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Cascade Center for Growth

News Summaries from ICSA Periodicals

Death by Water Punishment
Richard and Jeannete [sic] Killpack have been charged with “child abuse homicide” and child abuse after allegedly following the advice of the Cascade Center for Family Growth (in Orem, UT) and forcing their adopted 4-year-old daughter Casssandra to drink so much water that she had a fatal brain swelling. The Killpack’s two other daughters, one adopted, have been placed in foster care.[csr 1.3 2002]

The water treatment was punishment for sneaking sips of Kool-Aid by a problem child who had been physically and sexually abused before adoption. The chief of the Utah County Attorney’s criminal division said that her parents tied Cassandra’s hands behind her back when she tried to fight them off, and that cuts and bruises were found around her mouth.[csr 1.3 2002]

Defense attorney Philip Danielson said that the parents did not intend to hurt Cassandra, that they were simply trying to help her through an “extreme emotional problem.” He said that the Cascade Center promoted forced water-drinking for children with “attachment” disorder in order to teach them to look to their parents for “relief and comfort.”[csr 1.3 2002]

Center Director Larry Van Bloem denied that his therapists promote forced water drinking, and Springvale police, who searched Cassandra’s record there, found no evidence that they do. Lt. Dave Caron said he though that the water therapy was the parents’ idea. [csr 1.3 2002]

Last October a woman in Colorado was convicted in the death of her 10-year-old adopted daughter, another “problem child,” who suffocated after being wrapped in blankets during a “rebirthing” session conducted by a group of therapists. (AP, Internet, 9/18/02) [csr 1.3 2002]

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