May 17, 2013

From Betsy Kelly’s comments at the ceremony awarding Ofra Bikel the 2007 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism:

“I stand before you tonight because of Ofra Bikel. She spent many hours with my family and with some of the most hurtful and hateful people. She turned many (viewers) around to believe in the truth. The day she walked into my life I had somebody to hold onto… and she opened the door and she led me out…..”

From Nancy Smith Barrow’s comments:

“I thought: She comes from another planet, she doesn’t speak Southern, what can she do?

“I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to climb into that hole we were in…

“Ofra took us where we were, where hell was raining down, where people who have known us since we were born would cross the street not to meet us….

“Ofra, I owe you for the most precious thing in my life (my sister), you brought her back…..”

From Ofra Bikel’s comments:

120409Bikel“I was this close to not doing (‘Innocence Lost’). I said (to assistant Rachel Dretzin), ‘Are you crazy? What are we going to do in a little town with a little hotel that doesn’t take American Express?’…. Anyway, we went, and the first day I realized we were staying….

“The whole country was awash in sexual abuse stories, but there was nothing less likely than for Edenton, North Carolina, to be involved in this satanic conspiracy… The town was calm on outside but seething on the inside with these rumors of terrible sexual abuse, started by one kid, then three kids, then 10 kids, then 80 and then close to a hundred… until they decided to close the list….

“(After the last Little Rascals charges were dropped) I was left with two very strong feelings: how many things can go wrong in the justice system…. and what a powerful tool we had in our hands with the television documentary….”