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Everywhere You Go – Everybody Knows

Everywhere You Go – Everybody Knows

On October 27th 23 year old Hillary Adams posted a seven and a half minute video on the internet. The video, taken in 2004, shows then 44 year old Aransas County Texas Court-at-Law Judge William Adams, a Family Court Judge, striking his 16 year old daughter with a belt. The video has taken the world by storm accumulating over 7 million views.

Within the 7 minutes taped there are 2 minutes and 24 seconds where he delivers 17 lashings. Of the 2 minutes 24 seconds he’s out of the room 34 seconds to fetch ANOTHER belt. In 1 minute and 50 seconds he hit her 17 times. Out of the 17 blows there are 2 hits in 3 seconds, 4 hits in 6 seconds, and 5 hits in 5 seconds.

That’s 11 hits in 14 seconds. Try taking a doubled up belt in your hand and whacking your sofa five times in five seconds and get a feel for what that must have been like. Raise the belt to your shoulder level or higher when you are doing it to get the full affect.

His lashings struck Hillary on the back, thighs, buttocks, and her wrists, hands, and forearms due to her attempting to defend her body with each strike. He also slapped her with his hands and pulled violently on the back of her hair.

Along with the physical abuse he cursed all the way through the beating. He used the F word 15 times in phrases like “You caused this with your dis-F’in-obedience. and “Lay down or I’m going to spank you in the F’in face”

Hillary begged him to stop, cried “no”, and “that’s enough” over 20 times in the seven minutes. Her cries and pleas did nothing to deescalate his rising rage.

What did teen Hillary do to incite such a fury? She disobeyed her parents and downloaded videos and games on her computer which she had already been told once to remove.  She had a good idea this would result in a severe beating so she set up a video camera in her room. It ran for about 30 minutes before the “discipline” was brought to her bedroom. She covered the cameras red blinking light with a scarf.  Her Father knew enough to turn off the lights in room so the neighbors wouldn’t see the beating through the window.  Little did he know the world would get a front row seat seven years later.

If you haven’t seen it yet you can watch it on Please be advised that it should not be played within eyesight or earshot of a child or anyone with a tender soul.

Hilary is 23 now and the video is seven years old. She released the video after having ongoing conflict with her Father where she claims he was continuing to harass and berate her. She was receiving financial assistance from him by way of a vehicle and a free cell phone. In the midst of their ongoing disagreement of her lifestyle and hobbies he threatened to take them away. She retaliated by appraising him of the possession of a video of him beating her and her intent to post in on the net. He hadn’t seen the video beforehand and didn’t even know it existed. He challenged her to go ahead and post it so she did. It took less than 24 hours to be re-posted onto you tube with multiple copies. Within one week it gained over five million views.

The local news media caught up with Judge Adams in a parking lot on November 2nd. This is the only time he has spoken publicly about the video.

In this brief interview he states “In my mind I have not done anything wrong other than discipline my child when she was caught stealing. I did lose my temper, I’ve apologized.. it looks worse than it is.”

He also states “”Her mother was there, she wasn’t hurt.. it was a long time ago.. I really don’t want to get into this right now because as you can see my life’s been made very difficult over this child,”

Two days later he sent a written statement to the attorney William Dudley who forwarded it to the media.

Judge William offers 848 words in his statement. Eight words describing what “he” did ( two parents disciplining their 16 year old daughter) and 840 words about what Hillary did and caused. That’s what my eleven year old son does when he gets in trouble at school. He comes home and gives me 8 hedged words of what he’s done and 840 words of what everyone else did.

Judge Adams doesn’t seem to get how powerful the video is and how his pathetic displacement onto his daughter would be received poorly by the rest of the world. He had a chance to own up to what he’s done.  His cruelty continues with his every denial of accountability.

There’s an old negro spiritual that goes:
“Live a-humble, humble, humble Lord
Humble, yourself, the bell done rung.”

The bell done rung Judge Adams. It’s over. You can not deny or minimize the tyranny your daughters and wife suffered under your roof. If you want to recover from this you MUST make friends with the truth and quit blaming everyone else.

Your daughter needs to hear you truly apologize for this act and the hundreds of other acts you inflicted upon her leading up to your escalating your “discipline” to this level of rage. She needs the acknowledgement her Mother has given her for the part she played in this. She needs you to be a Father and parent her now as she comes to terms with this.

You couldn’t seem to come up with the words so I will do it for you.

