Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The BIll Bricker Saga Continues

THIS JUST IN [4/4/14]: Anyone with information about alleged crimes committed by Bill Bricker please contact the Teton County Sheriff's Office at 307 733 4052 Detective Spence. This is an active criminal investigation and there is no statute of limitations for the crimes that occurred in Wyoming.  

Call Detective Spence. It's time. 




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There are people I know who told me years ago that Bill Bricker [profiled below] molested them, when he was their boy scout leader. One day, out of curiosity, I googled Bricker and found this article. So I posted the article on my blog to see if any more people would step forward. And some did. Detractors as well as defenders. You can read my first post of this article and the early comments -- some from boys who claim they were molested -- posted earlier on my blog HERE. This is the second time I've posted this article.

Recently, the Glen Arbor [MI] Sun removed the original article they published from their internet archives. In the comments left on their website, Bill Bricker was praised, but, again, also accused of being a pedophile by more people. 

Realizing that the article with its comments might soon disappear, one of Bricker's accusers copied the comments to save them. He asked me to repost them here on my blog. What follows is the original article with as many comments as he was able to save. Some had already been deleted by the Glen Arbor Sun. You may also add your own comments, too.   

CAUTION: The comments can get pretty graphic and angry. 

Also, here is a copy of the anonymous email I received with the name of a lawyer for people to contact:

I was sexually abused by Bill Bricker many decades ago.  This has preyed on me for a long time and I have finally decided to do something about it.  I would appreciate your contacting Chicago attorney Marc J. Pearlman of Kerns, Frost & Pearlman at his private direct line of 312-261-4554 or via email at mpearlman@kfplegal.com and sharing with him what you may know about Bill Bricker and his victims.  After speaking with him, it might be helpful if you could let other victims know about this and suggest to them that they might want to contact him.  Their identities would be known only to him. If you know of circumstances, dates, or places of instances, it will be helpful. This is the website of the law firm: http://www.kfplegal.com/  Thank you very much.

UPDATE: There are several comments questioning Bricker's war record. It's real. Here's the link to his Silver Star citation HERE. Or cut and paste: http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=35470

The Silver Star citation does have his hometown WINNETKA misspelled as WINNETKO,  however. 

August 11, 2005

Old Cowboy, New Tricks: Lessons from Bill Bricker’s Adventurous Life
By F. Josephine Arrowood
Sun contributor
BrickerHorse.jpg

Octogenarian William Bricker doesn’t typically practice inverted postures, but he does turn on its collective head some stereotypical notions of what it means to grow old in youth-obsessed America. In appearance, the white-haired, tanned Glen Arbor resident blends in with many a retiree as he negotiates his three-wheeler bike or white Beetle convertible through town. But beneath his mild appearance beats the heart of a cowboy, passionate teacher, decorated Marine veteran, and fun-loving world traveler.

Like so many of his generation, Bill’s life was shaped by world events far beyond his midwestern hometown of Winnetka, Illinois. The son of a baker, Bill came of age during the Great Depression. At the same time, war was afoot in both Europe and the Pacific, and although the United States was not yet officially involved, young men were required to register for the draft.

“You knew you were living on borrowed time,” he remarks. “Every month, you looked for the letter in the mail telling you to report to the Army. When my number came up, I raced over to the naval air base and joined the Marines instead.”

“At first, we never thought we’d really kill somebody,” says Bill. “Our training put us in the mindset of killing Japanese; the dummies all had Japanese faces, we had to yell things at the targets while using the bayonet.”

November 1944 saw Bill aboard the U.S.S. Wharton, heading for the South Pacific islands of Peleliu (Palau). He recounts the initiation of the Marines by the Navy servicemen running the ship. The “rites” included tomfoolery such as walking along the rigging clad in little more than combat boots while sighting through toilet paper roll binoculars, kissing King Neptune’s daughters — “two of the biggest, fattest, ugliest, hairiest Navy guys they could find!” — and diving into the water, being sprayed with fire hoses, and shouting, “I’m a clamback!” The initiation eventually became a slugfest when some Marines wrested the fire hoses from their tormentors and blasted them, which Bill witnessed from high in the rigging.

The young officer’s initiation into war’s realities was a more serious affair. After landing on Japanese-held Okinawa on April Fools’ Day 1945, the Marines discovered that their opponents had left two-thirds of the island empty, fleeing to the mountainous terrain at one end. Using artillery mounted on railroad tracks in caves, the Japanese poured a constant, lethal rain of fire on troops trying to cross the wide valley below.

Bill’s account of the battle that ensued is as vivid as any Hollywood film, but without the gloss. “You know, in the movies, all the soldiers are shown as grown men, which is false,” he notes. “In my platoon, only one other soldier besides myself was over 21. My ‘runner’ was only 15 years old. He was from a poor family in the South; his parents had lied to get him into the service.”

Bill credits a cheap watch with saving his life during the assault on the cliffs. After an initial dawn attack by U.S. ships at sea firing long-range missiles, and Navy pilots bombing the caves from their Corsairs, the infantry was set to charge uphill at 8 a.m.

“I took two-thirds of my men (about 25 soldiers) up a long narrow hill. We were running, falling, crawling, getting back up and running again, with flamethrowers, machine guns, and other gear. We got to the top, which had been flattened by our artillery earlier. One of my fellows was killed as he dug his foxhole right above me. My runner had the radio strapped on his shoulder; when he took it off there was a bullet hole right through it — and his shoulder. So we couldn’t communicate with anyone.”

When they looked down and saw all the rest of the troops begin their charge, Bill realized his watch had been running 20 minutes fast. So many were killed, he says, including the entire remainder of his platoon.

Dug into foxholes, with no radio, his little group was forced to play a very tense waiting game through that long first day and into the night, enduring sniper fire, combat fatigue, and psychological warfare from the Japanese.

“I had two men in every foxhole, with one keeping awake at all times in case of attack. At some point in the night we heard voices calling: ‘Marines! Tonight you die, Marines!’ I went from hole to hole to check on my men, talking all the while so I wouldn’t be shot by them.” In one hole, he discovered that his machine gunner had dug himself down six feet deep; he had, Bill says simply, “cracked up.”

Later, they heard voices again, and Bill decided it must be a couple of Japanese soldiers setting up a mortar. He and another man crawled downhill with grenades in each hand. When they threw them, the flash lit up the night to reveal about a hundred combatants, who had been receiving instructions from their officers.

“I don’t know how I got up the hill; I must have flown, “ he recalls. The soldiers came after them, screaming, “Banzai!” — a kind of suicide charge by the young troops, made fearless by opium and saki.

When a grenade exploded behind Bill, his right arm took the brunt of the blast. For the next two days, with the injured limb tucked uselessly into his shirt, he was forced to fight with his left hand. Later he would receive the Purple Heart (wounded in action) and the Silver Star (valor on the field of battle), but he never regained the use of his arm, except for a finger and his thumb.

He says somberly, “Back then, we just fought hand-to-hand, face-to-face. We took no prisoners. You got them, or they got you.

