This morning, a news conference was held with survivors of alleged abuse at the hands of staff at Boys Ranch. What follows is a summary of the information shared over an hour with the former students and family members.

Over the course of an hour, we heard from several former residents of Boys Ranch, or family members of former residents. The dates they attended ranged from the 1950’s all the way up to the end of the 1980’s.

she thanked Boys Ranch for, “…killing my brother and my family, and I hope you all rot in hell!”

Account after account of rape, torture, and abuse poured from behind the podium. Many recounted suicide attempts of other boys at the ranch. All of them told of beatings and sexual assault.

One of the survivors closed his remarks by stating that, “Boys Ranch is literally killing me.” Due to the alleged mishandling of asbestos during renovations of the dining hall, he now has pulmonary fibrosis and asbestosis. Doctors have told him he won’t live long enough to see his daughter graduate high school.

Family members of former Boys Ranch residents spoke of the abuse that followed the boys home. It affected not just the boys, but their families as well. One stood with fire in her eyes as she thanked Boys Ranch for, “…killing my brother and my family, and I hope you all rot in hell!”

Another survivor spoke of a time when a boy had tried to commit suicide, and he was tasked with cutting him down.

Boys tried to report the abuse to staff but were ignored. Others stated that it was part of the system. Belts with nickels in them, soaked in mink oil, were used to give out “licks” on boys who had somehow misbehaved.

One account was of a boy who had tried to escape. When he was found in a field, barefoot, he was tied to the back of a horse and drug back to the ranch by a staff member.

According to Janet Heimlich of the Child-Friendly Faith Project, Dan Adams (CEO of Boys Ranch) has been willing to meet and talk. When it comes to matters of transparency at Boys Ranch, he has been less than accommodating.

“Now is the time of accounting…you have to see justice before mercy.”

All the survivors want is for Boys Ranch to admit what has happened and create an environment where it won’t happen again. There are over 50 years of allegations. They also ask that the name of Lamont Waldrip (one of the worst abusers according to survivors) and others who abused or oversaw a system of abuse be removed from buildings.

They also want the Alumni Support program to be improved to help serve the needs of abuse survivors.
Lastly, they want the truth and for Boys Ranch to admit what has happened in the past. As one survivor put it, “Now is the time of accounting…you have to see justice before mercy.”