ethel’s words

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Erratic, disorderly sentencing; legislation creating throw-away-children; adding torture to tortured children: These practices may occur in many places; I observe Utah. This state has often been named the worst of any.

A father’s rape of his own child--either gender--is called “child abuse”. An escape hatch--escape from punishment--exists for him. The child is punished by eviction from home. Has this changed while I turned my head to write? Not germane.

Children are despised in Utah. Every indication by every evidence substantiates this. But a fetus is looked upon as a gift from the invisible god. The fetus is close to the secret and sacred genitalia. The fetus justifies the obsession with, and over-indulgence in, sexual matters.

In Utah, the physical is what counts. Infants are jostled and bounced as if churning butter; pictures praising parenting show a child being tossed into the air, or being bounced on the knees of a supine woman. So far, I have not seen a parenting picture of a child being read to, nor being conversed with, nor engaged in science toys.

I once observed three adult men, tossing a tiny infant back and forth like a ball! (The common neck injuries don’t all come from vehicle whiplash.)

But these are not necessarily the Abu Ghraib parents; acts that characterize THEM are blood-chilling. The following excerpts are not from PRIMARY sources; they are from the newspaper that I read, and that is read by many who might see Smashing Ikons.


2-year-old, eyes swollen shut, teeth missing, knife wounds, cuts all over body; patches of hair pulled out; chemical damage to eyes--probably blinded; broken bones in both hands

15 month-old raped by fully mature relative

4 Utah children (among 7 children) raped, sodomized, forced to rape each other.

1-year-old shaken so violently that brain and eyes were injured, partially blinded.

15-month-old kicked in the belly by woman, 23; had surgery for internal injuries.

4-year-old Black girl adopted by white mother of other children; died after being force-fed water until her brain expanded and electrolytes failed, because she had “stolen” a sip of her “sister’s” drink. The Black child was routinely denied the food and treats being served to others. “I loved her”, said the murderer.

Two adopted Russian children, 4 and 5, were deprived of food as punishment. They will get trust funds at 18 IF they agree to use money for education or to “go on a mission”.

4-month-old girl, broken clavicle, three leg fractures, several fractured ribs.

Down syndrome girl raped by her mother’s boyfriend. Mother knew?

Boy (no age given), both arms broken, broken collar bone, bruised rib cage, bruises on back and on lower abdomen; thigh, ear injury, brain damage requiring permanent drain tube; blinded in one eye.

4-month-old girl died of trauma [??????]

20-month-old infant, multiple skull fractures and abdominal hemorrhaging, ruptured spleen, torn blood vessels. Numerous other injuries, any one severe enough to be fatal.

Girl, age 10, beaten, kicked, forced to eat her own feces, beaten between the legs with a Lysol can by stepmother while her father held her down spread-eagled. She died after being stuffed into a closet where she could not breathe.

• 6-year-old child beaten to death
• 2-month-old beaten to death
• 22 “shaken baby” injuries
• 40-day-old son shaken to death
• 6-year-old boy beaten to death by mother’s boyfriend
• 40-day-old girl dead from cranial bleeding
• 8-year-old polygamist child killed to prevent testimony
• 3-month-old’s skull fractured by father
• adopted special needs kids kept in cages
• 13-year-old girl imprisoned in cold room with nothing
• 1 year-old dead; skull fractured by mother
• 5-week-old girl; 7 ribs, both clavicles fractured by father
• Baby blind, mute, vegetative, due to shaking by father
• 14-year-old boy subjected to sex torture
• 2-year-old dead after repeated broken bones over long period
• 7-month-old dead; left in 100 degree sun with head injuries
• 3-month old girl strangled to death with stocking
• 2-month-old boy, bones re-broken, including 6 broken ribs, 2 fractured femurs, multiple skull fractures, retinal hemorrhages
• 7-year-old sexually abused by boyfriend of complicit mother
• 7-year-old commits suicide after punishment
• 8-year-old girl sexually abused by father
• 2-and-a-half-month-old boy had 15 fractured ribs, bruised inside scalp, torn brain, bleeding
• 5-month-old had 16 broken ribs, split liver
• 10-year-old adopted, chained in basement
• 22-month-old sexually assaulted, fractured skull, internal bleeding
• 11-year-old raped as a standard practice
• 2-year-old boy scalded with boiling water for wetting his pants
• 6-year-old boy taught to perform fellatio
• 17-month-old dead from four-inch skull fracture
• 3-year-old crushed to death under weight of father’s body, with his fist in her abdomen--one of Utah’s strange therapies
• 7-year-old boy suffered frostbitten toes and fingers after being banished to a shed in winter
• Children have died during a “discipline” called re-birthing that is crushing the child as therapy
• “God had special plans for” three-year-old girl so “he gave her wings” after she was brutally murdered


In October, l998, a three-year-old girl was tortured to death by her biological mother and a male accomplice. Spread-eagled, arms bound, mouth stuffed to muffle screams (but nobody ever hears a child scream) the girl was physically and sexually assaulted. She was whipped, and beaten with blunt objects. The soles of her feet were bruised; the entire area of her genitalia and buttocks was one massive purple bruise. According to medical testimony, she had so many bruises using up her blood as it flowed to damaged tissues, she died from lack of circulating blood.

This murdered child had a sister. What happened to her? BELIEVE: Utah authority gave her to her father--who had associated with the alleged devotees of cast o’ nine tails and other instruments. He had not tried to rescue his children from the torturers; in fact, he testified to help the child’s mother at trial.

This case should have horrified us beyond any horror we have ever known. Is it not worse than the sadistic beating-to-death of a dog that was (appropriately) vehemently protested? The torture-rape murder of a child should, one would think, bring as much protest as the Wyoming torture-murder of an adult. It did not.

The mother and the accomplice who torture-murdered the three-year-old girl had come to Salt Lake City shortly before the sex-murder occurred, partly due to the mother’s connection to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon).

I do not recall any outcry over any of these cases. (I wrote about the cat o’ nine tails case but no one would publish my article.)

On the other hand, a father left a sleeping child in his truck cab in a mountain hunting area. The child woke up, got out of his restraints, assumably went searching for daddy, got lost, perished.

This father, who committed NO act of cruelty, let alone brutality or torture, was hounded, cursed, demeaned, belittled, condemned in letters to editors (and who knows what else) until he committed suicide. This wolf-pack assault is inexplicable to me. The only guess I can make is based on long observation: he didn’t belong to the purity group.

Ethel C. Hale