Saturday, January 8, 2011

And Then There's These... People

When you work with one of the most vulnerable populations in America, you quickly start to realize just how nasty the human race can be. While I don't know who said it, there's a rather famous quote which about sums it up: "There is no such thing as an inhuman act, for there is no act so vile that you cannot find a human willing, even eager, to commit it."

Some of the things I have seen defy description. The things I've seen news coverage of are worse. This was rather spectacularly demonstrated yesterday, with an article from the LA Times that highlights this in a truly awful fashion.

I've tried to write out the story several times. I can't, as hard as I try. As such, I'll just quote the article -- which really does speak for itself.

The package mysteriously left at Los Angeles County Sheriff's headquarters shocked even some of the department's most grizzled detectives: A hundred hours of video footage showing severely disabled women, many in diapers, being sexually assaulted by anonymous men.

The attacks appeared to have taken place at residential care centers, authorities said, and most of the attackers are believed to be employees. One suspect appears to be a paraplegic patient, hoisting himself off his wheelchair, before removing his diaper and that of his victim's, and beginning his assault.

The footage, dropped off in March, has left detectives with few leads. Though authorities are confident the scenes were shot in residential care facilities, it's unclear if they are located in Los Angeles County. Much of the footage is so grainy that only the faces of four of the estimated 10 men could be made out.

Authorities Thursday asked for the public's help in identifying the men, releasing screenshots and composite drawings of the attackers.

"Maybe they can identify these people," said Sgt. Dan Scott. "Maybe they can identify the room."

Detectives are also hoping the tipster who dropped off the package will come forward. The footage left at sheriff's headquarters in Monterey Park came with a note explaining how he discovered the video. He had been commissioned by a man to scrub a computer hard drive, but before he did, he burned 100 hours of video files onto DVDs.

Detectives said the women in the videos appear to be between 20 and 40 years old, some appearing almost entirely unresponsive. The men appear to also be between 20 and 40. The footage, detectives said, appears to be a collection, with some men appearing in more than one scene. Some of the footage was shot with a handheld camera, with the rest appearing to be captured by a security camera, detectives said.

Enhancing and analyzing the video took several months, authorities said. Detectives have not contacted local residential care centers yet, an official said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Special Victims Bureau detectives at (866) 247-5877. Anonymous tipsters can call (800) 222-TIPS.

As I said, the story speaks for itself. The photos can be found here.


  1. Yeah, the things happening today are really disheartening. Just yesterday, a woman's body was found in a large trash container in this city. No description or identity was given, just that sad fact. Apparently, life is cheap and insignificant to many people.

  2. This was incredibly painful to read. And people wonder why I don't want to put my brother in institutional care when he's an adult.

  3. Yeah, it was incredibly painful. I had a lot of trouble writing about it because of that (and a couple of other factors).

    Fortunately, the more recent news is somewhat more heartening (if rather mixed): they've managed to identify some of the people responsible... but one of them may get off.

    For more, see:,0,7811296.story?track=rss