The Spann Case: A Chronicle

Article by guestblogger “La cara Pasifae”

The law is some tricky shit, isn’t it?
(Thelma & Louise, 1991)

From her first marriage, Patricia Ann Spann had three children: a boy, then a girl and another boy. Things were not too good, evidently, because Patricia lose custody over them and the children were legally adopted by her mother-in-law.

But in 2008 Patricia met Cody Spann Jr., her oldest son, who at the time was 18. And she married him.
In Lawton, Comanche County, Oklahoma. She signed the papers using both her maiden and her married name, “Patricia Ann Clayton Spann”.

Fifteen moths later, in 2010, at the boy’s request a judge nullified their marriage on the grounds of incest. The Oklahoma laws categorically forbids unions with direct descendants.

In 2014 Patricia met her daughter, at the time 23 years old, Misty Velvet Dawn Spann.

And on March 25, 2016, the two women got married.

They moved in together in Duncan, Stephens County (OK), nearly 30 miles from the Texas border and less than 20 from Lawton where, once again, the wedding had taken place.
To get around the obstacle of their shared family name, Patricia Spann had used her maiden name upon filing the marriage licence application.

Perhaps not all the neighbors were fine with this new, close but reserved couple settling in. So, in August, Patricia and Misty received the visit of a Human Services Child Welfare Division investigator who, while assessing the state of the Spann children, found out that mother and daughter were legally married.

The women admitted both to their biological bond and to being married. Patricia declared to the investigator that she didn’t think they were breaking any law since her name no longer appeared on her daughter’s birth certificate, and that anyway, after being reunited, “they hit it off”.

Thus the authorities came to know of the incestuous relationship. The case was assigned to Duncan Police Detective Dustin Smith, who began the investigations on August 26, 2016, after a warning from the Human Services Division. In September, just months after they had married, in compliance with the law, the Spanns were formally charged.
Felony arrest warrants were issued in Stephens County District Court for both of them. If found guilty, they would face up to 10 years in prison.
After the arrest Misty and Patricia Ann were put in custody in Stephens County Jail. The bail was set at $10,000 for each woman.

As reported by Lawton Constitution, Patricia Spann insisted that she hadn’t had contact with her children until a few years earlier, claim contradicted by court records regarding her former marriage with her biological son. No charges were pressed for that marriage.

At Misty’s request, the marriage with her mother was annulled Oct. 12, 2017, as court records show. In November the girl, who claimed she was fraudulently induced into marriage by her mother, pleaded guilty to her incest charge. She was sentenced to probation for 10 years, two of which to be spent under the supervision of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

But after the verdict, a legal technicality emerged, which does not allow deferred senteces – like probation – in incest cases. She was therefore allowed to withdraw her guilty plea and to enter a new plea.
After pleading guilty to the felony count, on March 13, 2018, 46.years-old Spann, born in Norman (OK), was transferred to prison for incest. A judged sentenced her to two years of prison, eight years probation and a $2,791 fine allocated as follows: a $1,500 fine, $300 to the State victims’ compensation fund, and $991 in legal fees. Upon her release, she will also be registered as a sex offender.
In this moment, the woman is held in prison in a Oklahoma State Jail, where she passed her first three months as a recluse.

Thus we have compiled a chronicle of a strange story from the deep South Central. The nature of these facts can amaze and astonish, pushing us to try and guess the inner dinamics that moved its protagonist, Patricia Ann Spann. What were her motivations? Is it possible to really understand?

This is why this is no biography. We can only get a glimpse of the vast array of different interpretation such a story can sustain, of the extent of speculations it suggests, of the powerful, mythical narratives it brings to mind. Where should we start?

(La cara Pasifae)

12 comments to The Spann Case: A Chronicle

  1. efy says:

    beh, situazione decisamente da Bizzarro Bazar. comnque non capisco perchè in galera ci finisce la figlia e non il figlio. cosa cambia? oltretutto c’è reiterazione del reato da parte della madre

    • bizzarrobazar says:

      Non so se abbia a che fare con l’età di responsabilità legale.
      All’epoca del matrimonio il ragazzo non aveva ancora 21 anni, la ragazza invece ne aveva 23.

  2. gery says:

    Curioso come entrambe – madre e figlia – indossino la stessa maglietta con il logo di superman.

    Chissà cosa scatta nella testa di queste persone, anche perchè non è un caso fortuito, Patricia Ann Spann voleva un legame matrimoniale con i figli! Che poi questi fossero consenzienti o vittime, non lo sapremo mai.

    • bizzarrobazar says:

      Su Facebook un bel commento (postato da Havana Club) avanza un’ipotesi alternativa che ritengo interessante. Ecco il commento per intero:

      A me viene da pensare (poi la verità non la saprà nessuno eccetto loro) che questi matrimoni non fossero suggello di relazioni romantiche e/o erotiche incestuose, ma semplicemente un modo escogitato dalla madre per riappropriarsi de iure e de facto dei figli aggirando i servizi sociali. Per poter essere legalmente la persona che si occupava di loro, senza bisogno di dimostrare l’idoneità. Una specie di matrimonio alias adozione, come in altri tempi si usava celebrare tra anziani impotenti e ragazzine sole al mondo.

      • gery says:

        Si lo penso anch’io.

      • Antozeta says:

        anch’io ho subito pensato a questa soluzione non a un incesto e lo ha fatto per stare vicina ai suoi figli

        • Antonello says:

          Ma i ragazzi erano ormai adulti, quindi liberi di stare con chi volevano.
          Sembra che nulla impedisse il ristabilirsi di relazioni materne con i figli.
          Perché allora azzardare un matrimonio? Perché introdurre la legge nel loro legame?

          • Antozeta says:

            Vero anche questo ma potrebbe essere che abbia voluto ristabilire un legame famigliare con i suoi figli non penso proprio che due maggiorenni ben sapendo che quella era la loro madre abbiano voluto sposarsi per amore e sesso

  3. Andrea says:

    Dando per assodato che la realtà dei fatti sia quella descritta (e non che, appunto, ci siano ragione differenti dall’incesto), trovo paradossale che queste persone vengano trattate da criminali.
    La società, a volte, diventa la caricatura di sé stessa.

  4. Viola says:

    Ciao Ivan,
    ho saputo di casi simili un paio di anni fa. A quanto pare se da piccoli veniamo separati dai nostri stretti familiari (genitori e fratelli) e li rincontriamo da grandi, può accadere di innamorarci di loro e viceversa. Si chiama attrazione sessuale genetica. Su YT c’è anche un documentario. Qui un articolo

    • bizzarrobazar says:

      Sì, certo. Anche se in questo caso specifico mi sembra si tratti di un ‘progetto’ più sistematico – sposare prima l’uno poi l’altra.

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