Sign up for the Dr. Phil Newsletter
Twitter Facebook YouTube

2013 Shows

 
On February 4, 2013, FBI officials rescued then-5-year-old Ethan from an underground bunker in Alabama, where he had been held hostage for nearly one week by 65-year-old Jimmy Lee Dykes, who was killed during the raid. Investigators say Dykes stormed a school bus carrying 21 children a week earlier, shot and killed the driver and then abducted Ethan. In an exclusive interview, Ethan, who just celebrated his sixth birthday, talks to Dr. Phil along with his mother, Jennifer. How much did Ethan witness? How did he manage to stay alive? Dr. Phil and his colleagues, Dr. Charles Sophy and Dr. Frank Lawlis, offer Jennifer advice on helping Ethan cope with what he experienced. How can this family move forward after such a traumatic event?

Find out what happened on the show.
Comments
Replied By: voiceforethan on Jan 15, 2014, 2:20PM
Has Dr. Phil even checked on Ethan in the past year?
 
Replied By: maggie72 on Nov 13, 2013, 1:12PM - In reply to icded1
Is this Ethan's mom responding?
 
Replied By: maggie72 on Jun 9, 2013, 11:55AM - In reply to icded1
Most parents in this situation are more worried about their child and his wellbeing than "making sure she says the right things." Her affect was flat and inappropriate to the situation.

Also, good, well seasoned parents have some insight into who is safe for their child to be around and who isn't. Of course, even the best parents may make a mistake, but this "mistake" seems absurd if it was done by someone who actually had insight into who was a safe person for her child to be around.
 
Replied By: shay205 on Feb 18, 2013, 7:51PM - In reply to maggie72
I also thought her emotional state (or lack thereof) was a bit odd..i was thinking the same thing and ironically I wanted to know if anyone picked up on all this as well. She started to give me the vibe that she was involved in the ordeal or staged the situation!  (just kidding, or maybe not)! Now, I live in Alabama and I also believe that this  case needs to be further investigated. I believe she has some deep seated issues that need to be uncovered as well. Not trying to judge the lady from one interview, but I was so annoyed by her downplaying and extreme forgiveness in this situation, as well as her facial expressions (or lack thereof) Of course, we all know that people respond to events in different ways, so, I do not know if she was nervous or if situational factors are to blame. It is also odd  and coincidental that he just happen to choose Ethan because he had a mental illness like Mr. Dykes, as she stated. People are also calling her a good mother, but how do we know what go on in the home?  I am not asserting that she is a bad mother, but I am also not assuming that she is a good mother.  Anyone can paint a picture  for others to see. People are also calling her intelligent and things like that, but I did not hear nothing so admirable and compelling come out of her mouth. In a sense, while I do believe that her expressions seemed to be incongruent with the situation, I do believe that she responded to Dr. Phil's questions in a way that the average person would (so she could not say the wrong thing and to portray herself as likeable and which also gives me reason to raise suspicions about her extreme forgiveness to Dykes). Most of us when we meet people for the first time, we do not expect people to just say rude things to us. Of course, I am not being naive in dismissing the fact that some people are heartless. But the normal human reaction when we first meet people is to be nice and portray ourselves as likeable (until we get to know the real person)! 

Also, I thought that the multiple diagnoses were suspect too especially considering his age. Since Ethan is a child with special needs, I hope that she has not allowed this label to make her be "too oveprotective" of him amd inhibit his growth," which is fairly common with such labels). That's why I hope she and Ethan get the profeesional help they will need to cope with such a tragedy.  Don't get the wrong idea, but I wish Dykes was still alive to shed light on the mind of a veteran and his reasons for it all. I believe this case shows how when one is trained to  be combative, this creates the mindset of always wanting to "wage war" in situations.  One last thing, I am even more upset of how she portrayed Alabamaians to be  stereotypical down home country bumpkins ! LOL.
 
Replied By: shay205 on Feb 18, 2013, 6:59PM - In reply to maggie72
I completely agree with you recognizing something a bit odd with the mother's emotional state as well...That is ironically exactly why I decided to view these message boards. I keep hearing people congratulate for her being a loving mother and all, but  I was a bit annoyed by her downplay of the situation in which her son has been through and her lovingkindness toward Mr. Dykes.  Maybe she is glad that the situation is over and that Ethan  Also, people are calling her intelligent and all these other things, but nothing I heard that came out of her mouth was so admirable. In a sense, while IIt seems as if she was trying so hard to say the "right words everyone want to hear or what anyone would normally be expected too say" in the interview.  Now, I know that people respond to events in different ways and I can not judge her based on this one interview. I also do not know if it was situational factors that played a role (maybe she was nervous and trying to keep her composure, did not want to say something odd, or maybe she normally acts like this). Take it from me, I am from Alabama myself and I also think this case needs to be further investigated by DHR. She is starting to give me the vibe that she staged this whole thing! I know that is a bit extreme, but I think ultimately she may have needed therapy in the past and has some deep-seated issues which have never been uncovered. Also, I am not glad that the situation occurred, but I think that this situation sheds light on the minds of people who have served in the military. Not saying that what he did was right, but people forget that these people are trained to be combative and in some of their minds this creates this  "wage war" mindset in certain situations. I would have loved to hear more from Dykes and his reasoning behind it all.
 
Replied By: icded1 on Feb 17, 2013, 4:06PM - In reply to maggie72
I too work with children in crisis and I have to say I'm sorry for the kids you work with. You are so judgemental and critical of, as much as she can be, the perfect mother. She wanted to make ABSOLUTELY SURE she was doing and saying the right things. She listened to the spot on advice from the experts. She is kind and thoughtful and loving and I have no doubt that Ethan was given such a special mom for a reason. Every child should be so lucky. Ethan certainly is.
 
Replied By: tuxedocat111 on Feb 16, 2013, 9:48AM
I felt there was something really exceptional about Ethan's mother when I was listening to the interview.  She has a level of maturity, forgiveness and insight that is really unusual.  I learned a lot about parenting from watching this show.  Thank-you, Dr. Phil, and the people that worked so hard on this difficult and sensitive show.  
 
Replied By: divaqueen05044 on Feb 15, 2013, 6:14PM
MOM /SON WILL NEED YOUR TEAM,S SPECIALIZED  ASSIST A LONG TIME ,MAYBE EVEN A LIFETIME
 
Replied By: vlscroggs on Feb 15, 2013, 5:22PM
Ethan's mother is remarkable.  She is the epitome of a true Christian.  She believes in God's plan for her and is an example for all of us.  She is so confident in her faith.    She truly walks with God.  I'm so glad I watched this show and witnessed the type of person God wants us all to be.  Thank you, dr phil, for this show and bringing in your team to help Ethan and his mother.
 
Replied By: carolenell on Feb 15, 2013, 3:19PM
I truly recommend Jennifer for Women of the Year - she was amazing.  Not only she played a low profile about her life, her town and all the other children involved in this terrible event - why expose them do a media frenzy.  I love when families do not expose themselves to the media - I am sure Jennifer represents the enitre community and they will all learn from what you and your colleagues are doing to help Nathan. What a hearfelt story and giving names to the bus driver and the kidnapper - never depersonalized them - good or bad.
 
Showing 1-10 of total 39 Comments