Started by Pernicious, Oct 29, 2003, 02:02 PM
Boys found severely malnourishedSunday, October 26, 2003Collingswood couple held on endangerment, assault chargesBy JASON LAUGHLIN Courier-Post Staff COLLINGSWOOD A local couple starved their four adopted sons for years, feeding them only oatmeal and pancake batter - a nightmarish regimen that continued despite monthly visits by a state social worker, authorities said Sunday.Raymond and Vanessa Jackson, who are charged with aggravated assault and endangering, were preparing to adopt another child when the emaciated youths, ages 9 to 19, were discovered, officials added.A state social worker who regularly visited the Jacksons reported no problems at a house where neighbors said home-schooled youngsters washed laundry outdoors in buckets and cut the grass with hand clippers.That social worker has resigned, and eight to 10 managers at the state's Division of Youth and Family Services have been suspended with pay pending an investigation, a state official said."What happened to these children is simply unspeakable," said Colleen Maguire of the state Department of Human Services.Raymond Jackson, 50, and his wife, Vanessa, 48, were being held Saturday in Camden County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail each.Six of their seven children were placed in new foster homes. The oldest child, a 19-year-old who weighed 45 pounds when found by authorities, is being treated at an area hospital for medical complications.Neighbors in the 300 block of the White Horse Pike reacted with shock and anger. "All this time I thought the little kids had a medical condition," said Peter DiMattia, 39, who lives next to the Jacksons. "I could choke this guy knowing this, that he did this."Authorities said a neighbor alerted them to the suspected abuse on Oct. 10, calling police to report a child rummaging through their trash about 2 a.m.Officers arrived to find Bruce Jackson, 19, who was so slight that they initially thought he was 10. The young man is only 4 feet tall, his growth apparently stunted by malnutrition, officials said.Police later went to the Jackson house, a nondescript three-story building on one of the borough's busiest streets, and found three other boys described as "extremely small and underweight."They were identified only as M.J., 9; T.J., 10; and K.J., 14. The 10-year-old and the 14-year-old are biological brothers, officials said.The four boys had a combined weight of 136 pounds when they were found, said Camden County Prosecutor Vincent P. Sarubbi. Some of the boys have physical or mental disabilities that predate their adoption by the Jacksons, he said.Sarubbi said the Jacksons contend the boys were underweight due to eating disorders. But the prosecutor said doctors dismissed that claim.All of the boys were hospitalized after being found by authorities. The three youngest, who have all added several pounds, were released to foster homes on Friday.Sarubbi said the youngsters had received no medical attention and were malnourished for a five-year period. He called it the worst case of child abuse and neglect that his office has encountered."They really, truly didn't understand how horrible their life was," said Sarubbi, who described the boys as friendly and well-mannered. "They didn't know you could go to Friendly's and get an ice cream."Three girls living in the Jackson house, ages 5, 10 and 12, were not malnourished, he said.Authorities said the Jacksons received $28,000 a year from the state to help care for some of the children. And neighbors said the couple enjoyed relative luxuries - like silk suits for Raymond Jackson, who was identified as a financial planner - and time-share vacation homes in Williamsburg, Va., and the Poconos.But officials and neighbors described primitive conditions at the Jackson home, which lacked electricity from June 18 to Oct. 6 and had no gas service from Sept. 8 to Oct. 6 due to unpaid bills. The Jacksons owe $8,000 in back rent on their home and have defaulted on both time-share properties, officials said.An investigation of the home revealed bite marks on window sills. Pieces of wall and insulation were missing, Sarubbi said.One boy had a wadded mass in his stomach and investigators suspect the youths gnawed on parts of the house out of hunger.The boys were so skinny their ribs and shoulder blades protruded beneath skin that was chalky, almost gray, neighbors said. All of the boys were unnaturally short.In the quiet neighborhood near the imposing Scottish Rite Consistory, residents said they wondered about the frail children they sometimes saw doing chores in their front yard."I thought maybe they were just ill," said Kristine Kordacki, 57, whose apartment overlooks the Jacksons' home. "I just feel horrible that maybe I should have called somebody."A state official said some blame must fall on DYFS, an agency already reeling from reports of neglect and mismanagement. The agency two days ago completed a court-ordered safety review of the 14,000 children under its care.A DYFS employee visited the Jackson home each month for the past two years as the couple sought to adopt a 10-year-old girl already in their care, said Maguire of Human Services. She said other cases handled by the social worker are being reviewed."There is serious incompetence, indifference or negligence associated with this case," she said, weeping. "There are no words."
