-by-Angela V. Woodhull, Ph.D.
The next victim that we visited was a man in his early sixties living in an assisted living facility, Lawrence Long. Long was in the process of being sued by professional guardian, Rebecca Fierle.
Long’s crime? Rebecca Fierle had lost in her bid to become Long’s guardian. She was now suing Long for the unwarranted attempt at becoming his guardian—and charging Long for the cost of her hiring an attorney and pursuing an involuntary guardianship against Long.
Her attorney, Karen Goldsmith, who had assisted Rebecca Fierle in her quest to become Long’s unnecessary and unwanted guardian, had been sending threatening letters to Long. Using their favorite judges in Seminole County, Rebecca Fierle and Karen Goldsmith had managed to obtain a court order demanding that Long pay thousands of dollars to Goldsmith for their foiled attempt at taking away Long’s civil rights. A judgment had already been entered against Long—even though he had never been successfully served or appeared in court.
It was time to meet Long and ask him how he had managed to become victimized by this precarious and frightening situation.
We found Long alive and well and living in an upscale assisted living facility. He had his own efficiency apartment and seemed quite happy and fine in his surroundings. He enjoys playing on the internet, driving his car, and going shopping. It turns out that Long had suffered a stroke, which is what put him on Fierle’s “radar” but had now fully recovered.
Fierle seems to enjoy taking involuntary guardianships against veterans she finds in hospitals--probably because she is guaranteed, by Florida law, five percent of their monthly income—for doing practically nothing. Although “five per cent” does not seem to be a lot, multiply five per cent times 20 veterans every month and you have a pretty nice income for very little work.
Long was aware that Rebecca Fierle had sued him for the money she had spent in her foiled attempt to become his guardian.
There were stacks of unopened mail from Fierle and her attorney, Goldsmith, piled up in a corner of his small living room. Long said he didn’t want to open the mail because it was “too stressful” to deal with and he didn’t really know what else he could do except ignore the situation.
How was Long lucky enough to get out the unwarranted guardianship? Luckily for Long, he had been seeing his own personal psychiatrist for most of his adult life and his personal psychiatrist went to bat for him and wrote a letter to the court stating that he would not go along with the assessment that Long needed to be placed into an involuntary guardianship and have all of his civil rights removed.
However, the unpaid bill “owed” to Rebecca Fierle is actually an omen of what is to come. Banking on the “fact” that Long is getting older, it’s just a matter of time. Fierle can always re-apply at a later date to become Long’s guardian, having her favorite doctors declare him incompetent. At that time, the unpaid money for the first foiled attempt will be reimbursed to her out Long’s lifetime savings, since there is already a recorded judgment against Long.
We enjoyed the afternoon visiting with Long, sharing a pizza with him. We opened, with Long, the stack of unopened threatening letters Fierle and Goldsmith had sent to him, which confirmed what I had already read in the court files.
“Let her go f--- herself,” Long said, looking over the bills from Fierle and Goldsmith that increased in price every month, due to interest. Fierle’s attorney was adding interest for each month that Long had ignored the bills.
Long showed us websites that he likes to visit. Between surfing the web and driving around in his car, he has managed, for the moment, to escape the realty that his freedom will be short lived.
Long seemed to realize that he is a “marked man.” Even though she didn’t win the first round, it’s just a matter of time before Rebecca Fierle steps back into Long’s life to become Long’s “guardian.”
“I try not to think about it,” Long said. Long has been “marked for destruction.”*
“Marked for Destruction” is a term coined by John Caravella who became involved with yet another victim of a predatory guardianship. His book, Adele’s Diary, can be viewed at www.markedfordestruction.com
*Note: Dr. Angela V. Woodhull, a licensed private investigator, spent more than two and a half years investigating court records in Seminole and Orange Counties, Florida and interviewing family members and victims in order to compose this story. All court records that verify the contents of this article were submitted as attachments to the editor of the F.B.I. journal as verification of accuracy. Woodhull can be reached at (352) 327-3665 or
Sunday, February 26, 2012
-by-Angela V. Woodhull, Ph.D.