I have spent the day reflecting on different things. As I sat down to write about the case, I thought that going over the lasting indentation in time; a moment can carry a generational reverberation. One instant can propel a life into constellation of events. We take for granted those moments and we abuse them regularly. Byrd Billings used his moments in time to weave a web of lies, as well as brazenly live a life more corrupt than a movie plot could begin to describe. He was selling drugs. He was laundering money. He was lining his pocket with government money for his “disadvantaged” kids. The money is in the number of kids.
When you have the ability to spend the least amount of effort and expense, the money is in the numbers. If you have a full time person, on site, that is CPR certified and is a healthcare professional, the space, the vehicles to transport the kids, and other fringe people helping out in a voluntary or part-time basis, the number of kids, who are not completely incapable of doing for themselves (ie dressing, eating etc), becomes a business. The state doesn’t mind because they have problems providing for the number of kids that need a home. Byrd & Melanie Billings exploited that. This all stems out of Melanie having a special needs daughter who died not too long before her mother.
The legacy here is not altruistic. The proof is in the lawsuits that Byrd filed trying to copyright the names of the kids. He tried to impose fines for letters acknowledging services for the kids.
“Additional documents released Monday from the Florida Department of Children and Families show a bizarre attempt by Byrd Billings to copyright the children’s names and request money from the department for their use. A department attorney, Katie George, told the Pensacola News-Journal that every time the agency sent Billings a letter referencing the children by name, he would reply with an invoice demanding millions in copyright infringement. In one document released by the department, he demands $10 million in silver or federal reserve notes of equal value.
In a sharply worded letter of December 2005, another department attorney, Richard Cserep, wrote to Billings, “you reference a wide variety of law in connection with this claim” for damages. “This includes copyright violations, trademark violations, contract violations, admiralty and maritime law, libel and the Truth in Lending Act. At no time in any of your correspondence have you made a plain demand for damages under a clear and cognizable theory of liability.”…A handwritten note on the letter says that no further correspondence was received from Billings after that letter.”http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/07/20/florida.slain.couple/index.html?eref=rss_crime
This is the legacy of Byrd Billings.