Sex Abuse and Murder: A Daughter's Repressed Memories or Lies?

February 17, 2014
Tracy says that about three years ago, disturbing memories from her childhood began to surface about sex abuse and murder — involving her mother, Donna, and now-deceased father, Alan. Tracy claims that she and her sister, Kelly, were molested by their father and grandfather, and alleges that Donna killed Kelly’s best friend and buried the girl in their backyard. Donna and Kelly vehemently deny the claims, calling Tracy “delusional.” Emotions run high when Tracy faces her family on Dr. Phil’s stage, including Donna, whom she hasn’t seen or spoken to in more than a year. Is Tracy remembering actual events, or are these fictionalized memories? Plus, don’t miss part two tomorrow, when Donna agrees to take a polygraph test to clear her name. Will Tracy get the answers she’s looking for? This program contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion advised.    







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Tracy, with her husband, MartyTracy's father, Alan, and mother, Donna, thenDonna, nowKelly, Tracy's sisterGreg, Tracy's brother

Repressed Memories – or False Memories?

Tracy explains the disturbing childhood memories that started surfacing three years ago.

Tracy also accuses her mother of murder. “I believe that my mom killed my sister’s best friend and buried her in the back yard.” And, does Tracy’s husband, Marty, believe her?

Tracy tells Dr. Phil that she was seeing a therapist in 1991, who believed that Tracy had been molested as a child. “She said that I had all the classic signs of molestation,” she says. Tracy says she vehemently denied that she had been molested but after hypnosis, Tracy began to recall sexual abuse by her grandfather and a date rape that took place in 1991.

Dr. Phil goes over the abuse that Tracy has recalled. Could some of her memories be false, somehow formed through the hypnosis she went through?

Tracy says she’s not sure, but after much research and investigation, she’s believes the murder victim who was buried in the back yard was Carrie, her sister’s friend from seventh grade.

Estranged from Her Mother

Tracy and her mother, Donna, haven’t seen or spoken to each other in over a year.

Donna says her daughter’s allegations are crazy. “Tracy was never sexually abused in our home. My husband never molested anyone. I’m not aware of any sexual abuse that she ever had. When the kids were young, our family life was what I would consider perfectly normal. Tracy is having horrible delusions. I don’t see how I wouldn’t have known if something was going on — I was home with the children all the time,” Donna says. “I’m hurt. I’m shocked. I’m angry. I was mortified. The things that Tracy says were done to her are horrifying. She’s accused us of molesting her, of killing a child and burying a child in our backyard. It’s ludicrous. I can’t even begin to tell you how it makes me feel that she can accuse us of all of these things. It’s ridiculous. I would never stand by and allow any of my children to be hurt or abused in any way.”

Tracy tearfully tells Dr. Phil, “This has been going on for three years. The memories have torn apart our family. I need to know if this is real. I need to know that there’s not a family out there that doesn’t have has a missing child -- I can’t shake that memory.”

“Regardless of how it turns out, if there’s guilt on the molestation part of it, if it’s false memory, it’s never going to go away,” Marty says. “It’s a demon that we’re always going to have to wrestle from this day forward, but we would like to find out for sure, one way or the other, and deal with it. The healing process cannot begin until then.”

Dr. Phil tells Tracy that he doesn’t believe she’s intentionally fabricating memories. “Some of this may be true; some of it may not be true. We’re going to try to figure out what is and what isn’t. The truth is knowable. And if there has to be some accountability here, by parties, be it by your mother or others, then I want to deal with that. My goal here is to help this family, to have some healing here and move this forward. Everything you hear may not be what you want to hear,” he says.

He asks Donna, “Do you think that she’s fabricating any of this on purpose?”

“I think that she began by believing it, but I think that it has grown and grown, and I know there has been a lot of recent lying," Donna says. She explains that whenever she tried to talk to her daughter, anything she said or did was suspect.

“Well, of course, because you sit here accused of molesting your daughter violently and murdering multiple people. If she believes that to be true, then you would certainly be a danger, a threat,” Dr. Phil says.

“You could’ve helped a lot,” Tracy tearfully tells her mother. “You could've helped, and you refused.”

“What could’ve happened did. We’re here now. And I am here to help. I want to ferret this out if you’re open to that,” Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Phil reviews Tracy’s history of drug use. Could that play a part in her horrifying recollections?

Remembering a Different Childhood

Tracy’s siblings, Kelly and Greg, say their sister is “delusional” and “crazy.” But did Kelly witness anything suspect between their grandfather and Tracy?

“On one occasion, I witnessed my grandfather … ”

Dr. Phil has a warning for Tracy. “If you want to unplug, we’re done.” And, is Kelly changing her story?

Marty says Kelly is not telling the whole story. He explains that she told them that when she started to question the behavior of their grandfather with Tracy when they were kids, she was scolded and sent away.
 
“That never happened,” Kelly says. “That is not true.”

“I’m fully convinced, right or wrong, that this woman is not making up things just to create drama. I just simply don’t believe that,” Dr. Phil says.

Donna agrees to take a polygraph test. Is she telling the truth? Don’t miss Part 2!