Court Sanctioned Kidnapping: My Last Day with my Nursing Infant & Children per Order of Judge A
(Dallas, Oregon) March 10, 1996 - The Court, society and my attorney have set my children up for abuse.
I went through a three-day temporary custody hearing, February 28 - March 1, 1996. Judge Albin Norblad heard the testimony of my physicians, custody evaluators and psychiatrists. Their testimony validated my recovery from my former post partum depression 3 years earlier. Their recommendation, to the Court, was that the younger children and nursing infant remain in my custody and care because I had been the primary caregiver, was a nurturing mother and was fully recovered from my former depression.
In court, Judge Norblad stated his intent was to follow the recommendation of my physicians and leave the younger children with me. Dr. Kuttner was in attendance and heard him make this statement.
When I sought safety for my children and myself in January 1996, the Court allowed me to live in hiding with my young children prior to the court hearings, due to the testimony and affidavits of numerous witnesses. I retained an attorney and reported the crimes that had been committed against my children and me. *(Here are some of the numerous affidavits that were submitted to the court documenting the abuse I had suffered from my husband during the marriage.)
In the letter from the Court, dated March 5, 1996, Judge Norblad states, "her experts (psychiatrists) testified that she is now well." Judge Norblad, nevertheless, awarded all eight of our children to my former husband. No explanation for the judge’s change of opinion was ever offered to me. (Judge Albin Norblad has a long history of removing babies and young children from good, nurturing mothers.)
Coral Anika Theill with her three youngest children Oct. 1998, Corvallis, Oregon
Coral entered a state address protection program from her children's father, Marty Warner, Independence, Oregon and left the state.
I was allowed to visit my children in the family home two weekends a month. Mr. Warner and his mother, who was living there at the time, were supposed to leave the house while I was there.
Mr. David Gearing, my own attorney, made me
promise him in Court that I would never make any
disparaging comments to my children about their father.
I have tried to teach my children to respect everyone's
right to their religious belief. However, when someone
uses their religious beliefs to harm, hurt or abuse another
human being, then I believe we should teach our children
to protect themselves from that person. I am not allowed
to tell my children the truth about their father "per Order
of the Court." I am not allowed to say anything that would
cause them to disrespect their father. The Court, society
and my attorney have set my children up for abuse.
Although it is illegal to mentally abuse someone in court and in depositions, my former mental/nervous breakdown became the subject for ridicule in court. The judge didn't seem to mind Mr. Warner's attorney ridiculing me about my mental breakdown, or my physical shortcomings while I was on the witness stand. In court, Mr. Warner's attorney made numerous comments about my sexual abuse and molestation as a child. His questions were intrusive, inappropriate and abusive. I had not yet had the opportunity to seek professional help regarding my childhood sexual abuse issues and was traumatized by his questions. These issues did not pertain to my divorce or the temporary custody hearings. Each night my mother put me in a bedroom with a convicted murderer and sex offender during my elementary school years.
Several of my friends who attended my court trials were disturbed that Judge Norblad appeared to be asleep while court was in session and missed segments of testimony. (Judge Norblad had severe health problems soon after my final divorce trial.)
In depositions, Mr. Mark Lawrence also made light of my concern for my daughters sexual safety in the home. My young daughters had sought help from me. They had been sexually abused by an older sibling. These crimes are documented. The older sibling is a registered sex offender who has been allowed to see my daughters any time. I have not.
Sadly, my daughters never received professional help after my ex-husband was given sole custody. I was also concerned for my daughters because of the way my husband had treated me for twenty years. Mr. Warner had never exhibited any sexual restraint or self-control. There was no healthy-minded individual in the home to monitor the situation. (It is reported that one in three girls and one in four boys are sexually molested by the age of eighteen.)
Mr. Lawrence was aware of my frail health and that I was still nursing my infant. During one deposition, Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Warner were both aware that both the baby and I were very ill with the flu. They insisted on proceeding with the 8 hour depositions for 5 days. That is harassment.
The younger children and I traveled to Wamic, Oregon, to stay with my brother for a few days while we waited for the judge’s decision. My attorney, Mr. David Gearing, called my brother to inform him of the court order. We were at an outside telephone booth at Pine Hollow Resort. My brother told me that I had lost the children. I ran toward the woods wailing in pure agony. My brother’s girlfriend, Theresa Cagle, a deputy sheriff, ran after me. I looked deep within myself for answers of how I was going to survive the trauma of being separated from my children. I did not find any answers, just a small voice that said, one minute, one hour, and one day at a time. Theresa Cagle drove with me to Portland the next day. I met with my attorney. Debbie Dresler was also present and showed support during this time.
