Blood and Gore

WARNING:  Graphic Images

You sit in a darkened multiplex, popcorn and licorice at the ready. The previews end, and the main feature begins. It is a horror flick. You settle in for cinematic blood and gore.

The mother of an infant with a fractured skull fakes cancer, in an effort to avoid liability. Wait. That sounds familiar.

Ashley Reichard faked ovarian cancer when she brought her 11 month old to the hospital [1]. The mother had shaved her own head, and forged a letter from a recognized cancer center to explain failure to follow with her probation officer.

Injuries on the little girl’s part could only be explained by abuse. They included two skull fractures, a broken jaw, a broken femur, multiple bruises and cigarette burns. Days had passed since the injuries were inflicted on the child.

Misspellings in the letter, and obvious inconsistencies in the child’s medical history gave the scheme away.

Back to the film, with a sigh of relief. Put those images out of mind. Try these instead. A brother and sister are found dead in a freezer. Oh, no. Please, no.

A 13 y.o. girl, Stoni Ann, and 9 y.o. boy, Stephen, were beaten to death by their mother, Mitchelle Blair, then stored in deep freeze for over a year, like slabs of beef [2].

According to an older sibling, Blair placed a plastic bag over Stoni Ann’s mouth, and strangled the girl with a T-shirt. Blair tortured the boy for two weeks before his death. Neither of the fathers was involved in his child’s life.

Child Protective Services had documented physical abuse in the home in 2002 and 2005. Michigan, however, allows children to be home schooled without external supervision. The children’s bodies were found by court officers executing an eviction notice.

Still in the mood for a horror movie?  Frankenstein and the walking dead have nothing on the stories social workers can tell.

There is no end to human depravity.

The Nazis performed medical experiments so ghastly that the mind reels. Predators have been known to keep sex slaves chained in a box beneath the bed.

Emergency room physicians recognize that “donut ring” burns around the rectum of a child are evidence the child was made to sit on the heated coils of an electric stove. Articles can be found online in how to “train” an infant to be sexually compliant.

Words fail.

It is for the rest of us to be witness to these travesties; to care for the victims and seek justice for them, as far as may be possible on this earth [3]. The work is distressing and disturbing…but the price we pay for being human.

[1] The Morning Call, “Mother Fakes Cancer Diagnosis during Investigation of Infant’s Skull Fracture” by Jo Ciavaglia, 3/26/15,

[2] MSN courtesy of Associated Press, “Autopsies Determine Children Found in Freezer Were Slain” by Ed White and Corey Williams, 3/26/15,

[3] Reality star Josh Duggar (“19 Kids and Counting”) recently admitted molesting at least 5 young girls in their sleep, as a teen. Some were his sisters. Though Duggar says he “confessed” to his father, the crime went unreported for a year. Duggar was never prosecuted and, according to his mother Michelle, never received counseling. There is no word as to the impact on the victims.

This post was inspired by the conversation with a friend.



Filed under Child Abuse, Community, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Poverty, Sexual Abuse

4 responses to “Blood and Gore

  1. Anna, I’ve never understood why people like horror films. The news is horror enough.

  2. As always, Anna, your words cut straight to the chase – disturbing, provocative…entering places I’m pretty sure some angels might fear to tread. I struggle, because of health issues, to catch up with my fellow bloggers – those who dare to ‘out’ the truth – but it is a life-long commitment; this outing of the truth. We do what we can, given the restraints we have. I see you as such a humble warrior…and thank you for your truly productive efforts.

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment. I cannot tell you how much it means to hear that my writing is having some impact. You say you struggle to catch up with other bloggers who have suffered from abuse. But we’re not “measured” by the number of posts we generate or the number of followers our blogs may draw. You are living your life as best you can, despite abuse. That alone is a great achievement — with or without a single post. May God watch over you.

      With love and gratitude,

      Anna ❤

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