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If Abortion Becomes Illegal, This Will Happen More and More (Part One, Lattie McGee)

Posted by Anonymous
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So I'm going to make a series of posts, citing sources and explaining why abortion should remain legal.

The first story I'd like to share is that of Lattie McGee. I will post several articles about what happened, complete with sources, and then I will give my opinion in the replies.

We Know About Lattie Mcgee

January 22, 1990|By Bob Greene.

Criminal Court Judge Michael Getty has delayed until Feb. 5 the sentencing of Johnny Campbell, 40, and Alicia Abraham, 28, for the August 1987 murder of Abraham`s son, Lattie McGee, 4. The delay is so that Campbell can be examined by psychiatrists to see if he is ``mentally fit for sentencing.`` Prosecutor James Bigoness has indicated that he will seek the death penalty for both Campbell and Abraham. Campbell pleaded guilty to the murder of Lattie McGee; Abraham was found guilty by Judge Getty.

You may already know the essence of what Campbell and Abraham did to that little boy. Campbell-who accused the 4-year-old of being effeminate because he had a high-pitched voice-tortured him for months. He beat Lattie with fists and sticks, he burned him with cigarettes and an iron, he repeatedly stuck him with sewing needles, he dunked him in scalding water, and he routinely left him hanging upside down in a darkened closet overnight. On the night before Lattie died, Campbell stuffed a rag in the boy`s mouth, taped potato peelings over his eyes, and hung him in the closet (testimony showed that on at least one occasion Alicia Abraham assisted in binding her son`s hands before he was hung in the closet). The next morning, when Lattie was taken down from the closet, he begged Campbell for water. Campbell struck him; Lattie collapsed and died.

So sentencing has been delayed. Sometimes the legal system takes time.

While we wait for Feb. 5, though, here is some more information about the case. One of the first police officers on the scene that August day in 1987 was Roberto Garay. Garay testified briefly at the trial. When we spoke with him, he talked at greater length.

``We got the call,`` he said. ``My partner and I went upstairs with the paramedics. All we were expecting was a sick child. We walked into that sweltering apartment. . .``

Garay`s voice broke. ``I`m sorry,`` he said. ``I have never seen anything like that in my life. There`s still hardly a day that goes by when I don`t think about it.``

Lattie, who by that point weighed only 26 pounds, was on the floor dead. He was wearing blue jeans and a shirt-later it was determined that Campbell and Abraham always kept him naked, but had dressed him after he died, before the police arrived.

``There were these terrible burns on his ankles,`` Garay said. ``It didn`t make sense. Later we found out that the burns were rope burns from when they would hang him upside down in the closet. We lifted his shirt up, and his chest. . .it was totally raw. All of the flesh. We asked his mother what had happened. She said that Lattie had fallen down on the playground.`` There had been no playground. Lattie and his older brother Cornelius, who was 6 at the time and who also was tortured, had not been allowed outside the apartment even once that summer. Campbell and Abraham were arrested, and Lattie`s body was taken to South Shore Hospital.

``It said in the newspaper that Lattie`s body was covered with scars and fresh wounds from the top of his head to the bottoms of his feet,`` Garay said. ``That`s true-there was not one part of his little body that had not been damaged. But that`s not all. That`s not all. The boy had been suffering from bronchial pneumonia. When they hung him in the closet all those nights, with the rag stuffed in his mouth, he had pneumonia. And about two weeks before he died, Johnny Campbell had dislocated Lattie`s collarbone. Lattie couldn`t swallow. Lattie would tell his mother and Johnny Campbell that he couldn`t swallow, but Campbell would just push at the bone.``

Garay said that on the day he testified, ``I only saw three people sitting in the courtroom. That`s a courtroom that can hold 200. I kept thinking of the hell that Lattie went through at the end of his life, and that no one knew what he was going through. And I still go to sleep some nights thinking that no one knew.``

Which is the reason for today`s column. Sentencing of Johnny Campbell and Alicia Abraham has been delayed until Feb. 5. Sometimes the legal system takes time.

