Bossier Doe Mystery Solved – DNA Proves She’s Carol Ann Cole

"I finally found my sister."

Linda Jeanie Phelps

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 3.00.57 PMScreen Shot of News Conference Announcing Identity of Bossier Doe

Thanks to the incredible power of the internet and social media, a 34-year-old mystery has finally been solved… 

It was way back on January 28, 1981 that some hunters discovered the body of a young female on a logging road in Bossier Parish, Louisiana.  She had been stabbed to death, and the murder weapon was left at the scene.  Because the body was so badly decomposed (it had been there approximately four to six weeks according to the autopsy), authorities were never able to identify her.  She was a Jane Doe, who would later become known as Bossier Doe in the social media. 

On February 17, 2015, KSLA News 12 in Louisiana announced a huge breakthrough in this cold case.  Here is a portion of that announcement:

Just over a week after Bossier Parish investigators turned to social media looking for leads in a case known as Bossier Doe, investigators have received a tip that could be a major breakthrough in the case…

Detectives posted pictures of a composite drawing supplied by the FACES lab in Baton Rouge and that move, might have paid off.

Incredibly, here is how it happened…

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 6.04.14 PMLocal investigators created a Facebook page for Bossier Doe, which featured the composite drawing from the FACES lab (shown at the left). 

It is there (on Facebook) that Bossier Parish authorities received a tip from a Michigan woman saying a friend of hers has been looking for her sister for decades.  The name of the woman searching for her sister is Linda Jeanie (Cole) Phelps.  Upon seeing the composite drawing of Bossier Doe, Phelps noticed a resemblance to her sister. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 10.42.17 PM Phelps then provided a photo of her missing sister, Carol Ann Cole, which was taken around 1978 (see picture on the left). 

Could Bossier Doe be Carol Ann Cole?  And if so, how did she end up in Louisiana?  (more on that later)

The bones of Bossier Doe have been preserved for all these years, and Carol Anne Cole's parents recently provided DNA samples to determine whether Bossier Doe was indeed their daughter. 

Then yesterday afternoon, the Bossier Sheriff's Department announced via its Facebook page that it would be making a statement regarding Bossier Doe.  At 3:00 p.m. CST, they provided live streaming of their announcement, which I was able to watch. 

Here is the stunning revelation by Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington:

Good afternoon.  Thirty-four years ago back on January 28, 1981, Bossier Sheriff's office began an investigation of a homicide involving an unidentified young female who was murdered out here on the eastern side of Oak Ferry.  Over the years she was known only as Jane Doe.  Most recently with the creation of the Facebook page, she became known as Bossier Doe.  For more than three decades the identity of this young lady has been a mystery. Today we can now say the mystery is over, and her family now knows who she is.  They're getting answers that they've been seeking for more than 34 years.  The identity of Bossier Doe is that of 17 year old Carol Ann Cole of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  It's been a long 34 years, 1 month, and 5 days waiting for the Cole family, but I'm here to tell you that the waiting is over and Carol Ann is coming home.

And here is a video of the press conference from yesterday.  Sheriff Whittington's remarks begin just after the 8 minute mark.

Carol Ann Cole's sister (Jeanie Phelps) followed the Bossier Sheriff by sharing some emotional words.  What particularly stood out to me was her remark: "I finally found my sister."  Jeanie said her young daughter then asked:  "Is she going to come live with us?"  This family has been through a terrible ordeal and has much healing to do, and we hope you will keep them in your prayers.

How did Carol Ann Cole end up in the Deep South?  The Times-Picayune provides the following detailed explanation:

Phelps and her sister were raised in Kalamazoo, primarily by their paternal grandmother, from the time Phelps was three. Their parents were divorced and their grandmother gave them stability in an otherwise unstable family situation, said Phelps, who often goes by "Jeanie."

The girls spent their days playing Chinese jump rope, hide and seek, hand clap games and cards. When they pretended to play school, Carol Ann liked to be the teacher.

Carol Ann was mostly happy, her family says. She had such a crush on Shaun Cassidy, that she joined his fan club, wrote him letters and adored the photos she got in exchange.

But their mother, Sue Cole, said Carol Ann was often moody too. Sue Cole said she was worried someone had sexually molested her oldest child. In 1979, when Cole decided to move with her own mother from Kalamazoo to San Antonio, Texas, Carol Ann said she wanted to go too. Cole had four brothers and a sister there and her mother wanted to be close, she said.

Phelps stayed behind in Kalamazoo with their paternal grandmother. It would be the last time she would see her sister.

Sue Cole, now 70 and living in Kalamazoo, said her daughter immediately began having difficulties in Texas. She removed the braces from her teeth. She started running away. Cole said she sought counseling to try to help her daughter. But she eventually brought Carol Ann to a residential girls' home in Texas, hoping it would help straighten her out.

Cole remembers little about the home. She is not sure how she found out about it, what it was called or where exactly in Texas it was located, she said.

A few months after leaving her daughter at this girls' home in Texas, Sue Cole was informed that Carol Ann had run away.  It was around November 1980, when she would have turned seventeen.  The Cole family knew that Carol Ann made it to Shreveport, Louisiana because she kept in touch through occasional phone calls and letters. 

Then right before Christmas 1980, the calls stopped.  The last call Carol Ann made was to her paternal grandmother in Kalamazoo.  The grandmother looked up the number on the phone bill (from which Carol Ann had called) and dialed it.  A voice on the other end of the phone said Carol Ann had been staying with them. The paternal grandmother can't remember with whom she spoke, and she was told that Carol Ann went to a party and never came back…

Sometime in 1981 Sue Cole (Carol Ann's mother) returned to Kalamazoo to take care of her dying mother.  The following year, Sue found out she had cervical cancer and her mother passed away.  She was so consumed with illness and death that the memory of Carol Ann must have faded.  The paternal grandmother attempted to find Carol Ann until her death in 2000.

The Times-Picayune article (published February 20, 2015) includes the following information:

Phelps said that two weeks ago she filed a missing persons report on her sister. As best she can tell, it was the first time law enforcement took the information and entered it into a national missing persons database.

Her questions are endless. Why did Carol Ann run? What and where was the girls' home? How did she get to Shreveport? Why didn't anyone do more to find her?

Phelps said that when she was young, adults told her little. But as she got older, she started to believe her sister met a terrible end.

In her 20s, Phelps began searching for Carol Ann herself. A devoted friend named Patty Thorington helped. Phelps contacted law enforcement in Shreveport, she said, but it didn't really go anywhere. Over the years, Thorington and Phelps posted information on Craigslist and Facebook seeking help. They contacted police departments across the country with unidentified bodies that sounded like possibilities.

"I just missed my sister," she said. "I missed her. I missed her."


On Wednesday (Feb. 18), Phelps accompanied her parents to a police station in Parchment, Mich. Sue Cole and ex-husband, Dan Cole, both submitted DNA swabs to help Bossier Parish detectives determine whether Bossier Doe is their daughter.

A Facebook profile page created by Bossier Parish Sheriff's detectives Feb. 6, revealed details of an unidentified woman whose description sounded remarkably like Carol Ann. She was a teenager. She was wearing items reminiscent of a girls' home. It looked like she had taken off her braces.

The page generated tips that led detectives to Carol Ann's family…

New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia was open from 1971 to 2001. It took in girls like Carol Ann, girls whose families felt they needed help managing their behavior. Runaways were common.

So was Carol Ann Cole ever at New Bethany Home for Girls in Arcadia, Louisiana?  Some are trying to determine just that…

We understand that shortly after Mack Ford died on February 11, 2015, some old photographs were removed from his residence, including the one shown below.  Does anyone in this photo resemble Carol Ann?  (Hint: front row). Shot

Now take another look at the photo of Carol Ann Cole (below on the right).  The hair is parted in the middle on both girls, and take a look at those similar facial features, specifically:  the eyebrows and lips and that cute nose.  Could the young lady in the New Bethany pew be Carol Ann Cole? Doe Facebook Page

It is certainly worth pointing out that Mack Ford, the founder of New Bethany Home for Girls, modeled his school after those established by Lester Roloff, an IFB evangelist from Texas who set up a number of controversial religious girls homes.  The first Roloff home, Rebekah Home for Girls, was located in Corpus Christi, Texas.  Is this where Sue Cole left her daughter Carol Ann?  We will be publishing a scathing post on Rebekah Home for Girls in the coming weeks.

According to interviews with former New Bethany residents, it was not uncommon for girls from Rebekah Home for Girls to be transferred to New Bethany.  Also, residents of New Bethany would often make attempts to escape, scaling barbed wire fences that enclosed the compound and darting through the wooded area that surrounded it.

The Times-Picayune article reveals that someone who attended New Bethany Home for Girls in the early 1980s contacted them to say she believes Bossier Doe (who has since been identified as Carol Ann Cole) was her "watcher" for two weeks until she disappeared.  This individual has reached out to law enforcement.

Bossier Doe was wearing socks and shoes similar to those New Bethany girls were required to wear. 

Finally, Arcadia, Louisiana (where New Bethany Home for Girls was located) is approximately 40 miles from where Carol Ann Cole's body was found (near Shreveport).  It's a fairly straight shot due West.  Now that Bossier Doe has been identified, we are praying for justice


Lydia's Corner:   Leviticus 6:1-7:27  Mark 3:7-30  Psalm 37:1-11  Proverbs 10:3-4


Bossier Doe Mystery Solved – DNA Proves She’s Carol Ann Cole — 102 Comments

  1. who’s that dark-haired young man in the back pew, looking into the camera? he immediately stood out to me.

  2. Wow, fantastic piece of work. At least the family know now. I can’t imagine the tyranny of the unknowing for all those years. And the plot thickens with that last photo doesn’t it? Things done in darkness are being drawn out into the light. I only wish there was some way of helping those girls, I wonder if we have similar ‘programs’ or places here in the UK?

  3. Beakerj wrote:

    I wonder if we have similar ‘programs’ or places here in the UK?

