Why I Unmasked April Daniels AKA Loretta Gale (2024)

As a general rule, I do not identify victims unless they have been previously identified due to the release of police or court records. April Daniels, the pseudonym of Loretta Gale Child, who is now Loretta Gale, wrote about her abuse extensively over multiple editions of the book Paperdolls, and her updated version Paperdolls and Cowboy Boots. Her coauthor Carol Scott, aka Marion Burrows Smith, wrote about the abuse of her grandchildren in Paperdolls and in various other publications over multiple decades.

What Loretta Gale did not do was go to the police with her abuse allegations. Perhaps the police would not have investigated or brought charges, but we will never know. There are multiple future victims of the perpetrators in her book who suffered as a result, including Elizabeth Smart and Kacie Woody, the latter of whom died. Loretta Gale spins the familiar narrative of forgiveness and healing in her book, of working within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to address the abuse allegations rather than seeing perpetrators prosecuted for raping children.

This narrative, like so many around sexual abuse victims, is wrong.

We have law enforcement for a reason: to put dangerous people in prison. The problem with the current system, which IRA has actively worked to address through proposed legislative reforms, is that it does not put dangerous people in prison. Part of this is due to a pie in the sky narrative around child sexual abuse which insists that healing is possible with forgiveness. The problem is that this approach is not rooted in reality: pedophiles do not rehabilitate, and neither do rapists. There is not a single documented instance of either type of offender rehabilitating. In fact, the average pedophile has between 150-185 victims over their lifetime. Some have thousands.

When convicted rapists are given confidentiality in studies, they often reveal dozens of sexual assaults for which they have faced zero culpability. At the risk of being cliched, silence is violence when it comes to sexual abuse. There is simply no good reason for confidentiality to prevail. The reason that is most commonly given is that of sparing victims the ordeal of facing their abusers in court. That reason is an indictment of a system that puts victims on trial with far harsher consequences than those their alleged rapist will face. The sexual history of the victim, their mental state, and everything beyond the allegation they have made will come into play.

That is a reason to reform the system. At the core of a sexual abuse allegation is a simple reality: the accused either did or did not commit a sexual assault.

The average victim does not write a book which provides tangible clues that can be followed to identify their perpetrators. April Daniels, otherwise known as Loretta Gale, did exactly that. For thirty plus years, she profited off of a book that both covered and selectively exposed alleged perpetrators, without ever considering the reality that many of her perpetrators would go on to commit future crimes against innocent children. She chose to tell her story, as is her right, but when one tells that story and provides all of the requisite details necessary to identify the alleged perpetrators and even some of the victims, one is entering the public sphere.

Her story was not exclusively her story. It was the story of dozens of children in a neighborhood where sexual abuse was rampant, unchecked, and unpunished. Those children did not write a bestselling book that went into multiple editions. Her story was the story of a Church that knew of her allegations, because she reported to General Authorities. That Church did not refer those allegations to law enforcement, which is consistent with what it has done for decades.

As a result, Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped. Kacie Woody was murdered. Two other teenage girls were sexually abused by Loretta Gale’s cousin in virtually the same manner in which she was abused. These are the victims that we know about. There are undoubtedly more.

Loretta Gale did not protect victims. There is only one way to protect a victim, and that is to put their abuser in prison or to impose capital punishment on that perpetrator. Loretta Gale wrote a book, and hid behind anonymity for thirty plus years. She afforded at least some of her abusers the same anonymity, regardless of the consequences.

Anonymity is the greatest accomplice of a rapist, and those who provide it are the most malignant enablers of a system where 1,000 sexual assaults will yield a mere 28 convictions, with only 25 resulting in prison time. In essence, if you are a rapist, you have a 972 in 1,000 chance of getting away with a sexual assault. That is pathetic. It is a damning indictment of our criminal justice system and the culture that promotes secrecy and silence for whatever reason, the most putrid of which is that we are protecting victims. We are not protecting victims when we fail to expose abuse. Utilitarian gobbledygook does not suffice to justify allowing a perpetrator to go on in anonymity, free to move among an unsuspecting community full of potential victims, because his or her victim has chosen to buy into a false narrative of forgiveness as part of their healing process without regards for the wider consequences.

A week before I published the article, I contacted Loretta Gale through her Substack and her LinkedIn. She did not respond. Instead, she wrote an article denying any connection between her case and ritual abuse. I did not allege that her case involved ritual abuse. I simply pointed out the connections between the people involved in her case and the current case involving David Lee Hamblin. Ritual abuse, and child sexual abuse in general, tends to be generational.

