Acknowledgements

 

Like any collaborative non-fiction project, it would not have been possible without the unwavering support of those who got us started—Jill (Haddad) Martin and Lloyd Martin for giving us our “inside track,” and of course, Carl and Deneen LeRoy for providing the “comforts of home” that kept us going.

We are forever beholden to Virginia McMartin and Peggy Buckey, who were determined to “get to the truth”; and to Ray Buckey, Peggy Ann Buckey, and Charles Buckey, for allowing us (two strangers) to spend countless hours with their family’s matriarchs.

There will always be a warm place in our hearts for Pastor Myrus Knutson, who trusted us with a volume of never-before-seen archives— the documents that shed light on his daughter’s death. Today, as we too have daughters of our own, we can only imagine the pain he endured, and we pray that he’s watching over us with a gracious smile.

Our thundering applause to Steve and Debbie Knutson, Gayle Schaeffer, and Noreen Noel—your painful memories had more value than any of you could’ve ever imagined.

We give our profound thanks to Michael Ruby and his parents, Glenn and Evelyn Ruby, who welcomed us into their home and convinced us that “God was on our side.” To Jackie Starmer, a.k.a., The Walking Library of the McMartin Case—your nickname needs no commentary—but of course, it doesn’t say what a great friend you were to so many.

A very special appreciation to Claudia Krikorian who opened doors that would’ve otherwise remained closed. You, madam, are a true educator. To Chuck Elliott, despite your damage, your infectious laugh inspired us forward.

To Dr. Jerry Todd, a truly wise and selfless man, who took us under his wing and helped us to get something on paper (oh, the memories of those floppy discs).

To Dr. John Byrom, who provided a view of paranoid schizophrenia that we would’ve never fathomed.

To the dedicated journalists: Bob Williams, Mary Fischer, Chris Woodyard, Faye Fiore, Shawn Hubler, Lisa Endig, and Martin Burns, each of whom provided information and insight that led us to a treasure
of discovery.

To all the players on both sides of this case who, irrespective of their beliefs or dispositions, gave us their time and candid recollections: Kay Larson, John Banta, Tommy Allen, Mary Mae Cioffi, Bob Currie, Dave Allen, Father John Calhoun, Father Jack Eales, Monsignor John Barry, Glenn Stevens, Dr. Roland Summit, and all others who made themselves available.

To our broad range of beta readers—Mary Olson, Danielle Mathison, Jeff McClaren, Summer Grace, Anna Amundson Esq, Lynn Gahman, Valerie Kinder-Davis, Joe Duffel, Tony Small, Veronica Rodriguez, Rosemary Rodriguez, Whitney Johnson, Angelo Haddad, Maureen Wylie, Marie Haddad, Christopher Jacobs, Brian Bloodgood, Michael Weber, Sean (“El Chano”) Todd, Veronica Vonk, and Heather Haddad.

To the unsung heroes, for their tireless work behind the scenes: Arthur Gallegos—the chronicler, Adam Poe—website design, Timothy Brittain— book designer extraordinaire, Margret McBride—literary agent (with us from the start), and a special thanks to our editor and mentor, Larry Edwards.

Our resounding shout-out to San Diego State University, and a vociferous “thank you” to undergraduate advisor Dr. David Johns, who helped forge our path.

To Delta Upsilon, who brought us together and provided endless encouragement and cold beers during those early days. Nordstrom and Larry Shelton, head basketball coach at Downey High School, for giving
us jobs so we could continue our investigation. Lastly, to Pops and Jewel for providing us food, hoops and unending entertainment.

And, most heartfelt, we express our gratitude to our wives and children. To Brenda and Heather, who’ve found a way to love us unconditionally, and to our beautiful children (in order of age): Gabriella, Jacqueline, Wylie, Abraham, and Scarlett. This book is as much yours as it is ours.