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Candace Newmaker, killed during therapy session

Candace Newmaker died during a therapy session in 2000. The therapist and his assistant were charged with child abuse resulting in death.

The Candace Newmaker case is a truly heartbreaking event that occurred in 2000 involving a 10-year-old girl named Candace Tiara Elmore. Candace was adopted by Jeane Newmaker, a North Carolina nurse practitioner, and had a history of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, before she was adopted by Jeane. Jeane, who wanted to help Candace with her behavioral issues, decided to take her to a therapist in Colorado named Connell Watkins. 

Watkins specialized in a controversial therapy called “Rebirthing”, which claimed to help children with attachment disorders by simulating a birth experience. The therapy sessions were supposed to help the child bond with their parents and improve their behavior, but unfortunately, this was not the case for Candace. 

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Subjected to intense suffering 

On April 18th, 2000, Candace was taken to a therapy session in which she was wrapped in a flannel sheet and placed on a mat. Four adults (Watkins, her assistant, and two other people who were in the room) held down the sheet and prevented Candace from moving, while the therapy session was conducted. The idea was that by simulating a birth experience, Candace would “re-experience” her birth and bond with her adoptive mother. However, things quickly took a turn for the worse. 

Candace began to struggle and cry out for help, but the adults continued to hold her down. The session lasted for over an hour, and Candace eventually stopped moving and crying. She was pronounced dead at a hospital later that day, and it was determined that she had died of asphyxiation due to the rebirthing therapy. 

The incident caused widespread shock and outrage, and both Watkins and her assistant were charged with child abuse resulting in death. Watkins was convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison, while her assistant was sentenced to 4 years. Jeane Newmaker, who was present during the therapy session, was also charged with child abuse but was later acquitted. 

The Candace Newmaker case brought to light the dangers of unregulated and unproven therapies and led to increased scrutiny and regulation of the therapeutic industry. It also highlighted the need for better training and oversight of therapists and other professionals who work with children. 

It is truly tragic that a young girl’s life was taken away due to such a dangerous and unproven therapy. It’s important to remember that not all therapies have been scientifically proven and some can be dangerous. Parents and guardians should always do their research and make sure that a therapist or practitioner is properly licensed and has a good reputation before seeking help for their children. 

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The death of Candace Newmaker is also a reminder of the importance of proper parental supervision, as well as the importance of listening to a child’s cries for help. Candace’s cries for help were ignored and ultimately led to her death. It is crucial that we pay attention to the signs that a child is in distress and take action to protect them. 

In conclusion, the Candace Newmaker case is a tragic reminder of the dangers of unregulated and unproven therapies and the importance of proper training and oversight of therapists and other professionals who work with children. It also reminds us of the importance of proper parental supervision, and the importance of listening to a child’s cries for help. We must make sure that such a tragedy never happens again.