|EARL KENNETH SHRINER|
On May 20, 1989, a 7 year old boy was raped, stabbed, sexually mutilated and left for dead in a park in Tacoma, Washington. The next day, police arrested Earl Kenneth Shriner, a violent sex offender who was well known to the authorities for violent sex crimes dating back 24 years.
What was so unusual about this particular crime and this predator that they earned a mention on this blog? Shriner openly talked about his deranged fantasies of rape and torture. The authorities were well aware of the extreme danger Shriner posed to the community and they were frustrated that there was nothing they could do about it.
Not surprisingly, when those details were made public in the days after Shriner's arrest, there was massive public outrage. This outrage was channeled into a victim advocacy group. They called themselves The Tennis Shoe Brigade and they demanded that lawmakers pass laws making communities safer. And they got it.
In 1990, Washington State legislators unanimously passed the first sexual predator law that allowed the state to lock someone up indefinitely in an effort to protect the community from future crimes they MIGHT commit.
Over the next 25 years, nineteen states passed similar laws and of course legal challenges claiming the laws were unconstitutional were close behind. Funny, each time the laws were challenged, the courts upheld the right of the state to protect the community from violent predators.
The tragic story of the 7 year old Tacoma boy and Earl Shriner seems out of place here, yet there is a ring of eerie familiarity.
Hardly a day goes by where I do not read or hear about situations where people complain to the authorities about loose and menacing dogs but the response from law enforcement and animal control is "Sorry, we can't do anything until after the dog bites." And of course, everyone's favorite, "Sorry but we have to witness the violation."
It is hard to imagine an incident more horrific or more preventable than the brutality Earl Shriner inflicted on that 7 year old Tacoma boy in 1989. Yet an even more egregious example of the unnecessarily tragic limitations of our laws has been playing out in Dayton, Ohio since February 7, 2014. Enter the story of Klonda Richey.
For the last couple of years Klonda Richey did not feel safe on her own property. The complaints she made to her violent felon neighbor ANDREW NASON about his vicious dogs were not only ignored by NASON but also ignored by the Montgomery County Dog Warden when the violations were not witnessed by ACOs. Klonda's paper trail of well documented complaints seemed to only escalate the tension between her and NASON and his vicious killer dogs. Threats and intimidation by NASON were captured on video surveillance. The police advised Klonda to seek a protection order and the magistrate, for whatever insane or political reason, denied her request. As a result, Dayton now has a dead woman it needs to explain.
The $64,000 questions is: Why do dangerous dogs have more rights than dangerous humans?
If we as a society can lock human beings up indefinitely to prevent future crimes they might commit, why on earth can't we take similar actions against dangerous DOGS? Why are dogs afforded this ridiculously excessive burden of proof?
The murder of Klonda Richey should be a wake up call. I hope the good people of Ohio can channel their outrage into something as productive as The Tennis Shoe Brigade and just maybe, we will see the rest of the states start to fall like dominoes.
Klonda Richey - Scorched Earth
Klonda Richey - DBO
Klonda Rickey - craven desires
Klonda Richey home video surveillance
More surveillance video
The Spokesman Review May 23, 1989
Earl Kenneth Shriner wikipedia
Community Protection Act of 1990
New York Times March 3, 2007
ATSA Civil Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators