Friday, March 11, 2011

Child Killer Coming to a Neighborhood Near You

He sat on his front porch steps in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, on a sunny day in May 1975 when he spotted 5-year-old Jason Foreman (pictured, left) walking in front of his house. Bored, then-16-year-old Michael Woodmansee thought to himself, “I wonder what it would be like to kill someone?” Without blinking an eye, Woodmansee called out to the young boy, brought him inside his home, and proceeded to stab him in the chest. Seven years later ,he tried to murder a 14-year-old boy. Now, 35 years later, Woodmansee is about to be released.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Don’t even think the word “rehabilitated,” because I can assure you it will not apply in this case. Unfortunately, it will take the murder of another child to wise up the criminal justice system. Believe me, it will happen. All Woodmansee (pictured, right) knows is prison, and he clearly isn’t wired right. The details of the horrific murder Woodmansee committed are nauseating. Only after his arrest did police discover Jason’s remains and learn how he had met his fate. Jason’s bones were sitting on Woodmansee’s dresser. He had written journals throughout the years giving investigators a front-row seat to his crimes.

Many say Woodmansee actually consumed Jason’s remains, but that hasn’t been proven, as the journals are still sealed. Regardless, the vicious disregard for human life and consequence shown by Woodmansee is truly frightening. Let’s not forget, it was impossible to prove whether or not Jason was sexually assaulted. The fact that Woodmansee targeted another male in his second attack tells me there is a strong possibility his crimes were sexually motivated. But, Woodmansee will never admit to that.

Woodmansee was sentenced in 1982 to 40 years in prison. To date, he has only served 28 years, but Rhode Island law states that the sentences of inmates can be shortened by good behavior and prison jobs. The prosecuting attorney in the case, Susan McGuirl—now a Superior Court judge—told the Providence Journal that Woodmansee’s early release was “shocking,” and added, “He should of gotten a life sentence, but, stupidly, I allowed a plea bargain to go so I wouldn’t have to put up with the agony of hearing all the evidence at the time.” (Raise eyebrow and shout a big WTH here.)

I truly hope Judge McGuirl will be prepared to stomach the details of any future murders committed by Woodmansee, because, frankly, she didn’t do her job and did a great disservice to the community, the victim’s family, and parents everywhere. It was her job to know that early release would be a possibility and explain it to the victim’s family at the time. It is highly doubtful they would have agreed to this had they known. The community in South Kingstown is outraged, and they are protesting, with good reason. I submit that not only should they protest this monster’s release, but they should demand Judge McGuirl’s disbarment.

For those of you who believe in rehabilitation, I’ll refer you to the case of Joel Yockey (pictured, left) who was sentenced to 25 years for kidnapping and raping a young girl. The parole board deemed him rehabilitated and let him out after only serving seven years. Within two weeks of his release, he kidnapped Kristen Jackson, 14, raped her and dismembered her body. Some of her remains have never been found. 

There’s your rehabilitation.

Woodmansee himself might take pause before his release. Just recently, when speaking to ABC news radio, Jason Foreman’s father, John, stated emphatically, “I do intend, if this man is released anywhere in my vicinity or if I can find him after the fact, I do intend to kill this man.”

Can you blame him? Some legal analysts say John Foreman can’t be prosecuted for making the threat for a myriad of reasons. Most importantly, they said there isn’t a jury on the planet that would convict him.

Bottom line: The criminal justice system failed miserably in this case. I can only hope that the Rhode Island criminal justice system will redeem itself before this animal is released in August.


Dr. Gina Simmons said...

Another good post Stacy, reminding us that stiffer penalties do help prevent crimes.

A Voice of Sanity said...

"... before this animal is released in August."

He isn't an animal. Animals don't do this. No animal ever flew 1200 miles to put a bomb under his ex-wife's car. No animal ever slowly fed poison to her in laws for the insurance. Call them what they are - defective human beings. Don't blame the animals. They're not involved.

I spent time on Kodiak Island in outlying areas. With nothing to do it was suggested I walk around in the forest for a while. I asked about the Kodiak bears (huge animals with claws that would make your blood run cold). I was told to make some noise as I walked and the bears would keep away from me. If only the muggers would show such courtesy in America's major cities. No, these people aren't animals.

marybowman said...

Stacy, you are right on the money. There is no way that this guy, or others like him, will ever be rehabilitated. He should have either gotten LWOP, or the death sentence. And SHAME on that judge for making a plea deal because he didn't want to hear the horrible details.

STOP the Early Release of Rhode Island Cannibal (facebook page) said...

Please "like" the facebook page "STOP THE EARLY RELEASE OF RHODE ISLAND CANNIBAL".

We are dedicated to concrete and LEGAL action we can take to prevent this travesty and to begin to fix our incomprehensibly-broken "legal" system.

Thank you for this article- the best I have seen re: "Judge" McGuirl. I have been calling for her ousting for weeks and would be pleased to consult with anyone who would like to work toward that goal.

Remember- this "person" could soon be living in ANYone's backyard. We need activists nationwide to stand up for JUSTICE. Please "like" the page "STOP the early release of Rhode Island Cannibal" & join us in our fight!

Anonymous said...


I was just wondering where you found that quote by Judge Mcguirl [“He should of gotten a life sentence, but, stupidly, I allowed a plea bargain to go so I wouldn’t have to put up with the agony of hearing all the evidence at the time.” ] Do you recall what the name of the article was from the Providence Journal, or the date that the article was published? I'd really like to read the article.
Thanks so much!

Fitzy said...


The quote that you attributed to Judge McGuirl in your article above is actually a statement that was made by John Foreman, the father of the child that was murdered. Mr. Foreman made this statement on a WPRO talk show, and the link that you provided within your article above (by clicking the words 'early release' in the 4th full paragraph) leads to an ABC News Article which states:

"Foreman told WPRO, 'He should have gotten a life sentence, but stupidly I allowed a plea bargain to go so I wouldn't have to put up with the agony of hearing all the evidence at the time."

However, the Providence Journal did quote Judge McGuirl as having said that the news of
Woodmansee's upcoming release is "shocking," and that she "did not anticipate due to the condition of the defendant that he would be able to earn the maximum good-time credit." She also told the Providence Journal that the plea bargain was made in order to spare the families from having to hear all of the gruesome details of the crime.

It would be a pretty serious situation if a prosecutor offered a plea deal to a defendant because the prosecutor, herself, did not want to go through the agony of hearing all the evidence - and in fairness I wanted to point out the error.