Recent stories of long term abduction have flooded our current news. Everyone wants to know why children stay with their captor even when opportunity presents itself. The media scrambles to get expert and eye witness interviews. We place the child in front of a camera to get that smile of relief. We fail to look deeper and ask the real important questions. The young boy stands there confused and afraid. They have just been ripped from all they know, captivity.
That is all about to change. In reading the life story of a former abducted child and revisiting one of the first national cases of child stealing in America, Throwing Stones; Parental Child Abduction Through the Eyes of a Child gives a dark narrative look into the life of a seven year old boy ripped from all he knows, and later returned to a life of hell at the age of eleven.
His baby brother raised to hate a woman he was too young to know. His older sister consumed with her own inner turmoil turns violently on him. Left alone to find his own way he befriends anyone who will give him a sense of self worth. A peaceful and quiet child at the beginning; little Kenny learns to lie, steal and attack anyone who he thinks is a threat. Scared to trust anyone, Kenny goes inward to protect himself. Infected with an internal struggle to hold on to dying memories of a loving mother ripped from him, he gives in. After many lies, little Kenny starts to protect the man he fears most, his Father. Regardless of his outward environment, he finds hope and strength from within.
Clear and sobering, this is long overdue. No other book has been written from the child’s perspective concerning Child Theft. This case takes place before there was the National Center for the Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). His abduction was the first to involve a multi-state-manhunt and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. .
“Daddy, Daddy put me down, help”. Screaming from deep inside my little body, “Your hurting me daddy please let me go”. My father was on top of me shoving me and my sister back into his van. The motor was running and after what he had done to the babysitter I was now terrified of the man I once trusted.- Karrie and I headed down the sidewalk between the apartment buildings to my father’s 1977 red and white Dodge Tradesman van. Father rushed out of the babysitter’s apartment with Sam in one hand, fighting the old woman off with his other arm. He had obviously forced his way into her home and grabbed my brother. I was terrified; anyone would have been. It did not take long for his large muscular body to free himself of this female parasite. Dad passed Sam to Karrie, “Get your brother into the van and hurry”, he yelled. Karrie dropped the bags and fearfully complied with his orders. Like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs, my father was behind us picking up what we had dropped on the way to the van. I climbed onto the back seat over the mound of clothes and belongings we were been able to gather. Father closed the side doors and tried to make a smile at me. His eyes bright and large with a smile that made his face look more like a mad man from my cartoons. “I love you Son”, my father said just barely above a whisper. Karrie tried to fight and make a run for it. She opened the passenger door and down the parking ally she went. Following her example I tried to climb out the side door. It was too late. He already grabbed her and met me at the side door, sister in tow forcing the two of us back into the small entry. Karrie climbed onto the van’s passenger seat. Sam quickly crawled over and onto her waiting lap. She held onto him like a human seatbelt. Dad slid in behind the steering wheel. At that moment I realized he had never turned the engine off. Dad put the red beast into “drive” and away we went, destination unknown
Ken Connelly is an Author, Speaker and Educator on Child Abduction. His specific area is Parental Child Abduction. He has spoken before the Texas State Legislature, law enforcement agencies, and child protective services. He has testified as an expert witness and his involvement with the Center for the Missing and other organizations has helped put a face to this quiet crime. Ken gives a unique perspective as the first successful capture and recovery case, across state lines. Mr. Connelly takes great care in educating the similarities of stranger based and non-stranger based child abduction. Mr. Connelly answers the questions: why do children stay in a long-term-abductions, and why don't children run-away, or ask for help. His book, Throwing Stones, recounts in detail, his experience kidnapped from the age of seven to eleven years-old. He shows how distant relatives, child care providers, religious private schools and gaps in state and federal identification can lead to a successful abduction. Detailing the secret and often hidden emotional breakdown a long-term kidnapped child goes through--leading the child to protect the perpetrator that has inflicted the abuse upon them. Ken lives with his family in North Texas. Ken holds an associate degree from Richland College in Dallas, Texas. He earned his bachelor degree of art and is currently working on his masters degree at the University of Texas at Dallas. Ken is a former law enforcement officer and Veteran of the United States Army. When given the chance, you can find him at 10,000 feet, cameras at his side, hiking with his family and miniature schnauzer, String.