    There were plenty in Ireland, so I don’t doubt the same existed in the UK. It sounds like utter fantasy, but then you realise this did indeed exist. Like Rotherham, it sounds unbelievable, but then you realise it was true…

    And yes, the photo of the guy sitting in the pews alerted my radar – from where he is sitting and how he is sitting, he seems to be in a position of proprietory power over them.

  4. Beakerj wrote:

    I wonder if we have similar ‘programs’ or places here in the UK?

    ; whereafter Haitch wrote:

    There were plenty in Ireland, so I don’t doubt the same existed in the UK.

    Sadly true on both counts. There was something telling about these monstrous institutions here. The inmates were known, colloquially and sometimes officially, as “fallen women”. Likewise, the recently-deceased Mack Ford appears to have described his ghastly prison as a mission project to the incorrigible, unwanted rejects… Destitute, lonely, prostitutes, drug addicts.

    You cannot love people you don’t respect, nor is it possible to help people you despise. The nastiest and most (to re-appropriate Mack’s own word) incorrigible abuse is perpetrated by those who believe themselves superior to their victims and who think the victims are actually benefitting from the abuse. Religious delusion is powerfully appealing to people like that; they can project all of the their own sinfulness and rebellion onto their victims, and punish the victims for everything they themselves refuse to repent of.

  5. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    We fully intend to investigate more of these so-called "Christian" homes for girls and boys.

    If you know the names of any of these institutions in the UK (whether they still exist or not), would you forward them to us in an email? Thanks!

  6. @ Haitch:

    Ditto on what I said to Nick. Please share the names of those institutions via email if you know about specific ones.

    We'll do some digging and see what we can come up with. 😉

  7. Also, if you were a member of any church which recommended the homes that we are discussing, please let us know. Deb will be covering a home which was run by a well known Christian who got into trouble for other things recently.

    Great post, Deb. The Wartburg Tingle is real.

  8. @ dee:

    I'm just reporting on what some very conscientious people have done together. They deserve ALL the credit. I first found out about it last Tuesday. 

    What an incredible story! Maybe someone will do a documentary on it.

  9. Deb –

    This is so sad. I’m wondering if this picture has been turned in to the authorities and Carol Ann’s family?

  10. Deb wrote:

    What an incredible story! Maybe someone will do a documentary on it.

    It is. I'm wondering how these two schools moved young girls around over state lines. How would that not be illegal without parents' permission? There is SO much about this story and these schools that is just wrong.

  11. I keep trying to tell you people Louisiana is a whole 'nother world over there…..and I have roots there. Deep roots. The idea of Jesus, the Devil, HooDoo/ VooDoo and getting on the bad side of any "high church" person practicing any of those, and cash exchanging hands…'s a mess over there, and not just in Cajun Country…

  12. This story breaks my heart. This poor girl…basically treated as a throwaway by her own mother then perhaps sent to a horrible place. My question is whether these now defunct homes have any records or whether it will have to be witnesses who knew her there.

    These places sound like those compounds the Mormons have that operate off grid. Basically prisons for women. If it is deemed a “church” they can operate off grid. What confuses me is how these homes did it with those under 18 who are not their own children?

  13. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Between the Magdalene laundries and the discovery last year of the mass grave of unbaptized infants and children on the grounds of a former orphanage in Ireland, there is clearly (imo) *much* more that has yet to be made public. So heartbreaking.

  14. @ Deb:

    I believe Haitch is referring to the institutions in Ireland that are collectively known as the Magdalene laundries. Google will turn up more info. than you could ever bring yourself to read.

    Note: the Irish government's recent attempt at explaining these places away is pretty incredible, and not in a good way.

  15. @ Lydia:

    Back in that time period, even in the 60’s, the IFB mantra was ‘children should be seen and not heard.’ Women and children were in that same category and treatment. Behavior was a big deal. Rebellion was seen as a very big sin and was not to be tolerated. Sermons on discipline and children were a bi-weekly topic.

    This was around the same time that playing rock and roll records backwards was also part of sermons and guest speakers who were “experts” on the evils of rock and roll were guest speakers in these same IFB churches. It was a tough time to be a teen as I was rebellious and took these sermons as garbage at the time.

    My parents were strict, but the church was stricter. Outward appearances and good behavior by ones children were the difference in having a role in the church leadership or not. Pastors were removed if that pastors kids were rebellious or living with someone not being married or on drugs etc. The pastor could be perfect in his own behavior as well as his wife, but if the children dared live their own lives in any way, or questioned teachings, that was not a good thing.

    If you had a particularly wild child, it was recommended that one send their children to these homes. My friends dad was a doctor in the town I grew up in, and she drank as a teen and went with boys, dressing what IFB considers provocatively.

    I was with her all the time in Jr. High and stayed at her house almost every weekend. Her parents sent her to Rebekah, mine as I said earlier did not.

    But I can’t stress enough, that anything other than strict “Christian” behavior was seen as rebellion. Love and nurturing your children was not pushed, nor always practiced. Discipline and behavior was of the utmost importance.

  16. @ Deb:

    There is so much damning material. Ditto for many of the orphanages in Ireland.

    Mass graves have been uncovered at both sorts of places. What is shocking to me: the many, many deniers. As well as the religious orders which ran them flat out refusing to contribute any money for compensation. Not a single penny.

