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Family Values in a Red State
6 Relatives Charged with Abuse and a Community is Divided
Jokes about incest in the rural south have been stock in trade for stand-up comedians for years. No doubt the extent of this "tradition" has been exaggerated. I can recall a joke that circulated when I was in high school in Louisiana involving the definition of a "family man" which I won't repeat here. Suffice it to say that a group of Missouri family men appear to fit the definition to a T according to a recent investigation in Bates City, Missouri, which reveals that incest and bestiality may still be alive and well in this red state.
For the past week authorities have been excavating the yard around an old farmhouse in search of evidence of sex crimes against children after a 26-year-old woman went to the police in nearby Independence, home of Harry and Bess Truman, and accused her grandfather, Burrell E. Mohler, Sr., her father and three uncles of sexually abusing her and her five sibilings for seven years. She cited mock weddings, sex acts involving children, rape and an unspecified sex act involving an animal. Some in the community have questioned the reliability of the woman's accusations which are based on repressed memories. However, authorities say some of her claims have been confirmed by physicial evidence and testimony by her sisters and brothers.
The woman's grandfather, Mohler, Sr., has been charged with forcible rape and the use of a child in a sexual performance. His sons, Burrell E. Mohler, Jr., 53, Jared L. Mohler, 48, Roland N. Mohler, 47, and David A. Mohler, 52, were also charged with various felonies including rape. Last week a sixth family member, Darrel Mohler, 72, a brother of Mohler, Sr., was charged with rape, and additional charges were filed against Mohler, Sr. and his sons.
A friend and former employer of Mohler, Sr., Robert Bruch said "The charges seem to be so absurd, they're unbelievable...Everybody's in total shock." Mr. Bruch, said he worshipped with Mohler at the Community of Christ Church in Bates City. "There was never a question about his loyalty to the church or Christ. A spokesman for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, in response to questioning about the reliability of recovered memories as a basis of criminal charges, said "We feel like we have enough evidence, otherwise we wouldn't have gotten to this point."
Police have been digging in the farmhouse basement for the remains of a baby born to the woman accusing the Mohlers of rape and in the back yard in search of glass bottles containing contemporaneous notes written by the children and buried in hopes that the memories of abuse would go away. The results of the search have not been disclosed.
Report of Murder--Kansas City Star
- Search Warrants In Child Sex Case Released - Kansas City News Story - KMBC Kansas City
Search warrant affidavits related to a child sex abuse case detail what investigators were looking for and describe a murder that allegedly happened on a rural Bates City property in 1988.
Grandfather and Others Charged with Child Sexual Abuse in Missouri
- Dad, sons face new child sex charges - Crime & courts- msnbc.com
Prosecutors in Missouri have filed 15 additional sex charges against a father and his adult sons who were already accused of sexually abusing children.
Burrell Family Values
- Mohler Jr.\'s daughters: Dad made them kidnap, kill man - Kansas City News - Plog
Kansas City News. Mohler Jr.'s daughters: Dad made them kidnap, kill man. The Pitch news, blogs, music, movies, restaurants and the arts.
Kidnapping, Murder, Infant Burial Alleged in Missouri Case
- Kidnapping, murder, infant burial alleged in Missouri abuse case - CNN.com
Three alleged victims of years-ago child sex abuse within a Missouri family told authorities they were forced by one of the accused to kill a man after he was kidnapped, according to new court documents filed in the case.