October 21, 1990
Dear Mr. Butler,
My family has been the victim of successive kidnapings. My 80-year-old mother, Dr. Helen Marjorie Sloan, was kidnapped out of her hospital room at the Bangkok General Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand on September 3, 1990. She was forcibly boarded onto NorthWest Airlines flight 28 to Tokyo and America at 6:50 A.M. on the morning of September 5. The person who accomplished this kidnaping was a Thai lawyer named Boonchoo Yensabai, assisted by an American private detective named John Sobell.
This kidnaping was financed by Wesley Cassel Jacobson, the 77 year old brother of my mother, and by Creighton Wesley Sloan, my brother. Creighton and Cassel have for the past four years been involved in multiple litigation against my mother in an effort to obtain control of her assets. My mother had been refusing to return to America out of a desire to avoid this litigation.
Within a few days thereafter, Boonchoo and Sobell, the same persons who kidnapped my mother, came back and tried to kidnap my three children, Shamema, then aged 8, Michael, aged 2, and Jessica, also aged 2. Apparently, Charles and Shelby Roberts had by then learned of their fantastic success in kidnaping my mother and had hired them to kidnap my children as well. They just barely failed. We escaped only because I hid my children in the Golden Triangle area of Northern Thailand and then managed to smuggle them across the southern border of Thailand into Malaysia a few days later. Together, we traveled 3600 miles by public bus in order to avoid these kidnapers.
After that, we made it back to what we believed was safety in the United Arab Emirates, where we have lived for the past four years. We arrived on September 23rd. However, on September 26th, Boonchoo found out about this and called up Vithanage Santhilatha of Sri Lanka. my companion and the mother of Jessica, on the telephone. He threatened to kill Santhilatha and hand over Jessica to the government for adoption unless she pushed Shamema out the door of our house, where two Thai men were waiting to take Shamema away. According to Santhilatha, she looked over the wall surrounding our house and, sure enough, saw two Thai men lurking outside.
I reported this incident to Eileen Lewison, the U.S. consular officer there.
Because of this incident, I had my entire family moved to a secure location in Abu Dhabi, 180 miles from here. They were hidden there for about one week. Finally, on the morning of October 7, I drove them all back to our home in Fujairah, thinking that the danger had passed.
Being tired from this long journey, I took a nap. When I awoke a few hours later, my entire family had disappeared. Shamema had left a note stating that they had all gone to a marriage party in Dibba, a town about 50 miles north of hare.
It happened that Shaikh Rashid, the ruler of Dubai, died that very night and this entire nation went into a compulsory seven day period of mourning. All shops and offices were closed and traffic was discouraged from the streets. I was therefore not surprised when my family failed to return from this marriage party promptly. I assumed that they were stranded without transport in Dibba.
It took me a long time to discover the truth, which is as follows: After Boonchoo had called Santhilatha several times and threatened to kill her and steal her daughter, Santhilatha was contacted by Charles and Shelby Roberts who offered to give her money and an airplane ticket to America if she voluntarily handed my daughter, Shamema, over to them. Boonchoo was working for Charles and Shelby Roberts, who had paid him $12,000 for his services up to that point and had agreed to pay him a total of $25,000 upon delivery of Shamema to them. Being threatened with death on the one hand and being offered money and a ticket to America on the other, Santhilatha had decided to cooperate.
She took Shamema, Michael and Jessica to Abu Dhabi. Waiting for her there at the Albadie Travel Agency on Al Nasr Street were three round trip airplane tickets to America. These had been purchased by Jay Roberts (the son of Charles and Shelby Roberts) at the Holiday Travel Agency located at 757 Church Street, Lynchburq, Virginia. The total price paid for these tickets was in excess of $4200. The adult ticket for Santhilatha was more than $1800 and the tickets for the two children, Shamema and Jessica, were more than $1200 each. These were round trip tickets with a reservation for all three to return to Abu Dhabi on December 2, 1990.
However, there was no ticket for Michael, my two year old son. For this reason, he had to be left behind. It happened that after collecting the tickets which had been sent by Jay Roberts, the four of them were standing on Hamdan Street in Abu Dhabi when Santhilatha was approached by a Syrian man named Mr. Jamal, who offered her a Job working for his family as a housemaid. Santhilatha said that she did not need a job but that she had her own housemaid named Linda Duavis who was looking for a job. She offered to introduce Linda to his family the next morning. On this basis, Mr. Jamal agreed to allow her and the three children to spend the night in his house with his family.
Early the next morning, Santhilatha arose and told Mr. Jamal that she was going out to meet Linda and would bring her back in a few minutes. She asked Mr. Jamal not to wake Michael, as he was still sound asleep.
