Skip to comments.Women Believed to be members of Irish Travelers (Woman Taped Beating Child an "Irish Gypsy")
Posted on 09/20/2002 9:37:35 PM PDT by Shermy
Some local authorities will not refer to Madelyn Gorman/Toogood and Margaret Daley as 'Travelers' but a local expert on Travelers says from the video he's seen, he believes the women are Irish Travelers. There are an estimated 12,000 to 20,000 Irish Travelers in the United States, mostly in South Carolina and Texas. This is where it is believed Gorman and her family is from.
Travelers live a nomadic lifestyle, moving from town to town in large groups to do seasonal work but they've also been labeled, by some, as scam artists. Most Irish Travelers in this country are descendents of 19th century Irish immigrants. They are also known as Irish gypsies or "tinkers".
Elkhart resident Don Wright has been investigating the Travelers for 24 years. He's published books including one called 'Scam!'. Wright says many of these scams take place in our own backyard. Between April and October, there are between 15 to 20 families in the Michiana area running these scams. When Wright saw the Kohl's parking lot assault video, he knew this was more than just a case of child abuse.
After seeing the video, Traveler expert Don Wright says he called police and other Travelers and came to this conclusion. "I started making calls right away and found out, yes indeed, they were Irish Travelers."
Reasons behind the beating
Wright believes the beating happened for one of two reasons. "The little girl gave away the scam to an employee or the mom was so ticked off at not getting refunds she took it out on the little girl. As far as beating a kid like this, I've never heard of it."
Wright has heard of Travelers working in the Michiana area. He says certain things in the video lend him to believe these women are Travelers. "The fact that the license plate was from Texas - I knew who they were."
Why do they travel here?
Wright wrote about Travelers who travel from Fort Worth, Texas to Indiana in his 1996 book called 'Scam!' "A majority of the Travelers come to Elkhart a few times a year to pick up travel trailers they use for different scams." Wright says the trailer is a scam in and of itself. They live in it until they can sell it for an exorbitant price. Meanwhile, men of the Travelers do house scams and the women do shoplifting scams. Wright says it is common to take along their children. "This is on the job training for kids. They learn to shoplift at their mothers elbows."
Prosecutor Chris Toth said today that the reason Kohl's began to follow these two women and their daughters was because they had scammed the store before. Police in Fort Worth say in March they arrested Madelyn Gorman for an alleged theft at Kohls.
Police believe that Gorman's sister,
Margaret Daley, is lying about
Police are still searching
for Martha Toogood
Kid popped back up into the seat like it was regular business.
Didn't look like the girl did anything to incite it, unless she said something. Just getting in the car. and the beating went on long time. And with the arm swinging motions of the mom, it sure looked brutal to me, no matter what the kid did. But then it was odd the way the girl seemed to agilely get up from the floor to the seat.
Hard for me to imagine that if blows were landed, especially the big ones, that kid would be so agile. Unless the blows, or the big ones were just threats, perhaps a cultural conditioning? Or the girl is pretty damn used to it - trained to take it in that culture or family.
Hompage of an Irish Traveller, with interesting stuff including MIDI music links.
Four main Irish Traveler communities are identifiable in the United States: those who reside in the area of North Augusta, South Carolina, those from Memphis, Tennessee., the Texas Travelers and the Northern Travelers in the area of New York, New Jersey and Delaware. Scottish Travelers live and work especially in the Appalachian States. The men are still itinerant in the sense that their work takes them away from home for many months at a time, but they have a home base where the women and children stay during the school year. For example, the community of Irish Travelers in North Augusta, South Carolina live in an area called Murphy's Village surrounding St. Edward's Catholic Church. The village is named after the local parish priest who took an interest in them and convinced them to buy property in the area where they have built their homes or established their trailers.
Irish Traveler's - 3 Irish Travelers pled guilty to making false statements on an elderly woman who had a tracheotomy due to throat cancer. They stated in life insurance applications that she was in good health and that they were related! They admitted that they were not related to her and that her health condition was not good.
We had an "attempted cheating" in that the scam artists tried to make us pay for cleaning our gutters (they claim they did the work which my husband ordered, which was not true). What they did get away with was stealing our 2-story ladder.
