Thursday, July 15, 2010

“Contaminated Testimony”

The blogger Kerwyn does not miss much when doing research, and during a conversation about our upcoming article in Reason Magazine, she and I went over transcripts of Suzie Thorne’s interview with Tonya Craft’s daughter at the Greenhouse on June 3, 2008, and she put together four items that apparently are closely related. The first was this paper written by Dr.Nancy E. Walker in 2002 that covers, among other things, “contaminated testimony” that often is the product when authorities investigate alleged child abuse/molestation. The other three items included Thorne’s “Who’s On First?” interview, Joal Henke’s April 23 testimony during Tonya’s trial, and telephone records of calls between Henke and other parents.

As we look over the materials in our possession, there is one thing that is front-and-center: the authorities had decided beforehand that they were going to find a way to charge Tonya Craft with child molestation. They had no real evidence of such, but it is absolutely clear that the police, the parents, and the “investigators” from the Children’s Advocacy Centers that they were going to find whatever they needed.

Such “investigations” are doomed from the start, should the supposed goal of an investigation be to find the truth. However, if the people guiding the investigation from the start have decided beforehand what the outcome is going to be, then “truth” is whatever they want it to be, and that is what we saw in the Tonya Craft case.

“It didn’t fit their theory”

When Dr. Nancy Aldridge testified for the defense, on May 3, she was asked about the interviewing techniques of the children, especially from Thorne and Stacy Long. At best, Dr. Aldridge note, they were “inappropriate” at best and misleading at worse. The interviewers broke all of the rules of forensic interviewing. In looking at what Dr. Aldridge said and what Dr. Walker wrote in her paper, the following things should be avoided if the goal of the interviewer is to wish to get at the truth:
  •  The interviews should not be long, and there needs to be a lag of several days between interviews. The “rule of thumb” is five minutes for each of the child’s years. Thus, a six-year-old child would be interviewed at the maximum for 30 minutes;
  • Interviewers should not ask the same questions repeatedly to a young child, as it sends the message that the child is giving the “wrong” answer; 
  • An interview of a child should not be an interrogation, and the child should not be asked “leading,” “inappropriate,” or “suggestive” questions that either plant an idea in the child’s mind or attempts to do so; 
  • Parents should not be asking their children investigative questions or be trying to plant ideas in their minds about alleged incidents;
  • The interviewer should conduct the proceedings with an "open mind," as opposed to demonstrating a bias from the start.
        Dr. Walker writes regarding these kinds of tactics that violate protocols:
        An interviewer who completes an assessment using faulty or problematic techniques risks having the evidence thrown out of court -- and appropriately so. No interview is perfect, of course, and interview evidence should not be ruled inadmissible simply because of a few harmless errors. Instead, courts should use standards for evaluating the probative value of forensic interviews. These standards will assist the court in ruling on the admissibility of the interview evidence and in determining the weight to be accorded that evidence.
        Anyone who followed the Tonya Craft case knows that the CAC/Greenhouse interviewers failed to follow any of the protocols. In fact, when the defense asked Stacy Long about suggestive questioning, she laughed and replied, “So what?” In fact, not one CAC interviewer even admitted to reading any of the current or relevant literature and Thorne told the defense she was not aware of the infamous McMartin case, which more than any other event was responsible for clinical psychologists to find ways of properly interviewing young children in these types of situations.

        (I recently spoke to Ione Sells, director of the CAC in Fort Oglethorpe, and I was surprised at her arrogance and her belief that her organization really did not have to play by the rules. When I asked about Dr. Aldridge, she hinted to me that she believed that Dr. Aldridge lied on the stand, and when I reminded her that Dr. Aldridge mostly had testified for the prosecution, Sells replied, "She has not testified for the prosecution since 2007." The whole thing reminded me of the scene in the movie “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” in which the character played by Humphrey Bogart asks bandits claiming to be Federales to show their badges. One bandit replies: “Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges.”)

        As for the interview process, a review of the transcripts of interviews that Long and Thorne had with Sandra Lamb’s daughter and Tonya Craft’s daughter demonstrate a number of conclusive things:
        • The interviews were quite long and involved, and Lamb’s daughter was interviewed twice in the same day, morning and afternoon; 
        • Both Long and Thorne repeatedly asked the same question, with Thorne asking the Lamb child 16 times, “Is there anything else?"
        • Long, after a break, came back that afternoon and asked the Lamb child about Tonya giving the child a bath. No one had brought up baths, and certainly not the girl. However, once it became clear that the girl received affirmation for saying what the adults wanted her to say, she went along. As for the questioning of Tonya’s daughter by Thorne, it is clear, absolutely clear, that this was not an interview; it was an interrogation, and this fact is obvious just from a reading of the transcript. For example, on a number of occasions, when the child said something that disagreed with Thorne’s line of questioning, Thorne would ask, “No?” in a way that clearly indicated that the child was giving the wrong answer. 
        • Numerous times during the interviews of both the Lamb child and Tonya’s daughter, the children would say that they got answers from parents, the Lamb girl her mother and Tonya’s child, her father, Joal Henke. Furthermore, during his trial testimony, Henke denies having told his daughter that Tonya “had lied to the police,” even though the girl stated firmly that she had received that notion from her father. To make matters worse, the phone records show conclusively that Sandra Lamb and Joal Henke had numerous phone calls clustered around the dates of the interviews, and that on several occasions, the parents would call the police or the CAC to say that the children “had more to tell.” 
        • It absolutely is clear that Long and Thorne were doing everything to steer the children into making sexual abuse accusations against Tonya. They did not even have a “theory” about Tonya Craft’s guilt; to them, it already was an established fact, and it was their job to manipulate the children into making the accusations they wanted to hear.
              (It should also be pointed out that Thorne wore an earpiece during her interviews which allowed her to receive instructions from the police, who were observing the proceedings. This also is considered a major breach of protocol in the interviewing of children, and one CAC director from another state expressed horror at what was done when Kerwyn spoke to her.)

