Failure to Protect
homelogan marrcaseworker fileschild policydiscussion
police interviews with sally schofield

The following are selected excerpts from police interviews with Sally Schofield in the days immediately after Logan Marr's death. [Ed. Note: Some portions of the audio tape are difficult to hear.]


audio excerpts (realaudio
clip 1: An investigator question Sally about the duct tape found wound around Logan's high chair.
clip 2: Sally tells investigator that she never meant to hurt her children.

»Dealing With Logan's Rages

INVESTIGATOR: When you say "no" to her, is that enough to set her off? Does she go into a rage then?

SALLY: No, she doesn't-- She's not in rage all the time. It wasn't like this was a daily thing. It certainly wasn't. Oftentimes we'd go weeks without anything more than she might have to go to time out on the couch, or she might have to come in her room and be quiet for a few minutes. There would be weeks without a rage. And then, you know, we hit a space where we would rage like two or three times a week for a couple of weeks. And then it would taper off.

INVESTIGATOR: When she would rage, would she like punch walls and stuff, and kick and scream?

SALLY: Oh yeah, she would lay on her bed and she would flail and kick. I don't know if you can see the ding on the wall over here. She had her boots on. She would lay on the bed and she would, you know, kick her feet and throw up her arms, and throw herself all around. And she would oftentimes, you know, hit the head rail and foot rail and kick the wall and stuff. And I was really afraid she was going to hurt herself. And she just didn't care; she was just raging.

INVESTIGATOR: I've never come up with a way to handle that. What do you do when a child does so?

SALLY: We would just say, "You need to not do that." At the time that she was actually doing it, to the point where I was really concerned she was going to hurt herself, there was a blanket, a fleece blanket on her bed, over her quilt. And what I did was just flip the blanket over her and just kind of use my arms and say, "You need to calm down. This is not OK. You are going to hurt yourself, you're going to hurt the room. This is not OK. You need to be talking to me." When she was in a rage like that, if I could-- if I could kind of, you know, envelop her, then oftentimes she would initially spike, but then she would decompensate usually pretty quickly.

What was interesting, the first time I did that, the minute I started to release pressure, she escalated again until I resumed pressure. And then she settled right down. And I ended up staying there. Like I was kneeling, I was kneeling on the floor. And I ended up staying there just enveloping her for like over an hour, probably an hour and a half. And then slowly, gradually just kept talking to her, and talking to her. And, you know, giving her words, and offering, you know, "What I see it looks to me like you're really struggling with this. I think that you must be feeling this way."

And she was generally able to say yes or no, "That's how I feel," or, "No, it's not." But, whatever-- whatever it was that seemed to work. And that's actually a technique I picked up when [therapist] Dan Hughes was working with a kid on my caseload, a foster mom was doing that, a couple of different foster moms had done that, that particular technique. And they had reported that it's been very successful. And one day I go, "Let's try that thing. If it works for everybody else, let's see if it works for Logan."

INVESTIGATOR: Is that the binding that you're talking about [inaudible].

SALLY: Well, there's an actual thing called the blanket wrap that they do in psychiatric facilities. And I'm not crazy about that, because that's just too confining. But, just kind of containing her, you know, swaddling her.

INVESTIGATOR: She told her bio mom, because I've got one of the reports in which she's telling her bio mom about the blanket wrap.

SALLY: I know, they sent that to me this morning.

INVESTIGATOR: How many times did you use that, the blanket wrap?

SALLY: The blanket wrap that we used was on the bed, wrapping the blanket that was on the bed, wrapping her.

INVESTIGATOR: You described it as two different types of blanket wrap, is a blanket roll?

SALLY: There's the blanket wrap that they do at psychiatric facilities, where they literally rolled out over ...(inaudible) again in a blanket so they can't move. They're like mummified. And that's-- I have a real issue with that. I think that's ...(inaudible)

INVESTIGATOR: So, that's not what she's describing to her bio mom then?

SALLY: I don't know-- Well, that's not something that happened to her here. I mean, we would tuck the blanket around her. Restrain and holding are very different things in my mind. I have a real issue with restrain. Restraints [are for] prisoners, who are trying to get away. But, if you have a 2-year-old who's out of control, you don't allow a 2-year-old to go off on a rampage. You still come up and you hold them in your lap. You're not restraining them. You're doing some supportive holding to them. And so you're kind of containing them, as opposed to restraining.

And, I think, that there's a very different intent there. And even when I was holding her there on the bed like that, you know, the message that I kept saying to her was, "You know, you need to be in control of your arms and legs. You need to be in control of your arms and legs. And you need to do good touches with your arms and legs. So, when you're ready, you let me know."

So, at one point, she did say, "I'm ready. ..." I said, "OK, are you ready for your legs?" And she said, "Yeah." I said, "OK, that's fine." I said, "Let's try this." And so I kind of rearranged and didn't have any weight at all on her legs or anything and that was fine. I mean, she was fine. So, then we talked to her a few more minutes, and then you know, I said, "Are you ready to have your arms yet?" And she said, "No." I said, "OK, that's fine. I'll continue to hold them for you."

And at that point, it wasn't even-- it wasn't even a holding. But, for her, that was enough pressure that she felt like I was in control. And she needed somebody else to be in control with them. And she was really scared, I think.

You read all this literature, you read all the books, and you go to the trainings and you work with the kids. And you know it's all about control. And it's so paradoxical because on one hand, they want all the control, because that's the only way they feel comfortable. "Nobody had ever taken care of me; I've got to take care of myself. I must be in control of everything." And on the other hand, there's this part of them that says, "I'm only a kid, I can't have control. Somebody else must be in control of me."

So, it's a very-- it's a very huge stretch for them. But at those particular times, Logan really needed for somebody else to be in control.

INVESTIGATOR: That was a pretty big role for you to fill as far as to undo what had been done for five years, and to redo her in a way in which she knew that she wasn't the parents, and that she couldn't call the shots. That certainly is not something that's easy to do.

SALLY: There are no guarantees with kids. There are no guarantees in life, you know. You make a commitment, you stick to it, and you do what you need to do because it needs to be done. It's not what I signed up for, but this is what I'm getting. So, I'm going to learn everything I can about it, and I'm going to do whatever I can. And we are going to get through this.

»The Day Logan Died

SALLY: And then about quarter of three, ten of three, I get home, and she was still sleeping at that point.

INVESTIGATOR: And she wakes up around what time?

SALLY: It must have been about quarter after three or so. But she woke up literally screaming.

INVESTIGATOR: What do you do when she does that?

SALLY: So I thought something was going on. I was at the computer, and [my son] Derek was on the couch watching TV. And I just kind of looked at Derek, like "What is her problem?" I thought, well, maybe she was having a bad dream, or maybe she was in pain and didn't feel good, or something. So I came back and I go, "Hey, hey, hey, what's going on?" And she couldn't' tell you. She just was crying [and raging].

INVESTIGATOR: So what happens then? Did she calm down?

SALLY: No.

INVESTIGATOR: So is this when she goes down [into the basement]?

SALLY: No. She didn't go down until about 3:30. I spent that time talking with her: "Are you sick? Are you scared?" Going through the whole litany of offering her words. "Is something the matter? Are you afraid? Do you need something? Did something happen?" She would like deescalate -- not calm down, but she would deescalate. And then I would think, OK, now we're really getting somewhere. At one point I said to her, "OK, you know, maybe we just need to kind of regroup. You kind of look like you're still really tired. Do you need to go back to sleep?" "No!" She started all over again. OK, obviously, that's not working.

INVESTIGATOR: Did you have [to] use that swaddling?

SALLY: No, I didn't at that point. I just said, "You know, you can either calm down and stay up here-- if you need to scream, that's OK, but you're going to have to go the basement if you're screaming because Shaynen is asleep, and Bailey is about to go down for her nap. And I'm not going to have you keeping them awake. So if you need to scream, that's OK, but you're going to have to do it in the basement. You just need to let me know what choice you're going to make."

INVESTIGATOR: And she kept screaming?

SALLY: She just kept crying and screaming. She couldn't make a choice. And I said, OK-- You know, I am always, "You need to make a choice. And if you can't make a choice, that's OK, because I'll make one for you. But you need to know that this is the choice that I'm going to make for you. So if you want a different choice, you probably got to speak up now."

INVESTIGATOR: So she doesn't stop screaming. So she's made her choice kind of in a round about way, that it's going to be time-out. And she was in a time-out around 3:30.

SALLY: I said, "Well, then, you know, if you're going to continue to scream, then I guess we need to go to the basement." "No! No! No!" "If you need to scream, that's OK, but you're not going to do it up here because Bailey is in her room sleeping. It's not fair for you to keep her awake."

INVESTIGATOR: She goes down to the basement, and this is in the seat that I've seen, right?

SALLY: Um-hmm.

INVESTIGATOR: It's angled one way at first.

SALLY: It was initially angled towards the wall.

INVESTIGATOR: -- she goes in her seat, facing the wall. Is she buckled at that time?

SALLY: I don't remember if I buckled her at that time or not. I honestly really don't. I know at some point she got buckled. I don't know if she buckled herself in or I buckled her in. She often would buckle herself in, especially if she had slippery pants on. She didn't like the sensation of kind of moving down. So she would buckle herself in.

INVESTIGATOR: Are you making dinner at this point, 3:30, because I know you talk about putting in pork chops and stuff later on. But I mean, at some point, you got to be doing the Shake and Bake and whatever it is you're doing to get the pork chops ready. What are you doing at 3:30, do you remember?

SALLY: I was probably checking my email and doing something on the computer.

INVESTIGATOR: She's still crying?

SALLY: Intermittently, yes. So every few minutes I'd go down and check on her. "How are you doing? Are you about done? About ready to come up?" "No!" "OK, I'm just checking. I'll come back in a few minutes."

INVESTIGATOR: Would she cry when you went back down?

SALLY: When she heard me coming down the stairs she would start crying. But she had stopped. She'd start crying again, "Mommy, Mommy." "What is it you need?" "I don't know." At one point she was yelling, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" So I went downstairs and said, "What do you need?" "Nothing." I said, "Oh, wasn't that you I heard yelling, 'Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy?'" "Yes." "Well, what is it you need?" "Nothing." "Oh, so you were just yelling at Mommy for no reason?" "I don't know." "OK. Probably not a good choice. Remember we talked about this, when you call for Mommy and there's nothing wrong."

INVESTIGATOR: There should be a reason.

SALLY: "Remember the little boy who cried wolf? Remember we talked about this?" And that was something she never understood, and we reinforced over and over and over again. "When you don't tell the truth, what happens is, people don't trust you. And that's going to come back and bite you in the butt, because someday you're going to tell them the truth and they're not going to believe you." That was probably somewhere in the vicinity between 4 and 4:15, because that was before I had called Dean.

INVESTIGATOR: And then you called Dean at what time?

SALLY: About quarter after four, just to find out the time he was going to come home for supper, so what time I should--

INVESTIGATOR: Did you tell Dean about Logan, what's going on?

SALLY: He said, "What's going on at the house?" And I said, "Oh well, you know, Shaynen's asleep and Bailey's asleep, and Logan's in the basement." He was like, "Oh, having a good day, are we?" "Well, you know, well you know, having a tough time following directions and good choices. Same old, same old."

INVESTIGATOR: Did you describe, like, the extent of this rage that she was in, or anything like that? Did you get into that?

SALLY: I don't think so. I probably just told him that she was screaming in the basement or something like that. I don't really typically tell Dean like every detail.

»The Duct Tape

INVESTIGATOR: OK, so when you go down [to check on her] the time that she's into the duct tape. She's got it through her hair. She's got it on her shirt--

SALLY: Her head, everywhere.

INVESTIGATOR: Can you describe it on the sides of the seat as well. Has she got like her arms taped to the seat?

SALLY: No. Well, no, because she couldn't do that.

audio excerpt (realaudio)
clip 1: An investigator question Sally about the duct tape found wound around Logan's high chair.

INVESTIGATOR: Or, one arm? Did she have one arm taped to the seat?

SALLY: No, but there was tape-- There was like-- She had [inaudible] yards of it, I'm sure yards of it. It just looked like a lot of it. I'm sure it wasn't that much, but-- And there was-- I don't remember. Because I was at an angle, so I don't really-- I didn't see her left side. But, her right side there was some right here, kind of on the side of the chair. And I don't know where-- I didn't really pay attention whether or not there was attached to a lot, but I just remember seeing duct tape there, and just thinking, you know, "Oh man, this is [inaudible]. You really did this one good."

INVESTIGATOR: Is this the time when you say, "Alright, you want to see what it's like? You don't want to be like that. That's not really what you want. I'll show you what it's like," and you wrap her around.

SALLY: And went over, "You don't like this. Remember, you don't like to not have [control over] your body. You don't like to have your arms not moving. This is what it would be like. This is not what you want. I don't know what you're trying to accomplish, but this is not what you want to happen."

INVESTIGATOR: Did you use tape from the roll when you did that?

SALLY: Yup.

INVESTIGATOR: So, you used the roll itself and went around.

SALLY: Hmm.

INVESTIGATOR: Do you remember how many times you went around?

SALLY: It was once-- It might have been twice, I don't know. It wasn't like I was [inaudible] or anything. I just wanted to get the point across to her: "This is what it would be like for you, and you're not going to like it. This is not the place you want to go. This is not how you want it to be."

And, you know, usually if you do that kind of stuff with her, she can get it. She's a real bright kid. And she can-- she can usually get that kind of stuff. You know, "This is what this is going to mean. Are you sure you really want to go there?" "No" ... [inaudible]

INVESTIGATOR: Is that what you said, as you recall, "Are you sure that this is what you want," or--

SALLY: I said to her, "This is not what you really want to have. This is not what you want." I didn't even ask. I knew that wasn't what she wanted. "This is not where you want to go."

INVESTIGATOR: Did you get all of the tape off of her, all the tape off? Was there any tape left on her?

SALLY: I almost think that I remember vaguely a little patch on her left arm. The tape, part of it started to split. I almost think there was-- There wasn't a piece of tape-- It must have been adhesive, some of the adhesive maybe stuck to her sleeve. There was something-- I just remember vaguely, something on her left sleeve, or her left arm kind of being there.

INVESTIGATOR: And how about off of the seat, high chair type seat itself? Was there any left on there?

SALLY: I don't remember all of that. I wouldn't have been concerned about whether or not it was on the seat.

INVESTIGATOR: The seat's still facing-- the back of the seat still facing--

SALLY: Hmm.

INVESTIGATOR: Do you recall seeing any tape over the back of that seat when you went back upstairs?

SALLY: Honest and truly, I don't recall, but for some reason, I think, like over here maybe on this part of the chair, there might have been some adhesive or something that [inaudible]. But, that would have been the same side that-- that the adhesive stuck on her arm. I don't know if-- I don't know that that's a real ...(inaudible), but for some reason it jumps out in my head, that there might have been some adhesive on that part of the chair. But, again, it wasn't, you know, like important at the time.

INVESTIGATOR: So, you go back upstairs.

SALLY: Hmm. Go back upstairs to check on Bailey. And Bailey and Shaynen, they were still sleeping. And went back down to check on her. And we had this discussion about how I was going to serve supper, and you know, she really needed to come and pull things together. In that way she wouldn't have to spend the entire evening, only quiet time. And I said, "I'm going to put supper in the oven, and I'll come back and check on you. And maybe you'll be in a better space. And maybe you'll be ready to come upstairs then." And she was kind of "No, no" kind of thing. And "OK, that's your choice and that's OK." You know, "It's your life, and you can spend an hour, if you want to spend that kind of thing." So, I went upstairs, and that's when I went to do the pork chops. And I remember when I put the pork chops in the oven it was 4:47.

INVESTIGATOR: Is she buckled [into the high chair] at this point?

SALLY: I don't know. I didn't pay attention.

INVESTIGATOR: Did she have any tape on her at this point?

SALLY: I don't know, I got it all off.

INVESTIGATOR: And then that's when you say 4:47 on the microwave, about three minutes or so, so about 4:50.

SALLY: Three to five, five minutes max. I mean, how long does it take to put pork chops in a pan. Six potatoes [into a] microwave.

INVESTIGATOR: And then it's quiet.

SALLY: And then it was quiet, yeah.

»The Medical Evidence

INVESTIGATOR: I can fill you in a little bit on what the medical-- I talked to the medical examiner again today. They're still waiting for some tests. Like I told you, they're doing some microscopic tests. One thing that they do have is they have-- have you ever heard of petechiae. You know what that is?

SALLY: I don't know that term.

INVESTIGATOR: Petechiae is hemorrhaging or bleeding that occurs in very, very small vessels. Little small vessels, and it's usually in your eyes. Small vessels that rupture due to pressure or due to a lack of oxygen. The vessels will rupture, and you can see the little dots in the eye.

SALLY: Oh yeah, OK.

INVESTIGATOR: They have found that on Logan. They found petechiae in her eyes, and they found them in her lips as well. Because there's also a lot of small vessels in your lips. And any type of a wet mucousy type of membrane due to the pressure that builds up and the lack of oxygen.

SALLY: So, what would that be from?

audio excerpt (realaudio)
clip 2:

INVESTIGATOR: That is from lack of oxygen, lack of air. And not being able to breathe. So, that's what we're left with at this point, is that we have indications that--

SALLY: Does that have anything to do with the vomit [inaudible]?

INVESTIGATOR: Vomit is most likely-- You said you pressed on her stomach.

SALLY: Yeah, I could smell the vomit, and then I kind of pressed so I heard the gurgling and stuff. [inaudible] I was wondering if maybe she had choked on vomit or-- I still don't-- I can't for the life of me figure out how in the world she ever took the chair over--

INVESTIGATOR: The vomit is one thing that we're going to look for on the duct tape. To see whether or not the duct tape was on when she was already dead, to see whether any of that came out onto the duct tape. Because the duct tape is in a totally different area from where-- You said the vomit came out on the carpet area, so there really shouldn't be any vomit.

SALLY: No there shouldn't be--

INVESTIGATOR: On the duct tape. If there was that would certainly be a big problem, because it wouldn't be consistent with what you told us. As far as the duct tape being off her mouth at that point.

The other things, like I told you, they're looking for the mouth print on the tape. They've got a way that they freeze the tape and that makes it so it's pliable so they can open it back up and look for things like that. The other thing is the hair that was on the tape. They're looking for whether or not there's going to be any signs that hair came out after she was already dead, which would again put the duct tape on her when she was no longer breathing. Therefore, her blood's not still flowing through the system, and she wouldn't have any bleeding when the hair came out. Those are all things that we're looking for. And, I guess, you know, so far that's what we're finding. Everything is adding up to this point, to pretty much the same as like I told you yesterday, what I believe happened.

That Logan was down there with the duct tape on, and that that's when she stopped breathing. And whether it's due to the fact that she kicked herself over, and fell over, and ended up in a position where she couldn't breath, but yet the duct tape's not like completely over her mouth, but yet to a point where she's having difficulty breathing, I could understand how that could have happened. But, those are what-- what we're looking at right now. And that's what everything is adding up to. And I really don't see any other explanation at this point.

SALLY: [inaudible]

INVESTIGATOR: I don't see anything as being intentional. Did you want to hurt Logan?

SALLY: [inaudible] No. I couldn't hurt my child. I mean, [inaudible].

INVESTIGATOR: But, can you make a mistake?

SALLY: I'm sure I made lots of mistakes ... [inaudible] I'm sure I made lots of mistakes. But, I could never do anything to harm my children.

home | introduction | the taking of logan marr | a national dialogue
caseworker files | child policy | producer chat
join the discussion | interview with the producers
readings, links & resources | tapes & transcripts | press reaction
credits | privacy policy | FRONTLINE home | wgbh | pbsi

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation.

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

NEXT ON FRONTLINE

Losing IraqJuly 29th

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS