Uncovered: The McMartin Family Trials (2019) Movie Script

I was two going on three
when I started going
to McMartin.
FORREST: McMartin Preschool
was a premiere preschool
in Manhattan Beach.
The preschool was a trusted
neighborhood business.
I couldn't imagine
what was going on over there.
KEVIN: The child said
that Raymond Buckey
had molested him.
WOMAN: They take
your most prized possession
and try to dement it.
ELIZABETH: I was this
threeyearold little girl
being made to stand
in front of people
and have pictures taken of her
when she was naked.
ROBERT: Small animals
were actually slaughtered
in the children's presence
in order to frighten them
into submission.
Several defendants are accused
of molesting children,
including 76yearold
Virginia McMartin,
her daughter,
and two grandchildren.
FORREST: Searches were made
in every location.
WALTER: They found nothing.
KEE: I'm PacMan
and my job is to get
to hear yucky secrets.
These children
are not telling the same story.
DANNY: They had a plan
to use this case
to get elected into office.
ROBERT: We may be going back
to the grand jury
with additional counts.
WALTER: When you turn on
the TV for news,
all of the channels,
the lead story was McMartin.
The number of possible victims
have multiplied
to say the least.
FORREST: It was blasted daily.
It became totally unwieldy.
We thought there was no end
in sight.
MAN: This is much
too important a case
to allow it to hang out there
with such a great question mark.
JUDGE: Raymond Buckey,
how do you plead?
I'm not guilty,
Your Honor.
WALTER: All of them lost
everything they had.
WOMAN: Things happened there
that were so terrible.
My daughter is still in therapy
and she's 37.
I know I was molested
at McMartin Preschool.
KEVIN: Manhattan Beach
in the '80s
was kind of a comfortable
beach town.
WALTER: It was
a familyoriented community,
small town feel
despite being
in Los Angeles County.
So it was kind of a bubble
or a cocoon.
Back then,
we didn't lock our doors.
MAN: The parents that I knew
were highly educated
professional people.
Their children got
the very, very best.
MARYMAE: I had some friends
in the area
that told us "Oh, this is
the school to go to."
It sounded like
a good place to go.
It was a cute little building
and setup.
Had a very good reputation
in the community.
I was two going on three
when I started going
to McMartin.
I always remember
that there was
a Valentine's Day party
and I remember
the heartshaped cookies.
WOMAN: They had
a great reputation.
They had been in town
ever since I can remember.
MAN: There was actually
a waiting list.
WOMAN: They had
colorful toys in the yard,
so the kids were all drawn
to that.
WOMAN: And I thought Virginia
was cute,
a cute old lady.
KEVIN: Virginia McMartin,
I think she started the school
in 1956.
She had gotten a
Rose and Scroll Award in 1977,
which is the city's
highest honor.
It's like
the Woman of the Year Award.
The McMartin Preschool
was led by Virginia McMartin,
her daughter,
Peggy McMartin Buckey,
along with her grandchildren,
Peggy and Raymond Buckey.
It was a prestigious school
with teachers that had
been there dozens of years.
Most of the teachers
were older.
FORREST: These teachers
were highly regarded
and respected
members of their community.
WOMAN: It's a trusted
neighborhood business.
At that point,
I couldn't imagine
what was going on over there.
OFFICER: Manhattan Beach
Police Department.
Uh, my name is Judy Johnson
and I want to report a crime.
OFFICER: Yes, ma'am.
JUDY: My twoyearold son
has been molested
at the McMartin Preschool.
KEVIN: The Manhattan Beach
Police Department
is a small department
and they had a female officer
named Jane Hoag
who was kind of a tough
oldschool cop,
and so she interviewed
the child.
And the child
was two and a half years old,
had said that Raymond Buckey
had molested him.
KEVIN: The child was examined
by a doctor at UCLA.
And the doctor found
something consistent
with molestation.
And based on that examination,
Raymond Buckey was arrested.
So now you have
this investigation
of a childabuse suspect.
Word of it had gotten out.
They had to explain it somehow.
Judy Johnson mentioned
that her child had said
two other kids were abused.
So the Manhattan Beach
Police Department wrote up
a very succinct simple letter
which went out
to the McMartin parents.
It said, "We don't wish
to cause alarm
but if you could talk
to your children,
we'd appreciate it
and if you have any concerns,
please call us."
DANNY: At the basis of it
was this long warning advisory
for all the parents to go out
and talk to their kids,
and their families,
and their friends
about molestation
that was going on.
It happened to some kids,
it may have happened
to your kids too.
WALTER: The letter
that went out to the parents,
it was gunpowder set off
in the community.
They were saying that your kid,
up until that day
the letter arrived,
was to you and your wife,
husband, whatever, normal,
just going to school
and living a good life.
And all of a sudden,
he or she had been molested
for years
and you didn't know about it?
It just scared everybody.
WOMAN: It seemed like
at that point there was
a lot of kind of paranoia.
We didn't know if it was
just a couple of people
and I was pretty worried
about my child.
The letter talked
about Ray Buckey
and I didn't know Ray Buckey.
So I asked my daughter,
do you know him?
And she said, "Yeah, Mr. Ray."
Yeah, I was just in shock.
MAN: I sat my son down
in his bedroom
and had a discussion with him.
At that point,
he was in kindergarten
and he said to me,
"Dad, have they been arrested?"
I said, "Yes."
He said,
"Are they going to get out?"
And I fibbed to him
and said, "No."
And my son
was deathly afraid
that they were gonna come
and hurt me.
But child abuse is a
is a hard pill to swallow.
I didn't really think
it would happen.
So I remained very calm
and assured him
that no one would hurt him.
There was some, uh, pushback
from people who were supportive
of the school,
and thought "Geez, you know,
we've known Virginia,
we've known the teachers
for 20 years.
We've had three, four kids
go through their school
and this would not
have happened."
When we got the letter,
we thought,
well, this
was not involved.
There was just no way.
WOMAN: I had no clue
that that was something
that a human being
would even do.
It was beyond my imagination.
It didn't make sense.
And my job is to get to hear
yucky secrets.
Kee McFarlane asked questions
with the puppets.
It got the children to talk.
KEVIN: Kee McFarlane
reported to the parents
that, in her opinion,
the children had been abused.
The mass hysteria of the moment.
It created the appearance
of utter depravity.
REPORTER: Children
from the McMartin School
have reportedly alleged
that Ray Buckey
brandished guns
in front of them.
PEGGY: I know my son.
And he has not harmed
one child.
JOHN: For a three,
four, fiveyearold
to talk about detailed
sexual activity...
Unless they experienced it,
how would they be able
to describe it?
MAN: So you think
you're just being framed, huh?
VIRGINIA: I don't think it.
I know it.
DANNY: The Manhattan Beach
Police Department
sent out a letter
to all the parents
warning them about molestation
that was going on
at the McMartin Preschool.
KEVIN: The response
to the police letter
was, uh,
disbelief really.
People just didn't think
something like that
would've happened
at the McMartin Preschool.
They thought it was
a great preschool.
And this goes also true for Ray.
Before the socalled exposure,
there was nothing to suggest
aberrant, perverse
character on his part.
