The Crime of Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation is a crime of hate using psychological abuse.


Part 1 in a Series of Articles

By Joan Kloth-Zanard, RSS, ABI and LC

A heart-wrenching court case is going to begin Tuesday, September 11th, on the 3rd floor of the New Haven Superior Court.  Jerry Mastrangelo, a father who has shared joint legal custody of his 13-year-old triplets since December 2007, has not seen them in almost 2 years.  One might ask why.  Is he a bad father, did he do something wrong, did he abuse them or the mother? The answer to all of these questions is apparently, No.  Instead, he is the victim or targeted parent of alienation.

Mastrangelo’s rights to maintain a relationship with his children are fundamental rights protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.  When those rights are violated, the courts should be applying strict scrutiny to any of those statutes that directly and substantially impair those rights." (P.O.P.S. v. Gardner, 998 F2d 764 (9th Cir. 1993)) According to Mr. Mastrangelo, this is his constitutional right as a US citizen.

To keep a child(ren) from a biological parent when there is no evidence of that parent being unfit is a crime, which is why Mr. Mastrangelo hired, Attorney Norm Pattis, a high profile criminal attorney, who rarely if ever, steps foot in a family court.  According to Mr. Mastrangelo, his attorney would rather be in criminal court on the 5th floor than in a family courtroom.  It seems that Attorney Pattis is very cognizant of the extremely emotional trauma that occurs when a parent creates a contentious divorce and custody situation by isolating the children from the other parent.   Starting on September 11, Attorney Pattis will be trying to reunite Mr. Mastrangelo with his children in a highly publicized court case.  He believes that denying a good, loving parent from having a parent/child relationship, is a crime.

The crime we are talking about here has several names.  It is called Parental Alienation, Hostile Aggressive Parenting. Parentectomy or simply, PAS.  It is a form of psychological abuse where one parent deliberately undermines the relationship between the children and the other parent using bullying, manipulation and scare tactics.  In fact, it involves any action that impedes with a child having a healthy relationship with the other parent.

Mr. Mastrangelo was recently interviewed by Mary Jones on WDRC-AM and Vinnie Penn on WELI-AM 960.  In addition to these local media outlets, this case has captured the attention on a Regional and National level thanks to Ann Baldwin, a media specialist and president of Baldwin Media Marketing.  Calls to Mr. Mastrangelo’s ex-wife’s for her response to this story were not returned.


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John Oliano September 10, 2012 at 06:55 PM
This article was forwarded to me by a good friend from Connecticut. Your well written succinct coments are very informative. No parent should ever be treated in such a hostile manner. We wish Mr. Mastrangelo all the best and hope he is sucessful in being rightfully reunited with his children.
Joan Kloth-Zanard September 10, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I will pass your comments on to him. You are right that this criminal act of mental cruelty needs to be prevented at all costs.
Paulie September 11, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Congratulations and more power to Jerry Mastrangelo. This happens in CT way more than is reported -especially to fathers -and I applaud him for taking the action and having the fortitude to pursue this aggressively and put the relationship with his children first. Not only is it a crime to deprive a father of a relationship with his children, it is an equal, if not greater, crime to impose such trauma and distress on children who for reasons they can't possibly validate no longer have contact with a parent.
Lorri Cavaliere September 16, 2012 at 03:17 AM
I know Jerry personally and I am outraged this has been allowed to happen. Teenage years are the ones that children need their parents the most, both mother and father, even if they are estranged. Hopefully, it won't be too late for Jerry when the kids realize what their mother has done. Trudi Ann is doing them such a disservice which will have a negative impact on the way they handle future relationships. Kudos to Jerry for bringing this serious issue to the forefront.
Crusader September 18, 2012 at 01:30 PM
This is actually happening to me right now by the New Haven courthouse. I would like to speak to Mr. Mastrangelo (anonymously) because of the scrutiny I will endure if the almighty guardian ad litem finds out!!
Joan Kloth-Zanard September 18, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Crusader, I am so sorry to hear that this is happening to you, because as you know it should be and is a crime when it is allowed to go on and no proper help is provided for the family. Keep reading my articles that follow this one. I think you will find more information to help you. You can also contact me privately. Please go to my website, www.PAS-Intervention.com. I am looking into how you would contact Mr. Mastrangelo privately and anonymously.
Joan Kloth-Zanard September 18, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Crusader, please call me at 203-770-0318 for Jerry's Contact info.
Light September 19, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Thank you for your efforts in bringing awareness to this crime, it's happening to me too. Here is a link to blog talk radio interview with Mr. Mastrangelo that aired yesterday http://www.blogtalkradio.com/syndicatednews/2012/09/18/jerry-mastrangelo
Joan Kloth-Zanard September 19, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Yes, I know about this interview and have taken extensive notes on the interview. I hope others will take the time to listen to what he has to say.
greg September 28, 2012 at 02:55 AM
printed and will give my ex a copy thank you
Joan Kloth-Zanard September 28, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Greg, let me know how it goes when you give this to your ex. You might want to make sure she does this with a counselor and a copy of Dr. Warshak's DVD, Welcome Back Pluto.
This Person October 07, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I know the entire story, and I completely agree with the mother. Once you know the entire story you will agree with the mother instead of Jerry.
Lorri Cavaliere October 07, 2012 at 01:23 AM
"This Person"..you're certainly the minority among those of us who really do know the entire story. Jerry is a wonderful father and deserves to have a relationship with his children as has been ordered by the court.
Joan Kloth-Zanard October 07, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Since the mother refused an interview the three times I called and asked, I suspect that she has something to hide. She could have easily referred me to her attorney, or had her attorney return my three phone calls, but they did not. With all my years of work and experience, this tells me that they are hiding something. As well, I have spoken extensively now with Mr. Mastrangel, and the signs, and symptoms are clearly alienation on the mother and Dr. Formica's part. I did some extra digging, in fact, about Dr. Formica, and it seems this is not the first time he has destroyed a parents relationship with their kids when he had an affair/relationship with a parent. It seems his last relationship or might be the one before it, as he hides a lot, involved a woman who's husband became alienated from his children as well. So there is a pattern of behavior both with Mrs. Mastrangelo and her new husband that is NOT healthy for the kids. There is NO abuse and never has been on Mr. Mastrangelo's part, therefore there is NO reason for the children to hate or not want to be around their father, except that she has put ideas and thoughts into their heads to destroy this relationship. This is not okay. Furthermore...
Joan Kloth-Zanard October 07, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Furthermore, Truly abused children will gravitate to the aggressive parent for fear of loosing their love or being harmed by them. They are afraid that if they show any love for the targeted parent, Mr. Mastrangelo, that they will be kicked out of the "clan" and treated with the same hostility and animosity that is being shown for their father in their mother's home. This is terrifying for a child. When they are in each parents home, they have to split who they are into two different people. They have to be one person in one house and one in another. Eventually, self-preservation kicks in and the child must choose one parent, or risk having psychological breakdown with their personality literally split into two.
Joan Kloth-Zanard October 07, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Lorrie: You are so right that "This Person" is in the minority. I have only known Jerry for a short while, I have seen him under pressure and not under pressure. He is even tempered, open, truthful and sincere. He was more than willing to tell me his story and more. The mother, however, refuses to respond, even in confidentiality. This suggests a hiding of things and shame on her part for what she is doing to her children. I have also heard through the grapevine, that Dr. Formica is a control freak himself and that Mrs. Mastrangelo is possibly a victim of his abuse, as well. If she would just speak up and tell the truth, there would not be so much speculation and need to dig into their lives to find out the truth.
Gina, Jerry's Sister October 09, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Once you know the entire story, you will surely feel the heart wrenching pain that Jerry has endured for so many years. He is an honest man and a dedicated dad who loves his children. He prayed that the parent alienation would stop and that he would be able to continue the loving, gentle, fun and deeply bonded relationship he shared with them. This abuse has separated them from their dad and from the entire family; grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. The triplets are victims of parent alienation and it needs to end.
Penny Stout January 19, 2013 at 01:51 AM
It needs to end for all children, worldwide...and I think that by Jerry doing his due diligance, he is making aware, what needs to be made aware, for all of us target parents. Thanks Jerry, you are the person inside I wish I could be!
Joan Kloth-Zanard January 19, 2013 at 03:26 PM
John, Thank you and I am sure the Mastrangelo family thanks you for your well wishes. Yes, no parent should ever be eliminated out of their children's lives, whether consciously or unconsciously. In fact, unconsciously is probably even worse as it underscores how little control this alienating parent has over their emotions and actions. Without control, the kids are affected without even understanding why it is all happening. They think it is normal because this is the way this parent behaves all of the time. This is not normal and children need to be raised in a family where people's actions and thoughts are appropriate to the raising of the children.
Joan Kloth-Zanard January 19, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Yes, Penny, his fight is tremendous. Keep reading through all of my articles in this series.
An Honest Observation May 31, 2013 at 12:05 PM
The broken family court system will be looked at much closer. There is now much exposure of the practices of the GAL's, the attorney for the children and the therapists who have been living well off of these parental alienation cases, claiming to have the best interest of the children in mind. Every child that is unjustly denied the natural privilege to be in a parent's life is a victim. How shameful that so many "professionals" have created so many victims. Double shame on the alienating parent.
Joan Kloth-Zanard June 01, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Honest Observation, you are so right. I think the key is that we need to start focusing on the Children's Rights and not the parent's rights since parent's right seem to mean nothing. The children have a right to healthy, happy, unimpeded relationship with both parents. These professionals take an oath to protect the children's best interests which includes their rights. So why are they still not doing this?
An Honest Observation June 17, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Why do something to put an end to a case that brought in thousands of dollars to the mother's attorneys, the GAL (Lynne Pellegrino), the attorney for the minor children and the therapist involved with such a high conflict case? Remember Anne Epstein's theatrical move forcing Jerry to open his wallet while he was on the stand so she could ask him the amounts left on each credit card? She wanted her money and she thought of a way to get it! GREED plus GREED equals the players in family court. They, along with Trudianne, each forgot about the children and repeatedly acted in ways to satisfy their own selfish needs.
Joan Kloth-Zanard June 18, 2013 at 09:24 PM
Yes, Money seems to be the root of all evil when it comes to family court and what is decided. It is why I believe as a Certified GAL, the best interest of the child is the most important objective. It is why I refuse to charge the ridiculous fees that most GAL's charge. If as a GAL our first priority is the best interest of the child, then how is it in the best interest of the child to charge their parent's astronomical fees and take money that would be better spent on the kids. That is not in the best interest of the child. Yet, get this one, the state refuses to approve me for state rate fees paid by them, yet have me listed as a victims advocate. Hello, does anyone see a problem with this?
An Honest Observation July 31, 2013 at 11:31 AM
A good parent has the natural instinct to be able to know what is best for their child. What would possess a parent to deprive their child(ren) of a relationship with the other parent? Shame on any parent who hurts their children by being so vindictive. The CT courts are pitiful for allowing these parents to deliberately alter the minds and emotions of all alienated children. The child abuse needs to stop!


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