She grew up in Edenton where her father, Warren Twiddy, was a successful
businessman in town. The Twiddys were active, leading members of the community
until the Little Rascals case hit in 1989. Betsy had been friends since
childhood with a number of the parents of the allegedly abused children. Her
mother, Alice Twiddy, is a court clerk in Edenton and works just feet away from
the files that contain the criminal charges against her daughter and
After Betsy's arrest in September 1989 her daughter Laura, then six, went to
live with Betsy's sister, Nancy Smith, and her family. She remained with the
Smiths for the two years that Betsy was in prison.
Many of the parents described their earlier (before the trials) impressions of
Betsy as an extraordinarily warm and compassionate person, funny and easy to
talk to. It was in part because of Betsy that the Little Rascals day care was
the most popular and prestigious day care in Edenton.
In early 1989, the first complaints of child sexual abuse were lodged, all
involving Bob Kelly. Most of the parents who had children at the daycare
refused to believe the allegations and kept their children at Little Rascals.
But gradually, more and more of the parents began to suspect that something had
happened. By May, a flood of children were sent to therapy, and over the summer
of 1989, most of the initial disclosures about the day care came out.
Betsy was arrested on September 1, 1989 and remained in jail for almost two
years, her bail set at $1.7 million dollars. In the fall of 1991, one month
into Bob's trial, her bail was lowered and she was released. After Bob's
trial, she moved with Laura away from Edenton to her aunt's house in an
adjoining town, under the terms of her bail.
In January, 1994, she accepted a plea of "no contest" and a sentence of seven
years in prison. Since she had already served two years and two weeks in jail,
she became eligible for parole after serving approximately one additional year
In October 1995, Betsy and Bob separated. Betsy moved back to Edenton, where
she lives with Laura and her parents. She works as a paralegal at a law firm in
Hertford, a town only a few miles from Edenton. Laura is now 14, and attends
school with many of the children involved in the case.