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Beverly Potts

Twilight Of Innocence: The Disappearance Of Beverly Potts by James Jessen Badal -- One of the nation’s first highly publicized missing child cases was ten-year-old Beverly Potts, last seen at 9:00 p.m., August 24, 1951, at Halloran Park on Cleveland’s West Side. She and her neighbor friend Patricia Swing had gone to see the Showagon—a troupe of performers that traveled around Cleveland’s parks giving free performances. Patricia had to be home before dark, but Beverly could stay until the show was over. When she was not home by 9:30, her father, Robert, went looking for her. At 10:30 he called the police. Beverly disappeared without a trace. Badal reexamines the events leading to Beverly's disappearance, the police investigation, and the sensational publicity. Interviews with detectives assigned to this open case and examination of police records provide a chronology of false leads and hoaxes in this disturbing case. Badal draws comparisons between investigative techniques of the time and more modern ones and examines the social and historical context in his analysis of the more than half-century of public fascination with this case.


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Between 1976 and 1994 an estimated 37,000 children were murdered.

Children under 18 account for 11% of all murder victims in the US in 1994.

Nearly half of these 2,660 child victims were between 15 and 17.

1 in 5 child victims were known to be killed by another child.

FBI Supplementary Homicide Reports, 1976-94

Their stories -- A memorial to the young victims, so their lives and deaths are not forgotten.

Former kidnap victims recall ordeals that came afterward

Unsolved Cases -- Unsolved cases of murdered children.

Jessica Lunsford -- The nine year old from Florida who was taken from her bed and found murdered after a pedophile in the neighborhood confessed to burying her alive.

Evidence of Foul Play -- Shakira Johnson was last seen at a Saturday night, block party she and her two brothers attended. She was still dancing at ten PM. Then she was gone.

Jon Benet Ramsey DNA Rules Out Parents!

The Ward Weaver Story: On a stormy winter morning, Ashley Pond, 12, a seventh-grader at Gardiner Middle School, headed for the school bus stop in Oregon City, OR about 8 a.m. on Jan. 9, 2002. Ashley did not make it to school. Two months later on March 8, 2002, 13-year-old Miranda Diane Gaddis, disappeared after she left her apartment at 8 a.m. for the school bus. Ashley and Miranda attended the same school, rode the same bus, were in the same dance class and had a common friend.

East on the Jericho Road: The Murder of Paulette Crickmore -- September 10, 1986, Paulette, 15, was on her way to school when she vanished.

David Westerfield,49, guilty of the the murder and kidnapping of Danielle van Dam, 7, sometime after February 1, 2002, who lived next door to him in San Diego. The Trial of David Westerfield.
Interview with Brenda van Dam.
The van Dam Family, PO Box 501515,
San Diego CA 92150 -- Email the van Dam Family

17 Days: The Katie Beers Story by Arthur Herzog Katie Beers, roamed the streets at all hours in West Islip, a Long Island suburb. Child protection knew Katie stayed with her single mother in a filthy, roach-infested house sometimes and was the subject of a bitter battle between her natural mother, Marilyn Beers, and family friend Linda Inghilleri. December 28, 1992, 2 days before her 10th birthday, Katie disappeared. She had left with John Esposito a handyman and a close family friend . A few years earlier, Esposito plead guilty to unlawful imprisonment and sexual offenses on a young boy. Esposito claimed he lost Katie at an amusement center. Esposito finally admitted to kidnapping and imprisoning her in a hidden dungeon. January 13th, Katie was found alive chained by the neck, and locked in a bunker under Esposito's garage .Esposito is serving a sentence of 15 years to life. Sal Inghilleri was convicted of sexually abusing Katie served 8 years and was paroled in 2002 at age 49. Beers graduated from highschool and went on to college on a scholarship. She is majoring in psychology, with plans to go to law school.

The 1996 trial for the 1993 murder of Polly Hannah Klaas, 12. October 1, 1993, 10:20 p.m. Polly was kidnapped at knife-point of from a slumber party. Her 12-year-old friends, Kate McLean and Gillian Pelham, were bound and gagged, with tied pillow-cases over the heads of in her own bedroom while Polly’s mother, Eve Nichol, and sister Annie Nichol, 7, slept in the next room of their Petaluma, CA home. Richard Allen Davis, was on parole for a previous conviction, following a lifetime career of violent knife and sex crimes against women.

Free to Kill - Polly Klaas Murder -- Richard Allen Davis had been arrested 25 times and spent 17 of the previous 20 years in jail. How can society be protected from people like Davis? Why does the penal system fail so abjectly in its attempt to rehabilitate inmates? Is there even any attempt made to rehabilitate prisoners, or do their jailhouse experiences make them more bitter, hardened and dangerous? Klaas's father shares his feeling of rage and betrayal, while jurors and attorneys look at the trial that put Davis away. Legal experts reveal why the penal system failed to rehabilitate, and the reforms that might make cases like Klaas's less likely in the future.

Jeffrey Curley,10, was killed by men he thought were his friends. Two men wanted sex from him for the promise of a new bike. Robert and Barbara Curley, Jeffrey's parents say NAMBLA shares responsibility for their son's murder. Their lawsuit seeks millions of dollars in damages, in hopes that a massive verdict would drive NAMBLA out of business. The Curley's and their Supporters say this is a legitimate way of holding groups morally and financially accountable.

Martha Moxley went out for some pre Halloween shenanigans. The next day, she was found beaten to death in her own back yard, the blows inflicted with a golf club.

In 1963, Patty Rebholz, a 15-year-old high school cheerleader was brutally strangled and beaten to death. The murder remains unsolved but her town, Greenhills, Ohio, can't forget her.

Dr. Carol Werlinich and graduate students are working on research involving the mental health needs of families who have lost a child to murder. Parents of Murdered Children, a 40,000-member support group for families who have lost a child to murder, estimates that each homicide affects a minimum of 7 to 10 people. The number of violent deaths among children in the United States has increased 67 percent in the last six years.

Silvina Pelosso -- 16-year-old exchange student from Argentina, reported missing with her companions at Yosemite State Park in Ca was a victim of Cary Stayner.

Shanda Renee Sharer -- One of the youngest murder victims in the state of Indiana in 1992.

A View on Surviving -- I was 14 when I was kidnapped and raped by a drug-addicted stranger. When it was over, he plunked my clothes on the dirt. "I'm going to do you a favor," he said, "and let you go."

Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters -- There is no grief like losing a child, especially by homicide. " I remember the phone call telling me that my son, my first born, had been murdered. There are no words to describe the pain you feel. No one can know the pain and sorrow that survivors experience unless they themselves have gone through the horror of losing someone they love at the hands of another human being."

First, we kill all the 11-year-olds

Children of Rwanda's genocide five years after ethnic massacres

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Devil's Knot by Mara Leveritt --
Arkansas investigative journalist, Mara Leveritt, (The Boys on the Tracks) presents an affecting account of the 1993 West Memphis 3 murder convictions, controversial trial in the wake of 3 child murders in Arkansas. In May 1993, three eight-year-old boys were found mutilated and murdered in West Memphis, a small Arkansas town. The crime scene and forensic evidence were mishandled, but a probation officer directed the police
toward Damien Echols.

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