An initial take-away from “The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck”

in Peter/Top Headlines by

After I have better composed myself and am finished wiping away the tears brought forth from Lane DeGregory’s soul-crushing account of the tragic life and death of 5-year-old Phoebe Jonchuck, I might have more to say about the matter. But part of me thinks whatever I had to say, I said to myself when I visited the spot on the bridge where Phoebe’s father threw her into the water.

But I do have one initial take-away that I can’t help but express.

What is abundantly clear from DeGregory’s reporting is that of the myriad broken souls who were part of Jonchuck’s life — from the mother diagnosed with MS to her white trash paternal grandfather and from the indifferent bureaucrats at the Department of Children and Family to the educators and caregivers who knew something was wrong with Phoebe’s father, but failed to act — the only people in the story who appear like they could have provided the poor girl with a decent home and the right upbringing are the two gay men, one of whom was Phoebe’s great-uncle.

Just look at the collection of places Phoebe called home in her brief time on this earth.


Which one would you most like to live? Right, the Victorian home owned by Phoebe’s uncle, Bryan Morris, and his partner, Timothy Maynard.

Those damn gays with their affection and love and nice homes. We can’t let them be parents! We can’t let them adopt children out of foster care!

What we need the system to do is keep families together, even if those families are just stringing together generations of drug addicts and wife beaters whose only contribution to humanity appears to be providing subjects for mug shot websites.

We need to do something, anything — just as long as, to paraphrase child-murderer John Jonchuck, two fags don’t raise any kids.

OR … maybe … we could recognize that when there are two loving parents, whether they are straight or gay, it doesn’t make a difference when there are children in need.

Had custody of Phoebe Jonchuck been given to her great-uncle and his partner, that little girl would be alive today.


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.