PLEASE NOTE: This blog is a bigotry free zone open to all persons, regardless of age, race, religion, color, national origin, sex, political affiliations, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, or sexual orientation. Further, this blog is open to the broad variety of opinions out there and will not delete any comments based upon point of view. However, comments will be deleted if they are worded in an abusive manner and show disrespect for the intellectual process.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
I was driving around my neighborhood, and I happened to see the truck you see above in this blog. I immediately jumped out of my car to take a few pictures.
You may think what you want about Linda Wiegand, but the fact is that no matter what has been said about her, she has left behind a legacy of giving that says volumes about the kind of person that she was.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
It is with sadness that I have to report the death of Jonathan P. Wiegand who died suddenly on Friday August 11, 2017. See link:
During the 1990s, as a child of 4, Jonathan was in the center of an extremely controversial custody case in which his mother, Linda Wiegand, accused the stepfather, Thomas Wilkinson, of sexually abusing his stepson, Jonathan, and their younger son, Ben (3). At one point, Ms. Wiegand fled to Las Vegas and two years later was discovered and charged with custodial interference.
|Jonathan P. Wiegand|
Monday, January 16, 2017
LINDA WIEGAND, VICTIM OR PERPETRATOR, SET THE STAGE FOR CUSTODY SWITCHING SCHEMES THAT NOW STRIP MOTHERS OF ALL PARENTAL RIGHTS IN FAMILY COURTS THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT!
|Linda Wiegand and her son in happier times|
So What Happened? The Linda Wiegand Case: Part II
Linda Wiegand Case: Part III He Said
Linda Wiegand: Part IV She Said
Linda Wiegand, Part V: The Judge Said
Linda Wiegand, Part VI: Rambo Said
Part VII: Linda Wiegand, A Pedophile Conspiracy
Part VIII: Linda Wiegand, Conclusion
Gifts of Love and a Surprising Twist
Clayton R. Douglas of "The Free American" Comments on the Linda Wiegand Case
Charges Dropped Against Linda Wiegand
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
As you will recall, I conducted a lengthy series on Linda Wiegand several months ago. My friend, Lisa, read my series on Linda Wiegand and was surfing the internet when she stumbled across a lengthy essay in support of Linda Wiegand which Clayton R. Douglas of the blog radio show "The Free American" had published.
Then, not long after the essay in support of Linda Wiegand came another one reversing his position and declaring Linda Wiegand a hoax. Lisa found such a reversal rather puzzling and so she sent Mr. Douglas an email asking him for an explanation of why he changed his mind. Today she received a response and it is as follows. This is what Clayton Douglas of "The Free American" says:
"I did the research. I interviewed her. I talked with her boyfriend on the condition that I not tell her where he was. I talked with the principal of where her Children [sic] went to school. SHE was the one who sexualized the children. She is the one that told the story of her son having oral sex with a Saint Bernard. If you had found you [you] son doing that what would you have done? Wash his mouth out with soap, beat his butt and forget about it...or call CNN? She told the world. She wanted to put up a billboard telling the people of Providence that her children were molested. She was on [sic] woman and the man that raised her children did nothing wrong."
I was very disappointed in this response. I thought that there must be some new evidence that surfaced showing definitively that Linda Wiegand was in the wrong. That way those of us who were so troubled with the verdict in the Wiegand case could rest easier and know that justice is done.
Instead, what Clayton Douglas has provided here is another variation on "he said, she said". There is no new information here! There is no true research that has been done! Since when can you prove, simply by talking to a person, whether they are lying or not lying. So Linda said what she said, and Linda's ex boy friend said what he said, so? What's enlightening about that. Are we going to believe what an embittered ex boy friend has to say seriously?
I have lived long enough to have ex boyfriends say they would go to other people with false stories about me once we broke up. Usually, my true friends were smart enough to know what the ex said was simply nonsense.
I also question Clayton Douglas' report that he interviewed the principal where the children went to school. I had a custody evaluation. In order to agree to speak to the custody evaluator and the guardian ad litem for the children, the principal of the school here in Connecticut had to have a release of information provided by a parent. Did Mr. Douglas get such a release from the father?
Also, I am a victim of domestic violence and my children have been emotionally, but not sexually abused. There have been scenes and confrontations and the children have experienced manipulation and verbal abuse from their father. Would the principals in the schools where my children have been educated know much about the truth or falsity of what they have experienced? Not really. Principals do not work directly with the children--teachers, nurses, and counselors do, but not principals, and principals are often politically motivated and not very reliable reporters. How can you be sure that a principal is any more informed or knowledgeable than anyone else.
This is the problem with people like Clayton R. Douglas. They lack intellectual rigor. They make statements based upon emotion and upon what they would like to believe, not upon the facts of a case.
If there was new evidence in the case such as a medical or psychiatric report, that would be something to pay attention to. If Linda Wiegand were caught on tape admitting to lies and deception, I would be alert and paying attention. If there were significant contradictions in the testimony or inconsistencies in the evidence, that would be important. But more hot air from people who are doing little more than sounding off on their own opinions? Give me a break.
Mr. Douglas asks me what I would do if I found my sons engaging in oral sex with a Saint Bernard. I don't know, Mr. Douglas. My boy wouldn't engage in oral sex with a Saint Bernard unless someone had sexually abused him, and since he wasn't sexually abused, it never came up.
Finally, there is the question of what in the heck was Linda Wiegand doing when she decided to go public and speak up about her case. Does this action alone prove that she was an attention getting publicity hound who was simply using her children because she had a sick need for fame, notoriety, and just plain money? I am not so sure about that.
