In October 2000, Steven Morales pled guilty to most charges and was sentenced to 101 years in prison. At his sentencing, Morales apologized to his victims and their families, but he did not reveal a motive nor explanation for his crimes -- probably because Morales had been doing this and getting away with it for years.
MORE DOOR-KNOCKING THIEVES, RAPISTS, and MURDERERS
Interestingly, on the SAME EXACT DAY, at the SAME EXACT TIME (PDT), a female homeowner in Burlingame, California, telephoned police and reported that two questionable characters whom she believed to be IMPERSONATING Jehovah's Witnesses had just called at her home. Responding police determined that the JW IMPERSONATORS were in fact REAL Jehovah's Witnesses -- or least criminals who had previously spent time as door-knocking Jehovah's Witnesses, who were smart enough either to have brought along some of their old WATCHTOWER LITERATURE or picked up some current WATCHTOWER LITERATURE at a laundromat or other business with a customer waiting area where JWs routinely DUMP their excess literature.
In April 2014, a homeowner in the rural Mill Bay area of British Columbia, Canada, reported to the local RCMP post that a male and female driving a 4-door automobile had pulled into their driveway. The male passenger then walked around the home into its backyard. When confronted by the homeowner, the male claimed to be a Jehovah's Witness, and then left. Responding RCMP were unable to locate the vehicle at any other nearby homes.
In July 2013, a mother in Big Horn County, Wyoming, telephoned and reported to the Big Horn County Sheriff that while she was out that door-knockers claiming to be Jehovah's Witnesses attempt to gain entry into her home after her child/children told the JWs that the parents were NOT home.
On November 13, 2006, an African-American male and a Caucasian male, both in their mid-20s, knocked on the door of a home in Port Charlotte, Florida. Reportedly carrying Bibles, the two males identified themselves as "Jehovah's Witnesses" to the responding male homeowner. The two "JWs" reportedly were allowed to enter the home -- probably at their request, but possibly at the homeowner's invitation. After a brief exchange of conversation, the homeowner stated that he was not interested, and the "JWs" left. Shortly thereafter, the homeowner was startled by the sound of breaking glass at the rear of his house. When he went to see what had happened, he was accosted and struck by the African-American "JW". The now three home-invaders used a stun gun to subdue the homeowner. After tying him up, the Trio ransacked the home, before eventually leaving with roughly $4000.00 in cash and electronics. The Trio were eventually arrested for that home invasion robbery, and similar crimes, and were identified as members of a local area gang that specialized in home invasions. Those same three members of the gang reportedly had been repeatedly "casing" multiple homes as potential targets by using the ruse that they were "Jehovah's Witnesses". Does anyone really believe that those mid-20s males would call at multiple home pretending to be JWs, where they apparently were discussing JW beliefs with homeowners, unless one or more of the thieves had a background as a door-knocking Jehovah's Witness?
Only three months later, in Tallahassee, Florida, on Sunday morning, February 25, 2007, two "well-dressed" males carrying Bibles, and identifying themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses, barged into the home of a man getting ready for church. This Duo also bound and robbed their victim.
Over the years there have been several similar crimes reported in the news media. Some of such crimes were committed by criminals who may not have had a JW background, but rather had simply observed that posing as JWs was an ideal way to gain entry into victims' homes. For example, there have been multiple instances over the years in which criminals posed as a JWs, but did a very poor job of doing so. For example, in 1995, in Philadelphia, four males posing as JWs gained the confidence of a young home-alone female, and robbed and assaulted her. In 1992, a Sheriff in Pennsylvania had to issue a warning to residents of his county due to repeated instances of persons posing as JWs, but who supposedly were not behaving at the doors as JWs typically behaved. Other instances include the 77 year-old south Chicago woman robbed and murdered in 1994 by a 19 year-old female and a juvenile female who posed as Jehovah's Witnesses in order to gain entry into the elderly woman's apartment.
However, there are other instances where the media report provides details that suggest that the perpetrators more likely than not had a background and prior experience as a door-knocking JW, such as in the above instance where the perpetrators reportedly had used the ruse repeatedly, and would even enter peoples' homes to discuss JW teachings in order to "case" potential victims. Some others include:
On a Sunday afternoon, at around 3:30 P.M., in July 1989, in New Jersey, a "well-dressed" man and woman knocked on the door of a 67 year-old male homeowner and identified themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses. When the homeowner told the couple that he was "not interested", the man pulled a handgun, forced their way into the home, and proceeded to rob the homeowner.
