Groomed to Die: The Kendzia Children | Part 1: Michael and Kevin

Susan Stevenson. Susan Cook. Susan Kendzia. Susan Lee. All of these names belong to the same woman. You’d never know by looking at this charming, gray-haired 62-year-old southern grandmother that she has spent decades leaving a trail of illness, abuse, and death in her wake. Even though the words “Munchausen syndrome by proxy” have hovered over Susan’s head since the mid-1980s like a dark cloud, she has been permitted to continue committing countless alleged atrocities against children and others for over forty years with little to no consequence.

Over the course of this miniseries, I will expose Susan’s alleged misdeeds with the help of those who were fortunate enough to survive her, and I will speak out for those who weren’t. 

In today’s episode, I will tell you about two baby boys who were adopted into the Kendzia home nine months apart and who died under similarly suspicious circumstances, also nine months apart. 

This is Part 1: Michael and Kevin.

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

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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.

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Episode 124: Hazel Homan (Part 1)

On November 27, 2019, 27-year-old Kamee Dixon called 911, saying her stepdaughter had choked and was unresponsive. Sadly, the damage to three-year-old Hazel Homan’s brain was not survivable. After police found evidence of a pattern of abuse, Kamee was arrested and charged with her murder.

This is the story of how child protection agencies failed a little girl who was removed from her parents’ custody, placed with her grandparents for a year and a half, and returned to her father’s home in June of 2019, only to die five months later. It’s also the story of a precious three-year-old girl with long brown hair, pinchable cheeks, and big brown eyes who loved Baby Shark, chicken nuggets, and playing with her toy ponies. 

This is part one of the heartbreaking story of Hazel Homan.

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 111: Moko Rangitoheriri (Part 1)

In 2015, single mom of three Nicola Dally-Paki’s oldest child needed to be hospitalized with a severe infection. She couldn’t leave him alone in the hospital, but she had no family nearby to care for her two younger children, aged seven and three. With few options, Nicola asked her longtime friend, Tania Shailer, to care for the kids for a while. She had no idea she was leaving her children in the care of a monster and her equally monstrous partner, David Haerewa. 

This is the story of a loving boy with a wide, infectious smile who spent the last weeks of his short life enduring unthinkable torture, pain, and violence. It’s also the story of two child killers whose inadequate charges led to ridiculously light sentences for a crime widely considered one of the worst child killings in New Zealand’s history.

This is part one of the disturbing story of Moko Rangitoheriri.

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 108: Tesslynn O’Cull (Part 1)

On June 17, 1997, police in Springfield, Oregon found the battered, desecrated body of three-year-old Tesslynn O’Cull buried in a shallow grave. The torture perpetrated against Tesslynn by her mother’s boyfriend, 20-year-old Jesse Compton, and knowingly allowed by her mother, 21-year-old Stella Kiser, was cruel beyond belief, and both were immediately charged in Tesslynn’s murder, which became known as the worst case of child abuse in Oregon’s history.

This is the story of a sweet little girl who loved animals, drawing, and her bath toys. It’s also the story of the many failures that led to her brutal and preventable death, highlighting the importance of reporting suspected child abuse.

This is part one of the horrific story of Tesslynn O’Cull.

Links discussed in this episode: 

Never Forget Tesslynn O’Cull Facebook group

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 105: Brooklyn & Lorenzo Velasquez (Part 1)

 When first responders arrived at the Velasquez family home in Superior, Arizona on the evening of March 26, 2018, they encountered an unfathomable tragedy. Two young children had been locked into a car for over thirteen hours in the Arizona heat, and by the time help arrived, two-year-old Lorenzo Velasquez and his nine-month-old sister, Brooklyn, lay dead on the floor of their great-grandparents’ home. Immediately, police doubted the story they were given by the children’s mother, 21-year-old Brittany Velasquez, who was quickly arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

This is the story of a pair of young, innocent siblings who were fundamentally failed by both their mentally impaired mother and the state’s child protection system. It’s also the story of a loving, multi-generational family who did everything they could to prevent the tragedy that ultimately befell them. 

This is part one of the heartbreaking story of Brooklyn and Lorenzo Velasquez.

Links discussed in today’s episode:

KidsAndCars.org

Washington Post article, “Fatal Distraction”

Episode 9: Ame Deal

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 103: Heaven Watkins (Part 1)

 When eleven-year-old Heaven Watkins was found dead in her family’s Virginia home on May 18, 2018, her mother, Latoya Smith, and the woman’s live-in boyfriend, Demont Harris, told neighbors the little girl with autism and cerebral palsy had died from natural causes. In truth, Heaven’s death was anything but natural, and Latoya and Demont were charged with murder, accused of beating Heaven so severely that her small intestine ruptured.

This is the story of a little girl well known to the child protection system in her home state of Minnesota who completely fell off the radar when her family moved to Virginia. It’s also the story of a child whose completely preventable death has paved the way for more vigorous child protection laws in Virginia, and, with any luck, nationwide in the near future.

In my next episode, you’ll hear my conversation with Heaven’s aunt and kinship caregiver, Dr. Sheronda Orridge, an incredibly accomplished woman who has never stopped fighting for her special niece. 

This is part one of the tragic story of Heaven Watkins.

Links discussed in today’s episode:

Kimberly Flower on YouTube

Tammy Risen’s book, In the Best Interest of a Child

H.R.485 – Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act

Heaven’s Law (Virginia)

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.