After the Court Order, dated March 5, 1996, was read to me by Mr. David Gearing, I asked my attorney to contact Judge Norblad, Mr. Warner and Mr. Warner's attorney, Mr. Mark Lawrence. I begged permission to be granted a couple of weeks to wean Zachary. They all said, "No."
I stayed with friends, Rich and Therese Vasquez, in Corvallis, Oregon, until Sunday, March 10, 1996. I made numerous phone calls to Marty’s family, including his uncle, Mr. Tom O’Halloran in Tigard, Oregon, and friends to ask them to speak with Mr. Warner about the Court Order–but no one seemed to care. Mr. Tom O’Halloran made this comment about his sister, Helen Warner, “She has a way of taking her religion (Catholicism) to extremes.” Ms. Patricia Cox, Mr. Warner’s custody evaluator even called me to check up on me and make sure I wasn’t going to run. I told her that I felt like running, but I wasn’t stupid. I knew I would be arrested. I told her I was obeying the Court Order.
Many professionals who have read accounts
of my story say they are shocked and appalled
by one common denominator–the number of
women who betrayed me during my life and at
the time I finally sought safety, both on professional
and private levels.
I believe that women reacted to my situation in
the only way they knew how–support the men and
the religious leaders who supported my husband.
Psychologist Dee Graham believes that since our
culture is patriarchal, that all women suffer from
“societal Stockholm Syndrome”–to varying degrees.
Because they knew it would be impossible for me to deliver my children in compliance with the Court Order, my friends, Debbie Custis and Candy McGuire, came to the Vasquez’s home on Sunday, March 10,1996, to pick up my three youngest children and deliver them to Mr. Warner's home.
“The day Coral was forced to turn her three youngest children over to Mr. Warner because she had lost custody; I was the one who took the two youngest girls (Rebecca and Hannah) to their father,” says Debbie Custis. “They cried or screamed the entire trip. It was one of the most gut wrenching things I've ever seen. Candy McGuire took six month old Zachary in her car.”
Coral Anika Theill with her newborn son, Zachary Warner
Independence, Oregon July 1996
The last night I was with my children, I spent
the night awake, trying to come to terms with
the imminent separation we would be
experiencing the next day. With everything
in my body screaming, “This is wrong!” I
had to put on a mask of normalcy in order
to minimize the trauma for the children.
Prior to the children leaving with my friends, I shared with my children that they would be living with their father because this was what the Court decided was best, but I would still be able to visit them every other weekend. I will never forget the looks of horror and confusion on my children’s faces, and the sound of their cries as they left.
“A culture that requires harm to one’s soul in order to
follow the culture’s proscriptions is a very sick culture
indeed. This “culture” can be the one a woman lives in,
but more damning yet, it can be the one she carries
around and complies with within her own mind.”
–Dr. Clarissa Estés, Woman Who Run With the Wolves
When the children arrived at his home, Mr. Warner asked Debbie and Candy, "What do I feed him (Zachary)?" I believe he truly thought I would return with the baby. He thought keeping the children would keep me.
After the removal of my young children and nursing infant, my natural mothering and bonding chemicals that are so strong especially after the birth of a child sent me into physical and emotional shock. I did not cry, I howled from the pain of the abrupt removal of my nursing infant and baby.
The breast pump didn't work very well, and my breasts were engorged with milk. I couldn't sleep because of the emotional and physical pain. My friends, Lynn Eisler and Debbie Custis, slept near the doorway of the home I was staying at the first week because during the night I kept getting up and wanting to go get my baby, Zachary. I couldn't understand what had happened, I never will.
I gradually learned that my survival depended on me keeping the precious memories of being a mother and the bond I felt for my children in a detached place.
I no longer feel the daily joy of being a mother, and I miss that.
For my wellness to remain intact, it takes an enormous amount
of emotional effort, awareness and courage to keep the precious
memories I have of my children in the background. The survival
of the court trauma proved more difficult in some ways than
surviving eighteen years in this marriage because when I finally
found strength to try to get out–the help I had depended upon
from the law, the court, etc., all betrayed me. Justice did not come.
I continue to long for healthy interaction with my children
and miss them more than words can describe. Spiritually,
I understand what has happened. I understand money and
power buy justice. I rebuild my balance each day by mediation
and by accepting the fact that everything for the moment is
exactly as it should be because society has willed it so.
I continue to pray for the highest good for all. I continue to
believe in "surprises, miracles, imminent possibilities and
One Fine Day."
Survived HELL, escaped and lived to write my story.
BONSHEÁ – Yaqui Indian – meaning ‘out of the darkness into the light’
"I choose to not participate in the silence that protects perpetrators and isolates survivors." - Coral Anika Theill, Bonshea Making Light of the Dark, Seasoned Resistance Fighter