Invisible Children

6 Children of Patrick McMullen

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.


Patrick McMullen raped his daughters, beat his wife and sons, and isolated his family in a converted nightclub with an eight-foot double fence from 1995 to 2001. Patrick, who was active in the John Birch Society, covered the windows with dark cloth and held his family hostage, confining them in what media described as a cult-like atmosphere. There were six children in the family; all were homeschooled (school officials visited the family in 1995, shortly before they moved into the converted nightclub, and were assured that the children were being educated at home). The terror ended when Patrick’s wife Christine finally took the children and fled. The children had been so isolated and controlled that they did not even know how to turn on a shower or use a crosswalk. Patrick was tried and convicted of child rape and indecent assault and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Date: May 2001
Location: Salisbury, Massachusetts

Documents: Date:
Father of Isolated Family Charged with Raping Daughters 2001-06-16
Man Who Isolated Family Accused of Rape, Assault 2001-06-16
Police Unravel Tale of Salisbury Family’s Abuse 2001-06-18
Police Investigated Death of Seventh McMullen Child 2001-06-23
Father convicted of hiding, abusing family for years 2005-02-19
Salisbury man gets 40 years to life for abusing his family 2005-02-19