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It's been 15 years since Danielle van Dam was murdered

Van Dams as parents, Friday night at Dad's, life in Sabre Springs, what jail inmates think of Westerfield, the polygraph, Westerfield kids ask to change nameo

Damon and Brenda van Dam. "I've seen worse situations where people have literally beaten up their children and not been investigated."
 - Image by Sandy Huffaker, Jr.
Damon and Brenda van Dam. "I've seen worse situations where people have literally beaten up their children and not been investigated."

Are the van Dams Fit Parents?

In their neighborhood, with the type of activity they had in their house, who knows what other types of things were going on in that house? It all stems from that type of behavior. They should absolutely be investigated. You don't lose your kid at that hour of the night, and you don't have those types of things going on in a house where there are children. Who really knows why they didn't check their kids?

By Robert Kumpel, March 28, 2002 | Read full article

Ryan Tyrol, Dad's patron who testified about Brenda van Dam

Friday Night at Dad's

“I didn’t know anything about [swinging] in my bar. I’ve been a bartender for ten years, and I’m rarely shocked or surprised. But when it happened I was, like, whoa, what a different lifestyle. I would never participate in it. One thing as a bartender I’ve learned, you can’t talk politics, religion, business, or judge [people]. Your whole purpose is to make money and make people laugh. If you judge them, that won’t happen.

By John Brizzolara, Sue Greenberg, Ken Leighton, and Jill Underwood, Aug. 1, 2002 | Read full article

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Damon and Brenda van Dam. Out in the parking lot you ratchet up your high another notch or two and you are feeling no pain. But there is a slight sense of urgency that seems somehow misplaced.

I Crawled Inside Brenda van Dam's Head and Tried to Guess What Went on in There

It’s still early for action, somewhere around 9, 9:30, you think, but you’re not really thinking about that. The scene has started taking on momentum on the dance floor, and you and your friends sidle through the growing crowd of fun seekers toward the main bar. Maybe you edged along the left of the dance floor, past late diners in the booths where their faces look attractive in the low lighting.

By John Brizzolara, Aug. 1, 2002 | Read full article

Kids at play in Sabre Springs, a block away from the van Dam home

Good Life in Sabre Springs

“I think Brenda is amazing. She’s so strong. I asked her, ‘How do you get out of bed?’ She told me, ‘I do it for my boys because they don’t have anyone else.’ She showed me Danielle’s room, and I think I was more uncomfortable than she was. She keeps Danielle’s room open, and the kids play in it because, she says, she doesn’t want them to forget her, because Danielle is still there.

By Jill Underwood, Aug. 8, 2002 | Read full article

Top: Michael Collins and Marcus. Bottom: Robert Swayze Dalton and Kent Kline. "They'll keep him in protective custody, no doubt, but look at what happened to Jeffrey Dahmer."

Burn Him Alive

"One of the trustees I talked to was moppin' the floor near Westerfield's cell. He [said Westerfield] was totally bummed out. The trustee's exact words were 'shot out.' He was down the tubes. He had a remote-control bed and color TV in his cell. Nobody really talked about it, because everybody knows that he is guilty. If he had been with us, it wouldn't have been very nice after we got through with him."

By Robert Kumpel, Oct. 10, 2002 | Read full article

David Westerfield at death-penalty hearing. "You're going to know that I failed this test, because we're not working to get David...to the point where David passes the test .... That's not your goal."

You Think I'm Guilty of Something?

The difference in a polygraph situation, if [I] ask a question that you're gonna lie to me about, that wall's gonna...look like [the] movie screen of your life. You're gonna see it just like the day it happened. You know you're lying, that little guy's up in your head saying, hey, that's not the truth. Now you know I know that you're lying, because I'm measuring these physiological things that are going on inside.

By Joe Deegan, Jan. 23, 2003 | Read full article

David Westerfield. “We were just talking a few minutes ago about some court testimony about all the men in Poway looking like Westerfield."

Sins of the Father

As the prosecution hammered away at the defendant as a monster who deserved to die, Lisa Westerfield, for the first time in the trial, testified on behalf of her father. She answered "yes" to Feldman's questions whether she still loved and missed him.

In a story on the following day, Court TV reported that not only did Lisa have tears in her eyes and her voice crack, but that, as she testified, Westerfield himself "looked stricken."

