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10 Vigilante Parents Who Sought Justice For Their Children
It’s a dangerous world out there, especially for children. Naturally, parents worry about the safety of their young ones, especially when the kids are out somewhere, be it at school or playing with friends. Many parents’ worst nightmare is finding out that their child has been assaulted.
When such indictments happen, parents are usually content with allowing the abuser to go through the legal system. However, sometimes, the justice system fails or takes too long to avenge their children. When this happens, some parents decide to take the law into their own hands to make sure the people who hurt their children are punished.
10 Eduardo Gallo
In July 2000, Paola Gallo and several of her friends were relaxing at her parents’ weekend home in Tepoztlan, Mexico, when a group of armed men jumped the fence, entered the house, and terrorized the group for two hours. The attackers stole jewelry, clothes, and two cars, and they kidnapped Paola.
The kidnappers demanded a ransom for Paola’s return, and Paola’s father, Eduardo, put together $18,500 and some jewelry. When Eduardo attempted to make the exchange, an unidentified group opened fire on the kidnappers, killing three of them. The kidnappers believed that the deaths were the result of an ambush, and they murdered Paola.
Eduardo became frustrated with the police: Their investigation was riddled with errors and apparent corruption. Investigators had not taken fingerprints after the kidnapping, the clothes Paola was wearing vanished before they could be tested, and Eduardo found goods stolen from his house in a police storeroom.
When a car stolen during the kidnapping was rediscovered months later, police refused to conduct a thorough forensic test “because it was raining.” Eduardo went to the investigators’ bosses and demanded a full examination on the car. Police discovered strands Paola’s hair.
Eduardo realized that the police would not solve his daughter’s murder. He closed his consulting firm and turned himself into a novice detective. Eduardo disguised himself as a secondhand clothes salesman to tour villages around the city where he believed the kidnappers had familial connections.
Eduardo found the pay phone that the gunman was using to keep in touch with other members of his gang. He told police of his discovery, and they set up a trap. Police arrested the gunman, Francisco Zamora Arellano, and he confessed to the murder the next day. Arellano and the other kidnappers were sentenced to 40 years in prison.
9 Lori Palmer
Lori Palmer was horrified in the fall of 2000 when her best friend, Kaylene Phillips, told her that her husband, Scott Phillips, was having sexually explicit conversations with a young girl on the Internet. Palmer’s 12-year-old daughter, Eden, had spent many nights in the Phillips home, and she was afraid that Scott had hurt her daughter. She asked Eden if Scott had ever hurt her, and Eden told Lori that he had molested her repeatedly when she was eight.
Palmer, herself a retired cop, went to the Wichita police. They told her to make a report and wait for them to act. However, Palmer was worried that Scott was a danger to young girls, especially his own two daughters. She left the police station, and within the hour, she picked up Scott.
Palmer floored it down the highway, delivering a high-speed interrogation at 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph). She parked in a field in the middle of nowhere. Palmer ordered Scott to remove his clothes, and he confessed: “Lori, I’m a very sick man.” He admitted to fondling Palmer’s daughter, and he later repeated his confession to the police. Phillips pleaded guilty to felony fondling, and he was sentenced to four years in prison.
Palmer was also arrested. She pleaded guilty to making a criminal threat, and she received 12 months’ probation.
8 Brandon Moore
Sean Foster, a close friend of the Moore family in Lorena, Texas, started molesting Madalyn Moore when she was nine years old. He would grab the child’s buttocks and breasts whenever the pair were alone together. His abuse continued over the next five years. When she turned 12, he started kissing her, buying her rings and clothes, giving her money, and opening the shower curtain to see her naked.
When Madalyn turned 14, Foster suggested they try drugs and have sex. Madalyn was terrified that he would drug and rape her, so she told her mother, Leone, that Foster had kissed and touched her inappropriately. Leone and her husband, Brandon, went to the police. Officers told them it could take months to investigate the alleged crimes.
Brandon, who was also a sexual abuse survivor, could not wait for police to bring Foster to justice. He told his wife to take their children to a friend’s home, and he took Madalyn’s phone, pretended to be her, and sent a message to Foster saying he could pick “her” up for work in 15 minutes. Brandon turned on Madalyn’s shower, and he waited for Foster to arrive.
