How hysterical parents, incompetent therapists and malicious
destroyed the lives of seven innocent North Carolinians – and
have yet to admit they were wrong
Though last updated in 1997, Frontline's "Innocence Lost" website remains the most comprehensive single source for reporting on the Little Rascals Day Care case.
And you don’t want to miss prosecutor Nancy Lamb’s breathtakingly self-righteous journal article "The Little Rascals Day Care Case: The Ingredients of Two Successful Prosecutions" (1994).
Overviews of the Little Rascals case
– “Child Sex Scandals: Modern Day Witch-Hunt?” CBS Correspondent Mike Wallace’s 1999 report for the “20th Century” documentary series, which opens with the McMartin Pre-School case in California and includes a segment on the LIttle Rascals case.
– Brief for Bob Kelly before North Carolina Court of Appeals (1994)
– Ruling by North Carolina Court of Appeals (1995)
Academic and professional publications
– "Little Rascals Day Care Center Case: The Bitter Lesson, A Healthy Reminder," by Judith Steltzner Abbott, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 3 (2), 1994.
– Excerpts from Family Violence Across the Lifespan: An Introduction, by Cindy L. Miller-Perrin, Ola W. Barnett, Robin D. Perrin. SAGE, Dec 21, 2010, 896 pp.
– The Little Rascals Day Care Center Case: The Ingredients of Two Successful Prosecutions," by Nancy B. Lamb. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 3 (2), 1994.
– “Modern Witch Hunts: How Media Have Mishandled Ritual Child-Sex-Abuse Cases,” a master’s thesis by David O. Loomis, UNC Chapel Hill, 1997.
Case study of press coverage of the Little
Rascals trials suggests that the shortcomings of media coverage “contributed to
avoidable injustices that exercise of the press’ watchdog responsibility could
have prevented.” Loomis, a former newspaper reporter and editor,
now teaches journalism at
University of Pennsylvania.
– “The Little Rascals Day Care Center Case: A Perspective on Medical Testimony in a Prominent Public Trial” by Jean C. Smith, Desmond K. Runyan and Doren D. Fredrickson. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994
– “Sexual Abuse of Children in Day Care Centers,” by Susan J. Kelley, Renee Brant and Jill Waterman. Child Abuse & Neglect, January-February, 1993.
– "What I Learned From the Edenton 'Little Rascals Sex Abuse Trial," by Moisy Shopper, M.D. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 29:513-527, 2009.
– “Why False Beliefs Prevail: the Little Rascals Child Sex Abuse Prosecutions” by Anthony Oberschall in “Essays in Honor of Raymond Boudon” (2000).
– Draft working paper on Little Rascals Day Care case by Anthony Oberschall (2010). Unpublished.
Coverage of Bob Kelly's trial in The New York Times
– First day (1991)
– Closing arguments (1992)
– Verdict (1992)
– Sentencing (1992)
– Reaction to "Innocence Lost" (1993)
– Letter from Anthony Oberschall, UNC Chapel Hill sociologist, to Dennis Rogers of the Raleigh News & Observer in response to the column “What Happened in Edenton?” (Jan. 28, 1993). Unpublished.
– Opinion-page column submitted by Anthony Oberschall, UNC Chapel Hill sociologist, to the Raleigh News & Observer (circa July 1993). Unpublished.
– Jonathan G. Harris suggests "SBFAQ (Should Be Frequently Asked Questions) about Little Rascals, the Ritual Sexual Abuse Hoax and its costs" (1994).
– William L. Anderson compares prosecutorial abuses in Little Rascals and Duke lacrosse cases (1997).
– Carol Tavris puts Little Rascals in context of wave of satanic ritual abuse charges against day care centers (1997).
– S.M.A.R.T. [Stop Mind control And Ritual Abuse Today] exemplifies the continuing if diminished alarmism over satanic ritual abuse. Not a lot about Little Rascals on this site, but a wide range of parallel allegations. Among them: There really were tunnels beneath the McMartin Preschool -- and of course they were covered up by authorities.
– A chilling timeline of the ritual abuse panic
– Public broadcasting journal interviews Ofra Bikel about "Innocence Lost" (1997).
– Video excerpts from the 2007 John Chancellor Award ceremony, where Ofra Bikel was honored for her FRONTLINE and both Elizabeth "Betsy" Kelly and her sister Nancy Smith Barrow spoke.
– For first-time publication here, Raymond Lawrence has written a memoir about founding the Committee for Support of the Edenton Seven and what he saw when he attended the trials. Download the memoir in Word.