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North Dakota Sex Pervert Caught In Idaho

A man from my home state has been arrested in Idaho.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) - An 8-year-old girl who disappeared with her brother six weeks ago from a home where family members were bludgeoned to death was spotted early Saturday with a registered sex offender at a Denny's restaurant, officials said.

The girl's 9-year-old brother, Dylan, had not been found, Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said. He said the girl was spotted in her hometown by a waitress who apparently recognized her from photographs displayed in the media.

Joseph Edward Duncan III, of from Fargo, N.D., was arrested without incident and charged with kidnapping, Wolfinger said. Duncan was being held without bond.

They're still looking for the little boy.

Given this from the same article there is absolutely no reason why Duncan should have been out and capable of committing these crimes.

Duncan had an outstanding warrant for failing to register as a sex offender and had a history of rape, Wolfinger said. He was facing charges of molesting a 6-year-old boy in Minnesota last year but was released on bail in April.

You can see Mr. Duncan's listing on the Cass County sex offender's registry (Fargo, ND) here. Not a lot of details, just a mugshot and an address.

I honestly can't understand why we let high-risk perverts like Duncan go free when we're convicting people like this guy for "sex" crimes that don't even involve sex.

This is the second high-risk sex offender who has been released back into the North Dakota/Minnesota area only to commit crimes even worse than what they'd already been convicted for. Isn't it high time we started taking some of these criminals seriously? Why are we consistently letting these sex perverts out of jail when all parties involved are aware of the fact that there is a very high chance they will repeat their crimes?

As I've said before, I wouldn't mind seeing a few more petty thieves and mild drug abusers back on the streets if it meant we could keep more people like Duncan and Alphonso Rodriguez locked up.

Update:

As per Jo in the comments, this would appear to be Mr. Duncan's blog.

The posts at that blog would tend to support it as several of the details (visits from local law enforcement, accusations of molesting a child, etc.) match up with what we've seen reported in the press.

That last entry is absolutely chilling.

Rob Port is the owner and operator of Say Anything.


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Comments (41)

The last blog entry <a href... (Below threshold)
Jo:

The last blog entry http://fifthnail.blogspot.com/2005/05/still-confused.html on Joe Duncan's blog, he wrote it three days before the murders. It's pretty creepy.

Testing, testing to see if ... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Testing, testing to see if I can post.

And, really, how surprising... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

And, really, how surprising is this arrest? There doesn't seem to be much of anything in this state EXCEPT bleakness and sex offenders. North Dakota is so dirt poor it can hardly devote the resources to solving crimes that have already happened, let alone preventing crimes from happening in the future by keeping better tabs on sex offenders. Really, you would think that running a websight advocating the things this guy was advocating would be, ipso facto, some kind of probation violation but the local yokels just went ahead and let him do it. It's no wonder North Dakota is the only state losing population as the young and smart flee, screaming, for a better life anywhere but the area Newsweek calls America's "rural ghetto," economic hurt bag of the nation. (September 10, 2001 issue of Newsweek) Somebody in Fargo should be held legally liable for the inadequate supervision which let this guy run a website with a pro-molestor orientation. The fact the guy ran off and did what he did...that's bad, but it's all too common. What really concerns me is the utter lack of adequate supervision as evidenced by the website. Are police in Fargo just too thick headed and behind the times to be capable of becoming aware of some perv's website? Sure seems like it. Police in Fargo need to be aware that "a lot can happen in the middle of nowhere." You betcha.

Wow, Whatever. The amount ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Wow, Whatever. The amount you don't know about North Dakota is astonishing.

I'll grant that this state doesn't exactly have the law enforcement resources available to other places...but that's because we have far fewer people and far less crime. Not because North Dakota is poor. In fact, North Dakota's economy has been booming of late.

And out-migration has been a problem for North Dakota in the past, but the trend has slowed to what is essentially a stand-still and we're expecting the population to begin growing again here shortly.

And, really, the problems I alluded to in my post as to the punishment of sex offenders isn't really something that's specific to North Dakota, so your negative comments about the state, be they true or not, are really sort of irrelevant.

Kindly explain your stateme... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Kindly explain your statement about how North Dakota is going to start "growing" in light of the 5,000 or so people the state will soon lose from Grand Forks Air Force Base in light of BRAC. And I see that my assertion North Dakota is "bleak" stands unrebutted. I'll go with what Newsweek said, no disrespect to bloggers, but "the rural ghetto" seems to sum it up pretty well. If there is far less crime, it may be due, in part, to so much less to steal. Today's issue of USA Today discusses yet another meth lab turned up in North Dakota...a drive through the whole state reveals so many empty, falling apart houses...most of the state looks like "a meth lab waiting to happen." Is it any wonder this monster Duncan was spawned amid such desperate squalor and dispair? And then just wait until CAFTA knocks out the sugarbeet subsidies. ANOTHER disaster about to happen to the economic hurt bag of the nation. Meanwhile, North Dakota's governor wants a bunch of half-drowned counties declared disaster areas...forget all the stuff that goes down in California, because acre for acre, North Dakota is the ultimate natural disaster theme park, this piled upon economic disaster, both ongoing and pending. Sick, sad and awful about sums it all up.

'Whatever' sounds like a 's... (Below threshold)
Meezer:

'Whatever' sounds like a 'slicker. Like the kind I was really mean to when I was a kid 'cause they were scared of all the icky animals. Somebody take you on a snipe hunt, son?

A slicker? Oh, I get it, yo... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

A slicker? Oh, I get it, you mean a CITY slicker. Not sure what the point was of putting an apostrophe in front of "slicker," but each to his own in North Dakota, it appears. I'm not sure what that "slicker" comment has to do with anything, but clearly I'm not much of a city slicker because I actually know what a sugar beet is and how it supports the wretched and pathetic North Dakota economy, which is more than any true city slicker would ever care to learn. But, to get back on track and keep this focused on North Dakota's latest famous sex offender, Duncan...the news articles about his residence in Fargo sure does make that area around NDSU sound like a dump...areas that used to be small homes, but they've been carved up into apartments, some of which are apparently flophouses for sex offenders. I mean, the guy has been running around Idaho for a while, it seems, and yet his rent appears paid up! Nothing in there about an angry landlord, unpaid rent, people wondering where the heck he went. Rent must not be too costly in that area, if you know what I mean. Are you right around there, Meezer? Is Fargo as much of a dump as these descriptions would seem to imply, a sad dead end for sex offenders and individuals from towns with one bar now majoring in Livestock Insemination? Was Fargo the same town where that guy came from who ran off with the mentally retarded girl and wanted to MARRY her? And the authorities more or less convicted him of kidnapping and molestation? Was THAT Fargo? I mean, is there something in the WATER or what? There was some previous mention of the small population of this state. I would really like to know which states have the most sex offenders PER CAPITA. And I'll say something else...maybe poor states that can't keep on top of all their sex offenders...yer Montanas, Wyomings, North Dakotas...might need some extra federal funding. Clearly, a sex offender in a state that can't deal with shit (like North Dakota, obviously, the state where sex offenders run their own WEBSITES!) is a danger to all, and not just a danger to people in THAT state. This discussion about how awful North Dakota is (or isn't) is interesting and all that, but when it comes right down to it...more needs to be done, and quickly. Perhaps all the sex offenders in the various states could be brought to North Dakota and given some of the empty, desolate towns and forced to make a life for themselves in places like that. Being forced to move to North Dakota would serve them right, and it would keep them all in one place where there aren't very many people they could get loose and hurt.

Um, whatever<p... (Below threshold)

Um, whatever

I don't know from ND's demographics, but poverty doesn't cause meth labs or sex offenders or murderers.

The problem is not OUTSIDE the perp, but is their own responsibility and choices.

Poverty doesn't cause meth ... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Poverty doesn't cause meth labs? Meth isn't associated with desperation and poverty? Oh, yeah, right, I suppose you think meth labs pop up like magic mushrooms in bathrooms in Beverly Hills. Meth is intimately associated with the rural squalor and empty, falling apart homes to be found not just in North Dakota, but all over the Great Plains, though North Dakota is the epicenter of the phenomenon. Yeah, sometimes it's just the offender, they are the "bad seed" or whatever, an errant piece of sunlight must have tweaked one of their genes in the wrong direction...and other times sex offenders are spawned from the refuse and detritus of human neglect, weakness, and stupidity. I look for rationale phenomenon, not something to do with their bad, bad soul. And it seems perfectly normal to me that sex offenders should spring up from a place so awful and wretched, the economic laughingstock of the nation and, I might add, a drain upon its neighbor, Minnesota, by mere proximity. Consider, if you will, that bastard Rodriguez who killed that dear, sweet girl from the University of North Dakota. Minnesota's governor actually *apologized* for not keeping better tabs on Rodriguez. But at least Rodriguez wasn't running his own WEBSITE. Who owes who an apology now? Governor Hoeven owes Idaho an apology...for not keeping the human refuse from blowing in the wind and having free reign on the internet.

WhateverClimb off ... (Below threshold)

Whatever

Climb off your high horse before you get a nosebleed.

why are methlabs more associated with the sticks? Cause cooking the crap smells to high hell. And it's cheap to manufacture and the ingredients are pretty easy to get and one doesn't have to deal with the Mexican Mafia which pretty much runs the coke/crack traffic (and their viciousness against poachers is infamously legendary). Profit margins (if you don't blow yourself up) are quite high.

And shock of shock, even rich locales like LA and surrounds have problems tracking sex offenders because it relies on voluntary compliance of the offender to register (or register truthfully) with his/her local police.

We always have a handful of cases of prosecuting for failure to register...usually only caught when they've done some other crime.

And sex offenders come from all walks of life...justices, teachers, scout leaders, priests ...so some weird "sex offenders are made due to horrendous upbringing" is actually a dangerous position to take.

Argh: Whatever.On... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Argh: Whatever.

Onto "meth labs" and "poverty" and the entire state of North Dakota (or any other)...when the issue is sexual predators and sexual predatation.

Sexual predators have a compulsive problem (as do others with other problems, but I'm limiting my comments to the issue of sexual predators). Many when confronted and even threatened with penalty are "sorry" and very humiliated and all that, but the point is, they always predate again (look at the statements made by and ongoing behaviors by the guy who killed the child in Florida, among many others).

They can't be relied on to behave in society without harming others. Not only children, by the way...but especially harms to children is my point. They kill people rather than be 'found out' and often fear exposure more than any penalty for murder and their own actions and cannot be trusted to change their behaviors voluntarily.

I think that many people today are beginning to realize this about sexual predators and why they pose a very awful threat to society and should not be simply paroled and asked to register with local authorities (many don't). Parole and registration does nothing to stop them from sexually predating upon others, childre particularly, and to assume they're going to stop their problematic behavior seems as irrational as the problems themselves.

Sexual predators at least should be permanently ankled (GPS, incarcertation, whatever it takes). At least define effective penalties to protect society from sexual predators and to provide treatments/remedies/recourses for those who are marginally included in that classification (nineteen year olds having sexual contact with fifteen year olds, for instance, but I don't excuse that and think that there's a questionable slope inherent in that sort of variation of evaluation about the behavior).

I read through that blog an... (Below threshold)
Ray Midge:

I read through that blog and the best word for it, though cliched, is chilling. Not a word of violence, but the angry, self-excusing 'I'm society's victim' tone, the slide toward greater psychosis... just mezmerizing.

You can tell something bad is happening in his head he's not telling you, but I'm not sure I would've guessed he'd of gone this completely evil. Plays out like the worst nightmare of anyone advocating for post conviciton leniency for these guys.

I'm also not so sure that the ND police weren't doing just what they were supposed too. They'd apparantly searched his home, seized stuff, were making sure neighborhood notification was going on to the full extent of the law, but it just wasn't enough.

I'm gonna remember this guy, his blog. I'm gonna keep this with me everytime the sex offender rehabilitation debate/merry go round starts up again.

Jeez Whatever, you have a w... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Jeez Whatever, you have a wife/girlfriend stolen by a good-looking ND farmboy or what?

Living here in North Dakota, I wouldn't call it a ghetto at all. In fact, I quite like it. But then I'm the kind of person who likes small towns and small communities.

But really, I don't see where any of it has anything to do with the topic at hand. Really, your fixation on ND is kind of...weird. Usually, nobody really cares.

yep, I'm a California city ... (Below threshold)
slicker#2:

yep, I'm a California city slicker too, Orange county type, and we have a lot of meth labs RIGHT HERE in $1M homes. Sorry for the idiot from down here going off on North Dakota, I'm sure it's decent state and good people, albeit a bit too cold for me. There's a lot of sex offenders everywhere, and, by the way, he's actually from Washington, not ND. If you read his website, it's actually very sad, bz obviously he realizes he is sick, but the demonic side of him just got the best of his ability to control it, and it's clear he is mentally ill and very impulsive (but in NO WAY am I trying to excuse him; even if he had a dysfunctional upbringing and the system made him worse (as he argues), it still doesn't give him the right to go rape and murder little children).
Maybe he evaded and tricked the police, but he is very very smart, as is evident from his website, so he probably would have tricked the police down here too. By the way, as a matter of this funny archaic document called the Constitution, even people like him can maintain websites and express unpopular or even perverted views. I WILL say that it would have been better if some authorities had kept an eye on him and seen how his propensity to reoffend was obviously worsening, as is evident from his comments over time.

If people google jetd63 they will find other sites he had to do with, including the socalled travel bug sites -- yes, those are all him -- read his blog if you doubt me -- common themes run through it all. The police need to find those cached cameras (he was obsessed with cameras generally) and see what kind of photos are on them. Hint to law enforcement.

So, according to slicker #2... (Below threshold)
fatman:

So, according to slicker #2, Joseph Edward Duncan III is originally from Washington (State, I presume). So were Theodore Robert Bundy and Gary Leon Ridgeway (the Green River Killer, the worst serial killer in this nation's history). Maybe whatever will now aim his rhetorical rocket launcher in another direction. (holding my breath, waiting--NOT)

Why will people who don't w... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Why will people who don't want to make excuses for sex offenders and their demonic behavior make so many excuses for a backward, half-assed state like North Dakota that couldn't even keep tabs on a sex offender when he had his own website and various blogs? More details that come out show that Duncan had done time in Minnesota, but while on probation he took up residence in North Dakota, just on the other side of the Red River in Fargo. You think many demonic Duncan knew something? Like the authorities in North Dakota were too backwoods to keep tabs on him, while he was all over the internet? My word, the guy even went to NDSU as a student--he didn't just live in the neighborhood with the students, he went to school and one school official said he was "quite a scholar." Compared to his mostly Nodak classmates, I guess. Blaming the offender and their sick demons is justified, but why are people so eager to make excuses for these dumb ass backwoods hicks from North Dakota who couldn't get a bead on the guy when he was SHRIEKING his sickness all over the internet? You think maybe Duncan knew what he was doing by going to Fargo? Think about it.

{STUPID HAYSEED NODAK DOCTO... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

{STUPID HAYSEED NODAK DOCTOR MADE DUNCAN SPREE POSSIBLE, READ ALL ABOUT IT FROM THE FARGO FORUM, AS FOLLOWS}


Former Fargo doctor loaned money to offender
By Dave Olson, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 06, 2005

A convicted sex offender arrested Saturday in Idaho with a missing girl received financial help from a former Fargo doctor, police records show.

Authorities believe Joseph E. Duncan III, 42, left the Fargo-Moorhead area shortly after April 5, when he posted $15,000 bail in Becker County (Minn.) District Court.

He is charged in Becker County with molesting a 6-year-old boy and trying to molest an 8-year-old boy July 3, 2004, in Detroit Lakes.

Police arrested Duncan Saturday in Coeur d'Alene with an 8-year-old girl whose mother, brother and family friend were found murdered in May.

On May 13, Fargo police investigator Greg Esposito spoke by phone with Richard Wacksman, a former Fargo doctor who befriended Duncan before he moved to Fargo in 2000.


Before coming to Fargo, Duncan served 14 years in prison for raping a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in 1980 in Tacoma, Wash., when Duncan was 16.

Wacksman, who moved from Harwood, N.D., to Florida several years ago, told Esposito he last spoke to Duncan around April 15, when he got a phone call from him, according to a Fargo police report.

The report also said:

Wacksman loaned Duncan about $6,500 before his court appearance in Detroit Lakes. The loan was intended to defray attorney fees.

Wacksman said he didn't think Duncan was homicidal, though in the past he talked about suicide and what it would be like to drown.

Duncan apparently thought drowning would be the least painful way to die.

Duncan, who likes to scuba dive, visited Wacksman in Florida in March.

Wacksman told police he is not Duncan's doctor, but the two became friends when Wacksman was a pediatrician in Florida.

He said Duncan was very scared of going back to prison.

Wacksman, who now lives in New Port Richey, Fla., did not return phone or e-mail messages left for him Tuesday.

Wacksman is licensed to practice medicine in Florida, but does not have privileges at any facility in the state, according to a Florida Department of Health Web site.

When Duncan moved to Fargo, police released information on his past, including a document from a 1997 sentence review board hearing in Olympia, Wash., held to determine whether Duncan should be returned to prison for a parole violation.

At the hearing, Wacksman asked that Duncan be released so that he could live at Wacksman's North Dakota home.

Wacksman stated he had no concerns regarding the safety of his children, a view the review board did not share.

The board rejected Wacksman's proposal, finding that: "Under no circumstances whatsoever would the board allow Mr. Duncan to reside in a home where victim age children reside. … With all due respect to Dr. Wacksman, we are not willing to expose his children to that kind of risk."

Wacksman's Harwood neighbors felt the same way five years ago when they learned Wacksman was friends with the Level 3 sex offender, according to Don Nicholas, whose oldest son was friends with one of Wacksman's children.

"We had a neighborhood meeting about it," recalled Nicholas, who now lives in Virginia and was reached Tuesday in Puerto Rico, where he is doing construction work for the National Guard.

Nicholas, who did not attend the meeting, said neighbors confronted Wacksman, who confirmed Duncan had been to his house.

Nicholas said Wacksman told neighbors he would set conditions so Duncan could only visit when he was supervised. To his knowledge, Nicholas said, Duncan never returned to the Harwood residence.

Wacksman told his neighbors Duncan no longer posed a threat and was a changed man, Nicholas said.

"Obviously, he wasn't," Nicholas said.

Police say Duncan gave them little trouble during the five years he lived in Fargo.

However, authorities searched Duncan's Fargo home twice, once in August in connection with the Becker County case and again in April, when police suspected Duncan had not informed them of an address change as required by law.

Police learned in early May that on April 15 Duncan rented a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee from a St. Paul rental car agency. The Jeep was reported stolen after it was not returned by April 20.

A key tag belonging to the vehicle was found in a national park in Wyoming by a park ranger, police said in May. According to a Fargo police report, Duncan e-mailed an upstairs neighbor, Joni Buzick, on May 10 and asked her to take care of his cats. In the e-mail, Duncan writes "life just isn't worth it and that he is truly sorry," the police report said.

{PERSONALLY, I THINK IT'S PRETTY CREEPY THAT A PEDIATRICIAN WOULD BEFRIEND A SEX OFFENDER TO THIS DEGREE, but I'm willing to believe that this doctor--despite his advanced degree--is just another dumb North Dakota hick from the sticks who really can't cope with "big city" issues like, oh, not letting a sex offender hang out with your kids. More to follow from the Fargo Forum detailing precisely how dumb the North Dakotans are, to the point of actually being a danger to the rest of the nation because they just can't *deal* with shit on account of being such backwoods hayseeds}

[HERE IS MORE ABOUT EXACTLY... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

[HERE IS MORE ABOUT EXACTLY HOW STUPID THE NORTH DAKOTANS ARE. YOU HAVE TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES A BIT, BUT DON'T WORRY, I'LL HELP YOU]


Fargo police to update offender info on Web site
By Dave Forster, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Fargo Police Chief Chris Magnus said his department already does more than most agencies in the nation to track sex offenders.

