Thank You For Your Messages
Age of Autism’s Dan Olmsted – A Fine and Noble Man

The Final Wrap

AofA Red Logo Ayumi YamadaBy Mark Blaxill

Dan Olmsted’s “Weekly Wrap,” his regular Saturday column, was one of my favorite weekend pleasures. Dan’s death last weekend makes his January 21st version his last. So in his honor, I spent much of this week connecting with a few folks who knew him well in order to write a tribute to him in this space. A final wrap.

Dan was born and raised in Danville Illinois, started his career there and maintained close ties to friends and family in the region. His sister Sallie died last year but his other sister Rosie still lives in Wilmette. She has long been a fierce supporter of Dan’s work. Rosie knew from an early age that Dan was a uniquely brilliant and talented journalist. She was a great advocate for the books we wrote together and especially pleased—Dan told me-- that in The Age of Autism, I insisted that we put Dan’s name first on the marquee! (Dan and I actually competed to be the second author and eventually decided to take turns).

Dan was a journalist from very early in life. While in high school he wrote a column, High Times (the “high” stands for high school, nothing illegal!), for Danville’s local newspaper The Commercial News. His talent was apparent early.

“Dan and I were classmates at Danville High School,” wrote Bina Connelly on the comments section underneath his obituary. “Even then, we knew he would leave a mark, make a difference. He was kind, thoughtful, intelligent, passionate. I am humbled to have known him.” Dan’s friend of 40 years, Melissa Merli, tells me he is still in touch with his high school English teacher, who plans to attend his memorial service.

A career in journalism was on Dan’s radar from the very beginning. An English degree at Yale (class of 1974) separated his stints at The Commercial News, a Gannett paper. From there he went to The Democrat and Chronicle, Gannett’s flagship paper in Rochester, New York. On the Gannett fast track, Dan went on to be a founding editor of USA Today in 1982 and its 1984 spinoff, USA Weekend, where he worked for 15 years. Following a brief and abortive stint at an internet start-up in 1999, Dan moved over to United Press International in 2000. Laid off in 2007 after a series of cutbacks at UPI, he moved on to launch the Age of Autism, “the daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic.”

In speaking with Dan’s colleagues during that 40-plus year journey, I’ve heard an amazing and consistent portrait of a man who was, as his longtime partner and husband Mark Millett puts it, “always passionate about journalism and his work.” Melissa Merli was a colleague in the 1970s at The Commercial News and remembers that Dan was widely liked and respected. “Everyone adored him at The Commercial News.” That adoration extended to a number of the female reporters there, including Melissa. “I had a crush on him,” confided Melissa, “and at one point, Dan took me aside and told me he was gay, but that we could still be good friends!” They’ve been close and constant friends ever since.

Melissa described Dan as a gifted investigative reporter from the outset. One investigation stood out: an exposé of corruption in the local police force, where a gang of police officers were running a drug store burglary operation. A grand jury was convened; Dan was sued for libel and won. Melissa later heard from a local official that “there’s one reporter there that everyone’s afraid of and that’s Dan Olmsted.”

Melissa describes a man that many came to know and love. “Dan had a finely tuned sense of justice and compassion for others. He’s one of the most honest people I know. I can honestly say that I have no negative memories of Dan. He was one of a kind.”

We can all thank the dot.com crash for reawakening Dan’s passion for investigative journalism. While at USA Today and USA Weekend, he focused on lighter fare. But after landing at the once proud UPI wire service --then owned by the Unification Church (aka “the Moonies”), a step down in prestige led to a step up in freedom and investigative autonomy. Dan teamed up there with a young reporter named Mark Benjamin and together they embarked on a project that hit the big time: an investigation of the negative side effects of an anti-malaria drug called mefloquine. Or, as it was marketed by Roche Pharmaceuticals, Lariam.

“The Lariam project was investigative reporting at its most pure,” Mark told me. “It was a case of Dan deciding that we were going to take really damaging, but solid information on a bad drug and go up against one of the most powerful and deep-pocketed companies in the world, Roche. And it was one that had the Army and the CDC, quite literally, in its pocket.”

Lariam was widely used at the time in the Army and the Peace Corp and although effective at preventing malaria, in a subset of recipients it was associated with cases of hallucinations, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, psychoses and even homicide. According to an August 11, 2016 article in Military Times. “Mefloquine was implicated in a series of murder-suicides at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, in 2002, and media reports also tied it to an uptick in military suicides in 2003.”

Dan and Mark were faced with sharp initial resistance, but their work eventually had a huge impact. According to Military Times, “Once the U.S. military's malaria prophylactic of choice, favored for its once-a-week dosage regimen, mefloquine was designated the drug of last resort in 2013 by the Defense Department after the Food and Drug Administration slapped a boxed warning on its label, noting it can cause permanent psychiatric and neurological side effects.” Prescriptions plummeted from 50,000 in 2003 to only 216 in 2015. That’s not low enough for some. Dr. Remington Nevin, another friend of Dan, argued that any distribution of Lariam is too much. “This new finding should motivate the U.S. military to consider further revising its mefloquine policy to ban use of the drug altogether.”

Their work had many positive and unexpected ripple effects. Mark and Dan were turned into a composite character, Sherm Hempell, on a Law and Order: SVU episode, which told a story of violence and murder in two Afghanistan war veterans that had taken an anti-malarial drug, Quinium. Happily, the good guys won and the Army cover-up was exposed. More notably, in a real life case that wasn’t “ripped from the headlines” Dan and Mark quite literally saved the life of the first soldier since the Vietnam War charged with cowardice, an offense that carries the death penalty. The Army soldier, Andrew Pogany, was put on trial but ultimately the Army dropped the case when it became clear that his “cowardice” was simply an adverse reaction to Lariam. Mark joked that Dan wrote one of the best headlines ever for their article, “Army Surrenders to Coward Soldier.”

“I’ve never seen anyone else like Dan Olmsted in our business, before or since,” Mark claimed. “You can hold him up against any of the all-time great investigative journalists and he deserves a place right alongside them. What made him so good? There were so many things. He was just smarter than anyone else. He worked harder and once he knew he was right, he just never gave up. He would just never stop.”

It was their glimpse into the inner workings of the CDC and its preferred programs that brought the UPI investigative pair to the vaccine issue, and in Dan’s case, into the Age of Autism. In the summer of 2003, Mark pursued (and Dan edited) a story about conflicts of interest in the CDC’s recommended vaccine program, with a special focus on a little known vaccine inventor, Dr. Paul Offit, and the conflict between his role on the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and his commercial relationship with Merck, which made his rotavirus vaccine. It’s a story AoA readers know well!

Mark Benjamin is the man that brought Dan Olmsted and me together. The two Marks (who when added to Dan’s partner Mark Millett explain Dan’s dedication in The Age of Autism, “to Mark, Mark and Mark, in that order”) had been discussing the issues swirling around autism and vaccines. Mark Benjamin wanted Dan to meet me and he arranged a dinner between the three of us in Washington DC on October 7, 2003. That began a collaboration that would last for over 13 years.

As Mark Benjamin turned to issues with the military and the health of veterans, Dan turned his attention to autism. He and I began to have frequent conversations and email exchanges. In 2004, Dan had decided he wanted to launch an extended, deep dive. And he wanted to find a way into the issue that was unique. By year end, Dan and I were just beginning to share thoughts on the issues we would turn into a book 6 years later. Dan, as he so often did, was trying to find the critical question, one that could spark an investigation. On December 7, he prefaced an email list of questions this way: “I made a list of some odd ways in (some of which I have seen referred to elsewhere but not conclusively) if you have any thoughts…” The very first question was right on the mark: “Is there anywhere they don’t use vaccines and don’t have autism? Or any group, like Christian scientists?”

Bingo.

I wrote (as is my tendency) a lengthy answer. “We have long discussed the idea of using low and zero exposure groups, religious groups (Amish or others), anthroposophic schools, etc. to test the theory. Since autism surveillance stats are not routinely collected, this would require a specific study, one that has never been done (and epi studies are expensive).”

And so it began. Dan didn’t bother to wait for a bureaucratic funding process. He decided to cut to the chase and do the “study” himself. He drove from his home in Falls Church Virginia to Lancaster County Pennsylvania, and started asking real people about autism in the Amish. A bare four months later he launched his UPI Age of Autism series with his first article, The Amish Anomaly. As many of us know by now, Dan found very few autistic children there and all of these were in the relatively small subset of vaccinated Amish.

