The Shaken Baby Syndrome Myth
renamed "Abusive Head Trauma" or "Non-Accidental Injury"



* SBS began as an unproven theory and medical opinions, now discredited by biomechanical engineering studies
* No DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS done to eliminate other causes, abuse assumed without evidence
* Shaken Baby diagnostic symptoms not caused by shaking
* Child protective agencies snatch children, destroy families based on medical accusations without proof of wrong-doing
*Poor or deceptive police investigations, falsified reports, perjured testimony threaten legal rights, due process
* Prosecutors seek "victory", over justice; defense attorneys guilty of ineffective counsel, ignorance, lack of effort
* Care-takers threatened, manipulated, in order to force plea bargains, false confessions
* A fractured criminal justice system--a big piece for the rich, a small piece for the poor, and none for alleged SBS cases.



Related websites/ important people and projects ShakenBabySyndrome/Vaccines/YurkoProject
"Shaken Baby Syndrome or Vaccine Induced Encephalitis-- Are Parents Being Falsely Accused?" by Dr Harold Buttram, with Christina England (WEBSITE)
Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation:
EBMSI conferences, resources and information Articles and Reports
VacTruth: Jeffry Aufderheide; The SBS conection and other dangerous or deadly side effects of vaccination true, suppressed history of the smallpox vaccine fraud and other books:
Patrick Jordan
Sue Luttner, must-read articles and information on Shaken Baby Syndrome: her resources link
The Amanda Truth Project: Amanda's mother speaks out at symposium
Tonya Sadowsky



By Dianne Jacobs Thompson

I've worked as a freelance investigative researcher/writer on health-related and legal issues since 1979. So when I began looking into his legal case for prison inmate John Laverty, Jr. in 2007, I came with more experience and skills than the average lay person. I'd known John since 1998. He is the father of my only granddaughter, and I knew him to be a kind, good-natured and gentle person by nature. His case began in 2000 and involved his second daughter by another mother. She reportedly suffered from multiple, "non-accidental" life-threatening injuries, and because we knew he would never hurt an infant, we expected to be called in on his case. The last time I spoke to him during that period after his arrest, he was excited because his attorney was going to arrange for a polygraph test and we knew he would pass it and be released. Both he and the baby's mother, Melissa Berest, were in jail. We assumed she was the abusive parent.

My family and I attended meetings hosted by CPS to see where Baby Casey would go. In case both parental rights were terminated, my family wanted to take Casey and raise her with her half sister (my granddaughter). Several other people attended the meetings, but the only realistic placement besides with my family was with John's mother and stepfather. They told us we had to start proceedings to become licensed foster parents, so I did that. After that, another meeting was arranged with Casey's foster family where my husband and I, and John's stepfather were going to spend an hour with Casey.

Casey went into the hospital at the age of one month. She was 3 months old when I met her. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with her at all. She sat quietly, let me hold her, and was very alert and interested in everything that was going on. We met at a McDonalds and afterward went back to the CPS building and met with her caseworker. My husband went to bring the car up, so the stepfather and I spoke to him alone. He told us that two things could influence what happened to Casey. First, if John took a polygraph and passed it, and second, if he refused to take "anger management" classes the authorities were trying to pressure him into, it could preserve his parental rights as far as CPS was concerned. I had just spoken to John days earlier and assured the caseworker that the polygraph was already in the works. And for certain, we'd make sure John was tipped off about the classes. In their view, if he agreed to take these classes it would be an admission of guilt.

SBS Misdiagnosis, Baby CaseyOne thing disturbed me. When I was holding Casey, there was something odd about the way she was holding her legs around me. Normally a baby will clasp someone's hip with it's legs when held to the side. Instead, her knees were splayed out abnormally, in a kind of frog-like posture. I mentioned that as odd, because there hadn't been any injuries to her legs, hips or spine. The stepfather said no, he thought she was autistic. That struck me in a cold, chilling way. I taught school (as a substitute) for many years, had worked with dozens of autistic children, and saw nothing of that. Baby Casey watched and listened to everything with interest. No autism.

As we were leaving in opposite directions to our cars, the stepfather suddenly started yelling at me about something he claimed my daughter did. His parting words were to forget about taking Baby Casey, because he and his wife were going to take her. As grandparents they had the right.  But this incident split our families and we heard nothing after that, not even from the court. My daughter expected to be questioned as a witness, and she was ready to defend John's parenting skills completely, even though they had broken up and she was hurt, angry and bitter towards him. Some time later, I called CPS to see how Casey was doing with her grandparents, only to find out to my shock and dismay that she was being adopted out to strangers. The grandmother and step grandfather didn't take her. No one told us. However, they at least told me Casey met her developmental markers, so she was doing fine.

