What Happened to 10 Year Old Joshua Klaver
THIS IS WHAT OFFICER INVOLVED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LOOKS LIKE WHILE LAW ENFORCEMENT AND THE FAMILY COURT SYSTEM STANDS BY TO PROTECT AN OFFICER’S JOB – MY SON JOSHUA’S SUFFERING MEANT NOTHING TO THEM – As they passed Joshua from one Judge to another.
KW Klaver is Joshua’s father, he was a Santa Clara County, California Sheriff’s Deputy, KW’s wife Bobbi Klaver was a California Highway Patrol Officer –
When I was informed by KW’s newly ex wife Judy in 1985 that Josh was being abused he was six years old. She told me that KW had been abusing Joshua for sometime starting when he joined the Sheriffs Department and she went into detail. . details she stayed silent about but because of the violence directed at her she had left quickly with very few of her belongings at the end of their marriage to save herself while Joshua was with us for the summer but did not expose the abuse until I contacted her 8 months after she had moved from their home. KW and I were having sharing Joshua issues that not only went against a court order it was a problem we had never experienced before but after awhile KW’s excuses that rolled over my time with Joshua became too frequent and we were left knowing our only route would be legal and we didn’t want that. My husband and I had just moved to Morgan Hill to do the local co-parent thing since Joshua was school age. KW and I talked about the times he would be working that Joshua would be with me during the week for school, we were making clear balanced adult plans that worked for both homes then everything changed, slowly at first then all of the sudden we had two cops always being cops, they never turned it off . .they were new at the job so we thought at least tone it down a bit. This is when having any kind of conversation with KW and his girlfriend Bobbi became vibes of I’m a cop and your not all the time and for a while we thought it was roll your eyes funny until we learned what the vibe they carried really meant by watching what kind of privileges being cops gave the Klaver’s and everything became not funny real quick.
One day I called Judy, KW’s ex wife at her business because her adult son still lived in KW’s home and I wanted insight into KW’s girlfriend Bobbi and the sudden issues we were having about Joshua. . It was in this phone call that Judy told me about the abuse . .that KW would backhanded Josh upside his head and knocked him to the floor often. She told me because of KW’s police training he knew where on the head to hit him so bruises would not show, I learned he hit him often with a belt and kicked him, . I remember back before this moment of sharing asking her about what I felt was a above normal bruise from time to time and she and KW always gave me ponies* baby cows and climbing fences for the reasons for them . .she never told me they were from the back of KW’s hand and his boot.
After I spoke with Judy I called KW to come by and pick Josh up, keeping myself calm and normal to get my hands on him. He would not give me access to Josh, not on the phone and not in person. The reason I could not just drive to their home and walk up to the door was because even though the house was in the beautiful country side in the Bay Area of California it was surround with a very tall chain link fence to keep their dogs from roaming and biting people,
Since KW and his abusive behavior lived in San Martin and I in Morgan Hill, I was told by Morgan Hill P.D. that the Sheriff Department patrols the area where the Klaver’s lived so I had to call the same Sheriff’s Department KW worked for. I did so and reported that there were many acts of violence witnessed by others over a long period of time and I went into detail, the issues with KW not giving me access to Joshua. The deputy I spoke with told me that they don’t get involved in issues like this ( I guess Officer involved child abuse ) and I needed to take this up with the family court system. I was reporting a active child abuse situation, KW would not give me access to my son, something was wrong enough to look at and the Sheriff Deputy told me to get a lawyer. It didn’t take long after that call for the same deputy to contact KW at home about my call to the Sheriff’s Department and very quickly there after KW and Bobbi jumped in the car with Joshua and ran to Vegas to get married. . . Bobbi Klaver was KW’s biggest supporter and from the moment she joined KW in life that choice came with protecting him always just like Judy did for a time until she had enough of his abuse against her and fled. . Bobbi didn’t fully have enough until after Joshua’s death and then it took her many years to find her brave and I know what she went through was extremely harsh before she came to a place in her life after her children were grown when she felt strong enough to leave him like so many women of abuse do but for me as I talk about Joshua my thoughts are about the first time Bobbi started living with one foot out the damn door.
After my contact with the Sheriff’s Department I think I sat on the couch for a time that felt like forever, pinching myself over what was just said to me and as we stepped forward in time nothing prepared us for the kind of protection that was placed around KW & Bobbi time and again because of the thin blue line . .Even when the Judge declared you are a Child Abuser !! Nothing happened but I’m getting ahead of myself – – I called the Child Protective Services hotline and I will say accusing someone of child abuse is a huge thing to do and when it’s about your own child it was so very scary as my heart pounded against every part of my body but I remember feeling lost real quick after my contact with the Sheriff’s Department and did not know what to expect.
