The Whittaker Family Documentary Series (with links to watch for free)

The Whittakers of West Virginia may be the most inbred family in America. They certainly are the most watched (50 million + views and counting!).

The Whittaker documentary creator Mark Laita says the Whittakers remind him of the real-life version of the movie drama “Deliverance” (Burt Reynolds Ned Beatty, Jon Voight).

I first heard of the Whittaker family from Joe Rogan’s interview with Mark Laita:

Where to watch the Whittaker family inbred documentary?

You can watch the full Whittaker documentary series at Soft White Belly’s The Whittakers playlist.

But, that playlist’s videos are not in chronological order (I’m not sure why).

So, I’ve listed all 9 videos here in order of release:

They are in order of when they were released:

1) Inbred Family – The Whittakers

This was the initial video that sparked the “Whitaker Inbred Family” viral sensation.

They can’t communicate through speech but live a life filled with genuine happiness and support from neighbors and authorities.

Ray becomes the standout figure. Despite only being able to grunt or bark, he’s expressive, heartwarming, and tries hard to communicate.

His smiles and actions, such as offering a sandwich, speak volumes about his personality. Many commenters praise the family’s resilience and the community’s support.

Timmy, another family member, recently graduated high school, which adds a sense of pride to the story.

Overall, it’s a poignant, empathetic look at a marginalized family making the best out of a difficult situation.

The doc maker (Mark Laita) created a GoFund.me page after this (to help the Whittakers purchase a home). They raise $30,000+.

2) Inbred Family: The Whittakers (follow up)

The family receives $36,313 from the GoFundMe campaign. They use the money for home repairs and medical bills—both Lorraine and Timmy had heart attacks. The family is large—almost 16 siblings—but not all are alive or close by.

Betty, who appears to be a central figure, handles most of the family’s needs, from cooking to financial management.

The family faces health challenges, including heart issues, and live a relatively isolated life, but seem content with their situation.

The conversation also hints at possible inbreeding—Betty mentions her parents were “double first cousins.”

3) Walmart Shopping–The Whittakers

Highlights:

  • Shopping List — Betty wants to buy a microwave oven. Timmy and Lorraine are undecided what they wan
  • Driving. No one in the family has much experience driving cars.
  • Relationships. Betty had boyfriends in school but never married; took care of family instead.
  • Family connections. Other siblings live nearby; some married, some not.
  • Kenneth. Encounter with Kenneth, a sibling, at Walmart. He’s 64.
  • Shopping. Everyone selects items; Ray mistakenly picks women’s clothing.

4) Spring 2022

It’s a follow-up visit to see how they’re doing, especially since the family received some donations.

Ray, Kenneth, Lorraine, Timmy, and Betty are family members mentioned. The speaker discusses home improvements like a new roof, siding, and kitchen cabinets. They even got a new car and truck.

Jason, another person, is mentioned as being in jail. The speaker offers to interview him. They also explore the topic of whether family health issues are genetic or environmental. The speaker compliments the family’s exterior home improvements but notes the interior could use more work.

5) Breakfast (August 28, 2022)

Elle (production assistant) makes breakfast for the Whittaker family.

We get to hear more from Lorraine than in previous videos.

They talk about age, family, and health of unnamed individuals, touching on 14 to 16 children in a family and someone’s experience with coal mining. They talk about Timmy, Douglas Reed, Ray, and Freddie, but the context is not always clear.

They talk about relationships, with topics ranging from marriage to having boyfriends or girlfriends.

6) Cousin of the Whittakers – Jason Whittaker

April 22, 2023

Jason’s Background:
Jason is originally from Crystal Lake, Illinois. His father is the brother of the Whittaker kids’ father (see the Whittaker family tree below).

He didn’t graduate from high school but got his GED. He’s 44 and has worked in factories making drill bits.

He has three children. Two daughters, Jessica and Julie, live in Wisconsin. He has four grandkids.

Drugs: Began using drugs at 14. Now he’s at a suboxone clinic for heroin and meth use. Finds it harder to stay clean in West Virginia due to its rampant drug scene.

Jason has been in prison multiple times, starting from age 17. He’s done about 15 years for offenses like aggravated battery and MOB action in Illinois.

Regrets: Went to prison for sexual assault on a minor. Biggest regret in his life.

Jason has a high opinion of the Whitaker family — he visits them yearly and finds them friendly. He sees them as friendly and nice people.

He observes West Virginia as a mix of “salt of the earth” people and those involved in drugs and crime

Recently out of jail, he’s considering moving to Wisconsin to be closer to his children.

7) Haircuts for the Whittakers (Part 1)

(Part 1) (*April 22, 2023)

They get a new car and then drive to the barber shop.

8) Haircuts for the Whittakers (Part 2)

Ray and Timmy get a haircut.

9) Whittakers Go to the State Fair

Whittakers-Summer 2023

They visit some of the Whittakers’ grandkids and then head to the State Fair.

The Whitaker Family Inbred Documentary on Netflix

A steady flow of 1,000+ people per month request to see the Whitaker documentary on Netflix.

Aferall, there’s 300 minutes of the Whittakers already published and I’m sure Mark Laita has more.

But Netflix hasn’t seemed to call Mark yet.

One documentary inside told me “Don’t hold your breath”.

They suggest Netflix might consider the Whitaker topic (inbreeding) too taboo for their general audience.

Perhaps HBO or Paramount or Hulu will get it.

Just for kicks, I typed “Whittaker” into the Netflix search box to see what their algo says (cuz it almost always comes up with some other recommendations).

In this case, Netflix returned “Hillbilly Elegy” (drama) and “The Family” (the documentary on Ivanwald, a highly connected men’s residence that swears allegiance to Jesus).

When I type “inbred” into Netflix, it also returns Hillbilly Elegy followed by House of Secrets (doc on the murder of 11 family members in India).

I’ve set up a Google Alert to notify me when Netflix or any other streamer does put out anything on the Whittakers.

Whittaker Family Tree

There’s a good video on the Whittaker’s family tree here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwCJ0kuoyxo .

The earliest Whittakers were Charles and Rosy Ann from London. They departed to America and had a son Joseph on the ship voyage to America (both his parents died on the trip and it’s unclear who adopted him).

The main Whittaker family members in the Whittaker Family documentaries are:

  • Lorene Whittaker (b. 1946)
  • Betty Whittaker (born 1952)
  • Ray Whittaker (b. 1953)
  • Larry Whittaker (b. 1956)
  • Kenneth Whittaker (b. 1957)
  • Timmy Whittaker (b. 1979)

The Whittakers’s home in Odd, West Virginia is part of Appalachia.

If you’re interested in learning more about that region, check out The 16 Best Documentaries About Appalachia ranking I wrote (it covers coal miners, moonshine, hiking (Appalachian Trail!) and more).

Thanks for reading!

-Rob Kelly