In May 1997, in Hartford, Connecticut, in what may have been a crime of opportunity, a home-alone obviously pregnant 16 year-old girl was raped inside her parents' apartment after she opened the door for a heavy-set, eyeglasses and dark-suit wearing man, who identified himself as a Jehovah's Witness.
In January 1992, in Florida, a man and woman, along with a baby, identified themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses at the door of an elderly couple who themselves turned out also to be JWs. After entering and exchanging conversation for a short while, the man asked to use the couple's bathroom. The elderly couple eventually discovered the "JW" rummaging through their house. After the Trio fled, the elderly couple discovered their cash missing.
On a weekday afternoon in January 1999, in Durham, North Carolina, a man and woman identifying themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses were allowed inside by a 59 year-old female homeowner. After conversing for a short while, one of the Duo asked for a glass of water. The homeowner obliged. After the "JW Duo" left, the homeowner discovered $600.00 missing from her purse. Interestingly, a local JW Elder denied that the thieves were JWs, and advised homeowners to to ask for an "identification card" from any door-knocker claiming to be a JW. That statement is "interesting" for two reasons. First, Jehovah's Witnesses are not issued "identifications cards", and second, the WatchTower Society argued and won, in the 2002 SCOTUS Stratton case, the right NOT to carry and present "identification cards" to homeowners. In December 2011, a Woodbury, Minnesota homeowner called police when door-knockers refused to show him any identification as to who they were. The JWs later presented ID to responding police.
On a Monday afternoon, in October 1997, in New Jersey, two women identifying themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses called at the door of a 41 year-old female homeowner. When she opened her door, one of the two women pulled a handgun and proceeded to rob her.
In July 2001, a 89 year-old male homeowner living in Birmingham, Alabama, was robbed of $30.00 by an adult male who gained entrance by claiming to be a Jehovah's Witness.
In May 2008, a Milledgeville, Georgia, female homeowner reported to local police that she had had to have her puppy euthanized after a van load of Jehovah's Witnesses struck the puppy while backing out of her driveway, and then failing to stop.
On September 3, 2009, in rural Madison County, Georgia, an older home-alone female was in the rear of her home when her dog began barking. When the homeowner went to see why, she was startled to find two unknown men standing in her living room. They identified themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman refused their request for money, told them to leave, and then called the sheriff. If these home-intruders were actually robbers posing as JWs, and not real JWs, then why did they not take further advantage of their already illegal entry into the woman's home?
In September 2009, a British newspaper reported that a Paisley, England teenage female apartment resident was robbed of cash and jewelry by two 20s-30s males who claimed to be Jehovah's Witnesses. The JW Duo quoted Bible verses and were "knowledgeable and believable on the subject of religion." While preparing tea in her kitchen for the two "JWs", one male stood talking in the doorway between the kitchen and living room, while the other male apparently rummaged for valuables in the woman's bedroom.
In September 2009, a Toledo, Ohio television station reported that two yet-to-be-apprehended unidentified adult females had committed multiple burglaries in the upscale "The Quarry" neighborhood. According to the Salisbury Quarry Home Owners Association, the two females were going door-to-door as Jehovah's Witnesses, but really were "casing" the neighborhood for not-at-homes where the front door had been left unlocked or the garage door had not been closed.
In September 2009, a Chattanooga, Tennessee homeowner reported to local police that two Jehovah's Witness Males knocked on his front door and offered him WatchTower literature. The homeowner declined the JW Duo's literature offer and told the Duo that he was "not interested". The homeowner's curiosity was aroused when he then heard three doors shut on the JWs' station wagon rather than two. The homeowner hurried outside and discovered that the JW Duo had absconded with his WeedEater and hedge trimmer, which he had earlier left near his driveway.
In October 2009, a homeowner in the North Versailles section of Pittsburgh reported that her home was burglarized of electronics, heirloom jewelry, and much more, during daytime hours while the homeowner was not at home. Neighbors told police that two well-dressed African-American females had been going door-to-door through the neighborhood with WatchTower pamphlets around the same time that the home was burglarized, and that two well-dressed African-American males were seen specifically at the burglarized home. The burglars also left evidence inside the home which indicated that the burglars included both males and females.
