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Monday, September 29, 2008

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father

posted by on September 29 at 16:58 PM

Well, gee. It’s too bad that two of the three little girls adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Bowman of Maryland are dead, but at least they had male and female role models.

Renee Bowman, 43, has been arrested on allegations that she abused her 7-year-old daughter, who was found walking barefoot on a neighborhood street Friday night.

The neighbor recounted today that the disheveled girl told him: “My mother just beats me. She just beats me to death.” … Bowman admitted to beating the girl with a “hard-heeled shoe” and later told Calvert County authorities, who had executed a search warrant at her home and found the freezer with human remains, that they were “of her two other adopted daughters,” according to a news release from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office.

Police told the Associated Press they cannot be sure the remains are of the two girls, ages 9 and 11, until autopsies are performed.

The seven year-old girl was found wandering the streets in a pink nightgown when a neighbor, Phillip Garrett, saw her wandering the streets barefoot in a nightgown. The details of their encounter are heartbreaking:

Garrett, 21, was smoking a cigarette with his neighbor on his front lawn. He called out to her. “I said, ‘What’s wrong? Are you OK?’ ” According to Garrett, the girl answered, “My mother just beats me. She just beats me to death.”

Garrett, who is a fashion designer and lives with his parents, said he embraced the girl… He carried her into his neighbor’s home and called 911. The girl told Garrett that she had not eaten in days, and he ordered a pizza. She requested pepperoni and ham, he said.

As they waited for about an hour, he said the girl told him she had stayed outside the whole night and had tried to knock on people’s doors but no one answered…. Of her two sisters, Garrett said, “She said her siblings had been beaten to death and one day, they just didn’t come back.”

Wait a minute—Garrett is a fashion designer and lives at home with his parents? Holy crap, sounds like he might be a homosexual. Think of the danger that little girl was in—alone with a homosexual like that? Mercy.

RSS icon Comments


That's heartbreaking. Sometimes I can't believe my life is so easy when there are horrors all around.

Posted by Carollani | September 29, 2008 5:02 PM

The homos always try to lure you in with pizza.

I hope that girl gets good foster care and still has a chance to become a happy person. She's got a long, long ways to go.

Posted by Fnarf | September 29, 2008 5:07 PM

Don't forget that he has a cocker spaniel named Cocco. Either that's a misspelling of "Cocoa", or he named his dog "Cock-O".

Posted by demo kid | September 29, 2008 5:16 PM

I hope there's a place like the Ryther Child Center that she can go to.

Posted by Jesse | September 29, 2008 5:21 PM

@ demo kid,

Well, duh, it's short for "Coco Chanel". He is a fashion designer.

Sheesh, I hope the kid winds up with a good parent this time Garrett.

Posted by yucca flower` | September 29, 2008 5:27 PM

I just saw the interview with Garrett (no relation) on a local TV station. You sorta got that impression watching him on camera.

Seems like a really decent guy. Good thing she wandered his way and not back into her adopted mother's caring arms. Apparently the little girl had tried knocking on several other doors in that neighborhood and couldn't get anyone to answer.

Posted by Bruce Garrett | September 29, 2008 5:34 PM

this is a time where I cannot fathom the depth of evil in this world. it's like a sucking black hole of death and stench.

what were her sister's remains doing in the freezer anyway-casserole?

Posted by 4f...sake | September 29, 2008 5:42 PM

Calvert County, Maryland.

How neighborly.


Posted by PC | September 29, 2008 5:44 PM

Oh -- and don't forget the _adopted_ part -- these parents went through a screening. I guess the screenings aren't all they are cracked up to be. They can look for this / that / the other thing, but still miss child killer?

Posted by spudbeach | September 29, 2008 5:49 PM

Thank goodness county officials were able to rescue that poor girl from the clutches of a suspected homosexual. She is indeed lucky that she has a mother and father to go home to.

Posted by gay dad | September 29, 2008 6:04 PM

Now that I have kids of my own it really bothers me to read this kind of stuff. How does this happen? - Weren't these children in school?

When our daughter was born we had the public health nurse come over to our house (Canada) - she also did a follow up a couple months later and again when our son was born. We had a schedule the first two years of regular doctor 'check-ups' - if at any time we were suspected of abuse we would have been listed as 'at risk' and Social Services would have been all over us.

Not saying that stuff doesn't happen up here (usually on an Indian Reservation where they are not subject to the same laws) but the government goes out of it's way to try and prevent it.