KEVIN: Parents are upset
that Buckey's gotten out.
But the police are saying,
"You know, when we get evidence,
we'll arrest him.
When we find the pictures,
we find the corroborating
you know,
we find medical evidence,
we'll arrest him.
We don't have any evidence.
We're not arresting him."
Policeman at the door saying
the school
was under investigation.
REPORTER: Did you decide
to leave your kid?
We took her home.
KEVIN: The parents
weren't happy with the way
the Manhattan Beach Police
talked to their children.
And the DA suggested
a more appropriate interviewer
might be Kee McFarlane
at Children's Institute
KEE: ...get to hear
yucky secrets.
And I don't mind
hearing them.
WOMAN: Kee MacFarlane
had a charisma
and asked questions
with the puppets.
It got the children to talk.
ELIZABETH: I remember
being interviewed at CII.
And I remember talking
about experiences
that had happened.
It's not like I just remembered
the bad stuff.
There were good things
I remember.
You know, I remember playing...
and then I remember
some of the classrooms,
and then I have flashes
of some of the notsonice
when it was just me
and Ray Buckey.
MARYMAE: Elizabeth
was interviewed at CII.
They came back and told us
that she had been abused.
JOHN: The shock
and the emotions
are just overwhelming.
I mean, you
as a man,
you feel a sense of guilt.
You haven't protected
your family.
You're in shock,
you don't wanna believe it,
but you're faced with evidence
that it happened.
And now what do you do,
you know?
KEVIN: Kee MacFarlane
started reporting to the parents
that in her opinion,
the children had been abused.
So, parents withdraw their kids
from the McMartin Preschool.
PEGGY: I am the director
at that school.
I do know what is going on.
I know my son,
and he has not harmed
one child.
Not one.
KEVIN: You know, within a,
I don't know,
a month, two months,
uh, Virginia
had closed the school.
MAN: Manhattan Police
continued to investigate
and the children were referred
to CII's doctor, Astrid Heger,
who was a reported expert
in child abuse examinations.
ASTRID: My role in this case
was to be the medical doctor
that examined the children
for evidence of abuse.
I got involved
in the McMartin case
because I had began to question
the issue of why
child sex abuse cases
never went to court,
or rarely went to court.
And I'm going,
"How are you documenting?"
You're just documenting
on a piece of paper.
You're writing down
what you see.
And that's not scientific.
Nobody had ever taken
pictures before.
I realized we needed to do
photo documentation
and then that became evidence.
MAN: At Children Institute,
my son
was physically examined
and they said
that he was very likely
sexually abused,
that was their words.
I was so angry,
and so hurt, and so sad.
I sat in my car,
wanting to drive it
through the McMartin building.
And I wanted to just
kick their ass, frankly.
MARYMAE: We had Elizabeth
examined by Astrid.
She said there was enough
physical evidence
to claim that there was
something happened.
It's it's just like somebody
just hit me
right in the stomach.
Dr. Astrid Heger concluded
that most of the children
she photographed
showed evidence
of blunt force trauma,
consistent with sexual abuse.
MAN: Manhattan Beach
Police Department.
WAYNE: It started out
here in Manhattan Beach
looking like
an isolated incident.
One mother noticed
that her young son
was having nightmares
and difficulty sitting down,
and a redness on his bottom.
would later conclude
that her twoyearold son
had been sodomized.
That was last summer.
In the months since then,
the number of possible victims
have multiplied
to say the least.
KEVIN: Wayne Satz
was a highly respected,
Peabody Awardwinning reporter.
I'm sure he kind of thought
the way any reporter
would've thought,
this is like a great story.
And he happened to have access
to Kee MacFarlane
because he was dating
Kee MacFarlane.
FORREST: That reporter
had the inside information
from the beginning
of what these children
were saying to the interviews.
And it was blasted daily
on Channel 7,
in the most horrendous fashion.
WAYNE: What's more, children
from the McMartin School
have reportedly alleged
that Ray Buckey,
one of the indicted
suspects in this case,
brandished guns
in front of them,
threatening to use them
on family members
if secrets were revealed.
A child sexual abuse
should not talk to the media
in advance
of the court proceedings.
The form of his story and the
the manner, it was propaganda.
And it made it appear to be
like this was the truth.
This is happening.
These are horrible people.
Where there's smoke,
there's fire.
It was yellow journalism
at its worst.
WAYNE: Authorities now believe
that at least
60 young children
were victimized
and that the ultimate number
could well be much greater.
He, like the rest
of the community,
and I have to say myself,
presumed guilt.
That's when the case
started to blow up.
One mother would conclude
that her twoyearold son
had been sodomized.
DANNY: Wayne Satz
broke a secret investigation.
WALTER: The form of his story
and the the manner,
it was propaganda.
And it made it appear to be
like this was the truth.
WAYNE: Authorities now believe
that at least
60 young children
were victimized,
and that the ultimate number
could well be much greater.
MAN: I was so angry,
I was so hurt, so sad.
And I wanted
to just kick their ass.
I have flashes of some
of the notsonice memories
when it was just me
and Ray Buckey.
I'm not the only puppet lady
in this case there,
my cotherapist, Sandy Krebs,
and our pediatrician,
Astrid Heger,
have gotten certainly
as much as I have
from these children
by using puppets,
even in the medical exam.
Massmedia attention.
It created a situation
where not only was there
a presumption of guilt
but the appearance
of utter depravity
on the part
of those who were accused.
KEVIN: There was some pushback
from people who were supportive
of the school.
But that sentiment
quickly evaporated
when the number of children
who allegedly were abused
started going into the hundreds.
I mean, there just weren't
many people left
to defend the McMartins.
There's no doubt in my mind,
on the basis of the children
that I interviewed,
that approximately 350 children
that we saw described
being sexually abused.
KEVIN: One of the things
that caused the case to explode
was Kee MacFarlane,
what she called
her "Oh my God" moments.
She'd be interviewing a kid
who described being abused,
but the description
would describe a scene
in which there had to be
other people witnessing it,
it'd be in the playground
or in one of the classrooms,
not hidden away
in a bathroom, for example.
So, she's thinking
it couldn't have just been
this one suspect,
Raymond Buckey,
the other teachers
are implicated.
MAN: May I say that,
as we see it now,
seven people
have been named.
Have the children
that you've talked to
named all
of those seven names?
KEE: Numerous times.
I think they were questioned
by the older people
until they finally said yes
and agreed to it.
REPORTER: So, you think
you're just being framed, huh?
VIRGINIA: You're darn tootin'
I think we're being framed.
I don't think it, I know it.
The DA was under pressure
from the parents
to have charges filed.
We had medical evidence
and you have children saying
they were abused.
So, what's left to question?
And I think about this point,
the politicization of that case
took place.
From appearances,
they wanted the TV cameras.
MAN: Manhattan Beach
Police Department.
You know, DA Van de Kamp
had been appointed
to Attorney General
and left a vacancy,
Governor Deukmejian
did something
to bring Philibosian in
to fill the slot.
He kind of liked the feeling
he thought he'd run for office.
KEVIN: Philibosian was running
against the LA City Attorney
Ira Reiner.
His pollsters showed
that most people thought
Ira Reiner was already
the LA County District Attorney,
and they didn't know
who Philibosian was.
