BOSTON (CBS) – Over the years I’ve met quite a few people who tell me they rarely watch TV news, and as a 26-year veteran of the business I’m always eager to find out why.

And one reason keeps popping up – they can’t stand to watch stories about abused or endangered children.

Bella Bond. (Photo credit: Facebook photo)

For them, and for all of us, the story of Bella Bond, the two-year-old found murdered two years ago this month, has been especially tough to follow. Her innocence and vulnerability is haunting and the story of her mistreatment by the drug-addled adults in her life is especially depressing because it appears most of them did have some love for Bella, even as they failed to protect her.

A Suffolk Superior Court jury will decide, perhaps as early as Wednesday, whether or not the mother’s boyfriend is guilty of Bella’s murder.

Michael McCarthy in court May 31, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

Regardless of their verdict, there appears to be plenty of guilt – morally, if not legally – to go around.

For instance, we learned some time ago that the state’s Department of Children and Families did not properly investigate multiple warning signs of Bella’s neglect.

Her mother, Rachelle Bond, was an addict with a long arrest record and at least 12 incarcerations who had twice lost other children to DCF custody.

Rachelle Bond in court June 7, 2017. (WBZ-TV)

But in the end, the care of a child is the primary obligation of its parents or guardians, and there’s only so much the state can do about that. We all need to be more vigilant about how kids are being treated, and prepared to do or spend whatever it takes to protect them.

And that’s why we can’t look away from horror stories like that of Bella Bond, even if they make us want to shut off the TV in disgust.

Your thoughts are welcome, via email at, or you can reach out on Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Comments (3)
  1. I no longer watch TV and haven’t done so for a variety of reasons.

    I also found/find that TV news is NOT entertainment, and for that I turn to some of the excellent dramas and feature productions that are aired. I can also read far faster than you can present and, in the time your news has run, I have read at least three news sites and a few of the more in-depth pieces.

    On the matter of these parents though, in addition to their cruelty and their lack of decency, there seems to be a real pattern in these stories in that the child welfare agencies are a common thread. Their failure to do the job of protection of the children is as baffling as it is tragic and unacceptable.

    I am sure that if you were to interview the employees of our DCF, you would find compassionate, dedicated people…and a lot of people that think they are compassionate and dedicated people. They all will claim being over-worked The same would attend as you work through the rest of the child’s adult world…the teachers and doctors, day care center employees, even the summer camp counselor and ice cream vendor. They are all compassionate and dedicated people

    Our society has determined that child welfare agencies are need. There is no dispute over that fact It is worth spending the money. And, if more money would solve the problem, it should be spent.

    However, one has to wonder what goes on in the name of The People that allows these errors, allows similar situations to fester, and fails to discipline ANYONE with the possible exception of kicking the bad employee upstairs of off into bureaucratic oblivion. And one has to wonder why past increases and infusions of taxpayer dollars has resulted in so little.

    We, as the overseers of welfare agencies…all agencies for that matter…are entitled to functioning, effective, and efficient management and operation. We are entitled to agencies that fulfill their mission

    With DCF, and a host of others, we are not getting the services we are paying for, and no one has been able to make a dent in the bureaucracy even though the sad, bruised, even dead bodies of trusting children pile up like logs on the woodpile.

    We find it convenient to rant and rail about Donald Trump and his presidency, which, because of it being only a few months in office has had limited impact, but neglect to address with the same levels of indignancy the very inhumane failures of agencies with long histories of inhumane failure.

    What is wrong with the priorities of the indignant?

    Are they as falsely compassionate and dedicated as those who allow tragedy to happen regularly under their supervision?

    Isn’t it time to deal with the immediate and the possible instead of practicing “feel-good” politics? Where is the Fourth Estate in keeping this issue before The People?

    Oh, that’s right, they’re out bashing, protesting, and violently “resisting” something that has yet to happen….and, given our system, institutions, and processes of governance, unlikely ever to….

  2. Great response and you speak the truth, something many do not want to hear.

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