“One of my jobs was to do a daily death count of both sides. [To make sure they were dead] we were to bayonet each one once in the belly. One of my men came running to me and said, ’Spider’ — my code name — ‘I can’t do it! There’s a beautiful woman down there!’

“He took me to a spot where a woman lay, with long hair flowing. She had been a ‘comfort girl,’ either a Korean or Okinawan woman forced into sexual slavery,” for the Japanese army’s use. They found two other women on the battlefield that day.

Bill then tells the story of the last man he killed, and how it altered his life.

“There was an officer wounded on the ground, and after I killed him, I collected his pistol, and a bunch of photographs. That was a Marine tradition, to get ‘souvenirs’ off the bodies — things like guns, knives, personal mementos. Later, after the heat of the battle, I was completely worn out. Then I looked at the bloody photos for the first time. They showed the man with his wife, a baby, and other family members.

“That was a day of revelation for me,” Bill states, the distress on his face still strong after 60 years. “Suddenly, I realized this was a human being, not just a rat to be killed. After that, I became anti-war.”

Bill spent the next 18 months in hospitals, battling gangrene in his arm, and the doctors who wanted to amputate. The medical men also attempted surgeries to reattach his severed nerves, but with little success. Bill notes this time as a nadir in his life. “Ididn’t know what I could do, or what I wanted to be,” he says. “And no one talked about my war experiences; they thought they weren’t supposed to.”

“The day I left the hospital, I ran into a man who changed my life,” he recalls of the new chapter that was to open up for him. Wendell Wilson had recently founded the Teton Valley Ranch in Wyoming, and offered the young veteran a job teaching children to ride horses. Bill was able to use his Marine captain skills to teach, organize and encourage youngsters in a new way.

“Being in the hospital for so long creates a lot of doubts in your head,” he remarks. “Going to a beautiful place with physical challenges, like horseback riding, hiking, and mountain climbing, changed my outlook. I owe a great debt of gratitude to [Wilson].”

How did a man with a paralyzed arm learn to be a bronco-busting cowboy? Bill smiles gleefully as he reveals that bronco riders use only their left hand for reining their mounts. Traditionally, a cowboy would keep his right hand free to wield a rifle or lasso while riding the range. Bill competed often as an amateur, winning prizes like Pendleton blankets, belt buckles, spurs, and other prizes donated by local merchants. A spectacular photo shows him in the rodeo ring, riding high on the neck of a wild mule, looking impressive — until Bill reveals, laughing, that he was in the process of being thrown from the animal.

Through college, a 37-year career teaching physical education in the Winnetka schools, 50 years as a Boy Scout leader, and long past the time when most would have gone to pasture, Bill spent 53 summers at Teton Valley, teaching all things Western to generations of children, “from those who loved horses to those who were terrified.” Boys and girls ages 10 to 15 learned responsibility by brushing, feeding, saddling and mounting their assigned mixed-breed quarter horses. Riding lessons included barrels (clover pattern), poles (slalom), and roping, and Sunday was rodeo day.

The ranch, near Jackson Hole, became a mecca for the wealthy and famous as well. Some of Bill’s students included Land Lindbergh, the son of pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh; young Bill Paxton; and a son and nephew of King Hussein of Jordan — complete with bodyguards. The movie Shane, with Alan Ladd, was filmed there, and Bill recalls chaperoning young female campers to the set to see their “dreamboat,” only to come away disappointed upon meeting a short, middle-aged actor whose wife, Bill laughs, “looked a lot like their own mothers!”

In the fall of 2002, Bill was riding his bike in Glen Arbor when a car struck him. The accident fractured his hip, among other injuries, and left him unable to continue his life’s passion, teaching at Teton Valley. “That was my favorite thing to do in the world,” the cowboy sighs. “I miss the horses, but I’m grateful for the long time I had there. I’ve made a lot of lasting friendships,” including his favorite horse General, given to him a few years ago by the ranch’s current owners. Last summer in Montana, a mutual friend arranged a reunion with Land Lindbergh, whom he hadn’t seen in 40 years. Bill travels regularly to see other ranch alumni, and this spring completed grueling back-to-back journeys to both Honolulu and Munich, Germany, invitations that were “just too good to pass up!”

At 85, Bill still seeks adventure, mostly right in Glen Arbor. He has tried storytelling at the Beach Bards’ bonfire, plays cowboy guitar, kayaks on the Crystal River, shows evidence of a strong green thumb in the garden, defeats The New York Times crossword puzzle every Sunday, and enjoys gatherings with extended family.

He mentions a movie, Pass It Forward, whose plot involves the idea of bestowing the blessings or gifts that one has gotten in life to another beneficiary. Bill’s own transformation at Teton Valley Ranch inspired him to create a scholarship fund for campers. In addition, he plans to leave the bulk of his estate as a charitable trust to the ranch, so that future adventurers can learn not only how to be “plumb Westerners,” but also learn about themselves, what they‘re capable of, and hopefully, pass on their own legacies someday.

Posted by editor at August 11, 2005 12:02 PM

Comments [typos, misspellings, etc., included]

37 Responses to “Old Cowboy, New Tricks: Lessons from Bill Bricker’s Adventurous Life”


joel diaz de leon says:
Dear Mr Bill Bricker:
Dick Desouches was my best boss, my good teacher of life and bussines I will always be gratefull to him. I remember Mr. Desouches saying many good proactive and positive things abuot Bill Bricker, are you the same Bill, Dick´s good friend?.
Congratutalions for for your Teton Valley!!!
My best regards for you and your family.
Joel

sandy van kennen says:
Dear Bill, All the best to you and your gang for the up coming holidays,
Sandy

Kit Reid says:
What ever happened to Jack Davis. I rode for him in 63 and 64. I now live in Colorado (and have for 30 years) and raise horses. I have never forgotten him for all his confidence and support in my love of horses. My son still wears the belt I made with you. Thank you all, Kit

Thomas M. Van Leeuwen says:
As background, Bill Bricker was my Scoutmaster in Winnetka, Illinois, and the leader of our “Teton Mountain Men” group of backpackers in Jackson Wyoming. Having spent a lot of time with Bill over many years I know he has partial paralysis in his right arm and hand. Although using his thumb and index finger to hold a pick he could strum a guitar beautifully, it was impossible for him to pick the strings using all five fingers. He did an outstanding job of hiding his disability from the casual observer.
I cannot speak personally to the dangers of approaching and engaging enemy combatants in a time of war. But I know war is hell and those brave enough to have served our country deserve our thanks and respect.
Bill is a hero and has contributed greatly to the communities in which he has lived. My life is far more fulfilling today because of the time he spent with me, for which I am and will always be grateful. There are many, many people who feel the same way.
Thomas M. Van Leeuwen
Eagle Scout

