While We’re On the Subject

Woman Found Dead at Imperial Beach Sober Living Facility

San Diego County Sheriff homicide detectives are investigating the suspicious death of a woman in an Imperial Beach adult sober living facility.

Deputies and paramedics responded to a 911 call about 8 a.m. Sunday at the multi-family residence in the 1100 block of Granger Street, said Lt. Dennis Brugos of the Sheriff’s Department. The woman, who had suffered a traumatic injury or injuries, was found in an upstairs bedroom and pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics, he said.

The woman’s identity was not released pending notification of next of kin by the Medical Examiner’s office.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321 or after hours at (858) 565-5200, or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS (8477).

  • SoberPJ

    The thing that would stop AA cold is a study that reveals a direct causation correlation between 12 Step indoctrination and crimes like this. I know about the relapse, and binge and re-arrest studies. What about violence studies? The prisons have got to be full of people that have been through AA and it didn't make a bit of difference.

  • eddy

    We need to keep a log posting of murders in AA , easily acessible for the general public.

  • jhtepper

    Murders happen everywhere as does recidivism in general. The reason I keep posting things about Lindsay Lohan (besides the circus nature of the whole thing) is that the popular conscience is being taught that the State of California, The Betty Ford Clinic and AA are all in the same boat. The BFC and AA have the tacit approval of the state correctional institution and are, in essence, quasi-governmental entities. This is not lost on society. Leaving aside all the efficacy studies pro and con, citizens need to be educated that AA is NOT part of any governmental body. If the more activist members of ST want to make inroads it is my belief that this is where to start. The public must be made aware that EVERY court in the US has held that AA is quasi-religious. They also need to made aware that AA is not made up of professionals, is not regulated in any way, and DOES NOT speak for any governmental body. AA and governments is like a dysfunctional marriage that is held together for the sake of the children who only end up being badly damaged by the parents' "sacrifice".

  • SoberPJ

    http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/east_king/bel/news/95

    http://www.seattlepi.com/sound/429448_sound106327

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/356925_kent29.html

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/12/20/1982167/man

    http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In%20

    These were only some of the results of searches on "Murder AND AA" . There are other search combinations that will probably yield lots, lots more. I stopped after finding just these few. Sometimes, local news sites aren't fully indexed by Google, so there stories won't show up in Google.

    Now, …. What if 1 in 5 murders in this country involved XA members?

    XA members seem to like fire more than the general population of killers. With the top link here, that is two AA-related murders that involved fire, that WE now know of. Are there more?

    What if 8 in 10 of the most gruesome and ruthless murders involved XA members? Would THAT get someone's attention? The stories are out there, they just need to be collected and counted. This would be a great group project or a junior researcher project.

  • eddy

    yes, i agree jhtepper. But it is important we have a murder file for those who attend this board, it is easliy accessible, to the reader. It can be a catch all of the links posted to news articles that can be titled "beware 12 steps are not safe"

    Stanton Peele has addressed that issue of non professionals employed in the treatment industry as low paid workers whose only qualifications is that they are involved in a twelve step program.

    One does not expect to go to a sober living and be murdered., but then again , given the nature of many of those who are criminally bent that are being court ordered to attend step programs, such an outcome is very plausible. Along with muggings, rape, stabbings , shootings , robbery etc.

  • SoberPJ

    This is not rocket science -

    In AA there is a percentage of attendees that are violent offenders.

    A specific percentage of violent offenders re-offend

    Ergo, if you are in meetings with violent offenders you are in the presence of a potential re-offender and you have no way of knowing if you will be the next victim.

    If you aren't in the presence of an offender your probability of being the victim drops dramatically.

    Look, if you are in AA, CA, MA or NA you are in the presence of offenders of all types. Fact of life. They are sitting all around you in meetings. If you stay sober for 30 years in the rooms and only get taken for a few bucks, you are extremely lucky. Others won't be so lucky. It really is a wonder more bad shit doesn't happen. But then again, no one really knows exactly how much bad shit happens in the XA ecosystem today.

