The Golden State Killer Economy – Who’s Making Money

I was roasted on Reddit* the other day – totally unexpected – and it seems like things got weird when someone accused me of posting to promote my coaching business. Of course, my website has my coaching business on it, but that wasn’t why I was there. I was just participating in the discussion like everyone else, and then suddenly I was defending myself. It’s the first time that’s happened in two years since I went public.

Let’s start at the top: the prosecution and defense of DeAngelo.

There’s no doubt there’s a Golden State Killer economy. Holy smokes; it starts with the $20M price tag that prompted AB 141 to pay for jurisdictional expenses “incurred in connection with the prosecution and defense of Joseph DeAngelo.” There are a lot of people getting paid to try and defend this case. There are lawyers and researchers, scientists and testing facilities, computer experts and investigators and legions more who are working for both sides. We are nothing if not job security as this case is being prepped for the prelim. Also, don’t forget travel and housing expenses as teams from around the state come in and out of Sacramento to move things froward. We can debate if this level of expense is necessary, (and goodness knows I will in an upcoming blog), but let’s just accept this at face value. If we ever get to trial, chances are, this cost will likely increase.

Then there’s the content value of the case itself.

News, movies, documentaries, books, podcasts, blogs – some of these are highly monetized and some make no money at all. We all know when HBO or Michelle McNamara are telling the story, the intention is to make money. Not the only intention, but let’s accept one chooses that approach because there’s money to be made. Maybe that’s a better way to say it. I’m not casting blame here, merely noting there’s an economy in play and we all participate in it. In this category, I believe these folks truly care about the subject matter and the victims. I’ve worked with some of these folks and I’ve found them to be credible.

But we also have the exploiters. The folks whose sole motivation is money. They aren’t interested in the truth and have no interest in the victims, they are only interested in selling their product. I encourage everyone to keep their eye out for these folks; they are fairly transparent and tend to have a pattern to their behavior like focusing on click-bait, lying and repetition of same themes.

And then there are the victims; have they made money? Do they make money?

The honest answer is no, with a few exceptions. For the most part, any of us who are making money off the crime have been remarkably transparent. Jane Sandler-Carson wrote a book (not an affiliate link). That’s legit. She lived the experience; she did the work to write the book and she lives her truth. To the best of my knowledge, no one has been paid for any television appearances. There’s one activity where some folks got an unexpected honorarium, but I can’t disclose it and when I finally can, it won’t surprise you. And it wasn’t much.

Victims aren’t making bank on this. In fact, generally we are all financially poorer because of DeAngelo’s crimes and arrest. Of the victims I know, we are out-of-pocket on therapy, time away from work for hearings and other legal proceedings. Some of us travel to Sac to participate in these activities and have hotel bills. If there’s one thing the “true crime” industry has done that’s a disservice to victims, it’s the implication that everyone is making money.

We simply aren’t.

It’s maybe the saddest part of the Golden State Killer economy. Yes, there are some Victim Assistance programs but they vary by jurisdiction and they are publicly funded so there aren’t deep pockets. Honestly, many of us are doing okay and feel like those funds should be used by people with greater need.

So back to Reddit and the great Jen Carole takedown.

Let’s get real. I don’t make money on my blog. You can do a quick check and see there’s no advertising. In fact, when I tried some affiliate ads, I got no clicks (and I was highly selective). Why? Because that’s not what my blog is about. Yep, it’s just me, the website (I pay for) and my computer.

It is the same for my podcast. Honestly, the reason I stopped doing it is I had to work and didn’t have time to dedicate to doing it well. I would very much like to sell my podcast and get paid to do it so I can afford to attend the preliminary trial in May. I am transparently sharing that with you. I have no idea if I can sell it. My coaching business is how I figured I could earn a living while attending court because I can coach in off-hours. My LawyersDaughter.com audience is not my coaching target. That’s why I have two URLs (that I pay for): one for my business and one for this journey.

I don’t intend to sound defensive. I just reread this blog and I still might. That’s truly not my point. My point is, if DeAngelo died tomorrow, this little  economy is a house of cards. It all falls down with a few exceptions. I think the highly developed content will have a longer lifespan, but most of what’s been created around this [expletive deleted] criminal will fall by the wayside. As it should. And if you don’t believe me, just look at Casey Anthony and Scott Peterson, both who are realizing they are beyond irrelevant. So how do they goose the system to try and make money? They exploit it. Sickening.

On behalf of the victims, we appreciate your goodwill. We have no intention of exploiting it. We will take the opportunity to support ourselves if it makes sense. If you feel we have crossed a line, please speak to us directly. Otherwise know, you’ve bet on the right people in this hot mess.

And it’s appreciated.

*This did not happen in the EARONS sub-Reddit. I traveled outside our group and I will never do that again! The EARONS community has been amazing and honestly, along with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. and those of you that read this blog, have been so supportive. It’s the reason I have the courage to do these speaking engagements. 


March 2020 – Santa Cruz, Sacramento and Ventura

I’m coming to town in March. Absolutely free. Get a ticket by clicking on the graphic!

Live Event with Jennifer Carole - Free!

My Life Has Been Incredibly Different Since the Arrest of Joseph DeAngelo

Yesterday Sacramento was able to announce the arrest of another monster. Terrorist. Piece of human excrement. The NorCal Rapist was identified via DNA and he’s in custody. Not to completely freak you out, but he worked at UC Berkeley – surrounded by women who clearly had no idea there was a predator in their midst.

The irony in that statement that has turned me into a complete mess this week.

The reality is, we know there are predators in our midst. We know they are our fathers, our husbands, our co-workers, our religious counselors and our government leaders. It’s all good to talk about the monsters who reveal in their reputation as monsters: our President has done an effective job of shining the light on MS-13, a horrible gang that uses rape and murder to terrorize mostly immigrants. But they are the exception – like frankly our brutal killer DeAngelo.

More often, women are hurt by the men they trust.

On August 23, when the charges were read against DeAngelo, new to the catalog were 13 counts of kidnapping. While it made for a dramatic read in court, and it’s tremendously satisfying that the DAs were able to add those important charges, it ended-up sending shock waves through the ranks of the victims.

And here’s why. Because most of the survivors in Sacramento are rape survivors, they had come to terms with two things: the statute of limitations expired on the rapes and their voices would only be heard via a Victim Impact Report that is either oral or written and isn’t subject to cross-examination. The minute the kidnapping charges were added, so was the requirement that these 13 women testify. For some, this isn’t something they want to do. Testifying means being cross examined and that’s is where victims are typically re-victimized in the legal process.

Based on the events of this week, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Ironically, it’s likely I won’t be called to testify because I don’t have anything particularly material to share on this case. I wasn’t at the house, I don’t know the suspect. I could be called to talk about my dad, but I think the defense could possibly do more with me than the prosecution. And even at that, it would be irrelevant because DNA puts him raping Charlene. He’s guilty and I don’t care about him. But I do care about re-victimizing those already hurt decades ago.

I had no idea how much DeAngelo’s arrest would change me. I have not been the same since that day. Parts of me I’ve push down or away have bubbled up nearly driving me crazy. I wrestled with the paradox I was living in as I met and supported my fellow survivors in Sacramento. As I celebrated their courage to face DeAngelo in court, I was struggling with what had been happening to me for the last year of my life. I just spent the last year being abused by my boss. I had to keep quiet or he might not give me by expense report reimbursement (it still came through short and it took four months to get the check. I can’t talk about the company because they only way I’d get severance and COBRA was signing a confidentiality agreement. I’d already met with an attorney and the only way he could have gotten rid of me without a lawsuit was to lay me off. So he did – while I was out on medical leave to catch my breath over the arrest. I remember crying and telling my mom I felt like a hypocrite because I wasn’t telling my story while I was encouraging others to be strong and share.

And there’s more. I need to talk about my dad. You’ve all asked me to – but I can’t yet. My dad could be Brett Kavanaugh. Truly. He would fit all the descriptions people have of the judge. And I don’t think my dad ever sexually attacked a woman. But he was abusive to the women in his family. That was our secret. Not sexually. Emotionally and physically. And I will talk about it. But I need a little more time.

I am like most women; I struggle with not wanting to impugn his reputation.

He really did amazing things for our community and my brothers must have learned some goodness from him because they are both married to amazing women. I’m proud of both my brothers for having healthy, balanced marriages – the kind I didn’t believe were possible as I grew up (hey you with the raised eyebrow thinking, hey, maybe that’s why Jen isn’t married; here’s a cookie, you’re a winner).

Because my dad was so tough on me, I grew up tough. I think he gets credit for that not because of his behavior but because of DNA. I am a lot like him. I don’t back down and I fight for justice. I can be incredibly annoying because I am so driven. Then imagine being trapped by circumstances that prevent me from fighting that fight. That’s the gut-punch of being abused. You’ve lived through the trauma but to get justice, one goes through a process that crushes the soul and strips us of our dignity and defies moral justice.

  • The state tries criminals on behalf of the people, not the victims.
    I think this is correct but in the pursuit of “fairness”, it’s actually tilted to benefit the law, not the humans. In fact, humanity is intentionally stripped from the legal process. If you don’t believe me, do a quick rhetorical analysis. Rhetoric was my major: it’s the understanding of how words are used to influence. I called it a degree in bullshit and people would agree and I’d say, “See, I just did it. It works!” In legalese, words that talk about feelings are subjective. Subjectivity is seen as bias and lawyers work to eschew bias and seek facts. Sadly, the fact that someone had to move 3,000 miles away to get away from their perpetrator because they are so scared, is fact but is meaningless without the emotion. One DeAngelo rape victim did just that. Moved away immediately, across the country. Apparently, Dr. Blasey-Ford did the same thing.
  • There are still too many men involved in investigating these crimes.
    We are so blessed to have a hero in our midst with Carol Daly. She says one of the ways she approached abuse victims was to encourage them to tell their story. Seriously. Prior to her involvement, that’s not how things went down – it’s the difference of being transactional (iterative questioning back and forth) and being contextual (what happened, how did you feel, doesn’t have to be from beginning to end because many women think more comprehensively). Without more women – many of whom have experienced abuse – we won’t be able to conquer the bullying and the bias that we saw this week. Watching 80+ year-old men delivering Dr. Blasey ultimatums was beyond tone deaf and inappropriate; it was absolutely revictimizing the victim. If you still don’t understand what she’s facing, watch this. I nearly vomited on Monday night when I watched. That’s when I knew I was also facing my own demons.
  • Good people do bad things.
    This is probably the most important part of what’s happening in America right now (and what causes me the most consternation). My former boss actively posed as a moral, wholesome man from Utah (that’s code – please read into that). When I tried to pursue things internally, I was told I was guilty of reverse discrimination and I was making the men uncomfortable. (That sound you hear is me screaming – yes, I can scream that loud.) Our NorCal Rapist worked at UC Berkeley as a safety specialist (oh irony, you are a minx). And of course, Wee Willie Winky DeAngelo, was eating at Charlie’s Café and bopping around Citrus Heights and was a former police officer. Nuff said.

From Twitter:
Since I’ve hit 50, I’ve thought a lot about how we function as humans. What I come away with after this tumultuous week that’s demonstrated just how often we hurt each other, I still have no real explanation. #sad #bebetter #KindnessMatters #WhyIDidntReport

— Jennifer Carole (@jcarole) September 22, 2018

I think a lot about the nature of humanity. There are so many things we have to figure out as humans: how to have agency, how to manage relationships, how to manage our health, how to support the people we love (and those we don’t even know) – we shouldn’t have to worry about other humans hurting us.

Based on where we are as a civilization, we should be doing better. Civilization actually means we are civil. But we just aren’t there yet.

We can be better. We can stop hurting one another. And it starts with closing your lips, opening your ears, being patient and showing kindness. A small shift that could create tremendous change. I wish that for all of us.

[Folks that follow me on Twitter know it’s been a tough week for me based on my tweets and you’ve been tremendously supportive. Thank you. It’s a great place to talk and meet other survivors. The true-crime community is amazing and we invite you to join us. Awhile ago I wrote a Twitter primer – if you’re new to the platform, it might help!]

 

How To For Beginners: Curate Twitter to Help You Stay Woke

ICYMI (in case you missed it), Twitter is the new water cooler: the best place to learn things you might otherwise miss in the chaos that is 2017. So for those of you new to this kind of media, here’s a quick primer to help you get started and curate a twitter feed that you’ll find interesting.

1. Get a Twitter account. I recommend grabbing a handle (name) that won’t embarrass if Stephen Colbert happens to read your tweet on his show. I like the mobile apps (iPhone, Android) but you can also consumer tweets on the web.

2. Complete your profile. Say as much or as little as you want about yourself. This is VERY public so use your discretion. Add a photo – it doesn’t have to be of you – because that, and your profile, helps folks know you are not a bot.

3. Start following people. And this is really the crux of this post. How you curate who you follow is how you’ll get the best information possible. There’s a ton of garbage, opinion and untrue stuff (I refuse to call it fake news – there’s just no such thing) on Twitter. You have to use your brain to evaluate it. But if you start with this list and approach, it will be a tiny bit easier. Here’s goes (and please comment below with your finds – let’s build a great list!).

About Hashtags.

This is the secret sauce of Twitter. When something is trending (see Explore page on the mobile app and Moments on web, you’ll see a hash for it. If you click that, you’ll see all the tweets about that topic that have used the hash. Know at that point, you will see raw tweets with emotion, flawed information, true information and everything in between. It’s good content but it’s super fresh so thoughtfulness isn’t necessarily the priority. Sharing is. Use hashtags if you’re live, in it or have an opinion on it.

Who to follow to get started.

@RealDonaldTrump – yes, follow him. God forbid he gets some real followers, not just bots.

@BarackObama – 44, he’ll be back.

@SenWarren – she’s often where the action is and is ruthless about fact checking.

@BreitbartNews – All Right, all the time.

@theHill  – skews conservative but good source of news.

@NYTimes – yeah, they are still in business. AND considered to be fair and balanced by those who evaluate the media (because that still matters).

@20committee – John Schindler, security columnist.

@W.JefferyBrown – journalist who oversees journalism.

@CNNPolitics – tweets factoids about politics.

@DailyCaller – conservative reporting that’s on the far right offering sensational click bait.

@SenJohnMcain – because someone has to speak up to stop American sanctioned torture.

@BBCHamedani – BBC reporter currently being detained by Homeland Security. I’m not kidding.

@WashingtonPost – because they get scoop.

@Voxdotcom – highly regarded as truly fair and balanced.

@JakeTapper – because he’s naming things and not putting up with #altfacts.

@CaseyNewton – if you are a Silicon Valley follower; offers political POV as well.

@RMac18 – reporter at Forbes, boasts 99% real news!

@KeithOlberman – because there should be some fun on your twitter feed (nuff said).

@FoxNews – offering a point of view.

@Moorehn – seasoned reporter who provides insights into the “why” of things.

@DavidMDrucker – senior correspondent on Capitol Hill.

@SeanSpicer – because, well, just because.

@RyanLizza – professor, writer, thinker.

@wikileaks – so you can see first hand how the game of leaking works.

@PaulKrugman – Nobel Laureate, author, thinker.

@JournalismAssoc – judge for yourself if journalists are truthful or not.

@Reuters – there’s a world out there beyond us, we need to know all things.

@JeremyCorbyn – from the UK, the current Labour Party leader.

@IamJohnOliver – because perspective and humor matter.

@StephenAtHome – Colbert with a touch of humor.

Okay, that’s a start. Hopefully folks will add more to the comments section – from various points of view. The point here isn’t about where you stand, it’s about sharing information, finding sources to check and double check what’s true and standing up for what you believe in.

You’ll notice when you follow someone, you’ll be served other people to follow as an option (this is especially true on the mobile app). Slow down and look those over and see if they interest you. It’s super easy to follow and unfollow.

ALSO, one last important tip: drill down. Don’t accept the tweet at face value, If it’s a retweet, drill down to the source. In all cases, check the link (another reason mobile is better because less chance of getting a virus). Your goal is to get to the source and then evaluate if it for truth.

Post more good stuff below. #helpAmericansthinkagain

Santa Cruz Summit Fire: Keeping Up with the Breaking News

[Photo from the Santa Cruz Sentinel – see the rest here]

Day two of the Santa Cruz wildfire and things are looking a bit better. We are cautiously optimistic with 20% containment (as of 10:30am). The wind has shifted and is coming off the ocean which means it is cooler, wetter and going a completely different direction from yesterday. Even the smell, which was horrible this morning, is much better with the wind change. Now if the wind will just stay mellow and gentle, maybe the firefighters can get a jump on things.

