- New York State Department of Correctional Services - Arnold Friedman
- United States of America, Appellee, v. Arnold Friedman, Defendant-Appellant (01/08/1988)
- Notes of Conversations With Gary (01/26/1988)
- Teen Faces 37 New Sex Charges (06/24/1988)
- Boys' Sex Abuse Admitted - Great Neck teen to get 6-18 years in plea bargain (12/21/1988)
- A Fresh Assault on an Ugly Crime (03/14/1988)
- Teacher Guilty of Sex Crimes (03/26/1988)
- Teacher Sentenced In Sodomy (05/14/1988)
- A letter written by an eight-year-old boy (01/22/1989)
- Teen Gets 6-18 Years For Child Sex Abuse (01/25/1989)
- Little Joy in Victory For Boys' Families (01/25/1989)
- Dragnet Is Out For Porn Photos In Child Sex Case (02/08/1989)
- The Secret Life Of Arnold Friedman (05/28/1989)
- Capturing the Friedmans - Film Trailer
- Toward An Elusive Truth (01/16/2003)
- Questions for Jesse Friedman - The Home Horror Movie (05/25/2003)
- Capturing The Friedmans - What really happened to the Friedmans? (05/30/2003)
- Capturing the Friedmans - Move Review (05/30/2003)
- Film Revives Great Neck Controversy (06/01/2003)
- From clowns to family tragedy (06/14/2003)
- Arresting Images - Documentary Asks: Hysteria or Truth? (06/16/2003)
- The Horror Movie - Questions for Jesse Friedman (06/29/2003)
- Family's story is anything but happy (07/07/2003)
- Interesting, but Not Quite Accurate (07/27/2003)
- Revisiting the Friedmans Lays Doubts to Rest (09/02/2003)
- "CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS" Documentary or Whitewash? (10/14/2004)
- Annotated Bibliography on "Capturing the Friedmans"
- Summary of Jesse Friedman Legal Filing (01/07/2004)
- Subject of documentary Capturing the Friedmans seeks new trial (01/07/2004)
- 'Friedman' Seeking New Trial (01/07/2004)
- Friedman To Seek New Trial (01/08/2004)
- `Capturing the Friedmans' son wants new trial - The convicted sex offender believes film uncovered new facts (01/08/2004)
- Capturing Friedmans subject (01/08/2004)
- Convicted Molester Wants To Clear Name - Cites evidence seen in film (01/09/2004)
- 'Capturing' Star Wants to Overturn Conviction (01/092004)
- Capturing The Friedmans - A Factual Response To An Angry Attack (01/09/2004)
- LA Critics Choose "Splendor," "Friedmans" Follow-Up, Texas Picks, and More (01/09/2004)
- Friedman says film shows his innocence (01/09/2004)
- Detective Stands by Friedman Probe (01/11/2004)
- Documentary's Haunting Tale of Abuse (01/11/2004)
- Jacko Financial Crisis: Beatles Bill Due (01/12/2004)
- Awards a Glimpse of Oscars (01/12/2004)
- Complete list of 76th annual Academy Award nominations (01/27/2004)
- Acclaimed Film Helps Convicted Sex Offenders at Victims' Expense (01/27/2004)
- Capturing the Friedmans' victims ask Academy to deny documentary Oscar (02/17/2004)
- Abuse experts assail movie (02/23/2004)
- Two Friedman victims send message (02/24/2004)
- Victims Say Film on Molesters Distorts Facts (02/24/2004)
- Some fear `Friedmans' may capture Oscar (02/26/2004)
- Capturing justice... on film? (02/26/2004)
- Troubling relationships surround case (02/27/2004)
- Mistrial - The Capturing the Friedmans DVD sheds new light on the case (02/27/2004)
- Academy Silences Child Sexual Assault Victims (02/28/2004)
- Victims break their silence (02/29/2004)
- Capturing the Friedmans (02/29/2004)
- Film undermines efforts to fight child abuse (02/29/2004)
- Capturing Friedmans documentary fails to win Academy Award (02/29/2004)
- The redemption of Jesse Friedman (03/09/2004)
- Capturing the truth (03/17/2004)
- 'I'm not done yet' (03/19/2004)
- Case of Ross Goldstein
- Case of Jesse Friedman
Custody Status: DISCHARGED
Housing/Releasing Facility: COLLINS
Date Received (Original): 02/02/1994
Date Received (Current): 02/02/1994
County of Commitment: NASSAU
Latest Release Date/Type (Released Inmates Only): 02/14/95 DECEASED
Crime 1, Description: SODOMY 1ST
Crime 1, Crime Class: B
Crime 2, Description: SEXUAL ABUSE 1ST
Crime 2, Crime Class: D
Crime 3, Description: ATT SEXUAL ABUSE 1ST
Crime 3, Crime Class: E
Crime 4, Description: SODOMY 1ST
Crime 4, Crime Class: B
Aggregate Minimum Sentence: 010 Years, 00 Months, 00 Days
Aggregate Maximum Sentence: 030 Years, 00 Months, 00 Days
Earliest Release Date: Under certain circumstances, an inmate may be released prior to serving his or her minimum term and before the earliest release date shown for the inmate..