As a litigant, it cost me a minimum of $200,000 in order to secure the custody of my children. That is not small change. And my case was fairly simple. Funding a custody battle is a long term, extremely expensive proposition. Does Clayton R. Douglas have any other suggestions for what a mother with limited financial resources is supposed to do in fighting a case against an ex husband with substantial sums of money with which to fight his case? Does Mr. Douglas think such money grows on trees?
If Linda Wiegand believed the story her children told was true, she had to choose between the better of two evils, a kind of Sophie's Choice: one staying private and losing her case which would have left her children in the custody of the abuser, or two going public and exposing her children and their story to the prying eyes of strangers, yet ensuring them physical protection.
Aside from the money issue, when the legal system broke down in this case, and it did break down, Linda Wiegand did what the vast majority of us would do, she appealed to the American public for justice. I was reading "The Oddysey" recently, particularly the scene where Telemachos stands before the Council complaining of the suitors who are making him and his mother, Penelope, miserable with their demands that she marry and using up all their money on extravagant parties.
Telemachos appeals for justice and at the end of his speach he says in essence, "The gods will hold these suitors accountable for their evil deeds, but make no mistake, they will also hold all of you members of this council to account because knowing of this wrong you all stood around and did nothing to protect us."
Likewise, as a community, here in Connecticut, and in all of America, Linda Wiegand brought her case to us, the citizens of Connecticut, and of America and appealed to our sense of fairness. She asked us to insist upon justice, not only for her, but also for her children. If it turns out that a wrong was done in this case, I believe, sooner or later, we as a community, and as a culture, and indeed, Mr. Clayton R. Douglas of "The Free American" will be held accountable. Telemachos could have remained silent and stoic. He chose not to. Linda Wiegand chose not to as well. And who can blame her given the horrendous nature of the accusations she was making, most particularly if what she was saying was true.
We still do not have enough information to be sure one way or another because instead of doing the work and adjudicating the case properly, the Court chose to violate the law, the rights of the litigants and due process and in blatant disregard of proper court procedures, ruled based upon prejudice and emotion.
Monday, December 6, 2010
We have come to the end of this discussion regarding the Linda Wiegand case, and, again, I will not say whether I think either Linda or her ex husband, Tom, were guilty of anything, because I simply do not know and cannot be sure.
In these past years experiencing my own abusive marriage and high conflict divorce and those of the friends I have met along the way, I have seen how perfectly innocent people can end up being unfairly accused and unjustly condemned. Even though the evidence looks powerful, just seeing it from a different angle, if you just knew about the angle, could lead you to understand the innocence or guilt of a person in an entirely different way.
In divorce, particularly in Connecticut, with so many bright and capable divorce lawyers, mental health and financial experts, you just can't tell what is going on, and as more years go by and more reports get filed and more testimony comes to the forefront, knowing what is going on becomes more and more difficult.
It is more difficult when Judges see their position as a bully pulpit from which to intimidate litigants and mold social policy rather than as a forum where skilled practitioners can sift through the evidence in order to determine what is the truth for the good of all.
Linda Wiegand was bullied into silence.
That does not add up to justice for anyone. It doesn't clear Tom Wilkinson's name and it doesn't bring resolution to what the boys were experiencing.
It is a disgrace to the State of Connecticut.
Ultimately, divorce and custody matters are supposed to be conducted in a manner that benefits the best interests of the children. My heart goes out to these little boys who were both 4 and 6 years old at the time this tragic situation began. They lost their family, then they lost their mother, and while they ended up in the custody of the father/stepfather, they ended up with a father who must have been severely compromised in his ability to love them absolutely and parent. With one of the children, Jon, Tom Wilkinson wasn't even biologically his parent. How ridiculous is that!
In addition to all this, it is mind boggling to think of over a period of years all the hours and hours of time these two boys spent being interrogated about the sexual abuse they allegedly experienced and being expected to testify in court about it. Was it "The Children's Hour"? Was it another "Crucible"? Were they faking it all? Was it the truth, or what they thought was the truth? They have grown up now and maybe one day they will be able to tell us, to tell us what it was like, and whether they understood the impact their testimony would have not only on their parents but on the many, many supporters they had across the country.
There is a tremendous sadness here regarding childhood lost, either through genuine sexual abuse or through repeatedly having to describe abuse that did not happen.
I am aware of the financial damage that occurred here also. Both Linda Wiegand and Tom Wilkinson had to spend substantial sums of money in order to pursue their cases. The $100,000 in reward money that Tom Wilkinson shelled out is gone now--that's at least two years of a private college education. Apparently, money like that flowed through both Tom Wilkinson and Linda Wiegand's bank accounts. It was not inconsiderable and could have been used for a better purpose.
No matter what the outcome, both Tom Wilkinson and Linda Wiegand lost this case. No matter that Tom Wilkinson ended up with the children, people like me will always wonder, "What did he do?" There is a reason why the bible has "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness" as one of the ten commandments; that is, because destroying a person's reputation is just like murder. It kills the soul.
As for Linda Wiegand, she lost her children. What more is there to say? There is sufficient sadness to go around.
For the rest of us, there is the increased difficulty when bringing up the subject of abuse in the family court system. If you are a middle to upper middle class woman undergoing a divorce in the Connecticut Family Court system, I warn you, don't ever bring up the subject of abuse to the court system, because that will be your first step towards losing your children. You will be ridiculed. You will be belittled. You will be labeled as insane. You will be labeled as vindictive. In some ways, you will have less power divorcing and divorced than you would have remaining with the abuse and staying married. So think twice before you make any kinds of moves.
