Terry Timm, the woman from our front page story today, is really brave to have come forward and shared her story with us.
I’ve been in this business for a long time, heard some wild stories from many, many people. It’s really very rare in cases involving child sex crimes for anyone to talk to a newspaper about much of anything. Usually we get our information from the police, who by their very nature often withhold a lot of details from the public, and for noble reasons, such as protecting victims and their families.
Here we have a victim almost 35 years removed from her torment and yet she felt compelled to reach out in an effort not just to ease her own pain but to potentially help ease the pain of others.
For that we can’t think of any words to express our respect and appreciation. Timm might just be saving some girl’s life right now.
Think about that.
I can’t imagine what Timm’s childhood must’ve been like. And when she says she couldn’t ever tell anyone what was done to her at the hands of Perry Hood, I believe her.
How often do we hear similar stories. How about the victims of Jerry Sandusky, the pedophile at the center of the Penn State scandal that broke in 2011? How long did he rape young boys before he was caught?
To believe Timm is to believe that Hood is woven from the same cloth as Sandusky. He might be exactly what she says, a sophisticated child predator with Ph.D. credentials who happened to find a home in Nye County where his activities would go unnoticed for almost 10 years.
It makes sense to prey on children who may already be victims. How easy it would be for a smart defense attorney to sell a jury of the falsehood or confusion of a victim who’s already been shattered once by abuse. This is particularly true considering that most physical evidence in a child sex case has to be collected in 72 hours after the assault, otherwise it might be lost forever.
Think about that. Victims have 72 hours to report it if police have much hope of collecting physical evidence.
Without physical evidence, chances of a successful prosecution are slim.
One only has to look at the number of unsuccessful prosecutions right here in Pahrump lately. Juries delivered not guilty verdicts in the last two cases I covered for this paper. The victims came forward years after the incidents. The district attorney’s office, rightly so in my opinion, almost always has to prosecute these — do you ignore a child’s plea because there’s no soiled panties or ripped private parts to show a jury. Hell no.
Do I think the kids lied in those cases where there wasn’t physical evidence? Hell no. Do I think prosecutors had zip to go on? Yep. And the juries made the right call, though it is one heartbreaking scene to watch a young girl fall apart in a courtroom lobby, her family too, when she learns that coming forward, testifying, reliving the nightmare was near fruitless.
Who knows what will become of Hood. How many girls has it been? How many will come forward now? Is it one of our neighbor’s daughter who he touched or photographed?
Gut wrenching for sure.
I pray whomever reads this or especially Timm’s story on our front page, if you are a victim of sexual abuse, please, please tell someone. It not only will help you, it could save someone else’s life.
Just ask Timm how she feels not coming forward sooner. She’ll tell you it’s a regret she will live with forever.
Her saving grace, though, might be that she finally did.
About Willow Creek…
Some of you won’t buy a paper next week because you will still have a lot of Mark Waite’s story on Willow Creek left to read.
His exhaustive treatment of that travesty smack in the middle of town should wake up some of our politicians, at least I hope it does, to the fact that as a community something needs to be done with that property, something productive for the community and for the people living nearby.
Now, I know some of our wingnut leaders are more worried about UN troops coming in and seizing their guns tomorrow than finding real solutions to issues affecting their community, but I urge all of our county commissioners and town board members to put their precious little heads together and come up with a smart plan to fix this horrible, awful blight on our community.
It irks me and many others that we are so concerned with fixing roads and buying utilities (ask yourself who really benefits from both of those endeavors) and yet we let some pustulent boil like Willow Creek continue to fester for so long. Now that Willow Creek’s owner is out of business (see ya sir) and the golf course soon up for grabs, maybe the county or town or state or someone who can actually do something productive with that property can step in.
Remember, if you build it, they will come. Except for Harley World. They probably won’t come for that.
I keep hearing how Front Site wants the public to pony up the down payment on a new resort project on its property. Why is it asking too much for our leaders to consider the same on Willow Creek. If I’m going to spend my money spurring economic development, I’d rather do it near my neighbor’s house than near some jack rabbit holes on the California border. At least Willow Creek is actually in the town of Pahrump and might actually benefit Pahrump businesses, unlike some of those isolated gun and Ferrari clubs out yonder. That’s just a thought, no offense to gun clubbers and sports car enthusiasts.
Appoint a board, hold special meetings, let’s all duke it out and do something special with Willow Creek.
If I have to buy it myself, I will. Maybe I’ll start my own gun club, put some silhouettes of UN troops out on the green and let em have it with both barrels. Yee haw!