Monday, February 25, 2008

So, it really is all about the money?

Mark Lunsford, the father of Jessie Lunsford, has filed an intent to sue against the Citrus County Sheriff's Dept., Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Citrus County Commission.

If you are not aware of who this gentleman is (and I use that term lightly, at this point) his daughter, Jessie was taken from her bedroom in 2005 by sexual predator John Cooey. She was held in a trailer near her home, sexually assaulted repeatedly, then buried alive in a black plastic bag in a hole near the trailer where she was kept. If you want to catch up on the entire story, go here.

Mark Lunsford has supported law enforcement since then. Bike runs have been done to raise money for "Jessie's Place" a child advocacy center opened in Citrus County in her name. There are fundraisers being held throughout the nation. He established a foundation in her name with all the donations that were raised. He has been instrumental in getting legislation passed throughout the country to provide harsher penalties to sexual predators, better tracking of them.

The reports say he and Jessie's mother are suing. He does not live with Jessie's mother. She lives in another state and was not living with Mark or Jessie when she was abducted. In fact, Mr. Lunsford was not even home that evening. Jessie was at home with her grandparents, but no father.

Last year the bike run in our community (not far from Citrus County) had over 2,000 bikes riding in it. It was held again this weekend, after the report came out. Only 400 bikers showed up.

Mr. Lunsford better be careful, or all that will remain of the memory of his daughter will be that her father was a money grubbing bum.


Anonymous said...

how can he possibly think that suing the police will help? Police stations EVERYWHERE need more funding, and suing means the exact opposite will happen for his area.

A damn shame

Bluepaintred said...

hi! my name is also anonymous! (apparently)

( I swear to god I was signed in, and I am still signed in, so just in case I end up anon again, this is BPR)

Bluepaintred said...


Mr. Fabulous said...

Are you fucking kidding me?

Living in Florida, I was very aware of what happened to that poor girl. And now this?

I am disgusted.

Not a Granny said...

blue-I think he just wants more public attention. He is a bit of an "attention whore". And yup, there you are!!

Mr. Fab-I know, I could not believe it when this came out. His attorneys were on the Fox News last night saying how the Sheriff's office messed up the investigation...blah, blah, blah. Like I said, he better be careful, people have long memories.

CatScratch Diva said...

That dude is a money grubbing dick.

Sick, sick people looking for a golden ride to never have to work again land...

Miss Britt said...

When I first read it, my first thought was "God that is awful! And why the hell would you sue NOW? Three years later?!"

But when I read the story it said something about "evidence the sheriff's office was negligent", and I started thinking...

The guy seems to be pretty Pro Law Enforcement.

And what IF three years later after all of that, you somehow got new evidence that there was something that COULD have been done to spare your baby from that tragedy. After all the support you'd shown in the midst of your own grief.

Wouldn't you be outraged? Wouldn't you be hurt and demanding some kind of accountability?

I don't know... I'm just saying... it might be more than just someone looking to make a buck off a tragedy.

Not a Granny said...

catscratch-we have lived through this for three years. I agree.

miss britt-I would agree with you, except for the sueing part. He has traveled the country getting legislature changed, made stronger to protect children. If he wants to change protocol, which is what he is saying now, how searches are done, he can do that. By education, training, working with law enforcement to correct what happened. I live two counties south of where this happened. We were completely wrapped up. John Cooey buried her do we know, her fingers had poked through the black plastic bags she was in. John Cooeys family, that he was staying with, denied that he was there, denied that they had been in contact with him. There is so much and to have this man, that has spent the last 3 years, talking about how he wants changes in Jessie's name, come out with this now...the anniversary of her kidnapping???? I don't ever want to know what that family went through, but I work with families every day who are going through it. They go after the abuser, not the people that supported and worked with them.

Sheesh, my response could be a whole other blog.

I PPH you!!

Miss Britt said...

I PPH you too, of course! ;-)

Jersey Girl 43 said...

His 15 minutes of fame is over and he can't accept it. Actually, if you look at his past press conferences where he called Jeff Dawsy his brother, and stomped on Capital Hill posing with our Gov, and even a hint at running for office... What does that spell? The story that sticks in my mind about him is when a jewelry store had a Jessie display in their store and he demanded they cease with collections, because he was sure that money was not being sent to HIS foundation.

The media made a hero out of a father that loved the camera. Nothing justifys the little girl's death, but let's face it this is about financial gain and publicity.

The Sheriff's Office has Soveriegn Ammunity therefore their cap of liability is pretty clear, unless he gets Gov to do a Bay County settlement. I think Mr. Lunsford ought to hit the book trail and stay far from the litigation trail. Juries aren't stupid and this 150 mile community won't forgive and forget very fast.

Nanna said...

What is PPH????

And gosh, I think of my beloved and the people he works with and how hard they work and how personally they take stuff like this and how hard they work to make sure their t's are crossed...that pisses me off!

Not a Granny said...

jersey girl-today he is saying how the negative comments "hurt, hurts bad"

nanna-PPH=Pink Puffy Heart.

ablondeblogger said...

This is just awful all the way around. I hadn't heard about this or how she died, and now? Now I can't get those images out of my head. Oh my gosh, how she must've suffered! It's absolutely horrific!

I don't want to pass judgement one way or the other. You may be right, but we really can't say for sure what is going through his head. Miss Britt said exactly what I was thinking.

Thankfully, none of us have ever had to walk in his shoes, and I pray we never do. Unless I have, or I personally know him and have talked to him about his motives, I don't feel it's my place to judge.

Like I said, it's just so sad all the way around. :(

Girl, Dislocated said...

I've never been through the hell of losing a child, so my opinion is not as valid as that of someone who has lost a child, or even the opinion of someone who has children, but this is what I think purely on an objective level: If the sheriff's department really could have done something to prevent her death, suing them will just be an act of revenge. It's perfectly reasonable to want revenge for the death of your child, but given this guy's history of fighting to make changes that will prevent this kind of tragedy, I'm surprised he's going that route because I think suing the sheriff's department is counterproductive to his goals. All of the resources they have for solving crimes cost money. Keeping enough people staffed on the department costs money. Acquiring technology to better track and identify criminals costs money. Why take that away from them, if you're so concerned about keeping other children safe? Even if he doesn't win the lawsuit, the department will have to spend money to pay for their defense. I think Mr. Lunsford is potentially helping murderers and rapists by diverting the police's resources away from fighting crime. So what's more important? Getting revenge even though it won't bring the child back? Or making sure other children don't become victims?

One thing that remains to be seen is what he'll do with the money if he wins the lawsuit. Maybe he'll put it to personal use, maybe he'll use it to build a crime lab, or maybe he'll spend it on the child advocacy center. Where the money ends up going will say a lot about his motives.

Sorry for the long comment, I couldn't shut up once I got started!

Jersey Girl 43 said...

I don't want to be negative especially since I gave up being mean for lent, but I must say something...A loss is tragic to say the least, and we all have had our hearts go out to him. However, I started getting suspicious when he started making the rounds and then had a motorcycle donated to him, and so on and so on.

There is a group of families that have had similar a similar loss that he would not share the camera with. When you are in the public eye and everyone hangs on to your every word, it gets addictive. Suddenly, it's just another homicide and he is not being quoted anylonger, or courted...

I still feel bad for his loss, but I also think his 15 minutes is up and it's time to get back to his job. Or parenting the 3 remaining children, and making sure he is there for them...