shasta groene

Like every other parent, kidnapping is my most primal fear. And like many parents all over the country, I was both thrilled and horrified to hear that Shasta Groene was found alive yesterday, sitting in a Denny's Restaurant only miles from her Idaho home where last month, her family was murdered and she and her little brother Dylan were kidnapped.

Sitting with her in the restaurant booth at 2am ( a sharp eyed waitress spotted them) was a convicted sex offender with a history of child rape.

He is in custody. She's been reunited with her remaining family, but Dylan Groene is likely dead, based on what the police have been saying since finding Shasta Groene.

This morning I was reading some local (Idaho) coverage of this case and ran across THIS BLOG, kept by the sex offender who had Shasta. That's right, the man, Joseph Edward Duncan, kept a blog and only stopped posting in it a few days before the kids were taken and their family bludgeoned to death.

In his last entries, he said his dark side had taken over again and he knew something bad was going to happen.

If you read back through the blog, it's clear this guy NEEDED TO BE LOCKED UP...forever. He alternately claimed total innocence for the stuff he had done and then talked about his struggles with his own mind and impulses. Of course, he also refers to all the ways he was hurt and victimized as a child, which is probably completely true. I have a lot of compassion for the fact that 99.9% of child molesters were once molested children.

But the bottom line is that sex offenders do not, as a rule, ever, ever "get well." Yet we sentence them with an assumption that some level of rehabilitation is possible. Many of them, including John Couey, the man who killed Jessica Lunsford in Florida a few months ago have openly pleaded NOT to be released from prison (At one hearing, he told the parole board he knew he would hurt children if he were released. At his next parole hearing he told them he was all better, so they let him go.)

Many people who kill someone in passion will certainly never, ever hurt anyone again. They pose no threat to anyone, yet they are sent to prison for decades or life. Rapists, particularly child rapists, are highly, highly likely to commit more crimes and to escalate the violence associated with their crimes, yet we sentence them to much shorter sentences.

I am anti-death penalty. I am pro-rehabilitative services in prisons. But we have to reprioritize our sentencing laws to reflect what we increasingly know for certain about people who rape children. I don't want us sending a guy who sells crack to prison for thirty years and a child rapist to prison for six years. Child rapists should get life in prison or lifetime, locked mental hospital stays.


Lowell said...

One correction: you link to my blog, RaisingKaine, which links the the child molester/scumbag's website, However, the way you have it worded, it sounds like MY blog is the child molester's. Can you change that please? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

this has nothing to do with this topic, but i'm interested in reading your nyt piece on father's rights and can't seem to access it online. i had never heard of this "movement" until my ex started honing in on it with his government funded non profit, and now i can't NOT hear about father's rights in every, single exchange regarding our daughter, no matter how assinine the topic. i have a feeling this movement is primarily promoted by men with control issues who need to be in power, not by men who actually have their children's best interests in mind. anyway, would like to read your piece, how can i get to it?

Dewi said...

I could not agree with you more that it is horrifying how rapists get to walk around free after short prison sentences. In New York where I live, a non-violent drug offender gets a longer sentence then a rapist. My family lived though every parent’s worst nightmare and I still don’t believe in the death penalty, death is their easy way out, and a life spent in prison is worse punishment for a criminal then being put to death.

My daughter and her best friend were abducted at gunpoint walking off a beach while on family vacation in Westerly, Rhode Island. Within a few hours, the police found the two girls while the rapist was still attacking them.

Rapists look forward to long drawn out trials, thankfully, my daughter, and her friend were spared. The rapist accepted a plea bargain of a 75 year sentence with a must serve of 30 years. He has 26 years left, if he commits another crime once he gets out he has to complete his sentence. The best the DA could do for society to keep this slime off the streets.

FYI The tiny state of RI has the seventh highest incidence of rape nationwide.

katie allison granju said...


I am speechless :-(

I am so sorry that happened to you and your child. It truly is the worst nightmare come true. I can't even imagine what going thru that must have been like for your daughter and your family.

And even though I don't "know" you, your compassion and kindness shine through in everything you write. SOme people who had been thru something like this might be bitter and angry, but it's clear that you haven't allowed this terrible person and terrible crime to take away your kind heart and essential humanity.


katie allison granju said...

RE: Father's Rights movement

If you want to read my piece, you do have to go thru the online registration process with the NYT, but it only takes a minute and is free.

Here is another good resource:

And you should also go to and read their recent story and editorial on the topic. They ran less than a month ago, so should be easy to find.

Dewi said...

Thank you for your kind words.
I still marvel at how we become known strangers through blogs. It is not in my nature to become bitter, besides it would not serve me or my family. My daughter is a strong survivor who received much care to navigate thru this ordeal.

Anonymous said...

let me get this straight. you have NO problem condemning a child to die in utero because its mother doesnt want it but you would fight for the right to keep this scum alive? I am outing myself, your pesty "anonymous"...I live in Coeur d'alene...I have kept it to vague "pacific northwest" but I cant believe this, and from a family that was a victim of violent crime no less....while I do not know the family I have eaten at the Dennys they found her at...passed their house many times and do know people who know the family (including a friend of a neighbor who had to threaten to fill the heinies of some journalists with some shotgun pellets to get the nosy scum away from the house) and been to the campground in Montana where apparently they stayed. I might also add that the person closest to me in the world is a victim of sexual abuse who became pretty unhinged when it became apparent what has happened to Dylan.
where is the outrage? just from liberal minds a bunch of blither blather about how THIS wont rattle their death penalty sensibilities. most people with a decent heart beating in their chest have to restrain themselves to prevent themselves for personally rounding up a lynch mob. however jail for the prisoner is, for a sex offender probably worse than jail. you DO know what happens to child rapists in prison dont you?
however the irony here is that the only source of real true rehabilitation and jail for something as deep rooted as this is the saving grace of Jesus Christ and something you would mock and scorn at if you knew that local christians are right now praying for this mans soul.

Anonymous said...

oops..I dont know what "True rehabilitation and jail" means. I meant simply true rehabilitation.
that said though, salvation does not mean one does not face consequences for ones actions. whether or not he spends the rest of his days in jail making amends for his crimes and doing productive things (many prisoners who are saved DO do just that while accepting the fact that they have consequences to pay for their actions) or faces the death penalty. the ONLY reason I can see for being cautious about the death penalty is that sometimes you get the wrong person. but in a case like this where it is so clearcut I am not so sure I am opposed to it. I could totally resonate with the guy on the linked blog who suggested a public hanging on pay per view. even though after I thought about it I thought thats probably not hte way to go...that is the first instinct...not to make this case a platform to reiterate how much one still doesnt believe in the death penalty. has anyone else noticed how most people who are against the death penalty are pro abortion? whats the difference between a liberal and a conservative: a liberal kills babies and saves killers.

Anonymous said...

not bitter Dewi? you are enjoying the fact this guy is rotting in prison. I may believe that actions must have consequences but I truly pray this Duncan guy turns around in prison and does something contructive while he is behind bars paying for his crime. even if he is executed I pray that he comes around.
this was one of my biggest obstacles to becoming a christian when I was in college was the idea that someone in prison could repent and go to heaven while I, a regular little mother teresa (so I saw myself) at the time, wouldnt because I had refused God. read the parable of the prodigal son.

Anonymous said...

public dismemberment on pay per view. this shithead wants to die, but he shouldnt get it all nice painless and humane. but I dont want my tax dollars feeding and housing him. and for his time in prison he needs to be placed in the general prison population so they can have at him.