What do Aaliyah Bedwell who is a three year old abused child in Northern California, Ronald Scharff, a man killed almost 30 years ago execution style just outside Chicago, and my lovely wife Jan have in common?

At first glance nothing. However there is a common thread. See if you can spot it?

Ronald Scharff was a tavern owner, he and his barmaid Patricia Freeman were found murdered execution style. The police had numerous leads but no one was ever brought to justice. That was in 1981. Last year my friend Denny Griffin co authored a book with Frank Cullotta, Cullotta was a Las Vegas mobster who turned states witness in the 80’s. He was in the witness protection program for several years and indeed to this day keeps a pretty low profile. In the book there is an interesting story told on page 130, it talks about another mob guy, who discovered that his ex wife had supposedly been dissed by a tavern owner, and had been killed for showing disrespect. The details in the Cullotta book match the McHenry County murders exactly. There is no doubt in my mind that Larry Neuman was the killer. A family friend of the Scharff’s just happened to read the book. She told Ronald Scharff’s son Paul about the book, and he started asking law enforcement some searching questions. Guess what? Law enforcement has done virtually nothing. The case is still open.

Jan Barrett’s story also happened quite a few years ago. She was an 18. She was viciously raped and beaten by a local businessman. With black eyes and bruises Jan went to the police. The gentleman in question was a ‘pillar of local society’ no action whatsoever was taken

Aaliyah Bedwell is a three year old girl who lives about 40 miles from Sacramento, California. There is convincing evidence that she has been sexually abused by her father. Jan and I have talked at length with people who know this child, and there is no doubt in my mind that there are grounds for some real concern for this girls safety. Rather than investigating the claims local law enforcement and the courts have totally ignored the allegations, in fact they have given full custody to the accused man.

See the connection? See the common thread? Actually there are two common threads. Law Enforcement completely dropping the ball even though the case looks open and shut. And a subtle yet even more insidious commonality, these three cases all happened in relatively small communities, and families with ‘pull’ are and were involved. It has now been 6 days since I called the Auburn police department about the Aaliyah Bedwell case, I am still waiting for the callback that was promised.

We are going to be exploring these cases and the implications on a talk radio show on Saturday May/9 at 3pm Central (1 pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern). Our guests include Jan Barrett, Paul Scharff, Cara Bedwell, and Christen Bedwell, they are both aunts of Aaliyah, and both have first hand knowledge of the case.

This will be an open show and we encourage all of the listeners to call in with their questions and comments. Our switchboard will be accepting calls at 3pm central, and the dial in number is 646-378-1120.

We look forward to talking to you on Saturday.

Simon and Jan Barrett

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