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America’s Most Inbred Family Transformed

America's most inbred family has had a transformation.
Credit: Soft White Underbelly via YouTube

America’s most inbred family has had a transformation.

The Whittakers have had their life documented by filmmaker Mark Laita – who made a short film about them which documented their day-to-day life.

The family has resided in Odd, West Virginia, for generations and has a history of genetic defects due to inter-family marriages.

Laita has now done a kind gesture for the Whittakers.

Watch the family receive their transformation below…

Four members of the family – Ray, Betty, Larry, and Lorene – were taken to a salon in Beckley, West Virginia, which is about 30km away from their home.

The filmmaker documented their makeover on his channel Soft White Underbelly, which has 4.56 million subscribers on YouTube.

At the salon, Ray and Timmy had a fresh shave and a hair trim, while Betty and Lorene had their hair washed and styled.

Ray’s beard was shaved off and he was left with a stylish moustache.

Laita can be heard saying: “Look at you guys. You guys all look great.”

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The filmmaker was first introduced to the family back in 2004.

He then recently met up with them once again in 2020 and got to know them better.

Laita also set up a GoFundMe to help the Whittakers ‘with living expenses and home improvements’.

It has raised around $68,000 so far.

The family reportedly started with twin brothers Henry and John Whittaker in 1887.

Documents have shown that Henry married Sally Burton, and they had seven children, including John Emory Whittaker, born in 1913.

John married his own first cousin, Ada Riggs, and they had nine children, including Gracie Irene Whittaker, born in 1920.

Gracie and John married in 1935 and had their first daughter, Aileen Violet Whittaker, in 1937, who was the first of 15 children that the couple had.

The Whittakers
The Whittakers – known as America’s most inbred family – have had a makeover. Credit: Soft White Underbelly via YouTube

The siblings have trouble communicating due to their conditions, such as being non-verbal.

But despite this, the Whittakers seem to comprehend the filmmaker’s questions.

“They understand what you talking about,” a relative tells Laita. “If they don’t like it, they start yelling – let you know they don’t like that idea.”

In one scene in his documentary Inbred Family -The Whittakers, Laita approaches Ray asking about his brother who he lost.

Ray simply responds by grunting and pointing in the opposite direction.

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Ray and Lorraine seem to be the only family members who are non-verbal and need other family members to speak for them.

Meanwhile, other family members are unsure about their conditions – which include them being cross-eyed.

In another scene, Laita asks Betty, a member of the family, why she believes they have so many abnormalities, but she says she doesn’t know.

He then asks Kenneth and also mentions why their eyes aren’t facing forward.

“Might be coal mining,” he simply responded.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.