Couple charged after 3-year-old boy hung up by feet, ‘systematically tortured and beaten to death’

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WEST CALN TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Police say a man and his girlfriend are charged with brutally murdering the woman’s 3-year-old son.

Gary Fellenbaum and Jillian Tait were arrested Thursday morning.

On Tuesday, authorities were called to their residence on a report of an unresponsive child.

EMTs found 3-year-old Scott McMillan suffering from bruises, lacerations and puncture wounds all over his body, according to WPVI.

Fellenbaum, Tait and another witness confessed that the boy had been beaten with blunt and sharp objects, whipped, taped to a chair with electrical tape and beaten and hung up by his feet and beaten, leading to his death.

According to police, they beat the boy to death using homemade weapons like a whip, a curtain rod and an aluminum strip.

Tait told police the beating began when the boy wouldn’t eat his breakfast.

“Little Scotty McMillan is dead,” Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said. “Over a three-day period … he was systematically tortured and beaten to death. He was punched in the face and in the stomach. He was scourged with a homemade whip. He was lashed with a metal rod. He was tied to a chair and beaten. He was tied upside down by his feet and beaten. His head was smashed through a wall.”

Tait said Fellenbaum routinely beat her 6 and 3-year-old boys.

On one occasion, she said he strung the boys up by their feet and beat them while she and Fellenbaum laughed.

The 6-year-old boy is now in the care of relatives.

Fellenbaum and Tait are both charged with murder and Hogan said he will be seeking the death penalty.

Law enforcement veterans told WPVI that they had never seen a child abuse murder case like this one.


  • MissyRN

    Let other inmates get them and do to them what they did to this defensless child. Show no mercy as they showed NONE for this 3 year old.

  • Jeff

    Put them in an enclosed arena, let the general public take turns chasing and torturing them, enough so they live through it for 3 days. Let the “Purge” begin with this scum.

    • disgusted

      That is how it should be. The general public should be able to “purge” on child molesters, rapists, child abusers, and murderers.

  • chaz

    Wow, this put me in tears, this kid had his head smashed through a wall, hit with a curtain rod, lashed with a whip, whT the hell did this kid do to deserve this, not eat his breakfast are you kidding me, I want to hang both these people upside down and torture them, beat them till they die.

  • disgusted

    Hold off on the death penalty and do to them what they did to those boys first. Make them suffer and feel their pain.

  • Bebos Mom

    This is just horrific and evil. I wish we real life vigilante that would wipe these cruel people out. I wish someone in that little boys family would have paid more attention and rescued him from his horrible parents before it was too late. They deserve torture in the most extreme way.

    • Donna Warner

      That’s true. SURELY the family had seen bruises and other injuries that weren’t normal. Unless the family wasn’t a part of this evil woman’s life, they are as much to blame for not protecting these two little ones. At one point, I had to call the police on my daughter because her boyfriend was drunk and high and locked her out while keeping her son/my grandson inside with him. I was afraid for my grandson and had to call the police. When are children make bad choices or do terrible things, it’s up to us to protect the children. God bless his brother that he will be able to heal after all that they’ve been through. =(

  • Donna Warner

    I thought I’d heard of every evil that could be done, but this?!? To think of what that poor 3-year-old thought when he was being tortured by his own mother–it makes me physically ill. And for that poor child to be tortured brutally for not eating his breakfast?? There IS no good reason to hurt a child. Thank God the brother is now being raised by other family members who, hopefully, will love him dearly and treat him well. Still, it may not be enough to heal what he’s seen or experienced at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend. He’ll need years of therapy and may still not be a “whole” person. God bless him! My heart is broken to read what this little baby went through- and at the hands of his mother!!!

  • Kathy Freeman

    so hard to read what they done to that poor child ,but god has him now and they will pay for what they did to that baby ,r.i.p.littleone your afe fromharm now ,but make sure they pay for it ,,letth cons take care of hem .they will tear them apart,after they learn what they done.

  • Susan

    Death is too easy for them! String them up by their feet and beat them until dead! As a mother of FOUR BEAUTIFUL CHILDREN, I cannot even fathom such cruelty! These people are SICK! SICK, SICK, SICK!!!

  • Sarah

    The same things they inflicted on that innocent little child should be inflicted on the ten fold and then over and over again until they keel over and die. Not just by those in law enforcement but by others too. What a bunch of cowards, how are you going to go and pick on and harm a defenseless little kid, like that little boy? Ohhh man. just, words cannot express the anger and all the things these sick f***s deserve.

  • Trina

    This is so devastating to read…it brought tears to my eyes…I have 3 children, all boys n to think that someone would hurt n kill a defenseless 3 yr old child in this cruel way makes me want to do the same to them as they did to this child. I hope they get their punishment once they get put in prison…I do know that inmates don’t look kindly, or are very accepting of torturing n murdering of an innocent child

  • jessi

    Absolutely heart breaking…..that little boy never had a chance. My heart is broken knowing the pain and confusion this little one had to feel before God took him….i”m speachless

  • Disgusted also

    The reason why this keeps happening is due to judges that repeatedly hand down the “least amount of punishment” to these monsters like the two that committed this awful, gut wrenching crime to this poor little boy. They should be given the death sentence. Even that is too lenient. Judges should have this baby’s last photograph before them when they pass sentencing. Put the Fear of God in future monsters, not coddle them.

  • respect

    im literally crying right now because how do people have a soul to do this to an innocent child. They are sick and they deserve to be punished in any type of way. How can you laugh at your own kid while you are beating them up! How can a person do all these things to their child! They have no heart! Sick people! I just feel extremely sad in my heart for the poor angel! RIP Scott McMillan🙏❤️

  • Ryan Springer

    Each person responsible for the death of this child should be rounded up and taken out in the middle of nowhere, tied to a chair,have their entrails ripped out and leave them for dead. Let the animals have them.

  • Kim

    i have a 3 year old and a 6 year old daughter and I could not even imagine doing anything close to what these people did to these little boys! It hurts me to see and hear things like this about parents harming their children and I feel that what’s done to the kids is what should be done to the parents! Honestly, how can you look at any child and think of anger or rage and hurt them? You have to be a sick human being to even imagine hurting a precious child!

  • Sarah

    I have my 14 month boy laying on me in a rocking chair, just fell asleep and reading this made me cry because I thought of that boy and what if that was my son- no way would i let anyone lay a hand on him, let someone test me they will be 6 feet under and for that woman to let a guy beat on her kids like that is seriously sick and evil. People need to stop having kids just so they can use them as beating bags. I wish i could get a hold of that woman and do to her what she did to her own flesh and blood… Her baby, how dare she do that and then laugh about it?? No heart, no emotional connection to her own baby? this is one of the worst cases i have heard they should be slaughtered!

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