Friday, July 24, 2009

Child-Snatchers and Life-Stealers -- Pt. I

The haunted eyes of an innocent man: John Stoll, wrongfully convicted of molesting several children, including his only son, near the beginning of a 40-year prison term. The state managed to steal twenty years of his life before his conviction was overturned in 2004, on his 61st birthday.

"You're cultivating disrespect for government in your children!" protested a relative not long ago. "Every way I can think of doing so, with each opportunity that presents itself, every single day that God sends me!" I responded.

Children are never too young to be taught to despise the State, to distrust its agents, and to avoid cooperating in any way with the mechanism of official plunder, deception, and coercion. Parents should seek to instill such attitudes in their children as soon as possible, if for no other reason than to protect them from being abused at the hands of those employed by what Orwell might have called, with suitable irony, the Ministry of Compassion -- that is, those employed by the official child-snatching apparatus.

Witch Hunt, a potent new documentary produced and narrated by Sean Penn, depicts in unbearably stark terms what happens when the institutionalized affliction called the criminal "justice" system extends its compassionate care to children it has arbitrarily designated victims of sexual abuse.

That children are thus victimized is a tragic reality, but none of the children in this story was molested by any of those prosecuted and convicted of that hideous crime. However, those children were molested by agents of the State.

Prosecutors and social workers put those children through a now-familiar form of officially sanctioned ritual abuse. They were seized from their families at gunpoint, placed under wrap-around supervision by government employees, and subjected to lengthy interrogation and indoctrination sessions designed to suborn perjured testimony from them and, if possible, to convince them that they had, indeed, been molested by the defendants.

This was a kind of sinister ventriloquism in which malicious, depraved prosecutors spoke through the puzzled, terrorized children. Recordings of the interrogation sessions revealed that rather than asking the children what had allegedly happened to them, the investigators would weave a detailed narrative of abuse and then extort a child's assent to the fabrication. The results were then canonized as "evidence" in a grand jury indictment.
The children themselves were allowed to change their stories on the witness stand, as long as some serviceable accusation remained intact.

And the only "evidence" presented against the defendants consisted of the testimony of the child accusers. Such testimony, unless corroborated by some other source, is not evidence: It is mere accusation, however winsome or sympathetic the accuser.

The setting of
Witch Hunt is Bakersfield, California, in the mid-1980s, near the beginning of what would be a decade-long plague of government-propagated mass hysteria over child abuse. That epidemic had been brewing since 1974, when Congress enacted the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (also called the "Mondale Law"), a measure federalizing the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and laying the groundwork for a national system of child abuse "reporting."

Subsidies provided through CAPTA stimulated the growth of a population of social workers steeped in post-feminist dogmas about the repressive nature of the patriarchal home; from that perspective, every traditional family was abusive, it was just a question of defining

Federal money likewise realigned the priorities of local law enforcement bodies toward the investigation of child abuse. This led to police and Sheriff's deputies acting as hired muscle for social workers who were given the power to break up families and abduct children on a whim.
CAPTA also created mandatory child abuse reporting requirements for certain professions, and led to the creation of a nation-wide abuse "hotline" network. This is the mechanism that makes possible the seizure of children, and the incarceration of adults, on the basis of anonymous accusation.

Malignant ambition: Kern County, California District Attorney Ed Jagels in the early 1980s, when his comrades and minions tore Bakersfield apart in the name of combating "child abuse."

A localized child abuse "epidemic" can erupt anywhere the following elements are found:

A suitably ambitious District Attorney; a dutiful and incurious local law enforcement agency; a coven of ideologically zealous social workers; local media that bulimically repeat the State's official line as "news"; and a handful of domestic disputes -- such as recent divorces -- out of which a single malicious abuse accusation can materialize.

From a single uncorroborated anonymous accusation it is possible for child-snatchers to construct an entire colony of child abusers. Simply construct an investigative model in which every child connected in any way to the suspect is regarded as a victim, and start interrogating them on that basis. Let the local press know that there are serious "concerns" about a "ring" of molesters, and have some suitably photogenic reporter describe possible "signs" or "symptoms" that a given child has been abused. This is quite easy to do, since practically any child behavior can be classified as a symptom of abuse.

Once this is done, the child snatchers can expect immediate results as anxious parents call to report that their children are displaying "symptoms" of abuse. In this way, the process described above can replicate itself several times before public skepticism sets in. Even then, sometimes it's possible to implicate outspoken skeptics as potential abusers. In any case, this approach is all but guaranteed to create a child abuse scandal that can last for at least a year, drawing dozens of innocent people into the vortex and sending at least a few of them to prison.

This catastrophe was brought to Bakersfield, California with the election of 32-year-old Ed Jagels as Kern County's chief prosecutor-for-life in 1982.

A native of Pasadena and the product of a borderline aristocratic family, Jagels radiated ambition and suppurated arrogance. Jagels only had to win election once; since then, with the aid of local law enforcement, he has been, according to his critics, the de facto dictator of Kern County.

To get some sense of Jagels' proprietary brand of malice, consider the following.

Shortly before divorcing his first wife, Bryanna, Jagels called the police to report that she had a prescription drug addiction. He then called a press conference to announce that he was going to "stand by" his wife, only to serve her with divorce papers a week later.

The filing was dated November 25 -- the day before the press conference at which Jagels professed his determination to honor his vow to stay with his wife "in sickness or in health."

Jagels then threatened to use his office to provide the divorce court with additional information about Bryanna's alleged illegal activities unless she agreed to give him full custody over their 5-year-old son.

Whatever Bryanna's offenses might have been, Jagels' threat was a compound crime -- a misuse of his office coupled with blackmail.
This conduct was entirely typical of Kern County's anti-crime crusader.

"Ed Jagels will stop at nothing to do someone in if they cross him," testified a former prosecutor who worked under him. "He is really poison. They call him J. Edgar Jagels. Hoover had so much dirt on people and so much power, you couldn't take him out. That's the way Ed is."

During Jagels' 1982 campaign, an associate illegally obtained a confidential court document from a 1975 child molestation case heard by Judge Marvin Ferguson, Jagels' opponent. During a debate, an ally of the Jagels campaign, citing the document, accused Judge Ferguson of imposing an excessively lenient sentence in that case, thereby contributing to the subsequent death of the abused girl. This claim was difficult to support on the basis of the available facts, but it provided Jagels with an issue to use against Ferguson -- and the basis of a crusade once elected to the D.A. post.

Immediately upon becoming D.A. in 1983 , Jagels began a jihad against child abuse, eventually directing the larges prosecution of accused molesters in American history. A chromosome-level Republican with state-wide and national ambitions, Jagels understood the unique potential of child abuse as a trans-partisan political issue: It couples the politics of victimhood with a visceral appeal for severely punitive justice, thereby offering something for liberals and conservatives alike.

Under Jagels, recalls
Rolling Stone, "police and social workers didn't just follow up on accusations of molestation -- they sought them out like desperate salespeople working on commission." Given the financial rewards offered by the Feds on account of CAPTA and other measures, that isn't so much a simile as a direct parallel.

Teams of investigators and social workers would drive through neighborhoods with captive children, instructing them to point out where the "bad people" live. The children themselves were often seized from parents in the middle of the night and then subjected to what is now commonly called "enhanced interrogation": They were deprived of sleep and pestered with hostile questions as if they were captured enemy combatants.
Those who played along were rewarded not only with the warm, smiling approval of their adult captors, but also taken on shopping sprees to buy toys, clothes, and other inducements to continue "cooperating."

Those who didn't collaborate were often told that the only way they could ever see their parents and families again would be to tell the investigators what they wanted to hear. One young boy was told that his mother, a Mexican immigrant, would be deported if he didn't "admit" to being abused. One young girl, Carla Modahl, was promised that if she "admitted" to being molested by her father, Jeff, she would be free to rejoin him.

Such promises were lies, of course, even though the threats were probably sincere. Nor should anyone have expected any better. These were government employees, of course -- people for whom lying is a profession.

As the pressure on the children mounted, the tales became progressively implausible -- a fact that actually helped turn public opinion against the defendants. Children supposedly described being forced to participate in orgies; being hung from hooks and sodomized; witnessing ritual child sacrifice and cannibalism.

Not a molecule of evidence was discovered to corroborate any of this, yet Jagels and his wrecking crew claimed to have identified eight child molestation "rings" operating in Kern County.
The only evidence offered by the prosecution consisted of the child accusers themselves, some of whom attempted to recant their testimony.

Carla Modahl, who had been promised that she would be restored to her father if she "admitted" to being abused by him, attempted to retract her testimony after he was sentenced to eighty years in prison. In a note sent to her father, Carla admitted: "I lied in court. I'm so sorry for lying about this, Dad. I sure miss you and love you so much. I wish you could come home soon."

Carla's older sister Teresa denied on the witness stand that she had ever been abused; the only "evidence" against Jeff Modahl came in the form of Carla's suborned testimony. When Jeff's motion for a new trial was dismissed, Carla attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on the medication she had been prescribed for depression. She was twelve years old at the time, and would attempt to kill herself on sixteen subsequent occasions.

According to social workers and the DA's office, Carla's suicidal tendencies were a confirmation of the abuse she had purportedly suffered at the hands of her father.

That she was abused there is no question: She was seized from her father at gunpoint, blackmailed into perjuring herself by government "authority figures," and -- in a genuinely Sovietesque touch -- drugged into a stupor during the trial in order to keep her compliant.
In their pursuit of Jeff Modahl, Jagels and his comrades weren't content to terrorize Carla and keep her in a Thorazine-induced fog.

During the trial, Jagels' office deliberately withheld two critical pieces of exculpatory evidence: A medical exam that found no physical evidence of sexual molestation, and a tape recording of a social worker pressuring Carla into affirming invented stories of sex abuse.

Similar methods were used to convict 41-year-old John Stoll, a recently divorced carpenter who was given a 40-year sentence on 17 counts of "lewd and lascivious conduct" with several boys, including his only son, Jed.

Eventually all of Stoll's accusers would recant their stories, except for Jed.

To this day, although he cannot provide specifics, Jed insists that he was abused somehow at some time by his Dad.

It's important to note, however, that Jed was not the initial accuser; the charge originated with a suggestion made by a social worker to Stoll's ex-wife when the latter complained about Stoll's unorthodox, non-authoritarian parenting style. This little bit of malicous whimsy was enough to set in motion a campaign of prosecutorial misconduct that stole twenty years of Stoll's life.

Reclaiming his life: Ed Sempley, who was coerced into falsely accusing John Stoll of molestation, later disclosed how he was manipulated into perjury. Today he counts Stoll among his friends.

In all, some 29 defendants were sent to prison for an aggregate of 400 years. Eventually, every single one of those convictions would be overturned (except for a handful of cases in which the victims died in prison) as the child accusers grew up and asserted themselves against their abusers -- meaning Jagels and his minions -- by telling the truth.

Neither Jagels nor any of his associates has been held accountable for their crimes. Sure, Kern County paid a $4.5 million settlement to the victims, but this is simply another instance in which local taxpayers are forced to pay for the crimes of their elected "representatives."

Jagels remains in office. While the decades have muted his ambition, his malice has lost none of its potency.
Jagels has never admitted wrongdoing, and deflects all criticism of his conduct with smirking defiance. At 59 years of age he's by no means too old to receive the thorough and pitiless ass-thrashing he has richly earned and, in a just world, would receive.

In the next installment: The alleged sex crimes Jagels covered up while he was sending dozens of innocent people to prison.

Don't forget to tune in to Pro Libertate Radio on the Liberty News Radio Network.

On sale now.

Dum spiro, pugno!


Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that a large portion of the false claims of abuse of children come out of the family court system. The family courts have monetized our children and made them into a meal ticket for welfare queen mommy's (and gals - stay at home mommy is a privilege, not a job), attorneys and the state.

And no one is quicker to make a false claim than a woman under the influence of the lowest of life forms - an attorney with $$$ in his/her eyes. Hell, they coach women to make these claims - and then reel the children into it.

Default 50/50 shared parenting and no child support awards would put an end to a large percentage of this bullshit once and for all.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

willb said...

When I met my wife in the early
eighties she owned and operated
a childcare center with approx.
30 children in her and her staff's
daily care.
Once the very cases you cite in
this article began to erupt she
sold out and closed her doors.
After 5 years of TLC shown to
hundreds of children she bailed
out of fear, spiked insurance
rates and rightly so.
Of course the latest case is the
400+ children abducted from the
mormon "compound" and sent to live
within 20 miles of my home on the
Texas coast.
The place they were sent to live
was a mosquito infested swamp
in the boondocks. We all felt
sorry for them.
Here comes the state,
there goes the neighborhood.

Mike said...

Seems to me there was an improbable "female" prosecutor from Florida who capitalized on this same hysteria, at the same time. Of course, her concern for children is beyond question-she did invite a score of them to a Texas BBQ later in life.

This is the most frightening of witch hunts.

Kent McManigal said...

The molestation and "child pornography" hysteria are two sides of the same coin. Automatic guilty verdicts. I recently wrote about the "child pornography" angle, and you should read the self-righteous comment by someone using the anonym "Shocked" who claims to "investigate these crimes".

Anonymous said...

Your articles on this and related topics (e.g. the child support racket) I count among your most important work.

Anonymous said...

Americans are so fucking tame... in a less civilized part of the world this government asshole would've be already drowned in an outhouse.

Anonymous said...

WHAT did you do to your blog!?

William N. Grigg said...

Anon @ 2:38 -- I gather the new design (which is still under development) didn't meet with your approval.... :-)

Anonymous said...

Just a minor word of support for your design efforts. I generally prefer to use plain text browsers. With your previous layout, my favorite browser -- Elinks -- always gave me annoyingly centered lines of text. The current layout is much easier to read with it. Unfortunately, Lynx has always shown the text without vertical space between the paragraphs, and still does. It won't stop me visting and reading.

Anonymous said...

Will, actually the previous site was a tad easier to navigate. I don't know what templates are used but there are issues in it.

I'm reminded, thanks to a previous poster, about the Texas raid and what has happened there. It seems as though its no longer the scandal "du-jour" so the propagandized entertainment media complex has seen fit to keep its yacking maw sealed shut. That alone tells me that where there is smoke you can be sure there is a fire.

And thanks to Mike for pointing out how Janet Reno catapulted from the primordial ooze into Saurons eye. I recall an article long ago where a woman said she was forced to strip while in custody before this lech.

@ willb, I'm reminded of the McMartin day care facility and the hysteria surrounding it as well as one case up in Washington state that would put your hair on end. Clearly there is an industry that seeks out and profits from destroying people with impunity.

I believe that the only way to correct this system, short of shutting it down... and I'm all for that, is to require the accusers to have verifiable proof under the threat that should it be spurious or outright lies that the prosecutor and originator of said lies be sent to jail for the very false crimes they were accusing others of.

Do you think there'd be any DA's who'd take up that offer? Or would the weather have to change in Hell?

willb said...

"...require the accusers to have
verifiable proof..."

I believe this is called

"...should it be spurious or
outright lies..."


The main ingredient missing in
our modern runaway courts is
oversight. Our Judges are supposed
to be protecting us from these
ambitious prosecutors with
summary judgements, denial for
trial, etc. but they are not.
Less and less judges are even able
to write a decent case brief
much less protect the public from
the vagaries of the law.

However, in Texas it is State law
that ALL crimes against minors
MUST be prosecuted regardless of
evidence. In a way I have to
agree with this law but I realize
the danger. On the other side
however is the subsequent neglect
minors would suffer in the
absence of such a law.

It's a difficult situation at best.

zach said...

You changed the picture at the top to a rifleman. More appropriate for the times ahead, I think..

Anonymous said...

willb, As a former Texas native I'm well aware of that law but at what price? The judges you mention are often DA's and fellow travelling lawyers with an eye on their legacy at the expense of the little people. You can't expect a rabid wolf to have any sympathy for the "chickens" they've tasked themselves to "police". No, that's would be going against their nature so it would be futile to expect oversight.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

And to think these parasites are paid - generously paid - out of the sweat and toil of the very taxpayers they have their fangs into.

Prosecutors, judges, police: Maggots one and all. They do not really care a mouse-turd about justice, honor, decency or the law. I remember when I used to drive the Cross-Bronx Expressway daily to work. One day there would be a stolen car abandoned on the shoulder. The next day the wheels would be gone. The next day the seats. Then the headlights. After about a week, it would just be a doorless, empty metal shell. Meanwhile, every single day, about 400 yards down the road, there would be a cop car sitting with his radar waiting to catch speeders.

Their sole business is bleeding those toiling fools who can pay, advancing their careers and making obscene amounts of money, then retiring at the end of it all on a pension provided by their victims - the working taxpayers.

Imagine. After destroying so many lives, both of innocent adults and more horribly, his child victims, when Ed Jagels stands at his last day to be judged, he will be asked, "Why?" And he will say, "For Money." And he will then be asked, "Do you have any of this Money here with you, so as to buy your way out of Hell?"

One of my pet personal satisfactions is to imagine all the dead millionaires, sitting up there, or more likely down there, watching OTHER people spending all their money and enjoying all their toys they accumulated in their miserable lives.

Our society is so selfish, nobody cares enough about anyone else's misfortunes at the hands of the State to actually do anything about it. Where is our Joan of Arc? Where is our Che Guevara? Where is our Paul Revere? Your blog is a good start, Mr. Grigg, but does anyone ever actually DO anything about the evils you bring into the light of day?

It's a rhetorical question. If one is going to resist the State, better do it quietly where they cannot see you or find you. The government killed Martin Luther King, then made a holiday for him. They killed JFK, then built him a nice tomb in Arlington and named an airport after him. They killed Robert Kennedy, and he did not even get a pumping station named in his honor.

Still, there is hope. There are now developing two classes in this country: Those who still have a job and are doing just fine, pulling their million-dollar bonuses, and those masses whose unemployment benefits are running out and who will soon be getting very, very desperate. Let us wait and see what the latter people will do. Guns, machetes, clubs and pitchforks come to mind.

Obama is not a fool. (He is an idealist and an ideologue. Idealism and dogma will be his downfall.) He told the bankers, "I'm the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks."

Someone suggested drowning in an outhouse as a fitting end for Ed Jagels. I would like to submit skewering with a pitchfork for general consideration. And not only for him, but for all the leeches sucking the blood of the taxpayers, both in the statehouses and in the boardrooms.

You labeled this essay as Part I. I cannot wait to see what you have for us in Part II.

Lemuel Gulliver.

The Omega Man said...

While not a perfect comparison, the similarities between the molestation hysteria you describe and the Salem witch trials are striking. Both involve overzealous prosecutors procuring coaxed and/or coerced testimonies of children accusing adults of things considered indefensibly horrific for the times; these accusations were considered self-evident unassailable proof of guilt; and as usual in rigged trials, the conviction rate is very high. One difference is that witches didn't exist, at least not in the form popularly believed, whereas there are indeed all too many child-abusers in this world. But the fact that abusers do exist in our midst makes the false accusations described in your essay all the more plausible to the public, the media..and to juries. At least some innocently accused today have their convictions overturned in time, whereas the eventual exoneration of the accused witches was of little use to those hanged, drowned, or crushed to death with rocks. But justice delayed is justice denied, nonetheless.

Coming up next at a prosecutor's office near you: stunning proof uncovered of the existence of a massive, pervasive, fiendish ring of child-molesting Nazi tax-evading terrorist witches...from mars!!! They're everywhere, behind every tree and shrub, and---OMG there's one right now!!!!

Anonymous said...

William N. Grigg @ 3:35 AM
just different!

Anonymous said...

Before the benevolent government forbade it I use to go to Canada quite often as I live minutes from the border. Fort Erie is much like over here a lot of people use to work and travel cross border. It comes to mind that we have 7 times (per capita) people in prison as Canada I can only think that Americans are seven times as bad or the government is seven times as eager to throw people in prison.
More currently Judge Skeen in Tyler Texas (another hellhole) has been conducting show trials over a "Mineola Sex club". Makes for interesting reading...its all bullshit and he is up to three life sentences so far.

Anonymous said...

Lemuelle Gulliver: I understand the point that you are making. It is a good and valid one, however your choice of Che Geuvera as a man of noble intentions is naive at best. He was an evil man motivated by hate and a love of killing. In short a real loser who would be very comfortable hanging around with the likes of Ed Jangels. Old Che is not someone who can be pigeon holed into the same category of Joan of Arc or even for that matter MLKJ.

Anonymous said...

Teaching children to disrespect the gov is the way to raise children. Those children won't be serfs or slaves and won't have the media doing their thinking for them.

Anonymous said...

Che Geuvera the executioner/torturer being compared to the creep in California?

They are from separate schools of evil.

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Hi Anonymous @ 5:15,

Point taken. Perhaps I should have better chosen Simon Bolivar. Anyway, we just could end up some day with a Che Guevara or a Fidel Castro, or more likely, given this country's psyche, a Mussolini or a Hitler, if a Bolivar does not step forward.

Lemuel Gulliver

Lemuel Gulliver said...

Anonymous @ 5:14,

Good point. We have more people in jail, 2 million plus, than any other country, even Red China with 4 times the population. Per capita, we have 6 times as many black people in jail as South Africa did in 1987. (And here, blacks are the minority instead of the majority.)

I checked out the Texas Mineola Swingers Club case, and found this in the Dallas Morning News article of 8/04/2008:

"The youngest regularly masturbated until she bled after being taken into state custody. Her older brother and sister masturbated regularly at school and even in the aisles of Wal-Mart. The boy also defecated
on himself when angry or scared and soiled himself the day he first had to testify against his mother in the Tyler trials. Behavior experts say that is common in sexually abused boys."

It is difficult to get at the truth in some of these cases. This one in Texas just might have some basis, if these behaviors manifested before the arrests were made and the kids' testimony extracted. Even so, harsh interrogations and coerced testimony alone would not seem to me to be likely to generate this kind of physical sexual acting-out. But I'm not a behavior expert.

One thing for sure: the kids have been terribly traumatized and are the real helpless victims of predatory adults - which ones, we do not know for sure.

Lemuel Gulliver

Joseph said...


I don't often take time to say how very much your writings mean to me, but they do mean a lot.

Please know that I love you work. May God bless you and yours.

willb said...

@Lemuel Gulliver

"Where is our Joan of Arc? Where is our *** ******? Where is our Paul Revere?"

There is a man standing up to
our enemies in D.C., his name
is Ron Paul.
Unfortunately Americans want
a knight on a white horse rather
than a gentleman from their own
The truth speaks with a "small
still voice." Today however
you have to have a bullhorn to
rise above the din.
Go, Ron. Go!

matt hopkins said...

"Every way I can. with every opportunity that presents itself" Somtimes I don't feel like I'm doing a very good job with my kids, and then a family member reminds me that I'm not doing so bad after all! Sounds like you get an ocassional reminder that your not doing so bad of a job either! I don't always comment but I always read. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else having trouble with the RSS feed for this blog? I'm using iGoogle and I haven't gotten an update since "A Convenant With Death". I stopped by today to see what was up, and found several posts! I deleted and re-subscribed, but still only see up to that point.

Anyway, hope you get it fixed, but until then I'll just randomly stop by looking for updates - keep up the great work on one of my favorite blogs!

AvgJoe said...

This really got going with the McMartin case in Manhattan Beach. All in that case were found to be victims as well. The CA state AG needed to step in, in both of these scams.
I simply can't not understand why no justice has been dished out to these government parasite criminals. Again this only shows that we the decent citizens have no government that is in place to serve us.

Anonymous said...

I lost my childhood plus 10 years of time with my father due to this sort of BS from the State. My two siblings were likewise robbed. There is a tremendous amount of damage done which is yet to be healed from.

However, I must give credit where credit is due - thanks to the incompetence, dishonesty, and good intentions I learned not to trust or believe authority figures or the govt by the age of 5. I most likely would not be a libertarian or at least not advanced so far in my philosophy had I not been given an object lesson on the subject of tyranny.

Tomatso said...


William N. Grigg said...

Yes...? :-)

Missing our son said...

When I watched Witch Hunt, I sobbed. I felt they were telling our story as our son was falsely accused and is now serving 8-16 years for something that never happened. WHEN is our judicial system going to become fair and just? This was 23 years ago or more and this is the EASIEST type of case to convict on. HOW do we as American's bring national attention to the thousands that sit in prison falsely accused of this crime? See our site and the links of others we know of that have been falsely accused at

This has GOT to stop!!!!! But how?

Aaron Kinney said...

"You're cultivating disrespect for government in your children!" protested a relative not long ago. "Every way I can think of doing so, with each opportunity that presents itself, every single day that God sends me!" I responded.

That was absolutely amazing to read. I love you, man.

Anonymous said...

Of course, none of the State's agents - the judges, police or prosecutors - were thrown in prison, or even reprimanded.

Anonymous said...

I just finished watching Witch Hunt. was terrific and it was heart-wrenching. I have been a resident of Bakersfield for the past 30 years and remember well these cases.

As more and more people were being arrested, my husband and I would look at each other and wonder what the hell was going on? It never felt...right...we knew that something was just not right with all the charges and cases coming up.

