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Montgomery County, TN

Caroline Grace Peters, now 16-months-old and living in Du...

In all this "He said" and "She said" - with everyone taking sides and villifying either the father or the mother of this little girl, depending on which parent is considered more 'worthy' - the child herself seems to have become little more than a pawn in this sad case. Nobody is a saint - but does this mean that a child should be deprived of either one of her parents if her mother or father is less than perfect? This child should have both of her parents involved in her care. Instead we see polarised opinions which simply serve to widen the gulf between mother and father - and a little girl caught in the middle of a parental battleground. These custody disputes are often referred to as "tug-of-love " cases; a misnomer if ever there was one! Hatred, vindictiveness, fear, bitterness maybe - anything but love.  (Jun 5, 2012 | post #17)

Murfreesboro, TN

Maple Maintains His Innocence in Court

I hope that memories of their earlier lives are gradually returning to them - and that they will indeed come to realize that their parents were - and remain - blameless in all of this. The parents were just as much victims of these cruel kidnappers as were their children. However, this is bound to take time - and while the media spotlight is on the case, they may feel very much exposed to the public gaze. It would be good if a neutral mediator could talk to them and persuade them of the truth. It still beggars belief that someone could inflict such pain on their own daughter by stealing her children. Wicked is hardly an adequate word to describe such a cruel act! The scandal of this whole tragedy is that two children could just disappear from sight for such a long time. False ID was obviously all too easy to acquire back then. Could it happen as easily today?  (Mar 2, 2009 | post #75)

Murfreesboro, TN

Maple Maintains His Innocence in Court

It is gratifying to see that, with one or two exceptions, most who post here agree that what Marvin Maple and his wife did was despicable. It is anticipated that Maple will use the necessity defense as justification for this wicked kidnapping when the case comes before the court later this month. I would hope that the jurors see right thru that one as an excuse! However, criticizing the children for not yet having contacted their parents is unfair. As other posters have stated; if children are regularly fed lies about events of long ago, even though they never happened - if those children are brainwashed to loathe and fear particular people because they are told, over and over again, those people had abused them - and if those children have never been given the opportunity to hear the truth until well into adulthood; then it is not surprising that they will be confused. For if children are removed from most that was dear and familiar to them in their very young days, then they will cling to what - or WHO - remains of that earlier life. In this case, their kidnappers. And then, one day, everything you have been led to believe to be the truth about your life comes crashing down around you - like the pack of cards in Alice in Wonderland. Imagine being told that most of your life up til now had been one big lie. That the people who pretended to be your parents had stolen you from your real parents and your little brother. That even your name had been changed. And that all these things had been done to you without let or hindrance - because you were too little, too young, too powerless to prevent it. Put the blame for the Baskin children not yet having contacted their parents right where it belongs - with their cruel kidnappers.  (Mar 2, 2009 | post #73)

San Jose, CA

Police: San Jose man kidnapped grandchildren 20 years ago...

Ah, but who is to say that the police and children's services DID make a mistake in this case? Child abuse is, of course, a disgustng crime. And abusers can be very convincing when denying such wickedness. However, it is also terrifyingly easy to make an allegation of child abuse where none exists, simply to prevent another person - usually an ex-partner - having any contact with a child. As well as having children and grandchildren of my own, I have had many years of experience working wih cildren, together with their parents and other family members. While acknowledging the points you raise, I think there is a great danger in taking the law into our own hands whenever we don't like the verdict reached by those agencies charged with investigating alleged offences. I think it has to be recognized that the Maples' allegations were investigated - and that the investigation was not a rushed job. If, as you state, the Maples honestly believed that abuse was going on - their actions, in fleeing with those children and changing their identities, still remain inexcusable. It would have been perfectly possible for the Baskins to have been monitored by the authorities once their children returned to their care. And this is what bothers me about this case. If the Maples really believed that the children were being abused by their parents - and weren't safe with them - then why didn't they also take the youngest child, rather than abandon him to the care of abusers? I fear that the Maples' desire to keep the children somehow gave them the view that they could therefore break the law with impunity. That's just not good enough! "I want" does not mean "I get".  (Feb 16, 2009 | post #8)

San Jose, CA

Police: San Jose man kidnapped grandchildren 20 years ago...

