Good Thursday to you all. Bill arrived home yesterday afternoon, just as I was baking a refrigerator clearing casserole. You know the kind, right? When you have a bunch of stuff in your fridge that needs to be used up before it rots, you think of creative ways to use the stuff. In yesterday’s case, I made an Italian inspired baked pasta dish of sorts.
I boiled half a bag of penne pasta, then cooked the last bit of breakfast sausage and a little bacon, added some peppers and a smidge of onions and garlic, then added tomato sauce and cheese. I mixed all of that stuff together with some basil and oregano, and a little dash of cayenne pepper. Then I threw the mixture into my cast iron pot, sprinkled with cheese, and baked it. It turned out very nicely, and was ready just as Bill was changing his clothes.
Last night, we put a new mattress topper on the bed. I don’t know what got into me last month. I decided I was tired of waking up with a sore back, so I ordered a new foam rubber topper, which I figured would be better than the featherbed we have. It took a lot to decide which one to buy, but after the first night, I can say that my back was not nearly as achy this morning. I also put the featherbed on it, mainly because I don’t have anywhere to put it.
The new topper and featherbed makes the bed very tall. Arran was already having difficulty when the bed was made up with the duvet. Now, it’s impossible for him to jump up there by himself. I ordered him some steps yesterday, although I don’t know how long he’ll get to use them. The vet found another mass on him yesterday. But again… he’s still bright eyed and hungry, so we’ll keep taking care of him. I’m sure the steps will come in handy again eventually.
I also ordered some new lighting for my office and the bedroom, after watching Katie Wenger on Meet the Wengers yesterday. Her daughter has this really cool night light that lights the room up with stars. I never had a night light when I was a child, but my former friend did. I didn’t like them back then, but as an adult I can now see their value. And I like the idea of stars on the ceiling without actually having to use glow in the dark stickers. 😉
Now… what’s today’s title about?
Lately I’ve been getting a lot more blog traffic. Once again, it’s because someone must have shared my post about Amber and Daniel Carter. Most of the traffic is going to those two posts, the first of which happened to come up because I watched a French documentary about the “half-housed” in the United States. The second post in which I mentioned Amber was after someone left me a comment wanting an update. I don’t actually know anything about Amber or Daniel Carter, other than what’s available online. I have no connection with that case. I’m just as curious as everyone else is. Actually, I’m less so, because I’ve long since moved on from that post. People are intrigued by true crime, though.
This isn’t the first time I’ve written a “one hit wonder”. I guess, technically, that doesn’t make me a one hit wonder. 😉 Nine years ago, I wrote a post on my music blog about Richard Carpenter’s daughter, Mindi Carpenter. That post, on my least popular blog, is probably far and away my most popular post, EVER. At this writing, it has well over 122,000 hits. It also has 31 comments, several of which comes from someone who INSISTS that Richard Carpenter and his wife, Mary (who is also his cousin), are closely blood related.
The official story is that Mary Carpenter was adopted, so she and Richard, though legal first cousins, have no blood ties. This person who has commented several times, insists that she was not adopted. I don’t know Richard or Mary, and as they’ve had five healthy children who are now adults, I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business if they’re blood relatives. Richard and Mary maintain that Mary was adopted. As far as I’m concerned, that should be the end of it.
I think the main reason why inbreeding is frowned upon is because of the possibility of birth defects. It’s pretty plain to me that wasn’t an issue with Richard and Mary and their children. So, honestly, who cares? They’ve been married since 1984, so obviously, the marriage works, even if some people think it’s “weird”. I say leave them alone.
The funny thing is, the original post was about Mindi Carpenter, who is a singer. I’m sure a lot of people come to the post wanting to know if Mindi sounds like her Aunt Karen. In my opinion, she really doesn’t. To me, she sounds less like a pop star with an extraordinary voice, and more like someone in musical theater. Some of the comments are about Mindi’s voice, but too many come from someone who seems obsessed with the “truth” about Richard and Mary.
I’ve noticed that post getting so many hits over the years. I wanted to try something a few years ago, when Merrill Osmond’s son, Troy, died unexpectedly. I wrote about him, and noticed my post got a lot of hits. So I wrote a post about what Troy and Mindi had in common. Sure enough… lots of hits. But then I moved my blog, and decided not to move that post… at least not at this point in time. I didn’t move it because I didn’t see the point. I had written it as an experiment. The experiment is over now.
