Ursula Sunshine Assaid
 June 5, 1977 - September 25, 1982
Find A Grave Memorial
Ursula 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 Ursula until she died. The torture took place over several days and her own mother did NOTHING to stop the man from hurting her.

Susan Assaid watched 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 the bathroom. If she had an accident, she was beaten and forced to walk around the house with her soiled clothing on her head. 

Ursula was fed sandwiches made of two pieces of bread with soap in the middle. She would be forced 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.

After she died, her little body was stuffed into a duffle bag along with some weights and tossed into a drainage pond. Neighbors wondered where the child was and when they asked, they were told that she was with her father. People had no reason not to believe that. Eventually, the body was discovered and the horrible truth was revealed.

Donald McDougal would 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.

Donald McDougal was arrested and charged with second degree murder. Susan Assaid was arrested and charged with manslaughter. Each of them was convicted and Donald was sentenced to only 34 years in prison and Susan was sentenced to 15 years, of which she would only serve five years and would then live in California.

In 1988 legislation was introduced that would specify that child abuse resulting in death, would be punishable by death. In 1992, the States Attorney, Mr. Wolfinger, became aware that Donald was about to be released due to prison overcrowding. Mr. Wolfinger and some residents of the community campaigned to and were 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:

''McDougal was the poster boy"
Mr. Wolfinger said of the effort

When the possibility would come around, through parole hearings, that Donald could be released from prison the town was outraged by the fact that he could be set free. On a radio show called "The Russ & Bo Show", Russ Rollins, who admits that show is usually about beer and women, changed it up and talked about the death of Ursula. It had been 14 years since she was murdered by Donald and for several hours the show talked about it.

Taking phone calls 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:

"Dead air on a radio program is strong"
Russ Rollins

Donald had been placed in protective custody at the Avon Park Correctional Institution after it 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. 

Arba 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 Donald McDougal to death  with it.

Years later, a book would be written about the case. "Death From Child Abuse . . . and No One 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 about the child caused her to do some checking and she found that Ursula's ashes had never been claimed by anyone and they had gone unburied. Now a Sheriff's Deputy, Valerie started a campaign to get Ursula buried in the local cemetery:

''She had been abandoned in life and abandoned in death and it was like she kept haunting us. 
It was like she was saying to us, 'Don't forget' '' 
Valerie Baumgart

Arba Earl Barr was in court and the public defender said that he didn't know if the broadcast had influenced him in killing Donald. Eve Krupinski said that to blame the radio station for the death would be ridiculous:

"Russ and Bo and Dirty Jim get a little far out, but it wasn't their words or the words of the callers 
which killed that man. They were just a vehicle for airing the anger'' 
Eve Krupinski

Valerie Baumgart said that the interest in the case of Ursula had been popular long before the radio show had aired:

''This is an old case and not about talk radio. He should have been executed legally, 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
Read News Stories About This Case
A book About this story: "Death From Child Abuse...And No One Heard"
Death Occurred in the state of Florida

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