In December 2009, Todd J. Briggs, 48, of Brookfield, Massachusetts, was charged with the theft of a woman's purse from her backpack, which she had left unattended while patronizing the Sturbridge Dunkin Donuts. After a review of the store's surveillance tape, local police tracked down Todd Briggs, who reportedly confessed that he stole the purse simply because he had had the "opportunity" to do so. Multiple sources indicate that Todd J. Briggs is/was a Jehovah's Witness, including one website containing allegations that Todd Briggs is/was both a "Pioneer" (full-time door-knocker) and a "Congregation Overseer" (pastor).
In February 2010, a Russian court convicted a Jehovah's Witness husband and wife of committing 13 murders, 4 attempted murders, 10 rapes and sexual assaults, and 11 assaults and robberies between December 2007 and September 2008. The JW Door-Knockers reportedly carried handmade firearms and an electric shocker, and attacked elderly women.
In March 2010, a Grass Valley, California homeowner telephoned local police and reported "a Jehovah's Witness came into a residence and left articles without permission."
In April 2010, an elderly female homeowner living in Trim, Ireland reported to police that her purse containing a large quantity of cash and two diamond rings were missing after she had invited into her home two well-dressed male Jehovah's Witnesses who told her they wanted to talk to her about religion. Neighbors confirmed that two males JWs had also called at their homes around the same time.
In May 2010, a Bar Harbour, Maine homeowner telephoned local police and reported "a Jehovah's Witness entered his home while he was not there."
In August 2010, in Sevierville, Tennessee, a serial burglar who had been selecting his targets by gaining access to homes by claiming to be a Jehovah's Witness, was finally apprehended after a homeowner reported 24 year-old James B. King to local police.
In 2011, a Longview, Washington homeowner reported to police that an unidentified Jehovah's Witness kept door-knocking his home despite that JW being told not to return by the homeowner.
In December 2011, a Strongsville, Ohio homeowner reported to police that she was being harassed by Jehovah's Witnesses.
In January 2012, a Kalispell, Montana homeowner reported to police that Jehovah's Witnesses continued to trespass on his property despite their repeatedly being told not to return.
In April 2012, a 30s female was brutally beaten, stabbed, raped, and nearly killed while she was alone at the home of her parents in rural Marion County, Tennessee. The victim answered the knock of a lone 30s male who reportedly identified himself as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. When told that she was not interested in his message or literature, the male forced his way into the home.
In April 2012, a sick, elderly 70s female was brutally beaten, robbed, and left to die with a bag on her head and with her oxygen cord knotted, after the victim answered a knock at her rural McCreary County, Kentucky home. The unknown man and woman identified themselves as Jehovah's Witnesses, and then forced their way into the home once the door was unlocked.
In April 2013, in Cleveland, Ohio, in the middle of the afternoon, an elderly male homeowner answered a knock at his door. The two strangers told the homeowner that they were Jehovah's Witnesses. The male homeowner told the Duo he was not interested, and attempted to shut his door. However, the Duo then pushed their way inside, where one intruder pinned the elderly homeowner to the floor while the second intruder ransacked the home. The Duo also took the homeowner's car keys and left with his car, which was later recovered only a short distance away.
In June 2013, a Winthrop, Massachusetts homeowner telephoned 9-1-1 "requesting the Police to assist his wife having an issue with the Jehovah's [Witnesses] outside her residence."
In November 2013, outside Whitefish, Montana, an entire group of Jehovah's Witnesses ignored a posted "NO TRESPASSING" sign posted at the entrance of a private road which served multiple private landowners. The JWs admitted to one homeowner that they had seen the sign, but that they did not have to obey such because such signs were required to be posted by each individual landowner on their own property. After reporting such to local police, the landowners were told that it was not necessary to post individual signs since the roadway was "private", not "public". The police told the landowners that if the JWs ignored the sign again, then give the police a call.
In August 2014, in West Linn, Oregon, an angry homeowner telephoned police to report that "Jehovah's Witnesses" had trespassed onto his property and left "garbage" on his porch.
In 2004, in Linden, New Jersey, a Gypsy told a 90 year-old male homeowner that she was one of Jehovah's Witnesses in order to gain entry into his home. We know this because the homeowner's off-duty policeofficer Son arrived as the Gypsy was robbing the home.
In December 2014, in Benin, Nigeria, a 29 year-old male was arrested for robbing apartment residents who had allowed him into their apartments because he told them that he a Jehovah's Witness.