One final post that I notice gets a lot of hits is one I wrote about Karen Carpenter and Christy Henrich. I noticed that Dr. Todd Grande on YouTube did a video about Karen Carpenter. I wondered if maybe he shouldn’t do one about Christy Henrich, since she was a fascinating person who died much too young of anorexia nervosa. Henrich, for those who don’t know, was a very promising gymnast in the 1980s. She missed the Olympic team by the tiniest of margins, and then tragically fell very ill with her eating disorders. Her story is a very sad, cautionary one… and I just thought it would make for a good topic for Dr. Grande to cover. Lots of people hit my blog to read my post about that subject, which kind of proves my theory that it would be interesting and successful. But then, I don’t know… maybe it wouldn’t. I write a lot about eating disorders, and get a lot of hits on my posts about that– and fundie Christians, too.
It always intrigues me to see what people on the Internet want to read. On my travel blog, I get tons of hits on the few posts I’ve written about nude spas. I also get a lot of hits on my posts about the differences I’ve noticed between living in Wiesbaden and Stuttgart (and there are surprisingly many). Some people also arrive wanting to read about living here as a contractor versus someone in the military. I can only offer opinions as an observant spouse with a husband who isn’t reticent about his experiences working with the military in Germany. But people are interested in those posts, too. They don’t care about my experiences on day trips or vacations. 😉 I think that’s a shame, since Bill and I have had some pretty amazing experiences.
Besides my posts on Amber Carter, this blog also gets a lot of hits on my posts about domestic discipline and corporal punishment, as well as book reviews about sex related subjects. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised… What I find interesting, most other people don’t! Story of my life!
Well… anyway, I just think it’s interesting. Obviously, people come here for the subject matter, not the writing. Maybe I should relax and stop editing as much as I do, hours or days after I post.
Oh… and I also notice where people come from. I have a surprising number of European readers, although I also get hits from the States. It always intrigues me when someone hits from a place I used to live… especially when they come from the town where I was raised from the age of eight. The other places, I didn’t live in long enough to make that much of a difference. But I still have lots of friends in Gloucester, Virginia, even if I have long since moved on from there, and so have my parents.
I didn’t get around to practicing guitar yesterday, so I think I’ll sign off now and play my instrument… maybe I’ll even do a music video. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, so perhaps I should honor my Celtic heritage. We shall see.
I wasn’t going to share the featured photo, until I realized that it was dated December 24, 2021, which was a week before Betty White died… Eerie! I’d say that kind of sums up a lot of 2022.
Wow… here we are again at Friday! And it’s the very last Friday of 2022, too. Every year, I’m left amazed anew, when I realize how quickly time passes. The older I get, the faster it seems to go. As I’m sitting here thinking about what I would like to write about today, I decided to look at what I wrote about last year. I see that on December 30, 2021, I wrote one of my most popular blog posts– one I wrote about a 2008 French documentary titled America’s Broken Dream. For some reason, a lot of people have hit that post since I wrote it a year ago. I’ve even gotten some comments from people who aren’t regular readers. A couple of people also asked me to update the post with new information, which I haven’t really done.
I don’t really have any insider information about the documentary, or the people who were featured in it, including Amber and Daniel Carter, a young couple with two small children who seemed to be climbing out of poverty when Daniel got arrested for killing his neighbor. When I wrote that post, I was just inspired by my immediate thoughts, after randomly stumbling on the documentary while messing around on YouTube. A lot of people are still intrigued by America’s Broken Dream, but I’ve pretty much moved on, for now. I will keep allowing comments until the comments close automatically, but I don’t have anything to add at this point. Maybe sometime in the future, I’ll be compelled to read more about Amber and Daniel Carter, and find out more about what became of them. They definitely have a story, and people are very interested. But, as I’ve unfortunately discovered, sometimes writing about true crime can lead to unpleasant interactions with people. I’d like to minimize those, if I can.
