Six children—five boys, ages 16, 15, 14, 14, and 12; and a 13-year-old girl—were tortured and starved by their adoptive parents, Timothy and Barbara Krause. The children were homeschooled, although according to investigators they were at least two years behind in their studies.
The abuse began in 2011. The children were all forced to sleep in one bedroom, some of them without beds. They were beaten with a variety of objects, leaving bruises and scars and in one case an abscess the child had to lance himself. They were threatened with guns and axes; “the 12-year-old said that his mother threatened to shoot him if he touched the phone after he called police to report abuse.” The Krauses used racial slurs against the children and trained their dogs to attack the children during the beatings. Several of the children had scars from untreated dog bites. The children were also forced to do extreme exercise as punishment and to hold stress positions for long periods of time, and they “were only fed eggs and water for weeks at a time.”
The Krauses were charged with child abuse, assault, child endangerment, and terroristic threats.
Location: Houtzdale, Pennsylvania