Earliest Release Type:
Parole Hearing Date: 12/1997
Parole Hearing Type: INITIAL RELEASE APPEARANCE
Parole Eligibility Date: 02/03/1998
Conditional Release Date: 02/03/2008
Maximum Expiration Date: 02/03/2018
Maximum Expiration Date for Parole Supervision:
Post Release Supervision
Maximum Expiration Date:
Parole Board Discharge Date:
A letter written by an eight-year-old boy
January 22, 1989
Arnold and Elaine Friedman lived in the Long Island community of Great Neck with their three sons, David, Seth and Jesse. One Thanksgiving eve, David returned from college to discover that domestic security had collapsed: The police were ransacking the place and preparing to arrest Arnold and Jesse. Subsequently, Arnold admitted that he was a furtive pederast of long standing. He let his guard slip by answering a correspondent who purported to be a dealer in foreign pornographic publications. By mailing this stranger a magazine from his hidden collection, Arnold sprung a trap patiently prepared for two years by a postal inspection agent, entrusted with a watch list of customers for obscene goods who might prove to be distributors, as well.
The magazine rap led to an avalanche of harrowing criminal charges. Learning that Arnold Friedman had been teaching private piano and computer lessons to adolescent students in his home for several years, Great Neck police were emboldened to suspect that sexual abuse had run rampant. Jesse, 18 at the time of the arrests, was his father's classroom assistant. He was swept up in the suspicions, which ultimately resulted in hundreds of charges of appalling molestation. The police questioned scores of students, all boys, who were urged to bear witness to repeated sexual victimization in the Friedman basement.
The specific nightmare scenario remains far-fetched. "Jesse is such an unusual guy," Mr. Jarecki says. "He built a computer database to analyze the charges that were being brought against him. He discovered that if you did the math, one kid in a 90-minute class that met once a week would have to have been raped every 30 minutes for 10 weeks. Then in the fall, when he enrolled in the advanced class, this same victim would have submitted to four rapes a session to account for all the charges."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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."
- 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.
- Bessent, A.E. (1989, May 28). The secret life of Arnold Friedman. Newsday. LI., NY http://www.newsday.com/news/local/longisland/ny-friedman052889,0,1128093.story?coll=ny-li-span-headlines Posted also among many other useful articles at http://www.theawarenesscenter.org/arnoldandjessefriedman.html
- Vitello, P., Commentary: Interesting, not accurate. (2003, July 27) Newsday, LI . NY http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/ny-livit273389114jul27,0,4000086.column?coll=ny-news-print
- [Click here to view the complete annotated Bibliography on "Capturing the Friedmans"]
- The vast majority of the computer students interviewed by the police had no recollection of any abuse despite being visited by the police many times. The police had notes of these interviews, and never provided them to the Friedmans as required under Brady v. Maryland.
- - Students who eventually provided testimony that they had been abused, had no recollection of such abuse until they had been subjected to up to five kinds of manipulative and suggestive questioning by the police -- questioning methods now proven to cause false memories in children. For example:
- - One of the computer students who became a key witness in the case, admitted that he did not remember any of the abuse he alleged, until after he was hypnotized, a technique proven to lead to false memories.
- - Police detectives admit to having provided the students with incentives to encourage them to provide testimony, including in one case having pizza parties, and offering to ¯deputizeÆ cooperative children.
- - One detective admits to visiting a student 15 separate times in order to finally procure incriminating testimony despite the child©Æs consistent statement that he had not been abused.
- - A number of computer students admit to having provided false testimony in order to ¯end the questioningÆ and that they actually did not experience the abuse to which they had testified to.
- - One team of detectives, in a tape recorded interview, told one of the computer students who was adamantly insisting that he had not been abused, that he might become a homosexual if he did not admit to the abuse.
|Jesse Friedman, left, works with attorney Mark Gimpel, right, |
while preparing to file a motion to overturn a 1988 conviction on
charges that Friedman and his father sexually abused children.
— questioning methods now proven to cause false memories in children. For example:
— One of the computer students who became a key witness in the case, admitted that he did not remember any of the abuse he alleged, until after he was hypnotized, a technique proven to lead to false memories.
— Police detectives admit to having provided the students with incentives to encourage them to provide testimony, including in one case having pizza parties, and offering to deputize cooperative children.
— One detective admits to visiting a student 15 separate times in order to finally procure incriminating testimony despite the child's consistent statement that he had not been abused.
— A number of computer students admit to having provided false testimony in order to end the questioning and that they actually did not experience the abuse to which they had testified to.
— One team of detectives, in a tape-recorded interview, told one of the computer students who was adamantly insisting that he had not been abused, that he might become a homosexual if he did not admit to the abuse."
(Unsigned posting in italics - Earl Nember response in bold)
"CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS"
Documentary or Whitewash?
"American Splendor" topped the L.A. Film Critics' awards for 2003
18. Documentary Feature: "Balseros," "Capturing the Friedmans," "The Fog of War," "My Architect," "The Weather Underground."
(1) Jesse confessed not once, but twice;(2) Jesse failed two lie detector tests;(3) the children's' accusations underwent a grand jury investigation before charges were filed, and(4) there was no physical evidence, not because none was found, but because none was sought after the Friedmans pled guilty. (Source: http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/)
It all started by mail.
Sometime around the mid-1980s, U.S. customs officials intercepted a child pornography publication from overseas addressed to Arnold Friedman in Great Neck. The incident triggered a U.S. Postal Inspection Service sting operation. Arnold Friedman, then the 56-year-old father of three boys who had recently retired from his Bayside High School teaching job, answered the requests of an investigator posing as a pedophile in 1987. Friedman was arrested and charged with sending and receiving child pornography by mail.