1289 users online (232 members and 1057 guests)  


Websleuths News


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    33

    WA - WESTLEY ALAN DODD, pedophile (boy victims), Seattle, 1980's

    It has always irritated me that the media sometimes "hypes" or promotes certain murder cases, while others of perhaps greater significance remain largely ignored by the national press.

    The case of Westley Allan Dodd, the Pacific Northwest pedophile and murderer of Lee Iseli and brothers William and Cole Neer, is one example. While endless reams of newsprint and televised coverage are devoted to the Laci Peterson case, virtually no attention is offered to the Dodd crimes, despite the fact that he probably murdered other children whose names will never be known.

    While the Laci Peterson murder is undoubdtedly a horrific crime, Scott Peterson pales in comparison to Westley Allan Dodd as a menace to society. Peterson killed his wife and unborn child to cover up a sexual affair he was having with another woman. As a crime of passion, we've seen this sort of thing countless times. Westley Dodd, on the other hand, was a monstrous deviant of the first order who subjected his young victims --- especially little Lee Iseli --- to the most unspeakable acts of torture possible. In 1993 Dodd was Washington State's first death row inmate to go to the gallows for his evil deeds.

    The Peterson case should have remained a local story of primary interest to Bay Area residents, but instead it was artificially whipped into a national sensation by the powerful California media outlets. On the other hand, the Westley Allan Dodd case deserved national exposure, but got none because media moguls dislike sending their correspondents into the rainy hinterlands of the Pacific Northwest.

    Moreover, one can find literally hundreds of references to the Peterson case on this forum, but, as far as I can tell, not a single one for Westley Allan Dodd, aside from this new thread.

    Here, then, is prima facie evidence for the power of the media to influence and shape the public's interest in crime stories with little regard to merit or genuine newsworthiness. Truly, we are sheep.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    171
    I'm not sure what prompted this post now, so long after the Peterson case, but it garnered a lot of national attention because it caught the attention of one person with a national platform - Nancy Grace. Personally, I do not care for her very much as I think that she goes waaaaay overboard to make a point and is too quick to want to throw away a person's rights - but she *does* bring attention to a case. As far as what "should have" happened...maybe, but it's too late. The only thing that we can do is to work to bring attention to active cases, and hope that we can do some good for the victims of these horrific crimes. What would be at least as effective as that effort would be if we could somehow band together to make sure that police departments across the country were actually properly funded, with the national databases and other resources that they need to solve cases before they go cold.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    33
    Bluecat, the Peterson case should be "old news" now, too, except the media keeps it alive and continues to promote its salacious aspects, even to this day. And, as much as I, too, dislike Nancy Grace and her emotionally-overwrought style of covering stories, I don't think it's accurate to single-handedly credit her with the national attention the media gave the Peterson case. There was much, much more to it than that.

    By almost any standard one might apply to such things, the Peterson case was wholly unworthy of the sensational media frenzy it attracted, while a genuinely worthy case, such as the murder of the Neer and Iseli boys in Washington and Oregon, was virtually ignored by the national press. The age of these cases is irrelevant to the larger, and more important, point that they demonstrate how arbitrary the media can be in covering these stories.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    33
    "The only thing that we can do is to work to bring attention to active cases, and hope that we can do some good for the victims of these horrific crimes."

    Again, I brought up the subject of Westley Allan Dodd because it is probable that he committed other murders for which he was never charged. Even though the case is technically closed, it is widely acknowledged that Dodds' career as a pedophile and killer is probably only partially understood. Had the national media given the story the coverage it deserved, other victims might have come to light.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mt. Lookout, WV
    Posts
    698

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,955
    Yeah,the Crime Library has a pretty good overview of the Westly Allen Dodd case.
    Living in the Pacific Northwest I am very familiar with this case.
    Absolutely horrific,and disturbing.I too wouldnt be at all surprised to learn he had killed other children .
    One thing for certain:He would have killed many more if he hadnt have been aprehended when he was.
    Ive heard he had molested many others.
    I remember seeing him being interviewed shortly before his execution,pontificating from the moral high ground.
    Self absorbed,lost in abstract.Full of warped nobilty.
    He is the victim,society is to blame.
    Dithering about the 'childrens book' he had the audacity to write and illustrate.
    You would think he was Dylan Thomas instead of a child molesting sadist.
    He and Joseph Duncan would have hit it right off.
    But I know what you mean Ive never understood the facination the media has with some cases as opposed to others.
    They kind of like the ones that smack of the night time soaps. Misery and death as entertainment tonight fodder.
    Its kind of sick really.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    977
    I've noticed, with great sadness, how the media tends to cover some crimes and not others. I don't know about murders so much as my specialty, missing people. It seems to hinge on several things:

    1. Women tend to get a lot more press than men. Especially pregnant women.
    2. The younger and more attractive, the better.
    3. White people tend to get more press, but I've seen several relatively high profile black women disappearances. These women tend to be light-skinned and beautiful.
    4. People from wealthy, or at least middle class families get more attention that people who are poor.
    5. It seems to help also if there were definite evidence that the missing person was a crime victim. No one pays much attention if it looks like the person might of just gone off to be alone.
    6. Obviously, children -- the younger, the better -- get more attention than adults. Teenagers are usually assumed to be runaways, unless there's clear evidence of an abduction. If Mary Katherine Smart hadn't witnessed her sister's kidnapping, I think probably Elizabeth's disappearance would have been considered a runaway by most people.
    7. It seems to help, in the cases of adults, if they seem to have lead a clean, moral life. I'm not making judgments here, I just mean moral by the standards of white middle class society. Like, no drug/alcohol addiction, no criminal record, stuff like that.

    I'm not saying any on that list is an absolute, but they all seem to be more prevalent than not in my reading of missing persons news.

