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Mourners Gathering At Site Where Danielle's Body Was Found: (Post van Dam News Here)
Union Tribune ^ | March 1, 2002 | Seth Hettena

Posted on 03/01/2002 4:04:47 PM PST by FresnoDA

Mourners gather at site where Danielle's body was found




ASSOCIATED PRESS

March 1, 2002


Associated Press
Mourners place flowers and a stuffed animal Friday, on the site under an oak tree where 7-year-old Danielle van Dam's body was found along Dehesa Road.


Associated Press
Andy Black looks over a memorial for 7-year-old Danielle van Dam after placing flowers Friday on the site where her body was found.
EL CAJON – Laura Davis said she felt drawn to the quiet patch of shade under an oak tree where searchers this week found the body of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam.

"The memory of her soul compelled me to come down here and say a last goodbye," Davis said Friday, cradling her 7-month-old daughter and wiping away tears. "To actually see the place where her innocent sweetness was lying under a tree." Davis, 26, added white flowers to a growing memorial of messages, bouquets, a pink teddy bear and a stuffed blue bunny that marks the place where authorities believe a neighbor dumped Danielle's body weeks ago.

Dental records confirmed Thursday that remains found by a rural roadside 25 miles east of San Diego were those of the little girl, who vanished from her bedroom Feb. 2.

The cause of death could not immediately be determined – and may never be – because of the body's state of decomposition, said Police Chief David Bejarano. Further tests were under way.

Danielle's parents, Brenda and Damon van Dam, said the unflagging efforts of more than 2,500 volunteers who searched a vast area stretching from the ocean to the desert left them with "an overwhelming sense of gratitude and closure."

"With love for an innocent child and for one another, the community has brought her back to us, and for that gift we offer our most sincere and heartfelt thanks," the van Dams said in a statement. "Even though the final outcome is horrible, we could not have imagined the rest of our lives without this closure."

A memorial service is expected later this month.

A neighbor, David Westerfield, 50, was charged Tuesday with murder, kidnapping and possession of child pornography. He has pleaded innocent and is being held without bond.

Authorities said they found traces of Danielle's blood in Westerfield's motor home and on an article of his clothing.

The self-employed engineer spent the weekend of Danielle's disappearance traveling in his motor home, stopping in the desert east of the city, authorities said.

A hunch led volunteers to the area – the remote road was one Westerfield might have taken the weekend Danielle disappeared, said Bill Garcia, a private detective who coordinated searches.

Nearby residents said they were unsettled by the discovery of Danielle's body so close to home.

"It kind of sickens us," said Charles O'Neill, 28, who lives about a mile away. "We've been driving by this road every day for the past month and knowing she's that close is something we never would have imagined."



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To: golitely

This is a review of a crime scene analysis tape, with very unuual circumstances, with relation to the van Dam case.  Check this out....


Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture, 2(1) (1994) 1-4


Murder, Rape, and DNA

Director: Garfield Kennedy Writer: Stephen Jimenez
Release Information: NOVA (PBS) and distributed by Films for
the Humanities and Sciences (1992), VHS 60 min.

This film describes the techniques that comprise what is popularly called "DNA Typing or Fingerprinting." It discusses the role of DNA typing in criminal and civil investigation by focusing principally on two major criminal cases: the kidnap and rape of a nine year old child in San Diego, California and a double rape/murder of two teenage girls in England.

The film starts with a reenactment of the kidnapping of a young girl from her bedroom at night. She was then brutally raped and returned to her room. The girl's parents did not even know that anything had happened until the next morning when she complained of pain. A doctor's examination confirmed the nature and extent of the injuries. The girl subsequently underwent surgery to repair the damage.

Suspicion fell immediately upon the father, not because there was any evidence against him, but because he fit some "profile" of a child molester. The father had no criminal or child molestation history, and the girl insisted that a stranger took her and attacked her. Nonetheless, the Social Service department forbid the parents from seeing their daughter, removed her from the home, and had her placed in foster care. These authorities insisted to the girl that her father molested her, and, after more than one year, the girl finally changed her story and told her foster parents that her father was guilty.

The father's attorney asked to have all of the physical evidence re-examined and, to the amazement of the police, a semen stain was found on the girl's night shirt--more than two years after the incident! Enter Dr. Edward Blake, who undertook a DNA analysis of the semen stain and blood from the parent. The DNA analysis technique that was used is called "Polymerase Chain Reaction," or PCR. As is explained in the film, PCR can absolutely exclude someone from being the source of a tissue or body fluid sample, but cannot individualize that person. The results of the PCR analysis in this case proved conclusively that the girl's father could not have been the source of the semen stain. Subsequently, the criminal court dismissed the charges against the father and the juvenile court ordered the child returned to her parents.

At the same time, a private investigator hired by the father's attorney uncovered a series of child molestations that had occurred in the same neighborhood and fit the same pattern. The suspect in these cases was a convicted child molester but was completely overlooked by the police. He was then arrested, and his DNA was shown to correspond to that of the semen stain. This part of the film ends with a blistering indictment of the law enforcement and social service communities for extreme bias and prejudice as well as dereliction of duty.

The next segment of the film discusses the scientific issues surrounding DNA analysis. The history of DNA typing is traced back to the laboratories of Sir Alec Jeffries at Leichester University, where DNA typing was accidently discovered. Through a series of interviews with experts that includes Jeffries, FBI officials, and other scientists, the main issues concerning DNA are explored. The issues include those identified in a study recently released by the National Academy of Sciences such as the need for the standardization of methods of analysis and training of personnel, strict quality control procedures, the proper use of inferential statistics, and the proper presentation of DNA evidence in court. Concerns about judges and juries being overwhelmed with DNA evidence are also voiced by both attorneys and scientists. This segment of the film is an excellent introduction to some of the main issues in DNA typing and will provide excellent opportunities for classroom discussion.

The film then turns to two more criminal cases. These cases actually predate the first case and are the first instances where DNA typing was used successfully to solve a criminal case. Over a period of one year, two female teenagers were found in the woods in the same rural area of England. Both had been brutally beaten, stripped, and raped. There were no witnesses, very little physical evidence, and most importantly, no suspects. Small samples of body fluid that did not belong to the victims were present on both corpses. Because of the similarity of the circumstances, the police were convinced that both crimes were committed by the same person.

After much publicity and investigation, the trail became cold and public interest waned. Finally, the police got a break. A witness identified a man that was seen walking in the woods near the site of the first murder shortly after the body was found. He was arrested and confessed to the first murder after much questioning; however, he made no admissions to the second murder. Dr. Jeffries was called in to perform a DNA analysis on the suspect and on material retrieved from both victims. This time another type of analytical method was used-- "Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism," or RFLP. This technique takes much longer than PCR but has the advantage of giving much more certain results. In this case, it was shown unequivocally that the man being held was not involved in the murders. When asked why he confessed, he stated that the police put so much pressure on him that he finally relented just to get them off his back.

With the investigation trail now cold again, the authorities decided on an extraordinary maneuver. They surmised that the killer still lived in the area. The police asked all males between 13 and 55 who lived in the surrounding area to come in and voluntarily give a blood sample. These samples would then be tested using RFLP to determine if any were similar to the DNA pattern obtained from the evidentiary material. The authorities felt that either the guilty man would be caught by his DNA type or would make himself conspicuous by his failure to offer a sample.

A local baker tried many times to pay someone else to impersonate him and donate a blood sample. He finally badgered a coworker into performing this charade. He altered his own passport, substituting the other man's picture. The other man pulled off the caper successfully but then made the mistake of telling some friends what he had done. The secret was out. Finally, the baker turned himself in to the police. RFLP analysis showed that his DNA pattern was the same as that found in the evidentiary samples discovered on both victims, and he confessed.

Next is a brief discussion of some of the other uses of DNA typing. These include determination of paternity, personal identification, the use of inferential statistics, the development of population databases which are used to draw conclusions from DNA analysis, and the future of DNA typing.

The film concludes with a discussion of the sensitive issue of DNA databanking, wherein a portion of a population (or a whole population) would have their DNA typed and stored in a large data base. There are a number of issues that make this a sensitive subject. These include privacy, the future ability of scientists to determine personality characteristics from DNA, the cost associated with this type of project, and the problem that the markers used today would be different than those used in the future, thus making the data base obsolete. Once again, interviews are conducted with lawyers, law enforcement representatives, and scientists. All seem to agree only that the problems are difficult and will have to be decided by the public, not by lawyers or scientists.

This film provides an excellent introduction to DNA typing and its accompanying scientific, legal, and political issues. Enough of the science is presented so that the viewer can understand what is going on, why the conclusions from DNA typing are equivocal, and why DNA fingerprinting is not like real fingerprinting. The cases chosen for illustration may be unusual, but they are both real cases and provide dramatic evidence of the power of DNA typing and its role in identification--sometimes where no other method is available. The film would be a welcome addition to any introductory criminal justice class because it goes well beyond the scientific issues surrounding DNA. It provides a good discussion of social and criminal justice problems as well. The film would also be very valuable in an introductory criminal investigation and forensic science classes.

