Patch Publishes Completely Unnecessary Sex Offender Maps to Keep Kids Safe on Halloween

Every year around Halloween time, Patch, the news website specializing in local coverage around the country, publishes maps that show where sex offenders live. Patch claims this is some kind of public service, even though a thorough study of 67,000 cases of child molestation found zero increase in sex crimes against children on Halloween. Full Article

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When you have absolutely nothing of relevance to say, just shout “sex offender” and you will definitely draw some attention to yourself.

I thought it was illegal to copy info from the states megan’s law list and republish it. Doesn’t it violate copywright laws. I could have sworn I read an article about other websites publishing off of the states website on here, Narsol or War and how that violates copywright laws. The police are gathering the information, publishing the info, and posting the pics.

Because of Turner, Wisconsin residents hold trick-or-treating during daytime hours. However, the f/k/a Harvard Law Blog found two interesting things regarding the Turner case: The 9 year old girl was trick-or-treating alone and went to the house of a stranger,* and Turner had no prior criminal record, so if such a law existed in 1973, the Halloween sex offender laws would not have applied to Turner.

Thus, to date there is STILL no recorded incident of a child molested or killed by a convicted sex offender on Halloween.

* Some reports say she knew him.

“We publish sex-offender maps because people deserve to know whether they live near someone like Turner who’s preyed on the most vulnerable.”

Again, I think the only way to fight the propaganda is with defamation suites. Saying every RC is like Turner is defamation. My bet is that the number of RCs who murdered a minor, especially under 14, is close to zero. The rest of the article is mostly factual, with one giant false premise. Due to no prior convictions, Turner would not be on the registry, so even he was not like RCs.

Since I’m no listed on the map, I do not have standing to sue.

More and more, these sensationalist articles lack a “comments” section so that we can reply to the media’s lack of rationalism. It’s almost as if outlets such as Patch would rather censors it’s users’ comments. When Patch first started about 10 years ago, all of its articles were open to reader comments. This is no longer the case.

I think it would be a far greater (and much more appreciated) public service if Patch would publish the addresses of homes known to give out the best Trick-or-Treat candy! (Seriously, whenever I have been asked by neighbors or have seen a local thread online, it’s always “Where can I take my kids for the best Halloween candy? Which are the best neighborhoods?”)

So in last year’s response

as to why they publish these articles, cites one 40 year old incident of a child rape / murder on Halloween by…. wait for it… a guy who had no prior sex offense conviction. Who would not have been on the registry for sure, aside from the fact that he may have been the mother’s boyfriend. Come again???

It seems surreal that a grown adult and trained journalist not only would write such a piece, but that the general public does not call them out on this blatant display of irrelevance.

Then again…. you have

– The Adam Walsh Act. There is no evidence whatsoever that Adam Walsh’s abduction and murder involved a sexual component (as only the poor boy’s head was recovered) and no one was ever convicted. One would think that this piece of legislation addressed people who kidnapped children, or parents who failed to properly supervise their young children (yes, you, Mrs. Walsh). Yet it focuses and puts onerous restrictions on people who have done things like have a 16 year old girlfriend in a state with an age of consent of 17 (yes, you, John Walsh).

-The Jacob Wetterling Act. Again, restrictions on those with previous sex crime offenses (including things like having a 17 year old girlfriend, in CA) when until last year this was strictly an abduction and disappearance. A sane person would think the JWA would address child abductions at gun point. Even with the confession and conviction of the perpetrator, he, of course, did not have a prior sex offense record.

– Jessica’s Law. Which prohibits residence within a certain distance from schools, parks, etc, although the crime had absolutely nothing to do with these kinds of designated uses.

I sometimes feel like I am living in Bizarro World…

You know, I wonder if people Patch are appealing to are people who never grew up and still see monsters under their beds.