Dear Judge Michael J. Algeo…

Dear Judge Algeo,

You may not remember me,  but I will remember you for the rest of my life.  I am Prince’s mother.  The Prince who died on October 20, 2012.  The Prince who died on just his fourth court ordered unsupervised visit with his father.  


In case you still don’t remember me, I would like to take a moment to remind you.  I was the woman who came into your court room in March of 2012 (and again in July 2012) begging you to keep my son safe from his father.  You heard testimony from several women Luc had abused.  I told you about how I had fled Luc’s house in July 2011 with my newborn son and the clothing on our backs – that was after Luc had raped my then 19 year old sister.  You heard testimony about all the people who died around Luc (including the mother of his older son and his own mother)  All the horrifying information we presented, however, was still not enough for you to choose to keep my son safe.

I watched my son’s body slowly shut down for nearly two days as I waited for the doctors to officially declare him brain dead.  As I watched my innocent baby boy die, I thought about you.  I remembered how you told us you hated Family Court.  I remembered how you blamed me for falling in love with a con man.  I remembered how you talked about fairy dust and how you explained that my son would need to come home with cigarette burns before you would believe Luc was abusive.  I remember how you rolled your eyes, appeared to fall asleep on the bench, and openned up your computer as if to read your email – you did all of this as I pleaded with you to keep visitations supervised.  


I am now a mother without a child. My heart breaks every time I think about all the things my son will never do.  You never got to meet Prince, but your decisions made a significant impact in his life.  My son loved books.  He loved to smile, to laugh, and was just starting to run.  The week he died, he just started to say “ball”.  It was his first official word after “Mama”.  

Do you have children Judge Algeo?  Grandchildren?  You told us that you made your Custody decision based on what you would do if he was your child.  Would you have given your children to Luc in an unsupervised setting knowing what you knew about him?  Would you have taken a closer look at that psychological evaluation or maybe appointed a psychologist to conduct the test if it had been your child?  Would you have forced YOUR daughter to send her child to this man as punishment for having been lied to?  

One of the hardest things for me to deal with is that I will never again have the chance to protect my son.  Nothing I can do will bring him back to life.  I can’t stop thinking about how my life would be different if I hadn’t trusted you – if I had fled the country – if I had simply refused to comply with the court order.  


I will never get the opportunity to have a talk with my son.  I will never see him have his first day of school.  I will never see him graduate from High School and from College.  I will never dance with him on his wedding day or hear him say, “I love you Mama.”  

You said you hated Family Court – it showed.  I hope you understand the incredible power you have and with that power – the unparalleled responsibility.  If my son losing his life had little or no impact on your future decisions, I pray that you resign.  If you still find yourself rolling your eyes in frustration and looking upon parents who sit before you with distain, I pray for those parents who have no choice but to sit before you.

If the laws are not designed to protect children, then they need to be changed.  In my son’s case, it appears as though death was the only threshold for denial of visitation.  I knew how bad this could get.  I told you how bad this could get.  You didn’t believe me.  Hundreds of scorned women must come through your court room.  Maybe this has jaded or clouded your ability to see the truth.  I was not scorned.  I was afraid.  I was a mother trying to protect her only child.  How terribly sad it is that you have become so jaded that when a mother comes to you pleading for your help, you dismiss her concerns as merely those of a scorned woman.  Prince deserved better.  He deserved to live just as your own child would have.

I have spent my entire career working to protect our country – to protect America.  I wake up each day and fight for America – and fight for the freedoms you enjoy.  I hope and pray that despite the system’s failure, I can continue to take my job as seriously as you should have taken yours.  It was your job to protect my son’s basic human civil right to life.  All the evidence was before you.  All that was asked of you was to be cautious.  You held the life of an innocent child in your hands – the life of my child.  

You will forget me Judge Algeo.  Of that, I am fairly certain.  I will, however, never forget you.  

Sincerely, 

Hera McLeod (Prince’s Mama)

 

Comments

  1. kayla says:

    When you are strong enough, you need to see a lawyer or someone about reporting this to the people that supervise judges in your state. I learned of your story on LoveFraud and am so sorry about how this all played out.

  2. Christine says:

    I’m glad you wrote Judge Algeo this letter. I hope his conscience (if he has one) haunts him until the day he dies, or until he does something to ensure this never happens in his jurisdiction ever again.

  3. MsMaggieMaye says:

    I suggest to contact the State Bar to file a Complaint against the Judge and try to suspend license and begin an impeachment. I would do as others suggest, lawyer up, get transcripts if possible, and definitely start taking measures.

    Letters to Judges usually are filtered by their clerks and related staff…so not very likely that the letter made to him. It’s also possible the Judge, especially in Family Court has a fan base that that does not approve of many decisions. In certain states and commonwealths they see literally hundreds of cases a month, be it oral argument or on paper, or in some states or commonwealths, provided hundreds of cases of conferences submitted by the trier of court.

    The sad fact, most of these cases are because of high conflict arguments in which one party is a sociopath. Good read:

    http://www.continuingedcourses.net/active/courses/course075.php

    However, if you can find a lawyer and/or contact the State Bar to file a complaint, with evidence of your history and documentation with the ex and copies of Orders and transcripts, you’ll be more likely to see an effect.

    If this is what I call a “Write and burn” letter, keep writing them. What I call a “write and burn” letter is one I hand write on paper to the person I am filled with rage, but then I burn in an ashtray and never mail. My email version is writing my person of intent, but I email it to myself and delete.

    But to me, this definitely is worthy of going to a new (as your last law firm failed you) to try to seek disbarment of the judge, and also sue the law firm you blogged about with your concerns with failure to provide you the best representation that if you have a copy of the retainer, and is usually standard, that they are to provide.

    Due to my finances, I have represented myself pro se for a very long while, but when you hire and retain a lawyer, it is their OBLIGATION to provide you legal representation to their fullest, and represent you as you direct.

    I only know that for a fact, or at least in the primary state I litigated with my ex husband so many times, is that when you hire a lawyer, they represent YOU and your needs, and go by what you provide and direct. Which is why though I’ve primarily been pro se for over a decade and my ex has gone through no less than a half dozen lawyers. They either drop him due to risk of unethical practice, nonpayment or he drops them because they didn’t provide the result he wanted (meaning a fair decision).

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      He will see this letter. Even if he doesn’t read it from his email, it will be all over the news soon. I want him to see it when he googles his name. Since I will think about him forever, I want my sons name to pop up every time someone searches for him on the internet. He didn’t bother to listen to me on the stand. Instead he concerned himself with his personal affairs on his computers. He should, therefore, have to remember that poor display of judgement.

      • Jessica G says:

        Do anything in your power to get your story out. The more people read eventually he will as well. I will pray that my God above punishes him for his neglect towards your family let alone those prior and after. I am going to be 20 pretty soon and my son just turned 2. If the judge ever did any of those things during my family case. I would put him in check. Playing with the lives of other people is so morally wrong. I hope you find your piece. Your serenity in what you accomplish. Goodluck!

      • Sunshine says:

        This is by far a very touching story…..you asked if the judge had children of his own? The real question to him should’ve been are you a nurtured person, who believes a parents job is to protect their off springs at any means necessary….the reason I say this is because people are having children everyday, and yet they may not have that loving parent instinct, I know plenty of people who were not blessed with being parents( biologically, or adoptive), but they have the gift of nurturing, wither it’s a sibling a relative, or just a friends child. This isn’t something you just inherit, it’s a gift that you’re born with…I guess what I’m trying to say is before that judge came to a ruling he should’ve stepped out of his self, and placed his self in your situation, and really thought long, and strong before making a decision….and since he didn’t, it’s obvious he didn’t have Prince well being in mind, but hopefully, and I say this with conviction, that he has a conscious and that everyday it eats him up knowing that his callus decision caused your little boy(PRINCE) his life. During this particular tragedy in your life, there really isn’t much a person can say to ease the pain, so I want finish by saying I’m sorry for your lost…..saying that only seems to add to the pain that you’re already feeling, and I want say I know how you feel….because I could never feel what you’re feeling for your child, I also want say the pain will eventually go away, because we know you never completely heal from losing a love one….But I will say this, put it in “GOD! hands he will teach you how to live with, and deal with all this pain that you are enduring. As for that judge Algeo, he’s really not worth you exhausting your heart out to….this letter of yours will get to him some how, if it hadn’t already, revenge isn’t as sweet as people say, it’ll never bring Prince back, and it’ll never fill that emptiness, that was once filled with loving your baby….honor him by doing something positive to carry on his legacy. If you do decide to sue for wrongful death, remember one thing, the money will never replace, or bring him back….but you could use it to do something positive, and prevent the world of other uncaring Judges!! My heart goes out to you “PRINCE’S MOTHER!!

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          My point with this letter was not for revenge. I wrote this letter for more than just Judge Algeo. I wrote it for all the other judges who will see families in court and ask for protection. You are correct – nothing I do will bring Prince back. That being said, I MUST fight to protect his legacy. I need for Prince to have justice in any way I can. I need for people like Judge Algeo to face the public and I need for people to know who Judge Algeo is and READ for themselves about how he treated me in his court room. Nothing with bring Prince back – nothing. That is why this is all so terrible because I want more than anything to bring him back. That being said, I also want to save other children and other parents from having their story end this way. I hope that people can understand this.

          • Audrey Lee says:

            It’s nothing I can say to bring your baby back or ease your pain. My prayers are will you daily, first let me say thank you for fighting for our country, and making everyone aware of what’s going on in society today. Question for you, have you written the President of the USA, or congress? They should also know what’s going on, I know a lot of Judges are elected but there are some that are appointed also. I would really consider forwarding this to the President.

          • Laurie says:

            I understand. There is not enought space here to tell you what happened to me (and my son) but my son is still with me. I am grateful for that, even with the emotional scars and pain, he’s physically still here on this earth, as I am. You have great strength and I cannot imagine losing my child in the manner. I do understand what happens when an unfortunate situation that involves domestic abuse ends up in the court system. My son was old enough to choose to live with me, and he did, but the court still assigned “joint” custody. My ex used our son (Or I should say his lawyer let him) to try to cause more hardship to me. Letter after letter acusing me of being the abusive one (and the accusations that our son had abused his father when it was the other way around. They way the system works is just horrible and traumatic to the victims of abuse. I thought it would end when I got finally escaped the situation in our home, but it only got worse when the Court was involved. This Judge should be removed, but I doubt that will happen. I know there are others just as bad, they refuse to put the children first for fear of violating the abuser’s rights. It comes down to your word against theirs, and they already spent a life time lying and are expert at it. When you tell the truth and are honest, it only gives them another way to cause pain to you. I felt victimized and abused by my ex husbands lawyer and the Judge in my case, they treated me as if I was the one that was at fault. As I said, I am grateful my son is still here and he chose to live with me. My heart and prayers go out to you, I hope you find peace and justice.

