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Episode 40: Complicit

Updated: Nov 28, 2020

Three year old Karly Sheehan was being abused. Despite multiple investigations into her home life and several people who loved her trying to intervene, her young life was stolen from her. In today’s episode, Emily will describe what happened to little Karly. Joining us on the episode is Karen Spears Zacharias, the author of Karly Sheehan: True Crime Story Behind Karly’s Law. Her book offers a unique perspective from someone who was very close to the Sheehan family.

David and Karly Sheehan (photo courtesy of
Karly posing with a pony (photo courtesy of Karen Spears Zacharias)
Karly with her pumpkin (photo courtesy of Karen Spears Zacharias)
David and Karly Sheehan, (photos courtesy of Karen Spears Zacharias))

Sarah Brill Sheehan (photo courtesy of Investigation Discovery)
Sarah Brill Sheehan at Glamour Awards (photo courtesy of Getty Image)
Sarah Brill Sheehan with Uma Thurman at Glamour Awards (photos courtesy of Getty Images)

Shawn Field in jail booking (photo courtesy of
Shawn Field in court (courtesy of
David Sheehan at Karly's graveside (photo courtesy Karen Spears Zacharias)
David's playground dedicated in memory of Karly

A battered Karly in one of the last months of her life (photo courtesy of
A seemingly healthy and happy Karly (photo courtesy of

If you want to show your support for little Karly and help other kids who need us, please consider donating to ABC House or a similar child advocacy center in your area.

If you are clamoring for more MITR, join us on Patreon! You’ll get social media shout-outs, access to additional episodes, more bloopers and more!

Special thanks to Karen Spears Zacharias for joining us in today's episode.

Visit Karen's website to learn a bit about her and her work.

Don't forget to check out the primary source for today's case Karly Sheehan: True Crime Story Behind Karly's Law


Interview with Karen Spears Zacharias 07.31.2020 | Public Court Records for Benton County Court Case #CM0520645, State of Oregon vs. Shawn Wesley Field | Karen Spears Zacharias - Karly Sheehan: True Crime Story Behind Karly’s Law | Researcher paper by John E. Baughman | Representative Gelser - Karly’s Law (part 1) | Representative Gelser - Karly’s Law (part 2) | Oregon Live - House Endorses Karly’s Law | Oregon Department of Justice - Karly’s Law | Gazette Times - Karly’s Nightmare | Gazette Times - Field’s Child Testifies | Gazette Times - Testimony in field Trial Reviewals Frantic Call | FindLaw - State v. Shawn Wesley Field | Democrat Herald - Man Sentenced | Gazette Times - Expert Girl Died of Blows to Head | Gazette Times - Man Charged in Toddler Death | Democrat Herald - Man Sentenced to 46 years in Beating Death of Child | East Oregonian - Karly’s Legacy| Corvallis Gazette Times - A Toddler’s Last Days | Democrat-Herald - Prosecutors say abuse was part of scheme | Statesmen Journal - Bill to Strengthen Karly’s Law | Oregon Department of Human Services - 2009 Child Welfare Data Book |

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