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Unthinkable: A Little Girl's Harrowing Tale of Survival

A Suburban Family Discovers a Terrible Truth About an Adopted Daughter

by Janus
Copyright 2006
U.S. Weektime Magazine

(Editor’s Note: Names and descriptions in this story have been changed to protect identities. Some readers may find the accounts in this report to be graphic and disturbing.)

Jocelyn Macallister didn’t think much when her sons Josh and Sam started locking their bedroom doors when they played during the day. Her sons, ages 12 and 11 respectively, were growing up fast and she felt it was a good idea to respect their privacy. What she didn’t realize, however, was that the boys weren’t alone behind those locked doors. What Jocelyn found out shocked her and nearly tore this New England family apart.

Jocelyn and her husband Mike had adopted Erica only two months prior to her sons’ change in behavior. Erica was seven years old and had made headlines because she was part of a heroic rescue in the Canadian wilderness. In 2000, a team of Arctic researchers had been en route from Winnipeg to northern Alaska when their Cessna plane encountered engine trouble. The plane went down in a remote area of Manitoba and the team was thought to be lost.

In 2006, however, the team was sighted by an aerial surveying team. Their rescue was nothing short of stunning, and against all odds as well. The Arctic team had left Winnipeg with only three months worth of supplies. Through a combination of hunting, rationing, and sheer wilderness survival skills, the team of 8 men made it out alive after six years.

What made the rescue even more remote was that the 8 men had also nurtured a baby girl during their time in the wilderness. Erica was almost seven years old when the team was pulled out of the Canadian forest. Doctors across the world were stunned that the young girl had grown up so healthy despite the conditions of her upbringing. Erica was put up for adoption and soon found a new home with the Macallister family.

What was a baby girl doing with the team of Arctic explorers? On the fateful day of the crash, the small Cessna plane had taken on two extra passengers: Lindsey Dalloway and her ten month old daughter Erica. The two had negotiated a ticket onto the flight with the understanding they would be dropped off in Anchorage, where the plane would refuel. Lindsey had planned to meet her husband in Anchorage where he worked at an oil refinery.

Lindsey, unfortunately, sustained massive head injuries and did not survive the plane crash. The men took it upon themselves to raise the young girl. They had been lauded as heroes. On the basis of the accounts from the Macallister family, however, they are now being charged with sexual assault and criminal treatment of a minor.

“I didn’t understand why the boys were suddenly so secretive.”
– Jocelyn Macallister

Jocelyn could tell something was wrong with the boys right away. “They used to be so talkative,” she recounts. “They would get home from school and it would be yak, yak, yak. But then suddenly they would get home and just go to their bedrooms. Click. Lock the door. I would ask them how their day went and they wouldn’t respond. It was so strange. I didn’t understand why the boys were suddenly so secretive.”

Worried about drug use or illicit online activity, Jocelyn began searching through the boys’ rooms when they were at school. Searching their computers and browser histories revealed nothing out of the ordinary. The only thing she found was a videotape jammed into the back of Josh’s dresser drawer. The contents of the tape shocked her.

It was an explicit video of her newly adopted daughter Erica performing oral sex on her sons. “I was in shock,” Jocelyn told U.S. Weektime Magazine. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to sit down because I felt like I was going to faint. Can you imagine? A seven year old girl giving oral sex? I felt like I was going to throw up.” Not knowing what to do, Jocelyn called her husband Mike home from work. They watched the tape together. “Mike’s face was white as a sheet too,” Jocelyn remembers. “We didn’t know what to do. Call the police? That was a terrible idea, they would probably arrest us. We were just clueless.”

Ultimately, the Macallisters decided to call their lawyers who recommended a psychologist. The day after Jocelyn’s discovery of the videotape, Erica visited a child psychologist whose questioning of the young girl would reveal further revelations.

“I can’t play with you. You’re a girl.”
– Erica

Dr. Ann King was very gentle in her method with Erica. “I knew I couldn’t accuse her or scare her,” Dr. King told U.S. Weektime Magazine via telephone. “She was only seven years old. We started with some simple play therapy before I began more rigorous questions. Surprisingly, Erica was quite frank with her responses. She displayed no sexual inhibitions or taboos at all, which is strange.”

The following is a U.S. Weektime Magazine exclusive transcript of King’s questioning of Erica.

King: Erica, do you like playing games with your new brothers?
Erica: Yes. They’re really fun.
King: What’s your favorite game?
Erica: Um… Cops and Robbers.
King: What other games do you like playing with them?
Erica: I like the snacktime game.
King: What game is that? I’ve never heard it before.
Erica: It’s when Josh and Sam give me my snack.
King: How do you play? Can you show me?
Erica: (laughs) I can’t play with you. You’re a girl.
King: This is a game you can only play with boys?
Erica: Yes. Only boys have penises that I can suck.
King: You like to suck penises?
Erica: Yes. I like it when I get my snack. I don’t like playing with Sam though because he doesn’t give me a snack.
King: Why not?
Erica: I don’t know. Nothing ever comes out of his penis. Josh can give me good snacks though.
King: Who else gives you snacks?
Erica: Daddy does.

Upon further questioning, Erica confirmed that it was Mike Macallister giving her “snacks”. When confronted with this information, Mike immediately confessed.

“What was I supposed to do?” Mike tells U.S. Weektime Magazine. “I knew it was wrong. It happened one night when Erica woke up crying in the middle of the night. She said she was hungry. I was about to go to the kitchen to get her something when she stopped me. She pulled down my pajama bottoms and started… (silence) I had no idea she was doing this with the boys too.”

This revelation tore apart Mike and Jocelyn’s relationship. “I was hurt,” Jocelyn said. “Hurt. Angry. Betrayed. Nauseated. I couldn’t believe he had been doing this with our daughter.”

Jocelyn wanted to call the police right away but Dr. King persuaded her to wait. “I wanted to ask Erica some more questions first. I had a feeling there was more to this story than meets the eye. Little girls do not normally offer oral sex to grown men. Since Erica was adopted, I surmised this behavior must have been learned.

“[Mr. Swenson] said this would be the last time I could snack this way.”
– Erica

King’s further questioning of Erica led to none other than the Arctic team and her experiences in the Canadian wilderness. The following is excerpt from King’s interview:

King: Erica, tell me: why do you play these snack games with your brothers and father?
Erica: Because I like snacks.
King: Don’t you like eating by yourself? Like eating an apple?
Erica: Yes, but I like snacks from Daddy and Josh better. It tastes better.
King: Who else has given you snacks this way?
Erica: Um, Mr. Swenson does.
King: Who is Mr. Swenson?
Erica: He’s from Canada. I grew up with him and seven other explorers.
King: And he gave you snacks too?
Erica: They all did. But then we stopped living in Canada. Mr. Swenson came to visit me before I came here to live with Mommy and Daddy and Josh and Sam. He said this would be the last time I could snack this way.
King: Why did he say that?
Erica: I don’t know. He gave… he gave me a snack but then said I couldn’t do this anymore, not with anyone else, and I shouldn’t talk about it too.

At this point, the police were summoned to investigate. Mr. Swenson and his team of researchers were arrested. Speaking on behalf of his seven men, Swenson confessed to everything that Erica had detailed to Dr. King.

“Yes, it’s all true,” Swenson said, speaking via telephone from New York city where he is awaiting charges. “What we did is inexcusable. But I ask you: would Erica have survived had we not done what we did? When the plane crashed, we had maybe three months worth of dried milk, maybe some cans of juice. Is that something a little girl can grow up on? And then we ate nothing but venison for almost four years. We had no choice.”

The choice that Swenson and his team made were scandalous and outrageous. As a group, they decided to supplement ten-month old Erica’s diet with their own semen. “We tried to… (pause) feed her… twice a day,” Swenson recounted from New York. “Twice a day each that is. With eight of us, that accounted for sixteen feedings for Erica each day.”

Finding no baby bottles in Lindsey Dalloway’s belongings, the men also had to improvise on their method of delivery for feeding Erica. “Yes,” Swenson said wearily. “It was the only way to feed her. We tried feeding her reconstituted dried milk at first but it was impossible to feed an ten month old using a spoon. She didn’t know how to eat yet and would spill most of the milk. We couldn’t waste it. We also knew she was accustomed to… (pause) breastfeeding and, well, suckling so… (silence).”

Young Erica grew up performing oral sex on grown men, thinking nothing was out of the ordinary. To her, it was normal to wake up and ask one of the men to “feed” her. Even once Erica was old enough to eat solid food, Swenson claims that she still demanded her feedings.

“We tried stopping,” Swenson asserts. “She got old enough and we tried giving her things like berries, nuts, wild apples… She would eat them but she would say she wouldn’t be full unless we fed her… ourselves.”

Up until the rescue, Erica was still performing oral sex on each of the men at least once a day. While Swenson claims his team saved the girl, Dr. King believes otherwise.

“I watched the videotape that Mrs. Macallister found in her son’s room,” King told U.S. Weektime Magazine. “There’s no other way to put this but… Erica’s “technique”, shall we say, indicated that she was taught not only to obtain food through oral sex but also to maximize male pleasure. Mr. Swenson’s story would lead you to believe that his ejaculating in Erica’s mouth was merely for her survival. From the rather skilled use of her hands and mouth, however, I would believe that Erica was also being used for sexual reasons by the Arctic research team.”

Swenson angrily denied these charges by King. “That’s not the way it was at all,” he contradicted. “Look… (pause) I know how this sounds. But you have to try to understand. It was the only way to feed her. And I admit, me and my men were masturbating. Then she got older and saw what we were doing with our hands. Naturally, she wanted to try it too. That’s where she learned how to… (pause) handle… it. I still stand by my statement that while illegal to the outside world, we did nothing wrong to ensure the survival of Erica.”

While Swenson and his team await formal charges in New York, the Macallisters have done their best to return to a normal life. Mike and Jocelyn are currently receiving marital counseling while Josh and Sam are receiving weekly visits from Dr. King. Erica, meanwhile, is receiving treatment at the Watson Clinic in northern California.

“While Josh and Sam have considerable psychological scars from the incidents,” Dr. King said, “the real question is whether or not Erica can be successfully rehabilitated. She has serious psychological damage, namely the linking of food and sex as well as a sexually-uninhibited mindset which can be very destructive for a seven year old girl. I’m confident, however, that the Watson Clinic will be able to help her.”

Additional reporting by C. Kent and J. Olson

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