Father Spanks Daughter to Death

Father Spanks Daughter to Death

And he says God made him do it

Apparently there’s a new group of Christian fundamentalists who take the phrase “Spare the rod, spoil the child” to a whole new level. They believe that in order to create happy, healthy, God-fearing children, you must spank them—to death.

That’s what Kevin and Elizabeth Shatz did to their adopted daughter, Lydia. Lydia was spanked and beaten for seven straight hours, resulting in her death. She was seven years old.


What on Earth could a child do to deserve such treatment? I don’t care if she murdered the family cow and set her little brother on fire (she did neither), no child deserves to be beaten like this. What a horrible way to die, at the hands of the people who were supposed to love you more than anyone else in the world and care for you until adulthood. What could her last thoughts have been? I can’t even imagine the fear and sorrow in her heart while she died.

I suppose it’s no wonder these parents thought torture was an okay way to deal with a child; their very symbol (see left) is a medieval torture device used to murder thousands of people.

The two abusers, who were her adoptive parents—as well as the adoptive parents of several other children, including Lydia’s sister—are both going to jail, but not for nearly enough time. They both confessed, resulting in what this mother believes are some pretty light sentences for murder. Mr. Shatz will be in jail for 22 years, while his wife is getting 12 years. That just doesn’t seem to be enough when poor Lydia had so many stolen from her.

I have to wonder if this story is going to get as much press as the Casey Anthony trial did. Will these parents be shunned? Will anyone realize that spanking is wrong as such? I’m thinking no. After all, they are Christian parents, and our country has a special relationship with that particular group right now—both in and out of Congress. Spankers will likely note that this was only one instance, and that if practiced “in moderation,” spanking is just peachy keen—despite the fact that it’s abusive, something dogs and prison inmates are protected against (though most children are not), results in more violent children with lower IQs, and has been found to cause plenty of other problems. I have a difficult time understanding how anyone could want to physically harm their own children, let alone any child so much smaller and more vulnerable than they are. And what a way to teach peace on Earth besides!

My heart goes out to poor Lydia, as well as her sister, who is 11, and asked her so-called parents at their trial, “Why did you adopt her? To kill her?” My heart also goes out to any and all other children whose parents might spank them tonight, for anything from sneaking a cookie to uttering a swear word. I hope you can grow to know better than your parents, to not treat your own children (or wives or other loved ones) as such, and to survive childhood to be able to do so in the first place.