    I've said it many times. Anyone can take a shower and put on clean clothes and go sit in a meeting for 1- 1.5 hours, talk for 3 minutes if asked, then leave. You have no idea what people did before they got there or what they go do after. It could be anything and that includes hacking a family to death and burning their house down, because that is exactly WHAT has happened before. Anyone that says XA in its entirety is a safe place is talking out their ass. You go there and take your chances in many, many ways.

  • Martha

    AA is not directly to blame for crimes committed by an AA member. What the general public does not yet know is about the high numbers of potentially re offending felons who are attending 12 step meetings. Related to this I wonder if anyone here knows if local communities where sober houses exist are aware of the sober house in their neighborhood. We know there is little if any regulation of them and God knows how many informal ones are operated by a sponsor who collects sponsees and lets them live in their house.

  • SoberPJ

    The arguments are not related. Handguns are tools, they teach nothing that can affect the psyche. If there is a correlation between AA teachings and violent offender behavior, it should be found out NOW. If the powerless concept actually breaks down an individuals will to attempt to control themselves, we have a huge societal problem. If we know that AA treatment results in higher rates of binge drinking, re-arrests and severity of relapse, why wouldn't the powerless concept affect violent offenders behavior as well? I'll bet they correlate on some level. People walking around trying to control their behavior with an imaginary higher power can't be as successful at controlling their behavior as people that are actually taught to recognize how their thinking and behavior are linked and what specifically to do to control their behavior. If the stats bear it out, I will gladly blame AA for teaching the wrong thing and affecting the mind in a way that leads to errant behavior in some individuals. The industry has been at this for 75 years, I can't be the first one to bring this up. There is no way that teaching a violent person they are powerless over their behavior has a positive outcome in all cases. Somebody knows about this.

  • eddy

    Great points SoiberPJ..the powerless concept and the need to re offend.r

  • jhtepper

    @soberpj

    All I can say is that I think you are looking at this wrong. Not words to start a fight. Just words to think about.

  • Johnny Crash NYC

    well lets see ….

    a sponsor I had named Steve Condos was murdered over a woman in NA in New York about um 19 years ago

    Robert Chambers in New York gave sobriety a whirl

    Um The girl who killed the guy and dumped the body in the lake in Central park um yeah went to AA

    Craigs list killer's victim was in AA

    thats just a few of the top of my head I have a few more cant remember

  • SoberPJ

    jh… no problem… but, specifically, looking at what wrong?

  • Gunthar2000

    I think it makes sense to recognize the fact that there are more violent criminals within the AA community than in the general public.

  • http://stop13stepinaa@wordpress.com massiveattack

    I agree with G 2000, you can not compare a group of regular citizens to a group of AA members. First of all we all have a problem with alcohol. We all come in with a relative low self esteem, some worse then others. And now ( the last 15 years courts sending DUI's in droves and criminals to AA. ) WHoever says that on this blog or at an AA service meeting is absolutely insane. I have sat in too many General Serive meetings where 80 % of those willing to speak say, "we don't have a problem in AA with Safety Ma"

    as we were collecting data on rape, victims coming forward, recurring horrid 13 step, and the murders that began with Kristine Cass and her 13 year old daughter, brutally murdered and then ST found more, which were posted here, then Tract White.

    I have an idea …. what we can do. Build a site called something like 12 step Recovery advisor like tripadvisor. No opinions there. Just stories in the news. Our own horror stories. A section for reviews on rehabs like tripadvisor or city search. or yelp. Lets barinstorm for the name that best fits ! WE get professionals willing to show their face and credentials to be on the blog.

    more later gotta go.

    I have a none program friend on florida willing to help who is dealing with gnarly NA stuff. SHe is a huge help. I would be willing to manage this one. I think I know enough to do it.

    ANyway, I agree with many here. WE need to post

    all the murders, rapes, frauds, scams in one place , even out the notorious 13 steppers.

    ideas welcome

  • Gunthar2000

    @massiveattack….

