The Bunkhouse Boys - Slavery Uncovered in Iowa!
- From: jerry warner <jwarner@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2009 22:49:26 -0600
Up to 50 retarded adult men have been being kept in
involuntary servitude in a rundown unheated farmhouse near Atalissa Iowa
and put to work at Henry's Slaughthouse
at West Liberty, Iowa ...... for 30+ years! Those in charge
of the scam have received $ millions in compensation
through four Governor's administrations, and it all finally
collapsed two weeks ago. Iowa Social Services, the FBI
and Iowa State BCI are now involved and the men have
been removed from the farmhouse and taken into custody
by the Iowa Dept of Human Services.
Its unreal, but all too real!
Wage exploitation: The men received zero compensation!
The men's families were regularly charged living costs
for the employed men IN ADDITION to their custodian
receiving MILLIONS$ in compensation costs from State
and Federal authorities over the years ...
Thursday, February 12, 2009 12:05 PM CST
How 21 men lived in Atalissa bunkhouse
By KURT ALLEMEIER, Courier Lee News Service
ATALISSA ? A refrigerator filled with carrots, salad dressing, gallons
of milk and nonalcoholic beer hummed Wednesday next to cabinets where
plastic plates and drinking glasses are neatly stacked in the dining
area of a bunkhouse where 21 mentally disabled men lived until last
The house, an old school owned by the town of Atalissa and rented to
Texas-based Henry?s Turkey Service, was declared a fire hazard by state
fire inspectors and an investigation is under way to determine if it was
being operated as an unlicensed care center.
?I?m not embarrassed by any of this,? said Warren Davis, a Henry?s
Turkey Service employee who moved into the building three weeks ago. ?It
is rundown, but it is a 100-year-old building.?
The aqua-blue building with three levels and an attached gymnasium that
served as a communal area also had three mobile homes attached. An
attached quonset hut of sheet metal, painted the same shade of blue,
served as the home?s kitchen.
The building was warm on Wednesday?s 40-degree day. Thermometers were
mounted in many rooms throughout the building, which has had no central
heating system since 2002 and was warmed by space heaters. The warmest
read 80 degrees, while the coolest, 70 degrees. Windows in the old
school rooms were covered by plastic held in place by wood planks nailed
to the frames. The rooms have air conditioners in the summer, Davis
?They haven?t suffered from cold weather,? he said of the men who were
removed. ?I never saw anyone mistreated.?
Davis, who gave the tour along with Dave Scieszinski, an attorney for
the turkey service, used an obscenity to describe the Iowa Department of
Human Services workers who have swarmed through the bunkhouse since the
raid Friday. Scieszinski declined to comment during the tour. Davis
scoffed at some of the media descriptions of the building?s interior.
After the garish blue and green shades on the outside, a cheery palette
of colors greets visitors inside. Past a plywood outer door, the tidy
communal area is outfitted with brightly painted tables, lounge chairs,
two large screen televisions and a pool table.
Dormitory-style rooms for ?the boys,? who range in age from 39 to 70,
runs the length of the former gymnasium. The dorm rooms were often
untidy, and some looked like they were left hurriedly.
One hallway smelled from a dirty bathroom, and some of the dormitory
areas smelled dirty and musty.
Paper from yellow legal pads sat on the beds with the names of each
bed?s former occupant on it to denote their possessions. NASCAR signs
and NFL football posters often decorated rooms. Each room had a
television and DVD player. Several occupants left behind stacks of DVDs,
and some rooms had stereos.
Electrical cords snaked through rooms and power strips were jammed with
plugs. Space heaters were visible in some rooms, and doors marked as
exits were often blocked. Locks weren?t readily visible on those doors.
Davis mentioned two entrances to the building. The school building?s
front entrance was locked.
A cat?s lone meow came from the darkness of the garage where ?the boys?
loaded into vans to go to West Liberty Foods, where they worked under a
contract with Henry?s. The tour winding down, Davis stopped to light a
?I saw a bunch of people come and go,? he said of the building he had
visited off and on since 1976, ?and boys come and go.?
What happened: Twenty-one mentally disabled men, ages 39-70, were
removed last week from an old school turned into a bunkhouse in
Atalissa, Iowa, after it was declared a fire hazard by state fire
officials. The men were employed and housed by Henry?s Turkey Service,
which had a contract with West Liberty Foods to provide employees. Some
of the men worked there for more than 20 years.
The house on the hill: The blue-green building is owned by the town of
Atalissa and rented to Henry?s Turkey Service.
Where are they now? The men were placed by the Department of Human
Services in a variety of homes and facilities in Waterloo, Iowa, under
the care of Exceptional Persons Inc.
Investigation: The men were declared dependents of the state Monday, and
the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals plans to request charges
for operating an unlicensed care center. Iowa law requires a facility be
licensed if three or more dependent adults live together.
The money: DHS officials are trying to understand the financial
arrangement between the men and Henry?s Turkey Service. The firm
appeared to act as a fiscal agent, with control over the men?s
Supplemental Security Income checks.
Pay loophole: Henry?s Turkey Service used a federal law that allows
companies to pay workers with diminished mental capacity less than
minimum wage. Company records have been subpoenaed as part of the
investigation into whether the men authorized paycheck deductions for
room and board and whether they had the mental capacity to give such
- - -
- Re: The Bunkhouse Boys - Slavery Uncovered in Iowa!
- From: jerry warner
- Re: The Bunkhouse Boys - Slavery Uncovered in Iowa!
- Prev by Date: Re: Police Grill 44***Offenders in Missing Florida Girl Case, Find 'Items of Interest' During Search
- Next by Date: Haleigh Cummings / Girlfriend says she loves the children
- Previous by thread: Iowa Slavery Uncovered by State!
- Next by thread: Re: The Bunkhouse Boys - Slavery Uncovered in Iowa!