America’s Most Inbred Family Shares Glimpse Inside Their Life


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Photographer and filmmaker Mark Laita has shed light on The Whittakers, a family who reside in the fittingly called West Virginia town of Odd.

The family is said to have barked at passersby, grunted at one another, and tended to flee if anyone tried to approach them.

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In 2004, Laita first met The Whittakers, a family that consists of Ray, Betty, Kenneth, Ray, Timmy, and Lorraine.

According to The Sun, Lorraine, Timmy, and Ray are siblings whose parents are first cousins twice removed.

In order to get to know them better, he snapped pictures of them and later met up with them.

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

One interaction, in his words, was “out of control.”

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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.”

He needed a police escort with him when visiting the family, according to Laita, because their notoriety increased after he first snapped images of them.

In the early 2000s, he first encountered them and was greeted by “protective” neighbours 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.

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In one of his more recent videos, the family can be seen crammed into a small, dilapidated house that is also home to some unwanted animals.

The family is reportedly spending more time on their porch, which features a sofa and an armchair, he observed.

Laita stated that a family member had told him they “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.”

Laita asks Ray about his brother, who he lost, in one of the scenes from his documentary Inbred Family – The Whittakers. Ray answers by groaning and pointing away.

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Only Ray and Lorraine appear to be non-verbal and reliant on other family members to speak for them.

In another scene, Betty, a member of the family, was questioned by Laita about why she believed they had so many abnormalities. Betty said that she was unsure of the reason.

Then he spoke with Kenneth and mentioned the reason for their eyes not being forward.

He just said, “Might be coal mining.”