Christian homeschoolers receive maximum jail time for death of child


In Washington state a Christian homeschooling couple received maximum prison sentences allowable under the law after being found guilty of beating and starving their adopted daughter to death in accord with Biblical based parenting techniques.

Superior Court Judge Susan Cook showed no mercy to Larry and Carri Williams, found guilty of causing the tragic death of their adopted daughter, Hana, by using Biblical based parenting techniques found in the controversial child-rearing book, To Train up a Child, by Michael and Debi Pearl.

Cook sentenced Carri Williams to 37 years in prison. Her husband Larry, convicted of lesser charges, was sentenced to just under 28 years. Both terms are well above the standard sentencing range.

Cook said, “I feel the punishment should match the outrage felt by this community. I am at a complete loss. I think at some point in this trial each and every one of us sat stunned and speechless without the slightest hope of making any sense of this whatsoever.”

Written By: Michael Stone
continue to source article at


    • In reply to #2 by Quine:

      I expect a Christian backed legal aid organization to get those sentences reduced on appeal (after all, they were just doing it for Jebus). They will be out in less than ten.
      Quine, I hope that you remember that Jeebus was only Jesus’ older brother.

  1. You two evil bloody swines. Which child protection officers rubber stamped and ‘endorsed’ these two monsters as being competent and trustworthy enough ‘foster’ parents? Can anyone in Washington state find out and give us the details please? . . . . . .
    “beating and starving their adopted daughter to death in accord with Biblical based parenting techniques”.

  2. The most effective way to induce respect for children is to enshrine human rights in legislation. Many years ago the UN formulated the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Every country on Earth (except the USA and Somalia) ratified this treaty, resulting in the most comprehensive support any international agreement has ever attracted.

    Countries who have outlawed violent parenting by instituting laws against corporal punishment show evidence of success. Delinquent countries wonder why some of their citizens display excessive zeal. Ban biblical parenting altogether I reckon. That’s where “these people” come from.

    • In reply to #7 by Len Walsh:

      The most effective way to induce respect for children is to enshrine human rights in legislation.

      Agreed. Currently 16 European nations ban hitting children in any way, and another 7 have legislation in progress.

      Britain (typically, and IMO wrongly) fudges it by allowing “smacking” provided it leaves no visible marks.

      One of the reasons Germany was recently able to rescue and take into care 40 children from the Christian Twelve Tribes sect (another fundie “spare the rod” bunch of sadistic child abusers) was because Germany is one of the countries that bans any physical punishment of children.

      • In reply to #10 by Stevehill:

        In reply to #7 by Len Walsh:

        The most effective way to induce respect for children is to enshrine human rights in legislation.

        Agreed. Currently 16 European nations ban hitting children in any way, and another 7 have legislation in progress.
        Wow. We’re less inclined to protect our children than The German State? Ouch.

        Britain (typically, and IMO wrongly) fudges it by allo…

  3. Of course in the final analysis the perpetrators are scapegoats for a society that glorifies religion and anoints it with exemption from rational critique and any accountability to present evidence to back its risible claims.

  4. Never mind that their lives now will be a bag of shit. Like all xtians they think life is worthless unless they can cash it in for an afterlife.

    God will be pleased with them he allows the killing of unruly children:

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21:

    If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

  5. Only organized religion can warp reasoning and numb feelings to the degree that it becomes possible to beat and starve a child to death.

    Unless of course you’re criminally insane.

    I wonder what Jesus Christ thinks and says about such vile acts being carried out in his name?

    Present tense intended, because their belief is that he still lives; am I right?

    • In reply to #13 by andyb:

      I wonder what the likelihood is of the authors/publisher of the book “To Train up a Child” being successfully sued?

      Freedom of speech laws in the US are so sacrosanct, celebrities have to sue for libel or slander in English courts. There may be someone else who could be brought to book though.

      Despite pleas from their attorneys and even their pastor, the judge showed no mercy to Skagit County couple Larry and Carri Williams for the death of their adopted daughter…

      “I have known Larry and Carri to be loving parents with the ability to raise children appropriately,” said the family pastor, Richard Long. “I also firmly believe they have the ability to be healthy, contributing members of society.”

      If this Richard Long acted as spiritual adviser to Larry and Carri Williams, and was aware of how they treated their children, presumably giving his, and by extension God’s, tacit or overt approval of their method of child-rearing, there may be a case for indicting him as a co-conspirator, contingent of course on whether he was ministering to them during the period this abuse was being committed.

      It’s appalling that he was allowed to give character testimony at all. Didn’t Richard post an article here a while ago about how religious figures in the UK are given undue media exposure by regularly being invited on tv and radio and asked to offer their opinion on issues such as stem cell research, despite being uniquely unqualified to do so?

