Posts Tagged ‘What happened to Christine Collins?
Have You Ever Seen Changeling? It’s actually worth your valuable time (and really inspirational too).
The movie Changeling is not the 70s horror flick with George C. Scott and the ghost boy in the wheelchair (that would be The Changeling…and it scared the bejeebus out of me as a little kid…because apparently the addition of an extra three letters equals pure terror).
In 2008, Angelina Jolie starred in Changeling and I purposefully avoided seeing it in theaters because I’ve long believed Angelina Jolie is a cuckoo-bird. She wore a vial of her brother’s blood around her neck for a while, apparently dated him around the time she won her Oscar, and then stole Brad Pitt from Rachel from Friends. Being gay, I’ve never understood her sex appeal…but instead thought she was trash for participating in adultery. While I typically enjoy movies set in the 1920s and am fascinated by stories based on real-events, I just couldn’t get beyond my dislike for the actress to see this movie when it was new…and in years since I honestly never encountered it on DVD or on Netflix or even thought of it again.
But, while I was sick this last month I watched a lot of movies on Amazon Instant Video and somehow accidentally ordered Changeling when I probably wanted The Changeling…and so felt obliged to let the movie play, regardless of Angelin’a presence.
I’m truly glad that I did because not only was Angelina very good in the role (and gorgeous, too, incidentally…looking spot-on perfect as a woman in the 1920s without a vial of her brother’s blood in sight) but the story itself introduced me to two new American heroes in the form of Christine Collins and the Reverend Gustav Briegleb.
Collins (portrayed by Jolie in the film) was a mother whose young son went missing around 1927 in Los Angeles while she was away at work. The Los Angeles Police Department was the most corrupt in the world at the time and decided it wanted some good publicity…so they shipped in a runaway boy they found in Illinois and tried to pass him off as Collins’ son Walter. When Collins insisted that this stranger was not her son, the police ultimately decided to lock her up in a mental ward to shut her up so they wouldn’t have any more bad press over the fiasco. It’s so sad to admit it, but this is the sort of thing I can honestly see happening here in Chicago with Rahm Emanuel as Mayor and Democrats running the Justice Department nationwide.
Briegleb was a man with a radio show at the time who realized what happened to Collins and vowed to broadcast every day on the subject until everyone in listening range was riled up against the police for their abuse of power. He did just that…and ultimately forced Collins’ release. Watching the movie, he seemed to be the Andrew Breitbart of his day…which made me doubly sad because neither he nor Andrew are around anymore.
After Briegleb rescued her, Collins went after the police, sued the primary guy responsible for what happened to her, and kept suing him again and again through the years trying to force him to pay her the judgement she was awarded (which would have been about $400,000 adjusted for inflation). Someone with this sort of tenacity is amazing here in 2013…let alone in 1927 in Los Angeles…when no doubt most of her peers were terrified of being killed by those crooked cops in a “traffic accident” or “robbery” or something.
The movie could have been a gruesome, scary, serial killer story…but instead it was a very inspirational tale of a woman who just would not be broken and one who never gave up on finding her son. Christine Collins was absolutely amazing. I really hope that if I ever had a kid I’d fight for him or her as much as Collins waged all-out-war for hers.
I enjoyed the movie so much that I spent a few days researching what happened to everyone after the story told in the film ended. True to form, Christine Collins spent the rest of her life looking for her son. She lived until 1964 and apparently had to use aliases and change her name here and there because people affiliated with the crooked cops kept bothering her…even decades later. But, still she kept up her battle against the bad guys. And she never gave up hope that her son was still out there somewhere. Gustav Briegleb kept calling out the crooked police until the day that he died…and together with Collins he so embarrassed the City of Los Angeles that new laws had to be passed to prevent the police from ever again having the ability to just throw someone in a mental ward when they wanted to silence the person.
2013 is really starting out to be a bleak year and though the Ministry of Truth that is our national media won’t admit the obvious, we really are in an economic Depression. Things will get much, much worse in the days ahead as all of the many taxes prescribed by Obamacare drive companies out of business or force massive layoffs. Simultaneously, never in our lifetimes have we had so many people in government who believe they can do whatever they want to people and that they are answerable to no one. It all feels very reminiscent to Los Angeles in the late-1920s when Collins and Breigleb fought back.
I think a lot of you out there are going to be fighting back in your own ways in the years ahead. I hope you never go through anything like what happened to Collins…but in whatever challenges you do face I do hope you never give up, never surrender, and that you always speak truth to power. People today are scared of our government and the power it wields…and some are even afraid of being “disappeared” somewhere because they oppose what the Left is doing to the country (and what it will do in the next four years).
What I liked most about the movie Changeling is that it illustrates there is indeed an alternative to being too afraid to take on the “big guys” or the all-powerful government. I’m sure Collins was scared…and Angelina depicted her as being unsure what to do at times…but she would not let those monsters break her.
And in the end it was actually she who embarrassed and broke them.
What a great movie this ended up being…so good that I ended up doing something I almost never do and I bought the DVD so that I can watch it again one day when Justin’s home too.
It really is worth your valuable time the next night you want to put something on your video screen.