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Joleen Chaney is breaking up a wild ring of sex offender squatters

11:53 AM EDT on September 22, 2011

Right behind "Rectal Cancer" and "Jim Traber is coming out of the bathroom," the scariest phrase that can be uttered in Oklahoma is "Sex Offender." I know this because our local news media and politicians love to use the word to drum up fear, ratings and support. But do you know what's even scarier than a sex offender? A sex offender squatter!

From KFOR:

A camp of squatters in Southeast Oklahoma City has a lot of people outraged. Several homeless people have taken up residence along a creek, but what has people so upset is that many of the squatters are sex offenders.

The property owner said this isn't the first time he's tried get people off his property.

"See, they got a little something set up there," one neighbor said.

"They" being several sex offenders we're told were kicked out of a nearby trailer park...

The makeshift community is located just west of the Hands Up Ministry mobile home park, a place that takes in sex offenders.

Management at the park said many of the offenders who have taken up residence next door in the trees were kicked out of the park because of drug use...

News Channel 4 headed inside to try to talk to some of them, but the only person who came out was another riverside resident who said she's not part of the group that's causing all the ruckus.

"They got kicked out of these trailers," she said. "Oh, they told me that they messed with little babies and everything. I don't mess around with them."

I guess my question is how do we really know these people are sex offenders. KFOR claims they "were told" the former residents are the lowest of the low, but they don't really confirm it. In fact, KFOR doesn't even talk with any of the vagrants or confirm their identities or criminal records. They just seem to take the word of trailer park management and one very credible squatter:

Yeah, it's probably not a good thing when the best source for your story is a homeless lady who should be selling t-shirts with Bubbles in Hamsterdam. KFOR could have asked her if the squatters were rogue aliens from Jupiter and she'd probably say something like "They got kicked out of their mining facility at Ganymede. They told me they messed with our cattle and will soon poison our atmosphere with toxic gases. I don't mess around them."

Seriously, if you were a homeless drugged out sex offender squatter, why would you admit to your fellow squatters (a.k.a. neighbors) that you like to "mess with little babies and everything?" If you ask me, you'd probably like to hide that sick disgusting fact. You wouldn't wear it on your shirt like an "I Voted" sticker. Then again, sex offenders are weird and demented. That's probably why they drive big white vans and always lose their dogs.

Anyway, I guess I got a little off track. I apologize. Sometimes I just get a little irritated when local news organizations over-hype and/or manufacture news stories. Maybe instead of producing a shallow story that's not supported with credible sources or facts, KFOR should do an investigative series on the plight of the homeless in Oklahoma City, or better yet, an in-depth report on how free people who once committed vile crimes — yet served their time — are forced to register themselves on a blacklist and then live in sex criminal trailer park communities because of harsh laws that restrict where they can live.

Wait, those stories would be compassionate, would take time to research and produce, and would perhaps open the minds of a knee-jerk soundbite society. Screw that. Just give us more Joleen Chaney. That's all we really care about.

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