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In the Mind of a Murderer: Part IV-The Aftermath

Updated on July 12, 2015
JT Walters profile image

JT Walters has a Master's of Science in Behavoralism from Florida State University. She is a researcher in many professions in Florida.

Brooks Bellay

Brooks John Bellay who kidnapped, confessed to raping and murdering four year old Angel Ann Halstead back in August of 1979 came up for parole on August of 2013. This is an ongoing saga for the victims family as they continually have to collect petitions and go through the parole process speaking for their deceased family member. Bellay has reason to be optimistic with the supreme court considering the Jimmy Ryce cases since Bellay was convicted as a minor. It seems The Florida Supreme Court has gone soft on sex offenders. I was recently contact by Angel’s sister, Staci Halstead, and we have been working around the clock collecting petitions, doing press and working with Staci to rallying the community to halt the parole of Bellay. For both Staci and I this has been a very painful process because we have had to relive Angel’s murder, have had people shut us down when we ask for petition signatures, and had to even break through our own introversion to do press. We are back in our nice little introverted shells. Neither of us want to be out in front of John Q public but even worse for us would be to remain silent while was Bellay being paroled and then he kill another child. This article will point out some of the issues we have encountered as we have moved passed successfully blocking the parole of Brooks John Bellay and looking at what we can do to minimize sex crimes in the state of Florida.

The late great FBI profiler John Douglas said it best in this interview.

Cherish Perriwinkle

Cherish Perriwinkle recently murdered by a paroled pedophile in Jacksonville, Florida.
Cherish Perriwinkle recently murdered by a paroled pedophile in Jacksonville, Florida.

Sex Crime Reporting

Sex crimes are vastly under reported. There are a variety of reasons for this but I believe the main one is the social stigmatization which accompanies a sex crime being reported. Also parents whose children are perpetrated upon will not report because they usually know the perp. In some cases it is a family member and that makes the impidious to remain silent even greater. There is a lot of public education which is needed in the state of Florida to address this particular issue. In my research I have come across an organization which works with children to help them prevent becoming victims of sex crimes. The organization to which I refer is Lauren’s Kids who works with the legislators advocating for tougher laws against child sex predators and in public schools to educate children. I am so incredibly impressed with this organization but I believe we need to look at not only the victim but the perpetrator and the dynamic of a predatorial child sex crime.

Laws for Child Sex Predators

Do you think the laws are sufficient to protect children from sexual predators?

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The Law

There is also issues with the way the laws are written. If both children are under the age of consent then there is no crime therefore no mandatory intervention. An example of this would be a thirteen year old boy raping a two year old child which is clearly a predatorial sexual criminal act. If the authorities are called the incident is reported to social services despite the fact there is strong evidence that the thirteen year old will only continue his predatorial sexual criminal behavior. Conversely, if a nineteen year old intellectual disabled person rapes a two year old it is considered pedophilia even though the nineteen year old may not be capable of discerning his own intent. We know there are sex offenders who are so organized we will never catch them. In most instances we only catch them due to luck because we don’t aggregate the data in a way in which they can be readily identified at being at risk. Fundamentally we lack a system for early detection of would be offenders which preserves at risk individual’s constitutional rights before they become offenders while remaining vigilant to protect their prey. Why don’t we have laws to intervene at the earliest possible point to stave off these crimes?

Cherish's Murderer

Missing Data

  • Sex Crimes Against Children need to be categorized with both the perpetrator's and the victim's demographic information so statistics can guide law makers in creating stronger laws.
  • Sex Crimes against children need to be categorized as opportunistic as well as predatorial violent sexual crimes with the understand that the perpetrator has characteristics which can develop into greater pathological criminal behavior such as serial rapists and killers.
  • Society in general needs public education so that the social stigmatism is lifted from reporting sex crimes against children.\
  • Data drives laws so until we can aggregate data in a way in which the dynamic of sexual crimes are commit can be evaluated law makers are incapable of creating meaningful legislation,

