Saturday, May 9, 2015

Parole for Man Who Buried 26 Schoolchildren Alive

The following news story has been, howbeit, regrettably,  a source of invaluable information on the impact of trauma which showed a very clear demarcation to be confirmed:

The kids who 'fought', that is, those who moved, attempted to dig out, etc, suffered for life, but not as those who 'froze' in fear and terror.

Those studied echoed the studies from Europe that showed that children exposed to trauma became, statistically, many times more likely to be involved in substance abuse, experience depression and anxiety, higher suicide rates, and so on, with those who froze in terror, being the most impacted.

This does enter the language, particularly:

present tense verbs of "ongoing" impact;
conjugated verbs indicating an indefinite period in the past

as well as minimizing language and even some repression.

Survivors may be impacted by the parole:

Man Who Buried 26 Schoolchildren Alive Gets Parole Almost 40 Years Later

One of three men who kidnapped 26 schoolchildren and their bus driver, then buried them alive in an underground bunker, was granted parole after nearly 40 years in prison. 

James Schoenfeld, 63, applied for parole 20 times before he finally received initial approval on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Timesreports. 

In 1976, Schoenfeld, his brother Richard and their friend Frederick Woods kidnapped a bus full of children from Chowchilla, California, and buried them, as well as their driver, inside a moving van beneath a rock quarry near Livermore, California. 

They planned to ransom the children, who were ages 5 to 14, for $5 million after suffering losses on a real estate project, according to the Times

But the victims managed to escape, clawing their way to freedom after 16 hours underground while the three took a nap, the Associated Pressreports. 

The men were arrested a week later and were convicted in the kidnapping. They were originally given life sentences with no chance of parole, but an appeal three years later overturned that ruling, allowing them to be eligible for parole, according to KFSN

Schoenfeld is the second of the three men to be granted parole. His brother Richard was released in 2012. Woods, however, remains in jail. 

The decision is just the first step in the process for release, the Timesreports. The board's legal staff must review the decision and then the governor must make his own ruling before Schoenfeld can be released. 

His victims hope it doesn't go that far. 

Jennifer Brown Hyde, who was 9 years old at the time of the kidnapping, wrote a "brutal" letter to the board, urging them to keep Schoenfeld in prison. 

"I wrote that they buried me alive, they stole my childhood and caused me immense emotional pain over the years. It affected my life, my parents' lives and my children's lives," she told the Fresno Bee

"Until recently I slept with a night-light," she added. "I have anxiety attacks when I'm in a confined space ... They took away my ability to be free." 

Madera County District Attorney David Linn opposes Schoenfeld's release as well, though he says he's not surprised by the decision, particularly in light of California's movement toward reducing prison overcrowding. 

"I did everything I could to resist it," he told the Bee. "What I want to do now is reach out to the victims, let them know we're here for them." 


John Mc Gowan said...

OT Update:

Defense attorneys in Gray case call for state's attorney to be recused

Defense attorneys representing six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray filed a motion Friday to have the case dismissed, or for the city’s top prosecutor to be recused from the case and replaced by a special prosecutor, citing alleged conflict of interest.

The attorneys argue in the documents that the officers were victims of an 'overzealous prosecution' by State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who they claim has personal and political motivations in the case.

Among the alleged conflicts of interest cited, the motion includes Mosby's marriage to the city councilman who represents the district where Gray died.

The motion claims that Mike Mosby had a professional and personal interest in having riots in his district that erupted after Gray's death come to an end, and that Marilyn Mosby therefore had an interest in filing charges quickly.

“...His wife, Marilyn Mosby, had a professional and personal interest in accommodating the needs of her husband – his political future directly affects her personal, professional and political interests,” the motion argues.

Defense attorneys contend that Mosby's relationship with the Gray family attorney also creates a conflict of interest. The attorney, William Murphy, is a close friend, ally and lawyer for Mosby.

The filing also cites a pending motion against her office, her office’s role in investigating the case and Mosby’s personal relationships with potential witnesses as reasons she should be recused from the case.

The defense also argues that Mosby denied the officers their right to due process by using inciting rhetoric when announcing the charges last week. Mosby told protesters: “I heard your call for ‘no justice no peace.’ Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man…You’re at the forefront of this cause and as young people, our time is now.”

The motion claims her words betrayed her personal and political motivations and were another sign of a conflict of interest.

“Rarely in the history of any criminal case has a prosecutor so directly maintained so many conflicts of interest. Rarer still are instances where such clear conflicts exist and a prosecutor steadfastly refuses to recuse him or herself,” the motion says.

The court filings come as Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Department of Justice intends to launch a civil rights investigation into the practices of the Baltimore Police Department, particularly allegations of excessive force and widespread discrimination.

The civil rights investigation, similar to ones undertaken in cities including Ferguson, Missouri, and Cleveland, will examine the policing patterns and practices of the entire police department. It is far broader in scope than a separate Justice Department investigation that aims to determine whether Gray's civil rights were violated.

Baltimore suffered days of unrest after Gray died April 19 following a week in a coma after his arrest. Protesters threw bottles and bricks at police the night of his funeral on April 27, injuring nearly 100 officers. More than 200 people were arrested as cars and businesses burned.

Skeptical said...

There have been so many tragic incidents since Chowchilla that it has slipped from memory. Was the difference in the degree of trauma between those who fought and those who froze because those who fought felt some degree of control for their lives - or some other reason?

Statement Analysis Blog said...


as the hormones rise, an imprint is left upon the brain.

Hormones recede when we

a. talk ourselves down
b. see circumstances ease up
c. we take action to help ourselves

hormones that elevate and stay "too long" are leaving imprints on the brain and causing severe damage.

By getting "going" the brain 'changes direction ' so to speak, and there is a slight recede of cortisone for example.

Think of a near miss car accident where you squeeze the wheel and feel a rush...
realize you are okay, and recover.

More to follow,