I was here, on the stairs by the door when a car pulled up with four men. My daughter was on the upper floor, I was on the ground floor. The four men got out of the car and approached me. They were armed, they put guns to my head and said come with us. I screamed and said take the pistol away. My daughter started to scream. They pulled my hair and pushed me in the car and they started shooting at the house, more than fifty shots. My daughter was screaming the whole time. Many neighbors started to shoot too, but they couldn’t catch them.
In the car they made me put my head down between my legs, and put a pistol to my head. They said that if I moved my head I’d be killed, so I don’t know where they took me…. [Then they took me into a building where] they were hitting me on the head and arms, and I still can’t stretch out because my whole body hurts. They used hot water on my head, my eyes still burn from that and my arms. They raped me, in many, many ways. They kept me until the next day, I begged them, I said I have a young child, I said she might die if I leave her alone. And so then they left me alone. When I came home my appearance was so bad, my hair was a mess, my mouth was bloody and my legs too. They burned my legs with cigarettes. They bit me, on my shoulders and arms. All of them raped me, there were five or six more than the four who kidnapped me, there were ten of them total and I was raped by all ten of them.
Ex-soldier who tortured, raped and killed mother and girl gets 32 years
Published Date: 06 February 2010
By Karl Mansfield
A CONVICTED sex offender who tortured and murdered a woman and her young daughter has been branded “evil personified” by the family of his victims. Former soldier Thomas Smith, 26, was jailed yesterday for a minimum of 32 years for the horrific attacks on Diane Fallon, 43, and her daughter Holly, ten, in Ayrshire last year. He tied up his victims, raped Holly and bit Mrs Fallon’s body before strangling them at a house in the village of Cronberry, near Cumnock. The mother and daughter disappeared on 28 March after attending a village fete. Their bodies were discovered 11 days later.
Unemployed Smith, who was convicted of indecent assault in May 2006 at Teesside Crown Court, lived next door to his victims at the time of his attack. At the High Court in Glasgow yesterday he was sentenced to life in prison for both of the murders and told he must serve 32 years before being considered for parole.
After the sentencing, Mrs Fallon’s sister, Deborah Weir, said: “There are no words in the human vocabulary which can describe the evil that stood in the dock today. He is evil personified. He has taken the lives of two innocent people in a most brutal and horrific manner. Diane, a loving mother, daughter, sister and aunt, and Holly, a beautiful sister, grand-daughter, niece and cousin. Their loss has had a huge impact on us as a family. Our lives will never be the same again, there will always be something missing.”
Smith invited Mrs Fallon and her daughter round to his flat to play snooker. During the investigation, police found Holly’s diary which had an entry stating: “28/03/09 8:15pm Dear diary, I am in Tom’s house. My mum and he are playing snooker. I want to play and I hope I can. Love you, Bye.” The mother and daughter’s bodies were found on 8 April near the A70, near the Lugar River and the Templand Viaduct, just over a mile from their home. The two were last seen on Smith’s 26th birthday, 28 March last year.
Police also confirmed yesterday that a review would take place into the management of Smith as a sex offender. Asked how long police had known Smith was a sex offender, Detective Chief Superintendent John Mitchell of Strathclyde Police said: “He was convicted of a sexual offence back in 2006. He did move into our area a couple of years ago and clearly we were aware at that time. It’s fair to say at this stage that Strathclyde Police are undertaking a review into the circumstances around the management of Thomas Bernie Smith as a sex offender.” Mr Mitchell said he had not seen a case like it in 32 years’ police service.
On the day of their disappearance the Fallons helped at a fete before going to Smith’s house in the evening. On 8 April, Smith went to a police station in Cumnock and told officers he “accidentally killed them”. Police divers found Holly’s body submerged beneath rocks under a bridge and her mother’s in undergrowth outside the village of Craigens near to the bridge.
But Lord Turnbull said Smith had not explained why he had tortured the mother and daughter. He added: “Ordinary language cannot adequately describe the level of violence which you engaged in. What you did to each of your victims is, to my mind, more properly described as sadistic torture. In perpetrating these crimes, you have set a benchmark for atrocity below which it is difficult to imagine any other human being sinking.”
A Palestinian female freed from Israeli detention said more than 15 fellow Palestinian women were raped by Israeli interrogators to force them to confess to charges leveled against them and collaborate with the Israeli intelligence.
“Israeli investigators and intelligence officers keep video tapes of the raping to blackmail the female detainees. I have been sexually abused and photographed. When I tried to travel to Jordan after my release and Israeli intelligence officer dumfounded my with the humiliating photos.”
She asserted that this techniques has been used for years by the Israeli interrogators against Palestinian detainees. “They have used this raping techniques before my detention and continue to use it until today,” said the Palestinian woman who spent nine years of her life in Israeli detention. She also asserted that Palestinian women shy away from reporting such “disgrace” due to the sensitivity of the conservative Palestinian community. The Israelis also, she added, threaten to widely circulate the rape images if any of us take her complains to the public or the press.
The sexual abuse practices are not restricted to detained Palestinian women alone. In a phone all from an Israeli jail, a Palestinian man told IOL he has not been allowed to put on any cloths since his detention eight months ago. “I haven’t worn my clothes all this period. They (Israeli guards) searched continue to search such around the clock and if we resist they torture us.”
“ Israel , through the Shabak, violates the international convention against the torture which stipulates that all parties should take the necessary legislative, administrative and judicial measures to prevent torture under its jurisdiction,” said a Palestinian human rights researcher.
Shin Bet, also known as the General Security Services or Shabak, is Israel ’s domestic security agency. “The convention clearly states that parties should not exploit extraordinary circumstances, such as war, a threat to wage war or domestic political instability, as pretexts for torture,” Sameh El-Sayehn told IOL.
He asserted that the U.S. soldiers’ sexual abuse of Iraqi detainees in Abu Gharib was simply “a replica of a long-running Israeli practice”. “Shabak has more than 25 different torture techniques to extract confessions from Palestinian detainees,” El-Sayehn said. “The nudity technique used by the Americans against Iraqi detainees is a long time Israeli favorite but unfortunately pictured never surfaced to expose the barbarism and brutality of a country bragging about being a democracy oasis.”
El-Sayeh indicated that Israeli guards “undress Palestinian female detainees and tie them to beds for long periods.” The situation in men prisons is not less humiliating, added the Palestinian researcher. “Palestinian men are held naked in front of each other and Israeli soldiers. Those who refuse to take of their clothes are brutally beaten.”
At least seven thousands Palestinians, including scores of women, are held by Israeli occupation forces in detention centers and jails.
From Daily Kos’ partial transcript of a video of Seymour Hersh speaking at an ACLU event. He says the US government has videotapes of children being raped at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
” Some of the worst things that happened you don’t know about, okay? Videos, um, there are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at Abu Ghraib … The women were passing messages out saying ‘Please come and kill me, because of what’s happened’ and basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. And the worst above all of that is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror. It’s going to come out.”
There’s also a piece worth reading in this week’s Newsweek about new allegations of rape and sexual torture at Abu Ghraib. Feature includes details on the identities of the Iraqi prisoners shown in those widely-circulated photographs — including Satar Jabar (charged with carjacking, not terrorism), whose iconic hooded figure with wires attached is derisively described by many Iraqis as the “Statue of Liberty.”