Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Records show that Dr. William Flynn Walker's unspeakable child abuse stretched to Russia and the Caribbean, but the press mostly ignored it

Child sexual abuse: In Alabama and beyond
(From fairobserver.com and Shutterstock)
A former Alabama physician, who in a roundabout way became a major figure in the Upton v. Upton divorce case, was involved in child sexual abuse of international proportions, according to newly discovered documents.

Dr. William Flynn Walker is the biological father of Gincie Walker Upton, whose affair with Birmingham steel executive Bill Upton broke up a marriage of more than 30 years to Linda Upton and led to numerous dubious rulings in the divorce case from Jefferson County private judge Gary Pate.

Walker pleaded guilty to seven federal counts of transporting three different children across state lines between 1984 and 2004 and engaging in illegal sexual acts with them. He also pleaded guilty to state charges of sexual abuse and first-degree sodomy. In August 2006, Walker was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison, without the possibility of parole. He currently is housed at the Federal Correctional Institute at Butner, North Carolina, and is scheduled for release in 2033.

New documents, from the revocation of Walker's medical license, strongly suggest that he did not act alone, but he is the only one to be held accountable for a series of horrific crimes that took place over more than 20 years.

As we noted in a previous post, Walker was a prominent figure in the conservative, evangelical community in Birmingham's southern suburbs. He had been a member at Briarwood Presbyterian Church (PCA) before leaving to start a home schooling program at Evangel Christian Church (PCA).

The Walker convictions took place roughly 10 years ago -- and they involved horrifying examples of child abuse in a community that is known for its right-wing religious fervor -- and yet Web research almost suggests the case never happened. We've been able to find two relatively brief stories at the Shelby County Reporter, which provide the barest of details, and we can find no sign of coverage from The Birmingham News/al.com. That news outlet, the state's largest, was run at the time by members of the Hanson family, who've long had connections to Briarwood Church.

Gincie Walker Upton, now in her 30s, has been diagnosed with multiple-personality disorder. Is that because she was so close to, and perhaps a victim of, her father's criminal acts? Was she a witness to the criminal acts of other prominent individuals who never have been held accountable? Does Alabama have a statute of limitations on cases involving alleged child sexual abuse? Our research indicates the answer is no.

Documents related to the revocation of Dr. Walker's medical license provide perhaps the most detailed account of his actions that has become public so far. (See the documents at the end of this post.) What do the documents tell us? Consider the following:

Based upon evidence presented, the Medical Licensure Commission makes the following findings of fact:

1. September 30, 2005, Dr. Walker was indicted in the United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, on seven criminal felony counts for violating 18 U.S.C. 2424.

2. All of the felony charges involved transporting minor females in interstate and foreign commerce with the intent that the minor females engage in sexual activity. The minor females were transported from Alabama to Colorado, Kentucky, Florida, Wyoming, the Caribbean, and Russia.

That is shocking stuff. Dr. Walker did not just take the girls to Georgia or Mississippi. He took them to Colorado, Wyoming -- even Russia and the Caribbean. Russia has become known as a hub for human trafficking.

Briarwood Presbyterian Church
(From birmingham365.org)
Attorney Wayne Turner was appointed as hearing officer in the case. According to Alabama State Bar records, a Wayne P. Turner practices in Wetumpka.

Our sources say Dr. Walker's victims included his own children, plus the children of others. Some of the trips obviously were via flight. It's not clear if those within the United States involved air travel or ground vehicles. It's also not clear if boys ever were among the abuse victims. The documents we've seen so far point only to girls as victims, and we are not sure about the age range.

How could Dr. Walker engage in such activity for 20 years without the assistance of others? How could he engage in such activity for 20 years without other adults knowing about it -- and failing to at least try to stop it?

Those are just two of many disturbing questions raised by the story of Dr. William Flynn Walker, which might be the most disturbing crime spree in the history of Alabama, especially when you consider its length and the ages of the victims. That media and religious and perhaps corporate figures apparently helped cover it up makes it even more gut-wrenching.

One gets the sense that Dr. Walker had a number of accomplices who probably are still out there, in Birmingham's southern suburbs and in its most fervent religious institutions, perhaps with easy access to a new generation of children. That suggests the Dr. William Flynn Walker case is far from over, that overwhelmingly white and affluent neighborhoods are housing some extremely dark secrets.


Anonymous said...

You probably can go to Briarwood on a Sunday morning and receive your bulletin from one of the sickos who was involved with Dr. Walker.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Jeebus, this is scary stuff. This guy took kids to Russian and Caribbean, and nobody wondered what in the hell was going on?

Anonymous said...

Birmingham News did not cover this story at all? That's hard to believe.

legalschnauzer said...

Walker's sentencing was in '06, exactly 10 years ago, and if you do a search on al.com, nothing appears. Nothing appears in a general Google search. Wish I could check microfilm for appropriate date, but not in a position to do that right now. Keep in mind, the publisher at the time was heavy duty into Briarwood.

