Sad developments

This article in the Chicago Tribune details the life and troubles of Yasmin Acree (I have to change her name spelling), with a lot of information that hadn’t been previously made public. Yasmin suffered a lot of abuse, including sexual abuse, and she acted out sexually as a result. It sounds like a lot of people failed her, not the least many of her own relatives. In any case this isn’t an ordinary teen girl as she was initially characterized in news reports. I had had my suspicions that she might be more troubled than the news let on; few teens who spent years in foster care function as well as Yasmin was said to.

Meanwhile, the father of Wallace Guidroz, missing since 1983, has stabbed his wife to death in Louisiana and then drove around for awhile with the body in the backseat before he decided to go to the police and confess. He’s charged with second-degree murder. (The dead woman is not Wallace’s mother. Wallace’s mother died in 1997.) Of course, the murder charges don’t necessarily mean Stanley Guidroz had something to do with his little boy’s disappearance nearly 30 years ago, but you do have to wonder. I don’t know if he was considered a suspect in Wallace’s case or not, but he was the last person to see him. If Wallace is alive, he will be 31 years old on March 24. If anything good can come out of the murder, it’s that Wallace’s case is getting a little more publicity. His disappearance has been sadly neglected in the media and he doesn’t even have an NCMEC poster.

And of course I must mention the case everyone’s probably heard about by now: two children who, like Adam Herrman, were missing for years before their disappearances were reported. Their names are Austin and Edward Bryant. The similarities between the Bryant case and the Herrman case are uncanny. Let us list them:

1. Adam was adopted along with two biological siblings; Austin and Edward are biological brothers who were also adopted.
2. The Bryants and the Herrmans both claim their missing adopted sons “ran away.”
3. The adoptive parents continued to accept benefits for the children for years after the children were no longer living with them; the Bryants are said to have collected $174,000 over the years.
4. Both the Bryants and the Herrmans have thus far only faced theft charges and no charges related to the actual disappearance of the children.
5. There was apparently severe abuse of the children, witnessed by many members of the family who did nothing about it.
6. The parents claim the children were mentally ill and that some of the abusive treatment of them was recommended by mental health professionals. A psychiatrist supposedly told the Herrmans to keep Adam locked up in the bathroom; a therapist allegedly told the Bryants to wrap Austin in a blanket like a burrito and keep him in this position for extended periods.

I’m not buying it. Any of it. Neither is anyone else.

I think I said earlier on my blog that I was sure there are more Adam Herrmans out there. I’m sorry to be proven right. I really don’t know what else to say about it.

I will of course add the Bryant children to Charley. I don’t think I’ll do it today, though. I’m in Fort Wayne and once again Michael has no internet access in his apartment. I’m typing this in the library. I hope to be able to at least update some cases today.

As for me… I am very tired. Had a miserable night last night. I was exhausted, incredibly sleepy, too sleepy to really do anything, but I could not sleep. I tossed and turned trying to find a good position, I lay very still with my eyes closed and counted up to 200 and back down to 1, I tried moving from the bed to the living room couch and then back to the bed again, etc etc, but nothing worked. I didn’t fall asleep finally till about 7:00 a.m., then I woke up at ten.

13 thoughts on “Sad developments

  1. Princess Shantae March 12, 2011 / 1:22 pm

    Yet another example of adoptive parents getting away with murder and worse. Acording to what I red yesterday they adopted some more boys, there’s like seven boys in Austin and Edward’s biological family that they adopted, anyway, they did some of these adoptions after those two disappeared.
    And nobody in charge of those adoptions gave a damn enough to ask well where’s the other two?

    When I have trouble falling to sleep I go to my island. I imagine myself on a deserted beach and I build it all from scratch in my mind, I imagine the colors, the smells, the sounds, and what the wind feels like there, and I breathe really slow and deep. It always works unless the baby cries or the phone rings or something. 🙂

    • Meaghan March 13, 2011 / 1:27 pm

      It really sucks that the relatively few abusive adoptive/foster parents give the others such a bad name. One of my dearest friends adopted a very challenging child and is a great parent. (She agreed to take care of a toddler for one weekend and the rest is history. The toddler is now like 23.)

  2. Jer March 12, 2011 / 1:37 pm

    I had some trouble last night. I fell asleep with the TV on around 11:00. I woke up at about 2:00. I then stayed up to 4:00 playing World of Warcraft and then I finally got to sleep around 5:15. I woke up at about 7:30 because i had to go to work.

    But that’s pretty unusual for me. Usually I sleep from about midnight until 6:30 in the morning.

  3. Princess Shantae March 12, 2011 / 1:46 pm

    I just read the story about the Acree girl. I love how her adopted mother was so upset by her behavior that she whipped her and locked her down cellar, but didn’t have any problem going off to the slots and leaving her all on her own except for her own boyfriend that she had a restraining order against. The police botched some things, no doubt. But the situation was already botched up bad before they were even called.

    • Meaghan March 13, 2011 / 12:55 pm

      Holy crap. Are these so-called parents serial killers or what?

  4. Princess Shantae March 13, 2011 / 2:34 pm

    I think a lot of people like social workers get this feeling that adoptive parents are somehow automatically better parents than biological ones and they forget that they aren’t always better. I bet that attitude plays a part in cases like this one and Adam Herrmann’s, people who are supposed to be in charge of keeping track of the families think well, they adopted this troubled child or bunch of troubled children so they must be very unselfish and good so we don’t need to monitor them like we should.

    • Meaghan March 13, 2011 / 2:41 pm

      My friend who adopted that kid out of foster care said that once the adoption becomes official, the parent and child are often pretty much on their own and no longer qualify for the kind of social services foster children get. This may be part of the reason why a person who adopts a child out of foster care would abuse it — it’s still a very challenging child and suddenly they don’t have professional help anymore.

      She also said that after a child is adopted, people tend to blame whatever problems the kid has on the adoptive parent — as if adopting a child creates a blank slate, where all the difficulties of the past are wiped away.

      • Terrie March 14, 2011 / 12:34 pm

        Kids in the foster care system are often difficult. On top of the abuse issues, a large percentage of kids have prenatal alcohol exposure, which causes brain damage that impacts their ability to understand cause and effect and to regulate their behavior. Many of the brain damaged kids are abused by their bio families because they have no support on how to deal with their children’s behaviors. And the cycle can easily continue on the kids are adopted.

        Actually, I would believe that some of the abusive behavior in the Bryant family was suggested by therapists. There is some seriously out there stuff suggested by unqualified “professionals” when it come to these kind of kids.

  5. Princess Shantae March 13, 2011 / 3:52 pm

    As long as they are still cashing those checks somebody needs to be making sure that kid they’re getting the checks for is still with them.

  6. Will March 13, 2011 / 9:34 pm

    Good God, what is going on in Monument, CO? There was another case that came to light in Monument last summer where a child was killed by her guardians (bio Dad and stepmother, IIRC) and simply never reported missing. No one discovered her death until about a year after the fact, when the parents moved out and some contractors renovating the house found her body in the crawlspace. (She was “homeschooled”, naturally.) I believe her name was Genesis Sims, and she was nine. Strangely enough, I remember the first report of the discovery of Genesis’ body saying that the case merely “could” be the first homicide in Monument. How prescient that turned out to be.

  7. Princess Shantae March 14, 2011 / 10:02 am

    She’s believed to be 7 when she died, but of course being “homeschooled” nobody is sure exactly when they last saw her.
    I never even heard of Monument before Genesis’s case made the news. It sounds like a remote kind of place.

  8. forthelost March 14, 2011 / 6:17 pm

    The article has now corrected his name to Stanley.

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