John and Carrie Davis
John and Carrie Davis
A case of apparent religious madness and delusion leading to spiritual and physical abuse.
Deputies unearthed bone fragments Wednesday while searching for the grave of a boy born to a Wonder Valley couple, charged with torturing two other sons in their High Desert home.
(...) About 15 miles away in Joshua Tree, John and Carrie Davis, shook their heads as a judge recited six felony charges against them. John Davis' sister, Faye Potts, 46, faces the same charges. They were held on $2 million bail each and could face life in prison if convicted of torture. During an interview Monday before their arrests, the Davises denied they abused or chained their children. The charges include two counts each of torture, felony child abuse involving great bodily harm and false imprisonment.
(...) The charges resulted from the alleged abuse of the couple's sons Yahweh, 17, and Angel, 12. The elder boy, who bears the Hebrew name of God, called 911 Saturday to say that the boys were chained in the bedroom of their Wonder Valley home. ''It appears that from birth, the children had been isolated from the outside world,'' Root said. Investigators said the boys were fed only bread and rice and had been allowed to speak only by reading from the Bible or when spoken to. Healed wounds indicated repeated beatings, authorities said. The boys were severely underdeveloped mentally and physically, with wasted muscles that make it difficult for them to walk, Root said. The children apparently were not permitted to use a bathroom but went outside ''in an animal way,'' she said. Their hygiene allegedly consisted of receiving a shower every few months from a cold hose, Root said.
(...) ''The evidence is that both surviving boys were disciplined with rods and beatings, more ritual than corrective,'' Root said. ''I have no reason to believe the 5- to 6-year-old lived in any better conditions than his brothers.'' The search for a gravesite began at daybreak. The Davises had said their son, Rainbow Lord, was about 6 when he died and was buried in the desert, authorities said. The boy apparently was their middle son. Investigators did not believe Rainbow was murdered, but that he may have died as a result of neglect, Root said. They are investigating the child's death to shed light on the conditions faced by his surviving brothers, she said. ''The child was probably ill, probably dying, and there was no effort to acquire any kind of medical intervention,'' Root said. ''They're saying it was against their religious beliefs to seek medical help.''
(...) Carrie Davis wiped tears from her cheeks while Judge James C. McGuire read the charges. The two women sat handcuffed together in the courtroom. John Davis sat a row in front of them, sometimes turning around to make eye contact. They wore dark green inmate clothing. When the judge asked Davis if that is his true name, Davis replied it was the name on his birth certificate but not his real name. Asked what his real name is, he replied softly, ''Lord.'' John Davis had changed his name to Rajohn Lord, according to Social Security Administration records.
Bones found; tests awaited, Inland Empire Online/Press-Enterprise, Oct. 19, 2000
Items added after August, 2002:
» Religion News Blog News Collection, various sources
» Database of archived news items about John and Carrie Davis
(Includes items added between Oct. 25, 1999 and Jan. 31, 2002. See about this database)