My daughter finally got word about John. He went to prison with a 16+ year sentence. The mother got half that. She and John eventually became friends again and there appeals in the works, so I felt sure something would happen, but everything failed. John's state-funded appeals ran out, and his mother was looking into hiring an attorney, but decided against it because he couldn't guarantee a win. That's when I stepped in to take a look at his case and find out what went wrong. I expected to get information and evidence that the mother hurt Baby Casey, but what I discovered instead was so unexpected, so unnerving that it almost defies comprehension, and it should hurt the heart of any person who loves truth, honor, and justice.

Without going into all of the many details of the John Laverty story, Baby Casey suffered first from her mother's diet and habits during her pregnancy. Melissa was borderline anorexic, lived mostly on coffee and copious amounts of sugar--8 to 10 cups a day, and a 5lb bag of sugar every few days, junk food, refused to take her pre-natal vitamins, and she smoked. She only gained 10bs before giving birth.

Melissa herself had signs of nutritional deficiency. Behavior disorders often linked to diet, iritis, which is a symptom found in Vitamin C deficiency, after after delivery she hemorrhaged for two days, indicating a probable bleeding disorder which is the underlying characteristic of Vit. C deficiency.

Immediately after birth, Baby Casey was given a Hep B shot, and maybe more (John overheard someone say "triple vax") against his will. Someone lied to him and said he "had no choice" about vaccination in a state which allows personal, medical and religious exemptions.

Two days later, at home, after being put on soy formula right away because Melissa had so little milk, Baby Casey became lethargic, wouldn't feed, and then her eyes rolled back in her head, she stopped breathing temporarily and became unresponsive to finger snapping and voice, so the parents rushed her to Mary Bridge Children's hospital in Tacoma, WA. They documented breathing and heart rate abnormalities severe enough for one doctor to question whether the monitoring equipment had malfunctioned, found her to be jaundiced with high bilirubin, and blood work revealed infection, described to the parents as a "serious blood disease" (sepsis?) which doctors treated with two dangerous antibiotics for three days by IV, her urine showed a "tint" which may suggest bone re sorption, and she bruised abnormally when held by an attendant taking blood from her foot. After the antibiotic treatment, the blood showed no infection (as one might expect) but to rule out infection gone to the brain where the blood-brain barrier stops antibiotics, a spinal tap must be done. Doctors tried twice, but were unable to collect any cerebral-spinal fluid to examine.

A pediatrician, Dr. John Clapper, then told the parents the original infection report was probably a "lab error" and furthermore wrote a final report suggesting that the parents had probably over-reacted and that her seizure, or whatever it was might never have happened because it wasn't witnessed by a doctor, and that she was fine. John was deeply upset over everything his daughter had gone through at the hands of the doctors, with no diagnosis as to the cause of her symptoms. John stayed by Casey's side at the hospital for several days, until she seemed to be past the crisis and his boss threatened to fire him if he didn't go back to work. When Casey was released from the hospital, a nurse gave the parents a business card for the nursing hotline service under contract with the hospital to call in case they had any health-related questions to ask.

Over the next three weeks, more and more things happened. Casey remained lethargic, fussy, and irritable, only took small amounts of formula at a time. One night John came home from work and saw that Casey's skull had changed into a dome shape (he said "cone") and immediately called the hotline. The nurse laughed it off and told him to change her sleeping position. They had been laying her on her side as instructed because she was a "shallow breather", but Melissa left her in a bassinet all day because she cried when being moved around or held. He also remembered later that Casey held her legs in a frog like position "that was creepy to look at". Then she developed a respiratory infection and had difficulty breathing. They called the hotline and were instructed through the Baby Heimlich maneuver to help her cough up a plug of mucus. No need for a doctor, they said, it was just a bad cold. The next day, Casey began bouts of "inconsolable crying", her eyes became bloodshot and the eyelids hemorrhaged-looking. A hotline nurse said it was colic, with red eyes from crying. Then came a brown-colored stain across her chin that disappeared, followed by the eruption of cold-sore type lesions.

There is much more to this story. What it all boiled down to was an infant probably suffering from deficiency states at birth, illegally vaccinated too soon, who almost died from vaccine injury, was not properly diagnosed or treated in the hospital, may have suffered from side effects of dangerous antibiotics known to cause immune and nutritional deficiencies, and symptoms that match these and metabolic disease, particularly Vit. C & D deficiencies, misdiagnosed as child abuse.


