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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Ode To Candace......

She Was Born An Innocent......

"Angela Maria Elmore gave birth to a 9-pound daughter on Nov. 19, 1989."

"Angie wanted Candace, planned the pregnancy. She played classical music and read stories aloud when she was pregnant. She said she'd heard that it would make her baby smart someday."

"I had plans for her. I wanted to put her in ballet. I wanted to put her in dance.
I wanted to do all these things for her," Elmore said.
She wasn't a behavior problem at all," says Candace's first-grade teacher. Others note that she was fond of animals and particularly kind to special-ed students."

"Once, when Candace was student of the week, she designed a poster about her life.
In the spot for family she wrote about Chelsea and Michael, the little sister and brother left behind.
Her classmates taunted her. She was adopted. She had no sister and brother.
Candace insisted that she did, and she brought in their pictures to prove it."

"After Candace moved on to third grade, she'd drift by Pinkerton's room for hugs. "It made me feel special," she said. {Pinkerton} "I really loved her."

"Candace watched each morning as Bill Skubish, who lived across the street, drove his motorized wheelchair to the bottom of his driveway to retrieve his newspaper.
When Skubish fell and was hospitalized, Candace made him a get-well card on her computer: "For Mr. Bill Skubish from Candace Newmaker."

"Even at 3, Candace had a strong personality.
She was rebellious but tenderhearted, her grandmother said.
She couldn't stand to see anyone cry.
And she could flash a temper.
Most of all, she tried to protect her family.
She mothered her brother and sister, and she tried to keep her father from hurting her mother. Candace wedged herself between Todd and Angie when they fought.
"She would beat up her father for beating on me," Angie said.
"I always said she was half-grown when she was born."

"Candace's biggest problem seemed to be missing her birth family. Kids at school taunted her for constantly drawing pictures of Michael and Chelsea, the brother and sister they assumed were figments of her imagination."

"Candace loved animals."

"Candace also liked horses. She drew them, read books about them. Family snapshots show her comfortably in the saddle, holding braided reins, her ponytail dangling from beneath her riding helmet."

"Candace continued to miss her siblings Michael and Chelsea and (go figure!) her mother."

And Died An Innocent......

"Her name was Candace, a 10-year-old girl with long brown hair, a shy smile and a sprinkle of freckles across her nose."

"Thais Tepper, of the Parent Network for the Post-Institutionalised Child says rebirthing is not the way to cope with it.
"There is no basis in science for this treatment. How can screaming at a 10-year-old and torturing her until she accepts another woman as her mother really forge any kind of bond?"

"Imagine four adults whose combined weight is nearly 10 times your own, wrapping you in a blanket and sitting on you. It is controversial therapy called rebirthing used in the US to treat children with behavioral problems.  Only now one of those children has died, suffocated despite her screams for help."

CANDACE: You said you would give me oxygen.
WATKINS: You gotta fight for it.
CANDACE: {vomits} OK, I’m throwing up. I just threw up. {Vomiting} I gotta poop. I gotta poop.
CANDACE: Uh, I’m going in my pants.
PONDER: Go ahead.
WATKINS: Stay in there with the poop and vomit.
CANDACE: Help! I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. It’s hot. I can’t breathe…
WATKINS: Getting pretty tight in here.
PONDER: Yep… less and less air all the time…
PONDER: She gets to be stuck in her own puke and poop.
WATKINS: Uh huh. It’s her own life. Quitter.
JEANE NEWMAKER: Baby, do you want to be born?
CANDACE: {Weakly responds} No. {This is Candace’s last word.}
WATKINS: Candace is used to making her life everybody else’s problem. She’s not used to living her own life
PONDER: Quitter, quitter, quitter, quitter, quit, quit, quit, quit. She’s a quitter…
{Ponder and Watkins chitchat about their dream homes and a million-dollar property nearby that is being remodeled}
WATKINS: Let’s talk to the twerp.

"Candace continued to miss her siblings Michael and Chelsea and (go figure!) her mother."

After Being Forced To Be A Victim of Adoption......

"I got me a puppy, mommy," Candace said on a family home video of her fifth birthday. Shortly after the home video was taken, social services took Candice away."
"I had Candace in my arms and Candace wasn't letting go, and they jerked her away from me, kicking and screaming," Elmore said.

"The reason why Candace wouldn't let her hold her is because Candace wanted her mother and her grandmother and her grandfather."

