother who was a Social Worker for Child Protective Services. Additionally, Ryan Marshall had been best friends with one of the sons of Judy Mayora, who was the Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for battered and abused children. Judy Mayora testified during the penalty phase of Ryan Marshall's murder trial that, "She knew [Ryan Marshall] to be very kind and sensitive; who spent a lot of time trying to become a part of her family. [Ryan] spent days on end at her home integrating with her other four children. ... Although [Ryan] spent so much time in her home, [Judy] Mayora never met [Ryan's] parents. She regrets not having picked up on signs he was abused. One time he 'was pretty well marked up,' but he gave her conflicting accounts for his battered appearance and she didn't follow up."
When [Lonnie] Marshall moved in with [Ryan Marshall] and his mother, [Lonnie Marshall] assumed the role of a "dictator" and there was a "declaration of war" when [Lonnie Marshall] discarded [Ryan's] toys. [Lonnie] Marshall forced his religion of Jehovah's Witnesses on [Ryan Marshall] and his mother ... . [Ryan Marshall] resisted.[Ryan] reported that his mother had raised him to be independent. On one occasion when [Lonnie] Marshall arrived home from work, [Ryan] was arguing with his mother about going to a meeting of the Jehovah's Witnesses. [Lonnie] Marshall beat [Ryan] with a thin leather strap, which ... left welts on his legs and buttocks. [Ryan] recounted ... that he was beaten by this father for telling the truth and at least once a week on "general principle." ... When [Ryan] was in the fifth grade ... , he slashed his wrist accidentally and sought help from a neighbor for emergency medical treatment. At this time, [Lonnie] Marshall began giving him a "back hand" to the face "with a closed fist."
By the time he was about 13, [Ryan Marshall] started accepting the Jehovah's Witness faith, as his father started to drop out. Also at this time, [Ryan Marshall] started running away from home following severe beatings and threats of beatings from his father. Either [Ryan Marshall] or his mother, or both, would be beaten on nearly a daily basis.[Ryan Marshall] feared death and annihilation. He reported that on several different occasions, he was taken into protective custody and safe houses. He admitted to hurting animals after being beaten by his father. When he was 14, [Ryan Marshall] reported that he felt suicidal over the break up with a girlfriend. ... ...
[Phyllis] Marshall's testimony described the abuse her husband inflicted on [Ryan Marshall]. ... She described her parenting philosophy as one where she encouraged her son to question parental directives in stark contrast to that of her husband who approached parenting as a means to coerce obedience through cruelty and intimidation. [Lonnie] Marshall isolated [Phyllis] Marshall and [Ryan Marshall] by moving frequently. He forced his religious beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses on them and he berated them for their Jewish heritage.
[Phyllis] Marshall's first contact with [Lonnie] Marshall as a parent was in early 1968 when [Ryan Marshall] was a toddler. She took [Ryan Marshall] with her to Louisiana to live with [Lonnie] Marshall, but left after four months because he drank heavily and was physically abusive to her. She married [Lonnie] Marshall after "he said all the right things" and convinced her that he finally had settled down when [Ryan Marshall] was seven and a half. Prior to this,[Ryan Marshall] and [Phyllis] Marshall enjoyed a pleasant mother-son relationship. [Ryan Marshall] was bright, enthusiastic, energetic and personable. ... Although [Lonnie] Marshall had "played the wonderful father" with [Ryan Marshall] prior to the marriage (as part of wooing [Phyllis] Marshall), after the marriage, the father-son relationship almost immediately deteriorated; the physical, psychological, and emotional abuse inflicted on [Ryan Marshall] was pervasive and severe. When [Phyllis] Marshall complained about the constant physical abuse (hitting), [Lonnie] Marshall devised a new form of discipline. That is he directed [Ryan Marshall] to dig a hole in the backyard and after it was dug, to fill it up again. ...
[Lonnie] Marshall's concept of family life was that "he was the man of the house, he was the one in charge and everybody was going to do what he wanted." ... He yelled; he never talked. He threw objects in the house that were not to his standards of cleanness or neatness. He had an explosive personality. He had been in the Navy and he treated [Phyllis] Marshall and [Ryan Marshall] as they were in the service. She didn't leave him at first because he threatened to kill her. Later, after she no longer feared his killing her, he threatened to steal [Ryan Marshall] and told her she would never see her son again. ...
Because of the "war" between [Ryan Marshall] and his father, [Ryan Marshall] learned to keep his feelings inside. ... Not showing his feelings was the only way [Ryan Marshall] could function in the face of paternal abuse. ... [Phyllis] Marshall testified that despite [Ryan Marshall's] emotionless exterior he was extremely sensitive. ... ... ...
[Faye] Muldworf [Ryan's maternal grandmother] testified to the positive aspects of [Ryan Marshall's] character as well as some very disturbing incidents involving his father. ... She noted that [Ryan Marshall] always had been helpful to strangers and even saved the life of a little boy drowning in a pool. She described [Lonnie] Marshall as a sadistic and physically strong man who abused [Ryan Marshall] "all his life for no reason." She relayed that [Ryan Marshall] "couldn't stay in the same room with [Lonnie Marshall] because if the man looked at his son, he became very enraged for no reason at all and picked on him." Once when [Ryan Marshall] was nine or ten years old and came to visit her, she purchased an Air Force uniform for him at a thrift store. As a child, [Ryan Marshall] loved this uniform. But, when he returned home, "his father threw out the uniform ...." ... [Faye Muldworf] testified about an episode where [Lonnie] Marshall, upset because [Ryan Marshall] failed to water certain plants, beat his son so severely that when the boy came out of the garage, he crawled; he didn't walk. She recounted that [Ryan Marshall] had a look of terror on his face she hoped never to see again. [Lonnie] Marshall brutalized and abused [Ryan Marshall] all his life. She explained that [Ryan Marshall] lived in a fear of his father. She also relayed how [Lonnie] Marshall gave orders. "If he [Ryan Marshall] didn't obey that order immediately, he beat him. He was supposed to obey his [father's] orders without any idea or thought or anything else. No hesitation." ... In response to this abuse, [Faye] Muldworf described how [Ryan Marshall] retreated to his room into a "fantasy world" ... . ...
