my response to barry county sheriff's department complaints made by Terpening Followers
Let's first make clear this website is operated lawfully. After receiving a voice message from a sergeant with the Barry County Sheriff's office, this statement was prepared.
I knew this project would be tough. My appearance on the scene has been greeted by stunning abuse in the form of anti-Semitic comments, bizarre homophobic comments, threats to contact clients and repeated publishing on the web of my name; and that is the Terpening Followers being nice!
In a free country that is what freedom of speech is about and I knew what I was walking into...
This website provides information about the case of Michael Terpening and chronicles the Terpening Follower's activities while offering no opinion as to the guilt or innocence of Mr. Terpening. Opinion is offered when people choose to expose the "character" of witnesses in this case when it is offered by people whose public conduct and character may be of interest.
Should the public know a person who is a convicted drunk driver tells us an alleged victim, convicted of writing bad checks, cannot be believed? When the media never reveals names of alleged victims, is it fair for this same woman to record a video of someone naming another witness twice in the first minute of that video free of any examination of her character and history? Is it fair to present information this very same person claims to be an advocate for victims of abuse?
It is fair.
Some question the domain name of this website. If it were used for some commercial purpose they would have a point. There are innumerable variations of the suspect's name in this case that could be used as a domain name. This website presents information and opinion, it is not selling anything. What happens here is old fashioned free speech.
Finally, I received an email 1/25/2012 from one of the Followers profiled on this site asking her personal information be removed from the site. She received a prompt response before I was contacted by law enforcement telling her I would be open to discussing the issue with her. (click to read the exchange) I also made clear any factual errors will be corrected.
I had a conversation with the Barry County Sheriff's Office the morning of February 5, 2012. The sergeant who contacted me stated there was three separate complaints, one each from Susan Ward Gillihan, Jennifer and Jamie Moore Bell. I was assured, with no questioning on my part, the Barry County Sheriff's office respects the freedom of speech of everyone while sharing the concerns of each complainant. The contact was entirely professional and respectful of all parties. At the end of the conversation I was told it was unlikely the reports would be forwarded to the prosecutor for review. Of course, any such decision would be internal to the Sheriff's Department and may not, necessarily, be shared in advance with anyone.
I received another call from the good folks at the Barry County Sheriff's Department this morning. It seems the resident of the home that burned is upset because there is a picture of the burned home on this website and she feels her safety is threatened.
The people involved in this website use only lawful, public means to gather information and exercise our free speech. No one is a, "target." A massive portion of the information on this website is driven by Terpening Followers publishing on the internet. In the case of the burning home, The Followers, in the person of Michael's mother told all of planet Earth who lived in the home, followed by Sara (whose last name we blocked) actually naming the sister.
This story is of interest. It involves a person facing serious crimes, including insurance fraud.
As always, anytime anyone believes information is inaccurate, this website will, gladly, remove inaccuracies. Where opinion is not supported by accurate facts, that opinion will be reviewed.