DIVORCE, BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS, AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES AFFECTING CHILDREN OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES

 
 
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
CHILD ABUSE COURT CASES
 
Non-sexual Type Child Abuse Cases 
 
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NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY v. JEHOVAH'S WITNESS PARENTS is an ongoing 2009 - 2016 child custody case which involves two New Jersey unidentified professed Jehovah's Witness Parents, who apparently do not live together. Marital and congregation status are unknown. JW Wife has ties to both Arizona and New Jersey, thus she may be part Latino/Hispanic. Typically, African-American JW Husband is reported to be "substantially older" than JW Wife.

Older JW husband apparently is the more committed "Jehovah's Witness" -- having expressed concerns regarding JW Wife's commitment to their religion, as well as having expressed concerns that the involved common Daughter, who was born in 2008, was not learning WatchTower beliefs and practices as fast as he would like. JW Husband also reportedly attended meetings at the Kingdom Hall more frequently than did JW Wife.

In 2009, a Title 9 action was initiated by DCPP against JW Parents, during which the JW Couple's infant Daughter and JW Wife's 14 year-old son (by someone else) were removed from JW Wife's care and custody. After a fact finding hearing, an order dated August 30, 2010, stated that JW Parents had abused or neglected both children. Following that order, DCPP created a permanency plan where Son was to be returned to JW Wife, and JW Husband was to be given custody of their Daughter.

In 2012, after a separate physical confrontation between the JW Parents, JW Wife was found guilty of domestic violence. Later, in 2012, both JW Parents were found to have abused and neglected their Daughter, so Daughter was removed and placed with Jehovah's Witness Foster Parents. That 2012 decision was reversed in 2016, and is currently awaiting a new hearing.

At one point during this multi-years long "mess", JW Husband accused DCPP of unfairly taking his child and refused to tell the judge or DCPP where Daughter was located on the date custody was granted to DCPP. The judge asked  JW Husband where Daughter was located and threatened to hold JW Husband in contempt if he did not answer. JW Husband refused to answer, stating, "I'm not going to sacrifice my daughter on [DCPP's] table one more time." The judge found JW Husband was in contempt of the court. As JW Husband was taken into custody for contempt, he stated on the record to counsel for DCPP, "[Y]ou're going home to your kids, aren't you? I'm not going to sacrifice my daughter on this altar of new slavery. No, it's not happening. She suffered enough." JW Husband was confined in the county jail for three days. At a later court conference, JW Husband remarked that the law guardian was like "Hitler".

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SMITH v. QUIGG and SMITH v. QUIGG were related 2006 Court of Appeals of Ohio family court cases which involved a Jehovah's Witness Family whom the Ohio courts found to be less than exemplary parent and grandparents. Gavin Izaak Smith was reared by an active Jehovah's Witness Mother, Joyce M. Smith, and his father, Gregory A. Smith. At the time of this case, Gavin I. Smith reportedly was "disfellowshipped", while Gavin's father supposedly had never been one of Jehovah's Witness, but thought/spoke favorably of Jehovah's Witnesses and the WatchTower religion.

In April 1998, Christina Rae Quigg birthed Izaak Smith out-of-wedlock with Gavin Smith. (Gavin Smith already had a child with another unidentified female.) In December 1998, Gavin Smith was legally declared Izaak's father, and in January 1999, Gavin Smith filed for custody of Izaak Smith. In October 1999, the court named Gavin Smith the residential parent for Izaak Smith. In February 2001, Christina Quigg was killed in a train/automobile crash. Gavin Smith obtained custody of Izaak Smith in 1999, but Izaak Smith actually resided at the home of Gregory and Joyce Smith.

In September 2001, the court granted rights of companionship with Izaak Smith to Christina Quigg's mother and adoptive father, Carla and Eugene Quigg. Almost immediately, there were problems over the fact that the Smiths were rearing Izaak as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, while the Quiggs were Methodists. In October 2001, the Smiths denied the Quiggs their scheduled companionship. After multiple court proceedings over visitation rights, in May 2003, the Smiths commenced a proceeding to adopt Izaak in Franklin County, Ohio. Also in May 2003, the Quiggs filed a motion for custody of Izaak in Fairfield County, Ohio, where the previous litigation had taken place. The Fairfield County court  -- where all previous legal proceedings had occurred -- was not notified of the adoption proceeding, nor were the guardian ad litem or appellees. The Franklin County court issued a final decree of adoption in July 2003, but vacated that decree in August 2003 after learning of the ongoing litigation in the Fairfield County court.

Custody-visitation litigation continued throughout 2003 and 2004 until the Fairfield County court finally awarded custody to the Quiggs, with the Smiths receiving visitation rights, in December 2004. The Smiths appealed, but lost in these two March 2006 Court of Appeals decisions. Here are pertinent scattered excerpts from both similar decisions:

Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays, holidays, or political and national holidays. They do not say the pledge of allegiance, do not salute the flag, and do not honor other secular icons. Jehovah's Witnesses do not participate in competitive team sports. ...

The record indicates [Gavin Smith] and his mother Janice Smith participated in physical abuse of Izaak. After Izaak reported incidents of inappropriate touching by Joyce Smith, the Fairfield County Children's Services investigated but did not intervene. The guardian ad litem was extremely critical of ... the Smiths, and their own counselor testified they were inflexible and Joyce Smith is hot-headed. ...

It appears [Smiths] withheld Izaak from a 48 hour visit with [Quiggs] because [Quiggs] intended to trim their Christmas tree that weekend, which is contrary to [Smith's WatchTower Cult beliefs]. The record indicates ... the Smiths paddled Izaak if he participated in any of [Quiggs'] activities if those activities were forbidden by [Smiths'] religion. ...

... [Smiths] argue the trial court has interfered with the practice of their religion. We find to the contrary, the trial court has tried to steer a course respecting both parties' religions. What [Smiths] wish is for the court to interfere with [Quiggs'] practice of their religion in their own home, and have consistently attempted to prohibit [Quiggs] from doing anything [Smiths] disapprove of, even if it involves holidays the Methodist religion celebrates.

The trial court here found [Gavin Smith] had abandoned Izaak. [Gavin Smith] had relinquished his parental rights in the unsuccessful adoption action in Franklin County. ... the entire adoption attempt nevertheless indicates his lack of commitment to being Izaak's father. The record also includes much evidence showing [Gavin Smith] had relinquished Izaak's caretaking to his parents and intended to continue to do so. Finally, there was evidence presented at trial that [Gavin Smith] abused Izaak physically and emotionally. ...