IN RE ZACHARIAH E. and IN RE ZACHARIAH E. are related 2010 California child custody decisions which demonstrate how difficult can be some Jehovah's Witnesses for Child Protective Services. In this case, a California Jehovah's Witness GrandMother (Cynthia S. married to Roger S.) THREATENED a CPS Caseworker:
"You should be careful because I heard of a little boy dying due to the CPS Worker's negligence and you don't want to be in that situation; You're the only Worker that has said bad things about us, we really didn't have a problem until you took over the case; We will go as far as we can and I will write to all my senators, Diane Feinstein and I will put your name on every piece of paper, that would put a bad light around you; You know what I'll do, I will make reports about Sabrina, since your not cooperating with us and since Sabrina is not letting us see the baby we'll just call another health and wellness check; You are causing us a lot of stress and distress, it's like punishment and mental abuse towards us; We are Jehovah's [W]itnesses and we go door to door, and Berkeley is in our jurisdiction so if we by chance see her in Berkeley that's not our fault, that's our religious right; I have called [the pediatrician] and told him what you think of me and my husband."
Additionally, JW GrandMother bolstered her THREATS against that CPS Caseworker by mentioning that Caseworker's own personal family information, including the Caseworker's residential address.
PENNSYLVANIA v. BRYAN FREEMAN, PENNSYLVANIA v. DAVID FREEMAN, and PENNSYLVANIA v. BENJAMIN BIRDWELL are related ongoing 1995-2016 Pennsylvania FIRST DEGREE MURDER court cases. All three "kids" were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Sentence appeals are still ongoing for Bryan Freeman and David Freeman since they were "minors" at the time they murdered their family.
In March 1995, the faces of three Pennsylvania teenagers were plastered across American and international news media. Those three boys, brothers Bryan Freeman, age 17, and David Freeman, age 15, along with their cousin, Ben Birdwell, age 18, had committed an unthinkable crime. The three boys had murdered three family members -- Dennis Freeman, father, Brenda Freeman, mother, and Erik Freeman, the 12 year-old brother of the two Freeman teenagers.
The three teenagers' shaven heads, with BERZERKER and SIEG HEIL tattooed across their foreheads, supposedly gave the boys away as "neo-Nazi Skinheads". As far as most people were concerned, their appearance explained everything. The "neo-Nazi Skinhead connection" was exploited by every single media report as being the "cause" behind the seemingly senseless murders. (Interestingly, the media failed to mention the fact that those forehead tattoos had been obtained only a day or so prior to the murders.) The fact that the three "innocent victims" were "Jehovah's Witnesses" only made such a conclusion that much easier. The murders were so heinous that the three teenagers received zero sympathy from anyone. Noone took the time to try to discover or understand what actually had caused these teenagers to commit the tragic murders.
Jehovah's Witnesses and those familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses lifestyle and culture should have had the following questions and thoughts racing through their mind:
How could such a thing have occurred in a Jehovah's Witness family; not just the murders, but teenagers who were "neo-Nazi Skinheads" of all things? Surely, this family couldn't have been a genuine Jehovah's Witness family? Instead, this family must have been the typical unbaptized "hangers-around", who good Jehovah's Witness families would have "marked" as "bad association". Otherwise, the picture just doesn't make sense. Or, does it?
Contrary to the many rumors which the WatchTower Society allowed to circulated without correction among Jehovah's Witnesses around the world, the Freeman family was not only a genuine Jehovah's Witness Family -- it was an "Elite Jehovah's Witness Family". Dennis and Brenda Freeman were not "ordinary" Jehovah's Witnesses. Until problems arose within his family, Dennis Freeman had been a prominent local Congregation Elder who often had been chosen to speak at WatchTower Circuit Assemblies and WatchTower District Conventions. Dennis Freeman even had once been "privileged" to have been requested to deliver the Sunday keynote address at one WatchTower District Convention.
Even more telling about this "Elite Jehovah's Witness Family" was the fact that both Freeman parents had been TWO-TIME BETHELITES who had TWICE worked fulltime at WatchTower Cult World Headquarters in New York. Non-JWs should understand that serving even once at WatchTower Cult World Headquarters is something that only a minute fraction of Jehovah's Witnesses are ever invited to do. To receive such an invitation twice is almost unheard of, and indicates that Dennis Freeman and Brenda Freeman were considered individually to be the elite of elite Jehovah's Witnesses. Dennis Freeman and Brenda Birdwell had first met while serving four-year terms as volunteer "Bethelites" during the late 1960s. Wishing to marry, they returned to Brenda's hometown -- Allentown -- in late 1969. However, since Armageddon was going to occur in October 1975, instead of starting a family, the couple "pioneered" and eventually applied again to volunteer at WatchTower Cult World Headquarters in New York. Beginning in 1973, the Freemans worked as "Bethelites" for another three years, before returning to Allentown in 1976. Since the biblically-scheduled Armageddon appeared to have been delayed, the Freemans decided to start a family.
The Freeman children were reared in the same fashion as most Jehovah's Witness children were reared, that is, by strict WatchTower Cult rules and regulations that govern every aspect of family life. As very young children, they were forced to attend five Kingdom Hall meetings held three times per week. As very young children, they were required to join the "Theocratic Ministry School" at their local Kingdom Hall, in which they were trained to deliver "sermons" both at the Kingdom Hall and during their forced regular door-to-door proselytizing. The Freeman children not only were forced to do everything all good JW children are forced to do, but apparently, the Freeman children's "Jehovah's Witness Super Parents" held their children to even higher standards than did regular Jehovah's Witness Parents.
The Jehovah's Witness community and lifestyle were everything to the Freeman children. However, something went wrong somewhere; seriously wrong. Few people outside the Jehovah's Witness community realize how stressful is the life of a child reared as a Jehovah's Witness. The preschool years of a Jehovah's Witness child's life are spent in an environment which totally rejects society outside the JW community. Jehovah's Witness children are constantly bombarded with the idea that the outside world is their enemy. Then, the young Jehovah's Witness child enters school and must continuously deal with a world and people that he or she has been taught are "evil", and are "hated" by "Jehovah" -- and will be belatedly "destroyed" by "Jehovah" at any time.
The first two Freeman children were not able to cope with the two conflicting worlds. After rejecting and being rejected by the outside world, the first two Freeman children eventually also rebelled against their own Jehovah's Witness World, and they were in turn rejected by it. Like good Jehovah's Witness Parents were taught back in the 1970s and 1980s by the WatchTower Cult, Dennis and Brenda Freeman eventually even "shunned" their own children right in their own home -- refusing to have any interaction with their two teenage sons which might be deemed "spiritual". Eventually, Dennis and Brenda Freeman even refused to allow Bryan and David to sit down and share a meal with them and their 12 year-old brother. Like cornered animals, those CHILDREN lashed out in the only ways they could find to do so. Eventually, those CHILDREN exterminated what they perceived to be the source of all the problems in their short lives.
