(Larkin Vonalt is a writer living in Ohio and until today she was simply a long-time reader of the True Crime Weblog. This well-written contribution is thoughtful, detailed, and tells one of the saddest true crime stories you may ever read. Though her first post here is sad, Larkin’s jump from the comments section to a blog post is truly most welcome. I’m sure you’ll see why I say that once you read the following. ~
On a warm spring afternoon, Maple Hill Avenue is alive with activity. A man edges his lawn, a small boy pedals his Big Wheel the length of a short driveway, a woman up the street is planting flowers. Somewhere a radio is playing and Brenda Lee’s voice floats on the soft spring air: “I can’t understand/I can’t understand how life goes on the way it does…
” The winding tree-lined street is home to well-kept houses set in tidy yards. Number 642, near the crest of the hill, is not unlike its neighbors in that respect. Less than two years ago, it was a very different story.
July 13, 2006 was a warm and damp Thursday. Just before one o’clock the young mother living in the small brick ranch house ran outside to the neighbors’. Her house was on fire; her children were trapped inside. When the afternoon was over, her baby girl was dead, her young son airlifted to a Cincinnati hospital. The boy died two days later. By that time his parents had been arrested — his mother for murder and aggravated arson, his father for rape of a child under ten. A juvenile court judge allowed the father to remain free just long enough to see his young son draw last breath.
Heather Boyd of Kokomo, Indiana and Doron Silverman of Indianapolis met online in 2001. Heather’s mother, Debra R. Boyd, in an interview with the Dayton Daily News, described the young couple as “soul mates.” Kokomo is only 60 miles from Indianapolis, the couple soon met in person. In July 2001, they married at the courthouse and moved into the Indianapolis home of Doron’s adoptive parents, Martin and Deanna Silverman. He was 20; Heather had just turned 19 and was two months pregnant.
Only 4 foot 11 inches tall, and a little plump, Heather Silverman is childlike. Classmates at Taylor High School describe her as “really nice” and “sweet.” Doron Silverman had a juvenile conviction at age 13 for molesting a 5-year-old child. His adoptive sister, Batya, had leveled an accusation of rape against her brother. There is nothing to indicate that Heather was aware of her husband’s history. However, Batya’s enmity towards her brother and his wife is evident in statements she made to the press.
“They lived in my parents’ home while they were married and while she was pregnant with Mikel,” Batya Silverman, 22, told the Dayton Daily News. “My parents provided them with everything.” Her infant nephew, Mikel, born February 2002, shared her bed at the Silverman home.
“From the day I got back from Israel [where she had spent her freshman year of college — Ed.] Mikel was sleeping in my bed. Heather blamed not wanting to be with him on postpartum depression. But she did not bond with that child.”
Doron Silverman had worked at Chuck E. Cheese’s Restaurant in Indianapolis, where he repaired and maintained computer games. Doron was hired when the same job opened at a Dayton franchise, so the little family moved there.
They settled on the south edge of Dayton in the predominantly white West Carrollton. Though considered a suburb, West Carrollton, established 1815, retains its own identity and small-town atmosphere. Many young families make it their home. Doron and Heather bought their house on Maple Hill for $93,000.
Heather found a job at Meijer’s grocery store a few miles away. She worked until August 2005, when morning sickness from her second pregnancy forced her to quit. Heather developed an online presence, creating profiles on MySpace as mystic_kitten82 and on Grab.com and health.exercisefriends.com as babkitten7. She also had a largely unused profile on stupidvideos.com. Her favorite video was of a dancing cat.
On the Grab.com profile, she posted that she was “A stay-at-home mom with one child and one on the way. I also sell Avon.” In one section, she detailed her desires to “Support our troops, save animals, eat vegetables, sing, Be a Great Mom, relax, cook, find friends, play computer games.” The site also reveals that she was looking for friendship and that she hoped that “The world will one day realize that we are destroying our children’s only chance for life by destroying the world.” She posted five photographs of her son, Mikel. The couples’ daughter, Keylee Selena, was born March 6, 2006 in Dayton.
On Memorial Day weekend, Doron, Heather and their children went to Indiana to visit family and attend the Indianapolis 500. Arrangements were made for Mikel to stay overnight with his Aunt Batya and her boyfriend, Joseph Farber.
Court documents allege that after spending the afternoon swimming at the pool in his Aunt’s apartment complex, Mikel was getting ready for a shower when Batya Silverman noticed him “pulling on his penis.” Batya claims that the child, while pointing to his penis, said “Poti, put your mouth on it.” “Poti” was the child’s nickname for his aunt.
Farber was called into the room. When he asked the child about the remark, Mikel did not answer. Farber launched a series of questions: had Mikel seen that behavior in a movie, or had he seen his parents engaged in “such behavior?” In each instance, Mikel said he had not. When Farber asked the boy where he’d learned the behavior, Mikel is reported to have said, “Daddy did it. No more talk.”