              Thus, anything that did not fit the “Tonya Did It Theory” was discarded or hidden, which was why prosecutors fought so hard to have every scrap of exculpatory evidence excluded from Ms. Craft’s trial. The testimony was, in the terms of clinical psychologists well versed in these matters, “contaminated.” It also explains why “judge” Brian House had one set of rules for the prosecution and another, more draconian, for the defense.

              While defense attorney Dr. Demosthenes Lorandos was questioning Dr. Aldridge, he noted that Lamb’s daughter had said in an interview that her mother told her where she was “touched.” When asked why the police, CAC interviewers, and prosecution did not take a hard look at that statement and recognize the red flags it had sent up, Dr. Aldridge replied, “It didn’t fit with their theory.”

              I have seen police and prosecutors do this before, and with tragic results. The infamous Duke Lacrosse Case is defined by the dishonest means that former (and now disbarred) prosecutor Michael Nifong used to hide exculpatory evidence.

              At least no one went to prison in the Duke case. In Larimer County, Colorado, Tim Masters was convicted in 1999 of a murder he did not commit because police and prosecutors became convinced he was the killer and were willing to lie to prove it. Masters’ subsequent exoneration cost Fort Collins nearly $10 million in settlements and the lead detective in the case recently was indicted on eight counts of felony perjury for his false testimony in Masters’ trial.

              The real tragedy here – and for the numerous cases like this nationwide – is that the authorities in so many situations no longer care about the truth. They have decided upon their own “truth,” and it does not matter whether the facts fit the situation. People in the United States go to prison now because the authorities either are too ignorant or too craven, or both, and for every Tonya Craft who goes free, many more are wrongfully convicted and imprisoned.

              53 comments:

              Lame said...

              As you may recall from my previous posts, I'm conducting research into teachers who sexually abuse their students and how to prevent situations in which that can occur, sort of a Civil Air Patrol Cadet Protection Policy for teachers. That is what initially brought me into contact with the Tonya Craft case. I have done quite a bit of posting about the topic of sexual molestation and illegal/imporoper relationships between adults and children. Right now, upon the urging of another forum I frequent, I'm compiling a list of adult women who have abused female children without the involvement of a male co-abuser. More than half of the cases that I have compiled so far that involve a child under the age of 12 have involved convictions based upon CAC-type interview testimony rather than medical examinations of the girls. In each of those cases there were highly suspect techniques used. Thus far I have only made it through people on my aggrigate list (that is all female abusers with a female victim, regardless of age or involvement of male co-defendant) with names starting with Am- In other words, I'm less than 1% the way through this list, and already I have identified four women I believe to be wrongfully convicted of molesting girls---which makes me hesitant to include them in my final list, and have thus-far starred them as potentially innocent to disclaim to all readers of my final list that there is potential that some of those named were in-fact innocent. This leads me to wonder aloud, how many hundreds of women out there are now sitting or have sat in jail, convicted of a crime they did not commit based upon evidence collected by CAC agencies, entities whose purpose is to help police and gain funds by putting people in jail? And, this is just female on female crimes. When a girl is molested it is usually easier to determine abuse, thanks to something called the hymen. With boys, unless the abuse involved anal penetration (I know I'm getting a bit graphic here), it is much, much more difficult to determine abuse. Therefore, interview evidence is much more crucial and more heavilly weighted at trial. So, when a woman is accused of molesting a boy, unless the child is taken to an entirely neutral, non-government-related/funded institution/pracicioner, she has a snowball's chance in Florida of coming through the experience without having to spend time in jail and register as a sex offender. Guys, we really need to support Ms Craft in her fight to overhaul the system, because it is not just one woman who was railroaded. It is not just a few men and women. It is not even just a few dozen, or even a hundred. The number is probably in the thousands of women and possibly tens of thousands of men who have been sent to prison, lives completely ruined because of the current set-up where CAC's act as an extension of law enforcement agencies. It must stop! It must stop now!

              Anonymous said...

              There seems to be the mindset among many in law enforcement that children do not lie. They do. They do and they can be easily manipulated to do so. The Craft case joins the McMartin, Fells River, and Edenton, NC cases as proof. All too often the accusations of abuse mask a desire or need for parents to wreak havoc and harm on someone who they feel has not "respected" them or their child in an "expected manner" or the accusations are used as a way of getting back at a former (or soon to be former) spouse in a custody case.
              Prosecutors should bear all this in mind and tread very carefully. Those who are charged with interviewing children should tread lightly as well. What I could never understand (and I refer not only to the Craft case but the Edenton and Fells River cases also) is the lack of any physical evidence that would substiatie the claims of abuse the were leveled. SHould not common sense inject a very healthy dose of skepticism and the need to ask questions of the parents - why, beside the words of your child (which must be viewed with some disbelief)should the authorities believe that something occurred? What other proof is there? What is the relationship between the accused and the adults who are the parents of the supposed "victims"? That is where I would begin. The investigative authorities need to operate not from the position that the person is guilty, rather, I think from the position what disqualifies the person as a suspect. If that tactic were followed, I believe that stronger cases would be made to support charges (and then bring about convictions) for those truly guilty and would also result in the dropping of those cases where nothing happened except in the minds of those looking to the legal system to settle personal scores such as what was attempted (thankfully unsuccessfully) in the Craft case.
              cks

              KC Sprayberry said...

              Lame, your research is probably much deeper than mine but I have to concur with what you've said. The 80's witch hunts didn't end after the revelations of abuse, they went underground and it took one gutsy woman to bring them back into the limelight. For so long, we sat back and 'assumed' anyone accused of such a crime was guilty, because we remembered the overturned verdicts and costly civil litigation involving those fiascoes such as McMartin and Bakersfield, to name two.
              But Tonya Craft polarized a nation and brought worldwide attention on a dirty little secret US prosecutors tried to sweep away by using bully tactics and plea deals. Now that she's technically free, Tonya still keeps people angry, even more than two months after a jury set her free. But I don't think the real instigators will pay much of a price for their actions. Buzz Franklin can wash his hands of this affair by claiming Arnt and Gregor failed to inform him of how badly their case truly was in the first place, after all the DA was only protecting his position and that precious federal money coming into his coffers...excuse, his office's coffers...on a daily basis. Arnt and Gregor will let the ball roll further downhill by claiming the interviewers at CAC/Greenhouse did this on their own at the behest of the police and by the time the ball stops rolling, Detective Tim Deal will find himself on the receiving end of an arrest warrant. That's the official list. As for the parents, Joal, Sandra, and Sherri will claim this all came about because Kelli was scared of a charge of child abuse. After all, it was her daughter who was caught doing a completely normal thing these so-called enlightened parents think is nasty and wrong and it was Kelli who whipped her young daughter with a belt. Therefore, they'll let everything roll onto the family that moved away and doesn't even have a lawyer.
              That's the worst case scenario. Best case? They all pay. But to do that, we have to stay angry and not get complacent.

              Trish said...

              The CAC in Fort Olgethorpe just has an agenda and that is, everyone who is accused of abuse or molestation is guilty, end of story!! They absolutely do not care about the truth. They grilled my grandson, who was 7 1/2 at the time for 45 minutes at school, only stopping because the bell had rung and the school counselor (who refused to let them talk to him alone)told them he had to catch the bus. This interview was conducted because he had a bruise on his leg and his father had turned my daughter in to dfcs and then somehow they all decided my son must have done it and that was going to prove he was a murderer! They weren't able to manipulate my grandson, but I am sure it was because of the school counselor being in the interview, they weren't able to use their bag of tricks!!! In my opinion, they are sicker and more abusive than the people who are accused.

              FGBA said...

              Part of William Anderson's post of June 21st has been included in a fundraising brochure for Sholom Rubaskin. Images of the brochure are on the FailedMessiah site.
              http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2010/07/rubashkin-rally-brochure-678.html

              JD said...

              The problem is you have people being able to use the judicial system to seek revenge because the DAs and investigators, be it the investigators or interviewers become willing participants. They are supposed to be impartial and weed out these people, but they don't because they want a conviction and the money from the federal government that comes with it. Let's add in judges who understand this and they let things happen that they shouldn't and you get a lot of innocent people in jail. I think Lame's research is great. We need that desperately.

              Lame, do you have a grant to do this with? You should try to get one or team up with someone at a university who might be able to get funding for it.

              Anonymous said...

              Another possible avenue for perjury is the amount of perjury committed by Sandra concerning her communication with Joal Henkle. From testimony on the stand by Sandra there was no communication with Joal because she couldn't stand him. Records of multiple phone calls would prove to dispell that lie. I thought Wenatchee Washington would prove to be the last witch hunt. It appears I was mistaken.

              Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve said...

