Six-year old Sheree Beasley was a tough little cookie. She had been through a lot in her short life, but she had a love of life and an independent streak. Sheree loved her bicycle and was always happy for any excuse to take it out for a spin.
She had survived her baby brother who died of SIDs, followed by the fatal drug overdose of her step-father. Sheree’s Mom struggled in life and tried to give her the best life she could. Through it all, Sheree wore a wide, beautiful smile. She was a joyful little girl with some street smarts. But her independence and lack of supervision made her a target and she was abducted by a lurking predator.
When Sheree’s bike was found abandoned, her mother knew that Sheree had been taken. She was devastated to think she had lost a second child. It was unbearable and unfair for a mother to suffer this heartbreak twice.
Sheree’s abductor wasn’t known to her family, but he had been seen near the schools and public swimming pool, exposing himself and approaching children. His therapist was aware that he was a threat. How much his wife knew is debatable.
At the quiet end today, we’re talking about the vibrant life of Australian child Sheree Beasley, her joys and her difficulties. Her loss brings us to the topics of child safety, how we deal with child sexual predators, and the dynamics of the patient/therapist privilege. For instance, when is it appropriate for a therapist to alert police of a client who is a danger?
This episode, The Life and Loss of Sheree Beasley, is dedicated to every child who has been lost to a predator. We hope Sheree’s story will help us to share some constructive dialogue.