  17. @ numo:

    Note: there was a public apology by the government, but still, the attempt to explain these places as private institutions that did not use slave labor and that did not have major government contracts is pretty damning.

  18. I might also add that IFB churches are usually small and they only associate with other IFB churches. You could not visit or go to another denomination. Because of IFB church size, they knew a lot of what was going on in their congregation.

    When I was in my twenties, there was a rumor that I was going to get married to the boy I was going steady with at the time, in the court house because of a comment I made to one of the members, and a church meeting was getting ready to be called for my disciplining, until I found out through my dad, went to the church, called the minister out of choir practice and reemed him that it was not true, but if it was that was my business, not the church. That began my journey in getting out and not attending any church. This was the mindset of all IFB churches at that time, and people like Roloff came to churches and to our home furthering this mindset.

  19. Haitch wrote:

    Beakerj wrote:
    I wonder if we have similar ‘programs’ or places here in the UK?
    There were plenty in Ireland, so I don’t doubt the same existed in the UK. It sounds like utter fantasy, but then you realise this did indeed exist. Like Rotherham, it sounds unbelievable, but then you realise it was true…
    And yes, the photo of the guy sitting in the pews alerted my radar – from where he is sitting and how he is sitting, he seems to be in a position of proprietory power over them.

    I meant current ones, I know about the historical Irish situation, my Mum was Irish & went to a Convent School, turned out the attached children’s home had abuse going on in it, my Gran retired as a Priest’s housekeeper at 84, the Priest she mainly worked for for many years turned out to be a paedophile. What’s happening now in terms of religious institutions that we can do something about? I do as much as I can in my day job re. ensuring young people are kept away from Child Sexual Exploitation, & the whole Rotherham scandal couldn’t happen in the same way in my area, thank God, too many people with loud voices prepared to make a fuss. But are there ‘Christian’ schemes going on that I know nothing about?

  20. @ Beakerj:
    The thing is, the “historical” evils in Ireland ended less than 20 years ago, leading me to believe that there are likely similar things going on now, in both Ireland and the UK. We know it’s true of the US; not sure about Canada; Aus – yes, though currently? Am not sure, and maybe Haitch can fill us in.

  21. Bridget wrote:

    I’m wondering how these two schools moved young girls around over state lines. How would that not be illegal without parents’ permission?

    I’m not sure if these two schools in particular used this idea, but…
    In the contracts that some of these schools enter into with the parents, the school requires that they (the school) legally become “in loco parentis” to the child while the child is there, essentially turning over many parental rights and responsibilities to the school, allowing them to do stuff like transport them across state lines, and sometimes worse things.

  22. @ Beakerj:
    Also, ikwym, but when i wasn’t much younger than i am now, there were still lots of so-called “homes for unwed mothers” over here, and there 2ere yirls and young women my age getting sent to them. It is still a vety real isdue for the survivors, and i have no doubt that some so-cso-called religious group or other is continuing to run them.

  23. @ AnonInNC:

    Thanks for that infoformation, as deplorable as it is in these cases where there are no regulations or oversight. In many cases parents may not have realized that these trusted (because they were Christian) institutions could then do whatever the blazes they wanted with tbeir children.

    Who knows. The institution could tell parents that the child ran away, but the institution could have shipped them off somewhere else. If the institution told a parent that the child ran away, then why didn’t the institution make a report with the police about the missing child? In this case, why didn’t the parents also report the child missing? So many questions.

    As far as parents are concerned (and the children), I think this is another form of spiritual abuse by those who called themselves pastors. Yes, so.e parents may have just wanted to ship the child off to get them out of their hair, but I believe that most parents believed that they were sending their child somewhere the child was going to get help. They were led to believe this by spiritual leaders who either knew what was going on and were okay with it, or who never checked these places out. I believe many parents were naive and too trusting.

  24. @ Bridget:

    PS – In regards to this story, I find it hard to believe that the mother does not remember what home she sent her daughter to. Can't buy that. I think there is more to that part of the story.

  25. @ Beakerj:
    Re. England, you might want to do a search on Philippa Stroud on UK newspaper sites. She ran for Parliament in a south London constituenvy a few years back, nearly won. Is a charismatic and used to run a group home with her husband. She said some incredibly appalling things about one of the gitls who lived there, who choked on her own vomit and died while an inmate there. (And yes, i used the word inmate intentionally.) Stroud sued The Guardian over the article they published about her shoryly before the election, and it was offline for several years but is available again as of this writing.

    You can find the relevant links on my FB timeline, from late 2010 or 2011, though Google would probably be less trouble (aand certainly has a better user interface than FB).

  26. Deb wrote:

    I will be looking into this. How did I miss hearing about the Magdelene Laundries?

    Deb, there are also two movies I’ve seen (I’m sure there’s more) dealing with the subject matter: “The Magdalene Sisters”, and a more recent one with Judy Dench, “Philomena”. It’s pretty horrific. The intertwining of church and state makes your blood boil. There are now public statements from Irish women who have survived this ‘system’ and the impact for the rest of their lives.

