PDA

View Full Version : Contacting Case Players



Tricia
02-23-2009, 04:09 PM
Dear Websleuths Members,

Recently several members have took it upon themselves to contact very minor players in the Anthony case and the Cummings case.

Please keep in mind and understand these poor people are going along minding their business when they get that phone call from you. Even if they know they are a part of the circus it still can shake people up to hear from total strangers asking them questions.

I understand the people contacted by Websleuths Members have been invited to join Websleuths and talk about their situation.


We welcome with open arms people involved who want to post but please remember, if you call someone you are not acting as a representative of Websleuths.com

I have to make myself very clear here. If you choose to contact someone and invite them to join Websleuths you are doing this on your own with no input from the owner.

Please understand, I do appreciate everyone's participation. Every day I come on this board and you all leave me speechless with your ability to find people, to take apart the evidence, and in general figure out what is going on. I bet many times you all figure out what is going on before LE does:)

We just need to be careful and respect people and their privacy.

Thanks for understanding. I'll leave this thread open for questions or comments.

SeriouslySearching
02-23-2009, 04:25 PM
I think it is a mistake for anyone besides LE to contact players in any case, but this is just my opinion. We do not know what role they may play as to being minor or major until the end of the case. What risks are people taking by contacting them? I look at it as a safety issue plus it may impede the ongoing investigation.

Of course, we will treat them with respect and welcome them if they find WS then choose to participate. ;)

christine2448
02-23-2009, 04:44 PM
I think it is a mistake for anyone besides LE to contact players in any case, but this is just my opinion. We do not know what role they may play as to being minor or major until the end of the case. What risks are people taking by contacting them? I look at it as a safety issue plus it may impede the ongoing investigation.

Of course, we will treat them with respect and welcome them if they find WS then choose to participate. ;)

ITA, FWIW. No one has business contacting family, IMO...if they come to us that's different. I always work with LE or authorities.

ETA...this is something I learned, at first I wanted to do anything possible thinking I was helping, learning that it only hurts to take that approach.

Linda7NJ
02-23-2009, 04:48 PM
ITA, FWIW. No one has business contacting family, IMO...if they come to us that's different. I always work with LE or authorities.

I totally agree!

LFlorida
02-23-2009, 04:55 PM
It wasn't me.

I don't know them and would never dream of offering up speculation or queries to them. [Lawd, have mercy. That's very rude.] I've not told any locals that I'm even "playing" amateur detective, so hopefully I didn't contribute to this problem, either.

I did, however, forward some info that I had found to local LE.

blubuni99
02-23-2009, 06:02 PM
Whoa! Did someone really do this? I agree with what everyone said so far - so uncalled for!

not_my_kids
02-23-2009, 06:12 PM
I have, in the past, called in info to a family tipline, or sent an email of support to a family website, but people are actually calling the families? And asking them questions?

How can people feel that this is okay? Even if I did wear my ovaries that far on the outside, I just can't see myself ever being able to do that. I hope the families, in any case, were smart enough not to say anything.

momtective
02-23-2009, 06:24 PM
I admit I have left messages (nice ones) on myspace but that's it.I've never contacted a player who was directly involved in any case. I have invited people to WS but only because they too wanted to offer information and help search. I would never dream of calling anyone! Has that really happened? OMG I wonder what they said "Hi, I'm so and so, I'm a member on an internet forum and I was wondering if you could give me some information...." Please tell me it ain't so! :floorlaugh:

SuziQ
02-23-2009, 06:40 PM
May I also add that it usually is not a good thing to invite an inside player to WS. If they seek us out and want to join in and ask for our help, that's fine. But more often than not they will be offended and hurt by what they read. They are too close to the situation to understand we are a victim advocate site and sleuth for the truth. We aren't asking any more difficult and tough questions than LE is. But IMO, it's a bit much to expect a family member or a close friend to understand and accept this.

JMO of course.

SuziQ
02-23-2009, 06:51 PM
I think it is a mistake for anyone besides LE to contact players in any case, but this is just my opinion. We do not know what role they may play as to being minor or major until the end of the case. What risks are people taking by contacting them? I look at it as a safety issue plus it may impede the ongoing investigation.