"The person who understood best what had been done to Candace was her own birth mother, Angela Elmore, who raged at Jeane Newmaker for putting the child in that position.
"You only have one birth," said Elmore. "I'm her mama. What I did was God's will.
What {Jeane} did was cuckoo. She played God with my child."

"Candace continued to miss her siblings Michael and Chelsea and (go figure!) her mother."

An Abusive Adoptive Mother......

"Jeanie was kind of different, a bossy person".

"She kind of reminded me of a sergeant in the service ..."

"Candace Newmaker (born Candace Elmore) was removed by social service authorities from her home in Lincoln County, North Carolina, in 1995. She was given up for adoption (at age 6) to an unmarried Durham heiress and aspiring single mother named Jeane Newmaker, who lives in a five-bedroom house and works as a nurse practitioner.
Newmaker showered her daughter with gifts and affection, but was troubled to find the two weren't "bonding."

"She acted not like a mother but an outraged consumer. She seems to have thought that when she adopted Candace she had a right to a "normal" parent-child relationship. When Candace's natural bond with the mother she'd known for her first six years persisted, Newmaker took Candace to Evergreen to be "cured" of it."

"Candace's problems were no different than you'd expect from a 10-year-old who'd been bounced around in foster care, she said. She thought Jeane had not allowed Candace enough time to overcome her problems."

"She was given an assortment of mood-altering drugs - an anti-depressant, an anti-psychotic to calm her, an amphetamine to combat attention deficit disorder. But the regimens of medication and therapies weren't working. Finally, Jeane came upon a new buzz word being bandied about in adoption and foster family circles - attachment disorder."

"Candace's dosage of Risperdal, a calming medication, was doubled on April 11.
 Jeanne told investigators the anti-psychotic drug was to counteract Candace's history of assaultive behavior - again without providing specifics."

"Jeane started surfing the Internet for information on Candace's "problem."
She discovered ATTACh, the Association for Treatment and Training in the Attachment of Children. She attended one of their conventions in Alexandria, Virginia. There she discovered "reactive attachment disorder," or RAD, the clinical name for a child's inability to bond with new parents.
It may not surprise the reader to hear that a therapist who'd never met Candace
(then at home in North Carolina) diagnosed her with RAD in absentia."

"Since by definition "attachment" involves two people, there's something odd about the way reactive attachment disorder is identified as an illness of only one of them -- the one who's not paying the bills.
But leave that aside.
In Candace Newmaker's case, the oddest thing about her reactive attachment disorder is that it had no symptoms discernible to anyone except her adoptive mother."

"The Los Angeles Times interviewed the father of her best friend, who says not only that he "never saw the two girls argue," but also that he "never saw any indications of a problem."

"I did not have any idea she was a disturbed child," said Wade Marlett, the catechism teacher. "I never witnessed anything vaguely like that or even a tendency like that in Candace."

"Candace continued to miss her siblings Michael and Chelsea and (go figure!) her mother."

And A Victim of Psychiatry......

"ATTACH REFERRED JEANE NEWMAKER to 54-year-old Connell Watkins, whose most advanced degree was a master's in social work from Denver University.
Watkins's practice, like those of a half-dozen other radical attachment-disorder therapists, was based in Evergreen, Colorado.
It was there, in the 1970s, that psychiatrist Foster Cline founded "rage reduction therapy" -- one of those euphemisms, like "re-education," that bundle together several kinds of sadism that would get a person arrested were they inflicted on a non-consenting adult.
Cline's methods crossed the line in any case. Cline stopped practicing in 1988 after a gutsy 11-year-old ran away following a session and described to authorities the abuse he had been made to undergo. Cline settled in court with the state of Colorado and moved to Idaho. Many of his protégés stopped using Cline's therapies at that point. Watkins was the most prominent of his disciples to press on with them."

"As Watkins described it, "I establish that I am in control and that I am the boss at that time."
And how. According to a wire report, during one 160-minute session in the last week of her life, Candace "had her face grabbed 90 times, was shaken or bounced 309 times . . .
was shouted at 65 times, {and} was threatened 49 times with such consequences as being abandoned or institutionalized."
Watkins threatened to shave Candace's head and tattoo it, and asked her if she had ever seen her (natural) mother have sex.
Since Candace proved (to use Watkins's word) "resistive," Watkins and her assistant resorted to insults: "You act pretty stupid. . . . You're a liar and you lie all the time."
All such therapies take not just planning but adult muscle.
As Cline himself explained to a journalist, "You have to use some sort of strength to get the kids to allow touch."

"One notices the line blurring between therapy and rape."

"It blurred further the day before Candace died, when Watkins moved on to "compression therapy." Jeane Newmaker lay on top of Candace and, on Watkins's instructions, licked her face.
That Candace submitted to this was thought a breakthrough.
(*A note from The Improper Adoptee: Candace had not "submitted" to Newmaker's strange and disgusting behavior, she was being to suffer from emotional exhaustion due to abuse).
Watkins decided to "build on" her supposed receptivity, and attempt a "rebirthing" session the next day.
By simulating for Candace a trip through the birth canal, therapists would symbolically "deliver" her to Jeane Newmaker, and erase the inconvenient natural birth Candace had gone through ten years before.
Watkins had been taught the method by the California-licensed New Age marriage therapist Douglas Gosney during a barnstorming tour he made through Evergreen in 1999. Prosecutors alleged that Gosney had been fired from a hospital for "inappropriate contact with a patient," and that he claims to be able to remember his own birth. Gosney would become one of Watkins's most vocal public defenders during her trial."

"A half-hour into it, Candace becomes quiet. Ponder and Watkins order her to scream for her life. She's gagging, but says no. Ponder digs in, repositions herself, breathing hard and grunting while pushing on Candace with her hands and body. Candace gasps for air, then whimpers.
"She needs more pressure over here so she can't ... so she really needs to fight if she wants air," Ponder says. McDaniel obeys, and repositions himself on the pillow over Candace's head. She whimpers again." Getting pretty tight in here," Watkins says. "Yep, getting tighter and tighter and getting less and less air," Ponder says. Ten minutes pass. "Baby, do you want to be reborn?" Jeane asks. A weak response. "No. "It is Candace's last word." She's stuck there in her own puke and poop," Ponder says .Another 10 minutes go by. Ponder reaches inside the sheet. "I got my hand right in front of her face," she says. " No, she's breathing fine," Watkins says. Candace stays quiet. Seven minutes pass, and Ponder places her hand inside again." She's pretty sweaty, which is good," Ponder says. "It is wet inside there. "Watkins gestures to Ponder, putting her hand to her face, as if to ask, is Candace breathing? "Oh, I'm not sure. I touched her face and it's just sweaty," Ponder says. "She's not answered. We could do this forever, just stay here. "Another minute and Watkins decides Jeane must leave the room.
Candace is able to pick up on your sorrow, Watkins says.
Jeane goes to an upstairs room to watch on a TV monitor. She cries. Watkins joins Jeane, encouraging her not to give up, and then goes back to the rebirthing room. Watkins asks McDaniel and St. Clair to leave six minutes later. They join Jeane to watch the session on the monitor, taking Tammy with them. Watkins and Ponder are alone in the room with Candace, bundled in the sheet, still and quiet. They work for four more minutes, then decide to check on her.
They unwrap her. "Oh, there she is," Watkins says. "She's sleeping in her vomit." Candace doesn't move. She's lying on the floor, still and quiet. "Candace?" Watkins says.
"Candace," she repeats, louder."

" Among the most poignant elements in the video are the deference and exquisite good manners that this supposedly rude and cantankerous child shows throughout. She always says please, and frequently says sorry.
At twelve minutes in: "Please quit pushing on me."
At fourteen minutes: "OK, I'm dying. I'm sorry."
At nineteen minutes: "Please, you said you would give me some oxygen."
By contrast, the intimidation of her therapists is blunt and scatological.
At twenty-three minutes, Watkins says, "Stay there with the poop and vomit."
At forty minutes Ponder says, "She's stuck there in her own puke and poop."

"The entire concept of RAD is fraudulent"

"Michael Orlans has practiced in Evergreen, Colorado for decades. At times he has been licensed, at times not. He was the second therapist under supervision of Cline in the T.B. case. Apparently in reference to the case he claims that he was charged with child abuse by a boy who "beat himself" with rocks and that the charges were later dropped. He currently is practicing in Evergreen Colorado and writing articles and books on attachment issues."

"Neil Feinberg is a licensed Social Worker in the State of Colorado whose name is mentioned in the informal "Who's Who" of AT. Feinberg was found, (2000) to have failed to report child abuse within generally accepted standards of practice and has a stipulation against his license for restricted practice. Feinberg also has a previous disciplinary record. (Before the State Board of Social Work Examiners, State of Colorado, 2000)"

"Larry VanBloem practices outside of Salt Lake City at the Cascade Center. He and his associate Jeannie Murdock Gwilliam are facing charges of gross incompetence and gross negligence before Utah's State Department of Professional Licensing. The petition to the board states that VanBloem uses "compression holding therapy" in which he lies on top of the child and "uses his body weight to compress the child client's chest and, thereby, to restrict the child's breathing, promote fear and induce "belly breathing" and that "children attempt to resist these procedures by kicking, sobbing,, screaming and biting."

Both defendants were wholly emotionless throughout the trial.
As one juror put it,   "I was waiting for at least any glimpse of remorse or sorrow or regret that they had ignored Candace, and I was quite shocked that that just never happened."
Watkins and Ponder were not only remorseless but defiant.
Said Watkins, "It could look to the superficial observer of the tape that she couldn't breathe. I knew she could." This was part of a strategy to confuse jurors about what asphyxia is. The defense wanted to focus on the question of whether the blanket had been porous enough to breathe through, and leave to one side the question whether a 70-pound girl's lungs could open under the 673-pound weight of four bouncing adults."
"A psychotherapist convicted of reckless child abuse in death of a 10-year-old girl during a controversial therapy still insists the child's death was not her fault."

"Preceding her 2001 trial for the suffocation death of Candace Newmaker, Connell Watkins was asked by the Assistant District Attorney whether she had ever experienced this "therapy" herself. She replied, "No, I thought it would be too traumatic."

"Candace continued to miss her siblings Michael and Chelsea and (go figure!) her mother."

But Will Always Be Remembered Due To An Aftermath And An Injustice That Will Never Be Forgotten......

"A call for "Candace's law"

"State law required erasing the brief history of Candace Tiara Elmore when she was adopted, but traces can be found.
Back in Lincoln County, records are kept in a small courthouse annex on Main Street. Up on the second floor, big, cloth-bound record books line a desk. Elmore. Candace. Born Nov. 19, 1989. In Lincolnton, one book entry says. When asked to produce the document, a clerk glances at the gray record book to find the number, then walks to a smaller room. She returns carrying a book with the birth certificates for babies born in Lincoln County.
Candace is gone.
The clerk says her certificate has been sent to Raleigh, the state capital, where it's sealed, and cannot be viewed without a judge's order. No one is supposed to know that Candace Tiara Elmore began her life here with a mother named Angela and a father named Todd.
She has a new birth certificate. It says her name is Candace Elizabeth Newmaker and she was born in Durham. It, too, is filed in Raleigh.
Filed 1,548 miles away in Denver is Candace's death certificate.
It says her body was sent to Colorado Cremation Services.
Only a disjointed paper trail and pictures survive her. Photos showing her smile, sometimes shy, sometimes brave, are found in two North Carolina towns, pasted into albums and fitted into frames.
As the criminal case against her accused killers proceeds, people who knew Candace have questions.
Why would Jeane Newmaker, a trained medical professional, place her trust in unlicensed therapists? And why would she stand by while her child begged for air?
Why would all five adults ignore the common wisdom that binding a child in a sheet and covering her face with pillows could be dangerous, even deadly? Who is really protected by confidentiality laws that shield government decisions to remove children from their parents? The children? Or the judges and social workers allowed to make those calls in secret?"
"And what of Colorado's rules and regulations governing therapists, who exert life and death control over children? Are they strong enough? Some states have much tougher laws.
Wade Marlett, Candace's cathechism teacher, is among those in Durham who are angry and confused about Candace's death.
"To what degree do we have the right to make people in our own image?" he demands.
Marlett would like to see a "Candace's Law."  It would outlaw rebirthing, or any restraining therapy."
"In the end, Watkins's lawyers tried to claim Candace's death had had nothing to do with the "treatment" whatsoever. After all, no vomit was found in Candace's lungs. So she could have had a congenital heart condition! She could have died from one of the three medications she had been placed on for her RAD. She could have died from having stopped those medications. Or something. As Watkins put it, "Somehow the 10-year-old inexplicably stopped breathing." Watkins sent this observation to an Internet site set up by her defenders in the attachment-therapy profession. During the trial, Watkins contributed postings in which she warned that a wave of Columbine High School incidents and similar depredations awaited society if she and her colleagues were hindered from bringing future sociopaths like Candace to heel."
"No one outside of North Carolina's family-welfare bureaucracy knows where Candace's siblings Michael and Chelsea are now. Certainly not their mother, Angela Elmore, for under the state's laws, once a child is removed from a home, all parental rights cease. And the state will go to any lengths to make sure they're never reasserted. Candace's very birth was rendered a nullity, through a bit of Zhdanovite airbrushing of the records: Upon Jeane Newmaker's adoption of Candace, the state of North Carolina issued a new -- and fraudulent -- birth certificate, listing the girl's birthplace as Durham and her name as Newmaker. Her original certificate, which records her birth in Lincolnton on November 19, 1989, and her name as Elmore, has been removed from the records. North Carolina's social workers rebirthed Candace before Connell Watkins did."
"It's 10 a.m., Friday, Sept. 22. Autumn has arrived, and five months and three days have passed since the warm, clear spring day when Candace was suffocated near the snow-capped mountains of Colorado.
Angie Elmore, now 29, had clung to the hope that Candace would someday come back to her.
Angie had always figured out a way to get back to her mama, and she believed Candace would, too. No one had bothered to tell Angie the truth. Three water-soaked wooden stairs lead up to the trailer door, which shakes when knocked. After several tries, a sleepy face appears, eyes squinting at the light. Angie is still in her red flannel nightgown and barefoot. She's asked if she's Angie Elmore.
Do you have a daughter named Candace? Yes, yes, she says, grabbing a picture from a nearby ledge. See here, here's my baby, Candace. She points to the taller of the two girls in the clear plastic frame. "Where's my baby? Where's my Candace? Oh my God." She begins to cry and covers her mouth. There's been a terrible accident in Colorado, Angie is told. Candace died during therapy.
Rebirthing? A blanket? Pillows on her head? She's crying and confused, standing in her trailer's living room." They smothered her," Angie finally says, her voice low and cold, understanding.
"That was my daughter. How did she die from a blanket?"  She pushes the hair from her wet face. "Isn't that why they say don't put pillows on babies, don't put bags by them? "It's stupid, it's stupid. You don't put a child under a pillow and push on her." The news of Candace's death had finally come home. Despite being gone for five years, Candace is present in her mother's trailer. Here is the plastic floral photo album, happy pictures at Halloween, Christmas, visitations at social services. Here's Candace and the new doll she received at her third birthday party at the battered women's shelter. Here's her favorite toy, Belle from Beauty and The Beast. Here is her picture with her sister, Chelsea, caught holding hands just before they were taken away."

"I always figured she was going to be taller than me, and that she was going to walk up that sidewalk one day and say, 'Mama, do you not know who I am?' and I was going to say, 'It can't be Candace,'"

"What kept me going all these years she's been gone was the fact that she would find me one day and I would hold her again," Elmore said.

"Candace continued to miss her siblings Michael and Chelsea and (go figure!) her mother".........

I love you Candace.
But you already know that......
Today you would of been 24 and I am 54. (So I've been told...)
No matter how many birthdays I have left I will never forgive them.
But I will continue to teach them.
For you, for me, for all the others.
Rest in peace my darling girl.......

Photo Credits:

Baby Candace:
Property of Angela Elmore


  1. Fuck you Connell Watkins-I second that. I hope someday guilt over what she did hits her in the face hard. I'm probably dreaming though because she is the very sociopath she said Candace was! The fat cow should of been sued by the Elmore's for using that sick transference trick and then got a life in prison sentence. Happy birthday to both of you Improper and I hope Candy is happy wherever she is.

  2. I know right? But I wouldn't count on it OTR.... most "therapists" don't care about their "patients" they only care about the money and the ego trip. I think Watkins was just always a child abuser and this is how she executed it-and child abusers don't give a damn that they abused a child. They're never sorry. I think the Elmore's should of sued everyone too. That Dept. of Social Work that took Candace, Newmaker and Watkins. Since there is no statue of limitation on murder I hope they do something. I want Watkins and Newmaker miserable every day of their lives until they die. That is all they deserve. Good to see you again my friend

  3. Poor little girl. Rest in peace Candace.

  4. Isn't there a death penalty in the US? I think this should qualify for that punishment

  5. This is a horrible crime and they still unpunished. May Candace rest in peace. And she actually did the right thing and I would do just like her if I were in her place. I won't jost bond with someone else's forcefully and I hope someone avenge her Death is the only punishment for Death

  6. RIP Candace Elmore. Those COWS should be killd because Death is the only punishment for Death. Eye for an Eye