PRESS RELEASE  - IMMEDIATE                                  June 6, 2001, 2:00 p.m., Sagle, Idaho

 Contact:  Edgar J. Steele, McGuckin Family Lawyer-in-Exile

 Thousands wouldnít believe you, Phil, but donít worry Ė I do.

 Sandpoint, Idaho.   The time has come to directly address the many false representations made about the McGuckin case by local government, as personified by the Prosecuting Attorney, Phil Robinson.  By way of doing so, Edgar J. Steele, the McGuckin Family Lawyer-in-Exile releases the following open letter, since Mr. Robinson refuses to communicate with him in private.

 Dear Phil,

             Well, itís been a pretty wild ride so far, hasnít it?  Guess you didnít expect it to turn into quite the media circus that it has become.  Of course, if those kids hadnít  possessed the moxie to defy your storm troopers, this whole affair would have gone down without a hitch, with nobody the wiser, wouldnít it?

             I can appreciate why you might be worried now, particularly since you swore, under penalty of perjury before Magistrate Heise, to so many things that so many people now claim are so false. 

             Like that business about there being no power to the house?  Northern Lights, the utility company, said it was hooked up and working all along, but they must be mistaken.  They donít seem to believe you, Phil, but donít  worry Ė I do.

             And about the kids starving and having no food in the house?  The people at the Food Bank, who gave them 200 pounds of food the week prior, donít seem to believe you.  Nor do the good people at Bonner General Hospital, who examined the kids after being holed up in the bathroom of that little house for five days while under siege from their own government, yet  pronounced them to be ďin good health.Ē  But donít worry, Phil Ė I believe you.

             And about that lily pad soup you said the kids were cooking up in their back yard over the camp fire?  I know many people have researched it and claim itís not true because lily pads are poisonous and the kids would all be dead now, so they must not believe you, either.  Donít worry, though, Phil Ė I believe you.

             And about the husband, Michael, dying of malnutrition and dehydration, the same things you say the kids are suffering from?  I hear that Mr. Coffelt, the coroner, has now recanted and says the death certificate is wrong, that Mr. McGuckin actually died as a result of multiple sclerosis, so he must not believe you, either.  But donít worry, Phil Ė I do.

             And about that pack of marauding, vicious dogs?  Lots of people, including the vet and the receiving animal facility seem to think thereís a lot fewer than 27 and that many of them are actually puppies, to boot, so they donít seem to believe you.  Can you imagine?  Now, I saw them myself the other day and thought they were pretty small and could have sworn many of them were wagging their tails, but I just figured it must be some breed of midget fighting dog.  Donít worry, Phil Ė Iím with you on this one, too.

             And about the house being filthy and strewn with dog feces?  Well, Iím absolutely sure youíre right about this, and itís a good thing that, once the kids were out of there, you had your people in there taking pictures without wasting time to get a search warrant, to prove it.  I know there are those doubting Thomases who say the kids had the dogs inside with them during the siege so your ďjackbooted thugsĒ (not a phrase I would ever use, of course) wouldnít shoot them and, of course those vicious, huge, marauding canines couldnít be expected to use the toilets because the water was off, so of course there was a huge mess, with dog feces everywhere.  Iím sure it was like that all along, just like you said, so donít worry, Phil Ė I believe you here, too.

             And about the kids being poorly educated?  Well, we all know how inadequate home schooling is Ė after all, the only reason home-schooled kids are taking top honors in all the national spelling and geography bees is because they sit at home, 24 hours a day, boning up just for those things and ignoring the really important stuff that is taught in the government schools these days.  Yep, Phil, Iím with you all the way on this one, too.

             And about me being disbarred?  They havenít told me about it yet and, when I called them to discuss the ethics of what you have been doing and saying, they said they didnít know anything about my being disbarred, so the people at the Idaho State Bar donít seem to believe you.  But Iím sure youíre in contact with those who are really in the know, so, donít worry, Phil Ė I believe you on this one, too.

             And about me being fired by JoAnn McGuckin?  Well, of course, you have issued orders to everybody, including the Sheriff (isnít he an elected official, by the way?), that I am not to be allowed even to talk with any McGuckin family member by telephone and I am not to be told when the secret hearings about the kids take place, so of course I have to take your word for this one, as well.  But I know you wouldnít lie about something like this, Phil.

             And about JoAnn being held incommunicado despite Magistrate Heiseís recent order?  Well, we all know she is stubbornly refusing to sign that O.R. release paper, thereby admitting that she is guilty and that she will stay away from her own children, so of course you canít just let her go.  We all understand that, Phil.

             And, of course, since she is pretty fragile mentally and extremely susceptible to being unduly influenced, there are those who say you and your minions have been keeping her that way until she falls in line.  But donít worry, Phil , because I know you would never stoop to that sort of thing Ė I believe you.

             And about the public defender, Mr. Powell, being in your pocket?  There are those who say, because he was a Shoshone County PD before he came here and because heís kind of hurting for money (his words, not mine) and would be doing much better financially if he was one of your assistants, that he is carrying your water on this case.  I think that is a simply scurrilous suggestion and refuse to believe one word of it, even though he also refuses to let me talk to JoAnn.  Donít worry, Phil, I believe you  on this one, too.

             And about your pushing for $100,000 bail for JoAnn, even though her public defender hadnít gotten around to seeing to her interests, and getting it without a struggle from Magistrate Heise, even though you and I both know how difficult it is to get bonds like that for murderers?  I know you, Phil, and I am absolutely certain this is true.

             And about your being sorry you didnít have JoAnn arrested during her husbandís funeral?  I have no doubt whatsoever about this one, Phil.

             I realize you have a powerful motivation to ensure that everything you swore to before Magistrate Heise is shown to be true, since you gave up your unqualified government official immunity when you chose to testify yourself.  Thatís the problem with actually swearing out your own arrest warrant, of course, and why so many district and prosecuting attorneys know better.  I know, however, Phil, that everybody who says that is why you are pushing the above things with such a vengeance is just being mean-spirited, because you would never allow your self interest to come into play in a case involving a citizen.

             Thousands wouldnít believe you, Phil.  But donít worry - because I do.

                                                                                                 Sincerely,

                                                                                                 Edgar J. Steele



-ed

"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus

Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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