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Old 06 March 2008, 01:01 AM
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barbrainey barbrainey is offline
 
Join Date: 05 December 2003
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 657
Icon05 Questionable letter to Ann Landers

I read this letter to advice columnist Ann Landers more than 35 years ago. In fact, it was so upsetting that I remember the exact date of the letter's posting in the Columbia Daily Tribune, (Columbia, Missouri).

A woman wrote to Ann about a problem that was embarrassing her. She stated that three years earlier, her boyfriend took her home to meet his family. The letter writer explained that she was startled by the way the father was behaving with the eldest daughter who was then 15. She reveals that "theirs is an incestuous relationship." She said that by the time she had written the letter that "it had been going on for three years now." By this time the daughter would have been 18. She does not explain how she found this out. She also said that "even the younger children knew that something was going on." She also said that the mother knew about the relationship (puke!) and condoned it. "She (the mother) was like a servant in the family." The writer ended her letter by saying that her boyfriend had recently asked her to marry him. However, she was hesitant as she wondered if incestuous behavior was possibly inherited. "I don't want any husband of mine doing that to any child of mine!" Ann Landers' reply was that such behavior cannot be inherited.

However, I am wondering if the story is really true? Or did the writer just make it up in the course of inquiring about whether or not incestuous conduct could be hereditary? I have done a lot of Googling, but I have never found any satisfactory answer.

B. A. Rainey
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