Talk:Murder of Danielle van Dam/Archive2

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The discussion which has been archived began after I corrected the errors in the article, and the original author thereof took exception because this made it look like Westerfield is innocent, so he removed my corrections - repeatedly.

That discussion contains a wealth of information about the case, much of it of high quality - verified facts with the sources quoted, and not just media reports (many of which are inaccurate) but also actual trial testimony.

It is regrettable that this information has been made less accessible; one hopes that wasn’t the intention.

Anyone who wants more accurate and balanced information about the case should read the archived discussion. 15:46, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

It was archived, because the page became ridiculously long; no thanks to you of course. Be thankful it was your soapbox for so long. I should have archived it months ago.

TripleH1976 11:53 a.m., 22 July 2006 (UTC)

The length was because I was trying to reply to all your many points. I’d have thought that was the polite thing to do. Of course, I wouldn’t have had to write so much if there hadn’t been so many errors to correct. It’s not wrong to be passionate about something, but passion must not override truth, and an encyclopedia must be a repository of the truth. My dictionary defines “soap-box” as “makeshift stand for street orator”, and “orator” as “eloquent public speaker”. So your intended insult is actually a compliment. Thank you. 09:47, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Reply to TripleH1976 -- So what you are telling me is that YOU are the moderator and OWNER of Wikipedia and only YOUR accounting is acceptable information? If that is not the case then we can also start our own article with the correct information and you will not be able to make I right? FreedomRings 05:50, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Blah, blah,blah,blah,blah... Get a grip.

omg! omg! omg! ha ha

The Guilty? section is a total joke. Wow Westerfield must be innocent because no one saw him kidnap Danielle. Sure! How the heck did you arrive at that conclusion? Do you think kidnappers have an audience?? Do you think they display themselves WITH their victims for a show? As if they wanted to get caught red-handed? What in the world have you been smoking man!?!? Pass me that joint. :) I shall clean up the mess you made later. TripleH1976 18:26, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

"Guilty?" section

TripleH1976 asked me to weigh in on this section. I know absolutely nothing about this case, so I'm not going to take any stand on his guilt or innocence. However, this section is too much like an opinion piece. It is not Wikipedia's job to argue that he was wrongly convicted. Instead, the section should focus on how OTHERS think he was wrongfully convicted. As it stands now, it reads like original research. Please keep in mind that an encyclopedia is a tertiary source, so the references you cite should be secondary sources, not primary sources. This means, take out anything that cites the court transcripts or police interviews. News reports are fine, but not op-ed pieces (unless those op-ed pieces are being discussed specifically). In addition, it's far too detailed -- this is not the "David Westerfield is innocent" web site. That's what external links are for.

The section should read more like: "The verdict left many dissatisifed. Noted legal scholar Joe Schmoe stated in the San Diego Tribune that Westerfield had no history of sexual violence.[1] Additionally, Detective Chris Armstrong also admitted blah blah blah blah.[2] These and other apparent inconsistencies have led to a grass-roots movement to argue for his freedom."

--howcheng {chat} 18:46, 22 August 2006 (UTC)


Howcheng I completely agree with you. came in here with an agenda and wants to use the David Westerfield article as their soapbox. Wikipedia is not a soapbox for anyone. is free to believe Westerfield was wrongfully convicted, however, they have no right to come into wikipedia and try to change people's mind. People,like myself, who believe he was rightfully convicted. He received a fair trial. He got what he deserved in the death penalty, because he committed two felonies: kidnapping and murder. wants to retry the case in here, but I'm not going to let it happen. Furthermore, arguments are asinine at best. To say, no one saw him take her or murder her so he's innocent is stupid. Very rarely does a stranger kidnap a child in broad daylight infront of eye witnesses. It's too brazen. They know they will be caught easily. Westerfield was not a total stranger to Danielle so it does not fall under those rare stranger abduction scenarios. cites that the lack of the dogs barking or lack of noise makes him innocent. That's a total joke. Time and time, and time in again dogs have proven very little help in preventing a crime. Some dogs if well trained can prevent them, but it is not common. needs to get a life and leave the article alone. TripleH1976 19:37, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

As a side note, I want to make it clear that I have no connection to TripleH1976 -- he is not a friend of mine or anything and we have never collaborated on an article. In fact, I blocked him once some time ago for violating 3RR. howcheng {chat} 20:22, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

That's correct and I did deserved it. I haven't done anything to the Jacob Robida article since then. The only reason I went to you, in regards to my problems with, is because you're the only administrator I became familiar with and your user address was easily available on my talk page. Do not worry I have not told anyone or given anyone the impression that we are friends. TripleH1976 23:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Howcheng wrote; "As a side note, I want to make it clear that I have no connection to TripleH1976 -- he is not a friend of mine or anything and we have never collaborated on an article." Well that's a relief. TripleH must also be relieved that he didn't have to answer my questions. Nothing I can see has been corrected in the article to date, so I'll have to agree with, and his response above. Currious1 14:42, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Currious1, well, of course you agree with them. That's because YOU ARE You don't think I can see that? Every time I get into a new argument with, Curious and Freedomring make a surprise appearance. Interestingly enough, Currious1 and Freedomring just as have shown no interest in any other article besides the David Westerfield article. A coincidence??? I think not. They came here with an agenda; that is crystal clear. TripleH1976 20:47, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

So now we are all LOL Keep up the good sleuthing and don't forget to study hard for that Criminal Justice degree.

FreedomRings 22:25, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Let me also say that I removed the, "Guilty?", section because it reads like a spiel; basically a rant. The tone and wording was not encyclopedic. Your sentence that the blue fibers "can't be dated" reads like a lecture. You can not cite editorial articles as references either. TripleH1976 22:02, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

You mean to say that you and you alone deleted someone's section because it wasn't up to your standards? I have a question and only because I admit that I am not up to speed on protocol but am I correct in assuming that any of us who do not agree with what is written, we can then delete all of the information? If so I will have a field day with TripleH1976's posts. I cannot believe just anyone can delete writings but it does appear to me that that is the case.

I respectfully request that TripleH1976 is not the one to reply to my question. And FYI TripleH1976 I do keep a copy of all of my writings so it can be deleted and then reinserted if you do so.

FreedomRings 22:14, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

I already have it. In fact, I got three. Why don't you build up some guts and make a user profile of your own? How interesting that you like reading up on others, but you don't let others read about you. I wonder why. TripleH1976 22:31, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Not necessary for me to see my "name" in lights and after reading your profile you have enough ego for all of us. I assume because of the 1976 in your ID that is your birth year so I will give you a little hint about me, I have kids older than you. FreedomRings 04:26, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Has an injustice been done?

It is an extreme injustice to this case that misinformation is being allowed to stand all because one member "says so." Most of what ThripleH1976 has said is incorrect. It is obvious that his main concern is that he be right, not the information. To that degree the entire article needs to be revamped and where the items are sourced should remain. TripleH1976 has never really answered any questions with anything other than his spin and attack and personally a rather smart alec reply at best.

I feel the article is needed and for that I appreciate the fact that TripleH1976 felt the same and hence his writing of the original article. But once others started correcting his misinformation he became belligerent with name calling and personal attacks that have shown to me at least, that he will discredit any thing that is not to his liking and to the degeree that he removes others items. He should not be allowed to do this as it gives him too much power. If anything is to be removed it should be done so only by a qualified moderator of which he is not. Why is this allowed? He oviously enjoys the attention that he is receiving from the moderators while those of us who have studied this case in extreme detail are ignored.

Because has shown his desire for detail and correctness, I give him a lot of credibility. Name calling and irresponsible comments should not be allowed on a website like Wikipedia that is viewed and trusted as a place to get correct information, just so one person can claim "rights" to the article as it will only discredit the entire article and also Wikipedia's credibility. I hope that this will all end soon and a responsible discussion can ensue.

To my knowledge most of us don't go running to a moderator every time someone writes something we don't agree with as obviously has been the case several times since this article was initiated given the fact that it was first protected and now proof from the above item written by HowCheng that TripleH1976 has been reprimanded on another article.

FreedomRings 19:18, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

I went to Howcheng, because he's an administrator. Perhaps, if you shown more interest in other articles, besides the David Westerfield article, you would have noticed that many users go to an administrator when they have heated problems with other people's edits. FreedomRings, I know you are You are not fooling anyone, only yourself. The article is meant to be a synopsis of the case. TripleH1976 20:47, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

Reply to TripleH1976 - LOL OMG Obviously I have been able to fool you into believing I am That certainly is a compliment to me but definitly not to him/her. That just goes to show how wrong you are!!! You can't argue with any one who has no ammunition. I only wish I were but you have completely verified to me what your knowledgeable abilities really are. I truly wish I was as capable as s/he is of researching and writing. But you can believe whatever it is you wish just don't try to convince the admistrators that I am him/her.

I didn't even know Wikipedia existed until it was brought to my attention after a friend who knew I was interested in researching everything I could find asked me if I had tried the Wikipedia site and secondly the David Westerfield case is the only one I am interested in. So that makes me unqualified to comment in your opinion? I don't like to see an injustice done to anyone. And in my opinion there was a great injustice done to David Westerfield. I do believe he is innocent and until I can be convinced otherwise I will continue to read and research to the best of my ability. I believe he will be eligible in a year or two for his appeal and at that time I will be following it even more closely to see what happens and if his appeal is rejected I know the Innocence Project may get involved as there are too many holes in this entire case.

I have since read a few other articles but I have not posted on any of them. I had no desire to do so. I did read a newspaper article about the Ken Lay case in regards to Wikipedia. They didn't receive a very good score on that article. A lot of misinformation and accusations were being floated about according to the paper. All the more reason to keep it honest and verifiable in my opinion. Wikipedia's reputation depends on it.

FreedomRings 21:47, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

TripleH writes: Currious1, well, of course you agree with them. That's because YOU ARE You don't think I can see that?

My response: So now your God? No wonder Howcheng added a disclaimer. Currious1 03:17, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Bleeding hearts. TripleH1976 03:46, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

TripleH, Don't you mean bleeding "heart?" Changed your mind, or revealing your true intentions by insinuating only one person could know more about this case than you, and try and correct your errors? About the only thing I can do, is try and educate you about how things are in the US.

Here's another question for you, and hopefully something that will help you learn even more about the problems just now coming to light. Which "two labs" in this article, were involved in the van Dam case? I'll give you a hint. One lab technician manipulated computer files, and manipulated DNA tests in 25 instances. The other lab in Illinois, State Police recently cancelled a contract with, and is one of the largest independent DNA labs in the country, expressing “outrage” over poor quality work.

Champion Magazine - Problems In Forensic DNA Testing

Maybe you think this is some kind game, but those of us who have studied this case, and others, are extremely concerned at what is happening in our country. Mostly it's the apathy displayed by people like yourself, who don't even care if they have the facts, or what the facts are! Currious1 17:24, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Oh go cry me river!!! whaaaa!!! whaaa!!! whaaa!!!! All criminals claim to be innocent. They had a bad childhood. The DNA lab was out to get them! whaaaaaa!!!! TripleH1976 18:03, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Now there's a graduate student for you. KinderKare I presume. But the way things go in today's world, may I inform you that IF you ever apply for a criminal justice position, you better hope they don't search the Internet for any information on your abilities. An adult would at least respond in a more mannerly and respectful way. It is very unfortunate that you can't reply in a more responsible mode. It would certainly give you more credibility. But to each his own. FreedomRings 18:50, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I reply like I do, because defenders for a convicted child-killer irk me to no end. Now slowly scroll up and read the header that says: This page is not for discussion about David Westerfield's guilt or innocence. I'm not going to let you apologist run this talk page amok again, like you did the archived one. Go into the article's page history and you'll notice that no one said you can't give reasons for doubting his conviction. But it must not read like an original research, or lecture, or promoting an agenda. I know you have a hard time with that. TripleH1976 22:59, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Nor will I allow incorrect information to be spewn around by those who know absolutely nothing about the case. And I will also feel very free to remove any and all of the incorrect information that you post if you cannot source that information. I am not a "child killer apologist" as you prefer to call me but I do care about our UNITED STATES OF AMERICA's constitution, of which you obviously have no interest in so please refrain from telling me what I am supposed to accept. This is AMERICA and I know nothing about Canadian rights and would never presume to tell you what you have to accept as a Canadian.

All of us who have posted on this case - except you - have sourced links to the information that you so choose to ignore. You obviously started this article because you believed every one would shower you with praise and affection and it didn't quite turn out the way you planned or you wouldn't be so upset.FreedomRings 01:24, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

You're funny!!! There is no incorrect information in the article. If people don't believe any of it they can follow the links. I haven't said anything the media didn't report. And for FYI, wikipedia is full of Canadians. It is not a requirement to be American to edit here. Under our laws, Westerfield would have been convicted too. Why don't you scrape some money and send it to him, so he can buy snacks at the San Quentin canteen??? Oh please! The last thing I was looking for was praise when I made the article. I made it, because I saw there was an article on Samantha Runnion. So I figured there should be one on Danielle. Then I made one about her murderer. The murderer you like defending. Afterwards, I received complaints that they weren't notable enough. But me and several other people told them it was. TripleH1976 03:34, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Where in the world did you get the idea that "becaue you are a Canadian" you can't edit? More of your spin I guess. What I said is "because you are a Canadian you may not have any interest in our constitution." For all you know I may be "scraping up money to send to him." And I will continue to defend what I believe was an injustice in this case. That is my right. I am not getting my information out of the newspapers or from TV personalities. I have studied this case for 4.5 years. FreedomRings 18:34, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

I might be funny but you are wrong again, as usual.

You're right TripleH1976

You have shown the world that you don't know squat about this case by the removal of all of the previous posts that we have made showing you are wrong. I know you state that you have gotten your information from the "MEDIA." Well that goes to prove you don't know the case except through that median. There have been many inacurracies printed and commented on, one of which was made by Lt. Collins, SDPD's statement in the SDUT, The chief said Westerfield's DNA was also found on an article of Danielle's clothing found in her room. Later proven to be incorrect. NOTHING of David Westerfield was EVER found in the van Dam home. There are others but you wouldn't be interested in anything that shows you just how incorrect your comments are.

I agree with you on one thing however, anyone who wants to know the truth should read through the links that currious1 - and myself have provided only because you have provided nothing to link to your comments.

I will do my best to stop replying to you because you aren't worth the time and effort. I was originally under the opinion that Wikipedia was a Website for CORRECT information. I have however been given more insight into this and have decided on my own that you can't believe everything you read here either. That is a shame because it is people like you who have trashed what was originally supposed to be a site for research and information.

I also hold the administrators accountable for allowing you to continually remove everything you determine you don't want to be known if they don't agree with your understanding of the case. FreedomRings 18:21, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, dear, does that mean you are leaving wikipedia? If so, you know what they say, don't let the door kick you in the rear end on your way out, you never came here with noble intentions in the first place. You are better off saving your money and sending it to Westerfield for his San Quentin canteen fund. Tell him I said, hi and tell him not to drop the soap in the shower area. If he hasn't already. LOL LOL LOL TripleH1976 20:05, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Oh NO - NO - NO Dahlink. I said I was going to try real hard not to reply to your posts. Don't think for one minute that I will leave Wikipedia. You're not worth that as much as you believe you are. I will continue to correct your erroneous babble. You certainly have no nobility to judge what my intentions were for coming here. You never expected that there would be anyone paying attention to the case and you would be able to twist and turn it to what you hoped would make you a "hero." FreedomRings 05:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

That's fine. It's not like anyone would have noticed you were gone, because you don't edit anything else besides the Westerfield article. Which only reinforces my belief that you have an agenda to push around here. You aren't anything I can't handle. Just know that I'll continue to revert your salacious babble about Damon being in a bedroom with a woman. As well as the price of the Van Dam's new home. As if any of that has any relevance to the crime. Victim bashing a great tactic used by the child-killers attorney to defend the pervert. You think you know so much because you're on the same side as the pervert??? What kind of man has rape videos on his computer? Does it feel good to be on the same side of a man like that? Yeah, yeah, sure, it was really Neal who was into that stuff. Either way someone in that home was a pervert, and even if it was only Neal who looked at the child porn and rape videos he picked up the habit from someone. My guess would be by daddy-dearest. TripleH1976 06:54, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Time out


It's time you all enter dispute resolution. I suggest starting with the Mediation Cabal or getting a third opinion. If that doesn't do anything, go to a Request for Comment followed by a Request for Mediation. This arguing back and forth between y'all has taken far too much time and space on this and other talk pages, and I've already been involved as much as I care to be. howcheng {chat} 22:56, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Howcheng it isn't worth the effort IMO. Wikipedia has allowed TripleH1976 to repeatedly edit the information that has been researched and sourced and once again a sockpuppet under the guise of a "new" user has appeared. You can tell in the history by his comments as to why he edited/removed that it is him. So until wikipedia gets TripleH1976 under control or allows his wrong information to be edited and left in place there is no need for me at least to go to arbitration.

This is just what TripleH1976 wants.....CONTROL of the article and it is WRONG!!!!! As far as I am concerned the entire article should be removed rather than have incorrect information given as a fact or without the ability for others to make corrections. He only writes part of the story and won't allow others to tell the rest of it. There is nothing neutral about his side. FreedomRings 16:05, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

FreedomRings I do not see where at all Howcheng is giving TripleH1976 control over the article. The article, right now, is very neutral. I don't know where you get off saying people are sockpuppet. Contrary, to what you believe, there are many people in this world who believe Mr. Westerfield is guilty. I think the article tells both sides of the case very well. I don't know who TripleH1976 is, but from my point of view I believe he takes issue with you and because you both want to monopolize the article. You want the article to convey your feelings. Those feelings being that you think Mr. Westerfield was wrongfully convicted. You accuse TripleH1976 of not being neutral but the same can be said for you and Why do you want to include the price of the Van Dam's home? Or include information on their car. Why do you want to include Damon Van Dam's sex romp with one of the girls. How does that make Westerfield innocent? The adult female isn't a victim! Why does fail to mention the full details of the entomology reports? The entomologist gave estimates - estimates do not make something facts. Three of those entomologist and their testimony were bought and paid for by Mr. Westerfield's defense attorney. Clearly the jury was not swayed by the entomologist, but fails to mention it and why. I don't believe you should be throwing stones at TripleH1976. You have a lot more in common with him then you care to admit. Only major difference is that you side with the defense. This article is neutral enough. 03:53, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

The summary of your edits was “removing unimportant information and providing a MORE accurate information on the entomology”.

You removed the statement that Westerfield’s motor home was often parked outside his house. That statement is correct, so presumably you consider it unimportant. It’s not. Evidence of Danielle was found in that vehicle. WHEN did it get there? If Westerfield was a stranger who lived far away, then that would be STRONG evidence of guilt. But the fact that it was often parked VERY close to her, sometimes unlocked and sometimes even open (according to testimony), is therefore HIGHLY significant, it means she had ACCESS to it, so the evidence of her in it COULD have been left there at a prior date. Wikipedia articles are REQUIRED to be NEUTRAL, so this information MUST be included.

