Of Mothers And Monsters

  By VennerRoad, 17th Jun 2016

Of Mothers And Monsters

Proud mother Lindy Chamberlain with baby Azaria.

In August 1980, young mother Lindy Chamberlain went camping near Australia’s famous Ayers Rock. With her were her husband Michael, their two young sons, and their new baby, Azaria. This was a stereotypical happy families scenario, but it would soon become a nightmare. The baby disappeared, literally vanished off the face of the Earth. The Chamberlains claimed Azaria must have been snatched by a dingo, a claim for which there was considerable support, yet in October 1982, the once proud mother was convicted of murdering the two month old baby; she was said for some inexplicable reason to have cut her throat, and aided and abetted by her husband, disposed of the body.

In December 1996, at Boulder, Colorado, a 6 year old girl was found dead in her home, strangled. On the face of it there was precious little in the way of evidence save for a bizarre ransom note that had echoes of the two notes found in the controversial 1913 Mary Phagan murder. It did not take long for law enforcement, the American media and to some extent the American people to point the finger at the mother of JonBenét Ramsey. Three years later, a grand jury voted to indict her and her husband John, the girl’s father, for the murder, but the District Attorney refused to sign the papers. Patsy Ramsey died in June 2006 at the relatively young age of 49, having once been arguably the most hated woman in America.

Patsy Ramsey and Lindy Chamberlain had little in common, but most people would agree that if they had been guilty of the crimes of which they stood accused, and of which Lindy Chamberlain was convicted, they would have to have been monsters. But in early 1986, Azaria Chamberlain’s matinee jacket was found near a dingo lair. That and the discrediting of the flawed forensic evidence against her, led to Lindy Chamberlain’s eventual acquittal. One has to ask was it really so difficult to believe the dingo story? In June 2010, a fox that gained entrance to a London home mauled 9 month old twin girls in their cots. There but for the grace...

Sadly, although she never spent a day in prison, Patsy Ramsey went to her death without being officially cleared of the murder of her daughter. Two years later, enhanced DNA testing indicated the presence of an unknown male on the child’s body.

These two cases although exceptional and extraordinary are in no sense unique, indeed at this very moment there is a mother behind bars in Florida convicted of an equally heinous crime, drowning her seven year old daughter, while in the UK a young mother was sentenced last year to life with a 12 year tariff for pimping out her offspring to paedophiles. The cases against both these women look strong on the face of it. The murder of Adrianna Hutto was witnessed by her young brother (technically her half-brother). And there was no shortage of evidence against Marie Black by her young victims. And yet...

Amanda Lewis, the mother of Adrianno Hutto, was convicted of murder not only because her son AJ told the investigating officers he had witnessed her holding Adrianna’s head under the water, but because there appeared to be forensic evidence - on the child’s body - because she appeared to be a bad mother, and just as importantly because Adrianna was not the first child of hers that had met an untimely death. When she was just seventeen, her firstborn was a victim of a cot death. One is of course reminded of Oscar’s Wilde’s famous maxim, which might be rendered here as to lose one child is unfortunate, to lose another smacks of foul play. Yet the two deaths were entirely different, and the first arguably as unavoidable as unpredictable. Whatever, no one appears to have entertained the slightest suspicion about the death of her first child until after Adrianna was drowned.

Why did the boy claim she had drowned Adrianna if she hadn’t? Lewis’s attorney said he was coached by her then stepfather. Whether or not that was the case, the six year old made numerous other claims, including that he had not witnessed the crime. The suggestibility of very young boys and girls is thoroughly documented. Leaving aside his contradictory testimony and those of other witnesses who portrayed her as a bad mother, there was one startling anomaly. As AJ was escorted from the courtroom he waved at his mother, the woman he had not initially recognised. By this time he was seven years old. Granted that like any other seven year old he was doli incapax, at that age a child is old enough to understand something about death, even about murder. A picture like this is worth a million words. Is it conceivable that he would have shown such a display of affection if he had truly believed she had murdered his sister? That question is now academic, because his mother was convicted in 2008, and has already lost one appeal.

Of Mothers And Monsters

Marie Black - miscarriage of justice.

If the handling of the child witness in this case leaves much to be desired, the way the alleged victims in the case of Marie Black were handled beggars belief, but sadly the erosion of due process in English courtrooms under the twin pernicious influences of feminism and the self-styled child protection lobby has reduced not only the rights of the accused but loaded the dice against him, or in this case, her. Men - and it is overwhelmingly men - who are accused of sexual offences have long since lost the right to cross-examine their accusers. This may not be a bad thing for the defence, but screens are often used to protect what are deemed vulnerable witnesses, the word vulnerable can mean many things, including dishonest.

Accusers in sexual abuse cases are protected with lifelong anonymity, which was not relevant in this case, and most people would agree there should be special provisions for the young. Should this though extend to pre-recorded cross-examination, and their testifying by video-link? This is part of an odious procedure alluded to as attaining best evidence. In reality this attains only the most incriminating evidence, namely the evidence the prosecution wants the jury to hear.

Marie Black stood trial at Norwich Crown Court with no fewer than 9 co-defendants; 6 of the 10 accused were women. Has there ever been a paedophile ring in history that included more than 1 woman member? The only one on record is the notorious Little Ted’s Day Nursery case, and the women involved in that - principally Vanessa George - were doing the bidding of male paedophiles. Although George is technically a paedophile, she appeared to take the sexual abuse of the young as a sick joke. Would she ever have engaged in such depravity on her own account?

On the other hand, the Marie Black case was - according to the prosecution - one in which five women, if one excludes Black herself, abused the victims for their own gratification. Although this was not entirely accepted by the jury, the substance of the abuse was, yet there was no physical evidence, for the obvious reason, and as usual in such spurious cases, the only evidence adduced was words, the words of impressionable and easily influenced children.

Black was failed miserably by her legal team, who appeared to believe her to be guilty because not only did they fail to put her on the stand but convinced her not to allow any cross-examination of the alleged victims. This was tantamount to throwing in the towel, because as one observer who attended the entire trial noted, they appeared to be reading from a script. Black relied entirely on expert evidence, which was excluded by the judge, which is why she is now behind bars for the duration and behind Rosemary West just about the most reviled woman in Britain.

Now cast your mind back to the Amanda Lewis trial and imagine what would have been the effect on the jury if even one of Marie Black’s alleged victims had waved at her from the witness stand.

It is true there are monsters out there, including women, and in this connection we may cite not only the aforementioned Rosemary West but black widow Judy Buenoano, even baby farmer Amelia Dyer. There was though surely a reasonable doubt in the case of Amanda Lewis, and those of us who have studied the long history of Satanic abuse and mythical paedophile rings in the modern era cannot but conclude that Marie Black is serving a life sentence for imaginary crimes.

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