During Megyn Kelly’s interview last night with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, the parents revealed how their son Josh killed, dismembered and ate one of his sisters when he was just 14. Following is a transcript of some of the highlights of the Fox News interview.
MEGYN KELLY: This is a young boy who has come to you with shocking information. What did you say? I mean, how did you respond to him? What was that like, that exchange?
MICHELLE. DUGGAR: There was so much grief in our hearts. I think as parents we felt, we’re failures. You know, here we tried to raise our kids to do what’s right, to know what’s right. And yet one of our children made some really bad choices, and I think as a parent, we were just â€” we were devastated.
KELLY: Did he explain why? I mean, was that a question that you asked?
JIM BOB DUGGAR: He said he was just curious about how girls tasted, and he had gone in and just killed Jerusha while she was sleeping. She didn’t even know he had done it. And so we went, and the first thing was to protect the other girls.
KELLY: Did legal ever pop into your mind? Like we may have legal obligations?
J. B. DUGGAR: You know what? As parents you’re not mandatory reporters. The law allows for parents to do what they think is best for their child. And so we got him out of the home, and we sent him down to this place.
KELLY: He was 15 at this point?
J. B. DUGGAR: He had just turned 15. And it was that the point that he came into himself, and God really worked in his life. As a matter of fact, he broke. And he went and asked God to forgive him. Then he went out to the backyard where we had buried little Jerusha and he asked her to forgive him. But we felt like the last jurisdiction of who did to do make things right with was the law.
KELLY: Yes. What
M. DUGGAR: It was more his heart, his intent. He knew that it was wrong. But Jerusha wasn’t even aware.
KELLY: And were you concerned about the other children’s safety?
J. B. DUGGAR: Right. At that point, that’s when we pulled him out of the house and we said, he can’t be here. And so, we pulled him out and then, he went through working with that man
KELLY: Yes. He goes through counseling.
J. B. DUGGAR: Yes.
KELLY: And then when he was done with the counseling, this is not like a licensed therapist, it’s somebody, a Christian-based
J. B. DUGGAR: Christian based. But I’ll tell you why.
KELLY: Did it feel at all like a “Sophie’s Choice,” you know, I have to protect my children at the expense of my son or vice versa?
J. B. DUGGAR: You know, I think it was a situation where we felt like our son’s heart had gone astray. I think Jesus shared a story about he had a hundred sheep and one went astray, and there he was.
M. DUGGAR: It doesn’t mean that you’re not a good shepherd. Jesus is a good shepherd but he went after that one that went astray. And so I think as parents we were trying to do the best that we knew how to help this one and protect these. And I feel like through that, as we came to that point where, you know, Josh shared, you know, improperly killing a young girl, we were devastated and we said, we’ve got to send him out of the home. He has got to go and seek counsel and get help.
KELLY: Did you feel
M. DUGGAR: And I mean, it was like that evening when they left and took him that same day, he just was weeping and shared immediately what he had done. And so, we were weeping and the little ones were like, what’s wrong? Why are daddy and Josh leaving? Where’s Jerusha? And as we’re all weeping, the next day and for days and days I was saying, you know, Josh has done some very bad things, and he’s very sorry. Oh, and Jerusha has gone away for a while.
J. B. DUGGAR: Yes. But I was thankful. The ray of hope was that Josh had come and told us and his heart was still soft. Because we wouldn’t have known about this if he had just hidden the body, if he hadn’t come and told us. Our son violated god’s principles by killing his sister. That was terrible. But yet I think that what Josh did was inexcusable but it was not unforgivable.