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Helenmary Wilk and Sandra LaBombard
(neighbors of Barbara Kurth) -

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THE COURT. Let me say here, are these the two ladies?


(All witnesses are sworn.)

MS. HELEN MARIE WILKE. My name is Helen Marie Wilke. I live at 116 Mohawk Forest Boulevard, North Adams.

THE COURT. Tell me what brought you here.

MS. WILKE. I have lived near Barbara Fagan since May of this year and throughout the summer I have seen her children. I have a two-year­old who they play with and I have seen, throughout the summer different times, the children being out not supervised, dressed unaccordingly to the weather. I don’t know if they dressed themselves, but they weren't dressed for the weather. The baby went around many times without any pants on. I have seen them playing in the dirt like this on different occasions. How I happened to get involved with this is this past Friday, last Friday, my neighbor Sandy, I just washed my hair and my neighbor came over and said, "The Fagan children think their mother is dead." She said, "I am not going over there. I am not getting involved." I said, "well, I am going to go over there. I am not getting involved." I said, "Well, I am going to go over there." So, I went over. I stood by the door for a few minutes. Finally, Barbara came downstairs and she was, in my opinion, under the influence. She was staggering, couldn't talk well, started mumbling about something that didn't even concern us and then she shut the door and we left. Later that day Rachael came out. Wendy was in the house. Rachael was playing with Sandy's kids and she made a remark about she was hungry. Sandy was going to have her for supper and then Sandy's husband told her to send her home, she should be home. Sandy told me that she she sent the little girl home and so I called and I was going to tell Barbara that the kids were playing with Amy, could they come to have supper with us. I called and the five-year-old answered the phone and said the mother was sleeping and she had to go on the bookcase to answer the phone. I told her to wake up her mother and tell her and to make sure to bring her little sister Wendy with her. She said all right and hung up. They came over and I fed them. I tried to call Barbara. In the afternoon after I had gone over to Barbara's house, I called the father. I got the number from Rachael and I called them. I was mad. I never met the man before. I figured he was a lawyer, he knew what was going on and he explained that he didn't. He had picked up different things from Rachael, but could never prove it. I told him what was going on and he said, "Are the kids home?", that he didn't have custody, he couldn't do too much, if I could keep an eye out. After I called him, I reported it to an agency in Pittsfield and they said they couldn't send anyone up because it was late Friday. Then I had the children up through supper and I tried to get Barbara. I couldn't get an answer. I didn't want to send them home like that to a mother sleeping or whatever, so I called Mr. Fagan back again and I told him, "I have your children." I said, "I have called your wife. I can't keep them. There is no answer." He said fine, he was coming up. I then called the police. I told them. I called the agency back and I told him that he was coming up after his children. I had the kids from five o’'clock until about quarter after eight. She came looking over Sandy's house and said, "Are my kids here?" They told her no. They said they were over there across the street. About ten minutes later she came over. I asked her to come in. I gave her a cup of coffee and I tried to stall her and she said she was having company and she head to leave, so I couldn't keep the kids there. I said goodbye to her. She had the kids. Mr. Fagan came up with his mother and it was too late. He cou1dn't get the kids. She had them. Saturday, I was concerned about the kids and I called later in the afternoon and Rachael answered the phone and I asked for her mother and she said her mother was sleeping. I said I would call back. I called back later. It was probably about quarter of seven and I wasn't sure what I was going to say to her. I asked her to come over because I wanted to see how things were. She said she couldn't and I asked her if she would like some company and she said yes. I went over and I was there for about twenty minutes. While I was there, I think she was under the influence. She couldn't talk well. She was disoriented. When I was leaving, she tripped and almost fell. I went home. Sunday, I was getting ready to go out with some neighbors and it was six-thirty and Sandy came over, my neighbor, and said, "The kids are yelling and screaming inside the house crying." I went over. Wendy, the two­year-old, was standing on a three-foot ledge against the window. The shade was pulled down. She was in between the shade and window. I told Rachael to open the door. I said, "Why are you crying?" Rachael said, "Because I am hungry." I asked her if she ate and she said yes. I asked her what she had to eat and she said bacon. I was afraid to take the kids out of there. I said, "Do you have anything in here to eat?" She said. "Well, we have some cheese," and Barbara was laying on a mattress and I went over and shook her and shook her and shook her. She just rolled over to her side and didn't move. I came home. I called the grandparents. I called the place in Pittsfield again. The grandparents were on the way up. The kids were in the window for another half hour. The people from Pittsfield came over and talked to her. They told me that by the time they got there she was up and the kids pizza. I don't know what they are going to do. That was it.

THE COURT. Now, you also came down today?

MR. CLAREY. This is Sandy. your Honor.

THE COURT. what would you like to say?

MS. SANDRA LABOMBARD. My name is Sandra LaBombard, L-a-B-o-m-b-a-r-d.

THE COURT. Go ahead.

MS. LABOMBARD. I met Barbara through the children. My husband introduced her to me when she moved in. Her little girl and my two youngest play together all the time. I noticed different things that to my opinion Barbara would drink. She was a drinker, as far as my opinion. I would go down there sometimes and Barbara would be sleeping. My children would be in her house. Fine if she was up and around, but when she was sleeping I told my children I didn't want them in there. I have two older girls, nine and ten. Most of the time she was sleeping. There was a lot of time I went down and got my children out of Barbara's house. She had no idea whatsoever Iwas even there. I could have gone through anything. Friday came about and my kids were playing with Rachel and Jill had gone in the house and I said to my older daughter, "Go down and get your sister out of Barbara's house." They went to play. Rachel can play in my house or outside, but Jill is not to go in there. When she when down to get her, she called me back and said, "Barbara is not here." I said, "Well, get Jill and come out." She said, "Jill won't come out without Rachel." I said, "Bring her home." She called me back and said Barbara had fallen in the clothes. She said she was upstairs laying in the clothes and the kids were crying that she was dead. I said to get Rachael and Jill out, bring them home. If Rachael doesn't come, bring Jill home. I told her I want them out of there right now. So after that, she called me back again and said "Jill won't come up and the two kids are screaming she is dead." I said, "I will come right down." I went over to Helen and asked her what I should do. I said,"I can't go in that house." She said, "I will go in." Then there was a couple of times last summer that Barbara came to my door at 5:00 and asked me if I would feed her children. There were times when I fed her children on my own. I asked Rachael if she wanted to eat with Wendy. She said yes and I would feed her. Twice she came to ask me. I went down to Barbara's house to get Jill and she asked me for a cigarette and I gave her a cigarette and I sat there. Rachael and Jill used to play house in there. Barbara could not talk to me. She was smoking a cigarette that wasn't even lit. She tried to light it, but it wasn't even lit. I would say most of the time I have seen Barbara or most of the time I have been down there to get my children, Barbara has been sleeping.

THE COURT. Thank you very much.

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