October 28, 1990
Dear Mr. Terry,
I understand that you have been assigned to this case involving, among other things, the kidnaping of my daughter, Shamema Honzagool Sloan, by Mr. Charles Roberts of Madison Heights, Virginia and by the rest of the Roberts family.
Enclosed are two documents vital to this case. One is a copy of the three airline tickets by which my daughter, Shamema, along with my other daughter, Jessica Vithanage, and her mother, Vithanage Santhilatha, were brought to America. The other is a cable advice from the travel agency concerning the issuance of these three tickets.
These two documents were not easy to obtain. The travel agent here, Albadie Travel, refused to cooperate. As a result, I was forced to file a police case against them. Only this morning, Captain Jumma Al Shamssi of the Al Asma Police Station in Abu Dhabi was able to obtain these photocopies for me.
What these documents show is that three TWA tickets were issued, dated October 7, 1990. These tickets were purchased by Jay Roberts (the son of Charles and Shelby Roberts) at the Holiday Travel Bureau Inc., located at 727 Church Street, Lynchburg, Virginia 24505, telephone number 804-847-6668.
Near the bottom of the cable from the travel agency is telephone number 804-929-8888. This is the hone residence telephone number of Charles and Shelby Roberts in Madison Heights, Virginia.
At the top is written "Leave message for Ms. Renika". Renuka is the nickname for Vithanage Santhilatha.
The Fujairah telephone number next to her name is 971-70-27817. That is the number of Christy De Guzman, a Filipina nurse who lives behind my house.
The price paid for the tickets was $1864 for the one adult and $1292 for each of the two children's tickets. Thus, the total price paid was $4448 for the three round trip tickets.
The cable shows that a return reservation was made for the three of then to return to Abu Dhabi by TWA flight 784 from Washington, D.C. on December 2, 1990 at 6.44 A.M. I do not know the reason why they decided to issue round trip tickets for my two children. Perhaps, my eight year old daughter, Shamema, needed assurance that she would be allowed to return to her father after her "vacation" in America.
In short, the enclosed documents provide clear and convincing proof that Mr. Jay Roberts was among those responsible for kidnaping my daughter and bringing her to America without my knowledge or the knowledge of her mother, Honzagool, who is in Pakistan.
I want to provide you with a few additional details regarding this case:
In my previous letter to John P. Butler dated October 21, 1990, I mentioned that Boonchoo called Vithanage Santhilatha (also known as "Renuka") and threatened among other things to have her child taken away from her by the government and given for adoption unless she pushed Shamema out the gate, where two Thai men were waiting to take her away. Renuka thereafter looked over the wall and saw the two men.
I want to add that after this, Renuka and Shamema locked all the doors to the house, including the internal doors, and hid under the bed in my mother's room. Thus, they were clearly very afraid of Boonchoo.
After that, Boonchoo kept calling. Among his other threats, he said that he had filed a case with the police that Renuka had stolen $4,000 from a hotel in Bangkok, and that he was going to have her arrested in Fujairah. He also said that he had placed an order blocking her departure from all of the airports in the United Arab Emirates.
Later on, on October 7, after I had hidden the four of them in Abu Dhabi and then brought Renuka and the three children back to Fujairah, Shamema and Renuka started practicing escape routes out of the house. They started practicing climbing over the back wall so that if Boonchoo came in through the front gate, they would go out over the back wall. I stopped them just as they were trying to hand two year old Jessica over the wall, with Renuka straddling the top of the wall and Shamema standing on a chair beside it. This was clearly a dangerous exercise. Right after that, I took a nap, and, when I woke up, they had disappeared.
I mention this because this shows that they were sincerely afraid of Boonchoo. I believe that this fear was the main factor which led Renuka to cooperate with Boonchoo's employer: Charles Roberts. It also should be added that since at least 1985, Mr. Roberts has had lawyers in the Lynchburg area on retainer trying to obtain custody or adoption rights to Shamema, without any success. This is clearly the reason why he finally decided to hire a criminal like Boonchoo, who could get the job done where the legitimate lawyers had failed.
Renuka knew Boonchoo and had good reasons to be afraid of him. This also requires some explanation: Renuka, of her own accord, went to Sri Lanka on about June 17, 1990, leaving Jessica behind with me. She said that she was pregnant and was going to get married to a boy she had met. She vowed never to return. However, about one month later, she started calling to say that she had changed her mind and wanted to come back. I was unwilling and financially unable to send her a return ticket. She finally raised the money herself and bought her own ticket to come back, arriving in the UAE on about August 5, 1990. She discovered our house to be empty, as we had already departed and were in Thailand.
Due to a mistake by the telephone company, one of our telephones was still working. (The other two were disconnected). Therefore, Renuka started making long distance calls. She called Creighton and Shelby Roberts and got our number at the Bangkok General Hospital in Thailand from Creighton.
