Child of Rage (1990) Movie Script

I wanna kill you, I wanna kill
you, mommy, I wanna kill you!
A Story of Abuse
Are people afraid of you, Beth?
- Who's afraid of you, Beth?
- John.
Your brother. And why is
your brother afraid of you?
- Because I hurt him so much.
- Okay.
And what... at night time, what do
your parents do to your door?
- Lock it shut.
- Why did they lock it shut?
Because they don't want
me to hurt John.
Right. And they're kind of afraid of...
of hurting John.
Are you hurting John?
Okay. Are they afraid you
might hurt them?
- Yup.
- Would you, Beth?
When would you do it?
- Night time.
- Okay. Why would you do at night time?
Because I don't like them seeing me do it,
but they can feel me do it.
And what would you
do to them, Beth?
- Stab them.
- Okay. What would you stab on them?
A knife.
The program you are about
to see was compiled
from the actual therapy tapes
of Dr. Ken Magid,
a clinical psychologist specializing
in the treatment of severely abused children
- children so traumatized
in the first years of life
that they do not bond
with other people.
They are children
who cannot love or accept love
- children without conscience
who can hurt or even kill without remorse.
This film shows the devastating effects
of abuse on a child.
It also shows that
victims can be helped.
It is the story of
a six-and-a-half year old girl named Beth.
Do you ever stick
pins in people?
- Who?
- My brother.
- Okay. Do you do it a little bit or a lot?
- A lot.
Okay. And what are you trying to do
to your brother?
- Kill him.
- Why do you want your brother to die?
Because I was hurt so bad and I don't
want to be around people.
Okay. Who else would you like to
stick pins into?
- Mommy and daddy. - What would you
like to have happened to them?
Tim is the minister of a small
Methodist church in the south.
He and his wife Julie had been
married for twelve years.
Unable to have children of their own,
they decided to adopt.
In February of 1984, they received a call
from the Department of Social Services
telling them they had two children
available for adoption.
They were told that Beth, 19 months old,
and her brother Jonathan, 7 months old,
were normal and healthy.
We did not need children
to make our lives complete.
We've got security in ourselves and
security in our relationship, but we
wanted to share that with somebody else,
and we felt like we had a lot to pass on
to a child, and that was what we really
wanted to do and when the phone call came,
it was like, "At last it's here!"
And we think like a miracle
what happened, was so quick.
We'd heard of couples that
had to wait 5, 10 years on... on a child,
and here we had two young children, and
it was like they answered to our dream.
Their dream became a nightmare when they
realized that Beth and Jonathan had
severe emotional problems.
We had the kids with us...
Beth and her younger
brother John for... probably a couple of
months until we began to learn something
about their background and their past,
and when we learned it... something's
seemed to fall into place about
her behavior and John's behavior...
From several sources, we discovered that...
that they didn't have enough food to eat...
that perhaps even Beth went all day
maybe with just a box of kix cereal.
John himself was found in a bassinet
with whole patches appearing
all over him and a dirty diaper
and a couple of bottles at his feet.
They had curdled milk and the back
of his head was completely flat.
The front of his head, it balds down
and he, at seven months,
he couldn't raise his head,
he couldn't roll over.
He was... just had no
stimulation and... we think
perhaps that it happened to Beth
and it wasn't very long until
she began showing some signs
of perhaps... even some abuse.
There was a nightmare that she had.
The nightmare was
about... a man
who was falling on her and...
hurting her with a part of himself.
Tell me about your birth father,
what was that nightmare like?
- When he touched my vagina.
- Okay.
And so it bled, hurt it a lot
and so it bled
and... would pain me a lot,
he'd hit on me, wouldn't be
very nice to me.
- How old were you?
- One.
- And, in your nightmare, what happens?
- I get real scared.
Where are you in the nightmare and
what happens in the dream?
- I'm in the house, upstairs.
- And then what happens there?
When he comes upstairs
and... hurts me.
How do you feel
when you talk about this?
- Scared.
- Where is your birth... where is your
birth father? What's he doing?
- He's right there and there's his hand,
his hand's right there. - Where?
- Right there. He can't hold it to you
because it's green.
- What's it touching? - My vaginas.
- And what is your birth father doing?
- Hurtin' it.
Your face looks... sad. Can you
you tell me about that?
Beth's crying, that's... that's...
that's all the tears.
Beth had endured severe neglect
and abuse as a child.
Her birth mother died
when she was one.
Because of this early
childhood experiences,
Beth never developed
the sense of conscience,
love, or trust for anyone.
The earliest sexual abuse
by her birth father
would cause her to exhibit
inappropriate sexual behavior
especially toward her brother.
Does your brother have
private parts?
- Yeah, what are his private parts?
- Penis and butt.
And what do you do with your
brother? With his private parts, Beth.
- I hurt it.
- Tell me about it, what do you do?
Well... I pinch it...
Squeeze it... kick it.
When you do things to your brother's
private parts, what does he say?
- Stop.
- Can you tell me about that?
- Well, he says stop but I don't stop.
- Do you hurt him?
A lot.
Okay. And, would you like
to do that to other boys?
When I caught her with Jonathan
one morning she was molesting him,
He was crying and his pants were down
and I said, "Beth, what's happening?",
and she said, "I pulled his penis and
put my finger up his anus",
and I said, "Didn't he say to stop?",
and she said, "Yeah, he did".
And I said, "Did you?",
she said, "No".
Have you ever rubbed
your private parts?
- Do you do it a lot?
- A lot.
How much do you do that?
Not every single day... and I did...
I did it every single day
until it got real bad and
I stopped and I had to get to the
doctor and I did not like it.
What do you mean by real bad?
Well, it looked real raw...
got all kinds of bruises on it
germs, dirty stuff from my hand...
- And it bled?
She started to masturbate
in inappropriate times.
I remember
one time perfectly,
when we were at the hospital waiting
for Tim to come out, he was there visiting
and Beth and John were in the backseat
not turned around and she had her
legs spread and was masturbating
in a public parking lot,
and I had tried to explain to her numerous
times before that that's private area,
you don't do it
in public places, and...
gone over that with her and
it never seemed to face her.
Julie, how often would your
daughter masturbate?
Daily. Constantly.
- Do you have animals, Beth?
- Four of them.
Can you tell me their names?
Clyde, Chucky, Tarsi and Annie.
And daddy said... a day ago,
that... there's also a stray cat.
He did not have a home so daddy is...
was taking care of it
and took it to the vet when
he can start running and like to get
- And, what do you do to the animals, Beth?
- Stick them with pins.
- Do you stick 'em a little bit or a lot?
- A lot.
What are you trying to do to
the animals, Beth?
- Kill them. - What do they do
when you stick them with the pins?
Well, Annie cries...
she's a dog.
She got baby birds
down out of the nest.
We thought maybe
she was just curious.
So we explained that she could hurt
them... put them back.
And went through a whole sitting down and
talking to her about the problem of it.
And the next day we went out to
check the baby birds and they were
on the ground dead
with their necks broken.
Let's talk about what happened
once when you were smaller,
when you... when you
found some baby birds in a... in a tree.
- What did you do to them?
- I took them out.
And what did mom say to you?
That the mother
would not come back
if somebody touches her babies.
Are the baby birds kind of small?
Can you describe them for me?
Well, they don't have
their eyes open
but they can hear... hear me
and they would go up.
Are they kinda helpless,
little baby birds?
- Can they fly?
- No.
Can they run away?
- Yes. - They can? Are they easy
to catch or hard to catch?
- Hard.
- Yeah, well it's hard to remember.
- With the baby birds, what did you do?
- Took them out of the tree.
- And what did you do?
- Played around too rough.
