FLASHBACK — The Strange Case of Leslie Wilfred, The Munchausen Mom

On the morning of November 10, 2008, Leslie, the mother of five and expectant mother of twins, called her husband and other family members from the local hospital with devastating news.  She reported that she had just given birth to the twins, whom she had already named Ethan and Emily, and—at only five months of gestation—they had each taken an agonal breath before dying.  The hospital had already cremated them and she sought to go home to grieve.  The family picked her up and worked with her to plan a funeral service, which was conducted at the church they attended regularly.

The service took place on November 13th and was a moving experience for the attendees, especially the four of the five siblings who participated (10-year-old stepson N., the “black sheep,” was absent).  Leslie had presented the pastor with a letter to be read during the funeral, one she had written from the perspective of the deceased twins, entitled, “A Letter to Our Daddy.”  In it, the twins told each of the family members (except N.) that they would be in Heaven, patiently waiting for them.  The children and others cried, their gazes lingering on the framed ultrasound photos of two well-defined fetuses and a “Huggable Teddy Bear Urn” containing their ashes.

Though the pastor and most others never doubted the sincerity of the sorrow, everything that had unfolded had been a lie.  Leslie had not been pregnant; indeed, her tubes had been tied before she ever married her second and current husband, Chris.  Statements that the fetuses in the photos already “looked like Chris” were misguided.  In fact, they had been appropriated from websites.  There were no records at the hospital of the births or deaths of the twins.

Except for an occasional “quirk,” Leslie was viewed in the community as a fine parent who participated regularly in school and church events with her children.  She was viewed as a mother who was busy caring for her children while nearing the end of her training to become a registered nurse..

As these facts unfolded, the Sheriff’s Department conducted an investigation to determine if any criminal laws had been violated in regard to the fake funeral.  The investigation was revelatory, and a search warrant was approved for execution at the W. family’s residence.  A partially-completed pregnancy calendar was uncovered, and the dining room had been converted into a nursery for the twins, replete with baby furniture, clothing, and accessories—all intended to maintain the facade.

A subsequent forensic search of the home computers revealed even more.  Leslie had visited websites dealing with Munchausen syndrome and Munchausen by proxy; had downloaded ultrasound images; and had searched using terms such as “grieving after loss” and “fetal demise.”  There were even online inquiries concerning urns and grave markers for babies a full five days prior to Leslie’s feigning the births, deaths, and cremations of the illusory twins.  One of the most interesting items discovered in the home was a small wooden box that had been secured to the walls and floor of the linen closet in the master bathroom.

This box was later determined to have been constructed in place to warehouse N. each night, with plastic bands strapped to him to reduce the chance of noisy disruption or escape.  Leslie initially claimed that the box housed animals, but eventually admitted that they regularly confined N. Though Leslie and Chris said that  the confinement was necessitated by his violent rages, a psychological exam performed later confirmed that Noah’s only diagnosis was PTSD related to his family’s mistreatment.

On November 21st, Leslie and Chris were arrested and eventually charged with several counts of cruelty to children and theft by deception.

Investigators pressed on and discovered that, based on Leslie’s falsehoods to her, the 9-year-old daughter, T., believed that she was dying of cancer.  Chris, T.’s grandparents, her teachers, her friends, and her church family had been similarly misled—as had those who dropped coins into canisters Leslie had placed at stores.  Leslie had even taken T. to two different hospitals where T. thought she was being attended by medical personnel and receiving chemotherapy, while telling her teacher that she didn’t want to die.  At the same time, Leslie’s 13-year-old son believed he needed a liver transplant, again because Leslie convinced him that this was so.  Chris was prepared to donate part of his own liver for this transplant.  As a small child, the boy had already had his normal gallbladder removed, partly due to regular vomiting for unclear reasons, but mostly at Leslie’s instigation.  Leslie’s 11-year-old daughter was a mixed race child whom Leslie said was the result of a rape by a former co-worker, but she had never reported a rape to law enforcement and the claim was viewed by the family as suspect:  certain family members said that Leslie conceived this child after observing how much attention another family member had received after having given birth to a mixed race child.

The children carried other medical and psychological diagnoses that were based mostly on Leslie’s exaggerated or fraudulent claims.  They have been scarred, but are relieved to know that they are not going to die from the diseases they thought they had.  For the most part, they are doing much better in foster care.  Following two-and-a-half years of incarceration, Leslie pleaded guilty in Superior Court and was sentenced to eight years in the state prison system, along with 30 years of probation and an order not to contact the children without explicit permission from the court and other designated agencies.  She was also ordered to make financial restitution to the victims who had donated money for the cancer treatments for her daughter, T.

