Difference between revisions of "Rachel Hood"

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(New page: '''Rachel Hood''' (born '''Rachel Vacca''' in 1988) is a Birmingham Police officer. Rachel and her twin sister Jennifer were born to...)
 
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'''Rachel Hood''' (born '''Rachel Vacca''' in [[1988]]) is a [[Birmingham Police Department|Birmingham Police]] officer.
 
'''Rachel Hood''' (born '''Rachel Vacca''' in [[1988]]) is a [[Birmingham Police Department|Birmingham Police]] officer.
  
Rachel and her twin sister [[Jennifer Ivey|Jennifer]] were born to [[Albert Vacca|Albert]] and [[Laurie Vacca]]. While their older brother and sister were raised with some degree of normalcy, the infant twins were maltreated. They were found home alone by a [[Jefferson County Sheriff's Office|Jefferson County Sheriff]]'s deputy in [[1989]] and [[Children's Hospital]] workers found signs of abuse when they were admitted in [[1991]]. That same year, day care workers noted that the three-year olds would arrive on Monday in the same diapers they had worn home on Friday. Those incidents were reported to the [[Alabama Department of Human Resources]] (DHR) to little effect. When the story reached the media, reforms of DHR were undertaken, but the girls were still returned to their parents. When the family moved, former landlords discovered rooms soiled with human waste and prospective new landlords were introduced to a family of four, rather than six. The twins were kept locked in a bedroom to fend for themselves, deprived of food and companionship.
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Rachel and her twin sister [[Jennifer Ivey|Jennifer]] were born to [[Albert Vacca|Albert]] and [[Laurie Vacca|Laurie Ann Vacca]] who met while they were both serving in the Army. While their older brother and sister were raised with some degree of normalcy, the infant twins were maltreated. They were found home alone by [[Jefferson County Sheriff's Office|Jefferson County Sheriff]]'s deputy [[Marsha Allen]] in [[1989]] and [[Children's Hospital]] workers found signs of abuse when they were admitted in August [[1990]]. The next year, day care workers at [[East Lake United Methodist Church]] noted that the three-year olds would arrive on Monday in the same diapers they had worn home on Friday. Those incidents were reported to the [[Alabama Department of Human Resources]] (DHR) to little effect. When the story reached the media, reforms of DHR were undertaken, but the girls were still returned to their parents. When the family moved, former landlords discovered rooms soiled with human waste and prospective new landlords were introduced to a family of four, rather than six. The twins were kept locked in a bedroom to fend for themselves, deprived of food and companionship.
  
When the Vaccas were evicted from a house on [[Carnation Drive]] in [[Roebuck Gardens]] in July [[1993]], they abandoned the twin girls, then five years old but severely underdeveloped, shackled in a locked room. By chance the landlady happened to see Rachel's face peering out a window when she came to cut the grass. Unable to get into the room, she called police, who broke in and retrieved the starving girls. The horrifying and sensational news gripped the city for weeks.
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Unable to keep up with rent and more than $73,000 in debts, the Vaccas declared bankruptcy in May [[1993]]. They were evicted from a house on [[Carnation Drive]] in [[Roebuck Gardens]] in July. Albert took the older siblings with him to [[Trafford]] and told investigators he assumed Laurie would take the twins, then five years old, and move in with her mother in Greensboro.
  
