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The Truth About Getting Justice For Terri

God has called David Williams, pastor of Calvary Road Church of Clearwater, Florida to spearhead an independent, comprehensive investigation of the Terri Schiavo case. This is an answer to prayer. Only a truly independent investigation will uncover the layers of corruption, collusion, criminality, and infiltration permeating this case.  (ANNOUNCEMENT: Calvary Road Baptist Church no longer exists. The church is reorganizing and is now known as Bay Area Baptist Church. [1])

June Maxam of The Empire Journal has been engaged in her own independent investigation of the Terri Schiavo case for at least six months. I recall the day she posted her first article to the Free Republic forum and began soliciting for donations in an attempt to finance her own investigation. (I sent her a donation in November, 2004.) June did not mention anything about contacting the Schindlers to obtain "permission" to do what she has been doing for years—investigative journalism. 

It appears that the Gibbs Law Firm supplied June Maxam with false information about the Justice For Terri Committee which she later published to the internet. The article, "Schindler Attorney Tells Group To "Cease and Desist," [3] published April 22, 2005 on June Maxam's The North Country Gazette website, arrested my attention because it presented the idea that the Schindler's attorney, David C. Gibbs III, has the authority to tell a group that they may not raise funds to conduct an independent investigation of the Terri Schiavo case. According to June Maxam, attorney Gibbs advised the Justice For Terri Committee to "cease and desist" all fundraising activities at the request of the Schindler family:

The attorney for the parents of Terri Schiavo has advised a group calling themselves the Justice For Terri Committee organized in Tampa Bay, Florida, to “cease and desist all fundraising activities on behalf of Terri at the request of the family”.

(Quote source: "Schindler Attorney Tells Group To “Cease and Desist") [note: this article was removed April 26, 2005]

Puzzled and deeply concerned about the implications of the "Cease and Desist" article, Gary and I prayed for guidance. The answer came swiftly. It was time to contact Pastor Williams who was president of the former Justice For Terri Committee and ask him about the accuracy of June Maxam's article.

I succeeded in reaching Pastor David Williams on Sunday, April 24, 2005. He said that June Maxam should have been aware of the truth regarding the Justice For Terri Committee:

June Maxam should have known exactly what was going on since I had her on the telephone with me early on for a radio program with her partner Ginger Berlin as we were just getting the investigation going. They would not be part of it but offered to supply the investigators with information. 

It seems strange to me that now they have acted as if they do not know me and that they are siding with the Gibbs Law Firm even though they know what is going on. [quoted verbatim from his email]

As the phone conversation progressed, I learned that Pastor Williams was well apprised of the fact that the Gibbs Law Firm had taken a stand against what was then known as the Justice For Terri Committee even though Williams had taken pains to involve the law firm in this operation from the start!

Williams revealed that he had contacted the Schindler family and the Gibbs Law Firm—with the investigators standing by to begin work— before Terri's death:

Before Terri died I had the investigators ready to go and they thought that a smoking gun would have saved her life. David Gibbs would not listen even though I begged them to speak to the investigators. I also spoke to the Schindlers about it and they thought "Great, get them started right away." Then I told them that it would cost $15,000 as a retainer and they said, "Forget it! If they won't donate their services we don't want them." 

I tried to tell them that I would raise the money. They agreed that if I would raise the money then it would not be a burden on them. [quoted verbatim from his email]

The Schindler family indicated to Pastor Williams that they were in favor of the investigation but were not willing to pay for it. That is the reason he decided to begin a private effort to raise funds specifically earmarked for an independent investigation of the Terri Schiavo case.

David Williams continued to try to get an investigation started after Terri's death:

After Terri died I was still trying as I had since the above incident, to get someone to listen about a criminal investigation. I went to the memorial and talked to both the Schindlers and David Gibbs. My whole reasoning was that since they had said, "Forget it" before that we would be required to raise the money ourselves. That is the whole reason that we tried to form the Justice For Terri Committee. We did not want to take money away from the Schindler Foundation. [quoted verbatim from his email]

Williams made a stringent effort to get Bobby Schindler involved in the investigation:

At the memorial Bobby gave me a number which I could call to reach him. I called several times after that to put Bobby on the telephone with the investigators but he would not call me back until two days before Mari [Fernandez] put it on the internet. Bobby called me and I asked him if he wanted to speak to our investigators. He said no, but just to keep him informed of what was going on. I thought it was strange that he did not want to speak to them since it was such a great plan. Technically he did not either approve or disapprove of our actions. He just said to keep him informed. My take was that he wanted it done but did not want to spend any of the Foundation money on it.

That is why I was so shocked when David Gibbs' lawyer, Zachary Gray—my lawyer for our church— called. He said that we were taking away from the Schindler fund. That was the opposite of why we were trying to raise the money. It was so that the Schindlers could keep their own money. It all got twisted out of proportion. 

After the call, I asked Zachary to put that in writing and I have sent the e-mail from him to you a couple of days ago. The whole premise is mistaken because I had spoken both to the Gibbs and to Bobby but neither seemed to want to get involved as long as they had to spend money. I thought, "Well, we will raise the money." Then they seemed to say "Don't give the money to an investigator, give it to us so we can pocket the funds." Do they really want justice? [quoted verbatim from his email]

Pastor Williams is rightfully seeking a retraction from the Gibbs Law Firm who represent his church as well as the Schindler family:

Since that time, I have written the Gibbs law firm several times asking for a retraction of their statement to June Maxam or a denial of that statement. They would not respond so I called the Florida Bar Association a few days ago and told them that a libelous statement had been made by my own lawyer who gave a statement to Empire Journal without our approval. He said that he would call the Gibbs organization and ask them to call me to get this right. Though I have e-mailed them several more times, I have not gotten a call or a response by e-mail. My thinking is that the Gibbs wrongfully think that a criminal investigation is useless and that the Schindlers should keep the money for themselves. [quoted verbatim from his email]

It is troubling that the prominent people who were involved in the Terri Schiavo case are now inaccessible. Pastor Williams commented:

It is totally amazing to me that all the players who were in the limelight, Larry Klayman, Randall Terry, Brother Mahoney and others have somehow disappeared from the scene. I have tried to contact most of them but they won't even call back. It seems they are all in it for what they can get out of it. Even has refused to get involved as well as Tom Hoefling of the Alan Keyes organization. They have all vanished from the scene as it were. [quoted verbatim from his email]

On April 26, 2005, the day after Pastor Williams demanded a retraction from David C. Gibbs III for his remarks against his person and his church, June Maxam, without explanation, removed her "Cease and Desist" article from the internet. Perhaps the Gibbs Law Firm contacted her and told her about the inaccuracies in her article. Pastor Williams remarked:

I have written to her [June Maxam] in the last few days to tell her that Gibbs represented us and that because of their statement to her they may be in trouble with the Bar. Perhaps that is why she pulled the article. Either they said it and now they want it off the internet or they did not say it and she is hiding the article from scrutiny. Either way, someone is in trouble.

If this is the case, and June Maxam is aware of the errors contained in her article, then it is proper for her to issue a retraction rather than simply remove it from the internet. One of the reasons a retraction is necessary is because Maxam's article suggests impropriety on the part of the people who are seeking to bring about the first intensive and no-respector-of-persons investigation into the Terri Schiavo case. For example, June Maxam's use of the word "purported" suggests that funds solicited by Pastor David Williams and Mari Fernandez might not really be used to hire an investigative firm:

The group reportedly led by Mari Fernandez and Pastor David Williams had been soliciting for funds purportedly for the purpose of hiring an investigative firm and had stated that the Schindler family had authorized the solicitation. 

(Quote source: "Schindler Attorney Tells Group To “Cease and Desist") 

Liberty To The Captives is convinced that any funds donated to Florida Justice [2] for the purpose of setting in motion a comprehensive, independent, criminal investigation would be used as designated. David Williams has even hired a CPA firm to handle the finances regarding this endeavor. [update: This investigation was not funded and did not take place.]

 Pastor Williams Did Not Receive a "Cease and Desist" Letter

June Maxam claims that "The Empire Journal has acquired a copy of the letter which was sent to the [Justice For Terri] group by Gibbs which states":

“We have asked Mr. Williams and Ms. Fernandez to please cease and desist all fundraising activities on behalf of Terri at the request of the family” Gibbs said, “and we would hope that they honor this request of the Schindler family at this time."

(Quote source: "Schindler Attorney Tells Group To “Cease and Desist") 

Pastor Williams did not receive a "cease and desist" letter from Attorney Gibbs. He requested an email from his own attorney, Zachary S. Gray, to document Gray's remarks in a phone conversation. The email is as follows:

April 14, 2005

Dear Pastor Williams: 

Today in our telephone conversation I told you that the Schindlers have requested that all contributions relating to Terri's case be made through Establishing another organization, such as Justice for Terri Committee, will merely dilute the family's efforts. Thank you for your interest and concern. 



The statements in Zachary Gray's email do not consist of any formal "cease and desist" communication that June Maxam received.


Who provided The Empire Journal with the information that the Schindler family has already expended considerable funds conducting a thorough investigation? This statement definitely sends the message that if there was anything new to discover about the Terri Schiavo case, then it would have already come to light. Where is a copy of the letter June Maxam quoted in her "Cease and Desist" article? Why do the Schindlers favor a private investigation but want to prevent others from soliciting the funds to pay for it?  

Why does Zachary Gray, who works for the Gibbs Law Firm, believe that an independent and exhaustive investigation, conducted by a professional task force, would dilute the Schindler family's efforts to achieve justice for Terri? Gray went so far as say that "Establishing another organization, such as Justice for Terri Committee, will merely dilute the family's efforts." This statement, which appeared early in his email to Pastor David Williams, is about the investigation itself. The Gibbs Law Firm is against it!

Why did the "cease and desist" letter that David Williams never received but that June Maxam quoted in her article, send the message that according to the Schindlers, the only "acceptable" way to get justice for Terri is to change the laws rather than expose the people who broke existing laws that would have adequately protected Terri if they were obeyed? 

The Schindlers are happy for any individuals and organizations who have been encouraged by Terri's tragedy to try to change the laws in America to make sure that nothing like this happens to anyone else, however, they cannot endorse any organizations or give permission to any other organizations to raise money using Terri's name or the Schindler family name."

(Quote source: "Schindler Attorney Tells Group To “Cease and Desist")

Why are the key players in the Terri Schiavo case against getting justice for Terri? It is time to move forward in an all-out, no holds barred, independent, criminal investigation of the Terri Schiavo case. Only those who fear this investigation will try to prevent it.


[1] While Liberty To The Captives respects the stand that Pastor Williams took for Terri Schindler Schiavo, we need to mention that we do not hold the Baptist beliefs of unconditional eternal security and the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrines. See our Statement of Faith

(Those of you who are interested in the historical origin of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine might be surprised to learn that John Nelson Darby (the Father of Dispensationalism) inserted Pre-Trib doctrine into the text of his very own Bible translation HERE and HERE and HERE.

[2] "Schindler Attorney Tells Group To “Cease and Desist" This article was removed from the internet

[3] Update April 16, 2006: The Florida Justice page has been removed from the internet.


Also see: Exposing the Conspiracy to Kill Terri Schiavo is Not Hate  

modified 8/01/06

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Liberty To The Captives Established in June 2001