A video summary of this week’s post:
Warning: This post is about a small child who was sexually abused and there is a photo that some may be sensitive to. Please skip this article if you are particularly sensitive to this subject matter. Thank you for visiting www.icantbelieveitsnonfiction.com
September 23, 1933 in Ticrapo, Peru…
Lina Medina was born to Tiburelo Medina and Victoria Losea. She was the 8th of 9 children. In April 1939 when Lina was just 5 years old she was taken through the mountains from her tiny Peruvian village to the town of Pisco. The family didn’t leave their town for just any reason. The journey was too perilous for that. It was 4 hours by horse across mountain trails to get to the road where the family could get in a vehicle that would take them the rest of the way to Pisco.
But this trip was necessary as Lina’s mother had begged her husband for 3 months to take Lina to the doctor in Pisco. Her daughter was sick and the family feared she had malaria. When Lina’s stomach began to grow exponentially, her parents feared that she had a tumor.
Warning: Some readers may find the following image disturbing.
Lina, Tiburelo and one of Lina’s brothers arrived at the office of Dr. Geraldo Lozada. He examined Lina. This was a very special case. When Senora de Benavides, the president’s wife, heard Lina’s story she sent the head of surgery of the hospital in Lima to examine Lina. From there, Lina and Dr. Lozada were taken to Lima.
Lina did not have a tumor. She was pregnant.
Shortly after arriving at the hospital in Lima, Lina developed a fever and could no longer walk. Lina gave birth by c-section to a 5 pound baby boy. At 5 years, seven months and 21 days old, Lina was the youngest person in history to ever give birth.
How could this happen? It seems that Lina was born with a rare condition called precocious puberty. This means that she went through puberty at an extremely young age. The average age for a girl to start going through puberty is about 10. It was reported that Lina experienced her first menstrual cycle at approximately 2 ½ years old. Lina had fully developed breast and sexual organs.
Tiburelo was arrested for rape and incest, but was later released because there was no evidence that he had committed any crime. There is speculation the Lina’s uncle fathered her child or that she was raped during a festival in her village. Lina has never revealed who was the father of her child.
Lina named her child Gerardo (after Dr. Lozada) and the two grew up as brother and sister. It was finally revealed to Gerardo that Lina was his mother when he was 10 years old.
Lina grew up and went to work for Dr. Lozada who helped both Lina and Gerardo to pay for school. Lina married Raul Jurado in 1972. The couple had a son in the same year. He was 33 years younger than his brother.
Gerardo died in 1979 from bone marrow disease. Lina and her youngest son are still alive. It was reported that she lives out her life in poverty in a small village in Peru. She and her family refused the spotlight and never profited from her miraculous birth.
A video summary of this story:
Ticrapo, Peru- http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/11403635.jpg
Lina with nurse and son- https://wwwhttps://media.bizarrepedia.com/images/lina-medina-4.jpg
Lina with her son and Dr. Lozada- http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Lina_Medina.jpg
Lina with her husband- https://icantbelieveitsnonfiction.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/9d65c-child6.jpg
A video summary of this week’s post:
In 2008 Ursula Eriksson lived in the US and her twin sister, Sabina, lived in Ireland with her husband and 2 children.
Ursula came to visit her sister May 16, 2008. The two left for Liverpool, England by ferry early the next morning without telling anyone where they were going. When they arrived in Liverpool, the two women headed to the St. Anne Police Station and reported that Sabina was worried about her children’s safety, despite the fact that she left them behind in Ireland with her husband.
After leaving the police station, the ladies boarded a bus to London. They refused to check their bags and sat in their seats hugging their bags to their chests. When the driver stopped at Keele Services (a mechanic shop in Staffordshire), he asked the sisters to exit the bus because he was suspicious of their odd behavior.
The manager at Keele Services reported the twins to police saying that they may have had bombs in their bags. Police interviewed Ursula and Sabina but did not deem them a threat and they were allowed to leave the service station with no further intervention. Keele Services is right next to the M6.
Police were shortly after called to the area because two women were walking along the center median and dodging in and out of traffic. A film crew for the television show “Motorway Cops”  (similar to America’s “Cops”) went with police officers to the M6 (England’s longest motorway and it contains the oldest section of highway in the country ). There is no way they could have prepared for what happened next…
The police caught up with the women on the side of the highway and were talking to them. While cameras rolled, Ursula broke away from officers and headed straight for the side of a semi truck. Officers tried to stop her, pulling off her jacket, but she got away and was run over by the truck.
While police were attending to Ursula, Sabina ran into the path of a Volkswagen, rolled over the top of the car breaking the windshield.
