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 . 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 .
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. Continue reading