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“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Wilmington, IL

#1 Aug 22, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I'm writing about the letter you printed from "Somewhere in the South" (May 26) who heard someone confess to a crime he had committed at age 12 during one of his Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. The person asked if he should go to the police. You advised him to talk about it to the "group leader."

Abby, in a 12-step program, there is no formal leader who has a responsibility to report anything to the authorities. There are usually discussion groups led by someone chosen for the night.

I am not condoning what the person did at that young age. It was a horrible act. But 12-step programs are based on anonymity. Reporting what is heard at meetings is completely against what 12-step meetings are all about. It was unfair of you to place responsibility on someone who is there for his own addiction to tell on another group member.-- ANONYMOUS IN THE USA

DEAR ANONYMOUS: I received a ton of criticism for my response to that letter. Readers like you wrote to point out that I was misinformed about how these programs work; others berated me for not insisting the writer notify the police immediately.

I was -- and still am -- of two minds on the question. While it would be satisfying to see "justice done," I could not bring myself to recommend going against the principle upon which these 12-step programs that have helped thousands of people is based. Another principle of these programs is that people who have hurt others must make amends for what they have done. However, this is the responsibility of the person who committed the crime -- not someone who overheard mention of it at a meeting. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I have been a member of NA for 26-plus years (drug- and alcohol-free for that entire time). I also work in the field of mental health, where I have certain reporting duties as part of my professional code of ethics. I learned long ago how to separate my professional responsibilities from my membership in NA. If I obtain information about abuse or neglect in the conduct of my profession, then I have a duty to act. Should I overhear something at a meeting, in the mall or some other social setting, I have no specific duty to report.-- CLEAN, FREE AND LIVING LIFE

DEAR ABBY: As a 30-year member, I can say with certainty that some meeting attendees are grandiose and others are mentally ill. I have not infrequently heard disclosures that I later determined to be not true. The advice for members offered by our NA traditions is, "Take what you can use (in one's own recovery) and leave the rest of what one hears at a meeting." -- CHARLES IN ILLINOIS

DEAR ABBY: I disagree with your answer to that letter! Yes, this needs to be reported. If the victim died in that incident, it is a cold case and the boy's parents -- if they are still alive -- would have never had closure. There may be siblings who would want to know what happened to their brother.

I am not a believer that if you confess to murder in NA, AA or with a priest in a confessional that they are bound not to tell. That is hogwash! For some crimes I would say OK, but not something this serious.-- JIM R., LANCASTER, CALIF.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Aug 22, 2013
Ugh! What a load of rehash.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#3 Aug 22, 2013
Is it too early for a drink?
Anonymous

Saint Petersburg, FL

#4 Aug 22, 2013
I hat "read on" days....

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Aug 22, 2013
Big deal. The guy was 12. Statute of limitations probably expired, or he wouldn't have been prosecuted anyway because of his age at the time. I'd let it go.

Heck, I went to Minnesota's version of the FBI to report a woman (a roommate of a friend) who told her roommates (while hospitalized for a suicide attempt) that she'd given birth to twins years earlier and killed them and buried them in the woods in Wisconsin.(Her roommates believed this -- they said it explained a lot of her mental crap.)

I both called and went to their downtown St. Paul office in person. They were not interested.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#6 Aug 22, 2013
squishymama wrote:
Is it too early for a drink?
Have some Irish coffee.
Anonymous

Saint Petersburg, FL

#7 Aug 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Big deal. The guy was 12. Statute of limitations probably expired, or he wouldn't have been prosecuted anyway because of his age at the time. I'd let it go.
Heck, I went to Minnesota's version of the FBI to report a woman (a roommate of a friend) who told her roommates (while hospitalized for a suicide attempt) that she'd given birth to twins years earlier and killed them and buried them in the woods in Wisconsin.(Her roommates believed this -- they said it explained a lot of her mental crap.)
I both called and went to their downtown St. Paul office in person. They were not interested.
Wow - that's pretty amazing. I would think they'd look into it just to avoid it happening again!

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#8 Aug 22, 2013
StinaRocks wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow - that's pretty amazing. I would think they'd look into it just to avoid it happening again!
I tried twice. I'm not normally a buttinski like that, but this girl had serious mental health issues and my friend and I think that they were partly due to the stress of what she'd done. My friend and the two other roomies absolutely believed that she'd done what she said she'd done.

