Friday, April 30, 2010

Find John Mark Karr!

I am on a mission. My mission is to find John Mark Karr! Karr is a former murder suspect and self-professed pedophile.

The name John Mark Karr may sound familiar to you already.  Karr falsely confessed to the 1996 killing of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. But before you chalk Karr up to being just a nutbag, please read what I have to say.
John Mark Karr, also known as Daxis, is now transgendered and assuming the name Alexis Valoran Reich (yes, as in the Third Reich!). He is reportedly living in a woman's homeless shelter in Seattle and seeking a teaching or nanny job. And he has a new victim.

While many of his victims over the years have been too scared to come forward, Samantha Spiegel has bravely come forward now to stop John Mark Karr. Samantha is speaking out not only with intention of protecting herself, but with the goal of educating others as to how and why Karr is such a potential danger/threat to society. 

I will share with you the details of his threats and behavior in the next week when Diane Dimond and I co-author an article exposing the true John Mark Karr/Alexis Reich. But for the time being, please help me to help Samantha Spiegel today by taking a look at this Wanted Poster and website (below). Any information you may have, whether seemingly important or not, would be appreciated.

John Mark Karr must be found! If you have any information on his whereabouts, please fill out this form to report clues to the investigators who are looking for him! If you have any other tips or information that may help lead us to him, please contact us!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Suzanne Porcelli & Gambino's Sex Trafficking

Does the name Suzanne Porcelli ring a bell?  Well, it should. Porcelli is a member of the Gambino organized crime family -- yes, we still have the good old fashioned Mafia in addition to modern day street gangs. Porcelli and thirteen other people are facing an array of charges today, including what prosecutors called new criminal territory for the mob: sex trafficking of a minor.   

Kudos to the prosecutors who not only recognized the existence of the trafficking, but also had the cajonas to do something about it.  I hate that it takes a case like this to remind us that sex trafficking is very much alive and thriving in THIS country — The United States of America. Yes, people are sold in this country each and every day in large numbers.  Think about it this way: wherever drugs are sold so are women and children. 

Why is it that human trafficking is so pervasive and yet so misunderstood? Why do we assume that it's really an "overseas" issue? It's not because it does not exist here in the United States -- we know it does. The numbers are astounding. The sex trade is a multi-billion-dollar industry worldwide. UNICEF estimates that approximately 1.2 million children around the world unwillingly become sex slaves every year. The other stats on human trafficking are terrible:

* 1.2 million children are trafficked every year   
* The average age of a trafficked victim is 14 years old   
* People are trafficked and exploited in 137 countries, including the United States   
* Between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked into the USA each year   
* The market value of illicit sex trafficking is estimated to be in excess of $32 billion   
* By 2010 Sex Trafficking will be the number one crime worldwide 

Human trafficking IS modern day slavery.  December 18, 1865 is the date slavery was abolished in America yet every 60 seconds in this country a woman or a child is trafficked or exploited.  

It is the commercial aspect that separates the crime of sex trafficking from other sexual acts against children, and it is this aspect where we need to see change. Frequently, law enforcers and prosecutors do not recognize the commercial aspect or are too lazy, understaffed or under-budgeted to investigate. Instead, they rationalize that just getting the "perp" in the process of committing the act is enough. 

However, they are failing to get to the real source of the traffickers, the pimps, etc. and are not fully utilizing the power of this law.
It is 'good' that in the case of the Gambino family the charges were trafficking and that this high profile case will bring more awareness to the pervasiveness of the crime. But it take more than prosecutors to realize that this crime exists.  It takes you the public, to accept that this is not just an overseas issue, it is an issue here.  So, what do you do?

1. Call human trafficking by what it is –modern day slavery.
2. A child “prostitute” is a victim of a crime. There is NO such thing as consensual sex with a minor. Learn to recognize victims and stop referring to them as perpetrators!
3. Educate yourself to the issue. Watch documentaries like the Playground Project and get the facts!
4. Think globally but act locally.  Find the organizations in your community that support the end of modern day slavery.
5. Support anti-trafficking laws and legislation.

After you do these, feel free to reach out to me as a proud founding member of the International Human Trafficking Task Force,, and the Nest Foundation,, I can help direct your energy and efforts.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Suing at seventeen

A seventeen-year-old girl from Washington state is suing a family court investigator who "ruined her life" by knowingly sending her to live with her grandfather, a convicted sex offender who she says abused her nearly every day for a decade. I don't want to seem trite, but I'd like to say to this young woman: "go girl!" I am so impressed that she is doing something about it and holding the Department and the social worker accountable!

This case is absolutely an egregious example of the new hot term "missed opportunity" ... You know the overused phrase I am talking about, the one that means "snafu", screw up, mess up, error, but is sugar-coated by those who are responsible.

How could the Cowlitz County Family Service worker have allowed a seven-year-old girl to live in the home of a CONVICTED sex offender? (And just as a side note: have you see the photo of this grandpa?   Feel free to draw your own conclusions, I did.  To me, he is the creepiest looking grandpa I've ever seen: article link. I know that is very un-PC of me to say but when am I ever PC?)

Vernil Jones, grandpa, was convicted of sodomizing a 10-year-old. Are we surprised then that he went on to sexually abuse his granddaughter - for ten years - while she was forced to live with him? I'm not. Why? Because it is common knowledgde that sex offenders are the highest group of recidivist criminals out there. I am outraged (again) that a case like this would happen and the only way to make this madness stop is for people to do something about it.

The system failed this girl.  It was Children's Service responsibility to protect her and instead they fed her to the wolf - literally. Jones is now serving 25 years for the sodomy crime. This is only a little relief to the grand-daughter who suffered abuses from him for a decade.

When injustices occur it is our natural inclination is to create new laws.  Sometimes a better way to make a difference is to utilize the laws we have to make change. In this case, a young seventeen year old is putting the system to the test and holding them accountable for the job that they were supposed to do -- protecting her and others like her. 

This case is so important not just to hold the court investiator and the system accountable but has greater significance to me. It shows that we constantly underestimate the power and intelligence of our children.  So often, kids are way more intune and more knowledgable than adults are.  It's time we listen to our children and recognize they (sometimes) no more about their own well being than we do.  So, I say " go girl."  You make me proud.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Conrad Murray Rx Problem

While at the courthouse Monday on the case of People v. Conrad Murray, I was blown away by the circus scene.  And these  are  my thoughts -- the native Angeleno who lived here through OJ ...

In a weird way,  it felt sad.  Not sad for Michael Jackson  (it seems that his life was sad and his death was sad - but that isn't the sadness I felt about the courthouse scene) and definitely not sad for Conrad Murray (this guy may be in real trouble -- and because it is a result of his own actions, I can't be sad about that) but sad for the system, the other victims,  and all the other cases where not a single camera or person was there to report.

So why was there such a crowd?  To get a glimpse of the Jackson clan? To heckle Murray in the halls?   To advocate for justice?  In the grand scheme of things  the actual court proceeding wasn’t even that important – basically it was about assigning a court and potentially determining whether Murray’s medical license would be yanked (and yes it should, in my opinion).

But what about those other courtrooms? You know what I am talking about... those other empty courtrooms where justice really needs to be served. I couldn’t believe in this economy and this day and age how many people took time off work, left their kids,  and spent 'vacation time' for this case.  There are hundreds of other cases that need public voices, and this one certainly isn't it.   I just can't believe we are even talking about this ad nauseam when there are such bigger issues that need tackling. And yet there are some really interesting elements to this case (besides the fact that Jackson is the  decedent).

As it stands now, the DA’s evidence against Murray is formidable. The autopsy report, as circumstantial evidence, is “bad.”  In addition, Murray's own confusing accounts of the last hours, not to mention his questionable past, are all stacked against him.

Murray was grossly negligent in failing to have the proper monitoring and life support mechanisms in Michael's home. Even if they had been present, many experts insist that Propofol should never be used outside a fully equipped hospital, or by a doctor who is not an anesthesiologist.  Which leads me to question whether a private doctor, especially a doctor who is retained by a celebrity, can ever practice ethically in the first place.  What I mean is: if Michael was asking for these sedatives and drugs, what was Murray going to do? He was on a monthly retainer. Allegedly he was paid to provide the drugs Michael asked for, right?  Murray probably thought, 'if I don’t give him what he is asking for, someone else will'. Considering Murray's precarious financial situation, by his own accounts, it is not surprising that the events unfolded as they did.

We see many celebrities in Los Angeles who succumb to the temptations of drug use. That is not new, unfortunately. What is new - the phenomenon that doctors are legally prescribing them these medications. Take Corey Haim for example. Haim died recently, March of 2010. LA police said that his death appeared to be accidental and may have been due to an overdose. Four bottles containing Valium, Soma, Vicodin and a muscle relaxant were retrieved  from  his home. But these were later confirmed as prescribed by his doctor!  Haim obtained, in all, 553 prescription pills over the two months before his death, according to Calif. Attorney General Jerry Brown. All prescriptions were legally obtained, according to records. This is outrageous!

So while drug use by famous pop stars and actors is not a new problem, this issue of private doctors going crazy with the Rx pad seems to be. So can we really blame the doctors who are part of the system (probably, yes) … But also we must look at the system itself. Should practicing private medicine (i.e. being on retainer to a wealthy celebrity, politician, etc.) even be legally allowed? Regardless of whether or not Murray is convicted (and the Jackson camp definitely needs a scapegoat on this one) – we must address this larger issue of prescription medication abuses in the medical community.