Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Illinois Child Abuse Law Not Good Enough

I wanted to know the statute of limitations in Illinois for charging someone with sexual abuse of a child. As you can see, even the criminal statute has all kinds of exceptions. You can view the website where I found this info HERE.

Frankly, I think there should be no statute of limitations for any kind of child sexual abuse. I think we can take a lesson from more forward thinking Wyoming on the value of removing the statute of limitations to protect our children. Bill Bricker would have gone to his grave with his reputation bright and shiny without Wyoming's invaluable help.

I was hoping that the Illinois statute of limitations for people who enable sexual predators [i.e., ignore complaints] was unlimited. But, you'll notice that the statute runs out eighteen years after a victim's 20th birthday. 

Meanwhile, Wyoming is apparently going after the people who chose to ignore direct complaints from Bricker's victims.  

Because, thanks to their unfettered statute of limitations, they can. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Requiem for Molested Children

The murder of a child is the cruelest death of all. Our hearts break. The loss feels incomprehensible. Trying to cope with the murders of multiple children can overwhelm the emotional reserves of an entire community, a whole city, even a country. 

While the world never knew them, no one will ever forget the nineteen babies and toddlers of Oklahoma City. Or the twenty school children of Sandy Hook Elementary School. We are also reminded daily of the ongoing, never-ending mass murders of children all across the world. 

In the wake of these kinds of deaths, we struggle with the horror as we attempt to honor their memories. How do you celebrate a life un-lived? The years of promise unfulfilled -- all gone in an instant? 

To assuage the emotional upheaval caused by these unimaginable losses, memorials have been held. Monuments have been built. And requiems have been written. 

But what about the children whose souls have been silently and slowly extinguished by sexual predators like Bill Bricker?  The children who die slowly, gradually over the passage of time, left to live with corrosive memories of abuse that eats them from the inside. The children who become alcoholics or drug addicts. The children who begin to suffer from mental illness. Or the children who can no longer bear the pain and finally commit suicide.

Who will honor the dozens and dozens of boys and girls abused by Bricker, who have suffered alone, tortured for decades with the nightmares of remembrance, dying a thousand times each day, crushed under the weight of shame and humiliation, molested by someone they trusted? 

Each one of these children was enthusiastically sacrificed to the respected teacher, scout leader, and camp counselor by the same adults charged with their protection. He was a war hero. So they ignored the complaints. He was popular. So they refused to believe the victims. He had powerful friends. So everyone looked away while Bricker cut the hearts and souls out of three generations of defenseless children. 

Who will write their requiem? Who will build a monument worthy of their memories? 

• • • • •

An anonymous, handwritten note in Bill Bricker's Winnetka school file estimated that he had molested at least 100 children during his decades as a school teacher, scout leader, and camp counselor. These are lives that Bill Bricker destroyed in countless ways. He took away one child's unbridled eagerness, happiness and joy. He ended another child's future dreams and smothered his innocence. He wreaked havoc on dozens and dozens of other children, with psychic devastation that followed many into adulthood.  

He could have been stopped years ago. He should have been tried and he would have been convicted.  

But despite what Bricker did, many of the boys and girls he took advantage of became productive, successful members of society. They survived, albeit wounded. As one of Bricker's survivors pointed out, "I don't know how the molestation affected me, but I know it affected me." 

Bill Bricker died a few days ago, having squeezed every possible accolade and honorarium he could out of his undeserved ninety-four years. Thanks to law enforcement in Wyoming, Bricker's enablers in Illinois could no longer protect him. His illegitimate legacy has been erased with his arrest in September of 2014 for inappropriate behavior with three minors. His public humiliation encouraged of some of his silent victims to finally come forward and speak out about what he did to them. 

A newspaper account of Bricker's passing noted that he would be cremated. There would be no services and no burial. 

Hearing this, someone suggested that his ashes should be flushed down a toilet. I thought the idea was worth mentioning.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

What Next if Bricker Isn't Extradited?

Stopping by the blog for a quick observation or two. First, kudos to the Tribune and reporters Karen Cullotta and Lisa Black for their thorough work and excellent coverage of the Bill Bricker story. 

