by Sean Cruz
Portland, Oregon-- I was my mother's sole caregiver at the time my children were taken into concealment in Utah, had been so for a year.
My mother's voice on this tape, with its references to my birthday and the death of Richard Nixon, dates the series of messages to May 1994, about 8 months before she came to live with my children and me.
My mother, whose name was Olive Cruz, died four years after her grandchildren disappeared without seeing them again, without hearing their voices again, without an iota of respect or caring from her former daughter in law.
For my mother, there were no birthday cards, no phone calls, no Mother's Day or other holiday recognition. For her, now that the children were totally in Mormon hands, there was nothing, all the way to the end of her life.
My mother had suffered with poor health her entire adult life. My earliest memories of my mother are of visiting her in the hospital, of standing in the ivy outside her room, waiting for my turn for Dad to lift either my brother or me up to the window so we could see her. In those days, children were not allowed in hospital wards. We could only smile at each other through the window. I remember the window, in my father's arms, and the ivy, waiting for my turn.
As the years went by, there were many visits to the windows, to the ivy.
She had ulcers on both her ankles that never healed over decades of treatment, and some years the broad arc of our family story during my childhood was about her battles with gangrene, worry over whether the doctors would amputate her right leg or her left. She would never give permission for the amputation, not to her dying day, choosing to live with the pain and the poison instead.
She was widowed in 1975, following my father's final, fatal heart attack.
By 1990, her multiple illnesses kept her housebound. Osteoporosis caused the vertebrae in her neck to collapse, so that she could only raise her head off her chest by pulling it up with both hands.
Her health became so fragile by 1994 that moving her long distances by car was impossible. She would either have to be flown in short flights as a passenger with special needs, or travel by ambulance with skilled care.
I became my mother's sole caregiver in the spring of 1995. We had a three-generational household, my mom, my kids and I, living in Washington County not far from where Gina's third marriage, to my children's first step day, was coming apart.
During that time we had together in 1995, before my children disappeared, my mother hospital was hospitalized twice, for emergency surgery, for tachychardia. For weeks at a time she needed daily physical therapy session, always on the verge of re-hospitalization, and multiple doctor's visits for wounds that would not heal.
The doctors continued to urge her to allow them to amputate, but she never gave permission, stating that she wanted to be buried with all of her parts intact.
Housebound, the only company she had that year was with her grandchildren and me, and Gina and her Mormon friends took all of that away. With the kids gone, my mom was doomed to long hours alone, every day, every moment that I was away from the house.
That was fine with Gina and her Mormon friends. She and they had other priorities, and my mother was just so much collateral damage. Our four children were collateral damage to be sure, but their main purpose to Gina was to be used as weapons, and to provide cover for her Mormon friends. They were only too happy to oblige...Chris and Kory Wright, Evelyn Taylor, David Holliday and the others....
There would be no price to high for my children to pay once they arrived in Utah, at the home of Chris and Kory Wright.
Within four months of her divorce from Step Dad #1 in Oregon, Gina was married to Step Dad #2 in Utah. No price too high....
Step Dad #2, Steve Nielson, would slap my children around for the next two years or so, and Gina would allow him to get away with it. No price too high....
Utah Child Protective Services, in practice a working arm of the Mormon Church, would allow him to get away with it also. That's how things are done in Utah. No price too high....
I wrote 37 letters to Angela Adams, the Guardian ad Litem that Utah CPS appointed to look after my abducted children, begging her to help arrange contact between my children and their grandmother, but she ignored all of that, as she ignored every other indicator that something was wrong here.
My mother spent the last two years of her life in a hospital bed.
She is buried next to my father in a cemetery in Fairfield, California, where the tombstone reads"
"sunshine fresh flowers green grass
together at last"
To the best of my knowledge, her grandchildren have never visited her grave.
And the Mormon Church proclaims: "Families are forever...la tee da...Families are forever...."
Here's the link to Stolen Voices, the movie, pt 2: the sixth victim: Mom
Stolen Voices, the movie, pt 2: The sixth victim: Mom