A Second Look

Evaluation number two

This is the second look at the Reddit post that I addressed in my previous post. If you haven’t read that, you will need it for context, and you can find it here;

Eye of the storm
Examination of an old man's confession
You wanted longer posts, and this one is definitely that. Actually, it ended up being so long, it will be split into three separate posts. Otherwise it is twenty-three pages long. Enjoy. I like really good stories, and listen to them on Youtube on a regular basis. I find them very entertaining. I prefer true stories, because the world is so very interest…
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For the rest of you, this is the second part of a three part post.

This story is true. 

This is the far more unpleasant possibility about this story, and it is possible that it is indeed true, but you are being coerced to side with a horrific abuser. 

In this interpretation everything that the father claims about the son is true, but he is leaving out very important context. I mentioned that this boy’s behavior is nothing like a psychopath’s, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t heard stories similar to this in the past. The children are not any of the things that are assumed in the comments section. They aren’t conduct disordered, they don’t have oppositional defiant disorder, they aren’t psychopaths, they aren’t sociopaths, they aren’t evil, they have reactive attachment disorder. 

This is not a common disorder, but it can be unbelievably ugly in its presentation. This is probably the disorder, save for children born addicted to drugs, or have fetal alcohol syndrome as I have heard some horror stories there, that has the most violent children. There is a reason for that, they were taught violence, and I am going to tell you about three of them now. 

Once upon a time I wanted a Bengal cat from a specific cattery. This cattery had the most beautiful cats I had ever seen. Expensive, yes, but literal works of art in their results. Finding images of these cats today is very difficult, but I managed to find a couple of the actual cats from so long ago;

Why is a psychopath writing about a cattery? Seems weird, I know, but this is going somewhere. This particular cattery was owned by a couple that not only bred amazing Bengals, but they also had many other animals. They had a lovely horse farm, they were pillars of their community with their adopted son, and all of their animals. All was well, until they adopted three foster boys that were brothers. 

What they didn’t know, what the state not only failed to tell them, but deliberately hid from them, was that these boys had been tortured for years. Not abused, as this was far worse than anything that the word “abuse” covers, they were destroyed as individuals before they ever reached that farm. This treatment was not from one person. But from every person that had been in their lives as caregivers up until that point. The next part of this post will not only be long, but it will be awful to read. I am not sugarcoating this. It is the court records of the lawsuit filed against the state for failure to disclose, and the details are horrific. Don’t read them if you are sensitive to this sort of thing. The court documents have only been altered to remove last names for privacy, even in the circumstances of those involved in criminal activity.

In 1998, when they were 6, 5, and 3 years old, respectively, Brian, Matthew, and James were adopted by Debbie and Jorge xxxxxxxxxx. Sexual abuse warnings were minimized by caseworkers, information that should have been provided to prospective parents was withheld from the files of the predecessor agency to the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the xxxxxxxxxx were assured that the boys had been safe since they came under state protection. 

Information that would reasonably cause one to suspect severe past trauma to the boys was withheld, as was appropriate assistance and treatment. Debbie and Jorge kept the boys in their home trying to keep them from harming themselves and others, and to keep them from going back to the foster care or to the juvenile justice system for almost 10 years, until DCF accepted some responsibility and arranged for the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to negotiate Medicaid reimbursement contracts for appropriate psychiatric inpatient placements. By that time, the adoptive parents described their relationship as being that of captors with prisoners-of-war. 

The boys first came to the attention of the predecessor to DCF on November 8, 1994, because their biological mother sought refuge at a domestic abuse shelter from a man who was the father of Matthew and James, but not Brian. After 5 weeks in the shelter, the mother returned to live with her boyfriend despite a restraining order. The three boys were kept in a children’s shelter due to concerns that their mother could not and would not protect them. 

