The Tragic Death of Candace Newmaker at the Hands of Her Therapists

They were supposed to help but they killed her during a dangerous therapy session

Anita Durairaj
5 min readJul 8, 2021


Candace Newmaker with her dogs (Image Source: Wikipedia)

Candace Tiara Elmore was born on November 19, 1989, in Lincolnton, North Carolina to Angela and Todd Elmore. When Candace was born, her mother, Angela, was just a teenager, and her father, Todd, was a violent man. Thus, Candace had a difficult early childhood being shuttled to different foster homes and trailer shacks.

In order to ensure a better life for her, Candace was placed for adoption at the age of five and was subsequently adopted by a 42-year-old single nurse, Jeane Newmaker.

On the surface, it looked like things had changed for the better when Candace was adopted. She received all the material benefits and a seemingly comfortable life filled with swimming and riding lessons and slumber parties. However, it wasn’t all a bed of roses.

According to her adoptive mother, Candace had psychological problems. In one instance, Jeane recounted that Candace started a fire in the home. She also mentioned that Candace was prone to anger issues and had even sexually assaulted other children.

Jeane became desperate to control Candace and sought therapy for her. Initially, Jeane took Candace to a series of doctors and therapists who prescribed her medication but then she reported that Candace’s behavioral problems were only getting worse.

Jeane believed that Candace’s behavior was due to the fact that she was suffering from reactive attachment disorder (RAD). In clinical literature, RAD is a disorder that arises when the child has suffered from abuse and neglect in early childhood. The child is unable to form an attachment to their caregiver and resorts to extreme behavior.

Jeane decided she did not want traditional therapy for Candace. The type of therapy that Jeane wanted for Candace was controversial. It was called “rebirthing therapy.”

Rebirthing therapy was first introduced in the 1970s by a psychotherapist. It is a fringe therapy and mostly involves breathing techniques that don’t last longer than 15 minutes.