Of course, we will treat them with respect and welcome them if they find WS then choose to participate. ;)

That's so true. I actually had an email convo with Anne Rule about this a couple of years back. My adult daughter and I are fascinated with Ted Bundy's case and there's been an Urban Legend that his family owned property near me. The rumor is that he disposed of some of his victim's there. I wrote to Anne asking her about the rumor and told her I was thinking about checking it out for the heck of it, did she know where this place was. She wrote back that the rumor wasn't true, with a list of reasons not to go to a crime scene even though the crimes had been commited decades before and Bundy was dead. Her emails scared me and left me feeling like...:eek:

Anne is a cool lady and we emailed back and forth that day. She's happy to answer questions anyone has.

jaimie43
02-23-2009, 07:32 PM
Whoa...who does something like that? Thats a little too presumptious IMO.

christine2448
02-23-2009, 07:42 PM
That's so true. I actually had an email convo with Anne Rule about this a couple of years back. My adult daughter and I are fascinated with Ted Bundy's case and there's been an Urban Legend that his family owned property near me. The rumor is that he disposed of some of his victim's there. I wrote to Anne asking her about the rumor and told her I was thinking about checking it out for the heck of it, did she know where this place was. She wrote back that the rumor wasn't true, with a list of reasons not to go to a crime scene even though the crimes had been commited decades before and Bundy was dead. Her emails scared me and left me feeling like...:eek:

Anne is a cool lady and we emailed back and forth that day. She's happy to answer questions anyone has.

You'd be surprised at how many are willing to talk. From authors to ME, FBI to LE.

I have red Ann Rule's book about her relationship with Ted, AMAZING story.

I recently spent a good bit of time on the phone with a lead detective in the Green River Killings. Called about a match, and was but through to him, I almost hung up when I heard his name! Funny, in our conversation he kept complaining about 'internet armchair det's' and how it burns him when he gets calls about a missing and doe on his own webpage and they match, LOL! I had to remind him several times I was one of 'dem, lol. It's all in how you come across and present yourself and your true willingness and desire to solve these cases. ETA: for them, not me.

jnTexas
02-23-2009, 07:43 PM
I have so wanted to contact the employer of RC just to ask what their shift schedules are (not any info on RC or anyone else). Because I believe He did not work a 12 hr shift. Due to many inconsistancies. I'm to chicken to do that. I know LE is closely watching all of those involved. I would hate to have Le calling wanting to know who, what, where just because I made a nosey call. I just can't believe people would do that. I also would not contact anyone via myspace. Mainly for the safety of my friends in my friends list one of which is my 12 yr old daughter.

SuziQ
02-23-2009, 07:49 PM
Christine, what an interesting convo you two must have had! I want to talk to FBI Agent Savage.

zadari
02-23-2009, 08:29 PM
I think it is a mistake for anyone besides LE to contact players in any case, but this is just my opinion. We do not know what role they may play as to being minor or major until the end of the case. What risks are people taking by contacting them? I look at it as a safety issue plus it may impede the ongoing investigation.

Of course, we will treat them with respect and welcome them if they find WS then choose to participate. ;)
i agree none of us unless we are directly involved with this case should be contacting anyone in these cases ..this is my opinion only not meaning to sound snarky if i do

Mermaid
02-23-2009, 08:36 PM
We all want to know, we all have questions, but in my humble opinion, any phone calls at all (other than legitimate tips) are totally inappropriate. Let's all remember that poor Zenaida Gonzales lost her job due to her employer receiving tons of phone calls with questions. Wrong on sooooo many levels.

Truthwillsetufree
02-23-2009, 08:57 PM
Wow, I have a hard enough time logging on and staying logged on to the server during congested times, I sure don't want to be invitin' more people. If I just had this overwhelming desire to ask someone to come to WS and tell their story I would ask a Mod or Tricia, I believe that is the chain of command here.

Egoslayer
02-23-2009, 09:23 PM
I admit I have left messages (nice ones) on myspace but that's it.I've never contacted a player who was directly involved in any case. I have invited people to WS but only because they too wanted to offer information and help search. I would never dream of calling anyone! Has that really happened? OMG I wonder what they said "Hi, I'm so and so, I'm a member on an internet forum and I was wondering if you could give me some information...." Please tell me it ain't so! :floorlaugh:

I was thinking that too ... wtf do you say, I'm an internet investigator ...
Anyone who is that involved in other people's business scares me.

babycat
02-23-2009, 11:54 PM
I think it is a mistake for anyone besides LE to contact players in any case, but this is just my opinion. We do not know what role they may play as to being minor or major until the end of the case. What risks are people taking by contacting them? I look at it as a safety issue plus it may impede the ongoing investigation.

Of course, we will treat them with respect and welcome them if they find WS then choose to participate. ;)

I agree completely.

my_tee_mouse
02-23-2009, 11:57 PM
That's so true. I actually had an email convo with Anne Rule about this a couple of years back. My adult daughter and I are fascinated with Ted Bundy's case and there's been an Urban Legend that his family owned property near me. The rumor is that he disposed of some of his victim's there. I wrote to Anne asking her about the rumor and told her I was thinking about checking it out for the heck of it, did she know where this place was. She wrote back that the rumor wasn't true, with a list of reasons not to go to a crime scene even though the crimes had been commited decades before and Bundy was dead. Her emails scared me and left me feeling like...:eek:

Anne is a cool lady and we emailed back and forth that day. She's happy to answer questions anyone has.