    This is the Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights’ take on it all:

    Also see below – this is the first I know that it also existed in Australia. I’ll have to do some digging.

    “These medieval and cruel institutions were known in Ireland as the Magdalene Laundries, maybe referring to the work the jailed victims were doing, and so named after Mary Magdalene, who was wrongly thought to be a prostitute. Several such places existed in Australia, England, Ireland and even in North America.”

  27. numo wrote:

    The thing is, the “historical” evils in Ireland ended less than 20 years ago, leading me to believe that there are likely similar things going on now, in both Ireland and the UK. We know it’s true of the US; not sure about Canada; Aus – yes, though currently? Am not sure, and maybe Haitch can fill us in.

    (See the thing is, I doubt these ‘historical evils’ just suddenly stop. I think they reform and manifest as something else).
    This is about the former “Mercy Ministries” – associated with Hillsong (and Gloria Jeans – Australia’s supposed answer to Starbucks)

    “Time to have mercy on the broken of mind and spirit”

    And see also the bottom of the page of this “Ratbags” site, heh

    And maybe someone in the US can tell me what this one’s about (besides the Southern US, they’re in Canada, NZ and UK), which I believe was the ‘mother’ organisation:

  28. The Australian Senate Parliamentary Inquiry into Former Forced Adoption Policies and Practices has a huge amount of submissions from individuals and organisations which details the historical background into practices occurring in the ‘West’, not just Australia.

    As to the Magdalene Laundry that existed in Queensland, see submission 15 under “Additional Information Received” under the title – Slavery and Child Exploitation. Tabled at Sydney Public Hearing 29 April 2011 by Origins Supporting People Separated by Adoption Incorporated.

    I also noticed the website (which I noticed had a submission on the webpage above) as they provide information for research?

  29. @ Deb:
    Philomena is based on this book by Martin Sixsmith There’s also a movie tie-in edition that’s titled Philomena, which you can find if you go to his page on

    There is SO much more available, and, like Haitch, I also believe that these things never go away, but alter just enough to be out of public scrutiny and then reassert themselves. BTW, Irish rocker Sinead O’Connor was sent to one of the Magdalen laundries in her adolescence. There are many other stories of people trying to trace mothers and children who were lost in/through the system, as the nuns changed the first names of the girls and women whom they imprisoned and their families were deliberately misled as to their locations, making it all but impossible for relatives to contact and rescue them from this evil system.

    Also, there has been a lot of activism originating on this side of the Atlantic, as people have tried to trace both mothers and children. Many of the children from the Irish Catholic orphanage system were adopted by Americans. The most recent season of the BBC’s series Call the Midwife deals with this, as does the 1st season. (Based on memoirs by former midwife Jennifer Worth.)

  30. @ Deb:

    Had your life taken a different tack you could have been a top-notch Police Detective!

  31. @ Haitch:
    i agree completely on your take re. systems reforming and using other names and means to keep going. also, thanks for the Hillsong links. have mentioned it in comments on past posts, but nobody seemed to follow up on the links i posted… not sure why.

  32. numo wrote:

    Re. England, you might want to do a search on Philippa Stroud on UK newspaper sites

    Cr@p, I know these people. this is very close to home. Time to email Deebs.

  33. Bridget wrote:

    How would that not be illegal without parents’ permission?

    The place here in New Mexico had the parents appoint Mr Chandler as legal guardian of the boys, so legally he was pretty free to do whatever he wanted.

  34. @ Beakerj:
    well, I’m extremely skeptical about the people who’ve rushed to Stroud’s defense, as well as the claims made on her behalf. I realize The Guardian has its slant, but the things published in their article (and others) sound SO familiar to me.

  35. @ Beakerj:
    The quote from that Guardian article on Stroud, which are taken directly from her own book, God’s Heart for the Poor, that I mentioned earlier:

    “In the book [Stroud] discusses the daily struggle of running the hostel. ‘One girl lived in the hostel for some time, became a Christian, then choked to death on her own vomit after a drinking bout. Her life had changed to some extent, but we wondered whether God knew that she hadn’t the will to stick with it and was calling her home.’

    So, God took this kid’s life? ISTM that that is what she’s saying, and further, that she and her husband and othr staff members are therefore innocent of any negligence (ed.) in not keeping a good watch on this girl. The place in question is associated with new Frontiers and Terry Virgo. (‘Nuff said.)

  36. Debbie Kaufman wrote:

    Back in that time period, even in the 60’s, the IFB mantra was ‘children should be seen and not heard.’

    Yes, I remember that mantra.  A family I knew that implemented it had poorly functioning children as they grew up.

    Whenever I hear this phrase, my blood begins to boil. So glad I didn't grow up like that, and I did not parents like that!

  37. @ numo:
    Meant to say “negligence” rather than “misconduct,” but ISTM that both words apply. Also, that has to be THE most horrible quote I’ve seen from anyone who is involved in so-called “ministry” to troubled kids, though doubtless there are tons and tons more. That Stroud actually published such a statement is beyond question; if I lived in her borough, I’d have run screaming the other way at election time.