The Data

Well first we have issues with arguments in the criminal justice system over defining and categorizing these criminals. You could have three experts in a room and one would call it an opportunistic sex crime while the other would define it as a predatorial sex crime and the third guy would see it as a serial rape. I believe all three are correct. Without opportunity the crime could not exist so to me all sex crimes are crimes of opportunity. If the victim was not weaker than the offender then they would fight them off and therefore all sex crimes, to me, are predatorial. In my research we know that the recidivism rates among sex offenders is exception high and as they progress in their craft they eventually become murderers. In my opinion, which is shared by many experts pedophilia, sexual predatorial, serial rapist, and murders violent sexual behavior is rooted in sexual dysfunction. This is their nature and craft. They become more organized and better at it each time they offend.

However we only know this is because of reviews of cases which are pain stakingly arduous. Staci Halstead has done an awesome job of pulling individual cases. But I research data bases. The data bases which I would like to address in this particular article do not aggregate data on the offender’s and victim’s demographics simultaneously. Therefore when we go back and try to evaluate to show just cause for ratification of the state laws it is impossible to collect the data and prove just cause for stronger legal sanctions against sex predators. So it is one giant loop hole in which sex offenders have the advantage. Sexual predatorial crimes are reviewed adhoc as pieces of the dynamic of the sexual crime and not as a whole. Quite literally the bureaucracy which surrounds these data bases is crippling. Not that there isn’t a data base that contains this information. I have connections all the way through the FBI and they do not aggregate data on the dynamic of the sex crime either. Somewhere this data must exist but it has escaped me thus far. So what Staci and I are working on is ahead of the data and the law which I have been informed is not that uncommon. For us it is personal as we have both been affected. It is understandable how a politician could be detached since it has never happened to their family.

Part of the problem with creating the laws is that we lack the data to hunt the sex predator or atleast remain vigilant against these individuals that have the potential to be a danger to society. Quite frankly, it is a tough subject to talk about with average people and with the leaders of our community. No one wants to believe they are out there especially in their community. It is not a feel good subject. Early intervention is society’s best chance at minimizing these crimes and limiting the number of killings but it is a tough sell. If a killer is put away everyone feels great because someone has been stopped. Action has been taken. But if you prevent a predatorial child sex crime the crime never takes place there is no statistic which proves something has been done. It didn’t happen. Our communities are safe. As a firm believer in constitutional rights, all of this would have to be maintained with a great deal of discretion so no one’s rights were violated. So preventing predatorial sex crimes against children is actually not an accolade a politician could boast about. We were told in the meeting we had with our leaders that pedophiles have to register and they are watched very carefully. I argued that pedophiles are simply immature serial killers who are honing their craft. I was told I was wrong but then Staci Halstead chimed in and mentioned the Jacksonville cases of Cherish. I have to say everyone should be listening to Ms. Halstead because she is brilliant and quick on her feet.

Cherish's Story

Where we go from here?

Lobbying for aggregating data a different way is not very appealing and seems like a very hard sell. If the data base which contains the dynamic of predatorial or all sex crimes exists with both the victims and the preps demographics we have yet been able to access it. It would seem like we are out of moves in this particular crusade except having to do the one thing both Staci and I hate to do. If you recall I have explained we are both introverts. Growing up around rapists, murderers and serial killers will do that to you. We would rather hang out at each others houses researching then having these high level meetings. But the predators are out there still hunting and children are being kidnapped, raped and murdered. They never stop hunting so we can not be deterred in our efforts.

Staci has been approached about doing a documentary. I realize how hard it will be for her to do. We are both really very private. But we agreed at the onset this was not about us and our comfort level. It is unpleasant having to discuss predatorial sex crimes committed on children let alone considering having to actually speak in public about it. Yet children are missing and found dead. The demand for this type of documentary is there. I am attending the initial meeting and I am just praying that my involvement will be off camera. After all Staci is the brilliant leader of this campaign and I am simply assisting her in her advocacy. In memorial to Staci’s deceased sister she has placed a Facebook page up in her name Angel Ann Halstead. Staci would love to hear from all of you.


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