2011 Shows

It’s been dubbed a “house of horrors:” A handyman’s recent discovery of four people allegedly held captive in a tiny, dank sub-basement of a Philadelphia apartment building. The victims were said to be severely malnourished; one was chained to the boiler. One victim reportedly had two children while being held prisoner. The alleged ring leader, Linda Weston, 51, and two other suspects have been charged with kidnapping, assault, false imprisonment and other counts. Weston’s daughter has also been charged for allegedly imprisoning a relative in the same apartment building. How -- and for how long -- did these atrocities go unnoticed? Local reporter Walt Hunter joins Dr. Phil to share his insights into the investigation and two deaths that may be connected to this case. And, in an exclusive interview, Weston’s brother, Josh, and her son, Robert, speak out about the cruelty they say they suffered at Weston’s hands dating back 30 years. Josh says Weston shoved him into an oven and burned him severely, and both men say they witnessed her trap a man in a closet, listened to him scratch at the door every day until he slowly starved to death, a crime for which she served only eight years in prison. Plus, another shocking headline: Parents in a Washington suburb are facing charges for allegedly imprisoning and starving their adopted 16-year-old twins. Dr. Phil speaks with a neighbor, who says over the years, multiple community members reported suspicious and abusive behavior. Why did it take so long for police and Child Protective Services to investigate?

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: jackburrton on Nov 6, 2011, 8:04PM
If this was ten years ago i beleive the police would have inspected the house and the grounds.It seems the police now days just want to put in the hours and go home ,Its a pay check.social service workers are over loaded with case files and really dont want to create more work for themselves.Its a pay check.I owed a family restaraunt some years ago.i just got back from picking up supplies when my wife and several of the waitress came up to me and started telling me about this women that had smacked her five year old boy in the face jerked him out of his seat by his arm and drug him to the van outside and locked him in the van .It was almost 90 degrees.she was pulling out as they were telling me all this and said they didnt know what to do .I ran out and got the number off her tag and called the ploice.A detective came bye talked to me and the girls and then went to the womens house..He came back and informed us that she was going to be arrested becouse it was the third time she had had the police called and had been in court befor for child abuse.this policemen was interested in the child and helping him.He was doing his job yesbut he was doing it for all the right reasons.To help people and cared about this child..People are of a diffrent caliber now days.
Replied By: rhondaconn on Nov 3, 2011, 11:09PM
That woman is rechid!!!!! She has no concious and deserves to rot in prision for the rest of her life!!!
Replied By: rustymama on Nov 3, 2011, 11:25AM
That "community" where the Wellers live FAILED miserably. They KNEW that those children were being beaten, screaming, abused but they didn't want to intervene for the sake of PRIVACY....aww boo hoo...FAILED FAILED FAILED. Shame on you all!!!

If in case you didn't know turning the other way and ignoring the situation doesn't make it go away, should not ease your lousy conscience AND makes you just a guilty as the monsters perpetrating the abuse. Cowards!
Replied By: cjw2711 on Nov 3, 2011, 3:27AM
When Jesus Christ returns, as promised in the Book of Revelation, and raptures his church... the work of the Holy Spirit will be removed.  Evil, twisted, psychopathic behaviors such as this woman will reign and there won't be any heavenly power stopping it.  One can only imagine the horror to reign during the tribulation period.  This is enough to make a person repent and turn to God for salvation.
Replied By: tlrizer on Nov 2, 2011, 8:33AM
I just have to say that the government can spend all this money on things that don't even matter, but they cant reform our system to keep criminals in jail. How can Social Security send 4 or more checks to one address and not ever realize that something is not right. How did she cash them? I have so many questions about our system.  It sickens me that things like this can happen.
Replied By: altmed on Nov 1, 2011, 9:06PM
When are we going to realize that some people simply don't see anything wrong with hurting others - mentally, physically & educationally. These people are not sorry for what they do & unfortunately the signs are there, calls are made & police's hands are tied (although we are told as much), social workers try to "reunite" the parents/guardians/foster parents & others charged for the care of others & abuse keeps on until someone is dead &/or the abuse has broken other people's lives.

When parents that DO care know they need help & ask for it, when they get on their feet, they are often faced with years & horrific fees to get their kids back & unfortunately, the caretakers often use the kids as pawns, ask for (& get) welfare & the guardians all too often abuse the kids &/or needy adults. YET an abusive parents that don't ask for help, don't see what's wrong with starving kids, etc. & yet these people get their kids back & abuse their kids & it goes on & on.

