By Kelly Stone
Clark County, WA – Former Vancouver City Prosecutor Josephine Townsend wielded tremendous power. She decided which cases to pursue and which ones to drop. Guilty or innocent did not matter to Townsend. All she wanted were convictions. Convictions, she must have thought, would give her credibility as a prosecutor who was tough on crime. This credibility was important if Townsend was going to reach her ultimate goal of being elected a Washington State Superior Court Judge this election. Townsend must believe the people want a judge who is tough on crime, right? . . . even if she sends innocent people to jail?
This cold and calculating agenda has unraveled for Townsend. Like all psychopaths she has limited insight. She has an M.O. which makes her arrogant and vulnerable. She believes that she is smarter than everyone else. She believes that others are just fools to be manipulated. She believes no one will check the facts and discover what she is up to. Even if she is caught once, she believes no one will come after her again. But Townsend was wrong about one thing – The US~Observer was watching and we exposed Townsend for who she really is, a heartless alleged psychopath who wanted to be judge.
UPDATE!!! Townsend Defames US~Observer?
Just as this article was going to press (original published June, 2012 – revised August, 2012, for this publication), Townsend allegedly made a bold and libelous attempt to undermine our investigation. We received an email from a person with a legal case in Clark County who Josephine Townsend is allegedly “damaging” and it appears to have been sent from Townsend’s correct email address. Townsend threatened:
“The u.s. observer is a web cite set up by a former criminal defendant I prosecuted. We have sent cease and desist orders to that defendant. You are on notice that your statements to Pam [last name withheld due to confidentiality rules of the US~Observer] are defamatory and not true. If you do not cease to rely on or distribute this false information legal action will be necessary to take against you.”
Just to be perfectly clear, the owner of the US~Observer has never been prosecuted by Josephine Townsend, and the owner has never been a criminal defendant in Clark County, WA. Further, there are no cease and desist orders. If Townsend actually penned the email herself, she is lying and making threats in a desperate attempt to cover her alleged psychopathic conduct.
Psychopaths are Charming and Heartless
Most of us think of psychopaths as felons residing in prison. It is true that about 25% of prisoners are psychopaths, while there are less than 4% in the general population. At least some of them are getting caught. But they are slippery because they have no conscience. These charming, heartless people can even fool parole boards and are released on parole far sooner than other inmates. It is for this reason that some state prison systems have enacted policies not to release an inmate who scores as a psychopath on standardized tests of psychopathy (which are very reliable by the way).
I wonder how Townsend would score on a test of psychopathology. Townsend’s M.O. is to win at all costs. The lives of the people who are her targets are irrelevant to her. In order to win she will lie, concoct evidence, and terrorize her targets. Psychopaths, like Townsend, are alleged to be incapable of deep emotion. Instead, they rely on the thrill of hurting others. According to researchers this appears to be the only feeling they are capable of . . .the thrill of dominating others and causing them harm.
In fact, noted researcher Simon Baron-Cohen, recently published a book, The Science of Evil, in which he describes the neuro-science behind what he terms “Zero Degrees of Empathy.” With the advent of sophisticated brain imaging devices, researchers are able to peer into the brains of psychopaths and compare them to normal people. Accordingly, Baron-Cohen and others have discovered that psychopaths are missing certain circuitry in the brain that is responsible for empathy. In particular they are missing the circuits for registering the pain they cause others. This makes it very easy for them to take what they want at the expense of incredible harm to others.
Not all Psychopaths are in Prison
Not all psychopaths are in prison. In fact, Martha Stoudt wrote an excellent book entitled, The Sociopath Next Door, in which she describes psychopaths like Townsend. Sociopath is just another word for Psychopath, but by any word used to describe these people, their actions are unconscionable.
Some psychopaths are amazingly successful. Townsend is well educated in the art of manipulating people. She was a police officer before returning to school for her law degree. Later she served as the Vancouver City Prosecutor for several years. No doubt, she learned a lot about the criminal mind during all of these years in training . . . and perhaps how to use those tools to trick others.
Townsend has been caught before
In 2005, Townsend was reportedly fired from her job as Vancouver City Prosecutor by her supervisor, Ted Gathe. Armed guards confiscated her computer and escorted her off City property. No explanation was given for her firing. There is a copy of the termination letter from Gathe on the Internet at a website called “Vancouver Washington Corruption Log.” Later Gathe and Townsend both announced that she left her position voluntarily to pursue her goal of becoming a judge (also posted at “Vancouver Washington Corruption Log”). According to another US~Observer source, Townsend was given a secret monetary settlement by the City of Vancouver.
After this firing Townsend was investigated by the Washington State BAR for prosecutorial misconduct and found guilty. She didn’t lose her license to practice but she was required to receive two years of supervision on all of her cases. Interestingly Ted Gathe did not see fit to arrest Townsend even though she was guilty of far worse than many of the misdemeanors she would prosecute.
Of those who complained to the BAR, several sent in documents showing that Townsend had a very distinctive psychopathic pattern with regard to her victims. She would convince citizens arrested on misdemeanors to plead guilty. In return she promised them a one to two year period of diversion. The promise was that if they completed the diversion without any further legal violations, the charges would be dismissed and the citizen would have a clear record. But Townsend apparently never intended to let these citizens go free. As soon as some signed the documents for diversion, she began a game of entrapment in order to revoke their diversion agreements.
Townsend used Code Enforcement to Entrap her Victims
Dr. Kathy Marshack
Dr. Kathy Marshack was among her victims. The US~Observer has profiled Dr. Marshack’s story in a series of exposes’ (at www.usobserver.com) showing the extensive corruption in Vancouver’s City government. Like so many of Townsend’s victims Dr. Marshack was granted a one year diversion agreement, but before she knew it her life was turned upside down with one visit from Richard Landis, Vancouver Code Enforcement Supervisor. This was Townsend’s method. She sent out Landis to visit her victims and to invent a bogus City Code Violation. Based on a simple code violation she would then issue documents to revoke the diversion. It was also this method that landed Townsend on “diversion” herself when the BAR investigated this disreputable practice.
In Dr. Marshack’s case Landis issued a citation that she was in violation of City Code for having a home based business with a secretary at her home office. Although Dr. Marshack had applied for and received a legitimate home business permit from Vancouver 7 years before, Landis issued her a citation anyway. He told her she was in violation to have a secretary and he gave her two days to fire her secretary or to shut down her psychology practice. Then Landis turned it all over to Townsend to begin the revocation of Dr. Marshack’s one year diversion agreement.
Townsend ran with it. She started revocation proceedings immediately. She tried to swap out judges to find one who would go along with her dirty work. She falsified a report to the Mayor’s assistant Jim Jacks (also known as the Citizen Advocate) in which she told him that Dr. Marshack was diagnosed by her psychologist as a “functional sociopath.” She attacked Dr. Marshack as a parent by accusing her of causing her daughter’s mental problems (her daughter is autistic). She even went after Dr. Marshack’s psychotherapist, Dr. Frank Colistro, when he wouldn’t go along with Townsend’s plan. Although Dr. Colistro adamantly denies ever diagnosing Dr. Marshack a “functional sociopath,” and his psychological records show he diagnosed her with depression only, Townsend says otherwise.
Townsend terrorized Dr. Marshack with these actions. Dr. Marshack was forced to fight for her safety, her freedom, her livelihood . . . and her children. Not only did she face revocation of her diversion agreement, but she faced jail time and the loss of her license to practice her profession. This tyranny cost Dr. Marshack thousands of dollars and incomprehensible anguish. Her children suffered too, knowing that their mother, who was a single parent, might not be coming home.
Fortunately Dr. Marshack was able to prevail. Ted Gathe stepped in according to a US~Observer source and all of a sudden Townsend stopped the revocation proceedings without explanation. Townsend was fired by Gathe shortly thereafter. Dr. Marshack’s home occupation permit was restored and she completed diversion as originally planned.
Townsend Launches a New Attack
Dr. Marshack is suing the City of Vancouver over Townsend’s malicious actions. Considering that the City fired Josephine Townsend, wouldn’t you think the City of Vancouver would gladly pay Dr. Marshack and put this horrible chapter behind them? No. They have been fighting her tooth and nail. City Attorney Alison Chinn (who has been assigned to defend the City of Vancouver in the lawsuit) has the audacity to claim that Townsend’s vile actions are privileged because she was a City Attorney. This means Chinn is claiming that a jury would not have the right to hear what Townsend did to Dr. Marshack because she was functioning in her job as a City employee. Really? Is it a City Prosecutor’s job to lie, and falsify information, and entrap a citizen?
Furthermore, does Vancouver City Attorney Alison Chinn have a job description that allows her to cover-up for the “criminal” and civil wrongful acts of other public employees? It certainly must, because that is exactly what Attorney Alison Chinn is doing! She has blacked out hundreds of pages of documents that are supposedly public record. We are not allowed to read the emails exchanged among City Attorney Ted Gathe , Townsend, Chinn and others, when Townsend was maliciously defaming Dr. Marshack. Even worse, the City Attorney’s have admitted shredding Dr. Marshack’s diversion file so that they can claim they had no knowledge of Townsend’s actions. Yes, that’s correct . . . they shredded the file after they were sued by Dr. Marshack. Talk about a gang of “alleged psychopaths.”
Bolstered by her former employer’s foolish backing, Townsend was not only running for election as a Washington State Superior Court Judge, but she has decided to launch a new attack at Dr. Marshack and is threatening her with legal action. Recently, Townsend accused Dr. Marshack of falsifying a Twitter account by setting it up in Townsend’s name, and then posting disparaging remarks. There isn’t a shred of evidence whatsoever that Dr. Marshack would waste her time doing such a thing, but it is possible that Townsend made a few enemies in her years as Vancouver’s City Prosecutor. Psychopaths do things like this. They often accuse their victims of the kinds of unconscionable things they do themselves.
Save the Community from Josephine Townsend
The US~Observer exposed all of this information 2 months ago and we stopped this “rabid dog”. Ted Gathe, Alison Chinn, Mayor Tim Leavitt, and other Vancouver leaders should all lose their jobs for allowing this cold and calculating alleged psychopath to have access to the power to abuse and destroy people. Townsend has been stopped now and City Attorney Alison Chinn must be stopped from her attempts to obstruct justice…
Editor’s Note: We have been receiving complaints about Josephine Townsend. Here is one example:
To Whom it concerns:
It comes as no surprise to me when I hear about Josephine Townsend being accused of corruption. During her time employed by the City of Vancouver, as an Attorney, she would BULLY the defense Attorney’s appointed by the court for those defendants that couldn’t afford one. Ms. Townsend would tell them if they wouldn’t force their client to plea the way SHE wanted them to, she would NOT pick up their contract the next time it was to be renewed. These statements were overheard by the City Attorneys office support staff. Then when she realized she was over-heard she would threaten them with their jobs.
Now she is running for a position as a judge with the power to really do something to those that oppose her position and speak out.
Tim – (Last name withheld due to US~Observer confidentiality rules)
Anyone with information on Vancouver City Attorney Alison Chinn, Josephine Townsend, or other City officials regarding corruption, abuse, intimidation, etc., are urged to contact the US~Observer by email at email@example.com or by phone at 541-474-7885. Townsend and Judge Wulle just lost their elections by a landslide and we need to finish our job with the other corrupt “public officials.”