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Disfigured-doll display draws defenders, detractors



Published: Thu, October 21, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Jordan Cohen

news@vindy.com

NILES

A controversial Halloween display of disfigured dolls on North Main Street drew more than two dozen supporters and opponents Wednesday afternoon to an orderly demonstration.

Supporters appeared to outnumber protesters, however.

None of the opponents carried signs, and most admitted that their protest could not force homeowner Krista Smith to remove the display.

“Without the city able to do anything, there’s nothing we can do,” said Carrie Moore, 32, of Niles.

The protesters used words as “disgusting,“ “twisted” and “demented” in describing the display of dolls that were hung by the neck from a tree, charred and painted to appear bloodstained or dismembered.

“I worked in day care, and this has to be hard on mothers who lost children,” said Noreen Husk, 54, of McDonald.

“It’s way over the line, said Carol Tigert of Niles. “Little kids should not have to see this.”

Smith, the mother of two, ages 8 and 9, said, however, her children and their friends are neither shocked nor upset by the Halloween display that includes a crib of disfigured dolls with the sign “After Death Dollcare.”

What Smith said surprises her most is the reaction.

“I actually think it’s overblown when you consider all the things people should be concerned about,” she said.

More than 14 people, including friends and family, sat on her porch in support of Smith. One of them was her next-door neighbor, Darien Warner, 14.

“I know Krista would never do anything to offend anyone,” said the Niles McKinley High School freshman. “It’s in the spirit of Halloween.”

One of the protest organizers, Tracy Greene of Niles, said she tried to call it off after receiving a threatening phone call from a blocked telephone number.

“They said they would teach us about Halloween and see how we like being covered in blood,” Greene said. “I don’t want to put anyone in harm’s way just to make a point.”

Smith said she was sorry to hear about the threat.

“She has every right to protest just as I have for my Halloween display,” Smith said.

Greene did not attend the protest but appeared before city council Wednesday evening to complain.

“You need to have something on the books,” she told council. “You should be able to do something.”

Mayor Ralph Infante said he would have liked to have issued a citation against Smith, but the city’s nuisance ordinance does not apply.

The mayor told Law Director Terry Dull to check other possibilities; however, Dull conceded after the meeting that a legal basis for a citation is unlikely.

“I’d be surprised if I find anything,” Dull said.


Comments

1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

It's Halloween - leave the doll display alone and it disappears in 10 days. Why make a big deal out of it? She is not evil!!! No different then the people who put out the large Xmas displays that lightup the entire neighborhood and disturb peoples' sleep.

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2PAPPY(14 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The old saying you can take a "Hillbilly" out of their house but you can't take the "Hillbilly" out of the "Hillbilly"!!!!
She really had alot of people on her side all young kids and we blame our teachers for failing schools!!! Its parents like her who are ruining society.

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3USMC0331(150 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Unionforever

I just didn't want you to be the only one with common sense and decent thinking to post something on this.

db2

she's evil? Lol! Wow! Alrighty then.....

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4author50(1121 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

This is frontpage news with lots of comments?

Only in this area!

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5palefoot(35 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Really?! You are going to alienate your neighbors over a holiday display? Heaven forbid we should actually be polite to one another. Very selfish on both sides.

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6saksmasher(9 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Why don't our troops get this much LOCAL attention when they deploy, return or GIVE THEIR LIVES? You people make me sick, anything to bitch and complain..................mind your own business and worry about the things that really matter.

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7AtownParent(562 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I would think that the Mayor of Niles would have more important things to attend to than one lady with a Halloween vendetta. They are DOLLS people. Not even life like dolls.

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8hmm(183 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

WOW-- the nasayers need to go to the "halloween store" there is a whole section related to " afterlife kids" a zombie is an afterlife from the movies I've watched.. Geez hope they don't go to haunted houses, watch horror movies... GIVE ME A BREAK protest and get offended by important issues.......

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9taliwacker(54 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

One thing to say to you ignorant people. Freedom of expression. If the home owner at hand was to even get a citation for it. The could sue for infringement upon their 1st amendment rights. The mayor would be wise to leave this alone. It is not their fault you people have nothing better to do. Get a hobby.

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10Reader(126 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

So here we have a mom who together with her kids spends time decorationg her yard for a holiday. This is done in the spirit of the holiday considering what you can buy in stores and see in the movies. A family creating something together. I see value in that!!
I see selfish busy bodies who have nothing better to do with their time than to run to meetings and organize hate against this family. To see and hear the personal attacks on the homeowner is horrible and shows that the protesters are by far worse human beings than the lady with the baby display. I feel bad for the Green woman, she must be sad and miserable if this is where she is putting all her efforts. Lets just take a moment and pray for her as it seems her spirit is much darker than the spirit of the woman decorating for holidays with her children!

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11jewel9276(1 comment)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I personally know the homeowner and I must say that you have her all wrong. She is a good mother, volunteers in her daughter's library, goes to church and keeps her daughter active in sports, etc. Please don't judge a book by its cover. She is a very nice person who just happens to like Halloween. At Christmas we can't put mangers in our yards because someone is an atheist, etc. and doesn't believe, now we can't decorate our own yards at Halloween how we choose. Where does it end???!?!?
If you don't like it drive a different way to work/school. It is her right to decorate how she chooses. Being a Niles resident, I truly hope that there isn't a "NEW" ordinance or rule created just because of this and we have to watch "HOW" we decorate! Mayor Infante should not have to spend his time worrying about this when there are greater "EVIL" to deal with in the city of Niles.

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12starofesther(168 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago


Let's not act out the display! What an example Oh My Glad they protested....Then people wonder why this world is getting messed up all the more...Just evil

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13ValleyNative(174 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Her neighbors should 1-up her and put fake dead adults, not babies, in their front yard.

Almost makes me want to go to Niles to see this lol...but not

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14HOWARD307(12 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

It's REFRESHING having a front page story in this area that doesn't "lead" with another murder, indictment of a public official, closing business's, etc. Who cares about another immigrant mother from West Virginia trying to impress her teen peer group?

I travel a lot for work around the country, and even in NYC or Dallas, the front pages AND TV news has a better "mix" of headlines and do not ALWAYS "scare" you to watch / read the scandal or murder of the day. We have been programmed around this valley to expect the next story to beat the last in terms of shock value.
You folks need to expect better news coverage -- BTW , most of you VOTE via what you see on TV , if you vote at all. That , IMHO, is more scary than fake dead anything....

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15lynxette2002(2 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

If the protesters think this display is so terrible and shouldnt be seen by children, how many protesters brought their children with them to protest?

I have no problem with the display. After all it IS Halloween. How many kids watch Halloween shows? People need to find something better to protest about instead of a Halloween display.

Im sorry for the parents who have lost children. What does that have to do with dolls? If you were in an accident and hit by a car, would you go around hating all the same types of cars that hit you? If a doctor misdiagnoses you do you go around hating all doctors? No... Wake up people.... how about we protest ... presidents? misuse of government moneys? politicians? being prejudice? or how about people losing jobs and are still waiting for this administration to do what it said it would do.

Im just saying.... come onnnn///

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16commyliberal(94 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

The house sits on a curve in the road on Main St. (St. Rt. 169) and most people who drive there go way too fast. If Mrs. Smith's display causes people to slow down and look at her dolls, then that is a good thing.

The neighborhood is a mix of residential and commercial properties. Mrs. Smith does not have small neighborhood children playing in front of her home so there is no one to be tramatized by the display.

The city of Niles needs to get over themselves. If they are so concerned with a public nuisance, why not cite people for having unlicensed junk cars in their yards?

Art falls under freedom of speech. You dont have to like it. I would rather live in a place where Mrs. Smith can have her doll dispay and I can decorate my yard the way I want as well.

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17steelwagon(284 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I personaly think anything that depicts violence towards children is wrong and sotired makes an excellent point.

But this is America and she has the right to be tasteless on her own property.
That said I think we all need to be a hell of alot more concerned about what's happening to our country rather than what some hillbilly is doing in her yard!!

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18stewie(109 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Oh get over it people! If you don't like it then make sure your kids don't go to this house for trick or treats. There, problem solved.

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19TheLadyRides(23 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

“It’s in the spirit of Halloween.” And that is why the fundamentalists (I am not one) call Halloween an evil observance. Where's the entertainment in depicting dead babies? Is this how we desensitize our children, with "harmless fun," then wonder why they grow up to shoot cops? The dumbing of America. No other way to describe it.

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20Reader(126 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@ theladyrides who quoted me with with a response far off from the point I was making.
Are you serious when you compare this yard display and shooting cops? Come on now, that is a bit over dramatic, don't you think?
I believe our children are desensatized by the violence on tv, movies, video games, and all they crap they can find on the internet in their own living rooms. I don't think this families front yard is a leading cause of violence on cops or violence in general. Is it distasteful to some? Sure.....

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21DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Are they Muslim babys?

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22DanaScullyMD(7 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I suppose if it was up for Christmas as a display of Herod The Great's Slaughter Of The Innocents in search of the baby Jesus, then it would be A-OK for everyone. Then people would praise her as a good christian mother who was imparting christian values. But because it is Halloween, she's some heathen. And these people who claim that people who have lost children can't deal with it, well, then then can't deal with living in this area period because they die EVERY DAY from violence. And on the news and in movies EVERY DAY. And the mayor was hoping to issue a citation for nuisance? Why doesn't he and every other politician just do their dang JOB and clean up the area of REAL CRIME? Oh I forgot, they are all criminals.

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23DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

One good thing,the dolls are hiding the sofa on the front porch next to the old fridge ,and the 78 Chrysler in the front yard on blocks!

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24Heartland(38 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

I wish the protesters would be as concerned for the deformed babies born in Iraq and our ill soldiers from depleted uranium use in the war. As an atheist I don't care if you put a manger in your yard.

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25DOLE2(594 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

As an atheist,I don't put anything up all year . Make sense?

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26DanaScullyMD(7 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@censoredship, GOOD POINT!!

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27KristaisTheBoss(12 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

@All my supporters I thank you from the bottom of my heart (and yes, I have one).. You guys keep me strong! As my screen name says, I am The Boss of my life and will not be bullied by close minded people, the city or anyone as a matter of fact. It will not come down until after Halloween!!

I still say that at first when this all started I was in shock that my stupid yard display for Halloween (which was the same as last year) made this much of a an unnecassary stink.. But I have now embrassed my 15 mins of fame (brought to the public and media by Tracy Greene, Without her most people would not know I even existed.) and I am going to take this all with a grain of salt and not let it ruin my family's holiday or our spirit..
So say what ever ignorant mindless comment you would like about me (it is a free country right?), in all honestly you don't know me from Adam, and you can judge me all you want. but my family and friends know who I am, and that's all that matters to me.

If anyone would like to drop off thier unwanted dolls please do so in our crib that's out front. Alot of people have asked if they could donate to us and we are more then happy..Some are even curious to see what thier dolls will look like once we have them.. lol..

Happy Halloween from the Doll House of Horror!!!!!

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28KristaisTheBoss(12 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Ohh..

I'm also gonna put a shameless plug for the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield,OH that I volunteer at..
They have a haunted house (Haunted X) going on in the prison thru-out Halloween.. Come down and check it out and if I'm there that night maybe i'll even sign an autograph for you!! LOL.. I kill me.. hehe

Krista

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