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A Legacy of Pain - Finally home
Written by Editor   
Monday, 28 September 2009 11:32
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A Legacy of Pain
She deserved better
The fight for custody
Finally home
The rebellion
Whitnei's murder
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Finally home

One year after Whitnei's third disappearance, the Dubois family received another phone call. This time, the call came from Social Services in Nevada, and the conversation finally brought Whitnei home – for good.

"Child protection seized all three kids," Mike recalled. "They were in an orphanage in Las Vegas, and the kids didn't know how to contact us. Whitnei kept saying, ‘Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw Dubois from Jenny, Louisiana' and finally, child protection called the Jennings Police Department to ask if they knew us. An officer there knew my dad and went to my dad's house with the phone number to the orphanage. It was like Christmas that day."

Elery had a fear of flying – hence the last two-day drive to Las Vegas. But when he received that phone call, no fear could keep him away from his answered prayers.

"He took the first plane out and was finally able to officially adopt Whitnei, as well as Taylor," Mike said. Their brother, meanwhile, was placed in the custody of Elery's sister.

Whitnei was 10 years old at the time; Taylor was 13.

Unfortunately, the "happily ever after" ending never came, as the damage to Whitnei had already been done.

The husbands

Louella had eight husbands that Taylor can remember, and she remembers all eight for various reasons – none of them good.

The "Texas husband" handcuffed 7-year-old Taylor to a water pipe outside as a form of punishment, but Taylor had it easy then. Her brother, 5-year-old Cody, wasn't as fortunate. He received so many beatings that today, he suffers from scar tissue and cysts on the back of his brain. Whitnei, only four years old at the time, was spared any beatings from that particular man.

With that said, the Texas husband was a walk in the park. Life was good then.

Louella's Las Vegas husband, "Smokie," was better at torture.

"It was worse for Cody," Taylor remembered. "Smokie broke a leather belt over him; broke a ping pong paddle over him; put his fingertips to a stove and burned him when he was caught stealing from a store. Because we were girls, we were just sent to our rooms."

One day, Cody – quickly forming a temper of his own – chased Taylor down the road with a butcher knife. When "Smokie" caught up to the young boy, he took the knife from Cody, grabbed his wrists and sliced them open to teach him a lesson.

"Me and Whitnei would huddle in the closet and cry," remembered Taylor. "We could hear our brother screaming, but we couldn't do anything to stop it."

Taylor, meanwhile, was the life of the party. During her parents' drunken stupor, she would get yanked out of her bed at 2 a.m. to "entertain" the crowd.

Life was still easier then.

A few husbands later, in walked the devil, and life wasn't so easy anymore.

The Devil

"Jerry was an ex-golden glove boxer, and he was insane," Taylor said. "We referred to him as ‘the devil' and he creeped me out instantly."

At first, Louella's latest boyfriend would only pinch and grab here and there, and didn't care if the children's mother was watching when he made his inappropriate advances.

"Then, when Mom would pass out at night from the drugs, he'd start coming into my room," Taylor continued. "He'd come in there every night. I remember sleeping next to a little window, and I'd look at the moon and say a little prayer to God and to my real dad."

Taylor's biological father, whom she would regularly visit just as Whitnei would visit the Dubois family, had passed away earlier in the year. She wasn't allowed to attend his funeral because Louella was scared that Taylor's step-mom would refuse to send her back.

Taylor eventually told her mother about Jerry's nightly visits and prayers for those visits to stop.

"You're lying because you are jealous and you're just trying to come between me and Jerry," her mother frankly told her. She would later say the same thing to 8-year-old Cody and 7-year-old Whitnei.

Taylor still remembers the first time "the unthinkable" happened to her baby sister.

"The three of us were outside, cutting the grass with scissors and steak knives, when Whitnei went inside for something to drink," Taylor noted. "That's when it happened. I didn't find out about it until the counselor talked to us."

Life under the devil's roof continued for a year, until one night, someone touched the heater.

"They came in that night from the bar, and they were really messed up," Taylor said. "He came into our room, hollering that someone touched the heater. I smarted off to him that we didn't touch it. Whitnei was awake and crying because he was screaming at me. He jerked Cody out of bed, but Whitnei and Cody ran into the bathroom to hide."

The next thing Taylor remembers is the ex-boxer's blow to the left side of her face – a total knockout.

"When I woke up, there were piles of clothes on me and a chair that he had broke over my head," she said. "The cops were there. The neighbors probably called them. Mom was sitting at one side of the table with handcuffs on; he was in cuffs at the other end."

Taylor's eye was swollen shut, and she looked in the mirror and cried to her baby sister: "I'm so ugly," Taylor told Whitnei, who replied, "But you're still beautiful to me."

Those were strong words coming from a frightened 7-year-old little sister.

The three kids were sent to a children's home, but after a restraining order was filed against Jerry, the kids were returned to their mother approximately one week after the violent episode.

Then, approximately one week after being returned to the care of Louella, she brought home "a big surprise."

The surprise was Little Debbie cakes – delivered by the devil himself. Taylor rolled her eyes at the gift, and quickly took another blow to her still-swollen face.

The next day, an infuriated Taylor called 911 and told on her mother and the man she considered murdering in his sleep.

The children returned to the orphanage, where a counselor learned of their nightmares at home. While the children were undergoing counseling, Louella was walking down the aisle with Jerry.

Even still, the system gave Louella one more opportunity to regain custody of her kids.

"The judge told her to choose between the kids and the new husband," Taylor remembered, "and she chose the devil."

Louella's love affair with Jerry wouldn't last for long, however. He was eventually convicted for committing sex crimes against the children.

Once in the care of the Dubois family, Louella called to "check in" from time to time. Still residing in Las Vegas, she flew to Jennings in 2007 to attend Whitnei's funeral. Louella's own lifestyle caught up to her earlier this month, when she drank herself to death.



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