135. Eagle Mountain Outpost

This shortlived grouphome in Idaho didn’t exist for long as the authorities took a closer look into what kind of license this place should have. The manager had a career name and a private name, which is quite unusual even for this line of business.

A former resident states:

This was one of two Idaho schools I was “subjected” to as a child, the other was Eagle Mountain Outpost in Sandpoint. I was abused, beaten and harrassed by staff and, believe it or not groups of students doing blanket parties on myself and other students (and worse) all fully known by the staff, and especially the director, Tom Finucane, AKA Tom Gregory. I can’t understand how a male youth school director needs aliases, but he was and is a threat to any child he encounters. Should I find him I still plan on a lawsuit. It haunts me to this day as well. It was very hard undergoing all of this as a child and not even your own parents believing what was going on until it was too late.

It doesn’t sound like a place for a teenager to have fun.


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8 responses to “135. Eagle Mountain Outpost”

  1. Greg maday says :

    I was there when these things went on i remember a staff member named Dex. Being fired for beating up on a youth that was there and also the blanket parties I was a 3R for most of my time there till my mother obtained a lawyer to get me home .

    • Susan says :

      Hi Greg, I came in and did some groups with some of the boys at Eagle Mountain and was told about the blanket parties and Dex. I reported what I’d heard which caused Social Services to step in. Tom would not let me back in after that except one time while he supervised and this was only after I’d had to agree to not speak about the reason I was not allowed to return. Were you one of the boys from the group? This has bothered me that I didn’t get to say goodbye or explain what happened. It was somewhere around 1990 I think. I heard that Tom moved to British Columbia and started another school there. Also, that he was suspected of child abuse, including sexual abuse in other states before Idaho. Would love to talk with you about this.

      • David says :

        I was a student there in 1990-1991 and was thrown into a wall and then choked nearly unconscious by a staff member. My efforts at justice were frustrated by Tom and Brenda, who somehow convinced my parents that I was culpable in the attack. I was also falsely accused of exploding a microwave, of all things. EMO was a strange place.

        I remember nothing about blanket parties or any Dex, but I might remember Susan: the woman who came from off-site to meet with us. Birkenstocks and perhaps short brown hair?

      • susan says :

        Glad to hear from you David. Yes, that was me. I’m sure that it was easy to convince parents of anything because most boys were there for some reason. Were you there when the place was taken over by outside people?

      • David says :

        (I tried to post something like this already, but to no avail…one last try:)

        I attended EMO from 1990-1991 and while I saw no instances of “blanket parties,” I did have a staff throw me into a wall and choke me nearly into unconsciousness. Tom and Brenda informed my parents that I was culpable in the attack, which was absurd. I was also falsely accused of blowing up the microwave. It was an amazingly eventful year there.

        I think I remember you, Susan. At least, there was a woman that would come and talk to us (I can’t remember exactly about what) in groups but I remember thinking she was an advocate for us. She perhaps wore Birkenstocks, and either had short brown hair, or pulled back brown hair. I don’t know, it has been a long time.

      • Greg maday says :

        Hi Susan what would you like to talk about ?

  2. Christopher J Murphy says :

    Yes. I was the legendary absconder along with my friend eric who meticulously left and hitchhiked all the way to Seattle. Lmfao.

  3. Jason says :

    I was the one quoted in the above 135 statement about EMO. I attended around 1986 or 1987 for a few months as a diversion for a juvenile offense of assault (was an angry kid due to home volatility) so I am highly shocked that this stuff was still going on several years later. I made a direct call from a pay phone in Sandpoint (after escaping) to Idaho health and welfare to report the going’s on but like many of you I was either not believed or there wasn’t enough proof yet. Reading the messages here though is a bit of a comfort even though it sucks you all had to go through some hell as well. It validates what I told everyone about blanket parties and random beatings from the bigger students and staff and yet my voice wasn’t heard. I was later caught and taken back, but I refused to cooperate, eat or anything until I was taken out of there. My PO back in Oregon threatened to put me in MacLaren if I didn’t “stick it out” and I said fine, I’d rather be there (or dead) than keep going through this. It was then that they started believing me as I think it dawned on them that nobody sane would say that unless things were genuinely terrible at EMO. The crazy thing about all of it is in todays world (thank god) a kid wouldn’t be nearly as likely to be the scapegoat for the parents violent volatile relationship. Instead I’d have been much more likely to have been placed in a proper foster home while my parents were sorted out in court for child abuse instead of dumping me in a “troubled kid” place. Yeah, watching your parents physically beat the **** out of each other every night after a couple pints and a case will do that. Doesn’t mean we are bad kids. Anyway, my story ends OK. I forgave them, we all have much better relations now. They both got clean and divorced years ago which was badly needed. I haven’t been in trouble in decades lol. Now I’m just a boring average dude with a great son who has never been in trouble a day in his life and who knows no violence from his parents. I broke that cycle and I’m proud of that. There was a chef there named Grady who made really good food though one of my only good memories of the place, other than snow skiing and water skiing.

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