The conversation with the CPS hotline was of information my mind was still processing and my nerves left me feeling that I needed to call them back. At this time I learned from Judy (ex wife) about KW and Bobbi’s exit out of town, information she learned from her son. .The Klaver’s had a baby on the way with plans to marry and I think this information speed up KW’s plans very quickly, I didn’t feel that anything such as taking Joshua to harm him or kidnaping was the issue to worry about so we didn’t go all missing child with the police. I planned to call the CPS offices directly first thing Monday morning instead of the hotline to talk with a case worker directly but before the 9am hour arrived to make that call I received a call from a CPS worker at Joshua’s school, KW and Bobbi had returned to town and sent Joshua to school like any normal day. The women from CPS told me she found Josh that morning at school with bruises down the side of his body but she did not say if this was something the school also noticed or herself after pulling Joshua from class. Joshua told her his dad kicked him down steps and he fell into trashcans, At the time we did not have our second car working so CPS came to my home and drove me to the school and on the drive over she told me about her contact with Joshua at his school that morning. When we pulled into the school parking lot there was a cluster of Sheriff’s vehicles and many deputies standing around . . I had to walk through them to get into the school office. . My mind was racing – Why were all these cops there, did something more happened then she said in the car? !! It was a walk of panic until I saw Joshua. As I sat with Joshua in the nurses office 2 Deputies came into the room and told me they wanted to speak with Josh in the other room; I started to get up to go with him and one of the deputies put his hand out and told me to stay where I was. I tried to walk around him to follow Joshua’s steps out of the room but he would not allow me to leave the nurses office. I starting thinking maybe the women from CPS wanted to speak with Josh alone with a deputy until she started yelling; things like you can’t question him like that ! I stepped to go around the deputy left to stand guard, I’m serious but once again he would not allow me out of the room, I was held against my will while CPS was demanding that the Sheriff Deputies stop questioning Joshua right now !! I learned real quick that the deputies had taken Joshua outside the school office and with 6-8 deputies standing around he was being asked questions about what happened to him, about his bruises, with his father, his abuser and for all those deputies standing there, their stand the blue line co-worker. Joshua was 6 years old, CPS was extremely angry with the Sheriff Deputies but not angry enough. At this time we were all taken to the Sheriff Department substation in San Martin, CA, along with the women from CPS. While Joshua and I sat in a very small lobby waiting for my husband to arrive with his Father and his brand new wife Bobbi, Josh was sitting there with bruises, he’s nervous and we sat for over a hour while CPS sparred with the Captain of the South Bay Sheriff’s station, The Sheriff’s Department refused to file charges but CPS decided that Josh would come home with me. .
When I arrived to pick Joshua up from school the next day KW and the same Sheriff station Captain were standing out in front of the school; I was early, they were earlier. They had already pulled Josh from class and he was standing up by the office and they caught me by the bus lane. I was told by the same Captain from the South Bay Sheriff station that he went home the night before and thought about it and he decided that the wrong decision was made the day before by CPS and he was going to let Josh go home with his dad today. He felt that this was something we could work out ourselves without any legal action, he said show Joshua that his parents are working together and he is safe to go with his dad. KW’s ex wife and her children had seen KW backhand Josh across the face and knock him off his chair to the floor so very often, how many of those times did his sweet head smack that floor, this was told to the Sheriff Department in Gilroy yet they would not even speak with anyone that would give a statement against one of their own. I called CPS and they refused to take any action on this bold move made by the Sheriff’s Department. This was not abuse that happened many years before, we are talking real time in the moment and the Sheriff Department and CPS refused to protect Joshua, at the sweet age of 6. I realized that day that the cluster of Sheriff patrol cars in the parking lot at the school that day where not there for Joshua, they clustered there on the thin blue line for Joshua’s father just like they will do again the night Joshua died and for many years after.
UPDATE – February 8, 2017 – I learned recently that this was not the first time The Santa Clara County Child Protective Services and Sheriff’s Department had interactions with Joshua, In 2014 Dr Jordan with the Medical Examiners office went in search of all documents she could find on Joshua within the system, court records, police reports, cps, school records, She wanted to gather as much as she could find to place Joshua’s death before the child death review board for the second time since his death in 1989 which she did. I knew how many Sheriff Department reports she had and I thought I knew what each one was about and for a time as the investigation lingered I didn’t feel a need to request nor did I want to read them so they sat with the system until now. I was told that one of the Sheriff Office reports was a child abuse call from Joshua’s school made in June 1984, 9 months before the issues at the school that I have spoken about for years in 1985 and it was the same CPS worker and the Sheriff Office who responded to the call. CPS and the Sheriff’s Office never contacted me about this call in 1984 and when I had contact with this CPS worker and the Sheriff Office in 1985 neither agency said a word to me about their prior interaction with Joshua. I didn’t know as we were sitting there hearing the muffled debate that the Captain of the San Martin, CA Sheriff sub station and the CPS worker had met about Joshua being abused before. I was so wrong, June 1984 was the first time CPS and the Sheriff’s Office refused to protect Joshua.