  4. Kitten says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My heart bleeds for you. I can’t think of a better way to honor Prince’s life than tell his/your story. I too have sat terrified for my son in front of a judge begging for help. And was called crazy for it. And that I the stories I told about CX was in my head. My judge rolled his eyes at me too.

    The system is broken. The people who are making decisions for our children do not understand the nature of these people.

    We tell them and they don’t listen. They tear our children from our arms and place them in dangerous situations.

    Yes. My heart aches for you. I weep for young Prince’s short life.
    Keep telling your story. This is how we honor our children. This is how we bring attention to these people.
    Maybe we will save the next child.

  5. Hilary says:

    Thank you for having the courage to speak out, to name names, to hold accountable those who need to be held accountable. Sometimes, when we feel like we’ve lost everything, when we have nothing left to fear, we show our greatest strength.

  6. stillhere says:

    CappiQ,
    The letter you have written is very direct and makes your point the best a letter with mere words can.

    I tell my story everywhere but have been afraid to use my real name unless I am face to face with the people. I still stand to lose for the next 4 years. If I were you, I would shout every name from the rooftops who was involved in my child custody case. I know my continued writing of my story of family court legal abuse has helped to dilute the pain to some degree. It has definitely let me know my case was not a fluke but unfortunately the norm. Your outcome is all of our worst fear.

    I came across this form today and thought of you so I am copy a link in case you would like to complete it. I have completed one on mine and there were 4 psychologist (types), 4 attorneys and 2 judges plus other organizations. This link is at least one more place you can “grade” the players in your case.
    http://www.distinctioninfamilycourts.com/Questionnaire.pdf

    If nothing else, Hera McLeod, Cappaccinoqueen, I can help in this way. If you want this type of info forwarded to you as I come across it, I will gladly share.

    Prince will not be forgotten. You and Prince have had the worst miscarriage of justice there is. They do KNOW in the courts what they are doing and I hope that Judge has a conscience. With that amount of disregard for human life, he’s probably a psychopath. I hope he isn’t so he feels the error of his ways.

    Sincerely and with loving thoughts,

    Eralyn

  7. madgamma says:

    Dear Judge Algeo-How dare you call yourself a christian. All you are is a pretender. You sat there in court ,the pompous ass that you are, and made erroneous judgements about my daughter instead of trying to see who the devil ,calling himself a father, actually was. You ignored the obvious and accepted his lies. I am ashamed that I was ever naive enough to trust your f….ed up legal system. All I heard reiterated throughout the year of custody hearings was “I have to consider what is best for the child” . Let’s be honest here. This wasn’t about the child it was about your career. In fact many people lied to protect their careers during this past year. Well, I only hope that I can see to it that you don’t have a career for much longer. Sincerely…Prince’s Damma

  8. Andreah says:

    I am soooo sorry to hear you’re story. As a single mother who daughters father is not involved due to a smart judge that made a great choice I know no matter how much we say we are sorry or pray for u and you’res it will never help the hole in ur heart. I was so scared going to family court that the judge would rule in her fathers favor. Luckily I had a very understanding judge and he did not. My heart crus for u. I will never forget you or ur son. May god bless u and know ur lil man is ur guardian angel !

  9. Lisa C. says:

    I hope that justice is served for Prince! It brought tears to my eyes that you had to suffer thru what NO parent should, losing a child….especially when something could have been done to save him! My heart breaks for you, I’m sure Prince is proud that you had the courage to write this letter on his behalf. I’m sure he’s with you in spirit every day, and will watch over you until you meet again. Peace be with you <3

  10. Jo says:

    Every mothers worse nightmare, I am so very sorry for your loss.

  11. Jaeci's Mamma Bear says:

    My heart literally sank…. I am so very sorry for your loss. Not only for the loss of your child but the loss of your faith in a system designed to protect the innocent. I am not a spiteful person, I am not a vindictive person. I am however feeling very angry towards the judge as well as Luc. Part of me would like to suggest therapeutic healing in whatever way you can muster… the other part of me would like to suggest sending a letter to this man with a description of the things your son should be doing each year on his birthday. I really hope he never forgets …. I also hope that no other children have met this fate at his hands (sadly I am probably wrong). I will be sharing this link, if for nothing else to make people aware. Take care and may peace find you.

    • Make a Change says:

      I am so sorry for your loss and so angry with how it happened. May God guide you always. Your letter was so well written and I do not get revenge out of it. but def Justice that you want and Prince deserves.So many others that are not able to speak out like you have! Jaeci’s Mamma Bear, you made a great point with “I also hope that no other children have met this fate at his hands (sadly I am probably wrong).” It will take lots of energy in time and effort–but OMG if other children ( including a parent) HAS met that fate, there will be a strong case against this Judge that obviously had/has no good use in family court. or anywere in the system! I understand they cannot immediatly believe either side but come on! with th proof alone you would think a Judge would order/grant supervised visitations. These situations happen WAY to often and we must find ways to have this heard and for changes to be made. What is it going to take for th Government,Judicial system to truley reconize the severity of this??? WHAT IS IT GOING TO TAKE!!! Just like the heart breaking deaths of the elementary students from the shooting at Sandy hook. Then did they take the big issue of guns seriously. I am not at all comparing the loss or giving or taking away from eiter side. My point which I hope is clear; is that SO many children are murdered by a parent, and significant others as well because The court/Judge/system chose to ignore a request for supervised visitations etc…Is this not taken seriously because these particular DV issues are not so much in the media? Therfore no action needs to be taken for law or protocal to change when it comes to these requests???. It disgusts me when some judges say “the priorty here is whats best for th child/children” Yet they are lying. Their priorty is to go on with the next case. It seems like. What is it going to take! Several litte Prince’s to happen in ONE freaking day so it can go on the news and then the system will take action?! It baffles me how these types of csesare not reviewed and ued to make Family court run better and really be able to protect these poor innocent children. I’m sorry hope this makes sense. Cappuccino Queen, please keep sending letters to the judge, send them ALL over the media, you will have people join you and speak up as well and you will make a difference in your sons name! I strongly believe Justice will be served! Don’t give up!

  12. jaki says:

    Oh my god!!! This is so sad I’m lost for words!!! :(

  13. Iris Carden says:

    I can’t begin to know the pain you are going through. And I know nothing will stop that hurt, but I hope and pray the Judge learns something from this, and that your ex-husband will meet justice eventually.

  14. Vspiritoso says:

    I’m so sorry for your lost mama :( . I hope you get national newspapers and tv station to tell your story. I hope you keep pushing until your story is national and that judge gets fired. If he discounted your case, imagine how many other women in your situation that he is discounting also. I hope your ex get sent to jail and burns in hell for what happened to your son. Your story may bring other victims of your ex out if they are still alive. Good luck to you and keep pushing.

  15. eizzil says:

    I’m brought to tears reading your story and all the replies. My (for now) husband is the exact opposite, so my daughter (now 13) resents him. He’s neglected her since she was 1 y/o when he had his first affair. I know it’s not the same, but still a broken relationship. I will be sharing your story on both of my FB pages to help you raise awareness abot that judge etc. I pray for you and Prince, also the judge’s and Luc’s souls. <3

  16. Melissa C says:

    There are no words. I sat in Family Court on Monday, and listened as my sister was forced to give her daughter’s father more time with her, and am fearful of this same situation.
    I am so, so sorry.

  17. Nicole says:

    Hera, What state/county does this judge practice in? Who or where can we write letters of support for you? This judge needs to be punished!

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Judge Michael Algeo is a judge in Montgomery County, MD. If you want to support me, spread the blog to as many people as you can find who will listen. You could also probably send letters to the Family Court in Montgomery County, MD.

      • So sorry to hear your story. I hope you don’t mind, but I shared your story on my son’s site. If you would like me to add a photo of Prince, or add,remove anything, or take down the post, please let me know. I came across your story in the Luke’s Army group on facebook. Here is a link to your story on the Luke’s Army website, once again, my deepest sympathies.

        http://www.lukesarmy.com/content/dear-judge-algeo-i-will-remember-you-rest-my-life

      • Laurie says:

        How ironic, my case as in MD also. Around the same time as the woman who’s husband found her at work and set her on fire when another Judge (in MD) refused to extend her protective order. (August 2005 I think it was Montgomery or PG county in MD) I too had a protective order which was useless. He found out where I lived, stalked me and would sit outside my house waiting for me to come home. Luckily, my neighbors saw what was happening and they would call me before I got home from work. Something is definately wrong and I admire you for doing this.

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Laurie, Maryland is in crisis. Things seem to be spiraling out of control with this place. I think it must be one of the worst, or maybe just a reflection of what is going on around the nation. The court seems to be way more concerned with parents rights over the rights of a child. That is not how it should be.

          • Laurie says:

            I agree, MD is in crisis. They do not recognize that is is about control. In reality, they do not want custody of the child, they use the child and the court to control you once you have left. PLEASE let me know if there is anything at all I can do to help you since this is MD. I have been trying to find a positive way to help others. I can’t go back and change the past and what happened, but I need a way to help others and prevent this from happening again. The children MUST come first.

          • cappuccinoqueen says:

            Laurie, I am currently thinking of how I can form a group of mothers in MD to get some things done. I will make sure that I post more details once the criminal trial is over and I can focus a bit more on this issue. Follow me on Facebook. I usually make a point to update folks on a more regular basis there.

        • Laurie says:

          I want to mention also, in MD, we were both ordered to parenting classes because the Judge said she couldn’t determine who was the abusive parent. We were ordered to go to the SAME parenting class. I refused to go because I had a protective order against him and I did not want to see him in the class. She relented and let me go to the second sessions. BUT, they knew as soon as I showed up because he had made sure to tell the facilitator his story and how we had abused him. I have to mention he was disabled, so that was part of the perception problem. He used his physical disability to make excuses for his behavior and then told everyone we abused him. I can tell you just because someone is physically disabled does NOT keep them from being abusive or have personality disorder or whatever was wrong with him. He was like TWO totally different people, and all the Judge saw was his physical disabilty and her personnel perception of the situation. I didn’t want my son to testify about what his father had done to him (and I) in court and then have to listen to his father lie about what had happened. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to go into all of this, my heart goes out to you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do.

