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Please check out my new books, "Bullied to Death: Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the World's Last Custody Trial"

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Joe Biden to Latinos: ‘You are the driving force’

The article is here.  

Latinos Aren’t Just Home Buyers, but Real Estate Investors and Builders

 The article is here. 

When Access to Capital Becomes A Financial Civil Rights Movement

 The article is here. 

The powerful impact of Hispanics on the real estate industry

 The article is here. 

Joanna's Incredible International Adoption Trafficking Story: Told Exclusively

(Joanna Shugar, from her Facebook page)

Joanna Shugar has a story to tell, and she’s telling it exclusively here.

She was born in England the product of a rape to an unwed teenager who was living in a group home.

She was taken two months into her life by British social services; her birth mother would not hear or see from her for decades.

She was quickly adopted by an American military couple- the Green’s- stationed in England, who moved her to Florida when she was three years old. At eight years old, she was removed from the Green’s because she was being physically abused.

From that point forward, she was moved from group home, to foster home, to abusive adoptive homes, trapped in a system she never chose to be a part of.

"I was stolen by cps from my crib after they failed to have me aborted to cover up the fact my birth mother was raped and they of course swept that under the rug. I was molested in care. I was adopted and severely abused," Joanna told me in an email.

Her mother’s rape

I recently spoke with Gwendoline Gates who is now living in Essex, England. She is Joanna’s birth mom. Joanna said she reached out to her recently through social media.

Gates told me she was thirteen and living in a group home when she was raped in 1989; she became pregnant, and she told me she was then threatened by her rapist.

Authorities moved her but then also pressured her to have an abortion, which she refused.

Joanna was born on May 5, 1990.

(Joanna and her birth mom, shortly after Joanna was born)

Gwen was next moved to the Beacon Lodge Home for Young Mothers.

Beacon Lodge was a home for unwed teenage mothers like Gwen.

More information on Beacon Lodge is here.

Gwen told me she was taking care of Joanna for about two months, when she went to feed her in the morning and Joanna was not in her crib.

She told me several social workers and a police officer then confronted her and told her that her daughter had been taken by social services.

She told me they then held a trial and determined she was unfit and took Joanna; she would not communicate with her again until recently.

Joanna told me she was then quickly adopted by an American military couple- the Green’s- Joanna told me, or at least that's what she was told.

Joanna moved to the US, she told me, when Mr. Green was transferred when she was three years old.

The Green’s settled in Florida.

(A timeline of events of the first three years of Joanna's life)

I reached out to CAFCASS, the British Social Services, to try and confirm some of this story and get a comment; instead, I received a history lesson. 

"Unfortunately, this isn’t something Cafcass can help with as it predates our organisation – established 2001," their media department told me, continuing by explaining what social services was like when Joanna was being adopted, "Cafcass was established as an amalgamation of several agencies. It brought together the services previously provided by the Family Court Welfare Service, the Guardian ad Litem Services and the Children’s divisions of the Official Solicitor’s Office."

CAFCASS suggested I reach out to the local authorities.

Beacon Lodge was closed down in 2014, according to a news story, but that story said the Beacon Lodge Charitable Trust remained open. 

I reached out to the trust by email and received this response, "This is a charity based in North London.  We did run a residential centre in East Finchley for over 100 years, but that closed in 2014 and all the records were moved to the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) where they can be consulted if necessary." 

I reached out to the LMA and will update if there's a response. 

Moving to America

Joanna said she moved to the US when she was three with the Green's and her name was changed- temporarily as it turned out- to Joanna Green.

But at eight years old, social services removed her. She was removed because her adoptive father was physically abusing her. Below is part one and part two of an interview Joanna did with me which describes what happened next. 

Joanna said that upon being taken away from the Green's, she became a product of the system. 

She was initially taken by a foster parent before nearly being adopted. 
(A yearbook from when Joanna was known as Joanna Thornton)

She was nearly adopted by a woman named Terri Davis. 

I spoke with Terri, who has stayed in touch with Joanna.

Davis told me that she got along with Joanna and things were looking up when a cancer had recurred. 

She said she had to pull out of the adoption suddenly to treat the cancer. 

This came as a shock to Joanna who was then moved to live with a family named the Thornton's. 

Terri told me that Joanna and Mrs. Thornton, in particular, did not get along.

"Joanna was very headstrong," Terri told me, stating further that the Thornton's were ill prepared to deal with all the issues Joanna had as a result of her upbringing. 

The Thornton's, Davis told me, then had their own marital difficulties, and Davis wound up taking care of Joanna for a few months, before Joanna was moved again, this time into a series of group and foster homes which she would often run away from. 

I spoke with a former CPS caseworker who told me she spent six months working with Joanna as her case worker. Below, she described that chaos.