Jay Siegel, Ph.D.
Professor of Forensic Science
School of Criminal Justice
Michigan State University

101 posted on 03/01/2002 8:32:34 PM PST by FresnoDA
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To: DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet
I can't fathom it.

Nor can I. It's almost ghoulish.

I'm the opposite of being attracted to such things. I look the other way when I drive by an accident. I don't want a sad or vivid picture etched in my mind.

As far as little Danielle is concerned, I want to think of her precious little face and imagine her in the arms of Jesus. That's far more meaningful than looking at a spot of ground.

102 posted on 03/01/2002 8:32:45 PM PST by Southflanknorthpawsis
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To: FresnoDA
Is it me, or do the mourners seem more upset than the parents?
103 posted on 03/01/2002 8:36:56 PM PST by chit*chat
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To: FresnoDA
I remember this story in San Diego. If memory serves me, the father was a high ranking military officer.
104 posted on 03/01/2002 8:37:40 PM PST by Southflanknorthpawsis
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To: Southflanknorthpawsis
Jim Wade was the victim...

Wade

105 posted on 03/01/2002 8:45:40 PM PST by rolling_stone
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To: Southflanknorthpawsis
Also, they took the brother away, thegirld wasn't allowed to even see the parents for a year, the mother had a nervous breakdown. Needless to say, the family fell apart.
106 posted on 03/01/2002 8:49:36 PM PST by It's me
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To: Southflanknorthpawsis;sneakypete;golitely;spectre;Amore;Bigg Red;Travis McGee;BunnySlippers...

(Warning, graphic content!!)

This is a frighteningly graphic account of a recent crime against a 6 year old child just coming to trial.  Please let this account serve as white hot scorching reason, why ALL parties involved in the death of Danielle, must be brought to justice.

If as the evidence indicates, Westerfield is the sole perpetrator, then all of San Diego must rail against any form of plea bargain.

If (and that is a big if) any of the incredible stories circulating tonight have any basis in actuality, it is even more important that all other accomplices, or participants in the death of Danielle stand accountable for such actions.

Read on...but be warned, this is most disturbing.

Freeper "sneakypete" stated this in a most chilling way on a previous thread earlier today, CHILD RAPE is an abomination.  No mercy can be shown to such perpetrators!!  

Don't agree with you often "sneaky" but I applaud your comments on this matter.

After reading on, I am sure you will all agree he was very correct......

FresnoDA

(Warning, graphic content!!)


Details revealed in rape case
Aberdeen trial continues today


American News Writer

Gory details about the condition of the 6-year-old Aberdeen rape victim came out in testimony Monday in the 1998 rape and kidnapping trial of Shane Anthony Luce, 29, of Aberdeen.

Jurors were also shown pictures of the girl's bloody and bruised body.

"This girl was horribly torn open and needed to be fixed," Dr. Scott Berry testified Monday. He was the Aberdeen obstetrician who repaired the damage.

As three pictures of the girl taken that night were flashed on a TV monitor that only the jury and witness could see, many of the jurors became rigid, taking short, quick glances at the revealing photographs. One juror placed her hand over her mouth, as if in shock.

The girl was scraped and bruised all over her body. There was blood between her legs and running down her thighs.

Before surgery several foreign hairs and other debris - dirt and leaves - were removed from the girl's body. Pubic hairs were found in her vaginal vault. Some hairs were located in her anus, and a long hair was removed from her body.

Berry testified that extensive surgery was needed in both the anal and vaginal areas.

He said he couldn't recall seeing semen, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. Because there was little or no semen, a blunt object may also have been used, Berry testified.

The girl's parents also testified Monday. Both described a trip to the Brown County Speedway on July 3, 1998. After the races and fireworks, the girl and her father headed home, while the mother and her son ran a few errands.

The girl went to bed shortly after returning home. By about 2:30 a.m., everyone else had gone to bed as well.

A noisy screen on the front door woke both parents about 5:30 a.m.

Sitting up in bed, the mother said she saw the girl at the front door. She said she remembers the girl saying something about a nightmare and a bad man. The 6-year-old wanted to take a bath and put on clean underwear, the mother said. The mother didn't know what the girl was talking about until she came into the parent's bedroom and turned the light on. "Suddenly everything made sense," the mother testified.

