July 24, 2013

“(Edenton police officer Brenda) Toppin, who conducted the first interviews of children allegedly abused at the center, testified that ‘In the early interviews, I had very few children disclosing to me…. Most of the children were not telling me specifically about Mr. Bob.’

“ ‘Red flags,’ however, caused her to continue her questioning. The ‘red flags’ included children being tense when the subject of the day-care center was mentioned, she said, and not talking to her as normal children would.”

– From the Associated Press (December 4, 1991)

It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to see Brenda Toppin’s persistence in the face of “very few children disclosing to me” or her overreaction to those absurdly vague “red flags.”

A surviving fragment of tape laid out even more saliently her abusive interview technique. Read for yourself a transcript of one of Toppin’s interviews with a child. The transcript entered the court record during the appeals process.