Skip to comments.THE OTHER VAN DAM STORY(New article from San Diego will have V.D. PR machine will be in overdrive!)
Posted on 05/01/2002 4:03:29 PM PDT by FresnoDA
Thomas K. Arnold
Talk show host Rick Roberts made headlines with his KFMB-AM radio show about Damon and Brenda van Dams allegedly swinging lifestyle. But he wasnt the only radio personalityor media outletto cast a critical eye on the backstory of the Danielle van Dam kidnapping case.
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, whose John and Ken Show airs weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on Los Angeles station KFI-AM, devoted three shows to the case, even traveling to San Diego to broadcast from the van Dams Sabre Springs neighborhood. The week before that, they were the first to cast aspersions on the van Dams, a full day before the Roberts broadcast.
The Millennium Childrens Fund had just announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Danielle. Fund administrator Douglas Pierce had visited with the van Dams, and the next day he called a press conference in Los Angeles at which he voiced suspicions about the couples behavior. For an hour, Pierce blasted the van Dams for their apparent lack of emotion and general rudeness to him.
I dont know how much was true and how much was hysterical, but thats what made it fascinating. We tried to unravel it on the air, Kobylt says. In retrospect, I think he did peg their personalities very wellthe lack of emotion, the detachment, the obsession with the media messageand perhaps he got the vibe that they live a different life than most people.
As soon as Pierce finished on-air, John and Ken introduced their next guests: an angry Damon and Brenda van Dam, who lambasted Pierce as a nut case. We had scheduled them in advance, but when they heard Doug was on the show, they canceled, only to change their minds right before show time, Kobylt says.
After the interview, John and Ken picked apart the conversation and spoke critically about the van Dams lack of emotion and their defensiveness about questions pertaining to their own behavior and actions the last night Danielle was seen. The next day, the swinger story broke in The San Diego Union-Tribunefurthered that evening on San Diego radio by Rick Roberts.
Its a very dramatic story, says Kobylt. Everybody got obsessed with it pretty quickly... We have a pretty fair audience in San Diegoweve even made it into the top 10 on occasionand we started getting calls from people who live in the neighborhood and know the van Dams. As a result, it might as well have been in L.A. I tend to look at the whole [Southern California] area as the same, anyway.
(By press deadline, the van Dams could not be reached for comment by San Diego Magazine.)
Quoting the proverbial unnamed sources close to the probe, the Star reported that later-arrested suspect David Westerfield was aware of the van Dams sexual activities and had approached Brenda about hosting a sex-swap party in his house. The Star said Brenda had admitted to police that the couple belonged to a swingers club called Club CB and that sources say she flirted outrageously and danced with Westerfield the Friday night Danielle disappeared. He [Westerfield] knew that Brenda and her friends were sexually involved, and he wanted to be part of the action, but for whatever reason, he was not invited by Brenda to accompany her and her four friends back to her home that night for more partying and sex, the Star says it was told by a source.
Well at this point it looks like the conspiracy may only be known to God...
You are referring to the $100,000 life insurance policy on Danielle.
I don't have proof. I will look to see if I can find any.
20 Q MR. ARMSTRONG TOLD YOU THAT HE FOUND NO
21 IMAGES DEPICTING CHILDREN ENGAGED IN SEXUAL ACTS?
22 A HE FOUND THAT HE DIDN'T BELIEVE THEY WERE
23 PREPUBESCENT PHOTOS OR DIGITAL IMAGES, WHICH
24 APPARENTLY IS WHAT HE GOES BY. HE SPENT ABOUT AN
25 HOUR-AND-A-HALF LOOKING THROUGH THE PHOTOS.
26 Q HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG HE SPENT?
27 A I WAS IN THE OFFICE WITH HIM.
28 Q BUT DIDN'T YOU SAY THAT YOU DIDN'T WORK
next page 282
1 WITH HIM?
2 A HE REQUESTED TO COME IN AND LOOK AT THE
3 IMAGES. HE SAID HE HAD BEEN REQUESTED TO LOOK AT IT
4 BY LIEUTENANT COLLINS. SO WE ALLOWED HIM TO EXAMINE
5 THE COMPUTER.
6 Q THIS WAS ALL 67-, 68,000 IMAGES FROM THESE
7 COMPUTERS; IS THAT RIGHT?
8 A THAT IS CORRECT.
9 Q AND SO YOU DISAGREE WITH MR. ARMSTRONG'S
10 CONCLUSIONS; IS THAT RIGHT?
11 A NOT AT ALL.
Poor little boys, huddled together, each taking turns at sleeping while the other stays awake, waiting for a member of the vd swinging partners club to stalk into their room and GRAB them....BOO!
Superior Court Judge William Mudd also ruled that autopsy photos of the victim and photographs of the bedroom where the 7-year-old Sabre Springs girl was abducted will remain sealed until he has a chance to hear arguments on their admissibility at trial.The judge did rule, however, that a number of motions -- including a prosecution request to allow a jury to view Westerfield's motor home and a motion to sequester the panel -- will be made public Monday.