The child was immediately wrapped in a blanket and taken to the emergency room. On the way there, the mother testified that the girl told her that she, the mother, knew the man who did this. The girl asked who he was.

The woman testified she went to high school with Shane Luce. She also said she had seen the original suspect, Steven Tosh, when the family looked at the home they ended up buying. Tosh had previously lived there.

The mother said the girl has only a dim memory of that night.

The girl told a hospital nurse that the man said if she yelled he would kill her mom and dad, the nurse testified Monday. The girl was taken out of her bedroom to a vacant lot a short distance away and raped.

The father said lights were left on in the hallway and bathroom. There was also a night light and a string of Christmas lights in the children's bedroom to illuminate the area for bathroom trips. A motion detector was outside the home.

When the girl and her mother left for the hospital, the father grabbed his son, the phone and went outside and dialed 911.

He said he made a large swoop of the home, noticing the back door was open, beer cans were by the clothesline, and a hollyhock was broken underneath the kids' bedroom window.

Because so many lights were on inside, the father realized how clearly someone could see into the children's room. The blinds on the window had been partially raised so the cat could look out.

Tosh, the previous tenant, had many of the factors law officers were looking for in a suspect.

Detective Steve Pionk testified that Tosh was seen driving by the home before and after the kidnap and rape. Tosh had no alibi and originally lied to law enforcement during interviews, saying he was working or going to a bakery to buy doughnuts, according to Pionk.

After the incident, Tosh changed his appearance by cutting his hair and growing a beard, Pionk said.

Another man said he and Tosh were driving when Tosh spotted some younger girls and commented that they should kidnap and rape them, Pionk said.

Pionk also testified that Tosh agreed that it was possible for him to commit the crime because he knew the layout of the house.

Pionk said some evidence was discarded. That evidence included what police called some trash and a hair. The hair simply disappeared.

"It (trash) should have been kept for DNA purposes," Pionk said. "There were numerous individuals at the party" that was near the victim's home that night and early morning. The trash included beer cans.

The trial continues today at 9 a.m. in the third floor east courtroom at the Brown County Courthouse.


107 posted on 03/01/2002 8:50:14 PM PST by FresnoDA
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To: FresnoDA
We live in East County in El Cajon. There are coyotes and dogs and other animals common in this area and I just wonder how a body could have been exposed there for all these weeks and not have been discovered by animals. Coyotes are especially common here.
108 posted on 03/01/2002 9:15:09 PM PST by messenger4
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To: messenger4
There are coyotes and dogs and other animals common in this area and I just wonder how a body could have been exposed there for all these weeks and not have been discovered by animals. Coyotes are especially common here.

I've been very curious to know if they think the body was moved. After all, it wasn't discovered the first go-round.

If it was moved, this had to involve more than DW. He was under constant surveillance from the beginning.

Were the parents? Were their calls monitored? They should have been.

109 posted on 03/01/2002 9:24:31 PM PST by Southflanknorthpawsis
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To: Southflanknorthpawsis
I find this whole thing extremely troubling. I guess that was my point. I don't think that the body could have been exposed for that amount of time and not been discovered. I hope that the truth will come out in full on this tragedy.
110 posted on 03/01/2002 9:28:49 PM PST by messenger4
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To: It's me
Also, they took the brother away, thegirld wasn't allowed to even see the parents for a year, the mother had a nervous breakdown. Needless to say, the family fell apart.

I remember when the father was exonerated. I thought there could be no end to my anger if I were him. How terrible for that family !!!!!

I never thought he was guilty in the first place.

It was the same with the Dale Akiki case. When I heard that he was accused of killing an elephant and a giraffe in front of the children, I thought I must be in the Twilight Zone.

111 posted on 03/01/2002 9:29:03 PM PST by Southflanknorthpawsis
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To: messenger4
I hope that the truth will come out in full on this tragedy.

So do I. I have to believe that with so many people feeling this doesn't pass the smell test, LE has to be suspicious as well. I hope they are probing and connecting the dots beyond Westerfield.

Please let that be so if there are others involved !!!!

112 posted on 03/01/2002 9:32:55 PM PST by Southflanknorthpawsis
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To: FresnoDA
It was reported that there are 13 registered sex offenders in the Sabre Springs area. How were the police able to eliminate each one with certainty from being a suspect? How many of the 13 had offenses related to child molestation/abduction/rape?

Westerfield had child pornography in his possession. Are police investigating his contacts (via phone records, etc.) to see if he had connections with possible other suspects in the area?

113 posted on 03/01/2002 9:35:02 PM PST by crypt2k
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To: AFVetGal
Don't take this wrong but it is freeking stupid to post the money drive on this thread !
114 posted on 03/01/2002 9:52:05 PM PST by america-rules
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To: discostu
Perhaps this excerpt from John Donne's (1572-1631) "Meditation, Expostulation, Prayer, No. XVII" will help ...

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the maine; if a clode be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind, so therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

115 posted on 03/01/2002 9:53:07 PM PST by capitan_refugio
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To: Ole Okie
How about the hysteria over that race car driver that was killed, Dale Earnhardt. These people acting all upset over someone that was asking to be killed by his choice of profession. I still see people driving around with a number 3 painted on their windshield. Same goes for Selena. I have an aunt that is buried in the same cemetery, and when she died all of her fans used to congregate at the cemetery and they actually had picnics at the cemetery! My cousin said he had better not ever visit his mother's grave and find them sitting on her grave picnicking or their trash strewn around on it, or he was going to raise hell with the cemtery owner.
116 posted on 03/01/2002 10:22:39 PM PST by dougherty
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To: FresnoDA
I thought you were claiming it was a Van Dam relative who found the body?
117 posted on 03/01/2002 10:25:12 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
I think of people reading tabloids from the newsstand and wonder

Why bother with the tabaloids? We have threads on FR that outdo them.

118 posted on 03/01/2002 10:32:46 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: Vinomori
what does this emotionally indulgent GATHERING do?

Well,for one thing it helps to focus public attention on child molesting/kidnappying/murder. If this helps people become more aware of it and pay more attention to the security of their children,it's a good thing.

119 posted on 03/01/2002 10:35:20 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: discostu
Just don't talk to those people in the cancer ward about what they might do for a living Stu. If it's not up to your standards you could end up making them feel worse.
120 posted on 03/01/2002 10:41:30 PM PST by Greg Weston
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To: chit*chat
Yeah those parents are having a heck of a fun time with this whole situation I'm sure.
121 posted on 03/01/2002 10:42:57 PM PST by Greg Weston
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To: FresnoDA
If as the evidence indicates, Westerfield is the sole perpetrator, then all of San Diego must rail against any form of plea bargain.

UNLESS he agrees to inform on and testify against any child porn producers and molestors he knows,and/or agrees to plead guilty to murder charges for any other children he has snatched in the past and shows where their bodies are. I could see letting him have life without parole if he is joined there by his fellow monsters. We as a society need to get these people off the streets any way we can.

122 posted on 03/01/2002 10:57:46 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: sneakypete
That is true, so, what is your take on the latest? Or do you not go there?
123 posted on 03/01/2002 11:05:44 PM PST by FresnoDA
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To: FresnoDA
what is your take on the latest?

Yeah,I have a "take". That doesn't mean it is any more valid than anybody else's,though. It's just a guess.

My GUESS is that the police have viewed the videotapes (and you think YOUR job sucks!)by now and looked over all the other evidence,and have decided the suspect has something to "sell" in exchange for life without parole. This "something" MIGHT be the producers of the porn movies he had,or even the identities of some of the adults shown having sex with children in them. The cops MIGHT even have spotted some children in those movies who are still missing. There is also the very real POSSIBILITY that he has agreed to plead guilty to murdering other children in the past,and will lead police to where their bodies lay. This won't make them less dead,but it would be a major relief to the parents to finally know for certain,and to have a body to bury.

Whatever it is,it damn sure better be BIG to justify letting this monster live!

124 posted on 03/01/2002 11:18:05 PM PST by sneakypete
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To: sneakypete
UNLESS he agrees to inform on and testify against any child porn producers and molestors he knows,and/or agrees to plead guilty to murder charges for any other children he has snatched in the past and shows where their bodies are.

The prosecution can possibly turn the tables on Westerfield by tracing his connections with the child porn network. Was he a loner, with no contact with others of his ilk, save downloaded files, or did he have direct contacts and working relationships with those who were aware of his interests and activities?

There are three worlds at play here: the world of Christian morality, fidelity and family, the world of the swinger and the world of the sexual predator. There is overlap and conflict between these worlds. The sexual predator concieves of other humans as objects of pleasure for the self, and in the end, can take pleasure in murder.

