COURAGE

Tonight this segment aired on the 6 o’clock news on WDIV Channel 4-Detroit:

https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/oakland-county-child-killer/investigators-believe-oakland-county-child-killer-could-have-been-victimized-by-pedophiles

The courage it took for these two men to speak, on camera no less, about their victimization by Frank (Francis) Shelden and Jerry (Gerald) Richards is unbelievable.  I’ve written about Frank Shelden and his cronies and the N. Fox Island “boys nature camp” a few times on my blog.  See, for example, https://catherinebroad.blog/2013/03/12/north-fox-island-circa-1975-76/.  Author M.F. Cribari discusses this and more in Portraits in the Snow:  The Oakland County Child Killings . . . Scandals and Small Conspiracies (2011), https://www.amazon.com/Portraits-Snow-Killings-Scandals-Conspiracies/dp/1432768026.  J. Reuben Appelman writes about it all in The Kill Jar, Obsession, Descent, and a Hunt for Detroit’s Most Notorious Serial Killer (2018), https://www.amazon.com/Kill-Jar-Obsession-Detroits-Notorious/dp/1507204027/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MWBZ9YZ9EA6DDP042NPK.

Every 98 seconds a person is sexually assaulted in this county. https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence.  According to RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network), 1 in 10 children will be abused before their 18th birthday.  They say 1 in 7 girls and 1 in 25 boys.  The National Sexual Violence Resource Center reports childhood sexual abuse before the age of 17 at closer to 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys. https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf.

According to the website Darkness to Light, End Childhood Sexual Abuse, “[c]hild sexual abuse is likely the most prevalent health problem children face with the most serious array of consequences. https://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/publications_nsvrc_factsheet_media-packet_statistics-about-sexual-violence_0.pdf.  According to this site, only about 38% of child victims disclose; some never, ever disclose.  The National Sexual Violence Resource Center states that only 12% of child sexual abuse is reported to authorities.  According to Child USA, studies show that the average age to disclose is 52, with the median age 48. https://www.childusa.org/sol/.  According to Darkness to Light, there are at least 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the United States today.

That’s a lot of people carrying a tremendous amount of pain for many decades.  Thank you to these two brave men for shining a light on the monsters out there who look normal but are anything but.  Frank Shelden should have been writing checks to all of his victims via civil suits.  In fact, I think his heirs should write big, fat checks to nonprofits like RAINN, Darkness to Light, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Child USA.  You got more than blood money; you got horror money.

I am assuming there will be more of these interviews on tonight when WDIV airs the hour-long show about the child killings.  Thanks again for your courage gentlemen.