Skip to comments.THE OTHER VAN DAM STORY(New article from San Diego will have V.D. PR machine will be in overdrive!)
Posted on 05/01/2002 4:03:29 PM PDT by FresnoDA
Thomas K. Arnold
Talk show host Rick Roberts made headlines with his KFMB-AM radio show about Damon and Brenda van Dams allegedly swinging lifestyle. But he wasnt the only radio personalityor media outletto cast a critical eye on the backstory of the Danielle van Dam kidnapping case.
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, whose John and Ken Show airs weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. on Los Angeles station KFI-AM, devoted three shows to the case, even traveling to San Diego to broadcast from the van Dams Sabre Springs neighborhood. The week before that, they were the first to cast aspersions on the van Dams, a full day before the Roberts broadcast.
The Millennium Childrens Fund had just announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Danielle. Fund administrator Douglas Pierce had visited with the van Dams, and the next day he called a press conference in Los Angeles at which he voiced suspicions about the couples behavior. For an hour, Pierce blasted the van Dams for their apparent lack of emotion and general rudeness to him.
I dont know how much was true and how much was hysterical, but thats what made it fascinating. We tried to unravel it on the air, Kobylt says. In retrospect, I think he did peg their personalities very wellthe lack of emotion, the detachment, the obsession with the media messageand perhaps he got the vibe that they live a different life than most people.
As soon as Pierce finished on-air, John and Ken introduced their next guests: an angry Damon and Brenda van Dam, who lambasted Pierce as a nut case. We had scheduled them in advance, but when they heard Doug was on the show, they canceled, only to change their minds right before show time, Kobylt says.
After the interview, John and Ken picked apart the conversation and spoke critically about the van Dams lack of emotion and their defensiveness about questions pertaining to their own behavior and actions the last night Danielle was seen. The next day, the swinger story broke in The San Diego Union-Tribunefurthered that evening on San Diego radio by Rick Roberts.
Its a very dramatic story, says Kobylt. Everybody got obsessed with it pretty quickly... We have a pretty fair audience in San Diegoweve even made it into the top 10 on occasionand we started getting calls from people who live in the neighborhood and know the van Dams. As a result, it might as well have been in L.A. I tend to look at the whole [Southern California] area as the same, anyway.
(By press deadline, the van Dams could not be reached for comment by San Diego Magazine.)
Quoting the proverbial unnamed sources close to the probe, the Star reported that later-arrested suspect David Westerfield was aware of the van Dams sexual activities and had approached Brenda about hosting a sex-swap party in his house. The Star said Brenda had admitted to police that the couple belonged to a swingers club called Club CB and that sources say she flirted outrageously and danced with Westerfield the Friday night Danielle disappeared. He [Westerfield] knew that Brenda and her friends were sexually involved, and he wanted to be part of the action, but for whatever reason, he was not invited by Brenda to accompany her and her four friends back to her home that night for more partying and sex, the Star says it was told by a source.
I think you are right on..If the publicity is getting hot two weeks before the trial ..it is only going to get tougher...thus the rebirth as concerned child advocates...Keep them away from my grandkids.....
Maybe Brenda can donate her breast job...Something tell me that is a real fund raiser.OPPSSSS
Wow, I have yet to see a more sanitized, detail-less description of that evening, lol.
I used to be this mild mannered retired nurse..I am now a very angry mom for that little girl..so you get to see my sick RN humor
Why not? A lot of people have chipped in to give Damon a new BMW. (Money that should rightfully have gone to help the missing children organizations that helped them out.)
(04-25-2002) - Prosecutors said Thursday they will seek the death penalty against David Westerfield, the neighbor accused of kidnapping and murdering seven-year-old Danielle van Dam.
Westerfield, 50, is set for trial May 17.
During a court hearing, prosecutor Jeff Dusek said the decision to seek the death penalty had been made "after full and careful consideration.''
Prosecutors filed a statement detailing their reasons, but a judge ordered the document sealed. Lawyers in the case are under a gag order.
Westerfield's lawyers are pressing for speedy trial even though such serious cases usually require several months of legal preparation.
"I've never heard of a death penalty case in this or any other community going in 60 days,'' Superior Court Judge William Mudd said
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