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Hart Family deaths in Mendocino, California

Family of Eight found dead at bottom of cliff in the Pacific Ocean, Mendocino County, CA.

By Peter E. Tasciotti *Syndicated for scallywagandvagabond.com

Tragedy has struck and taken the lives of a family of eight travelling through Mendocino County, California on Monday, March 26, 2018. Although, only five bodies have been recovered, the three missing children are presumed dead, according to the local authorities on the scene. “The adult women, identified as Sarah and Jennifer Hart of Woodland, Wash, were found in the 2003 GMC Yukon, while three of their children were found outside of the vehicle.”

“According to the Associated Press, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman believes that all six children were inside the vehicle when it went off the cliff, likely killing the entire family”. https://www.inquisitr.com/4845900/jennifer-and-sarah-hart-devonte-harts-homeschooling-parents-werent-feeding-them-had-cps-pre-deaths-visit/ It is a sad day for America, when something happens, ending six young lives.

Sarah Margaret Hart and Jennifer Jean Hart were a married couple, who had adopted six children and were living as a family in Woodland, Washington. The mothers are reported as the same age, being either 38 or 39. The children are: Markis Hart, 19; Jeremiah Hart, 14; Abigail Hart, and missing but presumed dead, Hannah Hart, 16; Devonte Hart, 15; Sierra Hart, 12. They are a mixed, multi-racial family unit and have suffered the brunt of death threats for their lifestyle.

The Harts were known for embarking on many spontaneous road trips. They were involved with social justice causes with the whole family attending a diversity of activist events, including many Bernie Sanders campaign rallies. They were affectionately called, The Hart tribe; “a free-spirited family of two women and their six adopted children who raised their own food, took spontaneous road trips and traveled to festivals and other events, offering free hugs and promoting unity”. https://apnews.com/1d89be2d0d6c4dd69eabbabf94a1bf59

It is from their involvement in activism that the public would already know about them. A viral photo was circulating around the internet, during the time of the 2014 “Black Lives Matter” protests in Ferguson, Missouri. That emotionally-touching photo featured one of the children, Devonte Hart (aged 12 at the time), hugging a “white” police officer.

The sighting of the wrecked SUV was called in by a passerby on the Pacific Coast highway (Route 1) at 3:40 p.m, an indeterminate amount of time after the accident occured. https://usa-newnews.com/2018/03/29/jennifer-sarah-hart-5-fast-facts-you-need-to-know/ No other witnesses have come forward, who may have been there at the desolate stretch of highway. Investigators are unable to say what caused the accident, until they complete a thorough investigation, including forensics tests of the vehicle’s black box.

There are many unknowns at this point. What moved the vehicle? Was it by human will, mechanical error, or other force, causing it to plunge off of a steep 100-foot cliff to drop below onto the rocky coastline of the Pacific Ocean? What seems to be strange, is the fact that there were no skid marks on the area prior to the crash, denoting that brakes were not applied.

The fatal accident can be traced back in time to the whereabouts of the family at their residence in Woodland, Washington on Friday, March 23. They are also reported as being from Linn, Orgegon, which could be where their identifications were registered. Clark County, Washington had recently opened a child protection case regarding the Harts. This was instigated by their brand new neighbors, Bruce and Dana DeKalb. The Dekalb’s have reported that they were concerned about the Hart children. One of whom, apparently came to their residence, asking for food.

Mainstream media is apt to be playing with speculation at this point, as to the motivation behind the road trip that the Hart’s were taking. It is to be found repeatedly that the Hart’s were fleeing the Child Protection investigation. It does seem to be a possible cause. Possible also is that they could not get along with their neighbors. Many of us can relate to that predicament.

“Moms of family who drove off cliff have dark history of abuse – by Ruth Brown” https://nypost.com/2018/03/29/moms-of-family-who-drove-off-cliff-have-dark-history-of-abuse/
Much is being made of the past criminal record of Sarah Hart, who took the rap for domestic assault of one of the children in 2011. This was in the state of Minnesota, it was seven years ago. It was settled for a plea bargain and no time was served, in lieu of one year’s probation. That punishment was apparently accomplished and the individual could be assumed as rehabilitated. Yet the suspicion of recidivism is much-touted in this media speculation. That’s due to the tendency of negative thinking, as if nobody ever could learn from their mistakes!

“According to CBS News, Dana DeKalb said Devonte told her that Jennifer and Sarah weren’t feeding the children and were “punishing them by withholding food”. Bill Groener, a previous neighbor, said the Harts didn’t eat sugar and grew their own vegetables.” https://www.inquisitr.com/4845900/jennifer-and-sarah-hart-devonte-harts-homeschooling-parents-werent-feeding-them-had-cps-pre-deaths-visit/ The inquisitr needs to post a follow-up on Mr. Groener’s dietary recommendations.

We mustn’t take any sides until all the facts are in. The other side of the coin gives the many glowing reports by various family and friends, who say that the mothers and the family are happy and harmonious.

Terra Bundance is an activist who is working to promote a positive legacy of the Hart family https://twitter.com/terrabundance/status/979179418752114693 She is circulating the heart-felt words of another friend of the family, Jillian Berry, “The world lost 5 if not 8 of the highest quality individuals ever in existence yesterday and your story was salt in the deep, thick wounds that are only beginning to be licked by more people than you could imagine. I urge you to display a shred of compassion, respect and honor by retracting any seemingly slanderous statements until a thorough investigation has occurred.” https://www.facebook.com/terrabundance/posts/10160134626105371

RawStory spoke with Jeni Wren Stottrup, a friend of the family and a journalist who writes for a local weekly newspaper, to find out that the Hart mothers had recently celebrated their ninth anniversary of adopting, days before the fatal accident. https://www.rawstory.com/2018/03/boy-hugged-cop-iconic-protest-photo-may-killed-fleeing-adoptive-mothers-cliff-crash-report/

The parents and the children were also involved with music production, in a youth empowerment project. Their collaborative song can be listened to at this link https://soundcloud.com/maxirib/wolf-pak

It has already been noted that the Hart’s were frequently taking family trips. No facts are known at this juncture about their destination, if there was one? Were they intentionally going to end up in Mendocino County? Was there a rally in the area? Or were they actually headed to Sacramento, California?

That would make a lot of sense, considering that it is already proven that the Hart family does social justice activism. Presently, there are massive protests in Sacramento, due to the fatal shooting death of an unarmed black man, by police officers. If it sounds familar, it should. It is a very similar incident as the previous one in Ferguson, the protest of which the optimistic, Devonte Hart photo encapsulated.

The obvious and logical questions are: what was the Hart family doing from the time they departed their residence in Woodland, until the time of their fatal accident? Where did they spend their time? Who did they spend time with? They covered several hundred miles. There are 3 nights and 3 days in that duration.

Answering these basic questions would provide many clues about what they were doing along the road trip and possibly if there was foul play. To date, this writer has found no other news outlet forthcoming with any pertinent information. It is hoped that important facts will emerge and dispell the distasteful speculation. One does have to speculate, but please do so within the bounds of good reasoning.

There are many issues wrapped up in this tragic story, not the least of which is child abuse. There are also the loaded topics of: racism, leftism, rightism, lesbianism, police excessive force, and death threats. Let’s learn from all this or America will continue to fall into deeper civil strife.


(By Peter E. Tasciotti, intrepid reporter for the Truth)