Westerfield, 50, is charged with murder, kidnapping, possession of child pornography and a special circumstance allegation of murder during a kidnapping in connection with Danielle van Dam's death.
Deputy District Attorney Jeff Dusek announced last week that his office will ask a jury to recommend the death penalty if Westerfield is convicted.
Mudd said his decision to keep some documents and attachments sealed weighed heavily in favor of Westerfield's right to a fair trial as well as "the people's right to a fair hearing."
The judge said the release of motions pertaining to "lifestyle issues" involving the victim's parents would "excessively invade the privacy of Mr. and Mrs. van Dam. They will remain under seal."
Mudd also refused to release prosecution documents stating aggravating factors on why they are seeking Westerfield's execution.
The judge said the motions raise post-convictions issues.
"It has nothing to do with the guilt phase of the trial," Mudd said.
The judge said some of the hearings scheduled to begin Tuesday will be off-limits to the public because of their nature. Mudd said he will rule on that issue on a motion-by-motion basis.
Brenda and Damon van Dam discovered that their daughter was missing from her bed the morning of Feb. 2. Volunteer searchers in the East County found the 7-year-old's body on Feb. 27, along a road in Dehesa.
Westerfield, who lived two doors down from the van Dams in Sabre Springs, was questioned almost immediately about the girl's disappearance. Police kept the self-employed design engineer under surveillance and arrested him Feb. 22.
Affidavits police prepared in support of requests for warrants to search Westerfield's home and recreational vehicle also remain sealed.
Last week, Mudd ordered prosecutors to let Westerfield's attorneys and their expert to view "questionable" material lifted from the defendant's home computer.
Some of the material allegedly depicts naked girls, some engaged in sexual acts with humans and animals.
No TV coverage will be allowed of the pretrial hearings, which could take up to two weeks.
May 2, 2002
Lawyers for David Westerfield want to sequester the jury in his upcoming murder trial, a process that involves keeping jurors separated from the public day and night, a judge revealed today.
Also today, Superior Court Judge William Mudd decided to seal court documents that discuss Westerfield's statements to police and that contain potentially embarrassing information about the parents of the girl he's charged with killing.
Prosecutors are opposed to the idea of sequestering a jury. Several legal experts had different opinions about whether Mudd might grant it.
Attorneys for the Sabre Springs engineer accused of kidnapping and killing 7-year-old Danielle van Dam filed the request sometime in the past few weeks. On Monday, the press will be allowed to see copies of the motion and the prosecution's opposition, the judge said today.
At that time, the press will also get to see several other motions that lawyers have filed in the case, many of them dealing with how the trial might proceed, the judge said. Jury selection is set to start May 17.
The judge said he will keep several other motions secret from the public, at least for the time being. Those motions contain information about statements Westerfield made to the police information that may or may not be admissible at his trial, the judge said.
Among other things, some of the sealed motions also contain "lifestyle" information that may "excessively invade the privacy of Mr. and Mrs. van Dam" if released to the press, the judge said.
Danielle's parents have admitted smoking marijuana the night she vanished from her home, two doors away from where Westerfield lived. Westerfield's lawyers have hinted that the couple was also involved in wife-swapping.
The judge also said he will keep a document filed by prosecutors that outlines the evidence they will present at the penalty phase of the trial should the jury find Westerfield guilty.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Westerfield, a twice-divorced engineer whom they believe was sexually attracted to young girls.
The judge said releasing such information to the public would be "premature" and "has the potential to jeopardize the integrity of the trial."
It was unclear today when, if ever, the judge might consider these sealed documents available for public viewing.
It was also unclear whether the media would appeal the judge's ruling. An attorney for the Union-Tribune and other news organizations said the press has a well-established right to see all pre-trial motions in criminal cases, even those discussing evidence that might not be admitted at trial.
|Join KFMB's Rick Roberts for BREAKING NEWS regarding Jahi Turner|
BREAKING NEWS FROM RICK:
JAHI TURNER IS MISSING!
You heard Rick break the heart-wrenching news on Thursday, April 25th, during The Court Of Public Opinion: A two-year-old boy, Jahi Turner, was missing.
Wow! Wonder how bad the "lifestyle issues" can be?
Tie-Ray Jones is wanted on two separate warrants for missing court appearances on misdemeanor marijuana possession charges
21 TO THEM, WHICH WOULD ALTER IT. WE SCANNED THROUGH
22 IT, AND MR. YOUNGFLESH SAW WHAT HE FELT -- WHAT HE
23 REFERRED TO AS QUESTIONABLE IMAGES.
24 Q WHICH MEANS WHAT?
25 A WHICH MEANS IT LOOKS LIKE IT WAS -- IT HAD
26 DEPICTIONS OF PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 THAT WERE
27 EITHER CLOTHED OR PARTIALLY -- I'M SORRY. NAKED OR
28 PARTIALLY NAKED. AND WHO WERE EITHER ENGAGED IN
1 SEXUAL ACTS OR IN SEXUAL POSES, THAT SORT OF THING.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.