03/24/92 Dr. Philip Reimherr, M.D. The Psychaitric Group of the North Shore
Re: Zachary Collins
"He began talking about his memories of his father breaking his mother’s nose. On 3/9/93 he was informed by his mother that he and his sister would be spending their spring vacation with their father per order of the court. He became immediately tearful and upset, stated that he was afraid of his father ‘because he hit me and strangled me...’
On 3/12/92 patient was upset and overtly angry, state that he will run away before he has to go visit his father…
It is significant that patient is so afraid of his father becomes so angry upon learning that he has to visit, and has a return of suicidal thought in conjunction with this forced visitation. When asked why he is so afraid of his father, patient becomes quite sad and quiet before responding that his father “has been mean , has hit, and ha strangled me.” Patient also reported on one occasion that his father allowed his wife to kick the patient. On Sunday march 22 1992 patient reported that his father called to speak with him. He noted that he didn’t want to talk with his father and quickly passed the phone to his sister. I supported his expressing his feelings and basing choices upon his feelings.
Based on the intensity of his reaction to being informed of his up coming visitation with his father, I recommend that patient have direct visual contact with an neutral adult on a daily basis to insure patients safety and monitor this visit. This plan would allow for patient to visit his father while providing him with a sense of safely and protection. ”
03/26/92 Fred Emilianowicz. Health and Education Services:
“I feel strongly that Zachary’s father [Mark Collins] did abuse him… also I do not believe that Holly Ann is influencing the children against mark…
I have interviewed Zachary and Jennifer alone and with Mrs. Collins present. Zachary has told me with and without his mother present that he fears Mark” (Mr. Collins) will not let him return to his mother at the end of the visit. Zachary went to say that “Mark” has told him during telephone conversations that he and Jennifer will not be returning to their mother once they come to Minnesota. Zachary further fears that he will again be subject to physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father. He has vowed to runaway if her feels threatened by his father… He has expressed homicidal ideation toward his father, in words and in drawing. There is no evidence of a thought disorder. He has reported recurrent distressing nightmares of his father chasing him Zachary believes that if he is caught by his father he will be killed…
I believe at that moment he felt safe enough with me to relieve the abuse and trauma he experienced at the hands of his father. Furthermore he was able to verbalize three incidents of abuse. The first incident he described involved his father choking and shaking him in a violent manner. He stated that his father had to go to counseling to apologize to him. They only went to one counseling session. The other two incidents Zachary described involved his father threatening to choke him again and his father threatening to kill him if he didn’t behave.
Zachary presents with many of the symptoms associated with a diagnosis of Post traumatic stress disorder. His artwork is a reproduction of post traumatic events commonly observed in abused children who are seen in an outpatient clinic.
Jennifer does not appear as symptomatic as Zachary. Her primary fear is that Mr. Collins will give her foods that she is allergic too. She will turn blue and die. Like Zachary she fears that her father will not let her return to her mother at the end of their visit to Minnesota…she can only remember one time when her father chocked her. I asked her to demonstrate on me, what her father did. She approached me, placed her hands around my neck and shook me back and forth. I believe that Jennifer has witnessed her father’s violent side…I do believe this woman [Holly Ann Collins] has been the victim of considerable domestic violence…
I do not believe it is in the best interest of the children to visit their father in Minnesota. Forcing them to go would result in them reliving heir past trauma which could result in further psychological harm. Also there is every reason to believe that the children maybe at substantial risk for further psychical and emotional harm.
I do believe it is appropriate for the children to continue to have telephone contact with their father. (Only if they wish to speak with him.) I do not think they should be forced to talk with Mr. Collins against their wishes. Furthermore I do not believe that Mrs. Collins is attempting to influence her children against Mr. Collins.