In March 2015, on a Wednesday morning at around 11:00 AM, in Ridley Township, just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a home-alone 51 year-old female homeowner heard a knock at the front door of her two-story suburban home as she was getting dressed after showering. Looking out her bedroom window, the female homeowner saw a white cargo van parked in her driveway while a neatly dressed young African-American male in a suit knocked at her front door. Assuming that it was a bothersome Jehovah's Witness, or some other door-to-door PEST, the female homeowner did not answer the knock. After continuing to get dressed, the female homeowner eventually heard voices, and she went to look downstairs. There, on her ground floor level were SIX African-American HOODRATS packing off the homeowner's televisions, radios, games, computer, and everything else of value on which they could lay their grimy hands. The homeowner screamed and the cockroaches scurried and ran. The homeowner followed the criminals outside where she got a description of their license tag and van, and reported such to 9-1-1, along with their direction of travel. Responding police found the fleeing van along with six inner city HOODRATS ranging from 17 years-old to 24 years-old, some with Muslim and African sounding names. Does anyone seriously believe that if the female homeowner had answered her door that the door-knocking HOODRAT would not have had at the ready a WATCHTOWER magazine to offer her, along with a WATCHTOWER sales spiel which he had learned and delivered many times previously when he was a young Jehovah's Witness?
In July 2015, previously convicted African-American HOME BURGLAR, Demond Jermail Momon, age 23, of Houston Texas, along with African-American male accomplice, Doya Hall, early 20s, were arrested in a Houston area subdivision after vigilant homeowners reported to police that two suspicious acting African-American Males dressed looking like HOODRATS were going door-to-door posing as Jehovah's Witnesses and handing out literature. Ex-con Demond Jermeil Momon was charged with use of criminal instruments. Accomplice Dota Hall was arrested for driving without a driverís license.
In August 2016, in Southampton, England, on a Sunday around at noon, a home-alone female answered a knock at her front door. The homeowner was greeted by two "smartly dressed" males who identified themselves as "Jehovah's Witnesses". The last thing that the female homeowner recalled before she lost consciousness was the two males forcing a clothe over her mouth. When she revived, the female homeowner discovered that her "high valued gold jewelry" had been stolen.
FLORIDA v. AMALIO CABRERA-GONZALEZ is an ongoing October 2014 prosecution of a door-knocking Jehovah's Witness Minister who is charged with BATTERY ON A PERSON OVER THE AGE OF 65.
On Tuesday evening, October 21, 2014, Amalio Cabrera-Gonzalez, age 77, of Palmetto, Florida, did something which we suspect was a routine aggravation to the other residents of this JW Minister's apartment complex, and which Gonzalez may have been previously warned to cease and desist -- Gonzalez was going from door-to-door sticking WATCHTOWERs between the doorknob and doorframe. A 75 year-old female Tenant heard her door moving, and likely knowing the cause, made it to her door before Gonzalez could make his escape. The elderly female Tenant confronted Gonzalez and told him to stop leaving WATCHTOWERs at her door. When Gonzalez continued to leave WATCHTOWERs at other doors, the elderly Tenant continued to confront Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who although 77 years old, is 5'7" tall and weighs 280 pounds. Gonzalez grabbed the 75 year-old woman's right wrist, and raised his other arm in a threatening manner, and yelled, "I CAN HURT YOU!!!" Gonzalez spent some time in jail before being released on a $1500.00 bond. Outcome pending.
PENNSYLVANIA v. SAVERIO MICHAEL PASQUALUCCI was a July 2014 Pennsylvania criminal court case which failed to answer the REAL QUESTION as to whether the now convicted felon is or was a JEHOVAH'S WITNESS.
On April 2, 2014, at around 10:30 A.M., 27 year-old Saverio Michael Pasqualucci of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania -- but formerly of Danielsville, Pennsylvania -- knocked on the door of a Lehigh Township home and presented himself as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. The alone female homeowner -- Barbara Marquette-Cohen -- rejected Saverio Pasqualucci's offer of WATCHTOWER LITERATURE (which was later specifically identified as coming from the Nazareth Pennsylvania Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses), told Pasqualucci that she was "not interested", and closed the door on Pasqualucci. Ten minutes later, Saverio Pasqualucci knocked again. This time Pasqualucci attempted to convince the alone female homeowner to allow him inside by claiming that he was a friend of her husband. When the woman told Pasqualucci to leave, he forced his way inside her home and proclaimed, "I just got made. I'm here to do a hit." Somehow, Marquette-Cohen managed to push Pasqualucci out of her house. Marquette-Cohen locked her door and telephoned the police. Unbelievably, Saverio Pasqualucci still did NOT leave the property. When the police eventually arrived, Pasqualucci was still there -- standing beside his pickup truck, which was still parked in Marquette-Cohen's driveway.
