Where is Genie Wiley now? The once-feral child is now in her 60s

Genie Wiley

Genie Wiley may have been a feral child when she was discovered by Los Angeles County in 1970 but a distinction set her apart from the rest – she did not grow up in the wild. Rather Genie lived in a small town in California, hidden from the world by her father, so much so that she acquired little to no social skills.

For being one of the worst cases of child abuse documented in American history, interest in her case gradually dwindled over the years. Today, there isn’t much information about the well-being and whereabouts of Genie, who at one point piqued the interest of researchers and linguists alike. The deaths of her family members (mother and brother) by 2011 further cemented her anonymity.

As a ward of the state of California, Genie Wiley lives in an assisted living facility in Los Angeles

Genie Wiley (whose real name is said to be Susan) became a ward of the state of California at 13 years old after her abuse came to light. For the following months, she was taken care of at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. There she made good progress in her language and social skills before being transferred to live with her teacher in June 1971.

By August 1971, Genie was sent to live with the family of a scientist who helmed the research team studying her. They raised her for four years. When she turned 18, she was briefly adopted by her mother, who later realized that she did not have enough resources to care for her daughter.

Since then, Genie hopped from one foster home to another, often living in institutions for disabled adults. The harsh living condition and treatment of her in such homes led to the deterioration of her psychological health and did not improve her trauma.

The last known update about Genie was in 1978 when her mother banned all scientific observations and testing of her – she was 21 at the time. Moreover. the California department of social services stated that any information related to Genie is confidential and cannot be disclosed to the public.

Yet a private detective supposedly tracked her location down to a ‘privately run facility for six to eight mentally underdeveloped adults’ in 2000 and said that while the living condition was a ‘little pathetic’ she was ‘happy’.

In 2008, a 51-year-old Genie was reportedly living in psychological confinement in her sixth foster home in Los Angeles. She had lost track of much of the earlier progress and could no longer speak, communicating only through sign language.

Susan Curtiss, a linguist who previously studied her case, believes that Genie is alive and well in a state-run assisted living facility that does not allow her to contact outsiders. She last interacted with Genie in the 1980s and has since not been able to “visit or write” to her, only having corresponded with the social worker assigned to the case.