Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hearing from Kerrville....

I actually got wind of this last week. Was disgusted. Not sure what to do, if anything. But when I received another email from the Kerrville area about this and it included the attatchment, I felt that I need to say something. Not only disgusted, but angry. It's a little long and I considered just posting excerpts but decided that all of it was pertinent. So with permission, I will share this email with you here:

"Dear Shannon,
I decided to e-mail you because of something I got in my mail yesterday. It made me terribly mad at first and now I am more sad. If you haven’t seen this then I think you will be upset too at what the Bakers are doing because we were shocked by it. They have mailed out this brochure that has pictures of the girls all over it. They are using the girls pictures to collect money for their custody fight. They have a return address on it that says Friends of Kensi and Grace Baker Fund. It tells people to encourage the girls when they see them around town and talks about their sports and youth groups. They are writing about how much money they need and there is a bank fund set up for donations. If they are so hard up for money then how can they afford to print the color brochures and postage to mail them out to everybody? I have never had any face to face dealing with the Bakers. However I have seen how things have been with this case. I started hearing about it in the news and later read this blog after Matt moved back to Kerrville . I was pretty sure he was guilty then, but when I saw the trial on In Session and it was so obvious. I never understood why he wasn’t really working. Matt was asking people for money then too, as you know. He even had the children sign their names on a letter he wrote begging for money. He took everybody’s money but why wasn’t he working a regular job to pay his own legal costs? Or even support his family like any decent man would. He wanted people to feel sorry for him. A lot of them who helped him don’t feel good about that now, trust me. Some gave money only because he was a preacher. Or they felt sorry for his parents. Well anyway he was found guilty regardless, and people are glad about that at least. I think if his mother loved him in the right way she would make him take responsibility. She would love him but not take up for him. This is crazy what she is doing. I am not giving one dime and I wish nobody else would, either. You should know there are many people in the Kerrville community who feel this way. It’s the same thing as taking the girls to court in Waco where they had no business being. And speaking for them to the newspaper. Why wasn’t he protecting them from all of this? It makes me so sad."

With this email was an attachment with the flyer/brochure. I won't post the flyer because it just completely exploits the girls. I am angered that Kensi, Grace and all the other Kerrville children in these pictures are being used in this manner. I heard via a third-party-Kerrville person that thier friend's daughter's picture was used in the brochure WITHOUT permission and that she was livid. Not only was it without permission but it implied their family supported the Bakers and their fundraising and they 100% do NOT. Even after all that has been done, I can't believe they would take pictures of other people's children and use them in their money quests.

I, too, question why Matt didn't "man up" and work over the last 2-3 years to support his family and take care of business. He can't claim that he couldn't get a job because of these horrible allegations because he and his family claimed (and still do) that he has the overwhelming support of the Kerrville community. If that's true and he was actually looking for work, you'd think people (business owners and managers) would be clamoring to help the "innocent, falsely-accused minister" in his time of need. So either he didn't want to work OR he doesn't have the support in Kerrville that he claimed/claims. Either scenario means Baker lied. Instead of working for funds for his defense and/or to raise his children, he wrote letters and made phone calls hounding people for hand-outs. A couple of these have been emailed to me in the past. The court documents show that Matt had a pickup payment of almost $700/month.....that he bought after he killed Kari. No job. $700/month for a big, nice truck? Instead of getting a job and/or selling the truck for something practical and affordable and being able to actually take care of his family, he continued driving that big, nice truck around to pick up his handouts.

Now that Matt no longer needs that truck, what's become of it? Has it been sold for much-needed funds for the custody matter or even to simply take care of the girls' basic needs? No. It's being driven by his parents. Did someone pay it off? Or are they still making payments on it? How are they affording this? Solicited funds??? What money being solicited for with flyers and brochures will actually go to benefit the girls? And are the people in charge of this fund capable of knowing and doing what is truly right for Kensi and Grace?

I feel the Bakers are exploiting their granddaughters and other community children to get the good people of Kerrville to give them more money. Question is: Will they give this time?


Anonymous said...

Did Matt learn from his parents or did his parents learn from him? I was turned off when I got this thing and it's in the trash. I will pray for the girls. I will not give the Bakers money. Tell Kari's family that I pray for them as well.

courtney said...

vomit. if there is ANY silver lining to this, i imagine it's that this shouldn't go over too well in court--i don't think family court thinks too highly of exploitation. i hope they get sued by the families who had their kids' pictures in the mail-out.

gosh, those poor kids. i hope they have peace soon.

Shannon said...

Those little "hide your IP by going in through here when you want to visit a website anonymously" are cute. Don't you think? If only people knew. ;)

Shannon said...

Those little "hide your IP by going in through here when you want to visit a website anonymously" are cute. Don't you think? If only people knew. ;)

NEWS said...

Un-frickin'-believable the level of low this is in my book. Exploiting children touches a nerve that runs as deep as I go, and that is what this is.
After seeing this post, I communicated with a birdie I know in the community and was faxed a copy of the "buyer" whoops, I mean flyer - and not only are there numerous children, but they actually used school team photos (or it appears that way to me as someone who lives at least 48 hours away!)..... one can only wonder, do the bakerites like being in court? In addition to getting consent from the other children, did they and do they have the endorsement of the district and their church? I can hardly believe the school district was consulted much less the kids parents. Does inmate #01634552 and his groupies know that the person who took a photo owns the copyright? Hummmm, sure hope to see lots more of them in court!
This, IMHO will not sit well with Domestic Relations/Family court. From personal experience any moral court in the land will frown broadly at this. Kari must be crying tears in heaven, but know this Kari -- I might not ever have met you or heard your voice, but I will do everything in my power to get the word out and have your voice heard. Your amazing mother has already done that and seeing her testimony again on the In Session production only makes me KNOW she will not stop, till Kari's babies are safe from the multi-faceted agenda of MB's family.

Carole said...


Anonymous said...

Shannon, you have made several valid points here. I know all of the people who were involved in sending out the brochure and I think they honestly want what is best for Kensi and Grace. I just don't understand why they think that the best thing for them is living with the Bakers. There is so much that doesn't add up.

Wherever the girls end up, they will have so much emotional baggage to wade through. It will be a huge, huge job. I continue to pray for them and for God's will to be done in their little lives.

Shannon said...

Anonymous at 6:59: I have no doubt that the people helping the Bakers put this together want what's best for the girls. I just can't figure out how they (albeit smart and wonderful people) could be so brainwashed by this murdering minister and his mother. They are part of the travesty of all this. Good people with good intentions being taken advantage of. One day they will know and understand. I will feel for them even more on those days. They will be hard ones for them. Prayers for all.

Founder of The Friends of Kensi and Grace said...

I am the person who initiated the Friends of Kensi and Grace group. After reading the original email you posted from a person who received the mailing and the comments posted to date, I want to clarify some unfounded assumptions that unfortunately have been reached. First of all, Barbara Baker had nothing to do with the initiation of this effort. In fact, when first approached about the idea she expressed reluctance and continued to do so until the week of the mailing. The brochure was designed without any input from her and to my knowledge she didn’t see it until after it was finished. She also did not spend one penny of her resources for the mailing. I personally paid for every expense associated with the printing and mailing.

It saddens my heart to see the words, exploit and exploitation, appear in the commentary on your blog. The mailing was done from a heartfelt Christian perspective of helping someone in need, not exploitation of Kensi, Grace or their friends. The mailing went to a limited number of people, primarily to some members of two churches. The response has been very positive. Some of the donations have been accompanied with very sweet notes expressing their love and best wishes for the girls.

In closing I want to address the comments made in your 7:08pm post last night. Speaking for myself (and I’m sure for many, many others, including you), I do want what is best for the girls. I have not been brainwashed and am not being taken advantage of. I’ve known the Baker family for over twenty years. They are honest, hardworking, caring Christian people who have been a blessing to my family and many others in this community. I sincerely believe they will do a good job of raising Kensi and Grace and leading them into adulthood. These young ladies have already experienced more trauma than most of us have experienced in a lifetime. Adding an additional trauma by uprooting them from the community where they feel secure because of the wide and deep support system they have here will serve no purpose. I’m praying that something can be worked out between the two families. All we can do is pray and know that God is in control of all things and His will shall come to pass.

A friend of Kari's said...

To those who support the Bakers fight for custody:

I don't think any of you are crazy or brainwashed but, I don't get it. I don't understand how anyone who truly loves those girls could keep telling them that their Mom killed herself leaving them to go to their dead sister? Like Kari picked Kassidy over them? NEVER!

And if you still think Matt Baker is innocent, tell me HOW?
Do you not see how many totally unrelated strangers from all parts of the state and country would have had to get together and concocted a story, then perjured themselves in a court of law for Matt's story to even ring partly true? Why would they do that?

Do you not get that every person who knew Kari, EVERY PERSON, except Matt, says she was not depressed. NOTHING, no e-mail, no note, no plan, no conversation, NOTHING in Kari's life pointed to suicide outside of Matt's story and a unsigned gramaticaly incorrect typed note.

Aside from all that, can you not see that Matt's version of what happened that night is IMPOSSIBLE? Not only could Kari's death not have happened the way he said, from what he said, in the time he said, but Matt himself could not physically have done the things he said he was doing at the time.

The thing you have to understand is that no one wanted to believe that Matt killed Kari. No one. It's been a 4 year nightmare. But the facts, they just didn't add up. With that note, Matt's weird behavior after Kari died, his impossible whole-filled account of that night, his multiplying lies, horrible things surfacing from his past....Matt left us with no other option. NONE! He killed Kari and then he took her girls away from their lives.

How can you think that living with the Bakers, the people who want the girls to think their mother left them, the people who perpetuate Matt's lies everyday, the people who try to slander Kari's good name are a good for Kensi & Grace? How?

Despite what you believe or want to believe, do you realize how much more harm YOU = you personally, will bring to these girls by helping the Bakers if you are wrong? If you are wrong the girls entire life in Kerrville is based on a lies. Knowing, as we all do, that the truth always comes out, can you imagine how horrible it will be for those girls to learn that the people who raised them were lying to them and everything they thought was true isn't? No matter what your feelings are towards the Bakers, are you willing to risk that for these two little girls who have lost so very much already?

Maybe you don't know the Dulins, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that they are and will be the best family for Kensi and Grace. They can give them a great life and bright future, without handouts might I add. They are Christian people who love God. They are successful, stable, loving people who will fight for what is right and move heaven and Earth to give Kensi and Grace the very best life possible! Our community will also do whatever we can for Kensi and Grace, just as you in Kerrville have done for these last 4 years. Those girls are so loved and continually prayed for by multitudes of Kari's friends and family.

That's what the main point of getting justice for Kari was...to let her girls know what really happened and to give them the best life possible. We owe Kari and her girls that. To love Kensi and Grace, we know how important it is to let them love both of their parents, as hard as that might be. Tell me, do the Bakers let the girls love Kari?

Please, please, please, step back and really, really think about this. AND please pray for God to honor only what is right and true in Kensi and Graces lives. Surly that is a prayer we can all share.

PS none of my questions were meant to be rhetorical. I really would like to know what you think.