The Freeman brothers eventually decided to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty, and they are both now incarcerated for life. Birdwell went to trial and was convicted on one murder count for which he also received a sentence of life without possibility of parole. SCOTUS has since ruled that sentencing convicted criminals to a lifetime in prison without any possibility of parole for a crime that was committed when the convicted criminal was a minor unconstitutionally violates the prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Both Bryan and David Freeman will be re-sentenced in 2016.
In the book, BLOOD CRIMES, the author Fred Rosen attempted to tell the story of "The Pennsylvania Skinhead Murders", as Rosen's book is so (mis)subtitled. Unfortunately, Rosen was not familiar with the WatchTower Cult lifestyle and culture when he research this book, which resulted in his failing to ask both good questions and appropriate follow-up questions of the few persons who agreed to be interviewed. Rosen also failed to comprehend much of the limited info provided by the few Jehovah's Witnesses who did speak with him. Yet, Rosen still manages to provide answers to many questions as to why these murders happened. Most of those answers are found hidden between the lines. Still, Rosen's book is an excellent read for those familiar with or interested in Jehovah's Witnesses.
By 2015, then 37 year-old Bryan Freeman began to accept media interviews. WHY? Bryan Freeman is once again an active Jehovah's Witness Minister, who apparently is now "pioneering" inside prison to spread the gospel of the WatchTower Cult. In a February 2015 media interview, Bryan Freeman refused to admit the truth about what really had caused him to murder his family, while blaming the murders on "teenage rebelliousness", and conveniently, the negative influence of the neo-Nazis Skinheads. Apparently, Bryan Freeman was psychologically damaged for life by the WatchTower Cult upbringing that he received in the home of Dennis and Brenda Freeman.
Alan John Miller was born in South Australia, in 1963, to extremely devout Jehovah's Witness Parents, Alan and Maxine Miller. A. J. Miller spent his formative years in quite a mentally disturbing environment. In 1966-67, when Miller was around 4 years-old, the WatchTower Cult began to teach that Jesus Christ would return to Earth in October 1975 to rid the planet of all evil (meaning all non-JWs) in the Battle of Armageddon. Typical of nearly all Jehovah's Witness families during that time period, every spare moment was spent preaching door-to-door to warn the general public of their impending doom if they refused to convert to the Jehovah's Witnesses. The WatchTower Society taught its Jehovah's Witness members that they would be held personally accountable by Jehovah God (i.e., "bloodguilty") for any lives destroyed because of their failure to have warn such ones.
Alan John Miller is reported to have been a "shy, deeply spiritual teenager who came out of his shell only when discussing Jehovah's Witness theology". Typical of children reared by Jehovah's Witness Parents, Alan and his sister, Jenni Miller, not only sacrificed most of their spare time to the activities of the WatchTower Cult, but they reportedly also sacrificed engaging in many of the formative activities in which other children of their ages participated.
October 1975 came and went without any sign of the return of Jesus Christ, and Jehovah's Witnesses around the world were once again forced to deal psychologically with yet another Second Adventist "Great Disappointment". Many adult Jehovah's Witnesses struggled greatly mentally with such. One can only imagine the psychological impact on a 13 year-old whom had known nothing else but the impending doom of the majority of mankind.
After October 1975, the WatchTower Cult told its Jehovah's Witness members that the Cult's calculated end of mankind's 6000th anniversary on earth had been accurate, and that Jesus Christ would return at any moment. Instead of slowing down, Jehovah's Witnesses were told that they should speed-up their door-knocking, and take full advantage of these unexpected additional days to warn people of their impending doom. At some point, Alan John Miller reportedly applied for and was approved as a Jehovah's Witness "Pioneer" (WatchTower Society term for a full-time proselytizer).
At some point during his teenage years, all this S**T apparently began to wear on young A. J. Miller, since it has been reported that Miller's JW Parents eventually had to seek mental health treatment for their teenage son. In 1979, at the age of 17, the highly intelligent Alan John Miller discontinued his high school studies and started studying computer science at a local community college. Afterwards, Miller started his own IT consulting business.
Still a devout Jehovah's Witness, around 1983, Alan John Miller married a fellow Jehovah's Witness -- 19-year-old Sheree Newman. The Jehovah's Witness couple eventually had two sons. During this same time period, A. J. Miller was first promoted to a "Ministerial Servant" (deacon) within his Jehovah's Witness congregation, and eventually Miller was promoted to being an "Elder" (minister) in his congregation. Sometime in the latter 1990s, Miller's lifelong odyssey in the WatchTower Cult ended when Miller supposedly became involved with another female, and he allegedly was "disfellowshipped".
Starting around 2004, A. J. Miller began proclaiming himself to be the reincarnated "Jesus Christ". Since then, Miller has reportedly developed his own cult with its own beliefs and practices -- some of which are loosely based on his previous WatchTower beliefs (anti-trinitarianism and forecasting apocryphal dates) -- and has attracted quite a following of financial supporters. Miller also has been accused of having a series of mistresses -- each of whom Miller has claimed to be the reincarnated "Mary Magdalene".
IN RE FEMALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2013 Quebec family court EMANCIPATION case initiated by the then 16 year-old daughter of Jehovah's Witness Parents who had decided that she no longer wanted to be a member of the WatchTower Cult. (Published decision is sparse on details, and even available details are in French.) The family were at some unspecified time "converts" to the WatchTower Cult, but apparently sufficient time had passed beyond mere conversion that JW Father had been given certain unspecified "privileges" in the family's Congregation. However, JW Father had had such congregation "privileges" removed by the congregation's Body of Elders due to JW Father's inability to control his daughter. When daughter was 16 years-old, she apparently moved out of her JW Parents' home -- possibly to the home of one of her high school teachers -- and initiated this emancipation action.
