Friday, July 30, 2010

The Kyron Horman abduction at the 8-week mark

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

I am feeling a great deal of empathy for the family of Kyron Horman, who spoke at a press conference today, eight weeks after their 7-year-old son was abducted.

Eight weeks after my four children disappeared from Oregon 14 years ago, my lawyer was able to obtain a PO Box number in Eden, Utah. It was our first clue to the general location of my children, somewhere in the mountains east of Ogden.

I later learned that mail was being received there, but not actually picked up by anyone, and that the letters I had been writing to my children's mother's last address were actually being forwarded to a woman in Hillsboro, a person named Evelyn Taylor.

By then, I had already learned that several people were involved in the kidnapping, that it had been in the works for months.

I learned even later that it is not illegal to receive mail intended for abducted children.

Later still, I learned that more than 200,000 US children are abducted by family members or persons known to the victims every year, and that the majority involve multiple perpetrators.

You learn these things one at a time when your children disappear.

A lot of numbness sets into your bones at the eight-week mark. The world feels completely empty.

And it stays that way.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Parental abduction wisdom, pt 9: When the police figure it out

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office announced yesterday, more than 50 days after Kyron Horman disappeared, that they were now convinced that a crime had taken place in the disappearance of Kyron Horman.

While it took law enforcement more than a month to decide that the disappearance of a 7-year-old child was a criminal matter, Kyron's family knew it right away.

When your child disappears, like mine did 14 years ago, you know right away that a crime has been and is being committed. Sometimes the police never figure it out….

Most of us who are parents knew by the end of the first day Kyron went missing that a crime had been committed, somewhere, somehow, by someone.

This child was not lost, had not wandered off on his own, this child had been taken, whether by a stranger or by a person known to the child, we did not know, but what we knew for certain was that a crime was being committed against this child and against this child’s family.

ALL of us who are parents of kidnapped children, parents of children who have vanished with or without a trace, we knew right away.

The police needed more than a month to come to that conclusion, in a case as obvious as Kyron Horman's.

They are MUCH slower when the issues aren't so clear-cut, like when the children have vanished along with a parent or family member.

The police will take reports of missing children and there’s a filing system for those reports, where they usually wind up.

But if a family member, if a parent is gone with the child(ren), then local law enforcement rarely forwards the report on to the Oregon State Police, which explains why so few abducted children are ever listed on the OSP website, which also explains why the Sheriff’s Office is unaware of any other children missing in Oregon “that meet the criteria.”

Many of those children are gone forever.

And that’s a crime, the same crime that began on the day each child disappeared, a continuing crime, crimes with beginnings but no end.

Try to tell them that when your child disappears, you'll see....

Friday, July 9, 2010

Parental abduction wisdom, pt 8: To murder the soul

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

Former Portland police detective C.W. Jensen recently gave his opinion regarding the presumptive motive for the abduction of Kyron Horman:

“If you are really, really angry at someone, you can kill them, or you can kill their soul by taking their child away, and that’s what I’m afraid happened here.”

Every year, more than 200,000 US children are abducted by family members or persons known to the victims. The crime is horrific, but only a tiny percentage receive any attention by the media, the public or law enforcement.

In all of these cases, the abductors intend to murder the soul of the victim parent by causing their child to disappear, and are willing to murder the soul of the child victim as collateral damage.

High-conflict custody battles are common; parents use their children as weapons in far too many cases, but the abduction of a child is indeed tantamount to murder.

When my four children disappeared on February 12, 1996, 14 years ago, kidnapped by my former wife and a group of Mormon officials in three states, no one was interested. Four children vanished. Zero interest. Ho hum.

My former wife wanted to murder my soul, and was willing to put our children through hell to do so; the Mormons that Kory and Chris Wright organized to carry out the abduction wanted to re-engineer my children’s personalities, at a cost to my family that was irrelevant to them, and through a process that led to the death of my son Aaron Cruz.

Those Mormons included Evelyn Taylor and Mormon Bishop David Holliday in Washington County, Mormon Bishop Donald Taylor in Clark County and Utah resident Steve Nielson, who would become my former wife’s fourth husband, who I would later learn slapped my children around throughout their marriage.

Retired Portland police commander Cliff Madison, interviewed today about the Kyron Horman case, made a comment that resonated with my experience, referring to the revelation that Terri Horman, Kyron’s stepmom, might be involved in the 7-year-old’s disappearance:

“They’ve just been hit with a big right hook, because all of a sudden the possibility of someone within the family being involved. It is a shock, because we all refuse to believe that until it is thrown in our faces.”

It is that refusal to believe, on the part of law enforcement, the media and the public, on the part of the courts, that refusal to believe that a family member would kidnap a beautiful child, that stands in the way of recovery and of achieving justice in many, many cases.

That refusal to believe that a family member would do such a thing causes the wheels to turn slowly, if at all.

In most cases, the family is entirely on its own. No cops, no detectives, no media, no public outcry…ho hum….

In the months and years that followed the disappearance of my children, I nearly died from shock, from grief, from bereavement, from depression and from suicide, when I had run out of hope and was overwhelmed by the pain.

My mother died four years after the abduction began, without seeing or hearing from her grandchildren again. That fact alone speaks to the character of the people involved in the abduction.

Remember that kidnappings are continuing crimes, crimes with a beginning but no end….

The abduction of Kyron Horman has thrown the fact in our faces, that a person in a trust relationship with a child, a family member, could inflict harm on this scale, and law enforcement, the public and even the media are getting involved.

There was a time when they could have expended just a little bit of energy and saved my family, could have saved Aaron’s life….

Now there is Aaron’s Law on the Oregon books, soon to be modeled in other states, and with it a drive to end parental and family abductions in this country.

I hope that they find some time to take an interest in that, too.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Parental abduction wisdom, pt 7: Complicated Grief and a Continuing Crime

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

I began the Parental Abduction Wisdom series in 2009, but the subject was so painful that I had to step back after posting the sixth installment, “The Little Girl in the Blue Dress”, nearly a year ago.

Kidnappings are continuing crimes, however, and the damage to the Cruz family continues to mount with the passage of every minute of every day.

The present case involving the disappearance of 7-year-old Kyron Horman illustrates the concept of a continuing crime very clearly: the public generally understands that this child is just as kidnapped today as he was when he disappeared several weeks ago. The crime continues….

My experience, as the victim of a parental, family and Mormon kidnapping, has been entirely different. Few have understood the continuing nature of the crime, many have wondered at why I haven’t let the crime (and my children) go, and some have expressed frustration that I haven’t “moved on.”

I want to note here that each of my critics can pick up the phone and speak with their living children any time that they want to…and that none have experienced the disappearance of their child….

Before I saw the Oregonian article linked below, I had never heard of "complicated grief syndrome", but I realize that it attaches to cases of child abduction, like mine, which began with the abduction of my four children in a Mormon kidnapping.

Unlike deaths, time and aging bring no closure to kidnapping victims. There is no "coming to peace with it." Only the mending of the relationships can bring closure.

Kidnappings are "continuing crimes", meaning that the crime has a beginning but no end, not before the victims are reunited and the kidnappers see justice served.

I want Mormon kidnappers Kory and Chris Wright in particular to take notice of that last statement. The crime has no end. Justice…will…be…served!

So long as people believe that they will get away with abducting a child, they will do so. In the case of Mormon zealots like the Wrights, they will relish pulling off a child abduction, if the purpose is to absorb the child into their belief system.

More on this later.

I am reviving the Parental Abduction Wisdom series with this post. There is no end in sight.

Here is an excerpt from the Oregonian article on Complicated Grief Syndrome:

We are built to love, biologically programmed to attach. To lose that relationship, as everyone does, is to meet sorrow.

“Early in grief, humans yearn for the one who died, until we recognize that search is futile. Psychiatrist M. Katherine Shear says this transformation occurs in the brain circuitry and we eventually come to peace. ‘Death is a part of life and we have the mechanisms to come to terms with it,’ says the Columbia University professor.

“But in the 1990s, Shear and other researchers realized that about 15 percent of the bereaved suffer ‘complicated grief,’ stuck in a loop of despair. Their longing for the loved one overcomes all other desires. They either avoid any mention of the dead or become totally preoccupied. They daydream about being together and have suicidal thoughts. Brain imaging shows their reactions differ from people who progress through the grieving process. Researchers want complicated-grief disorder and its treatment included in the 2012 American Psychiatric Association diagnostic manual.

“No one tracks how losing a young, healthy child in war can push parents and other survivors to suicide. Yet, complicated grief almost exclusively occurs after the loss of a person's closest, most rewarding relationships. Losing a beloved child is one of the most obvious risks, and losing an only child, greater still.

"’Debra wanted to be with Michael,’ George says, ‘Wherever he was.’"

The complete article is titled: " Measures of Sacrifice: Answering the call to military binds a patriotic Oregon family", here: