Tragedy in Gresham, Oregon

Whitney Heichel never made it to her job as a barrista at a local Starbucks last Tuesday (October 16). Her husband Clint reported her missing within three hours after she left for work.

Police detectives arrested Jonathan Holt on Friday after interviewing him at least three times during their investigation. Holt was charged with three counts of “aggravated murder.”

Officials said Holt kidnapped Ms. Heichel as she left for work in her Ford Explorer SUV Tuesday morning. They say that evidence indicates that he killed her somewhere in Clackamas County and then disposed of her body near Larch Mountain in Multnomah County. (Parts of the city of Portland extend into Multnomah County.) However, according to the police, because the murder occurred in Clackamas County, the case will be prosecuted within that jurisdiction.

Both Ms. Heichel and Jonathan Holt were Jehovah’s Witnesses and attended meetings at the Gresham Kingdom Hall. James Vaughn, one of the elders at that Kingdom Hall, has been representing Ms. Heichel’s family, making public statements on their behalf. Police credit members of that Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation for helping them look for clues into Ms. Heichel’s disappearance.

Detectives began searching Larch Mountain on Wednesday when evidence of her vehicle was found there. Other evidence includes video taken at a local gas station and a Wal-Mart store parking lot.

Jonathan Holt was described by elder Jim Vaughn as “an irregular attendee” of the Gresham Kingdom Hall. He also stated that members of his congregation were shocked to hear that Jonathan Holt was involved in such a horrible crime. Friends and acquaintances of Holt and his family described him as “ordinary” and “never a problem.” Holt grew up in northeast Portland and attended Parkrose High School. He married his girlfriend in 2010 and lived in the same Gresham apartment complex as the Heichels.

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Megan and Candace – Victims of Known Molesters

By Barbara J. Anderson

In over 90% of child sexual abuse cases, the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts. Too often, the offenders are known to be molesters but the information is kept secret. In 1994, two children, Megan in New Jersey and Candace in California, were sexually abused by known molesters. Megan died at the hands of the convicted sexual pervert that molested her. Thankfully, Candace did not.

Local law enforcement knew where the sex offender, who would snuff out seven-year-old Megan Kanka’s life, was located, but no one told her parents that he was living across the street from them.

1994 – Megan’s Law approved

Approximately one month after Megan’s rape and murder on July 29th by Jesse Timmendequas, and primarily due to the Kanka’s public outcry, the New Jersey legislature passed Megan’s Law requiring registration and public notification of sex offenders. Since 1996, Megan’s Law has become federal law and all states have passed some form of it.  Have these laws helped to prevent child molestation?

One federally funded study in 2009 determined that Megan’s law had no effect on sexual reoffenses. When informed of the study, Mrs. Kanka remarked that the purpose of the law was for parents to know where the offenders were living. “We never said it was going to stop them from reoffending.”

Jake Goldenflame, a convicted sex offender, supports the law. “Megan’s Law is not there to keep me from re-offending,” he said. “Megan’s Law is there so that you can keep me from re-offending by knowing who I am, keeping your eyes on me.”

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Why So Quiet?

By John Hoyle, Editor

I want to apologize to all the readers and supporters of EX-JW.com for the  lack of activity on this website over the past three months. Although I’ve been very busy and spending very long hours at my computer, I am physically well and will return to editing and writing for this site and InsidetheWatchtower.com very soon.

Early in July I completed a total website redesign for author Dick Kelly (Growing Up in Mama’s Club). I’ve been Dick’s webmaster for over four years. Although his site was working fine, we both felt it had grown a bit tired. A couple of months earlier, Dick released a sequel to his first book (The Ghosts from Mama’s Club) and we wanted to properly showcase it. Both of Dick’s books are available at Amazon.com and are in the display carousel in the sidebar page right. My redesign was a departure from the norm, but the feedback has been consistently positive for the website and his new book. Check them out at RichardEKelly.com.

I was still touching up Dick’s website in mid-July when Cynthia Hampton, moderator and organizer of Ex JWs of Los Angeles, called and invited me to attend a special conference she was sponsoring in Walnut Creek, California. I jumped at the chance to meet Candace Conti, her attorney Rick Simons, and the two dozen other attendees. What a privilege it was to meet all of those great people! I enjoyed every minute that I was there listening to Candace and Rick tell their stories. I remembered to take my cameras to the event, but then left my cell phone (a Droid) behind at the meeting place. I had to turn around and race back (about 15 miles) to retrieve my phone before they all left and locked up the meeting room.

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