Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Child Protective Services Has Reportedly Placed Two Surviving Children From Valentine's Day Fire In Its Custody, And JNS Blog Compiles A List Of "Tough Questions" The Public Deserves To Have Answered By Mainstream Media...

Mug shot, therefore public domain, blog post by John Hoff

JNS blog has heard by email from a trustworthy person, and seen information posted persistently in a neighborhood Facebook forum, that the two surviving children of Troy Lewis have been placed in a status of "protected hold" by Child Protective Services. This information is unconfirmed. Five of Lewis' children perished in a Valentines Day fire at 2818 Colfax Ave. N., a duplex owned by slumlord Paul Bertelson's Mission Inn Minnesota.

If mass media such as KARE actually cared about digging into relevant facts instead of telling a thrilling, tragic soap opera version of these terrible events, then we might actually learn some of the following pertinent pieces of info...

Did that happen? Has CPS put the children in a protective hold as this blogger is hearing? What does CPS have to say about it? Ask them, why don't you?

Did Lewis have legal custody of the seven children following the death of their mother, Kimberly Davis, or was it merely "de facto" custody because the welfare of the children wasn't being closely tracked by DHS, CPS or anybody else?

Was there life insurance on any of the children?

What, if anything, are fire investigators saying about the source of the fire? When will we have answers? We're still waiting for answers about the January 1 fire on the West Bank, so does this mean answers won't be coming for MONTHS?  (And hey, when will we get answers about the West Bank fire?)

What is the landlord, Paul Bertelson, saying in response to Troy Lewis' assertion on KARE-11 that his baseboard heaters had issues as early as October of 2013 when the family moved into the duplex? And that he'd reported those issues to the landlord? Was this family left to use a lone, overworked space heater for four months through a winter cold and severe even by Minnesota standards?

Why was the city warning of a water shut off on the very day of the fire? Wasn't the slumlord paying the water bill in a timely way? Why?

What war is Lewis a veteran of, supposedly? KARE says he is a "Vietnam" vet, though on February 14 a media entity was saying Lewis was a veteran of "Desert Storm." If he's a vet, why is he sitting at Hennepin County Medical Center getting his medical care instead of being transferred to a VA facility? Has anybody actually seen documentation of his alleged veteran status?

What are the specifics of the crimes for which Lewis was convicted in Cook County, Illinois? Who did he rape? If the rape happened in the 1980s, why is Lewis still required to register as a predatory offender?

Is there any truth to troubling allegations aired by a Facebook profile called Luv'dbydabest Hated Bydarest in regard to a restraining order, window peeping, etc?

Last, and most troubling...

Knowing who this guy is, are we really supposed to uncritically swallow this story? Has the mass media backed itself into a corner and now fears to tell what Paul Harvey called "The Rest of the Story" after hailing this man a tragic hero? Too late. The rabbit is out of the bag, even if only one blogger is pointing emphatically at the rabbit. Now all kinds of people are asking the tough questions.

Or is Lewis actually a tragic hero who desperately tried to save his children? Is everything Lewis says true, and he even served bravely in Vietnam, and now the ugly and not-terribly-relevant warts of his past are only heaping pain upon the Biblical tragedy of this present moment? And why? Just because some people (like bloggers) are too cynical?

Well, those are relevant questions as well, and I of all people should dare to ask those questions.

Rumor has it CPS received "multiple" phone calls demanding CPS take custody of the children. And I know at least one person asked me if it was OK to make use of information I obtained (through a helpful reader) from Cook County, so it's even possible information originating from this blog formally made its way to CPS.

But no, this blogger did not drop any dimes. I figure the authorities have this situation in hand but you know what?

The public deserves to know what the authorities know, at least as much as the authorities can legally reveal. And if CPS has actually put those children in a protective hold, then the mass media needs to tell the public why.


Anonymous said...

John, the reason the real journalists are not "all over" this story is that it is not a story. And it is not relevant to the events that occurred. You need to step back and look at things from a normal person's perspective, instead of through this perverse filter of yours that can only see blacks and sex offenders and "slumlords."

Anonymous said...

Way too much vested interest in this story to support the truth.

The media is in it's heyday embracing a "feel Good" story that garners tons of publicity. If they can paint a saintly picture of this man it will produce an even greater story when the truth comes out.

Some don't want the story to go bad because it taints across race and income levels.

Others want to nail Bertelson to the cross he should bear and feel any defect in the families character will diminish his responsibility.

Slumlords would rather cover the conditions present in many rentals and the potential for victimizing it's tenants so much needed laws don't take hold. They don't want the public to see them as warehousing human trash, rather fulfilling a much needed service to the poor while lining their pockets.

Anonymous said...

I believe there are a hell of a lot of questions to be asked to the landlord, the city, the state, and Mr. Lewis. Were these his biological kids? The MAINSTREAM MEDIA NEEDS TO JUMP ON THIS and quit falling for the Chicago crap that I smell.

Anonymous said...

The media will never reveal the truth about this because like many of us,if you tell the truth, you're called "racist".

Johnny Northside! said...

I received some photos by email saying, hey, let up on Paul Bertelson he's really not such a bad guy and check out these pictures of his property where I lived, which was nice.

Words to that effect.

I am still negotiating the use of the photos but it seemed fair to say something right away. At least one former tenant speaks in defense of Bertelson and illustrates their point.

Anonymous said...

The pics are the inside of the property that burned down, just FYI. just wanted to show that end of 2012 a little over a year and a half ago everything was working fine etc. Not just a random Paul Property. Since People keep calling it a crap shack in dis repair.

Johnny Northside! said...

And I would love to share those pictures. So email me.

Anonymous said...

Go to Online Mugshots and he has two photos with the proof of what he is and does... Troy nmn Lewis fails to report on certain things he is noted for. Further investigation is warranted.

Anonymous said...

12:19 PM, why wouldn't it be in disrepair now? We all now it only takes a couple of months for some of these people to destroy a perfectly good property.

Johnny Northside! said...

I am being told that Child Protection cannot, on its own, place a child in a protective hold. Such an action would require law enforcement. However, it seems to me CP would be involved in the process. In any case, I await further info and right now JNS blog isn't the only one digging.

Johnny Northside! said...

And then again, I'm also being told it is often CP that initiates a hold by contacting law enforcement, so then whose hold is it?

Another commenter by email tells me that in his experience a vet always ends up at the VA for medical care unless it's something life threatening or very specialized. So why is this alleged "war vet" still at HCMC?

Anonymous said...

Regardless if he is a vet or not it shouldn't matter anymore. He has lost all honor of such a distinction after his heinous crimes and convictions. His loss of his children is beyond any punishment however.

Anonymous said...

If the "professional" media reported this story the way you are, there would be rioting in the streets.
Professional journalists have ethics, and compassion something you obviously lack.

FIVE children died, in a terrible fire of undetermined origin.
To report on the criminal history of the father who just literally had his children die in a frightening and horrible manner is simply adding insult to his injuries.
Can you just imagine what was going through the minds of these children as they faced the thick black smoke and raging fire? Can you fathom how scared they were, screaming for help?
That is what is on the minds of compassionate people as they read the media accounts about this tragic fatal fire.

While you have been defaming the landlord, there had been absolutely no evidence that he did anything wrong in this fire. The home was a licensed rental, and had passed all inspections.

If WCCO, KARE, or even Fox reported as you have been people would be calling for reporters to be fired. Our elected officials would be demanding apologies, and there would be picketing and protests.

I think most people realize you are a disturbed sociopath. The ones that really care write nasty comments that you blow off as them being "trolls".
The truth is, you are an unethical, sadistic nutcase who only cares about headlines. You could care less who you hurt, or how your reporting effects others
I actually think you get enjoyment from the misery you cause others.

Anonymous said...

I am not so sure about the part of always ending up at the V.A. being true because I am a vet and H.C.M.C. has never shuttled me to the V.A.. You get on a waiting list...a lot of people are on that list waiting thanks to George Bush junior.
Nail this bastard to the wall if he is lying or, entity forbid, involved in any devious crap related to the tragedy of these little honey's..... Fuck KARE11 and their faux-pas journalism and the goddamned tribune ass wipe material.

Anonymous said...

Reality is a meaningless accumulation of unrelated events made preposterous by man's futile attempt to define it or give it order. That, I believe, was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Probably wrong.
8:18 calls you a sociopath and hasn't a clue about the DSM-5 manual which people, in the know, is the bible of mental malfunctions. Projection 101 is elementary, Watson.