The Linda Wiegand case was and remains a very unfortunate case, but at least we know what we are up against. And in saying this, I am not changing my stand. I still don't know if Tom Wilkinson is guilty or not, but seeing how the Court system handled this case so poorly, you've got to know that other cases are going to be handled just as badly, because from what I'm hearing out there it doesn't look as if much has changed.
Change. That's an interesting word. What do you say, people, do you want the system to change for the better? Do you want to be part of that change? Let us know!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
I have to tell you right away that I'm not a big one for conspiracy theories so writing about this next topic--The Pedophile Conspiracy in Connecticut--probably won't necessarily be my strong suit. However, I don't think a discussion of the Wiegand Case is truly complete without a discussion regarding this topic because many supporters of Linda Wiegand believe a Pedophile Conspiracy exists and have made it an important part of the discussion regarding Linda Wiegand's case.
The start of my research in this area begins with an article by Kris Millegan dated November 1, 2001 entitled "The Pedophile Network in Connecticut." Milligan states that there is a pedophile conspiracy reaching up to the top levels of government including recent President George Bush and Cheney and also including Warren Buffet, former President Gerald Ford and President Ronald Reagan. Millegan states that learning about the Wiegand case "led [him or her] into a labyrinthine world of judicial and political corruption with many tantalizing links to a national pedophile network closely identified with the Bush family."
This article goes on to say that this pedophile network silenced the state newspaper, The Hartford Courant, and prevented the paper from reporting fairly on Linda Wiegand's case when Lou Kiefer, Tom Wilkinson's lawyer, sued the newspaper and obtained a $300,000 settlement against it. My recollection is that this settlement came from Attorney Kiefer suing Connecticut and Vermont's Child Protective Services, but perhaps more money came from a lawsuit against the Courant. I'm not sure about this.
Most significant, this article asks why the Court sealed the Massameno Report which found evidence that Tom Wilkinson abused his children. It also asks why the Court sealed 30 hours of Ben and Jon Wiegand's taped testimony of the sexual abuse they allegedly experienced in the hands of Tom Wilkinson. Why wouldn't this information all come before the Judge at trial and be subjected to examination by experts and attorneys involved in the case? This is all quite puzzling.
But in Connecticut you don't have to go very far for puzzling behavior when it comes to how sexual abuse is handled. Specifically, Connecticut is the only state in the country with a hospital, not connected to the Catholic Church, The Institute of Living (IOL), which, starting in the early 1980s provided treatment to cure priests of pedophilia.
With the support of the IOL, these priests ended up returning to their posts in various Churches where they pretty much continued on to molest other children.
One of these priests, Father John Geoghan, of Massachusetts, was accused of molesting 130 children before he was arrested. Yet after treating him, the Institute still verified that he was sufficiently in control of his pedophilia to return to his ministry stating "We judge Father Geoghan to be clinically quite safe to resume his pastoral ministry..." Who were they kidding?
When the situation blew up in the face of the Institute of Living and The Hartford Courant exposed what was going on, Dr. Harold Schwartz, the Director of the IOL, blamed the Church stating "The Church didn't tell us the truth about the patients it sent us because it often didn't report the exact number of children these priests had molested." I don't know. This seems like a pretty pathetic excuse.
Granting that pedolphilia is incurable and that a molester is almost certain to molest again, does it matter if it is one child or ten that a priest has molested? Shouldn't a psychiatrist be the first to say that the fact that a priest has molested just one child should be enough to keep that priest from ever serving in a parrish again? In particular, shouldn't a psychiatrist with substantial experience in the treatment of pedophilia be the first to say that?
The IOL's refusal to acknowledge its failures when confronted and its pathetic, feeble excuses for its failure to protect children while providing treatment for pedophile priests says everything about the incapacity of the psychiatrists at the IOL to grasp the seriousness of the tragedy of sexual abuse. On the contrary, professionals like this at the Institute of Living apparently don't think that the sexual abuse of children is such a bad thing because they sure didn't take even the most minimal steps to protect such children from the perpetrator priests in their care who were abusing them.
Why is this relevant to the Linda Wiegand case? The answer is that Dr. Kenneth Robson, the psychiatrist who did the evaluation of Ben and Jon Wiegand and denied that the two boys were sexually abused, was affiliated with the Institute of Living, which I've shown has a history of being a hotbed of denial, a hospital that earned thousands and thousands of dollars from the Catholic Church by minimizing how damaging the sexual abuse was that Priests were perpetrating against children.
Supporters of Linda Wiegand want to talk about some conspiracy as if some complicated conspiracy was necessary to explain what they see as an injustice that occurred in this case. But no, there doesn't have to be some big conspiracy. All that is necessary is a bunch of people in positions of power, all of whom don't think sexual abuse of children is such a bad thing. Throw in a little misogyny and you're good!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
One of Linda Wiegand's most avid supporters was Colonel Bo Gritz, a leader in the extreme right wing survivalist movement that supported Linda during much of her case and provided her with substantial financial resources. Colonel Gritz's close relationship with Linda Wiegand and the way he supported her cause and mentored her at Patriot Movement conferences assisted Linda greatly in furthering her cause and obtaining necessary funding for continuing her legal battle for custody of her two sons, Ben and Jon.
