Tuesday, December 14, 2004

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Tries to Cover for Governors Upcoming Pardon

STLtoday - News - St. Louis City / County: "Inmate believes he's earned clemency"

By Kim Bell
Of the Post-Dispatch

Mongo's Comments in BOLD

"Jon Marc Taylor has photocopies of his four college diplomas taped to the wall of his prison cell. The originals are at his mother's house somewhere, probably in storage. "

Okay, as you explain later, he is not allowed to have the oversize diploma's on his wall, by prison rules, since he is a rapist.

The latest one, a doctorate in public administration from Kennedy-Western University in California, arrived Aug. 3 in an oversized envelope at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Mo. But Taylor never got to open it.

Boo Hoo

Mail restrictions at the prison deemed the package too large for delivery, so his Aunt Alice picked it up on a recent visit and held it to the visiting window for Taylor to see. The prison made him a reduced sized photocopy for his wall.
So what, he still has them….
Taylor, 43, is a two-time rapist who is believed to be the only prisoner in America to receive his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees behind bars at a maximum-security prison.
Okay, why the hell wasn't he breaking rocks or making license plates…..
"This is so unique; we've never heard of anybody doing this before," said Steve Steurer, executive director of the Correctional Education Association in Lanham, Md. "It's an exceptional achievement."

After a combined 24 years in prison in Missouri and Indiana, Taylor is trying to use his educational achievements as a springboard to freedom. He not only has the attention of the academic world, but Taylor has attracted some heavy hitters in the political arena.
All bleeding heart liberal Democrats (BHLD), I'm Sure

It's all in an effort to persuade Gov. Bob Holden to grant him clemency before Holden leaves office Jan. 10. Holden, who lost a re-election bid in August in the Democratic primary, announced just before Thanksgiving that he was granting clemency to 23 defendants, including three murderers.

So he can get 23 Democratic votes? Naw, they can't vote in Missouri, like in Florida… Anybody tell Holden (BHLD)?
With just four weeks left in his gubernatorial term, Holden is reviewing applications from dozens more, including Taylor.

Yep, that's why you are writing this rah rah article for the rapist scum.

Former Sen. Thomas Eagleton, D-Mo., is among those intervening on Taylor's behalf, although he's never met the convict and knows little about the rape that sent Taylor to prison at the age of 19. Eagleton says he's impressed by the work it took to earn the diplomas. Plus, Eagleton said, he's stepping in as a favor to a friend, the late Paul Simon.

Simon, the Democrat who wore his trademark bowtie through two terms as a U.S. senator from Illinois, died a year ago. His brother, Arthur Simon, was sorting through his brother's personal papers and found mentions of Taylor. Arthur Simon, a retired Lutheran minister who headed Bread for the World, a citizens lobby on hunger, soon adopted his brother's cause. He has teamed up with Taylor's former prison professor from Ball State University to lobby Holden's office.

One, Simon's dead. Two, he's from Illinois. Three, who gives a flying sh.. about what he thought about a Missouri rapist….

"It's something Paul had taken special interest in," Arthur Simon said. "I'd hate to see it die on the vine."

Maybe we should have executed this raping piece of sh.. so Paul wouldn't have to worry. Oh, Paul's dead and buried in Illinois. I forgot.

The Missouri woman whom Taylor raped, Joan Gibson, died of a brain aneurysm 11 years ago. But her husband - who was robbed and held captive during the attack on his wife - is outraged that Taylor would get the ear of the former senators.

Really? He has his nerve… Doesn't he know that these BHLD, these Demogogs, want to let out violent felons so they can feel better that the scum have been rehabilitated. BTW, what happens when these human refuse rape or kill again…. Oh, I guess it isn't their problem, they are out of office. I say we change the law to Make It Their Problem.

Said Ray Gibson, "Mr. Simon and Mr. Eagleton, our illustrious governor, they should put the boy in a room with their wives. They need to study his background some. If they could have seen my wife's face . . .

"It affected her deeply."

You Go Ray.

Taylor says Holden should release him as a reward for becoming a changed man in prison. If Holden doesn't grant him clemency, Taylor said, "frankly, I think it's an indictment against rehabilitation."
Good, then execute the raping bastard. Also, maybe "rehabilitation" should be in indicted. Maybe we should call it Punishment.

A son torn

Taylor is a balding man with a neatly trimmed salt-and-pepper beard and large, caramel-colored glasses. Inside the sparkling, maximum-security prison 50 miles northeast of Kansas City, Taylor may have a Ph.D. behind his name, but prison rules leave him no choice but to include in every letter his prison moniker: Inmate #503273.

