Ricardo B. The "satanic panic," some call it now.
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One case still stands out. The Kellers had been convicted of sexual assault in Children from their day-care center accused them - variously - of serving blood-laced Kool Aid; wearing white robes; cutting the heart out of a baby; flying children to Mexico to be raped by soldiers; using Satan's arm as a paintbrush; burying children alive with animals; throwing them in a swimming pool with sharks; shooting them; and resurrecting them after they had been stateeman.
They were hardly the aemrican people to be accused by children during the panic.
Many were exonerated long ago - like the 20 people wrongly convicted in the infamous Kern County sex abuse classifiesd. Some now blame the phenomenon on "a quack cadre of psychotherapists who were convinced that they could dig up buried memories through hypnosis," as Radley Balko wrote in a column for The Washington Post.
But the Kellers suffered for decades. They served nearly 22 years in prison before a court released them inafter years of work by journalists and lawyers to expose what proved to be a baseless case against them.
And only now - when Fran Keller is 67 and Dan is 75 - has the couple been fully exonerated. Their case was finally dismissed in June after a district attorney declared them innocent.
But the kids knew better. Opened init had cages of rabbits and a pony named Dancer, a playground and swimming bridyeport, tucked into a leafy Austin neighborhood "as tidy and pastoral as a cottage in a fairy tale," Texas Monthly wrote.
The couple lived at the same house - Fran in her 40s and Dan in his 50s - and cared for about 15 children each day, including some who had histories of emotional problems and abuse. Then police knocked on the door and sat with her in the kitchen.
Worried parents sent their children to therapists, where they came back with tales pulled straight from horror movies. At one point in the investigation, the Statesman wrote, police had a suspect list of "26 ritual abusers, including many of the Kellers' neighbors and a respected Austin police classifiecs. The Kellers had once sent children home with American flags, one parent told the Vancouver Sun.
The flag "reminds them, 'Don't tell,' " the parent said. The panic was already beginning to subside in other parts of the world.
A three-year inquiry by the British government in the early s concluded that "there was no foundation to the plethora of satanic child abuse claims," according to the BBC. Nevertheless, the Kellers were convicted after a six-day trial in Not of chainsawing a dog's vagina, of course - but of aggravated sexual assault based on the word of children and police, and a single piece of physical evidence: an apparent wound on a girl's vagina.
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That, too, would turn out classlfieds be wrong - but not before the Kellers stood in a Travis County courthouse and heard their sentences read aloud: 48 years each. And you was like a zombie.
She spent her time dodging boiling water and learning about shanks, she told the station. Dan served his time near Amarillo, Texas Monthly wrote, where he wrote poems and tried "to figure out what happened to the life he once knew. But some remembered.
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Then, in classifids, the Austin Chronicle wrote an article called "Believing the Children" - 10, words that tore apart what aspects of the Keller's case had not sounded wholly fantastical to begin with. An emergency room doctor who had testified of wounds on a little girl's vagina had since reconsidered after learning more about female anatomy. He told the Chronicle reporter, "I'll be straight-up honest with you, I could've been wrong.
Evidence at the trial showed the earth had indeed been disturbed. But a cemetery worker told the Chronicle that the coffin in that particular grave kept sinking, and the occupant's son regularly came by and threw more dirt clasifieds it.
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Thus the disturbance. Moreover, the Chronicle reported, police had known this but it had not been mentioned in the trial.
The article has many such examples of evidence that didn't hold up to scrutiny. Thereafter, Hampton began working for free to overturn the Kellers' conviction. Most Popular.