Dr. Phil, you are SO right that when these kids are told to reach out, all to often nothing is done & the kids are abused even more for reaching out.

All too often, the kids have been known to the courts & the "system", yet the social workers are SO "overworked" that kids die in their system. We've seen it happen over & over again in our county here in California & in other places. Social workers, court "investigators" & such are generally NOT licensed through the state (which in order to correct this mess needs to change!) Who is investigating the investigators? If a county worker is the perpertrator, there is essentially no hope for te kids. Social workers make things up & flat out lie, and the courts take their word as gospel, even if they've only seen the kids or others once or twice, & court-appointed counsel rarely, if ever, see these kids or disabled adults. Cases are wrapped up for years in the system when parents have requested help with a child or children, yet a drug addict (who has an EXTREMELY high failure rate of sucess) can get their kids back after a VERY short drug program of as short as a few months, with one follow-up around 6 months later & no one is following up with the kids or helping these people learn the value of their children, oher than a welfare or similar check, "sympathy" money from relatives that these people often use on drugs & NOT to take care of the children.

Laws in CA need to change so that those who sign their children over during times of financial problems &/or need for respite - especially with special needs kids, so that these parents can get their children back & guardians NEED to acount for every single dime they receive for the child/ren in their care, as well as their own finances. The same needs to be done with foster care providers.

Special needs kids & adults in ANY care MUST be involved in ongoing services & care that is approved by & in conjunction with counseling for ANY parent who signs their kids through a "temporary guardianship" & there needs to be a review every few months, regular help for the kids to cope with being without their parents & an end date.

ANY child in "the system" needs to be protected, which clearly isn't done.

There needs to be FREE care provided for families where a child is abusive, disruptive &/or drug addicted.

Allegations fly & judgements are made without ANY substantiation, which is sad & leads to the damage of children & adults, as well as relationships.

Police see a LOT more of what goes on than many others & are in the field, AND see what goes on moreso than any one-shot, "social worker" that doesn't spend more than a half hour or so with any family & certainly NOT children, weather they need help or, as many teens get into drugs & can become abusive, are a big part of the problem. 

The resources for either situation are grossly inadequate!

When we had state hospitals, there was FAR more professional help available, and no, it was by NO means perfect, yet there WAS more help for families that had a disturbed child or adult in the family.

I hope you & others will reach out to these people that were so violently abused & I hope this animal that locked up these people & abused them in those horrific conditions is put away forever. 

So often the courts are used as puppets & there are few checks & balances. SSA asks for an accounting, & an annual statement under "penalty of purgery", yet receipts aren't required & with the current hiring freeze, it's likely that adequate monitoring is not likely to happen.

Social services have been inadequate for decades, as has monitoring of social services, which in CA as long as these people are registered & do what the county requires, these people aren't required to register with the state, which leads to addicts, gangs, etc. infiltrating the system that is supposed to help these people. I know of a couple of people who left the social services department in the county where I live as a direct result of abuse by other social workers they worked with, both reported drugs were used by co-workers, stories were fabricated over & over both to take kids out of a bad situation & to keep kids in a bad situation.

We need to hold social workers accountable & if a child is being abused, the courts &/or the police MUST be able to get the kids out of the situation, even if a social worker makes a procedural error that goes either way, or lies, etc. The social worker MUST be made accountable - NOT the disabled adult or the children.

I think we ALL recall parents with drug-addicted & specia needs kids, as well as those going through a rough time surrendering their kids at hospitals, etc. in a state that created a law, designed for babies, yet brought to light that there are SERIOUS needs that are needed in communities all over the country. It is sad that nothing more was done than to change that law to restrict it to babies. It seems that NOTHING was done to take care of the needs that are non-existant, for parents that were desperate, had addicted, abusive  &/or special needs children in our society that all the counseling in the world will simply NOT lead these people to be productive adults. If you have a psychopathic child, a teen that is an addict, etc., WHERE DO THESE PEOPLE GO FOR HELP? It's no wonder we see this gal abusing her siblings! Where was help when she was salvageable, or was there ever a time when she was? At this point, IMHO, there is NO amount of help that can reverse what she has become.

