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Who are the perverts in your neighborhood?

Sometimes, when I'm writing a piece, I get a little too vague and cutesy, and end up burying the point of my piece. I think I might have here, so I'm re-visiting the topic -- it's that important.

A group of volunteers have done a tremendous service for parents everywhere. They have connected Google Maps with databases of various states to create an interactive map of registered sex offenders, with links to the offenders' official state records -- including addresses, photos, and details of their offenses.

As a little test, I plugged in the addresses of Kevin, Paul, Laurence Simon, and myself. Lair has seven on his map, including a flasher just a few doors down from him. Paul has about ten around him. Kevin only has three. I guess I'm the grand-prize winner, with at least 75 -- including one next door, and another just across the street and a couple of buildings east. All told, I have six kiddy diddlers living within a block of my house -- the joys of living in lovely downtown Manchester, NH.

So, if you're fortunate enough to live in one of the 38 states accessible through this site, do yourself a favor and see just who's living around you.


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Comments (14)

Unfortunately, the state I ... (Below threshold)
Michael K.:

Unfortunately, the state I live in, Michigan, is not in this particular database. However, about 6 months ago I happened to wander onto the Michigan State Police website for sex offenders and typed in my zipcode. Lo-and-behold, my own address showed up! But, I live in an apartment building, so it wasn't me. The address was for the apartment just underneath my own. I called the landlord and asked him why he let that guy into our building and it turned out that the guy wasn't on the lease, only his roommates were.

Fortunately, my landlord threw them all out, but it took 3 weeks. That guy was convicted of rape. My wife was home alone all day and it freaked me out. There were 26 similar scumbags in my neighborhood, and I live in a rather afluent area. Why were there so many? This ought to explain it...I live in Ann Arbor, MI. The bastion of liberalism and moral relativism. That's also why it took 3 weeks for my landlord to get up the gumption to do anything about it. But I screamed my head off until he did. Then I moved. :-)

"kiddy diddlers "U... (Below threshold)

"kiddy diddlers "

Uck!!

Good for you Michael K. for protecting your wife.
It's a tough call, letting "those kind of people" back into society. We have to "forgive and forget" and let them prove they can make better choices, etc. But at the same time, we have to protect our families.
I wonder if the guys' roommates knew he was a rapist?

Unfortunately Nevada does ... (Below threshold)
dr:

Unfortunately Nevada does not provide addresses, but I found out that my neighbor diddled some kids under the age of 5 and is registered as a sex offender.
He is a "low tier" offender therefore no public notification was required when he moved in. He had been my neighbor for 5 years before I ever found out.
I am raising my daughter alone, so this discovery was quite disturbing.

Just what I need. A pervert... (Below threshold)

Just what I need. A pervert flashing my cats while I'm out at work.

I thought the US had a law ... (Below threshold)

I thought the US had a law giving parents the right to know if any sex offenders lived in their neighbourhood? I'm sure I remember the British media banging on about it when the topic came up here a while ago.

Over here we can ask for general locations, but not actual house room numbers. Unless you work with children, in which case we get photo's, details & movement updates.

i used to work in a sports centre, and there were a couple of people that were banned, a couple that were tailed whenever they came in, but lots of people on the sex offender register are not necessarily a danger to your kids, you get put on it for loads of things, & never come off. I'm not saying they haven't done despicable things, but that they are not necessarily a danger to your kids.

Lair:As opposed to o... (Below threshold)

Lair:
As opposed to one that flashes them when you are at home?

I know I'm going to risk ge... (Below threshold)
Frank H:

I know I'm going to risk getting shot at here but I think society needs to think this through much more carefully. And I say this from the perspective of a parent whose daughter played in the same softball league as Megan, of Megan's Law.

