Her stepfather also sexually abused the animals on the family's farm, Truddi says. Then he would kill the animals to prevent them from doing something that could make neighbors suspicious, she says.
Truddi says one of the hardest things to deal with is realizing her mother—who passed away after the book was released—must have known about what was happening in the house. "She repressed so much, as we found out later. Tons of things," Truddi says. "Maybe in order to stay sane she had to do that. Now I don't know if we're giving her excuses."