      Pastors seem to be given similarly generous shrift in American courts of law. I wonder if it occurred to anyone that a man who knew of the violent treatment the Williamses’ children were being subjected to and did nothing to prevent it wouldn’t make the best character witness. I wonder also if he was even questioned about his own involvement or whether he was considered above suspicion because of his clerical garb.

      Anyway. Rambling.

      Members of Seattle’s Ethiopian community came to honor Hana’s memory by speaking for the girl who silently endured so much.

      “Those who promised to love and care for (her) broke a sacred trust,” Elsabet Legesse told the court. “Under the guise of parenting, they tortured (her) to break (her) spirit.”

      Class-action suit from Seattle’s Ethiopian community on behalf of Hanna brought against Pastor Richard Long. He’s already admitted to being intimately familiar with Larry and Carri Williams and their parenting techniques; he said as much in a court of law. He was also in a unique position of authority over them, representing their link to the Almighty.

      The Williamses’ lawyers are probably going hell for leather at the moment preparing an appeal. I have no desire to see this couple spend a moment less than the rest of their lives in prison, but if a little bird were to whisper in their attorneys’ ear about a certain minister who did nothing to prevent their actions…

      RDFRS is always throwing its money around trying to help pastors who want to leave their churches. How about spending some bringing this one to justice? Richard and Christopher were after arresting the Pope when he landed on their shore, so this doesn’t seem too far outside the Foundation’s purview.

  6. To Train Up A Child advocates using a plumbing tool to beat children with starting at age one. italic

    What a wonderful piece of literature. It should be recommended reading to all parents with small children!
    And it is available at Amazon UK for £4.90.

  7. There is an article here with some of the details of abuse of their other children also:-

    Starvation: All the Williams’ children, with the exception of Hana and Immanuel, had normal growth charts. Both Hana and Immanuel showed weight gains, then dramatic weight loss, Hana being in less than the third percentile for weight at the time of her death. A starving child will do anything to get food, include stealing it. She was hungry, she stole food (junk food), she got caught, she got punished. She was served wet sandwiches and half-frozen food as punishment. Hypothermia was the cause of death, with severe malnutrition/intentional starvation being what is called a “proximate” cause.

    Immanuel: The state has charged Larry and Carri with assault of Immanuel, There has to be a pattern of assault that causes bodily harm and physical pain (not temporary or transient, but lasting or repeated pain, similar to torture). Mr. Weyrich reviewed testimony about Immanuel’s being very afraid to make mistakes, and consistently apologizing, though sometimes not knowing why he was apologizing (though likely to keep from being punished again). Larry Williams sprayed Immanuel with a hose outside for peeing himself; Carri and Larry fed him wet sandwiches and other unpalatable (inedible) food. These were patterns. Carri, Larry, and son Joseph hit Immanuel on the soles and top of the feet, so much that it hurt him to walk. Immanuel, Mr. Weyrich argued, had scars on his back that were similar to those on the back of Hana’s legs. Immanuel also spent time in the locked shower room, and of course witnessed the treatment and death of Hana. Immanuel did not have a clinical diagnosis of oppositionality, but of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, based on what happened to him at the Williams’ home.

    There should also be questions about which adoption agencies and supervisory bodies, judged these people suitable as adoptive parents?

    • In reply to #16 by Detective Lazy:

      These people got to adopt a kid? How did these guys even manage to pass the psychological evaluation in the first place? What the hell, man?

      Presumably they simply declared they were good Christians, that’s good enough for many unfortunately.

  8. I read a book called ‘In the name of God’ by Cameron Stauth recently which spotlighted a church called “Followers of Christ ” in Oregon.These people would go see a dentist or optician but would not opt for medical care.Not even for antibiotics.Anyone doing so would be shunned.Many children died of preventable illnesses and this led to the local Medical Examiner and police getting suspicious but they were helpless to intervene because of Oregon’s religious shield laws.

    Thanks to the tireless work in the legal realm,over many, many years by RITA SWAN, an ex Christian Scientist whose son died because of religious ‘laws’ against medicine, things had begun to improve.And back in Oregon with a “Follower”( who had become disenchanted with the sect because of the unneccessary torture and deaths of children) providing information to the police,some convictions were effected.

    Its been a long and arduous struggle for people who have been fighting this particular scourge, but recognition of this evil has been achieved and I am glad that these unfeeling brutes are going to be put away for a long time.

  9. I canot think of an issue that should command more of our attention and resource. The elimination of abuse dealt to children by people of all stripes and types should be of paramount importance.

    Enough filibustering about gay marriage (a non-issue to me) ALL people have the right to marriage. Enough resource spent bailing out predatory banks and mortgage companies. Enough fox news coverage of the NSA listening to our “friends” (as if our “friends” aren’t listening to us). We just got caught.