This legal proceeding to formally remove 16 year-old daughter from the legal authority of her JW Parents was filed by Quebec's DIRECTOR OF YOUTH PROTECTION, who alleged that the negative actions of the JW Parents toward their daughter were endangering that daughter's personal security, personal development, and future stability. Specifically, the DYP alleged that the JW Parents had been "psychologically abusing" their daughter due to the fact that Daughter no longer wanted to attend the family's Kingdom Hall, nor wanted anything else to do with the beliefs and practices of the WatchTower Cult. The JW Parents were further alleged to be continuously denigrating their 16 year-old daughter due to the fact that she was sexually active with her boyfriend. (The court decision did not indicate whether Daughter had been baptized, but regardless, under the aforementioned circumstances, Daughter undoubtedly also would have been "shunned" by her JW Parents' Congregation, whether that be via disfellowshipping, public reproval, marking, etc.)
The DIRECTOR OF YOUTH PROTECTION pointed out that Daughter had no "other" behavioral problems -- only problems caused by her JW Parents. Her performance in school had declined. She suffered from anxiety. She did not sleep well, and she was losing weight due to loss of appetite. Daughter did NOT want to be force to return home. There was little or no genuine communication between Daughter and her JW Parents. Daughter was afraid to communicate her true feelings to her JW Parents. The JW Parents failed to understand or sympathize with the plight of Daughter, and the JW Parents had no understanding or appreciation how their actions were negatively impacting their daughter.
While denying all of the DYP's allegations, the JW Parents agreed with the emancipation of their daughter. In fact, JW Father stated that he would rather have no daughter at all than have a daughter who behaved as did his daughter. JW Father threatened to thereafter cut off all communication with his daughter. The Court of Quebec approved this emancipation -- plus ordered that all legalities be cooperated with in regard to a foreign school trip in May 2014.
CAUTION: JW Teens should understand that this remedy is NOT the remedy for every child who has problems with their Jehovah's Witness Parents. This JW Teenager was forced to take extreme measures due to extreme circumstances. Unfortunately, other JW Teenagers have not reached out for help, and as a result eventually have taken even more extreme measures to escape even more extreme circumstances. Under lessor circumstances, biding your time until you graduate from high school is nearly always the better choice. However, if necessary for your personal well-being, don't hesitate to contact school counselors or teachers. They are trained to evaluate such situations and provide you with confidential assistance, including helping you to decide whether other helpers need to be involved.
Other readers should understand that the WatchTower Cult has trained its members to interpret this situation as being that of a rebellious teenager demanding that they get their way, which in this case would be seen as an immoral teenager demanding to be permitted to continue to practice immorality. Jehovah's Witnesses are trained to ignore the fact that there are other possible or even other more likely interpretations of this scenario. Jehovah's Witnesses are trained to ignore the fact that life within the WatchTower Cult often produces husbands who ignore the needs of their wives, wives who ignore the needs of their husbands, and parents who ignore the needs of their children. Often, emotionally and psychologically abused CHILDREN are the result. Some Jehovah's Witness children turn to alcohol and drugs. Others turn to crime. Some, like this teenager, turn to non-JWs for help. When one of those helpers turns out to be a boyfriend or girlfriend, sexual activity is inevitable. That's what humans who care for each other inevitably do. There's a difference between responsible sex between two committed persons who love one another, and rebelliously and stupidly engaging in wholesale sex with multiple different persons as a recreational activity.
Jehovah's Witnesses are locked into a 3500 year-old set of rules which then did not care for what reason sex was being engaged. The purpose then of those rules and their enforcement was to separate the humans from the animals. True, humans have not progressed nowhere near as far as most liberals believe. True, in this 21st century, there is a current resurgence of a animalistic segment of humanity which exists even below the level of healthy animals, but human societies which permit such are always eventually destroyed by their own moral decay (not a matter of "if", just a matter of "when"). However, the marker has moved some distance for advanced humans during the past 4000 years. Humanity has reached the point where distinctions can and should be made.
IN RE MALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2002-03 Quebec family court case which involved another troubled Quebec family in which their 14 year-old son refused to become a member of the WatchTower Cult. (Published decision is sparse on details, and even available details are in French.) This published decision did not contain as many specifics as did the decision in the above Female Teenager case. This published decision specifically identified only the Mother as a "Jehovah's Witness". JW Mother took the position that her son could not return home until he agreed to adhere to WatchTower Cult beliefs and practices. The father, while not identified in this decision as a Jehovah's Witness, also had little or no interest in having his rebellious 14 year-old son return to live with the family, and the father even told a social worker in April 2003 that he considered his 14 year-old son "dead". Thus, if that Father was not an active Jehovah's Witness, then he certainly had somehow fully internalized the attitude of an active Jehovah's Witness Father at some point in his life.
In November 2002, a Quebec family court formalized the teenager's earlier temporary placement in a foster home made at the request of the DIRECTOR OF YOUTH PROTECTION. It was ruled that the negative actions of his parents were endangering the 14 year-old boy's personal security, personal development, and future stability. The boy's parents admitted most of the allegations and agreed to their son's temporary removal from their home. At the June 2003 Hearing, neither parent contested the permanent placement of their son into foster care until he reached the age of majority.
IN RE FEMALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2002 Quebec family court decision, which extended for a second year foster care for the then 16 year-old daughter of a Jehovah's Witness Family, whom had been removed from that JW Family and placed with a foster family for a period of one year, in 2001, due to the negative actions of the JW Parents toward their daughter which were endangering that daughter's personal security, personal development, and future stability. (This French language decision is sparse on most specifics, including specifics leading to that 2001 decision.)
We include this case in this section due to the similarity of the "attitude" of the Jehovah's Witness Father with the "attitude" of the presumed JW Father in the preceding 2002 Quebec case. Notably, the JW Parents appeared without legal representation, but the JW Father acknowledged that he had been receiving legal advice from an unidentified source -- probably attorneys at the WatchTower Society of Canada.
During the first year of court-ordered foster care, the Daughter was supposed to stay with her JW Family on weekends in order that the JW Family and their daughter could gradually re-develop a relationship which would permit the daughter to return to the family at the end of that one year. However, neither the weekend visits nor the relationship had gone well because the JW Parents were totally inflexible to any change in the family's "Jehovah's Witnesses" lifestyle, or their relationship with their daughter -- despite the fact that the JW Parents claimed that they could respect the fact that their daughter did not want to participate in "Jehovah's Witnesses" activities and did not wish to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses. However, the JW Parents placed all the blame for the family rift on their Daughter. As far as the JW Parents were concerned, it was their Daughter who would have to change, or she could remain living in foster care until she reached adulthood. Neither did the JW Parents accept counseling or advice from any of the involved non-JW outsiders.