Ursula’s legs had been crushed by the wheels of the truck and Sabina lay in the third lane of traffic. Back up and ambulances were called while the women were covered and attended to by police officers and passersby. Ursula began to try to get up and asked for police assistance. Officers told her, “We’re police, we’re here to help.” She responded, “I know you’re not real,” and spit on an officer . Shortly after, Sabina jumped to her feet and ran away. She punched a female police officer who tried to contain her. Sabina crossed the center median and ran into traffic moving the opposite direction. She removed her jacket and was screaming at officers, “They’re going to steal your organs!” 
It took 6 police officers and civilians to wrangle Sabina back across the median where she was forced to the ground and she was handcuffed.
Both sisters were loaded into ambulances and taken to the Emergency Room.
Police searched the women’s belongings and found multiple cell phones in their bags.
Ursula was taken in for emergency surgery to repair her crushed legs and was held in the hospital for weeks while she recovered.
Sabina was treated and released from the hospital 5 hours later and taken into police custody. Upon her arrival at the police station, Sabina was calm. She made conversation and joked with police officers. She did make one statement that officers took note of, “We say in Sweden that an accident rarely comes alone. Usually at least one more follows-maybe two.” 
The twins tested negative for drugs and none were found in their possession. Sabina did not once inquire about the well-being of her sister while in custody. She was charged with assault of a police officer and trespassing onto a motorway. (Ursula was never charged with anything.) The police called Sabina’s husband in the US who said that he had no idea where she was or why she left.
Sabina was sentenced to 1 day in jail for trespassing on the motorway but was released because she had already served that much time. Later that day Sabina approached two men walking a dog. She asked them if they could direct her to a bed and breakfast. One of the men, Glenn Hollinshead, was a 54 year old paramedic.
He invited Sabina to stay with him. Sabina, Hollinshead and Peter Molloy returned to Hollinshead’s home where Sabina told the men that her sister was in the hospital and she needed to find her. Hollinshead agreed to help her. The three sat around drinking until Sabina offered the two men cigarettes. Before they could light them, she snatched them away saying they were poisoned. Molloy stated that Sabina was nervous and aggressive. He was bothered by her odd behavior and left Hollinshead’s house.
The next morning, Hollinshead made good on his promise to help Sabina find her sister. He called the local hospitals asking for Ursula. He then went to his neighbor, Frank Booth, and asked to borrow some tea. The neighbor promised to bring the teabags by when he had finished in the yard. Moments later, Booth saw Hollinshead stumble out of his house and hears him say, “She stabbed me.”  He had been stabbed 5 times. He died from his injuries.
Sabina was seen leaving Hollinshead’s home with a hammer. She began beating herself in the head with it. She was seen by a passing motorist, Joshua Grattage, who tried to stop her. Sabina pulled a roof tile from her pocket and hit Grattage in the head with it. The paramedics who had been called to Hollinshead’s house saw Sabina with the hammer.
Sabina ran to a nearby bridge and jumped from it. She fell 40 feet and landed on the A50 (another roadway).
She was taken to the hospital with broken bones. She was arrested on June 6th, 2008 and charged with murder on September 11, 2008 (the day she was released from the hospital).
Sabina plead guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility. She refused to answer any questions asked by the police or in court. The prosecution and defense agreed that Sabina was insane at the time of Hollinshead’s stabbing but was fit for trial.
She was sentenced to 5 years in prison on September 2, 2010. She had spent over a year in prison before sentencing and was credited for time served. She was released from prison in 2011 and returned to her husband and children in Ireland.
Upon her release from the hospital, Ursula returned to the US.
There is a common theory to explain the events on the M6 that day: folie à deux. Folie à deux is also called Shared Psychotic Disorder. This is when two people share delusions. There is typically a primary sufferer and a shared partner. It is found most often in female siblings.
This diagnosis was the reason for Sabina’s short jail term. The judge acknowledged that the sentence did not make up for the loss of Hollinshead’s life and was sympathetic to the grief of his family and friends.
The film from the reality show was made into a movie called “Madness in the Fast Lane.” It can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTpFWiEx3eo
A video summary of this story: https://youtu.be/ILuWSHbZrjU
Sabina in roadway-http://bh-s2.azureedge.net/bh-uploads/2016/11/sabina-erikkson.jpg
A video summary of this week’s post:
This is part 3 of Genie the Feral Child. Be sure to read parts 1 and 2 first!
Genie was admitted to the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in November of 1970 and lived there until June 1971. In this time, Genie was growing, developing and building relationships with the scientists and hospital staff studying her.
Jean Butler, one of Genie’s teachers at the hospital, asked (and was granted permission) to take Genie to her house for the day several times per month. On one of these trips, in late June 1971, Butler informed the hospital that she and Genie had been exposed to rubella (German Measles). She claimed that the two of them would need to stay at her home, away from others, during the contagious period.
