Invisible Children

Child of Samuel and Diana Franklin

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.


Diana and Samuel Franklin confined their 15 year old adopted daughter to a chicken coop, required her to wear a shock collar, and restricted her food and water. The girl was adopted in 2007, five years before the abuse was discovered, and was homeschooled. She reported that her long stints in the chicken coop (up to six straight days) and other outbuildings (including a small outhouse) were punishments for not completing her schoolwork or for not doing her chores properly, and that jolts of electricity from the shock collar were likewise a form of punishment administered by her parents. Diana told a neighbor that she was just “doing what the Bible says” when administering such punishments. The girl was also required to perform extensive manual labor.

In November 2015, Diana was found guilty of 28 counts of child abuse. Her lawyer based his defense on the argument that Diana was merely trying to raise her daughter in accordance with her religious beliefs. Samuel’s trial will take place in December 2015.