Anonymous said...

Here in Lee County in 2004, a man and his wife took a 16 year old female(no Kin) and A 18 year old female (Judge's granddaughter) to a nude beach in the caribbean. Who you going to complain to?

Zacherydtaylor said...

Alabama along with Mississippi Louisiana and South Carolina and a couple other Southern states routinely rank in the top ten when it comes to murder according to the FBI. There is good reason to believe that child abuse, often with religious connections is a major contributing factor to this. This is especially true when the people involved in the abuse have political power that enables them to avoid accountability.

I think we discussed this in the past when you reported on Ted Rollins, who also got away with a lot of violence towards children before a modest amount of charges were brought against him, although I think he got away with mo more than a virtual slap on the wrist and perhaps a civil settlement.

7 or 8 of the states with highest murder rates still allow corporal punishment in schools because of religious demands. only 1 or 2 make it into the lowest murder rates but they practically never use it.

There are similar correlations with religion, which often supports corporal punishment against children; the exception being Utah, which is very religious and conservative but Gordon Hinkley, former leader of the Mormon church spoke against corporal punishment and they have lower murder rates than other highly religious states.

legalschnauzer said...

Zachery: Thanks for an insightful comment. When you think about it, we've been reporting on child abuse, in various forms, for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

You show some one's hands in physical bondage. Some begin as economic bondage. The two girls listed above did not have fathers present in their lives. One girl's mother was the house keeper and the 16 year was supplied a car.Every one praised how generous this man was. The 16 year old told my 14 year old daughter that the man stripped in front of them at the nude beach.I do not think the man realized the 18 year old's grandfather was a judge.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Question- what was apparently being mailed or received by mail?

"This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney James E. Phillips prosecuted this matter on behalf of the U.S. Government"

Source for quote: http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/2006/08/thread-12-eisgraus-daughter-talks.html#115472951296692174

S C said...

It's interesting that he didn't show for the hearing and there was a 'hearing office' assigned to him...who the heck was his attorney? He surely had one when he went to federal court?

legalschnauzer said...

Good point, @3:19. Perhaps Walker was corresponding via mail with people in Colo., Wyo., Russia, and Caribb, about expected time of arrival, etc. My guess is the contents of such mail would be stomach churning.

S C said...

From Wikapedia...( I had no idea the reach that Postal Inspection Service has)

As fact-finding and investigative agents, Postal Inspectors are sworn federal law enforcement officers who carry firearms, make arrests and serve federal search warrants and subpoenas. Inspectors work closely with U.S. Attorneys, other law enforcement agencies, and local prosecutors to investigate postal cases and prepare them for court. For example, on all international mail Postal Inspectors work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while on domestic mail Postal Inspectors work closely with state and local law enforcement agencies. There are approximately 1,200 Postal Inspectors stationed throughout the United States and abroad who enforce more than 200 federal laws covering investigations of crimes that adversely affect or fraudulently use the U.S. Mail and postal system.

Fraud: These types of investigation involve crimes that use the mails to facilitate fraud against consumers, business and government. Federal statutes that surround these types of investigations include, mail fraud, and other criminal statutes when they are tied to the mails such as bank fraud, identity theft, credit card fraud, wire fraud, and Internet/computer fraud. Mail fraud is a statute that is used in prosecuting many white collar crimes, this would include, Ponzi schemes, 419 frauds, and other white collar crimes where the mail was used to facilitate the fraud including public corruption

External Crime & Violent Crime Teams: The External Crimes Function of USPIS is a function that investigates any theft of US mail by non employees, assaults of postal employees and theft and robberies of postal property. This function also investigates robberies of postal employees and postal facilities, burglaries of postal facilities, and assaults and murders against postal employees. This investigative function focuses on ensuring that the sanctity and trust in the U.S. Mail system is maintained.
Prohibited Mailing Investigations: Prohibited mailing investigations are USPIS investigations that focus on the prohibited mailing of contraband including: narcotics, precursors and proceeds; child pornography and other sexually prohibited materials; and hazardous materials to include, mail bombs, and nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The laundering of narcotics and other criminal proceeds through the use of Postal Money Orders is sometimes categorized under this investigative function.
Aviation and Homeland Security: USPIS investigations also include the securing and protecting of transportation of US Mail and any risk that might compromise the security of the homeland because of these mails. Security Audits are conducted by these teams to ensure that postal service maintains facilities secure from not only theft and robberies but also natural and manmade disasters.
Revenue Investigations: USPIS investigates cases where fraudulent practices are conducted by business and consumers that mail items without proper postage or with counterfeit postage and indicia or crimes that defraud the USPS of revenue.

International Investigations and Global Security: USPIS maintains investigators in the US and in posts around the world for protection, liaison, and intelligence.

Joint Task Force Investigations: USPIS participates in joint task force investigations where laws applicable to the mail service are involved. These cases are often wide ranging and involve every law enforcement agency of the Federal Government. For example, USPIS participated in the largest count indictment and conviction in NASA history, the Omniplan case, that put seven companies out of business and ended with the conviction of Omniplan owner, Ralph Montijo, on 179 federal crimes.

Anonymous said...

RE 3:43>>

It's interesting that he didn't show for the hearing and there was a 'hearing office' assigned to him<<

"He also pleaded guilty to state charges of sexual abuse and first-degree sodomy. In August 2006, Walker was sentenced to 27 years in federal prison, without the possibility of parole."

The hearing to revoke William Flynn Walker's medical license was reportedly held on September 19, 2007.

His likely residence st that time was a federal correctional facility, his attendance at the license revocation hearing was probably not a priority for either Walker or the feds.

S C said...

Maybe i'm confused, but sodomy? Isn't that anal, oral, or bestiality?

legalschnauzer said...

Here is the definition I found, SC, and you pretty well nailed it:

Anal or oral intercourse between human beings, or any sexual relations between a human being and an animal, the act of which may be punishable as a criminal offense.

That's ugly stuff. The way I read the few reports on this case, it sounds like Walker participated in such acts, apparently with his own children, but you wonder who else engaged in this stuff. I'm thinking there was no reason to take the kids to CO, WY, Russia, etc., if someone else wasn't involved in the abuse.

Did these people pay Walker, did he essentially serve as a pimp.? Seems obvious to me that a lot of this story is still out there, and I get the impression law enforcement did not try real hard to hold others accountable.

They couldn't track down where Walker went when he landed in these other states and countries? Doesn't seem that hard to me, so you wonder why more investigation wasn't done. It's like this was treated as only an Alabama crime, but it was much more than that.

S C said...

Sounds like some sort of crime ring, disgusting and sick either way.

Those children don't have the option of rewinding the past.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, their lives have been changed forever, and I think it's pretty well established in psych circles, that abusers are extremely likely to abuse again. I think that's what started the whole notion of sex-offender registries.

I saw somewhere that the judge in the case was Virginia Emerson Hopkins and the prosecutor was a guy named Jim Phillips. Somebody close to that case has to know offenders are out there, in multiple states and multiple countries, who have never been held accountable. It's almost as if the desire to cover up, or limit information, was so strong that they didn't care if a lot of other bad people got off.

S C said...

Reasons for Cover-ups:


related to guilty party?



political or judicial appointment in the future?

I'm sure that i missed a few...

S C said...

Yes, there's quite a disparity in the sex-offender registry between an eighteen-year-old who had sex with his seventeen-year-old girlfriend and the REAL offenders who do unspeakable things...

A lot of things are grey in this world, but to me, that is a pretty black & white difference of culpability

Anonymous said...

First time poster here. I discovered your site about a year ago and find myself flabbergasted at then number of criminal acts that get swept under the rug in the State of Alabama. I lived in Alabama 45 years, recently moved to Florida. The Walker case is news to me. I was a diligent reader of The Huntsville Times at the time and don't recall anything about it. I will do some research to see if I can find anything. Child abuse and child trafficking are the most despicable acts and those found guilty of it should pay the ultimate price. To hide behind a so-called faith shows how truly evil these being(s) are.

legalschnauzer said...

Yes, please let us know if you find anything on the Walker case. The sentencing came in 2006 (the guilty plea, too, I think), so it definitely was in the Internet Age. You would expect to do a Google search and find something from the major Alabama newspapers, but I get nothing -- just two brief articles from Shelby County Reporter.

e.a.f. said...

One does have to wonder how the children were taken out of the country? Doesn't the American government require letters from parents/guardians to take children out of the country?

is it possible the children were taken out of the country by private jet from a private airport with no Customs or Immigration staff?
Landing in places like Russia is very easy and open, if you know where to go and who to pay.

Anonymous said...

Has anybody thought about the fact that to have heavily reported this case would have identified the victims? That said, it actually was in the Birmingham paper and for years I had a copy of the clipping- which included a picture. Someone mailed it to me, knowing that I had known him in the past. I probably tossed it because I have no idea where it is now. The Huntsville Times was silent, which many thought odd but again, part of the heinousness of this crime was that it involved incest.....which couldn't be reported without identifying those little girls. Perhaps that was behind the church coverup (if there was one) as well. Just a thought.

S C said...

Agreed @10:17 p.m. They could report the story without naming innocent victims.

The story got buried before most of us knew anything happened. (things that make you go hmnnn)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Shuler: I have information related to the church . My parents went to Briarwood 45 years . I attended the school and also attended Evangel . Wales Goebel (Save A Life) was my fathers mentor . My dad is from Mtn. Brook . I lost my infant daughter to a private adoption through a network of churches, judges and attorneys in Birmingham suburbs . How do I reach you ?

legalschnauzer said...

@11:34 --

You can reach me at rshuler3156@gmail.com or (205) 381-5673.

Anonymous said...

I also went to both Briarwood and Evangel.