And with the passage of time, people tend to forget. That summer when Lattie McGee was tortured and killed, no one knew about him and no one thought about him and his pain was allowed to be ignored. That`s not going to happen now. That is not going to happen.

Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:44 AM
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by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Will We Remember Lattie Mcgee?

February 18, 1990|By Bob Greene.

There`s not much to say about the sentencing of Johnny Campbell, 40, and Alicia Abraham, 28, who murdered Lattie McGee, 4. Campbell and Abraham were both sentenced to life in prison for the months of torture, and eventual killing, of the child, who was Abraham`s son. The prosecution had asked for the death penalty for both killers.

The presiding judge decided on life sentences instead. His reasoning was that Campbell was insane during the months he tortured Lattie, and that the insanity may have been brought on by the ingestion of alcohol and drugs. Alicia Abraham-who on occasion helped Campbell tie Lattie`s legs before the boy was tortured-was spared the death penalty because she had not been present in the same room (she was in an adjoining room) when Campbell delivered the final beating. Because of these and other factors, the judge felt life sentences were more appropriate than death.

In practical terms, it probably doesn`t matter. It has been years since there has been an execution in Illinois, so even if Campbell and Abraham had been sentenced to death, chances are the sentence never would have been carried out. At the beginning of our series on this case, we said that people of good will can disagree on whether or not the death penalty is ever appropriate. One thing is certain: Although the rights of both defendants, and the rights of the state, were carefully taken into consideration every step of the way, no one ever took Lattie McGee`s rights into consideration during the long summer when Campbell and Abraham slowly executed him.

Today`s column, though, is not about Campbell and Abraham. Had Campbell and Abraham been sentenced to death, the state-the taxpayers-would have paid for years of automatic appeals, of psychiatric evaluations, of court hearings and defense costs. As it is, the state-the taxpayers-will pay for food, shelter, medical care, recreational activities, counseling and rehabilitation services for Campbell and Abraham for the rest of their natural lives.

Today`s column is not about them.

It is about the one person no one looked out for: Lattie. A reader responded to the reports of what was done to that child-that he was beaten with fists and sticks; that he was burned with cigarettes and an iron; that he was stuck with sewing needles; that he was dunked in scalding water; that he was starved; that he was repeatedly left hanging upside down in a darkened closet while suffering from broken ribs and a broken pelvis. The reader was especially shaken by the circumstances of the day Lattie died. The night before, he had been hung in the closet with a rag stuffed in his mouth and potato peelings taped over his eyes; he was suffering from pneumonia. In the morning, when Lattie was removed from the closet, he begged Johnny Campbell for a drink of water. Campbell beat him for making this request, and Lattie died.

``What I can`t get out of my mind,`` the reader wrote, ``is that all of those nights in the closet, Lattie must have been wondering what he had done to deserve this-what he had done to become such a bad boy that he would deserve this. And all the while knowing that when he was taken down from the closet, the only people he could beg for kindness were his tormentors.``

A child at the Robert Burns School in Chicago wrote, ``I wish Lattie was still alive. I would take him to Great America. I would give him a lot of water and food.`` Another child wrote, ``I would like to be his friend.``

Some children suggested that the playground in Grant Park near the Daley Bicentennial Plaza be named in Lattie`s memory.

Nothing that happens to Campbell and Abraham will bring Lattie back. And earlier in the column, when we mentioned that the state, through taxpayers`

money, will provide for Campbell`s and Abraham`s food and shelter for the rest of their lives, we had a reason for pointing this out.

