Skip to comments.BREAKING NOW: Detectives Arrive at Danielle Van Dam Residence for 4:00 P.M. Announcement.
Posted on 02/28/2002 2:54:47 PM PST by FresnoDA
DA HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE THIS AFTERNOON
Authorities expect to announce today that the body of a young girl found dumped off a road in East County is, as law enforcement officials already believe, that of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam. Dental records will likely be used to make a positive identification. San Diego District Attorney Paul Pfingst said last night that all the evidence points to the body being that of the second-grader who had been reported missing on Feb. 2. ``We believe that Danielle van Dam's body has been found,'' he said during a news conference with San Diego police Chief David Bejarano. Susan Wintersteen, a family friend, said this morning that the Van Dams are ``going through unspeakable pain and loss right now.'' But she said that the discovery of the body ``has provided them with the closure that they so desired."
Stay tuned to KOGO for live coverage of the DA's news conference this afternoon between 4pm and 5pm.
I don't know...there are a lot of people who party and smoke pot and never have a problem with sexual predators destroying their lives. Thanks for sharing that information though...It sickens me to no end. Just the thought of parents trying to have a get together.. (hopefully not the deviant kind people are saying) and to become victimized as a result..but it happens, hopefully rarely.
Goodnight for real now..
This is for you in the morning.
No, I have no problem with a party. I sure ain't no prude. I think much of the criticism leveled against the VDs may be due to their hiding of these parties. I assume they leveled with investigators, but they are hiding it in public.(this may be why they appear disingenuous)
The reason that I critisize them is that this should not have happened. They got trashed and forgot the kids.
I'm glad you asked that.
No, not at all.
Let me tell you why.
Theoretically, it's not whether the van Dams were swinging or not that night, it's whether by doing so, they failed to protect Danielle from a sexual predator.
If whatever the van Dams were doing at the time of the abduction is to blame for Danielle's fate, then they would have been equally as guilty if they were simply sleeping.
The problem that FR posters have with this case as opposed to, let's say the Polly Klaas abduction, is the rumours of what the van Dam's may have been doing that evening. In both cases, children were abducted from their bedrooms (in Polly's case in the presence of her friends, while her mom was zonked on pain killers in the room next door, trying to get rid of a migraine) by a sexual predator and murdered. Yet few would point fingers at Mrs. Klaas and call her negligent.
The difference must then be our opinion of the alleged activity itself.
But that doesn't make any sense either, because if they had NOT be swinging, and they HAD been locked in the garage playing poker, and listening to Pink Floyd real loud (keeping the door closed so that the kids wouldn't wake up) they should be able to assume, with a good amount of reasonable expectation, that no one will come into their home and kidnapp their child her bed while they were very obviously at home.
I mean, would it have been OK if they had been in the garage with the door closed simply playing poker and listening to music?
What difference does WHAT they may have been doing in the garage make?
If the van Dam's are to share in the guilt of Danielle's death because they weren't watching her when she was abducted, then every parent of every abducted child is partially to blame for their fate.
Some claim that the fact that they swung meant that they brought strangers into their home, yet, no one involved is a stranger to the van Dams, including the people that came over late that night.
Nor is Westerfield a stranger.
Now, having said all that, I'd like to point out a few things about this story.
It's been nearly one month since Danielle's abduction.
Let's see what we KNOW about the van Dam's swinging lifestyle.
We know that a local DJ claims to have received a tip from a "highly placed law enforcement official" I believe is how DJ Rick Roberts markets his "informant".
We know that internet chat rooms and forums (us) have been buzzing with talk about the van Dam's swinging, generated of course by the Rick Roberts coverage.
We know that Larry King asked them directly, and they chose instead to talk about the subject that they had come to talk about. For the record, had I been in Mr. van Dam's seat, I would have kicked Larry's ass for asking the question to begin with.
Now it bothers me to no end that one month later, not one single one of the "perverts" that the van Dam's have swung with has decided to sell his "I SWUNG WITH BRENDA" story to some upstanding publication like the Narional Enquirer or the Washington Post.
Not a single one.
Beyond that, not one single neighbor (that we now of) has mentioned anything about the van Dams doing anything improper at all in close to one month, to any one of the dozen reporters that have been camped in the neighborhood since the story broke.
That really puts Rick Robert's informant in a bad light, specially taking the whole "don't use my name" thing.
Now, last, but not least.
I know cops. I know detectives.
I have talked about this to some.
There's no way that a highly placed law enforcement official made that call. If that is the truth, he should be found, and at the very least fired. Preferably, he should be arrested and charged with obstructing an ongoing investigation.
In the post-JonBennett world of missing children investigations, the investigators are much too aware of the mistakes made in Colorado, and the cost to the police there.
There's no way in my mind that caller was really what Rick Roberts says that he is.
That's it, almost.
Let me tell you that I have always been a fan of your work, that should not come as a surprise to you, and I think that you are an incredibly talented individual.
But I am really disturbed by the image of the van Dams that you've created. I don't find it very amusing.
Regardless of whatever everyone's opinion of the van Dam's alleged lifestyle may be, to take a picture of a set of parents who have lost a child to a sexual predator, and do what you did to it is below you as both a man, and a Christian.
(Condolences to the Van Dams, who I hope will repent of their own sin and not become Van Damneds.)
Even they know the limits of bad timing and taste. Wait a few months.
You're DEFINATELY not as intelligent as I am. WHERE, oh where have I said that inviting Westerfield into the home absolves him of blame of killing Danielle? WHERE? He has to bear the burden of the murder ... but if Mom is trolling for sex or trolling for donations for her church and she tells a stranger (in the middle of the night) to just let themselves in the side door is culpable (at the very least) of not providing adequate security for her female child.
It's a simple concept and the basis for American criminal jurisprudence.
That makes them better than a whole lot of FReepers.
Danielle could have put up a struggle, but how would the parents have heard her if they had a party going on in the garage?
Another angle, I've been thinking about. Suppose Brenda and Damon were into the drug culture and owed the dealers big-time. This could account for the "rumor" she was out in the parking lot of Dad's. So, the drug dealer goes into the house and nabs the child..payback! Just a far-fetched thought ,nonetheless.
I live in San Diego, in a suburb not unlike that of the VD's. I have never left a door open at night while I have slept...that's what a/c is for ;-).
Seems to me if they were comfortable with leving the door open at night, then why did they close it, twice, after finding it open?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.