Loretta Gale’s father was a child rapist if she is telling the truth. He raped her, and he likely abused her brothers who also abused her. He and his wife oversaw a house in which their daughter was raped by their sons and other boys in their neighborhood. When their daughter confronted them, her father’s response was to fire her from the family business. It is likely that her extended family has a history of sexual abuse, given the conviction of her cousin for sexually abusing two teenage girls.

This behavior among teenage boys and children does not occur in a vacuum. It always has an antecedent. That is why in 23 years of working with abuse allegations, I always start with the family of the victim and the family of the perpetrator. Those are often the same family. DNA testing is revealing an ugly truth: incest is far more common than previously thought. That incest is often rooted in the familial sexual abuse of children. It does not matter if the abuse has a ritual aspect or not.

For Loretta Gale, her concern seems to be limiting the scope of scrutiny when it comes to her neighborhood, her family, and her Church. The abuse is only as prevalent as she portrays it in her book, and ritual abuse is not valid because she personally sees no connection between what she experienced and what other abuse victims have alleged. The problem with this perspective is obvious: sexual abuse is sexual abuse, and sexual abuse is a crime. Crimes should be reported, investigated, prosecuted, and the prosecution should lead to convictions and incarceration for the rapist.

For years, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints apparently believed that the power of the priesthood was sufficient to rehabilitate child rapists. After a few sessions with LDS Social Services, the offender was rebaptized and put into a position to reoffend. He was not reported to the police. In hundreds of cases, this approach led to serial rapists being afforded the opportunity to rape victims with impunity. The only thing that stopped the rampage of sexual abuse was the exposure of the rapist, and their subsequent criminal conviction, incarceration, and listing on a sex offender registry. They no longer had the benefit of secrecy to aid their predatory behavior after being publicly exposed as a child predator.

The Church is not alone in this approach: other ecclesiastical organizations have taken the same approach, hiding behind the priest-penitent privilege and an interpretation of religious liberty that encompasses concealing rape allegations. This is patently absurd, and it is dangerous. The 120 rapists surveilled in one study were connected to a staggering 1,224 separate acts of rape, battery, and child sexual and physical abuse.

There is no right to conceal sexual abuse, either on the part of an organization or an individual who has suffered sexual abuse. Our actions have consequences for others, and while my actions have outed April Daniels as Loretta Gale Child, her actions had far more severe consequences. Her status as a victim of horrific sexual abuse does not exculpate her, nor does it immunize her from exposure. She pointed the finger covertly through her books for thirty years, but never once went to the police to file a report. She would like to have her book royalties, but not the repercussions of her decisions.

There is one approach that will change the culture around sexual abuse and reporting, and that is a zero tolerance approach to anonymity and secrecy when it comes to sexual abuse and reporting. Abusers should-and must-be exposed. The public interest in preventing abusers from metastasizing into murderers and sexual sad*sts outweighs any of the arguments offered for affording an abuser continued anonymity in order to “protect victims.” This approach does not protect victims at all; instead, it creates more victims as abusers go on to rape more children, more women, and more individuals.

To the extent that the current system discourages reporting by victims, it should be changed to enable victims to report without being pilloried for unrelated matters. Their lives are not the issue. The issue is whether or not the crime actually occurred, and when we change the culture around reporting, we will find that victims will report more often, and sooner. That last part is critical: very often, the reason physical evidence of a sexual assault is diminished or non-existent is because the victim waits years to report. That has to change.

A militant approach to reforming the culture around abuse allegations and reporting is necessary. That is what Investigations in Ritual Abuse stands for: an uncompromising approach to reporting the facts about the allegations, with respect to the accusers and the accused. The names that were reported in Pt. II of the Education of Gerrit de Jong, Jr. series were a fraction of the names available. The reason those other names were not reported was because IRA was not absolutely certain of their guilt or innocence. We revealed no other victims beyond April Daniels, who virtually revealed herself with her book and her thirty years of conversations with various individuals, which she chronicles in her book at length. She identified herself many times over the years, and she identified herself in her book.

Many of the alleged perpetrators of her abuse and the abuse of dozens of other children are still alive. They should be prosecuted, subject to civil liability, and exposed to the world. IRA is working to accomplish those objectives.

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Why I Unmasked April Daniels AKA Loretta Gale (2024)
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