At the July 2014 trial, Barbara Marquette-Cohen stated that she had spoken with someone from the Nazareth Pennsylvania Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, and they not only denied that Saverio Michael Pasqualucci was a Jehovah's Witness, but even claimed that no Jehovah's Witness had went door-to-door in Cohen's neighborhood "in five years". Cohen further claimed that since the April 2, 2014 incident, that "someone" has continued to leave WATCHTOWER LITERATURE at her home. Marquette-Cohen also claimed that neighbors reported seeing Pasqualucci's truck driving in the neighborhood on multiple occasions. As far as it was known, Barbara Marquette-Cohen and Saverio Michael Pasqualucci had never had any contact whatsoever prior to April 2, 2014. Marquette-Cohen stated that the stress from the home invasion had forced her into crisis counseling for the last three months, and that she has lost 32 pounds. Security cameras had to be installed around the home.
At the July 2014 trial, it was disclosed that Saverio Michael Pasqualucci had NO PRIOR CRIMINAL RECORD. Saverio M. Pasqualucci testified that his bizarre behavior on April 2, 2014 was an isolated incident, which had been caused by his taking over-the-counter caffeine tablets that day.
Saverio M. Pasqualucci pled guilty plea to one count of burglary in exchange for a sentence of six months to one year in county jail. A psychological evaluation was also court ordered.
CROWN v. DANIEL SIMONETTI was a 2009 British criminal prosecution of a JEHOVAH'S WITNESS MINISTER who is a member of the heavily-recruited and heavily-recruiting DEAF JEHOVAH'S WITNESS COMMUNITY (like the biblical roaring lion prowling the Serengiti looking for a vulnerable victim).
In March 2009, Daniel Simonetti, age 31, of Merton Bank, who was employed as a delivery person for a local pharmacist, sexually assaulted an 89 year-old female to whom Dan Simonetti had at other times regularly delivered prescriptions to her home in Ashton. On a Wednesday afternoon in March 2009, after delivering a prescription to one of the victim's neighbors, Simonetti thereafter stopped at the victim's home where he found the door to be unlocked. Simonetti entered the victim's home, and introduced himself as a "trainee doctor" to the victim whom did not recognize Simonetti as her regular prescription delivery person. Simonetti even pretended to talk with a superior on his cellphone. Simonetti instructed the victim to undress so that he could take a urine specimen. Simonetti then proceeded to sexually penetrate the victim causing her bruising, swelling, and immense pain, and thereafter, fear and psychological devastation. At some point, a neighbor who possibly had heard the victim scream out in pain, knocked on the door and interrupted Simonetti before he could do anything worse. Simonetti briefly spoke to the neighbor and left, and the victim then told her neighbor what Simonetti had done to her. Simonetti was arrested two days later, and initially charged with rape. That charge was later dropped in exchange for a guilty plea to sexual assault by penetration.
The trial judge imposed an indeterminate sentence, and ordered Daniel Simonetti to serve at least three years in jail before the Parole Board could decide if and when Simonetti should be released. Dan Simonetti was also ordered to sign onto the Sex Offenders Register for life.
Unbelievably, the trial judge even disclosed that Dan Simonetti had previously ADMITTED having indecently assaulted the 4 year-old daughter of "AN AQUAINTANCE HE KNEW THROUGH HIS INVOLVEMENT WITH THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES" back in 1996. Readers should not be too quick to assume that the victim was the child of a fellow Jehovah's Witness. Given this Perpetrator's modus operandi, the judge's verbiage can just as easily refer to an "acquaintance" made during Simonetti's door-to-door proselytizing. Maybe Simonetti was comfortable doing what he did in 2009 because he had done the same thing previously -- at least once back in 1996, and probably multiple times thereafter.
MASSACHUSETTS v. MARCOS A. COLONO was a 2010-2017 Massachusetts criminal court and appellate court case. Marcos A. Colono, now age 38, is a member of a large extended lower middle-class Cambridge, Massachusetts family of Puerto Rican JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES. Marco Colono was reared as a Jehovah's Witness by JW Parents, Gabriel Colono and Ada Colono.
