Halloween myths? NARSOL, researchers say too many to count

Used with permission

By Earl Yarington . . .

I often wonder why we don’t dress our kids up as sex offenders. We dress them up as serial killers, witches, goblins, and other horrible monsters. We let our little girls dress up in fishnet stockings, short skirts, and heavy makeup. My own child wants to be a fallen angel. What is a fallen angel but a devil?

At first, the sex offender comment makes me a big jerk, highly offensive, yet if one calms down and thinks about it, why do we celebrate Halloween at all? And why are sex offenders worse than serial killers?

Isn’t Halloween about death? In our culture, people don’t die. They pass away. They depart. Or they come back to life as monsters. Making children monsters and zombies has a way of beautifying death, making it more fun and childish. Then there is the myth of the monster sex offender.

Yet, the last several years, just like clockwork, someone always publishes the Lisa French story, as Sandy Rozek communications director for the National Association for Reasonable Sex Offense Laws (NARSOL) notes. A horrible event that took place over 46 years ago, 9-year old Lisa French was trick or treating in Wisconsin. Gerald Turner abducted, raped, and murdered her. Ever since then, parents have been in fear. This is before sex offender registries. Yet, Rozek argues that when we look at the murderer’s history there would have been nothing that put him on a current-day registry.

Yet, every Halloween, several states require that those on the sex offender registry put signs up in their yards notifying children that a sex offender lives there. There are even sex offender maps, and police departments and parole offices have “lock-in” events to make sure these vicious diabolical monsters stay imprisoned in their houses, much like vampires in their coffins.

It’s not all that bad really since our “safe” neighbors have huge spiders, skulls, and bodies hanged from trees. The scary sex offender sign gives a nice, expected backdrop from a more deadly reality. It’s not the sex offender that is a danger to your child. Maybe Halloween is real after all.

In 2014, Jill Levenson wrote an article discrediting this Halloween-predator fixation. Such is important because Levenson has spent years as a researcher and advocate for child sex abuse victims. She knows better than anyone what risks children face, yet in her study of Halloween and crimes against children, she found less than 1% of crime was child-related.

In fact, according to NARSOL and Michael McKay from The Registry Report, they could not find one documented case since the French killing where a sex offender abducted or abused a child.  Even if some of these cases were missed, we are addressing a 46-year period. Missed or not, such offending is very rare.

Yet, Levenson noted that children are “5-times more likely” to be hit by a car on Halloween and that burglary and vandalism are much higher during Halloween than any crime against a child. She notes her concern that pulling police away to watch for imaginary crimes keeps officers from real dangers such as kids being struck by vehicles.

Read the rest of the piece here at the Baltimore Post Examiner.

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    • #60868 Reply

      Halloween myths interesting? Yes life goes on but what is myth and what is truth. Who is the predator or who is the prey? While Ms. Levenson and her research, as well as others in these safety situation,s are basic understanding truths one has to wonder about even man’s understanding in a lot of this registry hype. Correction is good if done correctly.

      Nothing wrong with passing out candy if one wants to as that is their choice, and yes safety is a factor in anything but man and their authority has always wanted to go overboard in many ways. Why do you think the bible calls them stiff necked hypocrite’s.

      While I know everyone is going thru this registry issue and yes we all learn lessons but what have we learned. Whether its right or wrong to pass out candy or some myth about Halloween or how true Justice is a type of scheming plea deal today. Sure the primary goal of NARSOL is to rid much of this registry and for that I commend them and others or is this some play of “Muder she wrote” or who is invading who’s conscience.

      Should we all beware of the yeast of the Pharisee’s or where is the warning light in this carnal issue. I believe we are all carnal by nature. Authorities have sin’s just like any other governmental authority. One wonders who’s hearts are evil and who’s hearts are wicked. Believe it or not a bit of the gospel goes a long ways. One wonder’s is America lost today in American Government or who is the offender or predator today?

    • #60880 Reply
      Tim Lester

      Not to go against the norm here, but I view this a bit different. I agree with the author and the registry needs to be rethought with some sort of understanding that either EVERY criminal including DUI and drugs should be on there or remove a person once the obligations of probation/parole are met. However, I myself refuse to participate in anything child related as is it for my own protection. I cannot be accused of anything if I have no contact.

      Let them have their day and enjoy themselves, I have plenty of other things I can do to keep me occupied. If my children (grown now so this is a non issue) wanted to go out, my wife could take them to a different neighborhood or to friends and family to trick or treat. What I don’t agree with is locking up a person again once they have met their contract with the court. Either by a mandatory house arrest where they cannot answer the door or to some other location so they can be watched. Seems a bit unconstitutional and cruel punishment since we do not do this for anyone else.

    • #60908 Reply

      It is my opinion at this point that the government has other motives behind the registry and sexual crimes as a whole. This is not for child welfare, and it is not to protect them from bad decisions. The law allows children to make decisions beyond their years that they may regret for the rest of their lives. A child can deiced their sex but not, drink, smoke, drive, get tattoos, get piercings, or have sex. To me this is proof of government laws with hidden agendas. Wake up Americans!

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