Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Account for Danielle's search still has $24,000 (What about money promised to Laura Recovery?)
Union Trib ^ | March 31, 2002 | Kristen Green

Posted on 03/31/2002 1:52:12 PM PST by FresnoDA

Account set up for Danielle's search still has about $24,000

Van Dams undecided on how money will be used

By Kristen Green

March 24, 2002

altAfter Danielle van Dam was abducted from her Sabre Springs home, neighbors, friends and even strangers volunteered to help out. Some put up fliers in storefronts around the county, and others joined the search party. But many also opened their checkbooks.

As of Friday, more than $33,000 had been donated by people from New Jersey to Oregon.

During the search for the 7-year-old, donations totaling more than $10,600 flowed into an account in Danielle's name. And since the discovery of her body in rural East County nearly a month after she was reported missing, an additional $22,800 has been deposited.

"We didn't go open an account and ask for money," said family friend Bill Libby, who handled donations for the van Dams. "I opened the account because people wanted to donate money."

Initially, the family expected to use the donations to pay for search expenses, like posters and fliers. After Danielle's body was found, the family Web site said additional donations would be used to pay memorial expenses.

But Libby said the family's expenses have been limited because of numerous donations, from fliers to cremation fees. So far, the van Dams have spent $4,200 of the donations to buy banners, posters and buttons.

And they are writing a $5,000 check to the Laura Recovery Center, which coordinated the search for Danielle.

The family hasn't decided how to use the remaining $24,000.

"I'm sure in due time that they will turn their attention to the appropriate and productive use of those funds, but right now they're really still dealing with the loss of their daughter," said family spokeswoman Sara Muller Fraunces.

Close friends have suggested the van Dams take their time considering how the money will be used. Libby has said the funds could be used to pay for counseling for the family, and the van Dams are considering establishing a local foundation to conduct searches for missing San Diego children.

After Danielle's parents realized she wasn't in her bed the morning of Feb. 2, people began donating money to cover search expenses. Libby tried to open an account at Wells Fargo on behalf of the van Dams.

But the account had to be set up by a nonprofit organization, and a family friend who attends Community Bible Church in Scripps Ranch asked the pastor if the church would sponsor the account. Even though the van Dams aren't members of his congregation, the Rev. Barry Minkow agreed.

Minkow, who was convicted of securities and bank fraud in the late 1980s and served a 71/2-year prison sentence, doesn't have access to the van Dam account, church treasurer Bruce Brown said.

Brown said he is the only person who can withdraw money from the account, taking requests for checks directly from Libby, who acts on the van Dams' behalf.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: vandam; westerfield
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 441-450 next last
To: FresnoDA
I'm not convinced of DW's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at this time yet and I probably won't be until the prosecution can come up with a scenario that puts him in the VD house in the middle of the night and then taking the girl out of it with him.

BTW, if one is interested in how the money is being distributed out of the "rescue fund," one might want to check how BVD's recent charges at the local Nordstrom's store are being paid. Got to look nice for those upcoming court appearances, doncha know.

21 posted on 03/31/2002 3:43:12 PM PST by SamKeck
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
Thanks for the ping.
22 posted on 03/31/2002 3:47:10 PM PST by Lanza
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: FresnoDA
Two good topics to post, Fres.

I don't know how much the cremation cost, but not a whole lot.

I wouldn't want anything to do with money collected for the "Fund" if it were my child. They should have it in control of "The Center for Missing Children" for advertising or something like that.

Seems money was no problem in the past for the van Dams?

Damon is a real piece of work basically saying "SEE, this is how could have been done!"

Lots of ways it could have been done in that house that night.


23 posted on 03/31/2002 3:55:16 PM PST by spectre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: FresnoDA
That just really ticks me off. The Laura Recovery Center busts it's rear-end to help find missing children. They are johnny-on-the-spot to get search teams organized etc., whenever a child goes missing. I still hurt for the parents of Laura Smithers who is the namesake of the organization. Laura was abducted and her body found months later. There was never a moment Laura's parents' grief was questioned by anyone, because it was so real you were hurting too. Just thinking about her mother pleading on TV is bringing tears to my eyes now. Theu didn't have PR people, just family and friends when they were too distraught to talk. There were no lies, just the truth to try and find their daughter. I hurt for poor Danielle, but the VD's have left me sick with their lies and disposition. They should give every freaking dime of that 24,000 to the Laura Recovery Center. They sure as sh#@ better not use that money for attorney fees.
24 posted on 03/31/2002 4:00:44 PM PST by Lanza
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FresnoDA
Great post, Fres.

