***UPDATED MARCH 9 2014***
If you are new to this blog, you may want to read the posts “In a Nutshell” or go to July 2012 and read “Sending out a Letter.” Both of these posts give a brief description of what happened. As Emma’s mom, I am blogging my experiences with Emma and the things she did/does. This is a child who made up a story about rape, accused a priest of molesting her, and then as her attorney was about to file a lawsuit against the priest and the church, Emma accused her mother of physical abuse to stop the lawsuit because she knew her lies were about to be discovered. Emma was recently living in Liberty Township, Ohio at the home of her fiance’s grandparents, Merrie and Albert Knopp, attending Wright State University http://www.wright.edu/, and talking about getting married to Tyler Buchheim, an architecture student at Notre Dame. Emma claims to have the TOXICOLOGY REPORT to prove that her mother poisoned her with DDT and that she had to move to Ohio to get away from her mother. (My attorney has been waiting for months for that toxicology report.) She also claims her future mother-in-law, Sherry Buchheim lives in fear that Emma’s mother will show up and kill her entire family. A while back I received an e-mail from Sherry that said, “…. I am not afraid of you or fear that you are going to murder me or my family. That is ridiculous!!!” P.S.Tyler, you are very welcome.
As a child, Phill built and flew RC planes, but had quit them before I’d ever known him. Years ago, at my job, I met someone who flew, and told this gentleman, “Oh, my husband did that as a kid.” He made it sound like so much fun, I went home and talked to Phill about it and encouraged him to get back into it. (It didn’t take much encouragement.) He picked out a plane for his birthday, and his hobby grew and grew. It wasn’t long before our house was full of planes, plane parts, radio parts, materials for building, and odds and ends that I couldn’t have identified.
Phill got involved with some local groups like the Scenic RC Flyers in Winder/Statham, and the Electric Drones in Jackson County, near our home, but his favorite RC event was SEFF (Southeast Electric Flight Festival) which is held in Americus, Ga. http://www.seffweek.com/ This year, SEFF will be held April 7th-13th. Phill talked about SEFF all year long. Before SEFF, he spent months planning what planes he was going to build and take, and after the event, he talked about it for months and made plans for the next year. He volunteered with SEFF, which paid for his trip and hotel, and his main job was being in charge of the raffle. It is a big raffle where vendors donate lots of prizes, and Phill always bought a lot of tickets, so he came home with at least a few prizes. Because I was homeschooling Emma, and worked at an arts program where the end of the year program coincided with SEFF, plus the fact that we had 3 dogs and a foster dog at home, I never attended but finally planned on going in 2011, the year Emma’s really turned into a mess. Although her actions stopped me from attending, I don’t think it stopped Phill, and I believe he took Emma with him. Phill’s family could be falling apart, but he was not going to miss his big week of airplanes.
I don’t remember what year it was when Phill took Emma with him to Seff. I believe she was in 7th or 8th grade. Phill had volunteered the year before and thought it would be great if Emma could go and help. It sounded like a good opportunity for Emma to get to try something new, and as a homeschooling mom, it gave me a break as well.
Phill had tried to get Emma interested in RC planes, but she never was. She built a simple plane with his help when she was about 10-12, and she would take the controls if he took her out to the field, but she was never that interested. It just wasn’t her cup of tea. SEFF, however, would become an event that Emma looked forward to every year.
I’m not sure of his title, but SEFF was run by a man named Jeff Meyers of the Fayetteville Flyers. He may have started the event, I’m not really sure. From what Phill and Emma told me, it’s a week long RC event where there are vendors, “pilots” (the folks who fly RC planes) and lots of socializing with dinners, drinking, poker, entertainment, contests, etc. It became the largest electric RC plane event in the U.S. or maybe the world, and one year they broke the world record of the most planes in the air at one time. Phill was partiulcarly proud of being part of this event which can be seen here:
Seff takes place in Americus Ga. at Mac Hodges field:
428 Neil Hodges Road
Andersonville, GA 31711
Phill liked to camp at SEFF so that he could be in the middle of the action all the time, but Emma was not a “roughing it” kind of girl and preferred to stay in a hotel. She was also afraid of staying in a tent, that the boogie man would get her. If Emma went to bed at night, from what Phill told me, he was close by, drinking beer with the guys or whatever, but never far away from Emma. Emma was the kind of kid who got nervous taking a walk in the neighborhood by herself, so it didn’t surprise me that Emma didn’t like going to bed by herself when Phill was still up. They always ended up compromising and spent a couple of nights in a tent, and then the rest of the time in a hotel.