Foster showed up, let himself in the house, went into Madalyn’s room, and opened the shower curtain. Brandon attacked him from behind. He attempted to beat a confession out of Foster, and he recorded every detail on his cell phone. Leone called the police, and Brandon kept choking and kneeing Foster until they arrived.
In 2016, Foster was sentenced to 55 years in prison. Brandon was not charged for the assault.
7 Mob Of Angry Parents
Marcelo Fabian Pecollo was arrested when a four-year-old girl’s mother accused him of molesting her daughter. Six other parents in Buenos Aires made complaints against him, and in 2010, Pecollo was sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing five children under the age of five at a preschool. His sentence was reduced in 2014, and he was released after serving only four years.
Pecollo joined an orchestra group as a trumpeter. In 2016, he was performing in a concert at a cathedral when a group of angry parents burst into the church. They wore T-shirts with the words “With the children, no!” a rallying cry used by locals in protest of Pecollo’s actions and his shortened prison sentence.
The parents shouted, “There is a pedophile and a rapist in the church, and he is playing in this orchestra.” Pecollo ran, and the mob chased after him. They caught him and severely beat him. One of the parents grabbed his trumpet, and they “split his head with the instrument.”
Pecollo fell into a coma, and he died a month later. Police did not find the attackers.
6 Drasius Kedys
Lithuanian Drasius Kedys and his girlfriend, Laimute Stankunaite, separated a couple years after their daughter was born. Kedys received full custody of the child two years later. The girl told her father that she had often been left with “uncles,” and she described horrific sexual abuse. The child remembered three men’s names: politician Andrius Usas, judge Jonas Furmanavicius, and a man known only as Aidas.
Kedys brought the case to the police, and he claimed that Stankunaite and her sister, Violeta Naruseviciene, had allowed the men to molest the child in exchange for money. Each of the accused proclaimed their innocence, and they accused Kedys of slander.
The case was investigated. However, Kedys felt the investigation was moving too slowly, and he feared it was being stonewalled. He filmed his daughter’s testimony, and he sent DVDs to politicians and media members.
The case was not brought to trial, and Kedys grew angry. He appeared on the news, where he threatened to “crush those pedophiles like cockroaches.” Finally, in October 2009, Kedys shot both Furmanavicius and Naruseviciene, and he disappeared. On April 17, 2010, his body was found in a lake. His death was officially ruled an accident—he had choked on vomit after drinking heavily. However, Kedys’s sister hired independent experts, who said he probably was drowned.
Usas, the main suspect in the pedophilia case, was officially charged with sexual molestation of a minor. However, before the case went to trial, he was found drowned in a swamp in June 2010. His death was ruled an accident. The court case against him continued, and he was found not guilty.
5 Gary Plauche
The Plauches’ three sons attended Jeffrey Doucet’s karate school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Doucet took a particular interest in their 11-year-old son, Jody. In 1984, Doucet drove by the Plauches’ home and picked up Jody, telling the boy’s mother, June, that they would return in 15 minutes. Several hours passed, and June became worried. She called her brother, a deputy sheriff, and they alerted the FBI.
A week passed, and they had no leads. After ten days, Doucet finally allowed Jody to call his mother. The FBI traced the call to a motel in California. Agents found Jody, and they arrested Doucet. On the plane ride back to Louisiana, Doucet admitted that he had raped Jody and molested other children.
Jody’s father, Gary, snapped. He reportedly heard the voice of Jesus telling him that if he did not kill Doucet, the man would continue to hurt his son and other kids. Gary decided to make sure Doucet could “not fool with any kids anymore.”
He drove the airport where Doucet’s plane was landing, hid near some pay phones, and waited. When Gary (pictured above in the white hat) spotted the pedophile, he reached for his gun, spun around, and fired a bullet directly into Doucet’s head. Doucet was brought to the hospital, where he later died.
Gary was arrested, and he pleaded no contest to manslaughter. He was sentenced to five years’ probation and hundreds of hours of community service.
4 Walter Rodriguez
In the early months of 2018, Walter Rodriguez’s 11-year-old daughter was being sexually harassed by a 29-year-old-man named German Acosta, who she met through WhatsApp. Acosta had sent nude pictures to the child, and he had tried to convince her to reciprocate. Acosta demanded to meet the girl, and she grew worried, so she told her father about Acosta.
Rodriguez took his daughter’s phone and began messaging Acosta. Posing as his daughter, Rodriguez arranged a meeting with Acosta, who agreed to meet on a street in Buenos Aires. When the two men met, Rodriguez began to pummel Acosta. He took photos of Acosta’s bloodied face and shared them on Facebook. “This son of a b—ch was sending messages to my 11-Year-old daughter. He sent her explicit pictures and wanted to meet with her,” Rodriguez wrote.
Rodriguez called the police, and both men were brought to the police station. Rodriguez was charged with battery, and Acosta was charged with online harassment and grooming.
3 Kenneth Faulkner
Kenneth Faulkner suspected that his four-year-old and seven-year-old daughters were being sexually abused, and he reported the abuse to the police department in Maury County, Tennessee. Officers arrested Thomas Williams, and he was indicted on two counts of solicitation. Williams pleaded guilty to the charges, and he was sentenced to three years of supervised probation. Faulkner was livid. He accused Williams of molesting his daughters “in every way,” and he believed the man should have received jail time.
When the two men crossed paths on a street in 2015, Williams smiled and winked at Faulkner. Faulkner decided to take matters into his own hands. He waited until Williams went home, and then he knocked on Williams’s door and asked him “Why did you do it to my children?” Williams said he did not know, and Faulkner punched Williams in the face and pushed him down the stairs. Faulkner punched Williams at least ten times while he was lying on the ground.
Police arrived, and Williams was taken to the emergency room, where he was treated for minor injuries. Faulkner was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.
2 Barry Gilton And Lupe Mercado
In 2012, Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado discovered that their 17-year-old-daughter was appearing in escort ads which had been placed by 22-year-old Calvin Sneed, a known San Francisco gang member. Gilton and Mercado begged their daughter to break ties with Sneed, but she refused. The couple added their daughter’s name to several missing and exploited children registries, and they sought help from law enforcement. However, they received little response from the police.
Gilton and Mercado ran out of legal options, and they turned to premediated murder. Gilton approached Sneed on foot as the gang member sat in his car, and he fired nine shots into the vehicle. Sneed was not hit by the bullets, but he was injured by shards of glass from the windshield.
Sneed recovered, and Gilton’s and Mercado’s daughter still would not return home. The couple decided to try again. Gilton fired a gun at Sneed’s car from his own vehicle, striking him four times. Sneed crashed his car. He was brought to the hospital, where he later died.
Gilton and Mercado were arrested and charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
1 Andre Bamberski
In 1982, 14-year-old Kalinka Bamberski was discovered dead in her bed by her stepfather, Dieter Krombach. Krombach, a cardiologist, administered various injections in an attempt to revive her. He was unsuccessful, and he called emergency services.
An autopsy was performed on Kalinka two days later, and Krombach, a respected member of the community, was present during the examination. Investigators found damage to the girl’s vagina, which also contained a whitish substance that was never tested or identified. The doctor performing the autopsy removed Kalinka’s sex organs, and they were never seen again.
Investigators also noticed an injection mark on her right forearm. Krombach said that he had injected Kalinka with an iron supplement to help her tan more quickly. He also admitted to giving the teen a tranquilizer pill to help her sleep. No toxicology tests were performed on the teen, and doctors could not determine a cause of death.
Kalinka’s father, Andre Bamberski, read the autopsy report, and he realized that his daughter had been raped and murdered. He became convinced that Krombach was behind the assault, and he pressed for another investigation. Additional investigations established Krombach’s injection as the cause of death.
French judicial investigators summoned Krombach for questioning, but he refused to travel to France. Krombach was charged with voluntary homicide, and he was convicted in absentia. The German government claimed the evidence was inconclusive, and they refused to extradite him.
Bamberski dedicated his life to bringing Krombach to justice. He left his job, spent most of his life savings, and devoted thousands of hours chasing Krombach across Europe. After nearly 30 years, Bamberski realized that the statute of limitations would be over soon, and he knew he had to act.
Bamberski hired three kidnappers, who ambushed Krombach outside his home. They punched him in the face, tied him up, gagged him, and threw him in the back of their car. They drove 240 kilometers (150 mi), and they crossed the border into France. Bamberski called the local police and told them: “Go to the rue de Tilleul, across from the customs office. You’ll find a man tied up.”
Police discovered Krombach’s identity, and they arrested him. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Bamberski was given a one-year suspended jail sentence for ordering the abduction.