[[Sherri Hood]], a newly-approved emergency shelter foster parent, accepted the girls into her care when they were released from the hospital and gradually nursed them to physical and emotional health. The Vaccas surrendered their parental rights in February [[1994]] after several legal actions. Several volunteers offered to adopt the girls, including Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy, but Hood was committed to raising them as her own. They were awarded to her adoptive care by a judge in April of that year. The Vaccas were both convicted of child abuse. Laura served four years of her two 10-year sentences and Albert served 13 years of his two 20-year sentences. They divorced and have since moved away from Birmingham.
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By chance the landlord, [[Lee Hutto]], happened to see Rachel's face peering out a window when he came to cut the grass. Unable to get into the room, he called police, who broke in and retrieved the starving girls. They were found shackled with toy handcuffs and abandoned in the locked room with a few blankets and a plastic tarp, all soiled with waste. They each weighed about 18 pounds and were taken immediately to Children's Hospital. Hutto called Lauria Vacca at the Red Lobster where she then worked, luring her to the house where she was detained by neighbors and soon arrested. Albert, who had been fired from his job as a nurse at [[Baptist Medical Center Montclair]], was questioned up by the [[Trafford Police Department]]. The horrifying and sensational news gripped the city for weeks.
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[[Sherri Hood]], a newly-approved emergency shelter foster parent, accepted the girls into her care when they were released from the hospital and gradually nursed them to physical and emotional health. Judge [[Elise Barclay]] ordered that DHR place the children for adoption. The Vaccas surrendered their parental rights in February [[1994]] after several legal actions. Several volunteers offered to adopt the four Vacca children all together, including Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy (who would have placed them in a group home he had founded in Randolph County). Hood, however, was committed to raising the twins as her own and, with assistance from attorney [[Martha Jane Patton]], petitioned Barclay for custody. After a nine-day trial, the wins were placed in her care. The older siblings were later adopted by a [[Vestavia Hills]] woman, but visited with the girls and their "Aunt Sherri" regularly until adolescence.
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 +
Originally indicted for attempted murder, the Vaccas were both convicted on the lesser charge of child abuse. Laura served four years of her two 10-year sentences and Albert served 13 years of his two 20-year sentences. They divorced and have since moved away from Birmingham.
  
 
Rachel played sports in school and moved out of Hood's home while she was a senior at [[Clay-Chalkville High School]]. She researched her childhood and met once with her birth mother in South Alabama, but has sought no other contact with her. Knowing that she wanted to help people, Rachel worked as a [[YMCA]] counselor and, at age 20, applied for the [[Birmingham Police Academy]]. She is currently a patrol officer assigned to the [[East Precinct]].
 
Rachel played sports in school and moved out of Hood's home while she was a senior at [[Clay-Chalkville High School]]. She researched her childhood and met once with her birth mother in South Alabama, but has sought no other contact with her. Knowing that she wanted to help people, Rachel worked as a [[YMCA]] counselor and, at age 20, applied for the [[Birmingham Police Academy]]. She is currently a patrol officer assigned to the [[East Precinct]].
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 +
* Pierson, Marla (August 2, 1993) "Little girls' plight stuns neighbors." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Garrison, Greg (August 3, 1993) "State knew about alleged neglect of twins for years." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Dedrick, Patricia (August 3, 1993) "Vaccas struck rock bottom on problems." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Visser, Steve (August 4, 1993) "Vacca children stay in foster care." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Vickery, Scottie (September 15, 1993) "Vacca twins gaining weight." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Visser, Steve (November 14, 1993) "Adoption ordered for Vacca children: Judge bars parents from visiting kids." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Visser, Steve (February 14, 1994) "Foster mother seeks to adopt Vacca twins." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Visser, Steve (April 8, 1994) "Cathy says he's ready to take 4 Vaccas home." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* Visser, Steve (April 13, 1994) "Judge awards Vacca twins to foster mom." ''Birmingham News''
 +
* VIsser, Steve (May 8, 1994) "'Not the same girls': Thanks to a loving foster mother, the Vacca twins bear little resemblance to the hungry, abused kids rescued from near death 10 months ago." ''Birmingham News''
 
* Robinson, Carol (December 12, 2010) "From nightmare to new life and hope: Child rescued from terror is now policewoman." ''Birmingham News''
 
* Robinson, Carol (December 12, 2010) "From nightmare to new life and hope: Child rescued from terror is now policewoman." ''Birmingham News''
  

Revision as of 13:27, 12 December 2010

Rachel Hood (born Rachel Vacca in 1988) is a Birmingham Police officer.

Rachel and her twin sister Jennifer were born to Albert and Laurie Ann Vacca who met while they were both serving in the Army. While their older brother and sister were raised with some degree of normalcy, the infant twins were maltreated. They were found home alone by Jefferson County Sheriff's deputy Marsha Allen in 1989 and Children's Hospital workers found signs of abuse when they were admitted in August 1990. The next year, day care workers at East Lake United Methodist Church noted that the three-year olds would arrive on Monday in the same diapers they had worn home on Friday. Those incidents were reported to the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) to little effect. When the story reached the media, reforms of DHR were undertaken, but the girls were still returned to their parents. When the family moved, former landlords discovered rooms soiled with human waste and prospective new landlords were introduced to a family of four, rather than six. The twins were kept locked in a bedroom to fend for themselves, deprived of food and companionship.

Unable to keep up with rent and more than $73,000 in debts, the Vaccas declared bankruptcy in May 1993. They were evicted from a house on Carnation Drive in Roebuck Gardens in July. Albert took the older siblings with him to Trafford and told investigators he assumed Laurie would take the twins, then five years old, and move in with her mother in Greensboro.

By chance the landlord, Lee Hutto, happened to see Rachel's face peering out a window when he came to cut the grass. Unable to get into the room, he called police, who broke in and retrieved the starving girls. They were found shackled with toy handcuffs and abandoned in the locked room with a few blankets and a plastic tarp, all soiled with waste. They each weighed about 18 pounds and were taken immediately to Children's Hospital. Hutto called Lauria Vacca at the Red Lobster where she then worked, luring her to the house where she was detained by neighbors and soon arrested. Albert, who had been fired from his job as a nurse at Baptist Medical Center Montclair, was questioned up by the Trafford Police Department. The horrifying and sensational news gripped the city for weeks.

Sherri Hood, a newly-approved emergency shelter foster parent, accepted the girls into her care when they were released from the hospital and gradually nursed them to physical and emotional health. Judge Elise Barclay ordered that DHR place the children for adoption. The Vaccas surrendered their parental rights in February 1994 after several legal actions. Several volunteers offered to adopt the four Vacca children all together, including Chick-Fil-A founder Truett Cathy (who would have placed them in a group home he had founded in Randolph County). Hood, however, was committed to raising the twins as her own and, with assistance from attorney Martha Jane Patton, petitioned Barclay for custody. After a nine-day trial, the wins were placed in her care. The older siblings were later adopted by a Vestavia Hills woman, but visited with the girls and their "Aunt Sherri" regularly until adolescence.

Originally indicted for attempted murder, the Vaccas were both convicted on the lesser charge of child abuse. Laura served four years of her two 10-year sentences and Albert served 13 years of his two 20-year sentences. They divorced and have since moved away from Birmingham.

Rachel played sports in school and moved out of Hood's home while she was a senior at Clay-Chalkville High School. She researched her childhood and met once with her birth mother in South Alabama, but has sought no other contact with her. Knowing that she wanted to help people, Rachel worked as a YMCA counselor and, at age 20, applied for the Birmingham Police Academy. She is currently a patrol officer assigned to the East Precinct.

References

  • Pierson, Marla (August 2, 1993) "Little girls' plight stuns neighbors." Birmingham News
  • Garrison, Greg (August 3, 1993) "State knew about alleged neglect of twins for years." Birmingham News
  • Dedrick, Patricia (August 3, 1993) "Vaccas struck rock bottom on problems." Birmingham News
  • Visser, Steve (August 4, 1993) "Vacca children stay in foster care." Birmingham News
  • Vickery, Scottie (September 15, 1993) "Vacca twins gaining weight." Birmingham News
  • Visser, Steve (November 14, 1993) "Adoption ordered for Vacca children: Judge bars parents from visiting kids." Birmingham News
  • Visser, Steve (February 14, 1994) "Foster mother seeks to adopt Vacca twins." Birmingham News
  • Visser, Steve (April 8, 1994) "Cathy says he's ready to take 4 Vaccas home." Birmingham News
  • Visser, Steve (April 13, 1994) "Judge awards Vacca twins to foster mom." Birmingham News
  • VIsser, Steve (May 8, 1994) "'Not the same girls': Thanks to a loving foster mother, the Vacca twins bear little resemblance to the hungry, abused kids rescued from near death 10 months ago." Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (December 12, 2010) "From nightmare to new life and hope: Child rescued from terror is now policewoman." Birmingham News