A MUM has told how her evil parents were jailed for life after being accused of torturing and sexually abusing five of their kids - including stapling her eyelids open.
Heather Trim, 38, said parents Gerald and Pamela Platz inflicted unimaginable abuse on her and her brothers for years.
She said how they stapled her eyelids open when she refused to watch a scary movie, and locked her in a basement without food or water.
Stabbed and beaten with rocks, she said she was sexually abused by both parents - and her mum was even "jealous" of Gerard's abuse of their only daughter.
She said her sick parents defecated on her and stuck objects in her ears, damaging her hearing.
Brave Heather, who escaped aged six, was hidden away in the woodland house of horrors and rarely met anyone who wasn't in the family.
Without schooling, she had no idea what police officers were, until the children were rescued from the abusive home, in 1989.
The Platzs were sentenced to life in prison for a total of eight abuse and rape charges, according to reports from the time.
While Gerald died alone in prison, Pamela's most recent prison 'mugshot' shows her, now age 59, smiling at the camera, with piercing blue eyes, and her grey hair in a neat side sweep.
Heather, who now lives a happy life with her two children in Houghton, Michigan, is speaking out for the very first time to show how it's possible to overcome extreme trauma.
She said: "I remember seeing a scary movie and refusing to watch it, and in my refusal, my eyes were forced to stay open by stapling the lids open.
"I don't remember the hurt of getting stapled but I remember running my fingers over them and trying to take them out when my parents passed out.
"We knew of nothing else but what they were teaching us.
"We didn't go to school, we didn't meet anyone, we didn't know what police were or that anyone was around to help us.
"We didn't know we needed saving.
"I broke the chain of becoming like my parents, by being a mother myself and teaching my children unconditional love, a happy healthy life.
"No one taught me what to do - I just knew who I didn't want to be, like them.
"The fact that I am alive gives me strength. I survived something that should have killed me."
The Platz parents were addicted to inhalant drugs and alcohol, meaning Heather was born with foetal alcohol syndrome, she said.
Born in 1983, she was the second oldest of the seven children the couple eventually had, and the only girl, making her her abusers' prime target for molestation, she said.
For the first six years of her life, she said she was stabbed, hit with rocks and had items poked in her ears that scarred her ear drums.
"I have had nearly every bone broken in my body," Heather said.
"I remember being locked in a basement for a very long time without food or water.
"I remember being peed and pooped on, spit at and being forced to do things with those bodily fluids."
She said she remembers being sexually molested, with Gerald raping her multiple times and Pamela hurting her sexually with objects.
She believes this was out of jealousy as it would mean she would be too bloody for her husband to touch her.
She said: "When I think back to it, it is all fragmented and jumbled up.
"For example, I remember being hit in the face with a rock. I remember spending many long hours locked in a basement.
"I was put there most of the time by Pamela, who I believe was jealous of all the attention Gerald would show me.
"I remember pain and hurt."
Heather and her siblings did not attend school until they were taken away from their parents, and didn't know how to speak English properly.
"We spoke like someone heavy on drugs or alcohol," said Heather.
The Platzs' house was in the middle of some woods with no other houses in sight from any of the windows.
When they did have an occasional visitor, the children were forced to hide upstairs.
Heather said: "I think Pamela and Gerald were so convincing in their manipulations, that neighbors just ignored them.
"Looked upon like white trash and avoided."
Only hospitals knew of the children's existence, as Pamela would go there to give birth.
But Heather recalls the hospitals would try to prevent them from being taken away because they were born prematurely with foetal alcohol syndrome.
Heather said: "They would sneak out of the hospital and move to a new area where people didn't know us.
"Outside of that, I don't think anyone knew we existed."
In September 1989, a neighbor saw Byron, then about four years old, running naked outside their house in Alpena.
Blood was gushing from his back as he was being beaten with a board with nails on it, and the neighbor called Traverse City police who placed the children into foster care, she said.
Heather said: "No one knew the extent of the case, at the time everyone believed it was just a child abuse story until I came back to my foster care home, after having an unsupervised visit with my biological parents.
"While giving me a bath, they saw the evidence of sexual abuse and bruising beginning to show on arms and legs."
Visitation rights were rescinded and the Platzs' trial started soon after at Emmet County Circuit Court.
The former Mackinaw City couple were accused of sexually abusing their five oldest children, the oldest being just seven years old.
Prosecutors said Gerald Platz allegedly cut the youngsters arms with broken glass and stapled their skin and defecated on their faces.
Authorities said the abuse occurred between 1986 and 1988.
According to court reports, the Platzs told court officials they were themselves victims of abuse in families with alcoholism problems.
Judge Richard Pajtas sentenced them on a total of eight abuse and rape charges, on August 20 1990.
Twelve other counts were dropped when the couple pleaded no contest.
They were ordered to serve 16 to 24 months for child abuse, 10 to 15 years for second-degree criminal sexual conduct and life for first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The Platzes will be eligible for parole after 10 years.
In sentencing the judge said: Gerald Platz has subjected his family to a life of isolation, incest and horrible acts of sexual abuse that can only be described as barbaric, shocking and disgusting."
Prosecutor Diane Smith said the Platzs damaged these children for life.
According to report, she added: "These parents robbed their children of their innocence. Instead of watching videos of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, they were subjected to Debby Does Dallas.
All the children were placed for adoption and, while some of her brothers remained together, Heather was adopted alone.
Initially she was placed in care with Byron, but their trauma meant they acted inappropriately towards each other, so were separated.
Heather said her younger brother Byron received the worst of the violence.Tragically, Byron went missing in November 2017 until his body was found the following March in the Chippewa River in Dunn County, Wisconsin.
Heather said: "He couldn't fight those extremely dark demons any longer, and it claimed his life."
She would hear others speaking ill of her parents but it confused her as the little girl still didn't understand what they had done wrong.
She said: "I just thought of them as someone much older than me that gave me food sometimes when I was very hungry, and sometimes would watch TV with us.
"I didn't know what else to compare it to at that age, so just viewed them as people who took care of me."
Eventually she began to realise that her foster parents didn't hurt her like her birth parents did and that there was "more to life than just pain."
She spent a year-and-a-half in foster care before being adopted, and went to therapy until she was about 15 when she was kicked out due to ongoing behavioural problems.
When she got into trouble when she was 18 she began to think she was turning into her parents and started to turn her life around.
She had her daughter Kayla, now 16, which finally helped her move on from her childhood trauma.
Heather said: "The minute I saw her new born face, it woke me up too."I wanted her to never feel anything that I had personally gone through in my life.
"I knew, seeing her face, I finally understood what unconditional love looked and felt like, and I knew from that moment on the kind of person I wanted to be."
Heather to this day doesn't know the names of her three younger brothers, but her two older brothers are doing well and have created happy lives for themselves, she said.
Her friends and children, Kayla and 11-year-old Clark, don't know much about Heather's upbringing, but are supportive of her continued fight with PTSD.
She said: "No matter what a person goes through in their life, they have to decide on the kind of person they want to be.
"No one or no memory has power over you, unless you let it.
"Every day that you successfully live without repeating the trauma or hurt on others, is a day to celebrate."
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