Comments about ‘History of abuse emerges in Ethan Stacy case’

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Former spouses call Sloops unstable, feared for children

Published: Friday, May 14 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

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I am sickened by this news. My condolences to Mr. Stacey.

This couple has already had their trial because they have admitted abusing and killing this child. The attorneys don't need any taxpayer money to defend this case. Only two things remain, the sentencing which should be capital punishment, and the death of both. May I add currently there is not an appropriate humane death available for these two.

Capital punishment would take on a different light if those found guilty were taken to the town square, and on national TV, shown a documentary of their lives outlining everything about them from childhood. The world could then understand what kind of people they have become because of the choices they have made.

This documentary should show how these two abused this little boy, tortured and killed him.

Their sentence to death should include the same abuse torture and death, by the same means.

Our prisons would be less full because there would be fewer people committing crimes. People would be able to see first-hand what would happen to them if they made similar stupid choices or used their agency to inflict pain/suffering on others. Humane, absolutely.


I can not even fathom how someone could do this. This sickens me to the very core. I have seen some things in my military service and my travels that would make anyone blanch, but this... this makes me cry. I am not overly religious but for this little boy, he is surely in heaven and.. enough. God Bless Ethan.


wow. So sad - for the child, and also the lives of all these exes mentioned - what an unhappy, ongoing existence for all of them. Makes one wonder what principles and morals any of them live by. It is disappointing that the courts ruled against the father's concerns, which fully proved correct. My own son came to live with me (his dad) after his mother, originally granted custody, went off the deep end... it's amazing the fight many men have to make in the courts to prove the woman "has issues"...


I read about something like this and wonder how many more monsters are out there abusing their children. How many more are going to die at the hands of their "parents"? How many kids live miserable lives because of unstable, evil parents? Makes me sick.

Please let us know where to donate to help the biological father.

Mike in Sandy

Courts have to start paying attention to these red flags.
Courts go by law, numbers, forms.
People go by knowledge and emotion.
The accused step-dad apparently has noting but trouble on his resume. The mom is no peach, either, thus the divorce and dad's primary custody.

The very fact that his father petitioned the court to deny his ex to get him for the summer should have been a huge warning.
What a sad story.
God rest his innocent little soul.


I am sickened by this entire scenario. Where was a social worker or guardian ad litem in this fiasco? I know that as a S.W. most would listen and have a mental status exam on these "ex-spouses." Someone or the "system" has let down this little boy. It is too late now. Sad but true.

Fear is a form of control, to either party. The ex's used it against the other and the fear controlled Ethan's father.

The little guy must have felt a foreboding and tried to tell everyone he was afraid. It hurts to think about the fear HE must have had being the brunt of the mother's evil.

No one wins here. Sad but true. May this little one rest and know the truth now.

Condolences to his father and step-mother who really loved him and did the best they could that was within their power to do. The mother should have been evaluated and being as unfit long before, who was psychotic to do what she did.

DC Fan

When I see photos of this precious little 4 year old I see my owe grandkids and a bit me dies inside. There isn't anything more loving and precious than a 4 yr old child and to hear of what he went through is almost unbearable. Monster is the word the comes to mind and I'm angered by what I read about the court system we in trust the welfare of the children in. The father knew of a pending problem and was forced to still turn over this child to the mother he knew was dangerous. Don’t we have anyone in the judicial system with any common sense? Imagine if this were your child and you were asked to give him up and knew something bad could happen, would ya do it, or take him and run? Rest in peace Ethan, we failed you.


This event sickens me deeply. I keep reliving it in my mind. I don't know how anyone associated with this will ever sleep well again. I can't get my mind around a mother who lets so much abuse happen to her child...or the rage someone feels when he attacks an innocent child. I hope they go to prison for a long, long time...Poor little boy. I hope he knows how much he is loved...even by complete strangers.

Sally Smiles-a-Lot

How many children have to be tortured and killed before judges and Family Services will listen to the parent or child who expresses great concern about being required to go with the other parent? This happens over and over again. I realize that sometimes the fear is unfounded, or the reluctance is used as a tool to get at the other parent. But this happens way too often.

If the laws are to blame for a judge requiring the child to honor the visitation arrangements, then the laws need to be modified to take into account individual circumstances, to allow the judge some leeway to render a proper judgement and deny the visitation rights, even though they have been granted. Ethan, and his father, had every reason to fear Ethan's visit with his mother, but apparently no one was listening, or able to make that adjustment. That is just wrong. And now an innocent life has paid the price.

To Ethan's dad, I am so sorry for your loss, and for the suffering of this precious little boy. I hope you can find some comfort in knowing he is safe, even though you'll miss him. God bless.


What we need is for people to be more responsible for who they make babies with. Joe Stacey picked badly twice, Nathan Sloop with multiple personalities including violent "ghost" has been married twice. Judges and courts can't be responsible to make these situations all better.

Reasonable Person

The saddest part of all, is that Nathan Sloop comes from a self-proclaimed "Christian" family.

