Gypsy Blancharde

gypsy blancharde
Gypsy Rose Blancharde, born in 1991, was starved and medically abused by her mother, Clauddine ‘Dee Dee’ Blanchard (aka Clauddinnea Blancharde), who is believed to have had Munchausen by proxy syndrome. Gypsy was homeschooled.

Blanchard kept Gypsy’s head shaved to make her appear sick. She forced Gypsy to take seizure medications which made her teeth fall out. She kept her confined to a wheelchair and allowed her to eat only through a feeding tube for several years. Blanchard subjected Gypsy to several unnecessary surgeries, such as having her eye muscles operated on, tubes inserted in her ears, and her salivary glands removed. Blanchard lied about Gypsy’s age, saying she was four years younger than she was. In February 2011, when Gypsy was 19, she tried to escape with a man she had met at a science fiction convention. Blanchard responded by destroying the family computer and supervising Gypsy’s later internet use.

The abuse came to light in 2015 when Gypsy and her online boyfriend, Nick Godejohn, murdered Blanchard. After Gypsy’s arrest it became evident that she was not sick and she gained 14 pounds in prison. In a plea deal, Gypsy pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving 10 years in prison.

Date: June 14, 2015
Slidell, Louisiana; Springfield, Missouri Continue reading

Dominique Moceanu

dominique moceanu
Dominique Moceanu, born 1981, was financially, emotionally, and physically abused by her parents, Romanian immigrants Dimitru and Camelia Moceanu, while being homeschooled for part of her high school years. Dominique’s sister Christina (b. 1989), was also emotionally abused. Another sister, Jennifer (b. 1987), was given up for adoption at birth.

Dominique, a professional gymnast, attended public schools in various states as a child and was a straight-A student. She was enrolled at Northland Christian School in Houston in November 1995 when she ceased attending to prepare for the summer Olympics of 1996 (where she would go on to win a gold medal). While being homeschooled, she had “several hours of academic instruction [each day], conducted by her mother with the help of a home-schooling TV channel.” During this time, her father slapped her across the face as punishment for eating food unsanctioned by her gymnastics coaches, Bela and Marta Karolyi. After the Olympics, she embarked on a 7-month tour around the US. It is unclear when she returned to school. On October 17, 1998, Dominique ran away from home due to continued abuse. Shortly thereafter she filed a lawsuit against her parents for stealing her earnings and was granted legal emancipation from them by the courts. In December 1998 she was granted a temporary restraining order against her parents who were stalking and harassing her; Dimitru was apparently plotting to have two of Dominique’s friends murdered. She went back to Northland Christian School in spring 1999.

Date: 1996-1998
Houston, Texas Continue reading

Kyle and Emily Gerhart

Kyle Gerhart, age 17, and Emily Gerhart, age 12, were shot to death by their mother, Lisa Gerhart, as part of a murder-suicide. The children had been homeschooled for at least eight years and were active in their local theater community.

Kyle worked at the local ice cream parlor and Emily had been a lead actor in “Annie”. The children’s older sister no longer lived with them and was not harmed. Gerhart had recently separated from her husband, David Gerhart, and friends reported that she was devastated by the loss. The murders came to light when a neighbor noticed a car parked outside the Gerharts’ house with its engine running and a hose leading from the exhaust pipe into the house. Police later discovered the bodies inside the house.

Date: July 25, 2016
Gilbert, Arizona Continue reading

14 Children of Daniel and Jenise Spurgeon

daniel and jenise spurgeon
At least 11 children (9 girls and 2 boys, born between 1997 and 2008) were physically and sexually abused by their adoptive/foster parents, Daniel Wayne Spurgeon and Jenise Rae Spurgeon. The children were homeschooled (though at least some had attended school as late as 2008). The Spurgeons’ three biological children (two boys and a girl, born between 2001 and 2006) were not reported to be abused.

Daniel worked from home as a programmer and the family were active in their church and community. The Spurgeons became foster parents in 2004 in Alabama. They adopted five girls (born in 2000, 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2005) and were fostering-to-adopt five more children (girls born 2003, 2005, and 2006; boys born 2007 and 2008). All ten of these children reported being abused by their parents. An additional girl, born 1997, who no longer lived with the Spurgeons, also reported being abused from 2009 to 2013.

The adopted and foster children reported that they were treated differently from the Spurgeons’ biological children. The house had two refrigerators; one contained varied meals for the biological children, while the other contained bread, rice, and beans for the adopted/foster children. The children were punished by being forced to swim laps, do pushups with a parent’s foot on their back, take cold showers, and sleep outside. They were smacked with spatulas and thrown against the wall. They went years without receiving medical care. At least five girls also reported being sexually abused by Daniel Spurgeon.

The Spurgeons left their Alabama home in August 2015 to move to Florida, although they weren’t licensed as a foster family in Florida until June 2016. The abuse came to light when police found three of the girls highly intoxicated in the parking lot of a restaurant. The girls reported that the alcohol was given to them by their father as part of the sexual assaults. The Spurgeons were arrested and both were charged with aggravated child abuse; Daniel was additionally charged with sexual assault.

Date: July 18, 2016
Cape Coral, Florida; Florence, Alabama Continue reading

2 Girls by Nicholas Frede

nicholas frede
Two 13-year-old girls were sexually assaulted by their basketball coach, Nicholas Frede. The girls were homeschooled.

The assaults occurred at Frede’s home, where he had been privately coaching the girls since May 2016. Frede himself had been homeschooled; he played high school basketball through Southeast Wisconsin Christian Homeschool Athletics and he was on the 2015-2016 roster for the Maranatha Baptist University Sabercats.