Web posted Jun. 13, 97 at 01:05 AM
By Kathy Steele
South Carolina Bureau
AIKEN - South Carolina has raised the bar on the legal age for marriages to 14 years for girls and 16 for boys.
Gov. David Beasley signed the new state law Thursday.
The bill is in response to reports that girls as young as 12 were being forced into arranged marriages with older men in the Irish Traveler community in Murphy Village. An episode of Dateline NBC prompted public outcry, followed by a decision from Attorney General Charlie Condon to form the South Carolina Traveler Crime Task Force.
A common law statute that had been on the books since South Carolina's inception allowed children as young as 12 years old to marry with parental consent.
Mr. Condon held a press conference in Aiken County on March 16 to announce plans to amend the law. He said then that common law in South Carolina ``may well provide a loophole to allow such arrangements.''
The press conference was held one day after the state task force swept through Murphy Village and arrested 14 Irish Travelers on charges of food stamp fraud, tax evasion and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The delinquency charges related only to the truancy of Traveler children from school.
Aiken County Sheriff Howard Sellers said at the time that the task force, which had conducted a six-month investigation, had been prepared to issue warrants for violation of the existing marriage laws.
However, he said the attorney general's office advised against the warrants.
The Irish Travelers are a reclusive community of itinerant workers, about 2,000, living in lavish houses and mobile homes on either side of U.S. Highway 25, between Aiken and Edgefield counties. They're descended from 19th century Irish peddlers, and some have reputations as scam artists.
By Kathy Steele
South Carolina Bureau The Augusta Chronicle
NORTH AUGUSTA -- Three Irish Travelers from Murphy's Village in North Augusta have been indicted on federal charges of filing false loan applications to buy pickup trucks in Wayne, Nebraska.
The indictments were announced Thursday by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska.
Thomas ``Champ'' O'Hara, 47, and his sons, Michael, 26, and Bryan, 24, were charged in separate indictments with one count each of fraudulent use of a Social Security card. They are being held in Omaha at the Douglas County Detention Center after being arrested in June on a federal warrant in Eldorado, Kansas.
The arrests were made with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. No bond has been set. An arraignment is expected next week.
According to federal prosecutors, the men went to Arnie's Ford-Mercury Truck Dealership in Wayne, Neb., on May 28 to buy pickup trucks. In an attempt to finance the vehicles, the men filled out loan applications using false Social Security numbers, prosecutors said.
Under federal law, that's a felony.
In a press release, the U.S. Attorney's office characterized the Travelers as ``a law enforcement nightmare in Nebraska and across the country for years.'' Not all Travelers engage in criminal activity, but U.S. Attorney Thomas Monaghan has said he will aggressively prosecute anyone suspected of involvement in this sort of activity.
There also have been some reports of scams in Nebraska involving phony roofing, paving, painting and home repair jobs by people believed to be Travelers from Murphy Village.
The loan scam works something like this, prosecutors said. When buying a vehicle, often a small cash down payment is made but monthly payments arranged in the loan deal are later stopped. It's then left to credit companies to try and repossess them.
The maximum penalty for fraudulent use of a Social Security card is five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, or both, followed by up to three years of probation.
The Irish Travelers are a reclusive community of about 2,000 who live in lavish homes and mobile homes, straddling Aiken and Edgefield counties along U.S. Highway 25. They are descended from itinerant peddlers, and some have reputations for being con artists.
You too? I find that if I swing it really fast and hard, the dirt generally just flies right out the door.
"...brushing something off the headrest." Yeah - like the four year old's head.
Sorry. I'm the father of a nine-year old girl who was once four-years old, and I can't understand that kind of treatment (you've seen the video, right?) as discipline of any sort. I would discipline a dog the way that mother acted towards her child.
There are so many sub-cultures in the USA that I know so little about.
Wait till the Boomers start retiring in 10-12 years and hit the road in their trailers and motorhomes. Geretol Gypsies.
omygosh-- what a tragedy for the wee little things, and the state will only give them two more years of childhood? Scandalous!