Who struck the match under the "national dialogue"?

Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 03:56 pm
I was reading a year in review article in my newspaper, the article listed all the famous and infamous people who died this year. One of the dead was Kenneth Parnell.

You might remember Parnell as the man who kidnapped Steven Stayner in 1972. He kept Staynor as his "son" for 7 years and was only found out when he kidnapped another little boy, Timmy White. Stayner took White, hitchiked to a town in California and turned him over to the police.

It reminded me so much of the recent case where Michael Devlin kidnapped Shawn Hornbeck in 2002. After 5 years Devlin kidnapped another boy, Ben Oweby, who was taken to the police and turned in by Hornbeck.

Here's what really struck me:

Parnell was sentenced to 7 years in prison, he served 5, was on parole for 2, then disappeared. (He was never even charged with any sexual offenses because people didn't talk about "it".)

Devlin was sentenced to 3 life terms.

Obviously in the 30 years seperating the cases a lot has changed. How did that change come about? I know not one person is ever responsible to such change but someone usually strikes the match that gets things moving. In these types of cases was it John Walsh, the father of Adam Walsh?

Mr. B and I were talking about match strikers -- MLK and civil rights, Betty Ford and alcoholism and breast cancer.

Who else struck matches that opened up the national dialogue on "we don't talk about "it"" topics?


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Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 04:00 pm
Here, lots of people.


In my state, a social worker named Janie Barbour really opened up dialogue about child abuse...I presume others did the same on a national scale.

A BUNCH of aboriginal people opened up the topic of racism and land rights....but our then premier, Don Dunstan, was the first white politician I know of to take it really seriously, and to enact land rights legislation.

Ditto with Don and de-criminalizing homosexual sex for men...(it wasn't illegal for women, because that really HAD been unthinkable!!!) Dunstan was well known (though not "out" as such) to be bi-sexual, a matter for vilification by the right.....but to have a bi-sexual premier in a wee state in Oz in the late sixties and early seventies was pretty amazing, and to me, marvellous.

A Torres Strait Islander man, Eddie Mabo REALLY took the national debate on land rights to the front pages....by going to the High Court and getting the pernicious legal fiction of terra nullius overturned.

he's a hero.

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Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 04:57 pm
Great reply, dlowan. Thanks.

Do you think social change a matter of the right voice at the right time? Someone comes along and personifies the message?
Reply Mon 29 Dec, 2008 11:49 pm
Katie Couric on colonoscopy exams.

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Reply Tue 30 Dec, 2008 04:06 am
Do you think social change a matter of the right voice at the right time? Someone comes along and personifies the message?

If I knew that I would be a wise woman!!!
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