Branding and Stigmatizing Sexual Offenders in America: Part 2

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Branding and Stigmatizing Sexual Offenders in America: Part 2

When you’re looking at a sex offender registry online, and you see a pedophile with several arrests

And many, many victims, right next to a picture of the 19 year-old with the 15 year-old girlfriend.

It becomes very difficult for the public to differentiate and know who’s truly

Dangerous, and how to protect themselves from these people.

Sex offender laws have unintended consequences

Dan Gunderson NPR News

Branding and Stigmatizing Sexual Offenders in America: Part 2

In today’s blog, the Court Jester will describe two examples of who the true sex offenders are, and the kinds of horrible offenses they perpetrate. The Jester will detail cases of violent pedophiles who sexually assaulted and killed their victims. Men like these deserve maximum sentences and chemical castration, if they are released from prison and have the opportunity to see unobstructed daylight and live in blessed freedom again. Crimes like these make a mockery of the incredibly long sentences given to prisoners in the United States who are convicted of victimless crimes and labeled sex offenders.

The first case is that of a 21 year-old Alex Whipple. Whipple had been staying in his sister’s home in Logan, Utah, a town located 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. His niece, five year-old Elizabeth “Lizzy” Shelly, went missing for five days. In an Associated Press article published under no author’s name on June 1, 2019 and entitled, “Utah police used new DNA test to link man to child’s death,” it was reported that police employed a Rapid DNA test to charge Alex Whipple with the death of his niece. The victim’s blood was found on Whipple’s watch and sweatshirt. Investigators also found a broken knife with the five year-old’s blood on it. The Rapid DNA test machine determined the results within hours, instead of weeks with traditional DNA testing. Another article without a cited author appeared in the Associated Press on June 5, 2019, under the title, “Uncle accused in girl’s death charged with sexual assault.” The AP noted that prosecutors filed additional charges against the 21 year-old. The upgraded charges came after the body of the little girl was discovered in a heavily wooded area only a block from her home. Alex Whipple drew a map of his niece’s location and gave it to his attorney, once prosecutors agreed to take the death penalty off the table. The state crime lab examined the victim’s body and determined she had been sexually assaulted before being stabbed to death. In addition to the previous charges of aggravated murder and child kidnapping, Alex Whipple has now been charged with child rape and sodomy.

The second case of sexual assaults and murder that the Court Jester will present is of prisoner Earl Webster Cox, who is currently incarcerated in a Missouri state prison. The Associated Press published an article by Jim Salter entitled, “Convicted pedophile charged in 1993 killing of Missouri girl” on June 5, 2019. Earl Cox 61, years old, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1982, Cox was dishonorably discharged from the United States Navy after he sexually molested four young girls he was babysitting while stationing in Germany. After returning to the United States, he founded an international child pornography ring named the Shadowz Brotherhood. The Brotherhood was penetrated by authorities and Cox was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison. Over 45,000 images of child pornography were found on his computer. The dismantling of the Brotherhood resulted in the arrests of 60 members in 11 different countries. Cox served his sentence and was awaiting his release when the state of Missouri classified him as “a sexually dangerous person likely to reoffend,” and kept him in prison. Cox appealed the classification, claiming that at the age of 61, his poor medical health would make him unlikely to reoffend. He did not deny that he had been a pedophile and child molester. His appeals for release have been unsuccessful.

A new development will ensure Cox’s lifelong imprisonment. The St. Charles County Missouri crime lab reexamined the tragic case of Angie Housman, a nine year-old girl from St. Ann, Missouri who had been abducted and murdered in 1993. Previously undetected DNA was found on her underwear. It was compared to a national database, and the results matched the DNA of Earl Webster Cox. St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar announced the new charges against Cox – first degree murder, first degree kidnapping and sodomy. The details of the crime are particularly heinous and poignant. Angie was abducted less than one block from her home, after leaving her school bus on November 18, 1993. After a desperate search involving hundreds of volunteers, her body was found 20 miles away in the August Busch wildlife area by a deer hunter. It was determined that Angie died just hours before her discovery, after enduring nine days of unrelenting torture. She had been sexually assaulted, starved and handcuffed. Except for her nose, her head was covered in duct tape. It was evident that Angie tried desperately to get free of her confinement. Lohman said, “She was dehydrated, malnourished, and she was alive when she was left out in the woods to die.” He added this. “We have every reason to believe Cox was not the only suspect.” After enduring unspeakable torture, Angie Housman died only hours before her rescuer could bring her safely to emergency care. Angie’s mother, Diane Bone, died of cancer at the age of 52 and never saw her daughter’s killer brought to justice. Her stepfather, Ron Bone, spoke with the Associated Press. “I can’t say anything about it (the legal case against Earl Webster Cox) until he’s found guilty.”

The current cases in the U.S. criminal justice system demonstrate the lengths that predatorial pedophiles will go in order to satisfy their urges. Alex Whipple had no criminal history, but faces being branded forever as a violent predator and pedophile. Earl Webster Cox demonstrated throughout his adulthood an obsessive desire to exploit and abuse children. These are two egregious examples of people who deserve the lifelong judgment of being classified as sex offenders. The many people I have met who are nonviolent and incapable of harming kids are not in the same legal or moral category as the men depicted in this story. But in the United States criminal justice system, they are given the same pejorative label. In order to respond fairly to our fellow Americans, it is important to look past categorical judgments and realize that most “sex offenders” are not who and what you may assume they are.

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