Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Backstory on Jon Hans

Based on the rough transcript posted by "Sprocket" of testimony in the Brown retrial, a new witness that did not appear in the first trial was introduced, an old friend of Brown's, Jon Hans. I'm still not clear of the real probative value of using Hans in this trial, especially when the cross-examination opened a can of worms regarding the case information available on the internet. For whatever reason, Hum chose not to go down that path, although it could have been pretty damaging to Patty Brown.

Allow me to present the backstory on Jon Hans.

Back in the summer of 2006, before the first trial began, Country Girl and I had been following some of the conversation about the case on Usenet that was taking place between Ted Kaldis and members of various newsgroups, as I chronicled in this blog in a series entitled "Once Upon A Newsgroup". At the time, I was writing about the case on another blog, the same blog on which I documented the Peterson case back in 2002-2004. Country Girl had obtained the transcripts of the Grand Jury that I noted on my site were available to anyone who was interested in reading them. Needless to say, I received dozens of requests for this transcript and I don't recall turning down any requests. This was a public document, but we did not post the transcript anywhere on the Internet, and I don't think anyone else posted anything but excerpts.

Jon Hans was one of the many people who requested a copy of the Grand Jury transcript. He also informed me via email that he was one of the people who wrote a letter of support for Cam Brown and it was published on Ted Kaldis's site "Free Cam Brown". (

Hans and I exchanged emails regarding Ted's refusal to remove his support letter from the Free Cam Brown site, and he asked me about some things he was reading online. I responded with answers to his questions and he described some things he felt about his history with Cam that he now has testified to at the new trial.

According to Hans, after reading the Grand Jury transcript and contemplating some of the conversations he had with the defendant over the years, he had a change of heart and decided that Brown could be guilty of murder. The fact that this case was discussed for several years online, in newsgroups and on several blogs, was common knowledge. That the defense would expect, after 8 years now, that nobody would discuss this case online or have any opinions about it is ridiculous. However, this case didn't draw anywhere near the attention that the Peterson case drew, and it's very likely that most of the potential jury pool had never heard of Brown or this case and could be objective. It's not as if Hans was a potential juror.

I suppose Hum brought Hans on to show that even a very close friend, someone who originally supported Brown unconditionally, could change his mind about Brown's potential guilt after reading a PUBLIC DOCUMENT (the Grand Jury transcript) that we had no part in creating. I seriously doubt I or anyone here had any influence on Hans's opinion about Brown. Yes, I have written disparaging things about the defendant and that is my humble opinion, nothing more. I expect people to draw their own conclusions about this case based on the evidence presented and common sense.

What I find more interesting about Hans's testimony is his impression of Patty Brown. Hans believes that Patty was the instigator of this tragedy and that if Brown had never met and married Patty, that Lauren would be alive today.

Hans reiterated a conversation he had with Patty and Cam where she claimed that the couple were going to gain full custody of Lauren because of alleged abuse Lauren suffered at the hands of Sarah. This was, of course, complete nonsense, and I have written extensively about how impossible this scenario was in the real world. In brief, there was no way the court would remove a child at the tender age of four from her custodial parent and turn her over to her biological father and his new wife over specious allegations (later disproved) of abuse. It was also unrealistic for Cam and Patty to seek even joint custody at this stage, considering the relatively short time Cam had spent with Lauren, and the fact that they'd have to move closer to Sarah to ensure that Lauren's transition would be as seamless as possible. Hans also mentions that the couple were planning to move to Utah, a fact that also belies the "full custody" plans. There is no way a court would let Cam move Lauren out of state.

Perhaps Hans read that opinion at Usenet or on my blog or in this blog, but this was information readily available with a simple Google search. It's not as if we were publishing state secrets, folks.

Once again, Pat Harris demonstrates his wildly incoherent cross-examination techniques as he attempts to impeach anyone who changes his or her mind, anyone who forgets what they wrote or said 8 years ago (and if I hadn't saved the documents and emails from then, I'd be hard pressed to remember much of what happened!), and anyone who might have been influenced by what they read on the Internet. If Harris wants to go down that road, he should bear in mind that his client's wife and brother-in-law have been waging a campaign online to defame Hum, Leslie, virtually everyone involved in the prosecution of Brown, and of course - me.

Caveat Surfer: I warn Harris and the Brown supporters - if you live by the Google, you die by the Google, and I should know!