In August of this year, I decided to disable the Facebook page I used to run for this blog. I had been wanting to do it for awhile, but held off because I knew some readers used it to follow me. It also provided a way for people to contact me privately. I had some concerns about the page, though, because it was so public and difficult to monitor. I thought about circumventing that problem by converting the page into a group, but decided I didn’t want to do that, either. I already run two Facebook groups and I’ve mostly found the experience to be rather thankless and unsatisfying. If I’m honest, I think I’d like to discontinue my wine group, because half the time, it leads to drama and negative interactions with strangers who don’t appreciate what I do. The page was less work to administrate, but it was also a lot less secure. I knew the former tenant from our last home was watching it clandestinely, as a way of monitoring my activities. I don’t worry about her anymore, as the issue that prompted her to surveil me is now resolved… and also, I discovered that, for some reason, she decided to end her life.
So the former tenant stopped being an issue of concern… but then in August, I got a very irate private message from a family member of a true crime victim I had originally written about in 2014. The post was based on newspaper articles from several papers, and comments from a family member who messaged me when I originally wrote about it, in 2014. The irate correspondent apparently saw the repost and didn’t notice the original date of the article, which had been up for YEARS, and actually got little traffic. This person decided to send me a nastygram through the Facebook page, complete with legal threats. For the record, I was not at all worried about her threats. I use Statcounter, which allows me to see how long someone spends on my blog. I could see (and I documented) that she spent about two minutes, missed a lot of details, and was apparently unaware of a number of logistical issues that would have made her legal threats pretty hard to carry out. And if she was really that upset about the content of that post, she would have noticed and contacted me much sooner than eight years after I wrote it.
Nevertheless, even though I was pretty pissed off by her message and did not have to comply with her demands, I decided that the blog post she was upset about wasn’t that important, as no one but her and her associates were even reading it. So I’ve made it private, for now. I also blocked her on Facebook. Then I dismantled the Facebook page for this blog, because I’m not here to take abuse from random people who are upset by my opinions and just want to privately send me offensive comments. My mental health matters too, people. I am a real person, and I deserve to be addressed with basic respect, like anyone does. I will happily hear complaints from people, but I expect to be approached with civility. Those who can’t do that are not welcome here, and will be banned.
Recently, I revisited the post I wrote about that incident. It occurred to me that the poster must have also tried to find the now defunct “contact form page”, which I also disabled for similar reasons. I only got one or two rude responses on that page, but I found that the contact page was problematic because people were leaving comments on posts without identifying them. There were times when I literally didn’t know what they were writing about. If they had simply responded to the post in question, it would have been more useful to everyone.
The irate woman who wrote to me a few months ago had hastily identified which post had gotten her so rattled (after eight years of it being online… REALLY?). She must have been looking for the contact form, found my explanatory post about why I no longer have one, and found the Facebook page instead. Well, she can take a bow, because her abusive rant caused me to permanently ax the Facebook page, too. I can’t say I miss it, or the weird messages it used to attract from everyone from unhinged anti-vaxxers to obnoxious Trump supporters. I would always see them right after I woke up, which is not a pleasant way to start the day. Now, if you want to address something I’ve written, you can do it publicly, so everyone can see your comments and share in the response.
Like I said, I’m not here to take abuse from random people. I have a right to express my opinions, as long as they aren’t defamatory, malicious, or deliberately presenting false information as the truth. And this is my space– which I pay for– so I will run it the way I wish. I think of my blog space in the same way most of you would govern your own homes. You wouldn’t put up with abuse from a guest in your home. I don’t put up with it on my blog. This person also wrote, with evident disgust, that I just do this “for the money”, which really made me laugh. I don’t make money from doing this. I have made some ad revenue, but it’s not even enough to pay for the subscription to WordPress. So, if anyone ever does want to try to sue me to get some of the “big bucks” I supposedly make from sharing my opinions, they’re gonna be disappointed on MANY levels. Below is what I’ve made on WordPress so far… since I started hosting ads in July 2021.
True crime posts do generate a lot of interest, though. I find crime interesting to write about, as they usually involve ordinary people who do extraordinary things. When I use the word “extraordinary”, I mean “out of the ordinary” or “unusual”. I’m not using that word in the normally positive way. Sometimes, I notice people repeatedly hitting posts I’ve written about, and it’s a little creepy. Lately, I’ve noticed my posts about Frederick West Greene are getting a lot of hits. I’m glad I don’t live in the United States– for many reasons, really, but especially because it creeps me out that he’s no longer in prison (as far as I know).