"I only spent a specific amount- when I got her I worked in Escandia County- and Joanna lived in Santa Rosa, which was the county next to us. So, her case, it was a special condition, that's what they told me. She was abused or abandoned or neglected, whatever, in Santa Rosa, so they weren't allowed to oversee it, so they sent it to us," she said. 

At this time, in Joanna's mid-teens, things were so bad in her adoptive home that she asked to be placed back into the foster care system, which any child over thirteen, the former social worker told me, could legally do in Florida. 

"I was not physically abused in the group homes; I was only physically abused in the adoptive homes," Joanna told me. 

I reached out to Florida Department of Health which oversees foster care and social services, but they did not respond to my email. 

The former social worker also described the atmosphere in CPS when Joanna was in the system. 

"During my time there, I started when I graduated from college," she told me, "I was like twenty-two, and the majority of the people I worked with were now. There was huge turnover; they would quit all the time. No one really knew what they were doing, and so these kids- most of the ones  I worked with were teenagers- and teens go through different things, the body is changing, mind, different things like that, and it seemed like they were being placed from place to place because nobody wanted to take care of them."

Joanna finally aged out of the system in 1998, when she turned eighteen. 

The Jacked Up Immigration

(Joanna's certificate of foreign birth)

The foster care system wasn't done taking its pound of flesh from Joanna. 

She explained more, "When I was adopted by the Green's, they never got my own separate citizenship. When I was adopted by the Boardman's, they changed- of course they changed the birth certificate- because it's right there in court. They never changed my social, and again, I never got my own citizenship." Joanna said in the interview. When I was put back into the system, I had to go under two different names because they didn't match up. When I turned eighteen, my case worker at the time, came by, and told me, 'your identity is screwed; we don't know what happened, good luck."

Indeed, it appears that foster care at least tried to fix Joanna's lack of citizenship. 

I reached out to the attorney listed, Neal Rambana, from the law firm Rambana & Ricci

He provided me with this remarkable answer, "I truly do not recall this matter.  I’ll take a look around and see if I can find anything to refresh my recollection."

His clerk also sent me an email saying there was nothing in their files. 

Joanna said she was not surprised as she never spoke with the lawyers, and all the communication was done with foster care as a buffer. 

Whatever the reason, according to the letter, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) denied Joanna's application for citizenship. 

I asked what the reason could be, as she was brought here when she was very young and she was brought here legally.

USCIS declined to comment, citing privacy rules. 

Joanna provided me with a correspondence which stated that she was denied because she never was adopted. 

Joanna told me she went through an adult adoption to try and fix things, but only some things have been fixed. It's this adult adoption which creates her current name, Joanna Shugar. 

This story does have a happy ending, at least sort of. Joanna aged out of the system at eighteen and somehow built a life for herself.

She has three kids of her own and is engaged, except, she told me she hasn't seen one of her three kids in eight years: kept away as part of a custody battle; the other two live with her. 

Post Script:

Please note that this the fourth of five articles in a special project. Please find article one herearticle two here, and article three hereThe link to the crowdfunding explaining the project is here

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Two New Articles on Al Dia

 Check them out: article one here, and article two here

On the Road with Jim and Casey


 Check out the articles which go along with this show. 

1) New article on the Rucki case. 

2) Then, we speak about a corrupt social services case in California. Find that article here

3) I previewed three more articles. One has since been published. Find that here

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Judge Uses Arbitrary and Capricious Rulings to Keep Suburban Chicago Mom Away from Son

(Haley Luttrell and her son)

A Kane County, Illinois mom has not seen her son in months and a series of bizarre and incomprehensible rulings by that county’s court seems to have created this nightmare.

Haley Luttrell currently lives in Kane County.

She has a nine-year-old son who she has not seen since before the pandemic.

Though there are no accusations of bad parenting, her predicament appears to be the result of a bizarre and inexplicable rulings by one judge, Judge Joseph Grady of the 16th Judicial District which is in Kane County, Illinois.

Case Outline

Haley’s custody case starts in August 2011; it spans two Illinois jurisdictions, and from August 2011 until June 2019, she had physical custody.

The case started in Dekalb County, in the 23rd Illinois Judicial District.

The custody moved relatively smoothly. The custody arrangement was governed by a Joint Parenting Agreement (JPA) which gave Haley physical custody and her ex standard non-custodial visitation time.

In December 2015, her ex filed for a change in venue because both had now moved to Kane County.

Initially, the case was in front of a notorious Kane County judge, Judge John Dalton.

Dalton is the central figure in Kara Witkowski’s case, where he ignored a mountain of evidence that Kara’s ex and other family members were dangerous. Judge Dalton gave Kara’s ex sole custody in the spring 2019, and even barred her entirely from seeing either of her children in the summer 2019.

Kara's son, James, 2, died on Halloween 2019; the full story is here.

Dalton was also on two other cases where he appeared to favor a man accused of sexual molestation; he was removed from the family bench in early 2020.

In this case, Dalton does not seem to have done much. He appears on the docket for about six months, but Haley said she does not remember any hearings in front of him, or any orders by Dalton of consequence.

(Kane County Courthouse)

He was replaced by Judge Joseph Grady and Grady remains the judge of record on the case.

In 2016, Haley got accepted into law school at the University of Arizona and received approval to move there for law school from the court.

In fact, Judge Grady approved the move.

The agreement required her to move back to Illinois after graduation, which she did in June 2019.

John Chapski took over as Haley’s exes’ lawyer on September 22, 2016, when he filed his first appearance, according to Haley’s timeline.

Her problems started in May 2019. Haley described what happened next in her timeline, “On May 6, 2019, while I’m in the middle of law school finals, John Chapski and Mr. X appear EX PARTE in front of Judge Grady in an unnoticed and/or improperly noticed hearing from parenting time.  John Chapski materially misrepresents to the court I would not agree to 2019 vacation dates even though Mr. X and I agreed, in writing in April 2019.  Judge Grady grants Mr. X’s order giving him the same exact vacation time as to the dates we agreed to in April.  It is upon information and belief John Chapski did this as part of a bigger strategy – paint me out as to be a liar to the court and breaching the Agreed Order even though I am 100% in compliance.”

This triggered a series of events leading to Judge Grady changing custody in June 2019, without a hearing.

Then, after being barred from her son for approximately two months, Haley said she sent her ex this email.

Upon the advice of counsel and after careful review of the June 11 Order and JPA- the June 11 order is temporary and simply states that for the time being [R] resides in Kane County with you. It does not alter or address visitation. Thus, the governing doc for parenting time remains the JPA.

Per the JPA your time with [R ]resumes Wednesday after school. [R] will remain with me tonight, I will be taking him to school and picking up [R] Monday and Tuesday from school. In addition, I will drop him off at school Wednesday morning. Your time resumes Wednesday after school. Please ensure you are there Wednesday for school pick up.

That email caused Chapski to file for a protective order, claiming it was harassment; that request was granted on October 2, 2020.

Judge Grady’s OFP barred Haley from her son for two years even though Judge Grady would later admit that he never made a finding of “serious endangerment”; serious endangerment is the standard to bar a parent from a child in Illinois, Haley told me.

Judge Grady would admit in a December 2019 hearing, that he never made such a finding. Partial transcript here.

Haley was allowed some time with her son after that, but she told me that since the pandemic she and her family have been given no time with her son.

Judge Grady was nearly removed from the case after he was moved from the family court bench on September 30, 2019, when he became a “floater” or “special assignment” judge; he was moved to the courthouse in Geneva, Illinois.

He was replaced by Associate Judge William Parkhurst. But on Judge Parkhurst’s first day on the case, he received a call from Judge Grady, telling Judge Parkhurst that Judge Grady effectively outranked him since Judge Parkhurst was only an associate judge, and Judge Grady had himself put back on this case.

Also involved in the case is another noteworthy judge, Judge Rene Cruz. Judge Cruz is the Presiding Judge of the Family Court Division for the 16th Illinois Judicial District.

He also replaced Judge Dalton on Kara Witkowski’s divorce after her son died.

Judge Cruz became involved when Haley filed to have Judge Grady removed for cause, as head of the family division Judge Cruz would hear the motion.

He obviously denied it, as Judge Grady still presides on the case.

Who is Judge Grady?

Judge Grady was first elected in 2002, according to the website Ballotpedia, and he was last retained on November 14, 2014; he will be on the ballot in November 2020.

He has been connected for a long time. In 1999, he ran unsuccessfully for Kane County State’s Attorney, in an election Mary Gorecki would win; she would serve until 2004.

Grady was described as a, “former Illinois State Police investigator and branch court prosecutor,” in a 1999 Chicago Tribune article describing the Kane County race. 

“Grady retired from the state police as a master sergeant in major criminal investigations in 1993 and began work at the Aurora branch court, where he handled traffic and misdemeanor cases, as well as bond call and warrants for felony cases. He went into private practice in 1997,” the article further stated.

While on the bench, he has received his share of criticism.

The first ward, run by veteran local reporter Jeff Ward, published an article in January 2020, about the judges in Kane County, which included this about Judge Grady.

I’m already looking into one of Judge Joe Grady’s more inexplicable custody decisions, and I understand the word he’d use to refer to the likes of me would be ‘buffoon.’ Fascinating! Judicial Center sources are an amazing thing and I cannot tell you how just much I appreciate each and every one of them.