Ronni said...

So Harris is trying to say that Hans changed his mind about Cameron because of anti-Cam discussions he read on the 'net. Is he trying to put the internet or free speech on trial in order to deflect attention from his guilty client?

loretta said...

Looks like it. Pretty stupid.

Jobeth66 said...

Ronni, I *think* what Harris is trying to do is impeach Hans' testimony by saying his personal impressions of Cam as a 'great guy' who was one of his 'closest friends' were influenced by negativity on the 'net, and that therefore this makes his negative recollections of anything Cameron may have said or done (or not said or not done) suspect. IE - Hans, instead of being objective, is now going out of his way to find the negative connotations to things because he's been influenced by (for want of a better nominative) "us".

I don't think Harris made that point, based on Sprocket's last entry. In fact, I think Harris is probably distancing the jury further from his client by his tactics.

The 'planning' question was a bad one. That's REALLY got potential to come back and bite him in the butt. If Hum can grab on to that and show that Cam was not the kind of person to do things spontaneously, then the allegation that he 'spontaneously' after picking her up decided to take Lauren to IP instead of home is going to lose a lot of traction.
It could be mitigated if others say Cam WAS a spontaneous kind of guy, but I'm not sure that testimony exists.

Ronni said...

Yes. the word, "plan" set off all sorts of bells when I read it. In fact, I would think that Harris would have seen the word in red neon, just behind his eyeballs, and thought, "Oh, hell...why did I let that come out of my mouth." It's really *amazing* how a slip of the tongue can change things. I can almost picture Hum mentally grabbing that...

Jobeth66 said...

And after reading Hans' testimony, I was compelled to go back and re-read the letter (posted on Ted's website). that led me to poking around the archives again, and revisiting the pics of IP just made me shudder. No matter what, there's no reason any responsible adult takes a child up there.

Ken said...

You guys are probably more right than you know.

Patty is now the ultimate villain in this case, as I suggested on 8/10. Whereas a single Cam Brown would have let Lauren go in a heartbeat, childless Patty would have none of it. This predicament is even worse if Cam married Patty for love; when you're in that state (been there for 30 years), your spouse's wishes tend to come before your own. Cam had only one way out ... but for poor little Lauren, it was only a long way down.

And Cam is a "planner."

How in the hell do you fight that?

If you put Patty on the stand, Hum asks about the voodoo kit and the searches. If she looks like Norbert's wife (which can reasonably be inferred at this point), and she continues to behave churlishly in the courtroom, it is not going to help.

Harris' only hope is to try to discredit John Hans, and the only way to do that is to reach out into cyberspace.

ken said...

You want to make it worse? Craig Hum has to visit the site this week out of self-defense. Our noticing it means he will pick up on it, even if he missed it.

Ronni said...

Worse for whom? Cameron Brown?

Bring it.

loretta said...

The relevant exerpt from my previous entry regarding the custody issue (to save others the time in searching for it):

Based on the law, the Browns would have had to design a shared parenting agreement that mapped out all the arrangements for where Lauren lived and how she got to school. I knew that the Browns would have had to move near Sarah in order for this to be considered by the court. When none of those things ever occurred, I knew that either Ted was lying [on Usenet] or that Patty and Cam were lying. The custody issue had never seen the light of a courtroom, and would not ever, despite Patty’s research or the Brown’s spurious allegations that Sarah was physically abusing Lauren.

It was outrageous that Patty would consider taking that child (“full custody”) from her mother just to spite her husband’s ex-lover or to further entrench herself in her newlywed bliss. Later, the prosecution would posit that this was a way for Patty to have her cake and eat it too. Perhaps her experiments with voodoo or witchcraft were designed to harm Sarah, never imagining that Cam would ultimately kill Lauren. One could argue that Patty Brown indirectly caused Lauren’s murder, and the guilt of that has caused her to make reckless decisions and expose herself to unnecessary scrutiny.

The Acquaintance said...

So now there are three potential motives:

1. vindictiveness toward Sarah, supported by past acts and the Jane Doe incident (IMO the strongest argument);

2. past-due child support burden, supported by pattern of resistance to making payments and workers comp claim (clearly a focus of prosecution); and

3. eliminating the minimal risk of expanded parental responsibilities.

