Skip to comments.DANIELLE'S DEATH MAY REMAIN MYSTERY: (30 Days Ago, Van Dam Case Broke! Details Now Being Revealed!)
Posted on 03/03/2002 7:49:10 AM PST by FresnoDA
CAUSE OF GIRL'S DEATH COULD REMAIN MYSTERY
| Police say they may never know how Danielle van Dam died, or when. The seven-year-old girl disappeared from her San Diego home February first. Authorities are now confirming that a child's body found by volunteer searchers Wednesday is that of the missing child. The district attorney says an autopsy performed confirmed her identity yesterday. The identification was made through dental records because of the condition of the body. Medical examiners are trying to determine the cause of death, but Police Chief Dave Bejerano says it's possible that we'll never know how, or when she was killed. A neighbor has been charged with kidnapping and murdering her. Authorities say they found the girl's blood on his clothing and in his motor home. He has pleaded innocent.
Maybe that is what SDPD meant when they said this is far from over. Maybe it was reference to evidence and tips concerning DW rather than the parents.
Speaking as a parent, the only hazard about those silly plastic necklaces I worried about was accidental ingestion while sleeping, which never happened. It's not reasonable to consider these things as child molester bait, because there's no telling what child molesters (insane people, IMHO) will think is attractive for selecting a victim. The risk of exposure is only ultimately abated by the potential victims growing up. In the mean time, you keep tabs on the kids when they are out and about. I speculate the nutcases who break into homes and take kids are probably not even dissauded by the potential of getting caught or blown to hell in a hail of bullets, the fixation is so strong in them. Which is why we check on the kids at night when we are up and about.
Now I will agree popular culture and marketing of age-group inappropriate memes has affected what kids think is acceptable in society, but if you look at the history of civilization you'll see complaints in every society about the immorality, impiety, etc of youth caused by an improper upbringing and corruption of mores. But this doesn't seem to be your point.
Whether you're right or not, insisting is beating a dead horse. And it's downright offensive to post those B&D photos in conjunction with that little girl's picture. The only point you would be proving is that you are sick and offensive.
There are a lot of so-called "coincidences" that make me squirm. If this is as straightforward as the State would have us believe at this juncture, I will be shocked.
I will also be livid if the guilty is set free because the parents and their gross pleasures handed the very clever defense attorney a ready-made acquittal.
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE INVESTIGATIONS A JOINT INVESTIGATIVE APPROACH COMBINING THE EXPERTISE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND LAW ENFORCEMENT PROFESSIONALS
The American Humane Association estimates that some 200,000 to 300,000 molestations of females alone occur every year. Pedophiles themselves claim two to twenty million men in this country are attracted to boys alone (Goldstein, 1984).
Law enforcement and the legal system are prepared to deal with the complexities of adult interviews and adult testimony. Law enforcement training contains a significant amount of focus on interrogation and pursuance of the criminal. The adult focus permeates the legal system from the report of a crime to the actual court hearing.
Law enforcement personnel--police and prosecutor--are under pressure, and sometimes under fire, of public concern and public opinion to make an air-tight case against "degenerates" who prey on children.
There are many oddities in this case. I am no detective and do not pretend to know any kinds of statistic, however, there's too many things that are too weird in this case--to many discrepancies, coincidences, bizarreness....I think there's more than the police are saying, and that, of course, is quite understandable. They're not supposed to be helping the guilty party/parties.
To prove beyond a reasonable doubt may be very difficult. The family's lifestyle WILL be brought into his defense. So will the people who have been guests in the VD home. The family and their friends, even if innocent, should be propared to face deep investigation of their personal life.
I believe you are absolutely right.
By J. Harry Jones
March 3, 2002
David Westerfield, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering Danielle van Dam, received a rude awakening when he was booked into jail last week.
Even among the criminal population, suspected pedophiles and child-killers are held in contempt and officials frequently separate them from other prisoners to prevent physical attacks. When Westerfield arrived, he was greeted with shouted threats and curses.
While being escorted to his third-floor cell in the downtown San Diego jail last weekend where he has been isolated ever since some inmates screamed obscenities and said they wanted to kill the 50-year-old design engineer, who has proclaimed his innocence.
Sources in the Sheriff's Department said some of the inmates held up copies of The San Diego Union-Tribune containing his picture. On some of the papers, inmates had drawn a noose around Westerfield's neck. Other inmates had scrawled messages across Westerfield's photograph describing how much they wanted to see him die.
Officials said Westerfield appeared baffled and was taken aside by a senior deputy and told the facts of jail life.
"It was explained to him that the cows eat their own cud," one sheriff's official said, and that accused killers of children are considered the cud. "When you have an inmate like that, if that guy gets sentenced to life imprisonment, it could be worse than death," one official said.
"He would be living on pins and needles the rest of his life. There is honor among thieves. And child-killers are considered the lowest of the low, even in jail."
Westerfield, who lived two doors away from the van Dam family in Sabre Springs, has been held without bail since his arrest Feb. 22. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and possession of child pornography. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 11.
He is being held apart from other prisoners in a cell in which he is under almost constant observation for his own protection. Westerfield eats alone, showers alone and exercises alone in a small outdoor area, said jail Lt. Al Skoglund.