Yes, bad things do happen and you are quite right to say that the police cannot protect us from everything. However, the grandparents decided arbitrarily to set themselves up as prosecutor, judge and jury. They disregarded the result of the investigation into their allegations of abuse and just took off with another family's children because they felt they had the right to do so. However imperfect the legal and welfare systems may seem, they are our safeguard against the unreasonable, exploitative and - at times - downright dangerous actions of those who see their own viewpoint and opinion as being the only ones that are right. The Maples - by denying the Baskin children the right to know and grow up in their own family, by denying them knowledge of their own siblings, indeed by denying them knowledge of their own true identities - have perpetrated an act of abuse, the wickedness of which demeans all those who might have been complicit in its implementaion. "Lets give the grandparent a chance to explain.." Well - they had 20 years in which they had the opportunity to do just that, and didn't - so I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for an explanantion from Mr Maple after all this time. The least that Marvin Maple can do is to apologise to his daughter and son-in-law for all the pain and heartache his actions - and that of his wife - have caused his own daughter and son-in-law to endure. Then maybe - just maybe - some healing can begin.  (Feb 15, 2009 | post #6)

Murfreesboro, TN

Maple Maintains His Innocence in Court

The Baskins were in a difficult situation. No doubt they would have initially been grateful to the Maples for offering to look after their children - in order that their schooling and routine would not be disrupted - while the parents were living elsewhere. I think that most parents in that position would have thought such an offer to be the generous reaction one might expect from loving grandparents - and not that unusual. And the growing signs of the grandparents' instability may have been difficult for the Baskins to have detected, until well advanced. It is often far easier for the onlooker to see such signs than it is for those who know the individuals well. By the time the grandparents' irrational behaviour became obvious to the Baskins - to the extent that the Maples would not allow them to stay at their home when visiting their children - the damage was done. The great pity is that the Baskins, probably because they did not want to upset the Maples and cause anxiety for their children, appeased the grandmother when she turned on the tears - giving that manipulative woman the chance to play the abuse card and keep the children while the abuse claim was being investigated. The wisdom of hindsight is a wonderful thing and they must be bitterly regretting that lost opportunity to bring their children home. And defense of others, as justification for breaking the law, only has validity if others need defending. It seems that it was the Maples themselves from whom the Baskin children needed defending.  (Feb 13, 2009 | post #49)

Murfreesboro, TN

Maple Maintains His Innocence in Court

So the youngest child was left with his parents when the Maples did a runner with the other two, eh? Because he might have had learning difficulties? Is that so? That takes a pretty sick mindset, doesn't it? A mindset that can rationalize the kidnapping of the older children by insisting that they were in grave danger of being abused by their parents - yet leave a younger and potentially more vulnerable child, possibly with learning difficulties, to the tender mercies of those same allegedly abusive parents! That just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Please - no more crocodile tears for the Maples, no more excuses, no more justifications for their wicked act. The Baskins were horribly betrayed by the very people they should have been able to trust more than any others. Instead, they placed their trust in selfish people who thought that their desire to steal the children of their own daughter and son-in-law took precedence over those children's rights to know and grow up with their own parents and siblings. So cruel.  (Feb 12, 2009 | post #43)

Murfreesboro, TN

Maple Maintains His Innocence in Court

It's called brainwashing. The Stockholm Syndrome is an example of the effects of this sort of programming. These kids have had 20 years of being indoctrinated by this wicked pair of kidnappers, so it's hardly surprising that all memories of their parents - and their little brother - have been blocked from their minds. And that cruel manipulation of young minds IS child ause - of the worst and wickedest sort. I hope that these young adults wil be helped, perhaps with sensitive counselling, to understand that their parents have always loved them - and never abandoned them; never stopped looking for them. They deserve to be enabled to form a relationship, out of the media spotlight, with the parents and the siblings who were robed from them by their dreadful abductors.  (Feb 12, 2009 | post #41)

Murfreesboro, TN

Maple Maintains His Innocence in Court

Child abuse is, of course, despicable. But it is also far too easy for someone involved in a custody dispute to make false allegations of abuse as a means of shutting an ex-partner out of a child's life. In this partcular case, the Maples even changed the allegations of the type of abuse from sexual to satanic, once the authorities investigated the original accusations - and found no substance to them. If the Maples genuinely believed these children were being abused by their parents, then why didn't they also seek custody of their remaining grandchild, rather than just up sticks and run off with the other two children? That suggests they knew very well that there was no abuse, no case for the parents to answer! Some of those who know the Maples declare them to be a fine and upstanding couple. No matter how well-regarded they may be by some, their actions condemn them utterly. Decent people don't steal other people's children. To have pretended to be those children's parents - to have denied them knowledge of their own parents and siblings for all these years - to have stolen their true identities, their knowledge and understanding of who they are and where they come from - is wicked beyond belief. What sort of people could do this to their own daughter? Imagine not knowing for all those years where your children are - if indeed your children are still alive! Mrs Baskin says that she wants to forgive her father. She shows a great deal more grace and maganimity towards this kidnapper than I could.  (Feb 11, 2009 | post #14)