The multiple motives, the pattern of risky behavior, the lack of a comprehensible explanation for the November 8 hike, Cam's planfulness and the reactions after Lauren's death add up to a strong case for the prosecution - and there's more out there. Unless the defense has something huge up its sleeve or the prosecution botches something horribly, I'd be quite surprised at any verdict less than second-degree murder.

CountryGirl said...

Harris is insisting Jon read about Cam's child on the internet. I have to wonder if he is confusing Sarah's testimony of when Cameron mentioned he could be playing with a child that was discussed here.

(Sarah)"He mentioned that some ten years ago an old girlfriend had been pregnant, and she had the pregnancy terminated. And that he could have been kicking a ball around with a child, a ten-year-old by now."

loretta said...

Excerpt of Jon's comment on this blog in August 2006 (emphasis mine):

I have tried to get my letter taken off of Ted's website for a long time now, but he refuses to remove it. Who knows how many other letter writers have had the same experience with Ted. If Ted would have removed my letter, I would have just watched this whole thing play out (with, hopefully Lauren's family getting some type of justice. My feeling is that once the jury goes up to that bluff, they will have to convict Cameron Brown for murder). That is in a large part why I am writing this letter, it is because of Ted. It also seems that any of the current letters of support come from "anonymous" is this also Ted?

This is Ted's response to my last attempt (fourth) to get my letter taken off... (from just last week)

"Your letter is NOT coming off right now. You have been duped. If you have been reading news accounts, you have NOT gotten the spirit of what has been presented in the courtroom. This case will soon be over, culminating with, hopefully, the acquittal of Cameron Brown. Once that happens, the website will be taken down. You believe WRONGLY what you believe about Cameron Brown. It seems to me that you are a very weak-minded individual who is easily deceived and manipulated. Lauren was NOT "murdered". Lauren died as the result of a VERY tragic accident."

That's it, just wanted my side of the story out there, and now I will just watch our justice system in action along with everybody else. Peace, Jon


And Kaldis and his sister still think they have been helpful?

ken said...

If there is a conviction here -- I am not yet persuaded that there will be, as "beyond a reasonable doubt" is a daunting standard -- it will, in all likelihood, be largely on the strength of Jon Hans' testimony.

If Ted hadn't been such a raging asshole, he never would have come forward. Talk about divine justice.

loretta said...

Evil is as evil does. But, I doubt Ted Kaldis will be all that affected by Brown's conviction. He will be a little bored and restless for awhile, since there won't be anything for him to focus his psychopathic rage on right away, but he'll find some other lost cause to promote and other people to harass, stalk, defame, obsess over, etc.

Now, Patty is a different story. This case gave her hateful, spiteful ugly life a raison d'ĂȘtre. Hers is the more pathetic, bleak future. This case - the focus on freeing Brown and raging at all the unfairness she perceived in the world, that she was dealt a bad hand, that she was never a mother, lost her chance at wealth, married a stupid, soulless man...

She is reaping the karma, here. Ted is just a hypocrite and bitter fool. He'll never suffer because deep down he really doesn't care about Cam Brown at all. He probably cares more that Ken is involved cares about this case and thinks Brown is guilty than he is in the result.

So, maybe we should start blaming KEN for Jon's testmony! HA! Let's see if Pat Harris calls, now.

CountryGirl said...

Wow, it's crickets ===>>

Maybe the "one-armed George on his horse" rode in by and stole their tongues.

You can't make this stuff up.

Compuelf said...

Let me start by saying, great article, Loretta. I recall Ted trying to make it appear as if you had been lying about one of the people wanting their letter removed. He never came right out and said it, of course, but that was the impression everyone reading was supposed to take away from the exchange.

Loretta wrote:

Evil is as evil does. But, I doubt Ted Kaldis will be all that affected by Brown's conviction. He will be a little bored and restless for awhile, since there won't be anything for him to focus his psychopathic rage on right away, but he'll find some other lost cause to promote and other people to harass, stalk, defame, obsess over, etc.

So long as Ken Smith is around, Ted will have a focal point for his OCD.
I agree that a conviction or acquittal will mean nothing to Ted. He couldn't care one way or the other.

She is reaping the karma, here. Ted is just a hypocrite and bitter fool. He'll never suffer because deep down he really doesn't care about Cam Brown at all. He probably cares more that Ken is involved cares about this case and thinks Brown is guilty than he is in the result.