F Josephine Arrowood says:
In reading over the comments about my article on Bill Bricker, I have to say that I’m a bit puzzled at the vitriol that some have posted in regards to him. Both Peter Landis and John Volker seem privy to Bill’s medical condition while in the Marines, and afterwards, as a gym instructor. I wonder how they can substantiate their assertions that he was not wounded, had no paralysis, gangrene, etc. Were either of these commentators colleagues or fellow servicemen with Bill? Were they fellow Winnetkans or students or Scouts? I wish that they would make their acquaintance with Bill known, so that the context of their statements could be revealed.
In regards to Bill’s years of teaching in Winnetka, It is true that I did not call the school district to verify his dates of employment. Perhaps I should have done so, but this is a small community paper, and I am not a professional journalist. Lesson learned.
I have seen, however, a plaque in Bill’s home that lauded him for “37 years of service,” bestowed on him by the Winnetka School District. Since the metal and wood plaque had Bill’s photo etched on it, I’m pretty sure Bill is not stealing another’s identity, nor did he fabricate it. I used this plaque as the basis of my fact in the article.
I have known Bill for several years, and have seen the limited use of his hand. As Thomas Van Leeowen so beautifully puts it, Bill doesn’t invite casual inspection of his physical limitations. The fact that they are not obvious to all would make some people respect him all the more, in compensating for them so successfully that he could teach gym, rope horses, and play guitar.
Perhaps Mr. Landis and Mr. Volker imagine “paralysis” as a total condition, in which one’s arm would limply hang down, completely immobile? Are either of these men medical experts who can definitely comment on Bill’s condition or the characteristics of paralysis?
One other point I would like to make to Mr. Volker and Mr. Landis, as well as others who use the anonymity of the Internet to comment on the character of someone in a public forum. Your statements, unsubstantiated by any facts, such as, “Are you aware of his reputation where he did reside?” carry ugly innuendoes and slide close, I think, to slander. And degrading him as a non-hero in his community only reveals your own need to judge, seemingly at another’s expense. A hero wears many faces, and touches others’ lives in many ways, not all of which are apparent to a bystander.
If you had a personal dislike of Bill Bricker, that is your own business. But it should not be the basis for a public pillorying in the online pages of a newspaper, in an area that is equivalent to a letter to the editor. Commentators should follow the same guidelines of fact and courtesy that they demand of me the writer, the Sun, and of Bill Bricker.
Very truly yours,
F. Josephine Arrowood

Frank Nash says:
Bill was my scoutmaster in Winnetka for 8 years. He donated much of his time to help others and is a hero to many people that knew him well. I owe Bill much for the person I have become as an adult and the life lessons he taught us all in scouts. I don’t understand the motivation for people to put down a man that has done a lot of good with his life.
Frank Nash
Eagle Scout

Jim Foster says:
I’ve known Bill since 1960. He was my scoutmaster. He is my friend, mentor and hero. My life is very much a reflection of the values that Bill exemplified. I know I’m not alone. Thousands of other “kids” can say that and tens of thousands of their kids – and grandkids – could say that too, even if they never met Bill.

The worst thing I can say about Bill is that some of his jokes are – how do I put this delicately – a little “vintage.” But, his enthusiatic delivery always makes me laugh. I could go on forever about the positive influence Bill is, but never quite convey it. Certainly Bill has had his detractors. When you’re a target that big, it’s easy to take pot shots.
Jim Foster
U.S. Marine, Eagle Scout, Teton Mountain Man, Cowboy

Jim Foster says:
Kit Reid asked about Jack Davis, who was a larger-than-life character and major influence on Bill an many of us. Jack died in 1975. His ashes were scattered over the Buffalo Fork. I’m quite convinced that Curly, the character played by Jack Palance in City Slickers, was inspired (albeit caricatured) by JD. My understanding is that Jack went out for a ride, got off his horse, sat down against a tree and died peacefully. Not unlike Curly. Coincidence?

JBF says:
I spent three summers at Teton Valley Ranch in the mid-sixties. Like many others, the memories made there seem almost indelible to me, and immediate, as if they happened yesterday.

Many of those memories are of Bill Bricker, and while many still bring a smile, equally as many are recollections I hope someday fade completely.
I suspect there may be others out there who share the same sentiment.

Lynn (Lauver) Baumeister says:
My sisters Lorri, Nancy, and I were campers over several summers during the sixties and early 70s. At the very end of my Roughrider season, I was hospitalized for pneumonia…as an Arizona girl, my summers were usually spent poolside rather than sliding down glaciers! Bill brought me a book and my Roughrider patch when he visited me at the hospital. I’m glad to read more about him in this article.

Friends of Bill says:
Bill spent the next 18 months in hospitals, battling gangrene in his arm, and the doctors who wanted to amputate. The medical men also attempted surgeries to reattach his severed nerves, but with little success.

How did a man with a paralyzed arm learn to be a bronco-busting cowboy? Bill smiles gleefully as he reveals that bronco riders use only their left hand for reining their mounts.

When a grenade exploded behind Bill, his right arm took the brunt of the blast. For the next two days, with the injured limb tucked uselessly into his shirt, he was forced to fight with his left hand. Later he would receive the Purple Heart (wounded in action) and the Silver Star (valor on the field of battle), but he never regained the use of his arm, except for a finger and his thumb.

Bill, if you never regained the use of your right arm, and your doctors never successfully reattached the severed nerves, how did you manage to play with children on the playground using both of your arms and hands with equal skill, strength and dexterity?

Jim Foster says:
If you knew Bill as well as you seem to think, you would know that the paralysis was / is in the last three fingers of his right hand. The exerpt you quote pretty much says that though perhaps not with as much medical precision as you would prefer.
You might also realize that recovery is not always an all or nothing proposition. I don’t know, but I bet that the function of his arm that Bill had in the hospital was considerably improved by the time he was at Hubbard Woods

More friends says:
Bill, why don’t you respond? Someone told Ms. Arrowood that you never regained the use of your badly gangrene-infected arm, which kept you hospitalized for one and one half years. It was so badly damaged that you had to “battle” the doctors not to remove it. I don’t understand. You had no limitations whatsoever when you served as an instructor; at least you didn’t with a host of kids year after year.
The text says Bill never regained the use of his arm, except for a finger and a thumb, not the other way around.

More friends says:
To JBF,
Thmks for your honesty. Can you explain a little further what you mean when you say you wish some of those memories of Bricker would fade away completely? It seems like you left out some details that are significant to you. What happened JBF? Why do you want those memories to disappear entirely?

Frank Nash says:
Why all the vague acusations? Those of us that know Bill well think it is a great article and know Bill is a great person. If someone has a problem, come out and say what the issue is and give proof. Otherwise you are wasting our time.

Friends says:
Nothing vague about saying Bill was observed using both his arms equally well. Perfectly straight forward, actually. Nothing vague about refuting the claim that he lost the use of his entire arm-permantently- except for a finger and a thumb. Nothing vague about asking Bill himself to respond. Bill, respond, would you?

Ms. Arrowood, based on her own statement, could have confirmed the details of Bill’s personal history with third parties. This may have been a wise decision. Perhaps, too, it would have a been a sign of professional integrity (even if Ms. A. is not a professional) and a courtesy to her readers.

He served as an educator of children within a public school district (for 27 years? check that), and thereby was directly involved in the lives of children. He had and still has an ethical, moral and professional responsibility to them and their parents, to the public. The fact is, Bill was not a hero to many of them. In fact, Bill betrayed that sacred trust to many. Truth trumps defamation. If it is “the facts” which are missing, if this is the real issue with making negative comments, then may I suggest you interview a healthy cross-section of those with firsthand experience, his former students.

Bill, once again, would you like to comment? This is an incredibly worthwhile opportunity and use of your time.

Jim Foster says:
I guess I’ll waste a little more time on this. For your information, Bill does not have, never will, doesn’t use, never will a computer. If he did, he’d probably recognize that you have some agenda that will never be resolved and therfore would still ignore you. I suspect that may be the genesis of your anger.

You seem to doubt (and misquote) information that is basically incontrovertable. You seem to doubt that he taught for 27 years. The article in fact says 37. I personally witnessed 30 years of his career and he was well established as a teacher when I met him in 1960.

If actually you know Bill, whch I have some doubt to, you may not have observed or more likely, you may not remember any limitations with his arm, but he had them. Many a time I watched him unfold the three fingers of his right hand with the left hand so that he could grasp something.

I worked with Bill over many years and in many settings and am unapologetically pround to call him a friend. Your experience apparently wasn’t as good. Get over it. I have seen many hundreds, if not thousands of people of all ages who hold him in the highest esteem. Many,like myself (I am a former Winnetka school teacher, Vietnam era Marine and worked at the ranch) were inspired profoundly by Bill’s example. Several have seen fit to respond to your silliness.

Bill’s human, not all will like him. That is entirely your / their prerogative, but recognize, that you are the one misstating the facts, not Bill or Ms. Arrowood.

Frank Nash says:
I am a former student, so case closed. He was my scout master for 7 years. He did have limited use of his arm. Why don’t you list your name “Friends”? Seems like you are the one hiding something.

I’m done with my responses here.

torn face says:
Bill,
Why did you leave a youngster on the gravel/pavement while you were a gym teacher? It was field day. A wonderful time for the kids. Sprinting for a chance to win a ribbon was an annual tradition. During one race, one girl’s leg got tangled up with another girl’s leg. She was running full speed as she smashed into that rough, jagged, hard surface. She was bloodied on her face, her hands and her knees. She had sharp gravel embedded in her flesh.

You did nothing but watch as she got up and walked off crying. You waited for her to clear the track area so you could start another race. Yet, you ran to assist others with much less serious injuries that day and on a number of other occasions.
Why?

We have many, many more questions like this one, if you wouldn’t mind addressing them, we’d appreciate it.
Thanks you, Mr. Bricker.
You were never a hero and still are not anything like a hero to us.

Pat Jones says:
Bill,
What is the name of the commander you served under? What was your division, and who was your immediate superiour? What are the names of some of your fellow captains and their immediate superiors? Which battalion was your platoon attached to?

Many of your platoon died in battle within two days from the time you landed. Almost no one was injured or killed during the first few days. It was an astounding development as you know. What were some of the boys’ names who fought and died under your leadership? Do you have any newspaper clippings with their names,those brave young men who gave everything on the field of battle? Obviously their names were listed in several formal pronouncements from the marine corp itself, too. Do you have any of them? Any letters from their families?

What is the name of the hospital where you spent 18 months? My grandfather was a surgeon and he was given the responsibility for the evacuation of all the wounded on Okinawa. He retired as an Admiral in the United States Navy. Maybe you recovered where he served.

Did you really leave in a landing ship for the shore of Okinawa one half hour before the initial assault began? Didn’t you realize there were no other landing craft anywhere in sight?

You were 24 to 25 years old during your service on Okinawa on April 1, 1945. Where were you assigned before you went into the Asian Theater? From the date you joined until the invasion at 8:30am April 1, where else did you see combat and when?

According to the glowing article about your life, it appears that you left on your inaugural combat mission in November 1944, when the Wharton embarked from San Francisco for the South Pacific. When did you actually join the marines? Many were drafted at the age of eighteen. How old were you when you decided it would be better to join?

Pedro Santos says:
Bill, what regiment and company were you in? What division were you assigned to and who was your division commander?

Do any of your friends know the answers to these questions?
What ultimately did the doctors do with that part of your arm that was afflicted with gangrene?

Do you know what ever happened to the “comfort women” found on the field of battle those first few days on Okinawa?

Did your platoon accomplish its mission without you? Were they assigned a new captain? What happened to the rest of your men? Do you/did you ever hear from any of them?

John Frazer says:
Hi Bill,
Yes, I too am curious about the issues and questions others have brought to your attention. Which Company were you in, Bill? Your Division Commander’s name?
I don’t understand why your friends call you a hero, either. Hundreds, thousands, perhaps even more value you as a hero for what, exactly? I don’t understand what they find so heroic. You served as a Marine. Thank you for your service. You were wounded and suffered the permanent loss of the use of you arm, except a thumb and finger. Thank you again for your service and the price you were willing to pay.

Then, you helped kids as a gym teacher, scout leader and camp counselor. These are fine things, but I don’t understand why they rise to the level your friends insist you deserve.
Perhaps you will offer some input. Thanks

Tom Jones says:
Good questions. I’ve often wondered about Bill’s illustrious background, at least as he liked to describe it. Who were your commanding officers Bill? And what Company and Division were you in?

When you were 22 years old in 1942, where were you stationed Bill? I never could verify your military career, especially the medals you claim to have received. Most, if not all of the accounts of the recipients of the Silver Star include detailed citations. Why doesn’t yours? In fact, yours states, “No citation” doesn’t it? Why?

Rod Wood says:
August 10, 2010 at 4:18 am
It never occurred to me until tonight to surf the internet for stories of Teton Valley Ranch. What a treat!

So I googled Teton Valley Ranch and got mostly real estate postings — apparently a property on the ranch is for sale this summer, or may have already been sold. I’d like to think a former camper or counselor lives there now.

I was a counselor for two boys’ seasons in the mid 60s, and it was, except for the pay, the best job I ever had. I was hired and paid to take a vacation in Jackson Hole, the likes of which I don’t think I could duplicate now, at any cost.

Certainly the TV experience was enriched immeasurably by the presence and inspiration of Bill Bricker. Most of my campers took at least one backpack with Bill into the Tetons, and those who did were better for it. The kids prepped for their backpacks by going on “A” hikes, to places like Amphitheater Lake at the foot of the Grand Teton. Amphitheater Lake, as the readers of this blog all know, is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and glissading on snow in July was the reward. It also provided motivation for my twelve year olds, including Kit Reid, to acquire the discipline and stamina Bill demanded of those kids.

But it was more than that. I think all good teachers rely on the example they set. Their students say to themselves, “I want to be like him, be as smart as he is, know what he knows.”

I never went on a Bricker backpack. My first year, I was one of two counselors given a Wyoming fishing license, so my backpack was a stroll to Phelps Lake (with Bob Ebinger) and some trout fishing. But I did get initiated into TV counselorhood on one of Bill’s famous Fort Cottonwood trips.

Fort Cottonwood was the Teton Valley equivalent of a shakedown cruise for a pack trip — an overnight at a campsite on the Gros Ventre. The theme of the trip was an old west cavalry mission, where good behavior (like spotting the Top Hands coming over the hill, dressed as Indians) was rewarded by field promotions to higher rank. The top two or three ranking campers at the end of the ride to the Fort got to wrangle the horses the next morning with Bill.

Bill made the whole thing fun, and the kids learned what camping on a pack trip was all about. In the morning, everyone got a number twelve can, some evaporated milk, an egg and three pieces of bread to make his own French toast. Why French toast? “These kids are all going to be bachelors on their own for some part of their life, and at least they will know how to fix French toast for breakfast,” said Bill.

One more memory about Bill. I forget whether this was my first or second year, but one of those fourth of Julys I was at the camp and not out on a pack trip, and I got to witness Bill’s thrifty fireworks display. Bill would go to that fireworks place on the road to Jackson and buy a few dollars’ worth of fireworks — a couple of M-80s, some sparklers and some Roman candles and create a show out at the swimming pool.

That year the grand finale of the show was to be launching Mouse Baxter into space, and the rest of the show was a buildup for the launch. There were dancing sparklers, a cannon salute (a couple of firecrackers) and then, if I recall correctly, a whistling jupiter and an M-80 for the launch. Mouse did indeed make it into space.
And now a few more stories from my point of view that the readers of this blog may enjoy….

I learned about Teton Valley from my Trinity classmate Bob Ebinger, and he alerted me to the Teton Valley trip that the Wilsons conducted each winter to recruit and screen the campers (and to hire counselors like me). I took the train to New Canaan and met the Wilsons at the New Canaan community center. Mary Ellen gave me a once-over and determined that I would be perfect for supervising the train trip from New York to Chicago and for joining up with the big trip from Chicago to Rock Springs.
The Wilsons did a really good job of screening campers. In my two years there I can only recall one genuine dipstick kid. (He was a nephew of someone really, really, really rich and famous, and Weenie was a sucker for that. Otherwise, it was not enough to be some rich and famous family’s kid. Even the eleven year olds were gung ho about going to camp and having a hell of a lot of fun. None of this “I don’t wanna go to camp; I wanna stay back in Greenwich and sail my yacht” business. These kids were all aspiring hard as nails guys, fit some day to be Rough Riders and more.

My first year, I really did not know what to expect on the trip to Chicago. I put up a cardboard sign in the Penn Station lobby and met Jim Fiedler, the other counselor for the NYC to Chicago leg. Then the families and campers filtered in. My best story of that: Vermont Royster (did not know who he was) brought his two kids to the station, and introduced me to Jack and Brooke. “This one,” he said, gesturing to Jack, “If he gives you any trouble, just kick him in the ass.” Joy. I had a green light. Jack was a great kid, it turned out, but he a;ways made me remember that he was a wiseass. The next year, he shows up for the trip and gives me a Kaopectate bottle, and I think it’s Kaopectate, ha, ha! But it’s not – the bottle is filled with Wild Turkey. Thank you, Jack!

So the train starts out, and immediately, before seeing daylight in New Jersey, a squirt gun battle explodes. Before Trenton, Fiedler has a whole suitcase full of squirtguns.
The next morning, we arrive in Chicago and we are to take a Grey Line Tour of Chicago and go to the Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry before returning to Union Station and meeting up with the rest of the campers. Now, one of the things that Mary Ellen had impressed on me was that I was not to lose any campers, and that in particular all of the counselors were expected to be awake when the train reached Omaha in the middle of the night. On a prior year, one of the campers had gotten off the train to get a hamburger and failed to return before the train went on to Rock Springs.
So we are riding on the tour bus for about five minutes when the bus driver declares, “Chinatown, ten minute stop. He opens the door and the kids are evacuating the bus like a pack of Labrador retrievers at the beach. Fiedler and I are in the back of the bus, and we can’t see where everyone is going. We can imagine the Teton Valley counselors’ manual the next year: don’t lose anyone in Chinatown.

Luckily, everyone returned ten minutes later, but they had purchased dozens of “party poppers” — devices that explode and send out streamers and confetti everywhere. Defeat for the squirt gun confiscators. All the way from Chicago to Wyoming, the train trip, which was in two coach cars reserved for Teton Valley, was punctuated by little party popper blasts. Add that to the excitement factor as we neared Rock Springs, and it was a din for twelve solid hours at the end of the train trip.
We did not lose anyone in Omaha.

Teton Valley was also blessed by having a really excellent staff. Mary Ellen was a pretty good judge of counselor talent, and some of the counselors, like Bob and Charlie Ebinger and Craig McNamara had been campers themselves (and Wranglers). At our first staff meeting, Mary Ellen says, “Okay, we have two Wyoming fishing licenses, who wants to be in charge of fishing?” I was surprised that only my hand and Bob Ebinger’s went up. The rest of the counselors did not want to waste their time fishing when they could be on Bricker backpacks and other hard as nails stuff instead. Whoopee for me. Get paid to fish the Gros Ventre and the Buffalo River.

Another staff meeting thing was an unofficial competition to have placed on the fireplace mantle the most vulgar souvenir from Yellowstone. Bill Bricker had set the tone by bringing back a gorilla doll with a Smokey Bear hat on its head. A gorilla. Top that and get a smile of approval from Mary Ellen.

We only got two nights off during the five weeks we were at the Ranch, but that turned out to be enough, as the whole five weeks was a giant vacation. We were always exhausted at the end of the day because of the hiking and riding and altitude, and Jackson was really not as plumb western as the ranch itself. Nonetheless, we counselors all went in twice so we’d partake of alcohol and a good meal. My second year, Bill Bricker was going into town to the Jackson Rodeo, for the saddlebronc competition, and I passed up a chance to go to that, thinking it might not be such a good idea to see if I could last seven seconds on a saddle with just a rope in one hand.

So my second year, Ted Lerchen and I went into town, had a steak and went to the Cowboy Bar, both of us dressed in western clothes. The Hell’s Angels were in town that night, however, and shortly after we sat down to act like cowboys, these two threatening-looking motorcycle thugs sit down at our table and want to know all about what it’s like to be a cowboy. “We’re from Kelly,” says Ted, sounding like one of Riker’s men in the movie “Shane.” The two thugs then ask if we’d like a ride on real Hell’s Angels motorcycles. I say, “No, thanks, but we’d best be leaving now. We have to wrangle the horses at four in the morning. We sashay out of the Cowboy Bar as quickly as possible.

I had the good fortune to lead one of the Jack Davis pack trips — a JD Four trip to Yount’s Peak and back. I got to ride alongside Dave Hughson, TV’s top cowboy,from the Nebraska panhandle.

I am a farm boy myself, and I always thought Dave Hughson appreciated that, as he was a rancher with a herd of Shorthorns. Dave always gave me the best horses to ride, whether at the ranch or on a pack trip. On that JD4 trip, he assigned me this magnificent chestnut quarter horse with a long walking stride. Back at the ranch, we’d often get barely broken two-year-olds, but this horse was very well trained and a real pleasure to ride. Along the trail, Dave asks me about what farming is like in Pennsylvania: “Do you ride a lot?” and “How many sections is your farm?” Dave also tells me about ranching in Nebraska, that it’s a cow-calf operation, and that calving season is all over by the time the horse drive from Currant Creek begins.