She never returned. Instead of bringing back the promised housemaid, she went with the two children directly to Abu Dhabi International Airport, where they boarded Gulf Air Flight 971 to Bahrain at 9:00 A.M. In Bahrain, they transferred to Gulf Air Flight 003 to London. In London, they took TWA Flight 783 to Washington National Airport. They arrived in Washington National Airport at 12:20 Monday Midnight (actually very early Tuesday morning, October 9). They were met at the airport by the Roberts family and taken to Madison Heights, Virginia.
As soon as I realized that Shamema was really gone, I knew exactly what had happened to her. The Roberts family have been trying to get Shamema away from me ever since 1986, when I fired Shelby Roberts from her job as a baby-sitter. I therefore called Ed Meeks, the Amherst County Commonwealth Attorney, to inform him that Shamema had been kidnapped by the Roberts. He apparently sent an investigator to the Roberts family home at 420 Amelon Road in Madison Heights and found Shamema there. According to Ed Meeks, Shamema was thereafter taken into custody by the Amherst County Department of Social Services.
Meanwhile, back in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Jamal waited patiently for Santhilatha to return with the promised housemaid. Finally. that afternoon, he took Michael to the police station. He did not even know Michael's name, much less who his father was. However, when I reported to the police in Fujairah that my family, including three children, were missing, the police were able to connect the two cases together and return Michael to me.
Going back a bit, in Thailand, Boonchoo had caused to be published in the newspapers articles stating that Charles and Shelby Roberts had been allowed to adopt Shamema by court orders dated April 2, 1986 and August 25, 1986. This is completely untrue. The order dated April 2, 1986 awarded custody of Shamema to me. No mention was made of the Roberts. Shelby Roberts was merely a baby-sitter, employed by me at $110 per week to take care of Shamema. The August 25, 1986 order awarded physical custody of Shamema to me but allowed the Roberts to have visitation with my daughter. This was in contravention of the Virginia statutes, which do not contemplate the award of visitation to non-relatives such as the Roberts. I am enclosing copies of these two orders plus the newspaper articles in question.
Being dissatisfied with having mere visitation rights, the Roberts filed a suit for custody on August 27, 1986. However, this suit was never served because we were all out of the State of Virginia at the time. Temporary custody was awarded to the Amherst Department of Social Services, pending a hearing which was never held. This is the reason that the Amherst Department of Social Services took Shamema into its custody in October, 1990.
I really do not know what they mean by "took into custody". I suspect that the Roberts are still being allowed to keep my daughter, under some sort of nominal court supervision. To this, I strenuously object because of the known hostility of the Roberts to both me and to the religion the actual mother of Shamema. whose name is Honzagool. Honzagool is a devout Muslim who lives in Chitral, Pakistan, high in the Hindu Kush mountains. The Roberts are fanatical Jerry Falwell Baptists. There is no connection at all between the Roberts and Honzagool. I was a guest in the family home of Honzagool in Pakistan this past December.
Now, I want to turn to the question of the evidence and your jurisdiction. We have here an attempted kidnaping of my children in Thailand in September followed by a successful kidnaping of the same children in the United Arab Emirates in October. All of this was financed by Mr. Charles Roberts and the Roberts family. My information is that first Mr. Roberts came to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in July or August, 1990 with the plan of kidnaping Shamema personally himself. Presumably, he came to our house in Fujairah at that time and discovered the house to be empty, as we were in Thailand. He then went back. However, this trip was useful to him in setting up and arranging the subsequent kidnaping.
He and his family are known to have spent at least $16,000 for the purpose of kidnaping Shamema. At least $12.000 was paid to Boonchoo and at least $4200 was spent on airline tickets. I believe that the actual amount was much higher. Boonchoo is a big spender who stays at only the best hotels and eats at only the fanciest restaurants. I personally observed him spending large amounts of money on this case, and he clearly would not have done so had he not received a much larger amount. I am also told that immediately after Shamema disappeared on October 7, Boonchoo himself went missing and reportedly he went to either Australia or New Zealand.
The Roberts are a family of modest means. Mr. Roberts is a manual laborer who works on an assembly line on the graveyard shift in a factory. Shelby Roberts is a secretary for John Stewart Walker, a real estate agency. According to Vithanage Santhilatha, Shelby told her that they were in the process of either selling or mortgaging their house in Madison Heights in order to raise the funds necessary to pay Boonchoo to get Shamema.
Mr. Roberts has long been interested in getting Shamema for two stated reasons. First, Shamema happens to be an exceptionally bright and gifted child. Charles Roberts has no daughter of his own, and he has always wanted one. They have two sons, both of whom are in their mid or late twenties. Charles and Shelby Roberts are about 52 years old.