Posted by DavidC | September 29, 2008 6:23 PM


Apparently, the children DC residents that were adopted when their "parents" lived in a close-in suburb of DC. They later moved to Calvert County, MD and they were never registered in school.

According to the Washington Post, the "parents" were recieving $2400 a month to take care of the girls.

Posted by ChristineW | September 29, 2008 6:37 PM

I've never seen one sign that Savage gives a fuck about these poor victimized kids he's uses to get hits and make his relentlessly anecdotal whiny point over. It's voyeuristic and a type of child abuse every time he posts this shit.

I'd be more impressed if there was ever a sign of actually caring about these kids and a stepping out of the narcissistic mewlings here to make a difference for kids who are abused and neglected. I'm pretty sure only giving them to gay men couples isn't the answer, Dan. But keep stomping through your ego swamp here.

Wait a minute—Garrett is a fashion designer and lives at home with his parents? Holy crap, sounds like he might be a homosexual. Think of the danger that little girl was in—alone with a homosexual like that? Mercy.

God you're a fucking whiner.

Posted by Bob | September 29, 2008 7:28 PM

So let me reframe my point in a somewhat less antagonistic way - how much does The Stranger donate to charity for disadvantaged children/families each year? If not in $'s then how?

What benefits for kids/families does it involve itself in? Fundraisers that benefit abused or neglected children? Anything?

Just curious.

Posted by Bob | September 29, 2008 7:41 PM

@13: If he was all about the Web stats, he'd just be posting one Savage Love Letter after another.

There is a place for the savagely sarcastic when the rest of the world is spewing hearts and flowers and lollipops and unicorns about children, all wrapped in a web of heavily Christian hypocrisy, but the basic situation is not changing fast enough: too many kids needing loving homes and too much resistance against decent, stable gays, people of different races, etc. who want to provide those homes.

Posted by rob | September 29, 2008 7:56 PM

Humans are evil.

Posted by ProudToBeElven | September 29, 2008 7:57 PM

@14: I would say the regular use of a bully pulpit is, in itself, a major contribution.

Posted by rob | September 29, 2008 8:02 PM

I've never seen one sign that Savage...

Blah, blah, blah... He's a parent himself. There are probably dozens of other ways you could point out the damage conservative hypocritical moralizing has damaged the lives of kids in this country (let alone the rest of the world), but I can appreciate why this business of Every Child Deserves A Mother And A Father particularly nauseates him.

So let me reframe my point in a somewhat less antagonistic way...

Too late... much does The Stranger donate to charity for disadvantaged children/families each year?

How hard have You worked to insure kids who need to be loved and cared for are placed in loving, caring homes regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the adoptive parents? I really care about the welfare of kids and all...right...?

Posted by Bruce Garrett | September 29, 2008 8:13 PM

Bob's too busy kicking ass in bar fights to worry about the children.

Posted by Fnarf | September 29, 2008 8:23 PM

Aaah, the Morbid Pornography of Vindication.

Dan - why post these here? You're speaking at an audience that is probably 99.9% homogeneous when it comes to gay marriage.

If you want to make your point in such a morbid way, at least post these somewhere where it might actually change someone's thinking.

Posted by *sigh* | September 29, 2008 10:08 PM

Clearly making observations about the world is wrong. And even if making observations about the world weren't wrong, as #20 pointed out, the place you choose to post those observations is probably wrong. Also, making observations about the world, thinking, and describing those thoughts and observations to others is dishonorable and weak. There should be no observing, thinking, or discussing. Only donating. Preferably, according to #14, to a cause that has little to do with the actual observations you were making.

Posted by Captain Jack | September 29, 2008 11:08 PM

Captain Jack - careful, that kind of specious logic will get you elected to high public office really fast! ;)

Posted by *sigh* | September 29, 2008 11:20 PM

Im not sure how to respond to the comments made about me. But i think what is most important to understand that reqardless to sexual orientation or where and who you live with, the bigger story was that this little girls life (whos name is Joi) was saved and possibly protected because i just so happen to be outside. There are tons of evil and sick people in the world: people like this woman Renee and people like you Fnarf/Demo-kid/Gay-Dad that twist stories around to your sick and demented pleasure. For once can people see greater good in something and not focus on all the other bullshit or atleast focus your energy to the real problem.

Posted by Cocco | September 29, 2008 11:33 PM

Someone needs an irony update.

Posted by M'thew | September 30, 2008 1:01 AM

@20 suggests these Every Child posts can change someone's way of thinking ... does anyone truly believe these anecdotes will convince someone who thinks children should have moms and dads and not dads and dads or moms and moms to believe otherwise? That these luridly revealed events of child abuse somehow proves anything?

