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 104: Heaven Watkins (Part 2)

 

Last week, I told you the story of Heaven Watkins, an eleven-year-old autistic girl with cerebral palsy who was well known to the child protection system in her home state of Minnesota. When her family moved to Virginia, however, Heaven fell off the radar of those tasked with protecting children, and despite the warnings of concerned family members, Heaven was beaten to death in May of 2018 by her mother and her live-in boyfriend.

In this 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 and whose efforts have paved the way for new laws to help better protect other children like Heaven.

This is part two 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.

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.

Episode 102: Fallon Fridley

On December 9, 2020, in Sandy Springs, Georgia, two-year-old Fallon Fridley was spending the night at the home of her babysitter, who was also a good friend of Fallon’s mom, Kristin. The babysitter, Kirstie Flood, called 911 that evening to report little Fallon unresponsive, and Fallon was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she was later pronounced dead. Kirstie claimed Fallon had taken a fall earlier that day at the playground, but after incriminating online searches were found on her phone, Kirstie was arrested two days after Fallon’s death. As Kirstie continues to await trial, additional damning information has been discovered by investigators, including video footage of the actual crime. 

In this episode, you’ll also hear my conversation with Fallon’s heartbroken mommy, Kristin Gantt, who told me about her special little girl and how her loss has affected her family.

This is the tragic story of Fallon Fridley.

Justice for Fallon on Facebook 

36th annual National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children conference

Parents of Murdered Children website

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 101: Sterling Koehn (Part 2)

Last week, I began telling you the story of four-month-old Sterling Koehn, who was found dead in an infant swing in his dark, sweltering bedroom on August 30, 2017. An investigation determined that Sterling had not been fed, changed, bathed, or moved from the swing for between nine and fourteen days prior to his death, which was caused by malnutrition, dehydration, and an infection from severe diaper rash. Both of Sterling’s parents, Zachary Koehn and Cheyanne Harris, were arrested and charged with their son’s murder. In this episode, I will tell you the rest of Sterling’s story, including the results of both Zachary and Cheyanne’s trials. 

This is the story of a baby boy whose parents valued their meth use and the care of their toddler daughter over the life of their newborn son. It’s also the story of a little boy who was doomed from the start but whose tragically short life touched the hearts of people around the world and who will never be forgotten.

This is part two of the horrific story of Sterling Koehn.

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 100: Sterling Koehn (Part 1)

When Zachary Koehn called 911 on the afternoon of August 30, 2017, reporting his infant son appeared to be dead, first responders could never have guessed the horror that awaited them. In the back bedroom of an apartment in Alta Vista, Iowa, separate from the room shared by Zachary, his girlfriend Cheyanne, and their twenty-month-old daughter sat a powered infant swing, facing the back wall of the room. In that swing was the body of four-month-old Sterling Koehn, emaciated, stiff with rigor, the soft spots on his head sunken from dehydration. His diaper hadn’t been changed in several days, which had attracted flies, and the filthy blankets and clothing covering Sterling’s body crawled with maggots. 

This is the story of a baby boy whose parents valued their meth use and the care of their toddler daughter over the life of their newborn son. It’s also the story of a little boy who was doomed from the start but whose tragically short life touched the hearts of people around the world and who will never be forgotten.

This is part one of the horrific story of Sterling Koehn.

Promo – The Jury Room Podcast: https://www.twitter.com/juryroompodcast

Promo – True Consequences Podcast: https://www.trueconsequences.com

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.