Three girls living in the Jackson house, ages 5, 10 and 12, were not malnourished, he said.
So ... it's a gender thing.Not only that, but it is thus not a neglect thing but purposeful harm, for lack of a better phrase.
October 27, 2003 -- The sicko New Jersey couple who starved their four sons apparently preferred their daughters - allowing them to pig out in front of the boys, authorities said. While the little girls could be seen frolicking in a small pool behind the family's house in the middle-class Philadelphia suburb of Collingswood in the summer, the tragic skin-and-bones boys were forced to wash their clothes in a bucket on the side of the house and clip the grass with small hand shears, neighbors said. "I thought the boys had AIDS. That's why I never called anyone," one shaken neighbor said yesterday. The boys - ages 9, 10, 14 and 19 - weren't wasting away from disease, but from the stomach-churning neglect of their parents, Raymond Jackson, 50, and his 48-year-old wife, Vanessa, authorities charge. The boys, who had been adopted between 1995 and 1997, were locked out of the kitchen and given only uncooked pancake batter, peanut butter and jelly and cereal to eat, officials said. The boys told authorities they thought they were getting more nutrients by also eating bits of the home's wallboard and insulation. Meanwhile, the girls - two adopted, ages 5 and 10, and a 12-year-old in the process of being adopted - were allowed to order Chinese takeout and chow down in front of the boys, authorities said. "The girls were heavy and well-fed," neighbor Dee Evans said. By comparison, the oldest boy stunned cops when he told them he was 19. They caught him rummaging through a neighbor's trash for food, and the family horror was finally exposed. He was a pathetic 4 feet tall and weighed 45 pounds - about the size of a normal 6-year-old. The children lived with the Jacksons and their biological son and daughter, both in their 20s, who also appeared healthy. Neighbor Pete DiMattia said he tried to reach out to the boys over the years, but every time "you would ask the kids if anything was wrong, they would say, 'No, Mr. Pete. Everything's fine.' "They said that for years." DiMattia said he was especially upset when he brought back toys for the boys after a vacation. Later, when he asked one of the girls if her brothers liked the gifts, she said, "No, they're not allowed to play with toys." He said the family went to church every Sunday and sang gospel songs back at the house at night - a cruel facade masking what life was really like. On Friday, when the Jacksons were arrested, DiMattia said Ray came up to him, shook his hand and said, "It's just a misunderstanding." "I hope they throw the book at him," DiMattia said. The couple, who essentially lived off stipends they got from the government for the children, were each being held in lieu of $100,000 bail. The state case worker who had been assigned to oversee the 12-year-old girl's pending adoption has resigned, officials said. Kevin Ryan, head of the state's new Office of the Child Advocate, summed up the case this way: "We have a caseworker who went to a house 38 times in two years, and many of those times, she saw all seven children, and she reported in the case record that those children were all safe, despite the fact that the utilities had been turned off for the last six months, the kitchen doors were locked shut and the four boys were obviously starving." The parents claimed that the boys suffered from eating disorders that made them so scrawny. Authorities said a physical exam proved otherwise. With Post Wire Services
Maybe if the Douchebag-(censored) Kommisar Social(ist) Workers were spending more time feeding children instead of wasting so much time inventing phony accusations against innocent men then there wouldnt be this (censored) in the first (censored) place!!!! (censored)!!!!! There needs to be a shakedown and complete overhaul of the entire Social Service laws in this entire country!!!! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:(edited to remove foul expletives)