Today on the Diane Rehm show on NPR, investigative journalist Karen Spears Zacharias tells the story of a precious little three year old girl named Karly Sheehan, who was brutally tortured and murdered at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend, Shawn Field. Karly’s mother, Sarah Brill, had been warned by the courts and Child Protective Services to keep her daughter away from Shawn, as for months Karly’s biological father had begged for protection for his only child. Sarah lied every time, saying that Shawn had no access to the child.
The truth was horrific. Not only did Shawn brutalize this baby – who died with over 60 separate injuries from the top of her head to to the bottom of her feet – he photographed her murder. The picture of her taken five minutes before her death showed this wee soul ‘smiling’ as best as she could because a brute was forcing her to do so for the camera. Shawn Field is now serving 45 years in prison.
Karly’s mother, Sarah Brill, was not charged with any crime, even though she neglected to get her child medical care over the eight months of every form of abuse, and knowingly left her in the ‘care’ of a brutal sadist. In fact, after Karly’s death, Sarah formed a pseudo non-profit organization named “Karly’s Angels,” was flown to New York by Glamour Magazine and was wined and dined by movie stars who contributed tens of thousands of dollars to this charity, every penny of which went into Sarah’s pocket. Not a dime went to help a child.
Sarah is still as free as a bird. She has never seen the inside of a jail cell. Karen Spears Zacharias claims that one child dies in the United States every five hours, 78% by neglect. She reports that precious little Karly is just one of over 20,000 children under the age of 4 who have died since the war in Afghanistan began, every one of them in the United States.
Read the whole story in Karen Spears Zacaharias’s new book, “A Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder.”