The guardian ad litem reported [Gavin Smith] repeatedly lied about his religious observances and church attendance, and the report gives the distinct impression the guardian ad litem questioned the sincerity of [Gavin Smith's religious] beliefs. The guardian ad litem's report included discussions of many other issues including Izaak's interactions with [Gavin Smith], the Smiths, and [Quiggs]; the corporal punishment and psychological abuse administered by [Gavin Smith] and Joyce Smith; Izaak's report of sexual abuse by Joyce Smith; and the lack of interest [Gavin Smith] displayed for being Izaak's caregiver. ...

The court found [Gavin Smith] and the Smiths in civil and criminal contempt in the final entry dated December 30, 2004, ... . The court found because of the contemptuous actions of [Gavin Smith] and the Smiths, [the Quiggs] were required to take drastic, prolonged court action. The court found all activity and expenses after the initial visitation order are a result of [Gavin Smith's] improper conduct in concert with the Smiths. The court found [Gavin Smith] and the Smiths had all operated in bad faith, and all the fees stemmed entirely from their refusal to comply with the orders of the court. ...

The trial court specifically found both [Gavin Smith] and the Smiths have a "track record" of total distain for any court order and believe their wishes outweigh the court's order. The court found they all participated in the fraudulent adoption proceedings in July 2003. The court found [Gavin Smith] and the Smiths never had any intention to allow appellees any contact with the child. ...

[Gavin Smith] was ordered to pay all [Quiggs'] legal fees, all guardian ad litem fees, all expert fees, the cost of all the psychological evaluations, costs of depositions and transcriptions, and for the parenting classes both the Smiths and [Quiggs] attended. The total judgment against [Gavin Smith] and the Smiths is $105,540.37.

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OREGON v. CHRISTIAN MICHAEL LONGO (2003), MICHIGAN v. CHRISTIAN LONGO (2000), and MICHIGAN v. CHRIS LONGO (1992) are criminal court cases which involved a "home-schooled" Jehovah's Witness "Ministerial Servant" named Christian Longo. Chris Longo was reared as a Jehovah's Witness by parents who became prominent Jehovah's Witnesses over the years. Joy Longo was the first to convert to the JWs when Christian Longo and Dustin Longo were youngsters. Joe Longo, the stepfather, was a corporate level manager with TARGET Corporation, and he eventually converted due to Joy's determination, and eventually became a "Jehovah's Witness Elder". In the mid 1990s, the WatchTower Society selected the Longos -- an "Elder" and a "Pioneer" Couple -- to travel as special delegates and "role models" to multiple WatchTower Conventions being held in several Eastern European countries and the Baltic Republics.

Despite having been home-schooled during high school, so that he could also "pioneer", 18 year-old Christian Longo was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor embezzlement in 1992, after he stole cash out of the cash register at a Michigan photographic equipment store where he was employed as a salesclerk.

In September 2000, a married Christian Longo, who by then was a  "Ministerial Servant" in his JW Congregation, and employer of several of his fellow JWs, pled guilty to two counts of forgery and two counts of uttering and publishing in connection with a series of forgery and fraud crimes committed in Summer 2000.  Longo had manufactured, signed, and cashed checks which he duplicated from genuine checks issued to him by a construction firm which was a customer of Longo's own janitorial services company. In actuality, Longo had faked and forged six checks amounting to approximately $30,000.00.

By the summer of 2001, Christian Longo was again manufacturing and cashing fraudulent checks duplicated from his customers' legitimate payment checks. Longo was never prosecuted for such, because by that time his criminal activities were swiftly escalating to theft of automobiles, boats, construction equipment, and the finale -- murder of his wife and three children .

In December 2001, after having fled to Oregon to hide from authorities in Michigan and Ohio, and after having ran out of money and options to obtain money to support his family, and because he could no longer turn to his Jehovah's Witness family, Christian Longo's mentally ill mind led him to kill his faithful JW wife and three young innocent children, and disposed of their bodies by dumping them in two coastal inlets. Longo then fled to Cancun, where Mexican police and the FBI eventually discovered him smoking pot and fornicating with a German tourist.

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"SHUNNED NO MORE"

THE ROBERT BRYANT FAMILICIDE. In February 2002, one month after Christian Longo's capture in Mexico made international headlines, an eerily similar tragedy struck a second family of "Jehovah's Witnesses" who also had fled to Oregon, and who lived only about an hour away from where the Longo Family had lived. The family patriarch, Robert Arlie Bryant, age 37, had been a Jehovah's Witness Elder, but had been "disfellowshipped" after he began to believe that he had received the "heavenly call" as one of the "144,000", or "the anointed remnant" -- those few, privileged JWs who go to heaven to be co-rulers with Jesus Christ.  Robert Bryant committed suicide after first murdering his wife, Janet Bryant, and their four children, Clayton, 15, Ethan, 12, Ashley, 9, and Alissa, 8, on the evening of the Bryants' 17th wedding anniversary (marriage anniversaries are the only "holiday" JWs are permitted to celebrate).
 
Before everything went wrong, Robert Bryant and Janet Bryant, and their four children had been members of the Shingle Springs, California Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, where both Robert and his father, Keith Bryant, were "Elders". In addition to rearing Rob Bryant in the WatchTower religion, Keith Bryant and Arlene Bryant also had reared Rob in the family landscaping business. Robert Bryant eventually became business partners with his father and two brothers. Sometime around 1997-98, Robert Bryant disclosed his "call" and began partaking of the bread and wine at the WatchTower Society's annual "Memorial" --during which 99.999% of Jehovah's Witness take the "sacraments" into their hands, and then reject such as taught by the WatchTower Society. Robert was probably shocked at the negative reaction that his "good news" elicited from not just the other members in the congregation, but from even his own parents and siblings. Keith Bryant reportedly took Robert's claim seriously only "grudgingly", while Bryant's own mother reportedly was "furious", and rejected the notion. Within a matter of a few months, Robert Bryant was excommunicated from the JWs -- in mid 1998. Since JWs are required to "shun" (treat as dead) disfellowshipped former members, under penalty of being excommunicated themselves if they fail to do so, the landscaping business partnership with his father and brothers reportedly was dissolved. Then, in early 2000, Robert Bryant's first landscaping business of his own, which apparently competed with his father's landscaping business, was forced into bankruptcy. Rob Bryant apparently thereafter started a second landscaping business while dealing with same/similar issues of the first.
 
