My name is Kathy Atkins. I am Joshua Klaver’s Mother. 25 years ago my son died by hanging when he was 10 years old after years of abuse at the hands of his father, Santa Clara County, California Sheriff Deputy KW Klaver. I fully understand the self imposed limits and protection laws the police system gives itself …I have been beat down by these laws that belong to this system of ours one two many times. . The Justice I crave is not something that has been freely offered to me, I will always Demand it and until that day comes I will continue to share my story, to share Joshua’s story. I am pulled to expose the actions of the Santa Clara County Sheriff Department and Sheriff Laurie Smith and I will continue to do so. . fearful silence is not something I’m willing to let control me any longer, as you read my story please know that I am not the same broken women that I share with you, a lot of healing has taken place talking about Joshua and sharing our story, I am a stronger women today and the healing I feared would never be mine, it’s a small slice but it’s all I needed
Welcome to Justice for Joshua Klaver
My search for Justice started 4 years before Joshua’s death when he was 6 after being called to his school by a women from child protective services, the day he was found with bruises all down the side of his body from being kicked down the back step into the trashcans by his father Santa Clara County Sheriff Deputy KW Klaver. From this day forth we entered into a world run by the Santa Clara County Sheriff Department and the Family Courts, both of which were more concerned about finding a way to deal with the abuse without damaging his father’s career as a Sheriff Deputy, by this I mean they did nothing to help Joshua, year after year they turned a blind eye from Joshua’s pain until his death at the age of 10, Joshua died by Hanging in a barn used for Slaughtering Cattle on his Father’s property the night before Joshua was to meet with a Family Court Judge about the abuse he was forced to live with for the 1st time in the 4 years we spent in the Court System. When Joshua died the Family Court had a meeting and wondered what they could have done differently that would helped to keep Joshua’s death from happening, The Sheriff Department’s way of dealing with his death was to have Sgt Jerry Egge rudely refuse me any kind of a investigation as he made statements to the media calling me a volatile type parent fighting over Joshua in child custody case, all this from the Sheriff Department who knew that their co-worker, Sheriff Deputy KW Klaver was Joshua’s Abuser…22 month after Joshua’s Death Sheriff Gillingham and Under Sheriff Laurie Smith sent Crime Scene and Homicide Deputies out to the barn where Joshua died for the 1st time and turned the information they collected from Joshua’s father,his abuser about what happened the night Joshua died over to the Child Death Review Board .
My name is Kathy Atkins. . I am Joshua Klaver’s Mother. .25 years ago my son died by hanging when he was 10 years old after years of abuse at the hands of his father, Santa Clara County, California Sheriff Deputy KW Klaver. I fully understand the self imposed limits the legal system gives itself …I have been beat down by the system one two many times to think that anything shall be done but fearful silence is not something I’m willing to let control me any longer
I stepped into the legal system 29 years ago going in and out of a family court that refused to do their job trying to save my Son from being abused by his father, the family court, Sheriff Department and CPS all knew about the abuse and did nothing… the Sheriff Department in Gilroy, California choose to cover one of their own over the safety of my Son including Sergeant Egge. And my issues with the System continue to this day.
When I was told about the abuse in 1984 and the Sheriff Department was notified by me the same day,Joshua was 6 years old. There were many acts of violence witnessed by others that I reported to the Gilroy, CA Sheriff Department and CPS, KW’s ex wife, who left the home because of violence against her saw many abuses against Joshua by his father, Josh loved her dearly and was heartbroken when she left . The Sheriff Department would not even speak with her, no action was taken…
This is when we stepped into the court system, they refused to do their job for 4 years, The outcome of our first Court case, Judge James Stewart of the Santa Clara County Family Court’s decision was the findings of abuse was true, that Joshua’s father could not be alone with Josh, all visitation had to be monitored by a court appointed watcher, not even 2 weeks after this decision the court reversed the court order, my Attorney was contacted by the courts and was told that I had to start sending Joshua out to his father’s unsupervised, this was done without a court hearing, I did not receive any documents, it was done quietly in a phone call notification.
Do you know what happens when no action is taken over and over again, it gives a Deputy the go ahead to continue doing what he wants, Departments and Courts Systems across our Country create monsters out of Police Officers by letting them slide on domestic violence, they allow them to take the power they have on the streets into their homes and the results come in nightmares and mine came in 1989 when my Son after years of abuse died at the age of 10 by hanging in a barn used for slaughtering livestock and wild game, he could no longer take the fear and pain he was forced to live with, I was refused a investigation by the Sheriff Department at the time of his death and was notified of this decision by Sergeant Egge of the Gilroy,California Office.
In Nov of 1990 22 months after Joshua’s death the Sheriff Department called me, they told me they were reopening the case, came to my home and filled my head with thoughts of their concern that his father had more to do with Joshua’s death then 1st thought, they asked me if I knew anything about a confrontation that happened in the car between Josh and his father after he took him from my home just before he died ,they would not tell us why they asked..I’m sorry we can’t share that information with you at this time..they asked me if Joshua had bruises on his back and scrapped up knee’s before his father took him from my home, my answer was no he did not have those marks on him. .more information on this contact with the Sheriff Department is included in a post on this page.
I live with severe depression, PTSD has control my life, I have been hospitalized many times because of the need I had to be with Joshua more than it was healthy for me. I cry everyday for Joshua, for his pain, for my pain. My heart will never heal, I crave Justice but I know it’s not mine to have but I still wish to share my story, to share Joshua’s story. I am pulled to expose the actions of the Santa Clara County Sheriff Department and Sheriff Laurie Smith and I will continue to do as I also reach out to other families of Police Violence
7 years ago I found The Klaver Trilogy on line ( information on this article is below ) I knew the answers to all my questions of what happened with in the Sheriff Department after Joshua died could be found starting there. I contacted Sheriff Laurie Smith, I received no response. I then contacted the Santa Clara County DA’s Office, this is when I found out Joshua’s file was misplaced / gone. I then contacted the Attorney General’s Office, they had me file with the Santa Clara County Grand Jury, wait for a response and re approach the Sheriff Department and Sheriff Laurie Smith and the DA’s Office again before they would even talk with me. They forced me to bang on them for a very long time before the California Attorney Generals Office forced Sheriff Laurie Smith to meet with me. In this meeting Sheriff Smith told me that it was the Child Death Review Board that pushed my son’s death out for review 22 months after his death in November of 1990
The Child Death Review Board pushes a child’s death out for review any time there are any court records of abuse attached to the child, they want to know if the abuse was still happening up to the time of death, they want information on how the responding police agency conducted themselves in gathering information on the death.They want time of death information and the Sheriff Department had nothing to turn over to them. The Dept then sent crime scene employees out to the barn where my son died for the 1st time 22 months after his death and relied on Joshua’s father, his abuser for crime scene information to take photos and measurements then Sheriff Laurie Smith sent Homicide Deputies to my home for information from me and turned over only what they wanted to the review board as information gathered at the time of death.
At this meeting was Sheriff Smith, Asst S John Hirokawa and Joyce Blair from the Attorney Generals Office , Sheriff Smith decided at this time to share private information from KW’s deputy file, work related and private family issues and share she did, Sheriff Smith stepped into my fear zone with purpose by telling me about KW’s violent past at his home after Josh died, this is a Sheriff dept that took many domestic violence calls with at times threats of firearm use against horses on the property with children in the home(S. Smith words) and did nothing, Sheriff Smith knew the man that he was and let year after year of calls come in and they took no action and left his wife unaided. Sheriff.Smith told us the depts plan at the time was waiting on his wife to have enough of his shit and leave him so she would turn on him over some Workman comp thing…… it was like Sheriff Smith was offering me this information to show me how awful their lives have been all these years since Joshua’s death …all done with a smile on her face, like she was sharing a girl secret with me…something that would make me feel better….Sheriff Smith even made a note to self at this meeting…to call the Sheriff Dept where his father moved to check if any other domestic violence calls had been made from their home….not to check on the safety of a fellow officer, a fellow women…. . Sheriff Smith wanted to bust him for a workman’s comp issue with in the Department, She made it very clear of her dislike for Joshua’s father, Deputy KW Klaver..