If the court feels that the children’s’ visit to Minnesota should go forward then a social worker should be assigned to visit with the children daily to ensure their safely. If the children report any abuse they should be removed immediately and returned to their mother.” ~Fred Emilianowicz
04/01/92 Fred Emilianowicz. Health and Education Services:
“Jennifer drew a picture of the time Rena [Collins] kicked her and then acted it out by crawling on the floor…”
06/02/92 Dr. Eli Newberger, Boston Children’s Hospital:
“Our initial impressions of the children’s developmental vulnerabilities and our review of the records of other evaluators, I must express to you my great concern that these children will be placed at considerable psychological risk if visits with the maternal grandmother her husband or their father were to go forth at this time…” ~Eli Newberger
06/16/92 Dr. Eli Newberger, Boston Children’s Hospital:
“The team assembled for this particular assessment includes, in addition to myself,(Eli Newberger,MD., Ceciliea Tatem-Small, LICSW, social worker; Maureen Obrien Phd. psychology fellow; Josie Pandolfino M.Div. and Jan Oldfield MSW… We have had corroborative contacts with the children’s therapists Phillip Reinmherr and Fred Emilianowicz, the mother’s therapist, Susan Hyland Lic SW and Janice Stanly Med. school guidance counselor, the children’s pediatrician, Charles Louden and my colleague Steven Polmar Md. Phd who directs the allergy clinic here…
My sense at this point is that the disclosure of victimization given by these children and their mother are valid… our tentative conclusion however is that these children and their mother have been quite seriously victimized by their father and the anxiety that they express to their respective therapist, anxiety of a very substantial degree, must be taken seriously indeed.
I should note as well that our conversations with Dr. Reimherr, Mr. Emilianowicz and Ms. Hyland indicate the mother and children are participating seriously and consistently in treatment. The disclosures of abuse appear to ALL of these observers as well to be valid and Mr. Emilianowicz particularly noted that they were offered spontaneously…
We often find in cases of physical and sexual abuse that the children actually do love their parents and appear delighted to see them at observed and supervised visits. When however their protection may be jeopardized for example in the context of unsupervised visitation, the anticipatory anxiety can be very substantial… The DeVries evaluation appears to minimize the significance of the abuse both of mother and children about which DeVries had information.
I believe it would be inappropriate for these children to have unsupervised visitation with their father at this time. The children describe incidents of victimization at the hands both of their father and of his current spouse. There impress us as valid disclosures that portend importantly for future risk..
As you are aware this is a child who has had suicidal thoughts, accompanied by gestures in the past which appear prominent now as he contemplates visiting his father (one of the suicidal gestures reportedly took place in Minnesota during a visit with Mr. Collins...)
In the course of our assessment we have been impressed by ms. Collins resourcefulness in making a life for herself and for her children even in the face of her current economic adversity and the considerable number of professional appointments which must now be kept. We have been impressed to see the clothes she makes for the children and for herself to hear the reports f the business she is establishing in decorating and of her involvement with a girl scout troop… it is our sense that she is indeed making a life for herself and that the children’s care by her is appropriate and excellent.” ~Eli Newberger
06/30/92 Dr. Cline Court Appointed Reunification Therapist:
“Jennifer: ‘I brought my blanket into the kitchen and he (Mark) never said not to. He hit me strangled me kicked me then he let his wife (Rena Collins) do it. They kicked me so hard I couldn’t walk. I had to crawl to my room… on the phone he said I’m going to come take you and you’ll never see your mom again.’”
07/09/92 Dr. Cline Court Appointed Reunification Therapist:
Jennifer: ‘They (Mark and Rena) said we were breathing like an old man, needed medicine and they were making fun of us. He made me eat sausage.’
07/17/92 Dr. Cline Court Appointed Reunification Therapist:
“Zachary: ‘I said I would jump off bridge if we had to see Rena. I was afraid that if Susan (DeVries) left the room, which she always did, then Mark and Rena would abuse us… if we had to go to marks house then I would jump off a bridge because I though t they were going to hurt us; Pin me down to the floor and kick us and hit like they always do… on long vacation (8/91) one time when I had an asthma attack they made me beg for my medicine and made fun of me because I was breathing like an old man’
Cline: ‘When you were going to jump off bridge did you want to die?’
Zachary: “Yes because Mark was so mean to us. I just wanted to be over it.”