  18. Deborah says:

    My dad was seldom interested in exercising his visitation rights, but my mom was terrified whenever he did. Reading your post, I recall her terror as if it were yesterday.

    I have some letters I’ll need to write later, after I’ve researched where to send them, and I will share this as widely as I can. All the while, I will be wishing there were any way that such petitions could restore life, or lessen your pain.

    I am so angry, and so sorry.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Thanks Deborah. I’m so sorry that your mother had to live in such terror and that your father the man she was afraid of. No parent should ever be forced to turn their child over to someone dangerous. And yes, please share your letters and things here as I want to raise hell in all the ways I can for Prince.

  19. Carla says:

    May God Bless you honey! I will pray for you and your son.

  20. Kenecia Daniels says:

    I pray for you and yours.

  21. Matthew says:

    Hi my heart goes out to u I’m am going threw a similiar situation with my daughter and her mother I was told just because her mother has a history of of neglect and mentally unstable to even be able to live with out another adult present they would not award custody based on that her other daughter has been molested at 5 years old already it scares me the kind of environment me daughter is being subjected to my situation does not sound as bad as yours but it scares me to even imagine it could where yours did my prayers go out to u in this fight I support u 100 percent if I could do anything to help I am more than homered I’m fighting this fight as well not finding much help

  22. Lisa says:

    Dearest Hera and Prince’s Dama, as well,
    I admire your courage. I felt the content of your letter was moving. God bless you for your efforts on Prince’s behalf, for your perseverance and for your fortitude in the face of this disturbing travesty of justice. If I could be there to hug you, I would.

    The greatest hardship is knowing that you turned to the one person who had the power to make a difference – instead he chose poorly. And from what you described, his attitude toward your plight was mortifying! I am so ashamed of this judge and am terribly, terribly sorry that this was your experience.

    Somewhere in the midst of this nightmare, there is hope. You MUST search for it – it may take time, but I assure you, it will be found. If it is at all possible, once you’ve taken the time you need to grieve and to accept the injustice you’ve been dealt, try your best to turn your attention to what possible good might be found in the midst of your pain. (Return to your grief as often as you must – it is there for a reason. It is not to be denied. Every person is individual. Take the time that you need. Caution yourself from letting your grief turn to bitterness and always search for SOMEthing hopeful.)

    Our situation does not bear the anguish of your heartache, but I will share that we recently endured an unfathomable custody-assignment at the hands of “Honorable Justice” Stephen Rainaud of Greenfield, MA (I use the terms honorable and justice oh-so lightly). We had multiple character witness statements and an 88-page court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem report indicating the children would be best suited in the care of their father because their mother was unstable and would benefit from Neuropsychological evaluation and treatment, and that all maternal-visitations should be supervised. Instead? You guessed it – he awarded full legal and physical custody to the mother and she has predictably neglected their physical needs and tortures them emotionally. I did not have the guts to out that judge the way you did with Algeo, but I’m reconsidering. Again, I admire your courage.

    It may be irritating and impossible to consider forgiving the >public official appointed to decide cases in a court of law< or the offending paternal figure. (I will not use the terms ''Honorable Justice Algeo'' or ''father'', because honor and justice are not apparent in this case; neither is fatherhood.)

    Forgiveness can only come from surrendering your circumstance to the one who now cares for your precious Prince. I sincerely pray you find your way there and that you find strength in deciding to do so. Even though we are states away, I support you!!

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Lisa, thank you for your support. And thank you for sharing a small piece of your story. Don’t feel bad for not being able to “out” your judge. My blog was initially anonymous because I was scared that speaking the truth would give the judge a reason to take more out on me. It is hard to be honest about someone when they hold your child’s fate in their hands. (or in your case it sounds like a step child – which I can imagine you can feel very close to as well)

      I had to leave a child behind when I fled Luc. Luc’s older son was living with us. Since I had no legal rights to him, I had to leave him there even though I knew I was leaving him to be abused and tormented. At the time, however, I needed to do what I believed was best for Prince because he was my responsibility and I knew I could not save both of them. Unfortunately, as you have read…the judge forced my son back into that situation long enough to render my attempt to flee completely useless. The reason I fled Luc’s house was to save my son and my son ended up dying anyway because the judge sent him right back.

      Good Luck with your fight.

      • Brenda Brown says:

        I am SheryI Mason’s aunt, Shawn was my great niece. I have spoken to Sheryl about getting her grandson out of that environment, she has called child protective services and he’s still there. I’m sure they are aware of Lucifer’s history, in fact I know they are because they told Sheryl they were aware of it. Why in god’s name are they allowing him to remain in that environment. Did you make your concerns about the one you left behind known to child protective services? I am truly afraid for Shadxx. Sheryl has mentioned that she talks to you frequently, and I’m glad, together you two should do all you can to get this man (Lucifer) behind bars. You have my deepest sympathy and I will be in this fight with you and Sheryl. I was hoping the ex girfriend, the one he was with at the time he killed Shawn ( and yes, he killed Shawn), would come forward with any information she may have on that period of time. I’m praying for justice for the mother, your son and my niece.

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Brenda, thank you for your comment. I, too, am afraid for the child that is still in that house. I really don’t understand why they are leaving him there during all of this. As for the ex girlfriend coming forward – she has! I think at this point, its on the police to do something with the information they have.

    • Min says:

      This is just to sad, I can’t believe that “Mr Judged Wrong” is still on the bench! he needs to be removed from that bench ASAP!

  23. Angliz says:

    This man has my own grandson’s life in his hands. The father, who had sex with a child four years under age as an adult, had little to nothing to do with the kid after the girl fled him. Then, she gets married as an adult and he takes her to court for visitation with the kid. As soon as it is discovered his parents are illegal, he will flea with the boy. The home is unfit for a small child. There are way too many people there. And this judge ignores it all. Doesn’t even look into anything. Sees 30% chance it is his kid and awards him unsupervised visitation. Someone needs to stop this man and get him off the bench for good!!!

  24. Lisa says:

    Perhaps consider posting your opinion in The Robing Room; a forum “where judges are judged.”
    http://www.therobingroom.com/md/Judge.aspx?id=5682

    I researched Algeo’s history and found a couple of articles posted on line by the Washington Post. (I actually thought about urging the Post to start their own investigation on Prince’s tragic story …)
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/from-the-courthouse/emotion-severity-from-judge-at.html

    In one article, I found it interesting that Algeo powerfully reprimanded a woman he convicted (of HORRIBLE, gut-wrenching atrocities), referring to the importance of “having the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child” … and then he decides Prince’s fate in this manner!

    Didn’t he have the same opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child? Why didn’t he simply err on the side of caution? Why did he behave so arrogantly toward an obviously trembling mother bent on protecting her child? Why didn’t he say something like, “Pending further investigation, the father is granted supervised visitation with the son until further notice.” Why did he lean SO FAR in the opposite direction? What risk would have transpired under court-appointed supervision? Why could he not have established an appropriate means for both the mother and the father to have both their wishes granted? The father seems disturbed; erratically unwell. Unfortunately, so does the judge.

    Where do you turn when the people you’re supposed to turn to are on the same level as the people you need to turn away from?!

    I understand there is an ongoing investigation. Perhaps one of the many people living there will come forward as a witness. Even if the truth comes out but is covered to protect the arrogant, God knows ALL and will deal with it on His terms.

    Please consider offering your opinion on the link for the Robing Room. Perhaps someone, somewhere (the Washington Post?) will take it further than we have the capability of doing.

  25. Jenna says:

    I’m so terribly sorry that you lost your son. I agree with the very first comment. That judge is responsible for the death of your son and s/he should be MADE to remember that for the rest of his/her life as you will. Go public with your story. Take it to the top and that judge should be removed and stripped of his/her “responsibility” that s/he loathes so much. It was pure hatred on the part of the judge and that is completely unacceptable.

    My heart bleeds for you… as a mother who has lost 2 children (my first and third born), I understand your grief. Many blessings to you, Hera. May you be protected from such foolishness and hatred like this in the future.

    Love and light be to you.

  26. Paula says:

    I am so sad to see this still happening every couple of months and yes we all thought what these people say but the truth is that the Judicial Disability Committee is a joke. I know myself because I tried everything under the law. Countless protective parents have. I felt like dying for years and my children lived. So my heart breaks for you and Prince because if there was a single judge with morality and conscious, this would have been stopped long ago and Prince would be safe today. I’ve subscribed if you want support in taking this forward or need witnesses.

  27. I can hardly find words for you. This is all so cruel. I hope that you can find peace in your heart, but that you will never stop fighting. I am sad for you and deeply grateful for spreading your experience.
    All my love,
    Meike (Berlin, Germany)

  28. Jessica A says:

    I had judges like this in my case. I lost custody of my only child to my ex who raped me on a regular basis. I am not even allowed to see her anymore unless I recant and pretend the abuse never happened and suffer visits with my rapist supervising the visits for an hour a month. I refuse to lie just to be able to endure more abuse. These judges have no consciences to speak about. This happens quite often in this country. The protective parents are painted as ‘vindictive’ and similar insults and basically punished for speaking the truth. The courts don’t care about the truth. They masquerade as instruments of justice while they oppress, maim, and kill the weakest of society who has no one else to look out for them.

    There was another case I recall where the father got unsupervised visits with his children and killed each one of them before killing himself on the first visit. The judge had no remorse for his decision, either.

    I get so angry and heartbroken for mothers like us who lose our children after fighting so hard to protect them. And society often scrutinizes the mother’s actions trying to figure out what more the mother could have done instead of laying the blame where it belongs.

    I wish I could give you a hug of comfort. It wouldn’t do much good I suppose, but I know you are in terrible pain at the loss of your precious child. This pain is such that nothing can ever even describe it. It’s like your heart and soul have been ripped apart and you’re just left that way.

  29. theplott says:

    Prince’s wonderful mother,

    Judge Algeo could be have fallen for the modern undercurrent in USA politics that tries to force men to father their children. The condescension, disrespect and outright prejudice against single mothers is reaching dangerous proportions as many believe that single mothers raise criminals. Against all know statistics (for example the rate of violent crime has gone down in places like DC and NYC while single motherhood has gone up) these jurists think they know it all, that boys should not be raised by mothers alone under any circumstances.