His advisors told him
he needed a highprofile case.
We're talking about
such acts as rape,
sodomy, oral copulation,
and fondling.
All the cameras were on him
and he's identified.
That's where the ideas
of child pornography
were pronounced,
child prostitution,
satanic cult rituals.
To obtain their silence,
uh, these people
have told the children
that their parents
would be harmed.
And in order to back up
that, uh, threat,
small animals
were actually slaughtered,
uh, in the children's presence
in order to frighten
them into submission.
DANNY: I'm sitting
in my home in, uh, West LA
when I get the call,
the Buckey case.
I met the family, Virginia,
the parents, Peggy, Chuck,
and the children.
I had no idea
whether they were guilty or not.
The word was out that people
are running their campaigns
on molestation cases.
So the first thing I did
was I got together with Ray
and I said, "What we're gonna do
is we're gonna go
surrender you."
Uh, a symbolic surrender.
The DA just rejected the offer
to have the client
surrendered and
and brought TV cameras with him
to the Buckeys' home.
MAN: We have arrest warrant
for Ray Buckey,
we'll enter the house.
DANNY: The DA wanted to do
a major perp walk,
surprise the family.
VIRGINIA: Oh, dear.
That's my dog just out.
MAN: Okay. We'll take care
of the dog, ma'am.
WOMAN: 1549.
DANNY: This is a show
by an interim DA, Philibosian,
on the heels of a campaign
for district attorney
to use this case.
MAN: Bail was set
at fifty thousand
to a million dollars
for seven preschool teachers
accused of molesting children
including seventysixyearold
Virginia McMartin,
and her daughter,
and two grandchildren.
WALTER: My client,
Betty Raidor,
taught at the school
for some 20, 30 years.
She was arrested
and I saw her in the jail,
and then she says,
"Why am I here?"
And I said, "Well, basically
they're telling you
and the world that
you're a pedophile."
We could be interviewing
up to 100
more children in that process.
As a result of those interviews,
we may be going back
to the grand jury
with additional counts.
MAN: My son started
telling me stories
of animals being butchered.
They threatened
that they would kill my family
and then they would
take me away
and I would be with them
for the rest of my life.
JUDGE: If there's any case
where there is to be no bail
in a noncapital case,
this is that case.
ROBERT: We are alleging
that approximately
100 children were sexually
molested at the school.
KEVIN: The community
and I'd have to say myself
presumed guilt.
Small animals
were actually slaughtered.
They had a plan
to use this case
and get elected into office.
REPORTER: Tonight,
Virginia McMartin is in jail
along with some
of her relatives
and former teachers.
WALTER: Generally,
you want your client
to be out of jail,
pending a trial
so that when you walk down
the hall with that client,
the jurors are walking
down the hall,
and you're kind of like
he's a
normalizes that person.
If you're unable to do that
for whatever legal reason,
the jurors will realize,
"Well, this person's
in custody."
And if he or she is in custody,
there must be something there
to the case.
So, it's
it's not positive at all
that's why we'd prefer
to have them on bail.
REPORTER: Several defendants
are expected to make bail
and privately many parents
are upset
about the possibility of them
being back on the streets.
The psychological trauma
that will result
from having these people
back out on the street,
people who threatened
the children's lives,
is immense, as I'm sure
you can imagine.
LAEL: I think
it is abundantly clear
that the horrors
of what we have learned today
of what has occurred
at that nursery school
has affected an entire
generation of children.
The prosecutor,
Lael Rubin, and Glenn Stevens,
underneath the interim DA,
Robert Philibosian,
along with Ron George
who had political ambitions
of his own,
did what the public wanted.
If there's any case
where there is to be no bail
in a noncapital case,
this is that case,
and each of those defendants
are therefore
remanded without bail.
constitutional amendments
have made it possible
to impose lockup,
remand to custody
without bail
where there was a fear
that the accused
would be dangerous to society.
RONALD: They were physical,
aggressive, harmful acts,
and I did see
a reference to a large knife
being drawn across the chest
of one child,
burying one child
in a sandy area
up to the chest,
uh, who had to get himself out
by digging himself out
with his arms.
FORREST: And this is stories
the kids were telling,
about the satanic rituals
reportedly taking place
with animals,
and with children being killed.
The kids were saying this
and they believed it.
RONALD: The administration
of drugs, threats to kill,
generally the placement
of sharp foreign objects
into vaginal areas,
and we believe turtles
and rabbits
are being observed bleeding
and then dying thereafter.
FORREST: When I first met
Peggy Ann,
she was alone
in the men's lockup.
She was bright, young,
late 20s, articulate.
She knew what was happening
but she couldn't understand it.
She was bewildered,
dazed in a way.
She's a sensitive,
communityserving individual,
she's got a master's
in rehabilitative education,
she teaches the handicapped,
more recently the deaf
in Orange County.
She's locked up without bail.
How could she be remanded
to custody
without bail as were
her mother and brother
under fanciful accusations
that were being made
in the case?
MAN: My son was quite, uh,
articulate about what went on.
He started telling me stories
of animals being butchered
and cutting ears off rabbits.
I get how people
look at this
and think it's fantastical
because how do hundreds
of children get molested
at one school and nobody
find out about it?
I mean, it it sounds crazy.
Children, uh,
they do make up stories,
but it's from something
within their realm
that they've experienced,
and for a three, four,
fiveyearold to talk about,
uh, detailed sexual activity...
Unless they experienced it,
how would they
be able to describe it?
And to have a number of kids
all saying the same thing?
ELIZABETH: I never said
anything to my parents
that gave them any indication
of anything happening
before anything came out
because they threatened
that they would kill my family
and then they would
take me away,
and I would be with them
for the rest of my life.
REPORTER: Authorities believe
children were abused
not only
at the McMartin Preschool,
but also at other locations.
They charge,
school children were allegedly
taken off campus at times
to be sexually assaulted.
MAN: My son told me
that they did take the children
away from the school
to other locations,
and they would tell him that,
"Our car broke down,
we need to go into this house,
and, uh, make a phone call,"
and then they would parade
the kids into a house
to be sexually abused.
ELIZABETH: I remember
being at what felt
like an older, kind of almost
Victorian type house.
I remember there being
more than one teacher
or adults and I remember there
being multiple kids.
And I have
memories that
that this threeyearold
little girl
was being made to stand
in front of people
and have pictures taken of her
when she was naked.
WOMAN: I know my daughter
was taken around
in the community.
I mean, she showed me places
that she was taken to,
that I never took her to.
She didn't have
a driver's license.
She was two and a half.
So, it had to be the teachers.
WOMAN: I asked my daughter,
"How did they take you
in and out of the school?"
And she said,
"Through the tunnels."
Like I'm supposed to know.
WOMAN: The district attorney
went to the school
looking for tunnels
and they picked up some tile,
and they, uh,
dug a few inches
into the dirt
in the side yard,
but I don't think
they came up
with barely anything.
MARYMAE: I took Elizabeth
to the school
and she walked
right into a bathroom
where there was just
a little sink
and a little toilet,
and she said, "This is
where the tunnel was."
There was no tunnel there.