The second reason is that they are religious fanatics. Mr. Roberts apparently sincerely believes that he is doing God's holy work by taking my daughter away from me so that she will be raised up as a Christian rather than as a Muslim. If I, myself, were a Christian, he would never think of taking Shamema.
However, the main point is that Charles Roberts was not awarded custody of Shamema. not even in Amherst County, much less in the United Arab Emirates. It was therefore clearly illegal for him to come to the United Arab Emirates to try and take Shamema. It was even illegal for him to bring Shamema from Washington National Airport to stay in his home in Virginia, without the knowledge of either of her parents or, for that matter, of the Amherst County Department of Social Services. Shamema was born on October 15, 1981. Thus, she was eight years old when all this happened, but has since turned nine years old.
This case has been covered extensively in the local newspapers here. I am enclosing some newspaper clippings. The newspaper coverage has actually been quite restrained. They have never been willing to publish the fact that the actual purpose of the kidnaping of Shamema is to convert a child of Muslim parents to Christianity. However, there is no extradition treaty or any other sort of agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the United States. The Ruler of Fujairah has personally ordered that something be done about this case, but the relevant government ministries have not yet figured out what, if anything, they can do.
Going back to my mother, hers was a clear case of kidnaping as well. Creighton and Cassel have not been on good terms with my mother for many years. For at least the past four or five years, they have been trying by every possible means to catch her so that they can obtain control of her assets, estimated to be around $300,000. It was because of them that she fled the United States in the first place.
If you can obtain copies of the cable traffic between the State Department in Washington and the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the U.S. Consulate in Dubai over the past four years, you will see that there have been a constant stream of cables from the State Department reflecting demands by Creighton, Cassel and Charles and Shelby Roberts for information about my mother and my daughter. In particular, Cassel has been using every dirty trick possible to induce my mother to return. He has constantly notified her through the embassy of family emergencies requiring her presence. In about March, 1987, my mother was sent through the U.S. Embassy a one way non-refundable airplane ticket from Abu Dhabi to Washington, DC. She refused this ticket. In JuIy, 1988, the U.S. Embassy was falsely told by Cassel that I was in jail in Guam and therefore my mother should come back to America immediately. The U.S. Embassy was so concerned about this that the U.S. Consul at that time, Robert Murphy, personally went to our home and interviewed my mother. My mother told him that she was happy where she was and absolutely was not willing to return to the United States.
In addition, because my brother, Creighton, had stolen my mother's social security check on a number of occasions, my mother was in the habit of personally going to the U.S. Embassy every month to collect her check. Every time she went, the consular officer there questioned her regarding the voluntaries of her presence in the United Arab Emirates, especially since Creighton and Cassel had repeatedly been alleging that I had kidnapped my mother and was holding her against her will. Each time, my mother told the concerned consular officer that she liked being where she was and had no desire to live with either Creighton or Cassel.
Incidentally, during almost this entire time, Creighton and Cassel never called my mother directly on the telephone. From mid-1986 until August, 1989, she never heard from either of them. Finally, Cassel called her, but only because a court hearing had been scheduled in Charlottesville for her to appear a few days later.
When my mother was forcibly taken from the Bangkok General Hospital on September , she was in extremely weak condition both physically and mentally. In fact. she had just passed a narrow escape from death. I am enclosing a photograph of her at that time so that you can see that I am not exaggerating the situation. It was only because of her extremely weak condition that it was possibly to kidnap her.
It has always been clear that neither Creighton nor Cassel have any intention of taking care of my mother. They were only interested in getting her money. My best information is that as soon as she arrived in the U.S., she was dropped off in a nursing home in a secret location. I have no idea where she is, except that she is probably in Maryland. She has often stated that she does not want to live in a nursing home. She wants to live in her own home with her own grandchildren. This is the reason that she was so happy living in the United Arab Emirates. We had a five bedroom home, occupied by her, myself, three grandchildren and generally three or four household servants. This arrangement was far beyond the means of all but the most wealthy retired Americans.
I am including with this letter copies of two affidavits signed by my mother regarding these matters, the last of which was signed just a few days before she was actually kidnapped. I am also enclosing two of my own affidavits which were signed just after my mother was Kidnapped.
In particular, one of these affidavits is a civil complaint filed by my mother in the Lynchburg Circuit Court in November. 1989 naming Creighton Sloan, Cassel Jacobson and Charles and Shelby Roberts among other defendants. If you read her complaint. you will see that she alleges that Creighton and Cassel are trying to force her to return to the United States and that Charles and Shelby Roberts are trying to kidnap her granddaughter, Shamema. In fact, her complaint accurately predicted the future. All of her allegations have been proven true by subsequent events. The accuracy of her predictions also proves that she was of much sounder mind than the defendants were claiming.
I want to focus on one particular point. My mother gave my brother a power of attorney in 1984. She has always claimed that she was coerced into doing this. She revoked this power of attorney in October, f986. The reason she did this was that at that point Creighton was trying to have my mother arrested and put in jail. My mother was in Rio Gallegos, Argentina. Knowing that. Creighton had canceled her Visa card and withdrawn all the funds from her checking accounts, so that she had no money to pay her hotel bill. She would have been jailed for non-payment of her bill had she not revoked that power of attorney and gotten the funds restored to her Sovran Bank account.
For this reason, Creighton thereafter sued the bank. Without any notice to my mother, Judge Miller declared null and void my mother's revocation of Creiqhton's power of attorney. Immediately thereafter, Creighton once again withdrew all the funds from my mother's checking accounts.
In February, 1987, my mother once again revoked my brother's power of attorney. A copy of this revocation is enclosed. Unlike the previous revocation, this revocation took place before the consular officer in the U.S. Embassy and was recorded in the Lynchburg Circuit Court in book 695, page 437. This second revocation has never been overturned by any court. Thus, Creighton has lost his right to exercise that 1984 power of attorney.
Nevertheless, my brother has been using that power of attorney to kidnap my mother. In August, one of my mother's brothers sent $4,000 through the U.S. State Department to pay my mother's medical bills at the Bangkok General Hospital. Creighton had been using all legal means at his disposal to prevent the payment of this bill. When he found out that the money was on its way despite his efforts to prevent this from happening, he got on an airplane and flew from Aiken, South Carolina to Bangkok, Thailand. He arrived at the U.S. Embassy on the morning of August 10th. the same time that the money arrived. I understand that using the 1984 power of attorney, he claimed the money for himself. He then hired Boonchoo and assigned the $4,000 to him. He gave Boonchoo a power of attorney to commence legal action to obtain custody of my mother. After that, he went back to America, without ever contacting my mother. We were unaware that he had even come to Thailand until about two weeks later. At that time, we learned that he had visited the Makkasan Police Station, which is located Just outside the door to the Bangkok General Hospital, and had registered a police case against my mother, but had never entered the hospital. Once again, he was trying to have my mother arrested.
In short, the money which had been sent to pay my mother's hospital bills had been stolen by my brother to pay a lawyer to bring a court case against my mother. If you knew the history of the troubled relationship between my mother and my brother you would know that this was only the most recent example of many similar things which my brother has done in the past. In fact, my brother has often openly stated that he hates his mother. He claims that she neglected him during his childhood because she was working so hard as a psychiatrist. He says that he does things like this to get even with her for her neglect of him in the past. He even goes so far as to state that he wishes that he had never been born.
In February, 1987, my mother gave a general power of attorney to me, a copy at which is enclosed. This was recorded with the Lynchburg Circuit Court in book 695, page 439. I therefore am clearly the only person who has any legal authority regarding my mother. Neither Creighton nor Cassel have any sort of valid power of attorney. Unless my mother has recovered miraculously from the condition she was in on September 3 when she was kidnapped, she is no longer in a position to handle her own affairs. Nevertheless, the whereabouts of my mother are being kept secret from me.
I am presently planning to come to America as soon as possible. In fact, I hope to be in your office in Roanoke within a week. I will be bringing with me my two year old son Michael, the one who was left behind in Abu Dhabi. I will be trying to recover my missing mother and my two missing children. I am sure that at the same time, Charles and Shelby Roberts will be trying to get my remaining child, Michael, away from me. Charles Roberts likes to go deer hunting with his sons, Jay and Larry. Therefore, they are heavily armed, with shotguns and hunting rifles in their house.
In short, I believe that all of the aforementioned people should be arrested and should be safely in jail before I come.
Very Truly Yours,
M. Ismail Sloan
I have written innumerable letters complaining about this kidnapping. More than that, I have been arrested eleven times in efforts to stop me from getting my kidnapped daughter back. In 1992, I was extradited from California and tried and sentenced to five years in prison in Virginia on charges which I can prove are completely false. I got out of prison after only 21 months, much to the consternation of the people who kidnapped my daughter. They keep trying to have me arrested again.
Here is my second letter to the FBI: Letter to the FBI Agent John Terry . Here is one of my other letters to the FBI: Letter to the FBI Agent John P. Butler . Here is the only reply I have ever received either verbally or in writing to my letters to the FBI and to the US Department of Justice about these kidnappings (Note that in July, 1991, nine months after Charles and Shelby Roberts had kidnapped my daughter, Judge Lawrence Janow of the Amherst County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court had "awarded" them custody of the child which they had kidnapped): 1994 Response of US Department of Justice regarding 1990 complaints of kidnappings of Dr. Marjorie Sloan and Shamema Honzagool Sloan .