What Is the Dark Truth About David and Leigh Eddings?

Anne Marble
5 min readFeb 28, 2023

David Eddings was a bestselling fantasy author. Yet few fans know that in 1970, David and his wife, Leigh Eddings, were jailed for child abuse.

Many fans learn about it for the first time through Internet discussion boards. Some refuse to believe it. But this case isn’t as well-known as some.

Content Warning: This article contains details about child neglect and physical child abuse.

The Dark Truth Obscured

David and Leigh Eddings were married in 1962, but they didn’t enter the world of fantasy fiction until the 1980s. During the 1960s, Eddings was an assistant professor at Black Hills State College (now Black Hills State University) in South Dakota.

So why did he go from a tenured teaching position to working at Safeway? Eddings often said he quit teaching in protest of college policies.

But the truth is darker.

The Truth Emerges

It was not until after David Eddings’ death that most learned about the truth. In the 1960s, the Eddings (who lived in Spearfish, South Dakota) adopted two children: a two-month-old boy and a young girl.

As you can see from newspaper coverage of the trial, on December 16, 1969, utility workers went to the couple’s basement to take readings and found the boy in a cage, wearing just an undershirt. (Keep in mind that the average temperatures in Spearfish for December range from a high of 38°…



Anne Marble

I’m a writer and a copy editor with experience in editing science and engineering articles. Click Lists to find my most popular articles. And hidden gems.