Batya Silverman was an undergraduate student in social work and had just completed a class on techniques for interviewing children. The next day she sat Mikel down with pens and a notebook, serving him lunch while she questioned him about the events of the day before.
Batya testified at an evidentiary hearing that after revisiting the queries her boyfriend made, she and Mikel had this exchange: “‘Do you do it to daddy too?’ And he said, ‘Yes.’ And I said, ‘Well, what do you do to daddy’s pee pee?’ And he didn’t respond to me. So, I asked him, ‘Do you kiss it?’ And he very clearly replied, ‘No, I lick it.'”
Batya Silverman asked her boyfriend to watch Mikel, and went to her parents’ house to await her brother’s return from the Indianapolis 500. Heather and Doron arrived to an impromptu “intervention” with Batya, Deanna Silverman, Cindy Rottinghouse (Doron’s biological mother) and Pam, a friend of Cindy’s.
According to court documents, Batya confronted her brother with what Mikel said. When Doron didn’t respond, she accused him of molesting her years before. Doron said that he didn’t remember molesting Batya and he fled the house with Heather following, Batya on their heels. Heather asked Doron if he had “done anything” to Mikel.
“Maybe I did, I don’t remember these things,” he said.
The Dayton Daily News
reported that the day after the “intervention,” Heather Silverman characterized her mood as “angry” on her MySpace blog.
“If I collected my tears thru my life they would fill the Grand Canyon,” she wrote. “Be kind to others, be good, don’t lie, don’t injure, always ask before accusing, always love and care, never ever yell it never helps.”
In a collective decision, Cindy Rottinghouse took Keylee and Mikel for a week, intending to hand them off to Deanna and Martin Silverman for ten days “so that the children would be safe, and Doron could get help,” Batya Silverman testified. However, on June 5 Batya discovered that the children had been returned to their parents rather than following the prescribed plan. She called Childrens’ Services in Montgomery County, Ohio.
Based on Batya Silverman’s complaint, Childrens’ Services enacted a “safety plan” for the Silverman family, which forbade Doron Silverman’s presence in the home, and also stipulated that he “not be around children.” Silverman continued to work at Chuck E. Cheese, as his job maintaining gaming systems didn’t require interaction with children. He moved from the Maple Hill house to a Red Roof Inn in a neighboring town.
Five days after her call to Childrens’ Services, Batya Silverman complained to the West Carrollton police department. Detectives Mark Allison and Robert Bell launched an investigation, starting the next day with a visit to the Silverman home. They spoke with Heather, who agreed that she and Doron would appear for questioning at the West Carrollton police department the next day.
Heather and Doron were interviewed separately, Heather first. Some specifics of the interview with Doron Silverman have been contested in Silverman’s appeal to the state Supreme Court, though initially both parties agreed that Doron Silverman “admitted to having Mikel’s penis in his mouth while in the bathtub with him and to fondling his son.”
Bell testified in a hearing in the Montgomery County Court that Mikel “would crawl over (Silverman’s) naked body like ‘a jungle gym’ and sometimes touch his father’s genitals.” Silverman told the detectives he was so distressed by his behavior with his son that he sought counseling and avoided seeing his son naked. He also offered that he would have to resign his job at Chuck E. Cheese as he was “sexually interested” in the children he observed there.
Doron Silverman left his job the very next day, June 14. He met with the restaurant manager, explaining that he was under investigation, due to a “child abuse” complaint made by his “in-laws,” and that Childrens’ Services stipulated that he was “not to be around children.”
Later that day, detectives appeared at the Silverman’s motel room, wanting to search his laptop computer. They were rebuffed, according to an affidavit filed in the case. On June 21 a search warrant was issued and police searched the couples’ house, vehicles and motel room. Among the items seized were cell phones, a computer, a video recorder, computer disks and a “nanny-cam” that was in one of the bedrooms.
Twice the West Carrollton police department interviewed Mikel Silverman. Jeffrey Rezabek, Heather Silverman’s attorney in the child abuse case, stated that after both interviews there were allegations that the boy was being “coached.” The “safety plan” put into place by Childrens’ Services was due to expire Thursday night, July 13. Rezabek believed Childrens’ Services planned to seek custody of the children at a hearing, as caseworkers felt that Heather would not sign another “safety plan.”
In the days leading up to the July 13 deadline, Heather went online to ask for prayers. The Dayton Daily News
quoted writing from her My Space page: “I ask of any (and) all to pray for our family. It is being ripped apart and I’m gonna lose everything.” She did not disclose exactly what was going on, but her distress was clear.