My post about Betty White and misattributing quotes to her was also a big winner this year. I had written about her in late December 2021, not knowing that she would die on New Year’s Eve. A few days later, I wrote a post about how people were “honoring” her by sharing a funny comment that she never made. That post consistently gets hits and the odd share, although no one has commented on it yet. I think it’s one of my better ones, even though I’ve gotten some shit from people for having issues with misattributed quotes, too. One guy got so angry about a post I wrote that he blocked me on Facebook and complained to all his friends, who later hit the post repeatedly and generated some AdShare pennies. Thanks, guys.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a blogger, it’s that people aren’t always going to like what you do. But if all I ever did was write things about hearts and flowers, this blog would be very boring, both for me as a writer, and for you as a reader. Besides, that’s just really not me. I’m not a hearts and flowers kind of person. I think if I were that kind of person, I would probably be a lot more miserable than I actually am. Because it wouldn’t be natural for me to be so cheery and positive. It’s not in my DNA. Seriously… read some of my posts, and you know I come from a long line of the miserable… but talented. We’ve got lots of funny, talented, artistic people in my family. Lots of attractive people, too. Too bad I didn’t get the gene for being thin and athletic. SIGH.
2022 has been interesting. I would say it hasn’t been as bad as last year. At least most of the stupid pandemic restrictions went away, although I haven’t been traveling more or even going out much, hence my low earnings on the travel blog. That’s mostly because of our dog, Arran, who has cancer and will likely be leaving us sometime in the new year. I am trying to prepare for his exit, because I know it will hurt. But I also know that once he’s gone, there will be new opportunities… for travel, for making new human friends (which often happens when one adopts a pet), for new canine teachers, and for new overall wisdom. Death is just something that simply happens to everyone, at some point. It hurts, but it’s a necessary part of life. Arran has taught us a lot, and continues to teach us everyday. I think one of the best lessons I’ve learned from him was reiterated yesterday, when Bill came home from work. You can see, he taught Noyzi, too… And I think he’ll tell us when he’s done teaching and ready to move on to the next place in the universe.
Well, it’s probably time I finished this post and got on with the day. Got to practice guitar, walk the dogs, and work on reading my next book, so I can review it for the interested. Maybe I’ll even record another song. An old high school friend heard a Pat Benatar cover I did the other day… a B.B. King from her one “blues” album, True Love, which she released in 1991. It hasn’t gotten many hits yet, but she said I have a knack for the blues. I believe her, because she was originally a music major at my alma mater before she transferred out and became a therapist. She’s right. I do have a knack for singing the blues… both literally, and in this blog. So I guess 2023 will bring more of the same. I hope a few of you will stay tuned for that. Maybe I’ll make more big bucks from blogging in 2023.
ETA: I forgot to mention, just a couple of weeks ago, I got the most hits I’ve ever gotten in one day when someone on Reddit shared a true crime post I wrote in November 2020 about Jessica Wiseman. It wasn’t even a particularly newsy post, but I probably made $5 because about four thousand people hit it in one day. I grew up near where Wiseman and her boyfriend murdered her parents. She was a juvenile, so she only spent a few years in juvenile hall. Her boyfriend, who was older, but apparently the less guilty of the pair, wound up being executed. I remembered the case and wrote about it, and it got noticed… which is especially notable to me, because it’s definitely not my best work. 😉
Several months ago, I watched the French documentary, “America’s Broken Dream”, and found myself writing about a young married couple whose story captivated me. I did some checking back in December and discovered evidence that Amber Carter, who had seemed like a really good mom in the video, might have gotten in trouble with the law for having a couple of babies who were addicted to meth.
I still don’t know for certain that the Amber Carter I found is the same one who was in the documentary. Some people point to the discrepancy in the women’s ages. But– the narrative seems to fit, and there is a very strong physical resemblance.
A couple of days ago, a reader left me a couple of comments on the Amber and Daniel Carter story. The person told me that it appears that Daniel Carter is in San Diego, California, and his mother, Cindy, has custody of the children. I don’t know how true that is, but I will try to do some checking to see if I can find any evidence that the girls are safe. I hope they are.
What’s more on my mind today is that Josh Duggar is going to get sentenced to prison for receiving and possessing images of children being sexually abused. A lot of people are hoping that Josh gets a very stiff sentence. I agree that Josh’s conduct during the trial was pretty outrageous. There were a lot of images of him smiling, joking, and just being generally disgusting and disrespectful. His crimes, too, are pretty shameful. What I find especially terrible, though, is that Josh and his posse have been trying to pin the blame on Caleb Williams for what was found on Josh’s computer.