    The most common demographic to disappear in the United States is an adult black man. But how often do you see missing black men profiled in the news?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    509
    The Dodd case was quite highly publicized at the time. One doesn't hear about him anymore because he has been dead for 15 years.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    33
    Some good points were raised here. I especially agree with Kline's comment:

    "Ive never understood the facination the media has with some cases as opposed to others...They kind of like the ones that smack of the night time soaps..."

    This is my chief objection to the way the Laci Peterson case was handled by the media. By the time they got through with it, it could barely be recognized as a murder case. Instead, it was portrayed, soap-opera style, like some kind of mega-domestic drama, neatly "packaged" for our "entertainment."

    Our media feeds this kind of crap to us all the time, while legitimate stories go largely unreported in the national media. That's what happened with the Dodd murder story.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    33
    Meg's list was very good, too. I wouldn't change a thing she wrote.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    In the holla
    Posts
    2,065
    Westley Allen Dodd was one of the worst or the worst. I'm sure he's rotting in the darkest depths of hell right now.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mid Mon Valley, PA
    Posts
    236
    I have to agree with what Megs said. I'm often stumped by the way the media seems to react to certain cases while ignoring others. People call me crazy, but I do think pretty white girl syndrome plays a role. I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a male or a person of color profiled nationally.

    Sadly, the Peterson case had sex, an affair, a mistress willing to speak, a guy most of us wouldn't associate with murder, it was tailor made for the soap-opera like fascination it gathered. Sadly, many other murdered and missing people went ignored while the nation was fixated on Laci and Scott.

    Frankly, I don't think it was all Nancy Grace's doing. I'll be blunt, I can't stand that woman. I just can't stand her style. We as a society are just as guilty. We want the juicy gosip, the tawdry secrets, the skeletons in the closet to be dragged out into the harsh camera lights. It's a sad state of affairs when you realize how many people are missing and how few of us have heard of so many of them.
    "When I think of heaven, deliver me in a black winged bird." A. Duritz

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    171
    I can't speak about coverage of men going missing, but the last case where a minority woman's case received national coverage was Nailah Franklin, the pharmaceutical rep from Chicago who went missing back in September. Her body was found and there has been a suspect identified in her murder, but he has not yet been charged.

    I do think that there are a couple of attitudes that affect media coverage - based on assumptions of who needs help and who doesn't. There is the myth of worthiness - the people who get the most coverage are the "good girls" - of whatever race. If the woman/girl is from a lower economic class, has any trouble in her past or has an unconventional appearance (or is simply not that attractive), she does not get coverage. In the case of men, I suspect that the assumption is that men have more control and are more likely to choose to disappear. Also women are traditionally viewed as more "helpless" than men. So basically, all of the old stereotypes of gender and class work against missing persons. On the positive side, I think that the bias noticed on Nancy Grace's show has helped to throw a spotlight on the issue (for all of the networks) and hopefully now there will be a more conscientious effort to cover a more diverse set of cases. I think that it's a process, and it takes a community of people like us to keep shining that spotlight on the bias over and over until it becomes ingrained in society that you *don't* have to be white, middle class, pretty and female to deserve help when you're the victim of crime.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    977
    Nailah Franklin was a woman of color, but she was remarkably attractive and looks light-skinned in the photos I saw. I can think of two other non-white missing women who got extensive media coverage: Tameka Huston and Latoya Figueroa, both of them found deceased. I don't think either of them were from wealthy families. But both of them were light-skinned and very beautiful, and Latoya was pregnant.

    Much of the coverage of Tameka actually was about the fact that she was black, actually. I saw a lot of articles saying things like, "Tameka Huston, a missing black woman, is not a household name like Elizabeth Smart or Laci Peterson, who were white." The press coverage about how Tameka wasn't getting as much attention because she was black, actually gave her case a lot more attention than most missing black women get.

    I would definitely agree with Bluecat's observation about how "good girls" get the most press attention. I think that's part of the reason why Ted Bundy was so famous. There are hundreds of serial killers out there but most people, if asked to name one off the top of their head, would probably name either Bundy or Jack the Ripper. Ted Bundy preyed specifically on "good girls": smart, attractive young college and high school students.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Mid Mon Valley, PA
    Posts
    236
    That's probably why Green River didn't have the action we saw in Bundy's case. He preyed on prostitutes and runaways, not "good girls." If he had gone after co-eds, there would have been quite a stir from the beginning.

    I thought a while before I included this link. I wrote this article recently and I thought you guys may want to read it. Meggs, your site is mentioned. The reason I didn't post it right away is, I do get paid a few cents when enough people view it. I'm not in this for money and I didn't want to present myself as making a buck off the missing. I'm not doing that.

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...people_we.html

    If anybody has a problem with the fact that the site does pay for content, please just remove the link. Trust me folks, I'm not getting rich from the pain of other people.
    "When I think of heaven, deliver me in a black winged bird." A. Duritz

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast


Similar Threads

  1. CT CT - Martin Miller, 18, West Hartford, May 1980
    By redsox39 in forum 1980's Missing
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-20-2017, 06:46 PM
  2. GUILTY SC - Sheila, 45, & William Dodd, 13, Colleton County, 1 May 2007
    By TaylorJ4 in forum Recently Sentenced and Beyond
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 04-09-2017, 11:29 AM
  3. TX TX - Westley Moore, 30, Hardin County, 9 June 2013
    By MidwestMama in forum 2010's Missing
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 03-14-2017, 02:44 PM
  4. CT Martin Alan Miller (18) - West Hartford CT, 1980
    By SheWhoMustNotBeNamed in forum Missing Children in America - A Profile
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-31-2013, 01:48 AM

Tags for this Thread