America’s ‘most famous inbred’ family The Whittakers’ complicated family tree revealed

THE complicated lineage of a family dubbed the most inbred in America has been revealed after a filmmaker documented their lives.

Mark Laita first stayed with the Whittaker family in 2004, but after reuniting with them in 2020, details about their lineage became clearer.

While early reports of the family stated the siblings’ parents were brother and sister, they were in fact double first cousins Credit: Youtube/Soft White Underbelly
The family resides in a ‘shack’ in a town called Odd, located in rural West Virginia Credit: GOFUNDME
Neighbors are very protective of the family, and are even known to threaten people who wish to visit the Whittakers Credit: YouTube/Soft White Underbelly

The family is currently comprised of three siblings named Lorraine, Timmy, and Ray, while cousin Freddie died of a heart attack.

There are also reports of another unnamed sister and other family members who Latia never got the chance to meet.

While early reports of the family stated the siblings’ parents were brother and sister, the family later confirmed to Laita they were in fact double first cousins. They have since passed away.

Some members of the Whittaker family have mental and physical abnormalities, while a few members only communicate through grunts and cannot speak.

Some did not attend school.

Laita first visited the family in 2004 for his first book, “Created Equal.”

He told how the family resides in a “shack” in a town called Odd, located in rural West Virginia.

Most recently, the filmmaker said he was given a police escort to the Whittakers’ home as the family now receives their fair share of public attention.

Laita said an angry neighbor appeared with a shotgun, threatening to use it if he didn’t leave them alone.

He claimed neighbors are incredibly protective of the family and will chase away anyone who shows up looking to photograph or taunt the Whittakers.

“They are kind of protected by the neighbors and the relatives don’t like these people coming to ridicule them,” Laita said on an episode of the Koncrete KLIPS podcast.

He also went on to describe the hectic scenes he saw: “There’s these people walking around and their eyes are going in different directions and they are barking at us.”

Laita said he witnessed one man “running away, and his pants would fall around his ankles.”

He added: “It was out of control – the craziest thing I have ever seen.”

Laita did take some photographs of family members so they could place a portrait in the casket of a relative who had recently passed away. That began a relationship that would span nearly 20 years.

Mark filmed a video documenting his visit titled Inbred Family – The Whittakers.

His footage shows the family’s poor living conditions, which include a small run-down home and multiple pet dogs.

But he has come under criticism for “perpetuating a stereotype” by locals and two YouTubers.

Shane and Melody of the Real Appalachia YouTube channel also claimed that Laita “ostensibly is doing all this good work for them and raising money for them.”

But they argue that the documentary “perpetuates the stereotype that has been around for decades” relating to inbreeding in Appalachia.

“I just feel like a lot more could be done for these people,” Melody continued.

“I think he’s trying to act like he’s doing a lot for them.”

ThoughtCo. states that inbreeding can cause defects, such as “reduced fertility, reduced birth rate, higher infant and child mortality, and smaller adult size.”

These defects also include: “Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, increased facial asymmetry, and increased risk of genetic disorders.”

Ray Whittaker, one of the siblings of the family, stands near the family home in Odd, West Virginia Credit: Youtube / Soft White Underbelly
Their house has been described as cluttered with trash surrounding the home Credit: YouTube/Soft White Underbelly


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