DEATH * BY * METH

This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

THE OTHER FACE OF CRIME (Oregon)

By SARAH LEMON
Mail Tribune
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third in a series of stories on addicts recovering from meth use. The stories run on the first Sunday of each month.

Forging checks to help fuel her methamphetamine addiction, Cynthia Kloosterman imagined banks and insurance companies as her only victims.

But while Kloosterman did time for her crimes, one face stood out among the victims of identity theft — her own.

"There's no honor among thieves ... there really isn't," she said. "I almost feel like I should just take it because I deserve it."

After trying meth for the first time at age 30 with an ex-boyfriend, Kloosterman lost a succession of jobs. Crime soon paid the bills and funded her habit. A computer scanner and software that's widely available at office-supply stores were the only tools Kloosterman needed to manufacture realistic checks in whatever amounts she desired. The checks' legitimate bank account numbers belonged largely to grocery stores and taverns.

Because banks and credit card companies make good on stolen funds, Kloosterman told herself she wasn't really taking from people. Comparing herself to lifelong addicts who had never served any serious time, Kloosterman never believed she'd go to prison.

Two and a half years later, the 35-year-old Gold Hill resident said she believes some higher purpose was behind it all. She hasn't used meth since stepping into Wilsonville's Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in February 2004 and has no urge to.

But if a higher power rescued Kloosterman from herself, karma wouldn't be denied its due. Kloosterman learned while still in prison that someone had stolen her identity using the Social Security card and driver's license she had left in a friend's care.

Now creditors are trying to collect $14,000 in debts incurred against someone using Kloosterman's Social

incurred against someone using Kloosterman's Social Security number. The thieves also set up and defaulted on

Security number. The thieves also defaulted on utility accounts in her name.

Kloosterman is another person entirely, as far as Oregon's DMV is concerned. After her release from prison, she discovered that another woman had paired her photo with Kloosterman's personal information on a state identification card. The woman's traffic tickets were attributed to Kloosterman, who still has to appear in court to straighten out the mess.

"For someone around here to use my name, it's almost kind of funny," she said.

Her reputation as a criminal has kept Kloosterman from reporting the identity theft to local police, who, she fears, wouldn't take her seriously. Unlike many criminal offenders who use a trip to the probation department as a chance to socialize, Kloosterman wears sunglasses and a hood, hoping no one will recognize her. Kloosterman can't bring herself to face one local officer in particular: her brother, a Jackson County sheriff's deputy who was among her jailers. He tried to persuade her numerous times to give up meth, she said.

"He would just beg me to stop," she said. "I know he was embarrassed."

She hasn't spoken to him in more than two years. Other family members have remained in denial. A Medford native and mother of three teenagers, Kloosterman said she never so much as drank before injecting her first hit of meth. Her children went to a private Christian school in hopes that they wouldn't mingle with kids who used drugs. Everything she knew about meth came from TV.

"When I did know, it was too late," she said. She can be thankful, however, for small miracles. She escaped diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C, both easily transmitted through shared needles. Getting her high-school equivalency diploma while in prison was the first step in obtaining higher education. And she's hopeful that never committing any crimes against her family will make reconciliation possible.

"I can't change what happened," she said. "All I can do is change myself now."

Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail slemon@mailtribune.com.
http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2006/0702/local/stories/methidthief-0702.htm

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reporter needs to do more research on this story. Cynde is a pretty talented liar. Are we all supposed to feel sorry for this "poor drug addict"? Not a chance, she did it to herself. She chose a life of drugs and an abusive boyfriend over her kids. A life that began much sooner than she admits to here. Who are the true victims? The kids she abandoned......and the people who tried to undo the damage that was done to them.

Friday, July 14, 2006 11:51:00 PM  

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