Saturday, September 06, 2008


Sorry I've been absent in posting the last few days. It's been crazy around here. The kids are finally settling into this year's school schedules and P4 has started his first, real extra-curricular activity. He decided he wanted to take gymnastics with P3. I have to say - I loved it when P1 and P2 took tennis together for three years. But, I am *really* happy that two of the kids chose the sport *I* love. Tennis is Pdaddy's thing.

This story caught my eye, today.

Paul Rolly: Is dog cloner same woman accused of raping missionary?
By Paul Rolly Tribune Columnist

Call it "The Return of Joyce McKinney," or, perhaps "The Twilight Zone II." Is it possible that a former Brigham Young University co-ed and Miss Wyoming beauty queen charged in the 1970s with kidnapping and raping a Mormon missionary in England has resurfaced as the woman who made news this week for paying a Korean lab to clone puppies from her deceased dog's DNA? The owner of the newly cloned puppy, however, flatly denies she's one and the same.

The story of Bernann McKinney surfaced from Seoul, South Korea, earlier this week and ran in newspapers throughout the world. She is the 57-year-old woman who reportedly sold her house to raise enough money to have Seoul-based RNL Bio clone a litter of puppies from the DNA of her beloved pit bull, Booger, who died two years earlier.

When The Associated Press story ran in The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday, it got the attention of local filmmaker Trent Harris, who had done a documentary about Joyce McKinney, the woman charged in the missionary abduction nearly 30 years ago. He is "pretty sure" Bernann McKinney and Joyce McKinney are the same person.

I got a hold of Bernann McKinney, however briefly, Wednesday night when I called from my home to reach her during the daytime in Seoul. I got her mobile number from Hyung-Jin Kim, the AP reporter who had written the cloning story.

The first time I called, she hung up on me when I said I was a reporter from Salt Lake City. The second time, she said "Why are you slandering me," as soon as I identified myself and hung up again. The third time, I blurted out, "Are you Joyce McKinney?" She said, "No," and hung up again.

I called the AP reporter and asked if he had an e-mail address because she wouldn't talk to me over the phone. He said he had similar problems interviewing her, noting: "She is a confusing person."

Her reaction on the phone, the fact that she is the right age and apparently from the same hometown, and the similarity of the pictures of her now and of Joyce McKinney 30 years ago, suggests she is the same person. And Harris isn't the only one who made the connection.

So did the London Telegraph, but Bernann McKinney flatly denied to a reporter she is Joyce McKinney. "That's garbage; that's rot," she told the newspaper.

Joyce McKinney made international news when she was charged with abducting a Mormon missionary with the help of a male friend, and taking him to a hotel room where she forced him to have sex with her. She and the alleged victim had known each other at BYU before he left for his mission. She always maintained it was consensual sex.

Joyce McKinney made more news when she disappeared as the trial was under way and fled the country. British authorities eventually gave up trying to extradite her, but she was in trouble with the law again in Salt Lake City in the mid-1980s for allegedly stalking the missionary. She sued the Salt Lake City Police Department for false arrest and assault, but the case eventually was dismissed. about not letting someone let go of their past. There has got to be more to this story. I realize this may come across as sexist, but how does a woman force a man to have sex with her?


kelahamilton said...

Just because the body reacts in a certain way (i.e. becoming erect, creating lubrication etc) does in no way indicate their willingness to have intercourse. And if a man is unwilling to us physical force against a woman (or if he is just weaker mentally or physically) it would be possible for a woman to overpower him and take advantage of him sexually.

Aerik said...

Well first he has to be tied up or otherwise his arms and legs incapacitated, which she did do to him. And just because nerves work does not mean consent is given.

The same goes for men who rape women and claim she must've wanted it "because she was wet."

But you'd be sickened to know how often that excuse works for male rapists.

Anonymous said...

No no no. Ugh. I think I worded that really wrong. I understand that consent is key. I was TRULY trying to imagine the ability of a woman to over-power a man. It's not that I'm condoning what she did or saying that it wasn't a rape.
There's also a part of the story that was my fault for not posting. I think you can google her name and find out the other details. There is some discussion about how he wanted out of the mission and had her fly over to have sex because that would get him sent home. When he'd done all this and they found out he'd had sex, he panicked.

No way am I saying men can't be raped. I just know that I wouldn't be able to over-power my husband or any of my past boyfriends. Sorry if I hurt anyone or trivialized a man's consent. I didn't mean to.

kelahamilton said...

I think a lot depends on the particular male and female involved. I could never physically overpower my husband but that is part of the reason I chose him. However, I have known some men in my time that I could physically take down if necessary and some others that were so weak mentally that I could have made them do anything I wanted and they would have thought it was their idea. There are some women who purposely choose mates (or victims) who are physically or mentally weaker because it makes them feel powerful and that is what rape is about, power. So, in general men are 'stronger' than women it is not always the case.

AlisonM said...

I remember this story from my early college years, and it blew me away when I found out it was the same woman.

Yes, she did force him. She kidnapped him, brought him to a remote "honeymoon" type resort, drugged him, shackled him to the bed with fur-lined handcuffs, and raped him. He had rejected her at some point, and I don't remember whether they had ever actually had a relationship, but she was unable to let go of him.

And here we are, several decades later, and she still can't let go - her dog dies, and she has him cloned! If you read the interviews when the cloning story initially broke, she sounds very scary. She really seems to believe that each of the five dogs really IS the dog he was cloned from.

My friends and I got chuckles for years about the fur-lined handcuffs thing (first time we'd heard of such a thing), but never questioned that this was kidnapping and rape. After seeing the two stories put together, I wonder how many other weird obsessive things this woman has done. I shudder to think of it.

Anonymous said...

"how does a woman force a man to have sex with her?"
I think beer would be the answer.

Spidergrackle said...

There was also another man involved in the kidnapping, from what I understand. Someone who was infatuated with McKinney, and helped her abduct and restrain her victim.

Rebekah said...

HA! I grew up in Salt Lake and this story...SNORT! Crazy dog-cloning lady is crazy missionary-raper? Of course! It makes me hope Trent Harris will write a sequal to his book "Mondo Utah".

And I belive Joyce McKinney's own words about male rape were "it's like trying to stuff a marshmallow in a parking meter".

Milo Johnson said...

Yeah, she'd like to think so...