The daughter of Arletha Hopkins was repeatedly raped by her stepfather Rev. Anthony Hopkins, a traveling evangelist, starting in 2001 when she was 11 and continuing until she ran away from home at age 19. When Arletha discovered the abuse, Anthony murdered her and forced her daughter to help him hide her body. Anthony continued to rape his stepdaughter and when she escaped in July 2008 she was pregnant with his child. The girl’s seven siblings (six of whom were Anthony’s biological children) were not abused. The girl had been pulled out of school in fifth grade to be homeschooled by Anthony, and he also homeschooled the other children. When he began raping his stepdaughter, he used Bible stories to convince her it was normal.
The Hopkinses originally lived in Whatley, GA, but moved quickly to Jackson, AL where the girl attended school and the first rape occurred. After she was pulled from school the family moved to Mobile, AL, then New Orleans, Louisiana, then back to Mobile where Arletha was murdered December 4, 2004. Arletha’s body was first buried in Jackson, then Anthony forced the girl to help him move her mother’s body to a freezer in their Mobile home, where it remained until 2008. Arletha had given birth to her eighth child on November 21, 2004; Anthony told people that his wife had died in childbirth. She was never reported missing.
The abuse came to light when the girl reported it first to a minister she knew, then to police. Hopkins was found guilty of murder, sodomy, rape, incest and sexual abuse. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Date: December 4, 2004; July 28, 2008
Location: Jackson, Alabama; Mobile, Alabama; Wadley, Georgia; New Orleans, Louisiana