On a rainy Thursday a caseworker from Childrens’ Services visited the Maple Hill house to tell Heather that a hearing was scheduled in Juvenile Court that afternoon at 3 p.m. The agency would be seeking custody of the children. Heather was reported to be “cooperative” and mentioned that she might bring her attorney to the hearing.
Heather Silverman then set out candles in the bathroom. Later she told investigators she was preparing to take a shower. Wrapping gasoline soaked rags around the lit candles, she closed the door. The Dayton CBS affiliate reported that she closed the children inside the bathroom, but this was never confirmed in print media or in any court document; it may have been a leap made by the television station.
News reports state that Heather helped her son to the front door, where he was rescued by J.W. Lunsford, a mover working in the neighborhood. Lunsford grabbed the boy and ran across the street with him. Mikel sat on the grass in shock, his body and clothing smoking. Heather Silverman was treated at the scene for burns on her hands, said to have occurred while she was trying to extricate Keylee from her infant seat. Sarah Busby, a neighbor, tried to get into the house to save the baby, but was prevented by flames and smoke. Her mother, Pattie, across the street, made a desperate call to 911.
Mikel, 80 percent of his body covered with second and third degree burns, was airlifted to Shriners Hospital in Cincinnati. Despite many attempts, no one could get to Keylee Silverman and she burned to death inside the house. Her tiny body was removed after the fire was extinguished.
On Friday, the police department issued an arrest warrant for Heather Silverman. She was taken into custody at her son’s hospital bedside. On Saturday, a warrant was issued for Doron Silverman on the child rape charges, but he was allowed to stay with Mikel in the child’s last hours. He was said to be holding Mikel’s hand when the boy died.
Batya Silverman learned of her nephew’s death by reading about it online, even though Cincinnati is only 110 miles from her residence in Indianapolis. She told Dayton reporters that she believed Heather had killed her own children to prevent Batya from “getting” Mikel.
Cathy Mong, of the Daily News
, wrote that Batya “painted a picture of Heather and Doron as parents who were cold and aloof, manipulative and emotionally needy, a mother and father who never bonded with their children.” Along with unsubstantiated charges that the children were malnourished, the aunt told the reporter “Neither of them deserved a child so exceptional,” and that “(she) would have gone there and died for him.”
In sharp contrast, Debra Boyd remembers her daughter and son-in-law as attentive and interested parents. Her recollections are of a doting couple, devoted to their son, and thrilled with their new baby girl. Though both families saw the couple frequently, and Batya Silverman described her family as “supportive” of her brother, all were absent when the chips came down.
In the months after the fire, numerous Internet groups turned their attention to the Silverman tragedy. One group, VOCA (Voices of Children Alliance) engaged in ending what they see as Gestapo tactics of childrens’ welfare organizations, decided that Heather Silverman had killed her children ‘pre-emptively,” to prevent their loss to the system. A white supremacist group blogged, “Jewish Parents Rape and Kill Children.” (Doron Silverman’s adoptive parents are Jewish, but Heather and Doron are not.) On sites like Websleuths and Mydeathspace, posters called for the rape, mutilation and murder of both Silvermans. The D.A., Mathias Heck, issued a statement calling the Silvermans “evil and twisted” and cast aspersions on the media for their “sensationalist” coverage.
Heather Silverman’s case was assigned to Christopher Tucker, a public defender. She was examined by two independent psychiatrists, found to be not competent to stand trial, and remanded to Twin Valleys Behavioral Health Center for six months.
Doron Silverman stood trial in December 2006 and was found not guilty of rape, but guilty of gross sexual imposition on a person under thirteen years of age. He was sentenced to five years in prison. In February of this year, the state Supreme Court heard his case on appeal, overturning his conviction on the basis that the testimony on Mikel’s behalf was hearsay made by an admittedly hostile witness. He has been released from custody.
Heather Silverman was re-examined a year ago and found to be competent. Her trial was to begin this week. However, on April 23, she went before the court and pled guilty to the murder of her two children.
Now there are only questions. Was Heather Silverman planning to immolate herself in the fire as well? Were her actions some kind of terrible manifestation of post-partum depression? Did she kill her children to save her husband? Even if we know the answers, it doesn’t change the facts.
Two small children are dead. A woman who wanted to be “a great mom” has committed a terrible crime and will say no more. A man convicted of gross sexual imposition on his four year old son walks free.
And in the Silvermans’ old neighborhood, the radio plays Brenda Lee:
Why does my heart go on beating
Why do these eyes of mine cry
Don’t they know it’s the end of the world
It ended when you said goodbye.
(Click image to enlarge.)
Alleged Canadian pedophile Christopher Paul Neil has been arrested in Bangkok, Thailand
Showing the Thai affection for legal theater previously seen when John Mark Karr
was arrested, police paraded the 32-year-old Neil before the press after his capture in Nakhon Ratchafima, a town located 130 miles from Bangkok. He looked like
an unhappy, accused pedophile version of the electronica star Moby
Neil may have been in the process of securing new victims, according to a report published online by CNN International. He was reportedly staying with a boyfriend, a Thai transvestite who goes by “Ohm.”
The True Crime Weblog
may have been one of the first online publications to make Christopher Paul Neil’s MySpace addresses public
. Those have since been taken offline, but rudimentary mirrors of both Neil’s profile and his weblog can be seen here:
When the main profile page was saved, one of Neil’s remaining friends was indeed a 25-year-old male using the screen name “Ohm.” His page is still up: http://www.myspace.com/ohm335.
The London Times Online says
that it was through his connection to Ohm that Neil was ultimately tracked and captured:
Thai police tracked down Ohm’s real name and monitored his mobile phone calls, finally tracing the pair to a rented property in Nakhon Ratchasimam where they were both held.
According to CNN, Thailand may have first dibs on prosecuting Neil. He will then be extradited to Canada to face prosecution there.
MAJOR UPDATES AT BOTTOM OF ENTRY.
He may have sexually abused a dozen Asian boys, some of the boys as young as 6. The abuse was captured in 200 images posted on the Web. Recently, investigators in Germany managed to undo the method the man used to try and hide his face in the photos and on October 8, his unnamed mug went up on Interpol’s website
for the world to see.
Now he’s on the run.
Interpol believes this man, who represents at the moment the face of complete creepiness all over the world, recently traveled from South Korea to Thailand. The AP published the image on the left — a photo made of the man shortly after landed in Bangkok on October 11, 2007. Click the image to see full-size or go to the AP article
. That’s what he looks like now.
He was allegedly teaching English at a school in South Korea.
While the alleged pedophile has not been arrested, Interpol knows his nationality, birthdate, passport number, and most importantly, his name.
Whoever this man is, he has been recording these alleged crimes against children since at least 2003. Has he been teaching or tutoring in Asia all that time as well?
Upon first reading of Interpol’s hunt for this man, I thought of John Mark Karr
Karr came to infamy by claiming he murdered JonBenét Ramsey
in December, 1996. DNA testing ruled him out as a suspect in the Ramsey case and in as a total whackjob.
I thought of Karr because when his name was first made public as a “suspect” in the Ramsey murder, a trail of posts and profiles he’d left on the Web came to light. They were all for either teaching, tutoring, or male nanny type positions. In some of his profiles, Karr claimed he’d worked for wealthy families in the Netherlands and Europe.
When he was arrested, Karr was about to begin a job teaching in — where else? — Thailand. Thailand, one of the more well-known hotspots for sex tourists seeking children to rape.
Now it turns out that the man being hunted by Interpol may have had more in common with Karr than I could have known at the time.
If he was teaching English in South Korea, he is either:
* (added at a reader’s suggestion) New Zealand;
* South African.
and quite possibly fleeing allegations about his conduct in his home country.
Researching Karr, (who has since been in local news here in Atlanta several times, but thankfully fallen off the national radar) I discovered that many Westerners who teach English abroad have substantial presences on the Web — they blog, they chat on message boards about their experiences.
This means the likelihood of this man having had a web presence that was outwardly normal and presentable is pretty high. If you have a bit of the cyber (or web-) sleuth in you, why not start looking? I’ve already found an English school in South Korea whose website is mysteriously offline at the moment, making me wonder — but no reason to actually connect this man to that school.
This entry will be updated in the “old-style” as needed, as the story is unfolding in a way that might be better served by appending new content rather than re-editing the entry.
Here in the U.S., an alleged pedophile who apparently recorded his crimes has been captured in Nevada. Chester Arthur Stiles
was arrested yesterday
during a “routine traffic stop.” Stiles was arrested in Henderson, NV, his vehicle pulled over because it had no license plate. Stiles then told the cops that he was the guy they were looking for, and that he was “tired of running.”
The exhibitionist alleged pedo being sought by Interpol is a Canadian national and former chaplain
named Christopher Paul Neil
. True Crime Weblog
reader “C from Vancouver” says
that Neil has been identified at Dave’s ESL Cafe
as a poster there who used the screen name “Peter Jackson.” Jackson/Neil’s profile for the site was sent to Interpol, and some moderators at Dave’s ESL Cafe
are apparently actively assisting Interpol in the manhunt. (Click the images of Neil on the left to enlarge.)
This message thread at the ESL Cafe
purports to quote a post from Jackson/Neil where he said the following:
In Thailand I had:
Supapich (sounded like super bit* ch)
Emphasis added. For reasons that should be obvious, Jackson’s original post was deleted by a board moderator soon after it was made.