  38. @ numo:
    P.S.: copies of Stroud’s book are available used at this link. (And likely through as well.) So anyone who wants to see for themselves can knock themselves out, starting at 1 p.

  39. Deb, just a thought: Magdalen is an alternate spelling of Magdalene that has been used in both the UK and Ireland. I prefer it (I know, I’m kinda quirky that way!), and wondered if you knew that? I mean, it comes to the same thing in the end. (Just as negligence and misconduct are very closely related.)

  40. @ Beakerj:
    Indeed. I was incensed when I 1st came across the Guardian article (I read there pretty regularly), and was shocked to see that it had disappeared within hours of publication. (It was available rre. Google Cache for a while, but not long.)

    Fwiw, since the “pastor” at That Church is an English charismatic C of E-er, married to same, it hit close to home for me, too. (Lots of those sorts of folks came through the doors on trips here, and spoke and whatnot. One of them: the REv. Charlie Cleverley, who is a good friend of said “pastor” and his wife. You probably know Cleverly’s name; if not, he’s easy to find via Google, since he has a BIG presence in the charismatic wing of the C of E.)

  41. @ numo:

    When I Googled it, I saw it with an 'e' at the end, so I thought that was the correct spelling. Thanks for letting me know. Just looks kinda funny without the 'e'. 😉

  42. Hey Numes, I have emailed the Deebs about this as I know someone who worked with her here & abroad for many years & is deeply involved with New Frontiers to this day. It is a dreadful thing to say about the death of a young person, but akin to Lewis’s ‘a severe mercy’ type of thinking, at least on the surface. I have a lot of problems with the reading the mind of God that a lot of these kinds of charismatic groups do. The night shelter work in Bedford is mostly to do with homelessness & has always had a good reputation to my knowledge, though a lot of the workers there would have been ‘keen young Christians’ without much – or any- training for that kind of work. Basically I wouldn’t have let them near my youth project, not without training & a bit of deprogramming.

  43. @ numo:
    it is, obvy, a much older spelling, from the time before standardized spelling was developed for our language. But I kinda like it, and it definitely isn’t sounded out as “Magdalene” in reference to the College. I have heard that the correct pronunciation is close to the word “maudlin,” but I have no idea if that’s 100% correct, and welcome more info.

  44. @ Beakerj:
    Deprogramming: yes, and you’re certainly wise to think so! I see that there are quotes about how to handle demons and mental/emotional problems supposedly caused by demons on the site you linked to.

    My intention is not to blacken anyone’s name, but man! I used to be a charismatic, and have heard it ALL before. And it is just plain wrong, especially in that awful quote about the girl who died, as well as the attribution of sexual orientation to demonic oppression/possession. Just mind-boggling, but when you’re in that world, it makes sense. (As do many other crazy beliefs, once you’re surrounded by others who are fervent about them.)

    Sorry to hear that it is so very close to the bone for you, beaks.

  45. Beakerj wrote:

    at least on the surface

    yes, so much is “on he surface” about that statement, it’s not funny. I think the wording must have been gone over and edited and proofed, and I don’t see anything justifiable about it. It reminds me, quite frankly, of John Piper’s blog post about the tornadoes in Joplin, MO a few years back (which my niece, her husband and their daughter barely escaped), that “God killed” and “Jesus killed” (direct quotes) people in Joplin because he was judging them. (There’s more along those lines, about God having “dragged His fierce fingers” through Joplin and whatnot.)

  46. Beakerj wrote:

    has always had a good reputation to my knowledge

    I believe you about this, it’s just… so many things. (Which I’ve mostly said, though I haven’t touched on some aspects of it at all, since they seem to be beyond the remit of this blog.)

  47. @ Beakerj:
    Of course, there’s this (from your link):

    “‘I once saw Philippa cast out a demon in French: that stuck in my mind, I was really impressed that she was fluent enough to talk to a demon in French.'”

    There was a time, many moons ago, when that would have impressed me, too. As for now: no comment.

  48. @ numo:
    I know. Sooooo much of what is held up as amazing spiritual proofs – miracles etc – turned out to be at just such a level. The things I encouraged myself to believe with such proofs encouraging me…ug.

  49. Just a point of clarification for those insulted or put off by the term incorrigible.

    When our son had his first bout with mental illness and needed to be admitted to a residential treatment center, he was an older teen. Part of the commitment procedure, and later part of the sentencing to a secure treatment facility for a crime he committed, was declaring him an incorrigible.

    It was not meant to demean anyone. Not him, not us. It simply meant we had sought to aid and control him, had sought medical and mental health and educational intervention, and had exhausted all reasonable means of preventing this teen from acts of delinquency and risk of harming himself or others.

  50. numo wrote:

    the correct pronunciation is close to the word “maudlin,”

    You are correct, Numo. I was asked to spell ‘Magdalen’ in a quiz at school and spelled it and ‘Caius’ (pronounced Keys) incorrectly, not being familiar with English colleges. By the way, CS Lewis had rooms in Magdalen College, according to wikipedia.

    I’m glad Carol Ann Cole’s body has been identified. I am sorry she died so tragically.

  51. @ Estelle:
    How on earth did those questions end up in a quiz? A trivia contest might be more apt!

    Thanks muchly for the help plus mention of Caius – had forgotten about thst one. The pronunciations make no sense to me, but Magdalen was established in 1458, and language and pronunciation have changed so much since then…

  52. numo wrote:

    Sinead O’Connor on her time in one of the Magdalene Laundries…

    That explains a lot.

  53. @ numo:

    She’s special advisor to Ian Duncan Smith. the “Christian” welfare minister who in between lying about his academic credentials, has presided over reforms of the welfare system which have, literally, led to mentally ill people starving to death. In 21st century Britain.

    She also seems to be an advocate of “pray away the gay”

    All in all, two nasty pieces of work.

  54. Pursuing a slight, but pre-existing, tangent:

    Gonville and Caius (“keys”) college, Cambridge, is where Stephen Hawking (for the movie portrayal of whom Eddie Redmayne recently won the Oscar for Best Actor) is currently a Fellow.

    Magdalene College is in Cambridge; Magdalen College (no second “e”) is in Oxford. I studied at the former. Both are indeed pronounced “maudlin”. I well remember Chris Hancock, the college chaplain while I was there, praying for “this college of St Mary Magdalene [“maudlin”] during choral evensong this week.

  55. Richard wrote:

    All in all, two nasty pieces of work.

    I’ll say. And on this side of the pond we’ve got ‘charismatic’ Scott Morrison heading up the Department of Social Services (at the moment).

    I just found out tonight my local Anglican has committed to a proactive approach to social justice issues. Best heart-stirring news I’ve heard all week.

  56. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I studied at the former.

    Nick, can I ask about your time studying there? My only knowledge of Cambridge is watching movies like “Cambridge Spies” (queue Pink Panther music). Are black tie dinners de rigeur? Would you feel disadvantaged if you didn’t stay at a College but lived in town? Did you get into the rowing thing? See, lots of intelligent questions here…

  57. Dee, thanks so much for reporting on this. I wondered at first what this case might have to do with TWW’s usual fare. Then I saw the photo. Who knew there might be a connection to Mack Ford?

    Some people upthread were asking about examples of such homes and institutions in Canada (where I’m from). I’m sorry enough to say that I know of a few:

    The Indian residential school system was funded by the federal government, starting way way back in the 19th century, but it was run by the churches (Catholic, Anglican and Protestant). Ostensibly, it was intended to educate, convert and “civilize” First Nations children to help them get along better in Canadian society. What really went on there was more akin to cultural genocide, with children beaten and punished just for speaking their native languages or worshipping their own way. Malnourishment and poor hygiene were rampant, as well as physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The last such school was shut down in the 1990s, but the scars will probably be felt for years to come.

    Then there was the Ideal Maternity Home, which opened in 1928 in Nova Scotia. It was run by an SDA minister and his wife as a home for unwed mothers. They wound up profiteering from the sale of babies in illegal adoptions, and killing babies that they considered “unadoptable”. I remember seeing the school dramatized in a TV movie called “Butterbox Babies”.

  58. Whoops, the last sentence should have said “home” instead of “school”. And sorry that all I have right now are Wiki links. Must get to bed soon.

  59. @ Richard:
    Thanks; i am well aware of her stance on gay people, and the socisl “rreforms” of recent years strike me as anything but. We have analagous situations here, in many respects.

  60. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Pursuing a slight, but pre-existing, tangent:

    Gonville and Caius (“keys”) college

    Keying off your comment, off the southern coast of Florida we have a chain of islands called Keys which are from the Spanish “cayo” which is probably related somehow to Gaius/Caius. There are cays, which are a particular type of coral island, and not all keys are cays. “Cay” is pronounced either as rhyming with “say” or “sea.” There is even a lovely resort named Hawk’s Cay on Duck Key. Avoid Mouseworld and check out the Everglades and the Keys. Lots more to do and see there. End of promo.

  61. Back, to the OP, what a great use for social media. I still do not see how even a church-based facility can avoid inspections for safety and health. It makes sense that religious teaching would be exempt, but the legislators who block health and safety standards and accountability are complicit with the harm that results. I wonder if this is not more “slippery slope” thinking by the legislators. Makes no sense, even from the perspective of wanting to preserve church/state separation.

  62. I am fascinated by how technology advances in the forensics world has been able to solve cold cases such as this. I hope this family is able to find a bit of peace with knowing what happened to Carol Ann.

  63. @ Kathi:

    It truly is incredible! I’m keeping Carol Ann’s family in my prayers, and I am praying that her killer will be identified. May justice prevail.

  64. Deb – My daughter is considering studying criminal forensic science in college. I’m going to have her read this article. I’m hoping she has the stomach to pursue this field. As fascinating as it is, I find it to be a compassionate field as well.

  65. @ Serving Kids In Japan: It was hard reading about this. Their ‘Christian’ beliefs could justify murder? I’m guessing they were influenced by the stream of thought also used by the Nazi party (I’m not pulling a Godwin) to destroy (in addition to their regular list) the disabled and the gypsies. Often Canadian Indigenous documentaries feature on our local Indigenous TV channel here. It’s not easy watching. I remember the 2008 movie, “The Necessities of Life” – In 1952, an Inuit hunter named Tivii with tuberculosis leaves his
    northern home and family to go recuperate at a sanatorium in Quebec City (it was bad enough for him as an adult – think about the kids…) The word, “Benevolent Society” – could often be an oxymoron I think.

    Personally, I’m keen to visit the former sanitoriums in Hawai’i for TB and leprosy, and know more of the individual stories of those who lived there. I believe one place is still ‘out of bounds’.

  66. @ Gram3:
    Of courses churches have to comply with basic regulations as to fire exits, disabled ramps, bathroom facilities. But don’t think that one weekend when the ladies’ room was shut down is going to mean jail. The bigger issue in Hobb’s story IMO is that a pastor has been convicted on not getting his wife to church regularly (whatever that ambiguous wording means).

  67. Kathi wrote:

    Deb – My daughter is considering studying criminal forensic science in college. I’m going to have her read this article. I’m hoping she has the stomach to pursue this field. As fascinating as it is, I find it to be a compassionate field as well.

    Good for her! I wish her well in her aspirations.

    I find DNA to be quite fascinating. It has become a useful tool in identifying criminals and in exonerating those who were wrongly prosecuted.

  68. @ Godith:
    I was thinking of the children’s homes like New Bethany, not the OPC trial fiasco. It doesn’t make sense to me that church entities like schools and children’s homes should be exempt from health and safety regulations on religious freedom grounds.

  69. nmgirl wrote:

    Bridget wrote:
    How would that not be illegal without parents’ permission?
    The place here in New Mexico had the parents appoint Mr Chandler as legal guardian of the boys, so legally he was pretty free to do whatever he wanted.

    mack Ford had most parents (mine did not sign anything) give custody to him and that gave him the right to act as a parent. When parents’ kids run away and report physical and sexual abuse, LE file a report. LE have no reports of sexual abuse. I called Shreveport and Arcadia La in 1993 and told social workers that at 33, I had nothing to gain, and I employed the worker to verify kids’ safety.
    Like many placements, homes, institutions. Especially, church led, obtaining the child’s Social Security check is possible because of the temp custody.
    “Gods Will” was whatever Mack Ford’s said. I find strange that Bienville Parish is not pursuing the other pedophiles from New Bethany.

  70. elastigirl wrote:

    who’s that dark-haired young man in the back pew, looking into the camera? he immediately stood out to me.

    I don’t know yet if the young man at the very back of the chapel in this pic has been identified. However, according to at least one person who was identified in this pic, it should place the time it was taken around ’79 or ’80 during the spring/summer months. A couple other people identified in the second picture taken at the same time as the chapel pew picture above also supports the approximate date it was taken.

    I find it odd that, at least publicly, law enforcement local to where Carol Ann Cole’s body was found seem to have no interest at all in looking into even the POSSIBILITY that Carol Ann Cole was a prisoner at New Bethany, now that she has been positively identified. I’m guessing that this is because if it is confirmed that Carol Ann was at New Bethany, that would cause problems for law enforcement’s effort to pin her murder on John Chesson, who is currently in prison for the murder of another woman committed in 1997. The media has (purposely?) failed to mention that the woman Chesson is in prison for murdering did not die under the same circumstances determined by investigators. The media local to that area also (purposely?) are failing to question law enforcement’s statement about Carol Ann wearing the jeans of which they made the picture public, when the condition of those jeans points to it not being scientifically possible that they were on her body. Questions about this have not been met favorably by the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.

  71. @ Kathi:
    One of my favorite character portrayals on TV is Olivia Benson of Law and Order SVU. She shows strength and compassion and even becomes depressed at times. I bet your daughter will be a real life Olivia.

  72. @ Jo:
    I am planning to call law enforcement in the area in the near future. I will keep everyone up to date when I speak with them.

  73. watching wrote:

    Questions about this have not been met favorably by the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.

    I plan to give them a call in the near future.

  74. @ Gram3:
    I do not think church schools or church “homes” (daycare, eldercare, what have you) are exempt from anything but taxes. However, it sounds like Louisiana is not the most uncorrupt state in the Union. More likely an old boys network or bribes precluded proper oversight.

  75. Debbie Kaufman wrote:

    Love and nurturing your children was not pushed, nor always practiced. Discipline and behavior was of the utmost importance.

    That line makes me sick to my stomach & sick at heart!
    What obscene twisting of Scripture ever convinced folks that they should abandon love for their precious children into behaviourism?
    I am reminded, forcibly, of the words of Christ to those “believers” (so-called) at the day of Judgement: “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity! I never knew you!!”

  76. @ K.D.:

    K.D., your comments about Louisiana are so terribly unfair and just wrong. Your post immediately ticked me off.

    There are bad people and places all over the world – even in Texas – and I love Texas.

    My thoughts are with the sisters and brothers of this poor young girl whose mother (egg donor) just dumped her and promptly forgot about her.

    I am so sorry Carol Ann Cole was thrown away like trash. She deserved better.

    Northern Louisiana Cajun