I can see how the sexual predator can see the world of swinging as a group of mainly naive sexual experimenters to be exploited. From the viewpoint of the Christian, the swingers have opened the gates that allow the predators to enter the outskirts of morality. Caught in the middle, the van Dams in effect have sacrificed a child to the logical extension of their comprimised belief system.

125 posted on 03/01/2002 11:19:55 PM PST by crypt2k
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To: crypt2k
Talk about your nutbag convoluted wacky deducements...Get a grip.
126 posted on 03/02/2002 2:43:28 AM PST by Greg Weston
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To: FresnoDA
It's a good thing those mourners got a chance to wander around one of the crime scenes destroying any evidence that could be gathered. That place should have been courdoned off to make sure nothing like that happened. Of course with all this new age feel good spirituality nonsense, and such, it's a wonder any crime scenes go untouched before the cops can finish their investigations. Wonder if that wasn't what the defense wanted? A tainted Crime Scene?
127 posted on 03/02/2002 3:43:17 AM PST by MadRobotArtist
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To: chit*chat
"Is it me, or do the mourners seem more upset than the parents?"

It's you.

128 posted on 03/02/2002 4:06:47 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez
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To: sneakypete
"Why bother with the tabaloids? We have threads on FR that outdo them."

BUMP!

129 posted on 03/02/2002 4:07:37 AM PST by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Luis Gonzalez, sneakypete
WRT:tabloids on FR... Tha'ts what I've been told at times. GRIN
130 posted on 03/02/2002 5:54:26 AM PST by Freedom2specul8
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To: capitan_refugio
The effort would still be better spent in a children's hostpital or cancer ward.
131 posted on 03/02/2002 5:55:38 AM PST by discostu
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To: Greg Weston
Oh Greg I'm so wounded by your desperate need to twist and misinterpret everything I say... oh wait, no I'm not. Bugger off.
132 posted on 03/02/2002 5:56:45 AM PST by discostu
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To: crypt2k, Luis Gonzalez, sneakypete
From the viewpoint of the Christian, the swingers have opened the gates that allow the predators to enter the outskirts of morality

As a Christian, it appears that immoral acts are caused by people..whether they be Swingers or not. Some of the people on the van dam threads can only speculate that the swingers allowed the predator in the house, if indeed evidence shows they are swingers. If they are swingers, God help their souls. If they're not, those who have made such accusatory remarks based on gossip and rumors should be ashamed. You guys who are so upset with the parents can only speculate that the parents don't give a crap that their daughter was murdered. This case is NO DIFFERENT than any other child abduction case. For whatever reason, the violent sadistic predator, LIKE ALL OTHER PREDATORS, saw a weakness and exploited it. PERIOD. It's always been US vs Them... They watch for any weakness and they exploit it. Like all predators, they live for weaknesses.

133 posted on 03/02/2002 6:03:17 AM PST by Freedom2specul8
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
I agree. It's pretty sick for a bunch of strangers to go to a murder site with teddy bears and flowers.

Take your stuffed animals and flowers to the Children's Hospital. Hug a child, take them to the zoo, but don't hang out at a murder site. Sick, sick, sick.

Your attitude may change if something like this, heaven forbid, visits your neighborhood, as it did ours in Plano, TX September 4, 1993, with the abduction and murder of a beautiful young seven year old child, Ashley Estell. It brings back tears to recall the moment I found out that her body had been found a few yards off a dirt road that intersects Highway 121 about seven miles north east of the soccer field from which she was abducted. I'm sure there are many who consider that spot hallowed ground, fitting of some kind of monument. Until you have walked in these shoes, don't be so quick to ridicule.

134 posted on 03/02/2002 6:30:12 AM PST by Ben Chad
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To: Ole Okie
"I can feel sad at this little girl's death, but "mourn" (as one would for a loved one) is a misnomer."

So very true! Although I confess that I did find myself actually mourning after the OKC bombing (it's nearby) and 9/11. There was something about those two events that hit me very hard. I am sorry when I hear of someone's passing, but I seldom actually mourn unless it's someone I knew well, so those two events caught me off-guard.

That said, what happened to this little girl made me very sad, not only for her, but for all the children who've been treated this way. I wish I knew how to stop it, but with our current laws, there will probably be more. Personally, I think child molesters should be put to death. Treatment doesn't seem to work, and jail terms are too short.

And, at the risk of inciting more flames (like I need more), I wish someone would remove those two little boys from that home and that dangerous lifestyle. If it's true that some of the porn involved homosexual scenes, they are at risk.

