The Little Rascals Bookshelf

For introductions

Though last updated in 1997, Frontline’sย “Innocence Lost” websiteย remains the most comprehensive single source for reporting on the Little Rascals Day Care case.

Especially useful: aย chronology, profiles of theย defendants, aย roundtable discussionย of the caseโ€™s legal and scientific issues, excerpts fromย childrenโ€™s testimonyย andย closing arguments.

And you donโ€™t want to miss prosecutor Nancy Lambโ€™s breathtakingly self-righteous journal article “The Little Rascals Day Care Case: The Ingredients of Two Successful Prosecutions” (1994).

Overviews of the Little Rascals case

โ€“ย ย Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

โ€“ย ย Answers in Action

โ€“ย ย Wikipedia

โ€“ย  โ€œChild Sex Scandals: Modern Day Witch-Hunt?โ€ CBS Correspondent Mike Wallaceโ€™s 1999 report for the โ€œ20th Centuryโ€ documentary series, which opens with the McMartin Pre-School case in California and includesย  a segment on the Little Rascals case.

Court documents

โ€“ย Brief for Bob Kellyย before North Carolina Court of Appeals (1994)

โ€“ย Rulingย by North Carolina Court of Appeals (1995)

โ€“ย Transcriptย of an interview by Officer Brenda Toppin with a child witness, an addendum to the Defendant-Appellant’s brief #933SC676 filed April 21, 1994.

Academic and professional publications

โ€“ “Little Rascals Day Care Center Case:ย The Bitter Lesson, A Healthy Reminder,” by Judith Steltzner Abbott, Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 3 (2), 1994.

โ€“ Excerpts from “Family Violence Acrossย  the Lifespan: An Introduction,” by Cindy L. Miller-Perrin, Ola W. Barnett, Robin D. Perrin. SAGE, Dec 21, 2010, 896 pp.

โ€“ The Little Rascals Day Care Center Case: Theย Ingredients of Two Successful Prosecutions,” by Nancy B. Lamb. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 3 (2), 1994.

โ€“ย โ€œModern Witch Hunts: How Media Have Mishandled Ritual Child-Sex-Abuse Cases,โ€ a masterโ€™s thesis by David O. Loomis, UNC Chapel Hill, 1997.

Case study of press coverage of the Little Rascals trials suggests that the shortcomings of media coverage โ€œcontributed to avoidable injustices that exercise of the pressโ€™ watchdog responsibility could have prevented.โ€ Loomis, a former newspaper reporter and editor, now teaches journalism atย Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

โ€“ย  โ€œThe Little Rascals Day Care Center Case: Aย Perspective on Medical Testimonyย in a Prominent Public Trialโ€ by Jean C. Smith, Desmond K. Runyan and Doren D. Fredrickson. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 1994

โ€“ โ€œSexual Abuseย of Children in Day Care Centers,โ€ by Susan J. Kelley, Renee Brant and Jill Waterman. Child Abuse & Neglect, January-February, 1993.

โ€“ “What I Learnedย From the Edenton ‘Little Rascals Sex Abuse Trial,” by Moisy Shopper, M.D. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 29:513-527, 2009.

โ€“ โ€œWhy False Beliefs Prevail: the Little Rascals Child Sex Abuse Prosecutionsโ€ by Anthony Oberschall in โ€œEssays in Honor of Raymond Boudonโ€ (2000).

โ€“ย Draft working paperย on Little Rascals Day Care case by Anthony Oberschall (2010). Unpublished.

โ€“ย Lesson planย on day care ritual abuse from Catherine Caldwell-Harris, associate professor of psychology, Boston University. Downloadable in Word.

Coverage of Bob Kelly’s trial in The New York Times

โ€“ย First dayย (1991)

โ€“ย Closing argumentsย (1992)

โ€“ย Verdictย (1992)

โ€“ย Sentencingย (1992)

โ€“ย Reaction to “Innocence Lost”ย (1993)


โ€“ย Letter from Anthony Oberschall, UNC Chapel Hill sociologist, to Dennis Rogers of the Raleigh News & Observer in response to the column โ€œWhat Happened in Edenton?โ€ (Jan. 28, 1993). Unpublished.

โ€“ย Opinion-page columnย submitted by Anthony Oberschall, UNC Chapel Hill sociologist, to the Raleigh News & Observer (circa July 1993). Unpublished.

โ€“ย Jonathan G. Harris suggestsย “SBFAQ (Should Be Frequently Asked Questions)ย about Little Rascals, the Ritual Sexual Abuse Hoax and its costs” (1994).

โ€“ William L. Anderson compares prosecutorial abuses inย Little Rascals and Duke lacrosseย cases (1997).

โ€“ย Carol Tavris puts Little Rascals in context ofย wave of satanic ritual abuse chargesย against day care centers (1997).

The Junior Chandler case

โ€“ 8-27-10 N.C. Supreme Court reversal of lower-court ruling. The Supreme Court rejected Chandlerโ€™s claim that court rulings between his 1987 conviction and 2007 made โ€œsignificant change in the law pertaining to the admissibility of expert opinion evidenceโ€ upon which the conviction rested.

โ€“ย 12-7-12ย Appeal for commutationย of sentence, appellate attorney Mark Montgomery to Gov. Bev Perdue.

โ€“ 3-25-14ย Denial of commutation appeal, from Pat Hensen, clemency administrator for Gov. Pat McCrory, to appellate attorney Mark Montgomery


โ€“ โ€œJustice Abused: A 1980s Witch Huntโ€ by Tom Charlier and Shirley Downing, a January 1988 reprint of the Memphis Commercial Appeal’s series onย  โ€œsatanic ritual abuseโ€ cases across the country. Download here in two parts: oneย ย  two.

โ€“ย S.M.A.R.T. [Stop Mind control And Ritual Abuse Today]ย exemplifies the continuing if diminished alarmism over satanic ritual abuse. Not a lot about Little Rascals on this site, but a wide range of parallel allegations. Among them: Thereย reallyย wereย tunnels beneath theย McMartin Preschoolย — and of course they were covered up by authorities.

โ€“ย A chillingย timeline of the ritual abuse panic

โ€“ย Public broadcasting journal interviews Ofra Bikel about “Innocence Lost” (1997).

โ€“ย Video excerpts from the 2007ย John Chancellor Awardย ceremony, where Ofra Bikel was honored for her FRONTLINE and both Elizabeth “Betsy” Kelly and her sister Nancy Smith Barrow spoke.

โ€“ For first-time publication here, Raymond Lawrence has written a memoir about founding the Committee for Support of the Edenton Seven and what he saw when he attended the trials.ย Download the memoir in Word.

โ€“ย โ€œThe Demons of Edentonโ€ by Lisa Scheer and Edward Cone, 4 pp., Elle magazine (November 1993)

โ€“ Letter fromย Evan Harringtonย and others to the Travis County (Tex.) District Court challenging the expert testimony of Dr. Randy Noblitt in the 1992 conviction of Fran and Dan Keller.

โ€“ย Letter from N.C. Gov Jim Martin, June 5, 1991, to a viewer of the Frontline series over issues raised about North Carolina justice.

From the sixth annual North Carolina Criminal Evidence Seminar, UNC School of Law, April 16, 1993:

โ€“ โ€œ Evidence Issues and โ€˜Lessonsโ€™ from State v. Kelly: Litigation of Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse,โ€ presented byย  Jeffrey L. Miller and W. Michael Spivey

โ€“ โ€œWhat Lessons Can We Learn from State v. Millerโ€ by Miller, Spivey and Mark D, Montgomery, assistant appellate defender