April 12, 2013

In January 1993, supporters of the Edenton Seven held a press conference in Hertford to demand that North Carolina authorities bring to an end – in the words of Raymond Lawrence – “this continuing social catastrophe.”

Also speaking out were Doug Wiik of Langhorne, Pa., a day care owner who survived a close call with the mania, and Susan Corbett, director of a day care in Richmond, Va.

Ms. Corbett’s contribution also included weekly letters to Dawn Wilson while she was imprisoned and gifts for her baby at Easter.

Now retired, Ms. Corbett says she recognized immediately that the Little Rascals charges were preposterous: “There was no question in my mind. If somebody killed a rabbit at my day care, everybody in town would know it in 24 hours.”

So why did so many others succumb?

“I think people uncomfortable with sexuality bought into it more easily. The Bible Belt, the right wing and a perverted, anti-sexual stage of feminism all came together…. And the world of social work was being sold a bill of goods at that time – all that crap with (anatomically correct) dolls.”