The oldest, Brian, was found to be recovering from a broken arm and the cause was explained inconsistently by the mother and her boyfriend. A medical examination showed that Brian had anal tissue tearing. Matthew and James had bruises and also some indications of sexual abuse. All of the boys had severe impetigo, scabies, ring worm and malnutrition due to a diet of sweets and junk food that had badly damaged Brian’s teeth. In retrospect, a DCF expert agreed that conditions justified the termination of parental rights and placing the boys for adoption at that time. The boys’ history prior to DCF intervention is as follows: Brian was born on February 14, 1992, in California, and reported by his mother to have been conceived as a result of rape. At the time, his mother had been married once, but was living with a boyfriend. 

With his mother and her boyfriend, both of whom had histories of substance abuse, Brian lived in their car, trailers, and motels in Alabama, then in Georgia, where almost a year later Matthew was born on February 1, 1993. While they were living in Georgia, a neighbor reported to the Georgia Department of Human Resources that the parents were abusing and neglecting the boys. The family avoided scrutiny by Georgia officials when they moved back to the mother's home state of Florida. They eventually settled in Palm Beach County, where James was born on October 13, 1994. They lived in motels or with the mother’s father who reportedly had sexually molested her when she was a child, as did her stepfather, and a family friend. 

After State intervention, in December 1994, the mother and her boyfriend were referred for psychological evaluations. The mother was diagnosed as extremely troubled, damaged, and conflicted, of low average intelligence with an IQ of 86, and likely to "act out in some aggressive/sexual manner." The boyfriend, the biological father of Matthew and James, was found to be an angry, blunt, crude, bombastic liar with an antisocial personality disorder. From November 1994 until February 1997, the boys were placed in the foster homes of Alix Reyna-Holley, and then Jimmy and Kim Shelton. During a supervised visit with their biological mother, in February 1996, the mother took James to the bathroom to change his diaper and digitally penetrated his anus, which was pink and swollen when he was returned to his foster parent who took him to the emergency room. 

A staff person with the Community Intervention and Research Center, who was assigned to observe the mother interacting with the boys wrote, in an April 1996 memorandum, that the case ". . . should be monitored closely by your most experienced caseworker because it has the potential to be a 'newspaper' article that would be detrimental to HRS [the predecessor agency, the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services] and others concerned." The Sheltons expressed an interest in adopting the boys and an expert psychiatrist opined that the boys appeared to have had the ability to be connected and to form good relationships with the Sheltons at that time, but counseling and family reunification were the stated goals. In March 1997, the boys were returned to their biological mother and her new "husband" (although the mother later commented that she was not sure that she was ever divorced from her first husband). This second "husband/boyfriend" was known to abuse alcohol and cocaine, and soon left or was thrown out by the mother. 

The mother, now alone with the boys, was required to have regular family counseling from the Center for Children in Crisis. Some reports indicate that Matthew suffered a broken arm during this time. In June 1997, according to conflicting reports, either the staff at the center saw bite marks and bruises on 2-year-old James' ear, neck, arm and back, or James' injuries were discovered when his brother, Brian, then 5 years old, telephoned 911 to report the abuse. Their mother admitted that she "lost it" and bit James and hit him with her shoe. She was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and, in August 1997, her parental rights were terminated. 

From June until August 1997, Brian, Matthew, and James were back in the children’s shelter. In August 1997, Brian was returned to the Sheltons for foster care, while Matthew and James at ages 4 and almost 3, respectively, were placed in the foster home of the Garcia family. The Garcias made DCF aware of their preference for infants who were not toddlers and made no secret of especially not wanting Matthew in discussions with DCF staff, sometimes in front of the boys. After one of the boys told a daycare worker what was happening at the Garcia’s, DCF caseworkers confirmed on an unannounced visit that the Garcias disciplined the boys by locking them in a chicken coop in the backyard. The two were returned to the shelter in October 1997. From December 1997 until March 1998, all three boys were in the foster home of Hector and Yolanda xxxx. 

