Breaking: No Bail for Dorothy Lee Barnett

Dorothy Lee Barnett

No Bond for Dorothy Lee Barnett

Several news sources are now reporting that Dorothy Lee Barnett will not get bail.

Editor’s Note: This is great news for those of us in the Family Abduction Community following this case.


62 Responses to Breaking: No Bail for Dorothy Lee Barnett

  1. Concerned says:

    Apparently this judge was not fooled by Barnett and her legal team, and she will be rightly kept in custody until her trial.

    • underwatch says:

      Hi Concerned,

      I agree with you. Dorothy and her attorneys attempt to make this one hearing media circus between Channel 7 News and her family members. I think it was an attempt at trying to intimidate the judge. I think this judge saw right through this. He also ruled later to prevent any outbursts in court which was probably what the Australian News Crew was looking for.

      I for one don’t understand why Australian Media would pay an American for this story (unless the reporters wanted a free trip to America). I also don’t like Today Tonight’s angle (Samantha does not perceive herself as victim). Tragically she is a victim and is being further victimized as an adult-child.

      It would seem to me that Australians should be more interested in how to prevent parental kidnapping that a story about one individual. I don’t believe Australia has a national clearing house for missing children like the United States (National Children for Missing and Exploited Children) and other countries. It appears that you can’t even show a photo of a missing child in Australia if the children were involved in Family Court Proceedings.

      Do you know the parent in Australia that turned in Dorothy Lee Barnett? I hope there hasn’t been a backlash against her. She did the right thing in this case and should be applauded for he efforts.

      The Editor.

  2. Concerned says:

    It appears US District Court judge Bristow Marchant made his decision not to give Barnett bail based on the evidence before him. He apparently has access to all the evidence that will be presented in the upcoming trial.

    The Australian media are just out to get a ‘good’ story, with scant regard for the true facts. As an Australian, I am outraged Barnett could come to Australia using false New Zealand documentation and then access benefits, payments and rights that are afforded to New Zealand citizens in Australia when in fact she was a criminal on the run. At least Barnett will never be able to return to Australia due to her deportation.

    Whilst Barnett does have a team of supporters, I do not believe she is held in high regard for her criminal actions. Many of those who support her only know her under her alias, and in fact, do not know the real Dorothy Lee Barnett.

    I note in some newspapers it is reported that her support group have raised Aud $1.5 million for her defence. However, according to only $3540.00 has been raised. I do not believe this woman is getting much ‘airplay’ in Australia. There has not been any information regarding the person who reported this matter to authorities.

    In due course, I hope the daughter makes contact with her father. If the daughter is present at her trial, she may gain some insight into the reasons for the decision to award custody to her father. It appears the daughter has only heard one side of the story.

    • underwatch says:

      Hi Concerned,

      Thanks for your opinion on the Australian media. I am mystified by the one-sided reporting.

      I believe the money that was raised was the net worth of property that they were willing to put up as bail. That said, I would bet that the property had liens or mortgages and that they really didn’t have the funds to make bail. I doubt anyone would trust Dorothy not to skip town if she got out on bail.

      As long as Savanna, the victim has contact with the defendant (Dorothy Lee Barnett) and the Barnett Family, I doubt that she will be able to think independently. It’s too bad that she wasn’t found at an earlier age. If that were so, the Yale-educated Harris Todd would have had an opportunity to raise her. I still hope that one day Savanna will make things right with her dad.

      The Editor


    • Lorraine says:

      Concerned, I too am outraged that the Geldenhuys family waltzed into Australia on false New Zealand citizenship. It looks like the two now-adult children are still being afforded all the Australian benefits, payments and rights afforded to bona fide New Zealand citizens.

      My understanding is that the daughter received payment for those two shabby Today Tonight segments. My curiosity is did she declare that income to the Australian Taxation Office?

      Her team of supporters leave me gobsmacked in their outbursts that she is of Mother Teresa sainthood-quality, and that this woman has done nothing illegal or unlawful. I am struggling to accept as truthful that no-one from back home was not in contact with her over the years. Her Sunshine Coast friends are new-found friends of less than five years’ duration, and obviously gullible and easily-convinced since they swallowed Dorothy Lee Barnett’s spin and lies in this matter. Barnett is probably hoping they have deep pockets to help fund her legals.

      Had the late Mr Geldenhuys not passed over to eternal rest, he too would have been facing criminal charges in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia – for false entry and false citizenship application statements, and for the part he played in concealing the identity of Savannah Todd. Mr Todd’s daughter admitted on the Today Tonight program that the late Mr Geldenhuys was no innocent in understanding who his step-daughter was and what crimes his wife had committed.

      This woman’s two now-adult children can proclaim their mother’s innocence all they like. Reality is their mother has repeatedly taken the law into her own hands, and she is now going to be held accountable for her actions.

      • Concerned says:

        Lorraine, whilst Barnett’s cheer squad espouse her Mother Teresa sainthood qualities, I doubt if they will be given the opportunity to present their views at her trial. That trial with deal with the facts and then a verdict will be reached pursuant to those facts.
        Barnett’s daughter is currently studying nursing at a Queensland University, and has a Commonwealth Supported Place by virtue of her false claim of being a New Zealand citizen. Whereas she is a citizen of the United States and should be required to pay international fees. However, it is doubted if she would have the ability to gain a visa as a US citizen to live in Australia.

        One day, this young woman may remove her blinkers and gain an understanding of her mother’s evil behaviour and at least meet with her father..

  3. John says:

    While I support the idea of the daughter establishing a relationship with her father in this case, I think that part of the reason why she has not shown willingness to draw close to her father is because she is probably blaming him for causing her mother to be arrested. Under this line of reasoning, if her mother were to receive a significant prison sentence, her daughter might “hate” her father even more and thus be more unwilling to draw close to him. Does this line of thinking have merit?

    • underwatch says:


      While I support the idea of the daughter establishing a relationship with her father in this case, I think that part of the reason why she has not shown willingness to draw close to her father is because she is probably blaming him for causing her mother to be arrested. Under this line of reasoning, if her mother were to receive a significant prison sentence, her daughter might “hate” her father even more and thus be more unwilling to draw close to him. Does this line of thinking have merit?

      This line of thinking has no merit. Savanna is merely being loyal to her mother and the Barnett family’s continuing alienation of the child. Do you not have any compassion for the Yale-educated father? He went 20 years without knowing his child was alive. As a parental kidnapping victim, he is being further victimized by his now adult-daughter. You are blaming the victim! During Savanna’s first visit back to Charleston, she doesn’t even have the courage or humanity to see her own father. If Savanna were found earlier, there would have been a very happy reunification with Savanna and her father and the entire Todd Family as well as the many friends that have supported Harris in this long ordeal. Why are you so loyal to parental kidnapper Lee Barnett? Have you ever considered what it would be like to walk in Harris Todd’s shoes? Have you considered what if your child or grandchild were kidnapped someday?

      I’ve heard stories of parental kidnapping victims like Savanna that wake up one morning as an Adult and realize what happened. They completely break all contact their parental kidnapper.

      I am hoping John that Dorothy Lee Barnett gets 30 years in prison. That’s what she deserves.

      The Editor

      • Lorraine says:

        Editor, I too am hoping that Dorothy Lee Barnett gets a lengthy sentence. The now adult-daughter still has to live the rest of her life. Whilst she might consider herself to be all-knowing and not a victim of her mother’s crimes today, that is not necessarily how she is likely to see it in the future. As we progress through life, our views can and do change.

        What the now adult-daughter has missed out on is the professional counselling and professional support that is available to kidnapped children under the age of 18 years. Her victimhood – regardless of her “I am not a victim” proclamations – is obvious to those not emotionally involved in this matter.

        The daughter would be guilt-pressured into an outward display of total loyalty to her mother. If she had any niggling doubts or independent thoughts in this matter, she wouldn’t dare utter them. The guilt-pressure from the Barnetts, Lee’s Sunshine Coast bud crowd, the old South Carolina bud set, and the Australian television station wanting to hook in a story that will see the revival of their rather trashy current affairs program, would be more than her 21 years of age level of maturity and lack of life experience could cope with.

        My money is on Savannah expanding her narrow views in this matter in the fullness of time.

      • John says:

        Let me clarify something: I believe that what this mother did was wrong, and I feel sorry for the father in this case. As I mentioned before, I agree that the most ideal outcome in this case would be the daughter establishing a relationship with her father. However, based on my research of this case and the things that have transpired within the past year, I currently have a difficult time imagining what it would take for the daughter to have the willingness to draw close to her father. I was merely trying to stand in the daughter’s shoes to understand what she may be thinking in regards to her parents. Sorry for any misunderstand/confusion.

  4. underwatch says:

    Hi John,

    I apologize for thinking that you were not compassionate toward the father’s situation. I too have a difficult time thinking what it would take to get the daughter to draw close to her father. I think that the general public might think that the father is pressing the charges against his former spouse, but it’s the U.S. Attorney that is. The only parent the child should blame for putting her mother in her current situation is Dorothy Lee Barnett. When Dorothy Lee Barnett goes to prison, she can’t hate her father for doing that. He had nothing to do with Dorothy committing Passport Fraud. That was Dorothy’s choice of crimes and she must take responsibility and be held accountable for those actions.

    The daughter is currently surrounded by a group of parental alienators. It sounds like the Barnett Family is still so consumed in the fight against the Yale-educated Harris Todd and his family that they will never support Savanna reunifying with her biological father. The Barnett Family is unwilling to acknowledge what Dorothy Barnett did 20 years ago was so egregious that she must pay for her crimes. It’s pretty much at the same impasse the two families were at 20 years ago. It sounds like the Barnett family has made no attempt to de-escalate the situation. Despite no supporting evidence that Lee didn’t have other reasonable legal alternatives, the Barnett Family is going to try the case in the media as a last resort. It’s more or less a Hail Mary. It’s unlikely that a jury will ever give her a free pass on the parental kidnapping or the very serious passport fraud charges in this Post-911 era.

    That all said, Dorothy Lee Barnett will eventually get 20-30 years in prison. The Barnett Family is further humiliated at trial. When the media eventually goes away, Samantha realizes that she was victimized and exploited — not only once during her kidnapping but a second time as an adult poster child for those wanting to legalize maternal parental kidnapping. She’s no Kim Kardashian and there are no more television interviews. What twenty-something child wants to be known as the daughter of a convicted felon. She will no doubt want to start a new life with a new name like almost all of the previous “poster children” have done.

    I would think that Samantha needs to take the first step of talking to her biological father or possibly a Todd Family Aunt. Unfortunately, in the short-term, I doubt that Savanna has the courage to do that. As far as the Yale-educated Father in this case, he can only wait for Savanna to get to know him and his story at the trial.

    The Editor

    • Lorraine says:

      The same as the Barnetts cannot accept that their nearest and dearest – and not Mr Todd – is now being held responsible for her actions, I cannot accept that not one blast from her past had an inkling of where in the world this woman was living.

      “She had to flee”, “She had no other choice” and all the other nonsense I have seen written and loudly proclaimed by her support base. Well, the travelling to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand for a holiday, and a trip back to South Africa to visit her unwell ex-second husband was all her doing by choice. It was also her choice to: acquire her own false US birth certificate and passport, and provide false statements to renew that false passport; change Mr Todd’s daughter’s name, country of birth and, I believe, date of birth to conceal her identity; globe-trot on false documentation for herself and her daughter; falsely acquire New Zealand citizenship for herself and her children; and, falsely enter and live in countries and claim all the benefits and entitlements that would have been available to bona fide citizens and permanent residents.

      Now this is a person who has no regard for laws. It is probably some-one else’s money that she is using to pay for her legals, so her care factor around costs is probably diddly-squat. The information highway will permanently remind her children, and everybody else, of Dorothy Lee Barnett’s wrongdoings. And, her daughter doesn’t see herself as a victim!!!! Number 1 Australian supporter outside of family members is still scratching his head in disbelief that she wasn’t granted bail as, in his view, she is “not an unlawful person”!!!!!

      • Concerned says:

        I look forward to the trial where her cheer squad will have to listen to the evidence and not their claptrap. They forget that this woman fed them lies about her identity, and they never knew the real Dorothy Lee Barnett. I wonder how loud Barnett and her cronies would be crying, if Mr Todd had removed the child from Barnett’s care to live on the other side of the world, and deprived her of knowing her only child.

      • There’s always a better choice than to flee with your child.
        Do we know for certain that she exhausted all of her legal options before she fled with her daughter?
        While we don’t know that for certain one thing is certain.. Savannah and Reece are without their mother. And Harris Todd is still without his now 21 year old daughter.
        It’s not his fault at all. Harris Todd can’t drop the charges against Dorothy Barnett because International Parental Kidnapping and Passport Fraud are federal charges. It’s out of Harris Todd’s hands.

      • underwatch says:

        Do we know for certain that she exhausted all of her legal options before she fled with her daughter?

        Here are some thoughts on Lee Barnett’s legal options:

        1. There are no custody orders that are ever permanent. If the child custody trial and evaluation were not favorable to her, she could have got the court to order a new one. It wasn’t like she didn’t have access to resources from her mother, sister and brother.
        2. After initially fleeing the jurisdiction, she could have notified the District Attorney of her whereabouts.
        3. If she truly believed that her life or child’s life were at risk, she could have used the resources of a Domestic Violence Shelter.
        4. She could have contacted Harris Todd and negotiated a different custody agreement.
        5. Before she was arrested, had almost 20 years to use her legal option to get her criminal case back into the legal system.

        We’ve seen so many of these cases that the underground mom has no intent of ever returning. She goes to the underground as evidenced by the information binder she sent out and the media invitations the father received. She send the information binder to the media to tell her story which is not a legal option. It’s obvious she wanted to start a new life and to become the “poster women” for this cause. She did not appear to care if her child became another “poster child” for this cause. She was certainly informed of the emotional impact it would have on her child (her sister Dr. Claire Barnett was a Family Physician). She claims that her family and friends did not know. It’s unlikely that her mother Dorothy Barnett, Cliff Barnett, Claire Barnett or Gordon King did not know her location or at the very least have the name of the person that could contact Dorothy. It doesn’t sound like any of these individuals attempted to help or find Lee when she was in hiding to help her exercise her legal options. There had be a number of these She knew that if she were caught, she would go to jail/prison.

        And that’s tragically what some of Dorothy Lee Barnett’s legal options were and why we don’t believe that she exhausted them prior to this criminal act.

  5. Editor,

    I’m in full agreement with you. Savanna is a crime victim whether she chooses to acknowledge what her mother did to alienate her from her father or not?
    Savanna now has the option of choosing whether or not to pursue a relationship with her father. Why she has chosen not to we’ll never know? Maybe it’s because she doesn’t remember him?
    Harris now has to be patient with her. It may take her a while to be able to take in what her mother did to her and to her father.

    I don’t believe that Dorothy exhausted all of her legal options either. I don’t even believe that her family didn’t know that she was on the lam with her daughter.
    What I do know is that a life on the run with a parent whom was mentally unstable is no life for a toddler child.

  6. John says:

    I understand that the charges are not being brought by the father himself. However, the reason why people might blame him for causing his ex-wife’s arrest is because he originally reported his ex-wife to the authorities back in 1994 leading to the original arrest warrant against her, and he also reported her to the authorities in 2011 when he learned of her whereabouts. Thus, I suspect that the daughter might be thinking, “Since he reported my mom to the authorities, he is responsible for taking away my mom’s freedom.”

    I also note that the father has indicated (earlier this year) that he is willing to accept the prospect of his daughter never having the willingness to draw close to him. I wonder if this reflects a defeatist/pessimistic attitude on his part – if I were him, the only time I would stop reaching out to her would be when I am no longer physically capable of doing so.

    • underwatch says:

      Have you ever been to a courthouse and seen a prisoner in a jail jumpsuit and in shackles including the leg irons. When you see a defendant like Dorothy Lee Barnett like this you can only think one thing — she put herself there. What would have so bad about sharing custody with the Yale-educated father of her daughter?
      This is a case where Lee’s motive was anger and revenge and not love for her child. With that type of thinking, if I were the judge I would not only issue a gag order to protect the victim but a no contact order to prevent further alienation of the victim. It’s horrible how Lee and her family continues to alienate Savanna against the biological father and his entire family. It no doubt shows their ignorance and lack of compassion for a parent that had his child kidnapped for 20 years.
      John, It sounds like you are critical of the father here. I personally find it impossible to blame any parent victimized by this crime. I challenge you to post a letter to Savanna to tell her why she should reach out or reunify with her father.
      The Editor

      • Concerned says:

        Naturally the father would report his young child who was not returned after an access visit to the authorities. Once again, when he became aware of the couple’s whereabouts it would be expected that he would report this to the relevant authority that could verify their whereabouts and take the necessary action to ensure justice was done.

        Perhaps this biological father does not want to hound this daughter, when he would be very much aware that the Barnett family are fighting for Dorothy’s freedom. We must remember that the daughter has been accompanied by an Australian television crew that want to get a great story, with scant regard for the best interests of the daughter.

        It has been reported that Barnett turned her son and daughter against the ‘father’ for some indiscretion and finally he returned to the Republic of South Africa.

        Mr Harris has suffered immensely during the past 21 years, and I do not think it appropriate to pass assertions on him at this time.

    • Lorraine says:

      John, my understanding is that this woman blurted forth a couple of clues late one night at a gathering, referring to her daughter by another name and a couple of other pieces of information. As we are all across, information these days is only keystrokes away. We all know in our searches that patience and persistence usually leads us in the right search direction, especially so when researching family history. Over the years, this woman may have let slip clues and information from time to time, but no-one may have been curious or patient enough to follow through with their curiosity.

      If the daughter wants to cling to the belief that her father, Harris Todd, is responsible for her mother getting caught, then what another shock it will be for her when the realisation sets in that her mother, and no-one else, is to blame for her mother doing time, and for having turned her children’s lives upside down.

      I think a guardian angel was looking over the late Mr Geldenhuys, as he too would have been held accountable for the part he knowingly played in concealing the identity and whereabouts of Savanna Todd, for knowingly having made false statements to enter countries and for knowingly having made false statements to acquire citizenship.

      John, her father has reached out. It is just that his daughter chooses to cling to the nonsense that she is being pumped with from those hell-bent on ensuring she picks up and lives out her mother’s issues and baggage.

    • John,

      Harris Todd had nothing at all to do with the charges that have been brought against Savanna’s mother. The charges against Savanna’s mother are federal charges which means that they can’t just be dropped by Mr Todd. It’s the federal investigators that have to decide whether or not to drop the charges against Miss Barnett.

  7. Sonya says:

    Lee does not have a sister. She had 2 brothers . One is deceased the other is alive and well .
    Harris would love nothing more than to have a relationship with
    His daughter. He is giving her space and time to absorb all that is going on around her. Harris will never give up hope. His love is endless for his daughter.
    I encourage Samantha to meet Harris. I think it would go a long way with the jury.

    • underwatch says:

      Hi Sonya,

      Thanks for clarifying this.

      It’s nice to hear that you agree that Samantha should meet with Harris. I also think most jury members will not show compassion for a defendant that continues to alienate her now adult-child against the other parent.

      I deeply respect Harris and other parents that want to give their adult children space to make their own decision. It’s so sad that if Samantha was younger, a judge would have ordered a reunification between Harris and his daughter. With the “Jerry Springer” like reporting of the Australian TV Network, it’s too bad none of the media stepped forward to provide an interview with a psychiatrist or psychologist that has studied they emotional impact of an adult-child survivor of a parental kidnapping. I am hopeful that during a trial, that the prosecution will use expert witnesses in this area. The media let Samantha claim she wasn’t a victim and I read that the defense attorney already got in some of that during the bail hearing. Samantha is a victim of a horrible parental kidnapping and the press and Lee’s supporter’s are too ignorant to realize that.

      Thanks again.

      The Editor

      • Beata Morris says:

        Why would Samantha want to meet Harris? He is the person who contacted the authorities and put her mother in prison. Somehow I doubt his good intentions to have a relationship with his daughter. When he found out about Samantha’s whereabouts, he did not try to contact her. Instead he made sure Alex would go to jail and destroyed Samantha’s happy family life. Besides, what kind of a father tries to take away a nursing baby? What a monster. And Alex Geldenhuys was such a good mother. He got custody because he had money. Period.

      • underwatch says:

        Hi Beata,

        You are ignorant in your views. It is obvious that Ms. Barnett had some serious mental issues at the tine she lost custody. The courts were correct Harris was the better custodial parent to provide the child with access to both parents. This Yale-educated father has so much to offer Savanna. Meanwhile, the college drop-out Lee will end up in prison. Now how can that be a good mother? With your views Beata, you probably need parenting classes before you have children. Period.

  8. Beata Morris says:

    Hi there, I am not ignorant in my views; I found out about this story a few months ago and did some reading. First of all, the Yale – educated Harris went to Yale because he could afford it. However we don’t know what his grades were. I went to a state university and graduated with honors. When it comes to Ms Barnett/Alex Geldenhuys (college dropout as you put it), she seems to be a very smart, worldly person who could easily adapt to living in a foreign country. Ms. Barnett /Alex Geldenhuys did not have any mental issues, she was just stressed out about this horrible situation. She wanted to protect her baby. And Mr. Todd wanted a revenge. Any father who cares about his child understands how important is the bond between a mother and her baby. My husband understands it. And I do not need any parenting classes; I have 2 wonderful children who excel in school, piano and gymnastics. My children also have 2 wonderful loving parents. Just like Samantha’s parents: Alex and Juan Geldenhuys

    • John says:

      Let me ask you a question, Beata: are you implying that you support mothers alienating their children from their fathers? Are you saying that doing so would be preferable to joint custody, which the mother in this case could have gotten had she followed proper legal procedures?

      • underwatch says:

        Let me ask you a question, Beata: are you implying that you support mothers alienating their children from their fathers? Are you saying that doing so would be preferable to joint custody, which the mother in this case could have gotten had she followed proper legal procedures?

        Beata Morris,

        I would like to hear your response to John’s question.

        The Editor

    • No! Her legal custodial parent was Benjamin Harris Todd III. Dorothy Lee Barnett aka Alexandra Geldenhuys deliberately deprived Harris of his paternal rights to his child. Not her child. HIS! The only one who wanted revenge was Dorothy Barnett. She didn’t exhaust all of her legal options before she fled with their child.

    • underwatch says:


      You are ignorant. The University that Samantha’s father is considered one of the best in the World. The test scores and grades needed to gain acceptance would require one to be a very intellectually gifted person, the top 3 if his or her class. With your inability to acknowledge and understand how horrible a parental kidnapping crime is, I would question your parenting skills. Like Lee, you sound narcissistic and don’t ignorantly believe that the rules that apply to the rest if society don’t apply to you. If you got divorced, would it be an insult to you as a mother if you shared custody 50/50 with your former spouse. Or do you think your husband with his mother or new very young second wife would not be capable of handling their share? Beata, someday as you get more expeience as a parent, some of your friends get divorced, your children start applying to college — you may start to acknowledge and understand this parental kidnapping crime. Buf for now, it sure sounds like you are ignorant.