One of his ultra-close relatives maintains a website with ideas on how to "witness for Christ" -- which includes this tip:

"Witness Idea: An appliance breaks in the house...we could cry...or we might be able to see it as a Devine Appointment to share JESUS with the repair man or woman or to invite them to Church!"

I'm really sorry, family, but you should take care of your own family first before determining that we are the ones who need your "help".


The questions concerning how to prevent this sort of thing from happening again are very difficult to answer. There is a lot of difficulty in balancing the protection of children from their parents as well as the protection of children from the state. Both can abuse these little innocents. Frankly, I can't, even in hingsight, see how this boy could have been protected by the system. That said, I would like to publicly request that each and every one of you whose heart is hurt by this event to call the prosecutor's office and make it clear what the people of Utah are demanding. Make sure the prosecutor is aware that if either of these people get less than a life sentence, the prosecutor had better find a new job. At the end of the day, the judge who set the custody terms, the neighbors, the DCFS workers, none of these people were in that bedroom with Ethan. None of them were punching him as he cried to try and understand. None of them took out their cameras and took pictures of the injries to their own child. None of them killed him. Remeber who is responsible. Justice

Reasonable Person

We can't blame the judge for what happened.

Joe Stacy and Stephanie entered into a low-cost mediated divorce, and signed off on the settlements.

In those cases, all the judge does is put the legal stamp on everything and declare the divorce final.
Stephanie didn't even bother to show up; Joe would have been free to seap up.


While everyone's emotions are raw after reading this terribly sad story, I would like to council everyone to not let their emotions rule their heads. I am speaking of the wanting to donate to some kind of fund for his father or in the child's memory. I think this is in direct relation to our basic human need to make things better somehow - make us feel better as well. I have no problem at all with that except while in this frame of mind, it is easy to get scammed by scummy people who are quick to cash in using phony donation schemes. Please make sure you have all the facts about the organization/fund you are donating to - if that is what you choose to do - and the family wants/needs donations. Don't make this story even more horrible by discovering scam artists have taken everyone for a ride as well.


Like everyone else, I am sickened and saddened by the unnecessary death of a beautiful and innocent 4-year-old boy.

I would bet HEAVILY that years ago another little boy named Nathan Sloop was badly abused and a monster was created. My heart aches for that little boy too, NOT the murderer he became. Something went terribly wrong in Stephanie's moral development too....
This does not excuse them from prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.


Great comment rubytulip. To paraphrase a movie, some men have a blackness inside of them that no amount of inflicting pain or death can fill. That blackness started somewhere. It also doesn't make me sorry for the grown man. We are not defined by what is done to us. We are defined by what we do. Nathan Sloop is not a bad person because he was abused, he is a bad person because he chose to abuse others.


I love CaseyA's comment: "Nathan Sloop is not a bad person because he was abused, he is a bad person because he chose to abuse others." How true that is. I don't think that becasue of what happened in his past we can feel sorry for him and we don't even know what happened in his past. He is an adult and should have asked for help and gotten help for that child, instead of killing him and then further abusing his body after he was dead. I cry just thinking about this.


At the trial in a year, we will see a new Nathan Sloop, one faithfully taking his antipsychotic meds and oh-so-broken-up about the "tragedy" of this beautiful little boy's "untimely death".

We will see a new Stephanie Sloop, her head "finally on straight" now that she's taking antidepressants, deeply mourning "poor Nathan's" demise.

We will see their lawyers lecturing the jurors that the law isn't about revenge; that punishing these unfortunate people won't bring Nathan back; that they have to live with the knowledge of what they did, and surely that is punishment enough for anyone; that aggravated murder Just Isn't Fair for such beleaguered souls. Show them mercy, the lawyers will say. Show how civilized people act.

In that last sentence that the lawyers will say, I actually agree. Let's show how civilized people act. A society that won't execute its murderers is a society that won't flush its toilets.

Civilized people flush the toilet.


I hope that I never have to play that "what if" game with my child's life. We as parents need to stand up and protect our children from those we know are dangerous and mentally unstable. I want to know that I have done all I can to protect that child.


I'm a father of three with one son who reminds me of the picture of Ethan: they are both intelligent, innocent boys.

This story makes me alternately sickened, angry and sad beyond words. Most of my anger is directed toward those two monsters. I'm sorry if I’m insensitive, but some measure of responsibility and accountability with foresight must to go to the biological father.

I have to ask of him, why in the world would you choose to marry an abusive mother -- twice? Someone above said "If any good can come of this, let it be more caution on the part of judges". A judge can't force someone to choose a good person to marry. Someone getting married holds the future of his children in his own hands. So the good that should come of this is as a wake-up call to anyone planning to get married and start a family, who cares anything about the future safety of their own children. Marriage requires a level of maturity and spiritual discernment. Religion is becoming less popular by the decade, and we are seeing the consequences in the choices people make, including choosing a spouse.

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