McMartin Preschool case; Klaas murder


Police enforcement process is usually a difficult task given that lawbreakers are said to be innocent until proven guilty. Sometimes suspects are harshly treated but turns out to be innocent after persecution. Some cases are too involving and making follow-ups, or judgments could be difficult. This paper is based on the McMartin Preschool case whereby Klaas was raped and then murdered after dropping her son at the McMartin Preschool, a school located in Manhattan Beach. The paper also shows how the police investigated the case in order to gather adequate evidence about the case.

The investigation for the Klaas murder was assigned to Paul Bynum from the Hermosa Beach police department in 1976. Paul Bynum started by investigation the family of Klaas and found that she had divorced Bill Medley. Paul Bynum had to question the neighbors for some useful information. Bynum found that the neighbors had been alarmed at the stranger’s sight, who was wondering the neighborhood before the murder took place (PATHLIGHTS, 2013). The police investigation also made use of the many speculations such as claims that the deceased had been stalked. It was also claimed that the same stranger appear severally on her corner, a week after Klaas’ body was found. The police efforts were being doomed by the fact that there were no suspects and they were hardly communicating with Manhattan Beach police department (PATHLIGHTS, 2013).

McMartin Preschool was full of many cases of child and sexual abuse as well as children molestation. This was seen through the testifying of Ray Bucky by Lael Rubin. Arresting of a supprising case since the police records were found on Buckey’s home (Besharov, 1990). Buckey was an attendant at the McMartin Preschool. In the school, children claimed that teachers had killed turtles as a demonstration of what would happen given that the children would talk to their parents about the molestation. The complication of the investigating kept on increasing after Bynum committed suicide in what he made it look like he had been killed by gunshot (Besharov, 1990). The reason he committed suicide was unclear of his involvement in the case. His death now turned out to be a homicide due to an earlier murder of Judy Johnson through alcohol toxicity.

The investigation had started earlier before Bynum’s involvement and Judy Johnson was the first woman and mother to speak publicly about the McMartin child molestation. This woman had also showed sympathy on Buckey’s prosecution. This action of Judy Johnson drew much attention to the press and resulted to the creation of Judy’s image as insane. Her urge to get involved in the investigation was the day her son returned home bleeding (, 2011). Judy was the only woman who would have brought out the whole thing to clarity and therefore her life was terminated. Judy could have handled the case wrongly since questioning others and posing a threat to take legal action could have pushed traitor to terminate her life. Again, the case of Bynum’s investigation could have been strengthened by having a strong backup and adequate security (, 2011).

A better investigation would have involved an investigation that is not too direct as to attract the attention of other people especially the suspects. Children molestation is a serious issue especially when the teachers are involved. Other than trying to protect themselves from being prosecuted, the suspects would also want to maintain a good image to the public and the school. Judy should have cooperated with professional investigators to gather adequate information about her son’s molestation, the cause of his bleeding and who were involved. Her investigation was done unprofessionally, while that done by Bynum was done without collaboration with enough professionals thus leading to their deaths.


Besharov, D. J. (1990, February 9). Lessons from the McMartin Case. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from   

PATHLIGHTS. (2013). Facts and Transcripts that Tell the Truth About Many CHILD MOLESTATION         CASES. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from  (2011, December). McMartin Preschool Case – What Really Happened and the     Coverup. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from





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