I honestly believe that facing up to what she'd done would have possibly helped her.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#9 Aug 22, 2013
Also, I can more easily forgive a 16yo girl for committing that crime than I can a young woman in her early 20s, which is what this woman's age was when she allegedly did this.
Cass

Claremont, CA

#10 Aug 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Big deal. The guy was 12. Statute of limitations probably expired, or he wouldn't have been prosecuted anyway because of his age at the time. I'd let it go.
Heck, I went to Minnesota's version of the FBI to report a woman (a roommate of a friend) who told her roommates (while hospitalized for a suicide attempt) that she'd given birth to twins years earlier and killed them and buried them in the woods in Wisconsin.(Her roommates believed this -- they said it explained a lot of her mental crap.)
I both called and went to their downtown St. Paul office in person. They were not interested.
Wow! That's a plot for a CSI show. At least it should be.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#11 Aug 22, 2013
I did not go to the BCA (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) on a whim. I really mulled it over. I did NOT tell my friend I was doing it. I went on the assumption that if one outsider was told this story, a few others probably were told as well.

And they acted like I was making it up. I mean, really? An employed 30-something woman, homeowner, no criminal record, no record of anything, and you're just going to think I make this stuff up for my entertainment?

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

#12 Aug 22, 2013
L1. It's hearsay. Let it be.
Anonymous

Saint Petersburg, FL

#13 Aug 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Also, I can more easily forgive a 16yo girl for committing that crime than I can a young woman in her early 20s, which is what this woman's age was when she allegedly did this.
I agree with you there. I am just awestruck that they blew it off!

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#14 Aug 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
I did not go to the BCA (Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension) on a whim. I really mulled it over. I did NOT tell my friend I was doing it. I went on the assumption that if one outsider was told this story, a few others probably were told as well.
And they acted like I was making it up. I mean, really? An employed 30-something woman, homeowner, no criminal record, no record of anything, and you're just going to think I make this stuff up for my entertainment?
Sadly, I bet people do that to get back at people.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#15 Aug 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Also, I can more easily forgive a 16yo girl for committing that crime
Wow, you don't have morals about ANYTHING.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#16 Aug 22, 2013
edogxxx wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow, you don't have morals about ANYTHING.
Wrong.

I just see a 16yo as being far more likely to be terrified and freaked out and not knowing what her options are.

A 22yo woman should know better.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#17 Aug 22, 2013
I do think a 16yo should be punished, but not to the same degree as a 22yo adult.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#18 Aug 22, 2013
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I tried twice. I'm not normally a buttinski like that, but this girl had serious mental health issues and my friend and I think that they were partly due to the stress of what she'd done. My friend and the two other roomies absolutely believed that she'd done what she said she'd done.
I honestly believe that facing up to what she'd done would have possibly helped her.
Her serious mental problems could have caused her to concoct that crazy story. It's not beyond the realm of possibility at all. I once met a guy once who was a pathological liar. He was a good friend of an ex. He told some incredible stories. He was a millionaire but couldn't get his hands on the money right now. He used to be a hit man for the Mafia... ROTFLMAO.

Anyway, assuming that this woman has no other children, a gynological exam would determine whether or not she has ever had children.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

#19 Aug 22, 2013
What I meant to say was, it would be easy enough to prove, with a gynological exam, whether the woman had ever given birth to twins. That statement only applies if she had no other children.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#20 Aug 22, 2013
Kuuipo wrote:
<quoted text>
Her serious mental problems could have caused her to concoct that crazy story. It's not beyond the realm of possibility at all. I once met a guy once who was a pathological liar. He was a good friend of an ex. He told some incredible stories. He was a millionaire but couldn't get his hands on the money right now. He used to be a hit man for the Mafia... ROTFLMAO.
Anyway, assuming that this woman has no other children, a gynological exam would determine whether or not she has ever had children.
Oh, I totally get that as well. But my friend and the other roommates -- and my memory is kind of fuzzy on this, it was 10+ years ago -- believed her and felt that her mental problems pretty much started around that time when she allegedly gave birth.

Because I didn't believe it at first, either, but my friend said that she and the other two roommates said the story just made everything else in this girl's life seem to make sense.

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