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“…a pretty little white girl ran into a black man’s arms…something is wrong here”

It was a horrific story out of Cleveland: three brothers have been arrested for imprisoning three women for over a decade in their home. I can’t even imagine the nightmare those women lived through.

Charles Ramsey, the neighbor who helped break them out, at least provides a little light-hearted relief.

And right now we’re starting to see pictures of tearful reunions with family members who thought the missing women were lost forever.

amandaberry

But let’s not forget, this isn’t all about happy outcomes. Those women had years of their young lives stolen from them, were locked away from the world, and had many losses — Amanda Berry’s mother died 3 years after she was kidnapped. None of that is coming back.

What the hell was wrong with those three men that they could do this? Did they just see those women as toys to be possessed, with no empathy and no human feeling of any kind for what they did to them?


As has been noted in the comments, Sylvia Browne ‘predicted’ that Amanda Berry was dead and “in the water” in 2004. She said that to her mother on the Montel Williams show!

Browne is an evil amoral fraud, and Montel Williams is a repulsive enabler.

Comments

  1. Didaktylos says

    I gather that one of the women (Amanda) had a six-year old child with her. Do the sums – she would have been sired (I won’t use the term “father”) during her imprisonment. Some long-term future issues here …

  2. pschoeckel says

    I can’t imagine how they will ever come to grips with what was done to them. I am more than impressed that after ten years they still had will and courage to keep their sense of self and escape.

  3. says

    Yeah, Sylvia Browne fucked that one up. And her supporters are clamoring to say, “well, at least she correctly predicted that her mother wouldn’t ever see her again.” Fuck.

  4. hypatiasdaughter says

    Did they just see those women as toys to be possessed, with no empathy and no human feeling of any kind for what they did to them?

    Yes.
    The Bible tells the religious that women were “made for man” and are subject to his will and his wants.
    The non-religious know that in the “battle” between men and women, men can use any cunning device or immoral action to “defeat” women and put them in their place.

    It makes me awed and grateful to know that the vast majority of men, who could justify this shit for their own benefit, are instead decent, moral and just human beings.

  5. says

    Re: Sylvia Browne
    (see above)
    THIS
    There are moments when I wish (a bit) that Biblical pronouncements about clairvoyants and witches were valid. Then again, without such pronouncements being held as Holy Writ in the 21st century (or after the 16th), we might have civilizationally advanced past tolerating the Brownes of the world.

  6. David Marjanović says

    Did they just see those women as toys to be possessed, with no empathy and no human feeling of any kind for what they did to them?

    Apparently.

    See also: Fritzl, Priklopil.

    Who is Sylvia Browne?

  7. Gregory Greenwood says

    And when we say that the worst of the misogynists actually do see women as chattel – as subhuman toys that exist only for their amusement – there are so many arsehats who line up to tell us that we are being paranoid ‘misandrists’. I wonder what logical convolutions they will undergo to try to claim that this is not indicative of someone acting on that monstrous mentality…

    Oh, silly me, they will just go to their usual standby – ableist othering. These kidnapping, rapist arseholes will be written off as ‘crazy’ or ‘monsters’. With no connection or similarity to ‘normal’ people, and whose actions are completely unrelated to the society they live in and the pervasive patriarchy that devalues womanhood.

    And when the next horror like this comes to light, there will be more rumblings about how awful it is, but once again nothing will be done to tackle the widepread misogynistic attitudes that lead to this kind of thing happening in the first place.

  8. dianne says

    And her supporters are clamoring to say, “well, at least she correctly predicted that her mother wouldn’t ever see her again.”

    This may have been causal. If Ms. Berry’s mother believed Browne, her heart attack may have been brought on by the stress of being told that her daughter was dead.

  9. tubi says

    Who is Sylvia Browne?

    She is a contemptible, vile shit stain. One of her specialties is “helping” families of the missing with “visions” of the status (dead or alive) and location of the person. She is habitually wrong. Here’s a good article about that.

  10. dianne says

    Also, Mr. Ramsey, I haven’t been a girl for a while, I’m not pretty, and my claim to being white is dubious, but I’m ready to run into your arms and kiss you about now. Thank FSM that someone was willing to do the right thing. Or, more to the point, thank you, Charles Ramsey.

  11. says

    She is a contemptible, vile shit stain.

    Excuse me. The Shit Lobby called and wanted to complain at the invidious comparison. They are demanding a retraction or they’ll stick to the bottom of your shoe.

