The Short Life of Hanna Williams

Hanna Grace Williams

Thirteen year old, Hanna Williams’s nude, dead body was found dead wrapped in a dirty sheet in her back yard on May 12, 2011.  Adoptive parents, Larry and Carri Williams were arrested Thursday, September 29, 2011 by the Sagget County Sheriff Department.  Larry and Carri Williams are being held  in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Hanna was adopted from Ethiopia, along with her now 10-year-old deaf-mute brother, Immanueal by  Larry and Carri Williams in 2008.  The Williams were approved to adopted these children through “Adoptive Advocates International” (AAI) an international adoption agency.

According to the “Probable Cause Affidavit” Hanna was made to sleep outdoors or in the barn often.  She was made to use a “Port-a-Potty” out behind the barn.  Upon her arrival in the United States, Hannah was within all normal weight and developmental levels.  Hanna had lost a lot of weight due to be denied food.

According to the arrest warrant, Carri Williams would stomp on the floor and yell at her deaf adoptive son. She then would punish him for “faking” not hearing her.  The tool Carri Williams used was  plumbing supply line, a flexible plastic tube, which the surviving children tell police Ms. Williams would keep in her bra.  Ms. Williams allegedly told numerous people how much she regretted adopted either of the children.  Ms. Williams allegedly stated numerous times how much she disliked Hannah.

Warning!  Possible triggering information.

The Probable Cause Affidavit gives horrific details of the investigation uncovered by law enforcement into Hanna’s death. Included are interviews with the surviving children, and medical examiner report concerning Hanna Williams death, and others who knew these adoptive parents were also interviewed.

Documents found in the Williams home included the book entitled “To Train Up a  Child” by Michael and Debi Pearl.   The Pearl’s child training methods have been linked to the death of Sean Paddock and Lydia Schatz.  More recently,  Gary Tuchman, a correspondent with CNN’s Anderson Cooper-360 did a story on the Schatz case.  Included is an interview with Michael and Debi Pearl.

Many IFB pastors, and churches sell this book in their church bookstore.  It is often given at baby showers, and to young parents by their IFB pastor.

For a more precise timeline surrounding the death of Hana Williams please read, How Could You?  Hall of Shame UPDATED

25 thoughts on “The Short Life of Hanna Williams

  1. Teaching children what they are supposed to do and having patience as they learn, results in much happier families and children.

    This precious child could have had a safe home with people who love her but the state of TX determined me and my husband showed an “inability to work with the agency” and nothing could be further from the truth. We worked with the agency, the agency would not work with us.

    Instead, people such as the Williams take children, who need a home, and abuse and kill them! If she did not want the children, why not tell the adoption agency or someone who would love and protect them? Maybe we need a billboard on the web site: “Children, love them, or leave them with me!”

  2. I blame Ethiopia and those agencies who sell the kids to such parents. Hanna might have endured a lot while in her own country and might have hoped that she is given a chance to be a child when she met her adoptive parents. She was wrong!

    She would have been better off in the streets of Ethiopia begging and sleeping on the side walks just like other unfortunate kids her age.
    This is torture and nobody helped her! Nobody!
    Hanna, your biological parents failed you, your extended family failed you, the adoptive agencies faile you, your adoptive parents tortured you and killed you. Your country failed you.Everybody failed you! May you rest in peace little angele!
    Martha from Ethipia

    • martha,
      your thinking is off. How dare you say, her biological parents failed her. Did you know them? Probably not. Also, “her country failed her”? Your country failed her. White Americans in this country, White Europeans, and White Australians have created a baby business. If they weren’t buying children, children wouldn’t be harvested and sold. Haven’t you read in the news about international adoptions and all the corruption going on? Children are being harvested for the purpose of being sold so adoption agencies and their employees can be wealthy. Did you know that most of the orphanages there are created by adoption agencies? For all you know, she could have been harvested away from a family that was there for her. You are ignorant and need to encourage others to help instead of putting down an entire country and people who you don’t know. And by help, I don’t mean buy children so they can show them off. I mean helping families and improving the beautiful developing lands such as Africa. Stop buying children. Help the whole family and nation.