07/22/92 Dr. Eli Newberger, Boston Children’s Hospital:
"Both Zachary and Jennifer have made statements to members of our evaluation team about specific abusive incidences with their father, Mark Collins. The children’s mother Holly Ann Collins was not in the room when these disclosures were made…Zachary made the following assertion: ‘Mark punched me with his hands in my private parts’ to which Jennifer added ‘that’s embarrassing to talk about.’ When questioned further, Zachary reported another incident when mark was giving him a horsey right on his back and Zachary accidentally kicked him on the bottom. Zachary reported that mark then punched him. Zachary also reported a specific incident when mark chocked or strangle him. This incident occurred when they were washing he car and Zachary reported that Mark said ‘I’m going to break your neck if you don’t stop fooling around.’ At this point Zachary demonstrated choking and said it ‘hurt a lot and he squeezed real hard.’
Jennifer reported an encounter between herself, her father and his current wife Rena Collins. She reported that because she had taken a blanket into the kitchen, Mark hit her kicked her and strangled her. She also reported that Rena kicked her and that she crawled aback to her room. She spontaneously added ‘he never told me I couldn’t bring it into the kitchen. Jennifer was asked what Mark said during his incident and she replied ‘nothing he just growled and was mad.’
Both children clearly stated that they did not want to go to Minnesota and see Mark because he ‘hits’ them and is ‘mean’ to them." ~Eli Newberger Director family development program, Maureen Obrien Psychologist fellow, Cecelia Tatem-Small social worker
7/30/92 Dr Cline Court Appointed Reunification Therapist:
Dr. Cline has declared himself to be an advocate for the father-child relationship. He has also testified that he has not investigated the allegations of abuse and that he discouraged us from talking about the abuse. The change of custody was devastating and we continued to state that we were being abused. Records confirm that we reported the abuse to Dr. Cline and ‘Dr. Cline just says “Oh.” and ‘He doesn’t care.’
Jennifer: ‘Mark said “you can fresh tomatoes on your sandwiches.” I said ‘No we cant.’ He said ‘Yes you can.’ I said ‘No we cant, back and forth’… Later he said ‘Well you can take the tomatoes off.’ ‘He thinks we said were allergic so we don’t like them and he thinks our mom told us to say that but she didn’t.’
(Dr. Cline used to constantly question us about what our mom would tell us to say and what she felt about our father.)
‘I’m not sure if mom is upset at mark. I just don’t know.’
08/03/92 Dr Cline Court Appointed Reunification Therapist:
'Zachary didn’t want to see dad because: “he’s mean to us. He put his hand around my neck, if you don’t behave ill strangle you, another…. He said he would break my neck because I was… fooling around and ask for a drink of water. He said he would kill me.”
09/08/92 Dr Cline:
Zachary: ‘Mark grabbed me by the arm and lectured me. He took my arm tight and threw me in our bedroom.’
Cline: ‘Did mark really throw you?’
Zachary: ‘Not like a ball.’
(Dr. Cline intimidated Zachary during questioning and then Dr. Cline manipulated his response and reported that Zachary changed his story about the incident.)
09/15/92 Dr Cline Court Appointed Reunification Therapist:
Zachary: ‘Playing dog at Marks house. First playing then Mark got a little out of control. It’s hard to explain, no easy. When he started hitting me on the back I though he was playing but then he got a little out of control. He didn’t know he was hurting me, like he was drunk.’
Cline: ‘Had he been drinking?’
Zachary: ‘Can we go play now?’
Cline: ‘Let’s finish talking.’
Zachary: ‘I am finished… Do I have to go see Mark?’
Cline: ‘If Mike London says yes, then yes.’
Zachary: ‘I don’t want to.’
Cline: ‘Why is that?’
Zachary: ‘Because of what’s happened.”
Dr Cline testified that court services dictated his role as an advocate reunification therapy and as an advocate for my father’s relationship with his children. He also testified that when we would confide in him regarding the abuse from our father, Dr. Cline would discourage us from talking about any abuse. He also admitted under oath that our father saw him in the past for his abuse to Zachary but he forgot exactly what our father did to us. Dr. Cline admitted during his testimony that he just happened to lose that portion of his therapy records tht pertained to the abuse. My mother had a few copies of some of the therapy session we ahd with Dr. Cline, because she didn’t trust him and asked for a copy at the end of the sessions before leaving his office.
10/21/92 Evaluation Hennepin County Family Court Services, Mr.Jorgenson
‘Mother descried a history of violence within the home with the patient targeted for substantial abuse… Mother is of the belief that Zachary continues to be abused during unsupervised visitation with his father.
Clinically Zachary presents in a cooperative manner. He states he is sad and has through of taking his life. He speaks of taking a kitchen knife and stabbing his father in the stomach. He believes he can over come his fathers size and mobility by jumping from a table or a higher position upon his father before he could escape..’
10/28/92 Susan Phipps Yonas Independent Child Abuse Eevaluator:
‘After reviewing these materials I am concerned that here appears to have been a bias against Mrs. Collins… I can tell you that I am surprised by the fact that despite his history of domestic violence Mr. Collins has not been asked to undergo treatment.’
01/14/93 Eli Newberger Boston Children’s Hospital affidavit:
"I have personally examined children and interview the parents in approximately 100 cases where there was concern about the possibility of the diagnosis of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. My colleagues and I have interviewed extensively Holly Ann Collins and her children, Zachary and Jennifer Collins. I have as well reviewed the children’s medical records.
This case in my view does not conform to the picture of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy… in this particular case I believe it is wrong to so severely to restrict Ms. Collins access to her children on the presumption of danger based on a flimsy hypothesizing about this condition."
01/28/93 Dr. Phillip Reimherr Report Treating Child Psychiatrist:
'During the course of my work with Zachary, I had regular contact with Holly Ann Collins and had regular occasion to observe her interaction with her two children in my waiting area. She was one of the few parents who regularly engaged her children in play while awaiting Zachary’s appointment. I was impressed by her concern for her children and their appropriate attachment to her.
I am distressed to learn that visitation has been initially terminated and then sharply curtailed because of the evaluation performed in Minnesota. Clearly Holly Ann is in the midst of a very bitter custody battle. However there is no evidence that Holly Ann has in any way attempted to harm her children and in fact there is some debate amongst the experts about whether her concern was appropriate or somewhat extreme (regarding their asthma.)'
02/05/93 Fred Emilianowicz Treating Family Therapist:
(The Minnesota Family Court was under the impression that Zachary has only been suicidal in the presence of our mother but this behavior was witnessed by several treating psychologists.)
'During a family therapy session on May 27 1992, Zachary was in an agitated state and banging his head on the floor. I asked Ms. Collins and Jennifer to leave the room so that I could speak with Zachary alone. At this time Zachary admitted that he was not feeling safe… ‘
Holly Ann in my opinion is a woman who has experienced a life time of abuse. I also believe that the children have been abused by their father. Furthermore, I believe that the court has been supplied overwhelming evidence to support their abuse claims. Zachary and Jennifer are quite fearful of their father. Just because they appear comfortable with him and seek out his affection during a supervised visit does not mean that they are not at risk during unsupervised times. Most abusers are skilled manipulators and prese3nt extremely well around individuals they wan to impress. It is my opinion that Zachary and Jennifer remain at high risk for further abuse, now that they are in the sole custody of their father.’ ~ Fred Emilianowicz, Jr. LICSW Outpatient Family Therapist Health and Education Services
02/08/93 Fred Emilianociz Treating Family Therapist:
'The lack of consistent contact between Ms. Collins and the children especially during the difficult transition is not in the children’s best interest and could cause considerable psychological harm. Zachary and Jennifer are very bonded to their mother and are very fearful of their father. As the court itself noted, Ms. Collins has always been the primary caregiver for Zachary and Jennifer and it is my opinion that regular contact between Ms. Collins and the children should be restored."
The records are clear, every single psychological treating professional (except for Dr. Cline) concluded that we were severely abused by our father! Everyone of them also agreed that my mother did not have MSbP.