Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The McMartin Daycare case: A 20th century witch hunt

In the 1980s and 1990s, the parents of young children throughout the United States were caught up in a hysteria over sex abuse and satanic rituals at daycare facilities. Central to this moral panic was the McMartin preschool in California, whose staff were charged with multiple crimes against children. It was one of the longest and most expensive trials in American history, and resulted in all charges being dropped.

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