February 28, 2010 Comments Off on Child Abuse Leaves Its Mark on Victim’s DNA
Mind & Brain / Mental Health – Top 100 Stories of 2009 #61: Child Abuse Leaves Its Mark on Victim’s DNA
The brains of people who were abused as children and then commit suicide show DNA modifications that made them particularly sensitive to stress.
by Amy Barth
From the January-February special issue; published online December 28, 2009
Childhood trauma may leave a lasting imprint not just on the psyche but also in the DNA. This news comes from McGill University and the Suicide Brain Bank, a Quebec-based organization that carried out autopsies on suicide victims who had been abused as kids. Across the board, their brains showed DNA modifications that made them particularly sensitive to stress. Although gene variations are primarily inherited at conception, the findings show that environmental impacts can also introduce them later on. “The idea that abuse changes how genes function opens a new window for behavioral and drug therapy,” says study leader and neuroscientist Patrick McGowan.
During periods of adversity, the brain triggers release of cortisol, a hormone responsible for the fight-or-flight response. Due to differential gene expression associated with stress, the brains of child-abuse victims had lower levels of glucocorticoid receptors, McGowan found. Cortisol normally binds to these receptors; with fewer of them present, there is more cortisol and less resilience to feelings of stress. http://discovermagazine.com/2010/jan-feb/061
February 26, 2010 Comments Off on West Memphis 3 confession, witness corroboration and physical evidence
The West Memphis 3 case included a confession from one of those convicted, physical evidence including a knife and clothing fibers, Echols was seen in muddy clothes near the crime scene and Echols and Baldwin both told others that they had committed the crimes.
The web pages below provide evidence of the guilt of the 3.
These articles describe graphic crimes of abuse
Death Penalty Recommended for Teen-Ager March 20, 1994 …Prosecutors presented evidence suggesting Mr. Echols was a devil worshipper and the younger teen-ager his loyal follower. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/03/20/us/death-penalty-recommended-for-teen-ager.html?scp=18&sq=west+memphis+3+murder+case&st=nyt
Youth Is Convicted In Slaying of 3 Boys In an Arkansas City CORNING, Ark., Feb. 4 The teen-ager, Jessie Lloyd Misskelley Jr., 18, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a boy whom he had admitted chasing down. He was convicted of second-degree murder in the deaths of the other two boys….Mr. Misskelley told the police in two tape-recorded interviews that he had watched as his two friends beat the boys, raped two of them and castrated one. The prosecution said the slayings might have been part of a Satanic ritual. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/02/05/us/youth-is-convicted-in-slaying-of-3-boys-in-an-arkansas-city.html?scp=11&sq=west+memphis+3+murder+case&st=nyt
Jessie Lloyd MISSKELLEY, Jr. v. STATE of Arkansas CR 94-848 S.W.2d Supreme Court of Arkansas Opinion delivered February 19, 1996
On June 3, 1993, the crime having remained unsolved, Detective Sergeant Mike Allen sought the appellant out for questioning. The appellant was not considered a suspect, but it was thought he might have knowledge about Damien Echols, who was a suspect. Detective Allen located the appellant and brought him back to the station, arriving at approximately 10:00 a.m. Later in this opinion, we will address in detail the circumstances surrounding the appellant’s interrogation. For now, it is sufficient to say that the appellant was questioned off and on over a period from 10:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. At 2:44 p.m. and again at approximately 5:00 p.m., he gave statements to police in which he confessed his involvement in the murders. Both statements were tape-recorded….
In the early morning hours of May 5, 1993, the appellant received a phone call from Jason Baldwin. Baldwin asked the appellant to accompany him and Damien Echols to the Robin Hood area. The appellant agreed to go. They went to the area, which has a creek, and were in the creek when the victims rode up on their bicycles. Baldwin and Echols called to the boys, who came to the creek. The boys were severely beaten by Baldwin and Echols. At least two of the boys were raped and forced to perform oral sex on Baldwin and Echols. According to appellant, he was merely an observer.
While these events were taking place, Michael Moore tried to escape and began running. The appellant chased him down and returned him to Baldwin and Echols. The appellant also stated that Baldwin had used a knife to cut the boys in the facial area and that the Byers boy was cut on his penis. Echols used a large stick to hit one of the boys. All three boys had their clothes taken off and were tied up….
The appellant was asked about his involvement in a cult. He said he had been involved for about three months. The participants would typically meet in the woods. They engaged in orgies and, as an initiation rite, killing and eating dogs. He noted that at one cult meeting, he saw a picture that Echols had taken of the three boys. He stated that Echols had been watching the boys….
Damien Echols was observed near the crime scene at 9:30 p.m. on May 5. He was wearing black pants and a black shirt and his clothes were muddy. A witness testified that she had attended a satanic cult meeting with Echols and the appellant….a witness from the State Crime Lab testified that she found fibers on the victims’ clothing which were microscopically similar to items in the Baldwin and Echols residences. http://courts.state.ar.us/opinions/1996/cr94-848.html
Damien Wayne ECHOLS and Charles Jason Baldwin v. STATE of Arkansas CR 94-928 S.W.2d Supreme Court of Arkansas Opinion delivered December 23, 1996
Where two witnesses testified that they overheard appellant Echols state that he killed the three boys, this was direct evidence; a confession is sufficient to sustain a conviction if it is accompanied by other proof that the offense was committed by someone….
There was substantial evidence of the guilt of appellant Echols where, among other things, the testimony of witnesses placed him in dirty clothes near the crime scene at a time close to the murders; where two independent witnesses reported Echols’s statement that he had killed the three boys and was direct evidence of the statement; where a criminalist from the State Crime Laboratory and a State Medical Examiner testified concerning the similarity of fibers found on the victim’s clothes with clothing found in Echols’s home and the serrated wound patterns on the three victims that were consistent with, and could have been caused by, a knife found in a lake behind appellant Baldwin’s parents’ residence….
Echols admitted on cross-examination that he had delved deeply into the occult and was familiar with its practices and where various items that had been found in his room supported the State’s theory of motive that the killings were done in a satanic ritual; where an expert in occult killings testified that there was significant evidence of satanic ritual killings; where a detective testified that Echols had made a statement regarding the mutilation of one of the victims that the jury could have reasonably concluded he would not have known about unless he had been involved in some manner; and where Echols’s testimony contained additional evidence of guilt….
Echols admitted on cross-examination in the penalty phase of the trial that he had an altercation with his father in which a knife was involved and the police were called; where he admitted that he was hospitalized that same day and that when his father came to the hospital, “I told him I would eat him alive”; where headmitted that he tried “to claw the eyes out” of a student; and where a psychologist who testified for Echols admitted that Echols had “an all-powerful God-like image of himself,” that his parents were concerned with his satanism or devil worship, and that Echols’s medical records included notations of statements by Echols pertaining, among other things, to his rage and the drinking of the blood of others….
Where one witness testified that appellant Baldwin had told him that he had dismembered one of the boys, sucked the blood from his penis and scrotum, and put the testicles in his mouth, and where an expert on ritual killings stated that one of the facts that led him to believe that the killings were cult-related was that one of the victims had been castrated and had had the blood sucked from his penis, there was sufficient evidence of appellant Baldwin’s participation in occult activities, and the trial court correctly allowed the evidence….
Twelve-year-old Christy VanVickle testified that she heard Echols say he “killed the three boys.” Fifteen-year-old Jackie Medford testified that she heard Echols say, “I killed the three little boys and before I turn myself in, I’m going to kill two more, and I already have one of them picked out.” The testimony of these two independent witnesses was direct evidence of the statement by Echols….