San Jose, CA

Police: San Jose man kidnapped grandchildren 20 years ago...

or maybe they've simply been brainwashed by their kidnappers into believing that their own parents were devils incarnate. After all, these people have had 20 years in which to indoctrinate these kids. There can be no excuse for the cruelty they inflicted on their own daughter AND their grandchildren - however well adjusted these two young people may seem to be today. They have had their parents, their siblings, their own identities stolen from them for all this time. Just imagine what that must do to your own perceptions of where you come from - of who you are. I hope that these two adult children will recognize the fact that their parents have always loved them and never stopped searching for them. The Maples have much to answer for.  (Feb 7, 2009 | post #4)

Family

Children found 20 years after disappearance

What these grandparents did was cruel beyond belief. And to do this to your own daughter is wicked. These children have been robbed of their parents, their brother - and their own identities for 20 years. Just think what that must do to your own sense of who you are! I find the grandparents' rationalization for what they did - their excuses for stealing these children - pretty sickening. If they really believed that the parents were abusing their children, why didn't they take the other child as well? Seems that the Maples just decided to cut and run because they considered that they had a right to appropriate the children and didn't look like getting what they wanted through the court system. Squalid behavior by any standards.  (Feb 7, 2009 | post #27)

Chicago Tribune

Man who disappeared with son in 1992 surrenders

Truly, it makes no difference which parent kidnaps a child - mother or father - it is a despicable and cruel course of action either way. The child has no choice in the matter. He is cut off from one entire half of his family - sometimes from the abuctor's family as well, in order to avoid detection. A life on the run, often with no regular routine and with a complete change of identity, is no life for a child. And yes - dads do too often get a raw deal from the courts - and this is an issue which must continue to be publicized. Campaigning for a change in the thought processes which seem to dominate the decision making in some courts remains essential. However, kidnapping a helpless child is not the way to bring about such changes. I hope this young man and his mother are able to rebuild their relationship and that this can happen without bitterness for all the lost years. The son may have had a healthy relationship with his father the whole time - but he was surely entitled to have a similarly healthy relationship with his mother as well. That was taken from him.  (Aug 23, 2008 | post #2)

Baltimore Sun

Fugitive father caught in Baltimore

This case has had considerable coverage here in UK. It will be interesting to discover this conman's true identity - there is some speculation that he may well be from Europe. And I wonder if this might not be the first time he has used fake - or non-existent - ID to break the law. I am puzzled at the condemnation of the child's mother for working abroad. She is, after all, the one who is putting bread on the table by having a job. Daddy seems to have contributed nothing financially. When all is said and done, there is no excuse for kidnapping a child - whether you are the father or the mother. That's not love - that's covetousness. And this man had not been denied access to his daughter. Perhaps the kindest thing he could do now, for the daughter he professes to love so dearly, is to tell the truth about his identity. This child is entitled to know what her origins are.  (Aug 4, 2008 | post #7)

Memphis, TN

Congratulations Anna Mae He

Scott Enk's 'advocacy' on behalf of child stealers is misguided. And fortunately, judging by the overwhelming response on other forums such as the ABC thread which followed their 20/20 broadcast yesterday, most find that what the Bakers and the 'system' did to the Hes and Anna Mae reprehensible. Child stealing is wrong. The pity of it is that it took the Tennessee courts 8 long years to get it right. The joy of it is that a dearly-loved little girl has now been in the care of her true parents for the past 7 months and will soon be meeting her extended family. We should never negate the importance of family, simply because the family involved is from another land. I wish the Hes utter joy and happiness in the continuance of their reunited family life. As for the Bakers - they need to take a good, long look at themselves. Their conduct has been unchristian from the word Go!  (Feb 9, 2008 | post #9)

WBIR Knoxville

Chinese couple allowed to leave U.S. after getting back d...

As I said, we know very well who you are - and what you stand for. Fortunately, with your obscene targeting of the He family, your agenda was exposed for what it is to a far wider public than before. An intolerant, bigoted and hate-filled organisation whose uncritical support for those who would seek to keep children unavailable for adoption is matched only by its unreasoned loathing for birth parents. Oh yes! We have already learnt something - and none of it pretty!  (Jan 13, 2008 | post #37)

Q & A with nellie

Neighborhood:

Northumberland, UK

I Believe In:

The importance of family and a child's right to have a proper childhood