Across the street from where 7 year old Megan Kanka lived, now stands a memorial: A small angel surrounded by pink flowers. This children's park named after the little girl, was the lot where Jesse Timmendequas the rapist and murderer who took away the little girl's life lived. This happened in July 1994 in the Hamilton township of New Jersey.

The parent's of the little girl did not know that the man who moved to the house across the street from their family was a known child molester with two previous convictions for sexual offences. Had they known this they would have been able to protect their daughter from such an untimely death.

As a result of Megan's death, the longstanding legal requirement prohibiting law enforcement from advising the public of serious and high-risk sex offenders living in a community was brought to national attention. On May 17, 1996, President Clinton signed the Federal "Megan's Law" (H.R. 2137) which "required the release of relevant information to protect the public from sexually violent offenders."

Versions of "Megan's Law" were passed in New Jersey and other states. In all 50 states, a paroled sex offender must register his residency with local authorities, and all but five states require some form of notification when a convicted sex offender moves into a neighborhood. 

For a full text of Megan's Law please visit 'Attorney General Guidelines for law enforcement for the implementation of sex offender registration and community notification laws' at the department of Law & Public Safety.