  3. Why would we hear such horrible stories?
    Parents in general and adoptive parents in particular should know their responsibilities and should have patience and big heart to raise kids. Adopted kids have experienced so much pain in their past, loss of one or two parents, rejection, poverty and the likes. These people have 6 kids already, and I think putting adoptive kids in such a crowded household will hurt the kids. These kids need love, trust and acclimatize to their new environment. But these parents are busy with their 6 children and they added up extra two, two broken hearts. Kids are not pets that you dump in the back yard because they didn’t meet their expectations. Hanna is failed by many and died a sad death. I have difficulty sleeping since I came across her story. One, I came from that unfortunate country she is originated from and I know there will many Hanna’s to come in the future and I cannot help them. We don’t have a government that will protect the suffering of these kids by facilitating a life in their own country.

  4. Pingback: Reactions to Hana Williams story | Why Not Train A Child?

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  6. When I read these stories, it makes me so glad something like that didn’t happen in our family, because it easily could have. My parents were going down the path of following the Pearl’s teaching until Social Services was called and and became involved. It makes me so sad because I don’t think most of the parents are doing this with the intent to hurt their children, but they are just being told by their churches and christian friends that is what they must do. When it doesn’t seem to produce the results it is supposed to, they figure they must not be disciplining enough, and their “discipline” (if it wasn’t before) becomes physical abuse. I’ve heard people say this book doesn’t recommend “physical abuse,” but it does. And when things like this keep happening to people who are following the Pearl’s advice, it is evidence that the book is advocating this type of parental behavior.

  7. Don’t bother posting anything contrary to their belief’s on their facebook page (No Greater Joy Ministries) as your posts will be deleted and you will be blocked. It’s scary that they don’t even have enough confidence in their own beliefs to engage in a civil, spiritually honest discourse. Instead they much ‘whip’ any dissenters and keep the conversation decidedly one-sided. So much for their ability to stand up to the instruction for Christians to test all things against scripture.

    • Attempting to silence critics is a hallmark of those seeking to lead via control rather than servant-leadership. The supporters continue to say the books/curriculum doesn’t advocate abuse. The evidence we’ve seen so clearly in these recently publicized cases show that “not advocating” and “providing a framework that supports” are two different things.

      When the punishment of a child becomes the focal point, something has gone vastly wrong with one’s parenting methods. Sadly, this is what happens all too often with Pearl and other methodologies. In an attempt to gain a “controllable” child, the parent fails to truly reach the child’s heart with God’s love. Both God and the parent become someone to fear rather than emulate and cling to.

  8. Punishment is a very real aspect of life. We deal with natural consequences on a daily basis – if we mess up at work we can lose our jobs, if we speed we get a ticket, etc. For Christians we understand that God is merciful, full of grace AND just – which includes that unpopular destination called hell. However, Jesus may require our obedience, but he never demands it. He quietly stands at the door and knocks and allows us the choice to open the door. The Old Testament is filled with harsh examples of punishment under the Law. Paul clearly talks about the law bringing death and not life. But Christ came to complete the Law and establish the New Covenant. So why do the Pearl’s advocate a method that is based upon the Old Covenant instead of Christ?

    The Pearl’s methods develop children who are not inconvenient to their parents. It makes for a seemingly happy and peaceful home. Some children may be naturally more compliant and thus do not endure many switchings. Their experience growing up may be quite different from a sibling who has a more willful personality and therefore struggled longer before being ‘broken’.

    The sad reality is there are so many adults raised via these methodologies now struggling to put their lives together. Once freed from the abuse they could finally speak out and express their true unhappiness and deep pain. Unfortunately they would be viewed as ‘lost and sinful’ adults by their parents. I wish there was a central online location or message board for survivors of this type of “Religious” parenting, both for their support and as a warning for other parents considering employing the Pearl’s teachings.

  9. Pingback: “To Train Up A Child” Child Abuse Manuel? | chucklestravels

  10. According to court records – Adopto Monster Carri Williams bonded out yesterday 10/7/2011
    I hope the children are protected :(
    Hana’s life taken ..should be mandatory sentence Life without Parole

  11. Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thank you Nevertheless I’m experiencing situation with ur rss . Don?t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical rss problem? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  12. Pingback: Showdown on CNN: Anderson Cooper vs Michael Pearl (Transcript) « chucklestravels

  13. ms, ethiopia
    how is the court thing going on? have the murderers get their sentence yet? i wish the sentence be a death sentence for those savages..

  14. The Pearls need to be stopped, and pastors who purchase these books and distribute them among their congregations need to be stopped and parents who read this filth and think it’s even remotely appropriate parenting need to be stopped.

    But a tangential issue is this practice of fundamentalist Christian families adopting children in order to “save” them. Many of these parents don’t even want to adopt these kids, they’re often already overstressed and overburdened with large biological families due to the “quiverful” mentality, but they are pressured into adopting by their churches.

    Also, adoption standards have to be higher. No member of a church that advocates the Pearl’s methods ought to be allowed to adopt children. Here, in the US, these people would be screened out by mainstream adoption agencies. But these Christian agencies that specialize in these sorts of Christian adoptions probably consider a willingness to beat the “heathen” out of these kids a plus.

    The adoption issue is a big part of this story. Lydia Schatz and her sister were beaten harder and more often than the Schatz’s biological children, according to the Schatz children. Adopted kids like Lydia and Hanna are often emotionally damaged and cannot attach to their adopted parents or assimilate into their new families. In these Christian circles, that means they’re _more_ likely to be beaten and less likely to get the real psychological help they need.

    Michael and Debi Pearl are evil, evil people. This is at least the fourth child who has died as a result of their evil teachings and practices. Their book is basically a how-to manual for child abusers. Why this is still allowed in the USA is beyond me. No other civilized country would allow this kind of animalistic, abusive behavior.

  15. That’s one of the most stupid acts that MS. Cari Williams ever done. I’m sorry to say this but I’ve to.
    I hope all the none of us in this world will never do the same.
    Anyway, I’m very sorry about this issue of the Innocent Hannah.


  16. Why does “punishment” mean “pain” to so many people? I raised two children without corporal punishment – no hitting. Yes, there were consequences to misbehavior. Just not ones that included physical pain. One daughter is now happily married with 2 kids of her own. No criminal record, graduated from college, successful in life. My son has special needs. Beatings would have done nothing to help him “understand” how to behave. Patience has done wonders!
    IF so-called “Christians” actually READ the Bible, more over studied it in the original context & translations from Greek to English, they’d have a clearer understanding of the intent of many passages relating to everything from helping orphans & widows to raising children. As an example: Eph 6:4 “And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition* of the Lord.” Her the word, admonition* literally means ‘a putting in mind’, or instruction (of the Lord). The term “spare the rod” is a reference to the rod used by a sheppeherd to herd sheep. The rod was placed on one side of the sheep to push them, or guide them, in the direction they should go, NOT to beat the sheep into submission.
    And where the heck is this “Christian” movement to “adopt” the world’s “orphans” coming from? First of all, calling it a “biblical calling” is CRAP! “I want a baby. I can’t have one of my own so therefore I’m going to take someone else’s and justify it by calling it ‘biblical'” is a load of crap! The bible calls us to care for ‘orphans AND widows’. Are these people taking WIDOWS into their homes as well?
    Then they call an “orphan” a child with “one or no parent”. Since when is a child WITH A PARENT an “orphan”? Again, justifying the taking of someone else’s child to fulfill their own desires. Better to leave the child in their own country, take that $30-40,000 international adoption costs and HELP the child live VERT WELL with his or her extended family into adulthood in the country they were born in. IMHO

  17. You may want to correct the county. This was in Skagit County. The crime took place somewhere in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Currently, Larry Paul Williams is being help in the Snohomish County Jail. I think of this little girl often. She is the same age as my daughter and this occurred in our hometown. To say the least, I am devastated by the horrible crimes these people have done. What’s odd, when you look at the jail roster, Ms. Williams is no where to be found. She is just as much guilty, so where is she?


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