Animal mutilation should have alerted authorities to incest family
The shocking ?incestuous? secrets of the Australian outback family where four generations of the clan interbred in conditions of unspeakable cruelty would have been discovered if the authorities had followed the trail of animal genital mutilation that the family left in its wake as they crisscrossed Australia, avoiding detection.
The forty-strong group has a limited family tree that DNA testing revealed shows ten of the 12 children taken from the outback commune had parents who were probably father and daughter or brother and sister.
There were no barriers to sexual relations ? with daughters, mothers, aunts, uncles and sons all engaging in sexual acts across their many homes in small rural Australian communities, and through the generations going back at least 50 years.
The secrets to their depraved lifestyle were to be found in the genital mutilation of animals by the child victims of this family sex ring, something which should have alerted social services to the chronic abuse taking place among members of the so called ?Colt? family, a name given to them by the Family Court to protect the younger children.
The genital abuse of animals and other cruelties to pets and horses is a ?red flag? to social services to such an extent that in some US states it is mandatory for animal welfare charities to report findings of animal cruelty to social services, for future investigation into child abuse and neglect cases.
It seems that the sordid and incredibly disturbing behaviours emanating from New South Wales could have been halted earlier if the Australian authorities joined the dots and linked the abuse of the animals which they had discovered to the abuse of the children.
Court documents report that the children took amusement from cutting the genitals of live cats, dogs and kangaroos.
The evidence of such cruelty would have been everywhere they lived but no-one in authority was able to see the significance in these acts against animals, allowing a sexual 'free for all' through the generations to go on unchecked for decades.
The case, which authorities describe as the worst they have ever come across, has echoes of ?Deliverance? about it, the famous movie by John Boorman about Hillbilly communities in southern states of the U.S.
The film staring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty opened a window into the inbred communities in the Georgia wilderness but even this fiction could not compare with the reality of the abuse and interbreeding discovered by social workers and DNA scientists working for the family courts in Australia this week.
The DNA swabs blew away all the constructed lies perpetrated by the matriarch of the group, Betty, who slept with her brother and supervised a family who lived without electricity, water and basic sanitation to such an extent that the children didn?t know how to shower and couldn?t even use toilet paper.
Covered in sores, scabies, and lice and racketed with disease, many of the 12 children taken immediately into care had difficulties with speech and movement because of their genetic inbreeding.
The secrets of this beautiful Australian valley where the clan were discovered left some of the children with walking impairments, hearing and sight problems and included one child with ?misaligned eyes?.
The secret incestuous community lived in tents and rundown sheds and social workers found the homestead covered with rubbish, rotting vegetables and even discovered a kangaroo asleep on a children?s bed in the encampment.
The children were dirty and unkempt but the family could be tracked back to the arrival of a couple from New Zealand in the 1970s.
Interviews with social services reveal that the saga of abuse began around the 1950s when the first family members, a brother and sister, gave birth to a child of their own in New Zealand.
This child, June, married a man called Tim and emigrated to Australia bringing up four girls and two boys, five of whom remain the bulk of the elders who ran the community and who engaged in unrestricted sexual activities between themselves and generations of their intimate relations before their recent discovery and exposure.
This family behaviour continued unchecked until the arrival of police and authorities at the encampment after concerns that the children weren?t attending school.
Local reports claimed that occasional visits of some of the women into local towns to buy provisions alerted the authorities to their presence and precipitated the visit. Initially, the women in the camp claimed that the children were the progeny of foreign workmen and labourers but the laboratory results soon put paid to those claims.
The nightmare of ?homozygosity? where parents are closely related was discovered not by social services but by the DNA scientists. This is a problem in the Middle East and among some Asian communities where cousins intermarry but inbreeding on this scale is a rare event.
As this horrific discovery unfolds, the real questions of how the Australian authorities and social services allowed this to go on unchecked for decades will continue to be asked.
Animal mutilation should have alerted Authorities to Incest Famil / Sunday World