Nov 04 2014

Justice Served?

Published by at 11:20 am under The Daily Grind

Several years ago I wrote about Bill Bricker, a camp counselor who had a tendency to molest children. Just for fun, last night I decided to Google him to see what’s up. What I found totally delighted me. On that very day, he was in court facing pedophile charges.

More than 45 years after William Bricker’s supervisors at a Winnetka school heard claims that he had molested boys, the former teacher and Scout leader is due to appear in Michigan court Monday to determine if he will be sent across the country to face child sex charges.

Bricker’s lawyer plans to argue that, whatever happened decades ago, he should be spared extradition because he’s now 94, “on his deathbed” and poses no threat to anyone. Others who assert that Bricker molested them decades ago, including some who are talking about those claims for the first time, said they feel vindicated by the charges against him — even if they raise painful memories and difficult questions about whether those in authority did enough to respond to the claims. —from

I don’t care if he’s on his deathbed. But I wish this had happened fifty years ago, when perhaps he could have been stopped.


What’s sickening about this particular creep is that he left in his wake a trail of scores, if not hundreds, of children to battle dark memories, and also that The System let him get away with it: that it’s taken so many years for justice to have a chance to be served, and that no one listened when it most mattered. The irony of that is that he wore the public mantle of a hero to children, while behind the scenes he was fracturing their lives.

From the same article:

The new interviews [from victims], along with dozens of pages of personnel documents released by Winnetka District 36 since formal charges were brought against Bricker in Wyoming last month, reveal that while some adults sought to limit Bricker’s contact with children, he was allowed to continue teaching, leading a local Scout troop and working at the camp in Wyoming where he’s now accused of molesting children in 1962 and 1985.

How that happened is complicated, especially when viewed through the lens of social norms at a time when sex — let alone suspicions of pedophilia — was not discussed in polite conversation. Bricker was idolized as a Marine veteran who returned from World War II to his affluent hometown where his well-known family owned a bakery, and legions of children and their parents trusted and adored him.

There’s a Web page called, “What Did Bill Bricker Do To You?” where there are lots of stories from males and females about William Hartwell Bricker’s warped antics. There’s also a phone number for the sheriff’s office in the Wyoming district where they are preparing a case against him. With trepidation I called it, because from what I’d read, it seemed that not many victims had come forward. I left a message for the detective handling the case.

In less than five minutes she called back. For the first time in my entire life, I spilled the entire story. My whole body was shaking as I talked. When she asked, I told her I’d be willing to testify against him in Wyoming (where there is no statute of limitations for such crimes), if they succeed in extraditing him there. He’ll probably die first, but we’ll see. I don’t need to see him in jail. I just am glad he’s finally having to face the music. Another good thing: they will keep me posted about what happens: if the case comes to trial, or if he dies. That’s good closure, as they say. He lived his life as a hero, but he won’t die as one.

6 responses so far

6 Responses to “Justice Served?”

  1. marianna says:

    wow, how brave of you. that bastard deserves anything thrown at him and more.

  2. Karen says:

    It’s amazing that you had the guts to call him 6 years ago. Good for you for pursuing the creep, but how sad that you had to deal with such an enormous loss of trust at such a young age.

    Can you imagine how often this scenario is played out, only the truth never comes out–or society plays “blame the victim”? It’s sickening that it took so long to get this guy in court, and that he was allowed to stay in a position of trust with access to legions of children even after his supervisors were told of his crimes.

  3. Zoe says:

    If it heals your heart and gives you closure then pursue this creep. I feel angry about the people who turned a blind eye and the long period of time when he was running ripshod over so many children’s lives, including yours. Grrrrrr….the only patients I had a hard time taking care of when I was a nurse were child molesters. I understand why they get killed in prison. It feels almost primal to shun them.

  4. Molly says:

    Wow. How weird and strange that someone is finally taking action against him, after all these decades.

    You GOOD BRAVE girl for calling up and offering your story. I do hope it might bring some small closure, whatever the outcome.


  5. Hank Birnbaum says:

    Billy created his heroic image. He was never a hero of any kind, anywhere, for any reason. His military record cannot be confirmed by any official U.S. Military resource. We can read what he told others and that’s it.
    Billy played with children at Hubbard Woods using both of his arms without limitations. He never manifested the loss of strength he brags about–from taking the brunt of a hand grenade blast in his right arm. There are no official U.S. military accounts that he received a purple heart or a silver star, nor that he spent 18 months in a hospital to recover from a gangrene infection.
    Neither is their proof that he a captain in the marines.
    According to him, he even took a year off from college in 1941 to try to find out what he wanted to do with his life. Odd, isn’t it? He was 21 years old! Why wasn’t he in the military, then?
    Allegedly, his first combat experience occurred on April 1, 1945 when he assaulted the shores of Okinawa one half hour before the attack began. (His watch broke!) He claims he encountered stiff opposition, losing most of his men while he was severely wounded!
    The truth is the military campaign launched that day by U.S. forces encountered little to no resistance from the enemy. It was historic.
    Billy was a liar and a bully and he was devious. He did more harm than what is now alleged. He was sadistic, cruel, evil. He loved to try to destroy the self-esteem of children.
    Now, that is some hero.

  6. Nenny says:

    Stunned by your honesty here, as elsewhere, and proud of your being so brave in your willingness to revisit something this ugly. Take this SOB down, Ma!

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