Friday, March 15, 2013

Whose Side is the Law On?

Those who have been following this blog may have noticed that I like to observe the holidays as they go by. I confess I sometimes use this as a distraction, something more pleasant to write about. Awhile back I had read a book that had disturbed me so much it took me a long time to decide how to respond to it. It's called "Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction that Changed America" by Les Standiford (w/ Det Sgt Joe Matthews)

If the authors of this book are to be believed at all, it appears that the lead investigator of this case has been making great efforts to prevent this case from being solved.
Hard to believe? Read the book and see for yourself!

You may already know the story of Adam Walsh, and how his father, John Walsh, came to become the host on "America's Most Wanted," perhaps the most popular true crime show on TV. This certainly helped get this case a lot of coverage. It seems John Walsh has done a lot more to fight crime than the police in Hollywood, Florida.

It took 25 years to solve this case, but it shouldn't have. There were those who knew it all along. There was plenty of evidence as to who the killer was, but that evidence was kept hidden. The lead investigator, instead of trying to solve the case, was busy keeping anyone else from doing so. It begs the question of why any law-enforcement officer would want to protect such a vicious killer.

Has this happened before? I'm sorry to say this, but Yes, I think so.
Back in the 1990s I had read a book called "The Sleeping Lady" by Robert Graysmith.

This author is best known for  his work on the Zodiac killer. I was told this made him very unpopular with the police in that area, who tried to discredit him. I say this to warn you about those who will tell you this story is not true. I can't prove that it is, I wasn't there, but I can tell you that I was utterly shocked and disturbed when I read this book. The Sleeping Lady tells about a serial killer who apparently did a poor job of covering his tracks, and left clues all over the place. What was so shocking is that so much evidence was completely ignored, and leads not followed up on. I was wondering if perhaps the killer actually wanted to get caught.

But it's not always the police who screw up getting a conviction. In the case of Debbie Key, it was the judge and the DA. There are things that I believe and things that I know. I know the Carrboro Police really wanted to solve this case. ('nuff said?)

Being from Washington, DC, (and having often played in Rock Creek Park as a boy) I have also been following closely the case of  Chandra Levy. Now let me tell you about another book I've read recently. It's called "Finding Chandra : A True Washington Murder Mystery." by Bob Woodward.

If a murder could ever be considered a comedy, (not really) this case reads like a true comedy of errors. The remains were found in an area the police have supposedly already searched. After collecting all the bones they could find, a tibia was found later in the same area, after the yellow tape was taken down. But worse than that, the killer had already been arrested and was in custody while they were still blaming a congressman for committing the crime. One of his victims, a woman jogger in the park, managed to escape his assault and go to the police, providing a description and, after they caught him, an identification. But somehow that piece of information didn't get connected to the info that Chandra was last known to be jogging in Rock Creek Park before she went missing. Everyone was too excited about the fact that she was having an affair with Congressman Condit, and sure it must have been him "who done it." It took 8 years to solve this case, again while all the info was readily available. (I have more to say about this later.)

How often does something like this happen? Ask Kim Rossmo!


To this day, the Surete Du Quebec, the police in Canada who were "investigating" the case of Theresa Allore, still refuse to admit it was a murder, in spite of overwhelming evidence. Is it stupidity? Are they protecting someone? Or just too lazy to care? (See "Who Killed Theresa?" on the links list.)

Now I don't want to advocate vigilantism. I'm against it, really. But I do want to say that perhaps we must be careful not to become too complacent, when it comes to depending on those whose job it is to protect us from dangerous killers.

Oh, and don't depend on newspapers to tell you everything you need to know about a crime case. Take a trip to your local library and find what books are available about it. (unless you prefer to buy them from Amazon.)

PS -- I hope you like my "book report." I've decided to do this for March this year, instead of something about St.Pat's Day and Easter. I figured I had already covered these holidays, but I'll still be celebrating them!