May 8, 2013

“We just had all kinds of rumors. Everybody in town was involved in it, with this one pointing fingers, that one pointing fingers. My telephone was ringing right steady….

“We really didn’t know what we had. I had a police officer who works as a secretary (Brenda Toppin) who deals with this type case, and she had right much training but nothing like she needed. So we had problems right from the start.”

– Edenton Police Chief Charles Harvey Williams, recalling for a North Carolina House committee how his 15-person department struggled to sort out allegations about the Little Rascals Day Care center (April 23, 1991)

Toppin has been variously described as a secretary and a dispatcher in Edenton’s 15-person police department – she may well have been both. Regardless, she seemed utterly unaware how far in over her head she was interviewing children about supposed ritual sex abuse.