“Judge Grady! Please spare yourself any further embarrassment and retire.”

He also receives primarily poor reviews on the judicial rating website, The Robing Room. He has twelve ratings, as of publication, with six attorney and six non-attorneys, and he has a three average from attorneys and a one average from non-attorneys, on a scale of one to ten.

“He made a bad judgement and looked me in the eye saying it was a bad judgement. He said it is not his first and will not be his last, then laughed it off. This is the same person deciding serious issues in divorce. He is pro-woman and your lawyer needs to be a regular in his court room, then he lets that lawyer do whatever he/she wants. He needs to get fired,” one reviewer submitted on September 14, 2020 stated.

Another, submitted , was even harsher, “I’ve been pro se for my custody case, after my ex has used the legal system to abuse me for 7 years. This judge, for the last two years, has refused to look at any evidence I have ever brought into court. He ignored evidence that my ex husband sexually assaulted our 4 year old and turned custody over to him. He has refused any and all petitions and motions that I have filed.

Judge Grady in this Case

In this case, as I already described, Judge Grady has muscled his way to stay on the case; he granted her ex an OFP because of an email; he has kept her away from her son for months.

He also switched custody with a one sentence order he then refused to clarify, and he may have engaged in ex-parte communication with Chapski.  

I spoke with both Haley and her mother Valerie Johnston about this incident.

The incident, Johnston told me, happened in the parking lot of the courthouse after a hearing. She was chatting at their car with her daughter.

“We were standing by her car, chatting, talking about everything that had happened and trying to comfort her some, and Mr. Chapski started walking out of the courthouse, and he saw us and spun around and went right back into the courthouse," Johnston said, "and you know, we just looked at him and thought ‘you know, what was that all about.’ And I said, ‘Oh maybe, this is his car,’ next to hers, you know- I didn’t- and we kind of joked a little bit about that.

“Well, lo and behold, here he comes out with Judge Grady, and they’re laughing and talking and standing there chatting now, we could not hear what they were saying.”

This incident occurred on September 30, 2019, according to Haley.

I reached out to Judge Grady and to Chapski’s law office but received not response.

On June 11, 2019, Judge Grady switched custody abruptly.

Here is part of an email Haley sent me on December 6, 2019 explaining further, “On June 11, 2019 while my son was on vacation parenting time with his father Judge Joseph Grady - without an evidentiary hearing - entered a ONE sentence, handwritten order whereby he removed my son from our home. He did so without evidence being presented, testimony given, cross examination, emergency being alleged, and/or abuse being alleged.   Since that date there have been a series of hearings whereby we have asked Judge Grady to clarify his ambiguous order, address parenting time and/or re-appoint our GAL or appoint a new GAL.  He has refused time and time again.”

“{Their Son} shall continue to live and reside with {Haley’s ex} at his Kane County residence,” Judge Grady’s order stated in that one sentence order.

Judge Grady has also allowed Haley’s exes attorney to bully Haley.

During a September 2019 hearing, when Haley’s attorney asked Judge Grady to clarify his June 11, 2019m order, here is what Haley said happened next.

We also ask Judge Grady to clarify that ambiguous June 11, 2019 order and when we ask John Chapski shouts don’t answer it’s a ‘trick’ and Judge Grady refuses to answer,” Haley said in a timeline she provided.  

Haley also described another incident in that timeline from 2016, “On December 21, 2016 in a full court room (not all related to my case), but when Judge Grady was in chambers on another matter John Chapski stood in front of the room and started publicly mocking me shouting out things like how’s she doing in law school since she’s soooo smart, sooo smart.  That was based on my small section law school professor writing a letter to the court verifying that I am in fact attending law school and classes and that John Chapski’s spurious allegation I was not was a farse.  Judge Grady was made aware John Chapski did that to me in open court and Judge Grady’s response to John Chapski was that he did not talk to me directly.  Not reprimanding him for mocking a party opponent in open court.”

Who is John Chapski?

John P. Chapski has been licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois since 1991, according to his biography on his firm’s website.

Chapski works at the firm with brother, Robert, which specializes in family law, and it is named after their father: called Robert A. Chapski Ltd founded in 1973.

Chapski comes from arguably the first legal family of Kane County, at least as it pertains to family law.

Their father Robert was previously a long-time powerful family law attorney.

One notable case was when Robert Chapski sued Copley Press in the 1980s.

The elder Chapski was involved in a case like Kara Witkowski’s, as an attorney.

That case involved two year old Kristie Hubbard who was killed on February 2, 1979, by her mom’s boyfriend, Norman Platter.

It was later determined that Hubbard suffered from “battered child syndrome” or sustained child abuse; the series of articles examined the court process and how Hubbard wound up in her mother’s custody.

