Monday, March 16, 2009

Who is Rozita Swinton?

A little over a week ago, a trial date was set for Rozita Swinton in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The charge against Swinton is only part of the story:

During a hearing in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday, a judge scheduled a May 19 jury trial for Rozita Swinton on a misdemeanor charge of making a false report. She is accused of calling authorities in February 2008, pretending to be a 13-year-old girl drugged, chained in a basement and being sexually abused.

But that's not the case that interests everyone. Here's what happened a couple of months later in 2008:

March 22: A caller to a Washington battered women's shelter gives her name as "Sarah Jessop" and describes physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband, Dale Barlow, who she says lives in an Everett, Wash., apartment complex. She calls 27 more times in the next three weeks.

March 29-30: A caller to the NewBridge Family Shelter crisis hot line in San Angelo [Texas] also giving her name as "Sarah Jessop" describes abuse and underage marriage at the YFZ Ranch in Schleicher County and says she is married to Barlow, who she says lived at the ranch.

This then launched the raids at the YFZ Ranch, but "Sarah Jessop" could not be found. However, the calls continued:

April 10: "Sarah" calls again to the Washington shelter, this time detailing her allegations on a three-way call with a Schleicher County deputy sheriff. She also says her "sister wives" are instructing her to lie about her identity to caseworkers interviewing the women and children removed from the ranch. Each time the deputy asks how he can identify her, she hangs up.

April 12: Texas Rangers meet with [Dale] Barlow in [Colorado City,] Arizona but do not act on the arrest warrant filed against him.

April 13: A request to the FBI for phone records of the number used on the three-way call is returned, showing the number registered to someone in the household of Rozita Swinton, who has been accused of making numerous false reports to police and women's shelters. The records show she called NewBridge 16 times between March 22 and April 12. A second number also traced to Swinton called NewBridge seven more times.

April 16: Swinton is arrested at her Colorado Springs home on a charge of making a false report to authorities in an unrelated case. Texas Rangers accompany authorities on the arrest and seize evidence from her home, calling her a "person of interest." She has not been charged with any crime related to the FLDS raid.

So who is she? Someone who suffers from a multiple personality disorder? Someone with a grudge? Digital Journal mused on this:

The psychotics and sociopaths among us rarely stand out as unusual characters. Most are actually quite socially affable and hide their mental illnesses well. For the most part. Until you hear the sensational news stories and the interviews of shell-shocked friends, co-workers, relatives and neighbors saying in disbelief, "he/she was the nicest, quietest, most sane person you'd ever want to meet.'...

The Dallas Observer blog 'Unfair Park' raised the following question on April 18th:

'How does a mentally disturbed Colorado woman become aware of a secretive polygamist sect hundreds of miles away in Texas? More importantly, how does she get the phone number of Flora Jessop?'

You could also ask, how did she obtain very hard-to-get stacks of FLDS materials, names and phone numbers, which Flora Jessop stated the Texas Rangers found during their search?

That blogger, Jesse Hyde, obviously never had to deal with an obsessed person. Every woman who's ever had to deal with a persistent stalker, or psychotic ex-husband or boyfriend, knows exactly how resourceful an obsessed psychotic can be....

Somehow she got the information, but Rozita Swinton's obsessions went far beyond the hoax 'Sarah' calls to the YFZ ranch, which continued long after the April 3 raid. Flora Jessop stated that 'Sarah' had called her AFTER she posted bail for last week's arrest, and finally admitted that her name was 'Rose.'

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