October 20, 2009
Jaycee Lee Dugard had two children with her alleged captor of 18 years, Phillip Garrido. Elizabeth Smart testified recently that she was raped every day for nine months by her kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell. When you see survivors of horrifying abuse, you may wonder, how do they overcome something like that? After speaking with survivors of the Wesson family, who gave insight into what Jaycee must have gone through, Dr. Phil was moved to make sure this family does not slip through the cracks again.
When Kiani, her sister, Gypsy, their brother, Serafino, and their mother, Elizabeth, shared their nightmare story with Dr. Phil, it was the first time they had spoken about their horrendous family history with an abusive husband, father and murderer. Marcus Wesson molested, abused and controlled his family in cult-like ways, impregnated some of daughters and nieces, and murdered nine of his children one horrible night in 2004.
After meeting some of the survivors from this family, Dr. Phil realized they’d only begun to scratch the surface of their own healing. He implores his viewers to have love and compassion for this family who has been through so much.
It was called the worst crime in Fresno’s history: Marcus Wesson was convicted of killing nine children, including some he fathered with his daughters and nieces. Soon after his arrest, sordid stories of incest, abuse and brainwashing surfaced. It’s been four years since Marcus was sentenced to death row, but his abuse still haunts his family.
A Father’s Influence
Marcus Wesson’s wife, Elizabeth, and her daughters, Kiani and Gypsy, have begun talking to each other for the first time about their experiences. Since Wesson wouldn’t allow them to talk to each other, show affection or be educated, the women share their struggles in life without his influence. Kiani, who had two children with her father, acknowledges that what he taught her was very wrong.
No Room for Guilt or Shame
Dr. Phil reminds the women that there is a difference between consent and coercion, and they shouldn’t feel ashamed. Kiani says she cannot hate her father, even though he took her children from her. Gypsy, who has a different feeling about Wesson, shares why she ran away five months before the murders took place.
What Does the Future Hold?
Dr. Phil delves into Elizabeth’s tragic history with Wesson and why she wasn’t able to protect her children. Dr. Phil and Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, Associate Professor of Psychology and Director of the Culture and Trauma Research Lab at Pepperdine University, offer the women words of encouragement for developing normal mother/daughter relationships and moving forward in their lives.