Cedar Rapids Gazette, June 24, 1974, Page 8

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette June 24, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 8 The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Mon., Jane 24. 1974 Trial Exposes Child Abuse Virginia Williams, 13, and her I I -year-old brother, Wesley, are pictured while waiting to testify in the child abuse trial of their former foster parents last week. The children told of being tied to their beds at night and being fed a diet that consisted primarily of oatmeal and peanut butler sandwiches. By Strut Douthat POINT PLEASANT. W. Va (AP) — Times were tough for .Joseph and Lillian Mitchell back in the fall of 1967. He was hobbled by various ailments and was working only a few days a month, driving a truck for a neighbor; she took housekeeping jobs to supplement their meager in come. The Mitchells, farm folk, lived in the county community of Loon, a few miles east of this Ohio river town. They had no indoor plumbing and the house was heated by an open fireplace. It was during this period that the Mitchells — a childless couple approaching middle age — applied to the state welfare department to become foster parents, a program whereby participants receive a nominal sum for the upkeep of children who have nowhere else to go or who have been removed from homes with environments deemed unsuitable by the state. The application was accepted almost immediately and by February of that year they began caring for a 4-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister Plaque Awarded The years passed and the children, Wesley and Virginia Williams, attended the local grade school. In the spring of last year, the Mitchells were awarded a plaque from the welfare    department, commemorating their nearly seven years of caring for Wesley and Virginia Then. one day last December, Wesley — by now a freckle-faced fourth grader — arrived at school complaining of numbness in hts hands At the prodding of Leon elementary school principal, Lois Shinn, Wesley — who occasionally was reprimanded for hiding food from the school lunch program in his desk — told a story that sent Mrs Shinn scurrying to the welfare department. Society for Women Features Bridge Marion (Toh Winners in a Mitchell movement game played Saturday at 12:30 at the YWCA were North-south Mrs. Richard Swarzentruber and Clyde Nowlin, first, and Mrs. C E. Henna and Mrs. I D. Long. Manchester, second; east-west — Mrs. George Jenkins and Mrs. James Slaman, first, and Robert Gardiner and Nickolas Lillios, second. The next scheduled game will be played Wednesday at 7:30 at the YWCA. West Side Club The quarterly club championship was held Sunday at Welty-Way. Winners in a Mitchell movement were: North-south — Mrs. F. G. Johnson and Mrs. Howard Wilfong. first, and Mary Nash and August Richers, second; east-west — Richard Clinite and David Albrecht, first, and Bill Jennings and Keith Hanson, second. Overall Winners: Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Wilfong tied for first place with Mr. Clinite and Mr. Albrecht and Miss Nash and Mr. Richers placed second There will be no games at Welty-W ay this week due to the Iowa regional bridge tournament in Des Moines. Nursing Class To Hear Dr, Cook Dr Kenneth M. Cook, professor of biology at Coe college, will be the keynote speaker at commencement exercises for St. Luke’s Methodist hospital school of professional nursing. The commencement will take place Friday evening at St. Paul's United Methodist church. Before joining the Coe staff in 1954, Dr. Cook served as lecturer, instructor and industrial researcher at the University of Pittsburgh where he received his doctoral degree in 1953. Author of 17 published scientific papers, his 1954 research project dealing with perfecting a test for the early detection of pulmonary diseases was sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation of Medical Research. In 1956 he was named an Industrial Medical Assn award winner for co-authoring an article, “Partitional Respirometry”. Dr. Cook In 1957 he was awarded a research grant by the American Physiological Society for summer study at the University of Florida with funds provided by the National Heart Institute. Included in the program at which 60 nurses will receive their diplomas will be Dr. Paul Orcutt, president of St. Luke's medical staff; Dr. John A. Wilkinson, director of the school of nursing, and Louis B. Blair, superintendent of St. Luke’s hospital r- love is , . . helping him row the boat. CORRECTION The 40th wedding anniversary of Mr and Mrs Lloyd K Homes, 308 Red Fox road SE, was incorrectly listed as being celebrated Sunday in The Sunday Gazette The open house is planned next Sunday at the Roosevelt hotel from 2 to 4 Their seven grandchildren were also omitted from the story. Golf ] ABWA IM tog U % OC* AH 1974 bv to*    I.m (barter The chapter will celebrate its I 19th anniversary Wednesday at the Longbranch supper club | Social hour at 5:45 is followed by dinner at 6 30 Speaker will i be Gary Giles of Bell I Telephone Co. His topic: “Red j or Green. You Decide". The* woman of the year will bel elected. Mrs. Steven Stendel! will give invocation and Mrs. Wayne Bryant will give vocational talk. Benediction byi Mrs Harold Herrington Hostesses: Mrs. Stendel, Mrs. Bryant and Mrs. Herrington Ellis Medalist for the weekend event was Mrs Ed Cole. Winners of the handicap event were: Mrs. Gilbert Knott, first, and Mrs. Robert Condon, second Other winners were: Mrs. Richard Sprau, Mrs Don Terrace and Mrs Ruth Madsen Miss Sharon Yana won the pro prize Mrs. A A. Griffin had a birdie and approaches were sunk by Mrs. Forrest Ainsworth and Mrs Sprau. Twin Pines Eighteen players participated in the twilight play Sunday. Prizes were awarded to Mrs. William Schwitzer, Gilbert Kingery, Mr and Mrs Don Gibbs, Ted Campbell and Mrs Max Scott. Mr and Mrs Campbell were hosts at their home, 4230 Culver street NE They were assists by Mr aru Mrs Hon LaFevre Patricio A. Fritz Becomes Bride The Rev. Cedric Lofdahl performed the ll o’clock ceremony Saturday which united in marriage Miss Patricia Ann Fritz and Charles LeRoy Henecke. The ceremony took place at Holy Redeemer Lutheran church. Parents of the bridal couple are Mr. and Mrs. Virgel DeWight Fritz, 1509 B avenue SW, and Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Henecke, 820 Wiley boulevard MW For her wedding, the bride hose an empire A-line gown of lace over taffeta featuring lantern sleeves. She wore a fulllength veil edged with matching lace and carried a bouquet of carnations and roses. Mrs. Jovon Schultz attended her sister as matron of honor and Mr. Schultz was best man A reception for 95 guests was given at the Schultz’ home, 5021 Montclair drive NW. after the ceremony. * * * Bn return from a wedding trip to Greene, the newlyweds will reside at the Wiley boulevard address. The bride is employed by Highway Equipment Co., and the bridegroom by FMC Corp., Crane and Excavator division. MISS ANITA JOHNSON FETED AT SHOWER Mrs. Glenn W'allace and Mrs Charles Dalcom were co-hos-tesses Friday evening at a bridal shower given for Miss Anita Johnson, 1221 Third avenue SE The shower, given at the Verhille agency in Marion, was attended by 24 guests. Miss Johnson, daughter of the Donald Johnsons, 600 South Eleventh street, Marion, is the July 14 bride-elect of Dean Daniels, 222 Twenty-ninth street drive SE. He is the son of the Albert E. Daniels of Delhi. Need Homemaking Help? ios’s Home Service Deportment is happy to help you solve a homemaking problem or to answer a question. We're available to tell you how to prepare food better, wash dishes and laundry more efficiently, or give you good answers to any other household questions you may have. Stop in and see us in our new office on the ground floor of ie: Tower, Third Avenue and First street, S E. Instant Bnergy Iowa Blectnc tight and po**' company figures confuse you? Elaine Powers presents the Cost of Losing Index. Us. Int In' mimtur I. pnignmi'* to our- Them. a nuaih (lur Viiairmi.ao aaniui pmraugr rue I. laliautrd 'biti <6dan * **tki I sr af ait rn* hi ars Hourly " It jib Iioir'VvkMM* ftrrvrtul J Oral we to iadivrfioal amis tree fitful* laalyut jail rail When a body needs a friend (at a price any body can afford j. Elaine Bowers Figure Salons* Mon. thru Fri. 9 AM-9 PM , Saturday 9-4 Town & Country Shopping Conter PHONE 364-9909 or 364-9929 Income Source According to Wesley, Mrs. Shinn testified in circuit court here last week, the Mitchells, whose primary source of income during the last seven years had been the money they received to feed, house and clothe the children, had: — Tied him and his sister to their beds with a rope most of the nearly 2,500 nights the children had been with the Mitchells. Wesley was bound hand and waist and Virginia waist only. — Had kept the children tied in bed and unable to use the toilet from 8:30 in the evening to 6:30 a m. on school days, and until as late as 9:30 a m. on weekends and during the summer. — Had kept the children in a darkened room latched from the outside. — Had fed them a diet consisting mainly of oatmeal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. — Had threatened to beat them if they ever disclosed their plight. — And had generally mistreated and abused them both physically and psychologically ever since they toddled through the door of the Mitchell home. Child Abuse Charge Mrs. Shinn notified the state welfare department and an investigator immediately removed the children from the home. The Mitchells, since divorced, were indicted on charges of child abuse, a misdemeanor in West Virginia and punishable by rot more than one year in jail. "My mom tied me up," he whispered in response to a question. His diet, he told the jurors, consisted mainly of oatmeal and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. “About once a year we got chicken," he said. Virginia, a pretty girl with brown pigtails, followed her little brother to the witness box. She sat down slowly, careful not to wrinkle her new plaid dress, and began playing nervously with her pigtails as she awaited the