This is when we stepped into a court system and the very long mediation process as the abuse behaviors continued. The Court appointed mediator, the Courts therapeutic investigator of both the families informed the court that Joshua was being abused and recommended that he be placed with me. Judge Leslie C. Nichols ordered it to happen. Joshua’s father, his abuser filed a complaint and the Judge reversed his order in a blink of the eye and left Joshua to returned to spend so much time with-in his father’s home unprotected and un-investigated by the Sheriff’s Department as the Court then slowly processed Joshua on and off the Courts calendar for over a year and kept the laws of child abuse from touching two Law Enforcement Officer’s . . Joshua now had to deal with the abuse from both his father and his new wife. Bobbi Klaver forced so much soap into Joshua’s mouth to swallow that he vomited bubbles for a very long period of time and had severe diarrhea for days; she would drag him down the hall by his wrist while he was screaming in fear the 1st few times, where Bobbi then tossed him in cold showers if he misbehaved. Joshua spoke to me about being angrily woken in the middle of the night when Bobbi got off shift as a highway patrol officer if he made mistakes on his homework. He told me about a time when his school report was not a good one and KW and Bobbi demanded that he step out of the shower he was taking and made him stand there naked, they did not offer him a towel and would not allow him to cover himself with his hands. . .They made him stand there while they shamed him on his school work. As Joshua told me about this I could see in his face that this was harsher then being hit, kicked, drug down the hall in fear being screamed at. They took something from Joshua that day, his pride. It would not be the last time that happened.
In our court documents the Judge instructs Bobbi to stop all abusive discipline actions against Joshua. . . . Dealing with the Klaver’s was a nightmare – Dealing with the Family Court system and asking them and the Sheriff’s Office to protect Joshua was a nightmare as we moved into the future, but the Santa Clara County Family Court Judges offered Joshua something we were not prepared for . Nothing . .My son was being abused and he was placed on a no rush waiting list for over a year and the wait was so very painful on Joshua leading up to the trial as we were learning about the thin blue line of protection the Klaver’s had. . Believe me it’s harsh being on the wrong side of that blue world even when your holding a child of a abusive law enforcement officer in your arms.
The Klaver’s property had two levels of property fences; the outside one was tall like a schoolyard fence to keep their pit bull dogs who would not think twice to attack on their property and a smaller fence that ran the front of the house to contain the dogs when people are on the property. Joshua came out with KW following him and as I stood a good distance from the gate KW allowed his protection pit bull to come through the gate, it came around KW hugging his leg closely and ran at me making noises you never want to hear from a dog, not to bite my leg; but the dog lunged for my throat! I threw my arm across my throat and as the dog’s teeth were making contact with my skin KW made some kind of command sound and the dog dropped like a rock and just walked away and he put it back behind the gate. KW allowed the dog out and then stood there and watched and waited until it was at my throat before he controlled the animal. As Joshua watched this happened he thought the dog was going to kill me. KW was showing me he was in control and he enjoyed every moment. I buckled Josh up in the back seat of the car and as I backed out of their driveway my hands were shaking so badly, Joshua was crying. KW stood there and watched us with his arms crossed and a smile on his face. I remember this was the day I started being afraid of KW.
Five months into the family court mediation process Joshua fell from his bike jumping the ramp we built; yes we were one of those parents who built semi wobbly wooden bike ramps. A few bruises and a puffy face around his eye and the Klaver’s filed a child abuse complaint against me with CPS and the court mediator. I have recently learned this year ( 2017 ) KW also placed a complaint with a Sheriff Department co-worker- KW lived in San Martin which is covered by the Sheriff’s Department, we lived in Morgan Hill which is covered by City P.D. The Sheriff Department would have told KW he needed to call in the complaint to our city P.D. – that the Sheriff office could not cross into another city’s limits to address his complain. We never received a visit from Morgan Hill P.D. The CPS worker who was at the school months earlier rejected the notion that Joshua was being abused by us, as did the court mediator. The complaint never entered into the courtroom during trial. This would be the 1st of 2 times during our time in court that the Klavers would try to toss a child abuse complaint against us while they scrambled to defend themselves and wreak havoc in our lives. Dealing with Joshua’s father and his wife Bobbi was like being intimidated by the police with every interaction between us. KW wanted us to fear him and we found it impossible not to.