I think Patty's voodoo kit hobby is coming back to haunt her. Ted was very forthcoming in that he stated his only interest was protecting his sister. It's the only positive trait I've seen from the man in roughly six years of knowing him.

Compuelf said...

CG wrote:

Wow, it's crickets ===>>

I can't know, of course, but I suspect Harris told them not to comment about the case on or off line. At the last trial they couldn't shut up. To think Hum wasn't aware of the blog and checking it would be foolish. Their constant yapping about the defense strategy made Hum's job all the easier.

I can't envision anyone in the Kaldis Klan coming to the conclusion that silence is best, so it's more likely that Harris said, "SHUT UP!"

Ken said...

I would caution everyone that this case isn't over yet, and that the threshold needed to gain acquittal is a low one. But that having been said, things are beginning to look bleak for the defense.

The PYSIH poll establishes the problem the defense faces:

So, Is Cameron Brown An Evil, Greedy Prick Who Deserves To Burn In Hell Forever?

Oh yeah, big time. (99.0%, 169 Votes)
No, it was a terrible accident. (1.0%, 1 Votes)

Of course, the "no" vote came from someone associated with Team Cam, as I posted a link on their blog.

Some high-risk tactical decisions are now on Harris' plate. Patty is now our primary villain, thanx to Jon Hans. Team Cam claims the motorcycle incident didn't happen as it was related by independent witnesses, but the only witnesses who can rebut it are Cam and Patty themselves.

And what do they do about Hans? It's ironically biblical: "Wounds from a friend are to be trusted."

Does he put either or both on the stand? Without their coming to bat, virtually all of the really bad circumstantial evidence goes unrefuted. Putting Mom on the stand to say that he's always been an irresponsible kid who doesn't have parenting skills isn't going to cut it.

While this trial is far from over, Hum has had a better innings than expected so far. That Harris has had several melt-downs gives us a fair indication that he knows it, and is at a loss as to how to combat it.

Ken said...


CI: As for the rest of it, I will not comment.

I've never really been sanguine about this lukewarm and amateurish strategy. If you don't come forward and bare all, you might as well not even be in the arena.

You say that Sprocket has missed some key things, and that if we knew what they were, we'd be less inclined to adjudge Cam guilty. (As I am making it a point to withhold judgment, leaving that to the sound discretion of the jury, I'll consider myself an exception to this.) Problem is, we have a series of disturbing meltdowns by Pat Harris which offer us an insight into how HE thinks the case is going, and Ted lied to us again about the force of Jane Doe's testimony (it obviously hit like a ton of bricks). And on the testimony we know about, all we hear is crickets?

Jobeth is right: Too many things "just don't add up" on Cam's side of the equation. Too many implausible things have to happen to even get Lauren anywhere near Inspiration Point. And the testimony that Cam is "a planner" -- coming from Harris himself! -- may prove to be his epitaph.

Jobeth: And where's Ted? He hasn't explained to us yet how Jon Hans' & Jane Doe's testimony "fizzled". I'm honestly interested in his take on that.

I'm equally interested, but more for entertainment purposes than anything else. You have to understand that Ted is a legend in his own mind, and isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. When he gets cornered, his attempts to extricate himself tend to be downright hilarious, as with the infamous "electric beer" incident. Suddenly, words have no meaning.

I can't wait for the inevitable whine from Team Cam that Jobeth is just another "plant."

Jobeth66 said...

If I didn't have an easily searchable/locatable history on Usenet & various web forums they could try that tack, but I've been around for way too long for that stuff to fly. :)

I was hoping this trial stuff would pop back up on, but that forum has seriously degenerated and turned into the Ken Pangborn show - and Ken was a nutjob 20 years ago when I had to deal with him on the RIME BBS forums I moderated.

Ken said...

Elf: I can't envision anyone in the Kaldis Klan coming to the conclusion that silence is best, so it's more likely that Harris said, "SHUT UP!"

You pretty much have to do one thing or the other. If Team Cam said nothing, and said that they were saying nothing on express orders from counsel (that is what I would be advising them to do), everyone would respect that. If they dutifully posted all of their notes to supplant Sprocket's work, everyone could respect that, as well. Baring it all is a way of declaring that they have nothing to hide, and will place their trust in the good sense of their audience. Their current strategy is counterproductive -- embodying the pitfalls of both. Jon Hans is the predictable by-product of trying to deal from the bottom of the deck.

The horse is out of the barn; they are doing more harm than even the Peterson clan did. They just need to be smarter. A man is on trial for his life here, and they have to get over themselves and get out of the way.

ken said...

Jobeth: I was hoping this trial stuff would pop back up on, but that forum has seriously degenerated and turned into the Ken Pangborn show - and Ken was a nutjob 20 years ago when I had to deal with him on the RIME BBS forums I moderated.

If you know the Panger, and recall Pastor Steve Winter, you've been around forever. Kaldis earned the title of Legendary NetKook for his bizarre religious rants, too.

Jobeth66 said...

Pangborn, Winter & I used to get into it on RIME Relaynet, back in the '80s. Steve was active in the Religion forum, Pangborn in Men's and Military. I was active everywhere (and moderated the Debate forum and a few others). Heh. Oh, those were the days. :) Were you ever on RIME?

Wayne Delia said...

Where are the latest updates found (exact link please)? I can't seem to find the phrase "Patty is my new mommy" anywhere.

Jobeth66 said...

Wayne - the latest updates are at Sprocket's blog (, the phrase 'Patty is my new mommy' came out during the testimony of Lee Ann Ormes on day 7:

loretta said...

Thx, Jo, I was just linking it:

LAO: One time before the visit to England. [...] We'd gone to church. [...] Lauren came up to me, and she put her hands like this, (witness demonstrates her hands over her nose and face area, like a tee-pee) and she said to me, "My Papa Cameron going to put my mommy in jail. Greg is just my step dad. Josh is just my step brother. Papa Cameron (is my) new daddy. Patty is my new mommy."

loretta said...

Oh, and I bet anyone $10,000 that Patty told her that. I'll bet you most, if not all the undermining of Sarah and the "new mommy" stuff came from Patty.

Wayne Delia said...

Thanks for the link - I simply overlooked it. Lots of great material there; lots of silence from Team Cam lately.

loretta said...

NEW ENTRY ^^^^ This should be a movie.

CountryGirl said...

We know that Patty is taking notes every day that she is there--why not post them like transcripts, especially if they are claiming that Sprocket is missing all the positive about Cameron?

I know Sprokett missed the day that Cameron refused to come out of his cell and nearly had to be physically removed. It was also the same day that Harris wanted Sarah removed from the courtroom.

Jeff Leslie is supposed to be recalled to the stand today. I wanted to go but can't.

loretta said...

See new entry comment section for responses.

Wayne Delia said...

For years, the Kooky Kaldis Klan (Toad in particular) has carefully crafted their "spin" on generally unfavorable events, such as the Preparation-H Bomb evidence that never exploded. Much of that spin requires combining an enablement of their collective trial delusion (that the various trials are going much better than they actually are) with an air of superiority over the detractors, particularly Ken Smith, for the purpose of eliciting sympathy and support while avoiding the relevant facts of the case. Rather than setting the record straight with the exact details of what Sprocket missed - details that will allegedly undoubtedly carry the day for Team Cam - the Klan (again, Toad in particular) needs to attempt to create the impression that they all know something we don't, and we should just take their word for it because they're present in court and we're not. We should just also take their word for it that they have nuclear-class explosive evidence that hasn't been deployed yet in court, which is so top-secret that it can't be discussed openly on the Internet. It's just a delay tactic to postpone what could very well be the inevitable shame and embarrassment of a Murder 2 conviction in the retrial, which perhaps even Toad realizes is heading in a hopeless direction.

As others have already correctly pointed out, we generally aren't privy to the fine details going on in open court, apart from Sprocket's excellent reporting efforts on her blog, and we aren't fully aware of the exact defense strategy of Harris and Team Cam, or for that matter the exact identification of the drugs they are collectively ingesting. The jury is aware of what goes on in open testimony, including Harris's tantrums and the pouting of Ted and Patty Kaldis. But if the Preparation-H Bomb evidence remains undeployed, the jury will most likely reach the same conclusions we have reached, along with the admittedly unscientific opinion sampling at "People You'll See In Hell," now running at 1 against, and 185 in favor of the proposition that Cameron Brown is an evil, greedy prock who deserves to burn in hell forever (that's the actual proposition).