    I hope your case goes global. I want these sexist judges disbarred. They underlying thesis of their vaulted opinion is that a dead child is better than a child raised by a single mother. If nothing else, the contrary opinion should be heard loud and clear, in Judge Algeo’s chambers if no where else.

    Please consider contacting The Washington Post and The Huffington Post with your letter.

    The fate of your beautiful child makes me so sad. Your unnecessary anguish makes me furious. My heart goes out to you.

  30. Autumn says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, miss. I am truly and deeply sorry this is something you have to bear for the rest of your life, and will never forget. No woman – or anyone for that matter- should have to go through what you just did, and that is the death of a child, in an unfair/abusive circumstance, when something could have prevented it. I really hope that this man faces jail time for the decision he made about your son, and his father. I hope that people really see him for who he is. I hope that even if he doesn’t remember you now, that he does and will for the rest of his miserable life, as the woman who’s baby he killed by poor judgement.

    As I read your letter to the judge, I teared up, and then I cried. I cried for you. And for prince. I cried for the cross you have to bear the the rest of your life, and the life he will never have. I cried that God gives you some salvation, and some sympathy, for the things you now have to go through, without your dashing, and handsome baby boy. I know that Baby Prince is sitting on the right hand of our Father, looking down at you and saying ” Mama, I’m okay, I love you with all my heart. I will see you again some day.” I know that deep within my soul. My only words to you now are to stay strong. Keep your head up and know your little baby boy is okay, and doing well. He’s in heaven playing with all the other babies, and he is perfectly healthy.Jesus is his best friend. Things will get easier for you. Your life will get easier, I know it will.

    Best Regards,

    Autumn Vallette – Big Rapids MI.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Thanks Autumn. I think Prince is now looking down and watching over all of us. :)

      • Autumn says:

        Hera, I also took the time to look up this mans personal email address, which is stupidly posted on the internet, and i sent him your letter along with my own, condemning him for the loss of this precious child.

        i have also sent the link to the washington post, and will be sending it to all major news companies that I can think of, to get your story out. You deserve to be heard, and it would be a great injustice if you were not.

  31. lisa zilligen says:

    How could any good judge let this happen? I pray this never happens to my family! I would not ever allow any parent the right to see their child that being said, I would take every precaution necessary to protect that child whether it be intensely monitored visits or what ever it takes to keep the child/children safe!

  32. anon says:

    The reality is, if most women didn’t lie about men abusing them or their children in family court then the real cases would be taken serious. You want someone to blame? Blame the countless number of women who lie about men doing something they didn’t do. Once that happens, then maybe we can start taking claims of abuse serious.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Anon, I wonder how you would have statistics on whether most women lie about men abusing them. Does this happen more than men lie about their behavior? I am not saying you are completely wrong, but lets be honest – many people lie. IMHO, that is the point of the courts. They need to find out a way to find out the difference between truth and lies. In my trial, it wasn’t just he said she said. I brought in a large number of witnesses (so it wasn’t just my word against his). I brought in victim after victim and even brought in a police officer. These women you believe lie – this sounds like maybe a personal experience and for that I am sorry you had to go through that. The sad part is that I think the courts could tell the difference if they took the time to tell the difference. If someone claims that they got a job (even though solid evidence proves that in their entire 40 years of life they have never had one), take the time to call and see if they actually do. If not, that is one clear way to tell a liar.

      Another way to sniff out a liar is previous testimony. For example, my ex had been to court before – several times. We had copies of his previous testimony in other cases. During my case, however, he acted like it was his first time on the stand and was caught lying about something he had admitted to in an earlier case. So, it wouldn’t have taken a leap for the judge to say, “Mr. Luc – how come your story is different now? You were under oath both times. Are you lying now or were you lying then?” Simple….liar revealed.

      Me, on the other hand, I presented to the judge a real person. A woman who had been paying taxes, had a record of being a good student when I was in school, received my master degree, and had been working in an honorable and moral job for years.

      I am sorry that you feel as if this situation boils down to blaming “liars”, but I encourage you to do some research before you blame court lying on women who report that they have been abused.

      • Theresa says:

        Such a touching repsonse to a cruel post. I admire you, Hera, Mother or Angel Prince!

      • nuthermuther says:

        I found these stats online @ http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/info/custody-abuse/statistics/myths-that-place-children-at-risk-during-custody-litigation
        “…The results revealed that the judges felt that only a third of unproven cases of child abuse stemming from custody battles involved someone deliberately lying in court. In these cases, the judges found that fathers were more likely to fabricate the accusations than mothers
        Of female-initiated allegations, just 1.3% were deemed intentionally false by civil courts, compared with 21% when the man in the failed relationship brought similar allegations.”….”Schuman (2000) reviewed research that found a range of 1-5% for rates of deliberately false allegations, and 14-21% for mistaken allegations.”……..

        Current government policy echoes many of the key themes of the fathers’ rights movement. Both government policy and many fathers’ rights groups are guided by two central, and mistaken, assumptions: that all children see contact with both parents as in their best interests in every case, and that

        a violent father is better than no father at all

        (DVIRC, 2005, pp. 5-6). Both bodies talk of ‘conflict’ rather than violence, neglect violence as a legitimate issue for the courts and family services to address, emphasise mediation and counseling as solutions, and focus on punishing women for making false allegations or breaching contact orders. – http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/info/custody-abuse/fathers-rights/fathers-rights-and-violence-against-women

        If you really want a scare, read about PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME aka PAS and it’s “creator”, pro-pedophile, Richard Gardner.

        When you see Prince’s smiling little face, how could anyone not put his safety first? How could a judge think it was so important that he have “unsupervised” visitation with a “questionable” person at that tender age? He wasn’t even old enough to speak out if someone was abusing him. It’s just horrible.

        Abusive fathers are being granted custody because they claim the mothers are unstable, too emotional. Been there and done that too – it’s the worst feeling in the world.

        The judge in my case was widely quoted as believing (and opening saying) that “all dads are GOOD dads”.

      • It is a free for all in court. Individuals take the stand and lie with immunity! Same issue with trial briefs and declarations. There are no consequences.

        Family Law is a court of law. Individuals must be held accountable. If found guilty of perjury, placed in jail and lose custody of their children. Convictions for perjury would drop significantly in every case to near zero.

        Do you know we hold children more accountable for their actions during their parents divorce than we do parents. Children, who lie, steal, commit crimes, are told, I am sorry your parents are going through a divorce but that is not an excuse to violate the law.
        The argument is that to punish the parents is to punish the child in Family Law. We don’t want to punish the child for the actions of the parents. No where else is this argument used.

        In criminal courts, I have never heard a judge say I cannot convict you because the conviction will interfere with your ability to parent. Imagine the impact of this statement in our criminal courts and you can understand the chaos we have in now in Family Law. A near total breakdown of our court system. The public is demanding accountability and should!

        All decisions are based on evidence/testimony, if the evidence/testimony are flawed so is the decision to the detriment of all. Including the system itself which is why the courts are imploding upon themselves.

        The correction is not as difficult as might appear. The best individual to identify the lies, is the other spouse, not the attorney, not the judge. It is only the spouses. They are the only ones present in nearly all of the situations. Have first hand accounts, or knowledge past that of the judge, attorney or even law enforcement if they are present.

        Have each spouse go through the transcripts of the other from their testimony. The attorneys provide the rebuttal, and evidence to support the true and correct facts. Now, perception is a different issue, but I am speaking to perjury. They are not enrolled in this or that. This or this happened or didn’t happen. Custody did not take place on this or that date. I was not notified of this or that. And back up each statement with a copy of an email, telephone bill or applicable evidence. If applicable file a police report. But the system is not ready for that right now. District Attorney does not file on this issue. But, if Martha Stewart can go to jail for lying why can’t the courts, law enforcement, District Attorneys Office take police reports, investigate, file and convict.

        Just to be clear on this issue, a conviction would be prosecuted through criminal courts not Family Law. The conviction would then be brought to the attention of Family Law. However, the initial evidence of the perjury could be presented in argument to Family Law.

        I wrote an entire article on my blog regarding this issue, Custody Calculations. A retired law enforcement officer, I spent ten years researching the issues of Family Law, what could be done to correct the system flaws. One of the most important corrections is the issue of perjury.

        Now a Divorce Coach, I help individuals navigate their divorce so that they get our sooner, make better decisions, fewer mistakes, and protect their family. We also work to help you learn what you can handle yourself and when to contact your attorney.

  33. Grandma going through family court too says:

    ” Anon said: The reality is, if most women didn’t lie about men abusing them or their children in family court then the real cases would be taken serious. You want someone to blame? Blame the countless number of women who lie about men doing something they didn’t do. Once that happens, then maybe we can start taking claims of abuse serious.”
    *Some women have lied and it has hurt the rest of us who fight for our children and granchildren. However, If a woman is weeping in your court room and spending $10,000+ in legal fees and does not back down; wouldn’t that make you think twice? Each case is different. Not all women lie and there are plenty of bald faced liers of creepy fathers who do not have their childs best interest at heart. Hera, if you organize a group, count me in. We must not stand for abuse from any man including a Judge!! I also would like to note I have doubts that the people commenting who say they are attorneys actually are attorneys. Our atty charges $360.00 an hour and each phone call costs us, any and all contact with him is billable. An atty commenting on FB for free? Please! I don’t buy their BS.

    • Mel says:

      Less than 1% of women lie about abuse. The bigger lie is that it isn’t occurring!!!
      OH I HATE THIS LIE!!!! LETS STOP IT NOW SO THAT MORE PEOPLE WHO CAN MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE DON’T FEED INTO IT!
      I am a grad student who has spent the last 20+ years studying domestic violence and assure you that my numbers are right. This lie that women lie out of ????? is the abusers lie to gain support. Lets not allow further abuse by listening! PLEASE!

      • Mel says:

        CLARIFICATION: The bigger lie is that domestic violence/ abuse isn’t occurring.

      • cappuccinoqueen says:

        Amen Mel! Reports of domestic violence and rape should ALWAYS be taken seriously. Unfortunately, however, people feel more safe and comfortable blaming the victim than going often he abuser. Luc is still trying to go around and spread lies to make it appear as if he was raped. Instead of actually arresting HIM, the police turned around and arrested me and my sister. Why did I get arrested? Well, because he had the nerve to secretly video tape the sex act with my sister and it happened to be with the same camera that the birth of my son was filmed on. So when I left that night, I took the camera with me because I wanted my sons pictures…not knowing what kind of real monster I had been with. Luc spun some fabulous lie and made it look like I intentionally took the camera to destroy the film…when had I known about the damn video I would have given it to police. When police asked for it back – I gave it to them. period. No obstruction -pure cooperation. That is why when all this came before a judge it was THROWN OUT. I am sick of police officers attacking victims. Sorry for the rant, but I am just so disgusted by all this.