Despite the fact that their daughter had adapted well to life with a foster family -- without any behavior problems -- and was doing well in school, including taking extracurricular acting and martial arts classes, the JW Parents could only complain that their daughter was enjoying the freedom offered by the foster family during the week, while enjoying the "benefits" of her JW Family on the weekends. The JW Parents did not cooperate with weekend visits during Fall/Winter 2001 after they learned that their Daughter was celebrating the holidays. The JW Parents had also "poisoned the well" with regard to Daughter's siblings. In 2001, one older brother had gotten married, and Daughter was not permitted to attend any of the post-wedding festivities -- apparently due to "sanctions" placed on Daughter by the family's Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
The court ended its decision by noting the fact that these uncompromising parents regrettably had essentially chosen an inflexible religious lifestyle over the life of one of their own children. (This ignorant and naive judge did not realize that these Jehovah's Witness Parents would -- as would most JW Parents -- take his words as "praise" to be worn as a "badge of honor". Apparently, this judge had failed to consider that these JW Parents also would have allowed this child to DIE, along with their other children, if any of those children would ever need a blood transfusion. We suspect that the JW Father in this case was a JW Elder or Ministerial Servant. Non-JWs must realize that the vast majority of JW Families whose Father is a JW Elder/MS have absolutely NO USE WHATSOEVER for a child who does not want to join the WatchTower Cult!!!)
IN RE FEMALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a February 2003 Quebec family court case in which the unidentified 14 year-old Daughter of a Jehovah's Witness Couple was removed from those JW Parents and multiple siblings, and placed into foster care for a period of one year. (This French language decision is sparse on most specifics.) Quebec's Child Protective Services were called to Daughter's school in November 2002, where Daughter was emotionally distraught and threatening suicide. Daughter was hospitalized then, and three more times through January 2003. Prior to November 2002, Daughter had begun to rebel against what she perceived as being extremely rigid rules unfairly placed on her by her JW Parents -- with the Daughter escalating the quantity and quality of her misbehavior as her JW Parents tightened their rules more and more.
The JW Parents apparently had converted to the WatchTower Cult around 1995, when Daughter was 6 years-old. Both JW Parents claimed to have been visited by an angel during their conversion period. Both JW Parents were obsessed with the soon-to-occur "end of the world" -- with Daughter apparently being told over and over by her JW Parents that she would be destroyed at Armageddon if she was still sinning when Armageddon occurred. When JW Father visited Daughter while she was hospitalized, JW Father upset Daughter so much that he was removed by security. JW Father claimed that Daughter's hospital room number -- SIX -- was evidence that Satan was involved. When JW Father met with a female hospital psychiatrist, JW Father told her that she was wearing the colors of Satan, and that she had the eyes of Satan. One can only wonder whatever became of these BATSHIT CRAZY Jehovah's Witnesses and their unfortunate children.
CZECH REPUBLIC v. CZECH JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENTS was a 2009 Czech criminal prosecution of JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENTS who had KICKED OUT OF THEIR HOME their 18 year-old daughter, because that daughter had refused to be baptized as a Jehovah's Witness. Those JW Parents also told their daughter that if she agreed to be baptized that she could return home.
That "very smart" 18 year-old secondary-school student apparently reported her JW Parents' ABUSE and EXTORTION to the local police in her home town of Zlin, South Moravia. The local Prosecutor decided to charge the JW Parents with violation of a Czech criminal law, which media translated into English as, "Oppression", which under Czech law is defined as when a Perpetrator abuses someone else's dependence or emergency situation to force him/her to do something the Perpetrator wants them to do. Although the JW Parents' daughter had reached the age of majority in the Czech Republic -- 18 years-old -- she was a student in secondary school, and apparently, she had never held a job. Thus, her JW Parents abandoned their daughter without any financial means of support.
Although the outcome of this prosecution is not known, our best guess is that once the JW Parents were arrested and their prosecution hit the international news, the JW Parents had a sudden change of heart. Children of JW Parents around the globe, especially those in the United States, who find themselves in the same/similar dilemma should use this scenario as an excellent lesson as to how to deal with their JW Parents who are BLACKMAILING THEM to be baptized as a Jehovah's Witness. Especially note that this "very smart" 18 year-old apparently gave her JW Parents NO OTHER REASON OR REASONS by which they could excuse their kicking their child out of their home. If an unimaginative local prosecutor attempts to dismiss such a complaint as being nothing that he can do due to the complainant's age, that lazy prosecutor should be reminded that modern society has a significant interest in not forcing taxpayers to provide such victims with food stamps, welfare, and other social assistance. We suspect that state social service agencies and especially the local newspaper will also take some interest in such an abusive scenario.
IN RE FEMALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2006 Quebec family court case which involved the intervention of Quebec's Child Protective Services into the lives of an unidentified 16 year-old Daughter and her Jehovah's Witness Parents. (This French language decision is sparse on most specifics.)
CPS was anonymously made aware of problems in September 2005. The CPS investigation revealed that suicidal Daughter had lost 30% of her body weight over the previous 12 months, she had once ran away with a boyfriend, and she was misbehaving in multiple other ways. In February 2006, Daughter informed CPS that she no longer wished to be a Jehovah's Witness, and requested placement in foster care. Three days later, Daughter informed CPS that she wanted to remain with her parents, and stated that she wished to remain as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. However, Daughter also wished to drop out of school and be home-schooled. In April 2006, Daughter ran away again with her boyfriend. In May 2006, Daughter and JW Parents voluntarily agreed to six months foster care, but rescinded such a week later. In September 2006, Quebec family court ordered Daughter under the oversight of CPS, but that she was to remain in the home of her JW Parents.
This court decision noted that Daughter's JW Parents were "adequate" parents so long as Daughter complied completely with the beliefs and practices of the family's Jehovah's Witness religion, but that those same JW Parents were not able to deal with their Daughter when she failed to comply. GEE WHIZZZ, would that have anything to do with the fact that the WatchTower Cult advocates 3500 year-old "Old Testament" child-rearing practices that emphasize "cutting off" and SHUNNING (symbolic "stoning"), rather than "New Testament" love and rehabilitation? Or, the fact that "death" and "destruction" is the WatchTower Cult's solution for every problem in the world?