BETRAYAL IN BLUE — RAVE REVIEWS! BUY IT

It was a thrill to write, and the rave reviews make all three of your dedicated co-authors delighted. Now, all we need is for YOU, dear reader, to buy the damn thing!

Lucky for you, it is available as an ebook for Kindle, in paperback or as an excellent audio book narrated by Kevin Pierce.  If you have seen the documentary, The Seven-Five, this is the book that tells you what you DIDN’T see in the documentary, and clears up some erronious impressions about Ken Eurell.  Order the book from Amazon or directly from WildbluePress.com

HAVE A CRIMINAL NEW YEAR!

What could be more fun in 2017 than a cavalcade of true crime non-fiction thrillers and even a private eye novel!

Obviously you begin with mine, and those written by all my friends!bibfinalMurderInTheFamily_KindleCover_6-3-2016_v2 TASTEforMURDER_concept1_var1_12-28-2015 HEADLOCK_concept2_Revised1_Kindle MAN OVERBOARD Saint-3D

Heck, you are even encouraged to buy books  that aren’t by me!

hos brad and todgangsterland (1)savage highwaybook_breaking151yK8TXUBJL._SL160_circlercTHERE ARE SO MANY GREAT BOOKS!

THE STRAIGHT DOPE ON CROOKED DRUG COPS! BETRAYAL IN BLUE

NOW AVAILABLE IN KINDLE, PAPERBACK, AND AUDIO BOOK — THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY OF MICHAEL DOWD AND KEN EURELL — THE TWO DIRTIEST COPS IN THE NYPD…..

BETRAYAL IN BLUE

In the late 1980s NYPD officers Ken Eurell and Mike Dowd partnered up in Brooklyn’s Seven Five Precinct. NY put them on the streets to fight crime. But, Ken and Mike had a different mission.

From their squad car, Dowd and Eurell provided uniformed protection for La Compania and Dominican drug kingpin, bibfinalAdam Diaz as he moved keys of top shelf Columbian coke to addicts

In the late 1980s NYPD officers Ken Eurell and Mike Dowd partnered up in Brooklyn’s Seven Five Precinct. NY put them on the streets to fight crime. But, Ken and Mike had a different mission.

From their squad car, Dowd and Eurell provided uniformed protection for La Compania and Dominican drug kingpin, Adam Diaz as he moved keys of top shelf Columbian coke to addicts from Washington Heights to Coney Island.

They didn’t make much as cops, but Dowd and Eurell earned $8,000 a week as Diaz’s muscle.

“Betrayal in Blue”, available on Tuesday in print or for your Kindle, is Kenny’s memoir of those days.co-authored by Burl Barer, Frank Girardot, Jr, and Ken Eurell .   It’s a story that contains a narrative with an eerie similarity to the film “Goodfellas”. Like “Goodfellas,” Kenny’s tale begins in Queens, moves through Brooklyn’s 77th, 75th and 88th precincts before ending on a tree-lined street in Suffolk County, Long Island.

It is a tale littered with crooked cops, kidnappings, and 99.9 percent pure cocaine. But it is also the story of Ken’s loving wife Dori and her perseverance through times that would end most marriages.

Ultimately Eurell, Dowd and a crew of brother officers, who missed their casting call for the Island of Misfit Toys, ruled the cocaine trade in East New York in the late 1980s.

They might have gotten away with it. After all, Mike and Ken weren’t the first New York cops to break bad – they were only the most brazen.

The book hits shelves on Tuesday, but you can preorder it today!

Betrayal in Blue: Bad Cop Worse Cop. One lies, the other swears it’s true.

If one cop lies, the cop’s partner will also lie.  If one cop steals dken 4am the 75 1985ope from a dope dealer, the partner helps sell it or use it.   No matter if you’re the bad cop or the worse cop, you don’t rat on another cop. So, riddle me this:  If you don’t rat on your partner, your partner will either get killed or get 25 to  life in prison. If you do rat on your partner, you’ll bibfinalsave his life, but you will be called a rat and a snitch forever. It’s Sophie’s Choice in a squad car. It is BETRAYAL IN BLUE

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THE REAL POLICE ACADEMY – BETRAYAL IN BLUE

Ken Eurell didn’t always dream of being a cop, but when the opportunity presented itseken 4am the 75 1985lf he gladly signed up with the NYPD.

In the months of intense training and academic studies, Ken had a great time making new friends, but there was one aspect of the experience that meant the most to twenty-year-old Kenny Eurell.

“Oh, yeah,”said Ken. “The most important thing was an immediate sense of camaraderie.” As with the thousands of cops before him, Ken Eurell experienced fraternal bonding — forming deep ties with those who entered into a covenant to serve and protect the people of New York.

Well, not exactly.

