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Georgia Man Holds Family Captive in Trailer For 3 Years

Ack, ack, ack. This story! It gives the Austrian incest case a run for its money for sheer disgusting details alone. Raymond Daniel Thurmond, 36, is in jail today and accused of keeping his wife and four kids hostage inside a filthy single-wide trailer. How filthy? I'll allow the police to describe:

  • "The walls looked like they were moving sometimes. There were so many bugs and roaches on the wall. When the door first opened roaches fell from the ceiling down to the floor. So, I knew then we were in for something."
  • "There was garbage packed up to the ceiling. The smell was so overwhelming the investigator had to where a gas mask"
  • "It was probably the most disgusting scene that I've ever been involved in as far as human waste and filth, and the sad thing about it is you had a wife and four kids who were confined to these four walls and were not permitted to go outside."

To see the condition of the kids, and how the case was busted,


The children, aged 14, 13, 12, and nine were never allowed to go or even look outside. The 14-year-old has only completed the first or second grade, they were all severely undernourished, and none of the children have been outside since 2005. Apparently, Thurmond even raped his wife in front of his children.

The case was discovered when the wife finally escaped and went for help. According to investigators, "from what I understand, he just left and didn't come back and she got word somehow. I don't know what happened, but she got word somehow that he got involved with another lady." The neighbors, as is so often the case in stories like this, were stunned.

How is this always the case? Why are the neighbors always the last to know? Perhaps there is hope for the kids; the Austrian children are progressing and have just given the police a gift of appreciation for protecting them. What drives someone to behave this way?

Join The Conversation
browneyedchica browneyedchica 9 years
"How is this always the case? Why are the neighbors always the last to know?" Here is my answer to these questions: people just don't care about each other anymore. Everyone always wants to keep to themselves and "not get involved." I'm sure the neighbors had an idea something was wrong but just didn't bother to speak up. This is exactly why their are National Night Out to meet your neighbors!
SomethingWicked SomethingWicked 9 years
its scary to think that this could be happening right next door.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Most abuse stems from a need for power and control. Whether it be the need to recapture power and control lost when they were abused themselves at some point or other insecurities that compile and form a deranged-like need for it. Abusers are a sad and scary thing.
jessie jessie 9 years
Yikes! how awful
JennaV JennaV 9 years
:O That is just horrid
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
if it was a rural area, there might have been great distance between the trailer and it's neighbors -- where smell would not matter. if it was close proximity, i am assuming to other trailers, i'll stereotypically say that perhaps some of the other places smelled as well (albeit less), making that less of a concern.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
:lol: hypnoticmix--- why grandmas always have good aim. Like throwing a shoe and killing the roach on the wall. I tell you it sound nasty now but I can't stop laughing.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I'm curious, did he live there as well? How drunk do you have to get to be able to stand the stench? It's not just about control, it's about being psycho.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
As bad as the conditions were I'm a bit surprised that the smell did not alert neighbors to something foul sooner. The roaches falling from the ceiling I'm sorry but I would have picked up skirt in a minute and ran my @$$ out of there. I lived in very poor conditions when I was very young. I remember staying at my grandmothers sometimes and her basement was infested with rats. At night you could here them crawling threw the walls and on occasion they'd make it into the house where it was not uncommon for me to sit calmly at the breakfast table while my grandmother beat the bagebees out of one with a straw broom. I tell ya that old lady had aim, if straw broom rat killing was a sport I know she'd win gold.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
yeah good question... if she wasn't allowed to get out/communicate, how did she find out he was "with another lady", as the article says... hmm. also, seems strange that she'd finally break free after finding out that he was cheating. weren't there countless other reasons to leave him before that?? we are missing some of the story i think.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
356UIK, the fact that they lived in a single-wide trailer didn't give it away that it is Georgia the state? neighbors could also be far away, proximity-wise. it doesn't say if it was a rural area or not. but after 3 years, you'd think that someone would have gone looking for them? the school or something? also, there are pieces left out. "he left and didn't come back." so they sat in the trailer waiting for him to come back?!! and how the heck did she hear he was having an affair? no seriously, he would leave the house and tell them not to leave and they just - stayed there?!!? i mean, abusive situations are one thing, but in a house with filth and bugs is a whole other level!
zeze zeze 9 years
I'm not surprised the neighbors are stunned. Honestly, if you shwoed me my neighbors right now I would not be able to point a single one out! And I live in a suburb with lots of families and children and have lived there over 2yrs. No one ever sees each other, you get into your care through the kitchen to the attached garage and get back into your house the same way. It is kind of scary to think stuff like this can happen and no one would ever know.
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 9 years
Ya, I hardly talk to any of my neighbors except for Mr. Wilton who isn't from this country. I hope they lock that man underneath the jail.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
Very scary indeed! Interesting thoughts about "neighbors", hypno. I think you are probably right.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 9 years
There are no words to describe its simply horrible. The good thing is everyone is safe and with some intense therapy will hopefully come out of this alright. I'm not even going to begin to speculate on his state of mind, but as for the neighbors I believe part of the problem is a lot of people are beginning to consciously isolate themselves from their neighbors and this is especially so the higher the population density and lesser the smaller the population density. My parents were this way for a while. They saw a friendly neighbor as a nosy neighbor. They had me thinking Mrs. Albany next door was Mrs. Cravitz in disguise. (Some of you may be too young to remember that reference). Over time though the neighbors killed my parents with kindness and we joined the neighborhood community like normal people and my parents made some very close friends.
kikidawn kikidawn 9 years
Oh this is horrible. Absolutely disturbing.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
Ew. And so scary!
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
Stories like this are so unbelievably disturbing. I'm actually glad the neighbors are stunned. You'd like to think that if they knew something like this was going on they'd have reported it.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
I think this is way past control. I really hope through professional help these children can live productive lives. Seriously, a single wide is too small to be in there day in and day out, trapped with roaches, flith, and garbage. I am just shocked, there was no smells or maybe people really don't pay attention to their neighbors anymore. I am glad the mother finally did something to cause some type of attention. The nastiness, just makes my skin crawl. Bad memories.
356UIK 356UIK 9 years
Oddly enough when I was reading this I assumed it was Georgia the country and not the state. No idea why I would assume this wouldnt happen in our country :(
chasingjamie chasingjamie 9 years
It seems like its a control thing.
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