Don Simpson, a preacher at Haslet Church of Christ for nearly 20 years, was the owner and operator of Mr. Don’s Whistlestop, a half-mile long miniature railroad track that he put together over several years on the one-acre lot that he bought in Keller, Texas in 1982.
Kids loved Mr. Don’s Whistlestop. The miniature train, being the perfect size for post-toddler-age kids, was a popular place for children to have their birthday parties, despite being an unlicensed business. Don loved having kids around, and especially loved riding around with them on his train. A two-hour event there cost $250 and horseback rides were available for an additional $50.
The popularity of Don Simpson’s birthday party locale was dramatically reduced when the parents of a 3-year-old girl called the police with a story of how Mr. Simpson had sexually molested their daughter while she rode on the train with him during a birthday party on the 7th of October, 2007.
While Mr. Simpson and the children were riding the train, the parent of this little girl noticed that Don Simpson was sitting in an odd position on the train, and that his hands were positioned in a way that didn’t look quite right.
Once the train had stopped, the parent of this little girl took her aside and asked if anything had happened while she was on the train.
Since this is People You’ll See In Hell, you already know that the little girl said that something did happen.
Apparently the train track goes through a 200-foot-long tunnel that Don Simpson put together, and while the train was going through the tunnel, the little girl felt Mr. Simpson touching her inappropriately.
Police showed up at the party, questioned a few people who were concerned that their little girls had been touched by a pedophile, left and wrote their reports.
Rumors began to make their way around town.
The next day, on the 8th of October, Don Simpson drove his truck to the police station and asked to talk to police about the investigation.
While being interviewed by investigators, Don called his wife and had her come down and sit with him while he talked.
After four hours worth of interviews, Don Simpson admitted that he had fondled not only that little girl, but many other little girls as well.
Don Simpson wasn’t arrested at that point because detectives felt that they needed to do a bit more investigation to corroborate his confession.
After the interview, Don Simpson had a breakdown. Police took him to a local hospital’s mental health facility for treatment. Mr. Simpson stayed there for a few days while police waited for him to be released.
Shortly after he left the hospital, Mr. Simpson surrendered to police on the 12th of October, 2007. He immediately posted bond and walked out of police custody.
Once that got out, rumors really started to make their way around town.
Parents began wondering if their children could have possibly been molested by Don Simpson. After all, almost all the kids in town had been at his house at one time or another…
Parents were publicly urged not to ask their children about being molested, because doing so could affect any new cases against Mr. Simpson.
That opened the floodgates.
Over 200 parents called police to arrange for their children to be interviewed by specialists in the tricky practice of dealing with the mind of a child. So far, three more children – three girls and one boy – have been identified as having been molested by Don Simpson. These children are between 3 and 9 years old.
In total, Don Simpson is facing five charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and three charges of indecency with a child by contact.
Assault is a first-degree felony. Don could get life in prison for each count.
Indecency with a child by contact is a second-degree felony. Don could get between 2 and 20 years in prison for each of those charges.
Don had better hope that his attorney comes through for him. Mr. Simpson’s attorney, Lisa Mullen, has stated to the press that Don Simpson has never touched any little kids and that his confession to police was beaten out of him.
Did He or Didn’t He?
Don Simpson certainly has his supporters.
His son-in-law, Jon McKenzie, knows that Mr. Simpson admitted his molestation activities to police, but Mr. McKenzie said that his father-in-law’s confession came only after police coerced Don..
I will say that we feel that the Keller police, after questioning Don for many hours, mentally exhausted him, and we believe that also some threats were possibly used against Don in obtaining his statement.
Don Simpson’s lawyer has stated, “You couldn’t find a man with a better character. This man is innocent, and he’s spent 65 years proving that.”