    I started a list, but it gave me a headache…

    Anthony Sowell 2009/11/02 http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2009/11/sowells_v

    Betty Wilson and Peggy Lowe 1992/05/22 http://huntsville.about.com/od/huntsvillians/a/wi

    Betty Wilson and Peggy Lowe 2008/05/09 http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2008/03/

    Eugene McCollom 2009/08/01 http://books.google.com/books?id=6F-UaMMzhLkC&amp

    Eugene McCollom 2005/02/09 http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2005/02/09/judge_accepts_manslaughter_plea_in_decapitation_of_e_boston_man?pg=full

    Eugene McCollom 2004/02/19 http://truthinjustice.org/billy-leyden.htm

    Eunice Field 2010/08/09 http://my.ojornal.com/sports-news/update-murder-c

    Eunice Field 2010/08/23 http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&s

    Eunice Field 2010/08/24 http://www.queerty.com/woman-kills-ex-girlfriends

    Hank Skinner 2010/01/28 http://www.texastribune.org/texas-dept-criminal-j

    Herbert Jones 2009/05/20 http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/106558.html

    Jamie Kellam Leston 2010/05/19 http://blog.al.com/live/2010/05/prosecutors_dange

    Jonothan Kieth Niemic 2010/10/21 http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.b

    Louis Ephriam 2010/04/01 http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/6722292/

    Paul Cox 2002/07/17 http://cases.justia.com/us-court-of-appeals/F3/29

    Paul Cox 1994/11/03 http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/03/nyregion/retria

    Paul Cox 1994/06/30 http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/30/nyregion/jurors

    Paul Cox 1994/11/19 http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/19/nyregion/suspec

    Paul Cox 1994/06/07 http://www.nytimes.com/1994/06/07/nyregion/alcoho

    Paul Trainauskas 2010/10/18 http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/10/cop-mu

  • http://stop13stepinaa@wordpress.com massiveattack

    eddy,

    I agree we need to put all of these in one spot, so that they can be easily found.

    Johnny CrashNYC, wow are their articles we can get links to that ever appeared in the news?

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    Doods! This is what the outreach page was made for!

    http://outreach.stinkin-thinkin.com

  • jhtepper

    To me, blaming murder on AA is like blaming murder on handguns.

  • Rick045

    SoberPJ – I wonder how much if any violent behavior has resulted from an AAer telling someone to stop taking psychiatric medication because of the belief that such medication interferes with a person's ability to "get" the program, or simply because such things are seen as a block to true sobriety or serenity.

    Certainly the idea that even the mentally ill can get sober if only they have the capacity to be honest provides an excuse to berate and blame those who are struggling. It isn't hard to imagine how unwarranted advice about medication could stem directly from that same idea.

  • causeandeffect

    The sad thing is that the articles reporting violence are only the tip of the iceberg due to anonymity and "letting go and letting gawd." And for all the newsworthy incidents of violence and abuse, how many are there that aren't newsworthy?

  • Rick045

    causeandeffect – That's a good point. I can't say that I had direct knowledge of any of these more egregious acts that make headlines, but I absolutely got sick of watching the day-to-day abuse and manipulation that is a routine part of life in the rooms. The kind of things that would never be newsworthy. Steppers treat each other like shit constantly, especially newcomers, to the point that it all becomes very routine and acceptable.

  • Johnny Crash NYC

    Rick wrote ….Steppers treat each other like shit constantly, especially newcomers, to the point that it all becomes very routine and acceptable.

    Thats a Bingo ……:)

  • causeandeffect

    I know an old timer woman who has an insidious little game to make herself look good. She says to people, “You’ve been drinking, haven’t you?” If someone hasn’t, they just think it’s kind of weird and annoying. For the most part they just brush it off and don’t mention it to anyone. But if she asks enough people, she’ll invariably find one, and when she does, they admit to it and tell everyone how wise, psychic, mystical she is. Likewise, she’ll say “You’re gonna drink” and the person gets paranoid, wondering what she knows, how she knows it. It eats away at them until they do. So again, she looks wise, psychic and mystical. Just a weird little abuse that can’t be proven but could end up in death. What a guru.

  • Martha

    I would not be surprised to find out the the ersatz little guru is drinking herself.

  • AnnaZed

    Oh my causeandeffect, I wonder if we know the same woman!

    Nah, AA is full of these people and this particular trick is an old one so widely practiced in AA that our very own drive-by AA commenter (JD I think) tossed it out here on the blog just this week. Interestingly, in AA you can absolutely bank on there being someone present who still drinks and lies about it, it's an absolute AA certainty.

  • AnnaZed

    In one of my local groups there was a certified loon named Tony (still around I am sure) who always lead at least one Christmas week meeting and always said to the room that it was an absolute certainly that someone in the room would be drunk and puking on himself by New Years Day. Someone that is, but not him. He would then pause and pass his beady eye over those assembled and (I swear!) I used to actually tremble and and think "does he mean me!" He was very good.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    The really stupid thing about insinuating that someone here on ST is drinking is… so what if someone is? We're not an addiction treatment support group. Not that we don't care on a personal level if someone here is drinking destructively or is actively addicted, but whether or not someone is drinking is irrelevant to the subject of the blog. Being addicted doesn't disqualify anyone from having an opinion here.

    How does being drunk invalidate one's opinion that 12-Step treatment doesn't work?

    The fact that 12 Step treatment has a monopoly on the whole addiction industry makes it inevitable that some people who visit us will 1. be righteously pissed off, and 2. still actively addicted after doing the 12-Step Hokey Pokey for years.

    I think it sucks that so many of us still can't help defending ourselves against the accusations that we're angry, resentful, dishonest, drunk, dry drunk, atheist, etc. — accusations that are really utterly meaningless outside of their bubble of fun-house mirrors.

  • http://www.stinkin-thinkin.com friendthegirl

    I should clarify that what sucks about the fact that we still defend ourselves against these dumb accusations from churchladies like JD is that it shows how very deep and fundamental this stuff is.

  • http://stop13stepinaa@wordpress.com massiveattack

    yea we could take out an ad on the TV like when there is a huge class action suit like the Catholic Church. Imagine That! Sometimes I imagine a skit on Saturday NIght Live about this. Ooo that would be a great way to reach millions wouldn't it..

    FTG ok so we go to that page and send it to Gunthar?

    Regarding people who drink again. Thats what alcoholics do is drink. I think that AA'ers make too much about time. I m sober a long time , But there are plenty old timers who have nothing I want, nor would I want to hang with them either.

    I love a few woman who are in and out right now. They cant stop it semms , but we don't judge them. There are fabulous folks with 2 ,3 years 18 months. I think AA in CALI makes way to big a deal about it. In my new support group I want that part changed.

    Stop the stupid judging "Gee I'm better then you because I'm sober 25 years" kinda of approach. It's ridiculous. Im sick of it too.

    IN fact my buddy alt GSR (General Service Rep) for our home group, had 3 months of sobriety when we were first attacking this crap of Sexual & Financial Predators in Los Angeles. I for sure without her could not have done what we did together. And she and I had a blast laughing in the car together as we went to events. I would have Killed myself doing it alone. Not really, but you get my point. When she moved away, I could feel a huge loss, and I could not continue with the same energy as we did when there were just two of us!

  • causeandeffect

    Oh good lord. Look what I've found at a sobriety website. A whole new way to obsess about drinking, even down to heartbeats since your last drink. How bizarre!

    http://www.cyberrecovery.net/SobrietyCalculator.h

  • Gunthar2000

    @massiveattack…

    If you go to this page… http://outreach.stinkin-thinkin.com/?page_id=11#/
    you'll see categories and sub categories that have been set up for the purpose of developing ideas and putting them into action.

    I'm going to go in there right now and post a subcategory called: Stop 13th Step – The California initiative.

  • BusBozo

    C@E

    Guess the heartbeat thing is something to do instead of thinking. One can sit and count as those little pitter patters add up. One of the guys at a meeting I attended (which was at a sober living house, which he owned and operated), would always start his share with the line "My name is blah, I'm an alcoholic, and I've been sober for 16 years, two months, and 5 days" Of course the time would add up as the weeks progressed, and I am sure he was the force behind the format which called for individuals to state your name, the nature of your "disease", and how long you have been sober. He would mention other meetings that had "lots" of sobriety. and wow some were doctors and lawyers and all kinds of really important people….gee whiz. But then again, he had found the answer to maintain sobriety, "meetings", he would cheerfully announce, are what kept him sober.

  • Johnny Crash N.Y.C

    I'm not ashamed that I drink responsibly i'm an adult and am capable of adult decisions … I do not Drive while intoxicated I do not drink till I fall down I choose to imbibe responibly I'm not a burden on friends family or society I only am guilty of taking the suggestion to do it my way and try some controlled drinking and for that I am greatful … I realize today how for various reason's I was taken advantage of in AA and exploited in one way or the other … deliberatly hurt and ostricised when I had diffgerent opnions or sought to ask intelegent questions about things like where does the money go etc etc … I dont think addiction is a disease I think its a behavior … and behaviors can be changed without snake oil dogma or bolderdash …

    I also post my real nickname and picture because I'm not ashamed …or afraid…

  • Martha

    Just because I choose to to drink does not mean that anybody else should have to abstain. For me it is an accomplishment that makes me feel better and has had positive mental and physical benefits. I accept that others can drink moderately and have a healthy, productive life. I also realize that the reason I used to drink was that it was pleasurable to do so. I enjoyed it. It was not a disease or a flaw in my personality that made me want to drink. It was the enjoyment of the buzz. AA does not talk about that because it does not fit into their disease model. I really doubt that anyone would drink something like gin for the taste. They drink it for the buzz. My pursuit of the buzz got out of hand and I eventually made the choice to stop. I still miss drinking sometimes, but I don't feel guilty about it or feel a need to call someone or attend a meeting. I just remind myself of how much better I am doing without booze at this point in my life. There is no need to make my non drinking as much of an obsession as my drinking was. Drinking is a behavior and people do have the ability to choose to stop.

  • Martha

    Just because I choose not to to drink does not mean that anybody else should have to abstain. For me it is an accomplishment that makes me feel better and has had positive mental and physical benefits. I accept that others can drink moderately and have a healthy, productive life. I also realize that the reason I used to drink was that it was pleasurable to do so. I enjoyed it. It was not a disease or a flaw in my personality that made me want to drink. It was the enjoyment of the buzz. AA does not talk about that because it does not fit into their disease model. I really doubt that anyone would drink something like gin for the taste. They drink it for the buzz. My pursuit of the buzz got out of hand and I eventually made the choice to stop. I still miss drinking sometimes, but I don't feel guilty about it or feel a need to call someone or attend a meeting. I just remind myself of how much better I am doing without booze at this point in my life. There is no need to make my non drinking as much of an obsession as my drinking was. Drinking is a behavior and people do have the ability to choose to stop.

  • AnnaZed

    Johnny, that's your picture? Wow!

  • causeandeffect

    thats to dry out the wet brain. Haha

  • Martha

    I think part of what JD did in accusing one of us of drinking is so it fits his narrative. Now he can go tell his friends that he read on this blog that a frequent contributor had a slip thus proving that rejecting AA will lead us astray. They just cannot deal with the fact that people keep sober and don’t need meetings to do so.

  • Martha

    sorry fo the double post to insert the word “not” in the first sentence.

  • SoberPJ

    I’d get that open brain exposed to the air thing looked at, pronto… unless it’s a hat, then I’d check my fashion sense ..:-)

  • SoberPJ

    Apparently, I need to get my eyes checked and see some kind of tusk dentist… The scrawny legs are all me though…