Lattie McGee is buried in an unmarked grave. It is in the Burr Oak Cemetery, in Alsip. The reason there is no marker on the bare plot is that Lattie was buried with public funds, which did not provide for a gravestone. The state meticulously protected the rights of his killers, and the state will provide for their continuing welfare in prison. In death as in life, though, there was no one to protect or love or provide for Lattie. That little boy does not even have a headstone to symbolize that he was ever alive.

by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:48 AM

On August 14, 1987, paramedics and police found the battered, tortured body of  Lattie McGee. Lattie had been subjected to some of the most horrific abuse  that any of them had ever seen. In their South Side Chicago apartment, Alicia Abraham, who was 28 years old at that time and her boyfriend, Johnny Campbell, who was 40 at that time, had spent the entire summer beating on Lattie with their fists, burning him with an iron and cigarettes, forcing his tiny legs into boiling water, sticking him with sewing needles, not feeding him or giving him any water and then wrapping his ankles with clothes line and  hanging him upside down in the closet. A rag was stuffed into his mouth so that no one could hear him screaming and crying.

While other children were outside playing, Lattie was being punished because Johnny didn't like that he had a voice that was a bit too feminine for him. In order to toughen him up, Johnny would not give him food or water and when Lattie complained he would be beaten. On the night he died, a rag was stuffed into his mouth, potato peelings were put over his eyes, his hands were tied together and he was hung by his feet. Lattie had complained about the pain he was having due to broken bones, those complaints were ignored.

The next morning, Alicia didn't go to the closet to get Lattie. Alicia sat down in front of the television. When Johnny took him down from the closet, all Lattie wanted was some water. Johnny told him to be a man and get it himself. With no strength left in his battered, broken and hurting body, Lattie was not able to get the water on his own. Johnny was angered by the weakness that Lattie was showing and punched him in the ear. Lattie fell to floor and died.

The only escape for him, from the torture he had been suffering, was when he died. SHOCKINGLY, two years before this happened, Alicia has been in trouble for neglecting her children. State investigators had WRONGLY found that the situation in her home had improved. Their mistake cost a little boy
his life. 

A pathologist said that Lattie had died from a blow to his head which had slowly caused him to die:

"His emaciated body, scarred from head to foot, was so  infected from untreated
wounds that he probably would 
have died a short time later" 

Paramedics had lifted up Lattie's shirt and beneath it they found that his chest was just raw skin. Repeated abuse had ripped the skin away from his body:

"I have never seen anything like that in my life. There were these terrible burns
on his ankles. It didn't make sense. 
Later we found out that the burns were rope
burns from 
when they would hang him upside down in the closet. We  lifted his shirt
up, and his chest, it was totally raw. All of 
the flesh" 
Officer Roberto Garay

"This is the worst case imaginable. There's a special  place in hell for them" 
Cook County Assistant State's Atty. James Bigoness

In the home was another child, Cornelius Abraham, who was Lattie's brother. Cornelius had been through some of the same abuse that Lattie had suffered, by some miracle, he survived it. This brave little boy testified in court to the abuse he had seen take place on his brother by Alicia and Johnny. Cornelius helped to put the people who abused his brother, away for life when Johnny Campbell and Alicia Abraham were both sentenced to life in prison.

Cornelius, who was six years old at the time, went to live with his biological father. The man also neglected him and at the age of 12, Cornelius was homeless and for three months he was all alone. Five years later, Cornelius would be placed with a foster family who would love and care about him, he grew to call them mom and dad.

Cornelius graduated high school and went to college at the University Of Dekalb and planned to study computer sicence. He was 18 at that time. A lot the healing that took place in the life of Cornelius came with the help of the YMCA Networkd For Counseing Youth Development. The organization had initiated a program to give out an annual award to a child who had overcome obstacles in life. The award was going to be named after Cornelius. In 1999 he was given the first ever, Cornelius S. Abraham awarded. The award was designed to give hope to children who were suffering from or had suffered from abuse.

In a banquet room in Alsip, not too far from where Lattie was buried, in walked Cornilius and his foster parents, Dwayne and Ingra Coope. The event was not very large, with less 100 people attending. Jim Bigoness, the man who has prosecuted the people who had killed Lattie and abused Cornelius, was there. Bob Green, the man Cornelius had asked to present him with the award was also there. None of his blood relatives bothered to show up.

Cornelius showed up in a suit that he had bought especially for the ceremony.  He was happy to be there, though he was nervous and he said:

"From bad things, good can come"

Bob Green talked with Cornelius for awhile and then it was time to present the award to him. He made a speech which is printed below. Here is what he said to him:

That Cornelius has had a much more profound effect on my life than I have
had on his. 

That he has inspired me from the first moment I met him, and that in many
ways he is the reason that, on my better days at work, I try to do what I do.
That his courage in venturing out into a world that conspired to hurt him and
hold him down since he was a little boy, and his determination not to let that
hurt stop him from endeavoring to lead a worthy life, is as impressive as anything
I have ever been privileged to witness -- and that he is his little brother's finest

That for anyone who thinks there is no hope in the world -- for anyone who thinks
that giving up is sometimes the only option -- Cornelius is the proof that they are
wrong. Cornelius is the proof that hope can overcome anything. 

And I told him this: 

That of all the things that have ever happened to me, the fact that he would ask
me to be by his side on this night is the highest honor I can ever hope to receive. 

Politicians and government officials who at first had been so concerned with what had happened, move on in their lives. The state of Illinois said there were no public funds to bury Lattie. Lattie was buried in an unmarked grave. Tom and James Gast, stonecutters, read about what happened and carved a stone for him that was bought by others who had also read about him.

Lattie is buried in the children's section of the Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip. The words carved into his headstone are simple, Lattie's name, date of birth and the date of his death are there. Along with that information are three words that mean more than anything "You Are Loved". At first, Lattie had no head-
stone to mark his grave until two men, Tom and James Gast carved the stone and the public donated money to pay for it.

Some information for this page was found here:
The Jewish World Review

by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Omg I can't.even read all of it.. Makes me want to throw up.. Poor baby..
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by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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Now for my opinion:

Are we really so concerned for the unborn that we are blind to the children suffering here? Where do your priorities lie? If it's saving the unborn, first, then I have no clue how you could call yourself a mother.

Cases like these are the reason abortion needs to stay legal. If not, more kids will end up like Lattie, abused and broken and unloved.

Fetuses have no thought process. They don't know they are unwanted, they don't know what happens during an abortion. They cease to exist.

Lattie, as someone mentioned in one of the articles, had to be asking himself what had he done to deserve that kind of treatment?

Abortion is murder? No. What those cruel people did to Lattie was murder. It's not even comparable.

by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Mar. 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM

i remember seeing this on the steve wilkos show. what she had to say was disgusting and i love what he said to her

here's one of the videos from that show

Quoting hunnybunny2001:

Omg I can't.even read all of it.. Makes me want to throw up.. Poor baby..

by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Omg that woman has absolutely no remorse.. This makes me want to hug and kiss my girls.. She is a sick disguising animal! I love how Steve handled that...

Quoting Anonymous:

i remember seeing this on the steve wilkos show. what she had to say was disgusting and i love what he said to her

here's one of the videos from that show

Quoting hunnybunny2001:

Omg I can't.even read all of it.. Makes me want to throw up.. Poor baby..

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by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 8, 2013 at 12:13 PM
It will never ever be illegal. We can't go backward.
by on Mar. 8, 2013 at 12:37 PM

 Hmmm. I never thought of it this way. Im going to have to rethink my belief on this matter.

by Bronze Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 1:29 PM
I say that all the time. People are so quick to call murder on people who go get abortions bug they never stop to think about what'll happen to the actual living childen born to parents who don't want them. I have seen 1st hand what happened. Ever be a safeguard at a camp and see whip marks all over a kid's back.
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by Bronze Member on Mar. 8, 2013 at 8:29 PM
1 mom liked this

and yet cps removes chilren from loving homes and where were they when this poor kid was being tortured to death?

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