According to CNN, Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz of Paradise, California beat seven-year-old Lydia Schatz to death because they believe “God” wanted them to. The couple beat Lydia for seven consecutive hours, with breaks for prayer, on the day she died. When police arrived at the Schatz residence, Lydia was still alive. An officer administered CPR, but it was too late.
“We have heard the phrase ‘death by a thousand lashes,” Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey told CNN. “That’s basically what this was.” Lydia was beaten with, among other things, a 15″ plumbing supply tube, called a “biblical rod” by the Schatzes. The Schatzes didn’t only beat little Lydia; all nine of their children were victims of regular torture.
Eleven-year-old Zariah was beaten so severely that she almost died too; all eight surviving children were placed in foster homes when Kevin and Elizabeth were arrested. The couple was apparently heavily influenced by a Christian child-rearing book titled To Train Up A Child by Michael and Debi Pearl of Tennessee-based No Greater Joy Ministries.