Friday, November 5, 2010


 I’ve just viewed the 20/20 TV piece on the Clyde Ray Spencer [hereinafter: CRS] case. *

CRS, now 61, was a police officer in Washington State, thought of as cocky, which he doesn’t deny. By his own admission a bit of a womanizer he was married to his second wife (she had a young son of her own); his first wife, divorced from him, with primary custody of his own son and daughter, was also in contact, and he had kept up increasingly infrequent visits with the kids who were now living in another state (CA).

At some point in the early 1980s (recall that the Satanic Ritual Abuse Day Care mania had taken place just a year or two before), his 5 year-old daughter, visiting her father in WA, said to Wife 2 certain things that Wife 2 ‘knew’ was a signal of sexual abuse. CRS imagined that his daughter’s statements referred to the boyfriend living with Wife 1; he contacted CA and Clark County (WA) police. CA dropped the matter but the Clark County police kept at it, conducted by a female detective whom the 20/20 team describes as wanting to make a name for herself.

This detective’s investigation resulted in CRS’s being accused of abusing both of his children PLUS the young son of Wife2 (amazingly, after quickly separating from him after he was accused of raping his own children, she asked CRS to host her child overnight in his motel room while he was under investigation, and CRS even more amazingly allowed this, resulting a few days later in THAT child, his step-son, also accusing him).

And eight months later his own son – finally – joined in the accusations (after, he would later claim as an adult, being threatened with a polygraph test, at which time he suddenly implicated not only his father but several other police officers).

CRS voluntarily took some drug-induced truth-serum test under the supervision of a forensic physician, which led that physician to declare that nothing in his examination supported the accusations of the children.

However, this being Washington State (which, if I rightly recall, was among the very first to set up SO registries in 1990), CRS felt that his defense of his innocence could not overcome “three children” and he made an Alford Plea (you admit to sufficient facts for a Guilty finding, but without actually admitting guilt). The judge, following the cutting edge, sex-offense psycho-babble jurisprudence of the day declared that since CRS ‘refused to take responsibility’ then he would be given the maximum sentence (several concurrent life sentences plus 14 years).

Thus in 1985 he began what would be 19 years of imprisonment (as an ex-cop, a sex-offender, and a convicted child-molester and – on top of all that - of his own children).

He wrote to a nurse he had met in Hawaii when he was a 20 year-old Air Force air-traffic controller; the only woman, he says, that he ever loved. She reciprocated, they married while he was in prison, and she began a campaign, funded by her working two jobs, to have the case overturned.

His efforts at parole were rejected because, according to the Catch-22 operative in these matters, he hadn’t ‘accepted responsibility’ and instead had the evil effrontery to maintain his innocence.

At some point in the early ‘00s, his own two children began to have second thoughts. To the attorney and private-investigator Wife 3 had engaged they eventually admitted that they had not told the truth, and that he had not molested them at all. Their mother, Wife 1, remained adamant and remains adamant that CRS had done ‘something’.

The team had amassed enough information to petition the Governor of Washington to commute his sentence, and after about a year of consideration, the Governor did so in 2004.

In the official Order, the Governor cited the large number of corroborated and validated discrepancies in the prosecutorial case.

These included: A) the female detective went down to CA and interviewed the children in her hotel room, with no recording and only her own handwritten notes to show for it; she plied them with ice cream and candy and other gifts; B) a tape made of the prosecutors’ interviews with the daughter (then a very young child) and the anatomical dolls, showing the child sitting on her mother’s (Wife 1) lap and being coached, while a (what I would consider queasily young and frippy) male prosecutor nuzzles up to within a few inches of her face to ask questions and manipulate the dolls, to whose questions she answers No firmly even with her mother’s coaxing, although there is then a 1-hour hiatus in the film (the camera had a date/time-signature capability) and in the second section she starts suddenly pointing out all sorts of bad things on the dolls; further, C) the tape was never showed to the defense and only came to light in 2009, when the now-retired female detective ‘discovered’ it (no doubt under legal pressure) in her garage; D) that detective’s supervising sergeant was having an affair with Wife 2 while the investigation was going on (which would certainly go to the weird request by Wife 2 that CRS entertain her son overnight in a hotel room during the investigation, and the subsequent immediate added charge of molesting that child); E) reports of medical examinations of the children showing no evidence of such abuse were kept in a file and never revealed to the defense.