This whole situation is mighty peculiar, to say the least.

All one has to do is read the lyrics to the photo montage of Danielle (Sarah McLachlan's "Angel") - a lyrically dark song to choose, when a precious child is MISSING!!! sounded to me like they already knew she was dead. Would be interesting to find out why they chose that particular song.

25 posted on 03/31/2002 4:01:06 PM PST by GoRepGo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Jaded
I'm not sure if you meant to post to me or not. I don't believe and never said the police set up David Westerfield. I think Damon VD did or someone else in that house and they framed Westerfield because it was easy. I think Danielle and her friends probably played in that motorhome and thus the limited DNA evidence. That easily accounts for it. As for Westerfield's porn, that alone doesn't indict anyone. Maybe he's a perv who likes that and group sex, but that doesn't translate into pedophilia and murder. I'm also betting there a A LOT of people out there (maybe on this forum!) who look at computer porn and haven't committed any crimes.

Anyhow, I don't see Damon VD as a wholesome family man in the slightest. I don't have any 'proof' of any of this because I am not an investigator privy to the evidence. But if I was, I'd be taking my gut instincts and following them up to see if they panned out.

26 posted on 03/31/2002 4:01:16 PM PST by Canticle_of_Deborah
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: goldenstategirl
I agree with your theory. I also think BVD and WD were having an affair.
27 posted on 03/31/2002 4:10:00 PM PST by Lanza
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: goldenstategirl
I mean DW (not WD-duh!).
28 posted on 03/31/2002 4:11:05 PM PST by Lanza
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: FresnoDA
This is chilling, but refresh my memory. Who is David Pierce and why was he at the scene of the crime? Is he an investigator? A reporter?

I'm sorry, I've been sick and away from the computer for several days.

29 posted on 03/31/2002 4:36:43 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: rolling_stone
Re-reading the transcript:

[16:52] lay print examiner
[16:52] on the stand
[16:53] description of fingerprint comparison process
[16:54] latent is invisiable or nearly invisible print
[16:55] finger print from cabinet on side of bed in motorhome being discussed
[16:55] he was proved 200 prints
[16:55] drivers side of the bed
[16:55] provided for comparison
[16:55] evidence #
[16:56] has known prints of 18 individuals
[16:56] hands mummified he took the hands to his office for attempt to rehydrate hands so he could gather prints
[16:56] dani's hands
[16:57] went to ME's office and collected prints
[16:57] too far mummified and took them with him
[16:58] rehydrated hands and compared print found in motor home with the print recovered from Dani
[16:58] so he was able to develop known prints from severed hands
[16:58] wood cabinet print was nade by Danielle Van Dam
[16:58] verified by second examiner
[16:58] no dissimilarities
[16:59] he is absolutely no doubt in his mind that Dani made those prints
[16:59] he is a ridgeologist not point counter
[17:00] not a point counter

[17:04] discussing contents of his notes
[17:05] review fingerprint card (xerox) of dani's fingerprint
[17:05] orientation of print: as it appears on item, which way is up on the hand
[17:06] orientation of print from motorhome cabinent (did you see Titannic? that will give you the orientation)
[17:07] location on lower end of cabinet
[17:07] he didn't see print in life, saw photo and sketch
[17:07] 1.5 to 2 feet up from the bed
[17:08] as if someone was playing on the bed? objection susutained
[17:08] doesn't know age of print
[17:09] several prints: 2 to Danielle Van Dam simultaneous touch
[17:09] left middle and left ring
[17:09] two other individuals, two prints each
[17:09] these were in RV, window, bedroom area of RV
[17:10] yes in the RV
[17:10] other prints belonged to Danielle (girlfriend's kid)
[17:10] and another young girl--Jennifer
[17:10] finger prints in van dam house unidentified? objection sustained
[17:11] no way to age prints, could have been there a year
[17:11] witness has no idea
[17:11] Jennifer and his girlfriend's kid Danielle
[17:11] how long
[17:11] he cant say when the fingerprint was placed

From this, it appears to me that they were specifically talking about the motorhome--could you check on that again? Thanks!

30 posted on 03/31/2002 4:45:43 PM PST by MizSterious
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: FresnoDA
I don't have anything to add at this time. I do think the Van Dams' innocense is highly suspect. It's the mousey behavior of Damon and the hard as nails demeaner of Brenda that influence me. I can't dismiss the idea that Westerfield had a thing going on between him and the Van Dams. I also note that the child was nearly five feet tall. This leads me to wonder if someone was having to silence the child. Look, I'm making no acusations, but it occurs to me that mom, dad and an assortment of friends were sexual hounds perpetually in search of the fox. Everything is on the table as far as I am concerned. I've said this before, so it's nothing new. I only hope the truth is revealed in this case.
31 posted on 03/31/2002 5:01:21 PM PST by DoughtyOne
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jacquej
"I have no clue about the veracity of Douglas Peirce, but find his treatment by the press very confusing..."

I would venture a guess that it has more to do with not wanting to seem to offend grieving parents than anything else. I know that on this board as well as some of the San Diego message boards pointing fingers at the van Dams was at least frowned upon, and in some cases, even stronger measures were taken to prevent even the slightest criticism of the van Dams.

Those that allowed such postings at all saw terrible flames directed at those who posted (she said as she dusted off the ashes from the last barrage). Pierce did not "go along to get along" but (apparently) told it like it was--along with Rick Roberts and several others. So the press unloaded on him--how dare they?

In these times when political correctness trumps searching for and then telling the truth, I suppose we should not be surprised, but we should be dismayed.

32 posted on 03/31/2002 5:14:39 PM PST by MizSterious
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: ~Kim4VRWC's~
That's too rational for these irrational VanDam haters! I was waiting to be pinged by you!!!!
33 posted on 03/31/2002 5:18:46 PM PST by Hildy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Lanza
Speaking of the VD's PR crew, I've never seen any explanation of how or WHY they got involved. As I recall, they were from one of the major national PR firms. Why the heck would they want to get involved in a case like this? Their bread and butter is corporate and celebrity PR (and in the case of the celebrities, it's usually paid for by the celebrities corporate employers -- movie studios, record labesls, etc.) Maybe the PR firm does this sort of thing as pro bono work, to help their own slimy reputation? But it seems risky to get involved with people you don't know anything about, in the context of a type of case where, as history has shown, the victim's relatives fairly frequently turn out to be the perpetrators.
34 posted on 03/31/2002 5:23:17 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: FresnoDA
Here's an interesting wrinkle:

Retirement benefits too good to ignore

By Joe Hughes

March 30, 2002

One officer spent more than 40 years with the San Diego Police Department, a record for the agency. Another spent 34 years on the force and oversaw the Danielle van Dam investigation.

In all, eight senior San Diego police officers will be turning in their badges within a week, taking with them about 300 years of experience.

Police officials cannot remember another instance when so many veterans with so much experience left the department at the same time.

More retirements of longtime veterans may soon follow.

The reason for the exodus, police say, is an enhanced retirement policy that allows officers to retire with up to 90 percent of their salary after 30 years of service.

"There is some concern because we are losing an awful lot of good people," said Bill Farrar, president of the San Diego Police Officers Association. "You can teach people how to do the job, but so much of it is experience."

Capt. Cheryl A. Meyers, who supervises the department's personnel division, said police must become more aggressive in recruiting and may have to start looking for officers beyond state lines.

"We also are considering bringing back some of the people who have retired, under a provisional officers program, to work 90-day periods in some departments," Meyers said. Similar programs have been tried elsewhere.

San Diego's isn't the only police department facing a loss of leadership. Police agencies throughout California have implemented similar retirement plans, lest they become less competitive in recruiting.