I didn't see
a break in the wall,
I didn't see anything,
but she said,
"This is where
we went through the tunnel."
If you say so, okay.
ELIZABETH: I remember being
at what felt like a tunnel,
and having pictures
of what, to me,
I thought was the devil,
and there being, like,
candles off the side
like a light, you know,
off the wall,
and it was dark,
and I remember
going downstairs
to get into it.
MARYMAE: So I went
a couple of days later
with my friend
and her daughter,
and the daughter said,
"Oh, I wanna show you.
This is where we went
into the tunnel."
MARYMAE: How could
two different kids
from separate years
go and show me
the exact same place?
Oh, I still get goosebumps.
FORREST: How could
these teachers be remanded
to custody without bail
on the fanciful accusations
that were being made
in the case?
REPORTER: Authorities believe
children were taken off campus
at times
to be sexually assaulted.
MAN: My son started
telling me stories
about animals being butchered.
MAN: Police took action today
in the evergrowing
McMartin child
molestation case.
Manhattan Beach Police,
together with investigators
from the DA's Office,
conducted searches
at nine different locations
early this morning.
WALTER: Manhattan
Beach Police Department
tried to find out
where these offenses
may or may not have occurred.
Churches where animals
were slaughtered,
they checked the altar
for blood,
there was no blood of course.
RUEBEN: Based on
the continuing investigation,
it would now appear
that there are aspects
of child pornography.
Uh, many of the children
are now telling us that,
uh, during, uh, the course
of molestations
that there were lights
and cameras,
which would of course
then lead to,
uh, um,
distributing pornography
for profit.
REPORTER: One aspect
of the expanding investigation
involves this woman,
Catherine Wilson,
the socalled Queen
of Kiddie Porn.
Authorities want to find out
whether any of the suspects
in the McMartin Preschool case
are linked to her operation.
There was an attempt
to describe how it was
that these teachers
at a very prestigious preschool
could ever get involved
in this kind of activity.
These were substantially
decent people.
Well, this was part of
a big child pornography ring.
well, follow the money trail.
REPORTER: Photos used
as evidence
in the Wilson Kiddie Porn Case
are being compared
to photos of children
who complained about
sexual abuse
at the McMartin Preschool.
KEVIN: The sheriff's
departments assigned
20 investigators,
you got the Manhattan
Beach investigators,
you got half a dozen
DA investigators,
and you got the FBI,
and the assumption
was we've got a hundred kids
that are molested,
we got seven suspects,
we're gonna find photographs,
we're gonna find the mailman
who walked in on them,
we're gonna find some sort
of corroborating evidence.
MAN: Have you actually found
any pornography printed
or film material?
RUEBEN: That is something
I can't get into
at this particular point,
at this particular point
of the investigation.
MAN: Okay.
KEVIN: No corroborating
evidence ever surfaced.
FORREST: So there was
absolutely no corroboration
for anything the children said.
It didn't matter.
The case took on
a life of its own.
DANNY: The message
was pervasive and unending,
that was never gonna stop.
That was a snowball.
That was a witch hunt.
I mean I can understand
when they say a witch hunt
if you have a teenager
who might have a gripe
against somebody
or is afraid
of the truth coming out
making up a story.
We believe the children
and to this day
I do not at all discount
anything that they said.
KEVIN: Danny Davis,
in an effort to get the trial
moved out of LA, did a poll,
it was a countywide poll
because he was polling
potential jurors,
and 90% of the people
thought these people are guilty.
BABETTE: I feel like I've been
already convicted,
and how I go about proving
to you or to anybody else
that I'm innocent,
I don't know.
And it frightens me.
WALTER: The press was so bad
that I personally
had confrontations from parents
when they learned that
I was one of the lawyers
defending the McMartin
Preschool case.
Some people screamed at me
in a supermarket,
chased me once
when I was riding my bicycle.
We had to do something
from the defense side.
So, we formed the Friends
of the McMartin
Preschool Defendants.
We put ads
in the local newspaper.
And we compared
the McMartin case
to the Salem witch hunts.
We were trying to alert people,
you remember Salem witch hunt.
You remember what they did
And then of course later
they said,
"Oh, we were all wrong."
Well, that's what we got
going here, too.
FORREST: In the 1600s,
they burned witches
at the stake.
Of course it was wrong
because there's no such thing
as witches.
perhaps in the minds
of some there are.
KEE: We have heard it
a hundred and
hundred times or more
from children,
the same things,
the same games,
the same descriptions.
FORREST: We're lucky
that Kee McFarlane,
the prosecution's expert
in child abuse matters,
thought her technique
and method
was so wonderful
it should be videotaped.
DANNY: We wanted to see
these videotapes.
We had to fight
to get access to the tapes.
WILLIAM: The court knows
that the case is now
held uniformly,
that the defense
shall have complete access,
equal access,
to the evidence
that is being used against
the defendants.
WALTER: Children's Institute
never thought ahead that,
hey, one day, the tapes
are gonna be revealed
and everything
that took place in this room
with a child is gonna be part
of the criminal record.
I don't think
they anticipated that.
And once they learned
that it was gonna happen,
all hell broke loose,
they did not want the defense
to see what was going on at
during those interviews,
that was real clear.
A marvelous arrangement
was reached
that Ray would be transported
to Beverly Hills Courthouse
and given an office room
in which we set up
video equipment
and that's how
we saw the tapes...
one after another.
Not a one helping
the prosecution at all.
WALTER: We were stunned
by what we saw.
That's it? That's what they did?
DANNY: The tapes for me
were a large collection
of evidence
that proved literally
this didn't happen.
These videotapes show it.
FORREST: You have to see
the videotapes to understand
what they led to.
It was poppycock.
MICHAEL: The first time I went
to look at the tapes,
I was blown away.
The kids had taken
pieces of stories
and stringing them together.
I doubt that anything
ever happened at the school,
based on the evidence
that I've seen.
JOHN: I believe
what our children told us,
that they were molested
at the school,
and I can't believe
this was made up.
Those children
had no protection
once they were witnesses
in the case.
WOMAN: Some children fear
Buckey will kill them
if they show up in court.
MAN: And those
Defense Attorneys,
they were bastards.
They ate the kids up
and spit them out.
They stood there
and pointed at Ray Buckey
and said, "He's the guy
that did this to me."
I'm ready.
I've been ready for five years.
I'm ready for it to end.
DANNY: This case
was clearly imbued
with political campaigns.
We are firmly convinced
that the children
were indeed molested.
My son is three.
I was younger than him
when this stuff was happening,
so we didn't have
a chance to fight back.
They were a lot
bigger than us.
MAN: We, the jury,
in the above entitled action,
find the defendant...
KEVIN: Judy Johnson
and the child,
who was two
and a half years old,
had said that Raymond Buckey
had molested him.
DANNY: The Manhattan Beach
Police Department
sent out a letter
to all the parents
at the McMartin Preschool.
WOMAN: The letter talked about
Ray Buckey.
You know, I was just in shock.
My job is to get to
hear yucky secrets.
WOMAN: Kee McFarlane
got the children to talk.
ROBERT: We are alleging
that approximately 100 children
were sexually molested
at the school
over the past 10 years.
MAN: Bail was set
at fifty thousand
to a million dollars
for seven preschool teachers
accused of molesting children.
Three hundred
and fifty children
that we saw described
being sexually abused.
MAN: Manhattan Beach
Police Department.
FORREST: Kee McFarlane
who's an expert
in child abuse matters
thought her technique
should be videotaped.
FORREST: And what
we discovered,
these children were not telling
the same story
during each interview.
DANNY: When the child said,
"No" referring to Ray,
"he wasn't even there
when I went there,"
they'd say,
"Well, how about your sister,
your brother?"
And they'd have their names
and they'd work on
maybe it happened
to your brother
and your sister,
maybe you don't know.
Confronting these children
with sexually explicit dolls.
They were three and four
when they were in preschool.
Their memories weren't accurate.
If you watch the videos,
you'll see
they didn't know who
their fellow classmates were.
But then when they were asked
about supposed games
played at the school,
well, they remembered,
But that's not what Kee
wanted to hear about,
she wanted to hear about
yucky games.
FORREST: Games where the kids
were supposedly nude.
"No, we didn't play
any yucky games."
The interviewer,
typically Kee,
would say, "Well, you remember
Suzie and Jimmy, your friends?
They told us you all played
these naked games.
Aren't you as smart
as they are?"
What do you expect
the child to say?
"No, I'm dumber than them"?
When I saw some of the tapes,
I said,
"That's it?
That's what they did?
Are you kidding me?"
Experts began to look at them.
And the experts said,
"These leading questions
in this context is not wrong,
it's almost criminal."
The first time
I went to look at the tapes,
I was blown away.
When you evaluate,
uh, little children,
your goal is to get
a spontaneous report
from the child.
These were not
spontaneous interviews.
They were scripted.
WALTER: Each child had a series
of questions to be asked,
and they would answer that.
And then we looked
at the scripts,
they're all the same.
The kids would say no,
we didn't do that.
And then they'd keep
plodding on
with the rest of the questions.
The interviewers of the children
clearly had an agenda
so that it really wasn't
a search for truth.
MICHAEL: When I evaluated
those tapes,
I never saw
any spontaneous comment
from a child
that something
untoward happened.
In fact, some of them
could even identify
the major suspect, Ray Buckey.
DANNY: If you
wanna convict somebody,
don't videotape it,
keep secret
how many times it took you
to get them to say
the right words
that you can write down
and report.
CHILD: ...no, because
he had pointy thing.
ELIZABETH: You're talking
to a threeyearold,
you have to lead them.
They they're not
gonna just say,
"Oh, I was molested.
And we had to do this and
we had to do that."
My daughter doesn't just tell me
what happened at school
when I ask her
what happened at school today.
I have to kind of prod her
and encourage her.
It's not easy to interview
a threeyearold
and expect them to be able
to just spit out what happened.
So, you have to lead them
when you ask them questions.
You know,
I from my perspective,
it happened.
It's a nobrainer.
I know I was molested.
The first prosecutor
on the case
called Kee MacFarlane
essentially the savior
of the children.
This highly regarded,
respected therapist.
Anything she said
was taken as gospel.
It turns out Kee MacFarlane
wasn't an expert at all.
She had a bachelor's degree
in sociology.
She had no certifications
or licenses.
She was clearly
not a therapist.
KEVIN: I interviewed
Kee MacFarlane
and she talked about
the fact that she's not
a police investigator.
And she wasn't the expert
on whether this was evidence
of a crime.
That is the responsibility
of the DA's office.
And she's correct in that.
It was really the responsibility
of the DA's office
to look at those tapes and say,
"Is there evidence
of a crime here?"
WALTER: The referral to them
to do the investigation
was dead wrong.
I don't know why the police
or why the DA agreed to that.
It never made any sense.
In a typical sex case,
you get interviews conducted
by professional investigators.
If you're gonna bring
60 felony charges
against somebody,
you better have
a good, solid case,
you better spend the time.
They didn't do that.
It was hard for
us as lawyers to sit there
and watch the prosecution
stand up
and argue these points
about this evidence.
It was ridiculous.
But they're following orders.
We've asked the DAs
against us in court,
"Have you seen these tapes?"
You would think that
if they would've looked
at those,
they'd stand up
and say, "No.
We we didn't realize
we had these issues,
these problems.
It's called no case."
FORREST: They had accepted
Kee's explanation and version
but they never reviewed
the videotapes.
MAN: When these games
were going on,
how many children were present
when the naked games
were going on?
Uh, you're asking me about
something that, um,
has not yet been testified to.
And so, according
to the court's order,
it's not appropriate for me
to say that. Thank you.
I don't know
if Lael Rubin ever went,
"Oh, my gosh.
I should've at least
looked at the tapes
before Philibosian
threw his hat in the ring
prematurely on this case."
Something very unusual occurred
during the course
of the hearing.
There at counsel table
was the incumbent
district attorney
sitting closest
to the jury box.
And in the jury box
were the cameras.
And as they'd sweep down
the counsel table,
the first person you would see
was the incumbent
district attorney.
That was free publicity
that would be worth millions
in a campaign.
I plainly asked,
"Why is he here?"
DANNY: Mr. Philibosian
acted as district attorney
while running for a campaign
using this case
to gain greater name identity.
It's absolutely not true at all.
Mr. Philibosian
has not in any way
put any pressure on us.
After the court sessions,
went into the hallway
where he was surrounded by
television cameras,
and held forth.
This was a great opportunity
for Robert Philibosian
to take advantage of the media
and hook his name
on that star.
Mr. Philibosian has not
in any way
put any pressure on us.
This was a great opportunity
for Robert Philibosian
to hook his name on that star.
That was free publicity
that would be worth millions.
It turns out,
it didn't help
his campaign sufficiently.
Preliminary hearing
is designed,
in a serious felony case,
to show enough evidence
that there was a crime.
How do you feel about it?
Would any reasonable man
think he did it?
A very light standard.
There are attorneys
that are called
They try to obstruct
the process,
slow it down,
make it difficult,
um, and I think Danny
enjoyed doing that.
The preliminary hearing
and the length that it took
is almost entirely
my responsibility and fault.
My study back
to 16thcentury Europe
of social contagion
taught me that
once you have a scandal,
let's call it molestation,
and it conflicts dramatically
with people in that community,
they will inevitably,
in that contagion,
grab, enslave,
and kill a scapegoat.
My plan was to take the scandal
and the scapegoat
and spread the time.
A long time passes
and then we all look back
with shameful retrospect
what we did
to those poor people.
That's why we had a very,
very long preliminary hearing.
The longest in the history
of American jurisprudence.
WOMAN: Ray Buckey
is charged with 97 counts
of child molestation
in the McMartin Preschool case.
need the children to testify
against him
but there's a problem.
CII's Kee MacFarlane
claims that some children
fear Buckey will kill them
if they show up in court.
As an overall
best statement,
I would say they're terrified.
FORREST: It was a sense
urged by the district attorney
and favored by
the preliminaryhearing judge
to create what was known
as a kiddie comfort setting.
The children were so afraid
of the teachers,
it was alleged,
they wouldn't be able
to testify in the courtroom.
It's always difficult
for children
to testify in court.
