Invisible Children

3 Grandchildren of James and Cheri Crawford

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.

cheri and james crawford
Three boys, ages 12, 11, and 8, were tortured by their grandparents, James and Cheri Crawford. The boys had been pulled from school to be homeschooled.

The boys had come to live with their grandparents after their father was murdered and their mother, a drug addict, abandoned them. The boys were starved and forced to eat spoiled food; they often had only a bucket for a bathroom. They were forced to do heavy manual labor and to stand at attention outside for hours at a time. The oldest boy was imprisoned in a trailer for a year and a half and spent most of the time blindfolded, resulting in a forehead scar. The 11-year-old was forced to shock his older brother with a shock collar and also had to sleep outside in a storage shed.

The abuse came to light when a neighbor witnessed Cheri abusing one of the children and called the authorities. Cheri and James Crawford entered Alford pleas and were sentenced to 8 and 7 years in prison, respectively.

Date: July 2009
Hartsville, South Carolina


Documents: Date:
Grandparents Sentenced In Child Abuse Case 07-26-2010
SC grandparents plead guilty to abuse with ‘goat whips and shock collars’ 07-26-2010
Grandparents plead guilty to abuse with ‘goat whips and shock collars’ 07-26-2010
Neighbors react to Hartsville grandparents’ child abuse case 07-27-2010