Monday, September 26, 2011

Anderson: Abandoned & Abused

Anderson opened today's program introducing us to Will and Kristen Stillman, twins who were abused physically, sexually and emotionally for 12 years. There mother left them with their abuser. We are introduced to Will and Kristen in a voice over video before they join Anderson on stage.

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We leaned the various types of inhumane discipline that Will suffered, that Kristen had four children fathered by her abuser - the first when she was 14 years old (they have since been adopted to wonderful homes), that their mother witnessed the abuse and did nothing. Various times they tried to get help from adults, but were turned away. When Kristen was in the hospital giving birth to her fourth child, her oldest told Will that "grandpa" was raping her. This finally caused Will and Kristin to seek help from Detective Philp Stanford, who when they reported the abuse, believed their story. Anderson reported that charges were brought and two of the people in the house while the abuse took place are on probation and registered sex offenders, "Grandpa" died before sentencing, Eric received a sentence of 300 years in prison which he is currently serving and Karen Stillman a 16 year prison sentence.

Because Will and Kristen cannot see their mom (part of the sentencing) Anderson interviewed her from prison. Below is part of that interview ~

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In the audience and joining Will & Kristen on the couch - their Aunt, Dee Ann Anderson (their biological father's sister -- he doesn't want to meet them, no does he want Dee Ann to talk about them to him), Clint Van Zandt and FBI profiler who said in his opinion, "They are the ultimate survivors" and Detective Philip Stanford - the detective who helped and believed in them.

Anderson took to the audience for questions and we learned that Kristen had another baby 6 months ago that she is raising with her boyfriend, that Will and his girlfriend are expecting, and that Clint Van Zandt recommended additional therapy for them and Anderson made the offer, if Kristen and Will are interested.

Anderson's personal take away from today's program ~


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For additional clips from today's program, please visit andersoncooper.com

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15 comments:

Broadway Bound Bunny said...

The mother, if you can call her that, has no clue about what went on, she is in total denial and as Anderson mentioned it's all about her and no one else.

Anonymous said...

If anderson wants victims of abuse, how about the original, Holocaust victims.
Granted many are dead but if both DC and NYC can both have memorials as a tribute, this show would be an original.
Yes, the victims would be old, but the national trend is senior.
Let's try to elevate the discussions instead of sinking to the lowest common denominator of television.

MichellenLomita said...

Anderson had a Live Chat on the show's site today at 9:30 AM PT (logged in from my work computer lol). It was fun and kind of exciting to see him live answering fan's questions and calling by our user names. I asked if he would bring the show to Hollywood occasionally; he said yes! Liked the color of his shirt today but won't be watching the video of Mon. broadcast. Food intervention for Tue. looks interesting, except for the dinner planning part. Getting used to watching computer vids, when they'll work on my smart phone!

NancyDL said...

I don't understand why "anonymous" calls Monday's program "the lowest common denominator of television". To me, we're having our own Holocaust right here in America as children die or are injured irreparably by their parents and/or caretakers. When our public institutions fail our children, the stories need to be told. If stories like this are smoothed over, the abuses go on and on. I found these young people inspiring. I hope Anderson will keep us posted on them from time to time.

ACAnderFan said...

I didn't like today's episode of 'Anderson' at all. I think he needs to move on from this stuff and frankly I never have understood why people feel the need to go on TV and share their tragedies.

Dorothy said...

I think these subjects must be covered so that people are aware of them and in some way move forward. This show was very hard to watch, however, maybe there are children out there going through the same thing that, hopefully, can gain some strength and hope from watching them. If the problem isn't presented and people just push these things under the carpet, you have no hope of solving the problem. You cannot solve something you are not aware of or even afraid to speak up about. Maybe there are people who watched this that live next door to people they have questioned and were afraid to step forward and now will. I think these stories need to be brought to the attention of anyone who will listen and be made aware of. I know that I for one get involved in my own everyday life and and then see this and it pulls me right back into the reality that things like this are really happening and its time to pay more attention!

Anonymous said...

While I didn't find today's show bad, I was a little disappointed in how the topic was handled. I thought hearing the kids speak was great, but the first part of Anderson grilling the mother was enough... If the kids wanted questions answered, fine, just share that part with them and not the television audience. The second part of the mom interview seemed a little much for me. This would have left more time for the discussion of how to identify children who are at risk in these types of situations, signs to look for, ways to help, etc.; things that would have made the show more beneficial IMO.

The other thing that bothered me is that the kids have not been given the counseling they need. And yes, Anderson made that offer, but when the girl already has a 6 month old baby with a boyfriend and the guy and his girlfriend are expecting a baby -- I worry about people with such emotional issues being parents and unmarried parents at that. Call me old fashioned, but it all just seemed to me like the dysfunction is being continued.

I was never a fan of these types of daytime programs -- while the topic could be good -- to much drama and too little substance for me. Probably why I only watched Oprah once or twice a year and never watch Maury, Springer, etc.

In regards to the station discussion in the previous post -- in Chicago, Anderson is on FOX, not one of the main three networks. Oprah was replaced by a new Chicago talk show called Windy City Live. So in the three top markets, he is not on major networks and did not garner the Oprah time slot or anything close to it.

SM Pratt said...

Well, glad ATA covered this episode because Charter in Birmingham decided to repeat Friday's show instead of today's.

If Anderson wants to interview people who have overcome something like sex abuse and abduction, why doesn't he try to get Elizabeth Smart? She not only survived but has gone on to again lead a normal life and go to college, etc. Her story is unique too as she survived and returned to her family - so many times the abducted child is killed.

Another person I'd like to see on there is John Walsh who could tell us what steps to take if our child is kidnapped/missing. Who to call, what records, etc. to have, what to expect, etc. John has probably done this a lot already but it doesn't hurt repeating.

judy said...

@10:26PM: You make all valid points and I'd like to commend the person who wrote about the Holocaust and their survivors.
Nothing can compare to this tragedy, nothing, and for anyone to say "we're having our own Holocaust" because teens are giving birth to children and then abusing them," needs to restudy history and the plight of the "chosen people."
It is bad enough that illiterate people deny the Holocaust, but to put an episode of "Anderson" on an equal playing field with man's inhumanity to man and then to justify it, amazes me.

MichellenLomita said...

Hope the show lightens up a lot so I can watch it. I watch TV for relaxation and entertainment, and prefer to see Anderson when he's upbeat and having a good time as the host.

lmarshall4@tds.net said...

You go BOY! I thought the show was an eye opener for all of us who think everything is just hunky dory. Anderson finds out what is really going on behind closed doors. The Det. Philip was easy on the eyes too! ( Is he married??) :)

Anonymous said...

I have a suggestion to all of you who complained about the show - TURN OFF THE TELEVISION. You don't HAVE to watch every day.

Claire said...

I don't look at it like people are complaining, they are voicing their opinions. I kind of thought that was the point of having a post comment section. And Anderson would be amiss if he didn't have his staff checking out some of the major Anderson blogs(which this is)to see what people are saying, positive and negative.

Dorothy said...

We can tuck it neatly and safely into a nice pretty tidy little package called freedom of speech, a right to your own opinion, etc., but I call it just plain old complaining a lot of the time - but then, that seems to be my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I DO NOT watch Anderson's daytime show.
I said I wouldn't and I don't.
I do not watch daytime television.
However I do read the comments and find them enlightening and everyone has a right to give their suggestions.
Judy