On Tuesday, in the wake of national attention from the Joseph Duncan case, Magnus unveiled plans to keep the public even more informed. At the same time, he cautioned about getting "caught up in the hysteria of all this."
[READ: LIKE A SEX OFFENDER, THIS DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN CAUGHT WITH ITS PANTS DOWN. PLEASE DON'T LOOK AS WE SCRAMBLE TO COVER OUR ASS]

Beginning July 12, the Fargo police Web site will feature a city map that can be searched by neighborhood for Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders. The site now lists only photos, addresses and criminal histories for Level 3 offenders, those considered the most likely to re-offend.

Magnus and Lt. Tod Dahle also spoke briefly Tuesday about their department's help in the Duncan case and the flaws the case exposed in the criminal justice system. [ESPECIALLY IN THE HAYSEED FARGO POLICE DEPARTMENT]

Duncan, a Level 3 offender, had been missing since April from his Fargo address until Idaho police found him Saturday with 8-year-old Shasta Groene. Some of her family was murdered in May. Duncan fled Fargo after posting $15,000 cash to get out of jail in Becker County, Minn., where he was charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy on a playground. [SEE ARTICLE ABOUT HOW A KINDLY FARGO PEDIATRICIAN LOANED DUNCAN MONEY]

Magnus said Duncan's writings on his blog, "fifthnail.blogspot. com," show he was well aware of the attention Fargo police were paying him. [EVEN THOUGH THE DUMBASS FARGO POLICE APPARENTLY DIDN'T CATCH ON TO THE STUFF DUNCAN WAS SCREAMING OUT TO THE WORLD OVER THE FREAKING INTERNET]

Duncan, who moved to Fargo in 2000, was reported once by a woman who thought she saw him peering at her son, Sgt. Jeff Skuza said. The call prompted an officer to talk with Duncan at his home.

"He didn't commit a crime, but we did pay him a little visit," Skuza said.

Magnus said the attention might have kept Duncan from committing crimes in Fargo. He was charged Tuesday in Idaho with kidnapping Groene and her 9-year-old brother, Dylan.

"I think he realized he was under scrutiny here," Magnus said.

Magnus urged people to channel their anger, fear and frustration into pushing for changes in the way sex offenders are treated. Among the priorities should be a national sex offender registry, more probation time after sex offenses and a uniform system for assessing risk levels among the states, he said.

Residents should also hold public officials accountable for poor decisions, Magnus said. He directed his comments toward prosecutors and judges in general and said people can make changes at election time.

Judge Thomas Schroeder has told reporters he wasn't sure if he knew Duncan was considered a Level 3 offender when he set his bail at $15,000 on the Becker County charges. County Attorney Joe Evans said he requested bail at $25,000.

Magnus said it remains to be seen who, if anybody, should be held accountable in Duncan's case.

But for someone with Duncan's history, Magnus said, "My sense is that both of those (bail) figures are way too low."

The Fargo police Web site update has been in the works for months and wasn't in response to Duncan's arrest, Magnus said. It was planned to be ready for next Tuesday's annual police picnic, he said. [MONTHS. MONTHS TO WORK ON A WEBSITE. SOMEBODY SHOULD CHECK TO SEE IF SOMEBODY'S NEPHEW WAS HIRED TO DO THE WORK. NEPOTISM RUNS RAMPANT IN NORTH DAKOTA, BUT THAT'S PRETTY MUCH DUE TO THE FACT MOST NODAKS ARE RELATED TO EACH OTHER FROM INBREEDING]

In addition to the mapping feature, Fargo police officials plan to assign an investigator to sex offender cases, and add vehicle descriptions and photos to the information available on the Web.

Beat officers now check the accuracy of offender addresses three times a year, even though the law doesn't require any checks, Dahle said. The first nonreporting violation in North Dakota is a misdemeanor; the second a felony.

The Cass County Sheriff's Department checks addresses every four to five months, said Lt. Mike Argall. In West Fargo, police try to check offenders at least four times a year, Capt. Mike Reitan said. [THE OFFENDERS ARE SHAKING, WE ARE CERTAIN]

About 150 offenders are registered in Fargo, with the majority considered Level 1, or low risks, Magnus said. [POPULATION OF NORTH DAKOTA IS ABOUT 600,000, FARGO IS THE LARGEST CITY...SURE WORKS OUT TO A LOT OF PERVS PER CAPITA. THE MOST IN THE NATION? I, FOR ONE, AM DYING TO KNOW]

Serious offenders could be living in Moorhead and in Clay County right now, but police can't tell the public about them, said Moorhead Lt. Bob Larson.

But a law passed during the 2005 Legislature will change that for offenders who now move to the area, he said.

Of the 81 registered sex offenders in Moorhead, 18 are considered low risk, five are rated moderate risk and none is rated high risk. [MOORHEAD IS RIGHT ACROSS THE RIVER...WHY DO THE MOST SERIOUS PERVS CHOOSE FARGO EVEN WHEN THEY'RE DEALING WITH CONVICTIONS FROM MINNESOTA? INCLUDING THE SATANICALLY CLEVER DEMON DUNCAN? COULD IT BE THAT THE OFFENDERS FEEL SAFE IN FARGO BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A BACKWARD, DUMBASS STATE WITHOUT THE RESOURCES TO STAY ON TOP OF THIS SHIT?}

The rest have no designation because they never went through the state's prison system.

Clay County has 34 registered sex offenders outside of Moorhead. Of those with a risk level, five are low risk and one is moderate. The rest have no risk rating.

Most offenders who do not have a risk rating moved to Minnesota from another state or were convicted in Minnesota before the days of risk assessments, Larson said.

Previous law did not allow Minnesota authorities to talk about a high-risk offender who had no official designation as a high-risk offender.

Under the new law, all sex offenders moving to the state will be assigned an official risk level, Larson said.

Moorhead police will tell residents who ask whether there is a registered sex offender living within three blocks of the person's address, regardless of the offender's risk level.

Known Level 3 offenders also prompt community notifications in Minnesota. Level 2 offenders prompt notification of schools and other at-risk agencies.

In Fargo, the police went back and forth on the decision to publicize Level 2 offenders, Magnus said. The move was a difficult one because the medium-risk label covers people who present varying degrees of risk to the community, he said.

In the end, the police chose more transparency over concerns for a community backlash against the offenders. He said he didn't worry about the possibility of alienating a "sick" individual such as Duncan.

"We're going to err on the side of caution," Magnus said.

Magnus said he hopes citizens research offenders in their neighborhood and take rational steps to ensure safety. Measures might include frank discussions with children and a plan for uncomfortable or dangerous situations, he said.

He also said people should be less hesitant to call police when they think they've spotted suspicious behavior.

For more insight into the risk from sex offenders, Magnus directed the public to a "myths and facts" page on the department's Web site: www.cityoffargo.com/police/.

MYTH: "FARGO," LIKE THE MOVIE, STANDS FOR BASIC COMMON SENSE LAW ENFORCEMENT. FACT: THE MAIN CHARACTER IN THE MOVIE "FARGO" WAS ACTUALLY IN BRAINARD, MINN., AND FARGO WAS WHERE THE CROOKS WENT TO PLOT THE CRIME. ANOTHER FACT: I lived in North Dakota for a few years of my life, and I am forever scarred from being exposed to such pathetic, stupid bumpkins. North Dakotans just can't deal with shit. Hear my vent-age, and consider, rather than dismissing out of hand the possibility that statewide stupidity at a nearly genetic level played a terrible role in this crime spree.

[HERE'S MORE. I WILL LEAVE ... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

[HERE'S MORE. I WILL LEAVE IT TO OTHERS IF THEY CARE TO COMMENT ON HOW THE FARGO PD LET THIS FISH OUT OF THEIR NET ON MULTIPLE AND PAINFULLY OBVIOUS EVIDENCE OF PROBATION VIOLATIONS IN THE PLANNING STAGES LIKE, OH, GEE, AIRLINE TICKETS]


Police records detail items found in home
By Dave Olson, The Forum
Published Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Between August 2004 and May of this year, Fargo police executed two search warrants at the home of Joseph Duncan III, seizing items ranging from cameras to airline tickets.

In a search conducted Aug. 20, 2004, at 810 7th St. N., police confiscated more than 40 items, including seven cameras and numerous video tapes, DVDs, CDs and floppy disks.

In an office wastebasket, officers found what was described in an inventory list as a "Lilly's Kids magazine," an apparent reference to a mail order catalog for children issued by Lillian Vernon.

The search was done in connection with an investigation that led to charges in Becker County (Minn.) District Court in March.

In that case, Duncan is accused of molesting a 6-year-old boy and attempting to molest an 8-year-old boy in July 2004 at a playground in Detroit Lakes.

Police conducted a second search at Duncan's home in May, when they had reason to suspect he had left the area.

In that search, police found a United Airlines ticket to Denver and a Northwest Airlines ticket to "FLL." The Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport in Florida is also known as FLL. [A FACT PROBABLY NOT KNOWN TO THE HAYSEEDS WHO CONDUCTED THE SEARCH]

Officers also found what was described on an inventory sheet as a "letter sent to Dr. Wacksman."

Other documents obtained from the Fargo Police Department show Duncan is friends with a former Fargo area doctor, Richard Wacksman, who now lives in New Port Richey, Fla.

Duncan, who likes to scuba dive, visited Wacksman in March, according to the police documents.

Wacksman told police the last time he had contact with Duncan was around April 15, when Duncan phoned him and sent him a photograph via phone.

Police say April 15 was the date Duncan rented a red 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee in St. Paul, which was later reported stolen.

Attempts to reach Wacksman by phone and by e-mail Tuesday were not successful.

As a Level 3 sex offender, Duncan is required by North Dakota law to notify police of any address change.

Duncan, arrested Saturday in Idaho in the company of a missing 8-year-old girl, faces kidnapping charges in that state.

In addition to those charges and the Becker County charges, Duncan faces a failure to register charge in Cass County.


If not being a hayseed from... (Below threshold)
Rob:

If not being a hayseed from North Dakota means I'd have to be a jackass like you, Whatever, then I think I'll just stay right where I'm at.

Seriously, what have you got against ND? You seem absolutely obsessed.

Forum editorial: Outrage sh... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Forum editorial: Outrage should be redirected
AND HERE WE HAVE TODAY'S EDITORIAL IN THE FARGO FORUM, suggesting that anger not be directed at the Fargo police. Since I doubt very much if anybody at the Forum reads this little blog, it seems likely that many other commentators--both public and in private, informal communications-- are saying the same thing is me: this happened party because the Fargo police were appallingly stupid. Here is the editorial, please note:


The Forum
Published Thursday, July 07, 2005
The story of sex offender Joseph E. Duncan is generating outrage from coast to coast. That outrage, some of it understandably misdirected, should be converted into changes in the way society deals with the most dangerous sex criminals - those who cannot be rehabilitated.


Duncan is in that category. As a Level 3 offender, he was known to authorities. His residence was known. His movements were supposed to be known. He was supposed to check in with authorities when he changed residences.

Yet, Duncan fled Fargo after posting a $15,000 cash bond in Minnesota where he was charged with molesting a 6-year-old boy. That was in April. He turned up in Idaho last week with 8-year-old Shasta Groene. He is suspected in the deaths of the girls' family.

A systemic failure doesn't get any worse than the Duncan case. Consider:

E Fargo police said they'd been checking up on him. They said they suspected he ran because he was under regular scrutiny in Fargo.

E Apparently no red flags went up in Minnesota when the court set bail for a Level 3 sex offender who was in the courtroom for having offended again.

E It was sheer happenstance that a waitress in a Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, restaurant recognized Shasta Groene and her captor. Had they left undetected, he might still be on the run and the girl might be dead.

All of this indicates a system that is unable to balance the constitutional rights of criminals with public safety. Duncan, after all, had paid his debt to society for previous crimes. Under current legal strictures there was only so much police could do to monitor him.

Also, the Constitution has a specific provision against excessive bail (the 8th Amendment). But when the founders insisted the provision be part of the law of the land, they could not have anticipated the unique horror society faces from sex criminals. The burden of defining "excessive," therefore, falls on today's courts, and an argument can be made that Duncan's bail in Minnesota was too low.

Legislatures across the land are trying to strengthen sex offender laws without violating constitutional rights. For example, a North Dakota attorney general's task force worked for months last year to find ways to open sex offender hearings in order to assure a fearful public that the system was working. But it was not a simple matter. In many sex offender cases, health records are involved, and most health records are closed to public scrutiny.

A handful of states don't have sex offender registries or monitoring structures. While that's hard to believe, it underscores the need for a national sex offender tracking registry. But drawing the civil liberties line between public protection from sex criminals and imposing a Big Brother government tracking system is no easy task.

The Duncan case has generated anger and outrage. But pointing fingers at this judge or that police department does not address the deeper issue. The system - whether state efforts or the national picture - needs a lot of work. And the primary responsbility for that work lies with state and national lawmakers.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board.

....
IN RESPONSE TO THE ACCUSATION THAT I AM A "JACKASS"--what a delightfully earthy hayseed metaphor, with shades of accusation about being in the democratic camp--I'll tell you a thing or two about my outlook and why it is how it is. North Dakota receives more federal funds per capita than any other state. It is the backwoods welfare queen of states, yet its people self-righteously position themselves as independent and self-supporting.
After the brief period of suffering I spent in North Dakota, I asked myself, well, why is North Dakota so fucked up? I looked into it and found a fatal combination of backwoods stupidity, lack of resources, and a sick, self-rigteous fear of all "outsiders." Few normal people give a shit or notice North Dakota unless somebody is making fun of the place, but this state is a drain upon the other states. Here, the fatal stupidity of the Fargo police department and that dumb doctor from Harwood, North Dakota helped to unleash this demon on the world. And now here's the Fargo newspaper..."Oh, don't blame the Fargo police, blah blah blah." I blame the Fargo police, the doctor from Harwood, as well as Duncan himself. I point my finger. This symbol represents my finger pointing northwest to Fargo. \ Stupid, stupid, stupid and typical, just TYPICAL of these backwoods bumpkins. Can't run shit, can't manage shit, can't *deal* with shit. I'm a jackass? I'm pointing out what needs to be pointed out. Nodaks can't deal with shit, and others suffer for their backwoods stupidity.

I'll not disagree with you ... (Below threshold)
Rob:

I'll not disagree with you that ND gets way too many federal dollars. Most of it is farm subsidies. That's something that should be changed.

As for everything else? You still seem like a mean-spirited jackass. But what do I know, I'm just a hayseed...right?

Right. And if the rest of t... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Right. And if the rest of the Nodaks would just admit how little they know, how incapable they are of *dealing* with shit, their pathetic flatlander civilization might make some progress, with the help of the outsiders they fear and disdain. But too late for Duncan's victims.

Ha. You're the one exhibit... (Below threshold)
Rob:

Ha. You're the one exhibiting fear and disdain, my friend.

Seriously, grow up.

I'll grant you the disdain.... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

I'll grant you the disdain. Fear? No way. And my disdain is a response to what I experienced in your state, where people are hardly even allowed to laugh out loud or smile, except at a stupid sports event, and people who aren't originally from North Dakota are never treated with complete social equity or fairness. I came to your state to go to school, young and stupid and believing that it would be a good (though boring) life where I could get a decent education. I pretty much cut my East Coast ties, planning to go to school in Nodak-ia and then move to the Twin Cities. But once I got to your wasteland, I was pretty much trapped there. People get paid shit, and live on the lie of a lower cost of living. Your toothless, tired, meth using store clerks were in the same boat as me--trapped in your fucking wasteland of stupidity, negligible human and economic resources, and the most miserable weather south of the North Pole. It's amazing that a sex offender like Duncan got away with so much...since Nodaks are uniformly intolerant of most "outsiders." In any case, possessing a precious UND degree but pretty much drained of financial resources just from trying to live in a wasteland, I finally scraped up what I had and lived in my fucking station wagon just to get established in the Twin Cities. Now I have a great apartment, lots of toys, lots of chances to see art and culture (real art and culture, not the pathetic "duck art" you Nodaks pass off) and I've escaped, THANK GOD. But believe you me, I warn everybody, EVERYBODY every chance the subject comes up about what a wretched pig wallow your state is. I feel only pity for those who are stuck there, and my advice to them is to just get the fuck out. When I drive to Montana to see my grandparents, I fucking go through Canada, just to avoid the SMELL that hits you just outside of West Fargo. When I started reading about this Duncan thing I thought, oh yeah, that makes perfect sense...perfect sense that the stupid Nodaks would fuck it up. I tried to cut and paste the editorial from the new High Plains Reader, but it won't copy...so I'll just tell you the gist of it. North Dakota's response is to try to blame Minnesota! See High Plains Reader, see the editorial! ONLY THAT SHIT WON'T FLY. It was North Dakota that dropped the ball the worst-est, and North Dakota that deserves the public humiliation that goes with the revelation of their systematic cultural incompetence. BUT I KNEW. Oh, Lordie, Mr. WHATEVER knew long ago, when I was packing shit in my station wagon and praying, praying to God, saying, Lord don't leave me in this one horse town.

I don't know what to tell y... (Below threshold)
Rob:

I don't know what to tell you. I wasn't born in ND, I came here later in life and have noticed few, if any, of the observations you make.

Have you ever considered the idea that maybe nobody in North Dakota liked you because you're a pontificating jackass? Does anybody like you where you live now?

You'll probably say yes, but I have my doubts.

It's a heck of a thing to b... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

It's a heck of a thing to be a regular blogger like yourself, Rob, and then accuse others of "pontificating." As for you noticing few, if any, of the observations I make, practically everything I've said has been said, with less venom, but people in North Dakota who are, incredibly, positive about the state. Take, for example, that editorial I mentioned in the High Plains Reader...a later story about the "New Bohemia" concept goes into observations about North Dakotans not giving much of a rip for the arts, preferring nice straight rows of crops. I've actually said nothing new about what a wretched and pathetic waste-bag your state is. It's all been said before, and if you doubt me, tell me the parts you doubt and I'll be happy to post documentation of my assertions. And since the purpose of a blog is to blog, calling me a pontificator is rather like calling me a blogger. Lots of people like me where I am now, yes, but this is partly due to the fact Minnesotans (especially in the Twin Cities) aren't stranger-fearing provincial hayseeds with sticks up their pale white asses. In fact, Minnesotans think making fun of North Dakotans is funnier than shit, and I'm often asked to tell some of my "stupid Nodak stories" to entertain. Want to hear a stupid Nodak story? Just ask me, Robbie, though I'd prefer to stick close to the subject of "How Nodak Backwoods Incompetence and Stupidity Made Duncan's Spree Possible," which has been my consistent and well supported theme.

Here's the latest on Duncan and how stupid the Fargo police are, THE ARTICLE IS AS FOLLOWS, BELOW.


Law enforcement agents tracking then-fugitive sex offender Joseph Duncan had been carefully monitoring the suspect's weblog in the hopes that he would reveal his whereabouts, officials told Wired News this week.

"We went on and hoped that he'd tip his hand as to where he was, but he never did," said Sgt. Jeff Skuza of the Fargo Police Department in North Dakota, where Duncan lived until becoming a fugitive from Minnesota child-molestation charges in early May.

"The blog came to light some weeks ago; it is not something that was just discovered after his arrest," said Becker County, Minnesota, attorney Joe Evans, head of the office that prosecuted Duncan. "I know (police) were viewing and paying attention to his blog."

Despite law enforcement's hopes, the 42-year-old computer programmer's sporadic postings did not give away his location. Instead, the last entries took a disturbed and ominous tone. In a May 11 posting titled "The Demons Have Taken Over," Duncan hinted of violence in his past and future. "I am scared, alone and confused, and my reaction is to strike out toward the perceived source of my misery, society," Duncan wrote. "My intent is to harm society as much as I can, then die."

Based on the blog postings, "We were worried that he was either going to re-offend, or commit suicide," said Skuza. "We, of course, wanted him as soon as we could possibly get him."

Duncan stopped blogging on May 13, two days before the brutal slaying of 40-year-old Brenda Groene, her son Slade and her boyfriend Mark McKenzie, at Groene's home near Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

The fugitive turned up last Saturday at a 24-hour diner just a few miles from the murder site. He was in the company of Groene's 8-year-old daughter Shasta, who'd been missing since the attack. Now charged with two counts of kidnapping, police said this week that Duncan is the only suspect in the slayings. Shasta's missing 9-year-old brother Dylan is also believed to be a murder victim.

It was not clear Thursday whether investigators learned of the blog before the murders took place on May 15. [SURE SOUNDS LIKE THEY DIDN'T. HE WAS BLOGGING UP A STORM RIGHT ABOUT THE TIME THEY SEARCHED HIS FREAKING HOME, SEE DUNCAN'S SICK BLOG WHERE HE TALKED ABOUT THE 'VISIT FROM OFFICER FRIENDLY.']

It's also unclear whether they'd tried to trace Duncan from his visits to the website, which is hosted by Google-owned Blogger.com. Under the 2001 USA Patriot Act, a federal judge can issue a court order for an internet trace from anywhere in the country, and it will be binding in any jurisdiction.
[NO, THEY PROBABLY DIDN'T, BECAUSE THEY ARE, AS ADEQUATELY ESTABLISHED, STUPID AND BACKWARD HAYSEEDS WHO DON'T KNOW THEIR PALE WHITE GRAIN LOVING ASS FROM AN IPOD AND NEED SPECIAL HELP TO REACH ANY LEVEL OF ADEQUATE COMPETENCE IN DEALING WITH THIS DISTURBINBG PROBLEM, SINCE THEY CAN'T EVEN KEEP THEIR IMPOVERISHED STATE FROM TURNING INTO ONE BIG METH LAB]

Investigator Chad Jutz with the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Police Department, which spearheaded the search for Duncan, said he could no longer comment on the case, and referred inquiries to his chief of police, who did not return phone calls Thursday. Special Agent Paul McCabe with the Minnesota FBI field office, which participated in the manhunt, said he couldn't comment on what officials had done to try to track Duncan because of the ongoing investigation. Google, which continues to host Duncan's blog, failed to return repeated phone calls about the case.

Whatever efforts police may have made to trail Duncan's online footprints, they were evidently not fruitful. [I BET NO EFFORTS WERE MADE] In Idaho, Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said they didn't even know Duncan was in their jurisdiction until after he was found with Shasta, and didn't learn of his weblog until after they'd arrested him. "Somebody here in law enforcement actually Googled his name, and came up with his website and his blog," said Wolfinger.

[WOW...SOUNDS LIKE FARGO NEVER FIGURED OUT HOW TO GOOGLE UNTIL LATE, LATE IN THE GAME. YOU HAVE TO WONDER IF THE FARGO POLICE EVEN KNOW WHAT A GOOGLE IS. THEY PROBABLY THINK IT'S SOME KIND OF CROP WORM]


Duncan talked about other m... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Duncan talked about other missing child on Internet journal

MINNEAPOLIS The convicted sex offender who was caught with a missing Idaho girl had written about a missing Minnesota girl on his Weblog -- and investigators are looking into whether he had anything to do with her disappearance.

Joseph Duncan wrote in 2004 that he was afraid he'd be blamed for the five-year-old's disappearance. Leanna Warner was last seen in June of 2003 east of Fargo, North Dakota -- where Duncan lived. [BUT DID THE FARGO POLICE EVEN TALK TO MR. SEX OFFENDER DUNCAN AFTER WARNER DISAPPEARED? AND AFTER DUNCAN WROTE ABOUT HIS WORRIES OF BEING BLAMED IN HIS ON-LINE JOURNAL--WHICH APPARENTLY TURNS UP IN A GOOGLE SEARCH OF HIS NAME? NO, THE BACKWOODS FARGO POLICE DID NOTHING AND DUNCAN JUST KEPT BLOGGING HIS DEMONS TO THE WORLD. MAYBE FARGO AND THE REST OF NORTH DAKOTA AREN'T *NEARLY* AS SAFE AS THEIR WELL PUBLICIZED CRIME STATS WOULD HAVE YOU THINK. MAYBE THOSE STATS ARE BEING, SHALL WE SAY, COOKED A LITTLE? THIS IS SOMETHING I'VE SUSPECTED FOR A LONG TIME, BASED ON HOW OFTEN MY VEHICLE WAS BUSTED INTO AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA AND MY SHIT RIPPED OFF, MY APARTMENT BROKEN INTO, AND HOW MANY ASSAULTS I WITNESSED IN LOCAL BARS. IN FOUR YEARS OF LIVING IN GRAND FORKS, I WAS A CRIME VICTIM FAR MORE OFTEN IN NORTH DAKOTA THAN I WAS FOR THE EARLIER 18 YEARS OF MY LIFE ON THE EAST COAST, OR THE YEARS SINCE LIVING IN MINNEAPOLIS, AND I'VE WITNESSED FAR MORE ASSAULTS. MY SUSPICION IS THAT NODAK POLICE "COOK THE BOOKS" WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR CRIME STATS, AND THE PLACE IS ACTUALLY RIFE WITH UNDERCOUNTED CRIMES AGAINST PERSONS AND PROPERTY. IF REPORTERS ARE LOOKING INTO THIS DRAMATIC INCOMPETENT FUCK UP IN FARGO, THEY MIGHT WANT TO ALSO LOOK INTO THIS ISSUE OF NORTH DAKOTA PRETENDING TO BE SAFER THAN IT ACTUALLY IS. THE PLACE IS ONE BIG METH LAB FULL OF VIOLENT SMALL TOWN DRUNKS, PETTY THIEVES, AND SEX OFFENDERS WHO KNOW EXACTLY WHERE TO HANG OUT--NORTH DAKOTA]

Police are working to see if there's more of a connection. But one officer says it's a long shot, and that "every community that has a missing child is going to try to connect this guy to it." [YES, WELL, IN *THIS* CASE DUNCAN LIVED IN FARGO, WARNER LIVED JUST EAST OF FARGO. SO IT'S HARDLY FAR FETCHED TO CONNECT THEM, NOW IS IT?]

Duncan is charged with kidnapping Dylan and Shasta Groene (GROH'-nee) in Idaho. He was caught with Shasta last weekend. Dylan is feared dead.

Leanna Warner's father says he's "worried sick" --hoping Duncan didn't have anything to do with his daughter, but also relieved to have a lead.

[HOPEFULLY SOME ENTITY BESIDES THE INCOMPETENT FARGO POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL BE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THAT LEAD]

Whatever is obviously obses... (Below threshold)

Whatever is obviously obsessed with Fargo. If you want to put the blame for Duncan where it belongs, blame Seattle Washington, and the dumb-asses in Olympia that they elected.

I live in Spokane Washington, which is 25 minutes away from Coeur d'Alene. Every other day our newspaper warns us about another level III sex offender being released in our midst.

Most of the sex offenders arrested in Washington are arrested in the Seattle area, or the more populous west side of the Cascade Mountains. Olympia built a medium security prison just west of Spokane, where all of these sex offenders are sent to be released. There are so many of them here now that the police couldn't possibly keep track of them. At least Fargo can verify their addresses 4 times a year.

Arresting them, releasing them, re-arresting them and releasing them on low bail is what the problem is. If they are considered likely to re-offend, then the solution is to not release them in the first place.

If a person caught growing 1,000 marijuana plants can receive a life-without-parole sentence, then why not the same for anyone on their FIRST offense of a violent sex crime against anyone, child or adult?

East of the Cascades there ... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

East of the Cascades there is mostly bleak nothingness, so the people of Washington State have balanced everybody's interests and put the sex offenders who are about to be released right where they belong: where there are as few people as possible. That's why I'm suggesting that the middle of North Dakota be made into one big sex offender quasi-gulag for the nation. Put them all inside that area and force them to make a life for themselves out of the sad, empty towns and run down meth lab houses which make up most of North Dakota. I say quasi-gulag because I'm not suggesting that conditions be so harsh that individuals would, say, die of starvation. (Even if they arguably might deserve it) No, rather, let them subsist on the nothingness that is out there, and make meals of rhubarb, radishes, mustard plants, and other things that grow quite easily even for people who aren't good at tending gardens...particularly in an area God cursed with too short of a growing season and other meteorological difficulties.

Like, dude, sorry that you have so many sex offenders where you live, but it's that way for a reason. Where you are is not the middle of nowhere, unless you are only taking the area within the boundaries of Washington State into consideration. In that case, where you are *is* the middle of nowhere. I assume you would be quite willing to see the sex offenders in your area leave and go to the middle of North Dakota, wouldn't you?

The evidence shows that it's not cruel and unusual punishment, not really, because sex offenders apparently *like* it in North Dakota. NOTE THE FOLLOWING FROM CNN.com
------------------------------------
Duncan was convicted in 1980 of raping a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in Washington when he was only 16. Sentenced to 20 years in prison, he was released on parole in 1994, but three years later returned to prison for violating parole.

He completed his term in July 2000 and almost immediately moved to Fargo, North Dakota, where he enrolled at North Dakota State University and registered with the state's sex offender registry.
------------------------------

Why, I ask you, why? Why did he pick Fargo, North Dakota when he had a choice of many other places, including Moorhead, Minnesota on the other side of the river? Keep in mind the evidence shows that while Duncan is indeed perverted, sick, and evil, he is also intelligent, especially when Nodaks are his classmates. Duncan must have had some inkling that Fargo authorities were too stupid to get him on their radar. Checking on him four times a year, and using stupid people to do it, too, while he was openly running a website, getting airline tickets (they never revoked his parole even when they found the tickets!) Whoop-de-doo, four times a year and the airline tickets they let go as "one free bite" and the whole time Duncan's running a website that anybody can find with a google search of his freaking NAME.

I may be obcessed with how pathetic, backward, uncreative and close-minded North Dakota is, but I'm also right. If you want to get away with evil while being watched, make sure you have somebody really *stupid* watching you. THIS IS NOW FOREVER KNOWN AS THE DUNCAN FARGO RULE.

ALL THE FOLLOWING TEXT WAS ... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

ALL THE FOLLOWING TEXT WAS FOUND ON THE "NORTH DAKOTA PUNDIT" WEBSITE AND IS COMMENTARY ABOUT THIS VERY DISCUSSION ON WHIZBANG.
HERE IT IS.


True or False?
There's quite a discussion about Fargo's newly famous sex pervert, Joseph Edward Duncan, over at Wizbang. And personally, I'm not so sure I could disagree with the comments that have been posted by a someone called "Whatever":

And, really, how surprising is this arrest? There doesn't seem to be much of anything in this state EXCEPT bleakness and sex offenders. North Dakota is so dirt poor it can hardly devote the resources to solving crimes that have already happened, let alone preventing crimes from happening in the future by keeping better tabs on sex offenders. Really, you would think that running a websight advocating the things this guy was advocating would be, ipso facto, some kind of probation violation but the local yokels just went ahead and let him do it. It's no wonder North Dakota is the only state losing population as the young and smart flee, screaming, for a better life anywhere but the area Newsweek calls America's "rural ghetto," economic hurt bag of the nation. (September 10, 2001 issue of Newsweek) Somebody in Fargo should be held legally liable for the inadequate supervision which let this guy run a website with a pro-molestor orientation. The fact the guy ran off and did what he did...that's bad, but it's all too common. What really concerns me is the utter lack of adequate supervision as evidenced by the website. Are police in Fargo just too thick headed and behind the times to be capable of becoming aware of some perv's website? Sure seems like it. Police in Fargo need to be aware that "a lot can happen in the middle of nowhere." You betcha.

Rob from Say Anything responds with a valiant defense of our home state, but sometimes, facts are facts. North Dakota is poor ... despearately poor. "Whatever" is absolutely correct to point out that "most of the state looks like 'a meth lab waiting to happen.' "

And Fargo doesn't come out looking good in this weekend's media coverage, either. As "Whatever" points out:

... the news articles about his residence in Fargo sure does make that area around NDSU sound like a dump...areas that used to be small homes, but they've been carved up into apartments, some of which are apparently flophouses for sex offenders. I mean, the guy has been running around Idaho for a while, it seems, and yet his rent appears paid up! Nothing in there about an angry landlord, unpaid rent, people wondering where the heck he went. Rent must not be too costly in that area, if you know what I mean. Are you right around there, Meezer? Is Fargo as much of a dump as these descriptions would seem to imply, a sad dead end for sex offenders and individuals from towns with one bar now majoring in Livestock Insemination? Was Fargo the same town where that guy came from who ran off with the mentally retarded girl and wanted to MARRY her? And the authorities more or less convicted him of kidnapping and molestation? Was THAT Fargo?

Yes. That was Fargo.
[HEY, PUNDIT, GOT THE ARTICLE? GOT THE GUY'S NAME? ANOTHER GREAT NODAK EXAMPLE!]

As long as we're surveying the situation, we shouldn't forget Fargo's other famous child killer, Kyle Bell. He was the convicted sex offender who raped and killed 11-year-old Jeanna North in 1993. While he was being transported to an out-of-state prison, North Dakota prison officials allowed Bell to escape. He remained at large for a year, until he was finally recaptured in Texas.

And now we learn that North Dakota authorities have allowed another known sex offender to rape and kill again. Well, we don't know yet that Duncan killed that Idaho family and molested the girl ... but I'm probably not going out on a limb to suggest that he did. Part of that conclusion comes from the fact that this pervert has been publishing a self-pitying website that described his struggle with "demons" and outlined his plan to harm more people.

I'm as disgusted as "Whatever." I also see the North Dakota that "Whatever" describes, and frankly, my feelings aren't hurt.

There are a lot of things I love about North Dakota. But the poverty, the desperation, the drinking, the drug abuse, and the lax supervision of sex offenders aren't part of the state's innate appeal.

Posted at 09:36 AM in North Dakota Lifestyles

[DON'T JUST STAY OUT THERE IN THE COLD, NORTH DAKOTA PUNDIT, COME JOIN THE DISCUSSION. IT'S WARM IN HERE. AND I PROMISE NOT TO CALL YOU A "HAYSEED"]

HERE IS MORE DETAIL ON THE ... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

HERE IS MORE DETAIL ON THE STUPID NORTH DAKOTA HAYSEEDS WHO HELPED DUNCAN.

Businessman helped Duncan
By Dave Forster, The Forum
Published Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A well-known Fargo businessman wrote Joseph Duncan a $15,000 personal check to cover his April bail for two Minnesota child molestation charges, police said Monday.

Joe Crary, 51, wrote the check to Duncan on April 5, the same day a Becker County judge set his bail at that amount, said Detroit Lakes Police Investigator Chad Jutz.

Duncan, a registered Level III sex offender who moved to Fargo from a Washington state prison in 2000, was in court that day on charges he molested a boy and tried to touch another in July 2004 on a Detroit Lakes playground. A couple of weeks after posting bail, Duncan went missing.

He's now charged with kidnapping siblings Shasta Groene, 8, and Dylan Groene, 9, and is suspected of murdering their family in rural Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Dylan Groene was found slain last week in a western Montana forest.

Idaho prosecutors said Monday they would charge Duncan with first-degree murder in at least three of the deaths.

Crary, a former executive member of the Fargo-Cass County Economic Development Corp., explained his connection to Duncan in a statement he faxed Monday night to The Forum.

"We both enjoyed biking on the bike trails in Fargo and we became acquaintances," Crary wrote. "In my contact with him, I saw him like many others apparently did - he was polite, soft spoken, and seemed sincere in turning his life around."

Duncan was also having financial problems, Crary wrote.

"I was trying to help him get things straightened out, just like I have tried to help many others over the years." [HEAVEN HELP US!]

Duncan mentions a "Joe" in a Jan. 30 post to his Web journal, Blogging the Fifth Nail:

"My friend Joe has agreed to take me by the hand financially and show me how to spend my money constructively. Now that is a good friend! I've been out of prison for almost five years now and I'm still living from paycheck to paycheck."

Crary's faxed statement was responding to interview requests from the newspaper. He said he would make no other statement on the matter.

A subpoena of Duncan's bank records by the Detroit Lakes Police revealed the connection with Crary, said Investigator Jutz.

Crary said Duncan first posted a personal $15,000 check for bail on April 5, then called Crary on his way home for a loan to cover it.

In his statement, Crary listed the reasons why he believed Duncan wasn't a flight risk.

The 42-year-old was working on a college degree and holding down two jobs. Duncan also returned from a trip to Kansas City after receiving his court summons, Crary wrote.

"Furthermore, he assured me he was innocent of the charges in Becker County," Crary wrote.
[HE ASSSSSSURED HIM HE WAS INNOCENT! AND THIS GUY IS THE VERY BEST FARGO HAS TO OFFER, THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY ELITE OF THAT HOPELESS HAYSEED TOWN]

Professionally, Crary is known as a real estate developer, investor and part owner of Fargo's Braaten Cabinets. Forum records show he served on the executive committee of the Fargo-Cass County Economic Development Corp. from at least 1996 to 2001.

In 1979, he and his cousin, Chuck Crary, founded Crary Co., a small machining shop for the area's agricultural industry. [HAYSEED. MAJOR HAYSEED ACTIVITY] The business was purchased by Denver-based KRG Capital Partners LLC in 1999 and combined with three other companies to create TerraMarc Industries, according to the company Web site. The West Fargo-based manufacturer had 315 employees in 2003, Forum archives show.

Crary is the second professional with ties to Fargo who is known to have helped Duncan in Becker County.

Dr. Richard Wacksman, a pediatrician who once lived in Fargo and worked at MeritCare Hospital, told police he gave $6,500 to Duncan before his first court hearing to help with attorney fees.

In 1997, Wacksman asked a prison board in Washington to allow Duncan to be released to live at Wacksman's home in Harwood, N.D., just north of Fargo. The board members, who were considering whether to send Duncan back to prison for parole violations, rejected the proposal, saying they wouldn't "expose his children to that kind of risk," prison records show.

Duncan served 14 years in a Washington prison for raping a 14-year-old boy at gunpoint in 1980. He was a month from his 17th birthday at the time.

Wacksman, now living in Florida, told the parole board he met Duncan at a San Francisco coffeehouse. He hasn't responded to several calls for comment. [OH, THAT'S NEW, ABOUT THE SAN FRANCISCO COFFEE HOUSE. THE PLOT THICKENS]

In the Idaho case, police found the beaten bodies of Shasta Groene's mother, her 13-year-old brother and her mother's boyfriend on May 16. Shasta was missing until July 2, when a waitress spotted her with Duncan at a restaurant.

Authorities found the remains of her brother Dylan at a remote campsite.

Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson has said he believes the three people in the house were killed so the attacker could kidnap the two younger children.

Watson has said the victims were apparently chosen at random, although the killings were carefully planned.

[AND SO THE SAGA GAINS MORE DETAIL, ABOUT HOW RURAL FLATLAND BUFFOONS WERE SUCKERED BY DUNCAN, WHO APPEARS TO HAVE DELIBERATELY CHOSEN FARGO BECAUSE HE COULD FLY UNDER THE RADAR OF UNSOPHISTICATED, BACKWOODSY NODAKS IN THE STATE WHICH IS A SAD, DOWNTRODDEN "METH LAB WAITING TO HAPPEN."

Do you think Joe Crary and ... (Below threshold)
Gayle:

Do you think Joe Crary and Dr. Wacksman lent money to Duncan because they are Duncan's lovers or accomplice? Do you thing these two Fargo professionals helped Duncan because they actually approve of pedephilia. I hope the police also investigate these two men, get a warrant and search their homes and computers hard drive. The
legal system already failed up by allowing Duncan out ton bail, don't let these two men get away too. This story makes me so angry. Joe Crary "wants to help people". He couldn't find a single mother, a homeless person, a parapalegic to help.

GAYLE, I'LL TELL YOU MY OPI... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

GAYLE, I'LL TELL YOU MY OPINION just because, well, I'm sure I have one. First, the harsh opinion: it is creepy that the doctor is a pediatrician, and the businessman met Duncan in a San Francisco coffee shop. I am not saying anything negative about gay people, the only issue you raise is whether this was an underlying motivation of either of these two men. A secondary issue might be whether either of the men and Duncan might have had a "mutual interest" in pedophilia, whether "gay or straight." Hardly makes a difference. Though intertwined in the Duncan case--he apparently being an equal opportunity molestor as far as gender--the issue of consenting ADULT relationships between men, versus the issue of Duncan's pedophilia, are two issues. So, my harsh opinion: it's creepy. It merits looking at.
HOWEVER, neither of these two men broke the law so far as we know. They were apparently deceived and tricked by Duncan, who is a professional manipulator. EVEN IF THEY DID DO THINGS that were illegal, still it would be true that they were deceived and tricked by Duncan. Neither would have wanted this publicity or exposure under any circumstances, whether guilty as sin, innocent as doves, (though stupid as a bird brain, too) or somewhere in between.
I prefer to believe these were good men who were just stupid. But I condemn stupidity as though it were sin itself. Here's the latest on how stupid and backward the Nodaks are, article from the Fargo (Hayseed) Forum, as follows.

Officials say whereabouts of five high-risk sex offenders unknown

The Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2005

FARGO, N.D.

Authorities say they do not know the whereabouts of five high-risk North Dakota sex offenders who have failed to register their addresses.

In Minnesota, 10 sex offenders deemed most likely to re-offend may have fallen from the radar screens of officials tracking them.

[SIDE NOTE: But compare the population of Minnesota to North Dakota. Minnesota has millions. North Dakota has only 600,000 people, and it is losing people every day who are desperate to live anywhere but this impoverished and hideously xenophobic wasteland. So Minnesota has lost track of ten, North Dakota five. A sex offender is better off in North Dakota when you look at the percentages]

The North Dakota attorney general's office lists the five high-risk offenders and their last known North Dakota addresses as Ian Chase Redwolf Allery, 21, of Belcourt; Dustin Miles Besler, 23, of Williston; Jules James Usesmany, 30, of Bismarck; Pete Mendoza Benavidez, 41, of Fargo and Justin David Worcester, 21, of Fargo.

[THEY CERTAINLY ARE YOUNG, MOST OF THEM! SURE IN THE DANGEROUS PRIME OF LIFE. WAY TO FUCK UP, YOU STUPID HAYSEEDS]

The attorney general's office says 116 registered sex offenders are in prison in the state, while 764 are out of prison.

Thirty-eight offenders are not living at the address police have on file, Assistant Attorney General Jon Byers said. North Dakota's delinquency rate is approximately 4 percent, one of the lowest rates in the nation, he said.

Byers said offenders who fail to register are found through information from interviews with friends, relatives, co-workers and landlords, and in many cases, arrest warrants have been issued.

A high-risk sex offender sought by Stutsman County, officials for failing to register was arrested in Fargo on July 1. Fargo police arrested Ronald Steven Rodriguez, 40, after learning Rodriguez was working in the area, Lt. Tod Dahle said.

Rodriguez was taken to Jamestown, and bonded out of jail July 5 after posting $500 cash, according to Stutsman County Court records.

The records indicate his address is now Pelican Lake, in Minnesota's Otter Tail County.

Minnesota has 16,504 people in its sex offender database, and 13,950 are active cases, officials said. A total of 1,584 offenders, about 11 percent of the active cases, are not in compliance with the state's registration law, said AnnMarie O'Neill, senior program administrator for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Last year, the Moorhead Police Department asked for public help in locating eight convicted sex offenders charged with failing to keep police notified of their whereabouts.

The effort paid off, Lt. Robert Larson said.

"We got 'em all," he said.

Fargo police also rely on tips to find offenders, said Sgt. Joel Vettel.

"They tend to not break their traditional habits," Vettel said. "They usually hang out in the same type of places and hang out with the same people."

An updated Fargo police Web site, launched Tuesday, lets people search a city map that identifies the addresses of sex offenders who are considered high risk or moderate risk of re-offending. The names, addresses, photos and criminal histories of seven sex offenders are listed. The information can be accessed through www.fargopolice.com.

Earlier Fargo police had listed information only for the sex offenders who were considered high risk. Now, the site also lists moderate-risk offenders. Police plan to use the site in the future to tell people about sex offenders who fail to register

Residents also can access a map on the Web site showing crimes that have been reported in their neighborhood in recent months.

Fargo Police Chief Chris Magnus said he has had more inquiries from the public since the arrest of registered sex offender Joseph Duncan in Idaho, but he said cases such as that one are relatively rare.

"The much more common scenario involves sex offenders who are known to the victim, either as an acquaintance or as a family member," Magnus said.

Joining a neighborhood watch group is one way residents can help police, he said.

"We simply can't do the job alone when it comes to preventing or responding to crime," Magnus said.

Here's the latest on the No... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

Here's the latest on the North Dakota civilization or, it would appear, the closest thing to paradise for sex offenders until the Duncan story broke.
In Cuyuga, North Dakota, A man wanted in Texas on child indecency charges was arrested for burglary. He is also a convicted child rapist whose convictions date back to 1982. His name is Vernon Eugene Ashley. (Like Ashley, North Dakota) He moved to Cuyaga three months ago and raised suspicions, but ONLY because he was trying to sell weapons. So it appears this guy, when wanted in Texas, went straight for North Dakota. Not a single person in Cuyaga, North Dakota, prior to Ashley's arrest, had the sense to try to google his name or something. Of course, while it's not REQUIRD that you have indoor plumbing in order to have the internet, one frequently goes along with the other.

THE PLOT THICKENS. Note the... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

THE PLOT THICKENS. Note the following from a paper in Washington State, excerpt of article as follows:

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho -- Despite a lengthy record as a violent sexual predator of children, Joseph Edward Duncan III was always able to make friends who paid his bills and lobbied for his early release from prison, The Spokesman-Review reported Friday.

Duncan, 42, is jailed without bail on charges he beat three people to death in a scheme to kidnap two children for the purposes of sexual gratification.

The Spokesman-Review, working from more than 400 pages of state documents released under state public records laws, reported Duncan befriended people over the years, convincing them he was turning his life around.

"He is open, honest and eager to move on with his life," one such supporter, David Woelfert of Lynnwood, Wash., wrote to parole officials in 1993. "He is no threat to society whatsoever."

Woelfert loaned Duncan $3,000, paid his initial rent in a halfway house and reportedly became Duncan's lover, according to the documents.

"It is my intention to back him, support him, and help him in any way possible upon his release," Woelfert had written in 1991, shortly after meeting Duncan.

Woelfert did not return repeated calls, to his work and home, seeking comment.

* * *
SO IT APPEARS THAT people who, in the past, gave Duncan money and other assistance were, in fact, his gay lovers. But that doesn't mean that the prominent Fargo businessman, and the doctor from Harwood, North Dakota, were also his gay lovers. Duncan undoubtedly has many manipulative tricks in his bag. All the same, it makes one really wonder, and increases the "creepiness" aspect of the whole thing.

HERE'S THE LATEST LOW KEY H... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

HERE'S THE LATEST LOW KEY HAND WRINGING FROM THE FARGO (HAYSEED) FORUM

Forum staff will examine Duncan's escalation of evil
Peggy Bellows, The Forum
Published Sunday, July 17, 2005

For the past two weeks, a good part of The Forum's staff has been involved in covering Joseph Edward Duncan III. You know him as the level three sex offender who settled in Fargo about five years ago after his release from jail in Washington and now is charged with kidnapping two and killing four members of a family in Idaho.

Our local charge with this story is two-fold: We want to know everything about Duncan and his life here in North Dakota, and we want to learn everything about the system that allowed him to slip away.

There are many angles to a terrible story like this - the story of the family devastated by his crime in Idaho and the story of the town and how his acts violated their sense of safety and well-being are two that haunt me.

We'll look to The Associated Press and journalists at the papers in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Wash., to help us tell those stories. We've already formed alliances with them - we've shared space in each others' newsrooms as well as stories.

Duncan and his unraveling have generated a lot of buzz here and across the nation.


Peggy Bellows Column Archive
'Coming out strong' series certainly brought you out 06/19
Peggy Bellows Complete Archive
To quiet some of that noise, we have a set of three stories for you, the first of which begins on A1 today.

Dave Forster has spent untold hours interviewing everyone from police officers here and in Detroit Lakes to the waitress the Coeur d'Alene Denny's who ID'd Shasta Groene. He's also been digging though court papers and Internet blogs in his effort to pull together what we call a "tick tock" on the past year of Duncan's life.

If you were to go online and read the blogs - Internet diaries - he wrote over the past 18 months, they show Duncan's steady decline to desperation. They're fascinating and horrifying at the same time.

Mike Nowatzki's task was to pull together a profile of Duncan. On Monday we'll have the story of what we know of his life. It's a sad and brutal tale. Coming away from the story I'm left wondering how it took so long for him to do something so horrible.

Somewhere along the line, Duncan changed. He transitioned from child rape to multiple counts of murder. It is an escalation of evil.

Which brings us to Tuesday's story, a think piece from Erin Froslie and Sherri Richards on the nature of evil. They've spoken to philosophers, theologians and profilers in an effort to understand how or why things like this happen.

Getting our arms around the second part of the story - the system that allowed him to slip away - is tougher. But we're working on it.

Last week we broke several stories about how law enforcement keeps track of sex offenders and how well that system works. We were first to report how Duncan made bail on the incident in Detroit Lakes and the changes they've put in place to make sure no one bails out on a personal check again.

But there are still plenty of questions that deserve - no demand - answers.

The Forum is still on this story and we're going to stay with it until both you and we agree our questions are answered. If there's something you want to know, let me know and we'll do our best to run it to ground.

OK, I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT ROLE THE BASIC UNDERLYING NODAK STUPIDITY, CRIME STATISTIC WHITEWASHING, AND INABILITY TO DEAL WITH REAL "BIG CITY" SHIT PLAYED IN ALLOWING DUNCAN SUCH FREE REIGN? BUT I DON'T IMAGINE that the Fargo (Hayseed) Forum will point out the obvious: there is something deeply defective and inadequate about the most basic aspects of Nodak culture, and this is part of the reason sex offenders (in the past) have wanted to live in North Dakota, so they can get away with more shit.

HERE IS A GOOD ARTICLE whic... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

HERE IS A GOOD ARTICLE which points out how Duncan may have used as many as 18 different email addresses while Fargo police checked on him four times a year. Did Duncan have his own computer, then, or did he do this all from the NDSU computers? If a registered sex offender has his own computer, it seems like checking on what's been happening with the computer is as important as, for example, looking in the dresser drawer (or wherever) for airline tickets. But if Duncan had his own computer, the Fargo police apparently were too stupid to check it during the four visits a year. (Like the one where they found the airline tickets but just let that one go)

Duncan bloggers logging big hours
Arrest in Groene case spawns network of cyber-investigators
Related stories
Groene
Steven R. Neuman
Staff writer
July 16, 2005

Bloggers from across the nation, often with no professional investigative training, are digging into details of Joseph E. Duncan III's history, hoping their undercover work will make an impact on the police investigation.

An underground network has sprung up on the Internet, sharing information on Duncan, a 42-year-old sex offender accused of killing a family near Coeur d'Alene and then kidnapping two children from the home and later killing one of them. Duncan faces multiple murder and kidnapping charges in the case that left two adults and two children dead.

Advertisement

Technology has given citizens some of the same tools that journalists and law enforcement investigators use, with the added ability to make it immediately available to the online world through blogs, as online journals are called.

Bloggers such as the man behind a Web site called "The Cellar" (http://jetd63.blogspot.com) are learning how to use these tools. The Cellar creator, who goes by the online name Mickey Rat, said in a telephone interview that he first heard of Duncan about a week ago, adding that he was drawn to Duncan when he heard the accused killer was a blogger.

A simple Web search led him not only to Duncan's Web site, but to an entire community of bloggers scrutinizing every trace of Duncan's presence on the Internet and posting the information on their own Web sites."The first few days, I just buried myself. I didn't get much sleep," said Mickey Rat. "As bad as this is, as much as I wish I wasn't in this situation, it was exciting to dig up this stuff."

Mickey Rat started his own blog and joined the armada of untrained investigators. He had 700 hits – as Web site visits are called – his first day. A week later, it had garnered more than 12,000 visitors, he said.

The online community, meanwhile, has uncovered several Web sites they believe to be Duncan's. They believe he uses 18 e-mail addresses.

Some blogs, including Mickey Rat's, try to trace Duncan's every move through clues left in his own blogs and photos. They try to tie him to other abductions or molestations the bloggers suggest he may have committed during vacations.

On his blog, "The Dark Side" ( http://www.planethuff.com/darkside/), Steve Huff has posted photos of a man resembling Duncan posing seductively in makeup, a tight black dress and a woman's bathing suit. The photos, found on a Web site under one of Duncan's suspected aliases, were dug up by other bloggers, said Huff, a 37-year-old Atlanta resident who works as a freelance opera singer.

While the images are convincing, there is only circumstantial proof that they were taken by Duncan, or that the text accompanying them was written by him.

Huff acknowledges he has been wrong in the past. In one instance he posted what he was sure was the online journal of a young heartland killer. He posted a link only to realize that while the blogger had the same name as the killer, he was not the same person.

Dan Gillmor, a former technology columnist and blogger for the San Jose Mercury News, said some bloggers publish every piece of information as fact.

"This just puts more onuses on the reader to be thoughtful about what they read," he said. "In a world where anyone can publish, we have to reset our expectations. There is an unfortunate tendency to believe that everything you read must be true."

Law officers have said they are aware of Duncan's online postings. As for any help from other bloggers, Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson said that to the best of his knowledge authorities have not investigated the information those online sleuths say they've uncovered. Watson said he has not drafted any policies for dealing with tips based on "rather new technology."

However, Huff said authorities did contact him after he used his Web page to draw comparisons between the Groene case and an old murder in California. Many bloggers, Huff said, are under the impression that authorities are paying close attention to their online postings.

The Groene case has captured many bloggers' attention. But Huff can throw out names, places and dates from murders and kidnappings all across the country. He said his drive to start a true-crime blog four years ago came from readers' enthusiastic response.

When the Wichita, Kansas, serial killer Dennis Rader – known as BTK – resurfaced in 2004 Huff cobbled together facts he could find on the Internet and wrote a profile of the killer whose identity was then unknown. Huff had no formal background in journalism, police work or psychology, but said he was surprised by the accuracy of his work.

"I've always read true crime," he said. "My Southern mama left her copy of Vincent Bugliosi's 'Helter Skelter' on her nightstand and I picked that up and loved it."

Bloggers share information, a process that Gillmor calls "distributed journalism."

"Overall, the phenomenon of distributed journalism is beneficial," said Gillmor, author of a book on populist media. "The more people looking into something the more you can gather."

He also has his reservations. He said not all bloggers provide useful or relevant information, and their investigations are often unfocused.

Tim Porter, a journalist and newspaper consultant, said that in some ways, blogging plays right into the culture of celebrity worship and sensationalist hysteria.

"Does this have anything to do with citizen journalism? I actually don't think so," he said

Huff said the perception of bloggers is changing as blogs add diversity and move away from the political punditry that first garnered the medium attention.

"With the Internet becoming so pervasive, it's sometimes so easy to find evidence that a suspect – or victim, more sadly – has left something online somewhere. Most people are interested in that," he said.

This mainstreaming and diversification has also meant that more people have blogs, he said.

"The moment I heard that (Duncan) had been a computer science major, I got on the computer because I knew immediately that he would have left footprints all over the Web, and I was right," Huff said.

Suddenly the Groene case was much more interesting to Huff and to fellow bloggers, even though few of them live anywhere near Idaho or Fargo, N.D., where Duncan most recently lived. Huff said many bloggers felt outraged that Duncan was a blogger too.

Porter believes the bloggers are in some part driven by human empathy and the desire to help. But they are also motivated by the need to feel connected in a modern America where "our hometowns serve as launch pads for the rest of our lives," with people losing a sense of community, Porter said.

"In some ways, now that the town square's gone the Internet is the new town square," he said.


HERE IS A SNIPPET FROM AN E... (Below threshold)
Whatever:

HERE IS A SNIPPET FROM AN EDITORIAL IN TODAY'S BISMARCK PAPER, AS FOLLOWS:

It is a message that must be heard by the sex offenders themselves, our communities and other states. We've seen all too painfully that a registered sex offender can strike again close to home or across the country. In our mobile society, we are dependent on other states to police their released sex offenders effectively, and other states are dependent on us.

NO SHIT, STATES DEPEND ON EACH OTHER TO POLICE SEX OFFENDERS. BUT DEPENDING ON NORTH DAKOTA TO HAVE ADEQUATE RESOURCES AND "STREET SMARTS" TO PERFORM THIS VITAL TASK IS A BIG MISTAKE. MOST NORTH DAKOTA TOWNS BARELY HAVE STREETS, AND NODAK STREET SMARTS REFLECT THE STATE OF THEIR STREETS. OH, THEY KNOW ALL ABOUT SUGAR BEETS, BUT PUT THEM IN A BIG CITY SCENARIO (LIKE MONITORING SEX OFFENDERS) AND THEY instictively fall back on their pathetic small towney "he seemed nice...he was quiet" hayseed method of judging danger. That's another reason why all the sex offenders should be put in the middle of North Dakota, in
what I've termed a "quasi-gulag," in some of those empty and rotting towns, because the sex offenders will "seem nice" to the hayseed Nodaks and will give the old houses severely needed coats of paint and harvest the hay crop growing on the front lawns.

Who Are The Pedos In Your N... (Below threshold)

Who Are The Pedos In Your Neighborhood? Pt.1
I reside in Denton, a small Texas city with a population of less than 100,000, known for its music, arts, and education. It has beautiful parks, liberal politics, and a reputation for embracing self-exiled eccentrics like myself.

However, the city of Denton is also home to 27 people who have a couple of things in common. They were all convicted of sex-crimes against children 13 and under (some as young as 4 years old). And they were all sentenced to no jail or prison time.

I couldn't believe this deplorable phenomenon was restricted to the city of Denton alone, so I checked. And sure enough, it's happening all over Denton County and the State of Texas. In fact, this is occurring all over the United States!

Why does this happen? Do we not have the resources to lock child predators up? We certainly have enough resources to arrest nearly 1 million marijuana consumers nationally every year. Many people charged with drug crimes in the land of the free will serve months, years, even decades behind bars.

So why? Have our legislators got us so razzle-dazzled with the War on Drugs that we care more about "sending the right message to children" than preventing our children from being sexually brutalized? Abducted? Buried alive? Remember Jessica Lunsford? Or was she just so many pixels on the television screen?

How about Shasta Groene? Her mother and two brothers were bludgeoned to death by a sick scumbag named Joseph Duncan, who abducted Shasta for seven weeks, repeatedly violating her. Before the murders and abduction of Shasta, Duncan had been convicted of raping a 14 year-old boy at gunpoint, then accused of sexually assaulting a six year-old boy. At which point, Becker County District Judge Thomas Schroeder released Duncan on $15,000 bail! I know plenty of cases where people received higher bail for growing cannabis plants.

So tell me, Judge Schroeder... Were you more worried about lubing the county machine with some of that good ole greenback than you were about protecting the public? Is that question unfair, Judge? Get over it. As Shasta herself might tell you, life's unfair. For what it's worth, I consider you an indirect accessory to child abuse and murder. Step down from the bench before the people throw you out with their votes. Case closed.

Ahem... Back now, folks.

Don't take my word on all this. Check your local sex offender databases. Then get busy holding your District Attorneys, County Judges, and legislators accountable for their misplaced priorities. Picket their offices with photos of the vicious criminals they've set loose on our streets.

I just can't wait until Ida... (Below threshold)
MDJ"92":

I just can't wait until Idaho sends Joseph Edward Duncan back where he belongs back to the abyss of OBLIVION!!!!!!!




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