    • Lorraine says:

      Beata, I am surprised that some-one as educated, as sharp, as Christian and as church going as you say you are cannot see the wood for the trees, especially since you have done reading in this matter. Allow me, Beata. Reality is as follows:

      * Ms Barnett was not awarded custody. Happens often. People then look for legal ways to challenge unpalatable outcomes instead of doing a Dorothy Lee Barnett.

      * She kidnapped Savannah, and prevented her from having a meaningful relationship with her father. Savannah had a right to know her father. You are on the money, Beata, if your response is “jail time crime”.

      * Beata, what is your view on Ms Barnett having changed Savannah Todd’s name, date of birth, country of birth and citizenship?

      * Then, Beata, what is your view on people obtaining false identity documents and false passports? Being an upstanding citizen and good Christian woman, do you tell your children that it is okay to do this or do you tell them that it is illegal?

      * Entering countries on false statements and false documentation, and then obtaining citizenship falsely – is that what upstanding citizens do, Beata? People do it, but what happens when they get caught, Beata?

      * Renewing a false US passport post 9/11 and providing false statements to obtain a false passport – a titch more serious than a tut, tut, don’t you think, Beata?

      Alex Geldenhuys is a fictional person. That knock on her door early November 2013 killed off Dorothy Lee Barnett’s false persona. The late Mr Geldenhuys was also no innocent. He knowingly hid Savannah Todd’s identity and gave false statements to gain entry and permanent residence to two countries. Providing false information on citizenship paperwork, if caught, equates to jail time then deportation. Being an upstanding citizen and good Christian woman you would know that, Beata.

      Ms Barnett has put her children in awkward situations, in that both have taken a university spot available to Australian citizens, those with permanent Australian residency and New Zealand citizens permanently residing in Australia. Struggling with spotting the awkward situation, Beata? Allow me. Had the Geldenhuys been truthful when they applied to live in New Zealand, their application would have been rejected and the FBI notified by the New Zealand authorities. There would have been no false New Zealand citizenship and no false entry to Australia.

      One more thing before I sign off, Beata? What do they serve up in US prisons for Christmas lunch?

  9. Beata Morris says:

    Hi there, first of all I am not offended by being called ignorant; I have 2 University degrees, speak 5 foreign languages fluently and lived in several countries in the world. I am very comfortable with myself. I understand that your site supports fathers’ rights; that’s why you seem more concerned about Harris Todd’s rights as a father than Samantha’s rights as a child. As I said, this is understandable because this is what your organization does. Now you asked if I supported a joint custody: yes, joint custody works in cases where 2 parents cooperate with each other, communicate with each other and have the best interest of their child in their hearts.
    And I will definitely support any father who wants to protect his child from an abusive mother, a mother who is an alcoholic or a drug addict etc.
    But in this case it is Harris Todd who is an abuser.He emotionally abused his wife when he demanded that she had an abortion! Alex refused and then a miracle! Harris Todd decided that he “loved” his daughter.
    As I said Mr. Todd had money and connections; that’ s why he got custody. I lived in your country -USA for many years. It is the most corrupt country in the western world. It is easy to buy judges and politicians. You even have a legalized bribery in the political system: corporations and rich individuals donate money to their politicians and it is completely legal!

    • underwatch says:

      Now you asked if I supported a joint custody: yes, joint custody works in cases where 2 parents cooperate with each other, communicate with each other and have the best interest of their child in their hearts.

      Beata, how long did Dorothy Lee Barnett give joint sole custody or joint custody to work. The answer, less than a year, less than a month, less than a week, less than a day, less than a minute. The never did and that’s why she is the “Abuser” in this case.

      I lived in your country -USA for many years. It is the most corrupt country in the western world. It is easy to buy judges and politicians. You even have a legalized bribery in the political system: corporations and rich individuals donate money to their politicians and it is completely legal!

      You have a psychological disorder if you sincerely believe the above. I hope someday you will find the ambition to provide a better contribution to society than supporting a parental kidnapper. This site has more to do with educating ignorant individuals like you on the parental kidnapping crime. It’s one of the most severe forms of domestic violence and everyone must do their part to prevent it.

      I do appreciate your strong opinions. In the past two decades I have followed these cases, there are individuals like yourself that will never understand this crime. It really sounds like your want our system to revert back to maternal custody if the parents can’t agree. I think with equal rights and gay marriage that both Canada and the United States are progressively moving away from that.

      The Editor

  10. Beata Morris says:

    Hi, I am beginning to enjoy this conversation although I do not even know your name. You are desperately trying to insult me (ignorant, psychological disorder?) and it seems that you are quite hateful. Well, I am not as hateful as you are. I forgive you. You are talking about equal rights and gay marriage.What does this have to do with Dorothy Lee Barnett and her daughter Samantha? What I read is that Ms Barnett/ Alex was an excellent mother to her children. Samantha is a beautiful, smart and well adjusted woman who stands by her mother. Nobody saw any signs of bipolar disorder in Alex, only her first husband. I am not going to discuss equal rights and gay marriage. It is completely irrelevant here.
    But I have a feeling you are more concerned about pursuing your liberal agenda than specific circumstances in this case. I think war on women
    Is part of your agenda. In your country women don’t even get a maternity leave (there are a very few exceptions) compared to Canada or Europe where they get one or two years of fully paid maternity leave. You jumped to the conclusion that I would like to revert back to maternal custody. Well, you should know that in cases where a child is very young (the first few years), judges take it into consideration the so called “tender years” when the bond between a mother and a child is much stronger and absolutely crucial for the child’s emotional and mental development. You don’t care about that. When Harris Todd won the custody, was he able to breastfeed his child? I don’t think so. But you don’t care about that, either.
    You are hateful towards me because you probably figured out that I am very family oriented, I despise divorce, I am happily married, I abhor abortion. What else can you hate about me? Oh, I forgot! I am Christian and I go to church. And I will pray for Dorothy/Alex and her daughter Samantha.

    • underwatch says:

      Hi Beata,

      Yes, I figured you lived in Canada which is a much smaller country than the United States and has one of the best healthcare systems in the World. Although the United States of America some of the best Medical facilities in the World, our country is too large to provide the same type of maternity leave to our citizens. I am familiar with the “tender years doctrine”. Apparently, it sounds like Judges in Canada no longer follow it. See the source below. It sounds like Canada is as progressive in this issue as well as the one that you don’t wish to talk about.

      Beata, I don’t hate you personally, I simply disagree with your non-progressive views. I also dislike that you are attacking the Yale-educated Harris Todd. He is the victim in this case and you are re-victimizing again. There is no Searching Parent that had is child kidnapped for 18 years that deserves the type of criticism. Why would you also not pray for Harris and his family. You should be ashamed.

      – The Editor

      “In 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada re-examined the tender years doctrine in Young v. Young, wherein it subsequently disapproved of the doctrine.”

      “In 2005, the Court of Appeal heard and decided two cases involving a claim for joint custody. In one of those cases, Kaplanis v. Kaplanis, the court held that the determining factor when deciding whether or not to award sole or joint custody, in each case, was whether the parties were able to put aside their differences, and communicate and cooperate effectively in the interests of the child.
      The principle in Kaplanis was revisited in the 2009 Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in Warcop v. Warcop, wherein the Honourable Justice Gray stated:

      “In my view, an order for joint custody … is simply in the best interests of the child. The best interests of the child will obviously not be fostered if the parents are unable to communicate and cooperate in making decisions that affect the child … The issue is whether a reasonable measure of communication and cooperation is in place, and is achievable in the future, so that the best interests of the child can be ensured on an ongoing basis.”


  11. Beata Morris says:

    Hi there, I still don’t know your name, you haven’t introduced yourself, but I will gladly reply to your last post. First of all, “tender years” doctrine has been replaced everywhere (Canada, USA, Europe, Australia) by “child’ s best interest” doctrine, which means that the family courts decide what the best arrangement will be for the child when parents get divorced. It is a formal approach. Also, these days courts rarely consider sole custody. Joint custody is preferred, however in majority cases mothers are still primary caregivers but both parents are equally involved in the decision making process of their child upbringing. In practice the “best interest of the child” is still based on “tender years” rule because
    Of the stronger bond between a child and a mother, in most cases. Of course there are exceptions, when a child has a stronger bond with a father and then it is for the courts to decide what is in the best interest of a child.
    Now, I would like to share some of my thoughts with you. I do not want to bore you, so I will try to make it as short as possible. Pregnancy should be one of the happiest moments in a mother’s life. She needs a lot of love and support from her family members, especially from the father of her child. Dorothy/Alex didn’t have her chance to experience a happy pregnancy: she was being divorced by her husband and faced uncertainty in the future. Every mother’s dream is to have the best environment for her baby, a loving, stable family life and loving, caring husband – good father for her baby. Dorothy/Alex felt abandoned, deceived and powerless. She was stressed out and devastated. One can only imagine what she felt. Separation from her breastfed baby put her on the edge. She disappeared because she felt this was the only thing she could do to protect her baby. Motherly instinct and unconditional love was stronger than anything else. Please, have some compassion for the woman who felt there was no other way. She was an excellent mother, there was no bipolar disorder. Her daughter is a proof Dorothy/Alex did a great job as a mother. Harris Todd should appreciate that. I know what you want to say now: Todd Harris was deprived of his daughter for 20 years. Yes, but what led to this situation? Dorothy/Alex escaped out of desperation. And one more thought on Mr.Todd; I understand he found out about Samantha’s whereabouts about 2 years ago. If it were me, I would be on the first plane to Australia to meet and establish a relationship with my daughter. Dorothy/Alex would not interfere, Samantha is a grown up woman. Instead, the father contacted the FBI, Dorothy Barnett ended up in prison, Samantha’s family is destroyed. Who benefited from that? Nobody. The father will not have a relationship with his daughter, the mother will be in prison (and with a growing lump on her breast, probably from stress) and the daughter will be devastated for the rest of her life. And the father can’t reverse it now; the case is in the hands of the courts. Couldn’t Mr. Todd show some compassion and forgive Ms. Barnett when he found out the truth? Samantha could have her father, he could have a relationship with his daughter and Dorothy/Alex could finally have a piece of mind?

    • Sonya Olson says:

      Has it occurred to anyone that perhaps Harris Todd learned about his daughters whereabouts through the authorities and was not allowed contact as not to impede a federal investigation?

    • underwatch says:


      See my responses to some of your comments below.

      In practice the “best interest of the child” is still based on “tender years” rule because Of the stronger bond between a child and a mother, in most cases. Of course there are exceptions, when a child has a stronger bond with a father and then it is for the courts to decide what is in the best interest of a child.

      1. Beata, please read the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada again.

      “In 1993, the Supreme Court of Canada re-examined the tender years doctrine in Young v. Young, wherein it subsequently disapproved of the doctrine.”

      Please, have some compassion for the woman who felt there was no other way.

      2. I will not have any compassion for Parental Kidnapper Lee Barnett. Since her arrest, she has made no attempt to show remorse for her actions or do the right thing.

      I know what you want to say now: Todd Harris was deprived of his daughter for 20 years.

      3. Beata, 20 years is a very long time and I would like to see Dorothy go to prison for the same amount of time.

      Yes, but what led to this situation?

      4. In a date rape case with alcohol involved, if any man said, “but what led to this situation”? Everyone would be in agreement that you are blaming the victim. Isn’t that exactly what you are doing in this case, BLAMING THE VICTIM? For those of us in the Missing Children’s Community, we find that approach highly offensive. The other horrible thing to say to a searching parent is, “at least your child is with the other parent.”

      Dorothy/Alex escaped out of desperation.

      5. This is where we disagree. She fled out of anger and revenge. She can only use the desperation excuse of she exhausted her legal remedies. Clearly she did not.

      And one more thought on Mr.Todd; I understand he found out about Samantha’s whereabouts about 2 years ago. If it were me, I would be on the first plane to Australia to meet and establish a relationship with my daughter. Dorothy/Alex would not interfere, Samantha is a grown up woman.

      6. Beata, with the your proclaimed level of education and intellect, why would you think Dorothy/Alex would not interfere. Of course she would. I am beginning to think that you might have some psychological disorder if you can’t see that. If there were an award for Parental Alienator of the last two decades, Dorothy Lee Barnett would certainly be in the top 10 of those parents.

      There is only one parental kidnapper that I have heard of that has ever recanted the allegations. There was a woman that went underground to Europe. A civl war broke out in that country and the mother was in a refugee camp. She called her former spouse and told him to come pick up his son. That mother was on a number of TV Shows and in the media like Lee and accused just about everything during the custody dispute. That father ended up raising his son who I understand has grown up to become a very successful young man. The mother took her supervised visitation and moved on with her life. Dorothy Lee Barnett, with or without any diagnosed psychological disorder would never do that. And I will bet anyone that knows Lee would not disagree.

      The father will not have a relationship with his daughter, the mother will be in prison (and with a growing lump on her breast, probably from stress) and the daughter will be devastated for the rest of her life.

      7. Beata, this sounds like you are threatening the father for Lee. And I am a little tired of Lee now playing victim about an alleged medical condition.

      And the father can’t reverse it now; the case is in the hands of the courts. Couldn’t Mr. Todd show some compassion and forgive Ms. Barnett when he found out the truth? Samantha could have her father, he could have a relationship with his daughter and Dorothy/Alex could finally have a piece of mind?

      8. Beata, actions speak louder than words. Some of us have said on the day of Lee’s arrest in Australia, she should have encouraged Samantha to reunify with Harris immediately. If you have any contact with Lee, that’s what she should be doing. Lee and Samantha should also stop talking to the media disparaging Harris. In the years of following these cases, jury members will not like that and Lee should and will get at least 20 years in prison.

    • Beata,

      He doesn’t harbor any resentment towards his daughter’s mother. He knows that Dorothy L Barnett is Savanna’s mother. But it’s not up to him to drop the charges. International Parental Kidnapping and passport fraud are federal charges which cannot be dropped by an individual. They can only be dropped by a federal investigator.

    • Lorraine says:

      Beata, what do you put in your cocoa? I ask because a person as educated and as Christian as you say you are would get that Dorothy Lee Barnett broke the law many times over. An educated person would also get that had Mr Todd interfered with a criminal investigation he, too, would have broken the law.

  12. Beata Morris says:

    Hi Lorraine, I do not approve of falsifying identity documents and providing false information on passport applications. I myself wouldn’t dare drive without my seat belts on. In defense of Dorothy Lee Barnett I can only say that she did this out of desperation. In her mind she did those things to protect her daughter. I think she deserves to be heard. I think that both parents were at fault here because they didn’t try hard
    enough to communicate with each other. There are always two sides of the story. It is sad to hear voices here that she should get at least 20 years in prison. Where is this vengeance coming from?
    Forgive me, I am from Europe and live in Canada, and in these societies the justice system is more forgiving and more focused on rehabilitation and reconciliation. Harsh punishment is not a solution. It will not help Mr. Todd establish a relationship with his daughter and I would think it is his priority. By the way, I do not follow other kidnapping stories, this one caught my attention a few months ago when I saw the title on Internet “The day I learned my mother was my kidnapper” and then I saw an interview with crying Samantha on You Tube. It was heartbreaking. I truly hope there is a chance for everybody here. I know that Mr. Todd can’t drop the charges but he can help Dorothy. Samantha would appreciate it.

    • Lorraine says:

      Sorry, Beata, you deserve a reality serve. “… In defense of Dorothy Lee Barnett I can only say that she did this out of desperation. …” What the, Beata? You tuned in to a second-rate, one-sided current affairs program for your information, because that is where you picked up “I think she deserves to be heard”. The crying daughter got paid for that trashy interview.

      You don’t get it, do you? I will spell it out for you, Beata. Mr Todd has nothing to do with Ms Barnett’s criminal conduct. But, had the late Mr Geldenhuys not have gone to eternal rest he, too, would have been held accountable for his criminal conduct in this matter.

      Ms Barnett did the crimes. Ms Barnett got caught. Ms Barnett will now rightly do time. In addition, she will not be allowed to re-enter Australia or New Zealand again, and I would imagine banned from re-entering South Africa again as well. Also, it is hard to imagine that she would be granted a US passport again for a long, long time. But, if so, I am not sure too many countries would allow her entry. Passport fraud, fraudulent entry and gaining citizenship through fraudulent conduct doesn’t go down well just about everywhere these days.

  13. Sonya says:

    I have personally reached out to Lee , her family and Samantha to show go will and at least agree to a meeting. I think it would go a very long way with any juror to help Lee. I do not understand why they will not do this? Putting Lee in a box for 20 years helps no one. It hurts her children it hurts her family and it especially hurts Harris’s chances at a meaningful relationship with his daughter. I understand a serious crime (s) has been committed but you cannot give back time. You can only go forward . Obviously jail time is what is happening but 20 years is ridiculous. Samantha can help her Mom but her loyalty to her Mom is not allowing her to see this very clearly. Just another situation where Harris Todd gets crucified again. This is a no win situation.

    • Lorraine says:

      I have nothing but respect for the long-suffering Mr Todd. But, as I see it, Ms Barnett will get one win situation. It is unlikely that once she has completed jail time in South Carolina, New Zealand will request her extradition to face criminal charges for falsely acquiring New Zealand citizenship.

  14. Miranda says:

    I sympathise with the editor who must have gone through a bad experience to leave him mistrustful of women. It explains his belief that others have psychological disorders, and hope that expressing himself via this site is cathartic. As a psychology graduate, I’m interested in life experiences although not a fan of counselling.

    Beata is saying in a very eloquent way what I and many others think. I became interested as my children’s father made me feel I was going mad at divorce, saying something then denying it, using dirty tactics when I wanted to move 200 miles to my family home by threatening sole custody, revenge as he couldn’t cope with two children and had them visit separately which damaged them emotionally. Lee broke the law to avoid this situation and her children have grown up confident and strong.

    People on here seem to forget Lee has a younger child who wasn’t quite 18 when he lost his father to cancer and a month later his mum arrested thanks to the ‘friends’ from South Africa who Lee helped to emigrate and settle in as her neighbours in Australia. There was a news report that these people contacted Todd direct, who rather than jumping straight on a plane as many would have, reported it to the USA Court who took 2 years to get to the stage of arresting Lee. That seems very odd.

    However, I don’t think the Yale-educated father’s family are doing him any favours for reconciliation with his daughter by stating that they hope Lee rots in hell and gets the longest sentence possible.

    • Lorraine says:

      You can think whatever you like, Miranda. Reality is the law is the law, and Ms Barnett broke the law, in fact many times over and, in addition, broke the laws in many countries. Rational thinking people understand that had Mr Todd jumped straight on a plane to attempt re-unification with his daughter, he would have interfered with a criminal investigation and he, too, would have broken the law.

      Can’t work out why it took two years to get to the stage of arresting Ms Barnett? Allow me, Miranda. US and Australian law enforcement agencies had to trace Ms Barnett’s just about every movement from when she fled the Isle of Palms. They had to be thorough, and they did an excellent job in painstakingly tracking and verifying her movements across the globe.

      What you seem not to grasp, Miranda, is that Ms Barnett has always prioritised her children’s needs lower than her own. A psychology graduate should be across this. Ms Barnett is responsible for her children’s situations, not Mr Todd, not Mr Todd’s family and not friends from South Africa.

      Her children’s situation is that they are living in Australia on false New Zealand citizenship. Ms Barnett’s son has South African and false New Zealand citizenships. Ms Todd is a US citizen, with false South African and false New Zealand citizenships. It isn’t their fault. But, it is their mother’s fault.

      You see, Miranda, the Geldenhuys family ended up in New Zealand and then Australia, not because Ms Barnett was fleeing Mr Todd or law enforcement agencies. It was because the Geldenhuys wanted to leave the ugly political situation in South Africa. It is an easy route into Australia via New Zealand citizenship. Ms Barnett is very calculating, cunning and very entitled. She was confident she would never be caught, so confident of avoiding detection that she even took the children on a holiday to Thailand and then back to South Africa to visit her ex-husband before he passed away.

      Ms Barnett never considered her now-adult children’s predicament of her being extradited back to the US some day and her children living elsewhere. Or, her children having been given university spots available for Australian citizens, permanent Australian residents and New Zealand citizens permanently residing in Australia. They should now be required to pay international rates. For the rest of Ms Barnett’s life, there is every likelihood that her children will not live in the same country as their mother, that is unless the children decide to live in South Carolina.

      On the surface, Ms Barnett’s children may appear strong and confident. But are they or will that always be the case?

  15. Beata Morris says:

    Hi Miranda, it’s good to hear your voice. I hope your children are safe and happy. Thank you for expressing your views and sharing your experiences. I can only imagine what you went through. Sharing our opinion via this particular site is not easy because there seems to be a lot of hatred and vengeance and the majority of the individuals here just want Dorothy Barnett to be punished severely. This is their main agenda. I do appreciate Sonya’s comment that it is time to move forward and focus on Samantha’s well-being. Samantha will not be happy and most likely will not establish a relationship with her Yale- educated father for as long as her mother is in prison. Yes, Dorothy Barnett broke the law but she did it believing that she was saving her baby from an abusive Yale – educated father. It is very easy to find the picture of 11- month old Samantha on Internet, with bruises on her forehead, nose and lips; the picture was taken as soon as Dorothy picked up her daughter from Todd’s house. What would any good mother do? Protect her baby! Dorothy Barnett chose to break the law because she did not believe there was any other way. She lost her faith in the justice system.
    As you noticed, the Editor diagnosed me with a psychological disorder, which sounds just like the Yale- educated father, who diagnosed Dorothy with a bipolar disorder. Also, I noticed that the Editor has a personal vendetta with Dorothy Barnett by emphasizing that she is a college dropout (he talks about her as if she were
    a piece of trash). So I wonder if the Editor is Harris Todd himself, or at least Harris Todd sits next to him and tells him what to write. When it comes to diagnosing people with mental disorders, it looks to me that Harris Todd was mentally unstable; first he insisted that his wife had an abortion and later he decided that he loved his child. Whether the Editor is Harris Todd or not , I am pretty sure that he reads this site on a daily basis. So I would like to send a message to the Yale- educated father; Mr. Todd, Ms. Barnett – the loving mother of two children is in prison because of you (yes, you were contacted by the so-called friends of Dorothy who gave an information about her whereabouts in exchange for a reward, this information is available on Internet). If you truly love your daughter, you have to reach out and help her mom. Do not let her mother “rot in prison” as your family put it.
    Miranda, if you would like to talk to me, you can find me on Facebook under Beata Morris. The Editor already checked me out.

    • Lorraine says:

      Beata, what I suggest you should do is to offer your extensive expertise and wisdom to the defense team. But, if you put forward the drivel that you post on this site, then I reckon they, too, will be wondering about those two university degrees you reckon you have tucked under your belt.

      • Beata Morris says:

        Lorraine, this is my last post, I promise.
        You are spiteful. Don’t dig too much into Samantha and Reece’s immigration status in Australia and New Zealand. It is none of your business. It looks like you want go after them, too.

      • underwatch says:

        Beata, it sounds like you are finally acknowledging that Loraine is correct in her views on this case. As you and Dorothy’s friends and supporters are starting to discover, it is impossible to defend what she did. During, a jury trial if you get an intelligent and witty personality like Lorraine on the jury, Dorothy will not have a chance. You speak about the justice system focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment for Dorothy. Since her arrest, Dorothy has done nothing to indicate that she can ever be rehabilitated.

        In the beginning, I read your posts and thought you were either ignorant in your views on parental kidnapping cases or a friend of Dorothy and wanted to support her. In monitoring these cases over the last 20 years, despite what the kidnapper’s friends and supporters may think the cases are all very similar. So far, I have never seen a case where a defendant truly exhausted all of her legal remedies before she committed this crime. There were always other choices. Yet defendants like Dorothy Lee Barnett rarely consider showing any remorse, even when facing 20 years in prison. We’ve seen posts on this website from Cliff, Bruce, Reece, possibly Dorothy’s mother and I cannot recollect any of you suggesting any solutions to de-escsalate the situation and the recommendation that Samantha start the reunification therapy process with her father.

        I hope this will not be your final post. I have personally enjoyed reading Lorraine’s comments to you. And through all of this discussion, I believe that everyone viewing this website gets more informed about this parental kidnapping crime and the plight if it’s victims like Savanna and Harris.

      • sonya says:

        STOP the hatefulness. This is suppose to be a constructive conversation. Opinions are great but that is all they are. I suggest those folks actively involved with the trial read the original transcripts. Perhaps that would educate you on truths and not so much hear say. Just because something is posted on the Internet does not make it TRUE. As for Harris being the editor , oh boy that’s really far fetched. His command of the English language is so far superior to anything I have read on here it’s absurd. ( no offense anyone. It’s just fact).
        Lee attended Auburn University a very prestigious college. You must be the cream of the crop to be admitted to this school.
        I care very much for Lee and her family and also for Harris. They were a big part of my past. I want the future to have promise and healing . We can play cheerleader to either side but the federal law is what will dictate. Harris has little to do with the out come.
        Both Lee and Harris have health issues. The clock is ticking . Instead of battling out things that are completely out of our hands … Let’s add suggestions that might help .
        Harris wants a relationship with his daughter
        Lee wants to get out of jail with as minimum sentence as possible.
        Samantha needs understanding and closure on this mess so that she can go forward without the weight of the World on her shoulders. Both families need this to be over so that they may move forward .
        As for abuse . IT NEVER HAPPENED.

      • underwatch says:


        I would hope that Samantha will have gotten some therapy. I would also hope that the Barnett Family has considered encouraging Samantha to see a family reunification therapist.

      • Lorraine says:

        Beata, I am bruised. This said, when I think of “a few sandwiches short of a picnic”, for some odd reason I keep hearing your name.

        Ms Barnett’s children taking up higher education places allocated for Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizenships permanently residing in Australia is very much my business and the business of all those competing for such places, as is knowing whether monies received for the Today Tonight interview was declared to the Australian Taxation Office as taxable income, as is knowing whether Ms Barnett received any other government benefits fraudulently gained through false entry during her time in my country. My country encourages the reporting of fraudulent conduct. My country also does not appreciate the untruthful completion of entry paperwork and, as you are discovering, dealt with Ms Barnett accordingly.

      • Miranda says:

        Sonya, there is so much hate and bitterness on here, the editor puts it down to ‘wit’ but much is hurtful for those it’s written about. There’s a fine line between wit and bullying. Breakdown of relationships is emotive but children make it more so. I was in a similar situation to Lee, husband utterly charming but insufferably controlling behind closed doors. Most everyone Lee knows supports her to the hilt which is testament to the lovely person she comes across as. I wish I’d had the courage to flee to Australia where I’d lived previously.

        Point taken re the English on here, after training in litigation (gave up as too honest to defend the guilty), I produce materials for university academics to teach their students. I sincerely hope there is a good outcome to this case, but the ball is fully in the father’s court (excuse pun) to influence Lee’s release rather than push for a long sentence. As you know both parties so well, I hope you can help them towards this.

        Lorraine, I personally wouldn’t like you on my jury as you appear condescending and judgemental. You obviously knew Lee but if so, your comments to her son and his young friends were harsh when they were supporting Lee on here. I don’t know why you think Samantha would avoid paying tax on the TV programme fee, she is probably having to sell their family home along with university studies, which I’m sure she will repay at some stage as the Aussie dollar seems to loom large on your horizon. As a professional medic, she will repay society many times over by caring for others.

        Beata, it was nice to meet you on here. I didn’t consider anything you wrote as drivel or even slightly insane! You voiced what I was thinking which was why I wrote on here, I’m usually a lurker not a participant. I hope to meet you on Facebook where I use my legal name not my childhood name as here. I too won’t write on here again where it ends up as personal digs rather than constructive comment.

      • underwatch says:


        You wrote this:

        I sincerely hope there is a good outcome to this case, but the ball is fully in the father’s court (excuse pun) to influence Lee’s release rather than push for a long sentence.

        I would say that you are the bully here. Why would you say that the ball is in the father’s court? That is not true. The ball is in Lee, Samantha, the Barnett family and her friend’s court. Don’t you think Lee can plead guilty at any time to avoid a trial? The problem is that she will not do that. She wants a trial. And don’t you think if she takes it to trial and loses, then the punishment should fit the crime – 20 years in a Federal Prison.

        The Today Tonight TV show, Mal Brough — these were all attempts to bully the U.S. Department of Justice into not extraditing Lee. I am going to assume Sonja is a member of the Barnett Family. She is saying no abuse occurred. Yet Beata, you and others continue to disparage Harris Todd.

        I wish I’d had the courage to flee to Australia where I’d lived previously.

        Miranda, I don’t believe you here. Are you really saying that you should have kidnapped your children? You would risk going to prison?

      • Sonya says:

        I am not apart of the Barnett family but I care about them very much.
        I know Lee and Harris well. I grew up with Lee. What she did is horrible. I see both sides because I was in the middle of it .
        I try to state facts and correct people who give opinion that are off base due to lack of knowledge .
        There is no justice for this crime. As I have stated before we can only go forward and look for a peaceful solution. Harris Todd never abused anybody . He loved and loves his child unconditionally. Lee has the opportunity to come clean and start over yet I feel like it’s dejavue . She was stressed out of her mind during the divorce , pregnancy and trail. Who wouldn’t be??? She made some very poor choices. It’s the perfect defense because it’s the truth. But to accuse Harris of abuse is just plain despicable. A long prison term helps no one. I understand there must be consequences but lefts try to find some compromise here. It’s not just Lee who gets hurt with a long prison term . Its everyone involved. Most especially Samantha ….let’s all take a breath and think of the big picture.

      • underwatch says:

        *She was stressed out of her mind during the divorce , pregnancy and trail. Who wouldn’t be??? She made some very poor choices. It’s the perfect defense because it’s the truth.

        Sonya, the perfect defense you suggest sounds like some sort of temporary insanity defense. Yet after she made her poor choice and kidnapped her 2 year old child, she remarried, had another child and became a proclaimed “amazing” mom. She had 20 years to come clean and start over including the last year while she was in jail. Yet, she hasn’t. So she is opting for the abuse excuse defense. And for potential witnesses like yourself, you are a friend of Lees and will have to state at trial that you didn’t see any abuse. And for the passport fraud charges, it would be difficult to ever allow any defendant a free pass on those.

        What I never understand with these underground moms is that only in a few cases do they recant their allegations. They rarely admit to being guilty and ask the court and the father of her child and his family for forgiveness. They do not do everything possible to ensure that the kidnapped child is reunified with their biological parent.

