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#85701 - 02/01/04 09:55 PM the truth about the movie Capturing the Friedmans
smartnews Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 6
Loc: Massachusetts

This has graphic details of abuse.

(I have permission to forward this here.)


Documentary or Whitewash?

Have you seen Andrew Jarecki's award-winning film? Did it leave you with the impression that Jesse Friedman and maybe his father, Arnold, were victims of a witch hunt conducted by an inept and overzealous investigation team? That conclusion is no accident. Jarecki omitted incriminating evidence that might have made you think differently about Jesse and Arnold. Consider this information, and decide for yourself if this well-reviewed "documentary" can be trusted.

1. What Arnold and Jesse admitted under oath: The film shows--but minimizes the fact- - that Arnold and Jesse admitted to molesting 13 boys, ages 7-11. Arnold pled to 8 counts of sodomy, 28 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, and also admitted to ramming a child's head into a wall in front of other children. Jesse pled to 17 counts of sodomy, 4 counts of first degree sexual abuse.

2. Arnold had an established history as a child molester: The film acknowledges that Arnold was an admitted pedophile. He admitted to abusing his own brother when the brother was 8. Although initially admitting to abusing only one boy, Arnold admitted in a therapy session with Elaine to abusing (though not sodomizing) two boys, one of whom was the child of his good friend. He went to therapy out of fear that he would molest his own children.

3. Was no evidence found in the house beyond one stack of porn? (1) Although Jarecki shows the house looking porn free and a voice-over says porn was only found in the office, the prosecutor says in the movie that child pornography was found all over the house. (2) In 1986, Arnold Friedman mail-ordered "Boy Love," a magazine featuring graphic pictures of men having sex with children, which led to a sting operation. Jarecki doesn't say that other child- porn magazines were found on classroom shelves; the boys said Arnold used them to initiate discussions of sex. (3) Jarecki fails to mention that parents were not allowed into the classroom or that nine obscene computer games were found in Friedman"s classroom such as "Dirty Movie" ("animation of woman who undresses, spreads her legs and then masturbates/ urinates"), and "Seasons Greeting" ("animation of Mickey Mouse, dressed in a Santa suit, appears with erection and ejaculates"). An early newspaper report said "Talking Sam", in which a male figure exposes his genitals, was used to demonstrate and initiate touching games with the boys. Boys were allowed to take these computer disks to their homes, where a few were found by police. (4) Numerous children, ages 7-12, disclosed similar details about sexual "games" such as leap-frog and Simon says. (5) Jarecki didn't mention that child-sized dildos were found in a cabinet just outside the classroom.

4. What about the witness who was left out of the film? Jesse's friend, Ross Goldstein, witnessed and admitted to participating in the crimes, could identify the victims, and would have testified in court. He pled guilty to 3 counts of first-degree sodomy. Both he and Jesse pled to one count of using a child in a sexual performance (pornography).

5. Why didn't the boys tell anyone? Children "tell" about abuse indirectly. In 1989 some wet their beds, took baseball bats to bed, could not sleep. The children reported Arnold threatened to burn down their houses, kill parents, if they told.

6. Why was there no physical evidence? Jarecki fails to mention that the Friedmans pled guilty so none was sought. Physical evidence is typically rare in such cases. Many assume that child sexual abuse must leave gaping tears and telltale scars, but due to the nature of children's bodies, even when there are physical signs, most disappear in a few days.

7. Can Jesse's retraction of his father's abuse of him be believed? Jesse said in a 1989 interview that he was "halfway between loving and hating" his father. He said Arnold fondled and later sodomized him. Jesse started seeing a psychiatrist at the age of 10; he was diagnosed manic depressive. He started using drugs at 16 and was soon stoned on a daily basis; his weight ballooned; he had no friends. Court psychiatric testimony described Jesse's joy when his father turned from Jesse to children in the class. When interviewed on the Geraldo Rivera Show, Jesse sobbed while describing sexual abuse by his father and confessed to abusing three children. He said, "I fondled [the children]...I was forced to, to pose in hundreds of photos for my father in all sorts of sexual positions with the kids..." He now claims that his story and his tears were "fictionalized to win leniency". However, he had already been sentenced. So which is the truth -- his admission or his recent retraction?

8. What else do we know about the Friedmans? They often appear confused. Sometimes they remember that "it" happened, sometimes not. Arnold's brother and David hit their heads, saying maybe someday they'll remember something, but they don't, now. Jesse describes them as sweeping things under the rug. When Elaine saw one of Arnold's child porn magazines she didn't register what it was until she looked again. The film shows her being mistreated by her sons for questioning Arnold's innocence. Victoria News describes "one astonishing sequence [of the film], on the morning of one of the sons' sentencing, the boys decide to shoot footage while harassing the parents of some of the alleged victims."

9. What else do we know about Arnold? As a child, Arnold witnessed his mother having sex with various men. Elaine, in a 1989 article, said that her normally emotionless husband was almost in tears when police took his child porn photos. Arnold's motion from prison to have them returned (as well as the names and numbers of numerous victims) was denied. In the film, Jesse's attorney describes Arnold in a prison visit asking to move to another table because he is excited by a 4 or 5 year old boy bouncing on his father's lap nearby.


1. Bessent, A.E. (1989, May 28). The secret life of Arnold Friedman. Newsday. LI., NY Posted also among many other useful articles at
2. Vitello, P., Commentary: Interesting, not accurate. (2003, July 27) Newsday, LI . NY,0,4000086.column?coll=ny-news-print

Additional information on the Friedman case :

"Detective Stands by Friedman Probe" By Robin Topping and Denise M. Bonilla -

"Responding to charges of police coercion in the 1980s sex abuse case against Arnold and Jesse Friedman, the lead detective said children were never pressured into making accusations." "Galasso denied hypnosis was used and said detectives did not coerce statements from the victims. Some of the victims also were reluctant to talk because Friedman and his father -- who killed himself in prison in the mid-to-late 1990s -- had threatened them if they disclosed the abuse, she said. Galasso said it was sometimes necessary to conduct multiple interviews to get the child's whole story, which was often given in pieces. Many children also were questioned by parents, therapists and prosecutors, she said, who were told the same versions of events. In addition, a third person charged with abusing the students, Ross Goldstein, a neighbor who later pleaded guilty and aided the prosecution, corroborated several of the victims' stories....Galasso said Friedman gave police a detailed confession and also failed two polygraph tests, which are not admissible in court."

Geraldo Rivera's interview with Jesse Friedman - (Geraldo!) In a 1989 interview with Geraldo Rivera, Jesse by phone from prison sobbed as he described how he was sexually abused by his father, and confessed to sexually abusing three children himself. For a tran>

#85702 - 02/02/04 01:04 AM Re: the truth about the movie Capturing the Friedmans
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Hey SmartN - Welcome to the site and am happy you are posting. I read your post above and am amazed at how much was deleted (?) from the movie!! Thanks for clarifying the Friedmann's situation here!! Keep posting and honestly sharing what "others" controllingly carve out.


If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

#85703 - 02/02/04 01:58 PM Re: the truth about the movie Capturing the Friedmans
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
Thank God I didn't see this f**king movie!

That this whitewash was allowed is inexcusable and the filmmakers should be ashamed of themselves for being used as they were.

These animals don't deserve the life that was given them.


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies


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