              Dr. Anderson:

              The Treasure of the Sierra Madra reference is priceless and, unfortunately, accurate as to the mindset of the thugs that populate not just the CAC but the entire LMJC. That line delivered by the character Gold Hat, portrayed by Alfonso Bedoya, is one of my favorites of ALL time. I can picture Gregor with a drooping mustache wearing a sombrero saying it to Dr. Lorandos.

              Ione Sells attitude sets the tone and attitude for Fort O’s CAC. They are an arm of law enforcement, not objective investigators seeking the truth or helping abused kids. Arrogant, belligerent and unprofessional, concerned only with supporting a case for the “persecution,” this agency will bend and twist rules and procedures (and the truth!) in order to prove any allegation presented to them. Sells sets the tone and is responsible for this lack of ethics and honesty.

              Every time I read one of your posts about how this witch hunt started and grew, I am appalled and angered all over again. This merry band of thugs, each with his or her own motivation, was determined to railroad Tonya Craft into the penitentiary. Here’s hoping that a successful federal lawsuit proves that karma provides some badly needed payback. I especially want her ex-husband to get what he has so richly earned and deserves.

              William L. Anderson said...

              Thanks, 8:59. I had forgotten about that point. House and the prosecutors knew that she was lying, but were happy to accept the lies because they thought the jury would buy them.

              I have come to believe that one cannot say enough bad things about the LMJC. People from there contact me once in a while to say that not everyone employed by that system is like the Unholy Trinity, but no one to my knowledge within that system ever has made a public statement that contradicts the House-Arnt-Gregor line.

              kbp said...

              Lame,

              You stated "I'm conducting research".

              Are you working to complete a study that could have any chance of being submitted for peer review and/or publication?



              *****************


              Bill wrote:
              "[Ione] Sells replied, "She has not testified for the prosecution since 2007.""

              LOL! Spoken as if the time elapsed since the last date Dr. Aldridge testified for the prosecution clearly indicated she had fallen over to the bad side, a traitor of sorts!

              The fact that all defendants MUST not only face a system operating on funding from federal, state and local tax revenue, along with the generous 'feel good' donations many receive, makes me wonder if any defendants stand a chance of PROVING THEIR INNOCENCE in most of the court systems that handle cases involving children as alleged victims.

              kbp said...

              William L. Anderson said...

              "...but no one to my knowledge within that [LMJC] system ever has made a public statement that contradicts the House-Arnt-Gregor line."


              EXACTLY! Stand up or shut up, either works, the former is best.

              Cinderella said...

              "Children don't lie"
              When my son was in 1st or 2nd grade (too long ago to remember exact) I noticed that his lunch account kept comming up short way too fast. I asked my son if he had given his acct number to anyone, he said no. I explained there was no way that his lunch account could be that low so quickly. He then admitted that one day he saw some cinammon rolls on the breakfast menu which was usually for kids on low income. He told the lunch lady that he was very hungry because his mom would not let him have breakfast! The lunch lady gave him breakfast but when he came back the next day with the same story she said that he would have pay for it - so he punched in his account number and would get a second breakfast at school. Thank God that she knew he was lying. He just loved those sugary cinammon rolls. It was funny 15 years ago. If it happened today in LMJD who knows?

              Cinderella said...

              Revised - Children don't lie
              I should say that I was of course mortified that he did this and he was grounded for lying.I was also shocked that he could so easily lie about something so seemingly small as a cinammon roll. I became funny after the fact when he was older

              volfan69 said...

              Brad Wade...That breaks my heart for him and his family. I just can't imagine what that is like.

              More Lies...How can these people live with what they have done and are doing? I want to be able to look myself in the face of the morning when I brush my teeth. Not because I am cute but because I want to make sure I don't drool and because, most of all, that I feel good about myself and my behavior.

              Joel Henke...From what I have read and heard this must be one evil person. I sure don't want my family associated with him. It appears the man has sold his soul to the devil!

              Eric Echols...It seems as though the LMJC will keep shooting themselves in the foot with this until they blow their foot off!

              volfan69 said...

              Of course children lie! Their parents teach them how almost from birth. I'm guilty of that myself.

              cinderella said...

              So true volfan69 - from my own life
              Come home from work tired after picking kids up from afterschool care. I am trying to get dinner started and ask about homework- it was forgotten, left at school. Phone rings and it is the neighbor who saw me pull in to tell me for the 100th time that her husband is a lazy pos. No mood for that - so instead of taking the call and telling her that I could not talk. I tell my son to tell her that I am in the shower. Now, I did actually go stand in the shower so it wouldn't be a "lie". It was deception, it was a lie.

              KC Sprayberry said...

              Anyone who believes children don't lie send them my way. I have some ocean front property in Ehrenberg, CA for sale - and that place is on the California/Arizona line. Give me a break. A child lies the first time a parent asks who broke whatever (at 2) and they look up with those wide, innocent eyes and say 'not me'. There are big lies and little lies. The problem is knowing when someone lies and for what reason. Which is why most of my kids don't even try lying to me - they call me the human lie detector, but I can pick lies out of them 'cause I know them so well. The whole LMJC needs to actually interact with kids but not on a law and order way. They need to have to clean up their messes, dry their tears, and chase down lost homework on a daily basis. They have to get to know kids before they can try someone for hurting kids; only after doing all that will they understand how vicious kids can and do get when they're angry, and how kids pick up on what adults around them want.

              JD said...

              Did any of the interviewers have children?

              William L. Anderson said...

              I know that Suzi Thorne has a child. I don't know about Holly Kittle or Stacy Long.

              Anonymous said...

              Who in God's name would impregnate Suzi Thorne?

              Anonymous said...

              I am glad that you distinguished Sells as a female...I was not sure.

              kbp said...

              "Who in God's name would impregnate Suzi Thorne?"

              That old say "there's someone for everyone" comes to mind.

              Lame said...

              I've been conducting research on my own, and, no it probably won't go for peer review. My experience is in historical writing, and what little experience I have using APA style writing has been purely in an education context, and to be honest, I hate writing in APA format--Chicago is the way to go.

              Anyway, I'm compiling the list for a forum that deals with femenism and exposing how femenism has failed women in the past 40 years by not advancing true equality and instead has focused upon making all women out to be victims, regardless the circumstance. Therefore the no-male-co-abuser aspect of my research. And, when I say research, it's just what I call type A research--very cursory, not in-depth. I categorize research into three categories: Type A (superficial, not in-depth, whatever I can find on google); Type B (moderate depth, mainly secondary sources, electronic article databases, quick trip to the library); Type C (very in-depth, requires substantial time inside a library/archive, often involves primary sources or travel to actual site where event occured--I did a lot of this in the summer of 2003 when I identified exact locations where the 2nd Florida Infantry was located during battles and encampments and photographed them).

              Now that you mention it, I would be interested in joining with a team to investigate these subjects. I've only ever taken the most basic psychology course, but that doesn't preclude me from assisting in conducting research...some of the research I conducted as an assistant to a business professor at Weber State University will be published in a peer-reviewed journal sometime in the coming 12 months, and I've never taken a SINGLE business course.

              Anonymous said...

              Holly Kittle does not have any children.

              Anonymous said...

              How about some of the others stories of people who have been falsely accused in this district or people trying to get visitation with their kids. Or the woman whose children were taken by ex parte and she is fighting to get them back and they are being abused and the judges are just all sitting on their fat butts and doing nothing!!! I strongly support Tonya, but she is not the only victim of this corrupt system!!!

              maria said...

              Please pray for my family since Tuesday hr has to appear in court for his indictment in catoosa county. We are praying that all this will be over and he can go back to work

              Anonymous said...

              Maria,

              Can you tell us more, Is this going to get thrown out or what?

              What's the charge?

              Anonymous said...

              So you think the majority of the defendants in murder trials are innocent?

              maria said...

              We don't know it is catoosa county! So there's no telling. All I know is that nothing happened. The kids in the classroom were mad and made up lies

              William L. Anderson said...

              I have no idea of what you are saying, 7:44. That is a ridiculous question. Tonya Craft was not accused of murder.

              When there is a murder, at least a real crime has occurred. In Tonya's case, there was no molestation, and the only crimes were committed by police, the prosecution, and their witnesses who committed perjury.

              I will say, however, that I have little confidence in the police today to solve difficult cases, precisely because it often is easier to frame someone, as is what happened to Tim Masters. If you think Masters is guilty, then go support the cop who lied on the stand.

              Lame said...

              Anon 7:44=drive-by poster

              Trish said...

              Yes, 7:44, just who were you talking to????

              eagle1 said...

              We need some updates on what is going on with all the players in this quagmire.
              Sandra Lamb, the Wilsons, McDonalds, the HAG tag team, the kids therapy, etc.
              I wonder how much Tonya is seeing her daughter now.

              Anonymous said...

              @7:44, the answer to your question is YES! until they are proven guilty. Its called a presumption of innocence. True, most of the time the police and prosecutors have the right person and the system works. But, every case, every time, someone needs to make sure that they do their jobs correctly. If not, you wind up with a case like Tonya Craft. Until you have been a victim of a runaway prosecution you will never understand why criminal defense attorneys do what they do. And you will continue to say idiotic things like you just did. Be careful what you say 7:44. Karma is a bitch.

              Trish said...

              7:44, were you referring to my son's case? He never went to trial and as 8:32 said, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, so unless you know what you are talking about, you might want to keep your comments to yourself. For your further information, my granddaughters death was going to be ruled an accident, as it should have been from the beginning, but good ole Tim Deal was in the picture. Anybody else see a familiar story here. Hmmm, Tim Deal, Len Gregor, DFCS, CAC, all the same characters that went after Tonya!!!!

              Oh and for the record, the state of Ga. medical examiner completely disagreed with the local examiner, as did the nuerosurgeon at T C Thompson Childrens Hospital. You want to know who their key witness was, a nurse who made a statement, on she never should have, regarding my son's state of mind. Nurses do not have have degrees in Phychology and as such do not render assesments of a persons state of mind.

              To bad she wasn't outside in the waiting room after my granddaughter was declared brain dead to see her biological father talking and laughing on his cell phone. Yep, he was real torn up!!!!

              Anonymous said...

              I noticed an error in your post that I thought you might like to address. Holly Kittle was one of the interviewers in this case. Her interviews in this case have been called "textbook." Even Ms. Craft's attorneys have acknowledged this inasmuchas Ms. Kittle is not named in the civil lawsuit against the CAC and other interviewers.

              Furthermore, your analysis of repeated questions is rather inaccurate according to the research. Asking "is there more" is not the the type of "repetitive" question to which the experts in child suggestiblity are referring. They are referring to questions of substance. "Is there more" is not a leading question at all. You might look to the publications of Dr. Robyn Fivush to enhance your analysis of child suggestibility.

              I hope these observations may be helpful to you.

              Lame said...

              Anon 2:53, who calls her interviews textbook? Holly Kittle? Her best friend? The expert witnesses who testified for the defense, the people who WROTE THE TEXTBOOK, eviscerated her interview. Nice try.

              JD said...

              I find it very interesting that anon 2:53 mentions Dr. Robyn Fivush because I have discovered she is from Emory Univ. which one of the ADAs was from. I can't remember which one. However, you would think that ADA would have known about her and used her as a prosecution witness if she agreed with the interviewing techniques used. Having someone with a doctorate as a witness would have helped their credibility.

              William L. Anderson said...

              It is patently obvious that the CAC and the Greenhouse are not exactly places where "textbook" interview take place -- unless the interviews are mentioned in textbooks as how NOT to interview children. I have read the entire transcript of Suzi Thorne's interview with Tonya's daughter, and it is an interrogation.

              There is something to keep in mind when we are discussing Kittle. She interviews the Lamb child on April 1, 2009, almost a year after the interviews had begun, which gave the girl and her mother the opportunity to get their stories straight. In fact, I have excerpts of the Kittle/Lamb April 1 interview in front of me.

              For those who might be confused with the 2:53's post, we have the Lamb child both claiming she is alone in the bathtub and also taking a bath with Tonya's daughter, which obviously presents mutually exclusive scenarios. Kittle does not seem to notice the obvious.

              This interview describes much more graphic activity than anything the girl did in her interviews with Deal, Long, or Thorne. Now, Kittle probably is dishonest or stupid enough to try to say that the child was "recovering" her memories when, in fact, memories don't work in that way.

              Don't think for a second that Holly Kittle is fit to interview children in cases like this. She does not read any literature on her subject, and basically is someone from another field who took a five-day course -- and stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

              She asks leading questions, and, furthermore, she seems to me to be a fundamentally dishonest person.

              Lame said...

              Exactly, Dr Anderson. I think whoever posted that comment defending Kittle is someone who directly or indireectly stands to benefit from Kittle's continued practicing.

              I recall that right after Kittle testified there was a woman who posted something on a blog about SANE's who said that this blog was terrible for trying to demean Kittle for "doing her job." If doing her job includes trying to get a little girl to tell everything but the truth and getting to the bottom of everything but the truth and avoiding nothing but the truth, and acting as an agent of the law enforcement community to try to put away accused child molesters, rather than finding out the truth, then, yes, I would say she was just "doing her job."

              That blog post also stated that in her own textbook the term "suspicious" was used when discussing SANE investigations. The thing is, the text book she was using during HER training was more than 20 years old. Way to keep up with relevant literature! Furthermore, the very term "suspicious" becomes entirely irrelevant once the hand rape allegation surfaced. If any of you know what a hymen is, you would know that if someone even put two or three fingers inside a 5 to 7 year old girl's vagina it would tear. Trying to put an entire fist inside there would have caused so much damage that it would have required major surgery. No "suspicious" about it. Then again, I doubt that a girl younger than 12 or even 16 could possibly have the capacity to accept an entire fist, even if extreme force were used. We're talking about a baseball bat sized object going into something that's roughly the same diameter of a quarter.

              John said...

              ... and to add to Bill's comment she was buddies with Arnt. So go ahead and make your comments I will try not to be rude, but you should do a little more research. Some of us have more files on the subject than my computer will hold.

              I was doing research on the matter long before I came across the Craft case.

              I also second Mr. Anderson's comment here, because its a fact that the two nuts from the state saw what they were up against and dragged Kittle in to help out. Like Bill said the damage was already done.

              Looks like you didn’t get your 2010 update from Melissa D. Carter Director of Office of the Child Advocate, so here is the front page and the web site, maybe you should read this before making goofy comments. http://oca.georgia.gov/00/channel_title/0,2094,84387339_84389355,00.html

              Model Child Abuse Protocol

              The State Model Child Abuse Protocol has been created by the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel in collaboration with the Office of the Child Advocate, The Special Investigations Unit, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and county child abuse protocols as an instrument to assist counties with best practices towards creating efforts by all mandated agencies to investigate, treat and manage cases of child abuse and neglect.
              The Model CAP was updated and revised in January 2010 with the input of many government and non-profit partners. We encourage you to review the updated CAP and educate your local stakeholders and CAP committee members on its changes. Please contact OCA for additional training resources.

              Furthermore, if Deal had been doing his damn job instead of being friends with Lamb, there wouldn’t have been a case in the first place. There was no stinking evidence.

              John said...
              This comment has been removed by the author.
              Anonymous said...

              Where is GBI or FBI? There is no way that LMJC doesn't tear apart families for profit or power. Apparently the judges there believe or know that they are invincible. Regardless I do not know how they sleep or look in a mirror. There was a hearing last week for another family that LMJC has torn apart. The children, in tears, told Wood about their abusive situation that Van Pelt had put them in, in detail and that they wanted to go home. Wood seemed moved by it. He had received the case after Van Pelt had recused himself from the case but left an electronic memo (which there are pics of) that everything still came to him, even after recusal. In the middle of the emergency hearing last week Judge Bolling Wood broke for lunch. Guess who went to lunch together? That is right!!! Wood and Van Pelt!!- Talk about the blatant appearance of evil and influence!!!... and when they came back he said he would not change anything that Van Pelt had done even if the boys were hit, called names or left sleeping in garage. The father is on disability for an aggressive behavior disorder and doctors have determined since they were babies that he should not even be alone with the boys but because Attorney Larry Stagg is the election chairman and treasurer of Van Pelt, Van Pelt signed secret ex parte orders to give this man the kids! Wood refuses to make this man be seen by an independent doctor even though he is on disability from Worker's Comp and Social Security for his legally and medically documented aggression! Where do you think House learned that his behavior is ok?? Twenty years in their courtrooms!! If you do not VOTE NO to retain these two judges in November then Georgia gets what they ask for

              Lame said...

              Anyone remember "I was a member of a Georgia chain gang," an expose that was published back in the depression era that exposed the rampant corruption in the state of georgia law enforcement and judicial system that allowed for anyone to be picked up at any time for any reason (real or contrived) and be placed into a forced labor camp? This piece of JOURNALISM resulted in the entire country coming down on georgia and the rest of Southern states that practiced such things, and telling them, basically, "If you don't change things, we're going to have federal legislation created to force you to get rid of those practices, and we, the rest of the states in the Union, will not honor any warrant, marriage or other official act from your states until you shape up."

              What we need is a crack, REAL investigative team that will expose this kind of corruption and bring it to the NATION's attention. People got all pissy because a lesbian wasn't allowed to go to prom in Alabama after it made national news. Tonya Craft is trying, but she's just one woman, and this isn't getting much national attention because it's perceived as JUST ONE PERSON. We need something that is going to show the true extent of the corruption going on in georgia, and that it extends into all aspects of the criminal justice and family court system. And, yes, I'm deliberately using a lower-case G in georgia, because until something happens to show me otherwise, I don't think it deserves to be capitalized--just like words like communism, karl marx, adolf hitler, nazi, fascism, joseph stalin, hillary clinton, ku klux klan and robespierre don't deserve it.

              Trish said...

              Lame, those of us who are being abused by this system can't even get the local news to hear our stories. They just don't care. I have personally emailed channel 3 news the station that did the best job during Tonya's trial. They told me they would consider it, but nothing. My son knows the young woman whose children were taken from her in the ex parte order from VanPelt. I have been emailing with her mother on FB. She is an amazing woman who is also going back to law school because of what has happened, but in the meantime her grandchildren are in danger and Judge Wood is sitting on his butt, because of VanPelt keeping his hand in the pie!! These same judges are leaving my grandchildren in an emotionally abusive home, because they refuse to hear my son's case. He never lost the rights to his children, his x-wife is in contempt of court, engaging in parental alienation, and no one wants to do anything. I don't know what my son's lawyer is doing. He won't talk to me anymore, because I kept pushing him to do something, so he pulled the old you are not my client routine and refused to talk to me. My son has been having to work out of town and has called but the lawyer won't return his calls. I know, we need another lawyer, but they all want money up front, no one in the legal profession cares anymore about justice. Seriously, if Tonya's parents hadn't had the resources to fund a half million dollar defense, do you think any of them would have taken her case. Money talks and while we didn't spend that much, we spent over $50,000 on my son's defense attorneys and we didn't even go to trial!!! Oh and they don't give refunds!! My son has not had regular visitation with his children for over four years and it has been over three years, since his x-wife, because of the man she is married to, cut him off from even talking to his children and us off from seeing them. Because of my son's bond condtiions, since he couldn't have his normal visitation we took it over and had our grandchildren every weekend and any other time we wanted them. Until that man came into the picture, we had a good relationship with their mother and she was 100% behind our son. It only changed when that man came into their lives. Last Christmas, when we did get a court ordered four hours on Christmas Day, I had to pick them up to bring them to our house. The whole way home, I kept looking over at my grandson and wondering who this kid was and where was my grandson??? He has become a clone of his mothers husband. My granddaughter had been told so many lies about her father,that she was scared of him, but she isn't anymore. She even had to ask on the way, Mawmaw, do you still live in the same house. I have even been to dfcs, because of the emotional abuse, but they don't care. They also refuse to step in and help those two little boys who testified in court to physical abuse by their father. NO ONE IN CATOOSA COUNTY CARES AND THE NEWS HAS REFUSED TO HEAR ANY OF US!!!

              The other grandmother of the two little boys has talked to the FBI, she was told he was friends with all of the judges etc. in Catoosa County, guess what, he doesn't care either!! NO ONE WHO CAN DO ANYTHING CARES!!!!

              Anonymous said...

              Trish what is your son being accused of?If the kid's mother is breaking the law then why can he not see his kids?

              Trish said...

              My son was accused in Jan. of 06 in the death of his step-daughter. He fell with her in Dec. 05 and she died the next day from a head injury. Three years, nine months, and over $50,000 later, all charges were dropped. He never lost the rights to his children, but there were bond conditions because of the charges, which when the charges were dropped no longer existed. His first wife, mother of his two children remarried in March of 07, but a month before that, she and her now husband, who had moved in with her, along with his three kids, five months before they married, cut us and our son off from his children. He, her husband, did the same to his x-wife and her family. My son has been to court three times since last fall and the judges all refused to hear the case, because of knowledge of the case that had been against him, even though all charges were dropped and even though the case has nothing to do with why he can't see the kids. It is a control issue with her husband and because the courts won't hear the case and his lawyer hasn't done anything to get another judge or something, they are getting away with her being in contempt of their divorce decree and emotionally abusing the children. When he tried to see the kids, after the charges were dropped, he called the police and showed them his divorce papers, but they refused to help either.

              Anonymous said...

              Trish something doesn't sound right.If your son was not charged with murder,I am confussed.So many people would love to keep their ex away but with a divorce decree & legal paper work it should be impossible.

              Anonymous said...

              Trish,do you think the judge & even your lawyer thought your son killed the baby?When he fell was he drinking or anything?I am not saying any of that,I am just trying to understand why the judge acted that way & especially your lawyer.You are paying him to help you,but he sounds like a SOB he should be in your sons corner no matter what.

              Anonymous said...

              It's the good old LMJC anon. They are so corrupt, it is impossible to get anyone to do anything. He definitely needs new representation, but I'm sure the financial part is hard. Plus, you have to get an attorney outside of this district to get anything done. It all goes along with what Dr. Anderson has exposed about this district. It sucks because there are a lot of good people in this community, but now, everyone is walking on egg shells. It's very sad.

              Anonymous said...

              Trish I know it will be alot of money,but call John Anderson he is in downtown Chatt. He is really good,if he cannot help you then one of his partners can.I have used them,they are good.They scare the pants off of N.W.GA. layers.They are pit bulls.

              Anonymous said...

              Trish I know it will be alot of money,but call John Anderson he is in downtown Chatt. He is really good,if he cannot help you then one of his partners can.I have used them,they are good.They scare the pants off of N.W.GA. layers.They are pit bulls.

              Trish said...

              Anon, 8:39, he was charged with murder, but he did not hurt her in anyway. No, he was not drunk or anything like that. It was a dark, cold, rainy night and she had gotten carsick on the way to our house. He was carrying her and rushing to get in the house and tripped over the sidewalk, which sits above the driveway, because we have a gravel drive, but concrete sidewalk. Plus we had only lived in this house for a couple of months. All charges were dropped when the State Medical Examiner agreed with our medical expert that she had a skull fracture in the back of her head consistent with a fall. The local examiner never even mentioned this. They even went so far as to say she had abrasions on her scalp, well she had cradle cap and she had scratched her own head. It was documented in her medical records, yet this medical examiner said she was too old to have cradle cap. Anyone can get cradle cap, it is just a name for phorisis (can't spell that). Anyway, all charges were dropped last August. There is no longer a case against him, but while the charges were still pending, he couldn't do anything about what his x-wife was doing. He is still married to his second wife, the mother of the child that died. Van Pelt recused himself, because he signed the motion to dismiss, Graham recused herself because her father and late husband were Jason's attorneys for two years, but then he was turned over to Jimmy Berry when Mr. Cook per doctors orders couldn't take anymore long trial cases. His x-wife and her husband refused to go in front of Judge House, as he had been the husbands divorce attorney and we would prefer not to go in front of Judge Wood, but are willing if only our lawyer would do something.

              Anon. 9:20, not I do not think his current lawyer thinks he hurt his step-daughter. He did get us the four hours for Christmas, but that is all he has done. I don't know what is going on now, as he won't talk to me and hasn't returned my son's phone calls.

              Anon. 9:50, we will look into John Anderson. Thank you.