Meredith Anderson">

Special Assignment: Black Market Babies?

News 12 at 6 o'clock; November 19, 2009

AUGUSTA---Landon Terry has dedicated his life to solving crimes, but he can't seem to solve the mystery he believes started his life. He was just one day old when he thinks he was sold.

"I've tried the attorney's offices, the hospital. It's almost like, you don't exist," says Terry.

But he has proof that he does in his adoption records. He was born at a local hospital on October 16, 1963. His name was Baby Boy Cooper.

"And if your mother felt, had you in her arms, believe me. She would not want to give you up," says Barbara Seeger.

Seeger would know. She drove three hours from her North Carolina home to meet Landon after News 12 tracked her down on an adoption website. She is looking for her daughter, a little girl born the same year as Landon. A little girl, she says the juvenile court system took from her.

"I had agreed to give her up, and I said, that was before I had her. And she told me that if I did not give her up, then when I walked out that door, I would be arrested for vagrancy," remembers Seeger.

The "she" Barbara is referring to is Juvenile Court Officer Bee Hamilton, who died in 1988. Barbara has never been able to prove this threat, a threat she believes Hamilton used on many others.

But, look what we found in a 1955 court hearing in Miami. A congressional subcommittee was investigating juvenile issues and Bee Hamilton's alleged threats. An attorney, under oath, says this about Hamilton:

"One fact that I learned in going through the sections of Augusta and interviewing perhaps hundreds of people in areas where the mothers had their children taken from them, was that the juvenile court was identified with police power."
- Ernest A. Mitler, Special Counsel

Later, a mother describes how Hamilton showed up at her home with that power to take away her baby and 3 other children.

"She brought a policeman with her to get the children. The children cried, and she took them on out. I have never seen and never knowed where 1 of the 4 is at."
- Callie Mae Parrish

Again, all this came out in 1955. Seeger says Hamilton used that same threat against her 8 years later in 1963.

"I don't know what I could have done to fight back. Because I was 19 years old and scared to death, absolutely horrified of Bee Hamilton."

As were other mothers who said Hamilton would say anything to get her hands on babies and children.

"Babies had died, or you couldn't keep the baby. Or like in your case, I'll have you arrested, thrown in jail. Take the baby anyway. Barbara; oh believe me, that was not a lie!" said Terry.

It's the truth, according to that 1955 court transcript. Look at this exchange from a woman who ran a boarding house in Augusta where a lot of these mothers stayed before having their baby:

"Mrs. Epps: I heard her say with some particular girls that wanted their babies at birth - she said that before she would let them see them, she would tell them they were dead, died at birth.
Mr. Mitler: In other words, if the girl asked for the child, Miss Hamilton told you that she would say that the child was dead to get the girl out of the picture ?
Mrs. Epps: Before she would let the girl see the child, yes. She would just make them under the impression that the child died at birth.
Mrs. Epps. I heard her say with some particular girls that wanted their babies at birth - she said that before she would let them see them, she would tell them they were dead, died at birth.
Mr. Mitler: In other words, if the girl asked for the child, Miss Hamilton told you that she would say that the child was dead to get the girl out of the picture ?
Mrs. Epps. Before she would let the girl see the child, yes. She would just make them under the impression that the child died at birth."

But Mrs. Epps wasn't the only one to run a half-way house in Augusta where pregnant women stayed. News 12 has learned there was also a house run by a Mrs. Cooper where Bee Hamilton allegedly visited to trap young mothers.

Remember Landon's birth name? Baby Cooper?

Could his mother have stayed at the Cooper house?

Is that how he got the name, Baby Cooper? Bee Hamilton's name is all over Landon's paperwork.

Did she take him from that house?

"Somebody knows something about it, but nobody wants to talk about it." says Terry. "And nobody will talk about it." adds Seeger. But Landon and Barbara are talking about it, and they know this is a start.

Terry says, "I never actually met one of the mothers from this whole sordid tale." Barbara's never met a child from it either, but meeting Landon gives her hope that she may one day find her own daughter.

Seeger says, "You would fight heaven and Earth. You will fight hell. You will walk on fire for them. Believe me, because it's a part of you."

But now, it looks like Landon and Barbara are part of each other too.

Landon and Barbara believe there are others out there, hundreds, possibly thousands, looking for their family. They believe they aren't the only ones who were victims of forced adoptions. Maybe by breaking their silence, they can get others to come forward, and maybe some of these wounds can heal. It's a start.

