The Dark Truth About the "Dark Tunnels of McMartin"

John Earl*

ABSTRACT: Recent revisionist articles and book citations have challenged the view that the McMartin child sex abuse scandal, and other multi-victim/perpetrator/ritual abuse cases, were conceived and prosecuted without "a shred of evidence." The main basis for this claim is the 1990 "discovery" of a "tunnel" and "possible secret room" underneath the McMartin Preschool that once existed in Manhattan Beach, California. How the concept of secret tunnels became an obsession with various parents of McMartin students, the course of the development and parental acting out of this obsession, and the present — but by no means final — outcome of the obsessive parental behavior are the central issues under study in this account of the McMartin witch hunt.

The real McMartin "tunnels," hand made by Charles Buckey for the school's tots to play in, above ground.  The so-called tunnels, shown here at the original McMartin school, were later transported to the new school at 931 Manhattan Beach Boulevard.  There were no other tunnels at the preschool, either above or below ground.  (Photo courtesy of Peggy Buckey)

The Beginning

The Accusation

The Letter

Children's Institute International

Hysteria Spreads

News Media Coverage and National Hysteria

Following the Money

Dr. Roland C. Summit

Satanic Trappings and the Search for The Secret Rooms and Tunnels

Incredibly Weak Evidence

Summit Defends MacFarlane's Interviews of the McMartin Children, Without Reviewing the Interviews

Judy Johnson's Increasingly Bizarre Behavior

The Trial Verdicts

Parents Begin Search For Tunnels

Revisionist History: Judy Johnson and The Dark Tunnels of McMartin

The Third McMartin Trial

Ethics, Professors, Indiana Jones, Switzerland, and Early (Very Early) Man

Tunnel Precursors

Bob Currie

Origin of a Secret Room

From Santa Claus To Lions

Multiple Molestations: Devils, a Dead Baby, and a Ghost

Tunnel Therapy

The District Attorney's Excavation


Analysis of the Report on the 186 (minus one page) Manhattan Tunnel Project (MTP) by E. Gary Stickel

MTP Archeological Methodology Employed by E. Gary Stickel

Site Contamination By Manhattan Tunnel Project

Photographic Documentation of the MTP Archeological Procedures

Stickel's Conclusions About the Evidence He Claims to Have Obtained from the Archeological MTP Project

The Missing Tunnel

Estimating Dates of "Tunnel" Artifacts



John Earl is a freelance journalist who is currently working as a researcher and organizer for a union.  He can be contacted through the Institute for Psychological Therapies, 5263 130th Street East, Northfield, MN 55057-4880 [top]

John Earl: E-mail

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