On July 8th, 2009 I went to the Pierce County Superior Courtroom of the Honorable Judge Katherine Stolz to find out why a motion for a brief hearing submitted by a prison inmate was never put on the docket after the court clerk said it would be. John Laverty Jr. had been trying since the end of 2007 to arrange for voluntary polygraph testing to provide additional supporting evidence that he had been falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of child abuse in 2001, involving his younger daughter whose background history, signs and symptoms were consistent with metabolic blood and bone disease, accelerated by vaccine injury and harmful medical treatments. Finally, the prison authorities said he needed a court order signed by a judge for permission. I needed an answer, or a signature on a copy of the administrative order signed by the judge. I had been researching and investigating his case since early in 2007, over three years now. I have Power of Attorney for John (his older child is my only granddaughter), and another legal authority believed I could ask for the signature on his behalf myself. If not, he had agreed in the motion for the hearing to be represented by counsel. My thought was that once it was on the docket, I would ask an attorney appearing in court that day to present the order for signature. A Minute Order hearing is not a legal issue, and is not associated with a specific case. It doesn't not require an adjudication. It's like an injunction a homeowner might take to court for a Judge to sign ordering a neighbor to stop work on a structure next door that interfered with the property owner's view, or to force him to quiet a barking dog.

I had to travel 200 miles to get there, and was determined to sit quietly and unobtrusively in court until someone provided an explanation or a signature, and to leave only in the event of my arrest.

I ended up in Jail that afternoon. After being Mirandized, I informed the two uniformed officers, one male and one female, that I would be exercising my right to remain silent, and I also planned to go on a hunger strike so that when I had my day in court and someone was willing to listen, I would explain it all. The whole point was to get some dialogue going. The inmate had a legal right to submit a pro se motion, but it was far more complex than that. I had discovered in the course of investigation of this case and an earlier juvenile case, such flagrant violations of due process by police and possibly prosecutorial misconduct that a lot more than polygraph issues needed to be examined. The arresting officer had no intention of providing me with a forum for discussion. He bragged that he was going to write a 2-sentence arrest report to make certain my case was kept "under the radar" (his exact words) so that no one would pay any attention. He succeeded in making me so invisible that the unrestrained cruelty and violence that followed occurred in a vacuum.  There was not so much as a ripple in the legal system, only in the continuing nightmare I'm still trying to snap out of.

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law."

It's a terrible thing to say, but in some ways I can understand the rage that creates cop-killers, while rejecting, fearing and abhorring it. There is no excuse for brutality and violence in a situation where it doesn't exist except in the twisted mind of an enraged officer of the law who has lost his temper and his professionalism.

Upper photos: arms,
lower left: back,
middle: hip
lower right: inner arm

The Shaken Baby Syndrome myth began as an unproven hypothesis, which means an idea without supporting science. Normally in medicine, differential diagnosis would be a list other causes of the same symptoms which a scientist would seek to disprove in order to provide further evidence that the hypothesis was a true idea. This never happened, meaning that SBS evolved from junk science, and bypassed the normal system of checks and balances to become an accepted medical theory because it gained such immediate and overwhelming public acceptance from people who liked the idea without being aware that it was built on such a shaky foundation.

Now, compelling evidence indicates that thousands of convictions over the last several decades are "unsafe" because the triad of symptoms used to diagnose SBS can't and don't cause it, at least in the absence of neck and spinal injuries rarely if ever seen in these cases. In short, humans are incapable of the amount of manual force it would require to cause the symptoms as described by SBS "experts", and in the manner described, and certainly not without causing grievous injuries to the neck first, just as it happens in whiplash-shaken infants in vehicle crashes.

Even worse, the diagnostic symptoms are accepted as signs of abuse without eliminating other causes, and there are many far more likely than shaking, or even shaking-impact, given the usual lack of any exterior signs of trauma. The probable cause in most cases is infection or vaccination which triggers brain swelling and hemorrhaging through direct injury or as an underlying basis of nutrition-based metabolic hemorrhagic/bone disease, or from antibiotic or antihistamine use which also has serious potential side effects, including damage to the bowels resulting in vitamin deficiencies, among other things.

The following account is about the attempts of a falsely accused and wrongfully convicted father who neither shook nor abused his child, to prove his innocence through polygraph testing. A huge amount of evidence exists to clear his name and overturn his conviction, but he wants polygraphs as additional information to support his bid for release.

Passive, non-violent acts of civil disobedience 7/13/09

For the last three years I've been investigating the criminal case of prison inmate, John Laverty, Jr. who was falsely accused and wrongfully convicted of child abuse, specifically “Shaken Baby Syndrome” which was hidden under the generic term, “Non-Accidental Trauma”. If investigators had actually investigated the case, they would have discovered the background history of the mother nearly assured her giving birth to a child with nutrition-based metabolic disease, that she nearly died from an illegally-administered vaccination, and suffered from the side effects of dangerous antibiotics, all of which included the symptoms misdiagnosed as child abuse, after which law doctors falsified records, withheld important evidence, as did law enforcement officers who falsified their reports, withheld exculpatory evidence favorable to defense, and gave perjured testimony at an evidentiary hearing.

John was threatened with certain conviction based on symptoms alone, without any evidence against him, coerced and basically tricked into signing an Alford-Newman plea (a type of plea which claims innocence while admitting the evidence would probably lead to a conviction). The agreement was for 147 months, but instead he was given a 200 month "exceptional" sentence without  warning, of which he has now served 9 years in prison.