The first year, Emma’s duties were fairly minimal. I remember her talking about things like labeling the beer bottles. (One of the RC members made an annual “SEFF Beer.”) Every year, her duties grew, and she loved being Jeff’s right hand and was given the title “Administrative Assistant.” Phill and I were both very proud of Emma and the job she did every year at SEFF. The child who, in typical kid fashion, couldn’t do her chores at home, or who lied about having done them until mom or dad went to check, worked her tail off at SEFF and did a great job. No one had to remind her what her jobs were and no one had to tell her over and over again to do them. Maybe she was growing up! One year after SEFF was over, I believe Emma was in about 9th grade, Jeff sent out a nice e-mail about SEFF and while I can’t remember word for word what he said, there was something in there about how he thought he was going to quit SEFF until Emma came along and made his job so much easier. Phill and I couldn’t have been more proud.
During SEFF week, Emma and I talked on the phone every day, although sometimes not for long as she was very busy. When she would get home from SEFF, she would talk to me for hours about everything that went on. One of the things Emma was responsible for, as she told me, was vendor placement, and she had to deal with vendors complaining about their spots. She got a little frustrated with some of the vendors giving her a hard time, but it sounded like, from what she told me, that she handled her responsibilities well, and I thought she was getting some great experience for what would be coming down the road for her in real life one day. To make things even better to Emma, Jeff started paying the volunteers. I believe Emma came home with something like $300-$350 after spending a week at SEFF. For a kid who’d never done more than babysat, that was a nice chunk of change! Even though this was supposed to be “volunteering,” I couldn’t object to Emma being paid because from what she and Phill told me, she put in some long hours for the week she was down there.
The only thing that concerned me was that Emma never seemed to get along with kids her own age. Not that there were a lot of kids at SEFF, but one year, a couple of girls who I believe were the granddaughters of one of the “Hodge Hounds” (some of the SEFF regulars) who wanted to volunteer. Emma, for whatever reason, didn’t get along with these girls and complained frequently about them. From what she told me, the drove the golf carts which were used as shuttles, and they were lazy and didn’t work as hard as Emma did. Emma always seemed to have trouble making friends her own age. I’ll get more into this topic later when I talk about Emma’s schools and schooling, but just like the church youth group, Emma loved running things, but didn’t seem to make friends if she was around anyone for any length of time. She could see them once or twice a year and leave messages on facebook, but she never had any close friends that she saw regularly. She got along well with adults, and younger kids, like the little girls of Mike and Wendy Timms, who also went to SEFF. Emma loved being “big sister” to younger kids like the Timms girls, who were also homeschooled. (Emma would later take advatage of the Timms family while claiming to be “abused” but more on that later.
Another interesting note is the year that Emma claimed to be “molested.” On March 21, 2010, her dad’s birthday, Emma confessed to her dad and me that she had been molested by the priest at our church a few years before when she was 12 years old. She made up a story about a cyber friend being raped and claimed that this friend called Emma from the hospital ER. Emma then claimed that this incident brought up her “repressed memories” of her own molestation. SEFF 2010 was held about a month later, April 22-25, 2010, and Phill was not going to miss it. We talked it over and decided it might good for Emma to go to get away from all we’d been through dealing with the police, detectives, the church, DFACS, the sheriff’s department, etc. in the wake of Emma’s accusation.
Phill took Emma to SEFF 2010, but he told me she mostly hid out in the tent. It sounded like she did not do much in the way of assisting Jeff like she had in previous years. I spoke to Emma on the phone every day, and she was very paranoid about the priest finding her and coming after her. I tried to reassure her that the priest would have no way of knowing that she was at this RC event down in Americus, Georgia, but Emma was adamant that he would find out and come after her. Phill finally had to tell Jeff what was going on because Emma wasn’t doing her job. Of course, Emma got lots of attention and sympathy for being the sexually abused child. I now suspect that her paranoia was her guilty conscience, although I have often wondered if Emma has a conscience. I’m not sure how Phill now justifies Emma’s behavior. He knows Emma made up the rape story, and he knows Emma wasn’t molested. I wasn’t there, in Americus, when Emma was acting so fearful and paranoid about the priest coming after her, but from what Phill told me, and from speaking to Emma, I can picture just how she behaved. Does Phill actually still believe this child was sexually molested by a priest?
As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry, no time to proofread, so bear with me and I’ll work on it later.