Popular Posts

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Texas Slave Ranch; Modern Day Slave Trade; Madeleine McCann

I'm fascinated by the Texas Slave Ranch case, from the 1980's, where a family of Kerr County ranchers picked up hitchhikers, held them captive and forced them to work as slaves. Walter Wesley Ellebracht, Sr. and his son Junior could have stepped out of the movie Deliverance. The son's wife was just as depraved. They got their kicks beating, shocking, and otherwise tormenting their prisoners. Junior tied at least one woman to a bed and shocked her with a cattle prod while his wife Joyce watched. When it all unravelled, after a three month trial starring Richard Racehorse Haynes, a Kerr Co. jury gave the old man probation, the son 15 years, of which he served less than five, and one of the foreman 15 years. Joyce never went to trial. Two very prominent lawyers were indicted for evidence tampering (they removed evidence from the murder scene before the investigators found them) and their case disappeared from the district clerk's office. One question that I keep asking is how such a thing could happen in modern day Texas. The shocking thing is, human trafficking and slavery is still practiced. As Faulkner said, the past isn't dead; it isn't even past. Here are just two examples: From thd 07/12/12 The Independent, by Manuel Barcia, The slavery happening on our doorsteps is a collective problem The slavery happening on our doorsteps is a collective problem The slavery happening on our doorsteps is a collective problem Back in September 2011 a police raid on a travellers’ site in Bedfordshire uncovered a story that left many of us perplexed. It was revealed that a well-organised operation to turn rough-sleepers into modern-day slaves had been taking place. At the time, and according to the Thames Reach charity, more than 20 eastern and central European immigrants had ran away from similar gangs and contacted them searching for help and shelter. The Bedfordshire gang in particular seems to have run a profitable business. Once the homeless victims were picked up and promised jobs and good money, they were kidnapped – literally – and forced to live a life of servitude, isolated from the rest of the world, separated from their families and friends, thrown into crammed accommodations, and ordered to do hazardous and backbreaking jobs for the rest of their lives. The fact that all this was going on for years under the gaze of Bedfordshire police is difficult to digest, but in all fairness blaming the police would be a very easy route in this case. Bedfordshire residents who hired the services of these men must have come across their enslaved workers repeatedly during this time, and yet, somehow they failed to make enough noise about it to attract the attention of the authorities. Fellow travellers who might have been aware of this situation also failed to come forward and denounce what was going on, although one can guess than fear may have stopped them from doing so. The second piece is an update on the the mystery of a four year old girl who vanished from her parents' hotel room in Portugal while they were at dinner (pretty reckless parenting): New Report Finds Madeleine McCann Could Be Alive—And Living as Someone Else’s Daughter One theory is that the child was sold to a ring of pedophiles operating out of Morroco. And from The Sun: 30 kids lost in Portugal since Maddie went missing For an age progression photo, go to Findmadelaine.com I am not a member of any church or adherent to any organized religion. The one that comes closest to making sense is Zen Buddhism, when stripped to its basics, and it's pretty close to Greek stoicism. Once I got old enough to reason, I couldn't get past the problem the philosophers and theologians call theodicy - if God is all good and all powerful, how can such horrendous things happen to innocent children. I do believe that evil is a real force. And you never know where you'll encounter it.

1 comment:

  1. Slavery in its purist form exists in our Federal penitentiary system, where inmates must work for pennies per hour for a "for profit" company which has an inside deal with the Federal Government. Most of the inmates are casualties the of the war on drugs with long sentences.