Author Topic: Bethesda Home for Girls  (Read 15521 times)

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Offline Josefkern

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #60 on: December 22, 2010, 02:41:46 PM »
Hello everyone, I heard of this place as a teen in high school at Oak Grove.  We went there several times to snoop around hearing about these old horrible stories not ever really thinking they were true.  But in reading this site gives me goosebumps finding out that it was all real.  Well, a few days ago somebody set fire to the school and it has been burnt to the ground.  I thought all you ladies would be glad to know this knowing that it was such a horrible place.  Here is a link to a video of the building after it had burnt down.  I am so sorry you all had to go through what you did and maybe this will help with closure or something.

http://http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/section/VideoNetwork#/News/Fire%20Destroys%20former%20Bethesda%20Girls%20Home%20dorm/46203239001/46206319001/713946068001

We always heard of these wildy horrible stories and would go thinking it was haunted after hearing of some girls being killed many years ago.  And like I said, I don't think anyone really believed it to be true but it is so chilling to find out otherwise.  Once again I am so sorry to hear of all of these stories on here.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Ursus

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #61 on: December 22, 2010, 03:27:24 PM »
Quote from: "Josefkern"
Hello everyone, I heard of this place as a teen in high school at Oak Grove.  We went there several times to snoop around hearing about these old horrible stories not ever really thinking they were true.  But in reading this site gives me goosebumps finding out that it was all real.  Well, a few days ago somebody set fire to the school and it has been burnt to the ground.  I thought all you ladies would be glad to know this knowing that it was such a horrible place.  Here is a link to a video of the building after it had burnt down.  I am so sorry you all had to go through what you did and maybe this will help with closure or something.

http://http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/section/VideoNetwork#/News/Fire%20Destroys%20former%20Bethesda%20Girls%20Home%20dorm/46203239001/46206319001/713946068001

We always heard of these wildy horrible stories and would go thinking it was haunted after hearing of some girls being killed many years ago.  And like I said, I don't think anyone really believed it to be true but it is so chilling to find out otherwise.  Once again I am so sorry to hear of all of these stories on here.
Thanks for being so thoughtful in posting that bit of news, Josef. Fwiw, I've started another thread with your post:

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline rwhite

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2011, 01:19:18 PM »
My name is Renee White. I am from Ar. I was at that aweful place for a short time in 83-84. I broke out the bedroom window in the last room on the right hallway. Colleen went with me and we both made it home. My parents wouldn't let me have contact with anyone from Bethesda after that. I remember Kimball, Betsy, Colleen, and several other girls whose names I can't remember. I have blank spots in my mind from that time and would love to talk to some of the people I knew back then.

Renee White
golfersbabe67@yahoo.com
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Beejsteph

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #63 on: May 18, 2011, 11:45:43 AM »
My Account on here was Hacked into...and ALL things Written About Connie Munson from the Post of BEEJSTEPH was NOT NOT NOT NOT Written by me (BJ MILLER)...I want it Removed...Connie was a Good Friend to many People and I would NEVER EVER EVER Post ANYTHING ABOUT HER whether it is true or not!!!!!
  If you all want to Believe the Crap that is Written...then go right ahead...BUT IT WAS NOT ME WHO WROTE IT!!!!
BJ MILLER....May 18, 2011
    Any Of you Girls who were at Bethesda with me...who TRULY KNOW ME & LOVE ME...Know I would NEVER EVER Post ANYTHING LIKE THIS ON ANY FORUM!!! I Love ALL my Sisters from Bethesda, REBEKAH, BETHESDA, and NEW BETHANY,....and I would NEVER EVER BRING SHAME and REPROACH TO THE CROSS OF CHRIST, Or HIS NAME, or the Name of ANY GIRL WHO EVER ENTERED THOSE HOMES!!!!!
BJ MILLER......May 18, 2011
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline jsprinkle

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #64 on: July 30, 2011, 01:19:49 AM »
i was there as well when beth, was there and learned to use her leg, she really inspired me, it was ran by dot and burt and a few girls we had to address and adults, ive always tried to find others there at that time i was there 1975/76 thelma, candy, colleen, veronica, a few names i remember
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline jsprinkle