  34. I am so sorry for your loss. It was exactly this type of situation that prompted me many years ago as a law enforcement officer to begin researching the issues of Family Law. I had a front row seat to the horrible and devastating effects of Family Law, the tragic loss of life, and I was moved to become personally involved, past the radio calls, past the crime reports, past everything and seek corrections for the courts and the many families who depend on the court to make good rulings.

    Ten years of research, I am now retired and CEO of a company under development of a program, that will ultimately impact such situations, as well as correcting many of the other hundreds of issues that hurt families and children during and after divorce.

    Until it’s launch, I provide services to individual families as a Divorce Coach. But it is not enough. I am sorry that it is taking so long, and the price, has been the loss/death of another, precious and most loved child.

    My research reflects that Family Law may be responsible for 25% of the crime in this country, homicides, suicides, abductions, child abuse, domestic abuse, violation of court orders, violations of restraining orders, stalking and more.

    To put just one of those numbers into perspective that is approximately $3,600 – 4,000 homicides a year related to Family Law. One death is too many, 3,600 – 4,000 unforgivable!

  35. Michelle Bender says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you must live with everyday! I wish the judge had listened to you! I admire your strength. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  36. maddamma says:

    “Stupid was one of my nicknames for luc.Perhap you have a lurker.

  37. Janet says:

    Hera,

    I came across your story and I felt compelled to write to you and tell you my story. I TOO HAD JUDGE ALGEO!!!!! He made a terrible decision for my daughter that I had to send the COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS in Maryland. His ruling was eventually vacated/overturned by the Appellate court, but the process took a year and a lot of money and the expense of my daughter.

    I too have an abusive ex husband. We split in February of 2006 after I told him I was pregnant with our first child. We were married almost 10 years at the time. He left stating he did not want a wife or child. He also told me that I would “never carry the baby to term”. So, I took that as a threat to myself and my unborn child’s life.I was afraid of this man after years of emotional and physical abuse, so I left Montgomery County and moved to Florida where I would have help and support of my parents and his parents as well.
    Fortunately for me, being a nurse, I had no difficulty finding work.
    I was able to provide a stable loving home for my daughter for 5 years.
    In August 2011 I was caught by a police officer with a patients narcotic prescription bottle on me (I worked as a Hospice nurse) and I was arrested for having a controlled substance perscription that was not mine. My worst nightmare professionally. I immediately obtained and attorney and a drug test (which was negative). I have never used drugs. My ex husband came for a visit (as he did 3-4 times a year) for Alexis’ first day of Kindergarten and during his visit he pretended to be in Florida taking her to scool on her 3rd day, while he kidnapped my daughter and taking her to Maryland. He got a Temproary Emergency Custody order by stating that I abandoned my daughter, stated I was arrested and incarcerated, stated I was a drug addict…all lies…all he had to do for Montgomery County was sign an affadavit and they awarded him temporary custody of my daughter. Alexis had only visited Maryland 3 times and had only had 4 overnight visits alone with my ex in 5 years when this happened. I was notified my daughter was gone via email. I had 2 days to find an attorney (I lucked out!) and came up to Maryland for a court hearing. I had the pleasure to meet Judge Algeo on this visit. He was unprofessional, he appeared to be sleeping during the hearing, HE found me guilty of the accusations in Florida, he believed my ex husband’s lies and stories and he granted my ex husband Sole Temporary Custody of my daughter, stating that she would be better off with her father (who hardly knew her). My worst nightmare…my world ended right there! I had a very competent wonderful attorney who argued that there was no emergency and that Maryland did not have jurisdiction over a child that lived in Florida her entire life. Yet, Judge Algeo did not care.
    I had to file an appeal to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals (COSA) and the process took a year. The verdict came out July 25, 2012 in which Judge Algeo’s decision was vacated/overturned and the COSA found his decision a “far cry from an emergency”.
    I finally got my precious Alexis back August 6, 2012 almost a year later. In that year my ex alienated us and allowed very little contact, he even cut off his own parents! He would not allow unsupervised visits and made any trip to see Alexis miserable. I spent 12 hours with my daughter in a year while he sat and watched us! My daughter went from a happy, smiling, funny, outgoing child to a quiet, sad, traumatized child. As I said before my ex was abusive to me and as I feared, was abusive to her.
    I am sooo greatful to be able to have my daughter back and I appreciate every minute, yet the damage was done and I now have a broken traumatized child thanks to Judge Algeo’s decision. He took a happy, well adjusted child out of the only home she ever knew, away from the only family she ever know and handed her to an abuser. I have often tought about writing to Judge Algeo about what a wrong decision he made and the damage he caused my daughter but, I thought it would just be thrown away.
    I read your story and cried for hours! My heart breaks for you.
    I would love to help you with a crusade to get Judge Algeo removed from the bench. If he “hates family court” and makes such terrible decisions that has now caused the death of an innocent child; he needs to be removed! And held accountable!
    I want to help you in any way possible….lets do this for our kids…

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Oh Janet, I am so sorry to hear about this. I had heard of your story and I was told that Judge Algeo made the decision he did with Prince because he was embarrassed about your case. After reading your story, I feel like I am a bit in shock. It is almost like this man hates mothers! Is what it looks like to others? How on earth could he justify this kidnapping? That is what happened to your daughter! She was kidnapped! I can’t even believe this….I am so sorry.

      My attorney’s told me that since Judge Algeo had harshly judged a woman who hadn’t been convicted, he wouldn’t hold Luc’s “prime suspect” issues against him until he was actually charged. Seriously?!?! This sounds like a completely different situation! You had a track record not to mention even his own family on your side. I think that says a lot. Unbelievable…

      • Janet says:

        My attorney in Maryland forwarded me this after reading your letter to judge Algeo:

        Maryland does have a judicial fitness commission, fyi. The MSBA or the Court of Appeals may have info about it on their websites.

        Janet

        • Paula says:

          I am here to tell you that the injustice in many family courts across the country is astounding, and sadly very common. Hera, as a mother, my heart goes out to you and your family for your loss. Your son is so handsome in his photos. I hope that judge is rightfully impeached, and imprisoned for his actions to you and the many other mothers and children that he has “thrown under the bus”. I wish that I knew where to find his e-mail address, because I personally would like to send him a letter directly. Due process for abuse victims (and their children) and basic common sense are NOT used by many family courts and the cronies that work for them. Many of the court personnel are educated about domestic violence, and they know full well what is happening, but many seem to CHOOSE to ignore the obvious detrimental effects of abusers parenting their child, while at the same time punishing the protective parent for disclosing obvious abuse. Many of these protective parents are punished by being stripped of ALL contact with their child, partial custody (which resubjects the victims with continued contact to their abuser), or are ordered to stay silent about their case on the internet, etc. Wouldn’t it stand to reason that many victims of abuse and their children would need as much autonomy from their abuser (attacker) just as any other victim of a crime deserves to have (and gets)? Yet many of these same idiot judges would charge a mother with “failure to protect” if her child were harmed by the abuser while the mother was still married and living in the home. These patriarchal knuckledraggers need to seriously be brought under accountability for their heinous judgements that put children and abuse victims in jeopardy. Nothing less will do.
          I sincerely hope that you and your family will eventually be able to find the peace and happiness that you all deserve. I am hoping that you and others putting your story out for the public to see will be rewarded with the justice that is rightfully your due.

  38. Hollywood says:

    http://nationalorganizationforjustice.weebly.com/2/post/2010/9/2nd-letter-to-us-department-of-justice.html

    Thought this was interesting especially with both yours and Janet’s esperience with Algeo and the Maryland court system. There’s clearly an enormous problem with him and their system, I hope that you’re able to get this guy out!!!

  39. Lisa says:

    To Hollywood,
    Do you even REALIZE what hope this brought to my eyes? Just knowing that there has ALREADY been someone in a position of power and authority (of some sort) who -not only sees it for what it is- but has the background to articulate the situation to (whom I assume to be) key people in an effort to correct the life-draining injustice that separates an innocent child from his mother and the life they could have had together … that is SUCH a relief. It won’t stop the “Prince train”, but it will give those who are shovelin’ the coal a breather while we gear up for the rest of the ride. Thank you for the encouragement. I would love to know whatever happened as a result of that 2010 letter.
    THANK YOU for sharing that post!

  40. Whatever you need, if it is signing petitions, organizing phone calls, and getting the word out about your story please just ask! I will do anything to help you get the word out more about this callus man that calls himself a judge….before another mother has to endure your pain. God Bless Hera!!! I’m so sorry for your loss!

  41. Mel says:

    You should take this to the next step. I am so very sorry for your unimaginable pain.
    I would like to add upon something you said in your letter to this judge. I left an abuser. I begged (after my ex continued to do different things to scare me and hurt the children) that visits go back to being supervised. I’m sure that I might have come across as a scorned woman or (due to lack of counsel at that point) one living out of things from the past. Two things A) If there’s a history of abuse then any woman who requests supervised visits knows the patterns and dangers best. If they are requesting supervised visits then it isn’t about being scorned it is out of FEAR! B) Men who are truly abusive don’t change. Don’t ever accuse a woman who was in a domestic violence relationship of living in the past because if these men are still taking the woman to court then it is still about power and control and domestic violence. I assure you that even if there is no way to prove continued emotional, verbal, psychological or even physical abuse…. it is occurring. In my case, my children ended up harmed emotionally. When he finally stepped out of their lives for good they were suicidal and abusive in many ways themselves. I have spent all my time trying to get them help. There are so many ways to hurt children in these types of situations and these judges need to get educated and help protect them!
    I have become and advocate and do what I can to educate. My children are still “damaged” and I worry about the ways they abuse themselves and sometimes others (emotionally) due to the wounds they haven’t been able to face yet. When a judge allows the abuser unsupervised visits against the victims pleas it is also allowing continued abuse to all the victims. I am so sorry that you are going through this. I hope that one day we have an educated social service and judicial system that helps end cycles by these type of men.
    Please take care! I wish there was something I could do to help ease your pain.

  42. I’m appalled that someone would suggest that a judge should not take a claim of domestic violence and abuse seriously because someone else lied about THEIR CASE!!! HOW COULD THE JUDGE USE THE FACTS OF ONE CASE TO JUDGE ANOTHER!!!

