The Patriot Ledger
Posted Mar 28, 2009 @ 05:00 AM
When children die – and parents are potential suspects – we often talk about abuse and neglect.
But when sedatives are found in a child’s body or at a crime scene, we need to talk about something else, too.
The FBI has long taught about the use of sedative drugs in the making of child porn. Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Klonopin – and cheap alternatives such as chloroform – are commonly used to keep kids calm. Many of these drugs also cause short-term amnesia such that the victim has little or no memory of the event when the drugs wear off.
It’s scary to think that ANYONE would do such a thing to a child, but get this: According to the U.S. Attorney General, child porn is a multi-billion dollar industry and the people most likely to be making it are the victims’ parents.
This sick “industry” not only destroys innocent souls – it is a life-threatening “business” because the build-up of sedatives in kids’ bodies can cause deadly seizures.
If we’re going to protect children from this scourge, we have to talk more openly about it, especially during high profile cases when millions of people are watching.
Take the following stories, for example, though it should be emphasized that we have not heard from law enforcement whether there is any correlation between the deaths of these little girls and child porn.
JonBenet Ramsey was a beautiful dyed-blonde 6-year-old when she was found dead in the basement of her home. The day her body was found, her parents hired criminal attorneys and refused to submit to separate police interviews. Three search warrants were issued for child porn, and while police said none was found in the home, we really don’t know the details of what if anything was found elsewhere – or why they were looking for child porn – because the files in the case are being withheld from public view. We DO know that undigested pineapple was found in the child’s stomach and we know that a bowl of pineapple found on the kitchen table was taken as evidence, presumably tested for the presence of drugs. But we don’t know the results because, again, the file is being hidden. We also know that the child had “chronic” vaginal injuries including an “eroded” hymen, which many experts say is evidence of prior ongoing sexual abuse. When the parents eventually agreed to be interviewed by police, they were asked at length about sedatives in the home, such as Xanax and Klonopin.
Caylee Anthony was a sweet little 2-year-old when she “went missing” from her home in Florida. Her body was later found and her mother stands charged with her murder, in part because she failed to report Caylee missing for more than a month, and then lied about the circumstances of her disappearance. Human decomposition was found in the trunk of her mother’s car – along with Caylee’s hair and traces of chloroform. Law enforcement officials said that photographs of Caylee had recently been deleted from her mother’s computer.
Maddie McCann was an adorable 4-year-old who “went missing” from her hotel room in Portugal while on vacation with her British parents. The child’s hair and human decomposition were reportedly found in the trunk of her parents’ rental car. Early news reports indicated Maddie had been sedated by her parents to keep her asleep in the hotel room while they socialized nearby. The parents hired criminal attorneys and, after Maddie’s mom was named a suspect, she refused to answer police questions.
I don’t know if these cases are related to child porn. But I’m certain of three things. 1. Sedating victims is common. 2. The most valuable child porn depicts young, cute kids. 3. All three cases involve sedatives and young, cute kids.
According to the federal government, demand for child porn has skyrocketed because of the Internet, and will continue to rise unless we do a better job recognizing and talking about the problem when we see it.
It won’t be easy – in part because this stuff happens in secret, but also because we resist thinking about things that don’t feel good – and let’s face it – it doesn’t feel very good to believe parents sell their children for sex and porn.
But what’s more important? Children – or the comfort of our denial?
Wendy Murphy is a leading victims rights advocate and nationally recognized television legal analyst. She is an adjunct professor at New England Law in Boston and radio talk show host. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Wendy Murphy: Patriot Ledger
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