How Could This Have Happened?
Remember the childhood game of "Telephone?"
It started with an accusation from Judy Johnson, who should have been seen as a mentally ill woman who needed help, instead the Manhattan Beach police sent out letters to the parents, asking them to talk to their children and report back, and, not to talk to the other parents. Of course the parents called each other immediately. (6)
As the frantic calls were made, stories repeated and embellished, the allegations grew beyond reason. What started as one adult male accused of inappropriately touching a child got to all of the woman teachers having oral sex with the kids, animal slaughter to keep the kids quiet (a big red flag) Satanic rituals, porn that was never found, airplane flights that could never have happened, trips to cemeteries to dig up bodies, and the impossible tunnels, instead of seeing this for what it was, the charges were taken seriously, much to our disgrace.
Things That Shouldn't Have Happened
We should have stopped it
There were a lot of perks to being a victim. Mr T even had a special event for the poor abused kids. The Richstone Center had a preschool that only accepted the "abused children" from McMartin. Want to be included? Claim you were abused, and stick to your story. Read one of those stories here.
There were people who felt they were never listened to, this was their chance to be heard, be seen as important. Some enjoyed the victimhood a bit too much, keeping it going long after they should have admitted they were mislead. Some continued because their mental illness kept them from admitting the truth. Some were seen as trouble to the prosecution, their input dropped from the trial, however their outlandish charges and outrageous stories were believed by the community.
Two women on the prosecution side had public affairs with reporters bringing journalistic integrity into question. One of them, Lael Rubin, had an affair with Wayne Satz, the KABC reporter, the other one, Jackie McGauley, had an affair with the Daily Breeze reporter. When that relationship went bad Jackie falsely accused him of some pretty hideous crimes (See Crazy Stuff, Timeline, Aug, '84). Even though innocent of Mrs McGauley's charges, he was ruined.
Jackie then had an affair with the FBI investigator, bringing the integrity of the investigation into question. When that relationship went bad, as is the well established pattern, she made accusations against him, then spent far more than a decade trying to discredit him. Ted Gunderson was her partner in the tunnel finding efforts, so what were they fighting about? The breakup was classic Jackie (good reading there), let's take our personal issues public, make wild charges and the entire community can join the fight.
When she burned her bridges with the authorities and media she took her efforts to get back at the FBI investigator, Gunderson, using the web with an organized group (which is what a conspiracy actually is).
The first trial ended with no convictions. Loud mouth parent, and tunnel finding co conspirator Bob Curry (7) was sued by Peggy Bucky for his outrageous statements and lost. We were not ready to admit the whole thing never happened so she was awarded $1, the carefully worded verdict leaving a suspicion of guilt.
The second trial began about the time of the McMartin Tunnel Project spear headed by Jackie McGauley. The final report was not introduced as evidence in that trial, which ended with no convictions. A third trial was not seen as having any chance of being successful and was dropped. However we have been conducting that third trial ever since then with the argument about the poorly worded results of the tunnel report.
Much like a fire that should have been allowed to die out, the tunnel report threw gasoline on the embers and guaranteed the arguments and pain would continue. The archaeological dig and report is seen today by some professionals as being "amateurish and biased"(3). Jackie McGauley, who paid for, and owned the report, trying everything possible to influence public opinion that the tunnels were real.
One amazing fact about this mess is that NONE of the most vocal parents who did independent investigations were involved in any way in the trials. The prosecutors saw them as trouble with their outlandish accusations and actions. It is apparent to me that all of the players in this mess, including Bob Curry, Roland Summit, Judy Johnson, and Jackie McGauley had some mental issues in common, most prominently paranoia. Most likely this was recognized by the prosecution, but these people were allowed to cause a lot of damage without an adult stopping them from spreading stories based on their imaginations.
There was a story recounted in a book, where Bob Curry took a gun he got from Jackie McGauley, and got in some trouble with it . . . More to come on this. Do we really allow obviously paranoid people to own guns? Yes, we do, and we need to recognize these are the people whose gun ownership should concern us the most.
A journalist who followed the case closely, Kevin Coty of the Easy Reader, told me that he asked Bob Curry, about the outrageous, and untrue things he said, (and I paraphrase), he said he did it to influence pubic opinion.
