On today’s episode of The Dr. Phil Show, Dr. Phil talks to three extraordinary children who saved their youngest sibling from a life of starvation, isolation and abuse at the hands of their own parents.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Dr. Phil for the details of the horrific ordeal these children went through as well as an updated on their condition today and a preview of the brand new podcast, Phil In The Blanks.
MW- Good morning Dr. Phil, how are you doing?
DP- Hi Matt, doing well, how are you?
MW- Doing well over here as well. A very serious topic coming up on the show today as we learn about a five year old boy who was held captive by his father and step-mother in his own home. What can you tell us about this tragic story?
DP- Well you know Matt, this is really interesting for us because we got to be involved in the entire arc of the story. Five years ago this story broke just outside of Houston and we went in to cover the story and talk to the biological mother of this child who did not have custody and we talked to law enforcement because they wanted us to tell this story to get it out there.
This five year old child was living with his biological father and step-mother and he was rescued from a cubby hole inside a closet under a stairway where he was being held prisoner. He was being starved, he was being tortured, he was being isolated and finally the older children in the home said they couldn’t take it anymore. They rescued this little boy and when they did he weighed 29 pounds, he had marks on him that looked like he had been tased, he was foaming at the mouth and disoriented.
Think about this, these kids had to go against their own parents. They called the police on their own parents and as a result the father is doing 15 years in prison and the mother who didn’t take a plea deal is doing over 28 years, just sentenced a few weeks ago, and this child is alive today because these three kids did the right thing. They stepped up and saved this child’s life at their own peril and against their own parents. I am so proud of them I can’t even begin to tell you.
MW- Such a sad story but thank goodness the other three children found their voice and spoke up. Was there any explanation given about why the one child was treated that way?
DP- You never know. The only thing that the three children that we talk to on today’s show tell us is that he was the youngest, he was a little bit active and seemed to be an annoyance to the step-mother and she just wanted him out of the way. I think she resented him and he was a bit high maintenance, nothing terrible, he wasn’t destructive or anything he was just an active five year old. He was an annoyance to her and it was an easy thing for her to just lock him away.
MW- Do you know how the child is doing today?
DP- We do! He’s with his biological mother who did not have custody at the time and had very limited visitation. He is thriving mentally, emotionally, physically, academically – he’s doing very well. After being rescued he has made the most of it with love, caring, nurturing and support he has really snapped back is doing well.
MW- That’s fantastic to hear and I know you mentioned how proud you are of the other three children, as I think we all are. Have they discussed what the last straw was for them when they decided to take action?
DP- They were hearing this child beat on the wall. They were hearing cries for help as he was banging on the wall and it got to the point where the parents just said he was in time out but it got be too much. They couldn’t take it anymore so they got him out of there and the parents flew into a rage and a fight broke out. These kids had to really have resolve to go against parental authority to save this child’s life.
MW- Wow, thank goodness they took action. It’s great to hear that all four of them are doing well today away from the father and step-mother and look forward to hearing the whole story on the show. On another note I also wanted to talk to you today about your new podcast, how does this new outlet differ from the television show?
DP- I do Matt, the podcast is called Phil In The Blanks and you can subscribe to it for free anywhere you get podcasts. You can subscribe for free, I put a new one up every week and it’s different from The Dr. Phil Show in that I don’t have a problem to solve. I don’t have a story in front of me I’m just interviewing really interesting people. I’ve interviewed Shaquille O’Neal, Jay Leno, Charles Barkley, Kathy Bates. I’ve interviewed some experts that I think will impact people’s lives.
Sometimes I’m my own guest where I just talk about things that I think people will find interesting. It’s free form, there’s no time limit to it, I just get to talk about anything I want to to interesting people and I’m having an absolute ball doing it. I hope people will really go to their computers, go to that little podcast icon, click on it and search for Phil In The Blanks, hit the subscribe button and it’ll tell you when I put a new one up, which is every week.
MW- Fantastic, The Dr. Phil Show plays such an important role for a lot of people but it’s nice to hear there’s another spot people can hear from you now for a little lighter entertainment as well. Thank you so much for the time today and I look forward to checking out the pod!
DP- Thank you, Matt!
The Dr. Phil Show returns with an all-new episode today. Check your local listings for time and channel in your area.