I may have gone over some old ground here, so forgive me if I repeat myself. But this is how it goes. In 1996, Tom Wilkinson offered a reward of $100,000 for anyone who could assist him in finding the whereabouts of Linda Wiegand and Ben and Jon. One of Linda's friends took up the offer and revealed her location in Las Vegas, Nevada and police came and took Ben and Jon from her custody and returned them to Connecticut. Linda Wiegand also returned to Connecticut in chains. After that, Tom Wilkinson obtained full custody of the two boys, moved them to Suffield, CT where he was living and put them in the local school system.
Then, in September 30, 1996, Colonel Bo Gritz was arrested for attempted kidnapping of the boys. Apparently, on that day both Colonel Bo Gritz (aka James G. Gritz) and his son, James R. Gritz were arrested while sitting in a car in the parking lot of the McAlister Middle School in Suffield. The car they were sitting in belonged to Linda Wiegand. In the car were: 1. photos of the boys; 2. a school floor plan; 3. class schedules for the boys; and 4. 2 ways radios. Apprently, a Mr. Sheldon Robinson of Texas was also charged with planning to use his own private plane to fly the kids out of state.
Later, on March 8, 2000, Colonel Gritz and his friend Shelden Robinson were acquitted of the all charges related to attempted kidnapping. The jury in the case deliberated for more than two days and then said the prosecution failed to do anything other than show that Bo Gritz was attempting to use his reputation to draw attention to the case.
After this episode, some members of the Patriot Movement that had supported Linda Wiegand up to that point, many of them associates of Colonel Gritz began to call Linda's credibility into question. Some said that they felt that Linda, as a way to get out of jail, had made a deal with authorities to set up Colonel Gritz as a way to destroy his reputation. Well, I guess anything is possible.
What I can say for sure is that around the year 2000, there is little more information available on the Linda Wiegand case and we are left with a mystery regarding what happened. Were the children subjected to continued abuse or not? Did Linda Wiegand ever see her children again? Was there any resolution to the case, any healing? We do know that Tom Wilkinson sued both the Connecticut DCF and the Vermont SRS for falsely accusing him of sexually abusing the boys. Those charges were negotiated shut and/or dismissed.
In December 2001 Governor Rowland ordered the establishment of a Commission on Custody, Divorce, and Children in Connecticut to make recommendations on how the state could improve the system. It was co-chaired by a well known father's rights advocate and abuser, Mr. Thomas C. Foley and among the 20 members assigned to the Commission was Dr. Kenneth Robson who had played such a central role in the Linda Wiegand case. It only produced a single report and was then disbanded.
Monday, November 29, 2010
I can imagine that those of you following my series on this case must be shaking their heads going, he said, she said, who is telling the truth?
Finding out who is telling the truth should be the job of the judge in the case who is often referred to in legal commentary as "the Finder of Fact". According to this definition, this means that the Judge should be the person who reviews the evidence placed before him and determines what are the facts of the case. My question is, did this process of finding the facts take place when it came to the Wiegand case?
I will try to give you some sense of that, although I am sure that I can't be fully accurate since the majority of accounts of what went on have been written by those who support Linda Wiegand. I am aware that a story that appears full and complete can be entirely upended if you simply add another fact to the mix. So when you read this, understand that it could be I don't have that particular fact that upends my conclusions.
From what I understand, early in 1993, the Head of Family Court, Judge Herbert Barall, was put in charge of the case. In May 1993, the Vermont Prosecuting Attorney wrote a letter to Judge Barall asking him to stay all custody proceedings until criminal charges against Tom Wilkinson could be adjudicated. Judge Barall refused to do so.
Meanwhile, in June 1993, Judge Barall appointed Attorney Judith Benedict as Jon and Ben Wiegand's guardian ad litem and attorney, even though carrying out both those roles represents a conflict of interest for an attorney.
Not long after that, Linda Wiegand brought both Jonathan and Ben to the Simsbury, CT police department in order to have the police there investigate the charges of sexual abuse. After an investigation, the police concluded that the boys had been sexually abused. When Judge Barall heard of the investigation he ordered the police to close the investigation and turn over to him all materials from the case including tapes of interviews, drawings, notes, etc. Judge Barall later had this material handed over to Dr. Kenneth Robson for his custody evaluation of the children.
Then in July 1993, Judge Herbert Barall gave Karen Wilkinson Nutter, Tom Wilkinson's sister, legal custody of Ben Wiegand. For five months, Linda Wiegand drove from Connecticut to Vermont and back again participating in legal proceedings in both states in regard to the abuse accusations and the divorce.
At the end of that period, Dr. Kenneth Robson published his results indicating that in his professional opinion the children Ben and Jon Wiegand had not been abused. Of the people who investigated the sexual abuse, the Vermont Child Protective Services, Connecticut's DCF, McLean Hospital, the Simsbury police department, Attorney John H. Massomeno who wrote a full report of the case at the request of CT States Attorney, James E. Thomas, etc. Dr. Robson was the only one who stated that this abuse had not taken place.
Nonetheless, based upon this information from Dr. Robson, Judge Herbert Barall held a hearing that supporters of Linda Wiegand state took place in secret and without the presence of Linda's attorney. In this hearing, Judge Barall ordered that Tom Wilkinson's sister would have custody of Ben and Jon. In doing so the Judge was overstepping his jurisdiction since Jon is not related to either Tom or Karen Wilkinson and Mr. Wilkinson never adopted Jon. This was just around the point that Linda Wiegand went into hiding.
Subsequently, I am assuming while she was in hiding, Linda's attorney asked Judge Herbert Barall to recuse himself. He was then replaced by Judge Thelma Santos. Judge Santos, I assume in response to Linda Wiegand's disappearance, confiscated the entire contents of Linda's house, furniture and all, and gave them to Tom Wilkinson and required that Linda pay Tom Wilkinson $1,000 to cover the costs of Mr. Wilkinson obtaining them. The judge also ordered mail confiscated from Linda's post office box and seized Linda's cars. Then in April 1994, without notifying Linda's attorney, Judge Santos replaced Karen, Tom Wilkinson's sister as guardian of the two boys and appointed Tom Wilkinson instead. In May 1994, the GAL and Tom Wilkinson made a motion which would authorize them to take charge of the children's estate and the Judge sustained the motion.
In January 1995, when Linda Wiegand was still in hiding, Judge Thelma Santos provided a final divorce judgment which awarded 400% of Linda Wiegand's income to Tom Wilkinson for alimony and child support for both of Linda's children. Judge Santos also confiscated Linda's entire defense fund which was $500,000 plus 8% compound interest. Judge Santos also awarded $50,000 to Tom Wilkinson's attorney as well as $10,000 for the GAL. Furthermore, Judge Santos awarded Linda's house to Tom Wilkinson and ordered that the two children should have no contact with their mother at all.
In 1996 Linda Wiegand was discovered in Las Vegas with the children, jailed under very difficult circumstances and there continued a litany of what appear to be legal injustices until the year 2000 when the record goes silent. What happened after that, who can tell. If anyone has any information on that, don't hesitate to contact me regarding that.
What is my conclusion from this? If you take the law into your own hands in a custody dispute and disappear with your children, no matter how justified your reasons for doing so, you will pay in full once you are discovered. That is my best conclusion from this story.
Otherwise, let's get back to what I said from the beginning. What about the finding of facts? From what I see there was ample response to Linda Wiegand taking the law into her own hands--she was definitely punished enough--but did the court review the evidence of sexual abuse and determine what are the facts? I don't think so.
Was there ever a deposition of Dr. Kenneth Robson to determine the basis of his decision that the boys had not been sexually abused? Was he ever asked to take the stand? I mean, he was the only one saying the boys weren't abused; shouldn't he have been carefully examined before anyone acted on the basis of his conclusions? Were any scientific experts regarding sexual abuse brought in and required to testify in court regarding the technical aspects of determining whether or not sexual abuse has occurred with children? Did Dr. Robson or any of the others adhere to those techniques? Did Tom Wilkinson or Linda Wiegand have the opportunity to get on the stand and state their positions? I think the answer is "no" to all these questions.
So there never was a review of the evidence and a resulting determination of the facts as far as I can see. Instead there were a lot of legal tricks on the part of the lawyers and a lot of grandstanding by the court as a result of the outrage it felt about Linda going outside of the law.
This meant that without really taking the time and making the effort to allow the legal process to determine what were the facts, the Court handed everything over to Tom Wilkinson in a kind of "winner takes all" approach which the majority of people in the field of matrimonial law heartily deplore, and then assigned Dr. James C. Black to provide therapy for Jon and Ben to deal with how their mother "coached" them into making "false" claims of sexual abuse. I put the words coached and false in parentheses simply because I still don't know--were they or weren't they? But one thing I do know is that if the boys were sexually abused, after therapy with Dr. James C. Black, they would end up being confused and traumatized.
You know, I totally sympathize with the Court. Getting revenge is absolutely satisfying. Still, there are times when you have to put aside those primitive needs and act wisely, particularly on behalf of children. Bankrupting Linda Wiegand, cutting off all avenues for her redemption, depriving these children of a mother? Where is the sense of that? Can this in any way be in the best interests of the children? Let me know what you think!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
So, what are the charges against Tom Wilkinson that led Linda Wiegand to launch such a major campaign to remove the children--Ben who was four when the accusations were initially alleged, and also Jon, who was six--from his care? Simply put, Tom Wilkinson is accused of having repeatedly had anal sex with Ben and of having raped Jon. Furthermore, according to what I am reading in these reports, Tom Wilkinson was said to have had a history of being involved with others who are engaged in this kind of behavior. Below is a general overview of what went on in regard to Tom Wilkinson:
In 1989, when Jon was two, he pretended to have violent sexual intercourse with his teddy bear. Around that time Linda Wiegand reported that both boys had and received medical treatment for constant serious bowel movement problems and often had a red ring around their anus. Of course, whether that red ring was diaper rash or related to sexual intercourse with Tom Wilkinson, that would be questionable in my view. In January 1993, Ben told his Vermont pre-school teacher that his father was having sex with him. The children also attempted oral sex with the family dog, a St. Bernard called "Molly"
During an interview in Vermont with Police Detective Bruce Merriam and Social Worker James Adams Ben, stated that he was worried about his Dad "his penis on my penis, tongue in my butt and his penis my mouth." Furthermore, Ben is reported to have said that Tom Wilkinson "pees in his mouth and forces him to drink it, making him sick to his stomach."
In February 1993, investigators in Vermont apparently discovered instructions for the ritual sacrifice of animals encrypted on one of Wilkinson's computer disks. This is a particularly disturbing detail.
Later, in an interview conducted that Fall 1993 at the Harvard Affiliated McClean Hospital in Boston, MA, the hospital report stated that Jon spontaneously advised, "I know why we're here." He continued on, "It's because my dad put his penis in our butts, and the last time he put it in Ben's mouth." Jon drew a picture of Wilkinson threatening him not to talk by saying, "I'll kill you."