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2011, 01:28:42 AM »
hi missy i was there then as well, do you remember thelma, colleen, veronica, , i remember so much about that place, i was 15. left at 16, never have or will forget it
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Roxann65

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #66 on: August 26, 2011, 08:19:11 AM »
My name than was Roxann Sabo and I was from Ohio.I was at Bethesda in 81..I was 14 if I remember correctly. I have tried to forget about being there. The Wills were running it at the time. I remember a girl who was there by the name of Leda Rush. She was a sweet little girl and was pregnant when she was there. I have thought about alot of the girls from back than and have often wondered where they were now.  I was in the 1st room on the right when you entered the hall on the top bunk on the right. I remember standing in line for meals and having to write a letter home every week always knowing I would not get anything back from home. The cold shower room where we had to sit on the floor to shave our legs with those round "safe" razors. I hated it at Bethesda and always wondered what I had done that was so wrong my parents sent me there. I received numerous paddelings for failing on some of the subjects in school, and talking about wanting to go home on the phone when I did get the 1 call from home I got the whole time I was there.
I remember the day Christi came into the new building during church on a Sunday and told me to come with her, she took me over to the house and told me to pack my stuff I was leaving. I couldn't pack fast enough. She took me to the Hattiesburgh airport, put me on a plane and sent me home.
I have not been the same since I left there. It was the worst thing my parents could have done.
I would really like to reconnect with the girls who were there when I was. As I stated I do not remember alot of the names. I can be reached @ reneemaltimore@yahoo.com or you can find me on Facebook under the name Renee Maltimore. Renee is my middle name that I go by now .
I hope to hear from any of you .
Renee
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline tulip

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #67 on: March 24, 2012, 07:50:10 AM »
Its very true and all the above participants perform well..
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline jenniferR

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #68 on: April 08, 2012, 10:38:22 PM »
My mother was at the Bethesda home in hattiesburg. Gave birth in 1974 to a boy she was never allowed to hold him they let her go after his birth she was only 16 at that time. We think he was born between March and June but not certain. Her name was Linda Kay Williams she was 15 when she first came in 73 she turned 16 in Feb prior to his birth.if anyone remembers her or can help me my email is jenruppert00@yahoo.com
My mom was petite short pretty girl long dark hair lived in north Carolina south Carolina and Ohio prior to her stay at Bethesda.  Her parents both passed away when she was very young 5 or 6 and she lived with brothers and sisters ... hoping anyinfo about her may ring a bell to someone.thank you
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Splitsilk

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #69 on: April 29, 2012, 12:47:49 AM »
Hi everyone. My name is vicki lee or at least it was Lee back then  i am not sure why I decided to search for this subject tonight.  I was at the Bethesda home in 1976-1977.  I was there when Beth the girl that lost her leg from a train.  I had another friend that was there from my church named Tammy that had a baby. I felt so sorry for her they would not even let her see him.  There was Colleen that was a leader  and there was a girl named Karen who I was friends with.  There was also a Debbie who I knew from back at my church also. There were at least 4 girls that the paster of our church was able to convince their mothers to send them there.  
I am glad to hear that others had some of the same experiences as I did. As far as I am concerned it was pure torture.  I was beaten, forced to wash my face with comet cleanser, handcuffed to a chair with only a bible and a light in a dark room.  In the seventies we were forced to sleep on the floor next to the beds.  I remember spending Christmas there in 1977 and my mother sent me cloths and they gave them to the other girls.
I guess I was one of the lucky ones because my grandmother and my aunt started looking for me since I disappeared and my mom wouldn't tell them where I was. It took them 6 months to find me and once they did my family took the home to court and got me out of there. The judge said he had never seen a child as scared as I was in court and the abuse in the home would be put under investigation.  This was the first lawsuite brought against the home and the ones that ran it.
I still have nightmares to this place. And my mother and I didn't speak for over 5 years after I left the place.  She would not allow me to come back home so I had to go and live with other family members.  I would love to hear from anyone who was there when I was.  I don't remember many names only faces. My email is splitsilk@me.com. It has taken me many years to work through this experience. And have just recently told my children about it. This experience in this place led to several other tragic things happening to me and it has taken me years to forgive my mother for what she did to me.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline BlueDogs77

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Re: Bethesda Home for Girls
« Reply #70 on: May 08, 2012, 09:22:13 AM »
I have not had a chance to read through this entire thread but will as I can stomach it. My name is Darlene and when I was at Bethesda Home for Girls I believe it was later in either 81 or 82. I never made it off of "new girl status" as I, and a slowly growing group of girls devised a plan to get word out out to our parents since our required weekly letters home were heavily policed. I can recall the first letter I wrote being thrown back in my face again by an angry worker named Lisa. I used to remember her last name but have blocked it out apparently. She was mean and hateful and took great joy in making other girls miserable. Short, stout, and with a nose that looked like a pigs snout, her beady eyes shot daggers at you and when she was seen walking towards you, girls SCATTERED.

I have so much to say but wanted to add a quick post to let people who may be searching for others there at the same time know I was here. I had a few good friends there, a wild and curly haired red head who I want to call Patti but am unsure if that is her name now. A pretty blonde haired girl named Selena I believe, a brunette who looked much like me who I used to trade clothes with at times named Mary Beth I think, a blonde headed girl who was not a helper but was not on new girl status that pretended to be saved so while my helper Becky (she was such a witch) had chores to do outside would often "watch me" for her. It got so lax that she would often have 4 or more "new girls" to watch and we would sit in the back of the room hidden by the front bunk beds pretending to play Skip Bo or Uno while we really talked about our favorite songs, tv shows, etc. which of course were all things that were strictly off limits. Whispering to each other while someone took turns keeping "watch" by the door for us and breaking many rules especially the one where new girls were not allowed to talk to each other or even look at each other.

The things that may make me stand out and trigger a memory for someone:

I was from California and people always remarked about my "California accent".
I have bluegreen eyes, am short at 5' 1" have curly unruly frizzy brunette hair which I kept cut short in the front and "feathered" as was the style then, and long in the back.
I was the one who got narked on by some girl who was in on the plan that got "saved" before we could fully execute it. Here are the details of what went down:

"Patti" (I think that was her name but may not have been) had been told by her mother (in order to get her to go there willingly we discovered when we got busted) that if she would agree to go and didn't like it she could send her mom a letter with the code "Did our dog have her puppies yet?" which would alert her mother that all was not well and she wanted to go home because their dog was spayed.

She wrote the letter and the plan was she would get out and smuggle out letters and addresses to other girls parents so when on the outside she could freely warn them of the horrors going on in that home. Code was written in bibles (I kept mine for many years but have no idea what ever happened to it now) using a system of circling andor underlining the numbers and letters needed to spell out someones parents names and addresses. To the uneducated eye it simply looked as if there was normal high lighting of certain passages, etc. as was common in everyone's bible for whatever reason (favorite verse, need to memorize, etc. etc.) Each person had it in a unique color until we ran out of color options and then started over again so there was no confusing it. Names first, then street address, then street name, city, state, zip code and perhaps even a phone number following it.

Our idea was that at least ONE of our parents would also pull us from the school and that way whomever got out could also verify and back up Patti's claims. I wrote two letters to my mother, sealed them in envelopes and sewed one of them into the stomach of a teddy bear after removing some of the stuffing and folding it carefully. For not knowing how to sew well I did an amazing job. The seam was perfect, you could not tell the bear's original stitching had been removed and resewn again. Odd because until this day I can't even hem a dang pair of pants. The second was placed inside the lining of a purse she planned to take with her as well. Same thing as the teddy bear, carefully removed the stitching on the lining at the bottom of the purse or perhaps the top under the lip of the outer part of the purse which would have hid it better, slipped the letter inside ensuring it was pliable, flat, and would not be found during the search of her articles she would have to go through before being allowed to leave, and sewn up expertly.

Everything was going as planned (or so we thought) and this conspiracy went on for a while before we got narked out because Patti received a letter back from her mom stating that "Yes, the dog had puppies but there were some "complications" and the dog needed to go to the vet and she would update her when she knew something." We, being deliriously hopeful and soooo nieve all came to the conclusion that her mother was working on getting Patti out and perhaps was having issues backing out of the contract she probably signed when she enrolled Patti there. Blissfully unaware that Patti's mother never intended on letting her out of there before her year was up at least and was instilling stalling tactics. I remember Patti being excited and writing back a letter asking what type of complications the dog was having and I believe we got busted before her mothers next response.

I'll never forget that day. I came in from either lunch or bible study with Becky my prison guard and the nice girl who used to watch us (she was funny and crazy as hell too BTW, would love to find her again even if only online) was sitting wide eyed on the bunk across from mine and Becky's in our room. I recall her looking at me in that way that makes the hair on your arms stand straight up and I asked her as non-chalantly as possible, "What's wrong?" (why do I want to say Lisa or Laura or something here??? What was her name??? Arrggghh) She kept staring straight at me and with a look of utter shock and horror on her face which she was desperately trying to hide in front of Becky she said.... "I don't know, Mama and Lisa just came in here and took a purse and a teddy bear off of your bed."

Those words caused my heart to turn to ice. My stomach dropped and I'm sure I turned about 15 sheets of white in a split second. Nervously I asked, "What did they want with them?" She shook her head back and forth with great care never breaking eye contact with me and said very slowly, "I don't know.... but Mama did not look happy." At this point she was in a cold sweat as I could see it all over her face. She got up and bolted out of the room mumbling a good bye or an excuse to leave. Some how Becky never caught on to this and never even paid attention to our conversation it seemed.

Within minutes, just enough time for me to feel as if I was going to wet myself out of sheer terror, Lisa the worker who every one feared marched into our room, looked at me with a gleam in her eye and a wicked smile and said, "Come with me to the office, Mama wants to see you." Ice filled my veins, my legs went weak and I remember when I slowly got up from my bunk Lisa gladly leaned forward, roughly grabbed my arm, and "helped me along" to the office. The story goes on from there but I've written enough for now. Anyone involved in this fiasco will recognize something I've said.

I'll be checking into this forum and reading more posts in hopes of finding anyone who remembers me. Especially the few good friends I felt I had. I hope to reconnect with them in some way and I hope they do remember me.... All the photos I came back with from Bethesda have been lost long ago from moving. I had them for so many years and now they are gone. I wish I still had them but there's no sense in crying over spilt milk. My favorite photo was of me and Mary Beth standing side by side, she had borrowed one of my Gunnesax dresses and I was wearing this frilly and uncomfortable Gunnesax blouse and skirt.

I was there for Thanksgiving and Christmas of whatever year I was there and believe it was February perhaps when we got busted? I know I was still a new girl but had been there almost the 3 months required to get off new girl status when this all blew up in our faces. I was shipped to another school BTW after Mama Wills called my mother asking permission to severely punish me with a paddle. My mother refused and sent me to another school that actually threatened to send kids who misbehaved to a Roloff school. Hahahahahahaha! The kids there were duly impressed that I had been "kicked out" of a Roloff school. LOL

Started in Wisconsin, was kidnapped along with other kids after Child protective services came in and did interviews and smuggled across the border to Illinois to their main school with a small group of kids. My best friend Debbie had been at that school all along and we not only got that place shut down in the biggest fiasco to hit that sleepy town in Iriquois county in Penile, IL but made the newspapers. That story however, is for another day. I wish I had access to the papers archives or even could remember the name of that damned school. I've tried Googling different terms but nothing comes up. The newspaper accused us of snorting aspirin and all sorts of stupid stuff that was not true although that is the place I learned to play the pass out game....

There was a girl there too I'd love to find. While being smuggled to Illinois we were housed one night at some church family's house and her and I stayed up until everyone was asleep, smuggled make up and curling irons, etc. from the downstairs bathroom and snuck out of the house into the snow only to end up at a 24 hour laundromat and no plan. After fixing ourselves up we called our parents collect. Neither call went well.... The police pulled up there and were very sympathetic to our plight but drove us back to that home. Everyone was up eating breakfast and nobody even noticed we had been gone in all the mayhem. LOL

I'll write more later, for now I've written a novel but I hope someone recognizes something. Thank you. I have a Facebook page I would be happy to be contacted on here:

www.facebook.com/boricua.lady67

~Darlene~
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »