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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    IN - Alissa Guernsey, 16 mos, beaten to death, LaGrange, 28 March 2009

    This is one I know I've seen before, but I can't find it here on Web Sleuths. It is in Indiana.

    Three kids had a temporary guardian, after their mother went off the deep end when their Dad died.

    This woman killed a 16 month old baby.

    She tortured Alissa, broke Alissa's bones, bruised Alissa, beat Alissa, left horrendous mouth sores on Alissa...

    She was charged with NEGLECT.

    She served 77 DAYS in prison.

    That is LESS than the 3 months this baby was tortured for!

    Here is the story under description on the left:


    There are pictures of this babies injuries, including the sores in her mouth.
    Please don't click this link if you don't want to see them!


    Here are some regular pictures of Baby Alissa:

    Yes, in this picture Alissa's arm is broken and she has bruises.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    link for news story did not work

    How did her mother only get 77 days?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Holy ****. This is a horrible story. And local to me, but I hadn't read about it (moved into area after the death occurred and never heard about the sentence).

    77 days is a disgrace. Seems like the judge knew the killer's dad and since they were friendly, it could have affected his sentence? How is that possible? Why wouldn't he have had to recuse himself?

    Why did I click on those pictures? You put a disclaimer....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    It wasn't her mother, it was a "relative".
    They had a temporary guardian.

    The mother did the "right" thing.
    When the father died in November of 2008 she was freaking out.
    When she couldn't care for her children she gave them to someone who was supposed to be capable of doing so.

    When the mother went back to drugs and failed to keep in touch with social workers, SHE was cited for neglect.
    Other people were caring for her children, but she was cited for neglect simply for not keeping in touch with those people.

    Then, her daughter was officially, legally placed in this woman's home (a relative, not a trained foster parent.)
    4 months after her Daddy's death this little girl was brutally murdered.

    This isn't a Casey Anthony situation... this woman did what we wished Casey had done. "Why didn't she give her to someone else??"
    This woman did that and her daughter was STILL tortured and murdered.

    I'm sure the mother made some mistakes, (like not fighting for justice to protect her CIVIL suits) but she is not the one who murdered this baby.

    The woman who somehow did all this damage to this BABY for 90+ days, then spent 77 days in jail... is the one at fault.

    The people in the judicial system who allowed this to happen are the ones at fault.

    I am just again outraged. How do these people sleep at night?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Nepotism at its worst -- somebody made the "problem" of 10 years in prison for this little girl's horrible, slow death go away as expediently as possible. That somebody needs to be taken down for it, and the child-killer returned to prison for her full 10 years, which she deserves -- and more.

    What kind of message is this sentence sending?

    That the life of a bright little baby girl is not worth more than upsetting a few bureaucratic applecarts? That if you have right connections, you can go ahead and kill anybody you want and go home to your own family in a matter of weeks?

    The doctor who treated her and did not report her condition as abuse needs to have his licence removed immediately. At the least.

    This needs to be a national outrage. That it isn't makes me sad for America, and the state of things there.

    ETA -- how likely is it that someone could sic Dr Phil or one of those huge talkshow moguls onto this? It NEEDS a national level forum!!!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    I have a daughter with Alopecia... people have asked if she pulls her hair out.
    I asked the doctor out of curiosity if that was a common behavior.
    He said "I've seen it before, but hair being pulled out and hair falling out is pretty easy to distinguish, hers is definitely falling out on it's own."

    Just that should have raised red flags.
    If a baby is pulling out her hair, that's a problem.
    If an adult is pulling out her hair, that's a problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Some articles:



    *WARNING - a couple of autopsy pics

    Article re treating doctor - who saw Alissa 15 times on one month prior to her death...


    In cases of prolonged abuse -- isn't it unusual for the abuser of a baby to be taking the child to doctor 15 times a month, and seeking medical 'answers' to the mystery of why the baby's hair is falling out (of course, it was torn out)....

    Is this a case of Munchhausen's-by-proxy?

    ETA: or was she used as a way to get drugs... from the SBT news article linked above:

    Boyd's report and that of the DCS investigator listed more incriminating evidence against Shaffer, who repeatedly took Alissa to the family pediatrician and asked for painkillers for her injuries — none of which was found in the baby's blood, according to later toxicology reports.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Can anything be done about this? Is there someone we can write to complain about it and ask for an investigation?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    I'm not sure how current this is, but there's a petition to re-open her case:


    There's a message from Alissa's mother, Kelly Sprunger, on there.

    Really, I'd love to see this case on Dr. Phil.. something controversial like that, where the right questions will be asked, and attention is national. This is such a shocking breach of every concept and system of child protection, it NEEDS to be aired like the dirty laundry it really is!!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    All I know about her mother is that she has backed out of being involved, in order to preserve her civil lawsuits.
    Initially she was involved with the facebook group... but was advised to discontinue that to help her civil lawsuit situation.

    That is on the right side of this page here:

    So if there is a message from her mother on there, odds are it isn't within the last 4-5 months or so.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Yup - it was marked as '6 months ago'.

    I hope her civil suit goes well. But really, it should be re-tried as a criminal case. For murder.

    Interesting, how severe the penalties have been in many other cases of a similar kind in the area. Sentences of 20-54 years... 77 days is a joke, to put it far more mildly than I'd like to.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I got so mad and upset about this case, had to get off the forum last night. Just signed the change.org petition...really, really hope it makes a difference...no child's horrible torture and death should be shuttled as this one was due to conflicts of interest and corruption of the justice system!

    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Somewhere over the rainbow
    God have mercy. Who could do that to an innocent baby!! Monster! I hope she will be haunted every day of her pathetic excuse for a life. Then on judgment day may she face an eternal punishment far worse than any earthly punishment. Rest in peace baby Alissa, I hope and pray you are playing with the Angels and all the other poor children who suffered the same fate.
    "The word which God has written on the brow of every man is Hope." - Victor Hugo

    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato

    Everything I post is my opinion only, but it is both my God given and Constitutionally protected right to do so!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Absolutely disgusting.

    My heart breaks for her mother, who obviously thought she was doing the right thing by giving her baby girl to another when she didn't feel capable of looking after her. Instead, she now has to deal with the death of her partner as well as the loss of her darling daughter.

    I find it hard to believe that 77 days in jail is worth the same as this beautiful girls life. And the poor darling looks horrible in that last picture, she seems withdrawn, like the life has been completely sucked out of her. No child deserves to suffer for three months at the hands of a monster, especially when this person is supposed to be protecting and caring for them.

    What on earth is wrong with these people?!
    Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.
    Emily Dickinson

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    I have seen a lot of cases during my time here at Websleuths, but seeing the pictures of Alissa's last day alive (if you can even call it that) were the most heartbreaking pictures I have ever seen and I am disgusted that the woman responsible for this horrendous abuse and murder only spent 77 days in jail for this unspeakable crime.

    Praying for justice for you little Alissa!
    Justice for Trayvon

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