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Good Morning America, Peter Kurth
(Barbara Kurth's brother) - 04/23/98

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Facts are stubborn things. Here Peter Kurth makes the statement that Barbara Kurth did not drive for some 20 years after she was diagnosed with narcolepsy and Barbara Kurth later said she doesn't believe she ever had narcolepsy. Barbara Kurth went to see a doctor for alleged narcolepsy-like symptoms on or about 1969 or 1970. The diagnosis of narcolepsy was based on her subjective claims of varied behaviors. The three drunken driving arrests took place in 1978 and 1979. Not anywhere close to 20 years, and she drove and only stopped after the courts took away her license for drunk driving. Also, she pled guilty to all 3 criminal offenses offering no defense for her drunken behavior. Perhaps the false statement was made because they did not know Stephen Fagan knew about Kurth's arrests and had documents to prove it. So much for the facts!

The allegation of narcolepsy was used by some as a rational for certain behaviors but it is interesting to note that even if one has narcolepsy it would not affect a blood alcohol reading. When Barbara Kurth blew a 0.25 and a 0.23 into a police breathalyzer it was the alcohol in her system that registered, accounting for those readings. Barbara Kurth said Stephen Fagan never had proof of any convictions. Interesting that all those drunk driving arrests took place after Kurth and Fagan separated and she, of course, was very wrong about not having the proof. Facts are stubborn things.





APRIL 23, 1998


LISA McREE, Host: We now have an update on a story we first reported on Monday, about a man accused of kidnapping his young daughters from his ex-wife almost 20 years ago. Stephen Fagan took the children during a parental visit in 1979. He then told them than their mother had been killed in a car accident. He went on to live a life down in Florida. He is now free on $250,000 bail, and the girls' mother, Barbara Kurth, has yet to see or speak to her daughters, who are now young women.

Joining us now from Burlington Vermont, is Barbara Kurth's brother, Peter Kurth. Good morning, Peter, nice to have you with us this morning.

PETER KURTH, Barbara Kurth's brother: Good morning, thanks.

LISA McREE: Has Barbara spoken to the girls yet?

PETER KURTH: No, she hasn't. She's home in Virginia resting and waiting for developments.

LISA McREE: Have you heard anything about them or from them, what their state of mind is? Any notes from them?

PETER KURTH: No, we've had nothing from them directly. This has obviously been a huge shock to them. And we would expect it would take them some time to sort it all out.

LISA McREE: Have you heard how they’re doing, though?

PETER KURTH: They seem to be doing quite well, from what I can tell. They're very intelligent young women. Rachel, the eldest, is very thoughtful. And my understanding is she said she'll have to think about this before she knows what to do.

LISA McREE: They went to court and stood by their father, along with his current wife. Do you think, or does Barbara think, more importantly, that they're going to stand by him and refuse to speak to her forever?

PETER KURTH: I wouldn't want to speculate about forever. I think it's understandable at this stage that they would be standing by their father. He's the only parent they've known.

LISA McREE: How is your sister doing?

PETER KURTH: She's doing very well, all things considered. It's been a very intense week. She certainly didn't expect it to become such a huge news story. But she's a very strong woman. She's put her life together very, very capably. She's very dedicated. And she's been waiting already for 18 years. She can wait some more.

LISA McREE: She never had any other children. How important is it for her to function as a mother in these girls' lives?

PETER KURTH: I think my sister has made peace a long time ago with the fact that she might never see her children again, and her main goal in speaking the other day was to let them know who she was, where she was, and what she felt. And that goal has been accomplished. That was the information she was never able to get to them before.

LISA McREE: When they divorced years ago, lots of accusations were traded. She accused him of being a scam artist involved with art and antiques, and he accused her of being a drunk and a drug user who fell asleep on the lawn, let the kids run around unattended. How does she plan to explain that to the girls?

PETER KURTH: She doesn't need to explain anything to the girls. Those charges against her were investigated already 18 years ago by the Massachusetts courts and by the state welfare authorities. They are baseless charges. They were so deemed at the time.

LISA McREE: She did suffer from narcolepsy,though. Is that true?

PETER KURTH: Yes, that's true.

LISA McREE: And she's been treated for that?

PETER KURTH: She's been treated for that. She's never driven a car in 20 years, since she was diagnosed with narcolepsy. She is, to my knowledge, not any longer on medication for narcolepsy. (emphasis added)

LISA McREE: All right well, we thank you for being with us today. I know your sister had worried that the media attention would hurt her chances, but she also wanted her voice to be heard, so we appreciate it.

PETER KURTH: Yes, thanks.


LOAD-DATE: April 23, 1998

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