The poor baby. But at least it is a "sparkling" prison, not Jeff City

Taylor has a long run ahead of him. His 40-year sentence for rape, sodomy and robbery runs until 2033. The Parole Board already denied him early release last year. He won't be eligible again for parole until 2007.
Let's see. Within the last 24 months the Parole Board found that this scumbag rapist was not due an early release. What has changed?
Taylor grew up in Kansas and Indiana, an only child. His mother was a public health nurse; his father, a traveling lighting salesman. His mother would take her young son to museums, concerts and plays. And when his father won a family trip in a sales competition, she made sure to pick an exotic locale, Spain.
Read on to the next two paragraphs. If his father won a "sales competition" how was he the stone criminal who put Jon on the wrong path? How did this stand-up family turn out two criminals?
"I always wanted (Jon) to do well," says his mother, Juanita Taylor, of Indianapolis. "He calls it nagging. I called it being a good mother."

His mother's influence was in constant battle with the influence of his father, who Taylor says was a polar opposite. Taylor claims his father thrived on a life of crime - and introduced that lifestyle to him in his late teens.

After an unremarkable high school career with grades of mainly B's and C's, Taylor enlisted in the Army. During training in Alabama, his father, Jay C. Taylor, visited him and persuaded him to quit. Taylor's mother had accused her husband of abusing her. Jon Taylor chose to travel with his father, committing robberies and selling drugs. The son described it as a "crime finishing school."
Wow, he knew he was a criminal? No wonder he has a PHD…
Taylor was 19 in March 1980 when he took part in a scheme with his father that ended in the rape of a homeowner north of Kansas City.

His father used the alias Gordon Grayson and carried phony business cards that listed him as president of an oil company in Salt Lake City. Posing as a wealthy home buyer, he contacted Kansas City real estate agent Leona Monroe and told her he was relocating to the Kansas City area and wanted to look at high-end homes. He asked her to show him houses in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range. Jon posed as his college student son.

On the morning of March 23, 1980, they arrived at the home of Ray and Joan Gibson, a respected couple in Platte County. Ray was a real estate developer; Joan was a TWA flight attendant. Everyone was introduced.

According to testimony at Jon Taylor's trial, Jay Taylor pulled a gun and told Monroe to lie on the floor. Ray Gibson thought it was a toy gun and didn't move. Jon Taylor pulled out a larger gun, a .357-caliber Magnum, and announced, "This is no toy. Get on the floor now." The three complied.

Let's see. Jay was Jon's daddy and had the "toy" gun. Jon had the .357 Magnum.
The gunmen bound their hands with plastic handcuffs and taped their eyes shut. They herded Ray Gibson and the real estate agent into a downstairs linen closet and blocked the door with a couch. They took about $100,000 in cash and valuables, including furs, paintings and silver.

According to court records, Joan Gibson was taken upstairs and forced to perform oral sex on a man. Then a man raped her. She testified that she thought the rapist was the younger man.

The younger Taylor had come to the house that day looking tanned, with his hair in a short military-style crop. Ray Gibson, a commercial artist, made drawings for police of the young attacker whose face he had seen for only 30 seconds or so. The likeness was remarkable. "I couldn't believe it," Joan Gibson said after seeing it, "because it was perfect."

Ray Gibson, through a sheriff's office, paid $3,800 to an informer, who implicated the suspects in Indiana, according to court records. That eventually led to the arrests of the Taylors.

At his trial, the younger Taylor took the witness stand and denied any involvement. He claimed he was home in Indianapolis at the time. Jurors didn't buy it. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years for rape, 15 years for sodomy and 10 years for robbery - all to run consecutively.

Yeah, he lied on the stand. I guess he was Indiana raping another woman. Too strong? Read on. Anyway 12 citizens found him guilty and gave him 40 years, after hearing all the evidence in the case. 12 citizens of Missouri, not one Senator from Illinois, or one Governor of Missouri. By the way, how many citizens sit on the Parole Board?

Jon Taylor admitted this week in phone interviews with the Post-Dispatch that he robbed the Gibsons, but he claims his father is the one who raped Joan Gibson. "I take full responsibility for the crime because I stood there and acquiesced," he said. "I did despicable deeds, but I haven't killed anybody. And for the last 23 years, I've tried to make myself a better man."
Okay, he acquiesced. How come Mrs. Gibson said it was the younger man? There were two men, he and his father. She just didn't like the young guy and wanted to get him??
Before he was caught for the crime in Platte County, Mo., Jon Taylor admits that within a month he had raped a leasing agent in Indiana. He served prison time for the Indiana crime first, 12 years of a 30-year sentence. In 1993, an Indiana judge ordered Taylor's release, citing the postgraduate work as a remarkable example of self-rehabilitation. Platte County sheriff's officials swooped in to bring Jon Taylor back to Missouri for his 40-year sentence.

