By: Diane Benjamin
I know you will when I tell you she is the mom of Duncan and Jack Leichtenberg, murdered by their father before he hung himself.
Amy and I talked Thursday about Duncan and Jack and how the McLean County court system failed them. The State of Illinois also failed when they pulled funding from Children’s Home and Aid. They supervised visitations when a court found it necessary.
Nobody listened. Amy played by the rules and did everything right. The judge, James Souk, ignored her when she told him her ex was suicidal. Souk was in a big hurry to unify the family while ignoring her pleas. Since Children’s Home and Aid didn’t have the money to supervise visits, he authorized unsupervised visitation. Amy lost her two precious boys because of that decision.
Amy wonders if judges would exposed their own kids to similar circumstances or if the letter of the law is all that matters.
The problem Amy sees is that nobody in the court system is protecting the rights of the kids. Unification isn’t the answer to every custody case, the courts are the only protection children have. She feels justice for kids doesn’t exist when only the letter of law is followed. The courts failed her children and continue to repeat the same mistake.
According to this report, 636 kids have been murdered by a parent since 2008 in situations similar to Amy’s: http://www.centerforjudicialexcellence.org/cje-projects-initiatives/child-murder-data/
Click the link, Duncan and Jack are pictured. Quote: The safety and well-being of children should always be the first priority in custody and visitation cases.
In McLean County it isn’t.
Every April Amy holds a 5K fundraiser for Children’s Home and Aid. She hopes no other family has to endure what she has. Amy needs to make sure Duncan and Jack are never forgotten. She will send details to me when next year’s event is planned.