Recently Amazon released Thread of Deceit: The Hart Family Tragedy, a documentary inspired by the 2018 murder-suicide of Jennifer and Sarah Hart, and their adopted children. Released April 7, the documentary highlights the white lesbian couple that drove off a California cliff with their six adopted black children.
In 2018, an SUV with a lesbian couple and their six adopted children— Markis, 19, Hannah, 16, Devonte, 15, Abigail and Jeremiah, both 14, and Sierra, 12, plunged in Mendocino County, California. The coroner’s report determined Jennifer Hart, who was driving the vehicle, was found to be intoxicated at the time of the crash— with a blood alcohol level over the state’s legal limit.
Toxicology results showed Sarah, and at least three of the children, had extremely high levels of diphenhydramine, or Benadryl. Sarah’s recent Google searches included Benadryl, no kill shelters and other painless methods of suicide before the murder-suicide.
Same-sex adoption is often a long and difficult journey— as many LGBTQ+ couples do not have the same access, or resources, to expand their family. Yet, the documentary highlights the child were caught and seen eating and going through garbage and asking neighbors for food. Neighbors called child protective services; yet, the family had already left before authorities arrived.
Film supporters comment, “Heartbreaking yes but this opens your eyes that not everything is as perfect as people want you to see.”
The Harts adopted six children, making major headlines reflecting the eight-member family. Their son, Devonte, initially obtained national attention by hugging a Ferguson, Missouri police officer— during the height of police brutality against African American young adolescents and young men.
One supporter said, “There was so much into missing from this ... if you are Interested in this story, please listen to the podcast “Broken Harts”. These kids were clearly systematically abused and a lack of communication between state agencies let these kids fall through the cracks.”
“These kids were first murdered by their racist “parents” and secondly by this documentary. A completely biased account told by the white friends of the murderers who refuse to accept the truth about racism and adoption in America,” another said.
The documentary premiere comes with a mountain of criticism, as many viewers are left with more questions than answers. The documentary revisits conversations of child abuse and same-sex adoption. Many family members and loved ones are highlighted throughout the documentary providing insight about the pair and the alleged dynamics of the Hart Family. Most importantly, the film also celebrates the brief life of the Hart children.