    How about directing attention to this? How easy is it for absolute animals to “acquire” a child to molest, starve, beat, kill?

    I am not crapping on the many many many good people who do nothing wrong and adopt a child into a loving home. However, the sad sad history of abuse needs to have an inquiry, an investigation, and an ANSWER. There needs to be a procedure to filter out the animals.

    I think that this judge (and I do not care if he is religious or not) should be publicly applauded and held up as “doing their job”!

  10. I read a very controversial book years ago called “The Truth about Cinderella”…

    It demonstrated that :

    “A child is one hundred times more likely to be abused or killed by a stepparent than by a genetic parent, say two scientists in this startling book. Martin Daly and Margo Wilson show that the mistreatment to stepchildren, long a staple of folktales, has a solid basis in fact.

    A hundred times more likely! DANGER DANGER DANGER!!! This means (to me) that the filtering process used to screen potential step parents is letting animals through at a rate of 100X the rate of them identifying proper candidates (of which I am sure there are many).

  11. Poor kid got the $#!t end of the stick for the entirety of her short life.

    Reminds me of the lines in “Auguries of Innocence” by William Blake;

    Every morn and every night
    some are born to sweet delight.

    Every night and every morn
    some to misery are born.

    Some are born to sweet delight.
    Some are born to endless night.

    • I worked in a prison for 12 years, teaching science. I had lots of people sit in my classrooms; murderers, rapists, and some people who simply made a bad decision. Good folks and bad folks. I never sat with any one who hurt a child (other than other children)….

      Where I worked the inmates were made to wear specific color jumpsuits and t-shirts. Brown and Blue was general population. Yellow was a kitchen worker. Inmates who wore orange were allowed to go outside the fences to do work (that’s why no other person in the place was permitted to wear anything orange to work!). If your bail was over $100,000 you wore red. Red was to “be alert, be aware” color. We were trained to never turn our back on an inmate in red. many of them were facing life and smashing your face wouldn’t add anything to their sentence….

      The point is, there was a specific color, green that inmates wore when in protective custody. These inmates either snitched or hurt a child. And they got shit on at any possible moment. However, protective custody meant that guards were flanking the inmate almost all the time. Heightened security for these folks, but they still got shit on sometimes.

      It depends on the facility that these particular murderers end up in.

      In reply to #27 by Narcissistic_Martyr:

      Prison isn’t kind to child killers and I honestly doubt they’ll live more than a few years before they get a shiv in the neck while to guards are “distracted.”

  12. As a homeschool student and an atheist, these are the kinds of people make me furious. They are the reason homeschoolers have a bad reputation. We aren’t all crazy religious nuts who pulled their children out of school because they might gasp learn about the science!

  13. At first I thought that this has nothing to do with religion, only with insanity. But having given it a thought, I must assume that these people are just religious no matter what the consequences.

    People who believe, will usually somehow balance their beliefs with the law and human moral. That’s why they usually will not stone their neighbors or wives to death as a penalty for heresy because their innate morality tells them not to follow The Book at all cost. Their insanity is compensated with reason.

    Take away the reason, you’re left with insanity. Religion is insanity. The only reason that religious people aren’t homicidal zealots, is because they have non-religious beliefs as well, like love and responsibility. Causing the death of a child is not a religious accident, but the ultimate consequence of religion.

    Damn, this makes me so mad!

  14. I don’t understand what the parents were thinking? Something has got to be wrong in their minds! Why would you do that to your children and then try to say it was a biblical teaching? That kind of religion I would want no part of! I guarantee that is not how a Christian would want you to raise your children. I don’t know I think that people interpret religion differently and that is their beliefs and their choice, but when it harms another, then you have crossed over the line!

    • In reply to #37 by donde.hartley:

      I don’t understand what the parents were thinking? Something has got to be wrong in their minds! Why would you do that to your children and then try to say it was a biblical teaching? That kind of religion I would want no part of! I guarantee that is not how a Christian would want you to raise your…

      Our current attitude to children is vastly different to that of the past. I’m in the process of reading “The Better Angels of our Nature” by Steven Pinker, and goes to great length to describe the atrocities parents committed to their own children and those of others. We’re positively soft in comparison. I don’t think this mindset is so different. I guess in days past, children were too easy to come by and had no value in the community or their own families.

  15. My mother as of similar mind to these freaks, and looked for every opportunity to beat the crap out of me in the name of Jebus. I left home as son as I could and never went back. She died in 2004, and I shed not one tear for that b*tch.

  16. I thought we all enjoyed the benefits of “The Enlightenment” so why do some amongst us yearn for the days of the Sanhedrin? Perhaps these two idiots would better enjoy 15 years in an Afghan prison.

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