        *A long prison term helps no one.

        I believe this relates to the issue of the purpose of a criminal justice system to punish or rehabilitate. I don’t see by Lee’s past or current actions that it is possible to rehabilitate her. She faces 20 years in prison and yet she doesn’t change her opinion about her child’s biological father. She continues to engage in parental alienation.

        So if Lee ends up taking her case to trial, and is found guilty, then an advocate for those Against International Family Abduction — I would like to see the U.S. Criminal Justice System “punish” or sentence Lee to 20 years in prison to “deter others from committing this crime”.

        To make this family unit whole again and so that everyone can move along with their lives, it’s time for Dorothy Lee Barnett to come clean and start over. That’s what she should have done 20 years ago. It’s up for the Barnett Family and her friends to put pressure on Lee to make this happen. Otherwise, it will be left up to Samantha/Savanna possibly for the first time in her young life to stand up to her mother.

      • Lorraine says:

        Today Tonight:
        Clan Barnett were lucky to get their story up and out there before that second-rate current affairs program – known for its bias and twisting of the facts when presenting their stories – got axed the following week due to the program’s overall poor viewing ratings. We live in times where there is choice, and people no longer have to suffer such inane drivel as presented by that now-axed television program. The television station would still be lurking somewhere in the shadows, because it was exclusive coverage that was purchased. This is why there was an Australian television crew accompanying the daughter to the bond hearing. They will be back for the trial.

        Mal Brough:
        He has a history of “big mouth” syndrome. His utterances in support of non-Australian citizen and illegal Australian resident Ms Barnett kinda put Brough back in the dunce’s corner where he spends a bit of time. My money is on Brough having got caught on-the-spot by one of his financially-generous political party donors who just happened to be one of Ms Barnett’s Sunshine Coast buddies. What is interesting is that George didn’t hear the matter, the Justice Minister did. There was no way that Ms Barnett was not being extradited back to the US. The timing was also unfortunate for her in that, not long before the decision to extradite was handed down, a wanted Australian person was apprehended in the US, and Australia was requesting his extradition back to Australia.

        The bullies, the baddies, those who have seen it all before and cannot be fooled:
        Underwatch refers to the pattern of perpetrator behaviour that never changes. Their lies just keep flowing, even after their accusations have been evidenced as untruthful and are nothing other than an attempt to pervert the course of justice. Then, their support bases, do they think they are forces to be reckoned with! There is always a pattern of behaviour with their posts. Their posts are consistently in the style of guns blazing insults, their superior education qualifications and their worldly and superior knowledge. It doesn’t take long to work out that, more often than not, they are mentally and emotionally wounded people not able to heal or healthily move forward in their lives. Once challenged and caught out, out comes the “bully” word, in the hope that teeth will chatter and knees will shake in fear and trembling.

        Before Dorothy Lee Barnett, there were …
        two other high-profile similar cases of international child abduction before our Dot got caught – Melinda Thompson and Laura Garrett. In fact, Ms Garrett lived so close to Ms Barnett that she could have called out “can you pass the salt, Dot?” and Dot could have obliged. These perpetrators made similar accusations and told similar appalling lies. It cost the Australian tax payer a squillion in court hearing costs for those two child nappers. Their support bases, more often than not, were those who could not separate or move forward from their own past baggage. Or, they were just gullible people who probably end up buying dodgy vacuum cleaner after dodgy used car from some-one who wants to sell them the deal of the century.

    • unbiased says:

      Beata and Miranda – I would like to correct you on a few assumptions that you have stated as apparent fact.

      Harris Todd would not be the first man to (apparently) at first not want a child and after the birth realize that it is in fact the greatest gift we could ever be given and love his child unconditionally, it is not as uncommon as you would think but you believe that makes him some sort of monster?

      I note that you have referred to an alleged reward paid – that was pure speculation on the part of Bruce Michell without proof (proof was requested from him on many occasions and is not forthcoming as he simply made the reward up as he made up many other dubious “facts”) – in fact there is some speculation about the extent of the relationship between Bruce Michell and Alex/Lee.

      Mal Brough – a local MP – please note that he is Bruce Michells local MP and Alex/Lee did not live in his constituency – publicly said that he would do everything in his power to ensure that she would not be extradited. You would have to ask on what grounds besides the rantings of Bruce as Mal had no legal reason for his stance other than the coaxing of Bruce – Mal has not publicly mentioned this again but he should be taken to task about why he would publicly support someone who fraudulently entered Australia . Is it not sad that instead of trying to rationally do what was in the best interest of the children that Alex/Lee’s friends on the coast chose to give the children false hope and created so much bitterness that it was impossible for Harris to meet with his daughter.

      Did you ever stop to consider that the friends that reported this had the interest of Savanna at heart and did not believe that any parent has the right to alienate a child. It was not about Alex/Lee but about Savanna so the reports on what a “fantastic” friend she was pales in comparison to the crimes she committed. This is not only a moral dilemma but also a legal one and as such the friends have, in my opinion, done the correct thing however your own morals would dictate how you would deal with a situation like that.

      If Harris had come to Australia after he found out about his daughters whereabouts how would you suggest he then presented those facts to his daughter? Do you believe that Alex/Lee would have been open to a reunification process – absolutely not!
      Let us not also forget that this was a Federal case and Harris Todd was bound by the law to report information to the FBI as it became known to him.

      Let’s be clear if you commit a crime you unfortunately pay the price – Thank goodness the courts will look at the facts when they are presented with this case and emotions do not become part of the end result.
      I have no interest in your speculation on this case or in your outrage at how the criminal is treated but I do note that Harris Todd is not in jail today so the law will prevail.
      Let us all wait until this goes to trial and accept the verdict that comes from the Judicial system whether we agree with it or not.

  16. Concerned says:

    Lorraine, It appears that Beata Morris is an authority on this case, and no doubt, she will be giving evidence at Barnett’s trial. She is apparently an expert witness who will greatly add value, after all, she has been involved since she saw the Australian TV program.

  17. Concerned says:

    Miranda, I cannot understand your reason for stating the father has a role to play in reducing the sentence that Dorothy may receive, should she be found guilty of these offences. In Australia, a defendant may receive a reduced sentence if that offender demonstrates remorse and contrition. An early ‘guilty’ plea is often considered to verify contrition, as this saves the State the cost of a lengthy trial. Furthermore, witnesses have very little impact upon the length of sentence as that is the role of the judge who heard all of the evidence and observed the demeanour of the offender.

    I would hope that Dorothy, her family and supporters gain an understanding to her true position and take action that may see her in a more favourable light should she be found guilty of any offence.

    As you have stated that you have previously lived in Australia, no doubt, you would have been required to obtain a visa to enter this country and you were required to adhere to the visa obligations throughout your stay. Accordingly, you would not have been entitled to the benefits, payments and rights that are afforded to Australian citizens. Sadly, Dorothy used false documentation to enter Australia. As she has been extradited from Australia, she will never be able to return.

    Dorothy spent 11 months in an Australian jail, as she tried to have her extradition to the USA blocked, after initially agreeing to it. It appears she relied on bad advice to her detriment. I deem this to be an unnecessary expense for Australian taxpayers, as she had moved to Australia purporting to be a bona fide New Zealand citizen, which she knew was false. She had scant regard for Australian laws, and accessed benefits, payments and rights that were not her entitlement.

  18. I think that at this point Savana really needs some time for herself. Because of the severed ties to her actual father, which were caused by the mother’s selfish act, she really needs time to absorb what’s going on. She shouldn’t contact her mother until she tells her the truth.
    And Miranda Harris Todd has nothing at all to do with the sentencing. Since Dorothy’s case is a federal case Harris can’t reduce or drop the charges. It’s the federal investigators that decide whether or not the charges can stand up in court.

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