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Promise Not to Tell

ABOUT THIS SERIES


Wichita police say hundreds of sexual abuse, incest and rape cases happen here every year. There were 455 cases investigated in Sedgwick County last year alone. In these stories, 19-year-old twins Kellie and Kathie Henderson speak out about how they were raped and assaulted for years by their older brothers and father, before being rescued by neighbors Shelly and Jim Vasey and police in 2005. Read more about The Eagle's decision to run this series.

PART ONE

For a decade, girls endured the horror at home

Kellie and Kathie Henderson are twins born in Wichita 19 years ago. Their brothers began molesting them before the girls reached Kindergarten. When their mother found out, she did little to nothing. When their father found out, he raped them too.

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PART TWO

Neighbors rescue girls from years of molestation

Shelly Vasey had promised not to tell. She kept that promise for two days. She called several times the next day. “Stop calling us,” one of the girls told her. “You’ll get us in trouble.” She cried for two days, mostly from rage. Jim finally told her to act. “You can’t live like this,” he said.

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PART THREE

As shattered lives are put back together, cracks remain

The morning after the cops came, Lisa Henderson drove into the Vasey driveway and yelled at Shelly Vasey. “You took my children away from me.” Shelly, in her doorway, called to her own children over her shoulder. “Don’t be scared. Go to the bedroom. Keep the phone close.”

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HOW TO HELP


WHAT TO EXPECT IF YOU REPORT ABUSE: First, please believe your child when your child makes an abuse allegation. Kids don't make up abuse allegations, so please believe until you have no reason to believe. Calls can be anonymous, to 911 or the state. Don't let worries about that stop you from making a call. The Exploited and Missing Child Unit of Sedgwick County recommends that if you suspect any type of abuse, call both 911 and the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services at 800-922-5330. Read more on how you can help.

WHO'S WHO

THE VICTIMS:
Kathie Henderson, 13 years old when rescued in 2005; age 19 now. Twin to Kellie.

Kellie Henderson, 13 years old when rescued in 2005; age 19 now. Twin to Kathie.

Younger sister, age 12 in 2005, age 18 now.

Younger brother, age 9 in 2005, age 15 now.

THOSE PROSECUTED:
Andrew Henderson, age 18 in 2005, age 24 now. Brother to the victims. Incarcerated Hutchinson Correctional Facility, Hutchinson, Kan.

Matt Henderson, age 17 in 2005, age 22 now. Brother to the victims, incarcerated Norton Correctional Facility, Norton County, Kan.

Brad Henderson, age 42 in 2005, age 48 now. Father to the victims and to Matt and Andrew; incarcerated Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Ellsworth, Kan.

Lisa Henderson, mother to the victims and to Matt and Andrew.

THE RESCUERS:
Shelly and Jim Vasey, a couple from southeast Wichita; neighbors to the subject family.

Jennifer Walker (now Martinez), an aunt of the victims.

Scott Wiswell, an elder at Countryside Christian Church and a longtime sex-crimes detective for the Wichita Police Department.

Chris Zandler, a police detective with Sedgwick County’s Exploited and Missing Child Unit.

Bill Riddle, a police detective with Sedgwick County’s Exploited and Missing Child Unit.

Jeff Gilmore, a police detective with Sedgwick County’s Exploited and Missing Child Unit in 2005, now a lieutenant with the Wichita Police Department.

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