Dr. Dale Griffis, an expert in occult killings, testified in the State’s case-in-chief that the killings had the “trappings of occultism.” He testified that the date of the killings, near a pagan holiday, was significant, as well as the fact that there was a full moon. He stated that young children are often sought for sacrifice because “the younger, the more innocent, the better the life force.” He testified that there were three victims, and the number three had significance in occultism. Also, the victims were all eight years old, and eight is a witches’ number. He testified that sacrifices are often done near water for a baptism-type rite or just to wash the blood away. The fact that the victims were tied ankle to wrist was significant because this was done to display the genitalia, and the removal of Byers’s testicles was significant because testicles are removed for the semen. He stated that the absence of blood at the scene could be significant because cult members store blood for future services in which they would drink the blood or bathe in it. He testified that the “overkill” or multiple cuts could reflect occult overtones. Dr. Griffis testified that there was significance in injuries to the left side of the victims as distinguished from the right side: People who practice occultism will use the midline theory, drawing straight down through the body. The right side is related to those things synonymous with Christianity while the left side is that of the practitioners of the satanic occult. He testified that the clear place on the bank could be consistent with a ceremony. In sum, Dr. Griffis testified there was significant evidence of satanic ritual killings….
Echols took the witness stand, and his testimony contained additional evidence of guilt. When asked about his statement that one victim was mutilated more than the others, he said he learned the fact from newspaper accounts. His attorney showed him the newspaper articles about the murders. On cross-examination, Echols admitted that the articles did not mention one victim being mutilated more than the others, and he admitted that he did not read such a fact in a newspaper….
Jason Baldwin does not contend that there was insufficient evidence of his guilt. This is, perhaps, in part, because of the testimony of Michael Carson, who testified that he talked to Baldwin about the murders. Carson’s testimony, in pertinent part, was abstracted as follows:
I said, just between me and you, did you do it. I won’t say a word. He said yes and he went into detail about it. It was just me and Jason [Baldwin]. He told me he dismembered the kids, or I don’t know exactly how many kids. He just said he dismembered them. He sucked the blood from the penis and scrotum and put the balls in his mouth. http://courts.state.ar.us/opinions/1996a/961223sc/cr94-928.html
February 26, 2010 Comments Off on Child Sacrifice Emerges as Disturbing Uganda Trend
describes graphic crimes of abuse
Child Sacrifice Emerges as Disturbing Uganda Trend – Witch Doctors, Films May Propagate Belief That Burial of Body Parts Brings Riches By DANA HUGHES Feb. 25, 2010 ….Uganda’s children are paying the price. Children are disappearing, victims of human sacrifice. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/child-sacrifice-uganda-witch-doctors-spread-belief/story?id=9930029
February 25, 2010 Comments Off on Early Abuse Tied to More Depression in Children
Early Abuse Tied to More Depression in Children ScienceDaily (Feb. 7, 2010) Although children can be depressed for many reasons, new evidence suggests that there are physiological differences among depressed children based on their experiences of abuse before age 5. Early abuse may be especially damaging due to the very young age at which it occurs….The study appears in the January/February 2010 issue of the journal Child Development.
Children who experience maltreatment, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse or neglect, grow up with a lot of stress. Cortisol, termed the “stress hormone,” helps the body regulate stress. But when stress is chronic and overloads the system, cortisol can soar to very high levels or plummet to lows, which in turn can harm development and health.
The researchers studied more than 500 low-income children ages 7 to 13, about half of whom had been abused and/or neglected, to find out whether abuse early in life and feelings of depression affected their levels of cortisol. High levels of depression were more frequent among children who were abused in the first five years of their lives than among maltreated children who weren’t abused early in life or children who weren’t maltreated at all.
More importantly, only children who were abused before age 5 and depressed had an atypical flattening of cortisol production during the day, whereas other children, whether they were depressed or not, showed an expected daily decline in cortisol from morning to afternoon….
“In the United States, more than 1.5 million children are abused and neglected every year, though it’s estimated that the actual rates are substantially greater,” according to Dante Cicchetti, McKnight Presidential Chair and professor of child development and psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, who led the study. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100205081811.htm
February 24, 2010 Comments Off on ritual abuse and “false” memories, serial child abuse scandal
….The ritual abuse described by the children at the Presidio and West Point day care centers was remarkably similar, so it begs a rather disturbing question: Were these children from disparate geographical locations actually abused in the same ritualistic manner or were they conjuring up the same, incomprehensible stories?