Stay tuned to News 12 for more of our exclusive investigation into these black market babies, including how much money Bee Hamilton and a judge may have pocketed from all this.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Rebeccah Location: Augusta on Dec 17, 2009 at 01:58 PM
    I am a local Augusta resident. My mom actually told me about this issue. I do believe that my father was one of the black market babies. He was born July 26,1962. He was found in a hotel room with his older brother and was abandoned at the age of 3 months. He was put up for adoption where later on my grandparents where supposed to have adopted him. There is a slight difficulty believing this story. They desperatly were looking to have a child. They adopted my dad and then about two weeks later adopted his brother. They look absolutely nothing alike. I do want to investigate this issue and am glad that it has been brought to the publics attention.
  • by victim 101 Location: Aiken on Nov 19, 2009 at 08:43 PM
    i HAVE SPOKEN TO MANY WOMEN IN aIKEN WHO HAVE GONE THROUGH THE SAME PATTERN OF THREATS AND EVEN INCARCERATION TO MAKE THEM GIVE UP THEIR KIDS. THEY ALL GO THROUGH THE SAME CHANNELS. THEY ARE CHARGED DURING SUMMER WHEN KIDS ARE OUT OF SCHOOL. THEY ENDED UP AT A NURSING HOME WORKING DUE TO POLICE RECORDS AND INUENDOS. THEY ARE FORCED TO PAY LARGE SUMS TO DCS OR DSS. THESE WOMEN ARE USUALLY ATTRACTIVE AND ARE FORCED TO SELL THEMSELVES OR DOPE TO PAY THESE CLOWNS. ONE WORKER NAMED MIMS ASKED ME TO HAVE A ROCK PARTY. SADLY, I WAS A NERD WHO THOUGHT THAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT COMMUNISM. THEY ALL HAVE FOREIGN DOCTORS, MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS AND THEIR KIDS IDS ARE SOLD. I WAS ONE OF THESE PEOPLE. I BELIEVE MY DAUGHTER ALEXANDRA BARRINGTON KELLY WAS SOLD TO A PREACHER FOR INTERCOURURSE PURPOSES. THE KIDS ARE GIVIN TO PEOPLE WHO LET THENM GET PREGNANT AT AGES 12 13 AND 14. ASK ME TO SHOW YOU. I WILL BE GLAD TO.
  • by Gloria Location: N,Augusta SC on Nov 19, 2009 at 05:53 PM
    I remember 2 visiting teachers, (as we called them) and their names were Elizbeth Hamilton and Miss Savage. They came and took us five sisters from our parents and put us in a home run by Miss Cooper. Miss Cooper threaten to cut our heads off if we wet the bed. WE were there for a number of days then ran away. The five of ua went back home and mama hid us. The police came, along with Miss Hamilton, and search the house but couldn't find us. At another time the Principal of John Millege school was overheard by my sister Judy telling Miss Hamilton that he wanted his money back if she wasn't bringing him the Palmer girl he requested. Which was Joyce, my baby sister. Miss Hamilton tried to have us five girls taken away many times. We hated these visiting teachers. They never tried to get help for our family...only makes things harder for us.
  • by Vicki Location: Augusta Georgia on Nov 19, 2009 at 05:10 PM
    My name is Vicki Ayres Mitchell, I have a son born April 8, 1964. Birth name was Danny Ray Nevitt. Born at St. Josephs and delivered by Dr.Blanch d. Coleman. My father Gene Ayres & Bee Hamilton were in Kahoots. My father was a richmond County Sherrif. They took my son to the Tuttle House on Tuttle st. My fathe rlied on his death bed and told me he did not know what happened to my son. Before that i tried to get Hamilton to tell me what happened to my son and she said to ask my father, that he knew. My father got a brand new car after my son was gone. I have his birth certificate and beautiful pictures of him up until then. I have tried many times to find him. Nearly drove my husband and self crazy looking for leads. The last lead was he was adopted by a couple that attended St.Josephes Catholic church, and mabey adopted by a couple who the husband worked for the Ga power Co, or the Sothern Bell Telephone Co. Im still searching. 706-877-2655
    • reply
      by bonnie on Mar 20, 2011 at 06:50 AM in reply to Vicki
      I am an adult child that was forcfully adopted via Bee Hamiliton and the Judge.I wanted to say that my mother was involved with George B. Hansen, also a Deputy Sheriff in Richmond County.He was in cahoots with B. Hamiliton..and also crooked.The year was 1960.
  • by Leonard Henderson on Nov 19, 2009 at 05:09 PM
    What is alarming is there are tens of thousands of "Bee Hamiltons" operating in the CPS agencies today. Hers is the Standard Mode of Operation. CPS operations are an intolerable offense to American Families, the LAW, and the Constitution. They ARE America's Domestic Terrorists. Behind the Silver Lining of "sounds good" CPS is the big black cloud of CPS Evil. Leonard Henderson, co-founder American Family Rights Association http://familyrights.us "Until Every Child Comes Home" © "The Voice of America's Families" ©
  • by Dorothy Location: Augusta, Georgia on Nov 19, 2009 at 04:38 PM
    These abuses are not over.....DFACS and the Juvenile Courts of this state are still involved in what I like to call the "legal kidnappings" of children from perfectly decent families. No family is perfect, but the level of perfection demanded of (usually) poor families is appalling. These crimes against families are financed by the federal government and enabled by so called "family values" conservatives who only value families who fit the "Leave It To Beaver" mold. I have worked for years to protect Georgia's families from these abuses, and it has brought me close to the breaking point time and time again. It is beyond horrifying to watch innocent families driven through the meat grinder of "our" social service system. I continue to be amazed that so few families choose to physically defend their children during state sponsored and approved kidnappings. (Mrs.) Dorothy Kernaghan-Baez Georgia Family Rights dorothybaez@yahoo.com 706-533-6522
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