Neighbors of a home in suburban York, Pennsylvania say everything appeared "normal" with the family who lived there -- a husband, wife, and their five children. But in reality, what went on inside was anything but "normal." James and Roxanne Murphy were arrested on a host of charges after one of the children, aged 13, called police to report that he and his siblings -- ranging in age from 9 to 19 -- were all home alone ... and drunk. It only gets worse from there.
The parents were out shopping. The children were drunk or had taken sleeping pills -- reportedly courtesy of their parents, who left them with beer and pills and told them to indulge in order to sleep while they were away. It gets worse.
Inside every room were animals -- from cats to lizards to a pot-bellied pig. We're just getting started.
The youngest boy told police he'd never been to school. Scattered around the house were sex toys, child pornography, and a rifle.
One of the children told police his father had tried to burn off his penis with a hot knife.
If this house appeared normal to neighbors, neighbors either weren't paying very much attention -- or people certainly can put on quite an act. I'd say it was both.
But the kids inside knew this wasn't normal. Amazingly, considering this must have been their entire lives, they knew. And one of them found the courage to call cops. I can only imagine the loneliness, despair, and inner pain that drove a child to do that, considering he must have known that this would mean his parents -- horrible parents, but still, the only parents he ever knew -- would end up in jail.
And indeed that is where they are, and where they belong. In jail. Hopefully, they will stay there for a very long time. And hopefully the children can eventually climb their way out of the tragic muck they grew up in and find a peaceful life.
Do you ever suspect your neighbors of child abuse?
Image via York County Prison