The elder Chapski represented Kathleen in divorce and juvenile proceedings, according to court documents.

“Plaintiff alleged in his 11-count complaint that defendants wrongfully, maliciously, and with intent to defame and injure him in his reputation and profession published false and defamatory articles and editorials which implied that he was guilty of a violation of law and morals and was not a person of integrity,” according to an appeal.

A lawyer’s board investigation of Chapski found not enough evidence to act, and Chapski noted that his representation ended months before the killing.

Chapski lawsuit wound up clarifying the legal doctrine of “innocent construction”, his lawsuit earned a place in some legal journals.

While the trial court and appeal's courts ruled against Chapski, the Illinois Supreme Court remanded the case, leading to a clarification of "innocent construction."

"On appeal, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed and remanded. Writing for the court, Justice Underwood emphasized the non-uniform and often inequitable application of the innocent construction rule since the court's approval of the rule in John v. Tribune Co." A John Marshall Law Review article stated, "Prior to Chapski, there was confusion as to whether the innocent construction rule was to be applied to statements alleged to be actionable per quod. The confusion was such that one recent appellate court decision avoided the innocent construction rule and decided the case before it on alternative grounds."

Robert Chapski died in 1996.

The Chapski’s sister, Ann Chapski-Doyen, is a principle in the Doyen Law Group in Elgin, Illinois; the firm includes Ann Doyen’s husband, Michael, and several of their children.

The Doyen Law Firm, like the Chapski law firm, is a powerful family law firm in Elgin, Illinois, a suburb on the border of Kane and Cook Counties.

Please find Haley’s full narrative on Fighter Cries here.

Also, her timeline is below. 

Timeline Haley by mikekvolpe on Scribd

Please note that this the third of five articles in a special project. Please find article one here, and article two here. The link to the crowdfunding explaining the project is here

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Check Me Out on Northwest Liberty News



 We talk about the recent peace deals in the Middle East, in particular the deals between Israel and UAE and Bahrain. We also discuss the Hayes Production code and how that is similar to a recent dust up with JK Rowling. We end by talking about John Barton, a California dad who said CPS took his three year old son under dubious circumstances and it appears his son may be being abused in care. 

Finally we talk about the new recordings in the Rucki case; they shed light on how the local Fox affiliate reporter Trish Van Pilsum scored an interview with the Rucki girls days after they went missing on April 19, 2013.

Notes are below. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Explosive Audio Reveals Details Behind Remarkable Interview in the Rucki case


A recently unearthed audio recording provides details for how a local Fox reporter scored an interview with the two missing Rucki girls, shortly after they ran on April 19, 2013.

Lori Musolf is a self described advocate for women abused by their ex-husbands and then by courts in Minnesota; she said she has been in that role since 1998, according to these audio recordings. 

Yet, she worked with the police to provide information against Sandra Grazzini-Rucki (SGR) and others who she thought were involved in hiding SGR's daughters, Samantha and Gianna, who ran on April 19, 2013 and were hidden until October 2015.

Musolf said in the recordings she had met SGR in late 2012, but did not appear to cooperate with police, speaking with Lakeville Police Detective Jim Dronen in 2015. 

Lakeville is where the Rucki's lived. 

The Fox Story

Shortly after the girls ran, they participated in an interview with Trish Van Pilsum of FOX 9 in Minneapolis. That interview eventually produced this news story. 


As Van Pilsum states, the girls were missing at the time of the interview. So, how did this interview get arranged?

According to Musolf, she was intimately involved in arranging the interview. Musolf begins explaining at about 11:20 and goes for more than three minutes of the video below. 
 As Musolf explains, she was friends with Van Pilsum, having provided her with other story ideas. 

The Rucki girls ran on Friday April 19, 2013; the next day she received a call from the girls from a blocked number. The girls seemed to know to call Musolf, as she had the connection to Van Pilsum, but it's not clear how. Musolf explained what happened next.

"They called me on Saturday because we tried to do the interview for the weekend but we could not get a photographer who would work the weekend," Musolf said. "We did not interview them till Monday morning."

In another recording, Musolf said she communicated regularly with the girls on Sunday April 21, 2013, as they would called her from a blocked number every thirty minutes. The explanation starts at about 12:45 of the video below. 

The girls, as we now know, were staying with Doug and Gina Dahlen at the White Horse Ranch, in Herman, Minnesota, which is about one hundred-seventy miles northwest of Minneapolis.

Dronen picks up the story from there, "Monday morning the Dahlen's drive the girls to Sauk Center and you do the interview."

Sauk Center refers to an unnamed hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, which is over a hundred miles from Minneapolis. 

"You guys do the interview and leave; the Dahlen's pick them back up and take them home." Dronen added. 

From that interview, Musolf along with Van Pilsum and her cameraman head to St. Cloud, where Dede Evavold lives, and do an interview with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki; parts of her interview were included in the same story. 

Musolf met the girls outside the hotel and then escorted them into the hotel and escorted them out where they were picked up by the Dahlen's and taken home. 

Musolf Dishes on Everyone

According to Musolf, some time between arranging the interview in 2013 and when she spoke with Detective Dronen, she had a change of heart. 

Initially after the girls ran, she viewed SGR as a victim, but by the time she talked with Detective Dronen, she referred to her as "conniving" and "manipulative."

It's noteworthy and ironic that she said this while acting as a secret informant and betraying people who put their trust in her. 

Musolf also had nothing nice to say about the judge who primarily handled the Rucki case divorce, Judge David Knutson. 

"Everything went haywire when that psycho judge, started pulling the shit he pulled. That guy is corrupt as hell, that I can tell you." Musolf said. "I was in that courtroom. I've heard that man and I've never in my life- in all the years I've been an advocate-I've never seen judges do the things that man did."

Musolf was not only describing Knutson's general behavior in this case, but in particular, she described his behavior during the custody trial. During the trial, he forced SGR's attorney, Michelle MacDonald, to conduct part of that trial while handcuffed to a wheelchair. At 1:10:00 of the video below, MacDonald is wheeled in. 

Though Musolf appeared to admit to a crime by admitting to her involvement in setting up the interview, she was neither charged nor did she testify at any of the criminal trials associated with this case. 

Grazzini-Rucki told me Musolf was originally on the witness list at her trial but removed for unknown reasons. 

Who is Lori Musolf?

Musolf, in her conversations with Dronen, said she was an activist since 1998, advocating on behalf of women like SGR, particularly in Carver County, Minnesota. 

In 2012, she wrote this email below to Carver County Commissioners.

Letter From Child Advocate ... by mikekvolpe

The Carver County Corruption blog to which she refers was run by Leah Dannewitz. 

There is little left which is still on-line about her story, though I found this from and here is another site with some information. 

One reason why there is little left is because Dannewitz was sued by David Rucki and forced to remove her blog. More on the story here

However, the elements of Dannewitz' story mirror the elements of Rucki's story. In both cases, they and their children made allegations of abuse, physical and/or sexual, and in both cases, they were accused of parental alienation, their ex-husband's would get sole custody, while the divorce left them destitute. 

As Musolf's letter to the commissioners notes, this was a pervasive problem in Carver County in particular; I also covered the case of Caroline Rice, and her daughter Annelise, which had the same pattern also from Carver County. That also had the same pattern: mother and child allege abuse, father alleges parental alienation, father gets sole custody and mother is left destitute. 

Indeed, Musolf said that she began helping SGR because she believed her case was similar, though it is in Dakota County.

I covered Kim Sperling's story, which is also from Dakota County and has many of the same elements.

Dronen seems to acknowledge systemic issues in Carver County, when he said, "Dale seemed to be involved with a lot of the Carver County cases, or at least was aware of them."

Dale Nathan

Dale is Dale Nathan, a disbarred Minnesota lawyer who became a hero to some because he was disbarred for refusing to release the whereabouts of a client in hiding from her abusive ex. 

Nathan only helped Sam marginally. She first started speaking with him in late 2012 and by January 2013, she had a new attorney, Michelle MacDonald. 

But Nathan was with SGR on April 19, 2013, when her two daughters- Samantha and Gianna- called her shortly after they ran. 

So when SGR picked them up, he was with her, a secret he kept until 2015, when he spoke first to Brandon Stahl of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and even Detective Dronen. 

Below is part of his conversation with Dronen; it's unclear if he spoke with him on other occasions. 

Dronen, in his conversations, appears sympathetic to what Nathan was trying to do when he told Musolf, "I can understand Dale Nathan's perspective a little bit. I understand, he's on a mission with what he's trying to do with reform. He's trying to get the story out because there needs to be reform."

It's a remarkable thing to say, since, as the chief investigator, it's Dronen's job to "get the story out," by solving why the girls ran and who helped them run. 

The story, he, the prosecutors, and the media told, was one of a vindictive mother who tried to manipulate her daughters and keep them away from an innocent father; there is nothing in Dronen's investigation which pointed to any needed reform. 

The story Nathan wanted told is not the one Dronen told; Nathan's story was of an abusive man- physically, sexually, and otherwise- who gets the court, the police, and the media to do his bidding.  

Nathan also spoke with 20/20 for their hatchet job on this case, "Footprints in the Snow", and repeated that he was with SGR the night the girls ran. I suppose he thought 20/20 would get the truth out. He died the day after it aired. 

The Rucki Girls Speak

In his conversation with Dronen, Nathan talks about receiving a CD with audio recordings made by Samantha and Gianna shortly after they ran. 

Nathan thought that if the girls described what was going on and submitted their thoughts while on the run, this combined with the media attention from the Fox story, would force the judge's hand, Judge David Knutson, and he would change his custody order and grant SGR physical custody. 

Dronen doesn't care about the contents of the audio recordings, only how Nathan got it. Nathan did not know, only that he told SGR that if the girls made such recordings that would help. He received the recordings anonymously. 

In the recordings, each girl- Samantha and Gianna- describe horrible abuse not only by their father but by the courts as well. They are below. 


Dronen, as was his pattern throughout, would not probe when the topic came to abuse by David Rucki, the courts, or anyone but SGR. 

When Musolf said of Judge Knutson, "he's as corrupt as the day is long," he does not ask for any examples or for her to expand on that. 

Nor does he ever speak about things that Samantha and Gianna said in their recordings, which include their father's alcoholism, him choking their mother, their sister, and running his hands up Samantha's legs and holding it near her private area, along with making comments about her breasts.

Furthermore, in another recording, Dronen and Musolf speculate that six gunshots left on Samantha's phone were left not by their father but by a friend of SGRs.

 In fact, it was eventually proven in court that David Rucki left the gunshots on his daughter's phone, and as Musolf correctly states, the gunshots were left on her phone months before Samantha ran.

When the audio was played in the criminal trial, the judge would only allow it to be referred to as an "inaudible sound." 

Neither Musolf nor Dronen ever pointed out the obvious which is that maybe the girls ran because they were being forced to live with a father who leaves gunshots on their phones. 

The gunshots are not only mentioned in the Fox story, as Dronen notes, but both Samantha and Gianna mention the incident in the audio recordings they made. 


On September 7, 2012, without a formal hearing, Judge David Knutson switched custody in the Rucki divorce. He ordered SGR out of her house by noon that day. The order is below. 

G168-1201-0006 by mikekvolpe

SGR, who had physical custody of all five of her children until that point and was their primary caretaker their entire lives, was not even allowed to tell them she would be leaving. 

But Knutson did not even grant her ex-husband custody on this day, but rather his sister, Tami Love. 

When the kids came home, four of them ran to the police station and were allowed to stay temporarily with SGR's sister, Nancy. 

This continued until April 19, 2013, when the two oldest girls, Samantha and Gianna, were ordered to live with their aunt Tami and were told this was a temporary transition to living with their father. 

They were escorted by police to their home and ran shortly after police left. 

They called their mother saying, "we're running with or without you."

They were taken in by the Dahlen's who had a horse farm for abused children. 

Finally, if Dronen had been investigating things like David Rucki's abuse and Judge Knutson's illegal and potentially criminal acts, he may have come to the conclusion that the court engineered a set of events which they should have known would result in this outcome. 

The evidence of this comes from therapists' notes from a therapist involved in the case. They are below. 

Jim Gilbertson notes Rucki ... by mikekvolpe

The notes come from Jim Gilbertson who was assigned to the case in the same September 7, 2012, order I listed above. 

On April 9, 2013, he states, "Successive telephone calls betweent attempting to contact Ms. Frederick (sic), conference calls with Ms. Olson, the maternal aunt, and Tami Love, the paternal aunt."

He later claims that an order to place the girls with Tami had already been written though this doesn't seem to be accurate as the order was supposed to have been signed on April 19, 2013.

He then continues, "I immediately received a call from Ms. Olson stating that she wanted the transfer to occur as soon as possible because of the fear the children would learn of this through some unknown means and will run."

This means everyone knew just how dangerous this April 19, 2013, order was; they knew there was a chance the girls would run and yet everyone schemed and only SGR was not told about it until it happened; the police, courts, and media then all blamed SGR for it. 


Finally, I left emails for everyone involved. No one responded but the email is below. 

I'm attaching an audio. This is of Lori Musolf and Detective Jim Dronen. That's correct, right.

At about 11 minutes in, Ms. Musolf admits to taking Samantha and Gianna to the interview they did with Fox, this interview, Now, it sounds to me like Ms. Musolf admits to a crime as she knew where the girls were days after they went missing and said nothing. 

If Dede Evavold got charged, why didn't Musolf, unless she got a deal. Why would she get a deal? She was just as involved as Dede, no. I'm confused. 

Also, at about 14 minutes, Detective Dronen and Musolf talk about the Carver County cases particularly from the Carver County Corruption blog. What is it you mean Carver County cases unless it is corrupt Carter County cases. So, Dronen, it appears, knows exactly what is happening in this case, or am I wrong Detective Dronen? After all, at about 15:30, you talk about Leah Dannewitz' court case. We all know that one? Father abuses, mother accused of parental alienation, father gets custody, mother left with nothing. 

