AUTHOR OF “PETER BOY” BOOK SERIES ANSWERS QUESTIONS
FROM THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER’S REPORTER ROB PEREZ
REGARDING THE FAMILY’S REACTION TO THE DETAILS EXPOSED
Answers by Author Lillian B. Koller, J.D. to
Emailed Questions from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s
Reporter Rob Perez on April 26, 2017
1. Why did you not attempt to talk to the siblings before publishing your book?
My “Peter Boy” book series is intentionally based exclusively on the official Child Protective Services (CPS) records that I publicly disclosed on the State Department of Human Services (DHS) website from April 2005 until my tenure as DHS Director ended in December 2010. Thus, the information cited in my “Peter Boy” book series was in the public domain for more than five years.
I had no intention of including any additional information about the case because one of the biggest points in this book series is exposing how so many details about what happened to Peter Boy were already known, back then and even earlier, from 1991 to 1999.
And yet, nothing happened for 11 more years after my public disclosure of official CPS records in 2005.
Peter Boy’s parents were not indicted for murder until April 2016, 19 years after his death and 11 years after my public disclosure of official CPS records.
Peter Boy’s parents were allowed to live their lives as free persons for so long. It’s a disgrace.
2. Why didn’t you try to speak with the siblings for the sake of accuracy?
Every non-fiction book is based on the author’s interpretation of the facts.
Having said that, my “Peter Boy” book series is as close as possible to being literally torn from the pages of those official CPS records that I publicly disclosed on the DHS website for more than five years.
Again, I had no intention of including any additional information. I’ve been writing my “Peter Boy” book series in my head and in my heart since I inherited this “cold case” as the new Human Services Director in January 2003. I started writing the book series long before Peter Boy’s parents were surprisingly, and justly, indicted for murder in April 2016.
3. Were you concerned that publishing a book about the abuse these children suffered many years ago would have a negative effect on them now?
No. The information cited in my “Peter Boy” book series had been in the public domain for more than five years.
Peter Boy and his three surviving siblings were victims of extreme and prolonged child abuse. They did nothing wrong. They have nothing to be ashamed of. In my opinion, we exacerbate the wrongs committed against victims by trying to hide those wrongs which, unintentionally, makes victims feel like they have something to hide.
My “Peter Boy” book series is intended to create a positive legacy from Peter Boy’s short and tragic life.
If the lessons exposed by my book series – lessons yet to be learned from Peter Boy’s heartbreaking story – are taken to heart by public officials and people everywhere who care about children, then Peter Boy’s legacy will be a positive one.
If that happens, Peter Boy’s short and tragic life will prevent many other children from needlessly suffering. His legacy could save lives. I hope Peter Boy’s surviving siblings will come to appreciate the positive, systemic changes that could come about, due to the whistleblowing in my “Peter Boy” book series.
4. Where are those proceeds going to?
It has been a personal quest of mine to bring this tragedy to light. I don’t expect to recoup my out-of-pocket costs for the countless hours I spent over the past two years researching, writing and self-publishing my “Peter Boy” book series.
5. How would you respond to criticism that you are attempting to profit from this family’s tragedy?
My first book sells for just $4.99 on Amazon and I only receive a fraction of that amount. And for Kindle subscribers, the book is free. So clearly, I didn’t write the book series to make money. My motivation is to expose serious shortcomings in Hawai’i’s child protective “system” and hopefully prevent other children from suffering parental abuse and neglect. Moreover, many notorious tragedies are chronicled in books. It’s how we teach each generation to do better than the last.
6. What was your main purpose in writing this book?
In my “Peter Boy” book series, I critically expose the disturbing details of the multiple mistakes in Hawai’i’s “system” to protect children. Governmental agencies repeatedly failed to protect little Peter Boy and his three young siblings.
By calling attention to the otherwise unknown or unappreciated errors that occurred in this case from 1991 to 1999, I hope to prevent such mistakes from being made again and again, here in Hawai’i and in the “systems” to protect children, everywhere.
7. Did you have any concerns about violating any confidentiality rules or regulations in publishing this material?
8. On what basis did you determine that this material was public and therefore could be published in a book format?
Please see my response to question #1 above.
9. When do you expect to publish the next book and what will it focus on?
I will publish the second installment of my “Peter Boy” book series in good time, after the public has had an opportunity to fully absorb and learn the lessons from reading the first installment.
The second installment of my “Peter Boy” book series will continue my writing, as part whistleblower and part storyteller, to tell all that needs to be said and fully appreciated about Peter Boy’s tragedy, including a string of human errors and systemic flaws at DHS and elsewhere in Hawai’i’s child protection “system” from 1991 to 1999. I’ll reveal shocking details not previously known or not previously appreciated.
As readers will learn, the consequences of this government failure were devastating, both in terms of harm unforgivably preventable and of justice unjustifiably delayed.
My “Peter Boy” book series is a “must read” for anyone who cares about children and yearns to understand how this tragedy could have even happened.
Answers by Author Lillian B. Koller, J.D., to
Emailed Questions from The Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s
Reporter Rob Perez on April 27, 2017
1. I’m assuming that you decided there was no need to contact the siblings because all the information you were relying on to write the book series was from the CPS records. Is that correct?
With all due respect, Rob, I already answered that question yesterday.
2. If that term [“sexual child abuse”] was included in the CPS records that you posted online, why did you decide to delete it from your books?
I decided to characterize “sexual” more broadly as “physical” child abuse in order to keep the focus on a very bad mistake made by CPS. Namely, Jaylin, Peter Sr., and Peter Sr.’s older brother, Uncle Bolo, as Devalynn called him, actively perpetrated child abuse even on their admittedly “favorite child,” five-year-old Devalynn, which CPS officially confirmed on February 2, 1999.
This child abuse would never have occurred if CPS had not, inexplicably, waited for about a year after Peter Boy disappeared before, finally, removing Peter Boy’s three surviving young siblings from Jaylin and Peter Sr., on April 22, 1998.
Devalynn told her therapist, on December 16, 1998, about what Jaylin, Peter Sr., and Uncle Bolo did to her while she was still living, before April 22, 1998, with Jaylin and Peter Sr. in their Kaumana home, where Peter Boy never lived because he was murdered by Jaylin and Peter Sr. during the previous year.
Thus, the child abuse of Devalynn was unforgivably preventable harm.
It is also important to keep the focus on this very bad mistake made by CPS because it proves that Jaylin was an active perpetrator of child abuse, not just child neglect. She was not just a victim of Peter Sr.’s domestic violence, as she has been sympathetically characterized in many media accounts.
Author Lillian B. Koller, J.D.’s Comments
to Reporter Rob Perez Responding to His
Emailed Questions on April 26 and 27, 2017
Hello again, Rob.
Attached are my answers to your two follow-up questions emailed to me today.
I hope this will be the last from you on this topic because your questions are sounding, more and more, like "When did you stop beating your wife?"
I am sure you can find people with opinions that differ from mine, and even find people who are willing to impugn me and my character, people whom you have told me that you intend quote in your article."
However, nobody can dispute that the official CPS records, upon which my "Peter Boy" book series is based, were publicly disclosed for more than five years, from April 2005 to December 2010. Those CPS records publicly disclosed the details of Peter Boy's short and tragic life, as well as the suffering of his three young siblings.
Most importantly, those CPS records publicly disclosed the repeated mistakes made by Hawai'i's "system" of child protection. In my humble opinion, something should have been done, much sooner than now, based on those CPS records, both before and after my public disclosure.
My hope is that my "Peter Boy" book series will put the public's attention back on the important details in those CPS records. My intention is to motivate the public to insist that "systems" of child protection, in Hawai'i and elsewhere, make the necessary reforms to save children, everywhere, from suffering the same fake as Peter Boy and his three young siblings.
Last Remark to Reporter Rob Perez by
Author Lillian B. Koller, J.D., on April 28, 2017
Sorry, Rob, I missed your email last night.
I am surprised that you, as a reporter, are expressing your personal opinion about what I did or did not do instead of being objective. You do realize, don’t you, that the details revealed in my books are the same details that Peter Boy’s adult siblings are going to use in their civil lawsuit to get big bucks from DHS.
And, the Big Island Press Club even recognized the importance of what I was doing by giving me the “Torch of Light” award in 2005 for my public disclosure of these same details in the official CPS records.
There are real bad persons out there for your influential newspaper to focus on exposing – like the truth about Jaylin’s active perpetration of child abuse, Peter Sr.’s sadistic cruelty, and those many people in Hawai’i’s child protection system with good intentions who repeatedly made horrible mistakes resulting in devastating consequences to Peter Boy and his three young siblings.
All of our angst and anger should be focused there. You are ignoring the elephant in the room!
I am doing exactly what newspapers and other news outlets do every day – exposing the truth in hopes of preventing future failures that could result in the suffering and murder of innocents.
Still, if you insist on criticizing the bears of bad news, my following statement is succinct, as reports like statements to be. Please feel free to add it to my previous answers to your questions implicitly accusing me of being a bad person for not contacting Peter Boy’s adult siblings:
My “Peter Boy” book series is focused strictly on the CPS records because I want to reveal systemic flaws that must be corrected to prevent future tragedies. That’s my sole purpose in writing these books as a whistleblower. Interviewing the surviving adult siblings and other key figures was beyond the scope of my writing.
Letter to Editor of The Honolulu Star-Advertiser,
Editor Frank Bridgewater, on April 28, 2017,
from “Peter Boy” Book Series Author
Lillian B. Koller, J.D., regarding
Reporter Rob Perez’s Pejorative Questions
Hello Editor Frank Bridgewater:
You probably know all about this, but I wanted you to see my last email this morning to Rob Perez about the article that he is writing about the negative reaction of Peter Boy’s surviving adult siblings to my “Peter Boy” book series (the first of four installments is available now on Amazon).
Among other things, unlike an objective reporter, Rob admits his bias: “I am quite surprised that you are okay with writing about siblings who were abused as young children – even if that information was in the public domain for more than five years until 2010 – without making any effort to talk to them now that they are adults.” He also informs me that he intends to quote people who claim that I am “cruel and unethical” because I did not contact the adult siblings before publishing my book.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions. But, am I really the story?
If you would like me to forward to you the string of Rob’s pejorative questions and my answers, starting earlier this week on April 26th, I’d be happy to do so.
I look forward to the article that Leila Fujimori is working on which, I trust, will not ignore the elephant in the room.
Lillian B. Koller, J.D.