Addiction centers exist, yet no lock-down facilities for addicts exist in CA, yet they do in other states & many are FAR more sucessful for those teens that need it, that are abusing their parents, siblings & animals (not only those in the family, but neighbors' animals as well.) Some of these special needs kids NEED a VERY structured environment that NO set of parents can provide without help & lots of it!

I hope & pray these people get loving help & can learn to trust once again. It's going to be a LONG haul for them & they may have life-long scars that will never go away. 

I hope this perpatrator is locked up for the rest of her life. It is clear she is FAR beyond help, and sadly, others at varying degrees, will do similar things to their siblings, parents, kids in the neighborhood (perhaps yours in your neighborhood), etc.

We need to provide help where it is needed & stop people like this from doing SO much damage to so many people! This even touched people in likely every department of the SSA & social services across the country. I hope this creates a change in how our society deals with people like this. Some people belong in state hospitals or institutions period & no matter what is done, they may not respond to help at all. Police have to see the damage over & over & many feel helpless to help the victims, having to wait, as was said in the segment, for their to be visible, physical damage. Why do we have to wait until people like this & others who emotionally abuse & starve kids &/or disabled adults do so for years & years before we can do something & likes are broken & shattered? Disabled adults with "representative payees" are ripped off all the time. There MUST be more than one person over-seeing the finances of these people. Many rep. payees do a wonderful job of taking care of thse who are disabled & even add their own funds to ensure they are well taken care of, yet too often I've seen people who've been ripped off & are afraid to say anything, even in my church, yet unless the disabled adult reports it or until a police officer or SSA employee hear it directly, nothing can be done, other than an investigation with an interviewer that has a disabled adult that is extremely afraid to say anything & will even lie for the abuser, as they have to go home with them. The same is true of abused kids & even adults who were abused in this system as children. It's programmed into them to take the blame.

We as a society need to demand change, as this is NOT an isolated incident.

Replied By: rosevial on Nov 1, 2011, 1:09PM
It is my opinion that abusers to this degree should be institutionalized, be it prison or mental institution, for LIFE since we, as survivors, carry a life sentence from the physical or psychological abuse they inflicted on their victims!
Replied By: gwen50 on Nov 1, 2011, 10:52AM
Replied By: godrulz247 on Nov 1, 2011, 7:28AM - In reply to carrottop247
I am so sorry for the abuse that you and your siblings suffered.  You own none of that and you are a very strong person to have endured those things for all of those years.  May you be blessed!
Replied By: godrulz247 on Nov 1, 2011, 7:23AM
This is just unbelievable to me and so horrifying.  To know such evil exists makes me never want to let my children out of my reach ever!  The brother and the son of this monster are no longer victims of her.  They have been victimized but now they are victorious!  They are Victors!!!   Abuse is so hard to live with when it's all you know as your normal but when you realize how abusive it was, that's when it affects you mentally the most!  These people need serious professional help!  I cannot believe that she put her brother in the oven.  How does that even enter a mind to do such a horrible thing???  Dr. Phil was so right when he said that it is damaging to have exposed the need for intervention from authorities and nothing be done... There is so much truth in what he said.  How will these people trust again or have respect for authority figures ever???  Those poor twins.  Why did they adopt them?  These people are pure evil.  I pray that they all are sentenced to death.  There is no cure for their minds.  They are without a conscious. Those that suffered their sick abuse deserve the peace that their deaths would bring.  They are like the monsters in Libya and Syria and Africa...  Just pure evil, unfathomable evil.  I pray these victims get the love and counselling they need.  May they come to know God and let Him use the evil that was done to them for good.  May this test of their lives become a testimony to others of survival and hope.  God bless their lives and may God speed what His Word says, that it would be better for those who abuse  children to hang a millstone around their neck and be thrown into the fathomless sea then to abuse these children!  I have such admiration for these survivors.  They are as admirable as the P.O.W.'s from the Bataan Death March.  This mess has already become a message and I can't wait to read the final chapters of their lives stories.  We need to beg God to give those in power the wisdom and evidence that they need to find all of the victims and to stop all of the abusers from ever hurting another soul.  This is a huge responsibility for those handed these cases.  unbelievabele..... Do not hesitate to report abuse, do not ignore the nagging feeling of something is just not right, do not choose to not get involved.  Once you are aware of something, you are responsible for it.  Report till your blue in the face, or as Dr. Phil says "You do it until..... "   I hope for the best for these survivors and I pray for the rest.
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