Starting with the Amish Anomaly, on April 19, 2005, Dan added dozens of articles to the series. He stopped writing only when he was laid off at UPI, ending on July 18, 2007 with “The Last Word.” Along the way, he found the first of Leo Kanner’s case series, Donald T., the first of eight eventual discoveries and the heart of our book, The Age of Autism. Following his departure from UPI, Dan and I reached out to JB Handley and Kim Stagliano who had started their own blog, Rescue Post. Our joint venture went on line just a few months later.

From the very beginning, Dan stayed close to the families and individuals affected by autism. Dan started out talking to doctors on the front line of the epidemic, free thinkers like the late Meyer Eisenstein and Elizabeth Mumper. In fact, the third column in the UPI series “Sick Children” took Dan’s readers to Liz Mumper’s pediatric practice in nearby Lynchburg Virginia. Dan wrote “Dr. Elizabeth Mumper is an unlikely contrarian. Mumper is a pediatrician in the southern Virginia city of Lynchburg. About a decade ago, Mumper said, she began noticing a change for the worse in the overall health of the children she was seeing, including a startling rise in cases of autism. Ultimately, Mumper came to suspect the increasing number of childhood vaccinations in the 1990s -- and particularly the mercury-based preservative called thimerosal in many of those vaccines -- was a big reason.”

Liz was a great source for Dan and me in our second book, Vaccines 2.0. When I reached out to her yesterday to get her reflections on Dan, she described those initial meetings. “Dan came to my office in 2005.  I was in the midst of running a practice in which many of the children had chronic illness and neurodevelopmental disorders. .Dan had such an inquisitive mind and asked such great questions.  I was surprised that a reporter who had not gone to medical school would understand and be able to synthesize complex medical information the way he could.”

Like many of us, Liz remarked on Dan’s tenacity and gift for words. “What a gift to passionately seek answers to the unprecedented tsunami of childhood chronic illness!  He wove the stories of children, families, medical institutions, government organizations and pharmaceutical industries into compelling prose.”

Dan’s subsequent career-- 10 years here at the “daily web newspaper of the autism epidemic” (he truly loved real printed newspapers!), two published books and a third on the way—is all available here at Age of Autism. Under Kim Stagliano’s leadership and with the help of our amazing group of contributing editors we are continuing the noble project Dan started. But we do so with a heavy heart. I heard the news about Dan from his sister Rosie, driving from Boston to Manhattan this Monday afternoon. When I got to the city I sat down for dinner and wept. I didn’t know quite what to do, so I typed out this FaceBook post, as tears smudged my iPhone .

To everyone who is sharing love for my great friend Dan Olmsted, please keep it up. Dan deserved so much and I hope will ultimately get the recognition he deserves. Dan was the consummate journalist. He had so much to teach us all about the ethics and discipline of how good reporters should respond to and treat evidence. But he was more than that. He was a deeply original and creative investigator. That combination was unique and compelling. Dan was brilliant and compassionate and persistent and uncompromising and balanced and impatient. All at once. And man! could he put words together in such a graceful and powerful way.

I was so fortunate to be his fellow traveler on the Age of Autism (his phrase and it was so powerful) journey. I will really miss him. I wish I had the words to say it as artfully as he could. I love you man. We'll all miss you. But you kicked some ass.

Later this week, I took my two daughters to dinner in Cambridge. Dan got to know both of them quite well in our years working together. My oldest, Sydney, traveled to Vienna with us as we researched the medical history of mercuric chloride treatments for syphilis and hysteria. My youngest, Michaela (now 21 years old and diagnosed with autistic disorder), spent a lot of time with Dan in recent months; he came to Cambridge a lot as we wrote our third book, Denial. Sydney knew the news already, but when I picked them up we told Michaela about Dan’s death. She often has difficulty processing emotions, especially sadness, in an appropriate way. But when I told her, “I have sad news, honey. Dan is dead,” I was pleased to see she was genuinely affected in the way Sydney and I were feeling. “Dan is dead,” she repeated to herself in a subdued tone. Trying, in her way, to process the news. She had grown up with Dan and knew how close our friendship was.

Later in the evening, as we were walking into dinner at Legal Seafoods, she asked me an amusingly autistic but poignant question. “Dad,” she asked, “are you going to get a replacement for Dan?”

“No, honey. There will never be a replacement for Dan.”

Mark Blaxill is Editor at Large for Age of Autism.

Comments

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Louis Conte

Mark:
Thank you so much.
There never will be another Dan.

Peace,

Louis

Ricky Barnes

Thank you Mark! That is a great tribute. The world is a much poorer place without him, but much richer because of him. Thanks for being part of his team and doing the great work! I am so sorry for your (our) loss.

Jeannette Bishop

Sorry, hope this link is correct:

http://www.commercial-news.com/news/local_news/dhs-grad-journalist-dies-in-virginia/article_4e1f6a91-5230-54fb-bfe5-cf38f74a7e7b.html

Jeannette Bishop

http://www.commercial-news.com/news/local_news/dhs-grad-journalist-dies-in-virginia

Jenny

Thank-you so much for sharing your story. I never knew how it was that you two came to know each other, only that it seemed to be an excellent collaboration. It's gratifying to know that you two finished your latest book, and that we will all benefit from the knowledge you two shared up until the end. And I hope that you keep going and find and share even more beyond that. I'm quite certain there will always be people there for you, when the time is right, just like Dan was.

Jeannette Bishop

These insights are so greatly appreciated. I don't expect you will fill the void left by Mr. Olmsted (I think it will be felt for some time), but I'm really grateful for all those at AoA do to get the truth of the autism epidemic out to world.

Benedetta

Thank you Mark; for this, for sharing your stories of your time with Dan.

kapoore

Thank you for this history lesson in the Age of Autism. The book, the website, and the community have transformed the lives of people who suffer from autism and chronic illness. As a parent of a chronically ill child, I kept that suffering compartmentalized. Consequently, the most difficult part of my life was never discussed.

I read the Age of Autism right after publication. I appreciate all the scientific updates available on this site. And I'm grateful for a place to vent my feelings. Dan Olmsted's courage, commitment, and intellectual integrity changed the world by making this struggle public. And who could have ever anticipated the reaction that caused. So, Dan Olmsted was a fabulous warrior, too.

annie

A tribute worthy of a Saint, which is exactly what he was.

Cherry Misra

This even-tempered, modest man lead us in our fight against ignorance and evil . You always knew that he would understand any person of good intentions. I now understand the desire to make statues of good people like. this. I would love to see a statue of Dan, something like St Francis of Assissi- maybe a modern day version with lots of papers and computers around him ! Ill be happy if I can see his name , one day, plated in gold on white marble or granite. We now fight on ,, with more energy than ever. And we shall weep for him once more at the End of Autism celebration.

Birgit Calhoun

Dan lives on in all of us. He leaves a legacy we cannot ignore. But I can only see that the discussions he started will continue. They may not be Dan in person, but they will be Dan in spirit. I hope there wil be someone who tells us all about polio. I hope we'll find out more about why we cannot get answers to the many questions we have. Dan was always searching for new ways to explain things. The ease with which he opened up new thought processes stimulated everyone to think on. Dan's spirit is there, and we need to keep enlightening all who need to know.

no-vac

Thank you, Mark, for your moving tribute to our journalist friend and hero, Dan. He was certainly exceptional in his courage and persistence to write truthfully about vaccine induced autism epidemic, while most journalists shy away from this topic, are too scared to write anything, or are corrupted by vaccine manufacturers and intentionally lie about causes of autism. Dan had a mind of true scientist in the way he approached and tried to answer vital medical questions. Age of Autism internet journal is, in my opinion, the most important and free publication on autism subject in English language. Shared experiences of millions of parents of autistic children certainly have more scientific value than a few falsified but stamped as “scientific” publications written on order of vaccine manufacturers or vaccine pushers from CDC. AOA gave public voice and linked those parents, who for too long were ridiculed, denigrated and ignored by medical-vaccine cartels and by corrupt politicians who serve them. Dan’s great contribution to fighting and stopping autism epidemic is undeniable and unforgettable.

Karen Jaggers

Mark

What a wonderful and fitting tribute to Dan. The loss is immeasurable. My deepest sympathies to those closest to Dan.

Warmest regards

Karen Jaggers

Patience (Eileen Nicole) Simon

Mark, Thanks. Just a week ago we were responding to Dan's Weekly Wrap he posted the day after the inauguration. He expressed optimism that at long last the autism epidemic may get proper attention. I am so grateful that he took on this cause in our behalf, and paid attention to all of our concerns. I look forward to reading the new book you wrote together; so glad you found him as a co-author.

Peg Pickering

Thank you, Mark, for sharing Dan's story with all of us. He touched so many of us in so many ways as a champion for our children. I was honored to have met Dan at Autism One a few years ago when I was working with Dan Burns on Adult Issues and he invited me to dinner with all of you from the Age of Autism. I was so impressed with all of you....Dan, you and Kim! If there is ever anything I can do to assist, please let me know. No one will ever be able to replace Dan....and it will take all of us working very hard to even begin to collectively fill his shoes in championing our cause.

Donna L.

What a wonderful tribute, Mark. I can't even begin to imagine the tremendous sense of loss you, Kim, and the entire AOA team must be feeling. My heart goes out to all of you.

I remember the day Age of Autism was launched. I was directed to it by someone on an autism yahoo group (remember those?!). I read his original Amish series and could not get over the fact that someone outside of autism-parent-hell believed us, believed our vaccine-injury stories, and wanted to help. I hit the 'donate' button and submitted a meager donation, and later got a thank you email from Dan, telling me I was Age of Autism's very first donor, and humbly stating that he had high hopes for much more to come on the site. What an understatement, huh? ;)

He believed us. He never stopped believing us. He gave us a safe space to tell all the hellish details of our ugly, broken, damaged autism lives, and you always got the sense that he really and truly cared. Even after your friends, your family, your relatives had closed their ears and their hearts to your disaster, Dan was still there, willing to listen and consider one more story.

I never got to meet him, but I miss him. Most of all, I miss his sense of humor. And I wish I had gotten one last chance to tell him Thank you.

Dr. Richard Yurick

Hi,
I want to offer my condolences to all Dan's family, friends and co-workers. I am new to this site and to the subject of Autism. I have been a natural healthcare provider for thirty years and am very curious to know the cause of Dan' s death. I am quite certain there are many more who want to know.
So, I hope in time we will find out. Until then, I will pray for all who knew and loved Dan.
Blessings, Dr. Richard Yurick

Michelle B

Just learned about Dan's death, stunned and saddened.

Enjoyed and was always grateful for his research and writing on autism.

What knocked me out about him--truly--was his devotion to OUR kids.

RIP Dan

Shelley Tzorfas

As our land swells with Autism in every nook and cranny,
every moment another child is harmed........
we will look to The Age Of Autism even more closely Dan
Until this war is won.

Jan

I was reading Dan's pieces on Autism way before the creation of Age of Autism and he gave me SO MUCH HOPE that we parents and families would finally get answers. In my heart I hope he is on the other side nudging at the consciences of those who have known the truth all along, so they will finally do what is right.
Thank you Mark for writing a truly a touching tribute.

Lisa@ TACA

There is no replacement for Dan. A wonderful tribute for a one of a kind man.

nhokkanen

Thank you for sharing this biographical information about Dan, gratifying interviews with various of his caring colleagues, and some of your feelings since his sudden passing. He has left many powerful memories, but also a gaping void.

I hope people in our philosophical communities do not feel too intimidated by Dan's stellar talents to share their own abilities for the cause. He epitomized egalitarianism, and welcomed input from a wide variety of sources.

This year promises to be eventful on the national political scene. To push back against the forces of health care oppression, we'll need all hands on deck.

It's time for us all to "Dan up."

Adriana

Thank you so much for sharing Dan's story and thank you to everyone who shared memories of him. As someone said about the genius and humanity of a famous war chronicler, Dan wrote about dark things but the light came from him.

Laura Hayes

Mark,

I was thinking and hoping you would write this Saturday in tribute to Dan, and was thrilled to see that you did. What a lovely tribtute to Dan filled with wonderful background information about a man we here at AoA had come to deeply appreciate.

What I think many of us have come to realize in the past week is just how very much we appreciated Dan, more than we ever knew. I, like so many others, have been hit hard this week by the incredible sadness I feel over Dan's death. It has made me realize just what a tremendous impact Dan had, truly representing the power and impact that can be manifested by just one when that person is as dedicated as Dan was. His power and impact were then multiplied many times over as he partnered with the dedication and power of so many others who were also working to end the Age of Autism.

I am so thankful that you and Dan were introduced to one another years ago, Mark. Your first book together, Age of Autism, was a game changer and a masterpiece. It inspired and activated many people, including me, to become more vocal about how vaccines were destroying our children. I will always remember how deeply moved I was by the presentation of your book in Sacramento. You guys knocked it out of the ballpark with that one.

Hopefully, the memories of Dan, of his impressive collection of writings, and of his dogged activism will spur each of us on to see this battle through...until we have brought the Age of Autism to its knees, and to its final demise.

Thank you, Mark, for this tribute and for your tireless work. May Dan continue to encourage you and be a voice you continue to hear as you carry on the work you two have collaborated on for well over a decade.

Anna Quandt

Thank you Mark for writing this and letting us share in Dan's amazing life story. My heartfelt sympathies to you, his colleagues, friends and family. We were all blessed to have him in our lives.

Maurine Meleck

Beautiful tribute, Mark.My Joshua refuses to believe that anyone ever really dies, even our cats that we have put to sleep. And in a sense, he is right. Dan will never die.
Maurine

Sylvia

Thank you Mark for sharing this with us. There are so many words to describe Dan, but one word always popped up in conversations about Dan; nearly everyone said they ADORED him. That is a pretty strong word that describes strong respect, admiration and love. I have never known of anyone that had that word assigned to describing them as often as Dan. And I completely understood, because I adored him too.


nocposts

Mark, thank you for this moving tribute and including more revelations as to how much heart and courage Dan Olmstead possessed. He went where even angels feared to tread.
Dan continues to inspire us. Met you both briefly at an Age of Autism book signing. Opened my eyes even wider about what was happening to my son and hope for a better tomorrow grew stronger as a result. Thanks to AoA and the entire community.

AnneJ

Thank you for this wonderful tribute to an amazing man (one of the true heroes in the autism movement). What a sad loss. He definitely made the world a better place, and won't be forgotten. My heart goes out to his family.

Dan Burns

For more on Dan Olmsted's Lariam reporting, see Mark Benjamin's Salon article, "Ripped from my headlines!" Benjamin writes, "Every investigative reporter wonders that about his story, every story — if there’s an end, and how far it can lead." We shall see.
http://www.salon.com/2005/05/25/lo_svu/

Carolyn

Mark,

Thank you for sharing this very heartfelt and emotional piece. Our condolences to you, your family, Dan's family and friends, as well as the AOA community. Indeed, there will never be a replacement for Dan, but his legacy will live on via AOA, his work, and the memories that many have of an amazing man in so many ways.

Thank too sharing this this history, much of which many of us may not have known about Dan and what brought him into the autism "community". As parents of a vaccine injured son who lives daily with vaccine induced autism, we are so appreciative of his efforts and all of the work AOA has done since its inception.

We look forward to reading Denial and continuing educating others via Dan's work. It will be a bittersweet tribute to him in a sense, but what he would want us to continue to do......share the truth.

angus files

Thanks Mark Dan was just a one off.Forever indebted to Dan sharing his knowledge through his dogged style and investigating only for the better of mankind.By just reading his reports he gave me a very good grounding on the thoroughness' that's required to make a case.
God Bless.

Thinking of you all

Angus

John Stone

Thank you Mark. So much I did not know, or only knew bits of - or just came to know quite recently. In the flesh I only met him once, but what a pleasure he was to work with and for daily in cyberspace for more than eight years. Some months ago when Dan thought of retiring we were all horrified: no one could think of AoA without him and I do not think we can now. Whatever we do now has to be in Dan's spirit, his decency, courage and humour - and his enquiring mind. Now that he has left us behind we should still think whether we are pleasing him. It is a good guide for whether we are getting it right.

John

Bob Moffit

"There will never be a replacement for Dan.”

My family will always be in debt to Dan Olmsted .. for having the personal integrity, fortitude, intelligence .. and .. most importantly .. the courage .. to pursue injustice wherever HE found it .. voluntarily putting his career and reputation at great risk .. he none-the-less remained rock-solid .. undaunted .. by the often cruel attempts to marginalize or diminish his efforts .. cruel attempts that ultimately failed .. as Dan Olmsted will be remembered and honored by all who knew him personally .. and .. the millions more .. who came to revere him through his tireless work seeking justice for our children.

God Bless Dan ... a true "Braveheart" .. in a world where bravery often seems a forgotten virtue.

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