An Open Letter to Steubenville, Ohio

Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate. -Sun Tzu, The Art of War

It is not enough to simply enter the fray, take some shortcuts, ignore the rules, and threaten the enemy with bravado.  It is not enough to be loud and flashy. The attention and awe of the many is by no means an indication of victory.  Leading and acting with ego, mystique, with the same disregard for society rules as the villain you claim to abhor makes one no less of a villain themselves.

Whatever “glory” is achieved is at best ephemeral and at worst delayed defeat in disguise.

Many are claiming victory as they come into the battle in the 11th hour, standing on the laborers, blood, sweat, and tears of those who battled on when the world was not watching as if they were the ones who fought for the answers and truth they now flaunt in the face of the enemy or took the personal risks to gain the ground they now stand on with their own victory banners. Some are forgetting their not so famous allies who stood in between them and those who sought to kick them while they were down. Who gave all they had and risked everything to answer their call for help in fighting a giant they can never defeat on their own. Who labored to lift up the spirits and courage of the oppressed and build their trust. Instead of seizing an opportunity to uplift their own mystique and reputation.

Wearing a mask, breaking the law, and evading scrutiny does not make for hero that inspires people to stand up and be heard. It does not provide an example of strength of character and courage over strength of arms and authority.  It does not inspire people to recognize their own power but rather redirects their focus to that of another’s. It does not guide them to take hold of their own strength and determine their own destinies but rather gives them yet another’s strength to be forced to depend on and hope corruption does not creep its way into their hearts someday.

Freedom from tyranny does not come from impulsive attempts at intimidating and inciting the tyrant but rather patient efforts to inform and inspire the oppressed.

Steubenville, you have my word, I’m not going anywhere. When the pans stop flashing, the fair weather friends stop buzzing and the “heroes” have gotten their fill of the credit for all “their” hard work, the real fight will continue against those who we have been laboring to not merely “expose” but rather see held fully accountable. The multitudes of leads and tips will not go un-scrutinized. The information will be preserved and built upon and not weakened by just flashing in the faces  of the enemy.

My promises to the many people to finish what we started there remain steadfast. Just as they do to the victims in Jennings Louisiana, The family of Scott Dyleski, Nikki LaDue, and many others whose cries for justice have not faded from my ears.

Publicity and Protests gets recognition, Patience and Perseverance gets results. I can only hope for the former, it truly does help, but rest assured it will not stop me from laboring for the latter 😉

Joey Ortega


About behindtheyellowtape

Joey Ortega started his investigative career early at the age of 18 working as an apprentice investigator for local detectives. He started out doing insurance fraud investigations and background investigations. Proving adept in the areas surveillance and information gathering, Joey continued to seek further investigative challenges. From there he went on to do internal investigations for a number of companies that include; Sears, Roebuck Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, and K-mart. He was largely responsible for investigating issues of internal theft, embezzlement, workers comp fraud, and crime ring investigations. His success eventually earned him a position as a national investigator for a cellular chain, investigating crime rings on a national level. Trained in the Reid technique (interviewing/interrogation), Joey was able to gain confessions consistently without a single prosecution ever being challenged in court. Throughout his career as an internal investigator Joey continued to work for various private investigative agencies. Moving away from insurance fraud, Joey began developing his skills in the areas of criminal defense investigation, fidelity investigation, missing person’s investigations, and stalker investigations. It was the area of stalker investigations that Joey began to discover his passion for computer crime investigations. Having to learn quickly how to trace harassing and threatening emails, Joey began see that this is where the future of crime and justice was heading and decided to throw himself deeply into the subject. As a result, Joey’s clientele began to include those who were victims of internet fraud and cyber attacks. Joey is also the co-founder of The Ullemeyer Group, Inc. an investigative and training firm based in Santa Barbara, California that specializes in forensic training and consulting.
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12 Responses to An Open Letter to Steubenville, Ohio

  1. Nikoletta says:

    Well said!

  2. The Real Evil In Steubenville are the Politicians says:

    I remember Steubenville closed down their facebook page, so citizens could not air their concerns, and the politicians would not have to ANSWER to their citizens.

  3. I live in Weirton, across the river, but I work in Steubenville. The apathy of many I work with chills me, my coworkers who want justice give me hope. Appreciate what you do.

  4. amylynnburch says:

    Reblogged this on NotYourPlaything and commented:
    Slow and Steady Wins the Race!

    Joey Ortega’s months of hard work in exposing the corruption of Steubenville, OH and holding those responsible legally accountable for their actions will continue long after flash-in-the-pan wannabe tactics have ceased. Good on ya, Joey!

  5. topazmarie says:

    Thank you Joey, your letter is excellent, you’re one smart guy. We’re so appreciative of all you’ve done, may God continue to bless you in every way.

  6. Bk says:

    Hello, I am not from Steubenville, but not far away. I understand what your saying completely, but have to wonder if anonymous had not surfaced how this would really continue to unfold. I see layers of issues (from what I have read) that have indirectly contributed to the culture that resulted in the assault. Elected officials sitting in offices who have less than gleaming track records. So this is what the people want? Involved players (some) tightly connected to law enforcement or high profile families. Several issues that could have been addressed in the early days of this tragedy. If the young men involved have hope of moving forward in life successfully maybe accountability is a necessary tool. If this isn’t going to happen in the court systems then the school district should step up. Implement mandatory requirements such as drug testing for anyone participating in extracurricular activities – if they don’t already. For the students who have stated their part in the assault (be it watch, photograph etc…) ban from football for a select period of time. Reason, unsportsman like conduct. They represent Steubenville in or out of school. For that matter consider shutting down the football team for one year and rebuild. There have to be boundaries and the adults have to follow through with consequences. Moms and dads, our children need a lot of supervision (even at 16 or 17). I thought parenting would be easier as my kids became teens, I was wrong. I am reminded of the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”. And some citizens in role model occupations are setting bad examples. The victims of course are most important, but without some big changes there rests the possibility of more victims in the future. Change is difficult but sometimes necessary. And really it takes time.

  7. Bk says:

    One more thing, I am taking nothing away from the efforts of yourself or others. I am asking, were the powers that be listening? I don’t know. But in a different environment perhaps the school board at the very least would have become more aggressive…. Or do they have kids on the team too? As for anonymous they are spotlighting what many of you have known and maybe finding what was unknown. Either way, isn’t it a shame that the town became so divided & shallow that a group that generally embarks on larger issues believed that if they didn’t come change wouldn’t either.

    • thepowerofnature says:

      The Steubenville prosecutor, Jane Hanlin, was President of the school board. Her son was on the football and wrestling teams. Tangled! Sounds like BIG conflicts of interest all over the place. Oh, and her husband is on the Steubenville police force — a detective I believe. She didn’t recuse herself from the case until 2 weeks in?!?!!

      • This questions was raised. Aside from the fact that this is a small town not L.A.relational intersections on most levels are likely. That being said after aggressively researching the matter I found that Jane acted in accordance with her duty and ethics. She in fact had followed procedure and contacted DeWine’s office for the matter to be prosecuted by more objective prosecutors to assure a fair trial for all parties involved.

        Regardless of how things may look for some, and trust me I do understand and had openly considered all explanations, the facts are the facts and just like the courts we look to for justice its only right we judge her and her actions by the facts and leave conjecture at the door.

  8. mccrguy says:

    its important to note….there has been a culture of apathy and deliberate indifference in steubenville for many years concening official corruption and even serious entrenched pattern human rights and civil rights abuses….that even, the Dept of Justice itself…could not change…even while it maintained the first historic, united states federal DOJ “consent decree” over this hometown city ….for over 7 long yrs, the longest ever such decree also, on record, to date…lask i checked

    its not without some consternation and much worry…and loss of potential employement, careers, reputation and even the quiet enjoyment of life…that many many people in and around this town…have suffered at the expense of the ‘ruling connected powers that be”…if …they simply for many years….have endured the onslaught of their indirect and at times very direct hatred, not so subtle attacks and subterfuges…..against them…

    many people in this city understand…that if one was to keep one’s job, or maintain one’s place in the local “society” if there can be said there was or is one….it was necessary to ‘go along to get along”…its very much a canon of law or rule of small town usa …if not elsewhere…certainly…its alive and well on the hometown of Dean Martin…RzA and Traci Lords and others who have so colored the american cultural scene…

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