- September 25, 1982
A Grave Memorial
Sunshine Assaid was proudly named by
her father to spell out USA. Ursula lived only five short years before
her mother stood by and watched as her boyfriend tortured and beat
until she died. The torture took place over several days and her own
did NOTHING to stop the man from hurting her.
as Donald McDougal forced her daughter to go a week without water, food
or sleep. Ursula was forced to sit outside and not eat, drink or use
bathroom. If she had an accident, she was beaten and forced to walk
the house with her soiled clothing on her head.
was fed sandwiches
made of two pieces of bread with soap in the middle. She would be
to march around the the house and recite the alphabet over and over. If
she missed a letter or hesitated in any way, she would be beaten again.
At the end of the week long torture, Ursula would be beaten to death.
she died, her
little body was stuffed into a duffle bag along with some weights and
into a drainage pond. Neighbors wondered where the child was and when
asked, they were told that she was with her father. People had no
not to believe that. Eventually, the body was discovered and the
truth was revealed.
later talk about how he had been abused by his father who used to drive
him around in the car all day and not allow him to use the bathroom.
arrested and charged with second degree murder. Susan Assaid was
and charged with manslaughter. Each of them was convicted and Donald
sentenced to only 34 years in prison and Susan was sentenced to 15
of which she would only serve five years and would then live in
was introduced that would specify that child abuse resulting in death,
would be punishable by death. In 1992, the States Attorney, Mr.
became aware that Donald was about to be released due to prison
Mr. Wolfinger and some residents of the community campaigned to and
successful in stopping him from
using sentence reducing credits to get out. The rule was changed by the
Department of Corrections and affected about 6,000 prisoners:
was the poster boy"
said of the effort
would come around, through parole hearings, that Donald could be
from prison the town was outraged by the fact that he could be set
On a radio show called "The Russ & Bo Show", Russ Rollins, who
that show is usually about beer and women, changed it up and talked
the death of Ursula. It had been 14 years since she was murdered by
and for several hours the show talked about it.
and speaking about the torture Ursula had suffered through at the hands
of Donald, Russ decided to have a moment of silence for the little girl
at 8:50, the time of her death:
a radio program is strong"
had been placed
in protective custody at the Avon Park Correctional Institution after
was reported that someone had called the radio show and offered $1,000.
to anyone who would kill him. The radio station as well as hosts of the
show insisted there was never any such offer. Donald was released from
protective custody after five days, at his own insistence.
Earl Barr was
listening to the program that night, he was doing 114 years for assault
and robbery. On October 1, several days after the show aired, Arba was
in the prison yard with over 200 other inmates. After dinner, Arba took
the steel post which was usually used in games of horseshoes and beat
McDougal to death with it.
later, a book
would be written about the case. "Death From Child Abuse . . . and No
Heard'' was written by Eve Krupinski and Dana Weikel. A couple of years
later after a woman named Valerie Baumgart read the book, her concern
the child caused her to do some checking and she found that Ursula's
had never been claimed by anyone and they had gone unburied. Now a
Deputy, Valerie started a campaign to get Ursula buried in the local
abandoned in life and abandoned in death and it was like she kept
she was saying to us, 'Don't forget' ''
Earl Barr was
in court and the public defender said that he didn't know if the
had influenced him in killing Donald. Eve Krupinski said that to blame
the radio station for the death would be ridiculous:
and Dirty Jim get a little far out, but it wasn't their words or the
of the callers
that man. They were just a vehicle for airing the anger''
said that the interest in the case of Ursula had been popular long
the radio show had aired:
old case and not about talk radio. He should have been executed
but maybe this,
what happened, was Ursula's cry to us all along.''
In November of 1996, Arba Earl Barr, who was by then 33 years old,
plead guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to serve life in
prison, which was on top of the 114 years he was serving for his
original crimes that landed him in prison to begin with.
Return to Ursula's story
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