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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Knitta Please, Indeed

posted by on October 16 at 10:41 AM


This just in from Slog tipper Jahara:

You may already know this, but apparently Rebecca Long, of the child starvation in Carnation story, was an avid knitter and maintained a blog. Eerie reading.

Indeed. From the KOMO news report on Long’s arrest for criminal mistreatment of a her now 14-year-old stepdaughter:

Sheriff spokesman John Urquhart says the girl weighed only 48 pounds when contacted by deputies Friday, and had been given only little food and water for several years.
[I]nvestigators said they found the girl’s mother restricted her water intake to about half of a small Dixie cup per day. The mother only let the girl shower every two or three weeks, and watched her during each shower and bathroom break to keep the girl from surreptitiously drinking water.
The girl and her brother were forced to sleep on the floor in the same room as their parents, and a heavy dresser was pushed in front of the door to keep her from sneaking out and getting water, Urquhart said. The girl said the dresser was placed there after she was caught one night sneaking out of her own room to drink water from the toilet. The girl told deputies that on one occasion, her mother duct-taped her hands behind her back and dunked her head in the toilet as a form of discipline. Detectives searched the home and found the girl’s room had a double deadbolt on the door used to keep her locked in the room. They also collected evidence that the family had health insurance and that her little brother had seen a doctor in the last few years.

And here’s a taste of the well-maintained knitting blog Shades of Green:

A glance at my stash growth is eye-popping. Why yes, I’ve bought yarn for 72(!) more projects than I’ve finished since November 3. Yowser!

Read more yarny ramblings from an alleged monster here.

RSS icon Comments


This entry is good:

I didn't realize I had been ordering so often

I just called Toshi's Teriyaki to order four beef bowls to go. The chick asked, "For Rebecca?"

Posted by Fnarf | October 16, 2008 10:57 AM

Holy Fark. This woman is a full-blown sociopath. She oughta be vice-president!

Posted by Johan | October 16, 2008 10:58 AM

The photos of her smiling son make it especially creepy.

Posted by willendorf | October 16, 2008 10:59 AM

can we please kill these two?

the worst thing was that the Seattle Times article on the discovery of their starved daughter had the nerve to call Mrs. Long a "Stay at Home Mother"

that is an insult to all the women who opt to not go to work and care for their children and their families.

(thanks mom for your mostly unappreciated efforts all those years ago)

Posted by Gordon | October 16, 2008 10:59 AM

A Stay at Home Scum-Sucking Pig is more like it.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 16, 2008 11:11 AM

Thanks Schmader, I was trying to find that horrible woman's blog yesterday. Although, I am sure it is gonna bum me out.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 16, 2008 11:14 AM

I'll never look at grandma the same way again.

Posted by gregg | October 16, 2008 11:14 AM

Try searching for "daughter" in the monster's blog. There are plenty of references and pictures of the son, but not one of the daughter, even over a four-year period apparently.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 16, 2008 11:17 AM

Where was the father during all this?

Posted by Schweighsr | October 16, 2008 11:23 AM

Um...did anyone notice the little boy crying with his hands held in the air in the second picture?

Posted by zephsright | October 16, 2008 11:26 AM

@9- Modeling sweaters, apparently.

Posted by kuzibah | October 16, 2008 11:34 AM

i cannot read about this - just put the little girl with a good family & get her a good psychiatrist, which she'll need forever.

session 1 will be titled: it's NOT your fault.

Posted by max solomon | October 16, 2008 11:40 AM

I'm so tired of you guys always ripping on knitters! You probably think crocheting is the pinacle of home crafts. Assholes.

Posted by In MN | October 16, 2008 11:44 AM

Where was the birth-mother is what I'm wondering?

Posted by Tiktok | October 16, 2008 11:45 AM

Oh wow, I used to read her stuff on occasion. Truly fucked up.

Posted by Bemaha (Knitter) | October 16, 2008 11:52 AM

Oh, my god. I can't even describe how creepy this is, as a knitter.

There's a social networking site for knitters called Ravelry, and this woman has a profile there, also nicknamed "rainydaygreen" - ( with nearly 2000 posts on their forums, which stopped about five months ago.

Unfortunately the site is in beta and you must be a user to log on, but it has 200,000 users who are all completely creeped out now, I'm sure.

There's a Flickr link I'll post in a second - apparently I'm spam for posting more than one link.

Posted by Hayley | October 16, 2008 11:53 AM

It seems like the majority of her nearly 2000 posts on Ravelry have to do with her support of Hillary Clinton - by god, she's a Democrat.

She's also got a Flickr account -

Posted by Hayley | October 16, 2008 11:56 AM

I know knitters. She's not odd at all. Talking about her stash growth, buying too much yarn, completing projects -- this is what knitters talk about. She's involved in charity. She made sweaters for her parents. She looks and sounds perfectly normal and pleasant; her husband looks perfectly normal and pleasant. You could know these people and you wouldn't think anything odd about them.

They just have something bad and out of control going on out in the garage.

This is what evil really looks like: a smiling man in a hand-knit sweater. Kindly twinkle in his eye. He could be me, so easily.

I think momma is mentally ill. Those posts stopped in February. I think she knew that what was happening to her and to her family and her daughter was bad and wrong but didn't have a clue how to stop it. It's so much easier to pretend it isn't happening, and it gets easier and easier the longer it goes on and the worse it gets.

She liked to watch Law and Order, but the bad guys on TV are never complex or interesting, and they're never LIKE US. But in the real world, every bad guy starts off as one of us, and is still just like you and me even as they find themselves doing the unimaginable.

If you can't imagine yourself doing this, doing the unimaginable, you're fooling yourself. We all have this inside us, even as we all have that miserable little girl inside us too.

Posted by Fnarf | October 16, 2008 12:08 PM

Fnarf has been reading Lord of the Flies, I see.

Posted by Jonathan Bailo Thomas | October 16, 2008 12:17 PM

Well, that's one way to get more people reading your blog.

Posted by K | October 16, 2008 12:40 PM


Posted by Gloria | October 16, 2008 12:40 PM

No. I just think it's instructive, and maybe a little terrifying, that I feel like I'm MUCH more similar to these people than I am to the people leaving "U should be raped in prison WHITE TRASH BITCH" comments on her blog. Is that awfully white middle class of me? Perhaps. But although I don't know these people, I KNOW THESE PEOPLE. I've met and talked to them a thousand times over; they're my friends, my relatives, the couple I met at my neighbor's Christmas party and chatted about the downtown library building with.

Posted by Fnarf | October 16, 2008 12:41 PM

Thank GOD I bought that industrial blender.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 16, 2008 12:49 PM

"Do you know, Watson," said he, "that it is one of the curses of a mind with a turn like mine that I must look at everything with reference to my own special subject. You look at these scattered houses, and you are impressed by their beauty. I look at them, and the only thought which comes to me is a feeling of their isolation and of the impunity with which crime may be committed there."

"Good heavens!" I cried. "Who would associate crime with these dear old homesteads?"

"They always fill me with a certain horror. It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside."

"You horrify me!"

"But the reason is very obvious. The pressure of public opinion can do in the town what the law cannot accomplish. There is no lane so vile that the scream of a tortured child, or the thud of a drunkard's blow, does not beget sympathy and indignation among the neighbours, and then the whole machinery of justice is ever so close that a word of complaint can set it going, and there is but a step between the crime and the dock. But look at these lonely houses, each in its own fields, filled for the most part with poor ignorant folk who know little of the law. Think of the deeds of hellish cruelty, the hidden wickedness which may go on, year in, year out, in such places, and none the wiser. Had this lady who appeals to us for help gone to live in Winchester, I should never have had a fear for her. It is the five miles of country which makes the danger."

-from "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches"

Posted by Greg | October 16, 2008 12:51 PM

K at 20 wins, hard.

Posted by David Schmader | October 16, 2008 12:56 PM

I was going to post the Ravelry and Flickr links, but someone beat me to it.

I see in her Ravelry profile that when asked how many children she has, she says "two, beloved."

But the only one she ever posted pics of (or seemed to knit for) was the son.

Posted by litlnemo | October 16, 2008 12:59 PM

@26, ooh, that's bad. Because from reading her blog it's apparent that she has THREE: she keeps referring to "Number One Son" or NOS, who is in his twenties (he's pictured and talked about at length as well). Then there's the young boy who turned ten. That's two. But no daughter.

Posted by Fnarf | October 16, 2008 1:04 PM

Heh, funny you should mention that, Fnarf. I just came back here to post what I gleaned from her 1,977 Ravelry forum posts. She never mentions a daughter or stepdaughter, not once. She mentions at least two sons, fairly frequently. It is unclear if there are more.

However, I am a spaz and I have to correct what I said earlier. I just double-checked the profile and I had misquoted her. It actually says "Pets? Kids?: both, beloved". So she wasn't saying she had two kids, but that she had pets and kids.

Somehow my brain misrembered "both" as "two."

Still, the complete non-existence of the daughter in the posts is chilling.

(What else do we know from skimming her Rav posts? She loves TV (House, 24, Grey's Anatomy). She is a big girl, pear shaped, flat-chested. She is left-handed. She is a fan of Johnny Depp. And so on. It is a little weird how average-knitter she seems. You would never think she was a little "off" other than the obsessiveness of posting a lot... and many of us are guilty of that too.)

Posted by litlnemo | October 16, 2008 1:23 PM

Sorry, Fnarf @22, I don't buy it. People I know even on only a fairly casual basis IRL? I generally have laid eyeballs on their pets and kids at least once. Now, people I "know" on the internets? I'd believe anything is lurking in basement/garage/behind-heavy-dresser-slid-in-front-of-master-bedroom-door.

Where were this couple's friends and extended family? Didn't anybody see this girl, ever?