In August 2010, around 1:00 A.M., Marcos Colono home invaded the Cambridge, Massachusetts apartment of an unidentified 53 year-old Harvard University's KENNEDY SCHOOL researcher father and his eleven year-old son, and held the pair hostage at knifepoint. Marcos Colono first ORALLY and then ANALLY RAPED the young boy while his father watched. The father did not attempt to physically resist Marcos Colono until Colono declared that he was going to kill the father. Marcos Colono then stabbed the father eleven times and even tried to decapitate him. Wrongly believing the father to be dying, Colono left the apartment.
Interestingly, at trial, Marcos Colono claimed that his fingerprints and DNA, which had been found all over the apartment crime scene, could have been left there when Colono had previously called at the apartment as a Jehovah's Witness Minister. (We get the feeling that there may have been much more to the JW part of this story, which once again, a liberal Democrat prosecutor may have left out of the prosecution in order to protect the reputation of door-knocking "Jehovah's Witnesses".)
Following a March 2013 jury trial in which Marcos Colono was sufficiently confident in his public speaking and ministering abilities to represent himself at trial, Marcos Colon was convicted on two counts of aggravated rape of a child by force, two counts of home invasion, armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon on a child. Marcos Colono was sentenced to a mere 74-85 years in prison.
MASSACHUSETTS v. MARCOS COLONO. Marcos Colono's collected DNA also matched DNA collected from the September 2008 home invasion and DOUBLE-RAPE at knifepoint of two Harvard University female students living at a Brighton, Massachusetts apartment building. In June 2014, after once again acting as his own attorney at trial, Marcos Colono was convicted of four counts of aggravated rape, two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of home invasion, and one count of armed burglary. Marcos Colono was sentenced to another 50-60 years in prison.
CROWN v. KEITH DACK. In early January 1997, a recently converted 41 year-old, married, British Jehovah's Witness named Keith Dack, of Middlesbrough, England, went door-knocking at the homes of two unidentified local residents with whom Dack apparently had some issue over their unspecified "sexual activity". Keith Dack entered the first home, grabbed an unidentified 40 year-old man by the throat and pushed him against a wall. Dack put him into a headlock, and shouted, "I'll kill you. I'll kill the lot of you. ... I've been sent by Jehovah. You are going to be murdered. I am going to murder you. You know what it's about." Later that same day, Keith Dack went to the home of a second 76 year-old man, who apparently had been at the first home and witnesses the first assault. This time, Dack stared the old man down, and declared, "You know who I am. I know who you are." That old man suffered an angina attack. Keith Dack was arrested, and spent time in jail until his court hearing in April 1997. The British Judge declared that Dack had spent sufficient time in jail for simply attempting to convince two acquaintances to change their lives as he had done recently. Dack was released under terms of two years' supervision.
A Homeowner in Cookeville, Tennessee posted the following NOTICE on a Cookeville online discussion forum in 2008 (edited for clarity):
Now, I have never seen a Mexican Jehovah's Witness, but sure enough a big van load of them pulled up and parked in my neighborhood early last week. I would say at least 10 piled out of it. Some of them were children. They were knocking on people's doors, and a woman and a young boy came to my door. I let them in because I wanted to figure out what they were up to. The woman didn't speak English and the little boy translated. Said they were Jehovah's Witnesses, and showed me a scripture in the bible. The passage the little boy showed me was where Jesus fed the people with loaves and fishes. I was trying to be polite even though they began to make me uncomfortable. The woman was looking all over the house and smiling. Suddenly the boy said he needed to go to the restroom. I showed him the way, and while he was gone sat there in my living room with a woman who could not speak English. She just kept smiling. After about 5 minutes of discomfort, I got up to look for the boy. When I did, the woman started speaking gibberish at me. Well, the boy was not in the restroom; he was in my bedroom looking around. I asked him what he was doing and he said, "No English". I got him by the hand, and when I turned around, the woman was behind me and picked him up, and they left my house. I watched out the window and the woman started talking to the other Mexicans outside, and they got back in the van and left. I think they were casing my house, so watch out.
