Third Elderly Woman Comes Forward With Claim Of Being Strip-Searched By TSA At JFK

New Incident Said To Be Mirror Image Of Previous 2; Rep. King Concerned

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They are two elderly women with two humiliating stories, they say, at the hands of airport security at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The women say they were strip searched by Transportation Security Administration agents.

Now a third woman, Linda Kallish, has come forward as the outrage grows. She spoke to CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown on Monday afternoon.

Kallish, who is in her 60s, told Brown a nearly identical story about her experience going through security JFK last weekend. In fact, she was on the same flight as one of the other women.

She said she is outraged and embarrassed.

“It’s been my fear every time I fly, that something like this would happen,” Kallish told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey on Monday night.

The TSA confirmed it is investigating all three claims.

CBS 2’s Dave Carlin spoke to the first two women to come forward on Sunday.

“They strip searched me. I was in shock,” said 85-year-old Leonore Zimmerman of Long Beach.

“It never happened to me before,” added 88-year-old Ruth Sherman of Florida.

Zimmerman and Sherman don’t know each other and they weren’t traveling together last weekend, but the women have strikingly similar stories.

“She said ‘pull your pants down. Then she pulled my underwear down,” Zimmerman said.

“She said lower your pants and that’s what I did,” Sherman added.

Both women said they were forced to take off their clothes in a private screening room at JFK  last weekend, one day apart as part of an extended pat down by TSA agents.

“They decide this 85-year-old lady needs to be strip-searched,” Zimmerman said.

Congressman Peter King, who chairs the committee on Homeland Security, pointed out not all terrorists look like terrorists and said the incidents highlight a frustrating problem.

“There have been cases overseas where elderly people and young children have been used to conceal bombs and explosives so I understand why the TSA is concerned, but you can’t treat everyone the same,” Rep. King said.

Security expert Bob Strang said there’s a need for sensitivity in searches but he understands where TSA agents are coming from.

“If you have an elderly person in a wheelchair or if you have a child with stuffed animals, sometimes those are the kinds of things terrorists look for to put explosives in,” Strang told CBS 2’s Hennessey.

“The TSA is getting better and better at finding the balance between security and privacy, but as this case shows they still have a ways to go,” added N.Y. Sen. Chuck Schumer.

The TSA is looking into what happened and said it has interviewed the agents involved in both incidents, but issued a statement saying “TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols and a strip search did not occur in this case.”

But, there are no security cameras in the private screening rooms, so it boils down to a he said/she said situation.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris is outraged at what the two women say happened and at the agency’s response and is demanding a deeper investigation.

“Where there’s smoke there’s fire and it seems we have TSA agents that are crossing the line in terms of their searches of passengers,” Gianaris.

At JFK on Monday night, passengers didn’t have much sympathy.

“It’s what they have to do. There really isn’t a happy medium, unfortunately,” said Josh Rolnick of Merrick.

“I think they do a great job,” Eileen Haggerty of Pleasantville.

Again, there are now three women with nearly the same story. The most recent woman to come forward said she has diabetes and when she told agents she had an insulin pump attached to her thigh that’s when they made her strip, and she was too afraid to say “no.”

Please leave a comment below…

  • Elizabeth Conley

    New Poor Ms Sherman was strip searched over her colostomy bag – right?

    So if the hysteria is over the colostomy bag, why weren’t the contents of the bag examined? After all, stripping Ms Sherman of her clothing does not prove the colostomy bag does not contain explosives.

    From the facts I must conclude that the abuse of Ms Sherman was about degradation of Ms Sherman specifically and the U.S. citizen in general, not explosive detection.

    Again – nobody proved Ms Sherman didn’t have a colostomy bag full of high explosives. The TSA proved they could force Ms Sherman to strip her pants and underwear off for an audience of two thugettes in police costumes.

    DHS and the TSA are proving that U.S. citizens will do absolutely nothing to protect our grandmothers from abuse. We have no pride. We have no shame. We are dumb animals, ripe for the slaughter.

  • CruzTwila

    my co-worker’s step-aunt made $274013 so far just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more here… m a k e c a s h 4 . com

  • Susan

    John Rolnick and Eileen Haggerty, my wish for you is that you will be assaulted by the TSA on your next flight. You will change your “anything for security” tune very quickly.

  • Sandra

    John Rolnick and Eileen Haggerty, my wish for you is that you will be assaulted by the TSA on your next flight. You will change your “anything for security” tune very quickly.

  • hgfsdkigfodfu8

    Exactly who at JFK is responsible for this?

    Exactly whichTSA rule says that strip searches are allowed?

    Is this now TSA protocol?

    Release the names of the JFK employees who performed the strip searches.

  • dufferrine

    The report was okay until we listeners heard “the emotional demage could last for a long time” or something similar. That is an opinion—do not put opinions in the news!

  • Jordan Matthews III

    This kind of treatment is appalling! What country is this?? The treatment these ladies suffered is as un-American as you can get.

    DHS & TSA have gone so far over the line since 9/11 there is barely a Constitution left to speak of.

    But the bottom line is that the Federal Government does not care. They are the parent and we are the children, and we will continue to be treated as such.

    And yes, with the destruction of our civil liberties the terrorists have won. 9/11 was far more of a success than Al-Quaeda could have ever imagined.

    Shame on all of us for letting this happen right in front of our eyes.

  • Steve Hollar

    Hmmmmm, sorry, I just don’t believe it. Just because a person is old doesn’t automatically make them saints, incapable of making up stories or wanting their fifteen minutes of fame.

  • Hj Lamb

    Someone needs to take big sis and these stupid TSA agents out to the woodshed and knock some sense into their empty skulls. Next thing they’ll be doing is full body cavity searches on infant girls. This has gone too far and someone needs to get fired. There is absolutely no excuse for this nonsense. The action needs to be centered on mideastern people and if that is too difficult and profiling, well just look at who is doing the bombing. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out and TSA/Big Sis – wise up or get the hell out!

  • iggy

    just try to get $1bottle of water past these sharpies. cant do it. you must buy the $4 bottle inside.

  • Sgt of USMC

    Why would you have an insulin pump strapped to your thigh?…retard, keep it in your carry on bag and notify the staff a day in advance. Keeping it concealed looks suspicious already. I say keep the strip searchs going if it means to secure our airports. If you dont agree, take a train or bus. Going International…then shut up and suck it the *&*$ up. –Sgt of USMC

  • John Doe

    The TSA is made up of a bunch of low lifes who couldn’t find a good job because they are uneducated. The TSA is nothing more that a bunch of mall security guards.

    • Steve Hollar

      My lady happens to be a mall security guard and is very intelligent. Try keeping the drool from slobbering over your chin when you speak.

  • Jackie Hammer

    T S A

    o h m
    u * e
    g T r
    h i

    ….You voted this joker who has never worked a day in his life, never ran a business balance sheet in as CEO of the most powerful (was) nation in the world and so of course he appointed more for HLS and Janet appointed more…
    TSA really does mean T ough S h*t A merica because flying from point A to point B is more important than your civil rights. you’d rather fly than be free America,…so grin and bare it while we at TSA goose your grandpa and feel underneath your daughter’s training bra, those who will not sacrifice for freedom do not deserve it. T.S.A! Go ahead with your comments and type your little fingers off we don’t give a damn, as a matter of fact, bend over, we are having proctologist train our TSO because first it was the shoe bomber, take off your shoes! then it was the underwear bomber, get x-rayed or felt up, soon it will be body packing, bend over please and take it in the as* because we will go as far as YOU let us.

  • Travelassie

    All of this is why I won’t fly again. TSA shenanigans as well as the airline industries nickeling and diming customers for the privilege of riding those cattle cars in the sky. If I can’t drive, I won’t go.

  • Streek Edee

    You know, it’s funny how the TSA is profiling elderly Jewish women, white men (Fmr Gov. Jesse Ventura) and white babies.
    You NEVER hear about a muslim being treated this way.
    This is by far discrimination at its worst.
    CAIR is behind this and the American public should wake up and demand any association with our politicians and CAIR be severed.
    How many of you see middle eastern folks getting treated the SAME way these elderly woman and toddlers get treated???????????????????

  • Naming Conventions

    Nude women at the airport?

    No wonder they call it “JFK”…

  • Rick O'Shea

    It may not be “TSA policy” but the story rings true. Problem could be an agent who gets off on elderly women, I wonder if both cases involved the same guy?

  • Lilly

    Where the heck is Obama. Why is he permiting his Homeland Security to sexually attack elderly (or any) Americans in the name of preventing Muslim radicals comitting terrorism. What a monster!

    • Streek Edee

      Your kidding right. The Anointed One IS one of THEM

  • yarply

    Wait till they start doing it at your local mall or grocery store. Its coming.

  • W.J. Clinton

    Nothin’ like government work!

    (Better put some ice on that lip, honey…)

  • Walter Billings

    The TSA works for this monster Obama, remember that.

  • BarrySoetero

    There is a simple solution to this problem. Simply dress our seniors in burkas and put diapers on their heads. They’ll sail through!

  • Chester Molestor

    We fine folks here at the TSA simply want your experience to be a pleasant one.

    Personally, I prefer ‘working’ with elderly women and little girls.

  • joe gueulette

    if it was logistically possible for me to leave the US i’d already be long gone. this has become a police state.

  • edwardo

    Looks like the TSA is anti Semitic!

  • Jennifer Bennetts

    I wonder if there is anyway she can sue for sexual assault! This is really sad that they would do this to an eldery woman! How is she dangerous at all????? I just don’t understand this and it needs to be stopped asap!!!! This is disgusting and pathetic!

  • The Police are Corrupt!

    The police, in general, love targeting old people. In my neighborhood, they have lowered the speed limit twice in 10 years and both times they have written my 78 y.o. mom a speeding ticket(the only tickets she has received in 30 years). I even had to drag 1 guy into court for following me into a parking lot threatening me for not going faster!
    The last flight I took was 2 weeks before they started this S###, the same day B. Hussein Obama was installed, and I won’t fly again till this violation is stopped. Also, I wonder if there is some Anti-Semetism going on at JFK, in addition to age-ism?

  • Susanna King

    my only advice is dont travel on airlines or where ever the TSa people are.The TSA delights in these strip searches

  • RWB

    “TSA does not include strip searches in its protocols and a strip search did not occur in this case,”

    In the past TSA has refused to say what their procedures and policies were as it violated security rules and would let the terrorists know what to expect. So we are supposed to believe they are telling us the truth now now? Let them open the book on their policy limits so we know just how far they can legally go before the fact.

  • Paul B.

    Folks, if the TSA gets you in a private room and demands a strip-search, REFUSE. There is no cam, it will be their word against yours. They can do whatever they want with impunity. It’s time to hold “the system worked” Incompetano accountable for the mess of civil liberties they have made because they are not willing to profile for behavior as does Israel. Obama and the Dem’s political correctness is destroying this nation.

  • gary

    this is what you get with Political correctness oh we dont want to offend a muslim who looks like a terrorist so we go after poor old ladys who never hurt anybody in there life this Political correctness crap is out of control

  • Keith C. Parsels

    The director of the TSA needs to go to jail. and searched every day for contraband.

  • Archie Bunkert

    False Flage Terror 101: Create a “situation”, a threat, a boogeyman. The people react, and they demand a solution. People are much more accepting of things like war if they are worked into a frenzy. This political strategy has worked brilliantly for centuries.

  • bumpkin

    If EVERYONE in the United States would just REFUSE to fly again until the TSA is dismantled, there would be no TSA. I refuse to fly. Tell your employer, if you have to fly for your job, that you want a small plane from a municipal ap to fly you, or please send me on the train. If they refuse, sue your employer for sexual misconduct via the TSA. Even if you cant win your suit, you will effectively STOP the perverts in the TSA. Oh, try using virtual video meetings instead of flying. I do NOT understand why people complain, then still use the service. IF enough folks stop flying, it will hurt the airports, and they will talk to the pollies. Same with hiked gas prices, same with anything you hate to deal with. STOP supporting it. I dont fly, and now, home being my fave place in the world, I work from home and rarely even drive more than once weekly. You can change this!

  • Overthrow the U.S. Government!

    I’ve had ENOUGH of this BS. When are the rest of you PANSIES gonna finally RISE UP and OVERTHROW Barack Hussein Obankster?

  • molly

    When its something going to be done about this??? There have been plenty of
    reports of this kind of thing and yet nothing is being done to stop it. No other
    country in the world does this to passengers but here. What is it about
    Americans that make them tolerate such abuse towards their citizens? It’s
    abuse plain and simple and yet it’s ignored and allowed to continue.

  • Richard Higgins

    If the TSA says that it doesn’t “Strip Search” they are totally untruthful! Usually anyone much over 60 years of age are a target for for the TSA to strip search, to empty wallets & steal the cash & credit cards, drugs etc. Do not ever submit to a “private” screening since this is where the real thives will take you and there are no cameras.

  • phillysmart

    So all this supposedly in the name of keeping us safe? what a joke! really do these woman pose that much of a threat to us …percentage wise what are the chances they are carying a bomb …maybe 10%….a young black or muslim man on the other hand would be a much higher percentage …so are they being strip searhed ? our government has become the enemy of the people plain and simple …thank the democrat for that

1 2 3
blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live