Ben reported, "Well, I have these problems. My dad has these problems. He wakes me up in the middle of the night and takes me outside." Ben continued on to describe how his father took him into the backyard and slaughtered a kitten and told him that the same would happen to him if he talked about the abuse. Ben continued on to accuse his Aunt Karen, Tom Wilkinson's sister, of also abusing him sexually. Just around that time, someone killed Molly, the family dog. She was poisoned with acid while outside and returned to the house to homorrhage to death all over the family dining room.
In October 1994, Linda Wiegand took her children to a doctor out west who specializes in treating victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse. She stated that she had spent a lot of time reviewing the boys' testimony and looking at the pictures they had drawn containing blood sacrifice, Tom Wilkinson praying to the devil, etc., and decided that there had to be a lot more going on. Throughout the case there have been accusations that Tom Wilkinson was closely involved with Satan Worship and that he was a member of what is allegedly called the Anthroposophy Society, a pedophile organization. One report I have read states that, at the time the Wiegand case was going on, Wilkinson's bank statements indicate that he made out regular checks to the Anthroposophy Society. True? Not true? There is no way of knowing.
As late as 1996, Ben and Jon were still continuing to testify formally regarding the way in which Tom Wilkinson sexually abused them. At that time, Jon testified that he was sodomized by Wilkinson fifteen times with a knife on the pillow and stated that he saw Wilksonson do the same to Ben. Both children stated that they experienced extensive sexual abuse from Tom Wilkinson and that they were threatened with death if they spoke out about it.
Dr. Stephen Balsam, the childrens' psychiatrist and Dr. Gordon Ahlers, the childrens' pediatrician never recanted their statements that the children were sexually abused, neither did any state agency, to my knowledge.
No other person has stepped forward with evidence that Tom Wilkinson was sexually inappropriate with any other children. How likely is it that Tom Wilkinson, if he were a true pedophile, would limit his activities to these two boys only?
Saturday, November 20, 2010
In an attempt to get at the truth, I've been pursuing the tactic of obtaining information from Linda Wiegand's supporters and then I have turned around and read information by those who opposed her. Right now I am going to discuss the worst that I can say about Linda Wiegand based upon what her enemies have to say about her. Again, keep in mind that I am neutral here. I'm just letting you know what is out there--like it or not.
According to Louis Kiefer and Harold Stevens, Tom Wilkinson's attorneys, Linda Wiegand actually sexually abused the children, not Tom Wilkinson. Apparently, they state, on January 27, 1993 not long after Wilkinson's arrest, the Vermont State Attorney's Office notified Mr. James Adams, the SRS caseworker who was assigned to investigate the case, that Wiegand's nephew (her sister's son) had complained to his father, Craig Martin, that Wiegand had sexually abused him. Adams responded by calling Mr. Martin on February 2, 1993 and requested an interview. Martin, however, wasn't willing to allow Mr. Adams to speak with his son and insisted that no abuse had taken place.
After talking to Craig Martin, Mr. James Adams contacted Dr. Stephen Balsam, the psychiatrist who had verified that Tom Wilkinson had sexually abused Benjamin and Jonathan Wiegand. Adams conveyed to Dr. Balsam the information that Craig Martin's son, Linda Wiegand's nephew, had stated Linda Wiegand sexually abused him. Adams asked Dr. Balsam whether there was any possibility that Linda Wiegand had coached her children to make false accusations against their father. Dr. Balsam confirmed that he didn't believe either story. Yet, as we know, Dr. Kenneth Robson had also indicated that he thought there was evidence that Linda Wiegand had coached her sons.
Then just as Mr. James Adams was investigating these allegations, to make the story even more complicated, Linda Wiegand's mother, Carol Morrisey, spoke to Dr. Balsam and told him that she believed that Linda Wiegand herself might be sexually abusing the two children. Apparently, when he was given this information, Dr. Balsam advised Ms. Morrisey not to speak to SRS about it.
There are also additional considerations that call into question Linda Wiegand's story regarding the sexual abuse of her children which are as folows: 1. Upon examination, there were no physical indications that the children had been abused. How is it possible that children could be abused with repeated anal penetration and yet there are no physical signs that it happened?; 2. Dr. Stephen Balsam concluding that the boys had been sexually abused after meeting them twice. This does not strike me as the kind of careful and detailed examination that would be required in order to obtain accurate results; 3. Dr. Balsam drew his conclusions without ever interviewing Tom Wilkinson himself; 4. The children made statements to the effect that their mother had told them to say what they said. Granted, these statements were, as stated, ambiguous at times and unclear, but they are, nonetheless, troubling.
Finally, some of the greatest accusations against Linda Wiegand come from members of the Patriot's Movement in the United States which originally fully supported her. One of these people, Clayton R. Douglas, describes Linda Wiegand as follows: "From the evidence we have reviewed, including much of the documentation provided by Linda, it is just as possible it was Linda who was the abusive parent! It was Linda who failed to discipline the children, who refused to attend court proceedings, who ignored court orders, who kidnapped the children from their home and it was Linda who has consistently lied about the situation and events, all the while continuing to raise money for herself, not the boys. There is a story here, but it is a story about a possessive, self-centered woman who cares little about her children's well-being and is willing to resort to lying, cheating, stealing and kidnapping to keep the chidlren she is unwilling to share with anyone else."
So, what do you think so far? Is this true, not true? Let us hear from you!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
So, backing up, how is it that after a full investigation and a determination by SRS, the Vermont child protective services, indicating that the father, Tom Wilkinson, had sexually abused the children, that the Connecticut Court ended up giving custody of both children--Ben and Jonathan--to the person who was said to have abused them?