As time slowly slipped by while engaging the family court system, the Klavers had kept Josh out of school for 3-4 days as they had family coming into town for a big reunion. We did not object to their their plans. I went down to pick Joshua up his after his 1st day back at school; he was already in a state of freak-out. He had 4 days of make-up school work from the week before in a folder. The problem was that KW and his wife Bobbi told Josh before he left the house that he had to have all the homework done that day. Have you ever seen a child sit at a table doing homework crying in a state of fear of being punished? Joshua refused to stop but could not get nothing done his panic. He shook as we tried to get him to understand that he did not need to get it all done in 1 day; that the teacher does not expect that to happen. I ended up taking the work away from him. That evening my husband tried to have an adult conversation about the homework with KW and Bobbi, KW grabs my husband by the throat and slams him against the hood of the car with threatening and fearful force while Josh watched. We called the Morgan Hill police, they told us it happened out of their area and we had to call the Sheriff Department; which we did. Details of the evening and of Josh being abused were given to the department again . They wanted to just take it as a complaint over the phone, my husband had to call the Lead night Deputy and demand that the Sheriff Department send someone to take his assault statement and go to the Klaver’s home. The whole thing was treated as a joke by the responding Deputies. No action was taken, they would not take statements about the abuse of Joshua using the coverage of since we were already in the court system they could deal with the issue. The Sherrif’s Department refused once again to investigate a fellow Deputy’s abusive actions …Joshua age 7.
The outcome of our Trial that took place, Judge James Stewart of the Santa Clara County Family Court’s findings of fact were that of abuse child, that Joshua’s father could not be alone with him. All visitation had to be monitored by a court appointed watcher, Soon after the decision the court reversed itself once again. My Attorney was contacted by the courts and was told that I had to start sending Joshua out to his father’s unsupervised; this was done without a court hearing, it was done quietly in a phone call notification to me by my attorney. Once again the System refused to protect Joshua. We asked the court many times to order an independent attorney for Joshua, to be paid for with our funds. His own lawyer could watch over his civil rights, his safety and his rights to justice in a system that was more interested in protecting Joshua’s father, an abusive Deputy Sheriff and his wife, a Highway Patrol Officer. The Klaver’s did not want this and our request was denied multiple times throughout the years of interactions with the Family Court System
After many visits to his father’s Joshua would return upset and at times full blown meltdowns would happen. These meltdowns would also happen on those occasions when he did not want to go to his father’s. One such meltdown came after returning from his father’s, he said something happened but would not give details; he knew by now that what happens in a cops home stays in a cops home; Joshua was being trained to know this by the Klaver’s. When these moments happened he took it out on us, his anger, his pain, his rage, his violence. When Joshua overloaded he became violent and in those moments his strength went off the charts; he could rip the door off the hinges, kick and pound his fist to bust holes in the walls, slam his body against the wall over and over again, he would toss furniture and anything else he could get his hands on. During these high-level moments we had to hold Joshua down, he would scream and cry, he would be trying to kick, hit and bite us. There were times when this happened that I was alone with Joshua with his one year old baby sister at home and through another pregnancy, it was scary for all of us; but mostly for Joshua. When he would start to calm he would be confused and drained and he would cry with sadness and my heart would break for him; for all of us. But this one visit after his melt he broke down and started crying and told us what happened. His dad made him crawl in the gravel and dirt on their property while KW kicked him over and over again, demanding he keep crawling while he kicked him with his work boots. My heart pains at the thought of what was happening to Joshua that he didn’t share with us.
Joshua was refusing to go to his dads after this happened and we were not going to force him. The family court always felt that forced visits were best for Josh; however, the family court and I did not see eye-to-eye when it came to the abuse of my son. I did not call KW to tell him Joshua did not want to see him. I waited for him to come by the house to pick Joshua up for the next scheduled visit, my husband was at work and Joshua was upstairs with his baby sister, I was nervous about confronting KW this way but I needed to see his face when I asked. When he arrived I invited him into our home and asked him to have a seat on the couch and I told him what Joshua had said to us. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe a little nervousness but KW said yeah that happened, like it was nothing. I asked him why would you do that to Josh, he said he got into a tool and didn’t put it away. He was smug and did not care even a bit that we knew this happened. I filed a complaint through our attorney; but as in the past the court declined to help Joshua. It did not surprise me that KW was so full of himself knowing that the courts would just let him slide like many times before. Tragically he was right.
As much as the abuse and fear of his father affected Josh, he loved his father. When KW would make plans with Josh and then not show up; it hurt Josh badly. A tactic KW would use to cause Joshua stress within our home would be to promise Josh long visits that went against the court order knowing I would not allow it. Then tell Josh it was my fault and then not take him for the weekend at all if he couldn’t have what he promised Joshua. Josh would take it out on us. This kind of thing happened often. I felt if the courts were going to force us to send Joshua into that house we were going to stick with the visitation schedule the court set forth. That didn’t make the Klaver’s happy. Personally I don’t think it bothered them because they craved Joshua to be with them it was that need of controlling everything around him so being told what to do by the courts then by me didn’t sit well with KW. Every move the Klavers made after Joshua was placed with us felt like they acted with a purpose and it was non stop. Dennis and I spoke of it often and in the near future our feeling about their actions became very clear.
