While law enforcement investigation into the murder of Carol Ann Cole has stated publicly that they think there is no possible connection between the murder and Independent Fundamentalist Baptist pastor Mack Ford it also cannot be conclusively ruled out either. At least not by what evidence was released to the public. If there is evidence completely ruling out Mack Ford and anyone at New Bethany we have not seen it.
Mack Ford and his various troubled teen homes, like New Bethany Home for Girls loomed large in the world of northern Louisiana back in the era of Carol Ann’s murder. He cast a big shadow, and even back then there were allegations from those incarcerated in his institutions of the worst types of sexual and physical abuse. That’s not to mention the mental abuse and intimidation.
Here are just a few of the more twisted things Ford is known to have done during his years at New Bethany.
- He released snakes into the girls dormitories after saying snakes were going to bite any girl there who was rebellious.
- Told New Bethany residents that if they ran away they would be killed by the local Satanist group in a ritual sacrifice or eaten by the alligators in the wild.
- Allegedly sold babies born at New Bethany in illegal adoptions.
- When traveling with New Bethany girls on fundraising trips said to have pimped out the girls to pastors and others for payment.
- Blamed any abuse reports on the children filing the report – calling the children ‘lying and manipulative’
- Denied decent education, nutrition and medical care to the children in his homes, going so far that most of the girls at New Bethany stopping having their periods.
- Witnesses have reported children either disappearing without a trace from his homes or seeing a child beaten to death.
- Residents were severely beaten for small infractions.
- Denied bathroom privileges.
- Raped some of the residents.
These are just a few of the things he’s reportedly done. Several years ago a group of the former residents came forward and attempted to get Louisiana law enforcement to investigate the years of abuse they’d each suffered and to file charges. Local law enforcement declined to do so.
There’s no denying that severe abuse occurred at many of Mack Ford’s homes. There are too many accounts out there, detailed accounts of the routine abuses handed down, such as were described in former Longstreet Home resident James Swift in his book “Rusted Rhinestones”
Local law enforcement claims that they didn’t realize there was abuse going on in those troubled teen homes, but when parents would call local law enforcement to ask about New Bethany before placing their children they weren’t given glowing recommendations. Instead they were told that there were abuse allegations going way back to the 1970s, warned off New Bethany.
There are others alleging that the law knew about the abuse for a very long time and did nothing.
But eventually the state of Louisiana did start taking a hard look at Mack Ford and his homes, resulting in lengthy court battles. Next week we’ll look at the thousands of pages in the many lawsuits against Ford and his battles to keep CPS out of his business.
Where there is smoke there is usually a raging fire no matter how venerated the pastor is.
If anyone has any information on the murder of Carol Ann Cole or knows how Carol Ann got to Louisiana from Texas please contact the Bossier Parish Sheriffs Dept at 318.965.2203 Please give Carol Ann Cole’s family the peace that comes with closure. This is still an unsolved open case being investigated.
In the meantime if you wish to contact anyone at NLQ about what happened to Carol Ann Cole, or with your own story please drop me an email at SuzanneNLQ@.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape. She can be reached at SuzanneNLQ@
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