In The Franklin Scandal, I also discuss a cult called the Finders and a subsequent law enforcement investigation into their activities: On February 4, 1987, a concerned citizen notified the Tallahassee Police Department that he had observed six white children, poorly dressed, bruised, dirty, and behaving like wild animals, in a Tallahassee park. The children were accompanied by two well-dressed white males driving a white 1979 Dodge van with Virginia plates. The Tallahassee police responded to the call and took the children and adults into custody. The children told Tallahassee police they were not allowed to live indoors and were given food only as a reward. The Tallahassee police charged the two adults with felony child abuse, and they were held on a $100,000 bond. The children were placed in protective custody….
In The Franklin Scandal, I also discuss the Extreme Abuse Survey (EAS), an international online survey for adult survivors of extreme abuse that was conducted between January 1 and March 30 of 2007. The EAS respondents were questioned about the use of feces and blood in their ritual abuse, and 1,106 of EAS respondents answered the questions regarding abuse with feces and blood. Fifty percent of EAS respondents said that they had been subjected to abuse with feces, and 63% responded that the use of blood was integral to their abuse. So like the victims of the Presidio and West Point day care centers, hundreds of EAS respondents, who come from a myriad of disparate locations around the globe, convey the same horrific, implausible events….
So the Presidio victims’ claim that they were forced to eat feces and drink urine seems preposterous on the surface, but if their allegations are examined in the wider context of extreme abuse or ritual abuse, the children’s allegations shed their implausibility, because they are corroborated by multiple sources from widely disparate geographic locations and points in time. However, skeptics of the accounts given by the Presidio victims and the hundreds of other alleged victims who discuss extreme or ritualistic abuse maintain that these memories were planted by therapists–therapists from widely disparate geographic locations and points in time….
Despite the stance of the FMSF and its credential-laden experts, false memories or dissociative amnesia is recognized as a bona fide condition by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is the bible of diagnosing psychiatric conditions, whereas the false memory syndrome is not. Moreover, multiple studies have corroborated the realty of dissociative amnesia. A 1995 study, published in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, looked at 46 subjects with PTSD. Over time, 35 of the study’s subjects reported the gradual emergence of a personal narrative that they believed could be defined as an explicit memory lost to significant or total amnesia, and 77% of those subjects reported confirmation of that particular memory of childhood trauma….
The Freyds recruited Ralph Underwager, a Lutheran theologian and psychologist, and his wife to be co-founders of the FMSF–Underwager and his wife published Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, which accommodated Pamela Freyd’s initial assault on her daughter’s credibility. Underwager would prove to have a relatively short tenure with the FMSF, because of various statements he made to the press. London’s Sunday Times reported that Underwager said ”scientific evidence” has shown that 60% of women who are molested as children felt that the experience was good for them–he contended the same could be true for boys….
FMSF Advisory Board members, particularly members who Dr. Ross connected to the CIA’s mind control programs, are extremely skeptical or completely disavow dissociation, a mental state where traumatic thoughts, emotions, sensations, and/or memories are compartmentalized, repressed and actually separated from an individual’s identity. Though the overwhelming majority of the CIA’s mind control documentation was ordered destroyed, bureaucratic ineptitude enabled some of it to survive and one set of documents said “special attention will be given to dissociative states.”
In that specific experiment, the documentation discussed administering electric shock, drugs, hypnosis, and psychological tricks to three groups–psychotics, children, and mediums–to induce various states of dissociation, including multiple personality, which the researchers thought would enhance the subjects’ extrasensory perception.
RITUAL MAGIC: ABUSE – You tube TV show video – describes graphic crimes of abuse
Del. doctor indicted in serial child abuse scandal 2/23/10 By RANDALL CHASE – DOVER, Del. (AP) – Prosecutors expect to add more counts to a lengthy indictment against a Delaware pediatrician charged with serial molestation of 103 children as investigators urge former patients and parents to come forward. A grand jury returned a 160-page indictment Monday against Dr. Earl Bradley of Lewes with 471 counts of sexual crimes….
Announcing the grand jury’s indictment, Attorney General Beau Biden said all of the alleged victims, mainly girls but including one boy, were caught on more than 13 hours of video recordings, some dating to 1998….
