Decorated War Vet & 'Wonderful' Father Arrested for Beating Death of 3-Year-Old Son

A veteran and NSA agent is accused of beating his adopted 3-year-old son to death. The absolutely horrible allegations say that 36-year-old Brian Patrick O'Callaghan, a former Marine who served in Iraq, brutally beat young Hyunsu (called "Madoc"), who was adopted from South Korea, while his wife was out of town.

The accusations couldn't be more chilling. Police have charged O'Callaghan with first-degree murder and child abuse after Madoc was found "beaten from head to toe," says the Assistant District Attorney. Madoc had tragically only been in the country for about five months.

The boy was brought to the hospital after O'Callaghan says he found that he had slipped backwards in the shower and hit his shoulder. O'Callaghan says he put him down for a nap, but later there was mucus coming out of his nose and the boy began vomiting.

Hospital workers alerted authorities after believing the boy showed signs of having been beaten. He died and an autopsy reportedly showed fractures at the base of his skull, bruises to the skull, and many other injuries.

The man's lawyer insists that he did not commit this disgusting crime -- and that there is no history of abuse with his other son, who is 7 years old. He calls the charges "unfounded" and says the injuries mentioned in police documents are untrue.

He also says that O'Callaghan's family is standing behind him. I assume this must mean his wife too. What must it be like for the wife to go out of town, leave her newly arrived son with her husband, and come home to find this?!

"He's worked so hard to get this baby," said O’Callaghan’s grandfather, refusing to believe the charges.

We don't know exactly what happened, but police must feel they have a solid case or there wouldn't have been an arrest. To think that this poor little boy, who had such a hard life before he came to the U.S., finally gets here, and then meets his fate in this way ... it's just horrific.

Could this former Marine be capable of this? He is certainly denying it through this lawyer. But what happened? Why would a 3-year-old be alone in a shower? Why would he put him down for a nap when he'd received injuries of this caliber?

Unfortunately, we all know that child abuse occurs at all levels of society. Those who are better off and who have served our country are not necessarily people incapable of harming children. But did he? That's for a jury to decide.

What do you think happened?


Image via Damascus Police

child abuse, crime


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Jacee... Jacee2348

Oh, I think he beat the life out of this poor little boy who deserved so much better.  Call me judgmental; call me presumptious; call me whatever the heck you want, but the picture of this "man" and the callous, lifeless look in his eyes says it all for me.  I hope he suffers greatly in prison but it won't be enough. 

Prett... PrettyGirlMyers

There is absolutely no excuse for what he did, but I have to wonder if this man is suffering from PTSD after his time in the service. It's a well know fact that the government does nothing to support its military folks coming home after service in war torn areas, and these men and women often suffer from serious mental health issues when they try to reacclimate into civilian life.

Frost... FrostyMelted

Yet another example of every child deseres a mother and a father; yet, I'm left to wonder what an innocent 3-year-old could have possibly done to deserve this father.

nonmember avatar Lena

This doesn't make sense. I looked at the original article from the Washington Post and the NY article as well. The other kid was in the house at the time. If the dad had really beaten the kid from head to toe as the assistant state attorney says, wouldn't the other son be able to hear it? AND in one of the articles, it said the coroner's report said that he was bruised at the bottom of his neck, his head, and his back, with one would looking like it was created by a triangle-shaped piece of metal. That kinda seems like a really bad fall in the shower with the bath water nozzle not covered up. Maybe the boy really did fall and the dad thought he was fine (they went to breakfast and I think the article said they went to the park the following day), but later succumbed to some brain hemorrhage? It's strange and side-eyeworthy, but I wouldn't jump and join the "he's a killer" bandwagon without some more facts.

Jacee... Jacee2348

Lena -  You mean a Stir writer didn't tell the complete story?  Shocking...  He still has a very menacing, killer look to him regardless of what the true story is.  He looks like the character from Full Metal Jacket (military movie) who just loses it and goes crazy (but he just killed himself).  I also wouldn't be surprised to hear that he did in fact kill this child and some sort of PTSD was involved.  And also, WTH is a 3 year old doing in the shower alone?  It's just all too fishy for me; sorry, but when it comes to the life (or death) of an innocent child, I'll work backwards and presume guilt until he proves himself innocent.  Wrong?  Maybe, but I don't care. 

Jozemom Jozemom

The first thing I thought was PTSD as well.  Maybe he's usually a very normal guy but had a flash back and lost it. I think it's better he be arrested and have a thorough investigation than to just believe him, call it an accident and leave a potentially very dangerous man walk the streets and care for another child. 

Jacee... Jacee2348

Here's a paragraph from the CBS article on O'Callaghan:

The boy’s injuries included a skull fracture with bleeding on the front and back of the brain with multiple impacts to the head. His body also showed multiple contusions, and there was evidence of impact trauma on the boy’s scrotum, according to the documents.


nonmember avatar Whatever

You know what? Who cares if PTSD is a factor or not! Half the men in our prisons have PTSD from being traumatized as kids but we don't let them off with that excuse. Yes, returning vets need mental health care, but there are plenty of psychos who join the military and are rapists, child abusers, and wife beaters before they ever step foot in a combat zone. Some vets can be assholes, and not because of service related trauma. They are people like everybody else and have the same flaws as everyone else. If he is found guilty, PTSD should not be a factor in sentencing.

Cynthia Rouse

These people are brain washed and brain damaged. They are violent and disturbed.

Cynthia Rouse

International adoptions have very stringent screening protocols. Psychological testing would have seen a person capable of child homicide. This guy, like so many of these men; are changed completely by the work they do; as the work they do seems to cause tremendous misery, all over the world. The work they do is apparently lethal. Another highly decorated marine, I believe, was recently convicted of violating little 1 to 3 year old boys and girls. Something is horribly, grotesquely wrong with these people, the work they're involved in, and the care, or lack of care that they get. They have a very serious problem with monsters getting off the reservation.

This animal could have been in charge of deciding privacy protocols for their universal spying program. Chew on that for a bit.

1-10 of 31 comments 1234 Last