Apparently, what happened is that on July 7, 1993, not long after SRS had made its determinations, Judge Herbert Barall, the presiding judge in the child custody dispute between Tom Wilkinson and Linda Wiegand in Connecticut, ordered Mr. Paul Shanley of Connecticut child protective services (DCF) to ask the Vermont's services (SRS) "what is going on?" SRS again provided information to DCF indicating that Tom Wilkinson had abused the children. Confirming this, Ms. Caroline Russell of SRS wrote a letter to DCF on July 15, 1993 indicating that abuse allegations had been substantiated indicating that Tom Wilkinson had abused both Ben and Jonathan. In the letter, Ms. Russell indicated to the court that giving custody of the children to Tom Wilkinson's sister, Karen, would put the children at risk of harm. Mr. Shanley presented this letter, along with a report of his investigation, to the Connecticut Attorney General's Office. The Attorney General's Office, in turn, forwarded these materials to Judge Barall.
After receiving Shanley's material and before making any final decision regarding custody, Judge Herbert Barall appointed Dr. Kenneth Robson to evaluate the situation. Dr. Robson met with Tom Wilkinson, Linda Wiegand, both children, Dr. Balsam, and others. He also reviewed the transcripts of various interviews with the children, looked at drawings the children had done and other written material. He finished his investigation around December 1993. He concluded that he did not consider the allegations of abuse against Tom Wilkinson credible and he indicated his concern that the interviews with the two boys were leading and that Linda Wiegand had coached the children to lie. Apparently, one or both of the boys had made statements which appeared to indicate that Linda Wiegand may have coached them; however, to be honest these statements were ambiguous enough to make it unclear what the children actually meant by what they said. However, in Dr. Robson's view, the results of his investigation indicated that the initial investigation by SRS was "suggestive of possible coaching." Not that there was coaching, but that it was suggestive, and there might possibly have been. OK. In his conclusion, Dr. Robson concluded that the reported abuse was "unlikely"--not that it didn't happen, but that it was unlikely that it happened.
After Dr. Kenneth Robson filed his report with the Connecticut family court in January 1994, this was when Linda Wiegand disappeared with the children, as I stated she had in my previous discussion regarding this case. Here is where I get confused because there are different versions of the events I am describing. My understanding of the article I based my first blog on was that Ms. Wiegand disappeared when Tom Wilkinson's sister received custody of the children, but this other article I'm basing today's blog on states that Ms. Wiegand disappeared after Tom Wilkinson received custody of the children. Whichever way this occurred, what we have is the fact that Ms. Wiegand disappeared with the children. Still, Judge Herbert Barall continued on with a hearing and awarded custody to Tom Wilkinson and denied Linda Wiegand visitation rights. Subsequently, over two years later in July 1996, Wiegand was arrested in Las Vegas and both of the children were placed in Tom Wilkinson's custody.
So, what do I conclude from all of this? Well, to be honest, I've read the descriptions of the abuse Tom Wilkinson is accused of (I will discuss them in a later blog) and I don't know what to make of them. I'm on the fence about what I believe and or don't believe. Perhaps I will make up my mind during the course of writing up these blogs--maybe something will strike me that will shift me in one direction or another. But one thing I will say is that I have read a few reports written by Dr. Kenneth Robson here in Connecticut and the guy simply isn't that bright. His entire generation wasn't that bright overall. The contents I've read and analyzed in reports by doctors of his kind are rambling and loquacious, and generally heavy on personal prejudices, general impressions, gut intuitions, glossed over by a megalarge dose of psychobabble and extremely weak on the science. And, give me a break, what is this, the battle of the titanic psychiatric experts? What do these guys do in cases like this, go from psychiatrist to psychiatrist until they find the one that agrees with them? What does a psychiatric opinion matter if you can go from one to another and get results like "suggestive of" or "possible" or "likely" and "unlikely". Come on, people, these are the lives of vulnerable, frightened children and their parents we are talking about. Can anyone afford this kind of vague, careless, and ill considered language?
With this kind of voodoo psychiatry, if Tom Wilkinson is innocent, Dr. Balsam is a criminal for not getting it right, but if Linda Wiegand is innocent, there is no doubt in my mind that Dr. Robson is the criminal. Because it is criminal to apply a science that is fraught with false positives and negatives and present it as a certainty to the Court and other government agencies put in place to protect the interests of children and their parents.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
There are many places you can turn to for help in the middle of your divorce and I have spoken about some of them on this blog. One place, as you know, is the social services department of your local town. Another place which is available in the Greater Hartford area is "Gifts of Love" which has headquarters in Avon, CT.
The mission of Gifts of Love is to help "meet the basic needs of individuals and families in Central Connecticut experiencing a financial crisis so that they can achieve and maintain self sufficiency." One of the problems I often faced in looking for financial assistance is that I do own my house and I have a job. This means I am not eligible for the many programs in the area that assist people who are indigent. But what happens when you are not rich enough to get by, but not poor enough to be eligible for state programs, etc.
I was a person who had a job and owned my own house but when my divorce began I often couldn't afford the gas necessary to get to work or even the money to buy the groceries I needed to feed the children. In addition, the dysfunction in my relationship with the abuser in my life had isolated me from my friends and family so that I could not easily speak to them about my economic needs. That is where a program such as Gifts of Love comes in because they do not expect you to be totally without financial means in order for you to receive their assistance.
Gifts of Love is a very active group and I hear all the time about their fund raising efforts and the ways in which they support people. Their website (see links) boasts that they had more than 75 volunteers donate up to 7,682 hours of their time in the last year. The kinds of assistance Gifts of Love provides is as follows: 1. food; 2. clothing; 3. household items (small appliances, towels, brooms; and 4. furniture that is clean and usable. Furthermore, according to their website, "The organization annually distributes over $300,000 of goods and services to neighbors in need."
Gifts of Love is located in Old Avon Village behind and beneath the UPS store and it is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 3. They are also open the first Saturday of every month from 9 to 12 and some evenings during the week thanks to the volunteer program. You can call them at 860-676-2323 or write them and/or send a donation to: Gifts of Love, 35 East Main Street, P.O. Box 463, Avon, CT 06001.
So, why, might you ask, have you put Linda Weigand's name down in the bottom where the term "labels" is located. The reason is that, although she is no longer associated with the program, Ms. Linda Wiegand played a major role in the establishment of the organization Gifts of Love around 20 years ago starting in the years prior to her divorce. So, is this woman a monster? I have no absolute proof. I have read the allegations against her and they seem serious. But the existence of this organization and its survival says a good deal in her favor.
Is her ex husband, Tom Wilkinson, a monster? Again, I have no absolute proof. I've read the allegations against him which seem pretty serious. Otherwise, he appears to have been a respectable businessman up to the point where the divorce broke out. I anticipate learning more about them both as we continue to explore their story in the upcoming Linda Wiegand Case, Part II.
Friday, November 12, 2010
I am presenting the Linda Wiegand case on this blogsite because it has had very profound implications, I am sure, on how cases in Connecticut are handled in which sexual abuse has been alleged by the protective mother.
In bringing up this case, I am interested in hearing reader views on this subject and I would love to know whether anyone in Connecticut has additional information that I have not discovered as a result of my research regarding this case.
Also, because this case was so long--it was in the court system for almost a decade--there is no way I will be able to report on this case in one blog, so I anticipate that there will be several parts to this blog.
Briefly, this is how the Wiegand case began. In January 1986, Linda Wiegand had a son, Jon, after a brief marriage which was annulled after ten months. Later she met Tom Wilkinson and had a son with him, Ben, who was born on January 3, 1989. In January 1991, Linda married Mr. Wilkinson. In September 1992, Tom Wilkinson filed for divorce seeking joint custody of their child, Ben. Linda did not want joint custody. Both of the parties then lived in the state of Connecticut and so the divorce was originally filed in Connecticut.
After the filing for divorce, Linda Wiegand moved to Stowe, Vermont. Later on in 1992, because the two boys were acting out, Linda Wiegand took her children to a Dr. Steven C. Balsam, a licensed psychiatrist then practicing in Burlington, Vermont. Dr. Balsam concluded that Mr. Tom Wilkinson had sexually abused the boys, perhaps in the context of devil worship.
Both Linda Wiegand and Dr. Steven Balsam reported the situation to the child protective services in Vermont known as SRS, and the case was handed over to their offices in Morrisville. SRS sent out a social worker Mr. James Adams and a Stowe police officer, Bruce Merriam to investigate the case. As a result of the investigation, SRS substantiated the report of sexual abuse against Mr. Tom Wilkinson.
On January 25, 1993, Wilkinson was arrested and charged with sexual abuse. He denied the charges, pled not guilty, and was released on bail with the condition that he have no contact with his son. Tom Wilkinson appealed the determination by the SRS, but on May 12, 1993, Ms. Carolyn S. Russell, the SRS District Director at Morrisville, reaffirmed the determination. SRS agreed to put on hold any followup to this determination until the conclusion of the criminal and divorce litigation in connection to the case which was now underway in Connecticut.
Meanwhile, the Connecticut family court appointed Tom Wilkinson's sister, Karen Wilkinson, as Ben's guardian. Believing that this put her son at risk, Linda Wiegand disappeared with the children.
My intention in writing this narrative is not to state that I consider Linda Weigand more credible than Tom Wilkinson or vice versa, but only to comment on what would strike anyone who was familiar with the family court system. So, what do I find striking here.
Well, first, my understanding is that according to the automatic orders item #5 in a case where a party in a marriage has filed for divorce "Neither party shall permanently remove (a) minor child or children from the state of Connecticut, without written consent of the other or order of the court." My understanding is that Linda Wiegand was served with the subpoena for the divorce just as she was backing her car out of the driveway on her way to Vermont. Did she then park the car, go back to the house, contact a lawyer and make sure that she didn't violate the automatic orders by taking the children out of state without permission? I would really like to know that answer to that question.
Second, disappearing. I totally understand disappearing when you believe the injustice of the court will expose your children to either physical or emotional harm. On the other hand, don't I know how much doing so will absolutely anger the Court. It is my personal opinion that any person who flagrantly thumbs his nose at the Court will bear the very severe consequences later on, rightly or wrongly. So immediately, right at the beginning of this case, Linda Wiegand showed herself ready to act outside of the law in order to achieve goals that I sympathize with, if it is true that her children were sexually abused. And, as I have stated, I take no position in that regard.
Third, if I were looking at an inflammatory case in which sexual abuse and devil worship had been alleged, with all due respect to the Court, I would not make the sister of the alleged perpetrator guardian. That was like an FU right in Ms. Wiegand's face. Wasn't there anyone else available to act as guardian who could play a more neutral role in regard to both parents and send the message that the rights of both parents as well as the children would be respected?