Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Trial Highlights May 19, 2015

Yesterday’s trial continued with only two witnesses: Lt. Scott Little of the Gloucester Sheriff’s Department and Dr. Owsley of the Smithsonian Institute.

Lt. Little testified about forensic examination of digital pictures and answered a number of questions related to how to determine if a picture has been tampered with. He spoke about the date/time stamp that is attached to a picture and what it all means.

Dr. Owsley testified about the remains of the child found under the shed. His testimony was moving and at times difficult to watch. He displayed photos of the baby boy assumed to be Connor Scott, but the defense argued that it had not been established that these pictures were indeed baby Connor.

It was difficult to see the baby, a slight, dark haired infant being held by his mother, on the floor with the family dog, and dressed in a little onesie. We knew his fate, but seeing him in the box that was his final resting place was stomach-churning.

Learning that he spent most of his life on his back, and as a result had a flatness to his occipital bone, a deformity, kept me awake last night.

“The child shows extreme evidence of under nutrition…this is a very underweight child,” Dr. Owsley said.

I had to leave the trial to get my own children after school, as I didn’t have child care that day. I didn’t see any emotion from either Brian or Shannon, but the news report in the Daily Press this morning ( tells of Shannon breaking down and sobbing.

I did not see her cry. The most I saw her do was sit at the front table and read a book.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Trial Highlights, May 18, 2015

The day was warm outside, but the courtroom was chilly. Brian and Shannon Gore sat next to their attorneys at the front, neither showing any emotion as the charges against them were read and as witnesses testified.

Witnesses today included four law enforcement officers, one pediatric child abuse doctor, and one friend.

My heart went out to Shannon’s friend who had to testify. Many of us know what it is like to be betrayed by a friend, someone we’ve poured our hearts out to, someone we love on an entirely different level than our partners.

It hurts. A lot.

Hopefully this trial will bring healing and closure for everyone, including the law enforcement officers who struggled with the enormity of this crime, the parents and families of the accused, and the friends who had to wake up to an entirely new reality in their world on April 29, 2011.

And may Connor Scott Gore, 7 month old baby boy, rest in peace.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

First Time At Prison

The waiting area is painted a soft, soothing blue-gray, and the seats are not uncomfortable. But waiting to enter a prison is anything but restful. What the heck was I doing? How did I come to be in this place, at this time? Did I really want to go through those doors?

All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind. This was your decision. You knew what you were doing. You can’t run out now. You’ve got to see this through.

The guards were a surprise to me. I had expected surly, dispassionate, and a touch of mean. Instead, I got warm, open, and friendly. Really? They were exceptionally nice and polite, an attitude I found somewhat disconcerting. Weren’t they supposed to snarl and snap? A sense of disquiet settled in my soul as the minutes ticked by while I sat, waiting.

And then something completely unexpected happened. I had come to this place to meet Brian Gore, to speak with him for a bit, to let him know about the book I was writing. I had my questions planned. I had put together everything I was going to say.
I was ready for this moment.

Until the guard at the front desk motioned over to me while speaking to her replacement. “They’re waiting to see Gore.”
Wait—they? When I looked behind me, a quiet man sat, patient and serene.

Brian’s father.

The last thing I want to be is intrusive and pushy. Some writers are known for those qualities, but I am not comfortable with that approach.

When we were finally called in, Mr. Gore and I began the long walk down to the visiting area. It’s not really a long walk, but once that first door clangs shut and locks, first-timers like me feel closed in.

It’s a good thing Mr. Gore was with me, because he had to show me how to get through the next set of doors. He was gracious and kind, showing a touch of humor and a bit of emotion. As a parent, I cannot imagine what it is like to have a child in prison for such a crime.

Overall, I think my first visit went well. I accomplished what I wanted to, and I was able to quickly get out so that Mr. Gore could spend some time with his son.

Tomorrow morning the trial begins. Perhaps we will find answers. Or perhaps, as Mr. Gore intimated, we’ll never really understand, no matter how many questions we ask.