“Dear Hillary,

I come to you today with my heart filled with remorse and shame. I stole a part of your childhood I fear I can never make up. I exposed you, your mother, and your little sister to a part of me that is very sick and wicked. I still have it inside of me today.

Your posting of this video became the undeniable proof of what I already knew. When I used violence in our home to gain your submission I knew I was going too far. I knew it was wrong but I went ahead and did it anyway. You didn’t deserve that… not once… for anything you may have done. It was my failings that led us here. You were a child with the understanding of a child. You broke rules. That’s what kids do.

My job as a parent is to provide for you and raise you to be world ready. Now I have compromised that with my indifference to your needs, my anger, and inability to control myself. I’m supposed to be the one who protects you and loves you, not be the monster in your closet.

I’m an educated man. My station in life gave me all the resources a family could need to seek help when trouble came our way. I had access to child guidance counselors, lawyers, medical doctors, therapists, and even law enforcement to assist me in dealing with your indiscretions. I chose a whip instead.

At the time of this recording I was  44 years old. When I was coming up this kind of punishment was acceptable. I have enough experience in child abuse cases and dealing with adults who were abused as children to know the effects of being subjected to this kind of punishment is long lasting. I know many before you have been unsuccessful in navigating life due solely to the kinds of brutality I exacted upon you.

I can not undo what I have done but I will not add insult to your injury by denying it or lessening it. What I can do is make a pledge to you that from this day forward I will devote my life to getting the help I so desperately need. If you will, I would ask that you come stand beside me.

I make these promises to you:

I will seek treatment for my anger and be fully evaluated by mental health treatment providers. I will go inpatient if that is what they suggest. I will attend group therapy or whatever other family counseling models suggested to me.

I will offer my full cooperation to any agency or charity working for and with abused children and families. I will be honest with them and provide for them what I know as a perpetrator of child abuse and an officer of the court who has experience with victims of abuse. I will do this with you if you would like.

I know that being a victim of domestic violence changes the brain of the growing child. I know I have compromised your ability to relate to this world and to other humans. I know you will have struggles as you grow and mature. I expect  your life choices may differ from what “I” had planned for you. I also know that the career paths you choose in your future life may not resemble what I wanted you to do. I am here to encourage you and to help you as you find your way. It’s YOUR life. What I truly want is for you to be happy and fulfilled doing what YOU want to do even if it’s something I don’t understand or hadn’t planned for.

I give you my word I will not lay a hand upon your sister for the rest of her entire childhood. If I find myself unable to control myself I will visit her only when I am supervised. If I can’t trust myself alone with her, I won’t be alone with her. This generational abuse we find ourselves repeating will come undone. It begins with me today.

I will treat your mother with respect. I know I have shattered her life and influenced her in ways that only the strong can inflict upon the weak. I take responsibility for that. I will support her reunification with you and make my amends to her as I am doing with you. I give you my word.

I’m so sorry Hillary. I hope you can find a place for me in your life in the future.

You are my child.

You are of me.

Everything inside of me is inside of you.

Your success in life will be in spite of me not because of me.

I know you still love me very much. Human nature dictates that even those who are treated inhumanely still rise up with affection, a need for approval, and hope for change in the future with their parents.  Your hope is my prayer.

I love you my daughter. Please accept my apology and believe my promises.


Now there you have it Judge Adams. Eight hundred and forty eight words to be exact.

Give it to her.

If you do not do right by this child everything you touch will turn to dust. The world is watching you.  Everywhere you go. Everybody knows.

Take this amazing opportunity. Take your daughter by the hand… step up on this world stage and do what is right. It’s your only way through this.

  1. terri11-13-11

    This is beautiful. Thank you. I really enjoy your posts but this one is particularly powerful.

  2. Annie Anke11-14-11

    I wish every abused child could read this and every abusive parent would read this …

  3. susan11-14-11

    This is a wonderful letter you have written. I hope Hillary Adams has the chance to see it.

  4. Christen12-07-11

    Wow! That was a terrific article and the letter was so thorough and right on about all the things he “should” be feeling if he really wanted to do right by his child. I wrote about this incident on my blog, too, and passed it along to Hilary; a slightly different perspective but I loved your accuracy & analysis. It mirrors my thoughts so well. Really nice job! Thanks for writing this.

  5. Jennifer Saldana06-05-16

    I have evidence and a case where my kids were adopted out after my rights were terminated then the files were sealed.

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