Stuart J. Novick
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Dear Mr. Novick,
My name is Jennifer Collins. My brother Zachary and I are the adult children involved in a severe child abuse case, Collins vs. Collins Minnesota 1992. We understand that there has been a recent complaint to the Boston Children’s Hospital regarding our doctor, Eli Newberger, MD by an uninvolved 3rd party, Eleanor Gallagher. We sincerely hope that there is no possibility that this woman or her husband, who is a high powered attorney, can intimidate your staff into jeopardizing our rights to patient confidentiality.
Here is a summary of our case:
In 1992, the Hennepin County judge told my mother to take us children to a respected children’s hospital - child abuse evaluation center. Since we lived in Marblehead Massachusetts, my mother enlisted us on the waiting list with the Boston Children’s Hospital.
The Boston Children’s Hospital evaluation team, headed by Dr. Eli Newberger, evaluated me and my brother. All of the staff personnel concluded that we were abused by my father. Our mother was aware of the judge’s suspicion that she was influencing our testimony against our father and she questioned Dr. Newberger if our abuse or allegations of abuse could somehow be her fault. One thing about my mother, she always took the blame for everything that went wrong. My mother asked how could they be sure that we were telling the truth and Dr. Newberger explained that we were aware of certain details, like specifically where the abuse took place and what my father and his wife (our abusers) said during the abuse, etc.. He also advised my mother that we were given every opportunity to embellish the events, which we did not! All our mother ever told us was to tell the truth, which we did emphatically!
After custody was reversed and we were ripped away from our mother and thrown into that "house of hell" (we understand now that) our mother contacted Dr. Newberger begging him to help her determine if she was suffering from any mental illness, most specifically MSbP and what she had to do to become “well.” My mother underwent several independent psychological evaluations and every one concluded that she was not mentally ill at all! Even our pediatrician (since 1987) recently spoke with my mother and apologized for not being able to protect us.
It is obvious that my mother’s own biological mother (and stepfather) were so determined to cover up the abuse to her daughters that they were willing to condemn me and my brother to a life of abuse as well. My grandmother was aware of my father’s violence but sacrificed us to keep the secret that my mother had come forward that she was abused by her mother’s husband, Thomas Gallagher. (In a separate trial, my mother’s sister also admitted to being sexually abused by Thomas Gallagher.) There is also medical evidence that another girl was sexually abused by Thomas Gallagher, but I will not reveal her name since she is unable to come forward for whatever reason.)
For 18 months and 8 days we lived in fear and sadness until we finally got up the courage to run away. My mother met us at a video store and promised to protect us! We fled the United States and were apprehended in the Netherlands. For 3 years we were forced to live in refugee centers while the Ministries of Justice performed an in-depth evaluation. The Dutch government was weary of granting asylum to an American and proceeded with extreme caution. The standard procedure for deciding asylum is based on independent evaluations by DUTCH medical and psychiatric professionals. Every single independent professional concurred that we were severely abused in the United States. My mother and my brother were subjected to full body x-rays and medical examinations which also confirmed the severity of the abuse. An amnesty international doctor reported that he was sure that we were from Bosnia because the injuries were similar to that he saw from survivors of the Serbian concentration camps.
Since our case had the potential of sparking an international incident, the medial general inspector was ordered to give a determining opinion. It is quite naïve to think that a country belonging to the European Union would grant asylum based on a letter from a foreign doctor. It has been determined that Eleanor Gallagher is the very source of vicious rumors such as “It is now known that Holly used the above cited letters written by “the renown” Dr. Newberger from The Boston Children’s Hospital (who in reality had seen the children only four times) to obtain a residence permit from The Hague.”
Eleanor Gallagher has invented these malicious lies to discredit the merits of our case. Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher would have no way of knowing what the basis was for our receiving asylum except for what they read in the Dutch Newspapers. The Dutch Government has respected our rights to privacy under the Geneva Convention.
In addition it is important to note that when we were officially found by the FBI two years ago, the. Dutch government requested that they complete an internal investigation of their own. The FBI concluded that my brother and I were severely abused by our father and that our mother reasonably believed that her drastic measures were necessary to protect us from further physical harm.
There was no international uproar as Eleanor Gallagher concocted. The Dutch government proudly stands behind my mother citing that we were eligible for asylum under the European Treaty for Human Rights and the Dutch Ministries has even upgraded our asylum to indefinite status!
My mother is an amazing woman, who is the proud mother of 10 children (including war orphans from Africa) yet her own mother finds it necessary to state that there are only seven children by there (3) different fathers. Our own grandmother should get her facts straight. There are 10 children, with 5 different fathers and 3 different mothers, but all that matters is that my mother and my Dutch Papa are the parents of us all now! And Eleanor knew that 5 kids are grown and there are only 5 children living at home
Last August, when Eleanor Gallagher contacted you and tried to defame Dr. Newberger in attempts to further discredit my mother my mother was in negotiations with the district attorney. I am the one who tried to gain support for this hero who selflessly rescued her two children from abuse. We never attempted a letter writing campaign to Congressman Hoyer. Where does she come up with these lies?
Eleanor Gallagher was the very first person in all of the court documentation that I could find who used the phrase ‘media circus’ back in 1992 when she was trying to belittle my mother into thinking that she would never be believed and end up looking like a fool. Since then this phrase has been repeated something that my mother has said. My mother promised that she ‘would do anything it took to protect her children.’ Eleanor Gallagher personally translated that to meaning creating a “media circus.” Now Eleanor Gallagher is insinuating that such a strong, respectable district attorney as Liz Cutter would be intimidated by the local media. Everyone appears to be more afraid of my grandparents than the Minneapolis press. Even the district attorney realized that my maternal grandparents outrageous behavior would only strengthen my mothers defense.
I have to admit that I was surprised when I received notification from the City Pages reporter that Dr. Newberger had contacted the paper with a personal message for my family:
“Doctor haunted by case:
I can't thank you enough for this article. I've worried about this family for years and think about them every time the Munchausen diagnosis is used as a cudgel against women trying to protect their children in family court. May I ask you please to transmit my warm greetings to Holly, with my respect for her courage and values, and my congratulations on raising such wonderful children? Eli Newberger, M.D. Brookline, Massachusetts”
Out of all the physical abuse we suffered, the worst part was being told by my father's wife that everyone knew what she and my father were doing to us and no one stopped it because we were “F-ing kids that no one cared about.” (My father’s wife, Rena Collins repeatedly told us that 'our mother was crazy and didn’t want us anymore, and it she really loved us she would find a way to get us back.') I was honored that such an important person as Dr. Newberger really cared about me and my brother. It helped ease the pain of the 18 months and 8 days that we were held captive and further subjected to “court appointed child abuse.”
It is most compelling that although there was an immediate local interest in our case. It never took a life of its own in the main stream media. My mother faced her day in court and when all parental abduction charges were dropped she returned to the Netherlands a free woman. The press immediately subsided and my mother returned to her very private life.
Glenn sacks, a father’s rights advocate has been fueled by Eleanor and Tom Gallagher’s affidavits, legal briefs, complaint letters and even personal medical records regarding me and my brother who were attained by… (Yup, you guessed it!) our “loving” grandmother. Glenn sacks tried to keep our story alive but it’s just not that interesting: another kid failed by the family court system. Tragically it happens all the time in the United States of America.
I find it strange that Eleanor Gallagher suggests that you read the ‘gossip’ comments section of a newspaper rather than the in depth story itself. My mother had already caught on and was very angry with the deception of her mother, when she suspected that she was posting comments behind her back .
My mother confronted Eleanor Gallagher on August 13th 2008 stating: “As you know, Jennifer is busy trying to have the charges against me dropped. Jennifer and Zachary are ready to return to the States. It is too bad that you are still determined to have me discredited/punished. We have read your comments on the internet. Do you really want to see me go to jail? All this because you do not want the truth exposed about your husband. It is such a shame that even after all these years, you can not admit, nor apologize for what he did to me. I guess it is easier to just believe that I am crazy. Oh well, I really don’t care anymore. I understand you better and I am not angry with you anymore. I just feel sad about everything.”
Not that it is of any concern to your investigation but Eleanor Gallagher closes her latest complaint letter by stating that “My son visited with her in the Netherlands a few months ago and it is obvious to both of us that Holly is a sick, desperate, woman who could have been helped if only Dr. Newberger had not felt so omnipotent,,,,”
Again, does Eleanor Gallagher really expect anyone to believe her accuasations against this woman who is stranger to her? Eleanor Gallagher has not seen my mother or spoken with her in over 18 years! My uncle was at our house for less than a day, over a year ago! He has seen my mother one time in the last 17 years! Michael was amazed at what a wonderful mother his sister was. He exclaimed how surprised he was that she was nothing like the stories he had been told from his mother. He admitted that he was not as patient as our mother and cited an incident when my autistic little brother slammed his bedroom door. Michael said that if it was his child, he would surely receive severe corporal punishment. My mother replied “I guess you’ll never be left alone with my children either.”
It certainly is remarkable that Eleanor Gallagher’s two daughters, who do not physically discipline their children are the very two who she chooses to challenge parenting ability and yet the son who physically strikes his children is considered ‘normal’ in this dysfunctional family.
I have been researching the court documentation and I found an explanation for the Gallagher’s behavior in the 1993 appellate proceedings:
“Eleanor Gallagher is the subject of two separate Massachusetts restraining orders, restraining her from having contact with Holly Ann or the children. Holly Ann’s mother has been overly involved in this proceeding and has been more than willing to attempt to cast a negative light on Holly Ann throughout these proceedings. She has interfered with Holly Ann’s care of the children by attempting to influence the children’s doctors against Holly Ann. She also released to Mark [Collins] for his use in this proceeding the GAL report in the custody dispute she had with her ex-husband over Holly Ann and her siblings. That report was subject to a confidentiality order that prohibited its release to anyone except Holly Ann and her mother. Holly Ann’s mother is not acting like a caring or concerned parent she is acting like a person who is highly invested in making Holly Ann appear unbelievable, presumably so Holly Ann’s reports of childhood abuse will also not be believed.”
I understand that the Gallagher’s are still trying to sever Dr, Newbergers support of me and my brother and are actually trying to gain access to confidential information pertaining to us. We would like to make it extremely clear, that Zachary and I are both over 18 years old. We do not permit anyone to receive any information about us, especially NOT my biological father, MARK COLLINS, his wife, RENA PETERS COLLINS, or my maternal grandmother, ELEANOR GALLAGHER and her husband, THOMAS GALLAGHER. These people have abused me and my brother enough. Don’t we finally deserve peace of mind?
Again, I would like to thank Dr. Newberger and your amazing team for trying their utmost to protect children from abuse.