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Check out the pictures posted today — they are from our journey to cover the massacre at the Amish school in Pennsylvania. We cover these horrible crimes all the time and each one seems like the worst, but executing little girls at a chalkboard has to be the meanest.
The pics posted are merely to give you a bit of an idea of the behind the scenes coverage. You will see the massive turnout by the media as it attempts to convey to you the news of this horrible crime. By the way, my experience has been, despite the fierce competition between news organizations, on these remote locations people from different news organizations are very helpful to each other. We are all confined in a small space attempting to do our best jobs... and we are smart to cooperate with each other.
It was a bit odd being in this Amish community because it was a clash in time. On the one hand, you see people who grow their own food, use horses for transportation, don't use electricity, etc., and then you have us: a collection of multi-million dollar satellite trucks, laptops with wireless connections to the Internet, etc. I think everyone of us admired the Amish and their way of life... I know I could not live as they do, but in some ways I wish I could.
Today in New York City we celebrate FNC's 10 years on the air! We are taping a panel this morning with many familiar FOX faces — not sure when we are going to air it, but it should be fun. My guess is that I won't be seated next to Bill O'Reilly because he is very, very tall and I am... well, "vertically challenged." It would silly if the two of us were seated next to each other — we would look pretty silly. Everyone on the panel, as best I can count, has been at FNC for 10 years. I am the newcomer with just under five years on the air at FNC. Tonight is the celebration at FOX in NYC, hence the reason I am in NYC for the party. I am delighted to be part of this celebration.
By the way, while I am writing about anniversaries: Yesterday was the 11-year anniversary of the launch of the show I did with Roger Cossack at CNN called, "Burden of Proof." I called Roger to talk about the show and wish him happy anniversary... we had many good times together and Roger is like a brother to me. Our launch show had Johnnie Cochran on it… it was Johnnie's first interview after the O.J. Simpson verdict which had occurred just hours before. And if you are thinking, How come those people sat in the back row on "Burden of Proof", don't ask Roger or me. We could never figure it out either. It was not our idea. Roger and I scheduled a lunch date — like I said, Roger is like a brother to me. Here is one other bit of behind the scenes: One of my producers on "On the Record" was a booker on "Burden of Proof" with me at CNN!)
Now for some e-mails — a few viewers have written me that they want more e-mails posted, so lots today:
E-mail No. 1
Am horrified of this nutcase in Amish country at the school yesterday in PA. I think we definitely need to up security in all the schools and maybe like another viewer commented, allow teachers to carry weapons. Enough of this having school liaison officers roam the halls, obviously in Colorado that wasn't good enough either as he was not in the hallway where the shooter came in anyway. I can not believe this is happening all the time, when we were kids, we never had to worry about this, just the boogeyman or some guy trying to give you candy dressed in a trench coat!
E-mail No. 2
This was such a tragic, senseless, horrific crime. He chose the Amish because he felt that without their modern means of communication, he could carry thru his plan uninterrupted. I don't feel he had any grievance with the Amish. They were just convenient.
I wish my culture, "The English," would learn something from the Amish. They won't sue anyone over this like we would. They accept the fact that life happens and, thru prayer and support, they will get thru this. It's a lesson we could all learn, but in our society, money heals all wounds.
E-mail No. 3
Have these people you travel with ever heard of removing their clothing before they go to bed or do you make ladies and men room together? I have more then once worn the same clothes two days in a row, it all depends on what I have been doing, of course I believe in taking a shower most every morning.
E-mail No. 4
It has always seemed ludicrous to me that we create these "gun-free zones" such as schools. If I am angry or mentally unbalanced and want to wreak havoc or harm a bunch of people, where do you think I'm going? I am going to a place where I know there is nobody to shoot back, and I can have my way. Duh! Teachers and other staff members at schools need to be armed. We seem to have lost our common sense in this country.
E-mail No. 5
Did Roberts only have sons? Was he angry that he was robbed of his own daughter to molest? Just wondering....
E-mail No. 6
Greta, my intuition is working overtime concerning this guy. I believe the Bailey, Colorado Platte Valley High School news story triggered him and brought forth action from his 2 years of dreaming about a return to life of molestation. Would not take too much time to plan and buy few supplies he had with him. I really think when he say and heard about the female sexual assaults in Colorado his overdrive button was activated and his dark side took over.
As far as his being angry with God about the loss of his own prematurely born daughter, I am sure he felt God was punishing him for molesting the 3 and 4 yr old relatives when he was age 12 and his punishment was having his own female child snatched away from him.
Just a couple of thoughts but I really sense I am close to pegging him on his actions.
E-mail No. 7
Why does it matter "why" the young man killed the children in Amish country? Isn't it enough that he was sick or evil or mentally ill? Couldn't you add that clearly, he did it because he wanted to? That's what he decided. His chosen course of action.
Asking scores of people why they think he made a particular decision or took a certain course of action makes no logical sense at all. Does it? Is there a purpose to be served? Some journalistic credibility to that?
Perhaps parents need to tell their children that at times, things just don't make sense. That's what differentiates we sane folks the others.
If you would make sense of his crime or come to terms with the "why" — wouldn't you be as sick as the killer?
Just food for thought.
E-mail No. 8
Just some thoughts and questions to ponder: Has anyone followed up on the rumor that people heard Anna [Nicole Smith] screaming at a third person (Howard?) that it was their fault? That may not come out until the inquest, but if that is true:
1) Could that be the reason for Anna's "amnesia" about the "night" of the incident? I can see her blanking out the next morning when she found Daniel, etc., but I doubt she would blank out the previous night — it sounds like a cover up to me.
2) And if Howard (and possibly Anna herself) gave Daniel some medications/drugs, could the alleged "commitment ceremony" be their way of keeping Anna from testifying against Howard, or vice versa? I haven't run into this in my years as a Paralegal, but I, for whatever reason, seem to think that husbands and wives cannot be compelled to testify against each other.
3) And I think the "timing of the baby", and Howard's claiming to be the father, is the cover up or excuse for them to get married.
4) The "Commitment Ceremony", instead of "marriage vows" and a license, may be further evidence of a cover up vs. a "true" marriage, and it could be enough to help them for the time being (through the inquest) - how long could the possibility of charges hang over their heads if the authorities decide against an inquest at this time?
5) That baby doesn’t look at all like Howard, but could easily pass as the other guy's child — if the baby had black hair, I might buy it!
I really don't want Howard and Anna to suffer any further, but "What a tangled web we weave!"
Love your show!
E-mail No. 9
Greta and Bill,
The tragedy which occurred in Pennsylvania was less likely a "copycat" scenario. Rather it was more likely an event which was TRIGGERED by the Colorado incident. Charles Carl Roberts was following his own personal script to carry out this horror.
Santa Clarita, CA
E-mail No. 10
I think Charles Carl Roberts may have had another reason for focusing on the Amish children. In his letters, he says he hates God. I am wondering if that's the reason he killed them. They live for and love God, so maybe it made him hate them, too.
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