There was no more volatile combination in the creation of false, inflammatory "facts" than Bob Curry and Jackie McGauley, and later, Ted Gunderson and Jackie McGauley after Bob Curry was sued, lost, and dropped out(7,8). Eventually the affair with Ted Gunderson went bad and Jackie had a new enemy to add to her list of people to ruin, striking it out alone to spread her bullshit to anyone who would still listen.
I'm currently researching this and am writing this section, this behavior deserves to be documented on this page. Maybe this will go on the Crazy Stuff page, because everyone's behavior was certainly crazy.
Dr. Roland Summit
This section is in work. This gentleman was reported to eventually disavow his previous position on ritual satanic abuse, and hopefully the guilt of those he accused. (9) He was instrumental in ruining a lot of lives and leading many people astray.
We are all victims
Judy Johnson('s) . . . known paranoid ideation may have caused her to harbor irrational suspicions of sexual abuse and that she spread this delusion to others. We also know from police records that Johnson's mental stability should have been questioned at the earliest stages of Detective Jane Hoag's investigation. The subject of paranoid schizophrenia, the diagnosis given Johnson by psychiatrists in 1985,
Jackie McGauley, the McMartin parent who owns the rights to the MTP report, is seeking donations or other suitable payment as a precondition for general release in order to help recoup money she spent to retain Stickel and others for the project. Summit, acting as her agent, told this writer that McGauley seeks a friendly "non-critical" forum for publication."
5. http://www.smwane.dk/content/view/123/ (compiled by Debbie Nathan)
7. Bob Curry, http://articles.latimes.com/1990-02-08/local/me-557_1_slander-suit
8. Bob Curry, Book, We Believe the Children, Richard Beck
9. Conversation with Kevin Coty, of the Easy Reader.
Why Are we Here?
The purpose of this web site is to try to bring closure to the McMartin mess that continues with people believing, and arguing about things that just aren't true. We can help stop the suffering if we embrace the truth and take a close look at those who made this what it was.
We will not repeat stories on this web site as fact that don't pass the smell test, and we all should know after 35 years what those stories are.
The owner of this site gets to decide what goes on it, but I will listen to thoughtful input. No lunacy found on extremist sites will be allowed without argument.
Everything on this web site is the truth or the author's opinion. I suspect there will be little disagreement.
Believe the Children
What do the children say about this today as adults? They say it never happened. See this story for a great example. What does the accusers who spread questionable claims say? I notice they have not apologized for any of this, they seem to believe they can ignore the damage that some continue to create even to this day.
My 1965 VW van purchased from Chuck Buckey.
This page is dedicated to ALL of the victims of the McMartin Preschool accusations, allegations, investigations, and trials, past, present, and future. Particularly the victims of those who carried on past the point that they should have been able to see the truth.
I had no idea until February of 2016 that I was a victim, I tried my best to avoid it. I understand that there are new victims every day. This site is dedicated to stamping out misinformation that fuels this, and to bring the actions of some of the accusers public, bringing the reasons for the accusations into perspective. Some people are still arguing, maybe if they understood where their arguments came from they might be less certain about those arguments.
Mental Illness and the Accusers
It is widely accepted that Judy Johnson, the first of the accusers, was severely mentally ill. Many other people through out the entire mess showed that they also had similar issues. The issues they brought forth explains their mental illness more than it explains any of the events that happened at that school. This is all well documented in books, movies, on the net, and will be recapped here. The wildest charges that were made were made by one in particular. This subject needs to be explored to finally explain what happened, and why it happened. Hopefully someday those responsible will come forward to help fix the mess they helped create. Don't expect it to happen.
Why am I Certain?
I have known a few members of the McMartin family (the Glenn McMartin side) for many years before the allegations were made. I have, to this day, a good friend who was a grandson of the owner of the school who has that surname.
I bought a VW van that I saw on the side of the road with a sign on it, from the dad, Chuck. When the kids talked of Ray's van, this was one of the vans they referred to (I suspect they had more than one VW van). I have never met any of the defendants.
I worked for a property management company that managed the medical building at 855 Manhattan Beach Blvd (the school was at 931). I walked past that school every day for years at lunch time. I am certain I never saw any sign of people filling in tunnels or killing horses on my daily walks to the Rockview Dairy. The floor to ceiling windows had no curtains, the busy street right outside, you could look right inside, nothing they were accused of could have been possible.
My sister, who I knew to be "special," was loudest of the parents, who made the craziest of the accusations.
I was too close to all of this to be fooled by the hype, I knew who should not have been taken seriously. I understand what is possible and what is fantasy.