He wants to take several polygraph exams, not only addressing this case but a juvenile case based on false accusations, admitted by the "victim" under oath at trial, followed by a wrongful juvenile conviction based on extreme violations of due process and criminal acts committed by the arresting officers.

John started the polygraph process two years ago. He submitted the kite (request), both he and the polygraph examiner filled out the paperwork required by the prison, and then nothing happened. Months later they claimed they lost the paperwork, then someone in administration claimed a court order was needed while the officer who oversees polygraph testing at the prison denied this was necessary, and now the prison counselor who was going to get to the bottom of the problem is on extended leave due to a family crisis, and her replacement is clueless.

The first exam (or two, if they can be done on the same day) has already been paid for. Assuming the worst, that a court order was needed, I contacted the Superior Court Clerk and asked if it would be possible for John to make a pro se request for a hearing, since he doesn't have and can't afford an attorney. She assured me he could submit the motion for the administrative hearing himself, as long as an attorney showed up in court for the actual hearing. I figured I could finance that much--to pay someone to go to court for the hearing after it was put on the docket. The Clerk told me the hearing would only take a few minutes, so she would be able to schedule it quickly.

The internationally-known and respected polygraph examiner, Theodore Ponticelli, Ph.D., who trains other examiners, investigates cases, and has written several books, got on board and has taken an interest in this case. He used to work for the Justice Department, running the government polygraph training program, has worked on several high-profile cases that are recognizable to the general public, has written several books including "Detecting Deception" which is used as a textbook in polygraph training programs, and he works with Centurion Ministries, who take on cases of inmates falsely accused of murder. Several of their cases have been featured on national news programs like 60 Minutes and 20-20. He has helped overturn 20 out of 21 murder convictions.

All of the paperwork required by the prison, or so we thought, was submitted by both John and the examiner, but then nothing happened. John finally discovered that one more step was needed. The prison requires an administrative order signed by a judge, any Washington State magistrate, directing the prison to allow the exam at the inmate's request.

The Hearing Motion was received, and then ignored. Nothing happened. That was months ago. I called to find out what was going on, and they said the Judge (his sentencing judge, the Honorable Judge Katherine Stolz) was in the middle of a murder trial so they couldn't do anything at that time, so I waited.

The polygraph examiner explained to me that the court order needed wasn't a legal order associated with any case, but just an Administrative (Minute) Order that needed a signature. He thought that I could go to a judge with my Power of Attorney for John and ask for them to sign an order myself, and that according to the prison, an order from any Washington State judge would suffice. An injunction is an example of a Minute Order, which a layman can request without an attorney. In this case, it was just a signed order instructing the prison to allow voluntary polygraph testing at the request of an inmate, who would pay the expenses himself. Still, it made no sense. Some inmates need a court order because they are compelled to take polygraph tests in prison for one reason or another, but why would a voluntary request set up and paid for by the inmate himself require an order from the judge to the prison? The Investigations Officer who oversees polygraph testing in the prison had the same idea, although he said he hadn't been around before when an inmate made a voluntary request, and neither had the legal officer, "in her experience".

So, I emailed the court clerk's office and asked to be put on the docket. No response.The polygraph examiner suggested that I ask the court for an "in camera" hearing (in chambers), which is just a conversation with the Judge in chambers to discuss this matter and ask for a signature on the Order I had already prepared. Again I emailed the Court Clerk's office. No response.

Finally, I emailed the Clerk's Office and told them I would come in person with the paper in hand, and would wait in the courtroom until the court docket was completed, after which I would ask to come forward and request the signature on the form I had already prepared...and that I wouldn't leave until it was done, at least under my own power with the expectation that I would probably be arrested. If that happened I told them exactly what would happen. I would exercise my right to remain silent and I would proceed with a hunger strike until my hearing, where I would explain everything in open court. No response. So, after giving them advance warning, I made plans to follow through.

However, before taking that drastic step, I decided to go to a local court and ask a judge in my hometown of Sunnyside, WA to sign the order. Municipal Court Judge Steven Michaels heard me in court and then took me to his office. He knows me, and not in a friendly way. He said, “It sounds fishy. I won't sign it. Go to the sentencing Judge...or someone else in Pierce County.” He was very cordial in open court in front of other people, but extremely unpleasant about it behind closed doors, and for personal reasons having nothing to do with the request. I had a fraudulent case before his court years ago, in which I was falsely accused and wrongfully conviction after a police officer lied under oath. But I was able to prove the perjury and got the case overturned on appeal. I don't think he liked that.

