Reiko Callner, OKBR Statement to the Wash. ST. Patrol

The Olympia Washington Kiwanis members and their friends have cost the Washington State taxpayers over $50 million dollars (so far), because of their willful ignorance of long term, merciless and well known, child abuse that occurred at the Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch.

October 2006 note: This Olympia Kiwanis stuff is old news. I've left this information on the web, because I like the thought that someone will say to one of these Kiwanis friends or members: "Grandma, (Grandpa), are you still friends with those Olympia Kiwanians?"

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STATEMENT  REIKO CALLNER November 16,1995 95-687
    I am Sergeant Glenn Cramer of the Washington State Patrol, Internal Affairs Section. The date is November 17, 1995. The time is 5:15 p.m. The following notes have been dictated from an interview that Lieutenant Dan Eikum and I conducted on November 17, 1995. We contacted Reiko Callner a prosecutor with city of Olympia, at approximately 10:00 a.m.
    During September 1992, shortly after some orgies had occurred at the OK Boys Ranch, Reiko approached Chief Wurner of Olympia P. D. to ask him if it would be satisfactory for her to contact Detective Nancy Gassett. Reiko wanted to review Gassett's investigation findings as far as determining if a crime had been committed and if so what crime. Gassett had conducted an extensive investigation on physical and sexual abuse at the ranch. She felt the adult staff members had to have known about the physical and sexual activity going on at the ranch.
  Chief Wurner gave Reiko the file and permission to contact Gassett concerning her investigation. Reiko said she went through Gassett's investigation and in her opinion, she thought there were three players who should have been charged--Tom Van Woerden, Collette Queener and Laura Rambo. She described the crime as failure to report either physical or sexual abuse, and she strongly recommended that these three players be charged.
Reiko told Lieutenant Eikum and I that she had a fairly good background concerning the OK Boys Ranch for approximately eighteen months (from 1989 on), she represented CPS, a division of DSHS. Then worked part-time with the Thurston County Prosecutor's Office in their juvenile prosecution. She thinks the boys at the OK Boys Ranch were only there to be warehoused, and they didn't have any therapeutic treatment. She indicated that during her time as a prosecutor with Thurston County Prosecutor's Office, she had an incident with a boy named ------ who was a resident. She felt he was salvageable, therefore she went through an extremely long process to get treatment at an extensive, therapeutic facility on Whidbey Island. She had quite a baffle with Chris Nickels while trying to get ----- into this facility. She said ----- never was admitted for the treatrrient instead was kept at the ranch. She felt it was detrimental for this boy to go back to the ranch, and its bothered her tremendously ever since.
Reiko went back to reviewing Nancy Gassetts report. After she had written a three page memorandum on her findings concerning Gassetts report, she felt Van Woerden, Queener, and Rambo should have been strongly charged. So she went to Chief Wurner of the Olympia P. D. to voice her opinion regarding this. Then some time in September or maybe the first of October, Chief Wurner and Reiko made an appointment to meet with Pat Sutherland, Thurston County Prosecutor, and Gary Tabor, his Chief Criminal Prosecutor to discuss the incidents Nancy Gassett investigated at the OK Boys Ranch. During this meeting Chief Wurner offered Gassett's services to Pat Sutherland in order to further investigate the abuse at the ranch. Also, Reiko Callner received authority from the city of Olympia to volunteer her time in the Thurston County Prosecutor's office if they would prosecute this case. She said Chief Wurner very forcefully asked Sutherland and Tabor to take these two people, Gassett and Callner, in order to pursue the physical and sexual abuse at the ranch. At the meeting Sutherland asked Reiko if prosecuting a criminal case against Van Woerden, Queener, and Rambo was a conflict of interest for him since he was president of the Kiwanis club. She didn't think it would be-she felt something needed to be done.
    The recommendation failure to report by Van Woerden, Queener, and Rambo was a gross misdemeanor. Reiko communicated there was clear evidence of forceful sexual activity as well as injurious sexual activity between boys at the ranch to Sutherland and Tabor. However, Reiko said they were never charged.
Reiko said Sutherland was subject to pressure from politicians. She mentioned that he was also a politician, but she didn't mean it in a flattering sense. She knew of several instances at the Thurston County Prosecutor's office when Sutherland was pressured by politicians in the local area to drop charges on relatives who had been arrested for crimes. He would then ask his deputy prosecutors to do so.
While researching the OK Boys Ranch, based on her dealings with CPS when she represented them as an Assistant Attorney General, conversations with Gassett, and with Chief Wurner, Reiko learned of the zoning variance required when the house was first formed. This was due to the location of the house. Pat Sutherland represented the OK Boys Ranch Board of Directors and had the variance approved. In his argument to approve this variance Sutherland assured the city council the ranch would be a place free of offenders and criminal activity. Reiko went on to tell us that based on personal experience, Pat Sutherland would unethically pressure people. She said she worked with case workers such as Pete Nickels, George Hartwell, Eric Bailey, and Miriam Madison of DSHS during her time representing CPS. She felt their resources were so limited it was pathetic. In her opinion, the case workers Nickels, Hartwell, Bailey, and Madison would overlook problems at the ranch because of their immense case load, not to mention their only other option was to put the boys out on the street.
Reiko felt there was definitely political pressure put on members of the community meaning law enforcement, prosecutors office, and DSHS to keep the ranch open. When asked who put the pressure on, she responded by saying "Sutherland was the one who needed to answer that question." However, that would be impossible since he is deceased. Reiko said Sutherland was a member of the "good ole buddies", and if the truth was made known some of his buddies stood to get hurt. She indicated in her opinion, Van Woerden had complete control of the OK Boys Ranch. She knew of instances when people of DSHS who were good friends with Van Woerden, such as George Hartwell, who would go fishing with him. She thought this to be unethical behavior.
    Reiko concluded by telling us the ranch was not a good place for the kids because it was used as a place to warehouse them. She mentioned an instance pertaining to a boy named -----who had brain damage as the result of his mother throwing him through a glass window when he was younger. ------ was subject to physical abuse, and at one time was involved in an assault with a staff member for defending another boy who was being physically abused. Reiko said she was terribly bothered by what was going on at the ranch. She also felt Sutherland assisted in covering up the truth at the ranch especially when he was approached by Chief Wurner and herself to offer a prosecutor as well as a detective to find out what was happening. The city of Olympia could not prosecute because there were not any city ordinances to cover that type of criminal activity, and it would have taken the Thurston County Prosecurtor's office to have the authority to prosecute Van Woerden, Queener, and Rambo. This concludes the conversation with Reiko Callner.

