Sunday, March 31, 2013

Just Ask My Children based on Brenda and Scott Kniffen

The real case happened in 1982 when Alvin and Debbie Mccuan's daughters, as well as the Kniffens sons reported that they had been abused by Scott and Brenda Kniffen. The Kniffens were also accused of being part of a sex ring. No evidence of abuse had ever been found, but the Kniffens were still convicted and sentenced to 200 years in prison in 1984.

In 1996 the convictions against them were overturned and the Kniffens were released. The Kniffens were the subjects of a witch hunt brought on in part by the step grandmother of the Mccuans. There story is recounted in the documentary Witch hunt. See sidebar for the link as well as pics of the Kniffens.

Read article here

photos courtesy of


  1. it's always important to society that abuses like this get exposed.

    thank you for being active man, thank you for inform of shit like this... fuck this pathetic system!

  2. Excellent blog! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the facts are well written. I have subscribed myself for latest blog posts.
    Los Angeles Child Molestation attorney

  3. Does anyone know how to contact these people ? As this is my current case in San Diego.
    Thanks as I need someone to stand up for me as what social services does is illegal~!!

  4. My heart is truly aching at this moment, after watching this movie. I just canNOT believe the outrageous injustice that occurred in this case and wonder how ANY of the people involved, in the railroading of these families, straight into prison...can even sleep at night. I am willing to bet this type of thing happens way more often than we think it does. One innocent man who spends one day behind bars is too many.

  5. Hi,
    I am the writer for Just Ask My Children, also for Highway Heartbreaker, Going for Broke, and Man With Three Wives. I found this website by accident, and thought I'd say hello.
    Scott and Brenda Kniffen were released from jail and participated through personal interviews with me for the duration of the writing of their story. I have always felt that this was the most important story I wrote for television since the phenomenon of mass hysteria is a recurring event in our history. What happened to Brenda and Scott was no different than what happened in Salem in the 1600's: fear and public opinion, coupled with aggressive prosecutors, fueled this injustice and innocent lives were destroyed. We, as a society, must be vigilant for evidence of this kind of human weakness today, tomorrow, and always.
    Deborah Serra

    1. as heart breaking as this movie is its also compelling my heart goes out to the 2 families the people who railroaded them should have been put in prison they were just as guilty they interrogated those boys into saying what they wanted to hear consequences of which were devastating it wasnt just freedom they lost what those families lost they will never get back and no amount of money can compensate for that thank you for writing this and sharing their story with the word and if you still see them or speak to them be sure to tell them their story will never be forgotten and is an inspiration in courage

  6. When I saw the movie I cried and cried. Time in jail must be terrible… but, how do you recover the time you missed with your children? Hundreds of things, games, teachings you could have share with them… There is NO amount of money that could ever compensate that.
    I feel great empathy for this family because my husband went through a similar situation.
    He was falsely accused by a teenager. All in revenge for taking her off of the gymnastics team for disciplinary reasons.
    Two of her friends sustained her lies and her parents believed her.
    When this girl realized that the charge was very serious, she wanted to recant; In fact she confided in her boyfriend that all she wanted was get back at him by making sexual acussations, but it went too far. It was then that the prosecutor told her to close her mouth or she would end up in serious trouble.
    Her boyfriend confessed to my husband about her addmision but never could be record it.
    My husband and his mother discussed a “60 minutes” tv program about his case, but the phone call was intercepted and the court issued an order of not contacting any media.
    It was very difficult to prove his innocence. He did not have enough money to pay the lawyer.
    He stayed over five years in prison, innocent.
    We still suffer the consequences of her lies because my husband would not be hired for many jobs and as a couple we can not adopt.
    It is unbelieveable how much damage can cause a lie.
    I pray that the truth comes to light.

    1. gloria my heart goes out i pray that it does come to light there is a saying truth will always come out stay strong xxx

  7. Hello, Gloria,
    My heart goes out to you. I was contacted by a number of people who were had similar circumstances to yours after my movie aired. It is so hard to draw a line between protecting vulnerable children and not allowing false accusations to ruin the lives of good people. I can tell you that, for me, living in the middle of the results of the Kniffen affair for so many months, that if I would have been put in this situation I had told my husband I would absolutely leave the country, or state, and start a new life somewhere else. Some things cannot be forgiven, all things with love and time can be forgotten. I wish you well.

  8. I just finished watching. I'm a 16 year old guy and this movie almost made me cry. I couldn't imagine something like this ever really happening , and the fact that is did makes me really feel bad for all the people involved...

  9. It is amazing that after a decade of this movie, the issues are still persistent. But it is too sad how the media plays a damaging role in most of these cases. Only yesterday I watched on cnn, Anderson Cooper's program titled "Ungodly discipline" i might have the title wrong. But in effect the program was targeting institutions who have been sheltering neglected children and drug addicts. Now children have so much power that, parents for fear of loosing their children allow them to do whatever they so desire... We must protect our children, especially when we have many evil and wicked persons, some of whom are parents, but am afraid as of now, it seems we are doing much damage to societies fibre of morale and values.

  10. Help this same case is now in hays my name Jose p Guzman I have 3 children's. Srs or state take away sexual abuse. 1 year this append. The attorney. We pay he seeing. He can't doing anything sistem is the same nathing is change I do not want lose my kids is only for them stand. Up please help help contact we not have any maney. My children now aracely 7 Thomas 6 Richard 1 y old please help if you see old paper I have proves I have but not good attorney. Can help nothing is happen please 785 4320648

  11. I was a young legal secretary working in the defense's law office at the time of the original trial . It was disheartening to hear that all working to do what is protected under the Constitution of the United States - give an adequate defense - made us child molesters. False accusations were rampant and knew no bounds. I do not trust the Social Service system or law enforcement agencies. I will never forget what happened to the McCuans and the Kniffens.

  12. Whatever happened to Mary Ann Barbour, the mentally ill step-grandmother who started this mess in the first place?!

  13. I'm not a parent myself but I think this film has given me more love for good parents.

  14. The hypocrisy of the state is immeasurable. If the film is correct, the man called Jagels should be put on trial and after found guilty of the worst possible crimes he should stay in jail till the end of his days. He should pay the compensation the county paid to the victims of the miscarriage of justice.The same applies to all his accomplices..

  15. A great but tragic film about all too frequent occurrences. What follows is not a review of this film but a recount of personal experience that was brought to mind by it. This film deals with very real tragedy and I feel convinced that that my encounter with a mother in California at that time stems from the same suggestive brainwashing practices with vulnerable people. My comments may help bring home the awful reality of the practices of some professionals at that time that this film presents.
    I am a church leader from UK and was preaching in central California about the time of these convictions. I was asked to meet a family and talk over some problems the mother ‘thought’ she had with their child.
    I actually became much more concerned about the mother although I was out my depth with what she began to talk about. She was seeing a professional councillor of some sort and he had, she claimed, uncovered multiple personalities and what she now called repressed memories which she started to share with me. She claimed her father a respectable man in the community had abused her in some incredible ways. The claim was she was put in a pit and urinated on to get her to comply with their demands. These included dressing her in a bear skin and forcing her to claw other people who she was made to torture in front of those involved in the abuse. It was claimed these victims of the abuse were finally killed.
    I did not believe her reports for a moment!
    I asked if she thought these memories were real or imagined. She blew up with rage continuing that it had taken a lot of counselling to bring these things to the surface as an explanation of her psychological disturbance.