First Recantation

Isn't this sad that their lives were indeed ruined if all the victims lied like this?

The magazine section of the Los Angeles Times published the first retraction from a McMartin student in 2005-OCT-30. Kyle Sapp, now known as Kyle Zirpolo, was eight years of age when he made his accusations 21 years ago. He now wants to tell the truth and apologize to the defendants. He says that he made his accusations because of pressure from his family, the community and the social workers who interviewed him. It remains to be seen whether other students, now in their late 20s or early 30s will follow Zirpolo's lead.

Ray Buckey had said that he did not want an apology or to meet this person since he did not need one from him. He feels that the children were victims of the witchhunt. Unfortunately, he'll probably never get an apology from law enforcement or prosectuors.


If I were one of the accused, I wouldn't be upset with this individual and would feel that an apology from him, and all the other coached child "witnesses" in the case is unnecessary. The words that came out of this man as a boy was the result of him being manipulated by adults demanding that he bare false witness against other people. When are any of the adults in this outrageous injustice going to apologize for encouraging children to bare false witness against the Buckey-McMartin family?

I'm Sorry - An Introduction
# A long-delayed apology from one of the accusers in the notorious McMartin Pre-School molestation case

By Kyle Zirpolo, as told to Debbie Nathan
Twenty-one years ago, a child then known as Kyle Sapp told police that he had been the victim of sexual abuse at the McMartin Pre-School in Manhattan Beach. Sapp, who attended the preschool from 1979 to 1980, was 8 when he first talked to authorities in 1984. He and hundreds of other South Bay children made allegations against the family who ran McMartin and against the employees who worked there. School administrator Peggy McMartin Buckey, her son Ray, daughter Peggy Ann, mother Virginia McMartin and three female teachers were accused of fondling and raping youngsters over a period of years, and of threatening them with death if they told. The scandal eventually resulted in criminal trials against Ray and his mother. By the time the trials came to an end in 1990�with acquittals and hung juries�"McMartin" was a household word. The case had turned into one of the longest and costliest criminal proceedings in U.S. history.

By the spring of 1984, Kyle and scores of other children were talking about school employees who had drugged them and touched their genitals, made them play sex games in the nude, used them as models in kiddie porn, and forced them to watch pet rabbits, mice and turtles being killed. By the time the trials began more than three years later, many of these children's stories had grown even more bizarre�they now included being taken to local businesses or flown to faraway places to be molested in satanic rituals. Prosecutors feared that their case would be hurt by such testimony, and they dropped many children from the witness list. Others were pulled from the witness list by parents who worried about causing further psychological trauma.

Ultimately, fewer than a dozen children testified at the trials of Ray Buckey and his mother. Kyle was not among them. Earlier, though, he had played an important role in moving the case forward. A police report had noted that his stories of abuse were so detailed and uninhibited that he would make an "exceptional witness." The district attorney's office apparently agreed: Of 360 McMartin students who claimed to have been abused, just 41 were picked to testify at the grand jury and the preliminary hearing. Kyle was one of them.

In the decade and a half since the defendants were set free, research psychologists have shown that it's easy to pressure children to describe bad things that never happened. False memories can feel real, though, not just for preschoolers but for older children as well. But Sapp, now known as Kyle Zirpolo, says he never had false memories: He always knew his stories of abuse were made up. The adults at the McMartin Pre-School "never did anything to me, and I never saw them doing anything," he says today. "I said a lot of things that didn't happen. I lied." Why? Now married and with young children of his own, he feels the need to explain publicly....



I remember watching a talk show just over a decade ago in which one of the interviewees was a young man talking about how he was told by his relatives as a child to make these false accusations against his teachers in some trial---I'm certain it was the young man mentioned above even though I don't recall his name. H also said that since he'd recanted all his accusations, certain family members (the same ones who encouraged him make the accusations) had stopped speaking to him because of that. Just something I remembered. I've never seen Indictment, but I did dread a book yeas ago called Abuse of Innocence about the McMartin trials.