Caseworkers interviewed Hector and Yolanda in advance. They knew that Hector was an abused foster child, that he had abused his first wife, that Yolanda was his second wife, and that one of Yolanda’s children was standing in a corner like a statue during their entirety of an approximately 2-hour meeting. Knowing the placement was “not great” but was the only foster home available for all three boys, the staff decided to place Brian, Matthew, and James with Hector and Yolanda. When a caseworker was returning James to Hector and Yolanda’s home after taking him to a doctor's appointment, he grabbed her around the leg and screamed pleading with her not to make him go back to Hector's. The caseworker and the Court that had terminated their biological mother's parental rights began to increase pressure on superiors to make other arrangements or to find a suitable home for the boys to be adopted, and the boys left Hector and Yolanda’s in March 1998. (In December 1998, Hector was arrested for the sexual abuse of the next foster child placed in Hector and Yolanda’s home. Later, he also pled guilty to sexually abusing the three brothers. The abuse was virtually a nightly occurrence, during which he would use Brian to help him catch and hold the younger boys. Hector xxxx is now serving multiple life sentences for child sexual battery.) 

When Debbie and Jorge considered adopting the boys, they were assured that Brian had been in therapy and had no memory of any incidents related to the 1994 medical test showing anal tearing when he was 2 years and 9 months old. A case summary signed by Debbie and Jorge and dated February 25, 1998, and a PreDisposition Report that was listed as one of the documents provided to them indicated that there was "substantial evidence of neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse of the children." That statement, the Adoptive Child Registration forms for Matthew and James, and the psychological evaluations that also described them as victims of sexual abuse were explained to mean that, because their older brother had experienced sexual abuse, the other two had also received counseling. Most importantly, the couple were assured that the boys had been safe in DCF custody since they were very young. The pre-adoption evaluations indicated that Brian and Matthew had moderate emotional needs, while James had mild emotional needs. During pre-adoption meetings, a caseworkers commented that they were pleased that the couple were willing to take blond Caucasian boys, like Matthew and James (although Brian has dark hair), rather than preferring only children with darker hair like Jorge and the older son the couple had already adopted. Debbie and Jorge were not given medical and psychological records for the birth parents, nor any reports that would contradict the assertion that the boys had been completely safe since they came into DCF custody.

All unimaginable to read I know, but what is far worse is what this can produce in children like this. The worst of it was focused on the mother. The boys likely had a lot of anger towards the mother that failed to protect them. Some of their behavior was as follows;

As the boys grew, their behavior deteriorated and the threats and violence towards others, particularly towards Debbie increased. Although they had been molested and abused by men and women, the boys, like others who suffer from reactive attachment disorder, continued to blame the mother who failed to protect and nurture them, and to transfer the hatred to any new mother figure and to women, in general. 

They were expelled from daycare, schools, a police academy, and a military school. Debbie quit her job to stay home. Jorge was forced to leave his job after he had to report that Brian molested another child in Sunday school, and after it became impossible for him to travel and leave his wife alone with the boys. 

Matches, knives, scissors, and poisons were not kept in the house, but the boys would run away and steal those items to bring home. The boys set fires including near the family's kittens; they destroyed furniture and made holes in the wall to create places to hoard and hide weapons that they stole, including knives and screwdrivers; they destroyed Debbie's clothes by spraying each item in her closet with bleach on one occasion and by taking scissors to cut each item on another; they threw away her jewelry, cell phones, and laptops only to admit what they had done after the garbage had been hauled away; they wet the bathroom floors to cause falls; they tried to stab their parents; while she tried to restrain him when he was in a rage as part of the "holding" therapy, Matthew broke Debbie’s jaw; Matthew also poisoned his adoptive mother with salmonella by putting blood from uncooked chicken meat in her drinks. Brian became obsessed with violent anti-women pornography, ran away, and was once found in a motel with a man he met on the Internet. 

The family stopped going out or having any house guests. As the boys grew stronger and more dangerous, the parents hired aides to help watch them, including a male aide to protect Debbie at home and when she tried to drive with the boys in her car. Brian once took every thumb tack out of posters on his wall and lined the floor in the doorway to his room with thumb tacks turned up, then called to his older brother who ran barefoot into the room. 

At age 11, Brian was hospitalized under the Baker Act at a South Florida children's psychiatric facility after he placed a knife to his throat threatening suicide. Another time, he apparently found a cleaning liquid to drink. He sometimes spoke to his brothers in a deep voice that sounded like Hector's. Unfamiliar with severe attachment disorders, the South Florida facility misdiagnosed and heavily drugged Brian for bipolar disorder, and the medications, that affect the part of the brain that causes Parkinson's disease, caused Brian to have now significantly noticeable tics, movements akin to those from Tourrette's syndrome.

Their behavior did not improve, and the boys did not make progress in the home. It was clear that outside help was necessary. 

The actions of the two older boys, Brian and Matthew,ultimately led to their involvement in the juvenile justice system after the parents took their counselor's advice and began to report the behavior to law enforcement authorities. With DCF’s help and the AHCA Medicaid arrangements, Brian and Matthew were sent to reactive attachment disorder residential treatment programs in Illinois and Utah.

The youngest boy, seeing that his brothers had been sent away separately, and knowing that was going to happen to him as well, decided that he would have his revenge before they could come for him. He snuck over to a neighboring horse farm and stole rat poison. He mixed this into the horse feed, and the cat food, and waited for his adoptive parents to feed the animals, which they did. 

The next morning they awoke to a house, barn, and pasture full of their dead beloved pets. 

That was the end of the cattery. All three boys were in residential treatment facilities for many years. The older two did make progress, the younger one was more resistant, but in time had his own gains. This lawsuit against the state netted hardly enough to cover the damage that they caused these boys, this family, and their animals. 

Compensation Estimates The total estimated economic damages for Brian are $11,828,217.00; for Matthew, $10,889,488.00; for James, $14,800,990.00; or a total ranging from $34 to $46 million for the three boys. Debbie’s damages are estimated at $899,237.00 (not including her past medical expenses) and Jorge's are $562,237.00 (not including his past medical expenses), or a total of over $1.4 million.

Not even a drop in the bucket for all the pain caused. These parents didn’t abandon the boys, even after all of that they fought for them. Of course I never got my Bengal from this cattery, because by the time that I found them, all those beautiful cats were long dead, and I was just looking at their ghosts left behind on the internet. These events had already transpired, and the couple involved had already lost everything. Even to this day they are still trying to help those that cannot help themselves. They now have a business of miniature therapy horses, which goes to hospitals, hosts camps, travels to the sites of tragedies, and provides animal therapy to people with all sorts of needs. In 2017 however, two of their therapy horses were mauled to death by a neighbor's roving dogs. They can’t seem to catch a break.

If the Reddit story is true, it sounds a great deal like what a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder behaves like. The abuse listed in the court documents above is what causes reactive attachment disorder. A child isn’t born with it, they become that way. If the father told the truth, I would imagine that he told a very edited version of it. One that sanitized abject neglect and likely far more than that. Children reflect what they know, and a child that behaves in this manner, usually it is caused by something. It doesn’t just appear. If this boy was real, then the father and the mother likely have a great deal to feel poorly about. 

The story relies on the Macdonald Triad for validity, which either goes to remove credibility entirely because of how he tried to paint the son, or it lends credit to my theory that this boy had RAD. The Macdonald Triad isn’t about an evil child, it is about a child that is suffering severe abuse.

If you read how it is written, an argument can be made for exactly this. The lack of any care of love for the son. The father states that they “showered him with love” but that’s an action, not a feeling. He never says, my son was my pride and joy the moment I saw him. He couldn’t possibly know that he was going to cry for thirteen months, and the moment that a planned child is born is greeted with happiness generally, but not in this case. Any emotion towards his son is absent throughout the entire account. The son is just described as terrible, and awful. His actions, even when they are in line with a normal toddler, are painted as dreadful and wicked. 

He states that they tried to give him a happy childhood, but never says how they went about that. Just that his son was miserable. He says;

As soon as he could walk, his mission in life was to destroy things. He would break or try to break anything that came in his range, smash it, chew it, throw it in the toilet, whatever he could.

I have never had children, but I have known many people that have, and a lot of them say, “that’s why boys are really hard to deal with when they are little”. They are destructive rowdy little monsters. Some aren’t, but a lot are. Nothing in that quote speaks to being out of line for a little boy, but it is used to demonstrate how repugnant he is. 

Start looking at this from the point of view of a parent that is entirely self centered, and you might begin to see a different voice in the undertones. A voice that is disappointed that they didn’t get the son that they wanted, that the kid had problems, and a general disgust for his existence. 

But it quickly became clear that for some unknown reason, he was just angry at being alive. I never saw that kid have a genuine, joyous smile once in the time I knew him. I saw him grin a vicious, horrible grin many times, taking a perverse pleasure from causing pain or suffering or breaking a rule, but a smile from real pleasure at something nice? No, never. Not once. He had no interest in anything positive; he was fueled by hate, and everything he did was bent toward that.

Does that seem like a loving parent? One that ever saw his son as anything other than a noisy inconvenience? It doesn’t seem so to me. I can read through his whole text, and if I am thinking about it like it actually happened, then the narrative becomes one that is pretty ugly. There isn’t anything in it that evokes sympathy, even in people that can feel it (I checked), or seeking the actual judgement of others as he claims in his first paragraph. Instead it is appears to be seeking rah rahs from strangers for the brutal assault on a person that they intentionally brought into this world. 

Sure, supposedly the son attacked the daughter, but what led up to that moment in his life? The story this guy wants the reader to believe is that he and his wife were inflicted with this terrible child that they had no influence over whatsoever. He tormented and abused them for years, but they did nothing to remove him from the home. 

He was vicious and violent, but there was no police involvement, no temporary commitments, no recommendations to external placement. He was so vile, and so terrible that when they ended up with an unplanned pregnancy that “we decided that my wife would have the baby, and if it turned out evil we would put it up for adoption”. If it turned out “evil” we would put “it” up for adoption. That in no way sounds like a loving parent. It sounds like someone that has already decided if the child is defective, they will just toss it out. Also, using the criteria that they would be using for a newborn, the only thing that supposedly indicated their son was “evil”, is that he cried a lot. If the new kid did, it would have to go.

This statement;

She breast fed without biting (she didn’t have teeth yet anyway, but you could tell she was just trying to eat, not tear her mom’s breast off)

Can you imagine assigning that sort of motivation to a child? A child that is breastfeeding age no less? Children usually start teething at six months old. This boy was “trying to tear his mom’s breast off” at six months of age? That seems a bit hyperbolic to me. It is really something when you begin to really digest what he had to say about his son, as opposed to his daughter;

This where I believe I may have started really pulling back from my son. Up until that time, whatever mistakes I made, I had always tried to do the best for my son, I am convinced of that. I tried to help him and love him and care for him, I really tried. But when my daughter was born, my wife and I both instinctively just turned toward her. She became our focus, not from malice, but just because she was so much EASIER. She was so happy and sweet, every moment we were with her was like magic. I understand this was wrong, but we honestly couldn’t help it. I don’t have a better explanation than that.


My son hadn’t given a shit about my wife being pregnant, I honestly don’t know if he really understood it, but when we brought our daughter home he started acting out even more. I didn’t think it was possible, but he took it up another notch. At this time he was 17, and we were having blow-out screaming matches daily. Usually after we fought, he would storm out of the house and disappear for hours at a time, or come back the next morning. It was a relief. I started to actually look forward to our fights because it would get him away from us for a while.

His son didn’t understand his mom was pregnant at seventeen? That seems a bit odd to me. The father looked forward to the fights because his son would just leave. His father looked forward to damaging his son further, so he doesn’t have to deal with him. 

Looking at it like it actually happened, and really paying attention to the wording, phrasing, and tone this person writes with, it is far more likely that they had a great deal to do with that boy’s behavior, and the suggestion that they didn’t kill him? I don’t know about that. Seems like a good story to sell your golden child when she asks where her brother went. 




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