I believe Sheriff Smith was not only fully aware of what was happening in 1990, she was in charge, do you think some lower level deputy signed off on setting that all up…crime scene techs…homicide deputies coming to my home, lying to me all to get enough info to fill out a report. DA’s Office calling them…it went up up and when they had this information they still had legal time at this 2 year mark, they could of charge KW with a crime, Joshua wrote in a school diary that he had thoughts about hanging himself in the barn at his fathers, KW took him from my home sent him out into the barn in a extremely heighten state of fear where he had ropes with noose knots used in his butchering business and for other livestock, he would not lock them up, he put a loaded gun in Joshua’s hands and the Sheriff Department and DA’s Office did nothing….we were in the child abuse and other crimes window for charges…nothing.. Sheriff Smith was aware as stated in the article written by Police Legal Defense(Klaver Trilogy) when I first found the trilogy on line and read how the subject of the investigation into Joshua’s death was being worded …that while I was still bleeding from their visit to my home the Sheriff Department and Joshua’s father were making deals in a workman’s comp court concerning the investigation into my Son’s Death. ..it was like getting my belly sliced open stem to stern. . Look at it this way The Klaver Trilogy is like a ping on a cel phone tower, it puts Sheriff Gillingham & Sheriff Laurie Smith smack in the middle of my Hell, I’m not sure but would the Legal Department for Law Enforcement print something about the Sheriff that was not true and feel comfy with it just to make the article look better as Sheriff Laurie.Smith claimed.??….
This is the Klaver Trilogy that I mentioned. . .I found this article on line written by PORAC, Legal Defense Fund for Police Officer’s, it was named Klaver Trilogy by Joshua’s father not me, below I have the article broken into two parts. . .In Part 1 the investigation they are writing about is Joshua’s death, When Joshua’s case was reopened in November 1990, 22 months after his death the Sheriff Dept pulled his father off the streets. . . . KW took the Dept into workman’s comp court because they made him use up all his sick and vacation time while the Sheriff’s Department decided how to hide their actions from the Child Death Review Board. . . . . .Part 2 of the Klaver Trilogy shows how Sheriff Laurie Smith. . starting in Part 1 when she was Under Sheriff in November 1990 dogged his career with-in the Sheriff Dept until he retired many years after Joshua’s death. Also posted below you will find the email sent to me from the Santa Clara County DA’s Office 20 years after Joshua’s death about the refusal to investigate by the Sheriff Department when Josh died and the missing file
Legal Defense Fund > News Articles > The Klaver Trilogy
The PORAC Legal Defense Fund is the nation’s largest and most successful Legal Defense Fund; run by and for peace officers. The Fund is an ERISA Trust that provides legal service benefits for public safety personnel. The Fund has been in existence since 1974 and currently has more than 99,000 members.
Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2001 at 12:00 pm.
Deputy K. W. Klaver began his unblemished career with the Santa Clara County Sheriffs’ Department on July 4, 1983. He had experienced several run-ins with the present sheriff, Laurie Smith, on several occasions, dating back to 1990, when now Sheriff Smith was the assistant sheriff. The first difficulty was when Klaver received an evening telephone call from his captain, telling him to report from his assignment in the Patrol Division to the Courts Division the next day without reason or explanation. There was, apparently, some investigation which had been launched, but Klaver’s captain advised Klaver that he could not talk to him about the investigation and that the orders had come from above. This failure to follow procedure, and specifically the failure to advise Klaver of the nature and/or extent of the investigation resulted in his going out on stress disability and filing an action with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board alleging a punitive transfer. The WCAB came down firmly on the side of Klaver, and in its opinion, specifically found that there was “[N]o explanation whatsoever for this investigation…offered by defendant” (Santa Clara County Sheriffs’ Office) and that the sheriffs’ office “…did not deny that it failed to follow established procedures” in this transfer. Klaver was off from work on stress disability from November 1990 to April 3, 1991, and forced, by the department, to use up all of his vacation and sick leave, rather than being put on paid administrative leave.
Even before Klaver returned to work, he was allowed to bid his usual south county patrol beat for which his seniority made his transfer to that beat automatic. However, on the transfer date, he was denied transfer to that beat and assigned to a distant location. Klaver filed a grievance with then Sheriff Gillingham, since he understood that the refusal to allow him to return to his normal beat was based on direct actions by then Assistant Sheriff Laurie Smith. Based on Klaver’s grievance, Sheriff Gillingham overruled Smith, and allowed Klaver to resume work at his normal south county beat.