By Joe Deegan, April 10, 2003 | Read full article

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Damon and Brenda van Dam. "I've seen worse situations where people have literally beaten up their children and not been investigated."
 - Image by Sandy Huffaker, Jr.
Damon and Brenda van Dam. "I've seen worse situations where people have literally beaten up their children and not been investigated."

Are the van Dams Fit Parents?

In their neighborhood, with the type of activity they had in their house, who knows what other types of things were going on in that house? It all stems from that type of behavior. They should absolutely be investigated. You don't lose your kid at that hour of the night, and you don't have those types of things going on in a house where there are children. Who really knows why they didn't check their kids?

By Robert Kumpel, March 28, 2002 | Read full article

Ryan Tyrol, Dad's patron who testified about Brenda van Dam

Friday Night at Dad's

“I didn’t know anything about [swinging] in my bar. I’ve been a bartender for ten years, and I’m rarely shocked or surprised. But when it happened I was, like, whoa, what a different lifestyle. I would never participate in it. One thing as a bartender I’ve learned, you can’t talk politics, religion, business, or judge [people]. Your whole purpose is to make money and make people laugh. If you judge them, that won’t happen.

By John Brizzolara, Sue Greenberg, Ken Leighton, and Jill Underwood, Aug. 1, 2002 | Read full article

Sponsored
Sponsored
Damon and Brenda van Dam. Out in the parking lot you ratchet up your high another notch or two and you are feeling no pain. But there is a slight sense of urgency that seems somehow misplaced.

I Crawled Inside Brenda van Dam's Head and Tried to Guess What Went on in There

It’s still early for action, somewhere around 9, 9:30, you think, but you’re not really thinking about that. The scene has started taking on momentum on the dance floor, and you and your friends sidle through the growing crowd of fun seekers toward the main bar. Maybe you edged along the left of the dance floor, past late diners in the booths where their faces look attractive in the low lighting.

By John Brizzolara, Aug. 1, 2002 | Read full article

Kids at play in Sabre Springs, a block away from the van Dam home

Good Life in Sabre Springs

“I think Brenda is amazing. She’s so strong. I asked her, ‘How do you get out of bed?’ She told me, ‘I do it for my boys because they don’t have anyone else.’ She showed me Danielle’s room, and I think I was more uncomfortable than she was. She keeps Danielle’s room open, and the kids play in it because, she says, she doesn’t want them to forget her, because Danielle is still there.

By Jill Underwood, Aug. 8, 2002 | Read full article

Top: Michael Collins and Marcus. Bottom: Robert Swayze Dalton and Kent Kline. "They'll keep him in protective custody, no doubt, but look at what happened to Jeffrey Dahmer."

Burn Him Alive

"One of the trustees I talked to was moppin' the floor near Westerfield's cell. He [said Westerfield] was totally bummed out. The trustee's exact words were 'shot out.' He was down the tubes. He had a remote-control bed and color TV in his cell. Nobody really talked about it, because everybody knows that he is guilty. If he had been with us, it wouldn't have been very nice after we got through with him."

By Robert Kumpel, Oct. 10, 2002 | Read full article

David Westerfield at death-penalty hearing. "You're going to know that I failed this test, because we're not working to get David...to the point where David passes the test .... That's not your goal."

You Think I'm Guilty of Something?

The difference in a polygraph situation, if [I] ask a question that you're gonna lie to me about, that wall's gonna...look like [the] movie screen of your life. You're gonna see it just like the day it happened. You know you're lying, that little guy's up in your head saying, hey, that's not the truth. Now you know I know that you're lying, because I'm measuring these physiological things that are going on inside.

By Joe Deegan, Jan. 23, 2003 | Read full article

David Westerfield. “We were just talking a few minutes ago about some court testimony about all the men in Poway looking like Westerfield."

Sins of the Father

As the prosecution hammered away at the defendant as a monster who deserved to die, Lisa Westerfield, for the first time in the trial, testified on behalf of her father. She answered "yes" to Feldman's questions whether she still loved and missed him.

In a story on the following day, Court TV reported that not only did Lisa have tears in her eyes and her voice crack, but that, as she testified, Westerfield himself "looked stricken."

By Joe Deegan, April 10, 2003 | Read full article

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