That farm boy stuff was not lost on Mary Ellen. She asked me, “Can you drive a truck?” I said I could, and that meant that I was one of a couple of counselors who took hikers and backpackers to the Jenny Lake ranger station and the Top Hands up the Gros Ventre Road to the staging area for their pack trip. The Gros Ventre road then was basically a one-lane gravel road with turnouts where one waited while another vehicle passed in the other direction.

So here I am, a 19 year old driver, ferrying a load of people and saddles up a mountainside road with no guardrails. If you can drive that route, the Holland Tunnel is a cinch.

Back to JD 4… Someone wrote above that Jack’s ashes were scattered on the Buffalo Fork. Bob Ebinger told me that Jack’s ashes were scattered atop Yount’s Peak, and that there is a memorial marker up there at the summit.

We would ride our horses up that mountain from the box canyon and then dismount and lead the horses once we neared the summit. One of my fondest memories of that trip is walking alongside Jack Davis and having him point out to me “Alpine Forget-me-nots,” a delicate blue flower that only grows at high altitude. Jack must have looked forward to that ascent every year, and he wanted me to appreciate the moment.

Jack, like Bill Bricker, was one of those people who made the camper tuition worth the money. How lucky we all were to learn how to pack mules properly (no fiddles, aka guitars allowed), and to see him lead that bell mare through the Teton wilderness. “Ahooooooaggggahhhh, Ahooooooooooooaggahhhhhh every morning. I wonder how many campers became smokers after that.

Are there other Teton Valley blogs out there? I would love to know what happened to everyone.

Scott Stone says:
I grew up in Winnetka, Illinois, attending Hubbard Woods Elementary School when Bill taught PE in the early 1980s. I also was in Boy Scout Troop 18, where Bill served as Scoutmaster. I have nothing but great memories of Bill and a tremendous appreciation for his abilities as a teacher and a leader.

At Hubbard Woods, I remember Bill as a kind, though firm teacher, who enlivened gym classes with occasional stories and cameos from characters such as his pet skunk, Perfume (a hand puppet).

Most of my memories are of Bill as a Scout leader, where he had an unparalleled ability to lead and teach from the background, creating opportunities for scouts to come forward and take on an important responsibility, often for the first time in their lives.
Whether it was supervising a campground clean up, cooking the food, organizing a game, leading a hike, or some other task, Bill was masterful at knowing when you were ready to try your hand at a leadership position. Many kids joined the troop at age 11, too young to do anything but run around, yell a lot, and goof off. But after a few years, as those kids begin to mature, Bill would look for opportunities to give the 13 or 14 year old kids a chance to lead their peers. And he’d quietly signal to the older scouts to step aside and lend their support.

I credit a lot of who I am today to the things I learned from Bill and the other scout leaders (Dave Anderson in particular) at Troop 18. Bill gave me the chance to be a leader for the first time in my life when I was 13, on a trip the troop took to hike the Blackhawk Trail. No one had ever let me be “in charge” before, and the chance to shoulder responsibility and successfully lead the hike that day gave me a self confidence and sense of pride that I carry with me to this day. (And I have no doubt that my “success” was not due to some miraculously-acquired ability with a compass and a map. Bill was there all the while, watching and making sure we stayed on the right path, but never once making me feel that it wasn’t me doing all the work.)

Bill also remains the single best storyteller I’ve ever heard, and if I regret anything it’s that I didn’t think to record some of his campfire tales and songs. Of course, even if I knew by memory every story and every song, I wouldn’t be able to capture the way Bill would regale us with them — an instinctive blend of humor, thoughtfulness, and just the right amount of suspense.

I remember laughing so hard I almost fell into the fire over a story about a tree that grew out of the center of a horse. (This was at a parent-child camping trip, near the Crystal River in Wisconsin, where Bill managed that always-impressive feat of telling a story that adults would find as amusing as children.)

I also remember a camping trip to the Warren Dunes in Michigan, on a cold, early March weekend, where with temperatures near freezing and before as big a campfire as we could build, he ruefully told us an adaptation of Jack London’s To Start a Fire. I’m pretty sure every scout went to sleep that night terrified that he’d freeze to death — but of course, I’m also pretty sure that everyone bundled up as much as humanly possible, too. Not a bad way to teach kids how to camp in the winter.

Finally, I remember Bill taking the Scouts out to the village green before each Memorial Day parade and teaching us how to march. This was as “military” as we got in Troop 18, where uniform requirements were rarely enforced and Bill’s hands-off, kid-driven style best characterized the troop’s organization. Years later I realized the irony that other troops were often led by men with no military background, yet were run like boot camp, especially when it came to marching in parades. And then there’s Bill, a WWII-era Marine who’d fought on Okinawa — and who, by the way, has movies from his service days, filmed with a little movie camera he kept in one of his canteen pouches, that will tell you all you need to know about his war record — who taught us just enough to march in a straight line before turning us loose on the baseball field to play the rest of the troop meeting away.

To me, this was Bill at his best — having seen the worst in war, and probably never being offered the kind of psychological counseling that would be mandatory with exposure to far less horrific events — he nonetheless instinctively knew what would be the highest tribute to those who have died for their country. As Bill might say, if you’re lucky enough to give kids a chance to play, then, by all means, let ‘em play.
Scott Stone
Eagle Scout, Boy Scout Troop 18

Kit Reid says:
A thank you to Jim Foster for filling me in on Jack. Rod Wood was spot on about Jack being a living reason not to smoke. His morning hack was legendary interspersed with HORSE WRANGLERS (haaaack gag). The morning call to gather the horses. I was a shy kid with a thing for horses and Jack took me under his wing to the extent that I rode with his model 94 on my saddle and had my pick of horses in the remuda. It was his recomendation that allowed me to be the Wilson’s match rider on Sundays when ‘Buster’ took on all comers.”When you come out of the gate, criss cross your reins across his withers and grab a handfull of mane.” Buster and I never lost. The barn became my home then and Jack taught me to throw houlihan head catches in the pen. People still look at me in wonder when I make a catch,so much as to say, where the heck did you learn that. My son wears the spurs he gave me, and it was not till many years later, I realized they were Crocket Rinaldi’s, a legendary spurmaker. Thanks to all, Kit

Steve Collett says:
Bill Bricker did a terrific job when I was in Troop 18 1965-1967 in Winnetka, Illinois.
We had a terrific troop, went on great camping trips including a canoe trip though Missouri, and I became an Eagle Scout at age 13. Bill, if you are still alive I thank you and wish you the best always.
Steve Collett Eagle Scout

Billy Shaner says:
Glad you boys were spared the nightmare of the Bill Bricker others of us knew.
Bill was a vicious, perverted, evil little liar. He abused children and he hid his deeds as best he could. It is over for him now. No matter how many fake personalities he uses to post how virtuous he was, he cannot undo what he did and who he was.
Looking at Bill from a forensic perspective, he manifests every feature of the classic pedophile. Rest assured however, Bill is not exposed in terms of probabilities or for meeting textbook criteria. Bill is exposed because he is what he has done and time is running out for him. Bill will enter eternity any moment now to face Perfect Justice. He cannot escape. He must repent and plead for forgiveness from each child he abused. Some committed suicide and it is too late. It will be too late for him, as well, for all eternity, if he hides any longer.

Bill, feigning to be your former scouts to try to salvage your tattered image means nothing as you approach final and utter damnation for everything you have done. Get on your knees. Beg for mercy. Get out your pen and communicate your brokenness and deepest regret for who and what you are to those you hurt so terribly.

Jerry Snead says:
Hopefully, someone will take a closer look at the legacy Bricker left behind

Lee Scott (a pseudonym) says:
I apologize for using a pseudonym, but am not willing to use my real name as you will understand after reading this. I, too, attended Hubbard Woods School and Skokie Jr. High School in Winnetka, Illinois and was in Troop 18. Bill Bricker was my gym teacher and scoutmaster. He was a popular teacher and leader, and the kids were attracted to him as if he were the Pied Piper. In retrospect, I agree he had many features of a pedophile: When the boy scouts had swimming lessons at New Trier, he was right there in the showers with us naked boys, stripped down to his speedo, making sure every boy had a thorough, nude soapy shower as he squirted the boys with soap, making sure to hit the genitals. When we went on boy scout campouts, he made sure we went skinny dipping with him, also nude, and even set up outdoor showers so we could be sure to take nude showers in front of him. I even remember his lecture on a boy scout campout at the Isaak Walton lodge that we had to take off our underwear before putting on our pajama bottoms because it was unhygienic to sleep in our underwear, dirty and sweated out from the day; so we stripped off all our clothes and changed in front of him. All of that might not be so bad and even viewed as old fashioned boy’s fun, but Bill also did some things to boys that caused lifelong psychological trauma to many. I know, because Bill sexually molested me when I was 13 years old, on a boy scout camping trip. I have led a normal heterosexual life, married, and have a family; however, that molestation has caused me much consternation for decades. It has taken me 45 years to be able to even talk about this in a somewhat open forum such as this (although I have discussed this many times privately with a therapist). I still hear many adults talk about how wonderful Bill was and the happy memories they have of gym and scouts with him. I just listen because you don’t just blurt out that you disagree because you were molested by him. They are the lucky ones, who have no baggage of childhood abuse to carry. I have heard many negative things about Bill over the years, too, how there may have been other boys from Winnetka whom he molested, how he was almost fired from the Winnetka Public Schools for some vague misstep with a boy, but had a sham marriage to stop the speculation, but not until I stumbled upon this website did I realize there were other men out there whom Bill had molested as boys and who still hurt as I do. Is it too late to seek justice for us, as is now happening for the victims at Penn State? Can Bill be charged now that he is past 90? Did the Winnetka Public Schools or Troop 18 and the boy scouts participate in any sort of cover-up? I hope to hear from other men who were molested by Bill Bricker when they were boys.

Frank Nash says:
If Bill did all these bad things, then I do charge you to come forward so justice can be served. I was a scout in Troop 18 for 6 years and went on every camping trip and never once was Bill nude with us and never suggested we remove our clothes in front of him.

JBF says:
Bill Bricker held an almost religious power over the young men in his charge. In the eyes of a twelve or thirteen year-old, far from home and family, at the feet of grand mountains in the open west, he epitomized the concept, the image and the myth of a man who was larger than life. He seemed, felt, sounded and moved like the Hero we all wanted to be. He sat a horse like he was born in a saddle, walked into a room like he built it, and spoke to you in measured words that sounded like he was carving each one out of hardwood — for your ears only.

And like most impressionable boys my age, I had one overriding, daily hope, one I uttered quietly, one that propelled me as raced with the other Rough Riders or Top Hands on horseback, one I prayed would guide my hands as I saddled up, or built a fire, or made a beaded sheath for a knife at leather craft: I wanted to make him proud of me. I wanted him to single me out, to place that calloused hand on my shoulder, look down at me and smile and tell me I’d done a good job.

He was the kind of man I knew my own father wanted me to be.
So when he would quietly move from bunk to bunk long after lights out, speaking in hushed tones to each of us that were still awake, you hoped, you prayed — you knew that when he came to your bed, and you were lucky enough that sleep hadn’t overtaken you, that those last words of the day were for you, and you alone.
When he kissed me

JBF says:
…I believed it was a gesture from a loving man. When he first slipped his hand under the waistband of my underwear, he told me it was just between him and me — that he could tell I was going to be a strong, big man someday…

I have never shared these memories with any soul on the face of the earth, because I believed them better left buried — left in the ground. I do so now, because I believe that there may be others who fell under this man’s sway, power, and perhaps his hand, as well.

The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
He may very well have been in Okinawa, led Scouts, taught school; I have no knowledge of those chapters in his life, and do not care. Bill Bricker was a sick man; a man who preyed on the lives and souls of young men placed in his charge.
To those who believed in him — you are not alone.

JBF says:
To those commenting on, or following this thread… the first of my two most recent comments logged out prior to completing it — which was done with the post that followed. Had I any control over what happened, I would have chosen another point in the comment to be inadvertently logged out.
Apologies.

greg p says:
Bill was always a phoney and a punk to me. I sensed he was perverted immediately upon meeting him.

Who went to the Community Church for Halloween where he positioned himself at the bottom of a slide in the dark basement to embrace his targets? Remember that?
Besides sexually deviant behavior, he pitted kids against one another and favored popular, good looking kids.

He was a son-of-a-bitch, a coward, a liar, a nothing, a big shot wanna be, a horse’s rear end and couldn’t make it in the real world of adults for a day.
Winnetka failed the students under his supervision. There was more than enough evidence demonstrating how sick he was, enough to have fired him and to have notified police.

In a piece he did for public radio, he reminisces about his most precious memories: his scouts on Memorial Day in Winnetka. They were perfectly silent and respectful of the day’s activities.

To Bill’s defenders, many linebackers sang the praises of Sandusky. I bet none knew he liked to shower with prepubescent boys, alone, on Friday nights

GREG P says:
Mr. Nash, with all due respect, you aren’t in charge and you cannot charge anyone to do anything.

Talk to your hero if you seek clarification regarding his past.


Winnetka Native says:
I’m sad to hear the stories of abuse, though not 100% surprised.
I attended Hubbard Woods school in the early 70s and Bill Bricker was one of the first adults that I can remember being scared of, though I couldn’t quite figure out why. I do know, that I was incredibly relieved that he didn’t take me into my office on my birthday.

As some may recall, he had favorite kids (boys, primarily) – and on your birthday, he would take you into his office, close the door, bend you over his knee and spank you – one swat for each year of your life. I think he called it the “Birthday Club.” He made it sound like a fun thing – but I wanted no part of it. Luckily I was not one of his favorites and managed to avoid some questionable behavior.

Briefly, I was a boy scout in his group and was also a member of the Winnetka Ski club. Nothing ever happened to me nor did I see anything first-hand that would be called abuse. But I always wondered if everything was on the up and up with this lifelong bachelor who spent all of his time with young boys, away from their parents.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS PROVIDED IN WORD AND COPIED HERE: 


Bill Bricker is/was a complete phony and coward. His abuse of many a young man was well-known and covered-up by the village Fathers in Winnetka through a narrow margin vote when the truth threatened to break out. A certain mother of a large Winnetka family I will not herein name caught wind of his miserable ways when "Bill" attempted to molest one of her sons. This was in the early 1970's, and parents were beginning to educate their children about pedophiles. In the case of this boy, his mom went ballistic. Her demands that something be done were swept under the rug, due to the utter denial of reality by the powers-that-were at that time. I know these to be the facts because my father was a member of the Village Board, a gay man himself, and completely outraged that "Bill" was given a pass. You see, as a gay man my father was particularly repulsed because gay did and does not mean pedophile or molester. Bill's life is a dishonor not only to himself and the truth, but I imagine many a now older man with their own "Bill Story". As a gentleman cited above, it has been Sandusky and his horrible crimes which have brought all these memories come flooding back. Soon, he will have to face the Man. God have mercy on him.

I have to agree with Bob. If the Sandusky scandal is to mean anything, the victims of sexual abuse should not be ignored. Their voices must be heard. Bill Bricker molested two generations of boys in Winnetka, IL. This was well known at least among large portions of the student population. If anything should be removed from your website it's this ridiculous article lauding a man who caused almost indescribable misery. Like Sandusky, Bill Bricker obviously has his blind defenders. But, like Sandusky's victims, Bricker's victims are speaking the truth. They should be applauded, not censored.

If you have any information or concerns regarding Mr. Bill Bricker, please contact Chicago attorney Marc J. Pearlman of Kerns, Frost & Pearlman at his private direct line of 312-261-4554 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 312-261-4554 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or via email at mpearlman@kfplegal.com. Your identity will be known only to him. If you can remember circumstances, dates, or places of instances, it will be helpful. This is the website of the law firm: http://www.kfplegal.com/

Ya won't be able to sweep this Bricker story away. Now that we KNOW that the Boy Scouts possess a list of abusers dating back to the sixties, perhaps earlier, Mr. Bill may find his name on this list. If it isn't, I would be surprised. Since "Bill" abused so many boys over such a long period, certainly he must be "known". In any event, the dam is open on Mr. Bricker, the truth will prevail.

This is true. Bill Bricker sexually assaulted me and no doubt many others. He is not a hero.
·          10/20/12--23:48:

A certain man was my shining hero. My P.E. teacher and scout master. I felt so very special when he took me into his pup-tent and made me feel so very very special. What a scoundrel.

My brother said Bill was "free with his hands" back in the 1960's when he was a boy scout in Winnetka, illinois but wouldn't go into details. He is a very wounded man. What I remember is that supposedly he took my brother under his wing and made him feel "special". Sounds like grooming behavior to me. How many lives did this "hero" ruin?

I went to Hubbard Woods, was a boy scout in Troop 18 and went to Teton Valley Ranch for 2 years. I witnessed firsthand Bill Bricker molesting my friends in tents by reaching into their sleeping bags and touching these young boys. My father was the local pediatrician and was finally told about this by concerned parents. He asked my brother and I about it and we both told him about friends who had been molested. My father and school officials launched an inquiry which led to Bill Bricker giving up his scout troop. He suddenly got married, but never lost his jobs at the school or camp. My father died a few years later so I never had the chance to discuss this with him when I was an adult. The guy should be in prison, no getting praised in newpaper articles.
·          11/03/12--10:28:

Bill Bricker was an equal opportunity molester according to 5 or 6 of my women friends who were in his gym classes during the late 50's and early 60's. Hopefully some of them will comment on this here. Know that it is very alive in their minds and that they talk about it whenever we have our elementary school reunions. They occur now every 2 years and we were just discussing this in August,2012. The damage he did is long and strong.

Hey there, Troop 18 Scout and TVRC! I'm the younger sister of two Troop 18'ers. You're still in contact with one of them. Thx for linking him to this article. I already had, but it's better he got contacted twice than not at all. He told me today you'd posted here over the weekend. I'm grateful you did. You have given these comments about Bill's behavior a level of authority because of your father's involvement. Let's not forget Bill's marriage was very short-lived. I've always wondered how much she learned. Again, thank you for posting. Take care.

Bill Bricker has spent his entire adult life in an "inverted" Position. That is the truth about this phony coward. His so-called "combat marine " experience is an outright lie. As is his supposed service to boys through the years in Winnetka. His general intelligence and moral level are beneath contempt. All he ever accomplished in life was being a first-class abuser of boys. Like I said. A creepy weak-minded molester. Soon, the Reaper will be stalking "Bill" for the big sleep. Prepare yourself, coward.
·          11/08/12--12:08:

Weenie Wilson (founder of Teton Valley Ranch Camp) was informed of Brickers crimes in the seventies and publicly defended him. The camp directors were clearly informed that he sexually victimized children again in the early nineties (and who knows how many other times.) As of 2001 the camp continued to treat him like a "hero" and gladly take his $$. http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/Archives/NewsArchive/2001/010718-News.html
NEW COMMENTS  -- as of 11/28/12 -- since posting the deleted article [above] and its comments, which were formerly located in the archives of the Glen Arbor Sun:

4 comments:

notunhappyb said...

Yes Bill had his hands in the wrong place, but he was a great scout leader. I'm sorry that some of you were perhaps more troubled by his behavior then I. I'm happy in my marriage and to this day can't see why people cannot get past wanting to destroy and or gain monetarily from a situation like this. I say grow up and deal with it. He was a good man with a problem. Move on and realize what you have gained, not lost.

Mrs. L said...

Dear notunhappyb,

You sound like the woman who says. "Sure I had to give him a blow job, but he was a great boss." Time for a reality check.

Congratulations on getting past the need to destroy or gain financially from someone whose hands were in the wrong place. I assume this means your skills at burying the past are so good that you have not become an addict, molest children, or exhibit any abherent behavior yourself.

If so, I hope you can find some empathy for those who do not consider Bill Bricker a good man with a problem. But an evil man who wreaked havoc on their lives.

TetonCounty SheriffWY said...

Anyone with information about crimes committed by Bill Bricker please contact the Teton County Sheriff's Office at 307 733 4052 Detective Spence.

Rich AZ said...

The Chicago Tribune on 10/17/14 had a story on Bricker. Below is my comment:
RichinAZ

I was born in 1942, and grew up in Winnetka. I did not go to Hubbard's Wood school, but Bill Bricker was seemingly everywhere in Winnetka in the 1950's. I may have met him via the Boy Scouts. He played his guitar and sang songs. I did not know if he had a job. He was always in the company of children. I thought he was a very weird man; now I would use the phrase "He creeped me out." I heard he lived with his mother--very odd for his age. He was not like any of the grown men I knew---successful fathers, most of them war vets, who did not hang out with kids. I am not at all surprised at these revelations. I think everyone was more naïve about child molesters in those times, and he took advantage of that. As I got older, I every now and then used to think about this guy and wonder what happened to this strange person. Now I know, and he creeps me out! I'm glad I followed my intuition and stayed away from him.« less