It was an emotional linkage to those who, like Kenny, would soon see themselves as an exclusive life form, distinct from the general population. This is no different that the sense of security, protection, and bonding experienced by those who join social service organizations or criminal gangs — People united in a common cause, with their purposes harmonized, and characterized by the concept of collective security. An attack on one is an attack on all. If one is attacked, all defend.

“Cops are taught early on to depend upon each other for everything,” confirms Lee Lofland, author of Police Protocols & Investigations. “A bond is formed in the police academy that can almost never be broken.”

Survival is a term all recruits hear repeatedly. Your survival is dependent upon your  complete, instant and exact replication of everything drilled into your head during your weeks at the police academy.  Unlike soldiers whose job it is to follow orders, a police officer’s job is to make decisions.  ken at the 75 brooklyn (1)Ken Eurell admits that he didn’t make the best decisions, even though the irrevocable bond that forms the Blue Wall reinforced unity in error over betrayal for truth.

Ken didn’t become one of the most corrupt cops ever to betray the badge of the NYPD by being easily influenced or because he fell in with the wrong crowd or the wrong cop. “I have always taken full responsibility for my decisions and actions no matter how embarrassing, incriminating or criminal. I don’t become a cop to reap the rewards of corruption, and I didn’t get that way because I was under Mike Dowd’s spell”

Mike Dowd and Ken Eurell were partners as close as brothers until Ken faced the most difficult and gut-wrenching decision of his life.  He was always there for his partner 100%  but what does a cop do when he must betray his partner’s trust to save his partner’s life?

bibfinalBetrayal in Blue— the shocking true story of the scandal that rocked the NYPD is NOW AVAILABLE for advance order from wildbluepress.com/bib

BETRAYAL IN BLUE COMING OCTOBER 25TH

Let the countdown begin…… October 25th is the official release date of BETRAYAL IN BLUE, the REAL inside story of the infamous “betrayalinblue_concept1_var1Cocaine Cops” of the NYPD — Mike Dowd and Ken Eurell.  There were two ways to make big bucks in the Big Apple: sell drugs, or rip off drug dealers.  They did both, and didn’t worry about the cops because they were the cops!

Drug dealers with a badge, criminals in a squad car, their “Losers Club” drug ring was raking in a fortune while the NYPD big brass looked the other way because the city didn’t want another scandal.

This is the drug / corruption scandal that rocked the NYPD, and ken 4am the 75 1985made Mike Dowd and Ken Eurell the #1 and #2 most corrupt cops of the NYPD.  Now, Ken Eurell joins with Burl Barer and Frank Girardot, Jr to tell the inside story of how he first betrayed his oath, descended further and further into a life of crime and corruption while wearing the badge of the NYPD. and then having to choose between keeping his mouth shut, or saving his partner’s life — either way, he knew it would be seen as Betrayal in Blue.

 

CONGRATULATIONS TOD AND MIAN!

gangsterland (1)People I know and love are winning awards — Tod Goldberg, my brilliant nephew (not to be confused with Lee Goldberg, my brilliant nephew) just won a prestigious award- the 2016 Silver Pen Award presented by the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame.  

The award recognizes writers who are mid-career and have shown substantial achievement. Honorees are also selected based upon their body of work, critical recognition and “a strong connection to Nevada through the themes of their writing or residence in the state.

Now, Mian Moshan Zia, my pal in Pakistan, who hard sells his books as if they are 50 million dollar motion pictures on a holiday weekend, just snagged the 2016 Intewrinklesrnational Readers Award.  Notice how the promo shot for the book looks like a movie poster? Yep, that’s his style

You can order WRINKLES and his other admittedly unusual but always fascinating books, all with deep messages stirred up in the jam. This guy is a marketing whiz — and he is the first contemporary author to make his print books come with unexpected bonus features — you know like on a DVD where you get bonus features? Well, sometimes his books have bonus features!  Trust me, he’s a most engaging personality and his books are going over very well world wide.  I hope he remembers me when he is super-famous!

 

 

A UNIQUE COLLABORATION – BETRAYAL IN BLUE

A UNIQUE COLLABORATION: BETRAYAL IN BLUE

by Burl Barer

While I’ve collaborated on writing project previously, BETRAYAL IN BLUE was a unique experience because not only would this be written with Frank C. Girardot with whom I have an established professional relationship, but also Ken Eurell who is a primary character in the story of police ken 4am the 75 1985corruption in the NYPD.

I knew Ken was a strong personality, and a man who had been through things most of us cannot even begin to imagine. I also knew from talking to Tampa journalist, Paul Guzzo, that Ken was one hell of a nice guy, good father and a very well-respected man in his community.

“It is hard to believe,” said Paul, “that Ken was once one of the most corrupt cops in NYPD history. He is such a good guy, it’s really difficult to picture him that way.”ken at the 75 brooklyn (1)

My first questions were, “Can Ken take a bit of ribbing? How does he handle being challenged on things? Will Ken view us as his partners in this effort, even if we push him a bit, and not see us as actually adversarial?”

I couldn’t be more pleased with the answers. It was apparent from our first conversations that he understood that we were in this project together, that our goals were the same, and that all three of us shared a firm dedication to bringing readers a unique, honest and compelling book that didn’t make excuses. Ken, his wife, Dori, and others came forward to offer in-depth interviews

When we pressed Ken to reveal more and make himself more vulnerable, he didn’t back away but put his heart and soul into this project. After all, this book was Ken’s idea, and he had written a personal memoir upon which we established the book’s foundation.

Frank Girardot spent hours upon hours discussing all aspects of Ken’s life and career with Ken and his wife, Dori. As my writing hours are well beyond the midnight hour, I would follow up with questions of my own via Facebook messenger when Ken and Dori came on line early in the morning New York time. I’m in Los Angeles, so there was a three hour time difference. They were just starting their day, I was ending mine.

Because Frank and I wrote A TASTE FOR MURDER together, we knew each other’s strong points, and how to bring out the best in each other. Bringing Ken to the mix didn’t mess with that at all. In fact, Ken’s full participation and willingness to be completely open made this project exciting and fulfilling for both Frank and me.

BETRAYAL IN BLUE is coming soon, and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it with Ken Eurell.

Repressive Legislation on Pain Killer Prescriptions is a Scam!!!

The proposed new restrictions on prescription pain killers, dishonestly touted as “saving lives”, do exactly the opposite.  All research and evidence establishes that when legally prescribed opioids are more difficult to acquire, those who need them turn to less expensive and more easily acquired alternatives – all of which are illegal.

Florida’s experience is the most blatant example of what happens when a “moral crises” of an “epidemic” leads to “death by legislation.”

The Florida legislature passed laws to curtail the largely unfettered prescription of opioids. The result: Deaths from prescription opioids dropped 69%, but heroin deaths more than doubled to a record 408.

Why? Simple.

Restricting access does not reduce need.

The most common prescription painkillers on the market, including hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), are actually opioid drugs, just like heroin. All of these drugs are derived from opium. One of the major derivatives of opium is morphine, from which heroin is derived, whereas the pharmaceutical painkillers are derived from the other major element, known as codeine. Heroin has similar effects to painkillers, making it an ideal substitute for those looking for a way to replace their painkillers.

Unable to get their usual prescription from doctors, those who were dependent upon them had to buy them from people who had them and would sell them at greatly inflated prices not covered by insurance.  With prescription opioids now difficult to find and terribly expensive, those who needed them sought an effective and less expensive opioid pain killer.  This is one readily available: Heroin.

Making prescription pain killers harder to get results in more deaths, more crime, more babies born addicted.

Who in their right mind wants more drug deaths, more addicted babies, and more heroin addicts?  Well, ask yourself who benefits from that situation? (1) Heroin dealers (2) law enforcement, who then requests funds to fight the growing crime caused by the increase in heroin addiction, (3) so-called “addiction treatment centers,” and (4) prisons, because the majority of people in America’s prisons are there on drug charges.

This is a well-established pattern in America’s “war on drugs,” and it is so predictable that there are entire sociology studies and even full-length books on the subject of “moral panic” over “drug epidemics” that lead to repressive harmful legislation.

Once patients move from legal prescription medications to illegally obtained medications, they are now “criminal drug addicts” who must be “treated,” or arrested and punished and locked up. So much for removing stigma from dependence and/or addiction.

We need only to look to other countries who solved these problems long ago by completely erasing the stigma of addiction by not making a medical condition a crime.  Taking it out of the shadows, taking away the secrecy and guilt, and providing the maintenance medication needed to live a normal and productive life has brought the deaths from heroin overdose in Sweden, for example, to ZERO.

Any organization that claims to have as  its goals to reduce stigma and reduce addiction but gives their endorsement to legislation and policies that are proven to increase heroin addiction and drug related crime is, in the most polite words possible, lying through their deceptive teeth.

In fact, all efforts to reduce the availability of drugs, be they legal or illegal, have the same effect: reduced safety, increased harm, and more danger to public health.

If you doubt this assertion, there are numerous studies internationally that validate it – from USA, CHINA, AUSTRALIA and elsewhere. The more you repress drugs – be it by increased police presence, police sweeps, or legislation, the more you make drug use difficult, the more you increase the stigma, push it deeper into the shadows, and make life more dangerous for everyone while not reducing the use of drugs at all. 

Let us resolve to deal with what is real, because reality is something you can live with.