Candace Clark, Michael Sisk, Michaela Clerc and Felicia Mae Garlin all swept into a small rural town in Wisconsin during the month of February in 2007.
They brought with them Garlin’s mother, Tammie Garlin, a tortured-looking 11-year-old boy who happened to be her son, three other children (who belonged to Clark), and a kidnapped girl from Florida.
They also brought with them several warrants for their arrest.
Candace Clark was wanted in Florida for the kidnapping of her 2-year-old daughter from her foster parents, and in Kentucky for financial fraud.
Michael Sisk had a warrant out for his arrest in the state of Colorado, for skipping out on his work-release program.
Over the past year, the group had lived in Florida, Maine, Kentucky, Colorado and Tennessee. In all those states, they were making a living through financial fraud with a series of aliases.
They came to Wisconsin to see snow.
After paying cash for rent on a two-story house in town, they all settled down.
Kind of like the Brady Bunch.
If the Brady Bunch ever started slowly torturing Peter Brady to death.
Tammie Garlin’s 11-year-old son went through some pretty bad times. Before I detail some of the abuse, keep in mind his mother and sister participated in this abuse.
Candace Clark and Michael Sisk whipped the boy daily with belts and extension cords. The kid was beaten, kicked and strangled until his eyes closed and he passed out..
They fed him one meal a day. He was hungry all the time.
Felicia, Candace and Michael forced him to drink gallons of water until he was vomited it all up, then kick and beat the boy while he lay on the floor.
Tammie Garlin’s son would sometimes be hogtied with his hands tied behind his back and tied to another rope which tied his feet together.
He was usually then put into a bathtub by Candace Clark and Michael Sisk and then scalding hot water was turned on.
Everyone participating in the scalding would threaten to drown him if he got out.
Sometimes water would be heated up in a pan on the stove and then he’d be chased through the house until they could throw the scalding water on him.
His sister, Felicia Garlin, thought that was particularly funny and laughed a lot whenever it happened.
The boy told investigators that these burning incidents happened more than ten times.
Pliers were found. They had been applied to the kid’s genitals which were then twisted.
Every night the boy slept naked, without blankets, in his sister’s closet.
And then the lesbian break-up happened.
Damn those lesbian break-ups.
Tammie Garlin and Michaela Clerc were lovers at one point, but had a falling out and broke up, which led Michaela to believe Tammie had cheated on her.
The whole group turned on Tammie Garlin and they started to torture her along with her son.
She began to get the scaldings, to be locked in the closet.
On June 4th, hours after a particularly savage beating, Tammie Garlin still felt sick. Felicia Garlin and Michaela Clerc dragged her into a bathroom, where Clerc slammed her head against the floor on her way out.
Annoyed with her moaning and crying, Michael Sisk went into the bathroom with her and shut the door. He came out a few minutes later and told the others that Tammie Garlin was dead.
Michaela Clerc laughed.
The group figured that they had to get rid of the body before it started stinking up the place, so, after much thought, they buried her corpse in the backyard.
Incidentally, after all this was brought out into the open, their landlord came forward to say that Michael Sisk had approached him with an offer of planting a garden over the spot where Tammie Garlin’s body was later found. Michael Sisk apparently changed his mind later on and wanted to put in a patio.
The patio never got put in, because police had finally tracked the group down for the kidnapping of the little 2-year-old girl and arrested Candace Clark, Michaela Clerc and Felicia Garlin on June 14th. Michael Sisk was captured later at a bus stop in Milwaukee. He had a ticket to Kentucky and was only captured because the bus had been delayed.
After the police took the three women down to the station for interrogation purposes, Clerc revealed during her interview that there was still an 11-year-old boy locked in a closet.
Driving back to the house, police found the boy there, sitting on the floor with his knees pulled up to his chest. He was covered in cuts, burns and scars. His feet were so badly burned he couldn’t walk.
A local 7-year-old girl said she saw them wheel the boy out and was scared. “I seen blood coming out of his forehead,” she said.
Dr. Barbara L. Knox examined and interviewed the boy at a local hospital.
Her examination showed that he had burns over most of his body, including his scalp. He had significant injuries, both old and new that could only be caused by constant, serial beatings.
He was malnourished.
Specific injuries to the boy included:
- a missing front upper tooth
- several burn marks on his face and scalp
- multiple burn and loop marks (from reported extension cord beatings) throughout his torso
- burns on both his hands, which had caused mummification and significant contracture of some of the fingers
- burnt and swollen arms
- burn scars on his legs and knees
- extensive burns on both feet
The boy’s final comment to Dr. Knox during the interview: “I don’t want to hurt no more.”