Frede was charged with sexual assault of a child.

Date: July 10, 2016
Nashotah, Wisconsin Continue reading

12 Children by Lee Kaplan

lee kaplan david and savilla stoltzfus
In 2012, a 14-year-old girl was sold to Lee Kaplan (pictured left) by her parents, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus (pictured center and right), in exchange for financial assistance. Kaplan sexually abused the girl and she gave birth to two daughters. The girl and her nine younger sisters (born between 1999 and 2013) lived with Kaplan and Savilla Stoltzfus and were apparently homeschooled; “musical instruments and homework were found in the basement.” It is unknown at this time whether the girl’s sisters were abused by Kaplan.

The Stoltzfuses were former members of the Amish community. The girl’s children were born at home and there is no evidence she, her sisters, or her children ever received medical care. They also had no identifying documents. The abuse came to light in 2016 when a neighbor called police about her concerns that the girls were rarely allowed outside. Kaplan was charged with sexual assault and Daniel Stoltzfus was charged with conspiracy. Both Stoltzfuses were charged with child endangerment.

Date: June 17, 2016
Feasterville, Pennsylvania Continue reading

Children of Lev Tahor


Lev Tahor, a Jewish sect located in Quebec, Canada, came under scrutiny from child welfare officials in 2013 amid concerns of psychological abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, improper education, medical neglect, and underage marriages. The sect’s children were homeschooled, and officials learned that girls were not receiving the same education as boys, that the children were only being taught Yiddish and Hebrew, and that the children were not being taught math, among other subjects.

The sect initially relocated to Ontario in November, 2013, to avoid the probe in Quebec and to avoid Quebec’s homeschooling laws, but began leaving Canada for Guatemala in March, 2014, creating a mess for immigration officials. They were ejected from Guatemala in August 2014. While some children were temporarily removed by child welfare officials in Canada, officials’ requests to remove all of the children en masse were denied.

Location: Quebec, Canada
Date: Investigation spanned 2013 to 2014

Documents: Date:
Jewish sect members told to return to Quebec after fleeing here during child protection probe 11-26-2013
Authorities Seize Two Children from Lev Tahor Sect 12-16-2013
Newly released documents detail Lev Tahor abuse allegations 12-23-2013
Police allege physical, mental abuse in Lev Tahor Sect 02-17-2014
Lev Tahor, ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, quietly moves to Guatemala 08-23-2014
Orthodox Jewish Sect Kicked Out Of Guatemalan Village Over Religious, Cultural Disputes 08-31-2014
Dogged By Controversy, A Jewish Sect Is On The Move Again 09-10-2014

Girl by Timothy and Esten Ciboro

timothy and esten ciboro
A 13-year-old girl was starved and imprisoned by her stepfather, Timothy Ciboro, and his son, Esten Ciboro. The girl and her siblings, a 10-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, were homeschooled.

The girl and her siblings were placed with the Ciboros by child services after their mother moved away. Social workers examined the girl in 2014 after neighbors reported seeing her eating out of the trash, but she was not found to be malnourished. Sometime before May 2015, as punishment for bedwetting, the girl was chained by the ankle to a support beam in the Ciboros’ basement, where she was fed rotten food and forced to use a bucket for a toilet. Timothy Ciboro, a former firefighter, was reportedly religious and the family had strict rules against eating fast food.

The abuse came to light when the girl used a spare key she had hidden to escape while the Ciboros were out of the house. A neighbor spotted her as she was running away and called the police. The Ciboros were arrested shortly thereafter and charged with child endangerment, torture, and kidnapping.

Date: May 19, 2016
Toledo, Ohio Continue reading

Daughter of Julio Valladares and Linda Richmond

linda richmond and julio valladares2
A 9-year-old girl was beaten, starved, and tortured by her father, Julio Valladares, and his partner Linda Richmond. The girl was homeschooled.

Beginning in December 2013, Valladares and Richmond forced the girl to take repeated cold showers, beat her with a belt, starved her, made her sit on a chair for hours causing bedsores, made her lie in a soiled bed for extended periods, and forced her “to sit at a table and write ‘corrections’ for hours while claiming to be homeschooling her.” These punishments were reportedly for bedwetting. Richmond also had a son on whose behalf no charges were filed.

The abuse came to light in October 2014 when the girl went to the hospital and social services called the police. Valladares and Richmond were arrested the following day. Valladares pleaded guilty to abuse and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Richmond was tried and convicted of abuse with the jury recommending a 90-year sentence.

Date: October 17, 2014
Berea, Kentucky Continue reading

2 Children of Timothy Hogan and Patricia Haugstad-Hogan

Two girls, L.H. (age 17) and L.H. (age 16), were neglected by their parents, Timothy Hogan and Patricia Haugstad-Hogan. The girls were homeschooled.

The girls were forced to sleep on a mattress in the basement of their family home for five years, while their parents lived in a camper in the driveway. The house was filled with garbage, human waste, rotting food, and mold, and had had no heat, power, or water since May 2015. The girls “told police they hadn’t been to a doctor or dentist in years and had never been to public school. They also told authorities that any homeschooling they’d received had been sporadic.” The neglect came to light when the girls ran away from home on Christmas Eve, 2015, and walked five miles to Covenant House, a homeless shelter in downtown Anchorage.

Hogan and Haugstad-Hogan were charged with misdemeanor counts of child neglect and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Date: December 24, 2015
Anchorage, Alaska Continue reading