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  1. #1

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    What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    Howdy.

    First off, please let me ask everyone to refrain from posting any replies that will get sent to the Litter Box.

    Second, this is a real scenario. This actually happened (or is happening), so please remember that if you choose to reply.

    Third, only first names will be used right now since I don't wan't Google to pick this up yet. (That will make sense later)

    Fourth, please let me remind you again, NOT to post anything that will be sent to the Litter Box.

    Fifth, please re-read the above sentence.

    I am personally involved in the scenario that I will describe below. Because I am personally involved, my opinion on what should happen is biased, therefore I would greatly appreciate other opinions to help make sense of this.

    I have wanted to post this for two years now, but have been reluctant to share any personal information. I am still weary of doing this, but the desire to get different perspectives has finally outweighed my wishes to keep things private.

    I am posting this here not because it is in any way related to Disney. I am posting here because of the traffic this site generates and because of my familiarity with the board and many of its members.

    I know MC has a debate lounge. This post is not in that forum because I do not want to turn this into a debate. Once you have read the scenario, please respond with what you would do. Please do not comment on other member's posts telling them why they are right or wrong. Again, please do not turn this into a debate, or something that belongs in the Litter Box.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation and participation.

    Here is the scenario - (I have tried to keep everything in the same tense, but sometimes I have to switch back and forth. If you're an English teacher, forgive me.)

    Rosemary is married to George. They have lived together since about 1975 and they have been married since 1981. On November 17th, 1989, Rosemary is murdered in her home in Bellflower, CA. George is in the house at the time of the murder, but says he was sleeping and did not hear anything. George is cleared as a suspect by the police, and Rosemary's son is considered the main suspect, even though he was going to school in San Diego at the time. George also has a son, Joe, who lived in the house behind Rosemary and George. Joe is never considered a suspect.

    For 14 years the case remains unsolved.

    In September 2003 George dies and his estate is settled. He has 5 children. Four of them get approximately $150,000 each and his son Joe gets the property he currently lives in, which is the same house in which Rosemary was murdered. The value of that property is about $750,000.

    In May of 2007 Rosemary's son Googles his mother's name, but instead of the usual nothing, there are numerous articles about her murder.

    Apparently this is what happened.

    Joe is with his wife Teresa at the hospital when George dies in 2003, and moments after George's death Joe tells Teresa that he knows who killed Rosemary. He tells her that George asked Joe if he knew anyone who would be willing to kill Rosemary for money. According to Joe, he finds someone at work who "knows somebody" that will do it for $15,000.

    They pay half up front and the rest when it is done. George pays an additional $5,000 when Joe claims that the killer will blackmail him if he does not pay more.

    Even though Teresa hears this she does nothing.

    Joe, allegedly, tells other people including his sisters. They either refuse to listen or do nothing.

    In 2006, Teresa and Joe's marriage begins to fall apart. Joe decides to rekindle an old romance with a high school friend named Linda. After awhile Joe tells Linda what happened. Linda decides to go to a friend at church who is in law enforcement. Eventually, a detective contacts her and Linda agrees to record Joe telling her what happened.

    In April of 2007 Joe is arrested and charged with Rosemary's murder. In June 2008 he is convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Recently, the California Supreme Court refused to hear his case and so his chances for further appeals are exhausted. He will die in prison.

    When Rosemary died her 3 biological children received SOME of her belongings, but not all. George was still alive, and not considered a suspect, so it seemed very inappropriate to take everything that belonged to Rosemary from before they were married. When George died his own children went through his belongings and returned additional things that were Rosemary's, but still there were things missing.

    After George's children found out about this when Joe was arrested they made no attempt to contact any of Rosemary's children, even though they knew their brother and dad were responsible for Rosemary's murder. They have also not offered to return anything else.

    Now, for a little legal stuff. California is a community property state. Everything obtained while a couple is married belongs to both husband and wife. That makes them "joint tenants" for estate purposes. In California Estate Law it says, basically, that if one tenant murders another, it is as if the person doing the murder dies first. This means that legally, George died first, and Rosemary is legally entitled to George's estate, and not the other way around.

    If George was still alive, there is substantial reason to believe that George would also have been convicted of first degree murder with special circumstances. However, since George is now dead, and his estate has already been distributed, it would be a legal nightmare trying to get anything reversed.

    So, that leaves it up to the children to handle this. And now, this is where I ask, what would you do?

    Assume you are one of George's children. In 1989 your step-mom is murdered and everyone assumes her own son did it, even though he is never prosecuted. In 2003 your dad dies and you get your inheritance. You have no reason to believe anything is wrong. In 2007 your brother is arrested because he admits to conspiring with your dad to hire someone to kill your step mom. You know this is true, because your brother has said the same thing over and over, even though he refused to admit it in court. Now, almost 20 years after the fact, you know your dad and brother are murderers. You also know that if they had been caught earlier, your inheritance would not have been given to you. You also know that everything that you have that you thought belonged to your dad now in fact belongs to Rosemary's estate - if it was obtained after their marriage.

    Would you keep everything and ignore any of this happened? Would you try to contact Rosemary's children? Would you return anything? Would you offer to return the money, or some of it?

    What would you do if you were one of George's children?

    Thanks in advance for your responses.

  2. #2

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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    so much time has gone on - and the children were innocent in the proceedings based on the story as you tell it.. I'd say it would cause so much more trouble to try to reverse what was done in good faith years ago.

    If these people were married, why were George's children and Rosemary's children handled differently? That isn't elaborated in the story and is interjected without a history of the children.

    Some may say the money is dirty now, etc. But how many more lives are going to be messed up to try to collect 150k from people that surely don't have it just lying around... to give to people that have lived WITHOUT that money for how many years now?

    It's like ruining one, to gift to another. At some point you need to move on and not look at it someone gained from the woman's death. Without knowing more about the estate and where the money came from, or the children's relationship to the adults.. I'm siding on the side of 'let it go' and look forward, not backwards.
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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    Is the house still in Joe's name or being occupied by one of George's children?

    Did Rosemary's children receive any monetary compensation when she died?


    Not knowing the above...I would say this...

    I would contact Rosemary's children, and offer half of the inheritance I received upon George's death. $75,000. While I wouldn't have received any had they known George arranged Rosemary's death, I figure some would have been immediately or eventually used. Some would have been set aside. If it was me...more rather than less. So, I would offer them half of the inheritance.

    If the house is still in mine or a sibling's possession. It should be handed over to Rosemary's children as soon as possible. Or, any remaining money from the sale of it.




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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    Thank you very much for these opinions. I will wait a little longer to see if anyone else responds before I answer all of the questions, but I can say now that the children were basically separated because of age and convenience. There is a 25 year difference between oldest and youngest, and due to the fact that George owned so many houses, not all of the children lived in the same house, so no real bonds were ever formed.

    Oh, and although money is presented as the main item, please also consider things like furniture. When Rosemary died no furniture or shared belongings were removed from the house. When George died those same material things were still in the house, which Joe now lived in. After his arrest no attempt was made by Teresa, or any of George's children to return any of those items.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    If the items are still in the house, it's only right to allow Rosemary's children access to those things. They should be allowed to take what they want, and then both sets of kids decide what will happen to the rest.




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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    My opinion is that as far as furniture and personal effects of Rosemary's they should be offered and given to her children.

    The question of $$ is sticky, did Rosemary's children receive any inheritence upon her death or George's? If the answer is no, and if one of George's kids still had the $$ it would be nice if they were at least given something.

    My personal feeling is do what YOU would want done to you if you were one of Rosemary's children.

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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    1. You had nothing to do with what happened leading up to the murder.

    2. Because of it you have feelings of guilt.

    3. The guilt will never let you understand how misfortune you had naught to do with is balanced by fortune.

    4. Obviously you cannot bring this to resolution on your own since you posted here - so you should use some of the fortune to seek professional help to be able to move on.

    5. See # 4.







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  8. #8

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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    I'd have to say I agree with Pratt55. Things like furniture and other belongings would be a small comfort for the people who lost their mother.

    But regarding money....Perhaps a lump sum to each of Rosemary's children would appropriate? If I still had such $$ lying around, I would try to give what I could back to the people whose mother was taken from them. But, in reality, I probably would not have any of it left and I would just have to move on. It seems like a jerky thing to do, but if you don't have it, you shouldn't have to worry about trying to make up for it.
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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    *
    Last edited by PhotoMatt; 11-06-2009 at 02:00 AM.

  10. #10

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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    Thanks to everyone for their responses. You really have no idea how grateful I am for your opinions. Please allow me to answer some questions now.

    Also, I will provide a little more information now that I have what I am looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    so much time has gone on - and the children were innocent in the proceedings based on the story as you tell it. I'd say it would cause so much more trouble to try to reverse what was done in good faith years ago.
    I agree. Although there are attorneys willing to take on this case, it is so incredibly complex that it would take years to resolve. At this point anything that is done now must be entirely voluntary.

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    Some may say the money is dirty now, etc. But how many more lives are going to be messed up to try to collect 150k from people that surely don't have it just lying around... to give to people that have lived WITHOUT that money for how many years now?
    The money IS dirty. It always was. At least two people knew that from the beginning.

    George's children are all successful with well paying jobs and houses of their own. George's oldest daughter makes more than $350K/year. They had more than enough money to pay for an attorney to defend Joe, which cost at least $50K. They also fought for custody of Joe's 8yo son, and lost.

    They have the money to repay everything they received, maybe not all at once, but they could do so if they chose to. I intentionally left that out so as not to influence any responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by flynnibus View Post
    It's like ruining one, to gift to another. At some point you need to move on and not look at it someone gained from the woman's death. Without knowing more about the estate and where the money came from, or the children's relationship to the adults.. I'm siding on the side of 'let it go' and look forward, not backwards.
    I appreciate this feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy View Post
    Is the house still in Joe's name or being occupied by one of George's children?
    To complicate matters further, the house was given to Joe when George died. Joe was married to Teresa, which means her and Joe own the house together. It has since been sold and whatever money was left is being fought over by them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy View Post
    Did Rosemary's children receive any monetary compensation when she died?
    One of the reasons Rosemary was murdered was so that George could collect on a life insurance policy. The total value of that policy was $250K, with $150K going to George and the rest to be split by Rosemary's three children.

    The life insurance company has been contacted and their position is that the claim was paid, even though they paid the person responsible for the beneficiary's death. They will not do anything further, at least not without a legal battle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stitchy View Post
    Not knowing the above...I would say this...

    I would contact Rosemary's children, and offer half of the inheritance I received upon George's death. $75,000. While I wouldn't have received any had they known George arranged Rosemary's death, I figure some would have been immediately or eventually used. Some would have been set aside. If it was me...more rather than less. So, I would offer them half of the inheritance.

    If the house is still in mine or a sibling's possession. It should be handed over to Rosemary's children as soon as possible. Or, any remaining money from the sale of it.
    Once again, I am truly grateful for your opinion and I really appreciate the time you took to read all of this and offer your advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by pratt55 View Post
    My personal feeling is do what YOU would want done to you if you were one of Rosemary's children.
    Thank you for your opinion and advice and for your time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sambo View Post
    1. You had nothing to do with what happened leading up to the murder.

    2. Because of it you have feelings of guilt.

    3. The guilt will never let you understand how misfortune you had naught to do with is balanced by fortune.

    4. Obviously you cannot bring this to resolution on your own since you posted here - so you should use some of the fortune to seek professional help to be able to move on.

    5. See # 4.
    1. You are correct.
    2. No.
    3. No.
    4. Not sure how to respond.
    5. See number 4.

    I appreciate your response, even though I don't completely understand it. I think it means I did a better job than I thought of hiding which side I am on.

    Rosemary was my mom.

    Quote Originally Posted by leopardchucks View Post
    I'd have to say I agree with Pratt55. Things like furniture and other belongings would be a small comfort for the people who lost their mother.

    But regarding money....Perhaps a lump sum to each of Rosemary's children would appropriate? If I still had such $$ lying around, I would try to give what I could back to the people whose mother was taken from them. But, in reality, I probably would not have any of it left and I would just have to move on. It seems like a jerky thing to do, but if you don't have it, you shouldn't have to worry about trying to make up for it.
    Thanks to you as well for taking the time to read through all of this and offer your opinion.

    Thanks to everyone who has posted here. I know this was a lot to read and understand, and an incredible "downer" for those who came here with no idea what to expect. I do apologize for that, and it was a major reason that it has taken so long to seek opinions on MC.

    In two weeks it will have been 20 years since this happened. And even though someone is in prison, finally, there are still so many unanswered questions. One of the recurring themes of the responses was to put it behind and move on. To a great extent, that was done years ago after it appeared that no answers would ever be known. But now, some truth has surfaced, and with that truth it seems like some of what has happened should be undone. But it has not been undone. George's children have done NOTHING.

    As I stated before, I will not pursue any of this in court. It's not worth it. But I wanted to know if how I felt about this was valid. And that is the main reason I posted here. I wanted to hear from other people that the "right" thing to do is to at least offer to return something, especially since George's children have the means to do so.

    The only thing I can do is write a letter to them explaining much of the same things I have said here. I seriously doubt they will do anything. I already know that. But at least I know that asking them is something that I should do, and your responses have shown me that.

    Thank you again.

    No further posts are necessary. I have what I needed, and again, I thank you.

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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. It's a horrible situation. I hope that George's children "step up to the plate" to do the right and responsible, thing.




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    Re: What would you do? Opinions needed please.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoMatt View Post
    1. You are correct.
    2. No.
    3. No.
    4. Not sure how to respond.
    5. See number 4.

    I appreciate your response, even though I don't completely understand it. I think it means I did a better job than I thought of hiding which side I am on.

    Rosemary was my mom.


    In two weeks it will have been 20 years since this happened. And even though someone is in prison, finally, there are still so many unanswered questions. One of the recurring themes of the responses was to put it behind and move on. To a great extent, that was done years ago after it appeared that no answers would ever be known. But now, some truth has surfaced, and with that truth it seems like some of what has happened should be undone. But it has not been undone. George's children have done NOTHING.

    As I stated before, I will not pursue any of this in court. It's not worth it. But I wanted to know if how I felt about this was valid.
    Clearly because of new circumstances the "move on" has reopened. You were not seeking legal advice but advice that how you felt about this is alright. That is your moral compass seeking direction, or you would have just continued knowing you were right. Therefore, my advice to seek professional help with the moral compass issues - still stands.

    Trust me, professionals can guide you to see for your self if your desired thinking is correct for you or not. You were seeking such validation or you wouldn't have brought it up here in the first place. (underlined in your quote)







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