That's a very
frightening process.
We actually build
the courtroom
to intimidate people
so they follow the rules
that the judge lays down.
It's very difficult
to be a witness anyway.
And if you're the alleged
victim in the case,
it's even harder.
It's putting your child
through an abusive situation
all over again.
And as far as I'm concerned,
you know,
once was more than enough.
There was talk
about having the kids,
I think,
have their testimony videotaped
and then they're gonna have
the kids in a different room
from the defense attorneys.
Closedcircuit television
should not be used
in any criminal trial.
The Constitution requires,
in a criminal case,
the right to crossexamine,
in person, the accuser.
When you have someone
in the room
like we are right now,
you look at me,
you look at my body movements,
my body language, so to speak,
that's what you see
in a witness.
When you have someone
on a television screen,
you you miss all that.
when we were allowed
to have live witnesses,
I think children were
freely able to testify.
WOMAN: You're sitting in a big
chair with a bunch of adults
talking about sex
and your feet
don't even touch the ground,
and, uh, half the time,
they probably didn't understand
what was going on.
It was horrendous.
Today, we have grown women
who were abused as adult women
who never told anyone
because they didn't wanna have
to tell their story.
And to have a child
have to do it over,
and over, and over,
I mean, just kind of puts things
in perspective.
What are we expecting
from these kids?
Those children
had no protection
once they were witnesses
in the case
and they testified
in front of him,
they stood there
and pointed at Ray Buckey
and said, "He's the guy
that did this to me."
Which I give them
a lot of credit for.
One little boy
was having to tell
about oral sex with Ray Buckey
and defense attorney said,
"Well, what color
was his belt buckle?"
From the beginning,
the allegations heard in court
have been horrific.
The first child to testify,
a sevenyearold boy
told of being sodomized
and forced to play naked games.
At the preliminary hearing,
I believe, uh,
there were 10 children
were asked by the prosecutor
about the supposed
naked movie star game.
My memory of
the naked movie star game now
is just us the kids
being naked on a stage
and them taking pictures of us.
I remember there being
more than one teacher or adults
and I remember
there being multiple kids.
One of them let out that,
"I don't remember that at all.
Never heard of it,
never played it,
never saw it."
The other nine knew about it.
But not one of the nine
played it the same way
the other eight did.
Well, if this game was played,
why wouldn't they all
describe it the same?
To try to remember
specific events
that were happening
when we were so little,
it's not really realistic.
WOMAN: A lawyer led
the sevenyearold boy
to admit the therapist
had suggested
his allegations to him.
"You're telling the story
everybody who talks to you
about this case
wants you to tell, right?"
the lawyer asks.
"Yes," said the boy.
It's easy to discredit stories
from a fiveyearold.
And those defense attorneys,
they were bastards.
They justthey ate the kids up
and spit them out.
About this point,
one of the prosecutors,
Glenn Stevens,
viewed the CII videotapes
from start to finish.
And he's thinking,
"They're in a world of hurt,"
because the kids,
and to use his word,
are confabulating.
Taking pieces of stories
and stringing them together.
I believe that, uh,
the evidence is very flawed,
whether or not
they're factually innocent
is something that is always
going to be open to speculation.
I doubt that anything ever
happened at the school,
based on the evidence
that I've seen.
IRA: What we're left
with at this point
is that for five
of the seven defendants
in the McMartin case,
the evidence is so slim
that it does not go beyond,
uh, the mere accusation.
MAN: Come on, Babie.
Excuse us folks, please.
MAN: How does it feel
to be out?
BABETTE: [Laughs] Oh,
I haven't had a chance to tell.
I think Ira Reiner's chicken.
MAN: Right.
The message that's being sent
to child molesters
is that if there are
if there are children
that are two, three, four,
or five years old,
that there's absolutely
no reprisals
that will be brought
against those pedophiles
or child molesters.
Those kids are fair game.
WALTER: These were upstanding
women in the community.
All of them lost
everything they had
for no reason.
It's all so horrible,
and so frightening,
and so degrading,
and and insulting.
Two years out of my life
has been taken from me,
time I should be spending
with my husband,
with my children
and my grandchildren.
I can't get the years lost
that I lost with my kids.
There were two years
that were completely taken away
and I can never get them back.
They did nothing wrong,
the system decided to toy
with them for a while
and then spit them out
once they're done.
BETTY: Here I sit
with a cloud over my head.
They haven't said
I'm innocent.
Their lives were ruined.
They weren't acquitted.
They just had charges dismissed.
I can't explain why
the charges weren't dropped
against all seven
because it was the same evidence
that was considered
to take five to trial
was being relied on
to take the other two to trial.
IRA: For five
of the seven defendants
in the McMartin case,
the evidence is so slim
that it does not go beyond
the mere accusation.
There were two years
that were completely taken away
and I can never get them back.
WILLIAM: I was actually
next door to the case
during the preliminary hearing.
And with all the publicity
that followed this case,
I realized that,
uh, it would be a very difficult
trial for a judge.
So when I got the case,
it was like going to war
and saying,
"I'm not gonna live
through this,
so I'm gonna do my very best
all the way through it."
The charges in this case
contains 100 felony counts,
99 counts of lewd
and lascivious acts
against children
under the age of 14.
MAN: Manhattan Beach
Police Department.
My name is Judy Johnson
and I wanna report a crime.
WILLIAM: Judy Johnson
was the first person
who had reported
any kind of problem
at the McMartin Preschool.
Judy Johnson was suspected
of being an alcoholic.
I had my investigator
spend time with her
and he came back,
and told me
what she talks about from moment
to moment makes no sense.
DANNY: She never became
a real part of my defense
because I didn't know she had,
you know,
perhaps schizophrenia
and, uh, drinking problems
because they hid it.
So the idea came about
and I generated
as much as I can,
I think we need
to see this witness.
She called me the day before
she was to testify
saying she did not want
to come into court.
Uh, I had tried to assure her
we would protect her,
we would make sure
she was comfortable.
Uh, I tried to do everything
I could
because we needed
to have her come in.
And that night,
she drank herself to death.
I never understood
why Manhattan Beach
Police Department
didn't deeply investigate her.
It was it was not done.
Had it been done then,
I wouldn't be talking
about the case.
It would never have been filed.
KEVIN: At its bare bones,
the case rested on
the medical evidence,
the children's interviews,
and Raymond Buckey's confession
to a jailhouse informant.
George Freeman was a informant
brought by Lael Rubin
to say to the jury,
"Ray Buckey
told me he did it all
in spades and more."
GEORGE: It's been going on
for a long time.
Did he say how long?
Since he was about 14.
MAN: They've been doing
kids since he was 14?
They've been doing movies.
Kiddie porn?
"And I'm not doing this
because I want a break
of any kind,
I'm doing this
because molestation bothers me
and this guy
should be punished
for what he told me he did."
The jury have to look
at the fact that,
uh, he has very strong
and damaging information
and testimony
against Raymond Buckey.
Actually, there ended up
being a grand jury investigation
as a consequence of this case
of the DA
and the sheriff's cooperating
to put snitches in cells
with suspects
who they're having trouble
getting evidence from.
DANNY: They would show
that informant police reports,
details of which were unique
to that case,
so with that signature
sheriff's deputies
would put them in a cell
with a highpublicity
like my client,
and make up a confession,
and then Lael would call them
and get her conviction.
He confessed.
KEVIN: He showed up
in court for one day
and on the second day,
he just disappeared.
They found him at a house.
They had to break down
the door, bring him in.
The prosecutor said,
"You know,
we would like to recess to give
Mr. Freeman
a chance to clean up."
This guy had his hair back,
he had a rack of menacing
tattoos on his arms,
shackled with sheriff's deputies
standing next to him.
um, did not look the greatest,
but I was not gonna take time
out of the trial
for him to be cleaned up
and brought in.
The fact that he was,
uh, difficult, obstreperous,
and had to be granted immunity
was enough for the jurors
to understand
what kind of a person he was.
KEVIN: Davis' crossexamination
was uncharacteristically short
but it was pretty much,
you know, "Mr. Freeman,
you have no credibility
And and Freeman said,
"No, I have no credibility."
I think what happened was, uh,
Lael Rubin has just used
her last informant,
only he ran out
of informant gas.
So that
that's leg number one
of the prosecution's case.
It was so much easier
to never take a picture
and just say,
"I saw all this damage," right?
That's why I started doing
photo documentation.
Because I wanted
to be held accountable.
I wanted it to be science.
I wanted it to be right.
KEVIN: Dr. Heger, she
was a very compelling witness.
She introduced this practice,
referred to
as colposcopic slides,
which is basically photographing
the genitalia of the children
who were allegedly abused.
And these slides
were shown in court
and she identified
on the slides scars, which,
you know, if you look at
the palm on your hand,
it'd be sort of like a little
scar down the palm of your hand.
And she said,
"That's blunt force trauma."
Prosecution put on
two more medical doctors
who concurred
with Dr. Heger's assessment.
But the defense attorneys,
Danny Davis and Dean Gits,
asked Dr. Heger to identify
the area of trauma.
She points
with the little pointer
and they put a little circle
around the area
on the slide
that's blunt force trauma.
And then when the other
two doctors testified,
none of them lined up.
The three doctors
could not agree
what on the slides
indicated blunt force trauma.
The science of child abuse
and child sex abuse,
was in a very embryonic stage
at that point.
But I do think that
not only was there evidence
that in following
these kids later
when they went
through puberty,
uh, and had
some problems,
that the medical diagnosis
was was valid.
MAN: Manhattan Beach
Police Department.
We, the jury,
in the above entitled action
find the very defendants
not guilty [INDISTINCT]
It was devastating.
You're speechless.
How how could that happen?
I was just
I just couldn't believe it
when they said "not guilty."
It just
was such a shock to hear
that that they were
gonna go free and...
I couldn't understand,
as a kid,
how they could not
believe us.
How they could think
he was innocent.
And as a kid, not guilty
felt like innocent.
ASTRID: To be honest with you,
I don't see the legal system
as determining whether
something happened or not.
And we all know
some very famous cases
in this country
where we're all pretty convinced
that the, uh,
accused was guilty,
and they were found
not guilty.
It's possible that
these children were molested,
and it may not
have been proven
that that the defendants
were the cause
or if someone else was.
Whether I believe he did it
and whether it was proven
are are very different.
The parents have to live
with this.
And there's nothing
that I can say
or anyone else can say
to make them feel better.
We did the best job
we could do
with the information
that was given to us.
One child sat
on the stand for 15 days
being wracked and abused
by a defense attorney.
And what did he get?
Not guilty.
So why should you tell?
We the jury in the above
entitled action,
find the very defendants
not guilty [INDISTINCT]
I couldn't understand,
as a kid,
how they could not
believe us.
KEVIN: After the trial,
people are split
and there's people marching,
and they're protesting
based on what?
There were no evidence.
We will not take no
for an answer.
And, uh, even though we may not
be getting answers tonight
from the district
attorney's office,
we will be looking for them
in the future.
KEVIN: To tell you how crazy
it could get,
a group of parents
hired a tunnel expert.
Because the kids had talked
about there being tunnels
under the vacant lot
that was next to the preschool.
WOMAN: I wanted to get someone
who knew what to look for.
So the first thing I did
was I went and got
a archaeologist.
I consider myself
an objective scientist
and I use scientific method.
The children said
that they were taken
into a tunnel
underneath the school,
and into a room,
and there is
where they were molested
as part of what came out
to be satanic rituals.
And so, my job was to see
if I could find
any objective evidence
of any of that.
When you're searching
for a tunnel or an opening,
where the tunnel is,
the soil would be looser
and usually a different color
because of things mixed
into the soil that would happen
when they backfill,
so to speak.
There was, uh, bottles,
there was cans,
there was,
I believe, cardboard,
there was wood fragments,
there's plastic.
So there's a lot
of trash and debris
that was part of the fill.
WOMAN: One of the things
we found right away
was a plastic bag sticking out
of the disturbed area.
It had a date on it,
WOMAN: The school
had been built decades before,
so the fact
that there was something
in there
with that date on it
was a good indicator
that someone had been
under the floor
during that time.
What was particularly
notable to me
and, uh, relevant to the cult
aspect of this thing
was when my crew dug down
less than a foot.
They found this plate.
And when I saw the plate,
you know, my blood ran cold
because on it
was this perfect pentagram.
I could see that each arm
of the pentagram
was very precisely engraved.
So obviously,
it was done by an adult.
GARY: And then we hatoto cut
through the floors
to excavate underneath
the school structure.
We did find the tunnel
that went underneath
the foundation
between two of the rooms.
And underneath about
a twofoot concrete foundation
underneath the floor,
they had carved out
the bottom of the foundation,
so it's actually
slightly curved,
which perfectly matched
the width of the tunnel
to facilitate
walking through there.
You know, as a scientist,
I talk in probabilistic terms.
You never talk in absolutes
if you're a good scientist,
you know?
But probabilistically,
yes, I found a tunnel
and that backs up
the children's,
um, statements.
WOMAN: It confirmed
what we were looking for.
KEVIN: A tunnel expert
digs up the lot.
Digs tunnels into the lot.
Then there's press out there.
And he's talking as if
these tunnels were there.
Uh, actually, I remember
picking up the LA Times
and the headline
says something like,
"Tunnel expert examines
McMartin Preschool site."
I mean, anyone looking
at that story thinks,
"Oh, my God. There's tunnels
at the McMartin preschool."
I mean, what else
would you think?
But he just dug the tunnels.
There wasn't anything there.
MAN: Manhattan Beach
Police Department.
IRA: This is much
too important a case,
far too much has gone into it,
for far too long,
and the charges
are much too serious
to allow it to hang out there
with such a great question mark.
KEVIN: Reiner
is a political machine
and he wasn't gonna back down.
And he sends them to trial
a second time.
With no new evidence.
He was gonna try
with the same evidence
that failed,
and failed miserably.
DANNY: Go a second time,
so he can be attorney general?
That decision debases
anything we've learned
what happened
to these children.
That's when I started saying,
"I will end
Ira Reiner's career."
PAMELA: Ira Reiner decided
to retry the case.
I agreed to do it
because I figured,
"What have we got to lose?"
