Over the past two decades, I have followed many cases family abduction cases. When a child is recovered, especially when there are abuse allegations involved, people immediately take sides. Usually after initially taking a side, they rarely switch camps. Here is my list of the some of the groups of individuals and the side they will be taking.
1) Recovering Parents — The victim parent, the left-behind parent or the recovering parent are Mark and Debbie Baskin in this case. They received a court order from the Family Law court awarding them legal custody of the children in Murfreesboro, Tennesse. When there children were kidnapped for 20 years, despite the allegations and at the risk of their reputations in their community, they asked the National media such as Unsolved Mysteries for assistance in finding their children. Most individuals involved with a previous or ongoing family abduction case will take the side of the Recovering Parents. Our legal system professionals such as law enforcement and district attorneys must take the side of the recovering parent because they are the ones with the court order granting them custody of the children.
2) Abducting Parent or Grandparents in this Case — In this case, there are individuals that knew the Marvin Maple or John Bunting in this case and his wife during their years in hiding as well as the children. Most individuals that currently know the Abducting parent and have seen them as a good or good enough parent will support them. Their feeling, if they broke the law, then there must have been a good reason.
3) Protective Parent, Domestic Violence Groups, Underground Groups — In this case, you have some some special interest/cause groups that do not believe our nation’s child protection system needs to be improved. There are other domestic violence groups that would like to see custody taken away from the parent, usually the mother at any allegation of abuse. Finally, there is the “protective parent” or “Faye Yager’s Children of the Underground Group” that will promotes “going underground” and “changing your identity” as a quote, “last resort”. Like any special interest group, the “protective parent” issue was big business in the ’80s and ’90s and there are some legal professionals that attempted to carve our their niche in this area. I don’t like to specifically mention who they are because every time I do, I get an email from one of them threatening a lawsuit if I include their name. I’ve even had a few death threats. Individuals involved with these special interest or cause groups will generally support the parental kidnapper without regard to getting to the truth in the case. They would like to see the parental kidnapper found innocent regardless of the truth.
4) Spiritual Groups — I will not comment on which side this group of individuals will take. I will say I respect any recovering parent who forgives the kidnapping parent or grandparent…after 20 years this would be no easy task for me.
On the Tennessee Murfreesboro website, I noticed that as expected, people are already taking sides:
I really hope that before people take sides, they take some time to really think how horrible and heinous the family abduction crime is. You have many victims in this case and after a crime like this, it will take years to unravel the truth so that the victims can move forward in their lives. I would really like to see efforts by the Bunting or Baskin Children to be reunified with their parents Mark and Debbie Baskin and their family members and those of us that are “taking sides” should support and encourage that.