There was speculation that Butler fabricated this story to gain more permanent custody of Genie, but, if the statement was true, Butler’s home was a better area to quarantine Genie than the isolation ward at the hospital. They were concerned that without continued therapy and training, Genie would begin to regress.
Butler was not married and had no children of her own. She later attempted to become a foster parent to Genie and was awarded temporary custody of her while the matter was being settled in court. The hospital was adamantly opposed to this arrangement.
While in Butler’s care, Genie began going through puberty. According to many studies, this time period marks the upper limits of significant language learning in most children.
Butler became interested in Genie’s hoarding behavior, noting that Genie now filled the plastic containers that she liked so much with liquid and stored them in her room.
Butler also addressed Genie’s fear of dogs during this time. She was given a toy dog and was shown the TV show Lassie. Genie would learn to accept dogs that were contained (behind a fence), but could not tolerate cats at all.
While living with Butler, Genie stopped self-harming and began to talk out her frustration or destroy objects. Genie began to learn and use new words more frequently and no longer needed a diaper. But Butler also began to deny visits to the scientists studying Genie (whom she called the “Genie Team ). James Kent and Susan Curtiss were denied access to Genie altogether.
There was no denying that Genie had progressed well in Butler’s care and most scientists believed that she meant well for Genie, but she was preventing them from doing the work prescribed by the grant they had received.
There were accusations that Butler was difficult to deal with, had issues with authority and some, including Curtiss, claimed that Butler’s main drive was fame. Curtiss claimed that she heard Butler say that Genie would make her “the next Anne Sullivan ” (a reference to the teacher that worked so closely with Helen Keller to teach her to communicate).
In August 1970, Butler’s application to foster Genie was denied. This could have been, in part, because Butler was an employee of the hospital in which Genie was receiving care. Hospital policy was clear in saying that hospital staff could not foster patients. Butler stated that Genie was extremely upset when she was told that she would not be staying with Butler.
It was suggested that Genie could go live with David Rigler and his wife, Marilyn. David had originally applied for and received the grant to study Genie. The Riglers had three children already and Marilyn had previous experience working with children. David was concerned that living with Genie would conflict with his working relationship with her, but the couple agreed that, if no other living arrangements could be made, that Genie could come live with them. The hospital agreed that this was the best option for Genie at the time.
The Riglers originally agreed to keep Genie for no more than 3 months. Marilyn taught Genie while David took over as her therapist. The research team was able to more closely work with Genie while in the Rigler home than in Butler’s.
Upon Genie’s arrival at the Riglers’, she began to require the use of a diaper again. The initial observations of the Riglers were in stark contrast to what Butler had reported. They noted that Genie still regularly self-harmed and was easily triggered to do so. They noticed that she was much less talkative than Butler reported. She was hesitant to speak and, when she did, rarely said more than one word. Unless she was scared, she would often take a long time (several minutes) to respond physically or vocally to a situation. She still did not respond to extreme temperatures and was still very impulsive.
Marilyn noticed that Genie liked when people told her that she was pretty. She was able to convince Genie to vocalize her frustration, instead of self-harming, by telling her that she wasn’t as pretty when she left marks on herself.
Eventually, Genie was able to control herself enough to attend a public school for the mentally handicapped where she interacted with children her own age. At home, she learned to iron, sew and make herself food. Genie learned to share and began to show an understanding of right and wrong.
During the time that Genie lived with Butler, Dorothy had surgery to fix the cataracts in her eyes and was finally able to see. She came to visit Genie weekly during her stay with the Riglers. They began to bond, but there was some tension between Dorothy and Marilyn as the women felt they were both trying to occupy the same role in Genie’s life. Dorothy was skeptical of the scientists working with Genie, while there was underlying resentment of Dorothy from them because she had so badly neglected Genie in the first place. David, in particular, thought that Dorothy was in denial of the damage she had caused her daughter.
Butler remained in contact with Dorothy during Genie’s stay with the Riglers. She steadily convinced Dorothy that the team was not looking after Genie’s best interest and caused further friction between Dorothy and the scientists.
Despite their initial agreement of 3 months, Genie lived with the Riglers for 4 years. She continued to grow physically and emotionally. She still lacked many basic social skills, but seemed very happy during this time.
By 1975, despite only understanding approximately 25 words when she first came to the hospital, Genie could now identify most of the objects around her. She clearly understood what was being said to her, even if she refused to use the word herself. Sentence construction and grammar were Genie’s biggest hurdle. She could imitate correct speech, but could not produce sentences with proper structure and mostly spoke in broken sentences. Scientists were beginning to understand how the brain compartmentalized what words a person knows from their ability to use them in conversation.
One example of Genie’s issues with speech was here confusion between “you” and “me.” She would say you while pointing at herself. Scientist attributed some of this to her inability to tell the difference between herself and others.
Genie learned about money and had an intense desire to earn it. She began responding to activities that would lead to her earning a reward. Despite all her accomplishments, scientist discovered that people who had not acquired a first language before a certain period, would never fully learn one.
Despite this, they did learn that Genie could talk about the things that happened to her before she learned to talk. Genie would say things like, “Father hit big stick” and “Father is angry” . It took Genie a while to understand the concept of death and, for a long time, she was afraid that her father would find her.
Genie was able to express the things she could not say with hand movements and by drawing pictures. She was particularly apt to draw things that scared her. Towards the end of her stay with the Riglers, Genie began to learn sign language.
Genie turned 18 in 1975. This would mark a turning point in Genie’s life. Dorothy decided that she would like to care for Genie herself. The Riglers agreed and Genie was returned to her mother to live in the home in which she grew up. At this same time, the grant that funded the research done on Genie ended and was not renewed.
Genie only lived with Dorothy a few months before she became too much for her mother to handle and was turned over to the California Department of Health. The Riglers stated that they were unaware of this. Genie was put in a foster home at the end of 1975.
Genie’s new home did not allow her mother regular visits and was far less accommodating than the Rigler or Butler homes. While in the care of her new foster parents, Genie was abused physically and emotionally. She began to require the use of a diaper again. Genie refused to speak, or even open her mouth, after she was beaten for throwing up. Curtiss continued to meet with Genie once a week and pushed to have Genie removed from her new foster home after seeing the decline in her language and physical well-being. Genie remained in the care of these foster parents for almost 2 years.
Genie returned to the Children’s Hospital in 1977. She rehabilitated there for two weeks before being placed in another new foster home where she remained for less than a year. Genie was placed in yet another foster home in January of 1978.
Genie was confused by all the moving around and believed that she wasn’t good enough to have a permanent home. She continued to deteriorate during this time.
In 1976 A Psycholinguistic Study of a Modern-Day “Wild Child” was published by Curtiss. Dorothy took offense to the title and contents of the paper. Dorothy brought a lawsuit against Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the doctors and scientists that worked with Genie. She stated that they had breached confidentiality agreements and had prioritized testing over Genie’s general well-being.
Rigler and Dorothy’s lawyers went on to say that Butler had encouraged Dorothy to file the lawsuit. The case was dismissed.
Curtis met with Genie one last time on January 3, 1978 before Dorothy cut all ties between Genie and Curtiss and halted all research and testing on her daughter. Butler remained in contact with Dorothy and reported on Genie’s condition until a stroke in 1986. She died in 1988.
Genie lived in a series of foster homes and hospitals from 1978 until the 1990s. She experienced severe abuse during this time. In 1984, when Genie was 27, she had a birthday party. One of the scientists that worked with Genie was in attendance. He saw her again two years later. He reported that both times Genie did not speak and seemed very unhappy.
Genie spent 1992 in a state-run hospital and only saw her mother, who had lost her vision again, once a month.
In 1993, Genie seemed to be in a better situation, in a supportive foster situation with regular visits from her mother. She began speaking more and seemed much happier. The Riglers, by then, had begun speaking with Genie and her mother again. Upon seeing Genie again for the first time, she was happy to see them.
It is assumed that Genie is sill alive and living in Los Angeles in the care of the state of California. Her last possible sighting was in 2000 by a private investigator hired to check on her current situation. She was living in a center for mentally handicapped adults and seemed to be doing well. She did not speak much, but was communicating via sign language.
Dorothy died at 87. John Wiley, Genie’s brother, has only ever spoken out about himself and his family one time in 2008. He said that he had not seen Genie or his mother since 1982 and did not keep up with the media concerning the case. He said that he had heard that Genie was doing well. John died in 2011.
A video summary of this story:
**Please note: I would not normally use Wikipedia as a source, but this article, in my extended research, is incredibly accurate, well-written and extensive. The writer of this article had access to resources not available to the general public. I feel confident in the information taken from this article for its use in this blog post.
Genie with David Rigler-https://static.businessinsider.com/image/524dc13d6bb3f72025e26a33-400/image.jpg
Genie with Marilyn Rigler-https://static.businessinsider.com/image/524dc18aeab8ea6c0c02bf6b-400/image.jpg
Genie with Dorothy (2)-http://a.abcnews.com/images/US/ht_wiley4_080515_ssv
A video summary of this week’s post: