The then girl seemed calm and measured when she shared her intention to stab her brother and her adoptive parents while they slept.
In 1992, when the documentary Child of Rage aired, she was clearly damaged after a rough childhood.
Yet now, 30 years later, she is unrecognizable, seems happy, and even inspiring in her life and career after an incredible transformation.
The documentary Child of Rage made viewing uncomfortable as it featured shocking footage of Beth telling her psychiatrist that she wanted to kill her foster parents and brother in the dead of night.
It included footage of Beth describing, in detail and without emotion, the abuse she had experienced and subsequently inflicted on others.
This included sticking pins in and sexually abusing his brother, killing baby birds, torturing the family dog and, perhaps most chilling, his plans to stab his parents in their sleep.
In one incident, her brother Jonathan was seriously injured after Beth repeatedly banged his head against a concrete floor in an attempt to kill him.
The documentary told how her adoptive parents, Tim and Julie, had to lock Beth in her room at night to prevent her from stabbing them to death.
But when the details of Beth’s background were revealed, her psychopathic behavior began to make sense.
In the early years of their lives, Beth and Jonathan suffered severe neglect and sexual abuse from their biological parents.
They were cared for and adopted by Tim and Julie.
Beth was diagnosed with “Reactive Attachment Disorder” (RAD), a rare but serious condition in which young children fail to form healthy bonds with parents or caregivers due to extreme abuse.
RAD is a common diagnosis in children who have been adopted. Their new parents often struggle to cope with violent outbursts directed at them and the family pets, as well as destructive behavior and self-harm, all triggered by their traumatic early beginnings.
At first, Beth saw a series of psychiatrists who struggled to help her develop empathy, but they all failed.
It was only when therapist Connell Watkins offered to try an experimental and controversial form of therapy that his behavior changed.
Connell’s “intensive behavior modification” therapy involved placing extreme restrictions on Beth, including making her ask permission for everything and locking her in her room at night.
But it worked and within a year Beth was able to share a room again, stopped self-harming and showed real remorse for the way she had treated her brother.
Today, Beth is a qualified therapist, now works as a nurse, and has co-written a book called More Than a Thread of Hope with her second adoptive mother.
The couple have created a company in the US called Families By Design that helps other families deal with a RAD child.
He boasts that his biggest success story is Beth herself, who is “no longer an anger kid, but an award-winning registered nurse and incredible speaker.”
Beth is now married and lives in Arizona, but little else is known about her private life, or if she has children of her own.