By Sean Cruz
Former Portland police detective C.W. Jensen recently gave his opinion regarding the presumptive motive for the abduction of Kyron Horman:
“If you are really, really angry at someone, you can kill them, or you can kill their soul by taking their child away, and that’s what I’m afraid happened here.”
Every year, more than 200,000 US children are abducted by family members or persons known to the victims. The crime is horrific, but only a tiny percentage receive any attention by the media, the public or law enforcement.
In all of these cases, the abductors intend to murder the soul of the victim parent by causing their child to disappear, and are willing to murder the soul of the child victim as collateral damage.
High-conflict custody battles are common; parents use their children as weapons in far too many cases, but the abduction of a child is indeed tantamount to murder.
When my four children disappeared on February 12, 1996, 14 years ago, kidnapped by my former wife and a group of Mormon officials in three states, no one was interested. Four children vanished. Zero interest. Ho hum.
My former wife wanted to murder my soul, and was willing to put our children through hell to do so; the Mormons that Kory and Chris Wright organized to carry out the abduction wanted to re-engineer my children’s personalities, at a cost to my family that was irrelevant to them, and through a process that led to the death of my son Aaron Cruz.
Those Mormons included Evelyn Taylor and Mormon Bishop David Holliday in Washington County, Mormon Bishop Donald Taylor in Clark County and Utah resident Steve Nielson, who would become my former wife’s fourth husband, who I would later learn slapped my children around throughout their marriage.
Retired Portland police commander Cliff Madison, interviewed today about the Kyron Horman case, made a comment that resonated with my experience, referring to the revelation that Terri Horman, Kyron’s stepmom, might be involved in the 7-year-old’s disappearance:
“They’ve just been hit with a big right hook, because all of a sudden the possibility of someone within the family being involved. It is a shock, because we all refuse to believe that until it is thrown in our faces.”
It is that refusal to believe, on the part of law enforcement, the media and the public, on the part of the courts, that refusal to believe that a family member would kidnap a beautiful child, that stands in the way of recovery and of achieving justice in many, many cases.
That refusal to believe that a family member would do such a thing causes the wheels to turn slowly, if at all.
In most cases, the family is entirely on its own. No cops, no detectives, no media, no public outcry…ho hum….
In the months and years that followed the disappearance of my children, I nearly died from shock, from grief, from bereavement, from depression and from suicide, when I had run out of hope and was overwhelmed by the pain.
My mother died four years after the abduction began, without seeing or hearing from her grandchildren again. That fact alone speaks to the character of the people involved in the abduction.
Remember that kidnappings are continuing crimes, crimes with a beginning but no end….
The abduction of Kyron Horman has thrown the fact in our faces, that a person in a trust relationship with a child, a family member, could inflict harm on this scale, and law enforcement, the public and even the media are getting involved.
There was a time when they could have expended just a little bit of energy and saved my family, could have saved Aaron’s life….
Now there is Aaron’s Law on the Oregon books, soon to be modeled in other states, and with it a drive to end parental and family abductions in this country.
I hope that they find some time to take an interest in that, too.