For those of you that buy this hype, it's a symptom of being incredibly mush brained and thinking entirely from an under-regulated emotional place and I get why you're such Savage defenders.

This whole line of specious reasoning simply uses vulnerable infant and child victims of horrific abuse to make political points. And please, as always, make sure to provide examples of how the Christian fundie right does the same intellectually dishonest thing to indict homosexuals, because, afterall, if your enemies do it then it's ok for you too (See: Dick Cheney/Dan Savage School of Moral Relativism).

So, again, I wonder if The Stranger provides anything positive to victims of child abuse and neglect. They don't seem to mind using them to make their political points, just curious what they give back to communities of vulnerable kids. Guessing probably not much. Other than narcissistic self congratulatory hipster fests, does The Stranger sponsor any actual positive community events that actually, you know, help people?

Posted by Bob | September 30, 2008 4:18 AM

Hey Bob @ 25 - you've got the Internets and you can probably Google (you can, after all, type). How about posting some links to stories about kids beaten to death by their adoptive gay parents? It'd be good to have three examples or so, so it won't be anecdotal...

Posted by Ivan | September 30, 2008 4:39 AM

@25 Yes, I think making these points can occasionally change minds. Lots of people read the internets. Most of them, especially the fundamentalist types, won't change their minds no matter what, but some will. I have discussed gay right issues with a number of people (who were mildly anti-gay) and every once in a while, someone has changed their mind. Dan does sometimes come off sounding cold, but anyone who reads his stuff regularly should know that's just his style.

Posted by snoozn | September 30, 2008 8:09 AM

Every time I see a story like this I donate ten dollars to Children's Hospital. You could do the same. It won't stop these heart breaking examples of abuse, but it will help children a great deal.

Posted by Vince | September 30, 2008 8:33 AM


True, Dan may be preaching to the choir, and posting this might not do much good, but you know what really won't do any good? Not posting it.

There are people who don't believe that the problem is this bad, or this widespread. Maybe, by reading this, they will become aware, and for someone, this might be the catalyst to get them off their asses.

My question is, if she adopted these children, why was she receiving money for them. If you adopt these children, do you not take on full financial responsibility for them? And if you can't, are you not then excluded from adoption? See this sounds like a foster parent program without the incovenience of having to go back and check up on the children. So to answer the question someone had as to why the other kids were in the freezer, aside from the whole murder charge (and why hasn't she been charged with more than child abuse, by the way), but she also lose her paycheque. Who knows how long those kids have been frozen, but she got her cheque every month.

Posted by Charm | September 30, 2008 10:33 AM

Is Dan preaching to the choir? Sure. But it's not about trying to convince us. It's about giving us information. When I get in to a fight with some batshit crazy fundalmentalists, I'll have some hard evidence that their theory that every child must have a parent with a penis and one with a vagina is wrong. If we don't share information with each other, we'll lack the information to share with those who oppose us.

Posted by Strawberry Limonade | September 30, 2008 12:22 PM

A member of the media is posting NEWS STORIES? About THINGS THAT HE TALKS ABOUT AND THAT MIGHT BE RELEVANT TO AN ISSUE HIS READERS ARE INTERESTED IN? Dear God, that's DISGUSTING! I totally agree with Bob. In fact, I don't think that any media member should EVER post a story about abuse. They're just trying to sell papers/ad time, and it's so wrong to expose abusers and give us the opportunity to mourn the horrifying things that human beings have done to each other. More stories about rainbows and cookie-baking, Mr. Savage!

Posted by Kerri | September 30, 2008 3:57 PM

@Strawberry Limonade - good point but I wonder if this kind of information really makes a difference. I doubt that even the craziest fundie would actually deny that straight parents also abuse children. And if they actually were crazy enough to believe that straight parents DON'T abuse children, then I doubt this information would make a lick of difference.

And if we really wanted to use information as a weapon, then one-off anecdotes don't really help - you'd need actual studies of large populations to make any kind of point.

And SLOG has posted information about studies about gay parents before and THOSE posts I really appreciate.

I really like most of what Dan has to say, but these posts of his are just morbid sensationalism akin to the way FOX news operates.

@Kerri - you and Captain Jack must be working from the same playbook. Your hyperbolic sarcasm kind of distracts from the fact that you're not really saying anything.

Posted by *sigh* | September 30, 2008 10:09 PM

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