After all the years of abuse, Joshua’s behavior was screaming for help from before trial when he molested a little boy, then later when he broke another boys arm with a baseball bat, he came after me with a butcher knife. I had to have him hospitalized twice because of his violence. After Joshua’s first hospital stay for his mental health the Klaver’s started making claims of – See !! the courts gave her a chance to help Joshua and she can’t !! The Court had ordered that Joshua receive ongoing therapy. The Klaver’s made this as difficult as possible, disliking the doctors to the point where Joshua followed their lead and started saying this doctor is a waste of money, I’m not going anymore. What 8 year old worries about such things?
Without the support from both homes for his mental healthcare, Joshua’s behavior continued to decline. Because of the Klaver’s complaints about the therapist, the therapist Judge Stewart Highly recommended to us for Joshua after the trial. And a complaint about placing Joshua in the CAPI (Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient) Unit for the help he so badly needed. Judge Stewart met with our lawyers in chambers while we stood in the hall, this Judge did not even want to talk with me about what had been happening to cause Joshua to get to this level in his mental healthcare, he knew all about the abuse but the order that came out of chambers was that I could not place Joshua in the CAPI Unit which was a small unit for young boys Joshua’s age, maybe 10-15 kids, the court ordered that to make decisions for Joshua’s emergency mental health care I had to get permission from the Klaver’s, his abusers or a court order. At this meeting we sent our attorney in with the knowledge of what had been happening since the Judge placed Joshua with us. Making Joshua crawl in the gravel while KW kicked him, information that the Klaver’s refusal to pay their part of Joshua’s mental healthcare because they thought play therapy was stupid and a waste of time, All the issues we brought to the Court went unchecked by this Judge. We also requested to place Joshua in a private school that worked with children who are struggling with life, The school had so much to offer Joshua with on campus therapy but also a sports and a therapeutic arts program, tutors. The school would have cost less the the outside therapy and all the lawyers fee’s being spent yet the Klaver’s objected and our request was denied. Another lost opportunity to help Josh.
Then Judge Stewart who knew so much about the abuse recused himself after making these decisions from any further contact with our case and passed Joshua off to a Judge # 3 if needed in the future. . . Judge Stewart was the second Judge to toss Joshua and his safety off to the side to appease the Klaver’s wishes . He was our Trial Judge who made child abuse decisions from the Bench, I thought he was the man who was going to help us watch over Joshua’s safety after the mess we had been stepping through then he turned his back on Joshua and left us no way to address the Klaver’s behavior with Joshua or us. No way to address KW’s unwillingness to support and help pay for Joshua’s mental healthcare but with more legal action, more court fee’s, more lawyer fee’s, I could not get the Court to protect Joshua without paying more fee’s. I can not be the only one the family courts have done this too. Joshua was put on hold then passed through three Superior Court Family Judges and a Family Court Commissioner before his death by hanging at the age of 10.
When Joshua was released from the CAPI unit after a time we owed his therapist so much money we couldn’t afford to pay him so we had to find someone less costly if we were going to continue having payment problems with KW. Things continued as normal with the Klaver’s and soon Josh’s behavior became a huge concern again. I went against the court order and placed Joshua in the CAPI Unit once again. The Klaver’s came at us in the courts again, claiming SEE.!! She can’t help him. This is when the Klavers entered the second abuse complaint against us. In a letter to the court Bobbi Klaver claimed that Joshua whispered to her during a visit to the CAPI Unit that when he lost control at our home we wrapped him in a blanket and put it over his head so he could not breath. Personally if Joshua had said that to me I would have called Joshua’s doctor into the room to discuss the issue and then a call to the police and CPS; but the Klaver’s didn’t do that. Instead they wrote a letter to the court with nothing else, no police report, no doctor’s note, nothing. We spoke with his doctor after the Klavers tossed this letter at the court and he knew nothing about it.
After years of whipping up the emotions and fear with their behavior, the Klaver’s approached the court as if they were a voice of reason. We just can’t communicate, we try but Kathy won’t try at all. The Klavers had been bullying, abusing and assaulting my family for years and the system didn’t give a care. Now they wanted me to reach across the isle and bond with them because the stress between us and the Klaver’s affected Joshua? I agree that it did and Joshua suffered throughout the court process we found ourselves in. Joshua had been suffering long before we entered the court system because KW’s abuse continued unabated as his wives took to keeping the abuse a secret. It was the abuse that was the cause of Josh’s pain and torment. I know trying to stop it was hard on Joshua but what was I to do, allow it to continue? It became clear by their inaction, that is what the Court condoned.
The Klaver’s also took this same never seen by us voice of reason to their personal family therapist whose office was 40 miles from their home, they used her at trial but not after, then brought her back in again to give Klaver praise to the Court, she was not treating Joshua or the Klaver’s when she made her statement to the court and they continued their voice of reason road trip with the doctor at the Capi Unit who felt the Klavers were learning a new way of parenting by taking a parenting class ( never happened ) and should be given a second chance to help Joshua. The Dr told us we needed to try and trust them and start building a co-parenting supportive relationship with the Klaver’s because he felt strongly Joshua would be just fine out at his dads. The doctor told this to the courts and in a blink Joshua was sent to his dads, After years of abuse the Family Court declares you parents need to start getting along it’s harming Joshua, Instead of helping us address the abuse they waited and watched until he declined so badly then returned him to his abuser and released the years of abuse into the wind. We requested again that Joshua receive his own lawyer to watch over his rights, his care in the mental health system but Joshua did not get that, the request was denied because the Klaver’s did not want it to happen, this family court went above and beyond time after time to protect and accommodate Joshua’s father and his wife, A Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputy and a California Highway Patrol Officer
January 1988- When the court returned Joshua to his fathers it was ordered by the court that Joshua be placed in therapy and from the beginning the experience of getting Joshua help had not changed, it was worse. KW and I were to interview a therapist together. When I arrived at the center that was covered by KW’s work mental health plan that services police officers the parking lot was empty except KW’s truck, the building was run down like other buildings on the property and to be honest it was kinda creepy , My husband came with me and parked across the lot by a grove of trees so the kids could play while I went in. I never met with KW without my husband close by. .I entered into a small lobby with no chairs and a very long hallway with office doors on each side, the lights were dim and there were no other people that I could see. I stood there for a few moments starting to think I went to the wrong place and then a door opened and a women stood there, she asked if I was Kathy and invited me in. I stepped into the room behind her and she stood there looking into the room, I looked to my left and KW was sitting at the end of a long bench and about 6 feet down the bench from him was Joshua, he looked scared, he was sitting with his hands clasped and staring at his lap. He was not suppose to be there and as I stood there with the panic I was feeling from Joshua and my own. I could see KW sitting there with a smirk on his face. I said something to Joshua and he would not fully look at me. It was clear that the Klaver’s had already met with this women and as I stood there in a feeling of being frozen in place she says to me, your son didn’t even get up to greet you when you came in and that concerns me. I could feel Joshua and he didn’t want me to approach him and not because of me but his father sitting there all smug 6 feet away from him. The meeting was short and when we walked out of the building KW says to Joshua, go give your mom a hug and lets go, Joshua wrapped his arms around me and buries his sweet face to my chest shaking and very quietly says I’m so sorry mom while he tried not to cry, I told him don’t worry it’s ok sweetie, KW says loudly get in the truck and he drove off with Joshua. I broke down sobbing and ran across the parking lot to my husband. This therapist was quickly removed from Joshua’s care but the Klavers picked a new one, they met with this man the same way they met with her, without me present.
Months went by and then Joshua wrote in a school diary that he had thoughts about hanging himself in the barn at his fathers, When I found out about the school note I called Joshua’s therapist, he told me that he had already talked with KW and his wife Bobbi at length and They decided that Josh wrote the note because he was just trying to play us parents against each other, He didn’t feel that Joshua needed to be seen, he said I could bring him in if I wanted to but he felt Joshua didn’t need therapy. (Youth Suicide Prevention Act of 1985). KW and Bobbi spent years interfering and damaging the process of getting Joshua help. It was at this time that Joshua started to get very angry with me about therapy, he would scream at me, my dad and Bobbi told me you think there is something wrong with me and they said there isn’t, you think I’m crazy and they said I’m not. The Klavers set this fire with-in Joshua and he went through so much pain to process what was being said to him,
After the conversation with Joshua therapist we knew that the time was approaching quickly to slam down on the court but we felt lost with nowhere to turn, we had no trust in a system that had already failed Joshua over and over again for years, We were broke from the years of lawyer fee’s and doctors for Joshua. In our decision to prepare for the future, Joshua’s mental healthcare and most importantly our time for him was the most important first step, We feared for him for so long but we never gave up hope, We moved to Hollister to be in another County, we started to save money for therapy while still worrying if his past experience with therapy would interfere with his future needs. I gave birth to two beautiful daughters while we stepped through the system so to be able to help Joshua we decided our family was complete and we choose not to have anymore children, I had my tubes tied and my first post-op appointment was the week after his funeral.
Joshua came to us in January of 1989, one year after the courts placed Joshua with his father and he told us he did not want to return to his dad’s, he was a 10 year old boy and he knew he had enough. He was strong in voice saying I’m not going back but he very afraid of his dad. Later that evening after telling KW he showed up with a Hollister PD to do a check on Joshua at our home. I allowed the officer into the house and KW stood outside on the front porch outside a large window looking into our dining room with his service weapon on. I told the officer that I would not release Joshua to KW. He went out to talk with KW and came back in and threw foster care into the room until we worked this out as if it was a threat, I told him bring them over, please call in a cps worker, the officer went back out to talk with KW then came back inside again, it was like watching a tag team plan happening, Then PD said at least let me check on Joshua and we could deal with it in court tomorrow, I got the impression that was what the Klaver’s already had in mind with the P.D.directing that commit at us. Joshua came out of his room and down the hall and the officer asked him to sit at the table, right in front of the window. I walked over and pulled the drapes but Joshua saw his dad standing there with his gun and the Officer knew that and like at the school this Officer was going to question Joshua with his father standing there, The officer starts asking Joshua questions about his past abuse claims and why he doesn’t want to see his dad. I stopped the questioning and told the Hollister P.D. Officer to get out of our home.
The Klaver’s did pull us into court the next day, we entered into a family court with all the Judges at meetings in Southern California and both Lawyers without us by their sides met with a family court commissioner, the decision that came out was that a Judge was going to talk with Joshua in the morning, 1st time in all the years of court interactions. The commissioner then ordered that Joshua would stay with us until 8 o’clock that night and she felt it best that Joshua spend the night with his dad to show him that he is safe there, This commissioner ordered me to go home and explain about the meeting with the judge to Joshua and ordered me to help Joshua feel that it was safe for him to return to his dads for the night, I refused to our attorney and I was told if I did not send Joshua over to the Klaver’s I would be in contempt of a court order, After all the years of abuse and I was the one being threatened with jail action. I was not going to follow these rules placed before us, not again. I was willing to be jailed before I would turn Joshua over to the Klaver’s. We were going to call Hollister , CA San Benito County CPS when Dennis and I arrived home but KW and his wife Bobbi had already come into our home and they took Joshua from my mother, he was scared and did not want to go, The Klaver’s took him and in the time it took Bobbi to drop a hysterical Joshua and KW off at their house, drive a 1/2 mile down the country road to grab their kids at a friends daycare home, grab bunny food and fast food Joshua died while he was alone with his father. KW and Bobbi Klaver knew the kind of things Joshua might share with the Judge but he died, some say that he hung himself but I have no way of making that judgement because the blue wall of silence wrapped around the Klaver’s and so easily just pushed us from their sight and it was done with a coldness that shocked us even after the years of dealing with the family court system. Joshua did not receive anything close to a investigation, we couldn’t get them to return phones calls so my husband went to the Sheriff’s Office and found the Deputy making statements to the press and he was told that the case was closed and they were just waiting on the toxicology results as this deputy – Sgt Egges leaned disrespectfully back in his office chair and told my husband that the Sheriff’s Office was sorry this happened but they had real crimes to solve – Case Closed – This was the same deputy who was giving statements to the press that Joshua’s death was about 2 volatile parents fighting for custody that lead up to his death… no child abuse, no fellow deputy, But he had no problem telling the public that I was a volatile parent.
My mother saw the fear on Joshua’s face as they took him and she lived the rest of her life with that pain in her heart – Joshua’s death by hanging- January 1989
I recently read our last letter to the court from our court records and it makes me sick, begging the courts not to return Joshua to his dad’s, we’ll do anything you ask I pleaded . . The Family Court System Offered us no help after they ignored their own court appointed mediator’s recommendation in 1985 and Joshua suffered from that decision until the day he died in January of 1989
In Nov of 1990 22 months after Joshua’s death the Sheriff Department called me, they told me they were reopening the case, came to my home and filled my head with thoughts of their concern that his father had more to do with Joshua’s death then 1st thought, they asked me if I knew anything about a confrontation that happened in the car between Josh and his father after they took him from my home just before he died ,they would not tell us why they asked..I’m sorry we can’t share that information with you at this time..they asked me if Joshua had bruises on his back and scrapped up knee’s before his father took him from my home, my answer was No he did not have those marks on him. The Deputies described the Klaver home when they arrived after they received the 911 call from KW’s wife, the Homicide deputies told me that in the home there were unopened fast-food bags tossed on the kitchen table, tossed. When they said this I knew that Joshua’s father KW Klaver had been alone with Joshua when he died, KW and his wife Bobbi took Joshua from my home and a hour later he was dead and the Sheriff’s Department refused us a investigation, they didn’t even want to speak with me.
Before reading the next section please take a moment and pull up the Klaver Trilogy link to get background information –
In 2007 I found The Klaver Trilogy on line and I knew the answers to all my questions of what happened with in the Sheriff Department after Joshua died could be found starting there. I contacted Sheriff Laurie Smith, I received no response. I then contacted the Santa Clara County DA’s Office, this is when I found out Joshua’s file was misplaced / gone. I then contacted the Attorney General’s Office, they had me file with the Santa Clara County Grand Jury, wait for a response and re approach the Sheriff Department and Sheriff Laurie Smith and the DA’s Office again before they would even talk with me. They forced me to bang on them for a very long time before the California Attorney Generals Office forced Sheriff Laurie Smith to meet with me. In this meeting Sheriff Smith told me that it was the Child Death Review Board that pushed my son’s death out for review 22 months after his death in November of 1990
The Child Death Review Board pushes a child’s death out for review any time there are any court records of abuse attached to the child, they want to know if the abuse was still happening up to the time of death, they want information on how the responding police agency conducted themselves in gathering information on the death.They want time of death information and the Sheriff Department had nothing to turn over to them. The Dept then sent crime scene employees out to the barn where my son died for the 1st time 22 months after his death and relied on Joshua’s father, his abuser for crime scene information to take photos and measurements then Sheriff Laurie Smith sent Homicide Deputies to my home for information from me and turned over only what they wanted to the review board as information gathered at the time of death.