Caleb Williams was, a few years ago, falsely rumored to be courting Jana Duggar. The truth is, he was betrothed to a young girl, whom he got pregnant out of wedlock. She was sixteen years old, and he was 23, when they had sex. Because the girl was underage, her parents prosecuted Caleb for sexually abusing a minor. Caleb is now a registered sex offender, and is not allowed any contact with his daughter. The Duggars, being “fine, upstanding Christians”, (/sarcasm) decided to try to blame Caleb for what is clearly Josh’s crime.
I find it absolutely disgusting that a family that is supposedly Christian, is trying to frame an innocent man for a truly vile and reprehensible crime and against children– to include toddlers and babies. It’s true that Caleb is a sex offender, and he did do wrong, but what Caleb did isn’t even in the same stratosphere as what Josh has repeatedly done, and never had to pay for in the criminal sense. Moreover, how can a person call themselves Christian, yet be so dishonest and unwilling to repent? I guess, in the Duggar world, if one just prays and asks Jesus for forgiveness, dresses the “modest” way, and listens to Jim Bob on all matters, that’s enough to win God’s favor. The cognitive dissonance is astonishing.
I hope and expect the judge will see through this, and give Josh some time to consider his actions. But, given that this is officially his first offense, I won’t be surprised if Josh doesn’t get the time a lot of people are hoping for, which is 20 years locked up in federal custody. Personally, I think he may get twelve to fourteen years. That would still give his children some time to get older, and hopefully, escape the fundie cult. Maybe Anna will even consider divorcing Josh during that time, although she definitely doesn’t seem to want to do that at this point.
There are a whole bunch of videos on YouTube about Josh’s potential fate right now. I’ve watched a few of them, and all I can say is that everybody seems to be saying the same thing. Just pick your channel– Without a Crystal Ball, Down the Rabbit Hole, or any of the other people talking about Josh and his gross crimes against children, his enabling parents, and his completely brainwashed wife. I don’t have too much to add to what the people on YouTube are saying. I think Josh should be out of society, because he can’t control himself, and I think he WILL reoffend, if he has the opportunity. I’ve seen and read too many stories about sex offenders who could not control their dark impulses.
In fact, I even know of a guy from college who was once a pillar of his community, until he was caught with illegal pornographic images and videos involving minors. He was sentenced to fifteen years in federal prison. He went to prison and was eventually released early, after just four years– only to reoffend within weeks. The person I knew in college moved to Texas and, to my knowledge, is now in a federal prison in Texas, receiving treatment for his issues. Maybe he will meet Josh Duggar. Who knows?
It will be interesting to see where Josh goes to prison. I know that many people expect that he’ll go somewhere with a child sex offender treatment program. But I don’t know if he would be required to get treatment, or if there is space available for him. And, to be honest, I’m not sure how effective treatment programs are, particularly when someone is in denial. Given that Josh hasn’t accepted responsibility for what he was caught with, is trying to blame Caleb Williams (and Joe Biden, WTF), and has made some very damning statements indicating his guilt, I think Josh has a ways to go before he can be helped with his obvious problems. But that’s just my opinion.
Anyway… I hope justice is served. Josh will probably soon get some “diesel therapy”, as the “Reverend” Jim Bakker put it. Diesel therapy is when prisoners are loaded up into a bus (or on a plane) and driven (or flown) to new facilities. It’s not pleasant at all. Actually, I think transporting prisoners without giving them bathroom breaks is inhumane. However, I understand that it’s done that way because of the security risks. In any case, at the very least, I think Josh is about to experience prison transportation. Based on what I’ve heard, and read, it’s going to suck. Below is a video about “diesel therapy”.
My guess is that Josh will soon be intimately acquainted with this aspect of the federal prison experience, along with many others… We shall see. I don’t think it’s right to “torture” prisoners, even ones as yucky as Josh is. And as gross as Josh is, he isn’t the worst person in the world. However, he is pretty vile… and he may soon become more vile, as he meets and mingles with others who are as icky as he is.