Posted by emma's bee | October 16, 2008 1:41 PM

From her blog on November 7, 2005:

I saw a very good bumper sticker tonight: God Bless --America-- humanity (that's ALL of us!)

("America" was crossed out... comments won't let me use that tag...)

She must mean except her daughter... what a creepy lady... how can you maintain this happy-go-lucky blog and all the while be treating your daughter like this?

Posted by Clint | October 16, 2008 1:48 PM

Fnarf, I disagree. I can be bitchy and cruel sometimes, but I'm somehow able to draw the line at sadistic long-term torture and abuse of someone I see every day. Yeah, I bet being mentally unstable would make a difference, but there are mentally ill people who aren't violent sadists. And we have yet to see any evidence that she IS mentally ill.

Posted by EmilyP | October 16, 2008 2:28 PM

All people who have kids are mentally ill. Move along.

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 16, 2008 2:36 PM


I'm sorry, I really don't buy it. I do agree that normal, good people can turn into monsters under certain, usually very terrible, conditions. But this woman was a middle class, stay-at-home mother. What conditions turned her into this kind of monster? Her life could not be easier, and to say that anyone could do this smacks of blaming the girl. Why wasn't the boy treated that way? Was he really that much better behaved?

Posted by keshmeshi | October 16, 2008 2:36 PM

Her birth father is as much to blame. He has a responsibility to protect her from her wicked stepmother and he didn't. His lies to the contrary don't wash. And CPS should be sued by this girl. She deserves special care to recover. And adults, you have no right to harm a child! I don't give a shit what your excuse is!

Posted by Vince | October 16, 2008 2:46 PM

We are all monsters in some way. Most of us just know how to control it. Any of us can fall into a kind of hell that lasts for years and destroys our perspective. I believe that. Read Hannah Arendt. What's remarkable about the Nazis wasn't how evil they were but how ordinary. Look at this woman: she knits, she blogs, she cooks Indian food, she has a Flickr account with pictures of her dog. She's exactly like us, except for the torturing her step-daughter part.

Who the hell knows what went on in that house. Teenage girls can be difficult, and if you are unmoored, you can let that ordinary difficulty lead you into some very abnormal places indeed. Notice that the blog ends in February. What horrors must have taken place in that house? In the mother's mind, and the daughter's? I'm not defending the mother, and I'm certainly not blaming the girl; I bleed for her. But I think we all have this in us. Being ordinary suburban white middle class is no defense.

Who are the rapists? Not cackling perverts in raincoats in the bushes; uncles and cousins and fathers, for the most part.

Sorry, I guess I'm feeling rather Gothic today.

Posted by Fnarf | October 16, 2008 2:50 PM

@33, but "normal people" is the only kind there is. There are no monsters, there's only us.

Posted by Fnarf | October 16, 2008 2:55 PM

I don't knit, I don't have a blog, I don't cook Indian food, and I don't have a dog. If I had a dog, I wouldn't post pictures of it on my Flickr account.

Posted by She isn't exactly like me. | October 16, 2008 3:16 PM

Well, I knit, I blog, I found this on Ravelry. I looked into the face of the monster and saw a mirror and behind the mirror another monster. Then I sat on the couch not doing anything for a long time. Then I sent the blog link to Slog. It was a shit night.

Posted by J | October 16, 2008 3:33 PM

Well, I knit, I blog, I found this on Ravelry. I looked into the face of the monster and saw a mirror and behind the mirror another monster. Then I sat on the couch not doing anything for a long time. Then I sent the blog link to Slog. It was a shit night.

Posted by J | October 16, 2008 3:34 PM

wow you guys are deep

Posted by i looked THRU the mirror! | October 16, 2008 3:46 PM


I'm sorry, I still don't buy it. This has been going on for years. The girl was already underweight at 11 years old. I think this woman already had a bias against other women and girls, took offense to any rebellion from her step-daughter, and decided to break that young girl. That is not in all of us. That is in her.

The fact that she was able to maintain the illusion of a normal life doesn't make her one of us.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 16, 2008 4:21 PM

@32 Really? Wow you're f*cked up.

Posted by gk | October 16, 2008 4:21 PM

Thank you for replacing the u with *.

Posted by The f-word scares me. | October 16, 2008 4:26 PM

Yeah, Fnarf is a monster; he wears bow-ties and thinks most new world wines have too much alcohol...fucking monster.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 16, 2008 5:03 PM

I do NOT wear bow motherfucking ties and you know it, BA. This calumny must cease.

Posted by Fnarf | October 16, 2008 5:19 PM

After seeing pix of Fnarf's birthday party I will only ever think one thing of him: Truman Capote. So Fnarf, can you please write an "In Cold Blood" kind of book about this knitter? Please please please?

Posted by Phoebe | October 16, 2008 8:34 PM

Fnarf is right. Within all of us is a heart of darkness. We're fools to deny that we're capable of all manner of egregious behavior given the right circumstances.

Posted by TVDinner | October 16, 2008 10:44 PM

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