Damn, those "swooping" deputies… How about they picked up a two time rapist and brought him to Missouri for justice? By the way, he has only served 11 years of his 40 year sentence here.

His father served time in a California prison for an unrelated crime, attempted murder, and has been free since about 1990. He is now 71. The elder Taylor was convicted of the rape and robbery in Platte County and got an 80-year sentence. He didn't have to serve that sentence. In 1987, the Missouri Court of Appeals ordered him released from those charges because prosecutors had taken too long to bring him to trial.

Okay, the State screwed up.

"The state dropped the ball," said Susan M. Hunt, who is Jon Marc Taylor's attorney. "I think the judge and prosecutor were so angry the father skated that Jon got the brunt of this."

Oh really. Then why is he not doing time in Jefferson City?? BTW, since when is any attorney an unimpeachable source?

The younger Taylor keeps in touch with his father and recently called him, collect, to wish him happy birthday. He said his father, who lives in New Mexico, had remarried and changed for the better. "I'd been angry at him in the past, but I do not hold any animosity toward my father," he said.
Maybe you can get out in time to rape your father's new wife, Jon.
When he first got to prison, Taylor said he "bounced around, trying to survive when you're young, white and fine, as they say in prison parlance." He worked as a bricklayer, then mopped floors and cooked. His mother pushed him to enroll in a college course. He considered it nagging, but she offered to pay for it.

Soon, the schooling excited him. Prison environment is controlling, and Taylor found the classroom one place he could have a bit more freedom.

Prison environment is controlling. It is a PRISON where we send BAD PEOPLE. Get it moonbat?

"At last I found my lifeline," he said. "When the professor came to the prison, this is the only time we can argue with an authority figure without fear of retribution."
What type of retribution? Why did Jon have to argue?

Ross Van Ness, a Ball State University professor who taught at the Indiana Reformatory, was Taylor's mentor as he sought his bachelor's degree. "It soon became obvious to me he stood head and shoulders above the rest," Van Ness said. "His IQ must be off the charts. I've compared him to the Bird Man of Alcatraz."

Good. The Birdman died in prison. Let Jon do it also.

Taylor's schooling included class lessons at the prison, watching televised college lectures via a 40-foot-tall prison antenna system and reviewing taped lectures on a VCR. He used Pell grants to earn his bachelor's of science degree.
Great. This raping sociopath got a Pell Grant from the Federal Government to continue his studies. Wasn't there a more deserving candidate who wasn't incarcerated who could have received this money??

Taylor has never had the Internet, much less a computer, for his coursework.
Boo hoo. He should be pounding out license plates with a hammer.
For Taylor's graduate work, a professor came to the prison every four to six weeks to meet with him. Taylor relied on donations from friends and relatives for all of his coursework beyond the bachelor's degree. The doctoral program at nonaccredited Kennedy-Western alone cost close to $7,000, he said.
Okay. Helluva scam to get your worthless ass out of prison.
Some critics accuse Kennedy-Western of being a diploma mill. University spokesman David Gering denied that Saturday, saying the 20-year-old university provides "rigorous, academically challenging" degree programs.
Who cares? It is just part of the scam. It'll work with the BHLD's since all they need is an excuse.
Taylor's publication vitae is nine pages long and lists scores of articles published in peer-review academic journals such as the Journal of Correctional Education. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, and he wrote the press kit for Ball State University's college extension program at the Indiana reformatory.

Okay, so what. He is a BHLD poster child?

Taylor's honors include the Nation/I.F. Stone and Robert F. Kennedy journalism awards (student category) for his reporting on prisoner education. He wrote a 341-page "Prisoner's Guerrilla Handbook to Correspondence Courses in the United States and Canada," which sells on the Internet for $28.95 (prisoners get a $3 discount).
Who gets the revenue from the book? The family of the woman he viciously raped … or does he. BTW, what were the circumstances surrounding the Indiana rape. How does his victim and her family feel. Did we forget that this scumbag is a two time loser????
The Prison Journal, which was started by the Pennsylvania Prison Society, America's oldest prison reform organization, has mailed manuscripts to Taylor to review. He says he's the only person on the journal's review board who isn't a tenured professor. .How does he explain the transformation from rapist to scholar?

"There was no immediate light bulb going off, no magic wand," he said. "It was a seduction into the darkness from my dad, and it's a seduction back into the light."

Wow, seduction. If you were any good at seduction, Jon, you would not have to rape women.
While Taylor discovered his passion in prison, people on the outside began discovering him.

"This guy is phenomenal; he's got to be on fire to be doing what he's doing," said Chuck Terry, an assistant professor who teaches at St. Louis University and began corresponding with Taylor several years ago. "And everything this guy's accomplished, he's doing it all without access to a research library, or computers, or research assistants."