So, I prepared to make the 200 mile trip to Tacoma. I planned to leave the court with an explanation about why I was told the inmate could submit a hearing motion, and then it was ignored, or with a signature, or in handcuffs. I went by bus on Tuesday, June 30th, but when I got to court it said Judge Stolz was out for the day, so I delivered a package of info to the Tacoma Tribune, basically “to be opened in the event of my arrest” assuming someone would find out about a 61-year-old grandmother on a hunger strike in jail. I didn't have enough money for a room so I walked to the Tacoma General Hospital and spent the night in a waiting room and returned to court in the morning only to discover Judge Stolz hadn't been out just for a day, but that she and her staff were out on recess and wouldn't be back until the next week. There was nothing to do but return home on the bus.

The next Wednesday, I had my family drop me off in Tacoma on their way to a family reunion in Oregon. They waited, knowing if they didn't hear from me by around 5PM that I didn't get the signature and would be in jail, where I intended to stay until my hearing. I expected them to be there for a hearing, so I sent my clothes, ID, credit cards and cash with them, rather than have tied up with the police.

I had the Court Order typed up and ready for a signature, and another one requesting that the Court Clerk call me forward when the regular docket was completed so I could ask Judge Stolz to sign the order. I laid them on the counter in front of the Court Clerk in the courtroom, and waited for the courtroom to clear out. It wasn't long because they were nearly done for the day. The Judge left, but the clerk took the paperwork back to the Judge, and then returned and said she refused to sign it. There was some discussion. I was told she wouldn't do it because I wasn't an attorney nor part of the legal case, as well as not having been on the docket. I explained that I had POA and that the order was administrative, not part of a legal case, and not something that required an adjudication, but she was talking “legal motion” while I was describing "Administrative Order". I suggested that it wasn't that she couldn't sign it, but wouldn't and that it was a wrong decision so I would wait in the courtroom until she reconsidered. Maybe it was a case that I couldn't use my POA to ask for an administrative order on John's behalf, but if that was so, the Municipal Court Judge had set me up.

Two uniformed officers came in and told me to leave. I said I would only leave in handcuffs. They told me that could be arranged but that we had to step out of the courtroom to do it, and I was dumb enough to believe them so I followed them out. As soon as I cleared the doors, they locked them and walked off laughing at me, leaving me standing there alone in an almost empty courthouse. They walked down the empty hallway and turned the corner. I didn't know what else to do, so I started rapping on the courtroom doors with my cane (I'm partially disabled from a back injury). That brought them back—they cuffed me and Mirandized me, at which time I told them I was going to exercise my Constitutional right to remain silent and off we went to jail, which was in a connecting building. Of course they took my cane, which made walking difficult for me (my back and hips give out after I've been on my feet too long), but we got there.

When we got to booking, I wouldn't speak but indicated I would write whatever they wanted, but they were having no part of that. In fact, I had a folder with me with my name and address on it and they had fingerprinted me, so they already had all of the information they needed. A woman came up demanding medical information. Again, I gestured that I would write down the answers, but she became enraged and left in a huff. They made me remove my over blouse, leaving me in a sleeveless undershirt--of course I complied with everything other than talking--and they took my shoes and socks and gave me some rubber jail flip-flops and hauled me off to this outside “holding cell,” a small, square cement room with a drain in the floor, combination toilet/sink and narrow 4' built-in cement bench. Maybe that's what they call the "drunk tanks". It was bitterly cold outside, and there was cold air blasting from noisy ceiling vents. I don't know what the temperature was, but I could see my breath. It reminded me of the time my husband and I ran out of gas on the Al-Can highway at night in the middle of winter and had to wait 3 hrs. before the next car went by, except on that occasion we had clothes to pile on top of ourselves. I was so cold my chest hurt and it soon became almost unbearable. I stuck my head and arms inside the undershirt and tried to breath on my skin for a little relief, but it was agonizingly cold and I had real fear of hypothermia setting in, and that I might actually die.

One officer took particular umbrage at my silence. He stuck his head in the door every so often, ridiculed my suffering from the cold and asked if I was ready to talk. When I didn't respond he slammed the door and left. Then it was dinner time (I went in there around 4:30PM) and he dumped a sack lunch inside the door, but I had already began a hunger strike and left it there. That made him angry too. I don't know how many times he popped in, ridiculed me for being in agony from the cold, and left when I wouldn't respond. At that point I was beyond being able to talk even if I wanted to. I was being cruelly punished for exercising the right to remain silent.

At some point another lunch sack was brought in but I wouldn't take it, and I saw him stick it to the wall outside for some reason. Later on, a kind young officer came in with the sack, asked me if I wouldn't please try to eat something and acted genuinely concerned, but that would have defeated the purpose of a hunger strike.

Sometime during the evening, a nice lady from mental health came and asked if I would talk to her? I thought it prudent to speak, so we discussed the situation through the food door opening near the floor, on our knees. I told her I was simply staging a demonstration for a purpose and tried to explain why. She wondered if I would mind going to a mental facility for an evaluation? I told her I was willing to talk to anyone but was a little leery of going to the facility itself out of concern that I would be kept there. Anyone who has seen the movie “Changeling” about the woman who was committed to get her away from the LAPD she was embarrassing will know what I was thinking at the time.

The cold made me feel so ill and detached I wondered if hypothermia was setting in, and whether I would even make it through the night. At some point, the spots on the floor started moving and forming images. It was like looking at very faint, grainy images from an old silent movie, or maybe my eyes were closed and I was seeing them in my head—I'm not certain. The scenes were just “clips” --people in 19th century apparel sitting at a table eating, a couple hugging. I don't know if I was hallucinating or what, but it distracted me from the misery.

I was in that cell for 15 hrs, until there was a shift change and a friendly lady cop came in, said “Let's go get you processed in” and we went back inside to get the paperwork done. They let me write the information like I offered to do in the first place, so we got that part done, I was printed and photographed, got my jail clothes and headed for a regular cell with a line of prisoners. One thing I hadn't expected. Cuffs hurt. They aren't the nice round shiny things of the past, they are plastic with angles and very painful when tightened up. But those warm clothes, the blankets and sleeping pad in a warm room were like heaven. I finally got to sleep for a couple of hours, only to be woke up and told I was leaving around noon. I thought someone had bailed me out, which was the last thing I wanted, so I just sat there. They couldn't believe I didn't want to leave. I heard one inmate offer to take my place.

The female officer left for a while and then came back with other male officers and told me the prosecutor had refused to file charges against me and I was leaving whether I liked it or not. I remained sitting, so they grabbed me and took me back out to the frigid holding cell, but I was still in the jail uniform with socks on, so it was miserable but not unbearable. I was left there for several hours, and then a group arrived, threw me into a wheelchair type contraption used to transport prisoners, strapped me down from the forehead to the ankles, and hauled me like that to an exit door where released prisoners go and dumped me out the door.

I remained lying on the cement (my continued protest), but nobody was coming out the door, so I moved a few yards away to where they had a window where bail payments were made. I laid on the ground, but people coming and going just leaned over me, so I banged on the window with my cane. The officer asked what I was doing, and I told him, “Disturbing your peace” but he just laughed, said his peace had been disturbed long before I got there and pulled the curtain. I tried standing in front of the window, but when people came to make payments I didn't want to make things hard for them, so I let them reach around me to pay. Nobody came to take me away so I gave up.

After that I went to the part of the jail where visitors sign in and attempted to walk through an unauthorized door to get arrested, but it was locked so I waited inside until closing time, at which point two officers grabbed me and bodily dragged me out over the cement, where my pants were pulled part of the way down and I got an asphalt burn on my behind...but they wouldn't arrest me.

After laying on the ground for a while in further protest, I went to the front part of the jail in the lobby and waited on a bench for it to close. They ordered me out, I remained sitting, so again I was dragged out across the floor and dumped outside. That's when one of the officers told me there was an order to the police not to arrest me--that I couldn't get arrested in the City of Tacoma. I said, “What do I have to do, break a window or something?” I was told if I did anything like that I wouldn't be arrested, I'd be immediately transported to the mental facility. By then, they knew my MO was “non-violent civil disobedience” and I had no intention of causing grief to someone else by destroying property, so it was a rhetorical question, but I had reason to reconsider that night.

It got dark and one of the nicer officers left through the jail lobby. I had been standing outside in the cold, and he told me to please stay close by where it was brightly lit and not to wander downtown, particularly since there was a homeless shelter a block or so away, and we were generally in a rough part of town. I thanked him for his concern and agreed to stay close to the buildings.

It wasn't as cold outside as in the holding cell, but almost. After several hours of standing outside in front of the courthouse, I seriously thought about breaking a window just to crawl inside out of the weather, but couldn't bring myself to take that kind of leap across the chasm between passive, non-violent civil disobedience and destruction of tax-payer financed public property. But I was so chilled that about 3 in the morning I stole a garbage bag out of a large double-bagged garbage can, poked a hole for my head and pulled it over me. This was my second night without sleep other than the brief nap in jail and the fatigue was so overwhelming that I laid down in a raised flowerbed in front of the old jail building attached to the courthouse, which was just dirt and a little area of ivy, and tried to sleep a little without much luck. Every time I moved the flimsy bag ripped until it was in useless tatters. About that time someone patrolling the grounds caught me in the beam of his flashlight and ordered me to leave. I refused and told him to arrest me. He agreed, called it in and then disappeared and didn't come back. I really couldn't get arrested in Tacoma.

About 4:30AM the cold was too much so I went to the Tacoma General Hospital and had them check out my blood pressure, which they do without charge, and then asked if I could wait for a while in their waiting room, given the hour. I was able to clean up a little and prepared to return to the courtroom by 9AM.

I sat there quietly, listening to the cases. At noon two officers came in and when I remained sitting at closing time for the lunch break, they grabbed me and dragged me over the floor by the arms. One of them bragged that he knew this great twisting hair hold he could use if needed. I remained lying on the floor out in the hallway where they left me. This was a good cop-bad cop pair. The good cop said something and I didn't answer so he said he was calling the paramedics because I was “unresponsive”. I told him I wasn't unresponsive--I just wasn't talking, but he had already called them. They arrived, checked my blood pressure which had spiked 50 points above normal, and then kept checking as it came down, as well as doing a blood check for my diabetes II, which had the lowest numbers I'd seen since first diagnosed, probably due to the continuing hunger strike. My BP returned to normal as I expected and they left.

When court reconvened I went back inside, sat quietly in the back and listened to the cases. One of them got to me. A man was there who had raped a child. He was requesting an early release to enter a sexual offender program, but they also had another request. He was engaged and had an 8-month-old baby son, which meant he had only served a few months of something like a 160-month sentence, and he was requesting an amendment to a no-contact order so that he could have supervised visits with his child. Judge Stolz told him she would grant the visitation if he completed the program and got a recommendation for the visits from the doctor. But she also warned him that if anything went wrong he would go back to prison and serve out his complete sentence, because there was too much at stake, meaning the safety and welfare of that child and others. I observed a different side to the often rude and derisive or sometimes wise-cracking judge. I saw her turn very serious in her obviously great concern for the safety of children.

At the same time I thought of John Laverty who had not only lost his beloved child to a forced adoption, but was denied any contact with his older daughter—my only grandchild. For years, my daughter had tried to arrange visitation for her but the prison authorities repeatedly “lost” her birth certificate and told Michelle to get a new one and start the application process over again. Michelle had even moved to the city where he was in prison (Spokane) so they could be close to him. It was several years before John's counselor finally told him about the no-contact order for anyone under 16 in his paperwork that was the real reason the application never went through. I've studied all of his court records. I don't believe the judge was ever told he had another child.

When John was first arrested, his daughter's CPS caseworker told his stepfather and I that if John took a polygraph, that it would affect their decisions about custody and parental rights, but at the same time the agent said that John would be offered an “anger management” class and if he agreed to take it, they would take it as a sign of admission of guilt and act on it accordingly. Without knowing any of this, he had already asked to take an exam and refused the class, “because there was no anger.” Immediately after the meeting, John's stepfather blasted me for something unrelated, which alienated our families for several years, so I had no idea what was happening to John, but I assumed his step dad would pass on the information ...which he didn't. Meanwhile, John asked his attorney to arrange for a polygraph on his own, and he had already told me prior to the meeting that he wanted to take one, but his attorney ignored his request and it never happened. If he had known about the meeting with the caseworker, he would have never let up on his attorney, but John was a peaceful, dutiful young man of 20, raised by his strict Korean mother to be respectful and not given to confrontation. That would have been provocation enough to make a demand instead of a request, but no one told him. He never found out until we were back in contact about three years ago.

After several years in prison without being able to see his firstborn, when John finally discovered the problem, he was willing to do whatever he could, so he signed up for parenting classes in prison, got glowing recommendations from the instructor and his counselor, and then submitted a legal motion to the court requesting an amendment to the no-contact order so Sierra could visit him in prison. Father and child both desperately wanted this, as did all of the rest of our family and his. John is and has always been a gentle giant--a patient, loving and doting parent. He adored Sierra and was an excellent first time father with her as an infant, as her mother will tell anyone who asks, and she needs her daddy. The baby daughter he was accused of hurting came from another relationship, but he was crazy about both children. In fact, the most terrible thing I've ever had to tell someone came when he asked, "When they find out I'm innocent, can I get Casey back?" I had explain that "good faith" adoptions aren't reversed, even when his parental rights were tragically and wrongfully terminated.

It took months to get a response. Judge Stolz said NO. Thinking about that while listening to the child rape case being reviewed in court that day and the opportunity given to a pedophile made me cry, but I was in the very back and no one saw.

The docket was over early, about 2:30 PM. Someone had notified the police because they came in as the courtroom emptied. I waited until everyone was gone and then walked forward to put the Minute Order paper and a note on the counter in front of the court clerk. Just before I got to the clerk's counter, the really ugly-spirited cop told me not to lay it down, which I did anyway.

The note said something to the effect that this case was Judge Stolz's mess and she had no idea how bad it was. I explained that I tried to go through proper channels unsuccessfully and it had come to this, and that she needed to resolve the situation in some way. I said I didn't care who signed the order, only that it got done, thinking maybe she could ask another judge to sign the order if she wouldn't.

As soon as I laid the papers down (all without a word the whole day) the cop lunged at me and grabbed my hair with both hands. He was right—it was a pretty neat trick. It was like an electric shock--my knees buckled and he pulled me down the rest of the way to the floor by the hair in a pulling-twisting motion that felt like parts of my scalp were going to detach—but without actually pulling any hair out of my head. Then they dragged me across the floor and out of the courtroom. This time, Judge Stolz was still in the room (she was gone before I was dragged out at noon). She didn't say a word or make a gesture but I saw a face which took no pleasure in what was going on. And I knew then that when John submitted his legal motion with the information I'd found in the records alone, that any investigator could have and should have discovered, that this woman whom I had originally perceived as arrogant, quick to ridicule and cold was going to be affected. I believe John's case will have seriousl repercussions, as it should, and that it will come back around to her in some way.

Again, I stayed on the floor in the position they left me in. I thought I was perfectly fine. I wasn't upset or mad at anyone, after all, I had set these events in motion myself, although the hair “trick” was way over the top. But suddenly I could hardly breath. My lungs started spasming or something and I couldn't catch my breath. The good cop had stayed around and called the paramedics. They took my blood pressure which had again spiked 50 points, but when the officer asked me if I would please go to the hospital and get checked out “just in case”, I didn't fight it. I had a stroke after becoming angry and remaining silent back in 1981, so I knew it was nothing to mess with. I let them take me to the hospital.

I was in Tacoma General Hospital for several hours, until about 7PM that night. They did a full cardio work up. Low potassium and anemia, but no indication of heart problems, so it was just a physical reaction to events, probably coupled with the hunger strike. When I was about to be released, a very kindly social worker came in and asked me what my plans were, if I had a place to stay and a way home? I admitted I was broke, unable to reach my family by phone because they were out of cell-phone range, and there wasn't a bus home until the next afternoon even if I could reach relatives to arrange a bus ticket for me. The lady told me there was only one women's shelter in town but she was going to see if she could get me a bed. As it turned out, there was one bed left. She was going to call a cab to take me there, but I didn't want to use their resources so I offered to go by bus. I ended up in the same shelter the police officer had warned me about the night before, when he advised me to stay near the courthouse/jail area where it was well-lit because of the proximity to a homeless shelter.

I saw the full range of "Tacoma's Finest". Some showed exceptional consideration, some were professional and did their jobs, some were rude and angry, and a couple were sadistic. The photos were taken several days later.

The “bed” waiting for me was something of an exaggeration. About a third of the “beds” were on the floor, and there was sleeping space only. I had a blanket on the floor, a pillow covered with an old sheet because they had run out of pillow cases, but I was in such a state of exhaustion that I felt nothing but gratitude. And it was warm. They gave me a calling card with a few minutes on it so I was finally able to call relatives who arranged for a bus ticket home the next day. When I finally got to the bus station, had to wait for it to open but was on my way home at 1:45 PM. I got into town at 8:45. There was nobody home to pick me up since they were still out of state, no time left on my card, and no change to call anyone, so I started walking home alone in the dark. I forgot how far it was. It took almost two hours.


MAY 10, 2015
After I wrote this story in 2009, I published it on this website ...and then removed the link so it couldn't be read. Something happened. I shut down. No obvious anxiety or stress, I just went flat. No emotions, but no more writing or working on this website or the legal case. I cut off contact with all but my family and one close life-long friend and became a kind of recluse. I wanted to report a police office who appeared to be a "loose canon" but the potential consequences of doing that were too awful to consider. I wasn't afraid of the man, but of what might happen if and when the word got out that a police officer had assaulted a disabled senior citizen over almost nothing --for laying an unsigned photo copy of a motion already sent to the court clerk months earlier on a counter as I left the courtroom. Everything got worse when I learned there had been a similar incident involving a teenager in a cell who was taken down by a police officer after she hit him with a shoe. VIDEO Besides the officer getting fired, two trials with hung juries, and a lot of uproar, something far worse came out of this incident. A man, Christopher Monfort, became so enraged over this publicized incident that he went on a crime spree against police, and apparently intended to become a serial killer of cops, but was shot and wounded after murdering Seattle Officer Timothy Brenton in cold blood. What would happen if I went forward? I went nowhere. Instead, I've sat and stewed in a state of emotional paralysis sitting on a pile of evidence that should have led to John Laverty's exhonoration and release from prison while he has spent nearly 15 years in prison on false charges. I finally went for help in Dec., 2013. A naturopathic physician diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress, which embarrassed me because it seemed wrong to share a diagnosis like that with battle-scarred soldiers and battered wives, but the treatment worked at least well enough for me to go to work in Feb., 2014 as a substitute teacher, as I had planned to do before this "incident", but not to go back to writing ...until today, and not without effect. I feel physically ill revisiting this in writing, not that the images have ever left me in peace at any time.

Dianne Jacobs Thompson

Dianne Jacobs Thompson  Est. 2007
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