Gerald Friend had been previously convicted of abducting, torturing and raping a 12 year old girl in 1960, but had been paroled after 20 years of a 75 year sentence – despite having made two attempts to escape during his sentence. On June 5, 1987, he abducted another girl, whom he held overnight, again raping and torturing her. She escaped the following day, and Friend was arrested the day after that.
He was again convicted, and sentenced to a second 75 year sentence in addition to serving the remaining 55 years of his original sentence. In 1988, his victim sued the Washington State Department of Corrections for prematurely releasing him. Her name was never released publicly due to her age at the time; however, it definitely wasn’t Polly.
While it had been rumoured in certain circles for years that child prostitution was alive in well in South East Asia, it was an article titled “Children in Darkness”, published in The Christian Science Monitor‘s June 30, 1987 edition that first began to bring it to the attention of mainstream article. Sara Terry, the journalist who produced the piece (along with with fellow reporter Kristin Helmore and photographer Melanie Stetson Freeman), wrote a series of painstakingly researched articles on the subject across the late Eighties.
But for all the outrage it generated, and the efforts of well-meaning activists and missionaries, child prostitution still thrives in Bangkok and other cities throughout the Third World, catering mostly to the jaded and perverted tastes of Western tourists. Because ending this atrocity just isn’t as important as winning the next election.
Some relationships have an expiry date from the very start – the marriage of Sean Penn and Madonna was one of these. Both were infamously volatile and egotistical, and the failure of the film they made together, “Shanghai Surprise”, didn’t help. By the start of 1987, it was pretty obvious that the couple wouldn’t be celebrating Christmas together that year.
The two weren’t speaking for a while – and it appears that Penn may have be trying to delay the inevitable. Even so, Madonna choosing the occasion of their family Thanksgiving to serve Penn with divorce papers was some cold shit.