The real reason I am blogging today is that I want to publicly thank KGO television for the incredible service they provided yesterday – it demonstrated the power of technology and hopefully the future of how we all begin to respond to disasters. Early yesterday morning, KGO interrupted Good Morning America to begin fire coverage. On their website, they took a lot of crap for that move because the fire only affected those in the very south of their market – KGO covers the entire Bay Area which is huge. But they stuck to their guns.

And I heard from my friends that they stayed on the air nearly all day providing invaluable video of where the fire was going, evacuation information, air quality updates, school updates and more. I didn’t know about the TV because I was working but here’s the thing, I was able to watch streaming coverage non-stop during the day. I sat here on conference call after conference call and I was able to watch the video. It was incredible.

According to my friend Lisa, our local radio station, which goes by the name of KPIG – stop laughing – okay, keep laughing, anyway “The Pig” was also Johnny-on-the-spot with regular updates of a “pig” kind helping out with all sorts of community support including animal evacuations. In fact I understand they worked as a broker helping to match those offering housing to large livestock with the needy when the fairgrounds got full. Awesome.

Finally, over on Twitter, which was acknowledged for publishing the first news of the earthquake in China, there wasn’t much traffic. Aided by a great tool, Summize.com, I was able to watch the tweets coming in about the fire. Notably, folks directly in the line of fire didn’t tweet. I am going to guess that’s because most of them are what we beach folk call “mountain folk” who are known for coveting their ability to stay away from us flatlanders.

Today we aren’t getting the same level of coverage yet the fire is raging on. I am really feeling the loss. I hope more television stations consider running scaled down live broadcasts via the Internet on an on-going basis. Goodness knows their reporters are in the field.

As I have talked with my buddies this morning, I wasn’t the only one watching. Spouses who work “over the hill” in Silicon Valley watched, relatives in other parts of the nation watched and evacuees stuck at a local coffee shop with Internet access watched. Clearly this is a value public service. One we all appreciate so much.

The School Talent Show, Twitter, American Idol and the Joy of Parenting

Permission slips were due last Friday for the school talent show. Let’s get real, this is elementary school – how much talent can there really be? The slip specifically noted no “lip singing” which appalled me. Is there no one proofreading these documents or do they really think that means lip-synching? Anyway…

After a day of gut wrenching self analysis, my daughter decided not to try out. Her girlfriends abandoned her (not a surprise to me) and aside from desperately trying to convince me she could mime, we agreed she has no “talent” for this year’s show. Sure, the little singing and dancing act she had prepared with her friends would have been cute, but my kid is no Ashley Tisdale. Or Nicole Richie. Or, well, you get the idea. Which brings me to Twitter.

I just started Tweeting last week and I have to admit, it’s a guilty pleasure. If you are unaware of what’s going on, this Business Week article does a nice job summarizing what you have been missing. There are lots of folks who think it’s a flash in the pan, like Mark and a summary from the WTweetJ blog. But I don’t care, that’s not the point. The point is Tweeting is all about me! I have a place to publicly vent, share and use 140 characters that summarize exciting things about me! It is awesomely self-centered. I am sure if one does it enough, it might even make you go blind.

In a world where we are all just cogs in the wheel, Twitter gives you this little place where you can feel important. And the cool thing is, you can connect with others and find out they are doing things that are as unimportant as the things you are doing. And it is fun. But does it turn us into self-centered monsters?

Monsters.

You know who I’m talking about: like the kids who try out for American Idol who have no business wasting anyone’s time. Could it be that these kid’s parents never told them they can’t sing? At no time have their friends said; could you quiet down a bit, you are drowning out the radio? Or like my mom told me, “You’re okay Jen, but that’s a voice you might want to save for the shower!” Is today’s culture hopelessly, helplessly addicted to themselves, convinced they are worthy of Idol fame? And does Twitter give validation to this culture?

Big questions that I can’t answer, but rest assured you won’t see my kid trying out for American Idol. I am gentle. I let her down easy – ahhh the joys of parenting. I do let her know there are things she does well and but there are times when she should let the professionals, like Paris Hilton, do the heavy lifting. I am bummed she won’t be in the talent show, but seriously, does the world really need another mime?

Join me on Twitter – just keep in mind, it’s not the best forum for mimes!