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES -- WATCHTOWER CULT
INTERNATIONAL RECRUITMENT POLICY
PROSELYTIZING & RECRUITING CONVICTED CRIMINALS
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES -- WATCHTOWER CULT
KICKING DOWN LEGAL IMPEDIMENTS
FOR THE CRIMINALS
The defendants were convicted of violating village ordinance No. 28 of the village of Southampton, Suffolk county, N.Y., which ordinance reads as follows:"Solicitors, etc., on Private Property. No person shall enter upon any private residential property in the Village of Southampton, Suffolk County, New York, for the purpose of vending, peddling, or soliciting orders for any merchandise, device, book, periodicals or printed matter whatsoever; nor for the purpose of soliciting alms, or a subscription or a contribution to any church, charitable or public institution whatsoever; nor for the purpose of distributing any handbill, pamphlet, tract, notice or advertising matter, nor for the purpose of selling or distributing any ticket or chance whatsoever, without the consent of the occupant of said premises previously given."Nothing herein contained shall be construed to apply to any person who has been a bona fide resident of the Village of Southampton, New York, for a period of at least six (6) consecutive months last past, nor to any person who has maintained a place of business in the Village of Southampton for a period of at least six (6) consecutive months, prior thereto, or his duly authorized representative. Any person violating this ordinance shall be subject to a penalty of not more than One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars for each violation thereof."Any violation of this ordinance shall constitute disorderly conduct, and the person violating the same shall be a disorderly person."Southampton village and the surrounding community is well known throughout the world as a summer colony for the wealthy. It is common knowledge that the rotogravure sections of our leading newspapers carry many pictures depicting the elite and socially prominent persons of the country at play in Southampton during the summer season. Consequently Southampton is a village of beautiful homes with spacious lawns and gardens.In the past, jewel robbers have preyed on the summer residents of Southampton, creating a serious problem for the local police and others in authority. To help correct this evil Southampton ordinance No. 28 was passed and became law. This law attempted to prohibit strangers from distributing pamphlets or advertising matter without first obtaining the consent of the occupant of the premises. This statute did not affect residents who had been residents for a period of at least six months last past or any person who had maintained a place of business for a like period.The defendants were distributing religious literature by leaving the same on the front porch, door mat, or other convenient place at the houses in the village at five o'clock in the morning, and when informed by the police of the ordinance refused to discontinue the undertaking, saying that they were protected by the Federal Constitution; that to prevent them from carrying on their avocation or occupation of serving the Master was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.The defendants raised three points in their argument on appeal, as follows:1. The ordinance as construed and applied is void because it deprives the defendants of their right of freedom of speech and of press and freedom to worship Almighty God as commanded by Him in the Bible and according to the dictates of conscience, all in violation of section 1, Fourteenth Amendment, United States Constitution.2. The ordinance is void on its face because it deprives the defendants of equal protection of the laws and of due process of law in violation of section 1, Fourteenth Amendment, United States Constitution, in that the ordinance is unreasonable, discriminatory, and arbitrarily deprives persons of liberties, privileges, and immunities constitutionally guaranteed and secured, and amounts to legislation by individuals rather than by the constituted authority because the ordinance can or cannot have effect according to the pleasure of individual occupants of premises.3. The ordinance is unconstitutional and repugnant to section 1, Fourteenth Amendment, United States Constitution, because it imposes an improper classification predicated upon residence and in operation is unreasonable and because of lack of rational connection between the interdiction of the ordinance and the end ostensibly sought to be accomplished, so that it cannot be justified as an exercise of the police power.The police power is very broad, and necessarily so, and certainly the police power is broad enough to give a local legislative body of any community the right to protect its citizens, and the only question is whether or not this local ordinance is discriminatory in that it exempts local residents. It makes it very difficult for the police where a person, under the guise of distributing literature or otherwise, can go from house to house, leave the road or sidewalk and go to a person's front door with pamphlets. Of course, most people are not criminals and would do this with honest motives and good intentions, but I believe the courts should take judicial notice of the fact also that there are some persons living in these United States who are criminals, and very dangerous ones. Residents should be protected against the kidnapper and the highwayman, and where would the kidnapper and the jewel thieves operate? Certainly not in the slums, but in a place like Southampton. The exercise of any police power limits individual freedom. Some do not like the Legislature of our State to fix a speed limit on the highways, yet the speed limit and regulation is not fixed and enforced for those who drive in a careful and prudent manner but for the reckless few, and I believe the defendants in this case should recognize that they owe to society the giving up of a little freedom for the benefit of all the persons in the community. And certainly no one will argue that if the police have the power to arrest any one who violates ordinance No. 28, and question him as to his residence and business and from where he