Inside ‘world’s worst child abuse case’ that left tormented girl Genie unable to walk and even horrified the experts

OFFICIALS in California took into custody a 13-year-old girl who was left so tormented by her parents that she was unable to speak or walk.

In 1970 Genie was saved by officers after her mother accidentally walked into a welfare office and to this day it has been dubbed the world's worse case of child abuse.


In October of that year, Genie – given the name to protect her identity – hobbled into a Los Angeles welfare office with her mother.

According to officials at the time, she looked around seven or eight years old.

Her mum Dorothy, who has suffered from cataracts, had accidentally walked into the office looking for services for the blind.

Welfare officers noticed the abnormally pale young girl was unable to speak and that she salivated and spat.

It seemed as though she only knew two phrases, the officers noted, "stop it" and "no more".

It turned out that Genie had been the victim of horrific neglect, abuse and social isolation.

When she was around. 20 months old, Genie was locked in her bedroom by her father Clark who suspected she was mentally disabled.

During this time, he had her tied in a handmade straitjacket and strapped to a chair in their suburban home.

The little girl was either bound to her toilet or in her crib.

At night time she was locked inside a crib with a wire cover.

Clark had forced his daughter to a life of social isolation not allowing her mother and brother to speak with her.

Genie was also left severely malnourished after she was fed on almost an entirely liquid diet.

The extent of the neglect was so bad that she was unable to speak or walk.

After gaining media attention in November of that year, Genie's father was questioned by police and the morning he was scheduled for a court appearance on child abuse charges, he committed suicide.

According to The Guardian he left behind a note that read: "The world will never understand."

After Genie's rescue, it was discovered that Clark was a controlling man who didn't want children.

His first child with Dorothy died after it was abandoned in a garage while their second child died from complications at birth.

Their third child John survived and five years later, Genie was born.

After she became a ward of the state in 1970, scientists and psychologists became fascinated with the case.

The experts believed that Genie would be the key to better understanding language acquisition skills and to be understanding critical periods for kids when learning a language.

After a long stint in hospital, Genie was handed around to scientists and foster parents to live with she moved back in with her mother when she was 18-years-old.

Genie's whereabouts are to this day unknown but reports have claimed that she was hidden away in an institution in Los Angeles.


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