Tag Archives: custody disputes

Murder in the Family

Many news stories in December were overshadowed by the ongoing Ferguson controversy, the SONY hacking, and a terrorist siege in Sydney which left fatalities. Two, however, warrant our attention.

In Pennsylvania, Bradley Stone killed his ex-wife Nicole and five of her relatives before turning a knife on himself [1]. Victims included Nicole’s mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law, and a 14 y.o. niece. A 17 y.o. nephew is recovering from his wounds. Thankfully, the two Stone daughters were spared.

According to the prosecutor, Stone’s attack was clearly pre-meditated. It has been attributed to a custody dispute. Since Stone was a veteran and briefly on tour in Iraq during 2008, there was speculation that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might have played a role. The Marines who served with Stone dispute this.

In Australia, a suburban mother (also, wielding a knife) killed seven of her own children and a niece – all youngsters between the ages of 18 months and 15 years [2]. A 20 y.o. sibling found the children. The woman unsuccessfully attempted suicide. She is now under arrest. Continue reading

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Filed under Child Abuse, Physical Abuse, Terrorism, Violence Against Women

No Longer Helpless

  • In Georgia, a 13 y.o. boy missing for four years has been reunited with his mother. The boy had been held captive in a false “wall” by his father and stepmother. The pair have been charged with obstruction of justice, false imprisonment, and cruelty to children [1].
  • An even more sinister masquerade played out in Texas. There 17 y.o. Ricardo Javid Lubo enrolled in the sixth grade, apparently to recruit potential victims for purposes of child pornography [2]. The blood runs cold at the thought.

The Humane Society advocates against cruelty to animals.  Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Both Islam and Judaism emphasize the proper treatment of animals.

While I do not necessarily disagree, I would contend that the essential measure of a nation lies in how that nation treats its children.

The well-being of children is wholly dependent on the quality of care the adults around them provide. Those cruel toward animals are likely to be cruel toward human beings, as well. Like animals, children are helpless to defend themselves – their only response a muffled cry in the hall.

Children can be harmed with little effort.  They can be slapped, scalded, sexually assaulted, struck, and shaken to death.  Children can be starved for love and attention, as well as for bread.  Their souls may be withered by a word or glance; permanently scarred by a single unwanted touch.

We, however, are no longer children. While we may once have been abused, we now have the strength to reclaim our lives. And we have the power to oppose child abuse, wherever we may encounter it.

The congressman who paws interns, the priest who sodomizes altar boys, the teacher who seduces students, and the boyfriend who uses his partner’s children as a punching bag are now on notice.

Their behavior is under scrutiny. Their secret will out. There will be consequences.

That cry in the hall will no longer go unnoticed. We are no longer helpless. We are no longer alone.  And we will no longer be silenced.


[1] NBC News, Crime & Courts, “Boy Missing for 4 Years Found in ‘False Wall’ in Georgia Home: Police” by Elisha Fieldstadt, 11/29/14, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/boy-missing-four-years-found-false-wall-georgia-home-police-n258121.

[2] NBCDFW.com, “Child Porn Suspect Enrolled as a Sixth Grader” by Bianca Castro and Johnny Archer, 11/21/14, http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Two-Men-Arrested-for-Child-Pornography-283391581.html?partner=xfinity1.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse