Newsmaker Line: Yoder Case, Beard Cuttings,and Other Observations

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Photos: Holmes County prosecutor Steve Knowling.  Second photo, alleged ringleader of the Bergholz Amish beard-cutters, Sam Mullet.

For an insular society like the Amish who prefer to stay out of the headlines, the past year they’ve been anything but.  There’s been the Monroe Beachy Ponzi scheme, the infamous beard cuttings, the Barbara Weaver murder case, reality TV shows, buggy accidents, and recently the accidental death of 15-year-old Rachel Yoder who died coming home from a Christmas party.  That’s a little too much Amish in the news!

Long-time readers of this site know that I go out of my way to “keep it real”, to not over-romanticize Amish life.  Such romanticizing is unfair to them, it puts pressure on them to live up to a standard that they themselves never set.  And it gives us a false sense of something that doesn’t exist but in our heads.  Do I think there are some overarching aspects of Amish life that I find admirable.  Very much so.  But in the end they are just like everyone else with the same issues.

Holmes County, Ohio prosecutor Steve Knowling recently joined me on the “newsmaker line” to talk about some of the cases that have made news over the past year, some of the cases mentioned above he has been directly involved in, others only peripherally.  He sounds like a no-nonsense kind of guy who’s not going to give a free pass to the beards and buggies.  Listen to this podcast and enjoy it.  It’s a new, easier-to-use format and if you like it I’ll be posting a lot more.  Enjoy!  And thanks to Steve for sharing some of his insights with us!

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