questions. ‘‘Sometimes we’d get potatoes and bread,” testified Virginia, who said she had gained more than IO pounds since leaving the Mitchell home. Asked why she never told anyone of the situation, she put her face down into her arms and began to cry “Because my dad said he’d beat me if I told anybody," she choked out between sobs Hides Rope Burns She testified later she had purposely tried to hide from her schoolmates the permanent rope burn around her waist. She said she was ashamed of the l^-inch-wide ring around her abdomen, During the morning testimony, Mrs. Shinn told of how she felt Wesley had suffered psychological damage A former welfare department caseworker said he had visited the Mitchell home some Kl times during the year he had been assigned to the home. The worker, David Lyon, said he had never witnessed any evidence of mistreatment. He also acknowledged that the welfare    department caseworker assigned to the Mitchell home had never been in the house during the six months the Williams children were her responsibility. Wesley said he could never remember living with his natural parents. He began his testimony referring to his former foster parents as "Mom” and "Dad.” Later in his testimony it was "Mr. Mitchell and Mrs. Mitchell.” Joseph Mitchell, a stooped, bespectacled man of 54 who walks with a pronounced limp, seemed bewildered by what he was hearing. He repeatedly cupped his hand behind his hearing aid and strained forward in his seat. Lillian Mitchell was more demonstrative than her former husband. She vigorously shook her head, causing her long, gray ponytail to swish back and forth, when the children testified of being tied and otherwise mistreated. And she huddled urgently with her attorney as Dr. Roy Eshenhauer, the Point Pleasant physician who examined the children, testified he believed the boy-had suffered from malnutrition and the girl’s rope burns were permanent. Each of the witnesses testified he or she had never seen the Mitchells mistreat Wesley and Virginia. They also said they had seen the children eat nourishing food other than sandwiches and oatmeal. Testifying in his own behalf, Mitchell said he had never threatened the children and had spanked or whipped them only when they needed it, “like any other father.” He said he had never been in the children’s bedroom after they were put to bed and therefore could neither refute nor confirm the children’s accusations that Mrs. Mitchell had tied them with ropes she kept beneath their mattresses. Mitchell did say, however, that it was his wife who had put the hook latch on the outside of the bedroom Virginia and Wesley shared. "They never complained to me about nothing,” he said. Locked In Room The prosecutor asked Mitchell — who said the children had been underfed when they arrived at his home and had since fared well — if locking Wesley and Virginia into their room wasn’t potentially dangerous. "What if the house had caught fire, what would they have done?" the prosecutor asked. "Well,” Mitchell responded with a shrug, “they could have hollered for us." Mrs. Mitchell was the last person to take the stand. She denied all the charges and said she felt she had taken good care of the children She said the state welfare department apparently had thought so, too. Mrs. Mitchell, 43, said she had never seen the permanent scar that circles Virginia’s waist but added that while she had prepared the children’s bath water she had not personally investigated for several years whether they had actually bathed and therefore had not closely inspected their bodies. However, she said the ring was not apparent when she and her mother had observed Virginia trying on dresses about a year ago. Mrs. Mitchell admitted spanking the children but said she had never punished them excessively nor had she threatened them. She said she had put the hook latch on the outside of the door to ensure the children wouldn’t climb out of their beds during the night and get too near the fire. "I guess,” she concluded after pondering the question further, "I guess you could say I was an overprotective mother.” Moves for Mistrial At this point, both sides rested their cases and Judge Thompson asked the prosecutor if he wanted to call any rebuttal witnesses. When the prosecutor said he wanted Lyon to come back to the witness box, defense lawyer .1. G. Anderson, a big bear of a man with a crewcut, jumped up and said he would move for a mistrial if the state, having rested its case, tried to elicit any direct testimony from Lyon. "No rebuttal?" quipped the prosecutor, who for the last two hours had obviously become increasingly confident. In the aside with Anderson, the prosecuting attorney apparently was feigning surprise. It was a little private joke in which he chided the defense attorney for not accusing the state of attempting to impeach the credibility of Mrs. Mitchell, whose testimony conflicted with some of that given earlier by Lyon. "Your honor, I object," Anderson said to the judge. "The jury heard that and I think you ought to declare a mistrial." The judge pondered the point for a moment, called the attorneys to the bench for a conference, and then declared a mistrial. "I was just afraid some of the members of the jury might have been prejudiced by the prosecutor’s remark," he explained later. He also said the case would be reset for later in the current court term. The Mitchells showed no emotion at the judge’s action. They filed out of the courtroom separately, after the children had left, apparently bound for the new home in which they were placed after being taken from the Mitchells. The spectators were the last to leave. "You know," said a woman as she walked out with a friend. “I never heard the word ‘love’ mentioned once all day.” Environmental Training NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The Swedish International Development agency has gi-en the United Nations environment program $600.00(1 to help finance environmental training in Africa. The money will go to the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning in Dakar, Senegal. Open Monday* cmd Thursdays until 9:00 PM SALE! Sample BRIDAL GOWNS BRIDESMAID DRESSES VALDES TO $195 One large group of discontinued styles in a good selection of sizes Many year ’round fabrics included See them today and use our convenient UYAWAY plan Bridal Salon 2nd Floor By Abigail Van Buren DEAR ABBY: Harvey is 76 and I am a few years younger We’ve been married for two years, both having lost our mates in death My problem is his interest in other women He says he just likes to "talk ” We went to the Bahamas for a holiday and he took up with an old maid he met in the hotel lobby. She was with a tour, but found Harvey so fascinating she stayed behind and let the group go on without her. (Now don’t tell me ail he gave her was conversation.) When Harvey was in the hospital for a few days for tests he called up an old girl friend and she came to visit him. Even with me in the room he held her hand and they talked over old times. The head nurse told him he couldn’t have any more visitors after that because it ran up his blood pressure. You can imagine how humiliated I was. Divorce is not the answer. If it weren’t for this thing he has about other women he’d be a good man. I’m considering inviting two or three women over every day and let him get all talked out. Should I, or not? HURT DEAR HURT: I wouldn’t. Harvey might have more con vernation in him than you think. * * * DEAR ABBY: What can be done about a neighbor who comes over every day as soon as I come home from work at 3 45 ? Her husband travels, so she stays for hours. I have no time for myself and absolutely no privacy. Sometimes I’ve had a hard day at the office and would like to lie down for an hour before I start preparing dinner, but I can’t because* she’s here. She brings her two preschool children along, which makes matters worse because she doesn’t discipline them, and they run wild. Otherwise she is a good neighbor and does lots of little favors for me. I haven’t wanted to say anything that might hurt her feelings, yet these poorly timed visits are getting to me. Any suggestions? WEARY DEAR WEARY: Yes. Tell her you sometimes like to lie down after work so please telephone before coming aver. I don’t know what "little favors” she does for you, hut you’re paying a big price for them. Is It worth your privacy? Think about it. DIANE MCMANN FETED AT BRIDAL SHOWER Miss Diane McMann. July 12 bride-elect of Randy Stodola, son of Mr. and Mrs Stanley Stodola, 2614 Fifth avenue SE was honored Sunday afternoon at a miscellaneous bridal shower given by Mrs Richard McMann, 616 Twenty-ninth street NE. Mrs. Eileen Mc Mann was co-hostess to the 25 guests. The bride-elect is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Francis McMann, 372 Nineteenth street NE PEG’S Beaute Salon Personalized Make-up with Instruction Procedure Chart Creative Hair Styling Coloring Hair Straightening Body Permanents Our Specialty Boys’ Hairstyling Your Full Sorvico Salon 1t2 29th Street HE 364-4161 ;

  • A A. Griffin
  • Abigail Van Buren
  • Albert E. Daniels
  • Bill Jennings
  • C E. Henna
  • Charles Leroy Henecke
  • Clyde Nowlin
  • David Albrecht
  • David Lyon
  • Diane Mcmann
  • Donald Johnsons
  • Ed Cole
  • Eileen Mc Mann
  • Elaine Bowers
  • Elmer Henecke
  • Forrest Ainsworth
  • Francis Mcmann
  • G. Anderson
  • Gilbert Kingery
  • Gilbert Knott
  • Harold Herrington
  • Howard Wilfong
  • Joseph Mitchell
  • Jovon Schultz
  • Kenneth M. Cook
  • Lillian Mitchell
  • Lois Shinn
  • Louis B. Blair
  • Mary Nash
  • Mrs Charles Dalcom
  • Mrs Don Gibbs
  • Mrs Don Terrace
  • Mrs Max Scott
  • Mrs Richard Mcmann
  • Mrs Ruth Madsen Miss Sharon Yana
  • Mrs Stanley Stodola
  • Nickolas Lillios
  • Patricia Ann Fritz
  • Paul Orcutt
  • Randy Stodola
  • Richard Clinite
  • Richard Sprau
  • Richard Swarzentruber
  • Robert Condon
  • Robert Gardiner
  • Roy Eshenhauer
  • Steven Stendel
  • Ted Campbell
  • Virgel Dewight Fritz
  • Wayne Bryant

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: June 24, 1974

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