IN RE FEMALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2007 Quebec family court case which involved the intervention of Quebec's Child Protective Services into the lives of an unidentified 15 year-old Daughter and her Jehovah's Witness Parents. (This French language decision is sparse on most specifics.)
JW Parents were unhappily married for 25 years until they informally separated in November 2006. Daughter hit JW Mother during an argument soon after the separation, and thereafter, both JW Parents agreed to have daughter temporarily placed in foster care. Quebec's Child Protective Services sought guardianship after their investigation revealed that this Jehovah's Witness marriage had been characterized by a JW Husband who domineered over both the JW Mother and children using violence and threat of violence -- both of which JW Father denied. JW Mother claimed that she had been physically and emotionally abused during the entire marriage, and admitted that she had failed to protect her children from JW Father out of her own fear of him.
Daughter (apparently the youngest child, and possibly the only female) also had been physically and psychologically abused by JW Father, and had even attempted to hang herself when she was 10 years-old. JW Father had disproportionately punished daughter, including frequently beating her. JW Father would "preach" at her for hours -- denigrating daughter frequently. Daughter had been "suicidal" most of her life, and began receiving psychological counseling when she was in the third grade. The court decision noted that JW Father was a frequent LIAR about everything above. JW Father was labeled "contradictory", "reticent", "liar", having a "selective memory", etc. The court also used multiple negative French adjectives to describe this Jehovah's Witness Family's religious beliefs and practices. We will bet readers a dollar to a doughnut that this JW ASSHOLE was a JW Elder during most of the latter years preceding the separation.
IN RE FEMALE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TEENAGER was a 2008 Quebec family court case which involved the intervention of Quebec's Child Protective Services into the lives of an unidentified 15 year-old Daughter and her divorced Jehovah's Witness Parents and their new spouses. (This French language decision is sparse on most specifics.)
This Daughter of divorced JW Parents lived with her JW Mother and stepfather until December 2006 when she revealed that she was being sexually abused by the stepfather. Daughter then lived with her JW Father and stepmother until December 2007, when JW Father sought for Daughter to be placed in foster care. JW Father and stepmother both spoke disparagingly of Daughter because Daughter did not want to be a Jehovah's Witness, and she did not want to follow the rigid rules of their household, and they did not want Daughter's rebelliousness to spread to their other children. Notably, at the same time, JW Father claimed that he was NOT attempting to force Daughter to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
After suffering sexual abuse while living with her JW Mother, Daughter thereafter suffered physical and psychological abuse while living with her JW Father. The natural result of such was that daughter suffered emotionally and was exhibiting additional negative behaviors, including seeking the comfort and association of unsavory friends. Daughter wound up being placed into foster care -- probably until she was an adult. Hopefully, she escaped from all of these JW ASSHOLES who chose to "pluck out" the bad eye.
IN RE DOE and IN RE ROE were related 1975 Washington state family court EMANCIPATION cases in which two sisters attempted to "divorce" themselves from their Jehovah's Witness Mother because of their JW Mother's WatchTower religious beliefs and practices. Keeping in mind that the WatchTower Society had predicted that Armageddon would occur in October 1975, or soon thereafter, in 1975, two Washington state female Minors, ages 12 and 16, petitioned Juvenile Court to remove them from their JW Mother's home, because they refused to convert to the WatchTower religion as had their mother. This drastic decision was apparently not forced on them by outside parties given that no relatives stepped forward to take them into their homes. The older girl was placed in a foster home, and the younger girl was placed into a state facility pending placement into a foster home. The two girls apparently had ran away from home, and absolutely refused to return so long as their mother tried to force them to convert. Outcome unknown.
IN RE CHRISTY BROWN is yet another situation where a child of Jehovah's Witness Parents attempted to "divorce" themselves from their Jehovah's Witness Parents because of WatchTower religious beliefs and practices. In 1987, 15 year-old Christy Brown, of Des Moines, Iowa, was disfellowshipped from her family's Des Moines Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses due to "rebelliousness". Brown alleged that she was disfellowshiped for wearing makeup, wearing fashionable clothes, and listening to Michael Jackson music. Brown further claimed that as a result of her being disfellowshipped from her family's Des Moines Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses that her JW Parents instituted multiple ridiculous punishments, including making her wear the same green dress for six straight weeks. In response, Brown obtained her own personal attorney, and filed legal action to remove herself from her JW parents' custody. Outcome unknown.
WASHINGTON v. CYNTHIA SUE MILLER was a Washington state 2013-16 court case in which a Jehovah's Witness named Cynthia S. Miller, age 55, of Lacey, Washington, was found guilty of abusing her 9 year-old granddaughter during the four year period that the victim and her sister had lived with their grandmother. Cynthia Miller was arrested on charges of child abuse in December 2013, and had all four grandchildren then living with Cynthia Miller removed from her home by Washington State Child Protective Services. In January 2016, Miller was convicted of two counts of first degree criminal abuse of a child, two counts of second degree criminal abuse of a child, one count of third degree criminal abuse of a child, and one count of criminal mistreatment of a child. Cynthia Sue Miller was sentenced to 423 months in prison. The trial judge noted that Miller had never displayed any remorse during the trial, so further ordered that if Miller ever got out of prison alive that she could never ever have contact with the victim again.
Thurston County Sheriff's detectives began an investigation into the alleged abuse around Halloween 2013 after teachers at the girl's elementary school spotted bruises all over her. A medical examination revealed that the victim was underweight and had multiple bruises on several areas of her body in various stages of healing, as well as multiple old marks on her body that appeared to be burns, and multiple fractures to her arms, legs, fingers and toes, which were in various stages of healing.
Around 2009, the victim and her sister had been taken away from their own mother by Child Protective Services in California and sent to live with her paternal grandparents in Olympia, Washington, because they were being abused. Cynthia Miller and her husband are the parents of the victim's father, who is dead. Neighbors said the victim was often the target of criticism by Miller and her husband, as were her sister and the two other female cousins living in the family's apartment.
The victim's sister and their two cousins appeared not to have suffered any significant physical abuse. Notably, Cynthia Miller was accused of abusing the victim because Miller believed that the little girl was "demonized". Miller allegedly would force the little girl to stand in a corner of the family's apartment holding a Bible over her head while other family members, including other children, would shout "JEHOVAH" at her in an effort to get rid of the demon. During the trial, the victim also accused her grandmother of attempting to drown her in the bathtub.
It is this Editor's personal experience as a someone reared within the WatchTower Cult during the 1950s-1970s that during that time period that the belief that some individuals could become "demonized" was a common WatchTower Cult teaching. During the 1950s-1970s, JW children were taught that the way to protect themselves if they were ever attacked by "demons", or otherwise encountered "demons", was to SHOUT OUT the name "JEHOVAH", because demons supposedly would flee upon hearing God's name. In this case, there may have been escalation of the abuse around the time of the Halloween holiday -- which JWs still freak out about -- when the innocent little 9 year-old girl may have unwittingly brought home from school something connected to Halloween. Notably, soon after posting this then pending criminal prosecution, we received an email from a family member denying all allegations and predicting complete exoneration of Cynthia Miller. The only thing in our case summary that that email did not deny was Cynthia Miller's connection to the WatchTower Cult.
TEXAS v. JOSEPH HENRY DERUSSE (1975-79) and TEXAS v. JIMENEZ ELSA DERUSSE (1975-77) were related MURDER prosecutions of two Jehovah's Witness Parents for the death of one of their then three children. Elsa DeRusse, then age 22, pleaded guilty to the charge of "Injury To a Child" in exchange for a sentence of 20 years in prison. Joe Henry DeRusse, then age 26, went to trial using the INSANITY DEFENSE, but was convicted of MURDER, and received a 26 year prison sentence. Both convictions were affirmed on appeal.
Joe and Elsa DeRusse then had three children -- a one year-old daughter named Jennifer DeRusse, a 25 month-old son named Joe Henry DeRusse, Jr., and a 5 year-old son from Elsa's previous marriage, named Fred X. On the first Saturday morning in OCTOBER 1975 -- which was then the latest date that the WatchTower Cult had predicted for Armageddon, after their 25 month-old son would (could) not get out of bed and get ready for FIELD SERVICE, Joe DeRusse "only spanked him lightly with my hand". When Joe DeRusse later discovered that his son was not breathing, Joe DeRusse first telephoned one of the "Elders" at their local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, before Joe DeRusse and Elsa DeRusse then drove their "unresponsive" 25 month-old son to the ER at the Robstown Riverside Hospital. The infant Joe Henry DeRusse Jr. was DOA.
Attending nurses later testified that the child's corpse looked as if it had been run over by a car. The Medical Examiner testified that the child had been severely beaten to death -- with at least 75% of the child's body area covered with bruising that extended from the top of the head to the tops of the feet -- and that the infant died of internal bleeding. The DeRusses admitted to police that they had been regularly beating their 25 month-old son with their hands, belts, a wooden paddle, and electrical cords, for the past two years.
These JW Parents believed that their 25 month-old son son was DEMONIZED, and that DEMONS were the cause of the young child's abnormal misbehaving. The torturous physical abuse heaped onto the 25 month-old child was seen as being directed at the DEMON and the bad behavior instigated by the DEMON. This DELUSION apparently was well known to the DeRusse's fellow Jehovah's Witnesses, and particularly the Congregation Elders, and apparently, nothing was done to discourage that delusion nor the resulting physical abuse. One psychiatrist testified that Joe DeRusse had told him that he previously had burned the soles of his son's feet with matches; that both DeRusse and his wife previously had poured jalapeno pepper juice in the boy's mouth and eyes; and that on the night that the child died, he had been left tied to a door so that he could not raid the refrigerator -- a habit which his JW Parents had been trying to break.
Joe and Elsa DeRusse had two more sons after Elsa was paroled -- Jesse Gabriel DeRusse around 1984, and Joseph Andrew DeRusse around 1990. Joe H. DeRusse possibly committed suicide in 2002.
MASSACHUSETTS v. GEOFFREY VICTOR WILSON is an ongoing 2010-11 murder case. In March-June 2010, Geoffrey V. Wilson, age 31, of Malden, Massachusetts, was charged and later indicted with the "shaken baby syndrome" death of his six month old son, Nathan Wilson. On that Sunday morning in March 2010, Geoffrey Wilson had stayed home with Nathan while his wife, Dilkushi Wijesinghe Wilson, attended their local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Geoff Wilson claimed that in an attempt to sooth the "cranky" and "restless" baby that he had played with the baby -- gently lifting him into the air trying to simulate a soothing car ride. However, when Dilkushi Wilson arrived home, she found the baby lifeless and having "blue lips". Geoff allegedly repeatedly prevented his wife from calling 9-1-1, but instead attempted to call their pediatrician. Unable to rouse the pediatrician, the couple finally took the baby to Children's Hospital, in Boston, where Nathan was pronounced dead sometime around 2:00 PM. Allegedly, doctors found bruises on the baby's forehead, chin, and cheek, along with retinal hemorrhages, and a massive brain bleed. According to media reports, the later autopsy allegedly found subdural hemorrhage -- part of which was 3-5 days old, but also part of which may have been more than a month old. The State Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a homicide, and the cause of death hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy complicating blunt/shaking injuries of head. Outcome of prosecution still pending.
Geoffrey Wilson was somewhat of a child prodigy, being both an alumnus (2002) and employee at M.I.T. Geoffrey Wilson was reared as a Jehovah's Witness in California, by university-educated African-American Jehovah's Witness Parents. In August 1998, Geoffrey Wilson performed temporary volunteer work at WatchTower Society world headquarters, in Brooklyn. Dilkushi Wijesinghe Wilson is also employed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dilkushi Wilson is a Jehovah's Witness from Sri Lanka, as are her mother and father, Lee Wijesinghe.
SHANNON DEE SMITH FAMILICIDE. In April 2011, a power plant engineer and Jehovah's Witness named Shannon Dee Smith, age 43, of New Braunfels, Texas, became enraged at his family around dinner time, and proceeded to stab to death his JW Wife of fifteen years, Lisa Smith, also age 43. Shannon Smith also stabbed/slashed his teenage son and daughter, but they managed to escape from the family home and run to their non-JW neighbors for rescue. The daughter suffered only superficial wounds, but the son was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. It took five months before Shannon Smith's wrecked pickup truck was discovered in a dense thicket only a mile and a half from the murder scene. Smith's decomposed corpse was found next to his truck. Cause of death undetermined.
In February 2011, a Taos, New Mexico man made a domestic violence report to local police indicating that his Jehovah's Witness Wife became enraged when she discovered the couple's daughter making valentines for school. The enraged JW Mother first broke the daughter's chair before then storming out of the couple's home.