Rule rules!

I would not dream of contacting anyone associated with an active investigation unless it was a tipline...certainly not individuals.

I believe someone mentioned wanting to call RC's employer re his hours worked. No ethical employer would give out any kind of information about their employees to anyone except an entity with the legal authority to inquire.

Mermaid
02-24-2009, 12:46 AM
Rule rules!

I would not dream of contacting anyone associated with an active investigation unless it was a tipline...certainly not individuals.

I believe someone mentioned wanting to call RC's employer re his hours worked. No ethical employer would give out any kind of information about their employees to anyone except an entity with the legal authority to inquire.


Good point.

TinaD
02-24-2009, 01:09 AM
Christine, what an interesting convo you two must have had! I want to talk to FBI Agent Savage.


I don't usually post in Haleigh's forum but I do read. You know who I'd love to have a drink or three with? Steve Thomas (JonBenet Ramsey case).

Tricia
02-24-2009, 01:25 AM
Whoa...who does something like that? Thats a little too presumptious IMO.

Jaimie, you are correct!!!

I don't think I made myself totally clear.

I wish to God NO ONE would contact the case players and invite them to join.

However, I can't control what you all do. I can tell you that there is zero backing from Websleuths for this type of thing.

Please, on behalf of people who find themselves in a mess by no making of their own, please leave them alone.

That is my advice.

LaLaw2000
02-24-2009, 01:51 AM
Actually, I would feel very uncomfortable if a family member were here. Inevitably, there will be something posted that may be offensive to them, whether it be truth or just speculation.

It would not be me that has, or ever would suggest family members read here. I am also not comfortable with witnesses posting.

This is a great forum and I appreciate it very much.

TxLady2
02-24-2009, 12:00 PM
While it might be tempting to contact the players in these cases, and that includes LE, it is not a good idea.... unless you live in that area and actually know something that could help the case. We all know that in every case, LE receives thousands of tips, and most of them turn out to be nothing.
LE has access to databases that we do not, and can find information on things we don't even dream about. I think it is a good idea to let them do their jobs, and stay out of their way. Everything someone here has thought of, you can bet that they have already thought of it, checked up on it, and filed it away in their case file. They are trained to do this, and they do it a lot better than we could.
As for contacting the family members, that is up to the individual, but I would not do it. For one thing, they have enough to worry about, they don't need total strangers asking them the same things that LE has already asked, over and over. Just because something has not been answered on NG, doesn't mean it wasn't covered in the investigation. They DO need support, though, and they need to know that all of us are thinking of them and praying for the safe return of their little girl. IF I was tempted to contact them, it would only be for that purpose.... not to try to solve the case.

Kimster
02-24-2009, 02:02 PM
As a member of WS, I've never contacted any of the players. I have a group of friends in a private chat room and we have contacted some in that group and let me tell you, it ended up being a mistake. GSJ is one example! The only one any of us called that we didn't regret was Lenny. He's very personable :-)

However, representing our Websleuths community is wrong, IMO. The only way I would to that is at the request of Tricia or a Mod.

:blowkiss:

Kimster
02-24-2009, 02:05 PM
BTW, we didn't contact family or friends, just "fringe players". LOL Didn't want y'all to think I worked for "At Large" or anything.

RoseRed
02-24-2009, 04:20 PM
Anyone who is that involved in other people's business scares me.
I totally agree, Internet detective/hobby is one thing but to actually call someone at home, their employer, physician etc. is entirely another thing.

BeavisMom62
03-06-2009, 09:53 PM
That's so true. I actually had an email convo with Anne Rule about this a couple of years back. My adult daughter and I are fascinated with Ted Bundy's case and there's been an Urban Legend that his family owned property near me. The rumor is that he disposed of some of his victim's there. I wrote to Anne asking her about the rumor and told her I was thinking about checking it out for the heck of it, did she know where this place was. She wrote back that the rumor wasn't true, with a list of reasons not to go to a crime scene even though the crimes had been commited decades before and Bundy was dead. Her emails scared me and left me feeling like...:eek:

Anne is a cool lady and we emailed back and forth that day. She's happy to answer questions anyone has.

that is so cool, SuziQ! I, too, contacted Anne Rule by email a few years ago, but it wasn't anything to do with a case or anything. I wish! But she did answer me back and was very nice. I was thrilled to death that she not only took the time to answer, but it was a very personal, heartfelt email, not something that she just threw together in a few seconds.

LFlorida
03-06-2009, 10:07 PM
that is so cool, SuziQ! I, too, contacted Anne Rule by email a few years ago, but it wasn't anything to do with a case or anything. I wish! But she did answer me back and was very nice. I was thrilled to death that she not only took the time to answer, but it was a very personal, heartfelt email, not something that she just threw together in a few seconds.

