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Girl In The Box Connor Jacqueline is a full orphan. She hopped a freight and occasionally rode with truckers when on the run. She said that everyone thinks she is crazy. Her associate Philip is 9. He keeps the fire department from becoming plagued by seasonal unemployment. We do not have enough information on the question of how adopted children turn out. We know a great deal about the supply and demand in the field of adoptions. We know that the younger the child the better are his chances for happiness. We also know that there is considerable delay between the time a child is available and the time when he is finally welded into a new family. We also know that the older a child is the more difficult it is to place him the child about to be interviewed became a full orphan at the age of 10. It is difficult for such a child to make mature readjustments because of the death of her parents the child is preoccupied with the thought of death nothing thus far has been able to
displace this recurrent idea. She needs special help and special consideration at this time. The help must be in the form of psychiatry. Here to preview the features of this child's life story is Father Duffy a professor of sociology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Father Duffy in detention because of running away and being incorrigible Jacqueline the child you were about to hear was a 16 year old white Catholic child who has three targets of distrust. One is the world of people. The second is life. And third is herself. She's a full orphan. She has tried to kill herself several times and now in thinking about this child it might be helpful to distinguish between a suicidal gesture and a suicidal attempt. People who are angry or disappointed who want revenge or who want to recover the love of a husband often make a suicidal gesture. It is rarely
successful for the person who arranges his own rescue or he uses some method which is calculated to fail. If such a person succeeds in killing himself it is by accident. In the case of a suicide attempt however the person usually speaks in terms of seeking rest or escaping from intolerable burdens or getting out of this misery. If the attempt fails in this case it's by accident I feel a Jacqueline is a suicidal risk at the moment. All we can do is try to get her to trust somebody. Later on we may be able to transfer this trust to herself and begin in her to develop the will to live. When was the first time you were here. A long time where you got 4 years old. I kissed him on 10 10 and what happened you came that time
this is has it in them you know you will do your mother and father the split emperors one day they are both dead or dead. Both up and down. So you're practically all alone you have no brothers and sisters I have a sister brother sister older or younger. She on her own she thought and where she is she is an institution too. Yes and how about your brother who will take 24 to marry Miss service. Yes and what happened after you were ten you came here and then what did they do to you. I was sent I came in and taken an omission. Well next I'm going to modelled by you. I came back up here in the House and what institution do you like it there. It was OK but I didn't like the hospital but they have a college plan is that it. Yes and what did they do You didn't want to
pay for. I just didn't like them. Do they single you out to pick on you make fun I usually do they tease you or criticize you for not work enough. Well I was the only Catholic in the group being well I didn't plan on being Catholic in Joe other day. If brother dear how do your children a said they said their prayer and say mine silently. It really irritated him so I didn't do anything about it and then they let him go no name to call each other but they have a name for you but they call you bitch. Good. Senator nice name do you know what I mean with me. But it's not nice to me so to happen when your real little girl before you before you went to school but father dies when he die of you know why was he
old or young. Was he close to you. I guess he like you thinks I like PM letter. And your mother what what happened to her. She lived until I was 10 after she didn't she die. You were living with her and your brother and sister were home then to know my sister was in and we need to remember the recent was coming from you and your mother worked at the time she worked until. Three years before she died because she got too sick. What else happened when you're little. And there's so much going on in the grade school what happened in grade school. Lessons you know serious history you're seeing Catholic kids
in the nation. What was the worst thing ever happened to you. Mean your lot anyway. Anyway it's my whole life I think it was me. You never get over that. And did this make you angry at other people. You know. I don't know what you're not. For I have to be sent away anyway. She initially she seemed cool. Do you misbehave when you're here. Yes there. What do you do. Oh once more I get in this fight. Did you cause a pretty big disturbance one here. Yes I actually did do it. I didn't know I was just asking. When canary in the night. Yeah the night that the biggest one that I called
home girl. Oh no. Teaching man to get here take the old time so damning him was to maintain a former cop who climbs I just remember I don't know why do they have to call man in one night. Because you will. Upset everything. Would have netted you have kind of a little figure what do you know what you were doing. When you. And anyone who was looking to see you know. I was with the delinquent children. They moved you over there. Yes because you were behaving here. Yes there we go. Do you try to get along with the other children the other girls try to. How come a dozen words usually works if you tried as you just are the ones you know.
You know like escape me and you know I have nothing to do here. Even here after a couple of months you get when you get mad does that help. You. How's it has yank you out. You can hear their back here out. It closes it cold you are. I caught you off if you get mad and then you're going to explode I'm ready. You know. Makeshift children who are two pretty big forbidding have to look. Them up. No no. I mean little. No mostly older kids. Are you prepared for how there's a body. Has a body. Sometimes they get now because I'm so Big I time to be there. How much do you wear. Oh I think you're really not say. Where you don't know. I know. You don't know all the month I've been here and you kind of
completely have some pizza gained 20 pounds to me that's only California. And I guess lack of exercise a lot of rest they get. Strategy here too but yes. Do you have bad dreams. Here. What kind of tell me about one dream you had that was bad scared you you know. Oh I will kill you in the sink. There in after I killed going to kill my probation I have to want to kill my probation officer killed and then I want to Helen and I had a dream about being when I woke up. Do you think that that's a guilt train plus punishment or a death wish. Well yes and. I think it's a good thing there's always somebody or did everybody that might that was my age when I was in there.
And did you black out that night to you didn't know what you're doing. I didn't want to they can run now you know. One Peter will run do you think you are going away you interest me when you're away from here. Where did you could have or did you get the mole. Please pick me up and brought me in here in the city who. I was. I think. In Florida. Kids are humans we want to move on from this. See you want to go up nearly a year to house and then. See if you can see the Lake County you know. Would you walk in with one that really turned you on one steps in back and you were caught. He has you ever ran away from the orphanage. Yes there were and there were 30 to 35
miles away in the car. What's the biggest thing your freedom for you. Not so much. You're going to get to know people haven't wanted you very much. Oh. I don't think anybody you know. We'll you like like me. I mean some people do with only 10 maybe not and you know pedophiles like you I don't know what kind of girl are you that nobody likes you. Ah ok then you already know who's the worst one in the family. Me who's the best your brother. I think my sister. She doesn't give me trouble. You know I don't hear much on the water.
How do you do in school. Do you like you do you dislike it or you can take it or leave it alone. I like school but I've never been out of the 23 years you were in a victory. Yes I started school one minute and then the next minute. Well your life has been interrupted by being sent to different places. And then you get in a place they don't like you there either and that makes you mad and you run away. I don't think one way you can. Still get in the way is if you're always good but then when you think of the others as well just for this time and you knew where you were you sleep at night if you're in the way. Sometimes you hop on a train and it takes you so far. Then you get off. It'll probably be morning charlatans.
When they can really take a ticket goes New put you off and you know OK on entering you could take it. Can you give your guitar for a dark figure. It's easier that way. Question Do we know this and did you meet any people only bugs. No that was a first in the real way to shoot. No matter what you have to do is deal with. The news and do a lot of analysis. But don't give up only up to 30. You don't smoke or use a small to gain the builder. I only smoke and know this but when you're nervous. Mike. WALLACE Termini. You'll notice when I'm away and I was on this truck. What else did you think there was important to you. What's important to me. Suppose you had three wishes what would you wish to
get out of high school moving into our nation college it's a first want to second to settle down and assume that you're just a little bit in the know watch a little bit enough to unload. But do you think a fourth which could be some friends. To the girls here like you the ones you're with no. No no. Certainly we do think it's about a majority of them. I never sit down and ask him Do you like me you know because I mean can you tell us somebody likes you sometimes you know. In some trashy person the so-called friend and the minute you're in trouble you know they're not the kitchen trombone and it won't help you get out of trouble. Whoever helped you out or anybody you know. So you're really on your own. Mostly. How you do is going to church on Sunday. I like to go to. Church.
And. You know. I like to go to church and. Usually go helps. I don't miss it. They say it's a little sad if you miss it so afraid of going to hell because hell occupier. How do you think you get once in a long one Sunday in hot holy days. Come on it. Was nation. You ever think of heaven. Well I don't think a living if they have a need to know how come. But you do so bad. Well. I don't know. As of yet I only try to choke when you guys are killing people rather than their own security directors. Did you ever try to kill yourself. I don't know. I think you should do. Did you ever think of it. Oh yeah I think of it every day. They don't in a
good mood. Well this can't be because people are so nice to you. That would make you think of killing yourself every day. In the. Sun. So. Let's go right to the girl I've been writing to a person said enough if she's not of course it will be still rightly so. She is from a friend. She's about the only one I mean she About the only friend you have you know I have. From my own home that I was there and I'm here. If you grew up with them it's different if you don't grow up with me. Do you think that people seem to expect more of a girl who's big for her age. Yeah by the way thank you and do more work. You know and to be grown up and mature here that's a big. Hit at
me because it could be another girl who looks like a little child when she's even older than you. But they think they expect you to work orders and they'll move things forward time and you know they are expected to be. Say if you're 16 they expect you to be around 23 don't go with them. You're going to get a good grade this year. And they're. Going to do it again. But I have to feel that already I feel a little wrench being in here so lonely here. This will be my third year do you see yourself as being smart or dumb. Well. I never could keep focus mostly. So make you mad at yourself. Because you know you seem to really clash.
Looking at all the time I want to know one question How much is seven times five you know not because money until you got that. I don't consider myself smart in any way. We don't consider yourself good and they were either you know what's wrong with that. What did God leave out he made you who going to do that here. If I have brains I will run away. I have brains I won't be says Clooney. The fun is great I'm here to go to school in the new year will make more friends but. I don't hear many of either because I don't work out somewhere. Once in a while but I don't want to feel sorry for myself. All Times. The stove was very common after Think I'm Crazy. Still more naturally but feeling sorry for myself. Have you seen as I can. Just.