I guess he just has some time on his hands ...

Terry has a unique perspective because he served 12 years in prison for drug-related property offenses in Oregon and California prisons in the 1970s and 1980s.

"People I call convicts walk and talk a certain way, they get tattoos," Terry said. "But I don't see that in him. He's just like a normal guy, and his language is not the language of a convict."
Okay, so what?
Paul Simon came across Taylor on a subject they were both passionate about: Pell grants for prisoners. Simon was on the losing end of a 1994 fight spearheaded by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., in Congress to abolish Pell grants for prisoners.
Thank you, Jesse, finally some sense.
Simon was so impressed by one of Taylor's op-ed pieces published in The New York Times on the subject that Simon had the article inserted into the Congressional Record on Sept. 12, 1994. When the Record was published, Simon sent an autographed copy to Taylor in prison. Simon signed it, "With gratitude."

Van Ness, the professor from Ball State University, met Simon for lunch in Carbondale, Ill., in September last year to enlist Simon's help in winning Taylor's freedom. Van Ness filled Simon in on the crime and sentencing.

Van Ness told Simon that he wanted to make an all-out push for clemency once Taylor had his doctorate in the spring. That was still months away. "You let me know," Simon told him. "I will call the governor."

But on Dec. 9 last year, Simon died from complications from heart surgery.

Eagleton told Holden in his letter Nov. 2 that he didn't know Taylor. "I am amazed that a prisoner could get a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees while still being a prisoner," Eagleton wrote. "I hope you will consider this matter."
Yeah Tom, did you wonder how he got all the free time?
Academics from Massachusetts to Manitoba sent letters on collegiate letterhead to Holden, arguing that Taylor has virtually no chance of committing another crime if freed. Howard Davidson, editor of the Journal of Prisoners on Prisons, said based on the risk prevention index of the Federal Judicial Center, Taylor has a 91.6 percent success rate. "I dare say this is a conservative estimate," Davidson said.
Good. Let him live one month with each of these "academics". Let them put their wives and daughters where their mouths are.
The man who sent Taylor to prison, former Platte County Prosecutor Kenneth Hassler, says he hopes Taylor's college achievements don't overshadow the ugliness of the crime.

"I don't think we should give preference to smart criminals over dumb criminals," Hassler said. "I can't imagine why they would want to assist someone who committed a crime like this. It certainly gives the wrong impression to society."
No Kidding. Jury Nullification? These BHLD's don't care about impressions. They only care about their power and feeling good that they "took steps" to right what they perceive as a wrong.

A career in teaching

Taylor isn't stopping with the doctorate. He is taking the final three credit hours this semester to earn a certificate in criminal justice studies from the University of Alabama.

He's on his fifth typewriter now, an electric with a 12-page memory. He named it "Walter the 5th" after a deceased church patron who helped finance Taylor's education.

Taylor got married in prison, in 1992, to a woman who was seeking a pen pal and was brought to the prison by a friend. He plans to build a life with her and her teenage daughter if he is released.

He says he wants to become a teacher, possibly at a junior college or in prison. He wants to earn another doctorate, this time on the campus of Ball State, so it has more prestige in the academic world than a correspondence course.

"Somebody called me the poster child for clemency," he said. "If I can't get it, who can? If I can't get it, what does that say to the other men and women in prison trying to turn their lives around?"
It says that they are going to do the TIME the CITIZENS of MISSOURI gave them for their CRIMES.

Taylor has never apologized to his victims because, he says, he never had the opportunity and never had their address to send a letter. Besides, he said, it could be viewed as harassment and his lawyer warned him against "stirring the hornet's nest." He said he would like to apologize. "I'm sorry for the tragedy I've imposed on their life," he said. I'm sure you are, I'm not so sure you'll be sorry the day after you get out.All this leaves Ray Gibson unconvinced. In an interview last week, he said his wife never got over the rape and horrific events. Ray Gibson still seemed frightened by Taylor.

"He and his father threatened to kill everyone when they got out," Gibson said. "They made a lot of threats throughout the years. That's what I'm concerned about. I want him to serve his time because he deserves every bit of it."
Yeah Ray, he does deserve it.
Ray Gibson didn't attend the Parole Board hearing last year but wrote a letter arguing against Taylor's release. The next hearing is in 2007, and Gibson said he felt assured that the board would notify him if Taylor ever got close to release.

Gibson was unimpressed with Taylor's college degrees.

"He's locked up; all he has to do is study. Anybody can study."

Yep, anybody can. Especially if they are working a scam to get out of prison.
Reporter Kim Bell
E-mail: kbell@post-dispatch.com
Phone: 314-340-8115


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