135 posted on 03/02/2002 6:32:18 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: FresnoDA
Is it just me...or does anyone else find this new practice of perfect strangers ie mourners visiting the site of a child's murder or recovery....morbid and bizarre?

Years ago, there was a similar scenerio in our small community. I recall that no one, except a few young teenage boys, went to the scene where the body was recovered.

Now we have mothers traveling to a remote area with their babies, teddy bears and balloons to cry at the site where a little girl's decomposed body was found.

Don't misunderstand me, please. I have a grand daughter...and my heart turns over to think that she would ever be treated unkindly, much less that she would have to endure torture and death. And I would like to see the beast that did this die a slow and painful death, also.

I am just trying to understand why the ritual of public mourning is taking place in such a manner these days.

136 posted on 03/02/2002 6:37:59 AM PST by Conservababe
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To: 4ourprogeny
"...thought corrupts language and viceversa. "

When I hear the term "closure" it sounds to me like someone wants us to hurry up and quit grieving already. That's pretty harsh for someone who's lost someone very close to them--forget closure, pray for healing, in God's own time.

137 posted on 03/02/2002 6:44:25 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: Conservobabe
This will teach me to read more than the first two pages of posts before posting mine.
138 posted on 03/02/2002 6:46:04 AM PST by Conservababe
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
Kim, I hate to say this, because it might hurt some feelings. I know people mean well. But regarding the OKC bombing, even though I didn't lose anyone that I knew well in that event, when all the tourists began pouring in--and yes, that's what they were, tourists--I resented it. I don't know if they feel the same in NY or in Washington DC or not, but if they do, I understand it. It felt like that place where so many died was just another tourist attraction, complete with the gawkers and the hawkers. It was almost like it cheapened the deaths of so many.
139 posted on 03/02/2002 6:48:36 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: chit*chat
"Is it me, or do the mourners seem more upset than the parents?"

No, you have some company in that observation. However, stand by for accusations of being subhuman for noticing it.

140 posted on 03/02/2002 6:56:02 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: Southflanknorthpawsis
"I've been very curious to know if they think the body was moved."

Same question here--and they do bring up the subsequent questions you asked about who was being watched, and how closely. Also remember that Westerfield went to the bar with someone named Gary. Friend, or cohort?

141 posted on 03/02/2002 7:02:38 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: crypt2k
RE: Post #125

There are three worlds at play here: the world of Christian morality, fidelity and family, the world of the swinger and the world of the sexual predator. There is overlap and conflict between these worlds. The sexual predator concieves of other humans as objects of pleasure for the self, and in the end, can take pleasure in murder

Wow, you said a mouthful, and right on target.  A lot of folks are angling on this Child Porn Movie angle......

I have not heard enough on that to go that route in this case, as of yet. 

I can see how the sexual predator can see the world of swinging as a group of mainly naive sexual experimenters to be exploited. From the viewpoint of the Christian, the swingers have opened the gates that allow the predators to enter the outskirts of morality. Caught in the middle, the van Dams in effect have sacrificed a child to the logical extension of their comprimised belief system.

There have been lots of VD theories, Cryp, your take here is spot on!!!  BUMP!!!

142 posted on 03/02/2002 7:05:06 AM PST by FresnoDA
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To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
LIKE ALL OTHER PREDATORS, saw a weakness and exploited it. PERIOD. It's always been US vs Them... They watch for any weakness and they exploit it.

Yup,they are monsters in the guise of humans.

143 posted on 03/02/2002 7:05:26 AM PST by sneakypete
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To: crypt2k
"It was reported that there are 13 registered sex offenders in the Sabre Springs area. "

And do you find it odd that they pointed the finger at Westerfield, who was not on any offender lists, while not looking into the other 13? They probably have the right guy, but I'm curious about how they came to that conclusion so quickly--he was just one of many neighbors, and actually seemed quite cooperative at the first. The search dogs, it was said, gave "hits" on virtually every house in the neighborhood (I believe the newspaper article said 147 in all). So I do find it curious...

...unless, that is, the "vicious gossip" might hold some truth, which is to say, Mrs. VD knew Westerfield better than admitted, and either pointed him out, or the police put 2 + 2 together.

144 posted on 03/02/2002 7:07:39 AM PST by MizSterious
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To: crypt2k
Excellent summation!!

There could have been more than one sexual predator in the group that evening.

sw

145 posted on 03/02/2002 7:13:13 AM PST by spectre
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To: golitely
And, at the risk of inciting more flames (like I need more), I wish someone would remove those two little boys from that home and that dangerous lifestyle. If it's true that some of the porn involved homosexual scenes, they are at risk.

Logic, in the face of a few tepid flames, is well worth it.  I concur, remove the two remaining children to a safe haven. BUMP to your post "golitely"!!


JOHN GASTALDO / Union-Tribune

A friend of the van Dam family leaves the
Danielle Volunteer Center in Poway Thursday
 morning with Danielle's brothers,
Derrick, 9 (left), and Dylan, 5.



146 posted on 03/02/2002 7:13:16 AM PST by FresnoDA
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To: golitely
People want a site connected to the case, and a private home especially of someone they may feel is partly guilty, cannot so serve... I see nothing wrong with the highway memorial for those who wish to go there.

Strangely, it seems to me that I don't really need to change what I last posted on this case. That was:

1. No breaking and entering, not even an entering, by anyone at the VD house. Whoever did anything either lived there or had permission to be there.

2. No taking of anyone by force, no living human carried out by another. Either Danielle was dead when carried out, or she walked out on her own accord voluntarily.

3. Party went on until wee hours, in fact had begun in wee hours. Probably ran from 2:40 to 5:20 or so. Leaves it very possible to me that Danielle was already dead and/or gone before it even began at 2:40.

4. I do not accept that this body was that close to a well-traveled highway, 25 ft. off pavement in a pretty place, for that whole 4 weeks. There was no involvement of predators (4 legged at least), and decomposition was almost too far along for a cool dry outdoor environment like that. It would have been found, must have been found, and now it looks like earlier searchers are going to come forward to say they searched that area before Feb 10 and there was no body there at that time.

5. I do not accept that Westerfield placed the body where it was found, nor do I think it was he who had it in the intermediate weeks.

6. I think there is reason to suspect some planting of blood and/or DNA evidence. I think it MUST be determined whether the girl was sexually assaulted and if so by whom.

7. Oh, no, now I am going to get it, but I think other persons than just Westerfield had been in his van recently as it was parked at his home, bringing in who knows what, and doing who knows what, it would have been a very convenient place of assignation in the neighborhood.

8. I do not believe that when Westerfield last left the Van Dam home that early morning, that he yet knew that crime evidence, much less a body, was in the van. He probably did not even know that anything was wrong at all, for he seems to have slept in as planned and only then drove to beach, desert etc...looks like he was already away driving somewhere before he learned that all hell had broken loose 2 doors from his home. And some of it was IN his (motor) home, right there with him, if you see what I mean.

147 posted on 03/02/2002 7:13:38 AM PST by crystalk
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To: Conservobabe

A place to mourn, reflect

PEGGY PEATTIE / Union-Tribune
Henry Rios, a Native American, with sons Danny, 8, (left) and Henry Jr., 10, burns sweetgrass and sage at the site where Danielle's body was found.
Video WITH REALVIDEO

Intensity aided Danielle case

Painstaking process crucial to investigation

Video WITH REALVIDEO
The first hours were key.

Without the successes that came in the initial stages of the Danielle van Dam investigation, authorities say they still could be looking for a suspect, a body and many more answers in the abduction and slaying that captured the nation's attention.

148 posted on 03/02/2002 7:15:00 AM PST by FresnoDA
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To: Conservobabe
I am just trying to understand why the ritual of public mourning is taking place in such a manner these days.

I think that a part of it MIGHT be that they recogonize on a sub-conscious level that crimes like this are MUCH more serious than the murder of a adult. It shatters the illusion of safety/security in your home like nothing else does. Say what you want,but we ALL tend to be more protective of children than any other group. It's hard-wired into our nature. When we see the seemly casual way one is stolen and murdered,it's like a part of our whole society is murdered at the same time. It's a certainy that the illusion of a civilized society where children are free and safe to grow-up has been killed,no matter how briefly.

What makes this remarkable in MY mind is that it is amazing it even happens when you consider the state of denial of the average citizen who doesn't pay any attention of give a damn about anything that doesn't directly affect HIM. Then again,I guess self-interest probably plays a role in this,too. People see this stolen and murdered child,and think how easily it could have been one of their own children.

149 posted on 03/02/2002 7:15:10 AM PST by sneakypete
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To: golitely
You want to know WHY they pointed the finger at Westerfield so quickly? Ready?..........Because he was the only one of the neighbors gone from the neighborhood that morning.....after the van Dams reported Danielle missing.

sw

150 posted on 03/02/2002 7:16:49 AM PST by spectre
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