from SMART newsletter – Issue #37
Interview of Jackie MacGauley, mother of one of the McMartin Preschool children
Do you have any proof and references that the children at McMartin were abused?
We were in court for 7 years. Still the longest trial in U.S. history. My daughter and hundreds of people I know deal with the aftermath on a daily basis. Our children’s medical reports and the tunnels which corroborated one of the most ‘fantastic stories’ the children recounted. The tunnels are documented in a formal report now located at a Law University. The most compelling proof was living with my daughter and dealing with all of her revelations and fears.
Why were the defendants declared not guilty?
The jury very clearly stated that the prosecution did not prove their case. The jurors were convinced that someone did commit the crime. One juror said she would have liked to have heard more from the children. All 7 defendants were held over for trial after the pretrial. Criminal counts were added. Before the trial, when the case was not assigned to a courtroom or judge, District Attorney Ira Reiner decided to drop 5 of the defendants. A memo cited that he did not want any of “These kinds of cases anymore.” About 10 other preschools were closed, but there could be no arrests without any possibility of prosecution. It was becoming an embarrassment to his office. I was told by a witness family that one defendant had enough counts and enough evidence to be tried, but Mr. Reiner felt the case would not be successful if he included her. A mother/son situation seemed like a more plausible story. Some child witnesses refused to testify when parents saw how the children were treated on the witness stand by the 7 defense attorneys. Some families were still willing to testify but were never even notified that they were no longer needed.
How do you feel about the media and their involvement in the case and after the case?
At first I was amazed at the attention we got. This is a small town and it involved only a few local families, I thought at the time. I never really did understand why it mushroomed as it did. I ask experts and they give different explanations. Dr. Underwager was speaking out on behalf of the defendants in Jordan, Minnesota. Janet Reno was D.A. in Miami during the Countrywalk case. She won the case when Illiana Fuster testified against her convicted murderer husband, Frank Fuster. The giant Bakersfield case and others started well before the McMartin case.
The media likes to report things that they know will sell their newspapers rather than reality. What happened in court was far from representative of the reality of the crime. Moral of this story, do NOT believe much of what you hear or read in the media.
Do you believe there were tunnels at McMartin? What proof can you offer to verify this?
You are asking the person who actually did the project. We heavily documented our findings in photographs, scientists’ reports and analysis. There were also an abundance of witnesses, including the media. The formal report is housed at a University Law Library at the moment.
If you do believe the allegations at McMartin were true, how long do you believe they were going on? What evidence do you have for this?
My daughter attended the school for 4 months in (Sept through January when it closed) 1982-1983. The most recent allegations began in August, 1982 when Judy Johnson took her 3 year old son to a doctor who reported it to the authorities.
A lot of us parents still talk about what happened. A friend of mine was Mayor during that time. We still console each other over what happened. A lot of us still feel totally disgusted with the whole thing. Compelling (and corroborating) evidence for me and her family and Doctor was a friend who was 44 when she died last October. She was in the second class ever given at the old location, about 1958. Her psychiatrist introduced her to me in 1984.
Do you know about anyone writing articles trying to disprove the allegations at McMartin, and why do you feel they would do this? Do you have any evidence for this?
Some V.O.C.A.L., False Memory Syndrome type affiliates seem to make it a regular task to discredit our children. Their opinions have seeped into popular journalism and, I understand, are used as fact. If you want some good background on how this all began, start with Jan Hollingsworth’s book “Unspeakable Acts” for some fantastic documentation of the perp’s games. Another highly recommended book is “The Battle and the Backlash” by David Hechler.
“Since the Eberles’ first McMartin book appeared in 1989, they have achieved national status as child abuse experts. In courts of law their work is frequently cited, and they lecture widely to receptive audiences. The Eberles once appeared as featured speakers at a conference held by Victims of Child Abuse Laws (VOCAL), an organization that feted “The Politics Of Child Abuse” as positively revelatory….Blurbs in their own pornographic tabloid, L.A. Star, failed to mention that in the 1970s the authors once ran an underground tabloid for pedophiles in Los Angeles, Finger, which delved heavily into sadomasochistic sex, sex with children and sex acts involving human excrement. Finger contained sexual drawings by children and pedophile erotica…”