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Old 06-04-19, 20:57   #1
 
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United States of America Mummy & Mummy Abuse & MURDER Their 6 Children

Inside House of Horrors Where Couple Abused Their 6 Adopted Kids Before Killing Them All

Jennifer and Sarah Hart killed themselves and their six children when their car was driven off a cliff in California


Daily Mirror UK, 6 APR 2019.




Jennifer and Sarah Hart and their six children were known as the Hart Tribe (Image: mirror.co.uk)


A family-of-eight killed in a drunken murder-suicidecliff plunge lived in an abusive household where cruel punishment was handed out to the children, it is claimed.

Parents Jennifer and Sarah Hart were facing child abuse accusations when they deliberately drove the family's car off a 100ft seaside cliff at 90mph, killing themselves and their six adopted kids, who had been drugged to make them sleepy.

They had fled their home after a neighbour claimed the children were being neglected and starved of food as punishment by their parents, both 38.

Jennifer had allegedly beat one of the children after accusing the girl, then aged six, of stealing a penny.

There were claims the children had begged neighbours to give them food, and would eat out of rubbish bins at home or at school because they were hungry.





Police found no evidence that children lived in the home (Image: Police handouts)


Social workers visited and police later found almost no evidence that six children, aged 12 to 19, lived in the house.

Five of the six children were so small at one point that they were much shorter and lighter than other kids their age, it is claimed.

The Hart Tribe, as they were known, appeared to be one big, happy family in photos posted online, but there was a dark side, according to neighbours and a podcast called Broken Hearts, which investigated the deaths.

A police report said investigators visited the family's home in Woodland, Washington, days after the crash and were surprised to find very few signs that children lived there.





The house was "very sterile", a police report says (Image: Police handouts)




There were no toys or personalised decorations in the children's bedrooms inside the "extremely clean and organised" house.

Police wrote in the report that the home was "very sterile", and frames hanging on the walls didn't contain any photos.

The report said: "There was very little to show the children had access to any toys or items of entertainment, save for some board games found in the downstairs family room."

It did say that the fridge had been stocked with food and it appeared the family had made a hasty departure.

Sarah's colleagues told police that she had told them about the financial and emotional pressures that come with having such a big family.





Frames hanging on the walls didn't contain any photos (Image: Police handouts)



Sarah, the primary source of income for the family, also said that the children had "food issues" and would eat out of the rubbish bin after being given their dinner, the report said.

She had also told a colleague the children were "mentally delayed" and would have to live with them for the rest of their lives.

Sarah had also said the children "caused emotional stress on Jennifer" and that her wife "would often call about the kids making her crazy and arguing with them,"

The colleague told police that Sarah said the family had been threatened and harassed because she and Jennifer were lesbians and their adopted children, who were black, were a different race.

An inquest jury in California ruled this week that Jennifer and Sarah killed themselves by deliberately driving off a cliff north of San Francisco in March last year.

The parents were found dead inside their upside-down GMC Yukon at the base of the cliff.





Police searched the home after the family's SUV was discovered (Image: Police handouts)



The bodies of three children - Markis, 19, Jeremiah, 14, and Abigail, 14 - were found near the car, while a fourth, Ciera, 12, was pulled from the sea weeks later.

A fifth child, Hannah, 16, was identified through DNA testing after human remains were found in a shoe on the coast about a mile north of the crash site.

The remains of 15-year-old Devonte have not been found. He has been declared legally dead.

Devonte, an African-American, drew international attention in 2014 when he was photographed embracing a white police officer at a rally to protest the fatal shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

The family had fled their home in the middle of the night, just hours after social workers visited and did not get an answer.

Social services had been tipped off about child abuse claims at the home.





Neighbours claimed the children were being starved as punishment (Image: Police handouts)


On the drive down to California, Sarah looked up suicide methods in internet searches on her mobile phone, whether drowning was a painful way to die and Benadryl dosages.

Jennifer, the driver, had blood-alcohol level over the legal limit and may have been drinking "to build up her courage" to drive off the cliff, jurors were told.

The children had reportedly been given as many as 19 doses each of Benadryl - an antihistamine mainly used to treat allergies - to make them sleepy. Their parents had also taken Benadryl, tests revealed.

The SUV accelerated before it was deliberately driven over the cliff to kill everyone inside, the inquest was told.

Police believe the couple were under tremendous pressure and felt the only way out was to kill themselves and their children.

The jury ruled Jennifer and Sarah died by suicide and the children were murdered when the car went off a scenic cliffside motorway.





The family's SUV was deliberately driven off a seaside cliff (Image: mirror.co.uk)



Three days before the murder-suicide, Washington state authorities had launched an investigation into allegations of child neglect and abuse.

A neighbour had claimed the children were being starved as punishment and had begged for food from people on their street.

The Harts had lived in a number of states in the years before the crash.

In 2011, Sarah admitted a charge of domestic assault in Minnesota after Abigail's school reported extensive injuries to her.

The inquest heard that Abigail, then six, had told investigators that Jennifer had beaten her and dunked her head underwater to get her to confess after accusing the girl of stealing a penny.

Child welfare records stated Abigail was the size of a two-year-old, and she had been seen going through rubbish and taking food at school.

Sarah took the blame and pleaded guilty to domestic assault, for which she was sentenced to a year of probation.

In court, she claimed she had simply spanked the child, it was reported.

In 2013, when the family was living in Oregon, state authorities investigated the couple but closed the case after finding no conclusive evidence of abuse or neglect.

Five of the six children were so small then that their weights and heights were not listed on growth charts for children their age

At the time, all of the children denied they had been abused.

Court and welfare records revealed six previous allegations of child abuse and neglect dating back to Jennifer and Sarah's marriage in 2009

Mendocino County Sheriff-Coroner Thomas Allman told reporters after the inquest: "The Hart family is hopefully resting in peace."
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