Bill Bowen's documentary Innocence Destroyed about kids murdered while in custody of CPS is powerful
• September 28th, 2009 10:39 am ET
Hundreds of children die every year in the custody of Child Protective Services. That's not something the general public is aware of. But that lack of awareness will hopefully end this winter when the full length documentary, Innocence Destroyed, is released.
Innocence Destroyed is not being produced by a half-witted conspiracy theorist but by former fire-fighter and federal law enforcement officer, Bill Bowen. Bowen, as you can see in the shorter version of the film he has posted on You Tube and which I have embedded below, is intelligent and articulate and just the sort of man needed to produce such a documentary. When you listen to Bowen, you instinctively know that here is a man you can trust--here is a man who tells the truth.
If the short version is any indication of what the full length version will be like, then this film should be entered into competition at Sundance, Slamdance and other film festivals. It is incredibly professional, and the original musical score, particularly Adriana's Theme by Steve Berkowitz is gorgeous.
But behind the beautiful music is the ugly reality, so ugly the movie is not recommended for anyone under sixteen, of children being tortured and murdered while in the care of the very people who are supposed to protect children, Child Protective Services. Particularly difficult to watch are some of the autopsy photos.
The film opens with a heartrending interview with Tausha Cram, mother of Adriana Cram, the subject of the movie's theme song. Tausha did not even find out her daughter had been murdered until a month after her death and then found out that she was murdered and buried in Mexico--that's correct, not New Mexico, but Mexico.
Earlier Tausha had turned to Child Protective Services for help in obtaining insurance and medicine for her daughter's medical condition. Instead of helping her, CPS took her daughter into custody and charged Tausha with medical neglect. Rather than placing the child with her aunt as promised, CPS placed Adriana with an aunt and uncle of Tausha's abusive partner, whom she had left because of his abuse. The aunt and uncle lived in Mexico. Adriana went to live with them and was beaten and tortured on a daily basis until she died.
Adriana's story is just one of the thousands that Bill Bowen has investigated in the past three years. The film tells only a few of these stories. The film reveals that the torture and death of children in the custody of Child Protective Services is too widespread to be ignored.
Bowen also investigates the secrecy of Child Protective Services, the supposed "best interest of the child" standard of CPS and family court, the nepotism in many Child Protective Services agencies, child abuse by CPS investigators, children who have disappeared or who have run away from CPS care, bias in family court and court transcripts that don't accurately reflect audio recordings
Bowen interviews not only parents who have had their children murdered while in the custody of CPS, he interviews forensic pathologists, former CPS workers, court reporters and more.
Bowen's short film, Innocence Destroyed, filmed by Chris Walters and Dan Jagels, is a powerful indictment of Child Protective Services. It is powerful not only because of Bowen's exhaustive search for the truth, but also because of his skill as a writer and filmmaker. Bowen's skill as a filmmaker is seen throughout the movie, but it is particularly shown at the beginning and near the end. The opening interview with Tausha Cram draws you into the film. The closing scene (see the photo above) of Tausha lying on Adriana's grave in Mexico, asking for her daughter's forgiveness, is one of the most unforgettable images I have ever seen in any movie.
If this film doesn't move you, then you might question whether or not you really are a member of the human race