The California commission on Police Officers Standards and Training, a Sacramento-based organization that sets statewide standards on training and advises departments on policies, is working with local officials in developing strategies to improve recruiting and retention.

Recruiting is expensive. San Diego officials estimate it costs about $100,000 to recruit and train an officer.

Officers who are leaving say the lure of retirement was too strong to ignore.

"I'm going to play golf, spend some time with the grandkids and smell the roses," said Capt. Ronald G. Newman, 60, who left yesterday.

Lt. Richard Bennett, 58, also left yesterday. He has spent more than 40 years with the department, surpassing by 12 days the record for longevity held by Officer George Pringle, who retired in 1936, according to Steve Willard of the San Diego Police Historical Association.

A graduate of Mission Bay High School, Bennett said he made his move into law enforcement through journalism.

During a high school journalism class, he was assigned to do a story on a now-defunct police cadet program. As part of the story, he applied to become a cadet and was accepted at the age of 18.

He later became a sworn officer.

"I never dreamed I'd be here 40 years," said Bennett, a supervisor in the narcotics division. "It's been a great ride."

Newman headed the Danielle van Dam case and has been involved with more than 900 homicide cases during his tenure. The soft-spoken, Hoover High School graduate who now lives in Escondido also has been the department's spokesman in explaining the recent rash of officer-involved shootings.

He never shot anyone in his career. Last month, however, he had his gun in hand in the middle of a busy downtown freeway, facing an ex-con begging him to shoot. The matter was resolved peacefully.

Co-workers said Newman's forte was getting homicide suspects to talk. He became one of the best in the business at obtaining confessions.

"About 80 percent of all homicide suspects give incriminating statements during police interviews," Newman said. He would use those statements to get suspects to divulge more information.

Newman's peers said the veteran detective's secret was his compassionate personality. Simply put, he got criminals to relax.

Newman said his approach invokes common sense.

"People would be surprised at the number of times just getting someone a cup of coffee brings results; it's more difficult for you to turn down someone who is decent to you."

Others retiring are Lt. Bill Hoover, 58, who spent 34 years on the force; Sgt. Wesley Ashcraft, 60, who spent 33 years on the force; Detective Phil Cooper, 60, who spent 35 years on the force; Detective Gary Reichle, 56, who spent 34 years on the force; Detective Eduardo Medina, 57, who spent 29 years on the force; and Gary Yoshonis, 59, who spent 35 years on the force.


35 posted on 03/31/2002 5:46:57 PM PST by MizSterious
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GovernmentShrinker
I was under the impression they were advised to do that because of the media spectacle...and to relieve their tension and stress. I'm not saying that it's a good or bad thing... I have no clue what I would do under the same circumstances at this point.
36 posted on 03/31/2002 6:13:55 PM PST by Freedom2specul8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: demsux
You could very well be correct about damon....and I have to wonder about that myself... But I'm very leery of westerfield..he'll have to come up with some serious physical evidence to blame the parents, I'm telling ya.
37 posted on 03/31/2002 6:17:27 PM PST by Freedom2specul8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: jacquej
Hi..I like your handle! ;-) I've got some links I can post tomorrow about the history of pedophiles...many are not caught for a long time..some are never caught. So it seems that prior convictions isn't necessarily a factor towards innocence..
38 posted on 03/31/2002 6:20:36 PM PST by Freedom2specul8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Jaded
Pierce's comments about the torn page? Gotcha..ok.. well, I guess that'll come out soon enough, he's still weird. (has he ever paid up his non-existant reward yet?--ok I know I'm being sarcastic..but he didn't report income in his tax records)
39 posted on 03/31/2002 6:23:40 PM PST by Freedom2specul8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: rolling_stone
I forgot ok? LOL (not on purpose--) It just keeps slipping my mind!! what you did post was a post from another forum discussing pierces comments...his comments mean little IMHO at this time..I'm willing to not harp on it until later though. If he's beneficial to the trial..that'll be great. :)
40 posted on 03/31/2002 6:26:08 PM PST by Freedom2specul8
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 441-450 next last

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.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson