FOSTER CARE/ADOPTION HELL:Judith Leekin Arrested in a House of Horrors:Police Find 9 Adopted Kids Handcuffed & Starved


What possesses people to mistreat and abuse others in such a heinous manner? Why would anyone treat another individual in such a degrading and humiliating way? Maybe for the millions in state funds they received.

Well if its Florida, it must be another case of either mishandled foster care or adoption. Such is yet again the case with 62 year old Judith Leekin, who allegedly duped four different New York City adoption agencies into allowing her to adopt 11 children. All of the individuals ranging in age from 15 to 27 were abused in one form or another. According to investigators, the teens and young adults were handcuffed, tethered together with plastic ties and allowed to soil themselves. They had scars on their wrists and some had burns. The abuse in some cases to place over a 15 year period  as the adoptions took place between 1993 and 1996.

After further investigation and being granted entrance by Leekin, however, authorities were shocked to find eight people being held hostage in one of the home’s bedrooms.

“[The victims] initially denied being handcuffed. They seemed brainwashed or in fear of their lives,” said Vega. “These people have lived there for some time and we think they all came at different times, between 10 and 15 years ago. None of them appeared to have an education past the fourth-grade level.”

The people, who range in age from 15 to 27, told authorities they were kept handcuffed to one another, forced to sleep on tile floors on only a single bed sheet and were prohibited from going to the bathroom. As a result, they were forced to soil themselves. (ABC News )

 HOUSE OF HORRORS: Judith Leekin allegedly kept her adopted children prisoner in her Florida home (above) — at the expense of New York taxpayers.

Judith Leekin is presently being help in the Port St Lucie County jail on $4.3 million bond. Leekin received somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million in state issued funds for the care of these adopted children. Care that was obviously never passed on to those that she was supposed to care for.

Adoption terror

Five teenagers and four developmentally disabled adults were found in Leekin’s home at the time of her arrest in Florida, malnourished and poorly treated, according to Port St. Lucie police.

The whereabouts of another 18-year-old man were unclear yesterday.

Some media reports said the children and adults, when found by police earlier this month, had scars on their bodies, including burns on their wrists.

They range in age from 15 to 27. One is blind and mumbles. One can barely walk or stand. One can’t read. But authorities said they do not know if the handicaps are a result of abuse. (News Day)

Foster Hell: Woman Accused Of Holding Kids Captive

Leekin lived in a neighborhood in the Laurelton section of Queens where investigators say she started a cruel scam, allegedly using the kids and New York’s foster care and adoption system to line her own pockets.

The adoptions appear to have taken place 1993 to 1996. Investigators say the adopted children now range in age from 15 to 27. Four are developmentally disabled.

Leekin allegedly had multiple aliases to repeatedly apply and become an adoptive parent. It appears the children provided the unemployed Leekin with as much as $180,000 a year from New York Child Welfare and other agencies.

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  • Couple Cages Adopted Children “For Their Safety”
  • Two Children’s Remains Found in Freezer While Investigating Abuse Complaint … 43 Year Old Adoptive Mother Renee Bowman Arrested

  • Comments

    24 Responses to “FOSTER CARE/ADOPTION HELL:Judith Leekin Arrested in a House of Horrors:Police Find 9 Adopted Kids Handcuffed & Starved”

    1. buster on July 31st, 2007 7:33 pm

      Does Urin Vandersloot call this woman “Grandma” ???

    2. jim on July 31st, 2007 7:53 pm

      what a SAD world we live in

    3. compananzi on July 31st, 2007 9:59 pm

      Hey buster, I think evil of any kind and the US is no exception has no borders or related to a any person that you want to redirect the attention to. If we are truly a caring village and watch for one another perhaps many heinous crimes can be prevented.

    4. Miss-Underestimated on July 31st, 2007 10:02 pm

      We should introduce Judy to Bridgette

    5. sparrow on July 31st, 2007 10:52 pm

      Sick people. Evil people.

      Poor defenseless children, babies. I know some were adults.

      Florida again. My home state. I’m ashamed. I know this happens all over. We have to, and I mean have to start watching out for each other. How else can we survive the evil that is so prevalent in our everyday lives.
      We can no longer turn our heads and ignore our fellow human beings. For the sake of the children at least, but I say for all. It’s time to stand-up for what’s descent.
      In our neighborhoods, in our towns, and streets, we have to start now.
      I’m sick of hearing constantly of abuse, rape, murder, things we never use to hear. What the hell is wrong? I can say I am mad, fed up with the unspeakable acts of evil people. How about you?

    6. Elaine on August 1st, 2007 2:20 am

      This happens a little too often lately, although this case is one of the worst. 15 Years this went on, unreal!! Tied together, and going to the bathrooms on themselves. And malnourished. Judith sure looks like she ate good! Disabled folks none the less. I am not a violent person by nature. But I would like to give this woman a little of her own treatment. Tie her ass up, don’t feed her, then let her go to the bathroom on herself.

    7. fran on August 1st, 2007 2:47 am


      How sick is this? How could this happen? What is wrong with our system?

      This needs fixing, NOW!

      How could this have continued for so long? Aren’t these people supervised? OhMyGosh, I can hardly believe it. These people responsible for this need to be punished very, very harshly. Both the care givers and those who let this happen.

    8. Fools Gold on August 1st, 2007 3:49 am

      Repeated adoptions under a variety of names should have meant repeated investigations into her background and living circumstances.

      And at the very least the computer system should have kicked out for examination so many differently named individuals all living at the same street address.

    9. driving miss daisy on August 1st, 2007 6:35 am

      Hanging chads! I suppose it is ahrd to keep up with all the checks from NY. Sigh. There has to be some oversight by goverment when they set up these assembly lines for child-rearing. I think punishment for people like this female taxi company owner who abandoned or buried all her foetuses in/on her own property scream out for a new: the execution of subhuman byproducts. Can we make that a law automatically sends them to Aruba for a disappearing act. That could be our contribution to the lonely island of Aruba, absent tourists — pay them to make our criminals disappear.

    10. Freebrid on August 1st, 2007 9:13 am

      This is sad. I have worked in care giving and its true some people are only in it for money and don’t care. I guess New York found someone to take these people off their hands and never checked on them. What is our world coming to?

    11. Richard on August 1st, 2007 9:53 am

      From what I understand, according to an article in a local newspaper this morning, this lady lived in West Palm Beach. Maybe she still does.

      No surprise, perhaps, that that is the county that has offered to let the head of Aruba Tourism Authority be in charge of its “public image.” Sounds like the locals aren’t doing too good of a job … that’s a silly comment, of course.

    12. Richard on August 1st, 2007 9:56 am

      This lady did something to the minds of the kids that made them afraid for their lives and unwilling to go to authorities and ask for help. This, in a country where they understand the language and (one would have thought) the bureaucracy responsible for them would have had some kind of follow-up ability, even if it were not executed (as is obviously the case).

      Now, let me see … who was it who said that it was impossible for Amy Bradley to be held hostage in a foreign country, and that it’s obviously ridiculous to think that even IF she were in a position to seek help, that there might be reasons that she wouldn’t dare?

      Not to mention Natalee Holloway ….

      Because, as we know, this sort of thing can’t happen to an American.

    13. Max on August 1st, 2007 10:17 am


    14. mrs. red on August 1st, 2007 12:32 pm

      Florida, it seems is a haven for anyone wishing to harm kids these days. This isn’t the first beyond belief foster story to come from there…but how does one move foster kids from one state to another and still receive assistance from the state? Did NY not check on the kids, or did she continue to pretend she lived in NY?

    15. Miss-Underestimated on August 1st, 2007 12:52 pm

      Kids don’t vote, lawmakers don’t care.

    16. the mama on August 1st, 2007 4:10 pm

      It’s cases like these that make me wish Judge Roy Bean was still around!

    17. Val on August 1st, 2007 5:38 pm


      Millions of MOSTLY useless idiots send each other email to each other, do shopping, constamtly on coffee breaks. Who are those people, who are the idiots who pay taxes to finance their existance???? Fill the blanks!

      I am soooo angree. For so many years we had Auschwitz in Florida and State parasites did NOTHING!!!!

    18. Patti on August 1st, 2007 10:01 pm

      She did pretty good for herself. Try looking
      at the cost of real estate in Palm Beach. $250k
      buys you a shack.

      I hope these kids receive all the counseling they
      need to get over the trauma and abuse that they
      have sustained. Selling he house might be a good
      place to start.

      Shame on you again, New York.

    19. sparrow on August 2nd, 2007 1:40 am

      I am not a violent person my nature, but I’d like to see this manly looking woman be given back what she did to those helpless children. How can you hide such a horrible thing for all those years? The news said she had 11 children and now there are 8, one was found abandoned in St. Pete. So where are the other 2?
      How can we as a society continue to let these people commit crimes that are so terrible? They have no mercy, and therefore how can we? I’m sick of hearing this evil.

    20. Tiffany on August 2nd, 2007 9:37 am

      What are the qualifications to be a foster parent? Do the foster parents get psychological testing? Do the interviewers receive psycholigical testing? All these agencies should be thoroughly checked and re-evaluated for their procedures. This is not the first time something like this has happened and there are too many innocent children who have suffered enough already who are then are put in these types of situations. Appauling!

    21. mrs. red on August 4th, 2007 11:03 pm

      the other thing that burns my butt is that there are many really good people that would make excellent and caring foster parents that don’t make the system standards…

    22. Roslyn D'hayle on September 20th, 2007 7:48 pm

      It is true that they are good people that would make good foster parents like myself but people like Judith Leekin had no problem.i try to get one kid and they give me a hard time i consider myself to be a wonderful person that love children and a very good baby-sitter i have good referances from every person i ever work for, plus i came fom a big family that knows how to show love and give love.Those children need a loving home.

    23. ms Greenige on October 18th, 2007 5:25 pm

      Judith Leekin need hard punishmen,the judge should lock her up and throw away the key,let the kids visit her and let her see how their are under better care and that it isn’t all about money, you have to have love in your heart and that she dont have,may God have mercy on her she needs all the prayer she can get.I pesonally would love to look her in the face,how can one be so evil.And the lady claudette is no better then her,knowing what she were doing and did-not report her.

    24. Skeptical B on July 24th, 2009 9:19 am

      This article doesn’t mention the surveillance cameras. She had the cameras to watch for “visitors,” kinda like Michael Jackson and Byrd Billings and Melanie Billings. Of course, Byrd and Melanie had the cameras for the safety of the children.

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