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Rafterman

Last victims of satanic panic finally freed

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Posted (edited)

Many of you are probably too young to remember the satanic ritual panic that gripped the US in the 80s/early 90s, but it was everywhere. I still remember being glued to the TV when the McMartin trial was underway and you couldn't turn on an episode of Oprah, Geraldo, Donahue, or Sally Jessie without it being talked about.

Well two of the last folks wrongfully convicted and imprisoned have finally been released - Francine and Dan Keller spent the last 21 years in state prison in Texas for crimes that were so absurd they read more like the script of the latest Saturday night feature on the SyFy channel.

Here's the story from Slate:

http://www.slate.com...tual_abuse.html

The Real Victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse

The dangers were imaginary, but the consequences were not.

Among the atrocities that Frances and Dan Keller were supposed to have committed while running a day care center out of their Texas home: drowning and dismembering babies in front of the children; killing dogs and cats in front of the children; transporting the children to Mexico to be sexually abused by soldiers in the Mexican army; dressing as pumpkins and shooting children in the arms and legs; putting the children into a pool with sharks that ate babies; putting blood in the children’s Kool-Aid; cutting the arm or a finger off a gorilla at a local park; and exhuming bodies at a cemetery, forcing children to carry the bones.

It was frankly unbelievable—except that people, most importantly, a Texas jury, did believe the Kellers had committed at least some of these acts. In 1992, the Kellers were convicted of aggravated sexual assault on a child and each sentenced to 48 years in prison. The investigation into their supposed crimes took slightly more than a year, the trial only six days.

And now, even the Travis County district attorney agrees that the trial was unfair.

As a modern society, we like to think that we are too educated and enlightened for things like the Salem Witch Trials to never happen now - well they did and lot of good innocent people paid the price (and a lot of taxpayers too). Folks were so ginned up by this stuff that they literally thought that society had been taken over by satanic cults and that the average everyday citizen was just waiting to be sacrificed - imagine if there had been internet back then.

More on the topic for those not familiar with it:

http://en.wikipedia....preschool_trial

http://en.wikipedia....ic_ritual_abuse

http://en.wikipedia....wiki/Dan_Keller

Edited by Rafterman
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Posted (edited)

We take the word of a child too literally because we're afraid of missing out on real abuse and having to deal with guilt of not having done something when that (truly) abused child is an adult and trying to cope. What should've happened, clearly, is that the doctor should've taken the child's word in the context of everything going on in her life. If her parents were in the middle of a divorce, any acting out was probably stemming from her desire to do anything in her power to prevent mommy and daddy from divorcing. The doctor should've taken this into consideration. It's noted she was already seeing the therapist for acting out which probably stemmed from the divorce so why would that be clear, yet not this new stuff?

It's a tragedy that this couple spent so much time in prison for something they didn't do. But this kind of stuff still goes on today.

“Sometimes it takes time to figure out what you don’t know,” Mouw testified in August. “I was mistaken.”

And it takes even longer to work up the courage to admit you really ****ed up two people's lives for a very long time. :td:

Edited by Child of Bast
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I believe that her name is Frances, not Francine.

I remember this case and couldn't believe that they got convicted then and I later forgot about it. I just assumed that calmer heads prevailed and that they had been released years ago.

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Yeah the media really whippied the public into a panic on satanism. The night after Geraldo did one of his big expose's on the link between heavy metal and satanism my band took a little break from practice and went to eat at the mcdonalds down the street from our practice room. The people in there stared at us with fear in thier eyes and two families actually got up and moved to different booths further away from us. We actually got protested by a church group on Orcas Island, and island in the straights of juan de fuca. We drove off the fairy to a small crowd of sign bearing church members trying to figure out which vehicle had the evil ones in it.

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Posted (edited)

I remember all of this stuff happening and still can't believe it did. A couple of years ago on the forum you could see that starting again although it didn't reach the same hysterical height that it did in the 80's, perhaps that's a good sign.

This was another nail in the coffin of organized religion for me. I am thankful to the extreme that even though my parents are religious they are not in any shape or form zealots who hang off their minister or TV for information, they have brains in their heads and use them. Although some of my friends were not so lucky and had albums burned and rock and roll posters, buttons, etc confiscated and burned.

Mabon.

Edited by Mabon
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This was before my time(I was 5 when this was going on), so why were they convicted of satanic rituals? Were they Satanists or something(that's just a branch of Christianity/Catholicism as far as I'm concerned)? Or did hysteria just get blown out of proportion.

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This was before my time(I was 5 when this was going on), so why were they convicted of satanic rituals? Were they Satanists or something(that's just a branch of Christianity/Catholicism as far as I'm concerned)? Or did hysteria just get blown out of proportion.

Mostly the legal reason was sexual misconduct/abuse.

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