Next, in the package of 200 pages or so from the Winnetka School District, there are several mentions of a diary about Bill Bricker kept by Paul Avery, the former superintendent of  Winnetka District 36. In 1968, Avery, now dead, was already preparing to leave left to assume another position, just as the first accusations against Bricker came to light. 

There are handwritten snippets from the diary, written as a timeline of events surrounding the Bricker issues, which had arisen. Avery supposedly gave to the diary to the attorney [also dead] for the district, who worked at the law firm of Sidley & Austin. 

[A full circIe moment occurred when I saw my grandfather's name on the masthead of a letter from Sidley to the School District. And no, his name wasn't Linklater].

The diary has not surfaced. It is probably filed away at Sidley somewhere. Or "disappeared." Avery was one of a few people who might have had the courage to insist on Bricker's removal, when the accusations surfaced. His disgust with Bricker is apparent in a memo he sent to another school administrator, regarding Bricker's teaching style. 

However, Avery was a lame duck, getting ready to leave for another job in another state, never to be heard from again. Unfortunately, the pediatrician who brought the 1968 accusations to the attention of the school board died suddenly around the same time. And everyone else seems to have closed ranks. 

Also not found in Bricker's 200 page school file was a copy of the psychiatrist's report on Bricker. Bricker was scheduled to meet with the doctor to be evaluated. Where did that file go? 

The next chapter of the Bricker story really has to do with how so many people who could have done something -- didn't. Not to mention the number of people who actively obstructed the few who tried. 

I also understand that a current school board member, who was, arguably, a do-nothing principal at Hubbard Woods school during a portion of Bill Bricker's reign of terror, will not be running for re-election. That's good news. I am only sorry that he hasn't been forced to resign ahead of time. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Bill Bricker Accused of Molesting Top Winnetka School Administrator's Son

File this one under cruel irony. 

One very important person, who had the power to fire Bill Bricker and help to deny him years of 24/7/365 access to school children, scouts, and campers, was Donald Monroe, former Superintendent of Schools for Winnetka's District 36.

From 1977 through 1990, when his and Bricker's tenures overlapped, the buck stopped with him. 

However, like the scouts, the camp owners, and other school administrators -- He. Didn't. Do. Anything. 

Probably because Monroe's son was not a member of Bricker's Winnetka's Troop 18. Nor did he go to Hubbard Woods School where Bricker taught. There might be rumors swirling, but his kid was safe. 

Until 1985, when Monroe sent his son to the fancy ass Teton Valley Ranch Camp in Wyoming, an idyllic venue enjoyed by the rich and famous, as well as many Winnetka children, since the 1940's -- the camp where Bill Bricker was a volunteer counselor for 53 years. 

And where Bricker allegedly molested Monroe's 11-year-old son. 

Read the son's story HERE.

Monday, December 29, 2014

What do Bill Clinton and Bill Bricker have in common?

Warning:  Younger and/or more sensitive readers may discover that this entry contains language which your mother doesn't want you to use correctly in a sentence. 

If there's anything I have learned from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, it's that some men have a very narrow definition of sex. For these guys, the only time sex takes place is when the rocket enters the silo, the peg goes through the porthole, or the piston pumps into the cylinder.  

Nothing else counts. 

That's why Bill Clinton so vehemently denied having sex with Monica Lewinsky. "I did not have sex with that woman!" Because she didn't hide his sausage in her buns. She didn't let the rabbit go into the hole. There was no insertion of a member into her clubhouse. 

Instead, she gave him a blow job. Not sex. In fact, you could say as much for any other "jobs" she may have performed. Not sex. Same if he had played motorboat with her "girls." Not sex. 

So when Bill Bricker vehemently denied having sex with any of his students, scouts, or campers, his alleged victims, along with the rest of us, may have wanted to yell "LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE." But Bricker may just be a victim of Bill Clinton syndrome. If his elevator didn't go up and down inside a shaft, then sex didn't take place. Rubbing and touching and fondling and stimulating to ejaculation? Not sex. 

Now maybe you can understand why -- for the last 75 years -- Bill Bricker doesn't think he ever did anything wrong. 

Neither do the Winnetka police, a host of Winnetka School administrators  the Boy Scouts of America, and the owners of the Teton Valley Ranch Camp. 

Unfortunately, the rest of us, plus an estimated more than 100 boys and girls, if not more, would beg to differ.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Governors of Wyoming and Michigan Push for Bricker's Extradition

This AP story, which broke on December 27th, has been showing up in newspapers all over the country. For some reason, the Tribune ran the headline, but didn't pick up the AP story. You can read about the warrant issued by the Michigan governor at the Wyoming governor's request HERE.

For months, Bricker's attorneys have been claiming he's too old and too ill to travel, etc., etc. Their delaying tactics have been successful so far. 

This governor's warrant says there are those who think Bricker is well enough to stand trial in Wyoming. So let's get this show on the road. 

However, since the warrant was issued on December 16th and nobody from the Traverse County [MI] Sheriff's office has served it, one wonders if we're in the middle of a game of chicken. 

Who will blink first? 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Third Victim Alleges Molestation in Wyoming Case Against Bill Bricker

A December 4, 2014 Associated Press article HERE references a third person in the Wyoming charges against William H. [Bill] Bricker. Some thought it might be a typo, since most of us were only aware that two victims had come forward to be part of the Wyoming case. 

The dates listed are now 1962, 1968, and 1985. The alleged victims are two boys ['62 and '85] and a girl ['68]. 

If only the statute of limitations in Illinois hadn't run out.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Family Service of Winnetka/Northfield • 847-446-8060

The trauma of molestation can be compounded by years of secrecy and shame. As a result of the recent arrest of Bill Bricker, the Family Service of Winnetka/Northfield [LINK] is offering Winnetka and Northfield residents a free private session with a therapist to discuss any issues surrounding previous or current sexual abuse. 

The arrest of one of Winnetka's most trusted teachers, scout leaders, and Wyoming camp counselors has enabled a number of his alleged victims to come forward for the first time. 

However, the detailed coverage of the myriad newspaper stories can often evoke difficult memories for anyone who has ever been a victim of molestation. So this counseling service is available to all Winnetka/Northfield residents who have been dealing with sexual abuse.  

During the one-time free session, residents can discuss their options for therapy or other services that are available. This is an opportunity for residents to talk about their feelings in a confidential and safe environment with compassionate professionals. Perhaps for the very first time. 

To make an appointment with Family Service of Winnetka/Northfield, call 847-446-8060. Ask for the intake therapist. This organization is an excellent resource that many Winnetka and Northfield residents may not know about. If you have been sexually abused, we hope you take advantage of their services. 

LOCATION: 992 1/2 Green Bay Road, Winnetka • West side of the Street, behind the Thrift Shop [across from O'Neil's] Call for an appointment

WEBSITE: www.familyservicewn.org

MISSION: Helping people through life's challenges and transitions by providing counseling, therapy, and community education.

NOTE: If you live outside Winnetka or Northfield and are not eligible for the free session, another helpful group to call is the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE. They can link you with services available in other communities throughout the country. 


Bricker's Alleged $500,000 Bequest to Teton Valley Ranch Camp to be Rejected

There has been an update in a Jackson Hole News & Guide story by Emma Breysse about Bill Bricker. A sidebar has been added which says:  

Bricker's bequest to be rejected
Current directors of Teton Valley Ranch Camp intend to reject a $500,000 pledge of support for the camp from a longtime volunteer accused of molesting two campers.
Bill Bricker, 94, faces charges stemming from the accusations.
In 2001, the Jackson Hole Guide reported that Bricker donated $500,000 to the camp shortly before the organization moved from Kelly to Dubois.
A spokeswoman for the Teton Valley Ranch Camp Education Foundation, which currently runs the camp, clarified in an email that “the pledge was never formalized” and was to be fulfilled from Bricker’s estate following his death.
“We have no knowledge of his current plans for his estate and even upon his death, in light of the allegations, TVRC-EF would reject the bequest,” the email reads.

Given the amount of the bequest and the fact that Bricker is still alive, someone could sue to get those dollars for the victims. Just my two cents' worth.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Update on Bricker Extradition Hearing of 12-4-14

Welcome to our hurry up and wait justice system. Bill Bricker's next hearing (not yet scheduled) will follow an evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial. This request was granted to the prosecution, apparently. The Chicago Tribune sent a reporter to the hearing, so we hope to see coverage shortly.