At some point, Robert and Janet Bryant (who apparently had "disassociated" herself from the JWs) stopped attending "meetings" at the Shingle Springs, California Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Keith Bryant and Arlene Bryant reportedly initiated legal action to obtain visitation and/or custody of the four Bryant children in an alleged effort to force their grandchildren to attend the local Kingdom Hall, and be reared as Jehovah's Witnesses. By late 2000, or early 2001, it finally became apparent to Robert and Janet Bryant that they would have to move away from Shingle Springs if they were to have any hope of a normal life for themselves and their four children. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2001, the Bryants made the mistake of choosing McMinnville, Oregon, where the climate and other factors were not the best for a new resident with a new landscaping business to support a large family. By winter 2001-2, the Bryants were experiencing financial problems and other difficulties. McMinnville residents would have helped the Bryants if they had only known. However, still retaining the JW mentality and lifestyle of living separate from "the world", the Bryants stayed to themselves until that fateful evening when Robert Bryant's apparent depression led to his irreversible, unfortunate decision.
 
The McMinnville, Oregon Jehovah's Witnesses laid as snakely low as possible as the authorities and reporters attempted to gather information about this tragedy and its cause. While the local JWs lamented this "reproach" on their beloved WatchTower Society, it was left to the "worldly" "false christians" at McMinnville's Bethel Baptist Church to host a memorial service for the Bryant family. Five hundred local residents turned out to show their respect for and mourn a family who were barely known to the local community.
 
Standing out amongst the limited number of floral arrangements sent to the Bryant Family memorial service was a WREATH of white flowers which contained a revealing message that aptly summed up this tragedy. On that wreath was a white banner with that message written in gold letters:  "SHUNNED NO MORE". (Yes, we know who sent that WREATH. No, it was not the publicly speculated female.)
 
In August 2015, the Canadian television program, DEADLY DEVOTION, aired its Season Three, Episode One, which was an account of the 2002 Bryant Family Tragedy. Interestingly, the producers at DEADLY DEVOTION took as the title of their television episode the profound message written on that aforementioned WREATH: "SHUNNED NO MORE".

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CALIFORNIA v. DAE KWON YUN is an ongoing 2006-8 California murder court case. On Sunday afternoon, April 2, 2006, a Los Angeles Jehovah's Witness, named Dae Kwon Yun, 54, allegedly set fire to the interior of his Toyota Sequoia while he was sitting in the driver's seat and while his daughter, Ashley, 11, and son, Alexander, 10, were sitting in the rear passenger section. Dae Kwon Yun eventually jumped out of the SUV with second and third degree burns on his face, hands and legs, but his two children died in the fire. Yun was charged in 2006 with two counts of murder, including special-circumstance allegations of multiple victims and murder committed during an arson, which allow a possible death sentence. Yun has pleaded "not guilty".

Yun, who is of Korean heritage, immigrated to the United States from Argentina in the 1980s. Yun supposedly had earned a law degree in Argentina, but it is not known whether he practiced law there or after coming to the U.S. In 1993, Yun married another Korean immigrant, Sun Ok Ma, a realtor, and they soon had the two children. Yun owned and operated a garment factory in the Koreatown district, and was financially successful until 1999, when reportedly, the state and federal governments came after Yun for nearly $100,000.00 in back taxes. The business and family struggled thereafter. In mid 2004, after years of alleged unreported spousal abuse, Yun was convicted of spousal battery after Ma finally called the police. In 2005, Yun allegedly began to frequent local casinos, which exasperated his financial situation. Yun was forced to close his garment factory in early 2006, and in May 2006, Ma moved out and filed for divorce. A week later, Yun picked up Ashley and Alexander from their new apartment for a supposed Sunday afternoon at the movies and shopping.  Around 4:00 PM, Yun drove to a vacant alley near his closed factory, where he allegedly doused the interior of his SUV with gasoline and then ignited the fire.

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NORTH CAROLINA v. RICHARD 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.

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TEXAS v. OTTY SANCHEZ is an ongoing 2009 Texas capital murder case. Scott Wesley Buchholz-Sanchez was born on June 30, 2009, in San Antonio, to Jehovah's Witness Mother Otty Sanchez, age 33, and Scott W. Buchholz. Otty Sanchez moved out of the unmarried couple's rented home on July 20, and moved in with her own Jehovah's Witness Mother, who was already housing another daughter and her two children. Baby-daddy tried unsuccessfully to get Otty Sanchez to return home. On Saturday, July 25, Sanchez did take Baby Scotty to the home of the paternal grandparents, but quickly fled in a rage with the baby when she was asked for copies of the baby's birth certificate and SS card.

Around 4:30 AM, on Sunday morning, July 26, 2009, Otty Sanchez's sister discovered the skinned and severely mutilated body of Baby Scotty. Otty Sanchez had not only stabbed to death her newborn child, but she had even slowly eaten its brain, nose, and toes. Sanchez quickly confessed to the murder and told detectives that she was hearing voices and that the Devil made her kill her baby. The crime scene was so disturbing that the San Antonio Police Department had to provide counseling services for the officers who entered the home. According to Greg Garcia, Sanchez's first cousin, Otty Sanchez, who was employed as an in-home health care provider for senior citizens, had previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia and more recently with postpartum psychosis. At some point after the murder, Sanchez also stabbed herself two or more times.

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ILLINOIS v. BETTY WHITTEN is a 2006-8 Illinois murder court case. In April 2006, an African-American Jehovah's Witness Mother, named Betty Whitten, 57, of St. Charles, Illinois, and a member of the Elgin Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, stabbed to death her 34-year-old disabled daughter, Nyakiambi Whitten. Soon after her arrest, Betty Whitten was declared mentally unfit to stand trial, and was committed to a state mental health inpatient treatment facility until she was able to stand trial. In March 2008, Betty Whitten pleaded "guilty but mentally ill" to second-degree murder in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence. Whitten could be eligible for parole after 8 years in prison, but her time does not start so long as she is committed to a mental health treatment facility.

Betty Whitten reportedly had been treated for depression for several years. Whitten was the primary caregiver for her oldest daughter, who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and impaired vision at the age of two. On Monday morning, April 3, 2006, at the Whitten's rural home, Betty Whitten first threatened 24 year-old daughter, Rachael Whitten, but she fled the house, and eventually called her father and then the police from a neighbor's telephone. Betty Whitten then stabbed Nyakiambi Whitten three times with a kitchen knife. One stab wound to the heart was fatal. Before police could arrive, Whitten loaded the corpse into her car, apparently for the purpose of disposing of it in the nearby Fox River. Whitten stopped her car on a St. Charles bridge at a point before it was over the river. An unwitting police officer came up behind Whitten's stopped car. When the officer turned on his lights, Whitten accelerated, crashed through the bridge's guardrail, and landed upside down on a bike path below. There, police discovered the corpse and Whitten, who had a minor head injury.

Betty Whitten later told police that "demons" had cause her to do what she did. Whitten also stated that she believed Nyakiambi was being abused and that her husband had been unfaithful. The father, Earstin Whitten, 57, who was either an "Elder" or "Ministerial Servant" in the Elgin Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, stated that although Nyakiambi (Swahili for "first daughter") had various disabilities which required her to be constantly supervised, she had attended special education programs in St. Charles schools and at Elgin Community College until she was 21.

In June 2006, Betty Whitten filed for divorce from Earstin Whitten, claiming "extreme and repeated mental cruelty", as well as adultery. Betty Whitten also reportedly formally accused her husband of the same with their local JW Congregation. Earstin Whitten denied Betty's charges and apparently contested the divorce, but the outcome of the divorce (pending as of March 2008) and any congregation action is unknown. However, in March 2007, Earstin Whitten relocated to Reno, Nevada, "to start a new life", per Rachael Whitten, who stated that she was joining her father there.

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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, home-schooled their six children, despite the fact that Larry was a full-time mechanic at the Chicago Transit Authority, and Constance was a full-time 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 home-schoolers, 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 full-time jobs in the Chicago area, these children must have also been responsible for their own home-school 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 unfound, 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 teenage 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 teenage sons to pull off her pants.  At some point, Larry also cut off his daughter's shirt. Larry repeatedly ordered the teenage 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.

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MICHIGAN v. RAPHAEL 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 spray painting 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.

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DREW SPEEDIE & SON MURDER-SUICIDE. In September 2005, Drew Webster Speedie, 50, an internationally known Computer Software Designer from Scottsdale, Arizona, took his wife, Irene Speedie, and their 13 year-old son, Brent Speedie, on vacation to Yellowstone National Park. (The Speedies' reportedly also had two adult children from prior marriages.) September 16, 2005, was the Speedie Family's last day of a vacation at Yellowstone. That morning, at around 9:30 AM, Drew and Brent, both "photography buffs", decided to go take photos at the nearby scenic Gardiner High River Bridge, while Irene Speedie reportedly remained at their hotel in Gardiner, Montana. The Gardiner High River Bridge is a steel bridge that is more than 800 feet long and 200 feet tall. The bridge has two lanes for the light traffic that passes over it, but no pedestrian walkways.
 
Irene Speedie reportedly alerted Park authorities when her husband and son had not returned to the hotel by noontime. At some point, an upset Asian tourist, who could barely speak any English, alerted a Park ranger that something had just happened at the bridge. A park ranger went to investigate, and reportedly found Irene Speedie on the bridge looking for her husband and son. Using his binoculars, the ranger spied two bodies lying on the riverbank below. They were Drew Speedie and Brent Speedie.
 
The two deaths were eventually classified as a "murder-suicide" by National Park Service investigators. A digital camera was found on the bridge which contained photos of Drew and Brent taking turns posing along the chest-high railing of the bridge. The last photo showed Brent Speedie sitting on the top rail of the bridge, facing toward the canyon, and away from the roadway. (One can't help but wonder if Drew Speedie, after taking that last photo, then climbed up on the railing, and sat down beside his son.)
 
Although autopsies indicated that both Drew and Brent died from blunt force trauma to their heads, the autopsies also indicated that both Drew and Brent had landed feet first. Investigators stated that there was nothing to indicate the pair had been struck by a passing vehicle, or that some third party had somehow been involved. The NPS investigation also vaguely mentioned that Drew W. Speedie had recently discussed "suicide". Although noone knows for certain what happened that day, NPS investigators speculated that the father pushed the son off the railing after taking that last photo, and that Drew Speedie then jumped.
 
Multiple internet postings at the time of the deaths indicated that the Speedie Family were Jehovah's Witnesses. Persons claiming to have intimate knowledge of the situation alleged that the Speedies were well known amongst not only JWs in Arizona, but also internationally, due to Drew Speedie's prominence as a Computer Software Designer, and the fact that he traveled on business throughout North America and Europe. Rumors circulated that a family member had had some sort of "issue" with either the WatchTower Society and/or their local Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Whether a family member had been organizationally reprimanded or even disfellowshipped is unknown. It is known that the NPS investigation took federal authorities to Scottsdale to interview "friends" and others who knew and associated with the Speedies, which would have included many JWs. Interestingly, according to one published obituary, there was no funeral/memorial service for the father or the son.

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MACKEY FAMILY MURDER-SUICIDE???  In August 2003, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida Jehovah's Witness Elder, named Carl Dennis Mackey, 41, allegedly shot his 12 year-old son, Brian, (or Bryan) just after midnight in the early AM hours of a Monday morning. The JW Elder then supposedly turned his pistol on himself. Curiously, local police became aware of the alleged murder-suicide when they responded to a telephone call which had reported a supposed emergency at another home near the Mackey residence. When the police arrived in the neighborhood in response to that telephone call, at around 12:40 AM, Laura Mackey ran out of the Mackey home screaming that her husband was trying to kill her and her son. Laura Mackey, (or Lora Mackey), then told the officers that she last saw her husband heading to her 12 year-old son's bedroom, and that she had just heard two gunshots. The officers entered the residence to investigate, and discovered Dennis Mackey and Brian Mackey both dead from single gunshots to the head, as well as a "small caliber" handgun lying next to Dennis Mackey's body.
 
Dennis Mackey was a supervisor at the City of Plantation Department of Public Works. Co-workers and supervisors had nothing but positive things to say about Dennis Mackey. Brian Mackey, 12, was reportedly an honors student, who was well behaved and had never been in trouble. Dennis Mackey reportedly doted on Brian. Tim Mackey, 22, stated that his father was a hard worker, who preached morals. The Mackey home was even the site of two weekly Jehovah's Witness congegation meetings -- on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Family, friends, and co-workers could not believe nor speculate any reason why Dennis Mackey would have, or even could have, murdered the son whom he loved so much, much less have committed suicide. Laura Mackey, who was employed as an Office Manager at an alternative school, reportedly alleged that Dennis Mackey and she had been having marital problems for the past several months.
 
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CALIFORNIA v. DOLORES DOYLE was a 1985-9 California murder case related to what supposedly was the first instance of a doctor in the United States being convicted for "murder" in the death of a patient. In May 1989, a Jehovah's Witness Midwife, named Dolores Doyle, 36, who was charged with three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of three babies, including Aaron Diederick, agreed to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and insurance fraud in a reported plea bargain deal with Los Angeles Prosecutors. Initially, Doyle had been charged with a total of 26 felonies.

