July 1, 2013

I noted last week the continuing unwillingness of law professor John E.B. Myers, widely published authority on child sex abuse, to express an opinion “regarding the guilt or innocence of any of the McMartin defendants.”

In this passage in “Child Protection in America” (2006), which Professor Myers graciously forwarded to me, he justifies his indecision on the case by pointing to claims of secret underground tunnels supposedly discovered (too late!) beneath the McMartin Preschool:

“Several McMartin parents, especially the indefatigable Jackie McGauley, hired an archeologist to excavate under the abandoned preschool. The archeologist conducted an excavation and issued an exhaustive report concluding there probably were tunnels. The tunnels had been backfilled with dirt, but McGauley pointed out that the Buckeys had months to fill in the tunnels after the preschool closed. I read the archeologist’s report and came away convinced. Yet, I shared the report with a colleague who was just as firmly convinced the report proves nothing.”

At the very least, this approach constitutes feckless “research.” To see the tunnel report thoroughly vaporized, Myers needed only to click on “The Dark Truth About the ‘Dark Tunnels of McMartin’ ” by John Earl (1995) or “What Was Under the McMartin Preschool?” by Joseph Wyatt (2002).

When the McMartin parents went digging for nonexistent tunnels, the term “truther” hadn’t yet entered the lexicon. Too bad.