Questions & Answers
FriendsOfStephenFagan.com interviewed Stephen Fagan to get his responses on often asked questions. Here are his replies.
The Kurth's were constantly speaking about parental alienation syndrome, did that occur?
Why did Stephen claim that there was a deliberate campaign to demonize him by the Kurth's?
How could you tell the girls their mother was dead?
What did you mean by property was destroyed?
Did you seek help from Barbara Waugh Kurth's family?
Did you ever have contact with Barbara Waugh Kurth's neighbors before they contacted you and your parents to inform you of the child abuse?
Q: The Kurth's were constantly speaking about parental alienation syndrome, did that occur?
A: On this issue I partially agree with the Kurth's, it did occur. However, where I disagree is who did the alienating.
Lets look at the record:
Just weeks after April 16 when the story broke and it was all over the news Rachael and Lisa did an interview. During the interview they made the statement that I had told them a while back that when Lisa was 21 I had something important to tell them about their mother. It was mentioned casually and had no legal significance. Kurth on Dateline NBC in reference to that statement called them liars. She said, "It's one thing for him to lie, but he is having them lie for him. And they know they're lying." This is in front of millions of viewers with Jane Pauley interviewing.
Think about this, a statement made some 18 years after any contact, where no-one but the girls, Steve and his wife were present. This from a woman who claimed the most important thing was a reunion. If one were to reach out, tenderness and love is a prerequisite, not a brutal attack on their integrity in front of millions. We certainly would call that parental alienation.
Shortly thereafter the statement was made that they were "brainwashed". A unique way to reconcile.
Earlier in an article that Peter Kurth wrote in Forbes his sister, Barbara Kurth is quoted as saying, "... believe me the world is in no great need of my, of your, or anybody's child in particular."
Peter Kurth said, "I have nothing but pity for those two poor young woman ( Rachael and Lisa)."
Also joining the bandwagon of alienation was Constance Kurth of Burlington, Vermont, Barbara Kurth's mother. She called the girl's grandmother who they dearly loved and who had passed away in 1993 a "pig". Nice way to reach out!
Peter Kurth also called Rachael & Lisa "cowards" and "pathologically deluded". Peter is Barbara Kurth's brother and he became the official spokesperson for his sister, doing interviews and speaking for and about her.
That not being sufficient he then stated, "This trial will show how cruel they are - Stephen, his lawyers and his daughters." (Emphasis mine.)
Keep in mind that Kurth knew for approximately 7 months where the girls were and never tried to contact them. Her first "reaching out" came at a press conference.
These cruel statements we know about because they were published. Imagine what might have been said in private.
Q: Why did Stephen claim that there was a deliberate campaign to demonize him by the Kurth's?
A: As the Kurth's knew about the investigation some 7 to 8 months before the story broke, it would appear those involved prepared with a deliberate assault of half truths, fabrications, fantasy and invective. The cavalcade of hate never stopped flowing.
The following is but a sampling of comments made publicly. Do note that most believe that these comments support Steve's contention that this was always about him not about the children from the Kurth perspective. Also they also appear to raise the defense that Kurth was not responsible for her actions as she was controlled by this Machiavellian like character.
From Barbara Kurth:
- Steve Fagan is a very frightening man.
I still can't believe how much he controlled me. I had no autonomy, never had any money.
- Children had little to do with their father when we were married.
- He never took care of them, never changed their diapers, didn't get up with them at night and didn't feed them.
- I don't know why I married him, it had nothing to do with love.
- Took children because it is very attractive to women.
- I knew that he had some power over me.
- He took me shopping for clothes and made me go food shopping with his parents and criticized my housekeeping.
- He wouldn't eat with them . He dragged me into a life of crime.
- Both girls never had unconditional love from their father. He did to me what he did to them. They may be just afraid of him.
- A con man, he never held a job.
From Peter Kurth, Barbara Kurth's brother:
- He wouldn't eat with his children. He dragged her into a life of crime.
- He kept her completely under his thumb.
- She didn't leave the house without his permission.
- She never said a word or made a move without his permission.
- He was kind of spooky.
- He was menacing her in lots of ways.
- He slammed her against the wall.
- He used to delight in telling how he conned people.
From Constance Kurth, Barbara Kurth's mother:
- I hated him from when we first met.
- Other similar sentiments.
Q: How could you tell the girls their mother was dead?
A: I had two primary choices:
Choice 1: Tell them the truth that the evidence provided, specifically that:
Kurth plead guilty three times to Driving Under the Influence. Once with a .25 blood alcohol and another time with a .23 blood alcohol. That both girls ages one and four were in the car when Kurth registered .25 on the breathalyzer. That all arrests involved hitting another vehicle. That her license was suspended for five years. Following are quotes from Kurth's Police Report: "I observed her fall down in the snow twice plus when walking across U.S. Route 7 saw that her walk was unsteady. There was an odor of an intoxicant on her breath when she passed close to me and when she sat inside my cruiser with me it was more apparent. Her speech was thick and she seemed to need time to think when talking to me."
Another DUI, another police officer, "In speaking with her a strong odor of an intoxicant was smelled. She was also found to be combative and extremely enraged and had to be restrained." (Emphasis added) In police parlance, "restrained" would typically mean handcuffed.
The sworn affidavits of three of her neighbors of a year. Read them. Rachael comes screaming crying to the neighbors house, Rachael was five years old. "My Mommy's dead..." and when the neighbor arrives Kurth is unconscious on a mattress on the living room floor. Many similar stories and this is just what they observed, we have no idea of other horrors that may have occurred. Read carefully all the affidavits. Imagine if it was your child!
There were three psychiatric hospital stays and when Fagan tried to get the records released so the girls could at least have seen the diagnosis, Kurth's attorney's went to court to block them from seeing it. From our point of view the only reason one goes to that extreme is because they would be quite harmful to Kurth. Draw your own conclusion.
Shortly after the divorce Barbara Kurth married Warren Waugh a 23 year old, 6 years her junior. Barbara Kurth met Warren Waugh's brother in a Psychiatric ward when she was an in patient. Warren Waugh brother later committed suicide, as did her former husband Warren, after Barbara Kurth's marriage to him and divorce.
There is much more. For example, I received a letter from a man who had once been a friend of mine and Barbara Kurth's during the marriage. In the letter the "friend" spoke of a special relationship he had with Barbara Kurth when she was married to me, and gave me nude photo's of Barbara Kurth that he allegedly took.
Choice 2: Instead I told them their mother was a brilliant caring woman, a physician who did her most to help others. Not a negative word. It was only on 4/16/98 when this broke that I revealed the documents which illustrated the reasons I took the children which in the view of many constituted necessity as a defense. I did not reveal the misery I went through in the last phase of my marriage to Kurth. So for almost 20 years they had positive thoughts.
Would the truth as told by Police, neighbors and others have been kinder? Would growing up with the facts of neglect, etc. be of no consequence or would having a vision of someone as a role model be the better choice?
Q: What did you mean by property was destroyed?
A: In the monetary settlement Barbara Kurth got a large sum of cash and the home that was bought with a loan from my parents was returned to me.
When I went in to reclaim the house, two windows were broken, glass all over the floor. A family heirloom piece of furniture was split in the center. There was rotten food in two rooms in drawers and feces in a desk drawer.
My parents and a friend were with me and witnessed this. I called my attorney whose response was live with it, she's out of your hair now. We could go into court and the cost would well exceed any recovery and then Kurth could use the children to create further problems. Little did I know what was to come.
Q: Did you seek help from Barbara Waugh Kurth's family?
A: When Kurth was in a psychiatric ward I tried to involve her mother in family therapy. She came once and walked out in the middle of the session.
After the neighbors contacted me that the girls were in grave danger and I later found out she had been driving drunk with the girls in the car and arrested, I called to see if someone could supervise her. I was aware they hated me, however, the girls safety was more important and I called. Constance Kurth hung up on me.
Q: Did you ever have contact with Barbara Waugh Kurth's neighbors before they contacted you and your parents to inform you of the child abuse?
A: I never saw, talked with, or knew of the existence of these woman before they called, alarmed at the condition and lack of care of Rachael and Lisa.