Dolores Doyle, who apparently was unable to arrange bail, spent approximately four years in jail while awaiting trial. Because of time served, Doyle  received a suspended eight-year prison sentence, and was ordered released on five years probation. As a condition of probation, Doyle was not to provide any type of health care or to work for anyone who did.

Dolores Doyle had been charged along with Dr. Milos Klvana, who was the owner-operator of a string of clinics in southern California, and the employer of Doloros Doyle. Doyle reportedly used her status as a Jehovah's Witness to bring in her fellow JWs as customers to the clinics. In 1989, Klvana was convicted of the death of eight babies and one "fetus", and sentenced to 53 years in prison.

Although the Jehovah's Witness Parents of Aaron Diederick, Brian and Lanna Diederick, testified against Milos Klvana, he received financial and other support from a large group of former patients, called "Friends of Milos Klvana". At this point in time, it is unknown if or how many of those supporters were Jehovah's Witnesses.

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FLORIDA v. CHARLES EDWARD MOORE was a 1988 Florida murder court case. In April 1988, Charles Edward Moore, 28, of Fort Lauderdale, attacked with a crowbar his 54 year-old Jehovah's Witness Mother, Lula Mae Moore, his 17 year-old nephew, and a non-relative, after a family argument. Charles E. Moore apparently had a history of mental illness, crime, and drug use. Moore's JW Mother, who was an 18 year employee at Broward General Medical Center, and mother of six children, apparently had given her (possibly youngest) son an ultimatum to either submit to psychiatric help or move out of her house. The argument escalated to the point where Moore not only beat the three victims with the crowbar, but he also stabbed his mother at some point. She was DOA at her place of employment.

Charles Edward Moore was arrested and charged with first degree murder of his mother, attempted first degree murder of his nephew, and aggravated assault of the non-relative. Moore was ruled "mentally incompetent" to stand trial, and was sent to a Florida mental health facility. A year later, in April 1989, when Moore was still deemed "mentally incompetent" to stand trial, the state requested, and a judge agreed, that Moore be court-ordered to take powerful anti-psychotic drugs that the state hoped would make Moore competent to stand trial. Moore opposed being forced to take the drugs, and told the judge, ''I've done the best I can without any medicine. ... I feel like they're [apparently the state psychiatrists] trying to kill me. My behavior has been outstanding since I've been in there. If you want to see me worse than what I am, then bring the medicine to me.'' Outcome unknown.

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PENNSYLVANIA v. JAMES HOMER was a 1984-7 Pennsylvania murder trial. In 1987, James Homer, 34, was convicted of murdering his 9 year-old daughter, Joyce Homer, and his 13 year-old step-daughter, Danetta Bullock, at the Philadelphia area home of this family of Jehovah's Witnesses. James Homer was sentenced to two consecutive terms of life in prison without parole, as well as 10 to 20 years for arson, which runs concurrently with the two life sentences. On the evening of February 10, 1984, the fire department was called to the home of James and Denise Homer, where the bodies of Danetta and Joyce were found in a charred first-story front bedroom. James Homer initially claimed to have been at work when the fire started on the mattress. Denise Homer, 30, and daughter Sandy Homer, 10, were at a dentist's office. The scenario apparently was suspicious. On February 14, James Homer checked himself into the hospital for "stress". On discharge, a week later, James Homer was arrested for the murder of the two girls, and setting the fire to cover such up. Homer eventually confessed to strangling to death the two girls, as well as setting the fire and staging the scene. Homer claimed that he and the girls had been watching television when an argument erupted between Danetta and he over which program to watch, which led to him striking her with a bed slat, which then caused him to also attack Joyce Homer. Homer then finished the job by strangling them. Some authorities doubted Homer's tale, and suspected that he had been sexually abusing one or both girls. Such was evidently never proven, and Homer never confessed to such.

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STATE v. STEPHEN VAN DER SLUYS was a 1986 New York criminal court case which involved Stephen Van Der Sluys, 34, who was an active minister in the Syracuse, New York; Farmington, New York; Mechanicsville, New York; and Canandaigua, New York Congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses. Van Der Sluys apparently first came to the attention of law enforcement in Spring 1985, when he was convicted and jailed for one year for sodomizing and raping a teenage foster child who had been placed in the family's home through the state foster care program. At some point, New York authorities also began to investigate the deaths of Stephen Van Der Sluys' three children, which had occurred in the late 1970s.  Heath, age 16 months, died in 1976, supposedly from choking on a quarter. Heather, age 3 months, died in 1977, supposedly from SIDS. Vicki, age 14 months, died in 1979, supposedly from SIDS.

The first two children each had a $10,000.00 life insurance policy.  Vicki, the third child, had a $30,000.00 life insurance policy. After Vicki died, Van Der Sluys and his wife, Jane, then had three more children.  Although there was no indication that Jane knew about the murders, a Prosecutor told a reporter that the only reason those three children were not killed was because Jane would not allow Stephen to buy a life insurance policy on them. In the 1986 murder trial, Stephen Van Der Sluys was convicted of second-degree murder for the suffocation death of Heather. Van Der Sluys pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in Vicki's death, which was also believed to have been by suffocation. Van Der Sluys was sentenced to 25 years to life for the 1977 murder, and 8 1/2 to 25 years for the 1979 slaying. The Prosecutor decided not to pursue the 1976 death. The primary motive in the deaths was the insurance money given the family's history of financial problems.

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In the mid-1980s, a middle-class couple in their early 40s admitted that they were less than excited when they learned that a seventh child would join them and their other six children, who ranged in age from approximately 14 to 22 years-old by the time the latest child was born. Only the wife was identified by two media articles as being a Jehovah's Witness. Before the new addition to the family was even close to reaching one year-old, one night, sometime between midnight and 6:30 AM, the then several months old infant disappeared from its crib, which was located in the parents' bedroom.
 
Reportedly, relations between the family and the police quickly soured due to the police allegedly suspecting a member of the family to be responsible for the infant's disappearance. Reportedly, the parents had went to bed around midnight, and had left their front door unlocked so that one of the older children, who was not yet home, could enter. (Unknown when that child arrived home, and if that child locked the front door afterwards.) However, there were no signs of forced entry into the home. The parents' bedroom reportedly was so extremely cluttered that the police did not believe that a stranger could have entered the bedroom and moved about without waking someone. Reportedly, local police, and eventually the F.B.I., both gave lie-detector tests to the family members. All passed, except for the Jehovah's Witness Mother. She failed both times. The family blamed her two failures on stress from the situation, and her medication. The family criticized the police, accusing them of bungling the investigation, and focusing too much on them. The case is officially still open, but inactive. The family continues to actively search for their "missing" child.
 