  12. tubi says

    I would note that in the article I linked to at #11, Amanda Berry appears in the list of cases about which Browne’s predictions are unconfirmed. Time to elevate to the first list-the ones she was demonstrably wrong about. Also note that there is no list of cases about which her predictions were correct.

  13. tubi says

    Marcus, fair enough. I retract my unfavorable comparison of Sylvia Browne to shit on the grounds that it defames shit.

  14. thumper1990 says

    As of 2008, she [Browne] charges $850 for a 20-30 minute telephone reading.

    Browne is the head of the Sylvia Browne Corporation and Sylvia Browne Enterprises. In 1986, she founded a Campbell, California church known as the Society of Novus Spiritus. In a 2010 interview, Linda Rossi, Browne’s business manager, told KMOV-TV that Browne’s businesses earn $3 million a year.

    (Emphasis mine).

    Jesus fucking wept…

  15. kevinalexander says

    If Sylvia Browne is a psychic, maybe she could say where her conscience went?

  16. fookedonhonix says

    What is the point of including the skin color of these people in the title of the article?

  17. says

    “What the hell was wrong with those three men that they could do this? ”

    Despite the fact that this is an extreme perversion on all fronts, I am going to say…, “Dr. Myers, you are the biologist and you ought to know the answer? Or should we tweet and ask Dr. Dawkins?” ;)

  18. chigau (違う) says

    What is the point of including the skin color of these people in the title of the article?

    Watch the video.

  19. daniellavine says

    fookedonhonix@19:

    Note the quotation marks. It is a quotation of something Charles Ramsey says in the embedded video.

  20. says

    There is nothing so bad that an asshat can’t make it worse! I would get great enjoyment if Amanda sued the shit out of Browne (on what grounds, I don’t know). But, seriously, I hope Amanda and the others are able to recover and live happier lives with many loves. Also, Yay! Charles Ramsey. Sadly, many people in the world today would have just kept to themselves “not wanting to get involved”.

  21. dianne says

    I would get great enjoyment if Amanda sued the shit out of Browne (on what grounds, I don’t know).

    Causing emotional distress (ok, that’s her family’s lawsuit, not hers). Possibly delaying her release by discouraging her family and law enforcement officials from continuing the search.

  22. tfkreference says

    A couple years ago, Browne was supposed to be interviewed on a local radio station, but she got the time zone wrong and missed it. She can’t even get the normal right, much less the paranormal.

  23. miles says

    Having presumably grown up with her mother and kidnapper, with captivity being the norm, I wonder what is going through that little girl’s mind right now (the 6 year old, I mean). As in, did she even understand the concept of “outside”, or other kids? Is “growing up” just ageing in a basement to her? Hopefully their rescue/escape was early enough that she can adapt…

  24. glodson says

    @Chengis Khan

    That perverse reply doesn’t make sense. He’s a biologist, not a psychologist damnit.

    To the topic, Charles Ramsey did good. He did real good. He actually helped these women. And he didn’t charge a cent to do it. Unlike Browne who charges real money to do real harm by hampering the investigation and causing real stress to the families while taking their money. She has no shame, and is a vile person.

  25. Chie Satonaka says

    From Sylvia Browne’s wiki page:

    In 1992, Browne and estranged husband Kenzil Dalzell Brown were indicted on several charges of investment fraud and grand theft. The Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California, found that Browne and her husband had sold securities in a gold-mining venture under false pretenses.

    I am so not surprised. Every time I learn about another one of these supernatural fraudsters I find out that they have a checkered past filled with various “get rich quick” schemes. It’s so clear that their turn to pseudoscience is just another scheme to make money. I work with someone who is very into psychics, conspiracy theories, etc. Whenever I point this out to her, she always just shrugs and says, “What’s wrong with trying to make money?”

    I’m always torn about the internet memes that emerge around people like Ramsey and Antoine Dodson, because there is an unmistakable part of it that is merely the public laughing AT them. For instance, with Charles Ramsey, I’m seeing a lot of comments on various blogs about how “hysterical” it is that he has a visceral reaction to hearing a police siren. I don’t find that hysterical, I find it a very sad commentary on our culture that even in the midst of being hailed a national hero, the first impulse of a black man in America is to assume the worst when hearing a police siren.

    That’s probably all too negative of me, and if so, I apologize.

  26. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    What is the point of including the skin color of these people in the title of the article?

    Maybe if you watched the video, you know the thing near the top of the article, you’d have a clue?

  27. says

    @markmckee #25:

    “Thank god those girls are now free.”

    Be fair. God has a big backlog to get through, what with all the high-priority sporting event and lottery ticket requests.

  28. dianne says

    “Thank god those girls are now free.”

    Thank Amanda Berry and Charles Ramsey. They’re the ones who did something to make it happen.

  29. tariqata says

    Chie Satonaka @30: “I’m always torn about the internet memes that emerge around people like Ramsey and Antoine Dodson, because there is an unmistakable part of it that is merely the public laughing AT them.”

    This.

  30. Randomfactor says

    You’d think if God was real he’d keep these women from having been kidnapped in the first place

    Or at least made the kidnappers/rapists pay the fathers for taking their property. It’s in the Bible, after all.

  31. glodson says

    “Thank god those girls are now free.”

    If only there was some benevolent and very powerful being that could have prevented them from enduring this nightmare for years. But at least this being freed them by having two people act as this beings agents, thus completely obscuring this being’s presence for which we can only have faith in its existence, and give credit to this being.

    Of course, it would be insulting and wrong to actually blame this being for the total failure to act before now.

  32. kevinalexander says

    Thank Fuck god those girls are now free got grabbed while He was busy helping some millionaire jock catch a football.”

    Fixed.

  33. tblade says

    Our country needs laws to address fraud psychics like Sylvia Browne profiting off lies. She is just as bad as Bernie Madoff, yet she is free to continue scamming people.

    Someone needs to start a national conversation. I’m not a legal expert, but I’d guess that psychics are protected by the first amendment. But I would strongly support a law that took psychics who charge money and are wrong (ex: Sylvia being wrong about Amanda Berry and Shawn Hornbeck being dead) and made them accountable in civil court. Punish these frauds financially.

    It may not curtail the number of fraud psychics, but it may reduce the number that charge money to tell parents that their missing kids are dead.

  34. says

    You’d think if God was real he’d keep these women from having been kidnapped in the first place. But no, he only gets credit for the good stuff.

    pshaw, Katherine Lorraine, you know HE can’t do that! If skymonster prevented all the bad stuff from ever happening, how could he thrill us all with “rescuing” victims? How can HIS amazing grace be measured if people never suffer physical and psychological torments at the hands of evils fucks like this? (double pshaw)

    So glad that Charles Ramsay heard Amanda’s cries – and so glad that Amanda had the courage to attempt her escape.

  35. says

    In 1992, Browne and estranged husband Kenzil Dalzell Brown were indicted on several charges of investment fraud and grand theft. The Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California, found that Browne and her husband had sold securities in a gold-mining venture under false pretenses.

    Odd she didn’t see that coming.
    And, how could a real psychic possibly lose on the stock market? Just pick a couple of the next big winners, load up, and wait. Right? No need to cheat at all.

    Hitchens used to like to tell the story of a newspaper astrologer who was fired with a letter that began, “As you have no doubt forseen…”

  36. Doug Little says

    Someone needs to start a national conversation

    I’m sure that John Stewart and the Daily Show people will be all over this. Unfortunately the Daily Show has a small percentage of the viewers that Faux News has.

  37. dianne says

    And, how could a real psychic possibly lose on the stock market? Just pick a couple of the next big winners, load up, and wait. Right? No need to cheat at all.

    If I were a real psychic, I’d do that and make some real money rather than wasting my time getting $200 a vision from people. Actually, if I suddenly developed psychic powers, my first step would be to win the Randi prize and use the notoriety to get someone to take me seriously and study how it worked…

  38. says

    THE single best part of the video is how the TV man who is lapping up the interview with all the enthusiasm of the kid who got the biggest piece of cake turned on a dime into someone who just remembered they left the something on an open burner on the stove at home as soon as Ramsey invoked race. He couldn’t get away fast enough.

  39. Randomfactor says

    A local “psychic” in my area was the victim of a flood caused by a small dam’s collapse. She actually said to the media “somebody should’ve TOLD us this could happen.”

  40. says

    If I were a real psychic, I’d do that and make some real money

    I’d sit someplace comfortable, playing computer games and surfing the web all day, attuning my mind to natural disasters about to happen, and I’d warn people. Funny this hasn’t occurred to any of the $200 a phone conversation crowd. After I’d established my credibility absolutely, 100%, I’d start making demands. Simple ones, like that churches be taxed and that congress couldn’t get better medical coverage than the worst that was available to any other citizen. And, when I saw the president about to do something illegal/unconstitutional, I’d pick up a phone and start making calls: “Hey, tomorrow, drone strike in the market of such-and-such village! Bring a camera but keep a safe distance!” Actual psychic powers would be so disruptive it’s a bit mind-boggling.

  41. says

    This is all part of God’s plan…

    …which is apparently for the maximum number of humans to suffer in the worst ways possible, while some of the worst people possible live long and happy lives, and die peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.

    As for this Khan person I can’t help but suspect they’re another of the “Evil things happen because we don’t have enough God!/|Anyone who believes in evolution supports social Darwinism!” persuasion.

  42. unclefrogy says

    if “magic” or psychic powers really existed no one who possessed them would need or dare to make themselves know by the public. Historically that has not always gone so well for them.
    What possible good would they get by being known?
    So it stands to reason anyone who actually claims to have such abilities and is not just an entertainer is a fraud.
    If there were anyone any where that did possess such abilities it would be impossible to find them and would be just like they do not exist at all.

    the rest of this story leaves me with nothing coherent to say!
    uncle frogy

  43. says

    I’d hug Ramsey as a maybe-attractive white woman for not turning away. Way the fuck too often, the neighbor turns away and ignores the crying woman because it’s only a domestic and therefore none of their business. I can’t even tell you all how many times I’ve called the cops for women to have them ignore the broken arm of a woman, or ignore the bruises or the fact that they were screaming for Jesus to come take them away. They take the guy’s word for it; it was just an argument.

    Hell, I’d make Ramsey a goddamn pie.

    And my heart goes out to the women and child.

  44. DonDueed says

    How sad* that Mr. Ramsey won’t have a neighbor to share cookouts with any more.

    For a long, long time.

    *Irony, for anyone who can’t hear my tone of voice.

  45. RFW says

    Our country needs laws to address fraud psychics like Sylvia Browne

    There was a time when many US states had laws against fortune telling, “psychics”, chiropractic, naturopathy, and all the rest of the cons used to fleece the ignorant and the gullible.

    And before supporter of quack therapies starts chirping “but they don’t do any harm”, I’ll say the hell they don’t! I knew (indirectly) of a guy who died from untreated colon cancer. He’d go to his naturopath for yet another high colonic, and the naturopath was delighted when out came black tarry “stuff”. Anybody with a grade eight education knows that was blood from high up in the GI tract and the guy should have been packed off for emergency doctoring without delay.

    Perhaps the most objectionable aspect to this kind of thing is that many naturopaths appear to actually believe the shit they preach. [Apologies for a bad pun there.]

  46. yazikus says

    Maybe if you watched the video, you know the thing near the top of the article, you’d have a clue?

    As someone who can’t do this, not because I didn’t realize it was the thing at the top of the article, I wish someone might have instead provided a transcript, or at least a brief summary of what was said. During the conversation on inclusiveness a while back, many people mentioned this was something they would appreciate. Just a thought.

  47. Eristae says

    Does anyone have a transcript of the full Ramsay interview? I can’t watch (hear) the video.

    @yazikus Thanks for the partial one!

  48. robro says

    Here’s a curious notion in the report on CNN.com:

    “But authorities never had any indications that the women were being held in the home or that anything suspicious was going on there, Flask said. Neighbors had not provided any tips, he added.”

    How could Flask, the Cleveland Public Safety Director, claim there were no tips? According to the story, there were at least two calls to police about odd things at the house. Didn’t those count as tips?

    As in the Jaycee Dugard story, once again the police are too disinterested to really investigate.

  49. Eristae says

    As a side note for people’s amusement, here is a transcript of some of the interview based on the Google subtitles with the punctuation as they put it:

    here and talked with charles frenzies a neightbor high-tech walk me through again what happen this afternoon europe you heard screaming tears streaming amoeba mcdonald’s i’ll come outside are pass the disturbing notes trying to get a house soul are brought down upon but one of four ch this he says you have to get out but they are not been a year a long time so an upbeat izapata symbolic disputes are open the door we can get in a way cuz how the door that is it so much that a body can’t get through all of your hand so quick to kick the bottle is she comes out with little girl diseases called nine one one my name is amanda beard as you know who that was when you would you say that what she told me it didn’t registered until I got the call and i want one number compound and i want one nine of the about the guy was dead the automated campaign she got on the phone and she said yes this is me and did dective uh…go detective greg records is W_W_rescue cat as the and when did you see a twenty minute c_g_m . . .

    Yeah, I stopped at 1:07.

  50. jefferylanam says

    Tweet from McDonaldsCorp a little while ago:
    We salute the courage of Ohio kidnap victims & respect their privacy. Way to go Charles Ramsey- we’ll be in touch.

    If you didn’t see the video or read the transcript, at the beginning he says he was eating his McDonalds.

  51. carlie says

    As someone who can’t do this, not because I didn’t realize it was the thing at the top of the article, I wish someone might have instead provided a transcript, or at least a brief summary of what was said.

    Point well taken, but hopefully that it was in quotes was an indication that it wasn’t PZ saying that, at least.

  52. yazikus says

    @carlie,

    Not at all, Rev. BigDumbChimp responded with that after someone else asked for an explanation for the post title. I should have made that more clear. And I could have saved my breath and gone straight away to find the transcript myself (I did shortly after) rather than responding. So, yeah, I suppose I need to take my own point as well.

  53. carlie says

    yaszikus – it’s good to have the reminder, though. Trinioler, a commenter here (although possibly former, because he hasn’t been around in awhile) made an actual transcription site through the A+ forums to do just such a thing; I ashamedly admit that I only helped with transcribing three or four videos before the rest of life got in the way and it got away from me.

  54. ChasCPeterson says

    screaming tears streaming amoeba mcdonald’s i’ll come outside

    QFT

  55. Holms says

    @20 Chengis Khan

    Despite the fact that this is an extreme perversion on all fronts, I am going to say…, “Dr. Myers, you are the biologist and you ought to know the answer? Or should we tweet and ask Dr. Dawkins?” ;)

    Do you have a point?

    #30 Chie Satonaka

    I’m always torn about the internet memes that emerge around people like Ramsey and Antoine Dodson, because there is an unmistakable part of it that is merely the public laughing AT them. For instance, with Charles Ramsey, I’m seeing a lot of comments on various blogs about how “hysterical” it is that he has a visceral reaction to hearing a police siren. I don’t find that hysterical, I find it a very sad commentary on our culture that even in the midst of being hailed a national hero, the first impulse of a black man in America is to assume the worst when hearing a police siren.

    I don’t find it hysterical, nor even accurate. To my eye he reacted not to the fact that it was a police siren, but to the fact that it was a very loud noise.

    @55 DonDueed

    How sad* that Mr. Ramsey won’t have a neighbor to share cookouts with any more.

    For a long, long time.

    *Irony, for anyone who can’t hear my tone of voice.

    Sarcasm, actually. Here’s a handy guide.

  56. ekwhite says

    Thank Charles Ramsey those girls are now free. This guy is my new hero.

  57. Christopher says

    http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2140359?AID=4011243&PID=7105005&SID=skim33330X911650Xaf6c01ddb4a2d3c59f728e9b213bf2c7

    Neighbors claimed they called the cops multiple times about things like women beating against the windows screaming and naked women on dog leashes in the back yard. Cops never did more than knock on the door and leave.

    Charles Ramsey really is a hero. If he had just called the cops and let them take care of it, if he had MYOB’d, those women would still be sex slaves.

    Fuck.

  58. randay says

    Kevinalexander #18. To paraphrase a joke I once heard: Sylvia Browne’s conscience is clean, she never uses it.

    The original had “my” to start.

  59. thumper1990 says

    @RFW #56

    There was a time when many US states had laws against fortune telling, “psychics”, chiropractic, naturopathy, and all the rest of the cons used to fleece the ignorant and the gullible.

    I’m willing to bet those laws were based on Biblical pronouncements rather than any concern for those being fleeced, though.

  60. randay says

    One can’t seem to post a picture here, so is a link to “trustworthy” psychic.

    http://www.blainesworld.net/newsletter/06.20.2011_769_clip_image001_0000.jpg

    Christopher #73. I saw the interview with the man on tv who said that and after knocking and no one answering the police just left. They could have at least come back later at night when lights were on.I noticed that in the article they USA Today didn’t quote the part about race made by Ramsey.

  61. hypatiasdaughter says

    #73 Christopher
    Yeah, I tried to imagine a MAN calling out to someone through an chained door, that you could only open a hands-width, to call the police because they were being held prisoner. How many people wouldn’t have kicked the door in or fetched the police? Imagine people saying “It’s just a domestic incident. Not my problem.” if it was a man asking for help?
    (In my sordid interest in real murder cases, the only instance I know of a man being returned to his captor was a teenage victim of Dahmer (IIRC), who told the police the victim was mentally unstable. Children and teenagers get treated the same shitty and neglectful way that women do in these cases.)
    I think that Ramsey is an even bigger hero because a black guy kicked in someone’s door – don’t think he wasn’t risking a lot of shit coming down on him if he made a mistake.

  62. freemage says

    78: That’s probably my most ‘up’ take from this story. He thought it was a DV situation–and he immediately acted to intervene. This is the thing we’ve been working for all this time–DV doesn’t just get dismissed as a private matter, you see it, you DO something.