Westerfield has spoken very little since that first weekend, one of the officials said. Westerfield told jail clerks that he will accept visits from only his lawyers and members of his family. Jail officials wouldn't say whether members of his family have visited.
By Anne Krueger
March 3, 2002
David Westerfield is a twice-divorced design engineer who was little noticed in his suburban Sabre Springs neighborhood except when he washed his motor home or repaired cars in his driveway.
Yet, prosecutors say, Westerfield had another side that none of his neighbors knew about. Police searching his home in connection with the disappearance of 7-year-old Danielle van Dam say they found child pornography. Officials say Westerfield kidnapped Danielle for sexual purposes, then killed her.
Danielle's body was discovered Wednesday in Dehesa. Westerfield, who lived two doors away from the van Dams, is in jail without bail, charged with murder, kidnapping and possession of child pornography.
Could Westerfield, 50, have been a pedophile who hid his sexual interest in children for years?
Experts say that pedophilia is a lifelong condition that most try to keep secret because of the shame and stigma associated with it.
No one knows how many pedophiles there are because no large-scale surveys have been done. And, because most never act on their sexual fantasies, researching the issue is problematic.
"If they don't act out and don't get caught, it's unlikely that people will know they are pedophiles," said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.
Sometimes, though, the urge becomes too overwhelming or pressures build too high.
"Occasionally we do see people who have been law-abiding pedophiles for years who suddenly commit an offense due to overwhelming stress," said Park Dietz, a Newport Beach forensic psychiatrist who has conducted numerous studies on sex offenders and who is frequently an expert witness in such cases. Dietz emphasized that he was not talking specifically about Westerfield's case.
Dietz said a sexual interest in children usually develops in early adolescence, and is a sexual orientation just like an interest in men or women. Pedophiles can be attracted to either boys or girls. Virtually all known pedophiles are male, but they share few characteristics in common other than that.
Some are married, but most are not. Pedophiles tend to be somewhat socially isolated, with few adult friends, Dietz notes, but even that is only a weak indicator for pedophiles.
"The only tremendously strong characteristic is wanting to be around children," he said. "Normal adults, particularly men, don't want to be around other people's children unless they're being paid for it."
Pedophiles can come from all classes of society. Recent child molestation cases in San Diego County have involved a physician, a children's counselor, an electrician, an advertising salesman, a pastor and a former Navy pilot.
Pedophilia is classified as a mental disorder characterized by sexual fantasies or urges involving children younger than 13. Some pedophiles prefer boys or girls in a particular age range.
A slaying of a child by a pedophile is extremely rare, said psychologist Fred Berlin, founder of the Sex Disorders Clinic at Johns Hopkins University and one of the nation's leading experts on pedophilia.
"The overwhelming majority of people with pedophilia are not murderers," he said. "There's no higher frequency among pedophiles than among the general population."
Finkelhor said pedophiles often befriend their young victims rather than abduct them.
"The people who abduct are the kinds of pedophiles who don't seem to have the social skills that would give them access to kids. They resort to this more coercive strategy for fulfilling their desires," he said. "Frequently they murder the children as a way to try to keep them quiet."
The Internet has drastically changed the way pedophiles operate. Now they can use computers to download pornographic pictures, make contact with other pedophiles and lure young children through Internet chat rooms.
"The Internet is putting (child pornography) in a very readily available location," Berlin said. "They can access material in a way they had not been able to do before."
Berlin said pedophiles who otherwise wouldn't have access to child pornography may be more likely to get it from the Internet because of the ease of obtaining it in their own home.
But, he cautioned, "lots of people will look at pictures and won't go out and kidnap and murder a child."
Two people searching for the missing girl found the body behind some foliage, near a trail and among scattered rocks next to a golf course. Damon and Brenda van Dam had spearheaded one of the largest volunteer searches in state history, with hundreds of people combing nearby deserts and highways.
Meanwhile, the chief suspect in case, neighbor David Westerfield, is in custody waiting to see whether San Diego County prosecutors will seek the death penalty in Danielle's disappearance and slaying. Westerfield, who is being held without bond, has pleaded not guilty to murder and kidnapping charges and has also been charged with possession of child pornography.
If convicted, Westerfield, 50, could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
Danielle was last seen Feb. 1 when her father put her to bed at around 10 p.m. After she disappeared, investigators focused primarily on Westerfield, who lives two doors down from the van Dam family's suburban San Diego home.
Police say Westerfield took his motor home to an area in the desert outside San Diego for the weekend on the same morning the child was reported missing.
Investigators say DNA evidence links Westerfield to van Dam's kidnapping and slaying: her blood was found on an article of Westerfield's clothing and in his motor home.
Police also searched Westerfield's home has been searched multiple times, impounded his Toyota sport utility vehicle and motor home, and had him provide a DNA sample for analysis. Investigators who searched the mobile home said the smell of bleach was overwhelming.
Investigators also hauled at least 13 bags of evidence from Westerfield's home, including, they said, materials that appeared to be child pornography.
So is Shamu.
There seems to be a lot of possibility for a connection in this case.
I agree, as well.
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