Jul 16, 2010
Follett, Britten and Cherokee Ballard. Charleston, S.C.: BookSurge Publishing, April 2010. ISBN 9781439266601. $19.99.
Many people in Oklahoma know who Kelsey Smith-Briggs is. For those who don’t, Kelsey is a two-year from Meeker, Oklahoma who was physically abused over time and eventually murdered. According to the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, the abuse eventually led to her death. She has become the face of child abuse in Oklahoma, if not across the nation.
This book by Britten Follett and Cherokee Ballard, both of whom are professional journalists in Oklahoma, is devoted to finding the truth about this terrible case of child abuse and presenting it to the public. The authors have researched the public record and utilized a variety of other sources on this case. Both authors also reported on the case for the news agencies they have worked with. Additionally, the book features personal, and at times intimate information from Kelsey’s paternal family, the Briggs.
Kelsey Shelton Smith-Briggs was born December 28, 2002 to Lance Briggs and Raye Dawn Smith. She was murdered October 11, 2005. She was physically abused by her mother, and the abuse was documented by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. However, she was allowed to remain with her mother instead of being removed from her and placed into the care of her father and his family.