You also removed the statement that the van Dams sold cookies to Westerfield the previous year. This is similar to the previous statement (though admittedly not as important because of the known and very recent cookie sale, but it was only FOUR words). Evidence of Danielle was found in his house. The quantity was small and NOT consistent with a stay of several HOURS, but it can be argued that it was more than expected from a 15 or 20 minute visit. The fact that there was an earlier visit - in fact, VISITS, as there was also a gift wrap sale, and these goods would have had to be delivered and paid for - is therefore relevant, it could explain a higher quantity. Also notable is that he had MET Danielle before: if he was besotted with her, why didn’t he kidnap her then? I think a mere four words pointing towards innocence is not unreasonable.

Why did you change “college children” back to “adult children”? Both Lisa (21) and Neal (18) WERE in college at the time. The extra precision didn’t even require an extra word.

Entomology: Why do you consider it insufficient for an entomologist to base an estimate mostly on fly larvae? What else would you want used? Beetles? Faulkner did use them: and they confirmed the short time frame. The lack of a body silhouette was also consistent with a short time period. It is true but misleading to say that entomologists cannot determine a maximum time. A body covering, for example, can delay the insects but typically only by a couple of days and anyway there was no evidence of that. I presume you added the statement about Neal Haskell to BALANCE your ones about Faulkner, because it’s the ONLY change you made that is favorable to Westerfield.

Selby: The reason you gave for the police not believing his confession sounds like a PERSONAL opinion. That is NOT permitted in Wikipedia, you can only quote OTHER people’s PUBLISHED opinions. My personal opinion is that the police firmly believe Westerfield to be guilty, and don’t want to consider any other possibility. But I would be delighted if someone could show me proof that they tried to match Selby (or anyone else) to the unknown fingerprints found in the van Dam house, the unknown DNA found on Danielle’s bed, and the unknown hair found under her body. Thank you for NOT saying he committed suicide, even though that is the official belief. He had not made any suicide threats and was not on suicide watch.

The purpose of the Talk page is NOT to discuss Westerfield’s guilt or innocence, but to discuss the WORDING of the article. I am not making recommendations for alternative wording here, partly because there is some overlap with the edits subsequently made by, and partly because I hope you can, by yourself, adequately modify or revert your edits in accordance with what I have written above. 18:33, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Actually I am as well. I've been making the recent changes, however, please do not accuse me of being TripleH1976. I am not him or her. No proof was shown that Danielle Van Dam was ever in the motor home uninvited. I do not believe the RV's door was ever opened or unlocked. This is a lie the defense fabricated. They are allowed to lie and get away with it. The evidence of her being in the RV is there because Mr. Westerfield took her there himself. Why is it we're suppose to believe witnesses, who claimed the RV's door was unlocked/opened but we have to discount the witness who stated Westerfield told him his RV was alarmed and thus secured? Atleast one of these witnesses is lying. Which one? The article IS neutral. Adding where the RV is parked is frivolous. Of course it's parked outside his home. Where else is it suppose to be in his mouth? It will not make anything neutral to mention that. How dare you tell me wikipedia articles are suppose to be neutral when you can't make a neutral article yourself! I read your "Guilty?" section and it reeks with bias.
I expanded on the entomology because you make entomology appear like it exonerates Mr. Westerfield. It did not. In fact the jury discounted it totally. You fail to inform people why. I am merely trying to correct that. Their estimates with fly larvae is insufficient because estimates don't make facts. It is not exact; there is no text-book way flies behave. Many external factors affect them. Factors we have no control over. You are the one trying to mislead people. Lack of body silhouette indicating a short time period that is your personal opinion. Did it ever cross your mind that one or more animals moved her body? A coyote, wolf, mountain lion the possibilities are endless. The way they found her you think she was in that position the whole time? His children ARE adults. If they went to University are they University children? Doesn't that sound stupid to you? It does to me. Regardless, where they're getting their education they are still ADULTS!! Describe them by age, not what public insititution they attend for education.
Selby did commit suicide and I added that in . If Selby had given them any reason to test the fingerprints they would have done it. Fact is he didn't say anything out of the ordinary that wasn't already said in the media. Yeah, I know he wasn't on suicide watch or threatened suicide, but truth is he had good reasons for wanting death. He was a known child-rapist, he knew he was going to be sentence to incarceration for the rest of his life. A prisoner recently attacked him. So he really didn't have much to live for. I do not feel the article needs more changes. 21:08, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

quote - Actually I am as well. I've been making the recent changes, however, please do not accuse me of being TripleH1976.

I don't know who you are, but it's OBVIOUS from your comments above, you don't know the facts, or the testimony any more than TripleH1976 does, and shouldn't be making edits at all. You make statements as though they are a fact, with NOTHING to back it up. What is it about the truth that bothers you so much? Putting it in print where people might read it? Currious1 18:20, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

On the contrary I know plenty about this case. If you know the truth so much, where are your contributions to the article? I've been looking through all the history of the article and the disccusion pages and, I see, that you've only flapped your gums in the discussion pages. Nothing in the main article. So what bothers you about contributing to the MAIN article? You know the truth and all, right? Actually the real truth is with Mr. Westerfield. How about you visit him at San Quentin and ask him about it? 21:43, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Reply to

So to believe that Westerfield is guilty, we have to believe that SEVEN witnesses - three of whom were PROSECUTION witnesses (Hoeffs, Crum and Elkus) - lied under oath, AND that entomology is so unreliable that it should not be used in legal cases. I look forward to seeing you include that in the article. Either one, by itself, provides “reasonable doubt” - and that’s all that’s needed. 04:37, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

quote; How about you visit him at San Quentin and ask him about it?

If your trying to convince me your not TripleH1976, your not doing a very good job so far. If you answer my questions to him on the archived discussion page, perhaps I'll change my mind. It was archived before he got a chance. Coincidence? Who provided the FACTS to back up my questions? I did. There's my contribution. Not opinion, FACTS! I don't need Westerfield's opinion to see the truth, that's obvious. You just have to get past the lies first. I'm simply supporting for trying to make a better, more accurate article. Sorry if that bothers you. I'm done responding, as I don't want to see yet another page archived. Good luck, Currious1 18:16, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Replying to

Those prosecution witnesses you speak of, are they on death row? To believe David Westerfield is innocent we must believe there was a wide conspiracy against him. Everything from The Van Dams; law enforcement; prosecution; witnesses; the media; friends and familes to the Van Dams; an imaginery swinger who was the real killer; Even Danielle Van Dam herself. The RV was her playground you know. Everyone is lying except David Westerfield. It's ok to have some child porn. Even more ok if you look at it only once or twice a year. And if somebody else uses your computer blame the porn on that person to take the focus off of you. Having it is not a motive for wanting the real thing. I question the honesty of many defense witnesses. The witnesses at the bar who said Westerfield was terribly drunk. On cross-examination they were not too certain it was Westerfield. They themselves were drinking too. They saw this in the dark too. The people who said the RV was unlocked or opened. How do they know? Did they have a habit of going in and out of it? They would have to be approaching the vehicle everyday to really know. Entomology is reliable so long as the testing is done objectively. The entomologist for the defense conducted their test in a way that would benefit the defense. Do you think the defense would have put them on the stand if they wanted to say something deterimental to their client? 23:00, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Currious1 what you provided was true or false questions. How do you equate that to facts? From my understanding the discussion was archived, because it got too long. I've been looking at many articles and it's not uncommon for a talk page to go archived. I think TripleH1976 should have archived it a lot sooner. Right in the middle the discussion goes downhill. Replies are all over the place. I do not agree with you that wants an accurate article. What he or she wants is an article that reflects their feelings. What feeling? The feeling that David Westerfield was wrongfully convicted. They have no right to make the article in such a way. 22:40, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Reply to Quote: “Those prosecution witnesses you speak of, are they on death row?” So we CAN’T believe those three witnesses because they’re NOT on death row?? Your response doesn’t make sense to me, and it merely reinforces my belief that people get so emotional about this case that they can no longer think rationally. 03:57, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

No, but do you think ONLY their testimony got him convicted? No, it was a culmination of evidence, testimony, and circumstances that got him convicted. And try as you might it wasn't the media. The media didn't tell the jury to convict him. 07:06, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality disputed

Evidence casting doubt on Westerfield’s guilt has been repeatedly removed from this article. 04:22, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

The goal of wikipedia is to be neutral. It isn't wikipedia's duty to cast doubt on his conviction. This place is not a project to get him a new trial. You tried your best to include a section(doubting guilt)but it ended up with an NPOV tag. The article is fairly balanced. You added the tag because it does not reflect your entire point of view(you want something on the media). The article contains plenty of sentences that place Mr. Westerfield in a positive light. 1. He is successful and lived close to the victim. 2. He had contact with the victim days before disappearance. 3. Mentions that Westerfield's rights were violated. 4. His hint of suicide is explained that he said it was a joke. 5. Intensely interrogated and lack of sleep. 6. No criminal past. 7. Police rushed the case. 8. Victim's cause of death not known or if she was assaulted. 9. Mentions that his arrest was on two small blood stains; not some gory blood bath. 10. Mentions that the child porn was not for enjoyment and he said he was going to give it to law enforcement as evidence of internet smut. 11. Mentions that law enforcement didn't have evidence that he was in the victim's home. 12. Mentions that James Selby confessed to the crime. 13. Mentions that he wanted to take a retest on the polygraph test. 14. Mention his claims that he wasn't involved in victim's disappearance. 15. Entomology places bug colonization, on victim, during a time Westerfield was being monitored by police. 16. Talked to law enforcement and told them about being at a bar and saw the victim's mother.
So much stuff there that could suggest to someone he is innocent. I don't know what more you want I think you are just sore that you didn't write the article from scratch. Anyhow, I will remove your tag. IMO, you did not place it there with good faith. 07:42, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I'm new to wikipedia but I want to add my two-cents. This article is far too kind to David Westerfield. Fighting for Justice 20:03, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
To be neutral it HAS to include evidence casting doubt on guilt. There are around TWICE as many statements placing him in a NEGATIVE light, including some SEVEN reasons given for DISBELIEVING the entomological evidence alone (without the FLAWS in those reasons being mentioned). That’s NOT a balance - which is ALL I want.
But let’s take a closer look at the “positive” statements you listed. The fact that he was successful doesn’t point to innocence. Neither does the fact that he lived close to the victim: you would have to ADD evidence that Danielle had access to his RV. Similarly with regard to contact between them: the article should mention that Locard could account for much of the evidence used against him, otherwise the mention of contact means nothing to the ordinary person. And so on and on. Some of the bias in these positive statements is subtle, such as “The defense suggested ... claimed ...”, implying we needn’t believe it. Some of the bias in the article is blatant, such as no mention of the blood spot in the RV not having been properly documented by the police, or that some members of law enforcement considered NONE of the porn to be child porn. All of that WAS in the article, but TripleH1976 and yourself REMOVED it. So it’s YOUR good faith that should be questioned, NOT mine. 03:49, 1 October 2006 (UTC)
Danielle did not have access to the RV! Just because she lived close by? I don't think so. It would be tantamount of a 7 year old outsmarting a large group of adults. She did not have a key for it; Westerfield never gave her permission to be in it; No evidence was shown that she was in the RV uninvited; her parents, her friends, Westerfield's family never caught her there. Westerfield told someone his RV was well secured. It's very hard to believe it was unlocked and opened. The people who stated it was unlocked would have to admit they broke into it. To say she had access to it is erroneous. This article IS too kind to Westerfield. The language of the article concerning the prosecution is neutral. It doesn't say he was rightfully convicted. Articles don't have to be perfect either. It is virtually impossible to take both sides and try to balance it out in one short article. Look into other crime articles. The defense for the subject is mentioned very few times. In this article it is mentioned many, many times. Statements that the blood spot in the RV was not properly documented need to be backed up. Not to back it up is libel against the police. It is untrue that the police found NONE of the porn as child porn. He did have some images that were questionable. In fact he was convicted for it. I realize he didn't have a treasure full of child porn, but he had some. Child porn at ANY level is reprehensible. If it wasn't his he should have checked his computer cache after his son finished using the computer. The word "allege" is used on the prosecution as well. It seems to me like you want this article to put Westerfield in the most positive way possible. Judging by your "Guilty?" section and your links you think the guy is innocent. Fighting for Justice 05:49, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

I added in the notes that locard transfer could explain the evidence of Danielle being in the RV. Also stated that by in large most of his computer images were legitimate. Fighting for Justice 07:11, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Sentenced to Death

Mr. Westerfield was found guilty and sentenced to death. I believe that is an important point that should be mentioned early in the article. Bill Huffman 18:25, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you Bill. I will try to do something about that. I believe the reason such a thing is not included is because a certain user has been sabotaging the article at every opportunity they can get. They've been here since March repeatedly posting apologies for Westerfield. Just look at the article's history and you'll see what I mean. Fighting for Justice 22:33, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Once we lift protection here, I want to move the death sentence mention to the first sentence and move the misdemeanor mention further down in the article. Thoughts? —Wknight94 (talk) 21:53, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I found the language refering to "death penalty" confusing. Use of the phrase "He received..." has to be among the most passive approaches to employing an active voice. He is living in San Quentin, but he "received the death penalty"? I couldn't figure out if he is dead or alive until I contemplated that writers here might not have benefited from learning well established phrases used to convey concepts in typical news writing. The phrase "he received..." appears twice in that paragraph. We miss an opportunity to learn if a jury or a judge was the agent behind the action. A court sentenced him to death. No confusion there (if that's indeed the case -- we need to know about California law to see if the court or the jury actually convicts and sentences -- most likely a jury found him guilty of possession child porn, and a court sentenced him to death for the murder on advice of a jury. That's how most publications explain such circumstances. As of (date) he resided in San Quentin, (where he continues to appeal his case?)Aaron Ford (comment continues below subheader)
I now drift into another controversy about the article already broached under other headings on this page and elsewhere (that's how I found this) but...
Balancing accounts of prosecution and defense arguments in reports of a criminal trial is not that difficult. We find tallies on this discussion page of how many arguments from each side are listed in the article, but what we need to know is how many arguments each side made. How many witnesses did each side call? How long did each side take to present their case? I doubt that counting witnesses who are quoted in a published transcript would comprise original research. It is fair to report defense responses to any prosecutorial allegation, even if the jury favored the prosecution arguments.:::It's not an documentary narrator's job to present evidence that casts doubt on a conviction; that was the job of the defense team. It is the narrator's job to accurately represent their effort, the prosecutions effort, and the conclusions of the court and jury. We don't know who killed this child. What we know is what the court concluded about the murder and what arguments and evidence were presented, as documented in other sources.
And another note, later in the article we find references to things another subject "is believed" to have done. We can safely program a bot to remove as overly vague any sentence from a factual document that begins with "It is believed." Please tell us whose beliefs are being presented, as in "investigators who worked on the case believe..." or better "Detective Doe said she believed the suspect was..." (or "Detective Doe believed the suspect was...")
And finally, information about any pending or resolved appeals could add additional balance.
While the exact language of the article might avoid declaring as true in an original voice the opinion that the subject in fact committed the acts for which he was convicted, the happenstance, unsystematic approach used to describe prosecution and defense rationales leaves me impressed that whoever is writing lacks either the experience or the concern for presentation of facts in criminal trials to avoid inflecting the article one way or the other. That's not to say those involved can't or won't develop greater experience and concern as part of their editorial effort. Aaron Ford 00:30, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
That's an excellent idea Wknight94. In addition, I think the article should be forwarded to peer review. The addition of other editors is strongly needed. As there seems to be only 3 different people, who have heavily contributed to the article thus far. Fighting for Justice 04:08, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Article protected again

What is the problem here? Let's get some dialogue going. From some of the more recent edit summaries, this latest edit war seems to be over some fairly trivial issues, no?... —Wknight94 (talk) 19:54, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The solution is very simple. User: needs to be banned from editing the article permanently. He think this is the "David Westerfield is innocent" article. 196 keeps on insisting that Westerfield didn't have child porn. He insist on including a hearsay statement from an officer that Westerfield's porn was not child porn. This is incongruous with everything we know about the case. He was indicted and successfully convicted for child pornography. He told officers he was collecting it to send it to congress. The statement is also biased. 196 wants a link to an older version of the article, in which it links to an original research section he created. 196 has sabotaged this article with every opportunity they can get it. He insist the article is not neutral when it is. What do they have against calling Westerfield's children adults? What the heck is college age? We don't call children elementary age. THEY NEED TO BE STOPPED. Fighting for Justice 20:08, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Just playing devil's advocate here - and I haven't even read this article... Is all of your material reliably sourced? Is 196 trying to add sourced or unsourced content? —Wknight94 (talk) 20:24, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Most of the time 196 cites primary sources. But then gives a defense spin to the information. He spins everything to make Westerfield in a positive light. 196 feels the media wronged Westerfield, so he wants to include reports that put the age of a girl(in a video Westerfield owned) as 7, 11, and teen. What difference does it make the age? It was still a CHILD and what happened to her was RAPE. And, yeah, as the article is now it is reliably sourced. Fighting for Justice 20:34, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Still in devil's advocate mode... if multiple views are reliably sourced, should the article state both views, weighted by some method that follows WP:NPOV? Maybe a more specific example would be good too. If it's a difference between one source saying 9 years old and another saying 10 years old, I don't see a problem with saying "9 or 10 years old" and giving both sources. —Wknight94 (talk) 20:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Do you want to see evidence of how 196 spins? Go into their latest version of the article and go to link 16. The article states several videos depict young girls and teens. But it does not say specifically it was the CD clip in question. 196 is notorious for doing this; it's all spin, spin, spin. Fighting for Justice 20:52, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm looking at this edit. The one addition, "Another report gave an age of only 7, while yet another report said 'teens'" seems a lot like splitting hairs. It's all illegal, eh? Another addition is, "Some members of law enforcement, such as Detective Chris Armstrong, concluded that this was not child pornography" - is that sourced? The other edit, "college students" vs. "adult children" - who cares? —Wknight94 (talk) 21:42, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
These are all relavent differences under the law. I care. Aaron Ford 00:30, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
All right, I'm willing to concede on the age stuff regarding his children. But not on the Armstrong statement it is biased and the article is already very positive to Westerfield. In addition, we only know Armstrong thought this through hearsay. You can look at the court transcript 196 provides. The source is not a statement from him it is the judge saying he concluded it wasn't child pornography. The judge disallowed it too. On with the video the article states it was 11 or 12. So the age is already subjective to the public. 196 simply wants the article to say Westerfield got screwed. Even if all the changes 196 wants happen he will edit the article again to help Westerfield. He is obsessed with the case. Fighting for Justice 21:53, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

And of course FFJ isn't obsessed!! wknight - Between the two posters 196 is the only one who knows this case inside and out. He has his sources listed and FFJ AKA TH1976 doesn't want anything that we find questionable in this case brought to anyone's attention that there are many problems with this case. That is all that 196 is trying to do. Point out the problems with this case. A man is on death row and the inconsistencies in the trial should be addressed if we are to believe in our justice system. 196 is very fair and honest. Fighting for Justice is none other than a sockpuppet for the original TtipleH1976 who was banned a few months ago no matter what he claims. You can now tell by all of the posts and deletes he has made over the past couple of months. His nastiness toward 196 has continued and his comments in the history is a dead giveaway of his true identity. 196 has stayed the course with his sources and is very fair, unlike the "new" guy. He will now come back here and dump on me as well because he doesn't want anyone calling him out. This individual is the one who spins and never sources anything that is fair and balanced as 196 does. He has called all of us who try to set the record straight a child killer apologist. I highly resent the reference as I am not and neither is 196 - IMO. All we want is the TRUTH to be told. So far all FFJ AKA TH1976 wants is a fight with hopes that we will all be banned leaving him to tell "his" story of which he knows nothing other than what he has read or heard on TV. We have read the transcripts and studied this case better than most attorneys would have been able to do. I for one have no problem with the article being protected because it keeps FFJ AKA TH1976 from having the control of the article, of which he truly wants so he can do whatever he wants to do all in the name of "winning." This is my opinion only. FreedomRings 22:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

wknight94 don't be fooled by FreedomRings. Because FreedomRings IS User: They went on a little hiatus, but very interesting how they just arrived. I know this because I have gone through all the talk pages, including the archived one. FreedomRings always shows up to 196's defense.<wink> Fighting for Justice 22:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

196 please don't spread lies about me. This is not the David Westerfield is innocent article. I'm making sure the article stays neutral. Fighting for Justice 22:07, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I do not want any control. I simply want an article that calls it right down the middle. This article did not get created so 196 can come here and point to the flaws of the case. That's not what wikipedia is about. Wikipedia is not about changing people's minds about Westerfield's guilt or innocence. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fighting for Justice (talkcontribs) 22:26, 27 December 2006 (UTC).
FFJ, I'm not trying to get you to concede on the age of his children. I'm not even sure I understand what the issue is there. 196 doesn't want the "adult" part? Are they adult or not? Why does it matter? How about "college students of age X and Y"? The Armstrong thing seems both too detailed and barely relevant. Was the child porn issue what got him the death penalty or something? —Wknight94 (talk) 22:56, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
No, but the prosecution did use it to illustrate a motive for kidnapping the girl. Her body was found far too decomposed to determine a cause of death or if she was sexually molested. The evidence was mostly circumstantial. He qualified for the death penalty because kidnapping and murder in the first degree are both felonies in the state of California. I believe his children were 21 and 18 in 2002. That is adult for most states. Fighting for Justice 23:03, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
That seems like more detail than most will care about even in the near future. If no reliable sources are reporting on judge error or detectives being silenced - and all about a part of the case that didn't even factor in that much - then let it go. As far as his children's ages, just put the ages in or mention that they were both adult and college students if that makes everyone happy. That part seems even more trivial. I'm beginning to think the edit war here is more over personal grudges than actual content. —Wknight94 (talk) 23:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
My only grudge is that User: uses wikipedia's NPOV policy to further his cause. He seems to think because of that policy the article is OBLIGATED to contain evidence that Westerfield is innocent, or wrongly convicted. It does not. You as an administrator tell me if I am right or wrong in this logic? I would appreciate your feedback on this. A good chunk of the article is already positive for him. I don't know what User: problem is. And I don't think he will ever be satisfied unless we give him carte blanche to write an article he sees fit and it is locked. Fighting for Justice 03:55, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Articles are supposed to contain a neutral POV but a key part of that policy is that opposing viewpoints should be weighted accordingly (WP:Undue weight). In the one case here, a raw trial transcript contains a defense lawyer claiming that a detective didn't consider the material to be pornography. That's one primary source account of the words of one extremely biased defense attorney. Representing that viewpoint equally here with those that come from numerous reliable sources goes against WP:NPOV#Undue weight. If other reliable secondary sources can be found which report doubt of Westerfield's guilt, that would change things. —Wknight94 (talk) 04:52, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
All right that is good to know. But given 196's history I'm sure he'll find a way to twist this too. For example, check out his latest reply to me in the biographies of living people persons/Noticeboard. Now original research isn't original research it is source-based research'. Does wikipedia have that term? [1] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fighting for Justice (talkcontribs) 05:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC).
I guess we need to discuss this at WP:BLPN. I don't want to do this in two places. —Wknight94 (talk) 11:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Composite reply to discussion:

At last: outside interest.

Age of Westerfield’s children: I prefer to say they were “college students” because that paints a more precise and complete picture of his circumstances than just “adult”. They were YOUNG adults who were doing WELL.

Age of video girl: The prosecutor, in his opening statement (June 4), said: “you will see what is going on on those videos. And what you will see is basically adult males sexually assaulting a young female. Certainly dressed to look like a young female.” That tells me there was just ONE girl in the brief video clips, and she was probably OVER 18 (and therefore not a child). Some media reports (such as the existing quote in the Wikipedia article) indicated there was only one girl; others indicated there were several. And the age(s) they gave were “7", “11 or 12", “child”, “young”, “young teens” and “teens”. And “teens” could be 18 or 19, and therefore legal. When media reports differ so WIDELY, something is WRONG. And what I THINK is wrong is that the reporters couldn’t see the TV monitor clearly (because if its small size and the viewing angle). Wikipedia cannot quote just ONE of these ages (in this case, “11 or 12"), sweeping the rest under the carpet, unless it has evidence that that’s the correct one.

Child porn: If someone is convicted of a crime, but there is good evidence they are NOT guilty, then any authoritative and impartial reference work MUST say so. In this case there was a police report (by Detective Armstrong) quoted by the judge in court; the testimony of a member of the police (Watkins) who had worked alongside the author of that report (and who denied disagreeing with Armstrong’s conclusion) (the judge overruled the hearsay objection); possibly the same police report mentioned in a media report; the decision of an Assistant U.S. Attorney (quoted in the sworn affidavit for a search warrant); and the conclusion of a former member of law enforcement (Lawson) (ex the Secret Service, the DEA, and the US Customs Service, where he specialized in child porn crimes) (in a court document). Also the opinion (quoted in a media report) of the mother of the only person in the “questionable” images who was identified (Susan L., mother of Danielle L.). 19:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Look this isn't a place for you to right the wrongs you think happend in the trial or the media. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. You have NEVER learned this. Who told you it MUST be here? It does not. Why do you think teens must only be 18 or 19? You've forgotten: 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. Go ahead and think the reporters were wrong, but you can not insert that in the article. You can not infer things from the opening statement and then add your influence to the article. That's not right! If they were 18 or 19 as you say was possible the video would never have been under question. You think the media wronged Westerfield, you said so yourself many times in the archived section. You can not come here and right them. Fighting for Justice 19:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Reply to wknight94's comment above: "In the one case here, a raw trial transcript contains a defense lawyer claiming that a detective didn't consider the material to be pornography. That's one primary source account of the words of one extremely biased defense attorney."

FYI - James Watkins,(prosecution witness) a San Diego police computer forensics examiner, testifies that he found 8,000 to 10,000 nude computer images in Westerfield's home. Most were photographs of mature women, he said.

Being questioned by Steve Feldman:


So if we divide 109,000 (to average)into 85 images we get such a small amount that it doesn’t even register a percentage point. So IMO to make a claim that it was an "extremely" biased defense attorney is misleading wknight. The above is from the trial testimony.

It is not my intention to create another arguement I just wanted to post the actual testimony so there is no misunderstanding of actual amount of images found on Westerfield's THREE computers. IMO I do not see how anyone can claim this as a motive. Even if it were 85 images on the one computer where there was 8 - 10,000 images you get .01%.FreedomRings 21:12, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

How is wknight94 misleading? Defense attorney do have to defend their client zealously. Therefore it is fair that one can say they are biased. In the protected article it does say it was 1%. So what are you complaining about? Why should Armstrong's statement be included? The source transcript is not a statement from him. It is the judge saying Armstrong concluded it wasn't child porn. The judge denied it. Westerfield's attorney's wanted that in. That's biased, so the way I see wiknight94 is fair in calling them biased. Fighting for Justice 21:58, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Reply to Aaron Ford: These are all relavent differences under the law. I care. Aaron Ford 00:30, 28 December 2006 (UTC) Thank you for caring. FreedomRings 21:35, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Is Court TV or some other news outlet reporting the same issues that you are reporting? —Wknight94 (talk) 21:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

this article is about the closest Fighting for Justice 22:01, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
First off, who cares what percentage of the porn was child porn? He had 85 videos of little girls being raped, that's plenty for my tastes, thank you!! That it's only .01% of his revolting collection of smut is not very comforting. For all we know, it was his favorite .01%. Your argument obviously wasn't very convincing for the jury so why should it be convincing to Wikipedia?
Bottom line: is any media outlet reporting the various things in favor of the defense? From that one source that FFJ gave, it sounds like the defense blundered at that juncture of the trial anyway. What else do we want to include? —Wknight94 (talk) 22:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
You hit the nail on the head wiknight94. That's exactly why I am frustrated with User: and his kind because somehow we are the bad guys for mentioning Westerfield had kiddie porn. Child porn of ANY KIND is revolting. No normal man in his right mind would have it in any of his computers. He wouldn't burn them on a CD either. Westerfield says he was collecting it in order to forward it to Congress. Well, somebody needs to tell him that's the police's job not his. I'm sure Congress is well aware of child porn. The FBI has done hundreds of bust over the years. Fighting for Justice 22:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

IMO I do not see how anyone can claim this as a motive. Even if it were 85 images on the one computer where there was 8 - 10,000 images you get .01%.FreedomRings 21:12, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Replying to the above.Freedomrings the fact of the matter is the prosecution did use it as a motive. It was successful and he won a conviction on it. Until the conviction is overturned on appeal nothing defending Westerfield against it needs to be here. It isn't wikipedia's obligation to argue his innocence. Fighting for Justice 23:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Not 85 VIDEOs - 85 IMAGES. IMO there is a huge difference. And why is it that FFJ didn't correct your mistake but instead high-fived you for traveling down his same road? That is how this article gets so misconstrued and off track. I am not justifying any amount and I agree that child porn is dispicable in any amount and I don't want any connection to adult porn either. But it is not my place to judge what ADULT images any one chooses to watch. I for one don't hold a lot of faith in Court TV as they are also biased toward the prosecution in my experience so they aren't very "middle of the road" reporters either. All I was trying to convey here was that there is testimony stating a very small amount of the porn was questionable IMAGES. And I do feel that the .01% is significant. You may not like it but that is my opinion.

In response to your "Bottom Line" No there is no other media outlet reporting anything in Westerfield's defense at this time. His case is due up on appeal and it would be very unprofessional for any media outlet to start dropping "their opinions" before hand. FreedomRings 00:29, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

And it's a very good thing that your opinion is in the minority. If a person does own child porn a majority of people will judge them as disturbed regardless if they own 85 or 8500 images. That's probably why Westerfield never shared his lovely 85 images with his friends. In addition, no body is high 5'ing anybody. This is a discussion not a basketball game. I've been here since September and it's a little nice to know somebody out there understands my problem with the article. Fighting for Justice 01:16, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
You don't put much faith in Court TV but Wikipedia does as WP:RS explains. Or at least it puts more faith in Court TV than in any of us. Hence WP:NOR. If you'd like to start your own web site or blog claiming that hiding 85 images of child porn within 8,000 other images of adult porn is okay, go ahead - but I don't see any evidence that it's appropriate here. That's my two cents. —Wknight94 (talk) 02:26, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Composite reply to discussion:

So nobody disputes that the media reports of the video clips were inconsistent and are therefore NOT reliable. They certainly do NOT prove that there was more than one girl or that she was under 18. Those reports were by Court TV, so Court TV was not reliable, at least not in this case. Watkins didn’t say that 1% of the images were child porn - or 0.1% or 0.01%. He merely said they were “questionable”. Meaning they MIGHT be - but might NOT be. And the 85 images include the photos of the girlfriend’s teenage daughter “lounging in a bikini poolside”. She wasn’t engaged in any sexual activity, nor was she even naked. When you consider the fact that, when Dr Phil set up a website for an imaginary 15-year-old girl, he successfully passed off images of a 25-year-old staff member as the 15-year-old!; plus all the law enforcement opinion I previously presented that there was NO child porn; plus the unreliable reports about the video clips, I would confidently conclude that there WASN’T any child porn. Certainly the evidence that there wasn’t child porn is strong enough to warrant inclusion in the Wikipedia article. 19:20, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Like it or not wikipedia considers Court TV reliable. Your spin on the evidence is not. What you provide on law enforcement is irrelevant. The outcome was GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS! THAT'S ALL WIKIPEDIA NEEDS TO SAY. I've come to the conclusion that this article doesn't need protection anymore. You need protection from the article. You need to be banned from editing it, because you just don't get it. Fighting for Justice 19:31, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's not go so far as proposing anyone being banned from anything. 196, nobody is refuting your claim about media reports because we don't need to. You haven't provided anything that says your claim is anything but original research. Per WP:V#Burden of evidence, the burden is on you to provide a reliable source verifying your claim. Court TV doesn't buy it and neither did the jury so why do you think it's appropriate for Wikipedia? In all honesty, I have trouble following your arguments since you don't provide sources for them. —Wknight94 (talk) 22:03, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
All right, I apologize if my comments are too emotionally charged but I for one would like to settle these issues once and for all. This is not a current event anymore, so there's no need for edits and reverts going on back and forth. The fighting and bickering in this article has to stop. It's been going on for too many months now. Fighting for Justice 06:19, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Discussion here moved to #Media coverage sectionWknight94 (talk) 11:41, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Reply to Wknight94:

What I have said on the Talk page might be original research, but what I put in the article ISN’T. And THAT’S what’s relevant. If one editor can quote from one Court TV article, then I can quote from another. Provided that’s ALL I do (which it was), and I leave it up to the READER to draw the LOGICAL conclusion themselves - we have no idea what her age actually was and Court TV is NOT a reliable source of information on this particular question - then I am NOT violating the “no original research” policy. I HAVE provided reliable sources verifying my claim. But a certain someone REMOVED them. And a certain someone else protected the version of the article WITHOUT the sources. So I am entirely the innocent party in all this. When you say Court TV didn’t buy my claim, which claim are you referring to: that Court TV couldn’t agree on what the facts were? The evidence speaks for itself. As you also mention the jury, perhaps you are referring to my claim that there wasn’t any child porn. But I am merely going by the conclusions of impartial experts - conclusions the jury was NOT ALLOWED to hear. What is appropriate is for Wikipedia to impartially present the EVIDENCE, both for and against. The fact that that particular evidence wasn’t allowed in the courtroom - at least not in the main trial, it WAS allowed in the Preliminary Hearing - is irrelevant: Wikipedia is NOT the courtroom. The “Peeping Tom” evidence wasn’t allowed in either, yet THAT’S in the article (but wrong). 18:58, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

There are so many theories and doublespeak going around that I can't even keep track. See my comments in the next section: All I know for sure is that raw trial transcripts and letters do not make good sources, esp. when secondary sources - like Court TV - is available to interpret the primary source transcripts. As for Court TV being a reliable source, it definitely qualifies more than a few blog sites. You can discuss what edits you'd like to make below or I can just unprotect it as is. BTW, it's not protected because of the state it's in - it's protected because of persistent edit warring. I didn't even see what state it was in when I protected it. —Wknight94 (talk) 01:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Primary sources:

There isn’t just “a raw trial transcript [that] contains a defense lawyer claiming that a detective didn't consider the material to be [child] pornography”. There is also “a raw trial transcript” of a PROSECUTION witness, Watkins (who was a member of the POLICE) saying that. There’s also “a raw trial transcript” of the JUDGE saying the detective said that (in a police REPORT). (Incidentally, that link was even in the PROTECTED version of the article, as the source for a statement added by “Fighting for Justice”, and in fact is STILL in the article but under External links.) I would add that there’s a SECONDARY source (the San Diego Union-Tribune) CONFIRMING the existence of that report, but that was ALSO removed from the Wikipedia article (by someone who supposedly considers secondary sources to be almost sacred). There’s also a sworn affidavit (by a police officer) that an Assistant U.S. Attorney “didn't consider the material to be [child] pornography”.

What other interpretation can be put on this? Detective Armstrong DID say that. And he put it in a police report. And he was willing to testify to it.

Where is the rule that primary sources must also have a secondary source in order to interpret them? The closest I could find was that there are few cases where an ENTIRE article could be sourced SOLELY from primary sources. But that’s FAR from being the situation here. 04:53, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

WP:V#Types of source material gives a good explanation. The point is to discourage the textbook misuse of raw data that appears to be going on here. The points raised by these transcripts have been discounted by judge, jury, and media - and therefore they must be discarded by Wikipedia as well. When secondary sources are lacking, primary sources are good to fall back on - but that is simply not the case here. By all means, if you can find any reliable secondary sources agreeing with any of the pro-Westerfield views you have, please do add them. Otherwise, this is not the place to air them. —Wknight94 (talk) 05:26, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Reply to Wknight94:

You seem to be saying that I make a good case that Detective Armstrong (and others in law enforcement) concluded that this was NOT child pornography, but the judge, jury and media all rejected this conclusion, therefore there must be a flaw somewhere in my reasoning, it’s just that you can’t see what it is.

I would reject that argument. For a start, the statements in question are simple and straightforward - the very antithesis of rocket science. So let’s look at the judge, jury and media.

The judge acknowledged Armstrong’s conclusion, but wouldn’t allow it precisely because it was an EXPERT conclusion. He didn’t say he disagreed with it or accuse the defense attorney of misrepresenting it. In any case, with the prosecutor present, it would have been difficult for the defense attorney to get away with any misrepresentation. Regarding the media, in the following comments I am going to restrict myself to the first three months, February to May, not just to save time but also because the jury hadn’t yet been chosen so the jurors were exposed to the media. During this period, the media repeatedly reported that Westerfield had child porn, even though the images hadn’t yet been shown. In support of their claims, they sometimes quoted unnamed sources in the police - and I’m sure the members of this community were inclined to believe the police. But Wikipedia does not look favorably on anonymous sources. The only sources named, by either the San Diego Union-Tribune or Court TV, were Watkins, who testified at the Preliminary Hearing, and the police chief, Bejarano. Both those media sources claimed that Watkins said that Westerfield had child porn: but he DIDN’T say that, he was very careful to say “questionable”, or “APPEAR to be under 18" or “APPEAR to be in sexual poses”, every time. And I doubt that the police chief personally examined the images, so he was going on hearsay. In any case, Bejarano lost credibility when he said, after Westerfield’s arrest but before Danielle’s body was found, that “Further evidence was discovered on a piece of the girl's clothing in her bedroom”. We’re still waiting to hear what that evidence was, it certainly wasn’t anything of Westerfield’s.

