In 2012, Alabama authorities opened an investigation in hopes of tracking down missing woman Brittney Wood, 19. Although their efforts to find Wood have so far been unsuccessful, the investigation unveiled the dark, twisted world that Wood was living in before her disappearance.
Wood was with her uncle, Donnie Holland, on the last night she was seen. Holland was found dead the next day in an apparent suicide. When authorities looked into Holland’s life and background, they discovered that he was the head of an active, generations-old incest and pedophilia ring.
Authorities say Holland concocted a “perfect storm” for the sickening ring when he married his wife, Wendy. Like Holland, Wendy’s family had a long history of incest. When the two families joined, their ugly histories combined to create a dark, warped environment in which family orgies and child sexual abuse were the norm.
Family gatherings typically started out as barbecues. But as the night wound down, adults in the family – aunt and uncles, brothers and sisters – would start performing sexual acts on each other. Children were brainwashed from infancy to believe this was normal and that they too would join in once they were of age. Authorities learned that many children were forced to engage in the incestuous acts before they were even 10 years old.
“Some of the kids' earliest memories at three or four years old are of abuse,” Mobile, Alabama Assistant District Attorney Nicki Patterson told MailOnline. “Some of the women used sex toys on the kids to get them ready for sex. It was a very important thing within the family. They put an enormous effort in to get the children ready. It was very thought out. The mom, the aunt and children would get into bed and Donnie would tell them what to do.”
Authorities believe that Holland and his wife were victims of sexual abuse as children as well. Patterson says Holland was raised in -- and perpetuated -- a deep-seated culture of incest and pedophilia.
Of Holland’s victims, Patterson says, “They were not held down and forcibly raped but coerced and indoctrinated.”
In total, 11 people are being charged in the case. The alleged offenses include sodomy, sex abuse, child torture, rape, incest, production of child pornography and enticing a child to enter into a sexual relationship. Holland’s wife, Wendy, goes to trial next month.
Authorities still have not found Brittney Wood. There’s a growing sentiment amongst investigators that she was murdered. Holland, who was with Wood on the night she disappeared, is believed to have killed himself. Investigators have not ruled out the possibility that Wood or someone else shot him, though.