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WEST VIRGINIA v. STANLEY COLBERT and WEST VIRGINIA v. VEENA COLBERT were related 1985-6 West Virginia criminal court cases. In October 1985, Jehovah's Witnesses Foster Parents, named Stanley Colbert and Veena Colbert, took their foster son, Micah J. Colbert, to City Hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The 3 month-old baby was found to suffer from broken ribs, a fractured skull, and possibly other injuries. The baby was airlifted to Children's Hospital in Washington D.C., where the Colberts were asked to consent to needed blood transfusions. The Colberts refused to give their consent. Children's Hospital was forced to petition a local court for authorization to administer medically required transfusions.

However, Micah Colbert died two days later from the original injuries, which were determined to have resulted from physical abuse. Both JW Foster Parents were charged in Micah's death. However, after further investigation, the local Martinsburg prosecutor dropped the charges against Stanley Colbert. Then, that same West Virginia prosecutor dropped the charges against Veena Colbert -- despite the fact that psychiatric testing found that Colbert was legally competent to stand trial. That genius prosecutor reasoned that since it had been determined that Veena Colbert was suffering from "multiple personalities disorder", that Colbert could not be convicted on the element of "criminal intent". Needless to say, there are few other locales in the United States where a baby could be beaten to death and noone would have at least been prosecuted in a court of law. Was the JW Husband totally oblivious to his JW Wife's mental illness, which was insufficient to deem her incompetent to stand trial?  Did the JW Husband owe no legal duty to protect that baby? Something tells me there was more to this story than ever made the local newspaper.

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MISSOURI v. JASON CLAY CARR was a 1985 Missouri capital murder trial. In March 1983, Jason C. Carr, a 16 year-old member of a Jehovah's Witness family murdered his stepmother, his stepsister, and his brother. Carr also attempted to murder his "evil" JW Father. Jason Carr was sentenced to life imprisonment without eligibility for probation or parole for fifty years.
 
On the evening of March 14, 1983, Jason and his father, Aaron Carr, had yet another argument resulting from the family's Jehovah's Witness religion which caused Jason to go to his grandmother's nearby home and spend the night. The next day, rather than attending school, Jason Carr returned home after everyone else had left for work or school. Jason's brother, Andrew Carr, and his stepsister, Emma Downey, were the first to arrive home that afternoon. Using a single shot .22 caliber rifle, Jason ambushed Andrew and Emma after they separately entered the house. Andrew was later found with two shots to the head, and Emma was found with one shot in her back and one shot to the head. Patricia Carr arrived home from work only a few minutes later, and Jason also shot her twice in the head.  All three victims appeared to have been "executed" with one final head shot at close range. Aaron Carr arrived home shortly thereafter, but noticed that something was wrong. Jason also attempted to shoot his JW Father when he entered the house, but the rifle apparently malfunctioned, which allowed his father to wrestle the gun away from Jason.
 
Jason Carr was an excellent high school "As and Bs" student, who had never been in any previous serious trouble. Following several years of living with his JW Father, Jason went to live with his non-JW Mother from around September 1984 until January 1983. In January 1985, Aaron Carr apparently convinced Jason to move back with him and return to being a Jehovah's Witness. Jason, who was 6'7" tall, quit his high school basketball team even before moving. Once back with his JW Father, Jason quickly regretted the move. He missed playing basketball, and his JW Father refused to allow him to drive, play the video games to which he was accustomed to playing, or to watch the television programs to which he was accustomed to watching. The JW Father also forbid Jason to have his non-JW girlfriend.
 
It took only a few short weeks of living with his JW Father, and attending the local Kingdom Hall, before Jason "went crazy". There are indications in one of the court opinions which seem to indicate the possibility that Jason Carr may have been the subject of congregational discipline with regard to his relationship with the non-JW girlfriend. Jason may have been recently publicly reproved or even disfellowshipped, or the subject of such type investigation.
 
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In October 1984, James Alan Day, age 36, of Evansville, Indiana, waited until his wife, Candace Day, age 36, left for work in the early A.M. hours at the local branch of the United States Postal Service, before he shot and killed the couple's six sleeping children, ages 6 to 15, and then also shot himself in the head. The couple had only reconciled two weeks previous after an 18 month separation during which Candace Day had filed for divorce. Candace Day stated that James A. Day had been despondent even after the couple's reconciliation, and that he was contemplating quitting his job at Evansville's Whirlpool Corporation appliance factory. Co-workers reported that James Day was a loner and quiet person who kept to himself. Some co-workers were aware that Day had many "numerous personal problems", and Day's supervisor had even suggested that Day seek counseling. Neighbors described James Day as a "strict but conscientious father". Candace Day also described her husband as a "good father", and as a "loving father". James Day's mother, Marcella Day, told reporters:  "God knows what was in his mind; whether he was responsible or not responsible for what he did. It's not for us to judge."

Reuben Meeler, the Elder at the Evansville Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses which James Day and his family attended, conducted the funeral. Interestingly, Meeler counseled those present to not blame themselves for this tragedy, but rather to pay more heed to other people's problems in the future. "Many people turn their backs on trouble. Instead of passing it off and not getting involved, maybe we should get involved. Maybe we should try to give them help. ... This incident is history; it's over; past; and we can't do anything about it", stated Reuben Meeler.

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JAMES HOLMES FAMILICIDE. In November 1982, James Holmes, 37, shot and killed his Jehovah's Witness Wife, Patricia Holmes, 29, and their 6 year-old son, Jason Holmes, inside the family's Pennellville, New York mobile home, before also shooting and killing himself. Each were found with a single 12 gauge shotgun wound to the head. Patricia McIntyre, and her sister Deborah McIntyre, had been reared as JWs in the North Syracuse, New York Congregation of JWs by Harry and Mary McIntyre. Patricia had married James Holmes in 1974 (interesting given that Armageddon was going to occur in 1975), which was James Holmes second marriage. Holmes' first wife was Mary Pietraallo, of Westerly, Rhode Island, and they had an 11 year-old son, Jimmy Holmes. Holmes mother, Catherine Holmes, lived in the same mobile home park.

Larry Hilton, an Elder at the Baldwinsville, New York Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses went into damage control mode as reporters attempted to ferret out the reasons behind this double murder-suicide. Hilton and other JWs quickly stated that James Holmes was no Jehovah's Witness. Hilton also repeatedly referred to Holmes' many mental problems, Holmes' rearing as a Mormon, and anything else that he could think of to deflect any attribution of the murders-suicide to his own WatchTower religion. However, Larry Hilton's loose-lips still provided some significant hints about what all led up to the Holmes double murder-suicide.

Interestingly, Hilton acknowledged that he had been conducting a "home bible study" with Holmes for "about a year". Hilton initially claimed that he was "studying" with James Holmes simply because Holmes wanted to know more about his wife's religion. Non-JWs should know that JW Elders do not waste a year of "studying" on someone who is simply curious about WatchTower doctrine. In fact, Larry Hilton was even violating WatchTower Society recruiting policy that said that no JW, much less a busy "Elder", should spend more than "six months" studying with a potential recruit, unless that person is clearly working toward membership, and simply needs additional time. Either Hilton was violating that WatchTower directive, or James Holmes was actively pursuing membership sufficient to justify Hilton's waiver of the rule.

Larry Hilton also disclosed that the various mental problems which he used to demean James Holmes ranged back to about a year before the murders-suicide, which was about the same time that Hilton acknowledged that he started studying with Holmes. James Holmes was employed as an Assistant Manager at the nearby Mattydale K-Mart. Holmes took a medical leave from his job from September 1981 to February 1982. Hilton also revealed that Holmes had admitted to an affair, and became obsessed with the idea that he may have contracted a STD. Holmes allegedly also became obsessed with the idea that he had contracted some other incurable disease, and that he was going to die, and that Holmes had even visited the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Larry Hilton also alleged that James Holmes suffered a "nervous breakdown" in November 1981, which would have been in the very middle of Holmes' medical leave from K-Mart. Hilton later claimed that he had been "studying" with James Holmes only because Holmes had asked Hilton to do so to help him recover from his mental problems.

Probably the most honest and most accurate "witnesses" were the Holmes' mobile home park neighbors, who had no reason to "spin" either way. Several different neighbors stated that James Holmes would use his Bible to reprove children in the park for their various shortcomings, and that Holmes had given religious literature to some of the children. None of the neighbors mentioned nor had a clue about Holmes being reared as a Mormon. Multiple neighbors stated that all three Holmes' family members attended services at the local Kingdom Hall three or four times per week.

Police also stated that they found notes from James Holmes to Patricia Holmes inside the family's mobile home which contained references to James Holmes needing to convert to the JWs in order to save his marriage. Police also indicated that a suicide note mailed to a friend stated that Holmes was going to do what he did because he loved his wife and son. I have a feeling that if the exact wording of all those notes were known that those familiar with "WatchTower World" would know exactly what happened. Either James Holmes' mental problems were sparked by his entry into "WatchTower World", or James Holmes mental problems were exacerbated by such -- and the end result was three dead people.

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CROWN v. JEFFERY LYNN ANDERSON.  In May 1980, a 26 year-old Canadian Jehovah's Witness divorced mother of two small children, named Kim Kostelniuk, traveled to Maui, Hawaii, to vacation and husband-shop at a bed-and-breakfast that catered to Jehovah's Witnesses (probably owned and operated by Jehovah's Witnesses). There, Kim Kostelniuk met Jeffery Lynn Anderson, a mentally ill and troubled 20 year-old Jehovah's Witness from Conroe, Texas, who had recently relocated to Maui to avoid a shoplifting charge back in Texas. By the end of that week, Jeff Anderson had declared his love for Kim, and told her he would like to move closer to her to continue their relationship. Kostelniuk agreed. Anderson relocated from Maui to the Tacoma, Washington area, where he regularly crossed the border to date Kostelniuk. The couple were married in Texas in August 1981, and they and Kim's son and daughter settled in Houston, Texas. Kim Anderson quickly concluded that the marriage was a mistake, and she returned to Canada in October 1981.
 
After two failed attempts while visiting Canada in 1982 and 1983, Jeff finally convinced Kim to reconcile with him in March 1984, after he received a visa which allowed him to live and work in Canada.  However, by July 1984, Kim was convinced that Anderson was sexually abusing her seven year-old daughter, and she reported such to the Elders at her Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Anderson denied Kim's accusations, and he was believed by those Elders, who chastised Kim for both the accusation and her failure to do her part in making the marriage work. Kim reported her suspicions to the Ministry of Social Services, and she separated from Anderson in late July 1984. When Kim failed to obey the Elders' order to moved back in with Anderson, the Elders placed Kim on "private reproof" -- a WatchTower Society "discipline" that is just short of excommunication. After a few months of discipline, Kim was eventually restored to her status as a JW "in good standing", despite her refusal to move back in with Anderson, who continued to live in a nearby apartment. Kim thereafter sought to avoid Anderson's repeated attempts to contact her and the children.
 
Around 11:00 AM, on August 29, 1985, Jeff Anderson went to Kim's apartment, where he found her door unlocked. Anderson found Kim sitting at the kitchen table talking on the telephone with her mother. When Kim finally noticed Anderson, he told her to hang-up the telephone so that they could talk. Before she hung-up, Kim calmly repeated twice to her mother, "I have to go. There's a shotgun pointed at me. Call the police."
 
While the RCMP surrounded the apartment, Jeff Anderson ushered Kim to the children's bedroom, and there for more than an hour discussed their failed relationship in an attempt to convince her to accept him back. When Anderson finally realized that his efforts were futile, he first shotgunned Kim in the face. Anderson then shotgunned 8 year-old Lindsey in the face. Anderson then shotgunned 10 year-old Juri in the face. Anderson then again shotgunned Kim in the head. Jeff Anderson then walked outside and surrendered to RCMP. Jeffery Lynn Anderson was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences for first-degree murder. Anderson will be eligible for parole in 2011. Anderson reportedly has both admitted and denied that he had sexually molested Lindsey Kostelniuk on multiple occasions.
 
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PENNSYLVANIA v. KENNETH DAVENPORT was a 1973-4 Pennsylvania murder court case. On Sunday night, March 11, 1973, an 18 year-old Jehovah's Witness, named Kenneth "Martian Head" Davenport, of suburban Philadelphia, bludgeoned to death his JW Parents, Alexander Davenport, Sr., 55, and Rowilla Davenport, 50, and his two teenage brothers, Edwin, 14, and Peter, 12, while all four family members slept in their beds. An older brother, Alex Davenport, Jr., 20, who attended Drexell University, fortunately was not at home at the time. The Davenports were described as "devout Jehovah's Witnesses", and "a model family". The JW Parents were described as "strict disciplinarians", who "expected much" of their children.
 