The indictment alleges Bradley was videotaping his sexual exploitation of patients as far back as December 1998. Many victims were assaulted repeatedly, some on consecutive days, according to the indictment, which alleges that one girl was raped more than a dozen times over a period that lasted more than a year….
After years of suspicions among parents and questions about his strange behavior from colleagues, Bradley was arrested after a 2-year-old girl told her mother that the doctor hurt her in December when he took her to a basement room of his office after an exam.
February 23, 2010 Comments Off on Afghanistan’s war on children, sex cult leader’s release
articles describe graphic crimes
The Warlord’s Tune: Afghanistan’s war on children By Mark Bannerman for Four Corners 2/22/10
Sexual slavery involving boys as young as 10 is being condoned and in many cases protected by authorities in northern Afghanistan. In a story to be broadcast on Four Corners tonight, the practice of bacha bazi or “boy play”, as well as other allegations of child abuse, are explored. Afghan journalist Najibullah Quraishi has filmed police attending a party where a young boy is the “entertainment”. The police shown on the video include one officer from the youth crime squad. Such parties are illegal under Afghanistan law and with good reason. The “dancing boys” are in effect sex slaves. They are lured off the streets by pimps. They are taught to dance and sing, to wear make-up and to dress like girls. Then they are made to perform before large groups of men. All of them are sexually abused.
Dancing boys are a lucrative business. Powerful former warlords and businessmen love to watch them and will pay a lot of money to have their own boy for bacha bazi. Some of the boys are traded like swap cards among the rich and powerful, and if they disobey their owners they are killed or brutalised. The trade in boys is well known to the United Nations. According to Nazir Alimy, who compiled a report on the issue for the UN, there is no doubt who is funding this practice and why the police refuse to stop it….There is also evidence this type of abuse is spreading throughout Afghanistan. Mr Alimy says his research shows it is happening in the south and even in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Terms of sex cult leader’s release anger community 8/15/08 (CNN) – The leader of a religious group that authorities believe preys on children was released from a Pennsylvania prison Friday but won’t be required to register as a sex offender, triggering outrage in the community where he plans to live….George Feigley, now 68, was convicted in 1975 on charges including statutory rape, indecent assault and corrupting the morals of minors.
Because Feigley’s 1975 conviction predated the passage of Megan’s Law, he will not be required to register as a sex offender. And, having served his maximum sentence, he was not put on parole upon his release….
The church’s manifesto says, “We hold that the changes called creation and procreation are divine and that human sexuality is to humans the most available expression of that function of divinity,” according to community activist Scott Portzline, who has researched Feigley’s history and that of the group. “Sexual activity is the greatest act a human can do.”
describes graphic crimes
This is George Feigley FRIDAY, HE’S FREE Sunday, August 10, 2008 BY CARRIE CASSIDY Of The Patriot-News She lived in a world where parents willingly gave up their children to a man who declared himself “The Light of the World.”
A world where children were beaten for letting anyone but fellow cult members see them, and their genitals were pierced with a lock to be controlled by this so-called prophet. It was a world unimaginable to most people, but it was her reality for seven years, from the time she was 5 until her mother broke free of George Feigley’s grip.
Three decades later, that world still haunts her through dreams occasionally featuring Feigley and his flock of followers. She was shocked to learn from a reporter that the man who beat her, made her call him “Master,” and photographed her in graphic sexual poses would be released from prison this week. http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1218143411281160.xml&coll=1
February 20, 2010 Comments Off on A Closer Look At Clergy Sex Abuse – In Ireland
A Closer Look At Clergy Sex Abuse – In Ireland, Dublin’s Archbishop met with victims of clergy sex abuse today, following a closed door conversation between Pope Benedict XVI and 24 Irish Bishops. The gathering was prompted by several devastating reports released by the Irish government detailing decades of clergy abuse on thousands of children. We speak with Audrey Carville, who reports from Dublin for the BBC, we also speak with two victims of sex abuse: John Kelly, founder of the group Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, and attorney Helen McGonigle, of Greenwich, Rhode Island. http://www.hereandnow.org/2010/02/rundown-219-2/#2