America’s Most Inbred Family Shares Glimpse Inside Their Life


A filmmaker has shared a glimpse inside the lives of America’s most inbred family.

Mark Laita, 63, has shone a light on The Whittakers, a family who live in the befittingly named town of Odd in West Virginia.

The family are known to bark at people, communicate with each other through grunts and they tend to run away when people try to speak to them.

Laita was introduced to The Whittakers – which includes family members named Ray, Betty, Kenneth, Ray, Timmy and Lorraine – back in 2004.

Lorraine, Timmy, and Ray are siblings, with their parents being double first cousins, reports The Sun.

He photographed them and later reconnected with them in 2020 to get to know them better.

The photographer discussed his interactions with the Whittakers in an interview with the Koncrete Podcast.

He described one encounter as ‘out of control’.

“There’s these people walking around and their eyes are going in different directions and they are barking at us,” Laita explained.

“And [this] one guy, you’d look at him in the eye or say anything and he would just scream and go running away and his pants would fall around his ankles.”

Laita said that he needed to have a police escort with him when visiting the family, as their popularity had risen after he initially took pictures of them.

When he first met them in the early 2000s, he was greeted by ‘protective’ neighbours who were holding a shotgun.

Speaking about the neighbours, Laita defended their initial reaction to him by adding: “They don’t like people coming to ridicule these people.”At the time, Laita intended to photograph the Whittakers for his book, “Created Equal,” which examines the various cultures present in the US and the origins of various individuals.

Although the filmmaker wasn’t at first welcomed, he was later permitted to photograph the family and even gave them some images.

One of his more recent videos shows the family living in a small, rundown house that is overcrowded and even has some uninvited animals residing there.

He noted that the family are spending more time on their porch – which has a sofa and armchair.

Laita added that a relative informed him that they do ‘understand’ him and his questions.

He was told: “If they don’t like it, they start yelling – let you know they don’t like that idea.”

In one moment from his film Inbred Family – The Whittakers, Laita asks Ray about his brother, who he recently lost, to which Ray reacts by groaning and gesturing away.

The only non-verbal family members who require other family members to speak for them are Ray and Lorraine.

In another scenario, Betty, a family member, is questioned by Laita about why she believes the family to be so abnormal. Betty replies that she is unsure of the reason.

Then he remarks and asks Kenneth why their eyes weren’t forward.

“Might be coal mining,” he responds.