I saw one at the end,
I picked it up,
and I thought it was dead
and I came to say
"Mommy, is this bird dead?"
and she said...
she called daddy
and said "Tim", and...
and daddy came and...
I think I remember
that they said yes.
And so... so did
the little baby birds die?
I don't know.
- You don't remember?
- I just remember, the last thing
I remember that mommy and daddy said
the last bird we got was dead.
Do you know what mom said to me?
She said that all of them were dead.
Did you squeeze 'em? Did baby
Beth squeeze them?
You're doing a good job, honey, go
ahead and tell me what happened.
- I squeezed them.
- And what happened?
They died.
And this kind of aggression in our animals
and even at her brother Jonathan
was beginning to grow
to such an excess
that our life was
miserable at home;
we had, John would cry
in the mornings
and said his stomach hurt,
we, for the longest time, we thought
maybe this child has... has some
problem with his intestinal area
or maybe has allergies and so we'd
try to get all of that checked out.
Come to find out Beth was coming out
of her room and hitting him in the stomach.
And so as a last resort, just to
protect him, we had to tie her door shut.
So I guess for, what...
the last three or four months now,
we've had to tie her in at night,
sort of barricade her.
The repercussions of
Beth's tragic childhood
led to uncontrollable rage,
despite the love and nurturing
of her adoptive parents,
she took this rage out on herself,
on her brother and on them.
Her acts of violence became
more and more cruel and frightening.
Well, I noticed several like pair of knives
in the kitchen missing,
and my first thought was Beth
and I felt a little guilty
about it at first,
but... I really didn't
even mention it to her
and it'd been gone several weeks.
She was sitting at the table, drawing
and mentioned to me,
"What are those knives look like,
that are gone, mom?".
And I said, "What knives,
Beth?", and uhm,
she said, "Weren't they kind of silver
and about this big?".
And... I knew the end,
and this little smile,
that's not a sweet smile
but a malicious type of smile,
and I knew then,
I thought she's got them.
Tell me about the knives,
where did you get them?
From the drawer.
And, where else?
Do you remember?
Tell me about it.
- I got them from the dishwasher.
- What kind of knives?
- Big, sharp ones. - And what do you
wanna do with those knives?
Kill John and mommy
with them, and daddy.
And when mommy asks you about
where the knives are, what do you say?
I don't know where they are.
What did you think
she might do with the knives?
My first thought was Jonathan.
And the reason we thought
that was that... she had,
by this time, she had tried to kill
Jonathan on several occasions
and openly admitted that.
In the basement, she was hitting
his head against the cement floor,
I heard screams and ran down
and had to literally pull her hands
off and she looked wide-eyed.
Did you get real mad at him?
Did you hit his head real hard?
Tell me about it. How many times
did you do it? A lot?
What was the floor like?
- Cement. - And what happened
to your brother, tell me about it.
His head hurt real bad,
but his chin, he had to
have stitches in it.
Could you stop?
- Use your words Beth.
- No.
Okay. What was your brother doing
when you were doing this?
Playing with the toys.
Okay. Was he asking you to stop
when you... when you were doing it?
What was he saying?
He said, "Beth, stop!"
And what did you do?
I didn't stop.
I just kept on hurting him.
What were you thinking
when you were doing that?
Thinking of killing him.
How did you stop?
What made you stop?
When I heard people walking
across the kitchen.
That made me stop because I thought
mommy and daddy would come.
Okay. Did mommy come?
What did she do?
- She sent me to my room.
- Okay.
And what if mommy didn't stop you,
what would you have done?
Kept on doing it.
After evaluating the status
of Beth's psychological problems,
Dr. Magid felt that for the well
being of the family,
Beth needed to be temporarily
separated from them.
In April of 1989,
her parents brought her
to a special home with
an expert at raising children
with early attachment disorders,
especially children who were dangerous
to themselves and others.
I have children that
have killed numerous times.
Cold blooded family members,
neighbor, children, killed them.
And they can do it.
Makes my blood run cold just to
think about it! 9 years old.
People don't think a 9-year-old is capable
of cold-blooded murder but they are.
That attachment break
that severe damaged to the heart,
the ability to care
and the ability to love.
They don't care and they don't love,
their capable of anything.
We're very strict,
very strict about everything.
Everything is completely monitored.
We take complete control,
because a child who's
unattached does not trust.
And because they don't trust, they don't
allow anybody to be boss of them.
So we take complete control,
they are not boss of anything.
They have to ask to get
a drink of water,
they have to ask to
go to the bathroom,
they have to ask
to leave our sight.
Part of that is because
we cannot trust them,
because of the damage
that they've done before.
Beth, would you like
to say grace, please?
Heavenly Father, thank You
for this good day and
everybody doing good.
In Jesus name, Amen.
They believe that they are evil.
They believe they're from the devil.
They believe that they are not a person
of value. We have to change that.
We have to build that
from a child who's nothing,
who's a bad kid
in their own mind,
to a child who's
valuable and loving
and they see themselves as that.
When they do it sure well,
we can say,
"You did a good job!
You're a good worker",
and then, it just builds
a self-esteem little by little
so that they change the way
that they see themselves.
Several months into treatment in
this controlled environment,
Beth had made progress
and her therapist decided
to loosen some of the controls.
Anybody wants some more?
Beth continued to show
signs of improvement.
She began to develop a
sense of right and wrong.
She seemed to respond to affection,
she's more outgoing.
She went to public school.
Made friends of a local church, and
even sang in the choir.
- Are you gonna go into
summer school next month? - Yeah.
That's Elijah?
Yeah. That's a beard, see his beard,
and his nose, that is.
- Quite big. - Yeah. See his beard,
it's kinda floating in the wind...
Elijah's taken up in the heaven
with the fiery chariot.
who that's...
that's where that's Elisha,
that's the other prophet took
Elijah's place. He was left there's Elijah.
You know, you learned about sheep,
"the Lord is my shepherd."
March third you just
got that yesterday.
In the beginning, we couldn't
trust her with anything.
She was locked up at night.
We had alarms on the door at night,
so she wasn't sneaking around doing
things with the other children.
We don't worry about that anymore.
There is no alarm on her door at night now.
She sleeps in the same room with my
own daughter and I trust her that much.
She brushes the dogs and
I trust her that much.
Because she has
earned that trust,
she's learned that she has a heart
and she has a loving side
and she feels bad when
she does something now.
In the past, because
she didn't have a conscience,
she didn't feel anything
when she did something bad.
There was just no feeling there.
And now she does feel bad,
and it shows in her face.
I believe that Beth can make it.
She's got a really bright mind.
She's got a good heart now,
which has done a lot of healing.
She's got a really
super set of parents.
They're powerful, they're
knowledgeable, they're motivated.
She's done a lot of good work with you
in therapy, with Kennel and with myself,
she wants to heal.
And that's the number one key
and she wants to heal because she
has a family that really cares about her,
and she wants to be with them.
Do you know where
that anger came from?
That's when my birth dad...
hurt me and
I had it all inside and I remembered
it and I started doing it.
And, what did that do?
That what's inside.
It made me want to hurt
people really bad.
And, who did you hurt?
My brother, my mom and
daddy, and the animals.
- And the animals.
- Who did you hurt the most?
- My brother.
- Who did it hurt the most? - Me.
Why don't you tell me that?
- It hurt me the most.
- Why did it hurt you the most?
Because when I hurt
other people...
I'm hurting my... good self.
How do you feel
right now, Beth?
- It's kinda tough to talk
about it, isn't it... - Yes...
Beth gave her last interview
for this film in December of 1989.
Although she had made progress,
she would still need extensive therapy.
Not all abused children are
as deeply scarred as Beth,
but all abused children
suffer a profound hurt
for the rest of their lives.
The road to recovery is long
and hard for the abused child.
There are more than one million
new victims of child abuse
in America every year.