I generally don’t respond when people talk nonsense about me or someone I love, but when it’s someone I like and respect doing the bashing, I can’t just let it go. Cue the steel guitars because I’m about to stand by my man.
I’m not going to call the person out by name because I’m sure he’s not the only one who shared the latest steaming pile of bovine excrement about the hardest case Danny has investigated (so far). This post is for anyone who would give credence to any hit piece by sharing it on social media.
Obviously I can’t say everything I would like to say because it would be unethical to try the case in the court of public opinion, but if you have trouble understanding how his investigation evolved to the point where the DA decided to file charges, and a judge saw enough evidence to bind grandparents over for trial, I’m sure once all is said and done, Danny would be happy to sit down with you and walk you through his findings.
Some grammatically challenged super fan has pinched off multiple hit pieces about my husband but never once attempted to contact him for comment; and in fact, rejected Danny’s attempt to offer perspective after dropping his first pile.
I will not legitimize the guy by naming him because far more people will read this post than the tens of people who click on his blog each month (I do this for a living, so I can show you the data). But for some reason, the guy’s very name sends shivers up the spines of the targets of his ill-informed, typically half-sided attacks (they’re rarely coherent enough to be one sided).
One of his rambling diatribes included libelous claims that Danny and I financially benefit from the care of Grumps (the stepfather who helped raise me, and whom we care for in the final stages of dementia) and from my 501c3 rescue—again, without bothering to contact us for response.
A simple online search of nonprofit finances would have shown I personally gave tens of thousands, and by the time this year’s taxes are filed, I will have donated more than $70,000 of my own money to rescue and rehabilitate abused and neglected horses. My father’s estate is under the strict control of a trustee. We couldn’t benefit, even if we were the evil charlatans this hater portrays in his blogs. Ooh, but it’s so much more fun to believe we’re villains.
If I thought anyone read his work (he has 21 total clicks in all of June), I would have sued. I certainly had grounds; but a lawsuit would introduce a large audience to a hate-filled blogger most will never know.
No one has any idea what Danny went through investigating this case. I do. Not one of you saw the look frozen on that baby’s face or watched how Danny agonized over what could have caused it. Danny has seen too many dead children to count; but this boy’s expression is burned in his memory forever; and he’s not the one who came up with the explanation for it. The medical examiner did; and her autopsy findings were confirmed by an independent pathologist that was agreed upon by both the state and the defense.
You have no idea how hard and often Danny prayed for guidance and clarity. I do. No one has any idea how much he wanted to find anything to lead him away from where the case was headed. I was there when God just kept pointing him to evidence he did not want to find. It was a daily struggle, but all he could do was keep praying, and keep following where he believed God was leading.
What would you have done if the autopsy told you a baby asphyxiated to death due to suffocation in a homicide, and showed signs of trauma consistent with sexual abuse? Again, that wasn’t Danny’s finding. What would you have done if, in addition to the injuries in the autopsy and the death mask burned into Danny’s memory, a SANE nurse told you what that little boy described? Again, that wasn’t Danny’s finding. That was the testimony of the rape specialist with an independent agency over which Danny has zero influence. It’s beyond insulting to suggest that a woman – an expert in her field – could be coerced into such a damning statement.
Would you ignore it? Tell the boy to buck up and forget what he saw because the grandparents seem like such nice people and the alternative is too icky to imagine? Because that would be illegal and unethical. That would make Danny a dirty cop.
Unlike bloggers and armchair quarterbacks with their volumes of partial facts, law enforcement investigators don’t have the authority to act as judge and jury and they don’t have the power to give the benefit of the doubt. They follow the evidence, then hand over their findings to the DA who determines and files charges and prosecutes the case. Either the parties negotiate a settlement, or a judge or jury determines guilt or innocence.
How nice for those who get to skip all that uncomfortable evidence-y, legal-y stuff because your story is so much more palatable and pleasant. It’s so much easier to believe cops are dirty than to believe the alternative.
But that’s not a luxury Danny had; nor was it one the DA or the preliminary hearing judge enjoyed.
The beauty of our justice system is that everyone gets to present their evidence – under oath, and subject to cross examination. In the court of public opinion, any blogger with a keyboard and a belly button is your judge and jury. The courts may very well fail to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It happens. I can count on two fingers the number of times it’s happened in the hundreds of cases Danny has solved.
If this blogger’s buffoonery is to be believed, Danny bullied a SANE nurse, the medical examiner, the district attorney, the preliminary hearing judge and a mutually-selected, respected pathologist into following a narrative he supposedly concocted in the car on the way to the crime scene. (Apparently his super powers end at influencing paid witnesses, because the defendants’ expert disagreed with the state’s experts – which should surprise no one.) Do you really believe these trained and experienced professionals all decided one day to find some fine, upstanding Christian grandparents and collude to paint them into inconceivable monsters – at the risk of their reputations and attack from uninformed critics? To what end?
If that’s your case, and you believe Danny was itching for a juicy sex-tinged baby murder, riddle me this: What kind of gung-ho, let’s-hang-old-folks, mind-all-made-up investigator allows his prime suspects and their friends inside the crime scene tape to lay hands on and pray over the lifeless body of a baby he supposedly believed from the outset they defiled and murdered?
Let me repeat that. Danny allowed the defendants and their supporters inside the tape to lay hands on and pray over that baby out of compassion and empathy for what he believed at the time were grieving grandparents. Is that the behavior of a man who decided a baby was sexually assaulted and murdered before ever knowing the facts?
The haters will inevitably and predictably latch on to that little tidbit as proof positive Danny’s a novice who doesn’t know what he’s doing (ignoring the fact that they’ve been pimping a Mark Fuhrman defense featuring Danny as the evil genius, anti-Christian, over-zealous detective who supposedly decided the poor old grandparents were sexually depraved murderers before he ever even arrived at the scene). Seriously. Stop allowing your hate to suspend logic.
The fact is, Danny is exactly the kind of investigator citizens want and need, and I could give you a whole list of victims and victims’ families who are thankful for his tenacity and grit in delivering justice.
I can understand if you hate Danny – even if you don’t know him. That’s your prerogative. You don’t solve the cases Danny has solved by gauging your conscience on public opinion, and that kind of fortitude feels icky to some. I can understand if you don’t want to believe grandparents could be charged with such heinous crimes. No one wanted to believe it less than my husband, who fought it every step of the way.
But when our hate leads us to excuse and enable poorly-written, salacious lies and partial truths because sharing them on our timelines makes us feel superior, we give oxygen to – I hate to sound cliché, but never was a term more appropriate – fake news.
This case is going to turn out however it turns out. It was out of Danny’s hands the second he handed it over to the DA; but my husband did what he does every single day for the citizens of Wagoner County and for both of those little boys – his job. And while he may have the stomach for the types of attacks he’s suffered for doing it well, I don’t.
This is me, standing by the best man I know.