So the jurors had been repeatedly told by the media, for three months before they were even selected as jurors and warned to avoid the media coverage of the case, that Westerfield had child porn. They were never exposed to the contrary view from authority figures, and so had nothing to balance or contradict that. So their verdict was not an informed one. They were also subjected to community pressure. And it would have looked strange if they had voted “guilty” on the two felony charges, but “not guilty” on the child porn charge - it would have removed the motive for the serious crimes. They might well have said to themselves, “I can’t tell if the girls in those images are 17 or 18", or “I don’t think the photos of Danielle L. are sexual” (they might even have had similar pictures in their own family albums), but then just taken the easy way out. They might also have been affected by Samantha Runnion’s kidnap and murder, which occurred in the middle of Westerfield’s trial, and didn’t want to make the same mistake - assuming it was a mistake - as the jury in Avila’s previous trial.

But all this is academic. Because there IS a SECONDARY source, [2] confirming the existence of the police report, so I don’t see how there can be any suggestion that I have misinterpreted (let alone misused) the raw trial transcripts. Even “Fighting for Justice” acknowledges the existence of this report, but tried to downplay it by changing “Police officers reported they did not find child pornography” to “Upon first inspection police officers reported they did not find child pornography”, implying they missed it when they first looked. What evidence was that based on? 04:38, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Why isn't that secondary source listed in the article? I've never seen that. —Wknight94 (talk) 04:43, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
See these links: [3][4][5] 06:57, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Probably because those cops were not forensic computer specialist and don't have the knowledge of examining a computers original data files. I'm referring to files that could have been deleted. The fact the report says no child porn was found doesn't absolve him of possibly having child porn in the past. He could have deleted them. Fighting for Justice 04:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
So you think there WASN’T any child porn on his computer at the time of the crimes? 18:42, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
What part of that article are we referring to? The computer part seems irrelevant now - they showed the porn at trial. As far as people getting in trouble for contacting DW without his lawyer, how could that fit in to the article? Maybe a little side note - again, it doesn't seem particularly interesting in the long run. —Wknight94 (talk) 05:03, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
That’s not all those two police officers, Ott and Keyser, were guilty of: they also repeatedly ignored his requests for a lawyer when they first questioned him. As Marc Klaas would say: “That is certainly an indication that they are not above breaking the law. And that's very much a no-no. So those guys are just junk, and the sooner we're done with them the better.” (Larry King Live, August 5, 2002). Klaas was, of course, referring to Westerfield, but his remarks can equally be applied to Detectives Ott and Keyser. And this was yet another example of the hatred the media stirred up against Westerfield. The important question really is: what ELSE did Ott and Keyser do? Apart from also depriving him of sleep. And Paul Redden kept the space heater on while questioning Westerfield, in spite of his protests, making him uncomfortably hot. I wonder if that skewed the polygraph results? It would be good for Wikipedia to inform people how Westerfield was treated by the police. 04:39, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I think he is referring to this part: and police officers – in one report – state they did not find child pornography on Mr. Westerfield's computer." I don't see what the big deal is, because child pornographers usually conceal their files. They rename them or delete them. It takes a good computer expert to find them. What type of experts were these officers? The article fails to tell us. Fighting for Justice 05:11, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
But who cares? The computer people found the porn on the computer later, right? What's the point of mentioning that the cops didn't find it at first? —Wknight94 (talk) 05:19, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
My thoughts exactly. But is the king of spin. He's got more spin then a ferris wheel. You got bad evidence against the defendant spin it into something else. Or blame it on Danielle for selling him cookies and being in his house for an astonishing 15-20 minutes. She managed to bleed and shed hair in all that time. Fighting for Justice 05:25, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
But he's not the king of personal attacks. That would be you in this case. If you could focus on the article instead of making things so personal, things would go much better here. —Wknight94 (talk) 11:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Curiously enough, the evidence items during the trial included 14 blood stains in the van Dam house, but NONE in Westerfield’s house, where she supposedly spent several hours, and the first attacks took place. In Danielle’s house, there was 1 stain on her blanket, 7 on the bean bag chair she kept on her bed, 1 on her pajamas, 1 on her shirt, 3 on the stairway and 1 on the garage floor. (The various stains probably came from Danielle, Derek, another maternal van Dam, Layla, insufficient DNA to identify or not identified.) We weren’t told about other rooms in that big house. With that in mind, finding two blood stains from her in his RV - one on the carpet, the other on his jacket (the jacket no one saw him wearing that weekend) - is not that surprising or suspicious. It’s more suspicious that law enforcement didn’t process either stain properly, leading suspicious people like myself to suspect that there’s something not quite right about those two stains. 04:43, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

I’ve always assumed that the police report mentioned in the secondary source was Armstrong’s report, but would welcome contrary evidence.

Most of the “questionable” images were on the “loose media” - 2 CD-ROMs and 3 zip disks (Evidence Item 12). The videos were on a CD-ROM and the photos of Danielle L. were on a zip disk. These were found in the early hours of Tuesday morning, February 5th, by a computer specialist from the FBI, Lee Youngflesh, who was working with Watkins in Westerfield’s house, imaging the contents of his computers. Each disk had “X” or “XO” on it (Affidavit for Search Warrant 27802) (Neal mentioned an “X01" in testimony on July 24), which immediately aroused their suspicions, so they previewed the contents “and Mr. Youngflesh saw what he felt -- what he referred to as questionable images” (Watkins, March 12). So the disks were seized. Given those facts, I find it really difficult to believe that 1) any computer illiterate police officer would have been asked to produce a report; and 2) that anyone, whether computer literate or illiterate, would have produced a report without first examining those 5 disks. Unless, perhaps, they didn’t genuinely believe those images to be questionable, and were merely using that as an excuse to justify their actions and obtain further search warrants. 03:53, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


Silence for a whole twelve hours! Face-smile.svg Does that mean I can unprotect? Or do we need to list the changes that each wants to see so we can come to a consensus first? —Wknight94 (talk) 14:11, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, a list is definitely required. Along with a list of things that shouldn't be in it. Like the external links to the archived section, and a link to an older version of the article. Clearly those links are self-references by 196 a violation according to WP:ASR. And to people who believe in Westerfield's innocence they must be told the article isn't the place to argue his innocence. Fighting for Justice 18:07, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's not bother with a list of shouldn't. Let's have a list of edits that we'd like to see made to the article from where it stands right now. I mentioned a couple of mine:
  1. Move the death sentence mention to the first sentence.
  2. Move the misdemeanor mention further down in the article. While it may have been important from a court perspective, to the average reader, having something along the lines of "He was convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to die. He was also convicted of shoplifting" just sounds silly.
  3. Also, pick the nicest external link under the critical examinations of evidence section. I can see having one, maybe even two, links to forums or whatever where people can get a conspiracy viewpoint - but six is way overdone. I'm sure there are dozens of sites claiming Ted Bundy was innocent too but we don't need a laundry list of those. As long as the blog-type links are not used as sources, I'm fine with including a reasonable number of them.
  4. The trial transcript "source",, should be removed as a source and any content derived from an interpretation of the transcript as well. It should be kept in the external links section with nothing sourced from it.
  5. The same goes for all of the PDF trial transcript and death row letter sources,, - they are primary sources subject to far too much interpretation and should be removed as sources as should content stemming from them.
Wknight94 (talk) 13:01, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good to me so far. How about we remove, in the notes, the "peeping tom" sentence? Fighting for Justice 15:59, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Sounds like no one likes the "Peeping tom" thing. What is the source for that? I assume it wasn't invented. —Wknight94 (talk) 01:08, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, it was discussed at trial but it wasn't a big deal. The major concern was kidnapping and murder. Fighting for Justice 03:14, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

It's unprotected

I unprotected the article. Let's tread lightly and not get back to screaming in all caps here and in edit summaries. Everyone breathe deep. Face-smile.svgWknight94 (talk) 02:05, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

What do we do about the external links? Should all 6 links stay, or go; divide them up? Fighting for Justice 03:21, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I chose one of the nicer-looking ones to keep. I'm open to suggestions though. —Wknight94 (talk) 03:26, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
What about the issue concerning the description of his children's age? College age vs. Adult? They were 21 and 18 in 2002. Fighting for Justice 03:33, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
How do you like this edit? Again I'm not sure what the difference is and I don't remember who wanted what but college student is more specific. College student is true, right? I don't see a source tied to that. —Wknight94 (talk) 03:47, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

How about small edits for a while?... I'm doing tonight. That way, we can use the individual small diffs to refer to the exact edits we want to discuss. —Wknight94 (talk) 03:49, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Sure I can do that, but my issue isn't with small edits or even large edits. My problem is with 196's insistence on putting a defense spin to his edits and bringing in material that wasn't talked about at trial. He is insist that its Wikipedia's obligation to have them here. I don't agree with that. That's why these edit wars happen. Fighting for Justice 03:56, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I hear you. My problem on this particular page is that I haven't been able to keep score of all the different issues - and certain people are only posting once or twice a day. While that's their prerogative, it's unfair to keep the article locked from everyone for that reason. That's the main reason I unprotected suddenly. That and I can more easily focus on small article diffs than the fragmented discussion here which is very hard to follow without the context that you all have built up over months. —Wknight94 (talk) 04:04, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
As the article is now it is more then fair to David Westerfield and his defense. This article could be far more scathing like all the other articles on child-killers. Look at the Alejandro Avila article there's not a kind word about him. Fighting for Justice 04:21, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Moved section from WP:BLPN to avoid forking discussion

Composite reply to discussion:

The evidence from members of law enforcement that this is not child porn, is (see the Westerfield Talk page): “there was a police report (by Detective Armstrong) quoted by the judge in court; the testimony of a member of the police (Watkins) who had worked alongside the author of that report (and who denied disagreeing with Armstrong’s conclusion) (the judge overruled the hearsay objection); possibly the same police report mentioned in a media report; the decision of an Assistant U.S. Attorney (quoted in the sworn affidavit for a search warrant); and the conclusion of a former member of law enforcement (Lawson) (ex the Secret Service, the DEA, and the US Customs Service, where he specialized in child porn crimes) (in a court document). ”

Very early in the case, Armstrong was asked by Lieutenant Collins, who was in charge of the Robbery and Special Investigations Unit, to evaluate the images. He did so and produced a report. The defense wanted to call him as a witness, but the judge (acceding to the prosecution’s request) wouldn’t allow EXPERT opinion (so much for a fair trial). The judge explicitly stated that he HAD read Armstrong’s report, so I don’t see how there can be any doubt that it says what the defense attorney says it does. As to the opinion of law enforcement officers other than Watkins and Armstrong, someone in the FBI presumably thought there was child pornography there, otherwise they wouldn’t have (unsuccessfully) approached the Assistant U.S. Attorney - unless it wasn’t a serious attempt, but just routine procedure to do so. Regarding the local police, I would quote Lawson’s statement: “None of the images in the computers themselves or the loose media are of the type normally presented for prosecution for child pornography cases. We feel certain that the law enforcement personnel of the San Diego laboratory are aware of this, which in our opinion, calls into question the governments initial refusal to allow the defense to have copies of the media.” That indicates that the DOMINANT opinion (perhaps even unanimous opinion) in the Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, was that this was NOT child porn. 20:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Take it to an appeals court then. if his conviction is overturned then come back here and we can include it in the article. Until then it doesn't have to be here. Fighting for Justice 06:07, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
BigDT asked for more information about Armstrong’s statement so I gave it. I have proved that he DID say it, and that it’s a MEANINGFUL statement. I now await BigDT’s response. 19:02, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
It matters squat that you proved it. It isn't the article's obligation to defend Westerfield against the charges he was convicted on. It's about time you understand that. Fighting for Justice 19:09, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I have never said the article was obliged to defend Westerfield. My goal is mirrored by the following comments made by Aaron Ford a few days ago in the “Sentenced to Death” section above: “It is fair to report defense responses to any prosecutorial allegation, even if the jury favored the prosecution arguments ... It is the narrator's job to accurately represent their [the defense’s] effort, the prosecutions effort, and the conclusions of the court and jury”. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. 09:13, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh, yes, Aaron Ford his timing was just perfect. How come you Westerfield supporters ONLY edit things concerning the child-killer? Strange indeed how he arrived. You never said it, but you certainly act like it. Both you and Aaron are clueless. You are not allowed to draw your own conclusion and interpretation on primary sources. You love doing that. Hopefully now that 2 people (3 if you count Howcheng) have told you you can't do original research here you'll find a new place to troll on. Fighting for Justice 19:08, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
WADR, Fighting for Justice, if you would cut out the personal attacks, things would go more smoothly. You can be 100% right about an issue, but if you communicate your position using personal attacks, you are also 100% wrong. When you make an attack post like this, you put the other party in a defensive position where they may feel compelled to respond. On the other hand, a calm, civil response where you focus on the issue, not on the user, can help to diffuse the situation. --BigDT 19:52, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, folks here need to realize that "the loudest person wins" does not apply here. —Wknight94 (talk) 15:59, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Without taking a side,, I think you are drawing some conclusions yourself based on primary sources. Wikipedia:Reliable sources frowns on this, saying, "Thus, primary materials typically require interpretation, interpolation, extrapolation, or corroboration, each of which usually constitutes original research. Wikipedia articles may use primary sources, so long as they have been published by a reliable source, but only to make descriptive points about the topic. Any interpretive claims require secondary sources." Drawing a conclusion that the defense lawyer was telling the truth based on the available facts, as opposed to either (a) citing a third party media report on the subject or, failing that, (b) reporing only the claim itself ("the defense lawyer says that the cop said ..."), is original research. BigDT 02:23, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

The article COULD merely say "the defense lawyer says that the cop said it wasn’t child porn". But my “interpretation” - “that the defense lawyer was telling the truth” - has a SOLID basis, and the specific circumstances - possession of child porn is very damaging to someone’s good name and was even claimed to be a motive for kidnapping and murder - amply JUSTIFY the stronger wording. Because this is a living person, it’s better to have the strong wording (Armstrong said it wasn’t child porn), rather than the weak wording (the defense lawyer said Armstrong said it wasn’t child porn). But let’s take a closer look at the arguments.

I downloaded the Wikipedia guidelines on “Reliable sources” in September, and that version doesn’t contain your quote, in fact it’s very different. The guidelines appear to have undergone major change. Ironically, the new version talks about “persistence” and “rate of change of the subject” - in other words, stability, something NOT changing. So the Wikipedia guidelines on “Reliable sources” fail its own test. One wonders if the new version will stand the test of time, or if it will be challenged and overturned, as I think it ought to be on this specific issue.

The old version refers specifically to “trial transcripts”; the new one refers merely to “court records”, which is much broader, so the question arises: did the formulators of the new version intend this strong condemnation to apply fully to trial transcripts? To quote an example I gave some time ago: Detective Armstrong’s report is a primary source; the discussion of it in the trial transcripts is therefore a secondary source. Or take another example: Madison Lee Goff’s report containing his thermal energy calculations. That is a primary source. And it contains errors. The defense attorney spotted some of the arithmetic errors; another forensic entomologist, Robert Hall, spotted more. And Hall also discovered that Goff had used an invalid calculation method - in effect, he pretended that he had hourly temperature readings whereas he only had daily maximum and minimums. So again I would argue that trial transcripts, or at least some portions of them, are a secondary source. But suppose we call them a primary source, and the media reports the secondary source. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Goff’s dates for the initial insect infestation of Danielle’s body started on February 2. Meaning Westerfield didn’t have an alibi. In fact, by consulting the transcripts, we see that he said “prior to” February 2. In other words, the first eggs were laid in her body before she even went missing. That’s obviously impossible, so he discarded those calculations and gave, as his actual answer, a date range beginning on February 9. As can be seen from Court TV. Meaning Westerfield had a very strong alibi.

As the “Reliable sources” is a guideline, not a policy, “it is not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception”.

So let’s use a bit of commonsense. Either Armstrong’s report says it’s not child porn (as claimed) or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t say that, what does it say: that it IS child porn? The defense attorney’s statement wasn’t just a written statement presented to the judge, it was in a meeting at which both sides and the judge were present, in an adversarial legal system. Let’s look at that second scenario. Armstrong says it is child porn, but in spite of that, the defense attorney wants him to testify - which would surely only further damage his client. And the prosecutor, instead of WANTING Armstrong to testify (as one might expect), argues against it. And the judge, instead of reprimanding the defense for misrepresenting Armstrong’s report, merely says he won’t allow the expert testimony. This doesn’t make sense. Contrast this with my scenario. Armstrong’s report says it’s not child porn, so the defense naturally want Armstrong to testify to that. The prosecution equally naturally doesn’t want that testimony as it might cause their case to collapse. But they can’t admit that, so instead they base their objection on precedents. And the judge excludes it, presumably influenced by the precedents. I think that scenario is far more likely.

And it’s not just what the defense attorney says is in Armstrong’s report: Watkins’ testimony says the same of Armstrong (and possibly of himself as well), and an Assistant US Attorney (according to a sworn affidavit), independently of Armstrong, confirms it’s not child porn. It’s just too big a stretch to believe that NONE of these three primary sources mean what they appear to mean. And the two extra sources are both entirely law enforcement, not the defense attorney.

Put in more general terms. Supposing a primary source says something, which I shall call “A”. If I do research amongst other primary sources, and find evidence that “A” is not true, then I cannot include “A” in the article, the best course would be for that topic to simply not be included in the article. But if my research confirms “A” to be true, then I don’t see anything wrong in including it (assuming it’s something important, as in this case).

The “Reliable sources” guidelines don’t define “descriptive points” (which are permitted), and how broadly that should be interpreted. Surely something as simple and straightforward as Armstrong’s claimed conclusion can be classified as merely descriptive. If scanning secondary sources for material to include in an article is not “original research”, then I don’t see that scanning primary sources for such material can be classified as “original research”.

All in all, if ever an exception to a guideline was justified, it’s here.

Furthermore, much of the concern about primary sources stems from problems in the field of History, which is not the subject area being discussed here.

The Wikipedia policy on “Biographies of living persons” quotes Jimmy Wales as saying: “Real people are involved, and they can be hurt by your words. We are not tabloid journalism, we are an encyclopedia”. Combine that with this statement in the old version of the “Reliable sources” guidelines: “Make readers aware of any uncertainty or controversy”. That’s what I’m doing. It’s a good general principle. And when we are talking about hurting a living person, it becomes essential to point out uncertainty over negative information. 14:33, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Media coverage section

Thread from above moved into this new section. —Wknight94 (talk) 11:44, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


So you broke the rules because your “emotion had gotten away”, to quote Detective Ott’s excuse for breaking the rules (May 13, document 030114-020513-02). Were there any other rules he broke, in addition to those which are public knowledge? Did anyone else involved in this case break any rules for this reason? Such as the jury? Some of them “were brought to tears” by those videos (Court TV, June 26, 2002). We know that one criminalist (Peer) didn’t photograph a critical piece of evidence (Item 84, the bloodstain on the motor home carpet). We know that another criminalist (Soriano) only photographed another critical piece of evidence (Item 94D-2, the other blood stain, on Westerfield’s jacket) after he had cut a piece off it. We know that law enforcement didn’t attempt to find out who the blood on Danielle’s blanket came from, once Westerfield was excluded (Item 10-7A). We know that Court TV’s Nancy Grace (who gets very emotional) falsely accused Westerfield of steam-cleaning his motor home (Larry King Live, July 15, 2002). As Forensic expert and author Dr Michael Baden said: “When the passions of the community and the district attorney and the prosecutor are so raised in a case, one can get a false verdict” (Larry King Live, August 5, 2002). 04:00, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

All I can say is WOW! I guess you were expecting the jury to laugh then, huh? What a horrible group of people for crying over a person getting raped. Poor poor David they discovered his rape videos. He's a victim. I'm crying for him right now. Fighting for Justice 07:32, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
If Law Enforcement believed that the video clips showed an actual rape, especially of a child, then I would have expected them to TRY to identify the victim and the perpetrators. But the point isn’t whether the jurors were justified in being disturbed by the images, but whether they allowed that to cloud their judgement. In particular, the prosecution produced no evidence of a causal link between possessing such material and committing the crimes he was charged with, so the jury didn’t have any scientific justification for making such a link and believing that was a motive. And where they did have scientific evidence - the entomology - they rejected it. 12:41, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
And by that same token you expect the jury to reject the other scientific evidence; blood or more commonly known as DNA. I have never ever, in my life, had the blood of my next door neighbors child on my jacket or any other property. How can that be innocently explained away? I didn't see it in the trial. Oh, wait, the cookie sale right? The cookie sale that yielded a million pieces of evidence. Milli Vanilli blamed it on the rain and Westerfield blamed it on the Girl Scout cookies. What a defense. Yeah right. I wonder if I purchase cookies from a Girl Scout if I'll end up with her blood on my clothing. Do you think I should try it? I want to know if that's possible. The jury had plenty of good reasons to reject the entomology evidence. It isn't an exact science, what don't you get about that? Didn't one of them make a mathematical mistake? So the science is prone to mistake. The DNA evidence is far more powerful. How do you know the cops didn't try to identify the person's in the video? The bottom line is COURT TV didn't want to broadcast the video and some of the jurors were moved to tears, so whatever the video depicted it was disgusting. What a great guy you defend. Fighting for Justice 03:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Let's try to stick to the article here please. As far as everyone's speculation about the case, I think one of the external links 196 added had a forum. Thanks. —Wknight94 (talk) 04:16, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
196, why don't you add a section about the media coverage of the case? You could mention the Larry King episodes and Nancy Grace, etc. That might be good information if it was kept to an appropriate length (don't make it longer than the whole rest of the article) and were written in a very neutral way (e.g., if there pro-Westerfield and anti-Westerfield guests on Larry King, don't just mention the pro). Just a thought. —Wknight94 (talk) 20:51, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
He tried that already. It failed miserably. He called it the "Guilty?" section. It was twice the length of the remaining article. Nothing does is short or neutral. Fighting for Justice 04:34, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I could add this to the article:
From the San Diego Union-Tribune
Robert P. Laurence, June 7, 2002[6]:
For those who have made up their mind that Westerfield is guilty, Court TV is the place to go. Anchors Nancy Grace and Sheila Stainback have all but declared themselves witnesses for the prosecution. Both have ridiculed potential defense arguments before they've been made in court, and Grace described Westerfield at one point as "looking pretty pasty right now."
Grace yesterday waxed long and righteously indignant because Damon van Dam wasn't allowed to stay in the courtroom while his wife testified, bemoaning that he wasn't being allowed "closure," but ignoring the fact that California courts don't allow witnesses to remain in court while other witnesses testify.
Preston Turegano, September 10, 2002[7]:
Court TV's Beth Karas: "The Westerfield case wasn't a whodunit, but rather how-did-he-do-it. I think that's what intrigued viewers."
So much for an open mind. And we STILL don’t know how.) 05:30, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
Calling the article section "Guilty?" would not match what I had in mind, especially in neutrality. From your sources above, the Nancy Grace one isn't that interesting to me because that's what she does with every case. It even says in the second sentence of her article here, "She frequently discusses issues from a victims' rights standpoint" and the rest of that article makes the same point numerous times (in fact that article looks like a far worse NPOV mess). I found some of the CourtTV growth information interesting in the second source, but that is probably more appropriate in the Court TV article. There's not much in either source that wouldn't pertain to every trial just as much as this one. —Wknight94 (talk) 12:16, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
That's right Nancy Grace thinks EVERYONE accused of a crime is guilty.Fighting for Justice 22:58, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
But Beth Karas doesn’t have the same bad reputation, and she was actually in San Diego, covering the case, whereas Nancy Grace was merely asked to comment on it. So Karas’s bias can’t be as easily dismissed. If this bias really is typical of Court TV, then the Wikipedia article on that organization should be amended to reflect that.
I could also add to the article Nancy’s statement: “I can imagine a little girl wandering into a RV and playing in it, much as if they saw a swimming pool, they might jump in, or a playground, they might play on it” (Larry King Live, July 15, 2002). No, Nancy didn’t abandon her “the accused is always guilty” stance. She has no difficulty believing that Danielle could have gone into the RV, and could have left a handprint while there, but can’t believe she could also have left a drop of blood on an item of clothing in the vehicle, nor even a hair in the RV sink. A drop of blood would be a bit of a coincidence, but hairs (and fibers) are to be expected. So just ONE short prior visit could account for ALL the evidence of Danielle in Westerfield’s RV. And that’s been one of my sticking points all along. The amount of evidence is minimal, and can easily be innocently explained. 09:59, 9 January 2007 (UTC)


Under the notes section about Mr. Westerfield's neice, I think what currently exists as this:

During the penalty phase of his trial, Westerfield's nineteen year old niece testified that when she was younger, her uncle entered Westerfield's daughter's bedroom where she was spending the night with her parents in the home, as she slept he rubbed some of her teeth using his finger. It woke her up and she bit him and Westerfield quickly left the room. Westerfield did not get charged for it.

Would be more accurately reflected as this:

During the penalty phase of the trial, Mr. Westerfield's nineteen-year-old niece testified when she was younger her uncle entered his daughter's bedroom where she was spending the night with her parents attending a party, to check on the kids, and woke up finding him rubbing her teeth using his finger. She bit him as hard as she could and went downstairs to tell her mother. Mr. Westerfield was questioned about the incident at the time by his sister and nothing ever came of it.

I would slip in her age at the time, but don't remember if it was 5 or 7, and it's been so long ago I don't remember if Mr. Westerfield was questioned by his sister or his wife. Snidley W 08:54, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, by all means, if you want to add it in I think you should. However, be aware that the child-killer has fans that will likely have something to say about it. Unfortunately. Fighting for Justice 00:34, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to have to read the instructions here. I've made several gramatical changes to my post above and I can see a problem where it could look like you're still agreeing with me yet I've changed something to the point where you no longer would agree. At any rate, I made the change.Snidley W 07:09, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Overall, it looks good. I'll only take out the "bit him as hard as she could" part. I can see his fans objecting to that portion. Fighting for Justice 07:38, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Now it has a reference. Fighting for Justice 07:55, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the reference, she was 7, and I changed that note to reflect her age. Snidley W 09:20, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

As time goes on, ultra-fine details like this are going to become less and less important. That's another problem I have with 196's proposals. S/he is honing in on individual trial events and individual source sentences which, in the long run, aren't going to be important. In five or ten years, this article is going to read like a trial transcript and everyone is going to be bored by it. We should all try to avoid this level of detail. —Wknight94 (talk) 13:49, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I feel 196 is Westerfield's appellate attorney. I mean, look at the way he speaks and the stuff he wants in the article. He's able to recite the date of court testimony and who made them. He knows the numbers of the state evidence. I realize many people followed the case and, at the time, of the trial would have known this information too. However, 196 has managed to retain all this info for nearly 5 years now. I don't think casual trial observers would still be retaining this information like he has. Another possibility is that 196 is related to Westerfield, or knows a relative of his. JMO. Fighting for Justice 21:00, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Hey! What happened to the Notes section???Snidley W 16:15, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

They were placed into the rest of the article. Fighting for Justice 16:28, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

It looks like you took out the part about his neice biting him as hard as she could. Why?Snidley W 17:22, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, there is a huge Westerfield fan on here and I was afraid he might object to that portion of your edit. So I figured it might be best to leave it out. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fighting for Justice (talkcontribs) 19:12, 17 January 2007 (UTC).

The reason I would leave it in, or maybe add it again, is because it directly affects the accuracy of Mr. Westerfield's neice's statement. It qualifies it. Little kids have very strong jaws. If someone bites a finger as hard as they can, yet this man comes back downstairs and talks to the rest of the adults, and the neice comes downstairs and tells this story, it's pretty easy to look at a finger and blood all over the place to determine if it happened or not. I would think someone 5-7 years old would not have any problem biting to the bone. In terms of overall accuracy I would consider it important, because when you wake kids (or adults) up out of sleep, you don't know what they are thinking. If someone else wants to contest it, let them. That's just my feeling. Snidley W 22:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes I see what you're saying. Add it in and let's see what happens. Fighting for Justice 22:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Rodger doger! Snidley W 01:23, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

The Crime

While reading through the original article I noticed it said Mr. Westerfield arrived home at 8:00 am, Saturday.

This is misleading because it sounds like that's when he arrived home from the bar. If you think about this it would exclude the possibility that he kidnapped Danielle, because you'd think he was somewhere else. But it simply isn't true.

He arrived back home after he left the bar, and I don't remember what time that was but can find out; I expect it to be somewhere around midnight or so.

Saturday morning he took his SUV out to where he was storing his RV, and I think he drove the RV back to the neighborhood and may have arrived around 8 am.

From what I remember it was a little earler than that. However he messed around loading the RV up and didn't leave until about 9 am. Snidley W 14:50, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Good point! I don't know who wrote that section, but I'm certain his supporters wish to overlook such things. I have no doubt he had the time, motives and the means to abduct Danielle. The police knew it had to be a neighbor. They didn't go interviewing people just to pass the time. Fighting for Justice 19:54, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

I'll find the correct times, but off the top of my head I assume he arrived back home around midnight - 1am. I think he left to pick up the RV fairly early, like maybe 6ish, and the reason I say that is because I remember it surprising me at the time, because I'd have trouble getting up that early after spending the evening at a bar. I'm pretty sure the RV was at the house for an hour or hour and a half before he left at 9am.

I work out of the house and I watched the trial on a local TV channel (KUSI) in the background, but your memory fades with time. What's unprecedented about it is the transcripts are available to all of us, courtesy of the local paper, the Union-Tribune. If they had not provided them, an individual would have had to pay about $7K to a court reporter to acquire a copy. This bothers me, because court trials are supposed to be open, but in real life they are only open if you attend, or else you have to pay money to find out what went on.

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the Union-Tribune has discussion forums where people have been talking about the trial. This would be a good place to start:

Yes, I'm aware of that forum. Court TV also had a forum during the trial. Personally Westerfield and his supporters, which I like calling child-killer apologist, repulse me to no end. Fighting for Justice 02:26, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

The Trial

“Fighting for Justice”: “uhhhh all of those things were in the article already. What are you doing doubling information?”

My edit was more GENERAL and gave THREE examples: no evidence of Westerfield in van Dam house; they weren’t seen together; no Westerfield DNA on her body.

The first example was already in the article, the other two weren’t.

The existing sentence in the article was in 4 parts:

his lawyers told jurors that

there was no evidence

the actual quote

showing Westerfield’s presence in the van Dam house.

The first and third parts weren’t in my edit, only the second and last parts were.

So what was duplicated was just those two parts - 12 words. You removed my entire edit just because of those 12 words. My edit and the existing sentence CAN be combined in such a way that it would eliminate those 12 words, but I was trying to keep the changes to a minimum. But instead of shortening it yourself, you removed my entire edit.


If you are genuinely disturbed by duplication, then I would point out that the bloodstain on the jacket is now mentioned twice. But the article doesn’t mention, not even once, that the dry-cleaners didn’t see that stain, and the DNA expert couldn’t tell how it got on the jacket (so why wasn’t it examined for spatter?). 05:34, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Riiiiiight the police planted the blood stain right?? LMAO! Excuses, excuses, and excuses. Why would the police do something so moronic? risk losing their job? It doesn't contain any of that because the article isn't a cry-baby festival for Westerfield. Yeah Westerfield the poor dear the room was too hot during the polygraph test. Maybe the police should have brought his porn and rape videos to make him more comfortable. Fighting for Justice 05:44, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

It would be really nice if no one needed to say this again, but this space is NOT for discussing the subject's guilt or innocence. Read the notice at the top - they even put it in bold! Take the debate over Westerfield's guilt or lack thereof to a forum. It DOESN'T belong on Wikipedia. Natalie 06:46, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

This space is for discussing the wording and contents of the article, which is EXACTLY what I was doing. So thank you for your support, Natalie. 11:08, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with you. is the one who always brings these issues up. He's admitted to me in the past that he's here to expose the weaknesses of the case. He does that here and in the article. He's never satisfied with the article, he always wants to tell things his way. The edits he wanted were in the article already. The edits sounded like a lawyer speaking to the jury. "The prosecution could not....". Wikipedia articles are to say what the two sides could prove. They weren't seen together. So???? Do you really see kidnappers displaying their victims in the very vicinity they were stolen from? give me a break!

Well, there are weaknesses in the case. Before entomology was discredited in this case Mr. Dusek, the prosecutor, and Mr. Faulkner, the entomologist, had participated in an episode of Forensic Files, where they showed how they combined to convict a person from Arizona when the insect evidence showed the suspect had opportunity to be in East County San Diego when a lady was murdered. In the course of events I happened to work for a few months on an exhibit at the San Diego Natural History Museum where Mr. Faulkner supposedly also takes up an office, although I'm not sure about that. His name doesn't exist on the phone list and probably is only on business cards. However, I've had the opportunity to talk to him about this case a few times.

I’m certainly not a child killer apologist, and I hate to see that term brought up, but I am a stickler for accuracy, my background is in engineering, where it's a necessity. I believe things should rely on the facts, as Joe Friday used to say, ma'am. When the facts are out there people are free to make up their own minds. I don’t think things should be clouded or concealed.

This case really stands out because, like the OJ Simpson trial, it was broadcast live, and the transcripts are available for free. I sorta consider it a milestone in the justice system, and wish other trials were conducted this way, but it’s tough to find advertising dollars.

I would hope the Wikipedia text accurately reflects what occurred. If the facts are reflected accurately then people can judge for themselves, which is all you can ask. I realize this isn’t a discussion forum and try not to bring that type of stuff in here. Snidley W 12:33, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

At the risk of making this an advocacy forum, which I certainly don't want to do, FFJ, have you done any reading about how polygraphs are to be administered? Believe it or not, there are standards. Not only does the FBI espouse these things, local law enforcement also does. Unless you want to skew things.

Basically you want the subject to be as comfortable as possible. This is paramount. I’ve been though several polygraph tests when working for the government and they were sticklers for accuracy. You don’t make someone uncomfortable during a test, or the results will not be accurate, unless you’re leaning towards some other conclusion. Snidley W 15:22, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

You may think there are weaknesses, but there are also some strong points to the case. And Westerfield supporters will never convince me that a short stay in Westerfields home, by Danielle, yielded all that forensic evidence. I would only believe it if Danielle played in his home ALL the time. To believe he is innocent I would have to believe he was the unluckiest man in the world and the real killer was the luckiest. An impossibility if you ask me.
As for Dusek he is a prosecutor and he's gotta treat every case uniquely. Just because in one case he used a science to convict somebody doesn't mean he should never challenge that very science on another case. They were many years apart and if I recall correctly the woman, in that case, was killed in the summer. And unlike Danielle she was discovered only a few days after death. The weather readings are more accurate in the summer. Danielle was murdered during the winter. I believe Westerfield was uncomfortable during the polygraph test, but not because of the rooms temperature. It's because he knew he was guilty. Fighting for Justice 23:35, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I don’t wish to turn this into an advocacy forum, but let me say a couple of things about science. It tends to work whether it’s summer or winter. The reason entomology works is because insects are governed by temperature. It’s basically fail safe. Fly larva grow at known rates. They are governed by temperature and it’s predictable and repeatable. They don’t go south for the winter. The people who know this stuff can pinpoint when a body is available to a single day, if not hours. This stuff exists, and it’s apolitical.

Because I realize this stuff is true, I wonder why it had to be changed in this case, so as to make it not true. When someone has to do something like this it sticks out to me.

Here’s some simple math. Danielle went missing around the beginning of the month, and was found near the end of the month. Mr. Faulkner testified the insects showed her body was available to them around the middle of the month. The prosecution doesn’t like that idea and wants to show that her body may have been there since the early part of February. Since you have 30 days in a month and the prosecution is attempting to skew things by two weeks, you have to assume an error rate for the entomology of 100%. That’s unprecedented. It doesn’t exist. Peer review would have caught this long before.

Seriously, think about this, not wearing your emotions on your sleeves but simply being analytical.

I’m not saying it was impossible for Mr. Westerfield to have done this, but I think it highly unlikely. I have come to believe most of the evidence against him was contrived.

This probably all started when I was watching the trial and saw Mr. Dusek make fun of the route all of us with 4-wheel-drive vehicles and RVs take out to Borrego, as if it was somehow suspicious.

I’m open to all possibilities, but I’d like to keep the facts straight.

The physical evidence

Original note in article: His lawyers say the evidence of Danielle in his RV was possibly transferred by virtue of locard considering that Danielle visited his home and was playing inside of the home with her little brother a few days before she disappeared. They also allege the police improperly collected and mishandled much of the evidence against Westerfield.

My addition a week ago: For example, a San Diego police DNA expert failed to photograph and measure the bloodstain on the carpet in his RV.

Wknight94's response: rm whole bullet point. The new part is non-NPOV: the source cited is 90% pro-prosecution but the only part used was pro-defense. The rest of the bullet point was uncited completely

I KNOW it was uncited, that’s partly WHY I added the example (with a source, the Union-Tribune, June 21). And I would have added more when time permitted. What do you mean “the new part is non-NPOV”? It’s TRUE. She ADMITTED to it. I select information based on IMPORTANCE, not length. And criminalists NOT following procedure IS important. WHY didn’t they? It means we CAN’T trust that evidence. So those impressive “quadrillions” (at which “two spectators in the courtroom gallery gasped”) become IRRELEVANT. If Westerfield and Danielle had been STRANGERS, then finding evidence of her in his environment WOULD have been “pro-prosecution”. It would have been STRONG evidence of guilt. But they WEREN’T strangers, they were near neighbors, she and two of her “maternal” family members had recently been IN his house, and the van Dam children often played outside, very close to his RV, which even prosecution witnesses testified to having seen with the door open, giving the children access. So you would EXPECT to find evidence of her in his environment. Proving there was such evidence therefore does NOT make the article “90% pro-prosecution”. As the assistant prosecutor, George Clarke, admitted, this complicated any analysis. If, however, law enforcement had found a LARGE quantity of such evidence (especially evidence of an assault), THEN the article would have been “90% pro-prosecution”. But the small quantity found is consistent with an INNOCENT explanation. 04:02, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Only in your opinion. There is no innocent explanation. It is important to an appeals court, not a wikipedia article. Correction, one witness said he found the RV unlocked and only one day. Hogwash the suggestion that Danielle had access to his RV is pure defense spin. A real easy accusation to throw at her because she's dead and can't defend herself against it. No one found her there. No one found other children there, so it is defense spin. One witness said Westerfield told him he alarmed the vehicle. Get your facts straight! Fighting for Justice 04:07, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Latest edit

In my latest edit, I fixed what I find to be a slight misrepresentation. The valid secondary source says:

The attorneys noted in the court papers that "...police officers – in one report – state they did not find child pornography on Mr. Westerfield's computer."

To me, that's a far cry from what was added to the article:

Police officers reported they did not find child pornography.

I changed the article to read:

His attorneys, however, claimed that police once reported not finding child pornography.

Big difference IMHO. First, it's DW's attorneys making the claim - and they're paid to be biased as we've agreed. Second, even in his attorneys' words, the police omitted pornography findings in one report. That could just as easily imply a mistaken report that was corrected in a later report, etc. To interpret the court paper with a blanket statement like "Police officers reported they did not find child pornography" is disingenuous. —Wknight94 (talk) 15:43, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes it is disingenuous. I think what you put is accurate. Fighting for Justice 19:08, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Man, it's been a long time ago, and the facts that you once had at your fingertips are now out in the backyard somewhere. Here's the way I remember it. There were two computers in an office which Mr. Westerfield used. His son also used these computers (because of internet access) and also had a laptop in his room. When Law Enforcement searched Mr. Westerfield's home, someone from the FBI also tagged along, and he found a CDROM on a shelf in the office. Mr. Westerfield had adult porn on the hard drives of at least one of those two machines, but the child porn or anime was found on the CDROM, Mr. Westerfield's son's hard drive, and on a ZIP disk. The two office machines did not have ZIP drives, but the laptop did.

I'd have to go through the testimony to verify this, but I believe several agencies, including the FBI, concluded there was nothing there to prosecute as 'child porn.' The prosecutor, Mr. Dusek thought different and used the files to establish motive. One of the files shown in court is supposedly of a child being raped. It's not clear if this is an actual video or animation. I've heard both stories but haven't met anyone who has actually seen the file, although the jury did.

Because the supposed child porn contributed to motive, it would be nice to have a definitive answer to whether it existed. Some of the files in question had actually been deleted off the hard drive of whatever machine, yet were recovered and used as evidence. I realize we're probably wandering into the 'too much detail' area, but because it was used for motive and possibly didn't exist, I would tend to think it would be important to establish, because so much revolves around it. Snidley W 16:35, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

When Feldman was trying to obtain approval for Armstrong to testify that it wasn’t child porn, the prosecution’s response was “the statute of which Mr. Westerfield is charged is not child pornography” (Clarke, July 9). If he’s got child porn, as the media and Wikipedia claim, then why wasn’t he charged under a child porn statute? Furthermore, in his closing statement, the prosecutor said “Simply appearing in a suggestive manner, a pose to stimulate the viewer. You do not have to be naked. You do not have to be partially clothed. You can be fully clothed.” (Dusek, August 6) So a picture of a 17-year-old girl dressed in an all-enveloping Muslim burka, could nevertheless be deemed to be in violation of this statute. They really were determined to get him. This further reinforces my belief that Westerfield did NOT have GENUINE child porn. 18:31, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
Like I opined a long time back, all details like that are eventually going to be more than necessary for this article. Wikipedia is not a Law & Order transcript. The only reason there's so much detail in this article at all is that a couple folks have some strong connection to the case. I don't know the details of the connection but it's quite apparent. In general, we haven't given such detailed recaps of court cases at Wikipedia. —Wknight94 (talk) 17:29, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
Not only that this isn't the "David Westerfield is innocent" article. If he had it or he didn't those are all issues to be raised at his appeals not in Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a court room. Fighting for Justice
Wknight94 are you suggesting we reduce the article? I'm all for that. It is WAY too long and too many apologies for Westerfield. Fighting for Justice 05:05, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I'd be willing to bet that detailed recaps of court cases don't exist in Wikipedia because the sources used are things like newspaper articles which provide general summaries. Although I try not to belabor the point, this is the first court case I know of where the actual court transcripts were made available to the public. It would probably be the second court case, after the OJ Simpson trial, where it was shown live on several media outlets. Because of this information, people tend to know quite a bit of the details, although I believe you are correct in saying much of them don’t belong in the article. I also understand this is not an advocacy forum. So what balance do you strike? On one hand we have someone who wants all manner of details included and another person who wants anything favorable about Mr. Westerfield stricken from the article. I would guess some things are clear cut, like entomology. This is a well established discipline which shows a time the body was made available to insects. By itself it is unbiased, repeatable, and accepted in a court of law. I believe it is up to the reader to decide what weight to apply to that evidence. Other things are not so clear-cut, and the wording gets touchy because it can be used to either imply guilt or innocence, instead of simply being factual. I like the way the article is written now, as compared to several months ago. For the most part I think it is factual and unbiased. Snidley W 15:56, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Entomology: the bottom line for me is this: 1) entomology is accepted in court, which means it must be pretty accurate and reliable 2) four respected entomologists, two of whom were brought onto the case by law enforcement, gave dates that excluded Westerfield by a wide margin 3) nobody can explain away that big gap - lots of theories but no supporting evidence

That means just one thing: reasonable doubt (it’s actually virtually conclusive proof of innocence).

Let’s look at those theories as to what delayed the insect infestation. Body covering: none found and anyway wouldn’t explain such a large time gap. Body moved from another site: Westerfield would have needed an accomplice and no evidence was provided of that. Body soaked in bleach: no evidence it was used and also wouldn’t explain such a large time gap. Rapid mummification - by a wind that only started 3 days later! The drought - even though the body was across the road from large ponds and a river, and just round the corner from a large, well-watered golf course and a small housing development. The infestation wasn’t typical because so few maggots were found in the head - even though the morgue scene investigator noted that the mouth and nasal cavity were infested with maggots (Rodriguez, July 25), also maggots in the head would probably have moved to the lower part of the body when it was placed in the morgue cooler (Haskell, July 22), and anyway this body was supposedly naked, so the flies had immediate access to the pelvic openings, especially if she had been raped (and there’s also that huge “defect” in her abdomen which was airily dismissed as due to animal feeding). The new theory: body dumped in winter - which contrasts with a previous theory of the unusually WARM weather (as already indicated in the article): TWO Santa Anas in one month.

Clearly, rejection of the entomological dates isn’t based on any evidence, and is surely due to people having already decided Westerfield is guilty, even though this was a purely circumstantial case, meaning there’s no hard evidence of his guilt. So it is understandable that someone who believed him guilty would oppose the inclusion in the Wikipedia article of such facts as no one saw him and Danielle together, and his DNA wasn’t found on her body. Understandable but NOT justifiable: this isn’t the “David Westerfield is guilty” article. Wikipedia articles must be FAIR. 04:41, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

But this article does exist because he was found guilty. The article is overly fair to him Troll. Fighting for Justice 04:46, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

The article exists not because of guilt or innocence, but because he was tried in a court of law. I haven’t checked but I assume there’s a Wikipedia entry for OJ Simpson too, who was found not guilty. These things garner a lot of publicity; we even had President Bush commenting on the Westerfield case while it was still going on.

Ideally, I think the article should reflect the facts of the case. I don’t think it should lean towards guilt or innocence, but present the facts fairly and be a valuable reference guide.

However, including certain ‘facts’ tend to show either guilt or innocence. Child porn shows evidence of guilty intent while the entomology shows innocence. I think in these two cases they both should be included in the article but they should be clearly referenced and be accurate. Snidley W 17:07, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I said it before and I'll say it again. THis article is overly fair to the child-killer. The article is too long. The last thing it needs is more references and more information. Wikipedia is not a crime library. It does not need to reflect every single facts of the case; include the ones that were a MAJOR focus. That's why it provides external links, so if people want to learn more they can follow the links. Fighting for Justice 19:11, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Including both the information about the entymology and the child pornography would be better than not including either. From what I can tell, these were large factors in the case. FFJ, while this may not be the Crime Library and you obviously think Westerfield is guilty, it is a disputed sentence, and the entymology evidence is part of that.

On a semi related note, both you, FFJ, and 196 need to cool it. Your comments make your respective biases clear, and I wonder if either of you really should be editing this article. Perhaps you two would find an RfC helpful. Natalie 21:51, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't think RfC will help. 196 simply makes me sick. That's not a personal attack it's a feeling. And I am entitle to my feeling. This feeling stems from a comment he made on the victim and her brothers. This article doesn't state it's a slam-dunk case. Instead it is very fair, any more fair and we're treading in POV territory for the defense. Disputed or not this article isn't a soapbox for his supporters. That's what 196 wants. A soapbox. His latest edit contained POV language. Wikipedia articles are to state what both parties could prove without giving either side a leverage. I could state the defense didn't prove certain things either, but I don't. The entomology and pornography section are referenced and accurate. I've bent over forwards and backwards to help make this article fair, and his supporters still complain. It is ridiculous. Now I'm all for getting rid of it. Fighting for Justice 00:39, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

But here’s the problem. This entry is a source of reference for other people. I understand what you personally believe but that doesn’t affect how the facts of the case are reported. The facts about this case, as probably any other court case, or any article in Wikipedia, should contain the facts and be unbiased so other people can not only use it as a reference but judge for themselves.

You may believe Mr. Westerfield is a cold-blooded child killer, but that belief shouldn’t shade the facts presented to the world at large in the article. Freedom of information is a good thing, and something our forefathers maybe didn’t get to experience, in terms of the internet.

My personal beliefs should not enter into this, as I believe your personal beliefs should not. What becomes an issue is the things like fibers and entomology and child porn, although they may be too extensive for this Wikipedia article. Snidley W 02:50, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

With all due respect, you are not telling me anything new. I already know of everything you speak of. This is article doesn't say he's a cold-blooded child killer. This is an EXTREMELY fair article to him. No other child-killer has an article has nice as this one. Westerfield-apologist are a bunch of whiners. They should be thankful that their favorite child-killer has a great article on him. It is not my fault he was found guilty. Fighting for Justice 03:21, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Level of detail: While there are probably isolated statements distributed throughout the article that I would consider unnecessary detail (such as “and she fell asleep”), there are only two sections of the article that I would consider “ultra-fine detail”: Entomology and Selby. Why are they so detailed? Long ago I added a brief comment about the entomology evidence and someone else added every reason they could think of to discredit it, resulting in the present long and detailed paragraph. Same with Selby. That amount of detail is inappropriate in this article. Worse, there are problems with much of that extra information. For example, why would it be insufficient for Faulkner to use mainly fly larvae? He COULDN’T use beetle larvae because there weren’t any - which in itself indicates that the body HADN’T been there since the beginning of the month (in fact not longer than about 2 weeks). And Selby also confessed to crimes he HAD committed (as shown by DNA). He said his confession to JonBenet’s murder was “facetious”, but he never said that about his Danielle confession. 04:26, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

That extra bit of information is there because people need to know entomology is not an exact science. It provides estimates or approximations, not something exact. If it so accurate and so reliable why couldn't all 4 of them come up with a single exact day of Danielle's death? I'm not talking about approximate, a range, or close, I'm talking, about an exact, undeniably accurate, pin-point day. They couldn't do it, so they way I see it whatever they find is not set in stone. Didn't one of them make some mathematical mistakes? So the science is prone to mistakes. Danielle was found many days after her death. The entomology findings would be more reliable if they found her relatively quickly after death. And contrary to what might say the findings are not conclusive evidence of innocence. All it means is that he didn't dump her body. It doesn't mean he NEVER kidnapped her. It doesn't mean he never could have held her against her will in his RV all that weekend. It doesn't explain away her blood on his jacket or RV. THe police planting it is the most lamest excuse. The defense will say no evidence of an accomplice. Well, they provided no evidence on a number of things. Like Danielle having a habit of playing in his RV. The RV always being unlocked. No rock solid-alibi for the weekend. The jury found her DNA on him much more compelling and rightly so. Fighting for Justice 06:05, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Composite reply to several recent edits by FfJ:

So you admit you can’t explain the big gap between the entomologists’ dates and the prosecution’s theory. Neither can any of the experts. A DNA expert (Maddox, June 20) admitted that he couldn’t tell how long the blood had been on Westerfield’s jacket or could stay there. Another DNA expert (Peer, June 20) admitted she couldn’t tell how long the blood had been on the RV carpet. So both those spots could have been there for a LONG time. If DNA is so accurate and so reliable, then why can’t it even tell us which YEAR? And you mock the imprecision of ENTOMOLOGY! The entomologists in this case stressed they were being very conservative. So, even though they made their ranges much broader than they normally would, they still couldn’t arrive at a date that included Westerfield. Remember, Faulkner, the first to testify, gave a range of only three days. And his three days just happen to be in the middle of the ranges given by Haskell and Hall. So the majority opinion is that Danielle’s body was most likely only dumped there 10 or 11 days before she was found. You can mock entomology if you will, but unless you can quote actual examples of so many entomologists being so far out in other cases, you haven’t a leg to stand on. Until such time as its use is banned in court, I will continue to trust it. Remember, it was law enforcement, not the defense, which first involved entomology in this case. I have no doubt that, if Faulkner had arrived at dates that supported the prosecution theory, they would have called him as THEIR witness.

It was Goff, the prosecution witness, who made the mathematical mistakes - and the prosecutor downplayed their importance. So perhaps you should reprimand Dusek. Are you of the opinion that mathematics isn’t used in DNA? Where do you think those quadrillions numbers come from? The accuracy of those figures also depends on the size of the database and how relevant/representative it is. If different DNA experts had testified, using different databases for their calculations, then we would have seen a variation in their figures as we saw with the entomologists. I suggest you read the testimony of another DNA analyst, Joy Halverson: “Halverson tells defense attorney Steven Feldman she made a mathematical error in early reports” (Union-Tribune, July 2). So the science of DNA is ALSO prone to mistakes.

The prosecution didn’t argue that Westerfield had an accomplice, so I feel no need to debate that possibility. But it’s revealing that you think they could have made a major mistake like that.

You might reject the idea of police planting blood on his jacket (the jacket no one saw him wear that weekend), but that would explain why the dry-cleaners didn’t see it, why the close-up photo was only taken after a piece had been cut out, why it wasn’t examined for spatter, why such a faint stain gave a perfect 13-point DNA match, and why only extracted DNA was sent to the outside laboratory. (Don’t forget that Detective Ott - the one who broke the rules because he was so overcome by emotion - was also a customer of that same dry-cleaners.) Similarly, it would explain why the blood on the RV carpet wasn’t photographed or measured. If anybody wanted to cover up evidence planting, that would do it. The total evidence of Danielle found in the RV consisted of: 1 tiny blood spot (not photographed or measured and couldn’t be clearly seen after being tested for blood); 1 handprint (most of which was smudged, so only a small and most unusual portion could be used); 3 hairs (2 of which could have come from a maternal relative); 3 hairs that might have come from Layla (dog DNA isn’t as unique as human DNA); and 5 or 6 carpet fibers (which might have come from another house). (I haven’t included the blue-gray nylon fibers because they were only partially tested and are probably relatively common, so there may have been no connection at all. Nor have I mentioned the numerous different types of fibers found with the body but not in the RV, and vice versa.)

Mark Roehr only tried to enter the RV ONCE, and it was unlocked and the alarm wasn’t set. Same with Stephanie Escadero. Are we to believe that these were the ONLY two occasions it was unlocked and the alarm not set? That would be a truly remarkable coincidence. Or are you accusing both of them of lying under oath? Christina Hoeffs (who is a police dispatcher) testified not only to the RV door being open at times, but also the garage door and the trailer door; and Barbara Crum saw the garage door open. Or are you also accusing both of them of lying under oath? The simple fact is that this was a SAFE neighborhood. Children played outside in the street. There was no need to always lock the door and set the alarm: sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t (Susan L., July 10). Mark Roehr didn’t even know the vehicle had an alarm; neither did Christina Gonzales or Stephanie Escadero. The van Dams felt so safe that they TWICE in one night ignored their burglar alarm (they just found and closed the open door without suspecting or checking for any problem).

We are expected to believe that Danielle WASN’T previously in the RV because no one saw her there; but must believe she WAS in it that weekend even though no one saw her. We are expected to believe that Westerfield WOULDN’T have been stupid enough to be seen with her that weekend, but WAS stupid enough to hand in, to his regular dry-cleaners, his jacket with her bloodstain prominent on the front; and that he WAS stupid enough to tell the police information she had given him while she was in his power. And we are expected to believe that Danielle and other children would have been stupid enough to go inside the RV while someone was watching.

Except when parked right in front of his house while being loaded and unloaded, it was parked alongside a BIG wall (whether in Mountain Pass Road or Briar Leaf Way). That would have effectively BLOCKED the view of the door from MOST people on that side of the vehicle, while the sheer bulk of the vehicle would have blocked the view of the door from most people on the OTHER side. As neighbor John Meerchaum testified (June 12), “it was very difficult for us to pull out of our driveway when it was parked on the north side of Mountain Pass because it blocked the view of the traffic coming down the hill from Mountain Pass”. The trees in the neighborhood would have further obstructed vision; while the height of the RV, and the lack of height of children, plus the reflections from the windows, would have made it difficult for neighbors and passers-by to see any children inside it (who in any case would not have drawn attention to themselves). All in all, it is likely that children DID enter the vehicle without permission and without being observed. Remember, we didn’t hear from either the van Dam boys or any other children, nor do we know who the many other fingerprints and hairs in the RV came from. (If they were linked to a known pedophile, it would support your accomplice theory.)

The above isn’t directly about the contents of the article, it’s a reply to points others have made, but this is. None of us KNOW if Danielle ever sneaked into that RV, and you are convinced she didn’t. But she MIGHT have. And that could innocently explain the minimal evidence of her in it. So this is important and therefore MUST be included in the article. 12:24, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

ya da ya da ya da ya da. You really know how to put a person to sleep. The bottom line is this the entomology testimony was full of contradictions. Not one of them could come to an agreement on a single precise date. The dates were all over the place. I thought you cared about accuracy. Don't you want to know when Danielle really died? How ironic that you who cares sooooooooo much about accuracy want the jury to accept the entomologist findings when it was all contradictory. DNA is not less accurate because you can't tell how long it's been there. What makes it accurate is that when a match to its owner is made it is undeniably proof postive. No it is not believable that the blood was there from long ago, because the Van Dam family were not friends with Westerfield. Only if they did I could accept that possibility. It is more then fair to accept it was recent because of the circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Westerfield had no strong alibis for the hours the girl went missing. He knew where she lived, he knew her mother was not home. When he returned to the neighborhood on Saturday he wanted no part in searching for her. He went on a solo trip to nowhere. He had no problem talking to Brenda, the night before, why not say something to her on Saturday? DNA figures is a secondary concern. THe first concern is finding who it matches to. The blood on his jacket was matched to Danielle; a person he had no business having her blood on him. There is no innocent explanation for it; no way no how. Go ahead and whine and complain about the lack of photograph, measurements, and your splatter,matter,test. The bottom line is the evidence was ADMISSIBLE. If you don't like it tough. Also, I never knew dry cleaning staff had to search for blood. Joy Halverson was a animal DNA analyst, so don't compare her to a human being DNA analyst. As you said yourself: "dog DNA isn’t as unique as human DNA". That might even explain why she made mathematical errors. But even so I think Feldman was nitpicking. He had to pull whatever trick he could to get the child porn collector back home and enjoying his rape videos and pictures of nude little girls again.
I'll concede Danielle might have played in the RV before, if you concede Westerfield might have kidnapped and killer her. If this wasn't possible the case would have ended at the preliminary stage. But I doubt you'll take off your rose-colored glasses. I feel strongly she wasn't in the RV before because 7 year olds lack the rationale to get away with a such a thing. She would have been caught and she wouldn't have gone in there by herself. She would have been with her brother(s) or a friend. I could picture two children daring the other to go in. No such testimony. How much fun would a 7 year old have alone in an RV? What was she doing near the bed? play napping? Did the RV contain toys a 7 year old would like? Did she bring her toys over? Do you think 7 year olds play around cleanly? Look at all the people this cunning 7 year old outsmarted: her parents, her brothers, her friends, Westerfield, Westerfield's friends and family, and finally her entire neighborhood. Sorry, I don't see that happening. From a 12 year old child, yes, but not a 7 year old. We can believe she was in the RV that weekend, because no clear-cut innocent reason exist for her prints and blood to be there. Furthermore, Westerfield made certain no one but him was inside the RV, at least for 3 days. He kept his drapes closed and stayed as much as possible away from people at the camp site. All the defense could give for the evidence was spin. No strong evidence was given that children had the free will of going in and out of the RV. None. It is pure hogwash. So get real! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fighting for Justice (talkcontribs) 01:53, 28 January 2007 (UTC).

==Outside View==

I can see this is a controversial article, so I felt I should add an outside view, to see if it'll help get a consensus. As it stands, I think the article is actually fairly good - it's of a reasonable length, seems to be as neutral as you can get in a case like this, and, on reading it, I found it interesting and helpful in understanding what happened, which, as I'd never heard of this case before, is good. Looking at the debate in here, even IF a lot of the claims thrown back and forwards are true, I personally can't see them having much of a place in this article, they're either too dubious or relatively insignificant in relation to the article. So I'm not really sure why there is such an edit-war going on. User: clearly believes that Westerfield is innocent, that's his point of view, and he's entitled to it. However, he was convicted, and I can see no signs of a massive outcry in America, so I'd be forced to say that that is a minority view, and therefore deserves slightly lesser weight than the 'guilty' view. As this is how the article reads at the moment, it's fairly balanced, I think. It seems to present enough facts to outline the case well, and allow you to draw your own conclusions. Girdag 14:31, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

The edit war is going on because refuses to leave the article alone. Every time things seem to be settled he returns with yet another of his edits. And the edits always push his POV. He does it every single time. Every single day. I don't understand his logic. Does he think this is going to vindicate Westerfield? I put in an edit that Westerfield's attorney's stated there was no evidence of Westerfield in the Van Dam home. I even referenced it. But that's not enough for He comes in and puts the edit in a way he likes it. He wants the case told HIS way. I am convinced that the only way for this article to have peace is if is blocked from editing it. I am convinced he will never leave the article alone. If that's the way he wants it then I'll be the same. I'm not going to let him push this article about sympathizing for that sick child-killer. Fighting for Justice 04:26, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, Girdag, for taking the time to comment. I’m pleased you generally approve of the article: that shows that the many hours I’ve spent over the past months have not been in vain. However, as you are not familiar with the case, you will be unaware that there are still some important aspects not included in the article, especially:

Danielle had prior access to Westerfield’s RV (as argued in detail in my last edit), and this could explain all the key evidence he was convicted on; the van Dams lied to the police for the whole of the first day, but just one day later, the police believed them in preference to Westerfield, which is one reason he so quickly became their only suspect (I’m not suggesting Danielle was killed by her parents, but one of their friends might have been involved); the media coverage was extensive, and tended to portray Westerfield as guilty: this undoubtedly shaped public opinion and surely influenced the jurors (and explains the present lack of an outcry); law enforcement’s collection/handling of key evidence was of a suspiciously low standard, casting doubt on its validity; and evidence not pointing to Westerfield was ignored: this could have pointed to the involvement of someone else entirely.

These are major weaknesses in the article. But that’s a SHORT list.

There are other improvements that can be made. For example, Snidley W recently pointed out something misleading near the beginning of the article. But I’m reluctant to venture into anything like that because of the likelihood that anything I do will be opposed, simply because it was done by me, and even though FfJ agreed that that particular change was a good idea.

My comments on the edit referred to by FfJ:

His wording: “Westerfield's attorney's stated there was no evidence of Westerfield in the Van Dam home”.

To which I added: “The prosecution could not present any evidence that directly linked Westerfield to Danielle” and “no one saw them together; and none of his DNA was found on her body.”

I was quoting directly from an article in a specialist forensic magazine, “The Forensic Examiner”. So those aren’t my words. They are independent, objective and authoritative words. And I don’t see anything wrong with them. They are true, they are important, and they SHOULD be included in the article. FfJ opposes them simply because they are pro-Westerfield.

And I would add a more general point. Much of the “pro-Westerfield” information in both the Wikipedia article and media reports, is prefaced by something like “Westerfield's attorney's stated ...”. And, as Wknight94 has pointed out above, “they're paid to be biased” “the words of one extremely biased defense attorney”. So this is a subtle (or not so subtle) way of telling readers to IGNORE whatever they said. It’s dishonest and unfair. 04:02, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Girdag I can sum up in one word: TROLL! THe victim had no prior access to the RV. It is only defense spin. Don't buy a word of it; no one should. Thankfully the jury dismissed it too. This goes to show you just how desperate the defense is. It's such an easy accusation to throw at her, because the child is dead. She can't defend herself against it. It is a dirty, low, and underhanded trick. It tells you defense attorneys are biased. Her parents are not liars. They didn't watch rape videos like the defendant did. Her parents were afraid of admitting they smoked marijuana the night their daughter disappeared. They also didn't reveal that they are swingers. The point is they did reveal it all after realizing the full scope of what they were facing. They did it because they wanted their daughter back. But the apologist for this child murderer make a mountain out of a mole hill because of it. Fighting for Justice 04:37, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

I think I'm going to need to read a few more articles on this. From what I've read, there's no way to be certain either way on this case. There is doubt to be thrown on the case, and some reference to it, such as that passage from the Forensic Examiner, should be included. While the hair and blood seems pretty damning, I suppose a sentence such as 'alternative theories on how these traces could have been left have been proposed' would do no harm - it's unquestionably true, and shows that those points aren't automatic convicting points. I personally believe he was guilty, there's too many coincidences there, but there do seem to be some grounds for being unsure. I think both sides of this debate need to assume good faith, and remember that we're building an encyclopedia article, not giving the verdict. Maybe get someone with some more wiki experience in to officially mediate this, I've not got masses of experience in Wikipedia. Girdag 09:13, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Hmm...actually, this is the trial paragraph as it stands, which seems to be the bit causing the debate.

Westerfield pleaded not guilty, and went on trial on June 4, 2002. During the trial, Westerfield's lawyers, Steven Feldman and Robert Boyce, suggested that the child porn might have been downloaded by Westerfield's 18-year-old son, Neal. Neal denied this. [8] Part of Westerfield's defense focused on the lifestyle of Danielle Van Dam's parents. The defense suggested that the couple were known for letting each other have sex with other people, and claimed that this lifestyle might have brought the kidnapper to their home. [9]. Westerfield's lawyers charged that he was improperly interrogated for more than nine hours by detectives who ignored his repeated requests to call a lawyer, take a shower, eat, and sleep.[10] His lawyers told jurors that there was no evidence — "not hair, not fingerprints, not fiber, not nothing" — showing Westerfield's presence in the Van Dam house. [11]

Now, what, if anything, do either of you want to change to that. If I know what you want to change, I can take a better look at the debate. Girdag 09:19, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks again, Girdag, for your thoughtful comments. I’m pleased you approve of the quotes from “The Forensic Examiner”: I will add them to the article shortly. I also like your suggestion “alternative theories on how these traces could have been left have been proposed”. I will scan the media reports for appropriate supporting quotes over the next few days. That will take care of my first point (of the five I listed), and partly addresses my fourth point as well.

I have no doubt that FfJ is sincere in his beliefs, I’m just asking for some tolerance.

With regard to “The trial” section of the article which you quoted, my comments are as follows:

Neal responsible for the alleged child porn? There IS evidence linking him to it, as given in the source, but I don’t particularly want to harm his reputation by adding this to the article, it’s more important to me to question whether any of it was child porn (there’s plenty of evidence it WASN’T), and the article has now been improved in this respect. So there is just one point I would make. In the pornography section, an age of “11 or 12" is given. As I have pointed out before (“Article protected again”, end of December), there is considerable doubt over this, so the article should contain something to that effect.

Van Dams’ lifestyle: The present wording is too weak, as they ADMITTED to it, but this should automatically be remedied when my second point is implemented.

Improper interrogation: I’m happy with this sentence as is.

Lack of evidence: This sentence is discussed at the beginning of this edit.

The remaining points I listed could also be in this section of the article, though there could be a separate section on the Media (my third point), as suggested by Wknight94 early this month. 03:33, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

No this article is far too long as it is. It does not require all that fine detail. It is fine the way it is now. Go find something else to do with your time It is about time you stopped with your disruption. If you add all that stuff in the article is no longer neutral. It is entirely defense material. I will not let that happen. Fighting for Justice 04:11, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

A Proposal

Here's my suggestion for changes to the article, which should hopefully make it more acceptable to, while still being neutral, and hopefully acceptable to Fighting for Justice.

With regards to the Trial paragraph, thinking about it, it would possibly be better to rejig this article slightly. As most of the evidence for the prosecution can be found in the 'The Crime' section, and repeating it seems a little unnecessary, I would perhaps prefer the Trial paragraph to be shortened to:

Westerfield pleaded not guilty, and went on trial on June 4, 2002. The trial lasted two months and concluded on August 8. On August 21, the jury found him guilty of kidnapping and first degree murder. He also received an additional conviction for a misdemeanor charge of possessing images of subjects under the age of 18 in a sexual pose on his computer.

Then have a seperate section, entitled 'Defense Arguments', as follows.

During the trial, Westerfield's lawyers charged that he was improperly interrogated for more than nine hours by detectives who ignored his repeated requests to call a lawyer, take a shower, eat, and sleep.[10]. Part of Westerfield's defense focused on the lifestyle of Danielle Van Dam's parents. It emerged that the couple were known for letting each other have sex with other people, and the defense claimed that this lifestyle might have brought a kidnapper to their home. [9]. Also, the defense argued that there were no traces of evidence that Westerfield had been in the Van Dam house, and none of his DNA was found on Danielle's body. [Link to Forensic Examiner article].

The Entemology paragraph, if cut down a bit (it's a little overlong at the moment), could also be included in this section. It seems a bit of a Chewbacca Defense to me, but as it was a major part of the trial, it deserves to be included.

Then, under the 'Pornography' section, I'd propose:

Some of the computers and loose computer media in Westerfield's office contained pornography. According to the prosecution computer expert, James Watkins, 100,000 images were found, including 8,000 to 10,000 nude images and 80 which could be considered child pornography. [16]. The material also included brief movie clips found in Westerfield's office which featured the rape of an underage girl by two men. These clips were played in the courtroom. [16]. Westerfield denied that this was for his enjoyment, and claimed that he was accumulating the images so he could send them to Congress as examples of smut on the Internet.[17]. During the trial, Westerfield's lawyers, Steven Feldman and Robert Boyce, suggested that the child porn might have been downloaded by Westerfield's 18-year-old son, Neal, who denied this. [8]

I removed the 'reported once finding no child pornography', as it seems fairly pointless - if Westerfield has admitted that there was child pornography on there, then there was almost certainly child pornography on there. It doesn't seem to be a matter for debate whether it was there or not. The comment on Neal makes more sense here. Also took the age bit out of the movie clips section, it's not important and adds nothing to the article.

Would both of you be happy with the changes put forwards there?

Girdag 12:26, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Girdag I think that is an excellent proposal. The entomology section needs to stay as it is, because people need to know it is a science susceptible to mistakes. It is not the set in stone, undeniably accurate, science that child-killer apologist(I'm not calling anyone that just a general term I'm saying) like to think it is. You are correct about that sentence it is fairly pointless. Westerfield did admit to having child pornography. Why else did he say "it's not for my enjoyment"? Most people download pornography for enjoyment. Why is he trying to deny that if his pornography is legal? Why was he planning to forward adult porn to Congress as evidence of smut on the Internet? Did he hope to turn them on sexually? Give me a break! Nothing but lame excuses. I'll be very surprised if accepts your proposal because he only wants the case to be told HIS way. That's why I say his edits are in bad faith. But I'll wait and see what he says. He's got an opinion about everything. Fighting for Justice 21:57, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

First comments:

There are two issues of overriding importance, so I’ll deal with them now and discuss the rest later.

Firstly, there is EXPERT evidence that Westerfield DIDN’T have any child porn. This is discussed at length above, so I’m not going to repeat it here. If law enforcement experts said there wasn’t child pornography on there, then there wasn’t child pornography on there. There WAS some nasty stuff on the computers (mainly those 5 loose computer disks) in that house - just as there’s a lot of nasty stuff in movies, on public TV and in video games - but it WASN’T child porn. Those cartoons were nasty, but because they weren’t of real people they are not child porn, and are not illegal - but they were introduced into evidence anyway. The photos of Danielle L. were just ordinary family photos. Law enforcement simply scanned through the hundreds of family photos Westerfield had, then selected the handful that someone with a dirty mind could see something sexual in. I can well believe that Westerfield accepted responsibility for those photos (and maybe also the cartoons), but that doesn’t mean he admitted responsibility for child porn. Because of the importance of this point, and especially its emotional impact, I cannot in good conscience agree to the removal of the sentence about the police report - if anything, it should be stronger than it is.

And secondly, I don’t understand what you mean by the entomology being “a bit of a Chewbacca Defense”. It was law enforcement that brought an entomologist onto the case, and they WOULD have used him, as they’ve done many times before, had his dates fitted their theory. So are you saying that the PROSECUTION’S defense against the entomology evidence was nonsensical? I would agree with that. For example, Dusek asking Faulkner if he had taken the temperature on the OPPOSITE side of the valley! Why would Faulkner do that? How could that affect his calculations? Dusek knew this was a fatal flaw in his case, so he was desperate to do something - anything - to discredit this evidence. Totally unethical. 17:54, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

<yawn><yawn> How much longer are you going to continue to beat this same dead horse Seriously, GET A LIFE! This pervert had child porn! He had 85 images of naked girls and young teens being raped by men. Stop trying to gloss over that - you can't do it. Clearly the people you speak about did not see these images, or if they did maybe they didn't think it was lewd and lascivious. Unfortunately some child porn is legal to have as sick as that may sound. This guy had graphic child porn, he knew it, and his lawyers knew it. And if you ever took the time to take your head out of your own rear end you would know it too. If there was no child porn then his lawyers would have no use in bringing his son into the picture. His own son denied it was his, why not help his dad and admit it was his? Because he knew it was illegal to have! He did tell law enforcement he was directing it to Congress. How much more admission do you want? If it was legal, if it was his right to have it why wouldn't he say so? Why try to make it seem like it was for something else? You are living in denial. Either way I will not permit you to add anymore about this pornography into the article anymore. You have beaten this issue to death, over, and over, and over, and, it's about time you stopped. You are in the minority with this one, and wikipedia does not have to give undue weight to minority viewpoints. A dirty mind eh? Michael Jackson said the same thing about people thinking it is sexual when he played bed buddies with little boys. Dusek is not unethical YOU ARE! You are the one who said a 7 year old is having sex with her brothers to mimic their parents sex life. Fighting for Justice 21:45, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

From link 17.

Asked about the child pornography in his house, he told one friend, former business associate Carmen Genovese, that he was simply collecting the images so he could send them to Congress as examples of smut on the Internet.

Sorry, that's not him saying 'I had no child pornography', it's him saying 'I had child pornography, but I wasn't using it for my own pleasure.' What about the video shown in court? I can't see how that could be viewed as not being child pornography. It is a definite fact that the child pornography was found, as far as I can see it.

