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Adam Mann
February 20, 1985 - March 5, 1990
Find A Grave Memorial

Michelle Mann and her husband, Rufus Chisolm were two parents who got lucky when it came to avoiding trouble with the Bureau Of Child Welfare, Michelle's son, Adam, would pay with his life, for the mistakes the agencies who get paid to protect him, made.

No strangers to protection services, before Adam was even born, the Mann family had been featured on a show called "Frontline" with the focus being on New York's Emergency Children's Services and the caseworkers who worked there. In the Mann home, it was shown by using hospital records and family members who testified, that there was abuse in the home. Denials from the parents as well as some of the Emergency Children's Services, the family was able to lie their way out of any charges.

Adam was the fourth child born to Michelle and he was taken into protective custody and for Michelle to get him and his siblings back, she had to check into a rehab center. Michelle is reported to have abused Adam while she was still in the program and even so, she is given custody of all four of her children. Rufus joins the household and it isn't long before they are both abusing the children. A Foundling Hospital official recommends that these children should be taken from this home, however, due to incompetence and indifference, the city workers ignore the obvious signs of child abuse and the children remain in the home. 


A video online shows one of the visits, the home is messy, the children seem dirty and one boy has bruises that are visible to the camera. This visit took place before Adam was born. Adam's brothers were living in the home with their parents and this was the third time CPS had been called in reference to the same child, Keith Mann. Rufus can been seen and heard yelling "These ain't my kids, these ain't my kids" and "It's no need for this, but I swear, I swear, I will never forget this day". Larry was four months old at the time of the visit, Peter was three years old and Keith is 18 months old. The CPS workers can be heard laughing and one of them even tells Michelle that he's sorry and shakes the hand of Rufus before they leave the home. Camera's showed bruises on the body of Keith, however, all of the children are left in the home.

A police report made on March 5, 1990, says that the first time police saw Adam, he was laying face down on a table in the emergency room. Adam only weighed 35 pounds at the age of five and he was covered with thick welts and lacerations as well as bruises. Adams lips were beaten and swollen. Doctors had tried to revive him and were not able to do so. Police recommended that this case should remain active.

At some point in their lives, for all of the children in the home, except for the youngest child, who was a girl, beatings and broken bones were common in the house and Child Welfare had been aware of the abuse since at least 1984 and reports say they just ignored it. Keith Mann, who was two years old, had his spleen ruptured, intestine perforate, liver damage, and fractures in his face, ribs, arms and skull. Michelle lost custody of her children for awhile though she agreed to better and they were returned to her.

Larry Mann, who was three years old, has his wrist and leg broken and was reported to have so many other fractures that were considered minor, that authorities lost count. After Adam's death, Peter Mann, who was the eldest of the children, tried to commit suicide saying that he wanted to be with Adam in Heaven.


An autopsy done on Adam shows he has more than 100 injuries including a cracked skull, broken ribs and his liver was split in two, all which were listed as reasons for his death. Michelle Mann and Rufus Chisolm were arrested and eventually sent to prison. Rufus plead guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to only seven to 14 years for the brutal death of Adam. Michelle plead guilty to two assault charges, that she hit Larry on one occasion and had hit Adam with a belt on another occasion.

The siblings of Adam are reported to be growing up in foster homes where they are violent and even suicidal. It is reported that when Michelle gets out of prison, the Bureau Of Child Welfare planned to give her children back to her.

UPDATE:

Michelle was released from prison in January of 1994 and she was looking to get her children back. Michelle gave birth to another child, a boy, who was taken from her, however, it was reported that she would eventually get him back. Rufus Chisolm was eligible for parole in 1995. The plan put together by Child Welfare was to return all of the children back to Michelle and there were no rules stating that Rufus could not be a part of the family. Michelle's two oldest boys were eventually returned to her care, though her daughter had been adopted by another family.

Children's Rights filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city for the Mann children as well as other children who were abused and neglected, claiming that the city has failed to properly investigate charges of child abuse and has not managed the cases of children in their care, properly. Sadly, the lawsuit only brought $183,000. for the siblings of Adam:

"These are the cases in which intense public scrutiny is focused on child welfare agencies.
If those agencies can't even do well by these children, imagine what happens to the hundreds
of thousands of children, almost all of them anonymous, taken each year and thrown into
foster care:
Richard Wexler - National Coalition for Children Protection reform

This page was created on May 18, 2013
Death occurred in the state of Oregon

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