At this meeting was Sheriff Smith, Under Sheriff John Hirokawa and Joyce Blair from the Attorney Generals Office , Sheriff Smith decided to share private information from KW’s deputy file, work related and private family issues and share she did, Sheriff Smith stepped into my fear zone with purpose by telling me about KW’s violent past at his home after Josh died, this is a Sheriff dept that took many domestic violence calls with at times threats of firearm use against horses on the property with children in the home (Sheriff Smith words) and did nothing, Sheriff Smith knew the man that he was and let year after year of calls come in and they took no action and left his wife unaided. Sheriff.Smith told us the depts plan at the time was waiting on his wife Bobbi to have enough of his shit and leave him so she would turn on him over some Workman comp thing. It was like Sheriff Smith was offering me this information to show me how awful their lives have been all these years since Joshua’s death, all done with a smile on her face, like she was sharing a girl secret with me, something that would make me feel better. Sheriff Smith even made a note to self at this meeting to call the Sheriff’s Department where KW and family had moved to check if any other domestic violence calls had been made from their home, to check on the safety of a fellow officer, a fellow women and her children ?. . No, Sheriff Smith wanted to bust him for a workman’s comp issue about his back. She made it very clear of her dislike for Joshua’s father, Deputy KW Klaver..In 2008 UnderSheriff John Hirokawa told me on the phone that the Department had a whole undercover squad thing going on trying to catch KW roping to bust him for the workman comp issue, I’m under the impression that the Department did not succeed in their quest because KW is collecting a hefty sum of income each month. Lets just say I wasn’t very kind to UnderSheriff John Hirokawa when he told me this.
I believe Sheriff Smith was not only fully aware of what was happening in 1990, she was in charge, do you think some lower level deputy signed off on setting that all up, crime scene techs going to the barn, homicide deputies coming to my home, lying to me all to get enough info to fill out the child death review board report. Dale Sanderson of the DA’s Office calling them, It started up and they had enough information had legal time at this 2 year mark, they could of charge KW with a crime, Joshua wrote in a school diary that he had thoughts about hanging himself in the barn at his fathers, KW took him from my home sent him out into the barn in a extremely heighten state of fear where he had ropes with noose knots used in his butchering business and for other livestock, he would not lock them up, he put a loaded gun in Joshua’s hands and the Sheriff Department and DA’s Office did nothing. We were in the window for child abuse crimes for charges without even asking them a question but the Sheriff’s Department never did that, I’m told the Klaver’s were never questioned. The only thing the Sheriff’s Department did in 1990 was push me away and after the homicide deputy told us that KW was angry with me when they 1st told him about the inguire for information on the night Joshua died, he was thinking it was happening because of something I did. The Homicide Deputy told us that they had to set him straight when they stopped by to see him.
Sheriff Smith was aware as stated in the article written by Police Legal Defense (Klaver Trilogy) When I first found the trilogy on line and read how the subject of what I had at the time thought was a full investigation into Joshua’s death was being worded as I learned that while my heart was still breaking from their visit to my home in 1990 the Sheriff Department and Joshua’s father were making deals in a workman’s comp court concerning his Stress disability claims caused by everything the Department learned in their child death review board quest.
Look at it this way The Klaver Trilogy is like a ping on a cel phone tower, it puts Sheriff Gillingham and ( Under- ) Sheriff Laurie Smith smack in the middle of my Hell, I’m not sure but would the Legal Department for Law Enforcement print something about the Sheriff that was not true and feel comfy with it just to make the article look better as Sheriff Laurie Smith claimed to us at our meeting in 2008 .
I think back to the week after Joshua’s funeral when Bobbi Klaver called. .she wanted to speak with me about going through the list of people who had sent flowers to the funeral home so thank you cards could be sent to the people each family knew. . Instead of reporting what she saw and heard the night Joshua died to the police she wanted to chat with me about funeral flowers and thank you notes. .Soon after I contacted KW about the purchase of the headstone for Joshua’s grave. .He told me that he wanted Joshua cremated so if I wanted a headstone for his grave I would have to buy it myself, thats how he ended the conversation.. Their secrets, the lies, the silence, the systems refusal to help Joshua and no matter how hard we tried they choose time and again to protect KW and Bobbi’s careers in law enforcement and not Joshua and all their choices carried Joshua to his painful death. I will never forget one single moment and I will never recover from the loss of him