Episode 121: Emrik Osuna

When an unresponsive nine-year-old boy died shortly after his arrival at a hospital in Boise, Idaho, it was obvious there was nothing natural about his death. Emrik Osuna was severely emaciated at barely forty pounds and covered from head to toe in extensive bruising. Police discovered hours of footage from nanny cameras set up in the family’s apartment that sealed the fates of Emrik’s killers.

Erik and Monique Osuna, Emrik’s father and stepmother, were both arrested. Monique was accused of systematically torturing Emrik for months, forcing him to exercise for hours, beating him with various objects, and withholding food while the rest of the family ate in front of the starving boy. Erik was accused of watching and doing nothing while his wife tortured his son to death.

In this episode, we also hear from Irene Zepeda, Emrik’s maternal aunt, who told me about some of the challenges Emrik faced and shared her favorite memories of her beloved nephew.

This is the unimaginable story of Emrik Osuna.

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 119: Giovanni Melton (Part 2)

Last week, I told you the story of 14-year-old Giovanni Melton, who was shot to death by his father on November 2, 2017. Wendell Melton claimed the shooting was an accident, but many, including Giovanni’s mother, believe the murder was perpetrated by a man who couldn’t stand having a gay son. 

In this episode, you’ll hear my conversation with Giovanni’s mom, Veronica Melton, who has channeled her grief and anger at the senseless murder of her baby into advocating for other LGBTQ+ youth of color with the hope of preventing future such tragedies.

This is part two of the heartbreaking story of  Giovanni Melton.

Giovanni Melton Foundation website: https://giovannimelton.org/ 

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GiovanniMeltonFoundation.org/

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giovannimeltonfoundation/?hl=en

Moms Demand Action: https://momsdemandaction.org/ 

Everytown Survivor Network: https://www.everytown.org/organization/survivor-network/

National Action Network: https://nationalactionnetwork.net/

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 118: Giovanni Melton (Part 1)

On November 2, 2017, a tearful man called 911, telling the dispatcher he had shot his teenage son. Wendell Melton claimed that during an altercation with his 14-year-old son, Giovanni Melton, his gun accidentally went off, striking Giovanni in the chest. Giovanni was rushed to the hospital, but he did not survive.

After Giovanni’s death, multiple people came forward with information indicating the killing was not an accident, instead the deliberate action of a homophobic father who couldn’t tolerate having a gay son.

In next week’s episode, we’ll hear from Giovanni’s mom, Veronica Melton, who has channeled her grief and anger into advocating for LGBTQ+ youth of color with the hope of preventing tragedies like her family’s.

This is part one of the heartbreaking story of Giovanni Melton. 

Links discussed in this episode:

***Urgent! Please see this post for more information on how to contact Judge Michelle Leavitt before Friday, July 1, 2022 to make your voice heard for Wendell Melton’s sentencing hearing! https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=1242273556547448&set=a.121744861933662 ***

Giovanni Melton Foundation website: https://giovannimelton.org/ 

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GiovanniMeltonFoundation.org/

Giovanni Melton Foundation on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/giovannimeltonfoundation/?hl=en

PFLAG: https://pflag.org 

National Black Justice Coalition: https://nbjc.org

Counter Narrative Project: https://thecounternarrative.org 

Strong Family Alliance: https://strongfamilyalliance.org

Moms Demand Action: https://momsdemandaction.org/ 

Everytown Survivor Network: https://www.everytown.org/organization/survivor-network/

National Action Network: https://nationalactionnetwork.net/

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 115: Ronnie Paris

As an infant suffering malnutrition and broken bones, Ronnie Paris was removed from his teenage parents’ custody and placed into a wonderful foster home. After two years of nurturing and love, he was returned to his parents, and just six weeks later, three-year-old Ronnie was dead, the victim of chronic, vicious abuse at the hands of his father.

This is the story of a religious man who feared his toddler son might be gay and instigated a campaign of violence against the tiny boy, saying he didn’t want Ronnie to grow up to be a “sissy.” It’s also the story of a beautiful little boy with big brown eyes, an infectious smile, and a bright, limitless future – until Florida DCF reunited him with his abusive, neglectful parents.

This is the infuriating story of Ronnie Paris.

Link: Forever Three (novel by Katrina Bing)

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sufferthelittlechildrenpod

You can also follow the podcast on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 92: Shellay “Ebony” Ward (Part 2)

Last week, I told you the first part of the story of seven-year-old Shellay Ward, who was found dead in her family’s home in Hawks Nest, New South Wales, Australia on November 3, 2007, emaciated, lying on a bare mattress in a filthy room filled with human waste. Shellay, who was autistic and had never attended school, spent her final months imprisoned in her dark, filthy bedroom. She is largely known across Australia by her middle name, Ebony, the girl who suffered the country’s worst child neglect death.

In this episode, I will tell you the rest of Shellay’s story, including the arrest and trial of her parents and the results of multiple investigations into the catastrophic systemic failure of multiple government agencies responsible for protecting Australia’s most vulnerable children. 

This is part two of the tragic story of Shellay “Ebony” Ward.

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also follow the podcast on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.

Episode 91: Shellay “Ebony” Ward (Part 1)

On November 3, 2007, first responders to a home in Hawks Nest, New South Wales, Australia were shocked and horrified by what they found. On a mattress in a feces-covered bedroom with a boarded-over window lay the twisted, emaciated form of 7-year-old Shellay Ward, who had been deprived of food, water, sunlight, medical attention, and basic human decency for months, if not years. Shellay’s parents, Blakeley and Sharyn Ward, were charged with her murder.

This is the story of the catastrophic failure of multiple government agencies created to protect Australia’s most vulnerable children. It’s also the story of the long, torturous death of an autistic seven-year-old girl who spent her final months imprisoned in her dark, filthy bedroom and who is largely known across Australia as Ebony, the girl who suffered the country’s worst child neglect death.

This is part one of the tragic story of Shellay “Ebony” Ward.

Photos related to today’s episode can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram.

You can also follow the podcast on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and TikTok.

My Linktree is available here.

Please help make the show my full-time gig to keep the weekly episodes coming! By supporting me on Patreon, you’ll also access rewards, including a shout-out by name on the podcast and exclusive gifts. Pledges of $5 or more per month access ad-free versions of my regular Wednesday episodes (starting with episode #88). Pledges of $10 or more per month access a small but growing collection of Patreon-exclusive bonus minisodes!

This podcast is researched, written, hosted, edited, and produced by Laine.

For more stories like this one, visit Suffer the Little Children Blog.

Music for this episode is from Audio Jungle.

Subscribe to Suffer the Little Children on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spreaker, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcast listening platform.