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Is the Whitaker Family Genetically Distinct from any Others?

The Whitakers Family: The Whitaker family is well-known for the peculiar behaviors that they engage in. The family has made their home in a small town in the more rural part of West Virginia called Odd. A family that has chosen to live in a shack in the middle of nowhere is wholly cut off from the rest of society. The Whittakers, who have had limited access to education and live in squalor in a backwoods shack, are widely the most famous family for inbreeding in America. Mark Laita, a documentary filmmaker, created a film that investigated the real lives of American families with the highest inbreeding rate.

Who Are Whitakers? 

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The Whitakers became widely known after a photographer named Mark Laita took pictures of them for the book he published, Created Equal, in 2004. He successfully documented that American history’s most famous inbred family has divulged their most horrifying secrets. Mark Laita first encountered the Whittakers, widely considered the most famous inbred family in the United States, after he was granted access to the peculiar world of the Whittakers.

When Laita attempted to take pictures of the family, the neighbors confronted him and warned him not to do it again. The family has minimal contact with anyone in the outside world. He described the trip as “the craziest thing I have ever seen.”

It was revealed that he had traveled to a rural community in West Virginia with the aptly named Odd, where a law enforcement officer had led him down a secluded lane. He was not greeted with any kind words or enthusiasm. An angry neighbor showed up brandishing a shotgun and threatened to use it if Laita did not leave them alone immediately after her arrival.

Effects of Inbreeding

The community is very protective of the Whitaker family, and they will shoo away anyone who comes to the area to photograph or make fun of them. “The neighbors kind of protect them, and the relatives don’t like these people coming to ridicule them,” said the person describing the people. “And everyone in the neighborhood knows about them, and they are like, ‘let’s go over to the Whittakers,’ and laugh at them or whatever.”

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He was, however, able to take some photographs of the family and offered to do so free of charge so that the family could include a portrait of a recently deceased relative in the casket of the deceased relative. That was the beginning of a connection that would last for almost twenty years. He went back to see the Whitakers but never took any video footage while there. He discovered four people—three siblings and a cousin—living together in a filthy, overcrowded house with many dogs.

The relatives suffer from a wide variety of severe mental and physical impairments; some cannot communicate in any way. Some of them could only communicate through grunts or squeals. It is thought that inbreeding contributed to the development of this condition. “Except Timmy, everyone in this movie is related to one another by blood.” It is possible, but not sure, that inbreeding contributed to the abnormalities exhibited by the Whitaker children. Nevertheless, considering the regularity with which it happens in West Virginia and the severity of the situation involving the Whitakers, Mark believes that it contributed to the outcome.

The Mysterious Case of the Whitaker family

Laita continued to communicate with the family even after his initial unsettling visit. In the year 2020, he was able to film a documentary about the family, focusing on their everyday life and their relationships with one another. There have been more than 28 million views of the movie on the website YouTube. Laita is joined in conversation by her sisters Betty and Lorraine and her brother Ray.

Additionally, other family members make an appearance, including a nephew named Timmy. At first, Betty refused to say whether or not her parents were related to one another by stating whether they were or not. When Laita followed up with the family once more in 2021, Betty was able to confirm that her parents were related; precisely, that they were double first cousins to each other.

Inbreeding: What Drives It, And What Are Its Repercussions 

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It has been discovered that there are high chances of the progeny being born with physical abnormalities, and genetic deformity is increased when the parents are related. Inbreeding is the process that occurs when two individuals from the same lineage mate with one another. This runs counter to the biological goal of mixing up DNA, which is supposed to be accomplished through mating. In West Virginia, inbreeding practices have been held responsible due to the state’s high poverty rate. Studies conducted in medicine have conclusively demonstrated that the offspring of inbred parents suffer from mental and physical abnormalities.

 

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