But let me tell you that people here were really frightened...especially when the allegations of Satanism and child pornography rings and human sacrifice came to the fore. People were nervous about letting anyone around their kids...even other family members.

There was a strong belief that the allegations just had to be true...after all, look at all the law enforcement people (from the county and the city), social workers, attorneys, etc. who were all on the same page. These people were from different agencies...had different administrative structures...had different investigators...and yet were in agreement that these crimes had been committed by the defendants.

Bakersfield is very conservative socially and politically and is more akin to a small town in the Midwest than a city with a population in excess of 300K in the State of California. As such, initially there was really no feeling within the "locals" that something was amiss with the charges...that there was malfeasance or gross incompetence on the part of the authorities.

Given the hysteria, there was no way that anyone charged was going to get a dispassionate or fair-minded jury...the charges were horrendous and the news media really amped it up. You could not escape hearing about this on TV, radio or in the print. It was ALL over and everyone was talking about the grocery store, bank, hair salon, restaurants, church, everywhere.

As someone who works within the local legal system, I was surprised that these trials were not moved to a different venue.

When Attorney General John Van de Kamp became involved and issued his report, it was obvious that these people who had been convicted were going to get new trials and probably have their convictions overturned. What was astonishing to me was how long it took to get these people a new trial or hearing.

As more and more finally came to hearing or trial and had their convictions overturned, it just sickened us as we saw the number of years these poeople had spent in prison...with some dying there. And when John Stoll finally got his hearing...that was probably the most heart-breaking of all. It was obvious the guy had been wrongfully accused and convicted...yet there was his son dragged out to testify against him again. Ahh John, I do not know how you bore it.

After all the wrongful convictions, we, the local taxpayers, were left with paying out settlements to those imprisoned. I cannot recall how many lawsuits there were, but I think the settlements have been about 5 million dollars so far. In the movie, it said John Stoll received 700K...for 20 years in prison and the loss of his son. 700K...or $35K per year?

Anonymous said...

An update on John Stoll. On September 15, 2009, the County of Kern settled the federal lawsuit filed by John Stoll for $5.5 million. Here is the link to the story:

Anonymous said...

You support child molestation and child pornography?!?!?

I dare you to be molested like I did - let's see how you like it, you filthy bastard. Capitalizing upon a few mistrials to propagate your libertarian agenda.

Go rape yourself,

One of the hundreds of thousands of victims of child abuse.

William N. Grigg said...

You appear to have missed a couple of small but significant details in the story above -- such as the fact that the people profiled therein are innocent of hideous crimes against children.

I don't condone sending innocent people to prison. Do you? Would stealing decades out of the life of innocent people somehow mitigate the pain felt by victims of child abuse?

As the second story in this series makes clear, the scandal of unjust imprisonment in Bakersfield was compounded by the fact that the corrupt prosecutor was covering up for real sexual predators. Any honest and rational reader would recognize that I hold no brief for child predators or predatory prosecutors who send innocent people to prison.

I would also be grateful if you would explain how, exactly, one would rape himself.

Kent McManigal said...

WRT Anon 7:29AM- That's the tactic ALWAYS used by those who want everyone even accused of anything like this to be castrated and then killed no matter what. Pathetic, knee-jerk reactionaries. But it is also why I will keep standing up for what is RIGHT no matter what people like that pitiful anonymous commenter say or threaten.

Anonymous said...
Farewell to Ed Jagels, a man who put 25 innocent “child abusers” in prison.
WitchHunt Movie.
Ed Jagels put two dozen innocent people behind bars on charges that they molested their own kids -- while ignoring evidence that his friends were throwing orgies with teenage boys.

SALEM Witch Trials
"Governor Phips blamed the entire affair on William Stoughton. Stoughton, clearly more to blame than anyone for the tragic episode, refused to apologize or explain himself. He criticized Phips for interfering just when he was about to "clear the land" of witches. Stoughton became the next governor of Massachusetts."

IS YOUR NAME with the next witch-hunt?

Boris Epstein said...

Mr Grigg, thanks again for yet another awesome investigative piece. Even I am impressed by the degree of corruption described.

Now you did I understand you correctly that Jagels only had to run for the office of the DA once? Is that truly so? Are these the laws in Kern County, CA?