I mean, the case
is already a mess.
All we can do
is make it better.
Plus, I went to McMartin.
So it was my old
my old preschool.
We've looked at the evidence
very carefully.
And we are firmly convinced
that the children
were indeed molested.
I went to my client
and I said,
"I'm gonna get them engaged
in a plea bargain discussion.
But we're not gonna take
Not even disturbing
the peace or speeding.
PAMELA: Before
the trial started,
Danny Davis walked up to me
in the courtroom
and said, "Uh,
let's try to settle this case."
I thought, "Yippee."
Ray Buckey, you know,
he'd already done
four or five years in jail.
I figure we could plead him
for a couple of counts
of child molest
and give him time served,
at least we'd have
a conviction.
But we found out later
Danny Davis
had secretly
taperecorded us.
DANNY: A wellknown political
journalist confronted Reiner.
"Well, isn't it true
that your office offered
a plea bargain
to Ray Buckey?"
"We'd never offer him
That guy is guilty.
We're gonna put him away.
The children
will be vindicated."
"Well, we understand
that the entire thing
was taperecorded."
The press came and said,
"Hey, we heard you had
a plea bargain talk."
And I couldn't say "no comment"
'cause that's the same
as saying yes.
Danny Davis,
being the idiot that he was,
he didn't understand.
We weren't lying about it
for any other reason
than to protect his client's
presumption of innocence.
But no good deed
goes unpunished.
DANNY: Reiner panicked.
And his response later on
to the media was,
"Well, we never
formally made an offer."
And my answer was,
"Well, it wasn't a formal offer,
but I was in a coat and tie.
Can we call it
a semiformal offer?"
And I never heard
from Reiner after that.
I don't think
anybody else did.
My feelings about Mr. Davis
are on the verge
of homicidal.
PAMELA: My main focus going in
was to finish the case
with some shred
of dignity left.
We took it down
to the bare minimum
and put on basically
three victims,
three mothers,
and a couple experts.
So many years had passed
since the incident by then.
And so much had come to bear
on these children.
There was so much publicity.
There was so much parental
and society pressure
that the kids
had been all turned around.
It was an impossible task.
I felt very much, like, um,
I was on a suicide mission.
I'm ready. I've been ready
for five years.
I'm ready for it to end.
PAMELA: Danny Davis
wanted me to shake
Ray Buckey's hand
the first day.
And I thought, "I know
where that hand has been.
I'm not shaking it."
Mainly reserved
PAMELA: I crossexamined
Ray Buckey for three days.
The first question I asked was,
"Why do you like children?"
And he said,
"Because they're
so honest."
In retrospect, I probably
should have just sat down
and said, "I'm done."
That to me
was him telling everybody,
"I did it."
That was Ray Buckey's admission
that the kids
who testified against it
were telling the truth.
PAMELA: It turns out
that some of the stuff
that had happened before
could have helped us
win the case because
it's a highprofile case.
I knew that if the jurors
were watching TV
and heard that Ray Buckey
had had a conversation
about a plea deal,
they're gonna assume
he's guilty.
And we could end up
being able to convict him.
PAMELA: My main focus
going to the second trial
was to finish the case
with some shred
of dignity left.
We took it down
to the bare minimum
and put on basically
three victims,
three mothers,
and a couple experts.
But it was
an impossible task.
I felt very much, like,
um, I was
on a suicide mission.
PAMELA: This is a case
where the kids
are either believed or not.
And we hung the jury again,
of which I consider
to be a small victory because
we knew we couldn't win.
It wasn't realistic.
It was clear to me
that the, uh, jury
will not reach
a verdict in this case
on any of the, uh, counts.
there is a legal necessity
to declare a mistrial.
I understood
why they wanted it retried.
But it should not
have been retried.
It was just a mess.
The case was a mess.
RAY: I've learned to endure
a lot of things
in my life for seven years.
I'll just go on
just like everybody else does
when they have a hardship,
they get through it.
I'm sure there'll
be some adjustment,
but basically, I have
to get a real job now.
MAN: We, the jury, in the above
entitled action,
find the very defendants
not guilty [INDISTINCT]
I think it had
to be devastating
to the children I mean,
here, they went through
all of this
and they told the truth
and nobody believed them.
And these people got off.
BOY: We were so sure
of ourselves.
It's really hard, you know,
just to accept the fact
that we weren't able to prove
in a court of law our point.
There was so much publicity.
There was so much parental
and society pressure.
The public's perception,
the commentary, the cameras,
it was impossible for them
not to be known
in their communities.
And so much had come
to bear on these children.
It was relentless.
They became
McMartin victims.
I mean, that was
their whole identity.
It's it's so awful.
The thing that
bothered me the most
is that it felt to me
that the kids
were expendable.
As long as we got
their testimony,
that was enough.
We as adults, in this case,
should have done a lot more
to protect them.
They're the heroes.
They bore the weight of it.
And they went, took the stand,
those little kids,
and made it easier
for every other child
who ever has to come forward
PARENT: I know something
horrible happened there.
I know things happened there
that were so terrible,
it kept my daughter
awake at night.
It was horrific.
I know some kids who had
a really terrible time
because of what happened.
My daughter's
still in therapy.
She's 37.
MAN: I'm sure my son
wasn't the only one
that turned to alcohol.
I'm sure there were
other children.
My son is three.
And I was younger than him
when this stuff
was happening. So...
we didn't have a chance
to fight back.
They were a lot
bigger than us.
MAN: I'm sorry I sent him
to that school.
WOMAN: Hi, Ray.
RAY: Hi.
took away my childhood.
He took away
my trust in other people.
I never doubted anything
either my children said
about what happened
to them at the preschool.
I have absolutely no doubt
that Ray Buckey
molested those kids.
I will go to my grave
thinking it and...
I hope there's a special place
in hell for him.
KEVIN: There are
so many people hurt.
I mean, families
that are involved.
Their lives are just destroyed.
They take your trust
and they suck you in.
And then they take
your most prized possession
and try to dement it.
KEVIN: If you're
a McMartin parent now,
you have to accept
not being able to know
certain things.
A lot of people
may feel, "Well,
they couldn't prove the case.
You know, maybe next time
we'll get them."
We hear that a lot
in criminal law.
In this case,
there was no case.
Factually innocent
is different
than being dismissed
or acquitted.
Factually innocent means
just that, they didn't do
anything wrong
with those children.
This is a system
out of control,
who damaged this family
for no reason.
Just it's a shame.
It's a real shame.
Well, the only thing
I can say to all of you
is if it could happen
to seven innocent people,
it can happen to any of you.
And if it had not been
for my faith in God,
I would not be here today.
FORREST: It was a disaster
for everyone.
The parents
of the children suffered.
I can imagine
the children suffered.
The defendants suffered.
These are substantially
decent people
and there they are in jail.
They lost the school.
They lost their homes.
They lost their reputations.
It was a witch hunt
and there are no witches.
Really, there are no witches.
McMartin is like learning
a life's lesson
you never want
your child to learn.
I I think it's akin
to having a puppy
that gets run over on the street
in front of your house
and then having
your children go look at it
so they know what life's about.
MAN: For more information,
go to oxygen.com.