The community surrounding "America's most inbred family" have said at times they had to protect them from yobs coming to "mess with them" with shotguns.
The Whittaker family of Odd, West Virginia, was catapulted into stardom for all the wrong reasons when a documentary released on YouTube highlighted the generations of inbreeding within the family.
At present siblings Ray, Betty, Larry and Lorene, and her son Timmy live in their squalid home, recently improved by donations from a $40,000 fundraising drive, each one of them living with profound physical and mental conditions, which medics say could be down to genetics.
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The DailyMail reports that while following the documentary's release the Whittakers were targeted by yobs and thugs, people rubbernecking at them, and by children who would throw eggs and loo roll their house – the Odd community have stepped up to support the unfortunate family, at times chasing unwanted visitors off with shotguns.
A GoFundMe page was also set up for the family, raising more than $40,000 to fix their roof. This money also went towards painting their walls and new kitchen cabinets.
Pastor William Plumley, head of the Good Hope congregation that Lorene and Timmy are members of, said: "I think the documentary about them is good and bad, good because it has helped them. But also it's brought a lot of people to the area who just want to mess with them."
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A member of the Good Hope congregation of which Lorene and Timmy are members of said the community cared "a lot about them", adding: "They are very sweet people, misunderstood, but very great people who are very happy."
One former Odd resident said: "It's pitiful but at the same time the community, the people who know them and have access of them are protective of them."
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