NEVADA v. WILLIAM BOYD REDMAN was a February 2011 Nevada murder court case in which William Boyd Redman Jr., age 57, was convicted of First-Degree Murder But Mentally Ill for the March 2008 near decapitation of his 12 year-old daughter, named Gloria Redman. William B. Redman's own public defender described his client as a "Jehovah's Witness", who had been "extremely mentally ill" for some time, but no history of violent behavior. Gloria Redman had stayed home from school due to illness. She was murdered by her own father while Rosemary Redman went grocery shopping. The mother returned to find Gloria Redman lying in a pool of blood inside the family's mobile home. William Redman refused to allow his wife to help Gloria. Rosemary Redman telephoned 911, and paramedics and police responded. Gloria Redman was found with her throat cut, while Redman himself had multiple self-inflicted knife wounds to his arms and even his own neck. Bill Redman told the 911 operator that his daughter's death was "the way Jehovah does things." Redman told police that he had also tried to kill himself so that he could guide Gloria during the three days of death that preceded their resurrection by Rosemary Redman. William Redman also tried to "witness" to the attending paramedics asking one female paramedic if she believed in God, while telling her that "he had seen God."
VIRGINIA v. CHRISTOPHER BRYAN SPEIGHT was the 2010-13 prosecution of one of Virginia's worst MASS MURDERERS. In January 2010, a Jehovah's Witness named Christopher Bryan Speight, age 39, of Appomattox, Virginia, was arrested and charged with the shooting deaths of eight family members and their friends at and near to his family's rural home -- four of whom were Minors. After multiple delays caused by Speight's lack of mental competency, Speight pled guilty to multiple charges of murder and was sentenced to multiple terms of life imprisonment -- from which he will never be released.
Christopher Speight and his twice-married sister, Lauralee Sipe, and her husband, Dewayne Shannon Sipe, and their 4 year-old son, and "Lauralee Dobyns'" teenage daughter from her first marriage, all lived together in a large, multi-story home situated on a rural 34 acre property (valued at $300,000.00), of which they and their institutionalized elderly maternal grandmother were co-trustees. Chris and Lauralee had been reared by their Jehovah's Witness Mother, Susan Giglio (maiden name-married three times) who had been a well-known local schoolteacher who had died in 2006. Chris did not always understand all the legalities associated with the management of the estate, and he was paranoid (maybe rightfully so) that Lauralee and her newest husband were trying to cheat him out of his inheritance (which included three other real properties valued at $500,000.00), and also were trying to kick him out of the house, so that they could have room to bring "grandma" home from the nursing home. In the past, Chris had been deleted as one of the trustees of the property, and more recently, the Sipes had encouraged Chris to build his own separate cabin/house on the property.
Chris, who had never married, supposedly had had mental issues for years, and may have been learning disabled since he was a child. Chris enjoyed rural life, and he developed a fascination with firearms over the years. Chris had been employed as a contract security guard for several years. In his application for a concealed weapons permit, Speight described himself: "I am a dependable, hardworking person, not quick to anger, and find ways to get out of problems without using force or violence." At the local business where Chris was assigned, Chris was known as a "calm, fervent Jehovah's Witness", who often talked about his faith, and who attended the Rustburg, Virginia Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Interestingly, the local COBE claimed that Chris was not a "baptized" JW, plus alleged that Chris rarely if ever attended the Kingdom Hall.
When local police responded, Speight also fired at them, before fleeing into the nearby woods. Nearly 100 cops and a helicopter eventually responded, and Speight even shot down the helicopter. After an overnight standoff, during which Andy, Barney, Gomer, and all their friends thought that they had Speight surrounded, the next morning Speight calmly walked out of the woods from behind them and began chatting with them. When one of the cops pissed off Speight by telling him to move along, Speight identified himself and told the cops that he could have killed all of them if he had wanted to do so. Police discovered an impressive arsenal of firearms, including a M1, an AR15, a BushMaster, and two UZIs. Police also discovered nearly two dozen homemade bombs planted inside and outside of Speight's home.
HYPERTHERMIA DEATH OF A JW TODDLER LEFT UNATTENDED IN A HOT VAN. On July 14, 2010, at approximately 9:30 AM, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a 27 year-old Jehovah's Witness Mother-of-four, named Stephanie Piñon, loaded two year-old daughter, Jahzel Piñon, and Jahzel's 4 year-old sister into the family's van and took the older daughter to a nearby "learning center". The unemployed father, Israel Piñon, a 6 month-old sibling, and 5 year-old disabled brother remained at home. At the school, Stephanie Piñon left 2 year-old Jahzel Piñon sitting in her carseat in the smoldering van for approximately 2 1/2 hours -- supposedly having forgotten that Jahzel was in the back of the van -- while Stephanie Piñon went inside with the 4 year-old daughter, where they met with a teacher for an hour, assisted with some center chores, and ate lunch. Stephanie Piñon discovered the unresponsive Jahzel in the van at around 12:15 PM. Jahzel Piñon was transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Two days later, Stephanie Piñon appeared before a local female judge, who set her bond at $50,000.00, and sent her to jail for a few hours.
No doubt having followed their training to contact the WatchTower Society's Legal Department for instructions in the event of any occurrence of bad publicity, the Body of Elders at the Valle del Norte Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses took over. Israel Piñon and Stephanie Piñon refused to speak publicly about the tragedy, while multiple fellow Jehovah's Witnesses were trotted out for the media with nothing but high praise for the child-rearing abilities of the two parents. One newspaper reported:
"For those who pegged Stephanie Piñon as an irresponsible young mother who neglected her children -- think again. That couldn't be further from the truth, her friends and neighbors say. The petite, 27-year-old woman they know doted on her four children, rarely letting them out of her sight. She read her children Bible stories and took them to Christian gatherings. ... Jahzel, a shy 2-year-old who friends say was inseparable from Piñon, insisted on accompanying her mother and older sister ... . ... Piñon, praised by church friends and neighbors as a kind and loving parent, ... . ... But those who know Piñon paint a picture of a protective and dedicated mother who refused to let years of adversity bring her down. ... 'Stephanie and Israel have faced constant trials, particularly due to the chronic illness of two of the immediate family members. They have kept their faith and hope strong, even at moments of extreme desperation by relying on prayer and the certainty of Jehovah God's love and tender care,' Shem J. Sargent said in an e-mail. ... ."
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.
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