Tag Archives: Sexually Violent Predator Kerry Whitfield

John Tweedy column in the Daily Camera, and my e-mail reply

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING SEX OFFENDERS!

By Max R. Weller

Read the commentary here. Copied below in its entirety:

John Tweedy For the Camera

John Tweedy For the Camera

“Were you ever raped?”

It was a terrible thing to shout from the back of the middle-school auditorium to the beleaguered spokeswoman trying to calm a frightened and angry crowd, assembled in response to the notification that “sexually violent predator” Christopher Lawyer has been released back into Boulder. But the question touched on an emotional reality missing from the various official efforts to reassure us that his current residence at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless is the least bad option available. Under the fear, dancing like electricity down the crowded aisles, breathed something heavier: some members of the audience themselves survived sexual assault.

I’m one of them. One summer afternoon in 1966, I was raped by a man who worked for my family. Hurt, scared, and ashamed, I never told my parents. The man quickly disappeared and was never confronted or caught. I can only assume he assaulted other kids. I was five.

That day privately but profoundly configured parts of my life, as the experience of rape at any age will do.

Thus, the label “sexually violent predator” gets my attention. But the work I’ve done to reconstruct my own history and heal my own trauma makes me especially aware that Mr. Lawyer is not simply a “predator.” He is a human being. Certainly complex — probably damaged, probably ill, hopefully struggling with remorse for a crime beyond cruelty. Assuming the best of him, he is no longer a rapist-in-waiting, but a man wanting a chance to begin anew. Assuming the worst, he will always be, as his label declares, a violent predator. The state of Colorado has put him through a process indicating the former. The community fears the latter. Like many, I do not understand his release.

Where do we go from here? The hard choice is the right one: we should accept him. By accept, I do not mean to forgive, or condone, or consider him “OK.” I do mean that we should realize, or remember, a few things.

First, beyond the danger he may individually pose, Mr. Lawyer’s presence among us symbolizes a more diffuse monstrosity that no public meeting can expel. The urge to rape blights the souls of men in many stations of society. It may stem from their own victimization, from mental illness, or from something else we helplessly call “evil.” Some rapists are sociopaths and perpetrate without qualm or remorse. Others battle against their secret selves with outward achievement and selflessness. Some rapists are homeless. Others are Ralphie-handlers, choirboys, star athletes, teachers or priests, whose cases we find “inexplicable.” Almost none announce in advance that they are “predators.” We can try to cast Mr. Lawyer and his label from our midst. But the rapists among us — and the sicknesses they carry — remain.

Second, the presenters at the community meeting were right: it is better to have Mr. Lawyer in a known location, with his ankle-monitor charged and his check-in bed established, than it is to have him calling in every night from a pay phone at an intersection, only to vanish. That’s what one of Boulder’s two other sexually violent predators currently does. Yes, we do have two others, and one of them is homeless, location unknown. I find that scarier than Mr. Lawyer’s situation, and yet there’s no uproar about it at all.

Third, he is a human being, and he has a legal right to exist. Each of us has the right to decide, based on our own history, how we feel about him today. But personal feelings should not dictate whom we include within our legal community. Christopher Lawyer is from here, and the law decrees that upon his release from custody he be returned here. A person whom the state has granted liberty has the right to exercise it, and a community that respects human rights should respect the rights of all. All means all.

I consider how I will feel, having published this, if Mr. Lawyer rapes again. The thought sickens me. I think of people who work in law enforcement and criminal justice, who face such prospects every day. In Mr. Lawyer’s mugshot, he is smiling. Perhaps it’s the vacant grin of a sociopath. Perhaps he’s hoping that a smile will persuade us that he’s committed to no longer being the person his label proclaims. Either way, he’s embarked on a journey back into the world. For all our sakes, I wish him success.

Email: john@landlockedfilms.com 

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My e-mail to Mr. Tweedy is copied below:

Dear Mr. Tweedy,

In reply to your column in the Daily Camera — it’s very frustrating for me to read yet another well-intended opinion from somebody who has a false impression of what really happens at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. I speak from years of experience as a homeless man here in Boulder, CO who knows about BSH firsthand over that stretch of time.

NOBODY on staff there actually has either the training or experience to serve as a de facto corrections officer. A homeless shelter is not a halfway house. In fact, Christopher Lawyer will not be watched at all, and if he chooses to abscond from the Shelter only his monitoring device will alert the authorities. We must note recent history involving another Sexually Violent Predator, Kerry Whitfield.

I’m bothered by your statement, “I consider how I will feel, having published this, if Mr. Lawyer rapes again.” How will the new victims of Mr. Lawyer feel? Why should anybody give a tinker’s damn how you might feel? This is so very Boulder on your part, Mr. Tweedy. We have every right to protect the most vulnerable among us from predators!

You’re also overlooking the fact that Mr. Lawyer has his well-connected mother attempting to influence public officials on his behalf. Your “compassion ” is superfluous. Mr. Lawyer should NOT have been paroled this soon.

Please reconsider your support for the dark side . . .

Max

There you have it, and now I think I’ll go into the restroom here at our Main Library and puke. The thought that a vulnerable homeless woman or female staff member at BSH could be attacked next is nauseating — Mr. Lawyer doesn’t even need to abscond from the facility! Mr. Tweedy needs an attitude adjustment, along with many other Boulderites suffering from what I’ll call Compassion Derangement Syndrome. A pox on all of ’em!

Greg Harms shows no remorse for enabling SVP Kerry Whitfield to commit new crimes in Boulder, CO

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, STOP ENABLING CORRUPT NONPROFITS LIKE BOULDER SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS!

By Max R. Weller

Boulder Shelter for the Homeless executive director Greg Harms is a slickster with words, using them in commentaries published in the Daily Camera to create false impressions in the minds of his readers — although it’s without doubt true that nobody else is as impressed by Harms’ efforts, written or otherwise, as he is himself. I now believe the poor man is deluded . . .

See: The best option in a difficult situation from the DC. Excerpt copied below, which is what I’ll focus on in this post:

The reason the shelter accepts local sex offenders is that law enforcement believes, and we concur, that the community is safer when offenders are sleeping at the shelter rather than living on the streets. When someone has served their time and is released from prison, it is up to the state Parole Board to determine the conditions of the release. Parolees are released back to the location of their prosecution, which, in Mr. Lawyer’s case, is Boulder County. Neither the shelter nor local law enforcement has any control over the conditions of the release. When a sex offender is released into our community, and they are homeless, there are really only two options. The offender can stay at the shelter at night, or live on the streets 24-hours a day.

What happens when a convicted sex offender is no longer on parole? IN FACT, they are then free to go anywhere they choose inside or outside of Colorado. The requirement to register as a sex offender with local law enforcement continues for life, but many offenders fail to do so.

Which brings us to “Sexually Violent Predator” Kerry Whitfield of Denver, CO. His original crime was committed in that city, but a few years ago he arrived in Boulder while still on parole. He was promptly accepted into BSH’s First Step / Transition Program, but one day decided to leave without notice to anyone. A series of arrests followed as he continued to utilize local homeless shelter / services providers for support; these included Bridge House and BSH as well as others. At some point, Mr. Whitfield began selling drugs on or near the premises of Boulder Shelter to homeless women he met there. See: Women say Boulder sexual predator assaulted them after they bought drugs from him. Article copied below in its entirety:

A sexually violent predator arrested last week reportedly sexually assaulted two women who were buying drugs from him, including one woman who said he assaulted her dozens of times over the course of a month.

Kerry Fitzgerald Whitfield, 51, was arrested in Longmont on Thursday on suspicion of two counts of sexual assault on a physically helpless victim and one count of unlawful sale of a controlled substance.

According to an arrest affidavit, a woman went to Boulder police in October and said Whitfield sexually assaulted her about a month prior. The woman said Whitfield is known as “Special K” and is known as a source of drugs such as heroin, morphine, speed and “oxy.”

On Sept. 19, the woman contacted Whitfield to buy heroin from him. After taking the drugs, the woman said the two were sleeping in the van when he sexually assaulted her (I understand this occurred in the parking lot of Bustop Gentlemen’s Club, next door to BSH — MRW).

In the second case, a woman came to police this month and said Whitfield had sexually assaulted her last summer, according to the affidavit.

The woman said she met Whitfield in August of 2015 to buy drugs from him (I understand that they met at BSH — MRW). She said he began to withhold the drugs from her and began to demand sexual favors.

The woman said Whitfield sexually assaulted her more than 30 times over the course of the month, and that he also made her perform sexual acts with other women buying drugs from him so he could videotape them.

Whitfield’s history includes 22 arrests in Washington between 1982 and 1998 and at least 50 arrests in Colorado since 1998.

Whitfield is currently in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $500,000 bond while he awaits a formal filing of charges on Tuesday.

“In every case, the filing decision is ultimately determined by what the admissable evidence is and whether we can prove the crimes we charge,” said Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett. “But we do also look at the criminal history of a defendant.”

As a sexually violent predator, Whitfield is required to register his address and local law enforcement is required to send out a bulletin to the community he moves to. Whitfield had been registering with both Boulder — where he lived out of his van — and in Aurora, where he worked.

In the past several years, Boulder County law enforcement agencies have sent out several bulletins on Whitfield, the most recent being in March, a few weeks before the second woman came to police.

Boulder Sheriff Joe Pelle said there is always a concern when a sexually violent predator moves into the area.

“They’re termed ‘sexually violent predators,’ and a part of the criteria for obtaining that classification is a high risk of re-offending,” Pelle said.

In cases where the sexually violent predators are still on parole or probation, Pelle said there are ways to monitor their movement and their behavior. But for sexually violent predators who move in to the county not currently serving out a sentence — as Whitfield was — Pelle said there is not much law enforcement can do aside from make sure they keep up their registration and send out the necessary bulletins.

“The bottom line is they’ve been through this system, they’ve been through prison or parole, and there’s not a way to prevent them from coming back into the community,” Pelle said. “The best we can do is raise community awareness.”

Pelle also said a challenge of keeping track of some sexually violent predators is that many can’t find housing and jobs due to their status. Because of this, many register as either transient or list vehicles as an address, as Whitfield did with his van.”

“When they’re homeless or living out of a car, they are even more difficult for us to keep track of,” Pelle said. “It’s a double-edged sword.”

Garnett said the laws need to allow sex offenders the chance to rehabilitate while also trying to keep the community safe.

“It’s a difficult situation,” Garnett said. “We have to balance the need for people to rehabilitate and to integrate back into the community with the obligation that everybody in law enforcement has to protect the community, particularly from someone as dangerous as a sex offender.” 

Kerry Whitfield

Most recent news on Kerry Whitfield is from this past January: Boulder ‘sexually violent predator’ Kerry Whitfield released from custody from the Daily Camera.

What do you suppose would happen if Mr. Whitfield showed up on the doorstep of BSH today, wanting to apply for the 90-day Summer Bed Program or the First Step / Transition Program? I can fearlessly predict that he would be welcomed — per the twisted leadership of executive director Greg Harms. BTW, the folks running other homeless shelters across America also do NOT agree with accepting registered sex offenders into their facilities; are we to believe what Mr. Harms implies, that only he is right and everyone else is wrong?

What’s the real reason for providing parole beds to perverts, anyway? See this DC report: Colorado paying $280 a week for ‘sexually violent predator’ to live at Boulder homeless shelter. Strange, but Greg Harms forgot to mention the $$$ in his commentary . . . Compare that $280 to the going rate of $25 per week paid by other program residents (who can do extra chores and have that modest fee waived altogether).

Because he’s now off parole, Colorado DOC would not pay for Kerry Whitfield to again stay at the [Harms Hotel], but the executive director is so full of himself he probably still believes he can help to “rehabilitate” these characters. Most rational people would disagree:

Maybe it’s time for folks in the neighborhood to take a more militant stance!