Suffer the Little Children
Episode 51: Poppie Van der Merwe (Part 2)

Episode 51: Poppie Van der Merwe (Part 2)

February 24, 2021

In episode 50, I began telling you the story of a three-year-old girl named Poppie Van der Merwe, whose utterly preventable death shocked the nation of South Africa. After multiple reports that Poppie and her five-year-old brother were being abused, social services became involved, but the family moved to avoid the investigation. Three weeks later, Poppie was dead, and in this episode, I’ll go over the events that followed the arrests of both her stepfather and her mother.

This is the story of the murder of a blonde, blue-eyed little doll whose smile stole the hearts of an entire country. It’s also a sadly familiar story of the failure of an agency tasked with protecting children despite countless warning signs and multiple reports from those close to the family. 

This is part 2 of the heartbreaking story of Poppie Van der Merwe. 

Francois Nolte’s short film based on Poppie's story, Porselein, can be viewed here. (https://filmfreeway.com/Porcelain013)

Huge thanks to today’s sponsor:

Smile Brilliant provides teeth whitening and oral care products customized just for you! Visit their website here.

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, TikTok, and Pinterest. My Linktree is available here.

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Poppie’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartRadio, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 50: Poppie Van der Merwe (Part 1)

Episode 50: Poppie Van der Merwe (Part 1)

February 17, 2021

In this episode, I cover my first ever South African case, that of three-year-old Poppie Van der Merwe. Poppie and her five-year-old brother were frequently seen by teachers, doctors, neighbors, and others with bruises and other injuries. When social services became involved, her mother and stepfather moved the family overnight to avoid the investigation, and the physical abuse escalated exponentially. Three weeks later, Poppie was rushed to the hospital, unresponsive, and declared dead on arrival.

This is the story of the murder of a tiny, blonde-haired, blue-eyed doll whose smile stole the hearts of an entire country. It’s also a sadly familiar story of the failure of an agency tasked with protecting children despite countless warning signs and multiple reports from those close to the family. 

This is part 1 of the heartbreaking story of Poppie Van der Merwe. 

Huge thanks to today’s sponsors:

Every bag of gourmet coffee purchased from Free Lunch Coffee provides 10 meals to hungry children! Visit their website here.

Smile Brilliant provides teeth whitening and oral care products customized just for you! Visit their website here.

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Poppie’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 49: Quortney Kley

Episode 49: Quortney Kley

February 10, 2021

On February 25, 1997, 23-year-old Cayce Williams entered the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elgin, Illinois, carrying the lifeless body of his girlfriend’s 20-month-old daughter, Quortney Kley. Medical staff immediately called police, who arrested Cayce the same evening. Cayce was charged with several felony counts of murder, as well as predatory criminal sexual assault. 

Nine long years later, Cayce Williams accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to 48 years in Illinois state prison. Due to a change in Illinois law, however, he was only required to serve 24 of those years behind bars. Now, he is scheduled to be released from the Dixon Correctional Center two weeks from this episode’s release date.

In this episode, you’ll hear my conversation with Quortney’s mom, Gretta, in which we talk about her beloved, stubborn, sassy baby girl whose rapist and murderer is preparing to walk free from prison on February 25.

This is the mind-boggling story of Quortney Kley.

Huge thanks to today’s sponsors:

Every bag of gourmet coffee purchased from Free Lunch Coffee provides 10 meals to hungry children! Visit their website here.

Smile Brilliant provides teeth whitening and oral care products customized just for you! Visit their website here.

The Justice for Quortney Kley Facebook page can be found here.

The event page for the February 24 protest outside Dixon Correctional Center can be found here.

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Quortney’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 48: Averylee Hobbs (Part 2)

Episode 48: Averylee Hobbs (Part 2)

February 3, 2021

In episode 47, I started telling you the story of 4-year-old Averylee Hobbs, whose mother broke her skull as an infant, only to regain custody of Avery a few years later. In this episode, I’m going to tell you about the horrific and preventable end of this precious little girl’s short life, the prosecution of her mother, and the many ways Avery’s paternal grandmother is working to turn her tragic death into something positive. 

You’ll also hear my interview with Avery’s Mama, Tammy Risen, who was gracious enough to speak with me for the podcast. Tammy, who calls herself “A Granny with a Mission,” is truly a force to be reckoned with, and she refuses to let Avery’s death be in vain. 

This is a story of a mother who can only be described as evil, of domestic partner and child abuse, of ineptitude and corruption in the systems designed to protect children, and of a family who first fought to save Avery’s life, then fought for justice for her, and now fight to protect other children like her. 

This is part 2 of the tragic, infuriating, preventable story of Averylee Hobbs.

Huge thanks to Podcorn for sponsoring this episode! Explore sponsorship opportunities and start monetizing your podcast by signing up here.

To purchase Tammy Risen’s book, In the Best Interest of a Child, for Kindle, click here.

Tammy’s public Facebook group, D.E.A.R. Developing Essential Advocate Restoration for Abused Children, can be found here.

For more information about Avery, news and current events about the case, media links, and information about The Avery Statute, visit the Justice4Avery website here.

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Avery’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Minisode 2: Amari’s Life Mattered

Minisode 2: Amari’s Life Mattered

January 27, 2021

In Episode 12, I told you the story of 3-year-old Amari Boone, who was a ward of the state of Texas and under the care of foster parents when he died on Easter Sunday of 2020. Those foster parents, Deondrick Foley and Joseph Delancy II, were arrested last week and finally charged after 9 months. However, their charges of injury to a child come nowhere close to encompassing the brutal blunt force injuries Amari suffered, including broken ribs, arms, fingers, and pelvis, as well as bleeding in his brain that ended his short life.

My guest on this minisode is Amari’s father, Rodney Boone, who won’t rest until his son gets justice. Neither will the grassroots advocates who have pushed for justice for Amari for the past 9 months. We demand justice for Amari.#AmarisLifeMattered #JusticeForAmariBoone

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Amari’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 47: Averylee Hobbs (Part 1)

Episode 47: Averylee Hobbs (Part 1)

January 27, 2021

Averylee Hobbs was not even a month old when she was first injured by her mother, who was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison for that incident. When she was released, Britney Mayes began fighting for custody of her daughter, who had lived with her paternal grandparents, Tammy and Jonathan Risen, since Britney was arrested. When Britney was given visitation with her daughter, Avery began returning to the Risens covered in bruises, burns, bite marks, and other inflicted injuries, but her caseworker and her guardian ad litem, both of whom were tasked with Avery’s protection, consistently explained away her injuries as accidents despite evidence to the contrary, Avery’s own statements, and Britney’s history. Tragically but not unpredictably, four-year-old Avery was rushed to the hospital on July 29, 2016 in an unresponsive state and died three days later. Over three years later, Britney was finally sentenced for her daughter’s murder. 

Of all the stories I’ve covered on this podcast, Avery’s story is easily one of the most egregious in every possible way. This is a story of a mother who can only be described as evil, of domestic partner and child abuse, of ineptitude and corruption in the systems designed to protect children, and of a family who first fought to save Avery’s life, then fought for justice for her, and now fight to protect other children like her. 

This is part 1 of the tragic, infuriating, preventable story of Averylee Hobbs.

To purchase Tammy Risen’s book, In the Best Interest of a Child, for Kindle, click here.

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Avery’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 46: Jaheem Harris (Part 2)

Episode 46: Jaheem Harris (Part 2)

January 20, 2021

Last week, I told you the story of Jaheem Harris, who died on July 8, 2017 after his mother’s ex-boyfriend, who was allowed to babysit Jaheem and his siblings despite a no-contact order between the man and Jaheem’s mother, called 911 to report that Jaheem had possibly drowned in the bathtub. Jaheem’s extensive blunt force injuries led police to arrest the man, who was ultimately convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison with no mandatory minimum. 

This is a story of a little boy who was failed by not only child protective services but also the criminal justice system -- and, many believe, by his own mother. On today’s episode, you’ll hear my conversation with Jaheem’s paternal grandmother, Shay Caston, who raised her grandson for most of his short life, and who Jaheem called “my real Mama.”

This is part 2 of the heartbreaking story of Jaheem Harris.

Huge thanks to Podcorn for sponsoring this episode! Explore sponsorship opportunities and start monetizing your podcast by signing up here: https://podcorn.com/podcasters 

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Jaheem’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 45: Jaheem Harris (Part 1)

Episode 45: Jaheem Harris (Part 1)

January 13, 2021

On July 8, 2017, a man in Waterloo, Iowa called 911 to report that a child in his care had drowned in the bathtub, but responding paramedics found four-year-old Jaheem Harris covered with vicious bruises in a dry bed, partially dressed in dry clothing, with no signs of water in the bathtub. The man, an ex-boyfriend of Jaheem’s mother and the father of Jaheem’s two younger sisters, admitted to police that he hit Jaheem “all the time,” and he was ultimately charged with first-degree murder. When he eventually went to trial, the jury’s decision would disgust the community. 

This is a story of a little boy who was wanted, adored, cherished, and failed by not only child protective services but also the criminal justice system -- and, many believe, by his own mother. For next week’s episode, you’ll hear my conversation with Jaheem’s paternal grandmother, Shay Caston, who raised her grandson for most of his short life, and who Jaheem called “my real Mama.”

This is part 1 of the heartbreaking story of Jaheem Harris.

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For more stories like Jaheem’s, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 44: Case Update Special #2

Episode 44: Case Update Special #2

January 6, 2021

In my last episode, I updated you on the first dozen or so cases I covered on the podcast. In this episode, I’ll provide updates on the next several cases I covered from episodes 13 to 24. 

The cases discussed in this episode include those of Marion Jester-Montoya, Charlette Dawkins, Eduardo Posso, Arabella Parker, Ky’mani Moore, Frankie Gonzalez, Treyanna Summerville, Sereniti Sutley, Remi Cowan, and Josias Marquez.

Promo in today’s episode - Once Upon a Nightmare Podcast

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For these stories and more, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 43: Case Update Special

Episode 43: Case Update Special

December 23, 2020

In this episode, I’ll provide updates on some of the cases I covered on early episodes of the podcast, which is something I plan to do periodically going forward. 

The cases discussed include those of AJ Freund, Dylan Groves, Zymere Perkins, Raylee Browning, Thomas Valva, Alex Hurley, Alissa Guernsey, Noah Tomlin, Logan Cline, and Amari Boone.

Please note: there will be no episode next week, but I will return with a new episode on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Happy holidays to all my listeners!

Promo in today’s episode - You Should Have Ghosted Podcast

Photos related to today's episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram

You can also follow the podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest

Visit the podcast's web page at www.sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.  

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me, you'll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts! 

This podcast is written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine. 

For these stories and more, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from www.AudioJungle.net

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

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