As for the entomology thing, that's my views, and has nothing to do with the article, so there's no point discussing it here. I think that section is ok as it is, actually, the only sticking point we seem to have now is this one of whether child pornography was found or not. If you can provide sourced, non-biased information casting doubt on the existence of child pornography, maybe it'll be worth taking a look at it again. Girdag 12:04, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

o, that’s the REPORTER saying that. We can’t tell from your quote which words are Westerfield’s, which are Genovese’s, and which are the reporter’s - and what was left out. As I’ve argued before (end of December), based on Dusek’s words (Opening statement, June 4), the girl in the video was probably OVER 18 so that wasn’t CHILD pornography. We also don’t know how much of her body was visible: that could be another explanation for the CONFLICTING media reports. And I’m highly suspicious of those video clips, as we didn’t learn of their existence until the trial. I have already provided the information you have requested. I am quite frankly TIRED of repeating it, you can find it simply by reading the preceding 40 pages - do a computer search on “Armstrong” to speed it up. One of my sources is Watkins’ testimony on March 12. He confirmed Detective Armstrong’s conclusion that there WASN’T child porn. Watkins worked for the police department and was a prosecution witness, so please explain why you think he is biased towards the defense. I would add that Westerfield’s attorneys’ claim that “police reported not finding child porn”, was NOT disputed. In any event, the sentence you want to remove is the wording of administrator Wknight94, and was arrived at after discussion of the facts. 04:40, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

If you are tired of repeating yourself then shut up and stop disturbing the article. It doesn't get any simpler then that. Watkins testimony is that Armstrong said the children in his(the pervert Westerfield) photos didn't look prepubescent enough. They were not lewd and lascivious to him. That's not an outright denial that it isn't child porn. The children depicted could have been older then 13. The definition of child porn, in California, is flexible. Tell the truth! You claim to care about it soooooo much. Watkins hardly endorsed him either, in fact he stated he wasn't officially working the case. Armstrong saw the photos because he and Watkins worked in the same laboratory. Also, why don't you tell Girdag that your March 12 testimony is from the preliminary hearing, not the actual trial? Trying to spin as usual? claim that “police reported not finding child porn, was NOT disputed” On the contrary Watkins testimony disputes it. Westerfield had plenty of questionable files. You think what the jury saw was pink flowers and cute rabbits? Anyhow, it matters in the least what Armstrong or Watkins concluded about the pornography. California law allows the jury to decide what is or isn't child pornography. I trust what the jury decided. As for the sending it to Congress statements, what does the reporter have to gain by lying? That was his lame excuse. Fighting for Justice 09:05, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
I’m not disturbing the article, I’m improving it. And there’s a better way to eliminate the need for repeating myself: in this instance, include the links (with appropriate captions) in a separate section of the External links. That way, they will be permanently accessible to all. Thank you for giving me the idea. Is this the first time you have acknowledged the existence of expert opinion that this WASN’T child porn? That would be a big step forward. Armstrong’s conclusion, according to Watkins, was not that they weren’t prepubescent enough, but that they weren’t prepubescent at all. Which means that the media report estimating the video girl’s age at 11 or 12, is WRONG; and so is the report giving her age as 7. If they could be so badly wrong, then we can’t have any confidence in their other estimate that she was a young teen either (all the other estimates were even more vague). And you haven’t - and can’t - point to any official statement that she was a young teen. But what is also significant is that this means there was NO evidence that he had a sexual interest in girls of Danielle’s age, or anywhere near her age. Which removes the prosecution’s claimed motive. The Californian definition of child porn can’t be all that flexible, as they were unable to stretch it enough to prosecute him under a child porn statute. Where does Watkins say Armstrong wasn’t working officially on the case? He was asked by the officer in charge to evaluate the images: can you get any more official than that? What difference does it make that this was at the Preliminary Hearing not the main trial? It was nevertheless testimony under oath. I have previously made the point that the article is not about the trial, it’s about the case. Nowhere does Watkins deny the existence of a police report stating that NO child porn was found. Even if Watkins himself had said that, in his opinion, it was child porn - which he DOESN’T - it still WOULDN’T disprove the existence of that report. (It would just mean there was a difference of opinion in the laboratory, suggesting that some images were marginal. But there’s no evidence of a difference of opinion.) The fact that Watkins himself, the very person who used the word “questionable” (and used it frequently), DENIED disagreeing with Armstrong, points to him NOT seriously thinking it was child porn. I am fully aware that the jury is allowed to make their own decision, all I am saying is that EXPERT evidence indicates that they made the WRONG decision, and that evidence of this MUST be included in the article. If you disagree, then please quote expert evidence that it was child porn. Given a choice between a conclusion arrived at by an expert who wasn’t under pressure, and a decision made by amateurs with an angry crowd outside, I would trust the former as being more likely to be correct. Who said the reporter was lying? Westerfield might simply have been talking about the cartoons, and the REPORTER - incorrectly - called this child porn. 05:01, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh my goodness! The room is spinning. Stop spinning so much I don't want you getting disoriented now. You have never been out to improve this article. If you did you would add something for the prosecution. You have NEVER EVER done such a thing. All of your edits are for the defense, because you are a Westerfield-apologist. At least have the guts to admit that much. I've added points for the defense, even though I disagree with them. You do nothing like that. I don't care if you don't trust the media, I do, and so does Wikipedia. Wikipedia considers COURT TV a reliable source. You are a spin artist and a master of deception. I am tired of you trying to minimize the jury's verdict just because you don't like it. Watkins nor Armstrong say the images were not adolescent females. My official statement that they were teens is the jury's verdict. You know the verdict you don't like. You will never convince me that all 12 of them got it wrong and only you were right. Although, I'm sure your ego might like that. The only one wrong is YOU. Armstrong never testified anywhere. I don't care what he thinks. He's never spoken publicly about his views. He saw the images not a video. Watkins confirms he saw images. And even if he did view the video the possibility of the female being adolescent exist. He didn't rule that out, but it's ok I know you think he did. Watkins calling the images "questionable" was a word that was agreed upon in order for Feldman and Boyce not to throw a hissy fit and object. The words "not at all" are so vague it is futile to register them. Why didn't he use a stronger set of words, like, "Yeah I do agree with him". Dusek followed it up with an objection and it was sustained, so it is possible Watkins would have explained himself more clearly. Feldman and Boyce were trying to get him to say he agreed with Armstrong and it failed. The article section under "The Trial" is about the trial. You and his lawyers have taken Armstrong's word and spun it around to suit your own selfish purposes. Watkins and Armstrong are COMPUTER FORENSIC EXPERTS. They are experts at extracting files from computers. They are not experts on child pornography laws. It's up to a prosecutor to indict you. Boyce was out of line in asking Watkins opinion if he agreed or not. In no way are they telling the jury they arrived at the wrong verdict. That's your opinion. Westerfield is a pervert. He knows he's one too as proven by that letter he sent. Suuuure he's talking about the cartoon. His lack of testifying is also very revealing. An innocent man takes the stand to defend himself whether his lawyers approve of it or not. He's a pervert for his cartoons, his images, and his videos. Furthermore, 11 and 12 are preteens. Females start puberty earlier then males. Some females can start puberty as early as 10 years old. And this article will say he had child porn whether you like it or not. If there wasn't child porn his lawyers would never try to pass it off to Neal. So you had better get use to it. Upholding the jury's verdict is paramount, not your spin. Fighting for Justice 07:28, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Remaining comments on Girlag’s proposal:

My focus has been on firstly correcting factual errors in the article, and secondly making it balanced and neutral, as required by Wikipedia. I have given but little thought to cosmetic improvements, as that is less important and could be done later. Nevertheless, your suggested rearrangement of the contents sounds good.

I previously argued (nearly 2 weeks ago) that the Entomology section (and the Selby section) is too long and detailed (and much of the contents is just prosecution spin which doesn’t stand up to close examination), so I would certainly agree to some of that detail being removed. I have already refuted some of the points in that section. Here is more: “Prosecutor Jeff Dusek questioned Hall about why his calculations were compiled through a method less favorable to the prosecution”. It’s not clear what is meant by this, and it’s not explained in the source article, so I’m going to guess that this is a reference to Dusek’s theory that, because the body was dumped in winter, therefore the entomologists should have used the data from the studies conducted at the lowest temperature. That might SOUND plausible, but it’s just NOT true, as stated by Hall and shown by the evidence. To which I would add: temperature isn’t constant, it’s warmer during the day, and most insect development (growth) occurs at higher temperatures (in fact NO growth occurs below 50 degrees Fahrenheit). And this was an unusually warm winter month (temperatures even went well into the 90s on one day). So, if Dusek’s theory were correct (and he’s not an entomologist), it would be more logical to use data gathered from studies conducted at HIGHER temperatures - which is what the defense entomologists did.

I am also agreeable to the estimated age of the video girl being removed. Your idea is a more concise way than the one I suggested for indicating to readers that we don’t know her age. However, the uncertainty is so great that I would make one further adjustment: add “apparent” to the sentence, because we don’t know if she was actually underage (she probably wasn’t). In fact, we don’t even know if this was an actual rape or just paid actors acting, so we could add “apparent” twice, giving “which featured the apparent rape of an apparently underage girl”. This idea is consistent with the cautious wording chosen by Watkins, who repeatedly said “APPEARS to be ...”. 04:07, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

No what wikipedia requires is that the information is sourced and verifiable. Wikipedia does not have to give undue weight to every single defense argument. THis article will stay as it is right now. I will revert any changes you make, because it is all done to make Westerfield look innocent. You can hide behind your neutral and balanced facade but I'm not buying it. You have NEVER EVER added anything in favor of the prosecution. I have added stuff that helps the defense. Your true motives are very obvious. The age of the girl stays because it is what the sourced article contains. This article does not have to make apologies to David Westerfield. THis article is too long and it doesn't need additional information. Oh, wow, now they are actors; that's quite a nice spin you're making Got any other good ones like that one? Watkins said "appears to be", so Westerfield's attorney's could keep their mouths shut and not object . Much like you need to do with your own mouth. Did you also forget that Westerfield's lawyers weren't entomologist either? So how do they know they were told the truth? Oh I know. They just liked what they were hearing. Are you an entomologist, or just a Westerfield advocate? Fighting for Justice 06:37, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I occasionally work some projects at the San Diego Natural History Museum and I've attended two of Mr. Faulkner's lectures about entomology there. Because I thought it was an interesting subject I've read books by Dr. Haskell, Dr. Goff, some guy in England and a guide by Mr. Faulkner. From personal conversations with Mr. Faulkner I can tell you he's dead certain of his dates. He snorts when people suggest he was two weeks off. What people forget is that there are *degrees* of error. If you're machining a part you need to hold a tolerance and the person who gave you the print realizes it and gives you an acceptable range. When you design electronics or bridges you have a safety range and design for it. Entomology is no different. These people incorporate unknowns, such as temperature variations. What a jury does with the information of course, is something else.Snidley W 10:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Reply to FfJ:

Wikipedia articles ARE required to be neutral. And that means including the most important arguments for the defense (which I have already listed, there are only a few of them). I have never deleted anything in favor of the prosecution. You, by contrast, have deleted LOTS of stuff that helps the defense. All your reversions are to make Westerfield look guilty. So, to quote your own words, your true motives are very obvious. Media reports are VAGUE and INCONSISTENT as to the age of the video girl, and MOST do NOT exclude the possibility of her being of legal age. So while changing “11 or 12" to “underage” IS an improvement - for which I am grateful - changing it to “apparently underage” would be even better, and would cover ALL possibilities, while still retaining the bias you want. You say the article is too long and doesn’t need additional information, then promptly ADD additional information making it even LONGER! As Jesus would say: You hypocrite! PROVE that the people in the video WEREN’T actors. Are you saying that Watkins said “appears to be ...” because he knew he couldn’t prove what he was saying (I don’t think he even believed it), and didn’t want to give the defense the opportunity to show him up as an untrustworthy witness? If Westerfield’s lawyers weren’t being told the truth by their entomologists, then it was up to the prosecution’s entomologist to point this out. But he couldn’t, he ALSO excluded Westerfield. ALL the entomologists excluded him, so the defense didn’t need to come up with far-fetched theories to discredit the science. 20:01, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

SHE WASN'T OF LEGAL AGE!!!!! The jury didn't think so, so why should the rest of us? If she can be described as young as 7, then clearly she wasn't in her late teens. ACTING OR NO ACTING THE VIDEO PROVES WESTERFIELD IS A PERVERT. The act of rape turns him on. YOU DEFEND A PERVERT. I've never heard of a minor willingly acting out a rape scene for a sleazy porn flick. In fact it would be illegal even if the minor did it voluntarily. Judging by the media's description of the emotion in the courtroom, when it was viewed, the scene was graphic and very violent. This tells me it was the real McCoy. Only a spin artist, like you, could insinuate it was an act. Not even David Westerfield told us he thought they were actors. And judging by his uncomfortable demeanor, when the scene was played, I think, Westerfield knew it was a video he shouldn't be owning. Also if there was genital contact between the adult and minor all the more reasons to think it was the real thing, and not staged. I believe the scene had genitals exposed and used, as rape of a female includes penetration. The scene was described as a rape. SICKO! The article stays as it is. Deal with it. Fighting for Justice 20:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Reply to FfJ:

How do you know the jury didn’t think the video girl was of legal age? They didn’t specify WHICH images their decision was based on. The prosecutor wasn’t sure if she was under 18, so clearly she WASN’T as young as 7. How do those video clips prove he was a pervert? The prosecution couldn’t even prove he had viewed them, nor was he charged with viewing them (as you can see from the Wikipedia article). And if he was a pervert, so what? Danielle’s parents and their friends were perverts, but that doesn’t stop you defending THEM. Nothing happened to Westerfield’s daughter, but something happened to the van Dams’. Food for thought. Quite a coincidence, isn’t it, that the victim was the daughter of the only proven perverts in that neighborhood. What proof do you have that rape turns Westerfield on? You stated that as if it were a FACT, so you have a DUTY to provide PROOF. Judging by YOUR emotion, it wasn’t necessary for the scene to have been graphic, people’s imaginations supply the rest. Did Westerfield tell us he thought they WEREN’T actors? What is your source that the genitals were exposed in those video clips? Nevertheless, you have hit the nail on the head. A young girl can dress up to look years older than she actually is, but once the clothes come off the truth is exposed. In this case, we have one group of people (law enforcement) saying it’s NOT child porn, and another group (the media) saying it is. There are some differences between those two groups: the former consists of experts and made their evaluation BEFORE the community became enveloped in hysteria (stirred up by the media). But the difference I want to focus on is that the former group was able to view the images close up and at leisure, whereas the latter group could only, at best, barely see them. I have no hesitation, therefore, in accepting the expert opinion, and rejecting the media descriptions. The media was NOT a reliable source of information on this case. It is significant that you wax loud and long trashing Westerfield’s CHARACTER, but are just as UNABLE as the prosecution was to provide direct evidence of his GUILT. 11:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

None of the above needs to be dignified with a long response. But let me say this for this will be the last reply I will ever make to you. You are more of a deranged individual then I ever gave you credit for. I can not believe what you stated about the Van Dam's. You also seem to suffer from telepathy - what with the jury communicating to you they got caught in "hysteria". I certainly hope that you have no children, for I believe, any child will be in great danger with someone like you. A person who defends a known pervert and makes light of child pornography. I defend the Van Dam's because their lifestyle involves consenting adults. A pervert is someone who rapes or murders a child. The Van Dam's have not been convicted of such a thing, much less accused of it. Your comments are bordering on libel and, if I were you, I'd choose my words a little more carefully. Unlike some people Brenda and Damon have their freedom intact. Tell me, where is David Westerfield going for his 55th birthday? Oh that's right; no where! Because he's at San Quentin State Prison. The home of the biggest perverts in California. And you have the audacity of calling the Van Dam perverts. So are you telling me murdered children all have bad parents? THe children got murdered because they had bad parents? John Walsh, Marc Klaas, Mark Lunsford, Magi Bish, Erin Runnion, Maria Keever, Milena Sellers, and Maureen Kanka all bad parents. Wow that's quite a list. You arrived at that conclusion yourself? Riiiight David Westerfield never looked or viewed the images/videos. He searched the net for them, but never looked at them. The images on CD-ROMS all done by magic. <sarcasm><sarcasm> Goodbye I hope you find a nice gift to give Westerfield for his birthday. Happy pervert defending. I know it's a role you relish in. I'll still monitor the article tho. Oh and I have a big news flash for you Einstein. Circumstantial evidence is more then enough to convict. You don't necessarily require direct evidence. You seem to take issue with that I suggest you talk to the Supreme Court. So long my little MENSA drop-out. Fighting for Justice 16:20, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

I have to say I pay more attention to the folks who know the detail relating to this trial than to the shear emotionalism expressed by other people.

At the evidence level things revolve around scientific issues (as opposed to emotional.) At the prosecutional and defense level where a jury is involved things absolutely revolve around a jury. And if you think that doesn't involve going to the heartstrings, then you're naive.

However, the results of a jury does not wipe out established fact. It simply reflects what the decision of 12 people were, and any lawyer will tell you that the behavior of a jury cannot be predicted.

I realize I'm getting off track here, but I'd like to finish up with one final thought. After reading through these comments for many months I see things which are accurate and I see things which are emotional. FFJ, your comments are so emotional you slant things and accuse people of stuff they are simply not doing, and it's only because they are not aligned with what you believe.

The discussions here should be about the factual values of things included in the article, not about the values you project on the people who are contributing.

Ad hominem things should not even enter the discussion.Snidley W 09:46, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

My top 4 reasons why I know DW had child pornography

1. The jury returned a conviction for the charge. They don't convict you for the fun of it. I trust the jury. I know certain people don't but that's sour grapes and totally irrelevant.

2. His lawyers tried to unload the porn onto his son. If there was no illegal porn, why drag his son into the mess?

3. He sent a letter stating he was collecting it to forward it to Congress as evidence of smut on the internet. A lame excuse if I ever heard one. But oh well.

And this is the biggest reason of them all:

4. He never took the stand in his own defense. If I knew my stuff was legal I would get up and say so. I will defend owning it. He did none of that. NOTHING. If his lawyers told him not to, he didn't have to listen to them. An innocent person will take the stand and defend himself against everything they were accusing him of. Lawyers can advice you not to testify but if you want to they have no choice but to let you. He did none of that. There's only one reason for not doing it. It's when YOU KNOW YOU ARE GUILTY. Westerfield knew he couldn't survive cross-examination. He knew he was going to be asked questions he wouldn't have valid answers for.

My conclusion: His conviction is not the fault of the medias or a community. It lies squarely on the shoulders of David Westerfield. His vice for little girls caught up to him and for reasons, only, known to him, it snapped on one dark evening. He finally secured a little girl to live out his darkest fantasies. For most of his life he tried to live his life correctly. He got married and divorced twice, had children raised them, got educated, made friends, and had wealth. But he always kept his penchant for little girls well hidden. Sexually he could do it with a grown woman, however, they never completely satisfied him. When he discovered the internet he sought comfort in photos of little girls, videos, animations and that was enough for awhile. Perverts usually want the real thing and Westerfield was no exception. Sadly, he killed a little girl. Now he's rotting away in jail awaiting his date with a needle. He's only gonna get older now and hopefully, I hope anywayz, he'll get a stroke and die so his victim, Danielle Nicole Van Dam, can be at peace. Fighting for Justice 07:45, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't want to turn this into a discussion of the trial, but let me clear up a few things for the sake of accuracy.

1) Jury convictions, I'll bypass that.

2) For the sake of accuracy, his lawyers did no such thing. They simply attributed the sources. I work with computers and when you have a so-called computer expert from SDPD who doesn't know that things are signed with Julian dates, you absolutely have to attack that testimony. The evidence, such as material found on disks which were also found on the son's laptop actually support the idea that Mr. Westerfield's son downloaded some of this. Plus, much of it was anime.

3) The letter was sent after the trial and he was convicted.

4) I suppose you realize that a person is not required to take the stand in their own defense, and there are good reasons for not doing this. In the judge's instructions to the jury it's explicit that this is not to be considered, because it's our right. This varies from trial to trial, though.

But to consider not taking the stand as evidence of guilt appears to me as you not understanding how our system works.

I'd just like to get back to the article. This is an unusual case. I'll leave it there.Snidley W 10:07, 24 February 2007 (UTC)