Archive for June, 2017

Texas Couple Exonerated, but we have New Witches to Hunt

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

“Viewed in retrospect, it seems that otherwise sensible people quite simply lost their minds. Social workers, therapists, prosecutors and cops joined a fruitcake crusade that ruined people’s lives, based on the coerced claims of vulnerable little kids.”

Read the editorial in the Dallas Morning News by Jacquielynn Floyd.

Couple Exonerated in ‘Satanic Panic’ Child Ritual Abuse Case

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

“The Kellers were not the only ones to face outlandish charges; in the 1980s and early ’90s, a phenomenon that has since become known as “Satanic Panic” was sweeping the nation. A confluence of societal factors led to widespread hysteria about Satanists who were hidden in plain view and running clandestine, national child sex abuse rings. Hundreds of people — many of them daycare workers — were accused of abuse, including the McMartin family in California and Margaret Kelly Michaels in New Jersey. (The McMartins were eventually acquitted, and Michaels was exonerated, but not until she had spent six years in prison).”

Read the article by Bethania Palmer at An excellent overview of the ritual-abuse panic and its precedents.

Babysitters Accused of Satanic Crimes Exonerated After 25 Years

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

“The decision brings an end to one of the more prominent cases brought during the so-called Satanic Panic of the 1980s and the early 1990s, where fears of devil-worshippers influencing American children spread rapidly. During this time, hundreds of childcare providers were accused of unspeakable crimes, and many would spend years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.”

Read the article by Sarah Pruitt in History in the Headlines.

Fran and Dan Keller Declared Actually Innocent!

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

“Nearly two years after the state’s highest criminal court overturned the child sexual abuse convictions for day care owners Dan and Fran Keller, Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore will file court documents Tuesday declaring them “actually innocent” under the law and dropping pending charges against them.”

Read the article by Tony Pichefski and Chuck Lindell in My Statesman.

Point Austin: Justice Too Long Delayed

Friday, June 16th, 2017

If all this were not enough, the now elderly Kellers, who have been remarkably stoic and patient – even forgiving – during their long ordeal, are near a breaking point. They live on minimal Social Security, supplemented unevenly by family and friends, and both have serious health problems (caused or aggravated by imprisonment) that they can’t afford to address. Worse, their spirits are breaking – on the phone trying to discuss their circumstances, Fran quickly breaks down in tears, and she says the normally resilient Dan (deaf from prison neglect) has become increasingly despondent.

“We can’t fix this injustice entirely; it’s gone on too long, and some of the worst damage is irreparable. The Keller case was a local outbreak of a mob-madness that gripped the entire country (and which simmers always beneath the cultural surface, in various forms). But the responsibility doesn’t just rest with the D.A.’s Office, which was and is no more than an instrument of community justice. All of us who live in Travis County share in the responsibility for what happened to the Kellers, and share in the responsibility to do what we can to make it right.”

Read the article by Michael King in the Austin Chronicle.