By Sandy . . . I read the story of Lisa French shortly before Halloween again this year.
Someone posts the story of Lisa French shortly before Halloween every year.
It is a sad and tragic story.
A beautiful little nine-year-old girl named Lisa French, trick-or-treating in her neighborhood in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was restrained, raped, murdered, and dumped in a field by her neighbor Gerald Turner. It took four days to find her body and nine months for Turner to confess.
It destroyed the innocence of the city, the state, and the nation.
Every Halloween, when media and activists are protesting the excessive waste expended on special constraints for registered sexual offenders on Halloween, someone prints the story of Lisa French.
“See,” they say. “It happened. We have to keep it from happening again.”
Yes. It happened. It was in 1973.
Forty-five years ago.
Many families in Wisconsin, according to reports, still do not let their children trick-or-treat because of it.
How many children have died in automobile accidents in Wisconsin in the past forty-five years? Do people in Wisconsin still drive cars?
How many children have died from gun-related incidents there in the past forty-five years? Do people in Wisconsin still own guns?
The fact that we have to go back forty-five years to find an example of a child sexually harmed while trick-or-treating speaks volumes.
Wisconsinites are free to observe Halloween when and how they choose, but to use this forty-five-year-old tragedy as an example of why those on sexual offense registries across the nation are subject to outrageous restrictions on Halloween is itself outrageous.
Those who commit sexual crimes almost never murder their victims. That places any applicability of this case to the almost million men, women, and children on sex offender registries today at less than 0.00001%. And I probably haven’t used enough zeros.
Forty-five years ago sexual offense registries as we know them did not exist. If they had, there is nothing in Gerald Turner’s history to suggest that he would have been on one. That means that Lisa would have been the victim of someone who was NOT already registered as having committed a previous sexual offense, and there we have close to 100% correlation to the individuals who are committing sexual crimes today. According to research, approximately 96% have no previous history of this type of crime and therefore are on no registries. They weren’t locked up or confined to home with all lights off on Halloween. They weren’t checked on by law enforcement to assure that they were keeping themselves away from all child-related activities. They didn’t show up as red dots on a map warning parents away from those addresses.
They were in your homes, at your parties, in your neighborhoods. They answered the doors and handed out candy to your children. They were where they have always been. And all of the Halloween restrictions on all of the registered sex offenders in America meant absolutely nothing.