Dancing Christmas Cream Puff Dreams

cream puff drea, (2)

I appreciate very much the opportunity that Inside Edition gave me to tell my story, but was disappointed that questions that I believe are important, and would like to have been asked, were not. Did Inside Edition dig deeply enough, and ask the right questions, or was important evidence overlooked?

The man who is suing me, David Riggins (Retired Colonel), was asked “Did you rape Susan Shannon?”

Did anyone expect him to answer, “Yes,” to that question? Isn’t that what journalists refer to a “cream puff” or “soft ball” question?

The Inside Edition commentator stated that I had kept my rape a ‘secret’ for almost 30 years. That is not correct. Family and/or close friends were told of the rape. I also wrote about the rape on this blog before naming him specifically. I chose not to tell the authorities at West Point for the same reasons that many women choose not to report rapes: fear of being blamed, fear of not being believed, and being the subject of publicity that you would rather not have.

The man suing me for $2.35 million claims that because I wrote about the rape, he was not promoted to General. No questions were asked about that assertion.  I went to bed that night wishing that more of the most important questions had been put before the “Man-Who-Would-Be-General!

That night, I had a wonderful Christmas dream. I dreamed, not of dancing sugar plums, but of dancing cream puffs & snow flakes- of one cream puff in particular. He came alive and held a microphone and gave me all that I wished. We were back in the Inside Edition studio and this Cream Puff asked every question I my heart desired:

“You say that you had nothing to do with Ms. Shannon in 2nd and 3rd year at West Point, but didn’t your own sworn statement of the version of events state that you had sex with a ‘very drunk’ Susan Shannon in the front seat of your parents car, while each of you were first year cadets at West Point?”

“Didn’t you also state that upperclassmen at the Halloween Party where you state this sex happened had told you to remove Ms. Shannon from the party because she was in danger of breaking regulations by ‘demonstrating too much affection’ toward you? And then, didn’t you state that your solution to this problem was to remove Ms. Shannon from the public party and put her in your parents’ car, a dark, private place where you then claim she aggressively pursued you and had two minutes of sex with you in that same car? Isn’t it true that the punishment for having sex on campus could be complete expulsion from West Point for both of you, a far worse result than a mere public display of affection infraction for only Ms. Shannon?”

“And didn’t you also state that although you dated Ms. Shannon for four or five weeks after the incident where she allegedly sexually attacked you, there was no further sexual contact of any type with her? Did you have difficulty keeping this infatuated female away from you during this period?”

“In 2009, Ms. Shannon accused you of rape on social media publicly. Why didn’t you challenge her, or deny her allegations at that time? Was it her fault that you failed to impress the Secretary of the Army with your ‘judgment and character’?”

“You alleged that due to Ms. Shannon, you were not promoted to General, but is it not a fact that the Secretary of Army recommended, in writing, on June 18, 2014, that the Promotion Review Board (PRB) withdraw your name from consideration, stating that:

‘After a thorough review of the facts and circumstances contained in the investigation, the information that the PRB considered and the PRB’s recommendation, I do not have faith and confidence in Colonel Riggins’ judgment and character. Consequently, I do not support his promotion to brigadier general.’

“Was it so difficult to explain your actions 27 years ago, and to account for your conduct, that your wife needed to be at your side? Generals command men and women to go into battle to possibly give their lives for this country. Would your wife be needed for those decisions as well?”

“To what extent are your actions and conduct reasons why the Secretary of the Army did not have faith in your ‘judgement and character’? Or do you believe that is all Ms. Shannon’s fault as well?”

At this point, I woke and knew it all to be a dream. The interview will continue to stand as it was. But I believe that my story would have been much better told if these questions had been asked. If they had been, how do you believe that the Man-Who-Would-Be-General would have responded?

Ah well, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

see all news coverage of my story at the following links:

Links to media coverage: http://wjla.com/features/7-on-your-side/exclusive-retired-virginia-army-colonel-denies-rape-allegations; http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/13338-wife-stands-by-colonel-husband-accused-of-west-point-rape-hes-not-capable-of-that;



    • Hello Terry, thank you for your concern, really. I understand it. However, rest assured, I am in excellent hands. This article has been fully vetted and is not in contradiction with our defense strategy. I am not off on a wild tangent, nor am I running wild without the full counsel of my attorney. I thank you for you kind oversight- I know it is only for my safety that you speak. God bless you, my friend. Susan


  1. Just as a word of encouragement, some storms last a few minutes, others hours, others days………..others years…………….this too shall pass when the Highest sees fit to allow the blue skies of His perfect will. He sees and knows things we do not.

    To everything there is a season, a time and a PURPOSE………….stay the course.


  2. This testimony is recorded in the court in glory, This was not on my page had you not posted as you did I would not have saw it. To God be the glory. God have mercy on that man and his wife on the day of judgement when they stand before the God of the universe to give account….


    • Thank you Drema. What did you think about the comment from the Sec. of the Army? What about Riggins’ sworn testimony? Bless you, Drema. As to his wife, I believe her to be innocent. What can she do but believe in her husband? Even if she doubts him, should she give in to her doubts, surely it would spell the end to the marriage. Too many lies; indeed, so many lies would have been given by now that she couldn’t even know to whom she is married. That is how I would be thinking if I were her. No woman would wish to stay with a rapist. Or, should I say, an unrepentant one- especially one who would still be willing to damage his victim, her husband and even her children in order to protect himself against the mere accusation of the rape. Especially when the victim gave him the chance to privately apologize in exchange for complete silence from her for the rest of her life. Such would be the kind of man she to whom she was married. I would seek to believe him with all my might first rather than believe all that. Even a crack in that belief would allow a flood of doubt so powerful that it would probably end their marriage, I think. No, she’s probably innocent of any knowledge of his deeds, Drema. But I also think she is probably fighting off doubts. As you say, Drema, in the end, the truth will come out before God. I don’t fear anything on this earth- we are just passing by. This life is so, so short. I will see Riggins’ face to face in earth’s court- and then, I will see him again in God’s court. I think justice will be done in both.


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