Then, you talk about Stacy Pinskie, another corrupt custody case. It sounds like Lori is laying out why the girls ran, no. Isn't Ms. Musolf proving to you all in this recording that Ms. Grazzini-Rucki was innocent? 

So, why didn't she testify? Judge Asphaug. You are retired now. What was the legal reasoning for Lori Musolf not to testify? 

Detective Dronen what did you mean about 23;30 about Dale wanting reform and "he's trying to get the story out," what story are you referring to?

Right at 27 minutes, Ms. Musolf states, "everything went haywire when that psycho judge, started pulling the shit he pulled. That guy is corrupt as hell, that I can tell you."..."I was in that courtroom. I've heard that man and I've never in my life- in all the years I've been an advocate-I've never seen judges do the things that man did."

She's referring to you Judge Knutson, am I right? That's referring to the time when Michelle MacDonald was forced to conduct part of a custody trial handcuffed to a wheelchair. You know the incident 20/20 failed to include in their hatchet job. What do you all say about that? Is he, "corrupt as hell,"?

 Detective Dronen, you said you stepped in the case late. You not only didn't care that there's a corrupt judge causing this, but why didn't you at the Lakeville Police Department investigate right away and why aren't you worried there may be a corrupt judge involved?   I guess that's how you train Long, right? 

"The guy should have been thrown in prison for some of the stuff he did," Musolf said. It is interesting that you only care about certain information your informant told you. 

"I've been an advocate since '98 and I've never seen anything so horrific as what happened in this case," that's what Musolf said, but you investigated and charged Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. 

Then, the media painted it like she was the villain and now you all have evidence which proves all of it a lie and you'll ignore because you're all as corrupt as Knutson and as cowardly, which is why none of you will respond. 

My last question is how any of sleep at night knowing what you have contributed to. I think you're too cowardly to answer me but one of you may surprise me. 

I am also doing this article differently; please check out the crowdfunding page associated with this story. 

Finally, in case someone still claims there is still no evidence of abuse by David Rucki below are 99 pages of abuse allegations and 25 pages of Child Protective Services reports, including page 15 where Nico claims his father stuck a gun to his head. Nico now says his father his ever been violent.

Druck i Police Reports by mikekvolpe


SamiRucki by mikekvolpe

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Hartger February 21 Warrant Revealed

 Her arrest on February 21, 2020, was so dramatic she filmed it in real time. 

 So, what did Jessica Hartger do that warranted several police officers and breaking her car window?

It turns out she said something mean to a judge in an email and on twitter. 

Jessica Hartger Warrant by mikekvolpe on Scribd

According to the warrant, Hartger sent a threatening email to a judge, "Specifically the Defendant stated, 'DO I NEED TO FLOOD DAKOTA COUNTY WITH PEOPLE? BECAUSE WE ARE READY WHEN YOU ARE.'" Hartger's email stated to the judge in her custody case, Judge Ann Offerman. 

The warrant stated that Hartger continued her harangue on Twitter, "On the same date, Defendant wrote a post on Twitter referencing, which referenced the email from Judge Offerman's law clerk. See confidential exhibit attached. In this post, Defendant threatened to kidnap her child."

The tweet is not revealed, but according to the warrant, this means Hartger violated the terms of her release, "Defendant has violated the terms of her release by failing to remain law abiding."

It doesn't say in the warrant how she did not remain law abiding. Mean tweets and emails are still within the law. 

In fact, an investigation, found she did not violate the law. Here is more on that, "On 02-21-2020, I Deputy Scheffknecht, was assigned to the Bailiff Station at the Division 2 Government Courthouse in Hastings, MN. I was notified by Sergeant Wilkerson about potential threats made toward Dakota County Judges by an individual identified as Jessica Danielle Hartger DOB/ 1992-01-15. After reviewing emails sent by Mrs. Hartger, text messages, and Police Reports forwarded to me, at this time, Mrs. Hartger does not appear to make any threats towards the judges that are criminal in nature. This report is being completed in case Mrs. Hartger's behaviors escalate. This is an informational only report."

Despite the law enforcement's own investigation not finding anything criminal in any of the writings by Ms. Hartger, the Dakota County prosecutor, Cory Monnens, wrote up the warrant and a judge, David Knutson, signed it. 

David Knutson is the notorious judge from the Rucki case; in the video below, he forces a lawyer to conduct part of a custody trial handcuffed to a wheelchair (at approximately 1:10:10 in)

Hartger is currently facing charges from August 2019 for allegedly biting her ex-boyfriend, Cody Myers. That trial is scheduled to start in September 2020. The February 21, 2020, detainment, was the sixth time she was arrested after her initial arrest in August 2019. 

Below, she describes the February 21 arrest and other arrests.