Invisible Children

2 Children of Keith and Susan Ludwig

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Investigators responding to an anonymous tip in 1997 found that Keith and Susan Ludwig forced their two daughters, aged 13 and 15, to sleep in make-shift cages with a brick-and-string alarm system and whipped them with leather straps, sticks, and rubber hoses. Authorities had investigated the Florida couple for child abuse in 1993, but while the father had told them that he requires the girls to follow rules and spanks them if need it, the investigators said they found no substantiating evidence of abuse. The family was investigated again in 1994, and again the allegations were not substantiated. When the investigators visited the home in 1997 after another tip to a child abuse hotline, they were finally able to substantiate the abuse, finding severe bruising on the girls’ backs and buttocks. Authorities said the girls were homeschooled.

Date: March 1997
Locationa: Myakka City, Florida

Documents: Date:
Abuse Complaint Was Not Pair’s First 1997-03-27