Kenneth Davenport was described as a "chess wizard" and a "loner", who earned the nickname "Martian Head" due to his "strange" behavior. Possibly indicative that the Davenport family had converted to the WatchTower religion only within the past few years, Kenneth Davenport held the "Life" rank in the Boy Scouts, and was infamous for bringing WatchTower publications along on overnight BS functions. [Initial media reports contained some factual errors. It is possible that it was the eldest brother, Alex Jr., not Kenneth, who had been extremely active in the Boy Scouts. That would allow for the family to have been JWs for a much longer time -- which would be more consistent with all the other details.]
 
Although Kenneth was only 18 years-old, the media reported that Kenneth was attending Drexell University (as was Alex Jr.), but that he had stopped going to classes a few weeks previous after getting into a fight (another report stated that Kenneth had "dropped out" of Drexell). Kenneth and his father supposedly had been arguing during the past week or so over Kenneth's "grades", and the father supposedly had ordered Kenneth to get a haircut, because Kenneth's hair was too long. The media also initially reported that Kenneth was "high on drugs" when he committed the murders, and that he had not known what he was doing. Yet, after the murders, Kenneth had driven the family's station wagon into Philadelphia (apparently going to his dorm or apartment), where he was arrested around 3:00 AM for "no registration" after he was stopped for a) speeding, and/or b) running two red lights.
 
The bodies were found after the family failed to answer an aunt's telephone call on Monday, and she telephoned Alex Jr. at Drexell, and he went home to check on the family. Initially, the police and even the coroner told reporters that all four victims had been shot in the head with either a shotgun or a high-powered rifle. However, they actually had been so savagely beaten with a metal pipe that the professionals could not distinguish the wounds from gunshot wounds. The only additional info on this case is that there was still some court activity going on in 1986.
 
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KENTUCKY v. GREGORY HAMMOND and KENTUCKY v. VICTORIA BOLTON HAMMOND were separate but related 1980s Kentucky criminal prosecutions which had obfuscated ties to the WatchTower Cult. In August 1985, Gregory Hammond was convicted of manslaughter in the death of Victoria Bolton's 3 year-old, out-of-wedlock son, Jackie Alexander. Greg Hammond, age 24, and Victoria Bolton, age 19, of Dry Ridge, Kentucky had been living together for a year or longer before Hammond brutally murdered the child and hid his corpse.
 
Only three days after Hammond's conviction, some irresponsible, unnamed "Minister" came to the county jail and married Hammond and Bolton, at Bolton's request. The Courier-Journal reported that Victoria Bolton's Mother attended that ceremony, but 3-4 days later were requested to retract such. Thereafter, Greg Hammond was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and such was affirmed on appeal.
 
After Hammond's conviction, Victoria Bolton was prosecuted for allowing Hammond to physically abuse Jackie Alexander during the year or more that the couple had lived together. Bolton was found "not guilty" in February 1987. Immediately after her acquittal, Bolton announced that she would be seeking an "annulment" of her marriage with Hammond, rather than a divorce, even though the marriage was 18 months old. Bolton explained that she was one of Jehovah's Witnesses, and that she did not believe in "divorce". Bolton apparently had been out on bond during her prosecution and had been living in Louisville, where she had been employed as a janitor.
 
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IN THE MATTER OF EZRA WADE AND HADASSAH WADE was a 1974 Oregon termination of parental rights proceeding. It is important to remember that at the time that, since 1966, the WatchTower Society had been forecasting Armageddon to occur in October 1975. In 1971, the State had taken custody of Ezra Wade and Hadassah Wade, then ages 3 and 5, children of Ralph Wade and Claudia Wade, and placed them in foster care. In 1974, the State pursued  termination of parental rights and such was granted. The local court based this action on its finding that although the Wades were well-meaning and had maintained contact with the children throughout almost four years of foster care, the "unfortunate condition of mental illness of the mother and mental deficiency of the father" made them "physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically" unable to function as parents." On appeal by the parents, the case was remanded to allow the children to have independent counsel, who would have the option of offering further evidence on behalf of the children, or, upon consideration of the record already made, waive production of further evidence. Outcome unknown. Pertinent remarks from the appellate court opinion:

The record shows that Mrs. Wade's illness includes a systemized set of delusions by which she is able to maintain that as a child she was transported to Earth from the planet La Moria in the galaxy of Andromeda, and has since the age of 13 been regularly corresponding, by way of a messenger, with her family remaining there. Mrs. Wade also believes that her children will be able to receive messages from La Moria when they reach adolescence in spite of the fact that they are "part Earthling." Dr. Morrison also testified that Mrs. Wade's condition would not change in the foreseeable future and that there were no social or mental health services available "that would help her beyond what she has already received." Ralph Wade apparently has an intelligence level which is within the "borderline range," and while he can do a reasonable job of taking care of himself he could not be expected "to cope with the problems of child rearing." Dr. Morrison also testified that the children are normal and active, and that, in effect, the necessity of their adjusting to, accepting, or compensating for the delusional peculiarities of their mother if they were to live with her would have a devastating effect on their future well-being.

Several witnesses testified that when asked about her plans for the future care of her children Mrs. Wade consistently responded by stating that no plans were necessary because of the imminence of the "millennium." The parents suggest that this disregard for the future care of the children cannot be considered as evidence supporting a decision to terminate because it is part of Mrs. Wade's religious beliefs as a Jehovah's Witness. As a witness for the state, Mr. Forrest Farmer -- an "overseer" of the Witness faith -- testified that the parental obligations of Witnesses include the responsibility "to educate their children, to materially care for their children and to comfort them and take care of them in time of need." Mr. Farmer also indicated that these parental duties will remain the same after the commencement of the millennium.

 
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IN RE GERALD GREEN was a 1969 Pennsylvania court decision. In June 1969, Gerald Green, age 16, of Philadelphia, collapsed during graduation exercises at Edward Bok Technical High School just after receiving his diploma. Transported to Einstein Medical Center BY THE POLICE, doctors discovered that Gerald Green was INTERNALLY HEMORRHAGING due to unreleased causes. When JW Step-father and JW Mother, Robert Armistead, age 47, and Ruby Armistead, age 46, not only refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions, but indicated their intentions to physically resist such, Einstein Medical Center sought and obtained court intervention, including orders to arrest Robert Armistead and Ruby Armistead if necessary. The Judge also confined Gerald Green to the hospital until such time that doctors determined that dangers of all types to the teenager had passed. Robert Armistead and Ruby Armistead were outraged, and threatened a federal lawsuit for the supposed violations of their constitutional rights. Robert Armistead continued to threaten to reporters that he would remove his step-son from Einstein Medical Center

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