Magazine | October 15, 2018, Issue

Letters

(Nejron/Dreamstime)

A Just Word

I sympathize deeply with Rael Jean Isaac’s frustration in reporting on Frank Fuster’s plight (“The Last Victim,” September 10). I hope she is not holding her breath for a just outcome. 

I retired after 30 years as an investigator for various agencies of the State of Washington and was once involved in the investigation of similar allegations against a pre-school teacher. Quite frankly the assertions of child abuse were so outlandish as to be rejected out of hand. I learned very early in my career to ignore the legal outcomes of my findings if I was going to be able to sleep nights, and this was a good example of such a case.

A state social worker told me that the teacher’s sincerity in her denials, and the fact that she passed a lie-detector test, just demonstrated that she was a psychopath. Part of the evidence included a videotape of a therapist’s interview of the preschool child. As a former Naval officer, I am familiar with interrogation techniques designed to disorient a prisoner and warp the perception of reality. This video could have been used as an instructional guide for North Korean interrogators. It was embarrassing to watch this with educated attorneys who felt that despite the child’s previous denials, and since everyone knows children don’t lie, the child’s final statements must therefore be true.

Jack Laney
Via email

Rael Jean Isaac responds: As a licensed court-appointed investigator hired to uncover the facts, Stephen Dinerstein in the Fuster case ran into the same infuriating roadblocks that Mr. Laney encountered in the State of Washington: Professionals with other agendas dominated the proceedings. In a sworn deposition, Dinerstein described Fuster’s lawyer declining to meet him and on the phone stating:

“He needed or requested no additional investigation for his client, Mr. Fuster, even though he was informed of the very positive information found. [This included] items such as documented proof of verification of alibi information as to many of the dates in question. Documentation as to lack of truthfulness of some prosecution witnesses. Information regarding possible misdeeds of prosecution staff. Information regarding false and misleading information regarding expert witnesses. Possibly tampering with or not disclosing evidence.”

The confident assertions on the witness stand by so-called experts that “children don’t lie” about sexual abuse convinced gullible jurors who never stopped to ask why, since the children initially denied anything had happened, they were not believed. It was only after they were subject to the interrogation techniques Mr. Laney so colorfully describes that they were believed.

Let’s hope that justice will finally win out, if not via a pardon by Governor Rick Scott then thanks to some determined lawyer in the State of Florida who will find a way to bring the case back into state court. 

The Dalles Test

In “Google’s Unstable Empire” (Arthur L. Herman, October 1), I noticed a slight mistake of geographic nomenclature.

It’s “The Dalles,” not just “Dalles,” in Oregon. I sent a link to this piece to a friend who lives in The Dalles. The response: “East Coastie ignorance.”

“The Dalles” is part of a test we dreamed up to identify non-locals. Another part is to correctly pronounce “Colville,” “Puyallup,” and “Sequim.”

John Schedler
Mercer Island, Wash.

NR Editors — NR Editors includes members of the editorial staff of the National Review magazine and website.

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Letters

Letters

A reader sympathizes with Rael Jean Isaac’s frustration in reporting on Frank Fuster’s plight (“The Last Victim,” September 10).

Most Popular

PC Culture

‘White Women’ Becomes a Disparaging Term

Using “white men” as a putdown is no longer extreme enough for the Left. Now it is moving on to doing the same for “white women.” How rapidly this transpired. It was less than two years ago that the approximately 98.7 percent of white women working in media who were openly rooting for Hillary Clinton ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The World Keeps Not Ending

We were not supposed to have made it this far. George Orwell saw night descending on us in 1984. Orwell was, on paper, a radical, but in his heart he was an old-fashioned English liberal. He dreamed of socialism but feared socialists. He feared them because he knew them. I was in the sixth grade in 1984, but I ... Read More
Culture

A Free People Must Be Virtuous

Dear Reader (Even those of you who didn’t seem to notice or care that I failed to file this “news”letter on Friday), So I’m sitting here at Gate C6 at O’Hare waiting for my flight home. I am weary, pressed for time, in desperate need of a shower, and filled with a great sense of dread for the work ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Beatification of Beto

The media’s treatment of Texas Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke wasn’t the most egregiously unfair coverage of the past year -- that would be the treatment of Brett Kavanaugh -- but it ranks among 2018’s most annoying. The endless glowing profiles of O’Rourke in every publication from Vanity Fair to ... Read More