There are so many things I could write about this morning. Like, for instance, I read that Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend and fellow sex pest, has been convicted. She was facing six charges, and was convicted of five of them, including: sex trafficking of a minor, transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity and three related counts of conspiracy. She now faces up to 65 years in prison. Her sentencing date has not yet been announced, and her attorneys vow to appeal. That’s what they all say, of course…
I don’t take any particular delight when anyone gets convicted of a crime and faces a long stint in prison, but I do think justice has been served in this case, just as I did when Josh Duggar was found guilty. People who endanger others, particularly when there’s violence or coercion involved, and particularly when the crimes involve preying on vulnerable people, should go to prison. They should be removed from society so that law abiding citizens are less at risk. But, of course, that’s not saying a whole lot in the United States these days.
Anyway, suffice to say, I think it’s right that Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty. I think she should be treated humanely, as I hope all prisoners are, but I believe it’s correct to send her to prison for what she did. I hope Donald Trump is next.
Yesterday afternoon, I watched America’s Broken Dream, a 2012 French documentary that was posted on YouTube. The documentary, which was presented in English, was about homeless people in the United States as of about ten years ago. It was a bit depressing, on many levels, to watch it, especially given what has happened since 2012. Several families were interviewed– people who were homeless or “half homeless”, living in cheap motels. All of the stories were compelling, although it was the last family that really caught my attention.
Toward the end of this documentary, a young couple with two adorable little daughters is profiled. The mom, Amber Carter, is in California with her girls, presumably because California, as a “blue” state, offers better social safety nets for poor people. Dad, Daniel Carter, is in Kentucky, working manual jobs to support his young family.
At one point, Daniel comes to California to see his wife and their little girls. I am struck by how much he seems to love the kids, and his wife. Amber is shown trying to fill out job applications, but finds it impossible because she has two tiny kids to look after. I was wondering what she would do with the girls if she did get hired. I know from my days as a MSW student that decent child care is not cheap, always available, or widely accessible to everyone.
It looked like things might be improving for the young family. I had some hope that they might recover. But then Daniel Carter is arrested in Kentucky for striking and killing his neighbor, a man named Christopher Mitchell, with a hatchet. Carter maintains that Mitchell was drunk and had attacked him. He claims that he hit the guy in the head with a hatchet in self-defense.
Carter did plead guilty to fleeing and evading the police, and resisting arrest. But somehow, there wasn’t enough evidence to try Carter for the murder of Christopher Mitchell. He was released after serving 135 days in jail, time he was already credited for when he faced the judge. Another blog, titled Liar Catchers, has this article about Daniel Carter. Christopher Mitchell’s family was “furious” that Carter got away with killing their relative, especially since it wasn’t the first time he had killed someone.
I don’t believe it was mentioned in the documentary that Daniel Carter also did some time as a juvenile in Florida for killing his Uncle Jack Carter with a knife, back in the early 00s. Carter spent 19 months locked up in jail, but was later acquitted of first degree murder charges stemming from the July 2002 stabbing death of his uncle. In that case, Carter also claimed self-defense, as his uncle reportedly had come to his home to help discipline him. Daniel Carter, who was fifteen years old at the time, claimed his uncle had gone into a rage, and he had attacked him with a rusty knife to protect himself. Jack Carter was stabbed ten times, with one wound to the neck that proved to be fatal.
Many people found it hard to believe that Carter got off in that case, too. One witness said that she’d never seen Jack Carter behave in a violent way and people were shocked that his nephew, Daniel Carter, wasn’t convicted. I’m sure that prior case could not be considered when Daniel Carter fatally wounded another man in Kentucky, but it does seem eerie that he killed two men in similar ways and got away with it both times.
This is Daniel Carter. Pensacola natives might remember him as the boy who murdered his Uncle Jack Carter back in 2002. Though he stabbed his uncle over 10 times with a machete, cutting his throat and nearly severing one of his arms in the process, he was found not guilty of the crime. Why? I’ll never know. Jack’s sister, (Daniel’s mother), had called Jack over to the house that night to help her discipline Daniel, a troubled teen, whom she was unable to control. After the brutal murder of Jack Carter, members of the community, led by his mother Cindy, rallied around Daniel, who was only 15 at the time. Community members even held a fundraiser for Daniel’s defense at Bamboo Willie’s. They got him a renowned child advocacy attorney, who went on to paint a picture of a poor, abused teen, who feared for his life when he took a machete and stabbed his uncle over 10 times that night. When Daniel was release from jail after the trial, people rejoiced that he had won his freedom back. After all, poor Daniel didn’t mean to kill his uncle when he stabbed him repeatedly.