By amazing coincidence, the primary detective refused to speak to 20/20 on or off the record for this report. By equally amazing coincidence, so did Wife 2 and her alleged lover, the supervising detective. The step-son, then 5 and now 30, allegedly abused in the motel, is sticking to his story.

The case was finally thrown out and CRS is now free (and that includes any eligibility for the Sex Offender Registry).

The Prosecutor’s Office that originally handled the case remained adamant that it was still a respectable case (although, the current Prosecutor admits, there was a “bad decision” there on the part of the supervising detective) until the last moment, when it told the court it would not re-try the case.

A few thoughts:

It is stunning for a country that is allegedly civilized and mature that an adult – and a police officer – assessed, probably rightly, that his word would not stand against the claims of three tykes. And it is a sign of the extent of the Mania Regime even in that early period of 1985. Although Washington and California are two States that demonstrated remarkable susceptibility to the Mania early on.

It can hardly have been unpredictable that when the careful evidentiary procedures were undermined by the public Stampede and the Mania, all sorts of manipulations of the law – to include false accusations, grossly illegal manipulations by police officers and prosecutors eager for a high-profile ‘win’, and the resulting complicity of the Law in the most puerile and nasty of tit-for-tat revenge games – would be invited in through the front door. And had it come down to a full trial back in 1985, no doubt even at that early date any number of ‘recovered memory experts’ and God knows how many Friends of the Court would have popped up to help matters along their crapulent path. A bitter ex-wife, another wife looking to please a paramour (himself a police officer of rank), and the young kids caught between ‘mom’ and truth.

And can you imagine then what happened when the Feds, and Congress itself, erected the whole mess into a Plan and into Law by outrageously inaccurate Findings and by making substantial amounts of money available to anybody willing to throw their well-waxed boards into the surf as ‘experts’ and successful prosecutors AND also wrote in a specific provision that police officers could not be held legally responsible for any misdeeds they committed in the pursuit of sex-offense convictions? (Recall from my immediately previous Post on the White House and Domestic Violence that one staffer let the cat out of the bag by braying that the whole objective was really to “increase convictions”.)

But of course, when you are combating ‘evil’ then anything is OK. Which is a philosophy that later ‘went international’ when Bush-Cheney deployed it to start the war in Iraq.

And even now, nobody but the man’s two natural children is willing to admit the truth of what they perpetrated (or even talk to the media). Of course, there’s a perfectly legitimate legal reason for that: civil and even criminal liability now hover over them all, now that everything they had hidden has come to light.

You are free to wonder – or consult your own experience and acquaintances, perhaps – just how many times this has happened over the course of a quarter-century, how many lives wrecked, how many families shattered, how many are still caught up in the toils either through incarceration or Registration.

It has been done in Our name and on Our authority, and if this country is ever to remain a mature and competent democracy then THAT has to count for something with Us.

And all of it as part of a legal scheme that does not protect ‘children’, that does not address the actual problem, and that most certainly does corrupt the legal system and the legislative system and undermines the Constitutional ethos profoundly.

There is much to do.


*You can access the 20/20 site with all of its supporting information and videos here.


By coincidence I also just came across an episode of the animated comedy “South Park”: the town’s parents watch TV new reports to the effect that ‘strangers’ abduct and molest children – the parents erect a wall around the town and don’t allow anybody in; the town’s parents then watch TV news reports that new findings indicate that parents are really the ones who molest children – and the town parents now stop talking to other parents in the town; the town’s parent then watch TV news reports that new findings indicate that children are molested by their own parents – and the town parents decide to send the children to live with – wait for it – strangers!


  1. That prosecutor is now a Federal US Attorney in Idaho and is still doing things like that to innocent people just to further himself.

  2. And the band plays on. Until the waves of cash shrewdly provided by the legislators dries up, there will continue to be this type of surfer. It seems to be losing some steam, but with the laws on the books there is still much to be done. Worse, is that the public is used to this type of police-state stuff now and if the whole thing is not repudiated with some amount of official and open hoopla, then the fundamental corrosive damage to the country has been done and set in place.

  3. Can't really blame the prosecutors, they are assigned a job - to put people in prison. They are gonna do their job whether the suspects are innocent or not.

    The more laws for a society, the more excuses to inprison citizens for violation of those laws, innocent or not.

    Are we really gonna act like this is the first innocent person to serve a 20 year sentence?

    We arrest/imprison/execute innocent people daily because we're America and we're on the International Billionaire Gangster Payroll.