‘Loving parents’ killed adopted daughter

‘Loving parents’ killed adopted daughter

I have known Larry and Carri to be loving parents with the ability to raise children appropriately. I also firmly believe they have the ability to be healthy, contributing members of society.

These are the words spoken by pastor Richard Long  at the trial of  the US couple (above) who have just been sentenced to prison for inflicting such extreme cruelty on their adopted daughter, Hana, that the 13-year-old died of hypothermia brought on by severe malnutrition in her back yard in 2011. According to this report, despite pleas from their attorneys and even their pastor, the judge showed no mercy to Skagit County couple Larry and Carri Williams. The two received the maximum sentences allowable under the law.

Skagit County Superior Court Judge Susan Cook said:

I feel the punishment should match the outrage felt by this community. I am at a complete loss. I think at some point in this trial each and every one of us sat stunned and speechless without the slightest hope of making any sense of this whatsoever.

Cook sentenced Carri Williams to 37 years in prison. Her husband Larry, convicted of lesser charges, was sentenced to just under 28 years. This summer a jury convicted the Williamses of denying their children Hana and Immanuel food, beating them and making them sleep in closets or washrooms. They were fed a diet of sandwiches that had been soaked in water and vegetables that were still frozen. Some of the couple’s seven biological children sometimes took part in the abuse. During sentencing, friends of the couple argued they are good people with children who had behavioral problems they couldn’t handle. The children were adopted from Ethiopia. Said Ruth Dueck:

Larry and Carri Williams are two of the truest and purest people on this earth.

Judge Cook, however, would have none of it.

What I see is one child dead, one child with PTSD, and seven biological children who apparently believe that degrading and dehumanizing another person is completely acceptable.

According to this report,  these  vile religious creatures kept their children isolated by home schooling them, and used the controversial Christian parenting book To Train Up a Child to raise them. The book, by the criminally insane husband and wife team Michael and Debi Pearl, advocates the use of physical violence towards children before the need for discipline arises.

The views of Christian lunatics Michael and Debi Pearl have lead to the deaths of several children

The views of Christian lunatics Michael and Debi Pearl have lead to the deaths of several children

The Pearls say:

As you come to understand the difference between training and discipline, you will have a renewed vision for your family, no more raised voices, no contention, no bad attitudes, fewer spankings, a cheerful atmosphere in the home, and total obedience from your children

In the book, the couple advises “switching” a seven-month old baby for crying and clenching his fists for not getting his own way. They suggest using tools instead of hands for hitting children, suggesting willow-branch for babies and a quarter-inch plumbing supply line for older children, which Michael Pearl says is:

Too light to cause damage to the muscle or the bone.

According to, one witness in the Williams trial told how the book instructed parents to give unruly children cold baths, withhold food and force children outside in cold weather as punishment. To Train Up a Child has previously been linked to the death of two other children in the US. Seven-year-old Liberian-born Lydia Schatz was also killed by her adoptive parents in 2010 after they used To Train Up a Child. She was hit with a plastic tube for hours at their home in California for allegedly mispronouncing a word and died in hospital a day later from her injuries. Parents Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz were both found guilty of causing her death. Sean Paddock, a four-year-old from North Carolina, was killed by his mother Lynn after she bought To Train Up a Child. He was beaten with plastic tubing to discipline him but when this did not work, she bound him so tightly in blankets that he suffocated. The Pearls have always denied their book advocates abuse, with Michael Pearl addressing his critics after Lydia’s death by saying:

I laugh at my caustic critics, for our properly spanked and trained children grow to maturity in great peace and love.

Responding to Hana’s death, he added:

We share in the sadness over the tragic death of Hana Williams. What her parents allegedly did is diametrically opposed to the philosophy of No Greater Joy Ministries and what is taught in the book. We are grieved by Hanna’s [sic] death as well as the nearly 1,700 other children that die in this country every year as the result of neglect or abuse.

He listed several passages of the book that he said warned against abuse.

If, as alleged, Hanna’s parents owned a copy of the book, it is obvious from these quotes and their actions, that they either have not read it or totally ignored its contents. The alleged presence of the book makes it no more responsible for Hanna’s death than the presence of a weight loss book in the home of an overweight person is responsible for their obesity.

So, the Pearl’s advocate violence, albeit it in a “humane ” way?  Well, If I owned a copy of To Train Up a Child, and encountered the Pearls, I would beat them so hard over the heads with it that blood would pour out of their ears!

In a humane way, it goes without saying.

32 responses to “‘Loving parents’ killed adopted daughter”

  1. charlie says:

    What vile critters ALL those people are. Not just those who caused by direct actions, the deaths of children, but these “authors” as well for writing such vile crap. And this sort of “literature” is pushed by some “christian” churches?
    Yes, I used lower case “c” on purpose and over rode the idiot spell checker to get it that way. I try to tolerate the beliefs of others, but this sort of absolute shit must be stopped. So glad the judge in the above case was a real human being and was appalled by these vile xtians.
    We do have so many loons here in the US of A, and now days it seems we have a surplus of them. Look for this to become more wide spread as the entire country goes further down the old drain. We still have fools calling the drone king, our (ig)noble
    piece prizident (Gobomber) a socialist. Nixon was further to the left than Obama ever was or will be.
    Just the 2 cents from a pissed off citizen of the USSA.

  2. JohnMWhite says:

    As you come to understand the difference between training and discipline, you will have a renewed vision for your family, no more raised voices, no contention, no bad attitudes, fewer spankings, a cheerful atmosphere in the home, and total obedience from your children

    Children are not puppies to be trained, and I find this obsession with obedience that runs through Christianity to be deeply sinister. Just because you are bigger and stronger and older does not mean you have the right to completely control another person. Of course, who can blame them for thinking it, when one considers the example they look up to. What Christian parents seem to want is not children, but perfectly controlled zealots to worship them, who they have molded into their own image. It’s creepy and it lends itself so readily to cruelty and abuse.

  3. Sally in MI says:

    We never touched our children in anger. Not once were they spanked, switched or slapped. They both grew up to be loving parents. They were stellar students who got great college and grad school scholarships. They are working, help their communities, and have awesomne kids themsleves. These people are disgusting. When you are violent to a child, you teach them fist, fear, then violence. These are the kids who torture cats, who bully other kids, and who grow up to be a menace to society. Not what Jesus taught, huh?

  4. JohnMWhite says:

    @Sally in MI: Well, Jesus did teach people to hate their family and he said he came to turn brother against brother and father against son, but I doubt domestic abuse was what the gospel authors meant.

  5. TrickyDicky says:

    Maybe one of our US contributors could enlighten us.

    Do child abusers and murderers get as rough a time in prison as they do in the UK?

    Is there a US version of “cocoaing an SA”?

  6. Matt+Westwood says:

    I notice that not enough emphasis has been placed on the fact that the victims of these disgusting abuses of power are adoptees. That, to me, is the *true* evil here. I think the reasoning behind my thinking is obvious.

  7. Matt+Westwood says:

    … sorry, apart from Sean Paddock who appears not to have been adopted.

    But you see the pattern.

  8. barriejohn says:

    Christian adoption has been in the news again recently. Everyone should read this:

  9. barriejohn says:

    Today is Orphan Sunday:

    Theses people turn my stomach. I knew Christians who gave up their jobs to foster children on an industrial scale, and with one objective only* – to “bring them to Christ”. I don’t know how Social Services couldn’t see through them – but perhaps they did!

    (*I’m being magnaninmous there; they did very well out of it financially. Christians always seem to know on which side their bread is buttered.)


  10. Michelle says:

    In response to TrickyDicky’s question, I can tell you that stories of child abusers dying mysteriously in prison are very common here in the US. Fr. John Geoghan immediately comes to mind (a Roman Catholic priest that was accused of molesting over 130 children who was killed in a very gruesome way while in protective custody in prison).

  11. diane says:

    “The alleged presence of the book makes it no more responsible for Hanna’s death than the presence of a weight loss book in the home of an overweight person is responsible for their obesity.”

    Or the presence of a gun in the home of a child who ‘accidentally’ shoots themselves???????

    how can you punish a child at 7 months for crying? That is the only way a non verbal child can communicate?????

    murder is murder.

  12. L.Long says:

    Not only does it take religion to make a good person do evil, but too many REALLY evil people like religion as it allows them to use it as an excuse to to lots of evil.

  13. Angela_K says:

    Christians, Jews, Muslims, Catholics and the other cults are all clinically insane control freaks, their mental illness and zealotry drives their quest to indoctrinate the young. I sincerely hope this vile pair die horribly and mysteriously in prison, they should never be allowed near children.

  14. Broga says:

    @JohnMWhite: Puppies to be trained! Only the ignorant and the sadistic train puppies by beating them. Dogs are far more easily trained by kindness. Clicker training gets fast and almost magical results and much has been learned from the training of dolphins. The new discoveries and new methods are in “In Defence of Dogs” by John Bradshaw.

    “Every dog lover,dog owner or prospective dog buyer should read this book.” Sunday Times.

    Sorry, I know I’m off topic.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Broga: Next thing we know, you’ll be promoting the “loony, left-wing, child-centred educational policies” that Melanie Phillips assures us are responsible for all the ills in society!

  16. Stephen Mynett says:

    Broga, a dog loving friend of mine, who would agree wholeheartedly with your post, has pointed out to me that one reason I have problems with a lot of dogs barking at me is because my crutches trigger a reaction caused by the sadism of those who “trained” them using a stick.

  17. Trevor Blake says:

    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. -Psalm 137:9

    No further comment.

  18. JohnMWhite says:

    @Broga – I heartily agree about puppies and how to treat them. I was simply referring to the dehumanising and ‘owning’ attitude Christian parents seem to have toward children (or, indeed, any being who can’t hit them back).

  19. Broga says:

    @JohnMWhite: Understood. I certainly wasn’t implying any lack of kindness from you.

    @Stephen Mynett: I have a friend who some years ago acquired a dog from a dog rescue centre. He visited me and, in my barn, I picked up a stick. The dog whined and cowered and crawled to a corner and sat facing the wall. My friend said the dog often did this as he thought that it had been beaten with such savagery that this was the only tactic that it thought might save it.

    @barriejohn: Confession time. We never hit our kids. And yes I know we were well out of order with the biblical teaching of spare the rod etc. Melanie would be appalled. One flies big jets and the other became a partner in a major law firm. And I wish I was as mature, balanced and confident as they are.

  20. L.Long says:

    Angela-K calm down. Think about it. Die quickly or live in nastiness in prison for 30yrs? Know why xtian LOVE hell? Cuz the evil ones get to suffer for a long time.

  21. Carl says:

    It’s truly a shame that there is no hell for people like this to go to.

  22. charlie says:

    As a citizen of the US of A, from what the news tells us, pedophiles and child abusers do get “special” treatment from other prisoners in US jails and prisons. Of course that “special” treatment is not anything one would enjoy. They pedophile is treated as the lowest of the low by many prisoners in the US of A.

  23. Broga says:

    @Charlie: I suppose the “special” treatment in both countries is understandable. Prisoners have families, prisoners have children and prisoners have feelings.

  24. JohnMWhite says:

    And the cycle of abuse goes round once again.

  25. Fiona says:

    Speaking of Christians adopting helpless African kids, I recently encountered a blog where a Christian couple had negotiated for nearly 5 years to get a brother and sister from a Burundi orphanage. The day they got them, the brother was 5 years old, sister younger. On that day, at the hotel in Burundi, the boy did something the Christians were too squeamish to describe, a sexual something directed at his new white Christian mother.
    Istead of reasoning that the kid has been in a Catholic orphanage and has been corrupted and needs some help and has probably been instructed by one of the Sisters to do what he did or taught by an older kid…what would it have taken to just tell him not to do that and why….instead, they wildly over-reacted about the supposed danger this kid would cause and flung him back to the orphanage and tried to just adopt the sister, which they were not allowed to do.
    Imagine that. Those poor kids. Thought they had a new home, he does something to please and is treated with total dismay and cast off. And they tried to take his sibling and abandon him. They ‘prayed over them on our knees’ can you imagine that? Prayers to cast out the devil in Joseph, no doubt. Five years old. They made a commitment to that kid: other people might have adopted him. Compassion and love come a long way second to the fear of sex with these people.

  26. JohnMWhite says:

    @Fiona – that’s a sad story. Even uncorrupted five year olds do sexual things; sex isn’t bad or evil, and infants have sexual responses to things from birth onwards. Breastfeeding often causes erections in baby boys because sexual hormones are flowing as much as milk. Even later, until told otherwise by an adult terrified of hellfire, children can and do simply play with themselves. In indigenous cultures around the world they have been observed doing this without shame, but of course it is in an entirely different context from the one we have created for sex in our own part of the world.

    Anyway, corruption or natural curiosity, the idea of abandoning a child a couple sought to adopt because he did something they didn’t really like speaks volumes as to their devotion to the adoption process. Getting their hands on the children seems so much more important than actually raising and helping them. How could you not expect a kid raised in an orphanage to have some issues? It’s not a catalog.

  27. Jamie Daniel says:

    These supposed “Christians” are defending this behavior?
    No wonder the church has no credibility left.
    God help them.

  28. Barry Duke says:

    God help them, Jamie? Give me a break! It’s was their belief God that led to this murderous abuse in the first place.

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” – Voltaire

  29. JohnMWhite says:

    The trouble is these are not supposed “Christians” defending their behaviour, these are simply Christians defending the behaviour of Christians. Christianity cannot wash its hands of the actions of its own members, particularly when those members can point at a bible verse and say “this is why we did it”. For every Christian who quotes “love thy neighbour” another can just as accurately say “spare the rod and spoil the child” or “dash their heads against the rocks”.

    If Christians want their faith to be taken seriously as any kind of moral foundation for living life, they have got to start by being honest about the potential consequences of actually believing what the bible says. The church has no credibility left because it is full of pious liars who preach all sorts of abominable things then plead ignorance the second the inevitable result of their sermons makes them look bad. God commands that parents hit children, it’s there in black and white. Don’t start the conversation by ruefully asking “where on earth did they get that idea?”

  30. […] Pastor says Christian monsters, who cruelly killed their adopted daughter, were ‘loving parent… ( […]