Sad Story. Sadder Tale

This, as I understand it, is what happened: In early January, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency arrested John and Jane Doe (not their real aliases) of San Francisco, Calif. They were charged with man

This, as I understand it, is what happened: In early January, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency arrested John and Jane Doe (not their real aliases) of San Francisco, Calif. They were charged with manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine, a powerful, highly addictive drug thatmakesyoutalklikethisbutnot-nearlysoconcisely. The agency also linked the couple to the so-called Mexican Mafia or, as Italian-Americans call it, la cosa vostra. The Does vehemently denied the allegations, apparently unaware that, despite the presumption of innocence guaranteed them by the Constitution, nobody actually takes that presumption seriously or, consequently, jailhouse denials.

The day after their arrest, the Does went to court and were arraigned. Bail was set. But the pair was unable to raise bail and so were remanded to the county jail until trial. Afterwards, interested parties on both sides of the case made predictable statements claiming justice/persecution as well as declaring enormous relief/outrage.

It was at this point, the beginning of what would certainly be at least a few months in jail, that the Does asked their attorney, Lil Scharkette, also of San Francisco, if she would take in and care for their recently adopted 3-year-old twin sons ­ just until the case was decided. After consulting with her husband, Hugh Javarice, also an attorney, Ms. Scharkette informed her clients they'd be happy to serve as temporary guardians for the boys. (Some argue that the Does' willingness to turn their children over to a pair of lawyers says far more about their poor parental judgment than the operation of a meth lab in their home does.)

What Ms. Scharkette didn't tell her clients, however, was that her husband was an adoption attorney. One who specialized in brokering tender, lifetime bonds between healthy white babies and the highest white bidders. Also unknown to the Does was that on the very day the lawyers took custody of the children, Mr. Javarice contacted the boys' birth mother, Ruth Lescunt, a Canary Islands native. He proposed a deal: In return for her rescinding the Does' adoption of the twins, he would arrange a new one with a wealthy family and she'd collect a substantial sum (which, "for tax reasons," he insisted she take in Little Caesar's pizza coupons). Ms. Lescunt, a woman who, by all evidence, doesn't believe in the existence of Hell, agreed to this arrangement.

Now, Mr. Javarice went to work in earnest. After failing to interest Rosie O'Donnell in the twins (she'd already bought a baby that week), he made scores of calls to the other well-heeled potential adoptive parents he had on file, then sat back to wait for the offers to roll in.

It was then that tragedy struck.

On Jan. 26, Ms. Scharkette, Mr. Javarice and the twins were returning home to their apartment at the same time a neighbor, Shirley Deumd, was returning to hers. As they passed each other in the hallway, suddenly, without warning or provocation, the boys sprang at Ms. Deumd. Catching her off-guard, they quickly pulled her to the floor and rendered her unconscious by rubbing their poopy diapers in her face; then, pulling spiked truncheons made out of LEGOs from their Rugrats knapsacks, they savagely clubbed her to death.

Officers investigating the murder soon learned that the toddlers were rabid killing machines, trained by their parents to protect the family drug lab against both rival dealers and the police. (The Does believed ­ correctly, it turns out ­ that, because of the twins' extremely young age, they could commit murder with no danger of prosecution.) Why Ms. Deumd was assaulted by the boys remains a mystery, though Mr. Javarice has speculated in the press that she could have easily prevented the attack by never being born in the first place.

While prosecutors wrestled their legal options in the case, events took another twist. Mr. Javarice, conducting business as usual, finalized an adoption contract between Ms. Lescunt and an English couple, Sterling and Golda Barrs. The Barrs, without asking or informing authorities, whisked the toddlers off to Britain, where, child development experts predict, they'll acquire gay-sounding accents.

As things stand now, many issues remain. Like: Who has legal rights to the twins? The Does? The Barrs? Rosie O'Donnell? (In her typically humanitarian style, Rosie's promised to adopt the twins during May sweeps.)

And what of Ms. Deumd? Shall her death go unavenged? Or will the makers of LEGOs finally be brought to justice?

Of course, we'll never know the answers to these questions. After all, it's just a matter of days before we're preoccupied with a new group of unfortunate headline-grabbing freaks and losers. ©

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