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How Well Do YOU Know Your Neighbors?

Posted by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM
  • 19 Replies

World's Worst Child Pornography Offender’s Arrest Leaves Neighbors in Shock

by Jeanne Sager

John ShearenHow well do you know your neighbors? Are they trustworthy? Are you sure? Folks in one Florida neighborhood probably thought so. Then they found out the guy living up the block was being arrested and called the " No. 1 person that can distribute child pornography throughout the world." Cops say John Shearen downloaded the most child pornography in the state of Florida. And now they're stuck going door-to-door, breaking the news to parents that this sicko was living right down the street from their kids.

Just how do you respond to a knock on the door like that?

"Hello, Ma'am, one of the world's most dangerous pedophiles is living in your neighborhood," says the cop.

And you do ... what?

Do you scream bloody murder and run for the shower? Do you call your realtor and put the house on the market, stat? Do you book an immediate counseling session for the kids with the local kiddie shrink? Or do you politely say "Thanks Officer," and get on with your life?

The unsettling thing is we don't always know what our neighbors are really like. You may see them every day, talk to them every day, interact with them every day, and then blam-o. You've got the cops telling you that person who let you borrow their snow blower is really a world class creep.

It's happened to me. Not a pedophile (Thank. God.), but we've had a series of people arrested in my area for various crimes that blew me away. Her? Really? I probably would have let her babysit my kid, and Oh. My. God.

I can't help but wonder if this is why community has been redefined in America. We would like to think we could recreate Mayberry, but there is too much unknown, too many skeletons hiding in people's closets.

Or in the case of this Florida neighborhood, hiding on someone's computer AND in his closet. Cops say they found pairs of children's underwear in Shearen's home as well as some 500,000 images and videos. And yet none of his neighbors said they had any clue. 

Shearen is now in jail with no bail. He's facing 20 counts each of distribution and possession of child porn with more charges possible.

Does this make you think about how much you know about YOUR neighbors?

How well DO you know them?

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 1:28 PM
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by Emerald Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM
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 Unfortunately, I know my neighbors all too well.  I'm related to each and every one of them.  lol  We live on property that was my great-grandparents farm and we've kept the land within the family thus far and no one has any intentions of letting outsiders in any time soon.

I am honestly shocked when I hear stories like this.  I find it hard to believe that the person didn't set off your creep meter, then again maybe I just happen to have a very sensitive creep meter.

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:17 PM
We know most of our neighbors, and the kids know which homes in the development they can reach out to in an emergency.
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by Mikki on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Not too well but we really don't talk to any.  We have one crazy old guy

family in the van   Mom of four

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 11:09 PM

The thing is, unless a person lives in his/her neighbor's house 24/7, then just knowing them well can still not be enough to recognize if he/she is a threat(which is so sad).  

For instance, we had a couple who we trusted.  We knew them for years.  Our kids had numerous sports together (in fact, I helped coach a team with the mom). Our kids would stay the night over at their house and theirs would do the same at our house.  Basically, we thought we knew them well.  Turns out, the dh was abusing the dd and is now spending years and years and years in prison.  Not only did we think we knew them, but my dh is a cop and doesn't usually trust anyone (and I am a bit overprotective), but he fooled us.  I guess, just because we have been in the situation where we had to sit our dd and ds down and ask them some really hard questions on whether any inappropriate actions had ever taken place by someone that we trusted, I have the opinion that you cannot really know what happens behind closed doors unless you live there.   

*Edit-forgot to answer the question.  We know our neighbors pretty well.  On both sides are retired couples.  Unfortunately, last week our neighbor on our left side died suddenly of a heart attack.  I feel so bad for his wife.  He was a great guy.:(

by on Apr. 5, 2013 at 11:13 PM
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I don`t trust anyone really. I know my neighbors enough to know who they are by name, that`s about it. Otherwise me and the kids keep to ourselves.
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by Silver Member on Apr. 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM

I don't know them that well and they don't know me that well. Even people you think you know can do this.

by on Apr. 6, 2013 at 11:54 AM
I don't know the neighbors on either side that well and they are mostly gone. The ones two houses down that has 8 kids I know fairly well, warts and all. Their kids play with my kids. They play with one other family in our neighborhood and I feel fairly safe. You never know so you can only teach your kids to selfprotect.
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by Silver Member on Apr. 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM

We've been friends with our one neighbor for over 12 years - our husbands used to work together.  We knew them before we even moved into this place - it was one of the reasons we chose it, we already knew one of our neighbors!  Our other neighbors  we're friendly with - we'll say hello and chat a bit - but we don't really know them that well.

by on Apr. 6, 2013 at 5:04 PM
All my neighbors are family but some I still don't trust
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by on Apr. 6, 2013 at 5:36 PM

 I dont know my nieghbors well.  I refuse to allow my children out of my sight.  They are mine. I am very protective.  They are never out alone.  I have rules of never going further than 2 feet without a buddy.  We use a buddy system and staying in line of sight.  We are very, very careful.  My kids know there are bad guys and we talk about what to do.  My oldest is 7, my youngest will be 3 this month.  We are extremely careful. 

I am a survivor of child sexual and physical abuse.  My kids will never know that terror and humilitation.  I give them the tools and the knoweledge to fight.  I protect them as much as I can.  I am very careful who they are around and who they are with.  I never just leave them alone with someone I talk to.  It takes me years to trust someone.

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