Last night, the second video created by Attorney Sam McLure discussing some of the evidence that shows the veracity of the allegations brought by the Bannister children and Rebecca McCullough was uploaded to YouTube.
Before going into some of the information found in a report compiled by Hope for Justice, McLure set out to establish a short biography of the men that are accused.
William "Bill" Bannister, the children's father, is an accountant for a construction consulting firm, evidently out of Washington D.C. as disclosed in a jailhouse interview that Melody gave several months ago.
His father, Jay Thul Bannister, was "involved in the field of psychology," and served as "director of the Hermitage House a residential treatment facility for young males." According to the Hope for Justice report, this facility was started by "the community," a name used to refer to the church that came out of the Shepherding/ Discipleship movement of the 1970s.
Another accused perpetrator is Jim McNally who died in 2015. Just the same, the children are said to have vivid memories of the pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship being an active member of the abuse before he died.
Nathan McNally, son of Jim McNally is another individual that the children vividly remember from those nights. The children seem to remember him as something of an unwilling participant that was charged with escorting children from one area of the barn to another through various tortures and traumas. According to the Hope for Justice report, one of the children said that they had asked him "why are you doing this?" to which they said they remembered him responding with tears in his eyes saying, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."
Charles Simpson, a leader within the Shepherding movement was Jay Thul's "spiritual father." The children remember an occasion where he attended a night in the red barn and was given the "seat of honor."
Mike Nowakowski lived in the neighborhood and is a man that the children are said to vividly remember actively participating in their abuse.
Bryant Conlon is another man that the children remember. They disclosed that on many occasions, there were other children present with them in the barn and it seemed to them as though Conlon was "responsible for overseeing the abuse, torture and traumatization of the older children."
Ralph Carter, a resident of Fredericksburg, Virginia is another man that is accused to have taken an active part of their abuse and traumatization.
Sheila Bannister, the second wife of Jay Thul additionally played a roll in the abuse by guarding the children and making sure that no one ran off.
McLure goes into further detail about the testimony of Rebecca McCullough concerning the abuses that she suffered. While she names many of the same men that the children did, she additionally named the current Sheriff of Stafford County, David Decatur.
While the details of her testimony are not something new to much of the readership of this site, or to those that follow Through the Black, I would advise caution in reading the next few paragraphs as the information contained therein may be triggering to some.
McCullough told that she remembers her first time being at the barn was in 2013 when she was 14 years old. She knew that she had been taken to the barn because she had been trafficked earlier in her life. When she arrived to the barn, she recalled that there were 10-13 other children there as well, most of which were younger than herself.
She was stripped and then bound with her hands over her head and whipped. At that point she remembered being suspended and raped while the other children were forced to watch. She was then made to wear an electric shock collar while she witnessed abuses to the other children. McCullough additionally recalled that once she was allowed to clean up and re-dress herself, she saw one of the abusers hand a sum of money to a man in a suit.
The last trip that she remembered to the barn was in 2015 when she was 16 years old. She reports that she was taken to the back of the barn and told "she had to torture the children that were inside the barn. She felt like she was under the control of these handlers and was forced to do it."
Her accounts are consistent with what the children have told in regards to "location and method of operation." McLure notes that it is also "consistent with how this category of sex trafficking works, seeking to intentionally traumatize the victims."
Hope for Justice also conducted a digital footprint analysis which sought to disclose any electronic links between the accused individuals. A part of this analysis was seeking known red flags that indicate that there could be illegal activity going on. The forensic computer search is ongoing.
Three common threads were found to exist between a number of the named accused, namely the existence of access to a Czechoslovakian server, Minecraft accounts, and subscriptions to deviant pornography services.
Also of note, according to the Hope for Justice report, was an electronic device that was retrieved from the Bannister home. This device is said to have shown over 170 different credit card transactions processed through it, many to overseas servers.
You can watch McLure's video in its entirety here.
If you have not done so already, you can find and sign the Change.org petition here.