Let’s fast forward to 2012. Daniel now lives in Kentucky. And in Kentucky, after a dispute with his landlord, (who apparently had a pointed stick in his hand), Daniel proceeded to take a hatchet, (yes, a HATCHET) and plant in right in the center of his landlord’s forehead, killing him. Believe it or not, Daniel was released from jail. Self defense again. In any case, the reason I am posting this is because Daniel is a Pensacola native, and I have no idea where he is now, but it’s defintely possible that he could be back here. If you ever happen to see him and have a disagreement with him, I would advise you to RUN. Whatever you do, DO NOT confront this man. He obvioulsy has a temper, and his history shows he is very dangerous!
On a side note, the last time I saw Jack was about a week before he passed away. I hadn’t seen him in a while, so we exchanged hugs, and sat down to catch up over a drink. He was beaming. Smiling ear to ear. He told me he was inlove. He told me he never thought “this kind of happiness was possible”. And he told me that for the first time in a long time, he was excited about the future, not just going through the motions of the day to day routine. He was happy to be alive
And a few days later, he was gone. Rest in Peace, Jack. You are not forgotten.
One woman commented that she had been married to Daniel Carter. She wrote that he had conned her and her mother, and he was a very violent person. She expressed gratitude that they didn’t manage to have children together. I guess she must have been married to him before he was married to Amber, the woman who was portrayed as his wife in the documentary, as well as the mother to his two adorable little girls. If you click on the link directly above, you can read the comments about Daniel Carter and people who know him.
I didn’t know anything at all about this couple or the true crimes that were connected with them when I was watching the documentary. From what I could see on the video, Amber Carter was a good and attentive mom, even though she and her girls were living in their old car. It’s certainly not a crime to be poor. I was also struck by Daniel. He seemed to be a friendly, charismatic person. I could see how he charmed people, as he was well-spoken and seemed to work hard, and loved his daughters very much.
It just goes to show you that friendly, charming, well-spoken people really can be hiding monstrous characteristics under the surface. In the documentary, his boss says that Daniel Carter has an “amazing work ethic” and that his little girls are all he talks about. To hear him tell it, Daniel is a fine young man and dedicated provider to his family. I truly enjoyed watching him interact with his daughters, who really seemed to love him. He seemed to love them right back. I was genuinely saddened when the announcer in the documentary talked about Daniel’s arrest. The Carters seemed like they might somehow make it– or, at least it seemed like they were trying to get out of the hole they were in.
I got curious about Amber Carter, so I looked her up. Sadly, it appears that she might also have some serious legal problems. In September 2021, a woman named Amber Carter, who roughly matches the age and description of the Amber Carter in the documentary, was wanted by the police in Jones County, Mississippi. She was accused of “giving birth to a child who tested positive for methamphetamine” and was to face one count of felony child abuse. According to this article, Amber Carter was captured about a week after the news reported about her. She is, at this writing, listed on the inmate roster in Jones County, Mississippi.
As I was searching for more information about the recent charges against Amber Carter, I also ran across another item from May 2018, which appeared to involve the same woman– again, for giving birth to a baby who tested positive for cocaine and meth. If this is the same Amber, that means she’s had at least two more children who have been born into deplorable circumstances and are likely in foster care now.
While it certainly wouldn’t surprise me if the Amber Carter who was wanted in Mississippi is the same Amber Carter in the documentary, it does make me sad that it could be, and probably is, her. The Amber in the documentary genuinely seemed to be a good mom, although it could be she was only like that when the cameras were rolling. I suppose I can understand how a person in the situation Amber and the other people profiled in the documentary might fall into drug abuse, but it really does seem like a terrible shame.
Although there seems to be an age discrepancy between the documentary Amber and the Amber in the above mug shot, I do think they are one and the same. The documentary was released in 2012, but 2008 was when the recession was really bad. I think it’s very likely that the footage was filmed in the years prior to 2012, and if that’s the case, then the ages for Amber in the documentary and Amber in the mug shot line up perfectly. Also, there is a very strong physical resemblance.
After I finished watching the documentary, I happened across a guest opinion essay in The New York Times about a woman who had once owned a home and horses. She was raised in Palo Alto, California by successful parents, and went to college and studied journalism. Lori Teresa Yearwood once had it all– including her own business. But a series of misfortunes and subsequent mental health challenges plunged her into homelessness. She spent two years on the streets, where she was sexually assaulted multiple times.
Yearwood went to several hospitals via ambulance after the assaults. She was so traumatized that she couldn’t speak, so hospital administrators did not know she was homeless– or, so they claim. As she was getting back on her feet again, with the help of Utah-based non-profit organization, Journey of Hope and an accountant she knew from her days as a business owner, Yearwood discovered just how outrageously expensive being homeless is. People don’t realize that homeless people often incur debts because they get arrested and fined. Yearwood also had huge hospital and ambulance bills, due to visiting the facilities after she was assaulted and locked in a storage shed for two days.
Fortunately, once she was functioning again, Yearwood was able to advocate for herself. She’s now back to working as a reporter. She got the huge medical bills dismissed, after she explained to the hospital administrators that she would be reporting about how they treated her. From the opinion piece, Yearwood wrote:
A public relations official responded that while in the hospital’s care, I refused to speak, so staff members didn’t know I was homeless. I explained that I had not refused to speak; I had been traumatized and had gone essentially mute for two years. By this time in my renewed journalism career, I had obtained my medical records, so I showed the hospital administrators some of the doctors’ notes about me. The next email from the hospital was swift: “Upon reviewing your account, we have decided to honor your claim of being homeless at the time of service and wrote off the remaining balance.”
I asked the hospital administrators if they were going to respond to the harm they had caused by ruining my credit: the stress and sleepless nights, the fact that I could no longer qualify for low interest rates on mortgages. The spokesman apologized but said, “All I can do is make it right going forward.”
Lori Teresa Yearwood is one of the lucky ones. I know it’s hard to climb out of poverty. I remember when Bill and I were first married, we weren’t impoverished, but it sure felt that way. I seriously thought we’d never get out of debt. It took years to do it, but I had my eye on the prize, and we were very fortunate in many ways. Moving to Germany, for instance, was a great move for our finances. But not everyone can do what we did… and many people are burdened by having children to raise.
I look at Amber Carter and I suspect that years of living as she was depicted in the America’s Broken Dream documentary wore her down on many levels. I’m sure that using drugs and having unprotected sex were two escapes for her that made life temporarily more pleasant. But those decisions ultimately made her personal situation much worse, and they also made things worse for her innocent children. She joins so many Americans who are incarcerated, and will find it so much harder to function once they are released.
As for Yearwood, I think she makes an excellent point that Americans need to pay more attention to treating mental health issues. Yearwood was doing great until the 2008 recession hit, she had credit problems that led to foreclosure, the Oregon house she was renting burned down, her dog died, and then, in 2014, she had a mental health breakdown that made it impossible to continue operating her business. When she was slowly recovering in 2017, she was fortunate enough to run into people who coaxed her toward rejoining society. She writes:
Nonprofit employees who work with the homeless should be trained in how to interact with people who have experienced trauma. Otherwise, they may inadvertently shame their clients for being hesitant to return to an economic system that has already penalized and punished them. A classic symptom of trauma is avoiding the source of that trauma.
As I was emerging from homelessness, I trusted very few people. I needed what advocates call a soft handoff. I would never have considered going to a group trying to help me unless someone I trusted had referred me and would go with me. My initial soft handoff was arranged by Shannon Cox, a former police officer and the founder of Journey of Hope. She took me to lunch and drove me to the hospitals to pick up all the records that I had no idea I was going to need to later protect myself financially.
Now, Yearwood is able to advocate for herself and others, but if not for people who cared enough to help her, she might still be on the street. She might still be at risk of sexual assault and falling into illegal drug use to escape the despair. Maybe she might be in a position similar to Amber Carter’s, although thankfully, there probably wouldn’t be any innocent children involved.
The America’s Broken Dream documentary also profiles other families– people who had jobs and homes, and their children, who were forced to live in cheap motels and worry about being picked up by child protective services. I might have to see if any of those people managed to pull themselves out of homelessness. I know it’s hard, though, because as Yearwood points out, it’s very expensive to be poor. A lot of people have no idea. And there but by the grace of God go any of us, unfortunately.
Documentaries like America’s Broken Dream scare the hell out of me, and make me so grateful for what I have… and for Bill, who works so hard to provide for us. But, I swear, every time I read a news article about financial ruin– something that Bill has already survived when he was with his ex wife– I want to start another bank account. It really is hard getting by in America if you don’t have the right skills, enough support, and luck.
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