As a New York Times best-selling ghostwriter, I’ve barreled down the interstate in a Presidential campaign bus while being chased by CNN; sat in an Olympic training center and watched backflips on a balance beam; attended the live, televised wedding of America’s favorite Bachelor; heard first hand accounts of communist oppression from a Chinese dissident; interviewed man in federal prison who’d killed his fiancé; flew on a rickety Donald Trump campaign plane fearing I might crash; saw the famous Iron Dog race on a frozen lake in Alaska; made sure the body makeup of a Dancing with the Stars contestant was just right; and was on the set of NBC News when the impeachment of Donald Trump broke.
Then in 2020, I heard about a sex abuse cover up at America’s largest Christian sports camp, Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri. I took two years off from celebrity collaboration, turned to investigative journalism, and exposed “the worst Christian sex abuse scandal you’ve never heard of.”
I live in Franklin, Tennessee with my husband – journalist David French – and my family.
New Evidence Emerges: Kanakuk Kamp Blocked an Effort to Fire an Employee Later Revealed To Be a Serial Child Abuser
Pete Newman’s supervisor recommended he be fired in 2003, according to sources.
Survivors, Ex-employees Say Unreported Abuse at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson Spans Decades
Branson-based Kanakuk Kamps and its associated ministries are a multi-million-dollar global enterprise that includes the largest evangelical sports camp in the world. Since 1926, Kanakuk has hosted more than 500,000 campers and 50,000 staffers in Missouri and its many international locations. Survivors and ex-employees say unreported abuse at Kanakuk camps in Branson has spanned decades.
Kanakuk Camper Says She was Told to Apologize, Denied Call Home after Reporting Abuse
The summer of 2016 wasn’t the first time Caroline attended Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, but it is the one etched most deeply in her memory.
‘It Was Just a Thing at Kanakuk’: Campers and Staff Say Nudity was Part of Camp Culture
The more casual attitudes toward nudity at Kanakuk — where communal showering and physical inspections of unclothed campers continued into the 1990s and early 2000s, former staff members said — made some campers uncomfortable. Others quickly became accustomed to it, providing fertile ground for a predator like Newman who used nudity and discussions about sexuality to groom his victims.