(Editor’s note): The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the staff, our partners, victims or families.
(VNO) — It feels like July 5, 2011, all over again.
If you’re not familiar with the date, that’s the day many believe Casey Anthony got away with murder. It’s also the day victims, their loved ones, advocates, law enforcement officials and District Attorneys all over the United States realized that no case is a true ‘slam dunk’.
What resulted was a delay in hundreds – if not thousands – of pending homicide arrests and/or trials across the country, as law enforcement felt defeated by the verdict of one Casey Anthony.
I know first-hand. Just seconds after that verdict was read, I picked up my cell phone, called a DA’s Investigator with whom I had been working, and asked the dreaded question: “Does this hurt the case”?
The answer: “It doesn’t just hurt the case. The DA doesn’t want to touch it now”.
Fast-forward to October 4, 2018. Here we go again.
Today came the announcement that a “comprehensive” (I call b.s.) report by the FBI was issued to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding whether or not Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl at a gathering in the summer of 1982. That report, although not released to the public, indicates from current press reports and interviews that “no new information” has surfaced during the re-opened background check into Kavanaugh’s earlier years.
Since the FBI’s report was released, attorneys for Victims number one and two have both issued statements claiming they provided a total of 28 names of potential witnesses, and not a single one was interviewed. Also, neither the accuser or the accused were interviewed.
Speaking of those attorneys for a moment: shame on them as well. In my opinion, those lawyers failed their clients just as badly as this ‘limited’ investigation did. Those attorneys should have marched their clients down to the police department where this allegedly occurred, and advised their clients to file an official police report. Instead, they fed these claims to the mainstream media, who devoured it and divided us even more. All the while, those victims put everything on the line to be heard; and now, they have nothing to show for it.
Getting back to this report. The failure to interview 28 potential witnesses, the accused, and the accuser – to me – negates the entire 1,000+ report. It’s useless. Pointless. Because, as a veteran investigative journalist, a private investigator, and a voter, I have the absolute right to question how ‘deep’ this dive really went. And to be honest, I don’t think it went very far at all.
Then, I wondered, “Is it just me? Am I simply too close to this”?
So, I asked another member of our team – someone who has even more experience dealing with the FBI than I do – whether or not my concerns about this investigation were valid. That man, Clint Dunn, is the father of murdered Texas teen Hailey Dunn. The FBI was one of nine law enforcement agencies handling Hailey’s case over the past 7 1/2 years, and he has spoken extensively with them regarding his daughter’s case.
Last week, Dunn had this to say about the FBI’s re-opening of the background check:
If the FBI comes back within a few days, and says there was nothing, then they didn’t do their job(s),” Dunn said. “The FBI needs more time to thoroughly investigate a claim this serious, and I would know”.
That’s exactly what I thought.
Today, I asked Dunn his thoughts on their report.
I am shocked they didn’t come back and ask for more time. There is no way they thoroughly investigated a 36-year-old case in a few days”.
I agree. Not to be salty towards the FBI, but they’re not the best at returning phone calls. My families know it – even my victims know it. We’ve discussed it many times. I don’t know if they’re understaffed, whether the phone system sucks, or if they cherry pick who to call back; but I can state, with confidence, that phone calls from the FBI are not always returned.
And that is a claim cropping up left and right from potential witnesses who assert they contacted the FBI asking to be interviewed, only to receive no call back. Why weren’t these people interviewed? How are we to trust that any new avenues were explored, any new information discovered, only because they didn’t ask the right questions to the right people? It’s not only frustrating, but this is a HUGE issue. It potentially gives a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court to an accused predator.
But now, we will never know. The victims will never have their day in court, and a jury will never decide this case. The two sides are deeply divided, justice will never be done, and victims nationwide will be impacted in one way or another by the outcome of this ‘investigation’ and its subsequent report.
And that’s why I’m comparing the investigation against Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the verdict of the Casey Anthony trial.
Because they were both botched, and the public knows it.
Because both lied, under oath, and the public knows it.
Because both will not face the consequences of their actions – nor will their victims get justice.
Because, even though calls to the National Sexual Abuse Hotline increased by 147% the day of the victim’s testimony, they will likely lesson today, as victims hear from their politicians that their voices really don’t matter.
Because law enforcement officials and District Attorneys will pause a little longer the next time there’s ‘just enough evidence’, but ‘maybe not quite enough to convict’.
Because both Casey Anthony and Judge Brett Kavanaugh have been PROVEN to have perjured themselves, and neither will ever be punished for it.
Because those of us who understand the trauma behind this national disgrace all feel like we need a very hot shower. And that’s the same way we felt the night Casey Anthony got away with murder.
Just like little Caylee Anthony, these alleged victims are being denied justice, while a circus whirled around them. For Caylee, it was the media circus; for this victim, it is the political one.