Abu Gharib in FLORIDA

Date: 2005-02-02

Abu Gharib in FLORIDA

Torture is even more horrific when the victims are children. For days now I haven't been able to shake what 5 children in Florida had to endure at the hands of the people raising them, John and Linda Dollar. News reports are conflicting as to whose kids they really are, even though Jeb Bush says they were adopted and that's how they're described in most of the news reports. Then there are those who say they were foster children and others who report the details of the "parents" relationship can't be divulged because of privacy reasons. There's a foul odor engulfing this crime against children.

I've read so much I know most of it by heart. The details of the torture inflicted on them are so sickening I don't even want to repeat them. The descriptions remain constant in every one of the articles read, but other things are quite conflicting. Only a couple of sources report that the kids were removed from the home last month after one called for an ambulance and horror-stricken hospital workers called the police. Wouldn't you think that would be cause to arrest the Dollars on the spot? Why were they allowed to remain free while they awaited a hearing about the case?

Another thing that has me scratching my head is what Jeb Bush said in the Sun Sentinel February 5:

Gov. Jeb Bush said the couple adopted the children in the 1990s. DCF officials said the adoption records were sealed, but there were no other prior abuse reports involving the family in Florida.
In a 1995 application with the Department of Children & Families, Linda Dollar wrote that she left home at age 16 because of her alcoholic and abusive father. She also wrote that her first marriage ended because of ``abuse.'' She gave no other details.

The comments were included in 164 pages of documents from when the Dollars applied to become foster parents. The department released them Friday

Bush says they were adopted yet the DCF says they applied to be foster parents.. But then reading more articles about the case, I became further confused. The following is also from Sun-Sentinel and also dated February 5. The first article was about the torture and the search for the Dollars. The second after they were caught in Utah:

The youths are not the Dollars' biological children, officials said, declining to explain their relationship citing privacy concerns. There are no Florida records of the youths living with the couple in the state's foster care system, nor were they adopted through the DCF, officials said.

 

Andrew Ritter, a spokesman for the Department of Children & Families office in Tampa, said John and Linda Dollar had been licensed as foster parents in Hillsborough County from March to October 1995. DCF officials were retrieving the couple's records from a warehouse Friday and were not able to say why the license was terminated.

That makes the next paragraph make no sense:

Ritter said it initially does not appear that the couple's license was revoked.

It's reporting like this that gives me fits, especially when it comes from the same source on the same day.

 

A Utah site, DailyHearld led off with:

Faced with felony charges and gruesome allegations of torturing their own kids, John and Linda Dollar skipped a meeting with child welfare workers, piled into their Lexus SUV and pointed it out of Florida.

What the hell is the matter with the authorities in Florida? Isn't it usually the case when a child has been held by the neck and dropped and other teens in the family were starved to the point of weighing under 40 pounds and all five giving proof they were kept in a closet and had their toenails pulled out and were given electrical shocks, shocked by a cattle prod, hit on the feet with sticks and belts, their feet put in a vise and were hit with hammers that the abusers are tossed in jail to await trial? See, thiis is what nags at me. I know I'm repeating myself but I'm so baffled by this I can't help it. Here's more repetition from CNN and cause for more questions that haven't been answered:

The Dollars were not the biological parents of the seven children. Gail Tierney from the Citrus County Sheriff's Office said they were their legal guardians, and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, commenting on the case Friday, said the Dollars had adopted the children.

WTF? Legal guardians from one source and again Bush insisting they were adopted. There's more puzzling stuff in the CNN article:

Don Thomas, a DCF administrator, called the allegations "revolting and disgusting."

Thomas said the department acted as quickly as possible to remove the children from the home, and Bush said the department did its job properly.

He said that the case was the first reported involving the family and said that authorities are investigating where the children came from.

Why is Jeb Bush so bent on saying they were adopted, when his own state's agency says they don't know anything about how they came to be with the Dollars? They were far from poor, living in a large secluded place, complete with swimming pool and if I remember right they paid over 200 thousand dollars for it. They have no criminal records. The pictures shown on various sites are the only ones known. You know what I'm sensing? Witness protection. Think about it. If they were in a program like that, it's the last thing authorities would want known. I'm not trying to start a conspiracy theory about this, but when things don't add up and are this bizarre I can only think it's a cover-up for something else. They'd only been in the town for 3 months, coming from Tennessee, but if there are records going back 10 years in Florida, I must deduce that's where they're from. This is a conundrum that's keeping me awake. Back to the Daily Hearld:

In the past two years, the Dollars have moved their family to at least three different homes in the Tampa area after living in Tennessee, secluding themselves behind fences and in piney groves and keeping a low profile.

The family had lived in Beverly Hills, about 85 miles north of Tampa, since August in a 3,800-square-foot home with a pool, spa and a three-car garage.

The case has puzzled neighbors, and the allegations of torture against the Dollars has drawn outrage from Florida officials.

"I hope they find them, and I hope that they put them away for a long, long time," Gov. Jeb Bush told reporters Friday following an appearance in Hialeah, Fla. "It's disgusting."

That gives further credence to the possibility they are under federal protection. Jumping back to CNN for more confusion:

"They said they were foster children, and they had come from Florida and these children were being abused, so they had rescued them from homes," said Jean Underwood, who rented a house to the Dollars near Knoxville before they returned to Florida.

This paragraph raises more questions and makes me want to puke:

In a 1995 DCF questionnaire, Linda Dollar wrote, "We have five adopted children and have seen what we can do to help those less fortunate, we can see so many children who need special care, love and an opportunity to be part of a warm, loving, caring home atmosphere."

Mygawd, what a broad. What I want to know is where did the other two children come from? All reports have said 2 of the 7 were treated well.

After extradition from Utah the Dollars will face charges of felony aggravated child abuse. This is a case where punishment should fit the crime and inflicting the same torture on them would be more than fitting, though it wouldn't be enough.

My money's still on the witness protection angle, but that will never come out.

Brenda Stardom
Portugal

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