Say I. Found it actually in the mall attack. How was he seemed like. He generally answer questions. He's always been sitting over there till I'm back in the cheer with his feet on his desk the Assamese own clearly questions tonight is basically going to some other thing. Too and then I have to see psychologists and protesting. They go crazy because I heard it's a Rorschach test. The jury find the result they couldn't figure out worth repeating words no. No no. They say he figures it out by how many are how many quite you can figure out why he thinks it's more complicated. I don't know. He's a psycho Don't you remember. Girl so.
What did you figure in being when you get to be a lady. NERD. But I really you know made great then over your four years. No no no no. You don't want to talk to me. I just you know. You would mind if this were broadcast. You know I think it's about time if you go to bed there's no way do I just stay up longer. Oh. Just a little bit. Jacqueline appears to be what some psychologist might call a damaged child. Probably back in the first years of life she did not develop a sense of trust because the world did not meet her needs. She shuttled back and forth between states of apathy or indifference and aggressive discharge of anger in the form of fighting blackouts frenzy hysteria and
self-destructive compulsion. She is under psychiatric care at the moment and under medication. Unfortunately we do not know how she will react. I suppose it depends on the amount and depth of the damage and the quality and intensity of the care that she will receive. We now turn to a different type of child. I think we all recognize the previous child as emotionally disturbed or unstable. The next child will talk to was a 9 year old boy who was mentally retarded. Children like this have a native cunning that surprises and often deceives those who are not familiar with them. When Philip learns a lesson he learns it well and he's able to repeat it and to defend it. It is interesting to find him holding fast to the lesson that if one is bad he's supposed to be punished. And he even fashioned his own whip so his mother could lay it on when he's bad he's one of you. Now I know how long you've been here three months and a week is the first time you're here.
Yes sir. What's the trouble. Nothing. Not to form. What do you come for. For I forget what I was here for your memory to do with fires. Yeah about Tom a bit about your stock make fires. You know if I was I'd I would see what I was doing and I had a cigarette you know I did with it and that I lit a cigarette with a match and I did not match. Just go look and I thought of going to the empire by that bed. In a cotton farm when I fell out for the last year but you've been laying flowers for quite awhile you know. Say when they find out they called the cops and next day my mother chain me up and the day after I ran away and cut some of them pick me up and they said the next day and then he then the next day picked me up took me a pair and you know I was coming here. Your mother changed even better when you know chained up against a tree.
On which she did that for where you were here before. I remember you being here before. Me. Before this time. In this room you know in this place. Yeah. What grade are you in. Third fourth. Which won. Me for workers at nine years of age. You're doing real well in school. Yeah. You get good grades. What are you most. Are. Scares me most in this place. You know anytime. Before it scares me the most right here. See when I'm scared I was getting out here I'm waiting to get out here. What at home what scared you know my mother getting jammed out she was going to hit me. How she would be for sure this is why I made her hit me till I did I made a failure if I made a whip and everything I did dare say I took a calling that one of my dads do when I when I took a bush and cut it
trimmed leaves off and gave it to my mother and she used it on me you want to get beaten up. We always post good you know. We want to you want to get published. I'll post to get punished one of a post one poster. You don't mind that when you're posting. What you do get punished to get beaten up by her. What kinds of things. Less seven fires. Been there. Too long things. What ways are you better. Like going around hitting little kids see I'm bigger than the little kids. I go around here. Bad thing to do you know what and classroom work to kids. I broke a door. When we're home one stone the coop. Are you about to lose one of your own littlest one here. And I would cry baby. Everybody hates me and I just tell me to me and don't do not. As I was thinking if you had a long year in
hospital here many a time was four. For on. My own. Total trouble what trouble was I forget I have had many years I had to get my talk. Did you ever have a. Mental doctor talking. Like I was. My PR. And they were such we had sleeping or. Doing. How come you tell you all this medication is medicine pills. I know I'm sick. What kind of sickness. What is a sickness make you feel like you feel sick it was comical. Now I get only drunk they call me retard I encounter real mental unreal stoned to death if you are a regular here could you tell me you know that yeah I told them that but then they wouldn't let me watch by everybody else because outsiders have me.
And do they meet you in the coop. Were you in the group. Yeah many at times. I'm emotionally disturbed children have to be understood in their own family backgrounds their personal experiences their perception of the world however peculiar and bizarre or disapproved but understandable. Phil's basic problem is not emotional illness he's retarded almost organically physically handicapped. Something just went wrong in his complicated biological organism affecting the book. The basic intelligence the glandular system central nervous system and the reflexes. This type of child can come from almost any sort of family in one small institution where I once taught nine of the professional staff had similarly defective children. You have been listening to exploring the child's world. A program in which the child speaks father French a stuffy professor of sociology at Duquesne
University has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this world in the summary that followed. This has been a production of the radio service of Duquesne University in cooperation with UK news sociology department technical director Fred McWilliams program director an announcer or older man. Listen again next week for another in the series exploring the child's world. This program was distributed by national educational radio. This is the national educational radio network.
Exploring the child's world IV
Girl in a box car
Producing Organization
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on the life of an orphan who has attempted suicide.
Series Description
Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
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Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 66-26-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:42
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world IV; Girl in a box car,” 1966-08-23, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 29, 2024,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world IV; Girl in a box car.” 1966-08-23. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 29, 2024. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world IV; Girl in a box car. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from