Until Oct 1999, I believed that the Kiwanians and their friends were guilty of careless neglect or callous indifference. After hearing frightening audio depositions from some of the abused kids, I now believe that these people were involved with an "active collaboration with evil". The OKBR staff was apparently actively involved in long-term molestation and sadistic abuse of these kids. The Kiwanians and their friends could/should have stopped the abuse.

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Below is an e-mail I received from a former Olympia, Washington resident.

To: Louis Bloom
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 1999 11:34 AM
Subject: OKBR
Just came across your pages and felt the urge to respond... In the early 80's (81-83) I was at the OKBR frequently as a young kid walking to/from school, I became friends with some of the boys. At one point a small boy confided to me that he was being raped by another boy in the home. The abusing boy talked about it openly!
Days later I walked the victim to OPD where we both gave statements. Later that evening I began to receive these incredibly threatening phone calls from a woman employee of the ranch who's name I believe was Paulette at my home. She kept calling over and over screaming at me calling me names. It was horrible. I thought I was helping someone. Nothing came of it. Then all these years later, it all comes out ... one of the boys that I had known there left as a young adult and still couldn't get it together, he eventually killed himself. As an adult now I don't often think back to those times but it still saddens me. All those boys that needed a safe nurturing place to be, and how many of them were better off for having been taken there? It's not about money. It cost these boys their lives, their souls, their trust. Those people who knew, who didn't care, they should feel such shame. Just my opinion.

From: louis a bloom
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 1999 7:30 PM
Subject: Re: OKBR
thanks for your e-mail. from what i've read, dshs, the olympia police department, and other "authorities" didn't consider child on child rape to be against the law. it was considered "normal experimentation". The "paulette" you mention, may have been Collette Queener who was an assistant director at the OKBR. Collette, OKBR Director Tom Van Woerdan, and OKBR counselor Laura Rambo Russell were ineptly charged by Wa. St. with "criminal mistreatment for failing to stop abuse". The charges were dismissed by Thurston County Judge Daniel Berschauer on technicalities. The lawyer who represented Collette Queener said, (Nov. 14, 1996 Olympian), that it was a "witch hunt", and that " a more innocent person (than Queener) you could not have for a client. She's an ex-nun ..... I don't see how you could view her in an evil or negative light."
I congratulate you for doing the right thing, when all those adults looked the other way. I repeat on most pages that the " OKBR has cost the Washington State taxpayers over $35 million dollars (so far)", because I think most people don't care about the kids involved, but they may care that it has cost them (taxpayers) money.
louis bloom

There were many obvious and long-term warnings about the 1970-94 child abusing Olympia Kiwanis Boys Ranch.

  • DSHS knew since at least 1977.
  • The OKBR staff certainly knew.
  • The abused kids told staff, schools, counselors, police, caseworkers, therapists, ect.., about their abuse at the OKBR, but nobody investigated.
  • Olympia Police Chief Wurner came to an Olympia Kiwanis meeting in 1986 and told the Kiwanis about the troubles at the OKBR. Chief Wurner was ignored. Maybe he should have done more, but he probably wanted to keep his job.
  • It was well know by the Thurston County courts. These kids were constantly in and out of the Thurston County legal system.
  • The OKBR was written about in the Kiwanis Komments newsletters, and the Kiwanis Board Ranch minutes.
  • All the OKBR Board Members had a legal oversight of the OKBR.
  • Were all Olympia Kiwanis Attorneys & Judges and/or Politicians uninformed?
  • It's amazing how blissfully ignorant some people were about the OKBR. You can read about their guiltlessness in some of their Washington State Patrol and Office of Special Investigation statements.
  • Here's Wa St Patrol Olympia Kiwanis member lists of 1987, 1990, 1994
  • Here is a 49 page index of 5,223 pages of documents that the WSP collected about the OKBR. Anybody can order any of those public documents by following the instructions on that page.
  • The OKBR sent kids for weekend visits to child abusers who donated land to the Kiwanis. The Kiwanians sold the land in 1993 for $125,000.
  • Can the Olympian Newspaper claim ignorance?