First, I'm all for protecting children from perverts, but we have to recognize just how easy it is to find one's self on this list and how hard it is to get one's self off of it. You can get on it from a clerical error or a false accusation, and NOTHING compels the operators of these sites to remove you. Further, let's just suppose that you're 17, out on a date, and you and your girlfriend are drinking. You don't clearly hear the word 'no,' so you press on. When you bring the little lady home, her mom interrogates her and she blurts out that you raped her; it was date rape, she said. Now maybe you deserve a criminal penalty and maybe you don't but in either case, you are NOT a predator. But in some states, this is enough to get you on the list.

Further still, if we put so many people on these lists, then the lists lose a level of credibility. If you live in a neighborhood where all these boys who got out of control with their dates moved in, boys who grew up normal and never again committed (or even thought to commit) such an act, then whom would you, whom SHOULD you, be REALLY afraid of? And how would you identify them?

Prosecutors have a canny way of charging men with crimes that will land them on the list, but charging women who commit equivalent acts with other, non-listing crimes. Consider Paula Poundstone, whose acts, as I understand them should really place her on the list. But is she? No. She was charged with other offenses just to avoid this sentence.

Finally, we need to be mindful of the likelihood of backlash. If we castigate too many people, if we create too large a community of offenders, we force them to identify with one another and the result of that will be the accumulation of power. Be it legal, or political, or criminal, giving these people power is not something we really want to do.

These lists need to be meaningful, that is, they should only include people who REALLY need to be on them, both in order to be effective and useful, and in order not to unreasonably castigate someone who is not likely to be a repeat offender. It's difficult and unpopular to say, but we need to push back a little bit.

Luarence Simon...never unde... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Luarence Simon...never underestimate the cats!
Ha.

Seriously...I've used the s... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Seriously...I've used the site before (once, a while ago) and found a shocking number of those red arrows close by. Today I just find three and one of them, worst of all, is nearly across the street from the neighborhood high school. Interestingly, the full three that are listed in my neighborhood are all in locations adjacent to parks.

Egads! William Gates is on... (Below threshold)
Richard:

Egads! William Gates is on my list in suburban Houston.

Only one came up for my are... (Below threshold)

Only one came up for my area and I wasn't able to get any information through the state's website, because the "page could not be found". Yeah. Anyway, this guy doesn't live far from an elementary school. Eww. Just eww.

Jay,You know I lik... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Jay,

You know I like to give you shit now and then (sometimes deserved, sometimes undeserved). But for this post I've really gotta thank you for the public service. Really, you've done a great thing for most people who probably didn't know about the service.

I already knew about the sources (through my ex-wife) so I haven't spoken up. But I've gotta congratulate you for bringing this up--not once, but twice.

As you know, I've got a 9-year-old daughter, and one who will turn 16 in less than 3 weeks. I also live with my fiance's daughters who are 11 and 13. Through the site you listed, I discovered an adult asshole (40ish) three blocks away, who was convicted of forceable oral copulation with someone under 14. I've got his address, his mug shot, and everything else. I even recognize his face from shopping at the local supermarket. Until I knew about him, the girls would rollerblade, bike and walk the dog past his house. No longer.

I would urge all of you to check this out. Thanks Jay--if not for my ex, I would have never known. If not for you, I'm sure many others would not have known.

I've got three within two m... (Below threshold)

I've got three within two miles, with the closest about three blocks away. Unmapped for my city are over 100 offenders.

I have a slight problem with databases like this. It's that not all sex offenders are the same, nor do they represent the same threat. But they are all lumped together. That not only works to spread fear (as well as to inform parents), but it actually is an injustice to some of the "offenders".

Florida has two classifications of offenders: Offenders and Predators. An offender can be an 18-y/o kid who got nailed for statutory rape. It can be a PeeWee Herman type who got caught wacking off in a cinema, or a couple screwing on an empty-but-for-the-cop public beach (even at night).

I'm really not prepared to haul out the ropes and torches to deal with these people, even if they carry a scarlet letter and an entry in a mapping database.

Sexual Predators, on the other hand, are signally different. But unless the database can distinguish them, they hide amongst the not-very-serious sex offenders.

Lovely. A computerized meth... (Below threshold)

Lovely. A computerized method of finding the nearest hooker.




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