The blogger at Raincoaster.com
was on top of the Jackon-Christopher Neil connection
. Raincoaster linked to a Dave’s ESL discussion
containing a post
by Jackson/Neil where he said the following about background checks for ESL jobs in Asia:
Police checks are NOT needed to get a visa. Public schools will want one but you should be able to stall them. Often they want teachers SO quickly that they will “wait” for some things. I never gave a police check for my last public school job. I was in Vietnam at the time and getting one wasn’t easy. I delayed and never heard about it again.
From Jackson/Neil’s post above it was easy to find a listing of all his posts since he joined the forum in 2006.
On July 31 of this year, the man alleged by Dave’s ESL Cafe
mods to be Christopher Paul Neil posted the following message on the subject of having cameras in the classroom. His next to last paragraph is especially interesting:
I LOVE cameras in the classroom! Here’s how I have handled them in the past:
I did a lot of acting in high school and college. I once thought about becoming an actor. That is until I met so many poor actors and I wasn’t that good…
This being said, I have always used a bit of drama in my teaching. I tend to do better when I have an outside audience, too. So for the camera, I make sure I NEVER look at it but do all kinds of busy work. Check students’ work individually, praise and instruct lots, clean up trash! All for the camera. I treat it as my own little TV show and if someone wants to watch me, well, I’m kind of flattered!
There are some really good reasons for having cameras. One is REALLY good for teachers: If a student or parent makes an accusation of some sort, it is extremely easy to prove or disprove if the lesson is on film. Think of it as safety.
And ham it up as well!
Considering how this man may have been outed to the world as an alleged pedophile, a message like that could haunt him later. Why would it even occur to him that any accusations might be made? It looked like the sort of thing that crosses the minds of many teachers when Jackson/Neil posted it, but now it seems like it may have been a thought that was never far from this man’s mind, in particular.
Christopher Paul Neil was teaching at the Kwangju Foreign School. This appears to be his listing from their staff page
(link goes to Google cache, as his listing has been or will be removed shortly, I’m sure):
Grade 7/8-English, Social Studies : Mr. Neil
B.A. History; Seminary of Christ the King; British Columbia , Canada
Canada Teaching Certificate
E-mail Address : email@example.com
Christopher Paul Neil’s MySpace page was last accessed in mid-September:
His headline read, “Loving Asia….. will I ever go home again??!”
Under ‘About Me,’ Neil wrote:
Been kicking around Asia for the past five years, teaching mainly and finding other forms of mischief. I like writing and am currently trying my hand at poetry…I may feel obliged to post some pieces here. All criticism is wanted and encouraged…I want to get better. I love teaching, can’t get enough of it really. Enjoy drama, musicals and when in Korea you’ll find me in the Norae Bang (Song room) on many occassions…can’t say I sound very good but it’s all fun.
He also blogged on MySpace: http://blog.myspace.com/25501756 [mirror]. There he blogged about eating dog (EDIT: I personally find the idea of eating dog appalling, as do many in the “Western” world — Neil seemed both amused and bemused by his experience), and he posted examples of his execrable attempts at poetry. He posted a poem in a blog entry titled “More…” on September 13, 2005. It read, in part:
I’ve got to get out of myself
Free this slave, endure this trial no more
I’m running as fast as I can
My only hope is to let this go
Escape this entrapment
The circle’s getting smaller
The tunnel narrower
Flexing on with a string
Tied amidst my waist
Holding on to a desperate feeling
For further narcissistic verbal torture from accused international pedophile Christopher Paul Neil, I refer you to his blog. It’s only a few entries long, but it does give a glimpse into the mindset of a man who would rape little Asian boys, no doubt children from terribly poor homes, then post the images as weird cyber-trophies online.
UPDATE 2, 2:23 p.m. ET, 10/16/07
If you discover any of the ESL Cafe
links are broken, this update may explain what’s going on.
A moderator from Dave’s ESL Cafe
wrote in to let me know that they “have disabled ‘Peter Jackson’s’ account (possibly belonging to Christopher Neil Paul) so he cannot log in and delete any of his posts.”
The mod went on to say, “Personally I wouldn’t mind if he goes into a corner with a firearm and eats it.”
A lot of people would agree with such a sentiment.
(Incidentally, that was me on Fox News at about 1:20 p.m. Eastern Time today, if anyone saw it — I’ve received one e-mail already from a viewer of that show who found this website through that appearance. I was discussing a case you can read about here, since I’ve never blogged it. But I might.
* The Associated Press.
* The Dept. of Justice page on “Child Sex Tourism.“
I’ve made very rudimentary mirrors of Chris Neil’s MySpace profile and MySpace weblog. If you click “View All Blog Entries” from the mirrored profile, it will take you to the mirrored blog:
* Christopher Paul Neil’s MySpace Mirror.
* Neil’s MySpace blog mirror.
If you steal the code I’ve saved to make your own mirror, I’ll know. It’s no big deal because I don’t own the code, but I would appreciate the courtesy of letting me know you’re doing so.
Police in Nye County, NV have named a person of interest in connection with a tape of child sexual abuse turned into Nye County authorities. They are seeking Chester Arthur Stiles, a sex offender wanted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Click the image on the left to see a comparison between Stiles’s mugshot and a still from the video distributed by the Nye County investigators.
Chester Arthur Stiles is 6’3″, weighs 190, has brown hair and green eyes. He is 34 years old.
Nye County authorities would not call Stiles a suspect in a press conference aired on MSNBC. They did give a description of Stiles and stated that they wanted to talk to him about the tape of a little girl being sexually abused that recently came to national attention after a man named Darren Tuck gave the tape to investigators [link].
In the same press conference, police gave a possible name for the young victim seen on the tape — it is believed she is named Madison.
Stiles is a fugitive already from non sex-related charges. His whereabouts are unknown.
This entry will be updated.
UPDATE 1, 3:55 p.m. ET
Chester Arthur Stiles is wanted in connection with another abuse case, according to The Smoking Gun.
In 2003 a six-year-old little girl reported to Clark County NV authorities that Stiles had touched her private parts and kissed her, sticking his tongue in her mouth. Stiles told the girl to not tell anyone because he liked her and wanted to be able to see her again.
America’s Most Wanted has an update to their pages about this case as well.
Chet Stiles lives in a very small world at the moment.
UPDATE 2, 4:19 p.m. ET
Stiles is a habitual criminal. He pled guilty to a charge of criminal conspiracy and motor vehicle theft in Clark County, NV in 2001.
In 1999 Stiles was charged in the same County with “aiming/discharging a weapon at” a person. With that came a charge of carrying a concealed weapon.
Stiles pled guilty to the latter charge and negotiated a sentence for the former charge.
He may be a danger to anyone he encounters if the charges from 1999 are any indication.
UPDATE 3, 9:14 p.m. ET
As was noted in the comments left on this entry, the little girl seen in the tape has been found and is said to be safe. Hopefully there may be some lead to the whereabouts of Chester Stiles to be found in the people around her.
(Hat-tip to Websleuths.com
Fort Worth Texas (TX) authorities arrested a 43-year-old man named Ricky Meuir last Friday.
He may be one of the most prolific distributors of child pornography that the police in Fort Worth have ever encountered.
Police say that there as many as a thousand
different faces seen on the images found in Meuir’s possession.
The cops think Ricky collected and traded child porn, and they’ve got an evidence trail stretching back to the 1980s.
Ricky Meuir has been hit with a felony count of promotion of child pornography.
Police in New Hampshire managed to have Mr. Meuir e-mail them images and videos. Then in July they got in touch with Fort Worth P.D. Evidence was collected from Ricky’s residence earlier this month, prior to Meuir’s arrest.
Ricky’s parents are either clueless or in deep denial. Wayne Meuir told the press that Ricky “didn’t know” child porn was illegal.
I suspect Ricky knew precisely what he was doing.
First, there’s this Youtube account: http://www.youtube.com/rickymeuir
. Of this Ricky Meuir’s 99 favorite videos, the majority appear to be of young boys. If they were pornographic, they would have been flagged and deleted by YouTube by now. So it is likely they are videos that seem innocuous at a glance. Yet just the still images that you see representing each video make it clear that the boys are often shirtless, in shorts, sometimes wrestling or doing some other kind of backyard sport — swimming, touch football.
Same Ricky Meuir? Not sure. But it wouldn’t be a big surprise to find out that it was.
Attention will be paid by the authorities to Youtube RickyMeuir’s friends footie66
too, I am sure. Just check the stills for their own favorite videos to see why.
Another personal profile came up in searching Muir’s name, and in its way it was even creepier, if possible: http://funboy222.multiply.com/
The page is titled “ric’s site” and the profile pic is of a young male actor or model — under-12 young. The caption at the top of the page: “Thanks for stopping by check out my pics and vids;you find no nudies here but i got some good ones.”
“ric” left weird comments on other profiles, like the page kept by a man named Tomy, where “ric” wrote “thank you for addin me sir.”
It seemed almost like funboy222 was role-playing as if he were a young boy at times.
Another comment seemed to indicate that funboy222 had his videos and images removed by the multiply site owners as well. Probably after they received a subpoena from Fort Worth PD (just a guess).
And if you’re wondering how I associated Ricky Meuir with creepy ole ‘funboy222’, just go here: http://profiles.yahoo.com/rickymeuir
Maybe Ricky Meuir really was spectacularly clueless or stupid and didn’t realize there was a difference between all those videos and photos he allegedly possessed and adult pornography. I kind of doubt it, though.
And if Meuir is found guilty of selling this stuff over the net, if he is suspected of making
it, perhaps one year in prison per unique child’s face on a recorded image might be an adequate punishment for the man.
A final note: there is questionable content on Youtube, I’m sure, but generally the site has a reputation for being a place pretty much anyone can use. The possible presence of Meuir on that site and the types of videos he favored should raise an alarm for anyone considering putting their kids’ videos there, or anywhere
online where you cannot completely control viewer access.
WFAA.com: “Man caught with ‘thousands’ of child porn pictures.”
Adriana Lytle wrote a poem titled, “You Told Me You Loved Me” in 2002. For some reason Adriana chose to post that poem in the weblog attached to her profile on MySpace.com on March 9, 2007.
The poem read:
You told me you loved me,
you told me a lie,
You sat there and laughed,
as you watched me cry.
Did the love we have,
was it really that bad?
Why didn’t you fight,
you had that right.
Just throw our love away,
what more is there to say?
I know it can’t be true,
are you really that much of a fool?
You told me you loved me,
you told me a lie.
You told me you cared,
now you wish I would die.
But as I sit here thinking about all the lies I bought,
thinking of the times we fought,
How was I to know that you would really go?
Why the 32-year-old Spokane (WA) stay-at-home mother of two chose to trot out this bit of doggerel on the 9th was a mystery. Earlier the same day, she’d blogged in a much happier vein:
Well I can’t believe it but my husband and I have been married a year on March 10,2007. I guess what they say is true. Time flies when you are having fun. Seems like we just got married. My husband couldn’t believe it’s been a year already. He asked to see the wedding certificate to be sure. LOL Everything has been going great. I look forward to the many years to come and wonder if they will go as fast. I hope not. I relish every moment I spend and have with him…
Adriana’s weblog entries, the poem of old heartbreak notwithstanding, gave no indication whatsoever that she and her husband Jonathan Lytle, age 28, would be accused child abusers and killers by March 11.
Jonathan Lytle brought his 4-year old daughter Summer to Deaconess Medical Center that Sunday. Summer wasn’t breathing, and she was covered with bruises. Court documents issued later would indicate that Summer Lytle also was covered with “human bite marks.”
It was determined that Summer may have drowned in a tub in which someone made her wash pee-stained clothing. However, with injuries over most of the child’s body, investigators were hedging on the cause of death pending a complete autopsy of the girl’s remains.
Spokane police Sgt. Joe Peterson, from the major crimes unit, was quoted by the Associated Press in an article published Monday evening
: “It’s probably the worst case of abuse that any of us in hundreds of combined years in this unit have ever seen.”
Summer, Jon Lytle’s daughter by a previous relationship, was said to be developmentally disabled. Court documents referenced in the AP article indicated that Summer was made to wear a ‘shock collar,’ a device typically used to train dogs. This appeared to be the Lytles’ solution to disciplining their 4-year-old.
The court documents also said that Summer Lytle may have been beaten with spoons, and a belt.
Jonathan David Lytle II, the couple’s 8-month-old boy, was placed in foster care.
The first news article that named the Lytles
contained the following interesting information:
Neither parent has a felony record, but spokeswoman Kathy Spears with the Washington Department of Social and Health Services said her agency had a record of contact with the family. However, the state agency closed the case in October. No further details were immediately available…
To some degree, then, the couple’s sadistic ideas about how to handle a “developmentally disabled” toddler may have been a known quantity.
The piece published in the Spokane Spokesman-Review
on March 12 had further details about the night Summer died that painted an even more revolting portrait of Adriana and Jonathan Lytle.
Adriana had tried to revive Summer before she was taken to the hospital, and as she did so, Jon Lytle reportedly left the room to have a cigarette.
Worse yet, the Spokesman-Review
article made it clear that if Summer’s biological father was callous and selfish, her stepmother seemed to hate the child with a psychopathic intensity. Quoting:
“Adriana said she is miserable about Summer living with them,” according to court records. “Adriana described Summer as defiant, a ‘handful’ and destructive and she wished Summer had never come to live with them.”
Adriana Lytle told Ferguson that the girl had urinated on towels and clothes so she placed the girl in the bathtub to clean those items. Lytle later saw Summer under water with only her nose sticking out, blowing water into the air.
The woman left the girl and returned later to find her covered with a wet T-shirt over her face. “This is the first time Adriana noticed something wrong with summer,” according to court records.
Even though the girl had nothing to eat since Friday, the parents told detectives that they made the girl wash items from about 10:30 a.m. up until 9 p.m. Saturday, when Adriana Lytle told detectives that she pushed Summer with her foot “causing Summer to fall into the urine filled water,” records state…
Here is part of what Adriana Lytle wrote in the “About Me” section of her MySpace profile:
There is more to me than I think anyone ever wants to know. I am a happily married (newlywed as of March 10,2006)woman. I am also a new mom to my husbands 4 year old daughter Summer. We also had a son on July 6th,2006. We gave Summer a baby brother on her 4th birthday. Our son is Jonathan David Lytle, II. We call him Jonny for short. We are currently saving up to move out of state. If you would like to talk to me on messenger I am firstname.lastname@example.org…
Adriana’s gallery of photos associated with her MySpace profile showed images of her, her husband — a slim, homely red-haired man with a mild expression — one blurred Christmas photo of the family, another of Jon with Jonathan II and Summer, and several more images of the baby. Summer was thin, with dark red hair like her father. Little Jonathan appeared to be a bright-eyed, happy baby — at least in photos.
If Adriana Lytle hated her stepchild, it wasn’t apparent shortly after she married Summer’s father. Adriana posted a blog entry
on March 15, 2006, and in it she wrote:
I am now a married woman. It took me 31 years but I finally found the man of my dreams.
His name is Jon. He is younger then me of course. LOL. But only by 4 years. We are expecting a son on July 3rd,2006. We got married March 10,2006. So for those of you trying to do the math. I was 6 months pregnant on our wedding day! When we get the film developed and put on disc, I will have pics to put on here. Also when we got married I became a step-mom to his 3 year old daughter Summer. She has the same red hair as her daddy. And she is the sweetest little girl (…) This is the first and only marriage for both of us as neither one of us believe in divorce. I am so glad I never settled for any of the losers I was with. I ended up finding the perfect man. He completes me. Both of our families are really happy for us too. Which helps in a way…
As happy as Adriana seemed to be with Jon, she still maintained a profile at a dating site that she’d created in early 2005. There wasn’t much there, but her last login was on January 5, 2007, and she’d updated the site in some manner in October, 2006. There were 2 photos and the usual skeletal run-down of traits and station in life: She was looking for “friendship”; Adriana was an “active smoker”; and her job was “stay at home mom/housewife.”
So, between (allegedly) beating and biting her 4-year-old stepdaughter, Adriana Lytle wanted to be sure she kept one little line in the vast online sea, if only for new friends.
Back in her MySpace blog, Adriana had posted in January of last year one of the ubiquitous surveys
seen on so many MySpace profiles (hell, I even have one
). Her answers revealed a few new details about the woman who now sits in a Spokane jail cell, her bond (and her husband’s) set at a half-million dollars.
The 5’7″ green-eyed, auburn-haired California native was already thinking about the child she was carrying. Her goal for 2006 was simply to “Have a healthy baby.” The first thing Adriana thought about on waking up in the morning was her then-fiance, Jon. Though Adriana wanted a healthy baby, she still smoked. Weirdly, to the question asking the survey user if they swore, Adriana gave an answer that made it seem like she was more concerned about using foul language in a home with an infant than she was about smoking: “Yes- Need to work on that before baby is born!”
Adriana also liked to sing — her answer to a question about that was “Yes- I karaoke a lot.” And to the question asking survey takers if they’d “Ever shoplifted,” Adriana Lytle gave a frank response: “Yep- but busted at Payless Drugs on Grand Ave.”
There were only two questions to which Adriana gave no answers: “Your fears,” and “Your weakness.”
Psychos typically fear nothing, and do not perceive any of their failings as weaknesses. Consider that statement a non-sequitur in the context of this story if you want. But I don’t feel as though such an observation comes from nowhere.
I have, of late, been trying to take a different tack from the usual steadfast first-person blogger’s voice. For some crime stories, the neutral reporter’s voice is simply more appropriate.
But I responded to this story as the red-haired father of a difficult (but not disabled), complicated, gifted, zany, loving red-haired daughter. Usually, I tend to avoid crime stories where children are victims — because as a dad, I just find most of them a little too hard to handle. But I felt such outrage when I read about this poor, 4-year-old child and the stepmother who casually pushed her with a foot into urine-filled water. Looking at Adriana Lytle’s web posts only honed the edge of that outrage. Her narcissism and banality underscored the abuse alluded to in the news articles, in the court papers. Adriana’s lip-service in her MySpace profile towards her stepchild juxtaposed with what appeared to be adoration of her biological child nauseated me as I thought about how she might have doted on the little boy even as she was beating Summer with spoons and belts.
I will continue to try to move into a more neutral narrator’s voice in stories I blog about here, but there was no way I could do that in writing about Summer Lytle. She deserved so much better than a pair of chain-smoking mouth breathers who treated her like trash. To hell with the “neutral” voice when it comes to a story like this. And let’s hope hell is all Adriana and Jonathan Lytle know from hereon out.
Kudos and a great big thanks to the tipster (who requested anonymity) who sent me notice of the story and a link to Adriana Lytle’s personal profile.
Lost in Lima Ohio
also weighed in on this horrific story: “‘Beyond Abuse