came, it is a very powerful weapon in discouraging criminals. ... The local legislature of the village of Southampton in its wisdom has found that six months' residence is sufficient for the purpose at hand, and the court should not find fault with the legislature's wisdom if it is reasonable. ...The Legislature is justified in guarding against any evil which may be fairly anticipated, and it has wide discretion in deciding what means to be used, and unless the means used to correct the evil are unduly oppressive and confiscatory, the courts will not interfere. ...The other point raised on appeal, namely, that the defendants were denied their right of freedom of speech and of the press and freedom to worship Almighty God as dictated to them by their conscience and guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, is a much more serious matter. In this twentieth century, when so few people are effusive about their religion, those who are should be encouraged, and I believe every fair-minded individual, whether a communicant at any temple of religion or not, respects and admires those who practice their religion faithfully. There is not any doubt that the defendants are enthused with their religious beliefs and are ready to sacrifice themselves in spreading it. There is not any question in any one's mind about the honesty of purpose of the defendants or their freedom from any nefarious scheme. What they were doing was undoubtedly harmless. Maybe it did a lot of people good, but the police too do a lot of good in another way, and in performing their duty as such the defendants cannot complain providing the police acted within the law of the land.Whether the enactment of the ordinance is wise or unwise, whether it is the best approach to the evident danger, is a matter for the judgment of the legislature, and if they drew the ordinance within the Constitution, then the court will not interfere. ...The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees the equal protection of the law. Laws are not abstract propositions in themselves, but are expressions of policy based upon the will and needs of the people. The classification in favor of residents is not a new proposition, and the legislative body of the village of Southampton has the power to make residence a qualification. It was held in the case of Tigner v. Texas ... that the Legislature has the power to exclude farmers and stockmen from the criminal statute against combination and monopoly, and certainly it is no more discriminatory to prohibit strangers from going to a person's house for the purpose of soliciting or leaving pamphlets without previous permission than it is to discriminate against a class.The rights of the individual are not absolute. They are subject to the exercise of the regulatory powers of government. The State may enact laws regulating, restraining and prohibiting, although such regulation, restraint or prohibition interferes with, curtails or diminishes personal rights. Judgment affirmed.
Appellants were convicted of a violation of an ordinance of the village of Southampton, which ordinance makes any person guilty of disorderly conduct who, "without the consent of the occupant of said premises previously given", enters upon private residential property in the village for certain purposes, including "the purpose of distributing any handbill, pamphlet, tract, notice or advertising matter." The ordinance states that it is not to be construed to apply "to any person who has been a bona fide resident of the Village of Southampton, New York, for a period of at least six (6) consecutive months last past, nor to any person who has maintained a place of business in the Village of Southampton for a period of at least six (6) consecutive months, prior thereto, or his duly authorized representative." The ordinance contains a "preamble" to the effect that it was enacted pursuant to the village's police power and in order to protect its citizens against crime and preserve the private property, peace and comfort of the occupants of private residences in the village.On the trial it was established, without dispute, that appellants, who are ordained ministers of their religion and authorized representatives of a publishing house or publishing department of that religion, and who are not within the exceptions of the ordinance as to residence or business place in the village, did, without the previous consent of any householders, circulate religious pamphlets from door to door in the village very early in the morning of July 30, 1940. The sole defense of the appellants was and is the alleged unconstitutionality of the ordinance in that, according to appellants, it is repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution as depriving them of their rights to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the equal protection of the laws, and in that it makes an invalid distinction or classification based on residence in or out of the village.We hold the ordinance valid. It does not prohibit pamphleteering. It regulates pamphlet distribution in private, not public, places, and gives no public officer any power of censoring the pamphlets or licensing, or refusing to license, their distribution. ... It does not infringe any of appellants' rights to the free exercise of their religion since it merely regulates their entry onto private property for the purpose of promoting their religious beliefs. It does leave to the pleasure of the individual householder the determination of whether or not pamphlets may be circulated on that householder's premises, but this infringes no right of appellants, since the Constitution does not guarantee them any right to go freely onto private property for such purposes. As to the alleged invalid discrimination in favor of residents, we hold, taking into consideration the statement of purposes contained in the ordinance's preamble, that the distinction is valid in a small village where, presumably, the dangers and annoyances of trespasses or unsolicited visits are less when the trespassers or uninvited visitors are not strangers but known, or easily identifiable and traceable, residents of the community. ... The judgments should be affirmed.
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