  43. A judge has an obligation. He should not make a decision that he will not believe any claims of domestic violence because SOME WOMEN have lied. That’s absurd to even suggest that this is okay. The problem is that it occurs. A judge that does so, like in this case, should be held accountable for his decisions. He had a fiduciary responsibility to the parties in this case….now in particular the victims. How many people have a dead mother and a dead ex-girlfriend under suspicious circumstances. This judge is callous and obviously an idiot. He should be removed from his bench. He cost an inocent child his life. How many more!

  44. Sully says:

    Contact the Maryland Court of Appeals in Annapolis. You can file a complaint with their assistance. There is a group called the Judicial Disabilities Commission. This judge was way over the line, and it’s unacceptable you and your son were dismissed by the system made to help you.
    My sympathies to you and your family.

  45. Vanessa says:

    You have my DEEPEST sympathy! It is going to take a lot of strength for you to take on the judicial system that let you down! DON’T GIVE UP! Your peace will come from within and the fact that you may save some other innocent child from the incredible incompetence that this judge displayed. It takes time and emotion, but please don’t stop. I am going to spread your story every way I know how. I already sent a message to a national radio talk show and they did send a personal reply, so hopefully, they will research it and make it a part of their programming. I will keep you in my heart and prayers.

  46. Lisa says:

    To Mel,
    You said:
    “There are so many ways to hurt children in these types of situations and these judges need to get educated and help protect them! … I have become and advocate and do what I can to educate … I wish there was something I could do to help ease your pain.”

    I want to offer these two things: Your remark about judges needing education that will protect children is what I see as they KEY to all of this! These aspects of education are, in fact, NOT qualifications for their employment, and yet they are necessary facets of their actual jobs, aren’t they? Notice that the following link says “in ANY area”: To become a lawyer, you must hold a Juris Doctor (JD) law degree and pass your state’s bar examination. Before law school, you need to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in any area. To qualify for most law schools, you must take and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Once in law school, curricula might include courses such as constitutional law, criminal law, property, contracts and legal ethics. http://degreedirectory.org/articles/Judge_Career_Profile_Job_Outlook_and_Educational_Requirements.html

    My point is that a separate degree in Neuropsychology (the study of the brain, the nervous system and the mind) does not seem to be a requirement for a judge whose very decisions decide the fate of the society over which he or she presides. In effect, their under-educated decisions (in this particular area), which place these innocent children at risk (or worse), advance the very population they will come to judge in twenty years based on the lives these children will live as a result of the people and situations to which they are forced to be exposed at the hands of these under-educated judges! A child’s brain and nervous system are formed, cell-by-cell, in the context of their surroundings and as such are formed as a DIRECT RESULT of it. This mesh of nature and nurture produces a generation of adults who will one day walk among us, the result of what they’ve been exposed to (just as we do). Judges who ASSIGN their fate, without knowing the potential consequences of their choices, are endangering these precious, precious, INNOCENT bystanders we call our children.

    Law is as much a social science as Psychology or Sociology, but -for some reason- becoming a judge does not require anything more than a rudimentary overview of the subject. It is my opinion that this aspect of their education should be modified to include a minimum of Child Psychology and Behavioral Neuropsychology.

    Second thing: You said that you have become an advocate – what more can be asked? That, in itself, means one less child (and perhaps those affected by the interactions of that one -now advocated for- child) DOES help to ease the pain of those who have lost their children because it gives them hope that, despite the suffering of their God-forsaken tragedy, there IS an end in sight. Hope is all a person needs to move forward day by day. The bible says that “hope does not disappoint us”. Because you have become an advocate for your children (HUGS to you for how you’ve endured your situation), there is hope for them and those with whom they interact. I want to say, that in all your dealings with them and others, maintaining a ‘hope-focus’ can be the very thing a person may need on any given day.

  47. Brenda Brown says:

    Thanks for your response, I have great admiration for what you are doing and I know without a doubt your son is pushing you forward to resolve his passing. It’s as if he was the sacrificial lamb to put this monster where he belongs, and I for one am going to be praying for and pushing for the death penalty for this fruit cake. He took three innocent lives and he must pay for that, we all know it and the police know it. I pray they hurry and arrest him before something else bad happens to my loved ones.

  48. Brittany says:

    My lawyer forwarded your story to me. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling. There is a judge just like Algeo sitting on the bench right now. Gary E. Bair. He recently gave my son’s father, who has a long history of mental illness and receives 100% disability for this, 50/50 custody. This man, who receives no treatment and has a documented, ongoing history of drug abuse, was also awarded decision making power after abandoning our little boy for two years. My son is terrified of his father. He cries and begs not to go every Wednesday. When presented with new evidence, a hidden document that showed the true mental functioning of this man, the judge refused to accept it, claiming the VA was separate from a child custody matter. This document refuted the father’s testimony, his mother’s testimony and the testimony of his hired gun “psychologist” who testified on behalf of the father. I am scared for my son, and so sad that you will never hold your baby boy again. I wonder if there is something we can do to fix this ever-present problem of “splitting the baby” in our court system. I am so sorry for your loss. You and your little boy are in our thoughts and prayers.

    • Virginia says:

      I wonder if this is the Gary E Bair that I once worked with at American University? Do you know if that is where he taught?

  49. Without having full knowledge of your circumstances, I can only assume that the attorney on your case fears for the safety of your son, equal to your concern. Which is why they provided a copy of the post for you to review.

    There are some steps you can take outside of the courtroom on your own, to secure the safety of your son. This additional resource could also provide you with the evidence you need to factually again document the need to go back into court to obtain a more appropriate setting for the safety of your son.

    Has anyone ever made the suggestion to retain a private detective to observe your son while he is in the custody of his father? A private detective could be the means by which, if your son were in imminent danger, they could immediately contact law enforcement to respond on an emergency, or if necessary before law enforcement arrive, take action to save the life of your son. But I caution you, you need to retain, an experienced, capable professional. I may be able to give you a referral depending on where you reside.

    Because of the financial cost, I am aware this may not be available, but you should have the information/option so that you can make that decision yourself or take steps to secure funds to possibly intervene and save the life of your son. There may be another option available, less costly, but I would be more comfortable speaking to you directly.

    A retired law enforcement officer, and now a Divorce Coach, you are welcome to contact me without cost for a consult. I may be ale to provide some additional information/resources that may be of assistance to your sons safety and your case. 702-675-5120 This is our coaching number and available to our clients 24/7. website is CustodyCalculations.com

    • Lee Strong says:

      Catherine, we need more people like you on board. God Bless you.
      Dietrich Bonhoeffer said: “The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.”
      You are a shining example of a professional who cares more about children and society than making a quick buck.
      Outstanding!
      Kind regards,
      Lee Strong
      Views of the Child Society – Vancouver, B.C. Canada
      viewsofthechild@gmail.com

  50. Jeannie says:

    I will share and this story as often as necessary. The sad truth is you are not alone. Thank you for sharing such an eloquent letter.

  51. Kwame says:

    Wow! I damn near cried reading this. First of my sincere condolences for your lose. Take heart and know that God is in controll of all things. As for the judge who stoid and did nothing to protect your son his day will come soon. Also the state need to BAN for life so he can’tpractice law EVER again. Again my sincere condolences to you and I will post this this on twitter and facebook for more people to read in hopes to raise more awareess and hopefully justice will be served once people start getting involved

  52. Lee Strong says:

    Hera Dearest,
    We have created an online petition which will be email to the Attorney General of Maryland each time it is signed, calling for the resignation of Judge Michael J. Algeo. May justice reign. We lift you up to Our Lord and keep you constantly in our prayers. Thank you for your courage and bright light and love.
    Blessings,
    Lee
    VOCS Canada

  53. Lisa says:

    Lee,
    Can you make it known when the name has been corrected so we may sign the petition? Thank you,
    Lisa -

  54. libbey says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is so painful to read your words, I can not imagine how hard it is to live the reality behind them. I pray you find peace and meaning the tragedies you have endured. …May love and joy find you in your sorrow and raise you up for the new day. namaste~

  55. Tessa says:

    Dear Judge, now you’re not going to like this, but do you know what I say? Tough! You are not fit for purpose. I’m sorry to have to say this, but you are a twat enabler, you see while anyone holds preconceived theories, WITHOUT bias there will always be twats. Twats are male OR female sub species that pray on the innocents. In family court you will have met thousands, however, and this is what makes you, and many other people, a twat enabler is you can’t tell the difference between smoke and clouds. We have many twat enablers here in the UK, the difference is we name and shame them. It doesn’t stop the twat enablers, but as you will know, if a Judge, for example, is named and shamed as a twat enabler, then they tend to be more careful. Just by reading this blog, I can tell that Luc is a twat, there is a lot of proof, telling you Luc is a twat, and you, Judge, you enabled him to carry on being a twat. As I said at the beginning, you are not fit for purpose. If it walks like a twat, talks like a twat and behaves like a twat, well that my dear Judge just shows you, he’s a twat. Do not be a twat enabler, if you hate family court, leave. If however you want to stop all twats, then stop pre judging, look at the evidence, LISTEN to the testimony, but whatever you do, don’t let the twats win.

  56. Marica says:

    I read. I am sick. I have no words to express my sorrow for your baby, for you, for the future of Mother’s and children who will be affected by this thoughtless uncaring judge.

  57. Janet says:

    Hera,
    It’s Janet again…wrote to you on December 1, 2012 about my case before Judge Algeo…my ex is now in jail. He violated his protective order by attempting to buy a hand gun…then came to Florida. Judge Algeo gave my daughter to this man for a year, he was abusive to her during that year. My daughter was traumatized by this man. I pleaded with my attorney and my daughter’s therapist to only allow supervised visits. These abusers are master manipulators and liers and MY own attorney and a llicensed therapist was fooled and conned into believing that my daughter was safe with him and I was just a scorned mother who was paranoid….how many children’s lives need to be taken before victims of domestic violence are believed by attorney’s, therapists and courts?!

    • Paula says:

      Janet, my sincerest hope is that your ex remains in jail. I pray to God that this happens, and that He stands up for abused victims and their children to remain safe. Hera, again, I am so sorry for your loss and pray that justice is finally served, as you and your son (and family) deserve. You are a very strong person to do something to make a difference for others. May god bless you and your family.

    • Make a Change says:

      This happens often, yet undervalued. It is sad. The more this is put out there, the more serious this ignorance will be turned to awareness.

      I know about a couple of cases where kids are traumatized by their father. Its so sad and it makes my angry. That most of this cases are becaue a Judge did not put more effort in really hearing the plead from moms to have supervised visitations. There are stories that come out that a dad killed his children and or family then himself. The stroy is rported then forgotten. If you look back, many of those families were in court for divorce and or DV, where a mom expresses concern for the saftey of their children and requests supervised visits but were ignored. How mind biggeling! I understand there are many cases where these concerns that are stated have been many times out of spite and it is also not fair but wouldnt the system rather be safe than sorry when it comes to the protection of our own children? I rather there have to be some time effort and yes, I get it, aggravation for unnessesary supervise vsititaions and investigation once there is a redflag for a childs safety. Rather than not kow for sure until a child is hurt or worse, killed. I believe this is why many women end up staying in this types of dangerous and abusive relationships, because the law does not protect them. Therefor they stay and have a part of themselves die every minute every day. Its disgustying! I don’t really know what I can do to help about getting the awareness out there until change really happns. But if there is anything anyone can share with what I can do to help, please let me know. God bless you all of you going through any level of this injustice and may you gain and keep strength to not allow this to continue for moms like you and children that then grow up thinking that abuse is acceptable.

  58. This should NEVER happen in ANY country. The Justice System has GOT to change.

    I am so sorry you and Prince had to suffer this way.

    God bless you both X

  59. Kham says:

    I’ve signed your petition and posted your letter on my FB page. I understand the hopeless feeling of trying to convince the authorities you are not a scorned woman. I dated an abusive man for 6 years. Took me the last 4 of those years to get away from him…and it still took 4 years even though we never lived together. There were no bruises or broken bones so the detective never took me seriously. He stalked me and “made” him do things to me like push my head into steering wheel and punched my face. I remember religiously taking my birth control like clockwork,e told him I couldn’t have children, ignored him and took whatever he dished whenever he insisted on moving in together. And I also “gave” him a butt load of money because he was always unemployed.

    I’m so sorry your worst nightmared happened. And I will spread the word to get this Judge off the bench.

  60. Make a Change says:

    I Realize these posts were done a while ago. I would like to know how you are doing.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Make a Change, I am doing better each day. There is still work to be done. Even though Lucifer is finally in jail where he belongs, there are still children to be saved. I know that I was chosen as my son’s mom for a reason. It’s in accepting this as my mission in life that is keeping me sane. :)

  61. Make a Change says:

    I love your your attitude. not sure how yet, but if there is something I can do to help this cause, please do email me. I cannot promise anything but the passion I can give in being able to help in anyway with suations like this. In helping with awareness in anyway. Just ask.

  62. theygothisass says:

    Start a petition to have him removed!!! I am sure you can do it, and I will be one of the first to sign it!

  63. vannessa lee waddell says:

    I am so very sorry to hear of your story, My heart goes out to you and your family, we try to do the right thing and the people we have to put our trust in are not always right. continue your fight for justice for the death of your son, What happened to the animal that did this, did the judge set him free.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      My son’s father is still in jail awaiting a trial Vanessa. Justice will come for Prince soon. Judge Algeo, however, has not made one comment since my son’s death.

  64. Maus says:

    I’m guessing there are many Judge Algeos out there. Sounds eerily like Judge Daniel Sullivan of Cook County. Being part of an abuse victim’s support group, I’ve met so many mothers in similar situations trying desperately to protect their children, while Judge Sullivan let abusers use the court system to drag things out and punish and torture their victims (while adding to coffers of local legalites). It’s like the third world here. One friend’s deviant husband was granted 50% time with daughter until he raped her. Even then, GAL advocating to maintain father-daughter bond. What? Another friend’s husband told their two young children repeatedly he would kill their mother…but of course unless it actually happens, there’s no possibility, right? This one eventually got himself into enough trouble that he doesn’t see the kids, but not before 4 years of torture and severely damaged children.
    My situation? I waited until my son was old enough to talk before I filed for divorce, knowing full well my ex would get liberal visitation and my son would end up seriously injured or dead, whether by neglect or direct violence. But little did I know court system would not grant a visitation schedule, would not grant any kind of temporary custody arrangement, would do absolutely nothing and leaving both my son and I at the mercy of this abusive man for over 4 years, until I was so in debt and so exhausted and hopeless I gave up the fight and just begged for a divorce. I didn’t want anything, except for this legal nightmare to end and some protection for my son. Over $160,000 later, finally got a divorce but no protections for my son despite incredibly damning evidence of risk to my son during the proceedings.
    After divorce, ex continued to use son to threaten me, and continued to abuse him. He finally screwed up in a different county, which paid attention and ordered supervised visitation. God Bless that judge! There is sanity at least one place in the legal system. BUT… he has ordered us to go back to Cook County to have visitation revised in the court of jurisdiction. So here I go back to Cook County, too broke for a lawyer now, to lay out all of the new facts and plead for continued supervised visitation. All the while fully expecting a blow to my head every time I go out to the car. My biggest fear is my ex or his father will kill me and then my son will end up with them.
    Cook County, please please please err on the side of caution! Learn about abusive men, their characteristics, their patterns, the danger they pose to emotional, psychological and physical well being of the children, whose fates are in your power. Stop being fooled by the poor dad presentation. Stop assuming these men with personality disorders can think rationally like you and me, and that they will not make stupid and dangerous decisions. Stop giving them the benefit of the doubt. The suffering Cook County has caused even the few impacted families I know is beyond comprehension. Women appear “manic” when they are trying to protect their kids. They just do. Pay attention when you see a frantic woman instead of dismissing her as irrational.
    Please pay attention to this: A Judicial Guide to Child Safety in Custody Cases, http://www.ncjfcj.org/resource-library/publications/judicial-guide-child-safety-custody-cases.
    Hera, you are doing so much good. Words can’t express the sadness I feel for your loss. Please know that you are part of a movement that will hopefully raise so much awareness and concern that perhaps other children will be saved. Keep it up.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Maus, I am so sorry to hear about your nightmare situation, but I am happy that it appears as though you have found a good judge who knew what to do in order to protect your child. And you are so so right about how women appear manic when they are trying to protect their children. If she didn’t I would actually think it was less likely that she was telling the truth about abuse. Why would a women seem not worried and then say she was afraid for her child’s safety. Courts don’t use logic in these scenarios at all. It is a damn shame.

      • Maus says:

        Unfortunately the judge who “got it” is not in the county of jurisdiction for our visitation. He only granted temporary supervised to give me time to modify visitation in my county. They won’t. They’re horrible. I’ve been trying to protect him for years, nothing will change. But every attempt goes on the record, so to say. I’ve often considered not trying, to spare myself and my son repercussions. I’m still in fear, I’ll be filing the Motion to Modify Visitation this week. I am having my security system upgraded this week as well, and am trying to figure out just what to do when supervised visits are allowed again.

        I’m sure you felt similar feelings … hopelessness… there is no way out, there is no way to protect my son. Nothing. Only the court system which will always err on side of parental rights. To a degree I understand why that must be. Perhaps someday there will be a genetic or medical test, a brain scan, anything, to more clearly evidence psychopathic and abusive personalities.

        I’ve gotten loud about things in the hopes that if something happens to me or my son, my ex won’t get away with it. In that case hopefully the Hearsay Rule used in Illinois for the Drew Peterson case would be allowed.

        I’m so grateful for your well-written blog. Your story has likely impacted more people than you’ll ever know, hopefully lawyers and judges included. Just like so many other historical injustices, we all have to be loud and send out clear, impactful messages, as you are doing, and continue to pray for all of the children at risk and who are physically, emotionally, psychologically damaged in the meantime, and for the tiny souls who suffer the worst injustice of all, such as your precious Prince.

        • cappuccinoqueen says:

          Maus, yes…there were many times when I felt completely helpless. This system leaves parents feeling completely drained. I often wondered if I was ever going to be allowed to be a real parent to my son and protect him from things I knew would hurt him (which included his father of course). The answer is no….I was never allowed. A judge took four days total to decide that my son’s life was worth risking for his father’s parental rights. Now, my son is dead and that man he wanted to protect is behind bars.

          You are fighting an important fight Mama. Never forget how important it is and what you are fighting for. The year I spent in family court was horrible and some of the worst experiences of my life. That being said, I would go to family court every single day and for the rest of my life if it meant having another chance to protect my son…and having him hear with me. Stay strong Mama. This is a marathon through which I will run right along side you.

          • Laurie says:

            Parts of your stories all sound similar to mine. I ran out of money, just wanted it all to stop and gave up everything to make it stop. It didn’t happen all at once, it was a serious of court hearings. The first thing the Judge did created an impossible situation for me. My ex was keeping our son’s SSD payments after I left. (for over 10 months) They took me to court requesting alimony, so I requested child support. (I was not going after Child support, buy my attorny said I should be getting it. I mentioned while on the witness stand, that he did have income he was not reporting, the ssd payments of almost 800 a month that were in our son’s name. I had to explain every expense, was told get rid of my dog (I had listed 40 a month for expenses) it was so humilating when i did not create the financial mess that was beginning to take a whole new turn. The Judge ordered him to give me the 800 amonth for our son and then pay him 1300 a month in alimony (using the SS that was our son’s) I had no way to pay it otherwise, my income did not meet my basic expenses, not to mention our son’s expenses were totally ignored. I don’t know how the Judge did this, but she did. Federal Law says that SSD in a minor’s name belongs to the CHILD. My ex was living in our house also. With an agreement to pay his attorney fees from the home’s equity without my knowledge or permission. By the time of the divorce hearing, I had no money to pay for a full hearing, I wanted to protect my son from testifying in court, my car needed repairs, I was emoitonally beat and agreed to give up everything that remained in the divorce that I possible could. He wanted to stay in the house, I agreed until it sold, all the while not knowing his attorney was using the home as line of credit. I was paying all the bills, our son’s care, and alimony. Where left off, the court and his attorney took over. Also, other’s mentioned the fact that no one holds individuals accountable for comitting pejury in civil court. I’ve heard that over and over. SO true. I had the transcripts which proved the lawyer lied, and that testimony that my ex husband’s sister gave was false, and that they both had lied under oath at three other court hearings. The Judge refused to listen to me because I didn’t have an attoreny, I had no money because of the series of events that were out of my control beginning with the fact that the Judge ordered our son’s SS payments back to him in alimony plus another 550 a month. So sorry to go into this, but I see so many things in everyone else’s posts that are similar. I am also thankful reading these posts that regardless of anything else, I didn’t lose custody of my son and he was old enough to choose to live with me even though the Judge had ordered Joint custody. I cannot imagine losing custody of my child, that has to be the most difficult and there are no words to describe the pain of losing a child.

          • cappuccinoqueen says:

            Laurie, your story sounds like another version of the hell many of us live or lived through. I just told someone yesterday that the night before my son died, I didn’t want to send him on the visit. I had taken him to the doctor (because he was sick a couple of days before) and I wanted the doctor to write me a note so that Prince didn’t have to go for the visit. The doctor got upset at me and told me that he wouldn’t write me a note for a healthy baby and that even if Prince got a fever his father should be able to handle it. When I told the exchange supervisor I didn’t want to send him, she told me she would call the court and tell the judge I was blocking access unless I had a note. Prince woke up fine the morning of the visit with no fever and bouncing around as usual….so I sent him. He died that day and I feel terrible that it was my fear of losing custody that made me gave in to that last visit. I would have preferred to risk losing custody or to be challenged than to have had to bury my son. It was the weakest moment of my life when I realized that I didn’t do enough to save my son. I had run out of money, time, luck, and everything else. There was nothing left to fight for because he was gone.

  65. Laurie says:

    You did all you could, what happened was out of your control. It is unfortunate that we have to abide by the decisions of Judges who are biased and who claim to be following the laws. I truly believe family, domestic and custody issues should be in a separate system. The system should not include lawyers either. Or Judges. A group of peers, people knowlegable about domestic violence and/ or volunteers can hear the cases and decide fairly in the best interests of the children. My heart goes out to you. I use to blame myself for my former husband being abusive to our son and letting him make excuses for his behavior toward him. In reality he was angry at me and he used our son to hurt me. My son has emotional scars, but he’s doing ok. I know your son is stil with you, maybe not physically, but in spirit he’s there. Keep fighting to bring attention to what happened to you. I wish I was as good at writing as you are, and I meant what I said about helping in any way I can. I will look for your FB to follow and have bookmarked this page. I hope you have my email address also. I need a way to help others so what happened to me, all the others, and especially your son and you, does not happen again to anyone, in Maryland or anywhere else.

    • Christine says:

      Hera, you’re fear of losing custody was a very legitimate fear. Family Court is to blame, not you. Like so many women have shared on this blog, there was NOTHING you could do. This is what family court does to battered women and children. It’s an absolute crisis in this country.

      Laurie, you’re story is so much like mine. I gave up everything so I could have my kids. My ex used custody (even though he didn’t want it) to keep me “in line” during the marriage and he used it during the divorce to bully me into giving up. Once I ran out of money, had to fire my attorney who did nothing for me but take my money, found a new attorney but the court would not give us ample time to prepare a case, I GAVE UP and let him have everything financially, holding my breath that maybe he’d stop threatening to take the kids, and he did. All he really wanted was the money. Now that it’s over and his reputation has been spared, and he has all the money and all the “stuff” he has decided that 26 hours per month is enough time with his children! I MUST be continually thankful that I have my children. So many women don’t. My heart aches for them.

      • cappuccinoqueen says:

        Christine, you are right. So many of these men are motivated by money. I knew Luc just wanted money, but my mind just wasn’t evil enough to think ahead to my son’s death being the source of his next con. Human life is meaningless to Luc. I wish that I had had enough money and foresight to just have paid him off. I didn’t, however, have the 500k he believed he could get by murdering my son.

        I applaud you Christine for taking the risk of giving up everything in hopes that he would just go away. I am thankful for your children that he did.

        • Laurie says:

          I am thankful also, for so many things. My oldest son told me that people like his father (and his father’s family) are selfish. That is part of it, it’s a tangled web they weave, for these types of men, like your ex’s and mine, it’s about control. They use your weaknesses to control you to get what they need. Some are much worse than others, like Luc. I think he knew where to hurt you the worst also, along with the money from the insurance. My ex knew me better than I did, and my weaknesses. Not until I sat down one day and wrote most of everything I could remember (at 17) when I met him and the next 30 years, did I see the pattern. I would call him on his behavior, and he would just find another way to control me. There were long periods of “normal” but that was because I was not doing anything that was not giving him what he needed. If that makes sense. It’s controlling you to get what they need, not what your dreams or needs are. Not a normal give and take relationsip, in the sense you both are equals. You are never their equal in there eyes, they own you. Emotionally. The other thing I finally recognized was that there was one thing I had refused to comply with, (which I always did to keep the peace) I realzied why he was so angry at me, and especially our youngest son, and why he was abusive to him. He never wanted him. He was joulous of him. He had wanted me to have an abortion when I was pregnant with him, and I couldn’t do it. For 15 years he made me (and our son) pay. He was diagnosed with MS the same time our son was an infant. He kept telling me his anger stemmed from the MS, the MS caused this, that, etc. Once I knew, in my heart, I knew I could not longer keep it together, it was over. He insisted he could change, We went to therapy and the therapist (was excellent) and had already picked up on why he was so angry. She made him tell me, out loud. She said she had never seen so much anger in one person. All over something that happend 14 years ago. I blamed myself for subjecting our son to what he had lived with. That is why I did’nt want to have it all out in court, I didn’t want our son to know why his father was so angry. I let him believe it was the MS and that he wasn’t “right in the head” But then, his family, etc. got inolved because he wanted tomake sure they were angry at me. He knew at some point that I was done with it all. He needed to save face and blame someone, so it was me. As I said, after we separaetd it got worse and worse. For me, for our son. He told him he didn’t have a son, that he didn’t belong to him. I can’t say all the horrible things that happened here, but then when the Judge did that with the alimony, and SSD payments for our son, etc. well, it was as if not only did his father not want him, the Court was throwing it in our son’s face and mine. Sorry!! I am getting carried away again. I’ve been reading your other posts on this blog, and I am so impressed with your strength. I read where some people blamed you for being involved with Luc, I understand how it happened. I think the Judge’s look at us and see their personnel perceptions and then use their positions to bend that perception to meet the ruling they feel is just. Sitting up higher and above us, with all the power they have, they are making decisions that we have to abide by that change our lives in ways we have no control over, any more than when we were involved with or married to who created the problems to begin with. I hated going to court. I would wake up at night having nightmares, a monstor always had arms all over me and restraining me, my arms, and over my mouth I would find a way to break my hand free and another arm would appear and restrain me again. My son woke me up, he said I was screaming in my sleep. He saved me, over and over. Keep fighting for Prince, He’s still there with you. He’s saving you and you are saving all the others to come after. I admire you so much!

          • Laurie says:

            Christine, you are correct, family court is to blame. No wonder people don’t leave abusive men and no wonder women don’t report rapes. Why would anyone subject themselves to being raped and abused all over again (on the record) in a court room, in front of strangers!
            And, then punished for trying to protect a child, a child who is the most important thing to a woman. I do not know any woman who would lie about abuse in court when they were trying to protect that child from the person that abused them. Family court was my nightmare.

  66. Cat says:

    My heart breaks for you. We, too, lost a son after court ordered him back to his “real” family. We were adopting him from his 18 year old mother at birth. We had him with us for 8 weeks and 2 days. The whole time we knew her she told us about how much her father hated black people and how she had him threaten to kill her and this child because he was part black. She wasn’t strong enough, the courts made us surrender our son back into her arms, back into her home, back into the home of the monster who killed him before he was 18 months old. We told the courts what the situation was, she told the courts that she was going through adoption proceedings because of this man, but they only sent out CPS once to check on him. Only once. Despite the many calls from family, from neighbors, from strangers. Only once. It’s been a decade and we still mourn. It’s been a decade and our revulsion for the “system” is still fresh and raw. “What’s in the best interest of the child” is thrown around like so much tissue paper out of a gift basket. No substance. No reality. My heart breaks for you, for your precious son Prince.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Cat, my heart breaks hearing your story. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a cruel world. And you are right…the system does not protect children.

  67. Lorelei says:

    I am so sorry for your loss and that this horrible tragedy happened to you and your baby. I hope that the judge is disbarred or some kind of justice is served.

  68. shawna says:

    I am so sorry this happened to your baby… I am currently batteling my ex fter having left him almost 3 years ago… he kidnapped them for 16 days at the end of march but bc of the 50/50 custody and vague parenting plan, the police could do nothing. He has not been punished for this action and hundreds more like it. I’m am terrifieded of what he will do once he feels like he doesn’t have control anymore. He has already done so much irreprable damage and I just tremble for my children every time I have to hand them back over to him. I am praying the court stops him before its too late :-(

  69. Brooke says:

    Dear Cappuccino Queen,

    I am so sorry that the legal system failed your son, and you. Judge Algeo doesn’t sound like he’s fit to do ANY job that requires any type of of decision making, and I hope he will be disbarred. Your story broke my heart. I wish you much love and God’s peace.

  70. Krystal says:

    My heart aches for you. I have spent nearly four years in and out of the Court system with a psychopath. Can’t prove it…all UNSUBSTANTIATED with the court threatening me with a custody change if I continue to harass father. Unfortunately, something will have to significantly happen to my beautiful eight year old before the Court will really see father for what he really is. That day may be too late. I am so sorry for your loss. Prince is beautiful!

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Thanks for your kind words. I am so sorry that you are in this terrible fight. Remember to focus your energy on your daughter and enjoy the time you spend with her. The psychopath can never take that from you. Hang in there Mama!

      • Laura says:

        I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful little son. I can’t even begin to imagine your pain, and as the mother of a little boy, I don’t even want to. But I think what you are doing is truly heroic: fighting to bring justice to the man who stole your baby away from you and the people who made it possible. You never gave up on that little guy during his all-too-brief life, and it’s made plain by your devotion that you never will during yours.

        My court experience has thus far been with Fairfax, and the system truly is a frightful mess. These irresponsible, negligent judges are systematically disregarding the alarming, dangerous behaviors of “the underdog” in a convoluted effort to give equal consideration to both parties. Only while they’re playing their little games of Blindfolded Justice, they are completely ignoring the welfare of the children whom they were put on the bench to protect in the first place!

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  2. [...] tragedy does not happen again. Thank you, Lee Strong – Views of the Child Society, Canada http://cappuccinoqueen.com/?p=259#comment-2535 To: Judge Michael J. Algeo, Hon. Michael J. Algeo, Montgomery County, MD  For the Attention of [...]

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