Dec. 12, 2017
“Sadly, we’ve grown accustomed to gross miscarriages of justice in cases involving minorities and the indigent. Appalled as we are by such legal travesties we rationalize it as the consequences of traditional bigotry.
“But there is no racial component to the Little Rascals case. There isn’t even much of a class component, since the defendants and their accusers were for the most part, equals. With the exception of a couple jurors, all the characters are white and comfortably middle-class.
“Neither is there any effect of drug abuse or any other kind of aberrant psychology.
“If anything, the Little Rascals case is a study of female/maternal vengeance, since the Kellys’ foremost accusers were Betsy Kelly’s friends, the mothers of the children entrusted to her care. Likewise the vast majority of court-appointed therapists and counselors were female, as was the most prominent of the three prosecutors.
“The story is a riveting study of mass psychosis, of the willingness, ability and need of well- educated, civilized people to believe something in the face of a near total absence of logic and extraordinary cruelty to friends and neighbors….”
– From “A ‘Frontline’ documentary on child abuse hysteria shows how good TV can be” by Brian Lambert in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press (May 27, 1997)