I never fail to be amazed at how kind most people are, even VIPs, especially VIPs.

But to stay on topic here, please, for heaven's sake, do not contact the family of Haleigh. There is a tip line if you have valid info. The person I spoke to was very professional and interested, asking just the right questions to help me get my "tip" out. I was scared witless to call, a nervous wreck actually, but she was terrific.

[btw - no, I don't know if my tip was worth the ether it was written on.]

believe09
03-10-2009, 01:34 PM
That's so true. I actually had an email convo with Anne Rule about this a couple of years back. My adult daughter and I are fascinated with Ted Bundy's case and there's been an Urban Legend that his family owned property near me. The rumor is that he disposed of some of his victim's there. I wrote to Anne asking her about the rumor and told her I was thinking about checking it out for the heck of it, did she know where this place was. She wrote back that the rumor wasn't true, with a list of reasons not to go to a crime scene even though the crimes had been commited decades before and Bundy was dead. Her emails scared me and left me feeling like...:eek:

Anne is a cool lady and we emailed back and forth that day. She's happy to answer questions anyone has.

My bold-is there a chance you could paraphrase the email or reproduce it in the Jury room, SuzyQ? I think it would be very, very helpful for those who take it too far...:blowkiss:

believe09
03-10-2009, 01:35 PM
As a member of WS, I've never contacted any of the players. I have a group of friends in a private chat room and we have contacted some in that group and let me tell you, it ended up being a mistake. GSJ is one example! The only one any of us called that we didn't regret was Lenny. He's very personable :-)

However, representing our Websleuths community is wrong, IMO. The only way I would to that is at the request of Tricia or a Mod.

:blowkiss:

O/T my bold-that made me laugh Kimster. I have had some peripheral dealings with her and I so get why this might be....:blowkiss:

SuziQ
03-12-2009, 10:28 PM
My bold-is there a chance you could paraphrase the email or reproduce it in the Jury room, SuzyQ? I think it would be very, very helpful for those who take it too far...:blowkiss:

I wish I would have saved the email. I never save anything! Anyways, It was basically how scary crime scenes were and they do a number on your psyche. How scary people are attracted to crime scenes and hang out at them. Crimes have been commited against looky loos by the scary people that hang out at crime scenes. You should never go to a crime scene without law enforcement etc. etc. And I think we talked about her cat that was ill? Or was it her son that was ill? I can't remember! lol.

SuziQ
03-12-2009, 10:34 PM
I got another story about going too far. A fellow sleuther from Huff's old board found Melinda Duckett's phone number somewhere. She called it just for the heck of it, listened to Melinda on the voicemail and hung up. Shortly LE calls the sleuther up and wants to know how she knows Melinda. lol, the sleuther was highly embarrassed and had to explain to LE she was just a curious person who called Melinda's number.

SoSueMe
06-12-2009, 08:46 AM
I think the point is that no one should ever give the impression that they are an agent working on behalf of WebSleuths or even bring up the WS name. It infers they are backed by an organization and I would imagine it causes Tricia a lot of headaches. There are some who might try to hold Tricia libel for what members say and do if they imply they are seeking information on behalf of WS.

In my opinion, WS is not a detective agency, but rather a place where great minds can come together and do what they are best at in their field. I've only been here a short while, but am constantly amazed at the brilliant members.

Tricia
06-13-2009, 07:21 PM
I think the point is that no one should ever give the impression that they are an agent working on behalf of WebSleuths or even bring up the WS name. It infers they are backed by an organization and I would imagine it causes Tricia a lot of headaches. There are some who might try to hold Tricia liable for what members say and do if they imply they are seeking information on behalf of WS.

In my opinion, WS is not a detective agency, but rather a place where great minds can come together and do what they are best at in their field. I've only been here a short while, but am constantly amazed at the brilliant members.

Thank You Thank You Thank You :blowkiss::blowkiss::blowkiss:

Here is the problem we face: no matter what, when something bad happens and it is connected to the Internet in some way Websleuths gets blamed for it. Some nut from a discussion forum is standing outside the Anthony's yelling? Gotta be from Websleuths. Some nuts are hysterically calling someone demanding they cancel the Anthony's appearance at their event? Must be from Websleuths. I have spent a lot of time convincing people that Websleuths didn't do this or do that. It gets tiring.

If someone represents themselves at a rep of Websleuths, and they somehow harm the reputation of Websleuths by claiming this, they are liable for any type of damages. The Internet laws have changed Thank God so it is easier for people to take action when they have been harmed. I hate to be so grumpy about it but Websleuths is near and dear to me and so many continue to work hard to make it the best place on the net that I have to protect what we do.

It is rare that I will ever call law enforcement or a case player. Very rare.

We can't control what anyone does off Websleuths but we will do whatever we can to make sure we are not misrepresented.

Thanks Kids,
Tricia