She lost contact with us again after my mother was kidnaped by Boonchoo on September 3 and we checked out of the hospital on September 4. Then, Boonchoo contacted her. He wanted to bring her to Thailand to use her to file a court case against us. There is no Thai embassy in the UAE, so Renuka cane to Thailand on September 7 without a visa. She was rejected at the airport. She waited inside the airport transit lounge for two days. Boonchoo and John Sobell gave her about $400 U.S. dollars inside the airport, plus a round trip ticket to Singapore. In Singapore, she was able to obtain a Thai visa and return to Bangkok.
By then, it was September 12, and her name was in the Bangkok newspapers about this. She was greeted at the Bangkok International Airport by photographers with cameras flashing. She was taken to lunch with the newspaper reporters at the Royal Orchard Hotel, one of the fanciest hotels in Bangkok. All of this was paid for by Boonchoo, who, in turn, was being paid by Charles Roberts. However, according to Renuka, later the same day, she twice escaped from Boonchoo and John Sobell. Both times, she was caught and brought back. Finally, Boonchoo had her locked in a brothel hotel for the night. The reason that he chose a whorehouse as a suitable accommodation for her was obviously that such places pay bribes to the police and any woman in such a place will not be locatable by the police, or by me. (This causes me to wonder whether my own mother was not housed in a whorehouse during the one or two nights when Boonchoo had her under his control.)
Fortunately, the same night, Renuka escaped from the whorehouse and, by chance, we found each other in the long distance telephone call office near the Bangkok General Post Office. We stayed in a tiny guest house for the night and the next day I took Renuka to the Golden Triangle area, where I had hidden the three children.
We knew that Boonchoo would have all the airports in Thailand blocked, preventing our departure. Therefore, we headed by road to the Southern border of Thailand. When we got to the border checkpost, sure enough, there was an order that we should not be allowed to cross. The order was simply to be on the lookout for an American man traveling with three American children and a Sri Lankan woman. As a result, when we arrived at the border, we were spotted within seconds. Fortunately, we had brought with us a man whom we had met through our contacts in the Golden Triangle area who was engaged in the regular business of smuggling illegal Burmese across the border from Thailand to Malaysia. Through his help, we were able to get across the border into Malaysia, in spite of having been caught at the border of Thailand.
When Boonchoo called up Renuka on the telephone in Fujairah on September 26, he accused her of double-crossing him and causing him to lose a lot of money. These accusations were, of course, completely true. Renuka also knew that Boonchoo was a professional extortionist and was an extremely dangerous person to be involved with. This explains why she decided to make a run for it and escape with Shamema to America.
One thing of which I am afraid is that now that Mr. Roberts has Shamema, he will try to get rid of Jessica and Renuka. They are no longer of any use to him and, in fact, are dangerous to keep around, because, inevitably, Renuka will be the best witness to testify against Mr. Roberts and the others. Also, Shamema has a strong attachment to her baby sister, Jessica, but Mr. Roberts will be interested in separating them. Renuka and Jessica, of course, have no home of their own and no place to go at this point.
For this reason, I request that you consider taking them into some form of custody, for their own protection.
The big problem which I face is that while it is clear that Mr. Roberts has committed a serious criminal offense by kidnaping my daughter, Shamema, the fact is that he is also protected by corrupt officials in the Lynchburg – Amherst area. Otherwise, he would be in jail already. In addition, Mr. Roberts is supported by one of the most powerful religious leaders in the entire United States, namely the Reverend Jerry Falwell. These factors make the otherwise trivially easy task of getting my daughter back extremely difficult.
I am concerned by the fact that until now, the concerned Amherst County officials have not even allowed me to speak to Shamema on the telephone. I was not even allowed to wish her a happy birthday on October 15th. I consider this to be completely illegal. I want to mention here that none of the Amherst County officials have ever met me in person, nor had they ever seen Shamema face to face until Mr. Roberts kidnaped her and brought her to Amherst County three weeks ago. Thus, they have no basis for deciding whether I am a good father or a bad father, for example. The fact that the Amherst County officials are behaving in such a completely illegal fashion has me greatly concerned. This is clearly harmful to the best interests of Shamema, who suddenly finds herself in an unfamiliar environment among strangers whom she has never met before, and, at the same time, is not even allowed to speak to her father on the telephone.
This is the reason that at the moment I am still trying to pursue this case through INTERPOL. My family has not been treated fairly by the courts in the Lynchburg area for the past several years and this pattern seems unlikely to change. Nevertheless, I do intend to come to Lynchburg, Virginia within a few days, after I have exhausted the procedures available here.
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 first letter to the FBI: Letter to the FBI about the kidnappings of Dr. Marjorie Sloan and Shamema Honzagool Sloan. 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 .