Although Faye Yager undeniably went to extremes to save thousands of spouses and children from a life of alleged abuse, her ambitious activism has often been referred to as pure vigilantism. That’s because she built an expansive yet covert network to hide them for good when a broken court system wouldn’t offer any help, as carefully explored in FX’s ‘Children of the Underground.’ So now, if you wish to learn more about this magnetic woman — with a specific focus on her work, her motivations, as well as her current whereabouts — we’ve got the essential details for you.
Who is Faye Yager?
Faye Yager was born Billie Faye Wisen in the late 1940s as the fourth of 11 children to a West Virginia coal miner, only to ostensibly follow the norms and tie the knot with Roger Jones at 17. However, since she has always been caring, passionate, and stubborn, especially in terms of family, there was no going back from the moment she allegedly caught him molesting their 2-year-old. She did try to expose the situation, yet not only did her husband manage to have her committed into a mental facility, but he also won custody of their daughter later on despite evidence of abuse.
Faye had actually fled with their toddler, just to come out of hiding after the latter tested positive for gonorrhea because she thought it was proof enough to make a difference, but it sadly was not. Therefore, following her second remarriage and the start of her new life in high society, once she came across a case eerily similar to hers in the papers — of a mother trying to protect her children from Roger — she knew she had to do something. “I understood I wasn’t the only one,” Faye said. “I saw this as my chance to change things, to make some sense out of what I had lived through.”
Thus came Children of the Underground, a network outside the legal system that Faye managed to establish through open alliances with psychologists, lawyers, feminists, and activists. They were merely volunteers who, like her, wished to help those in possibly abusive situations escape as swiftly, quietly, and successfully as possible, all the while ensuring the safety of their children. The mother of five hence went from attending charity galas to being interviewed by the FBI whenever a missing parent-child case came along to facing both death threats as well as countless lawsuits.
Where is Faye Yager Now?
Despite the myriad of emotionally and financially taxing challenges Faye encountered every single day, she did not back down owing to the simple fact she truly believed her work to be good. We should mention there were actually claims that her way of dealing with minors throughout the entire process was traumatic, for which she even stood trial in 1992, but nothing ever became of it. In other words, she was acquitted of all charges; child cruelty, custody interference, and kidnapping (stemming from her 45-minute van ride with two kids after their mother brought them in for a consultation).
By the time the early 2000s rolled around, though, Faye had been involved in a public case against affluent businessman (accused abuser) Bipin Shah before ostensibly choosing a different life. She and her loving third husband, then Atlanta-based physician Howard Yager, thus relocated to North Carolina to not just step away from the limelight but also run The Inn at Brevard at 315 East Main Street. From what we can tell, the couple still maintains this original 1885 14-room establishment, which they’ve updated to include modern comforts as well as their own touch through eclectic antiques/art.
The innkeeper may prefer to lie low these days, yet she has worked with over 7,000 families, out of which nearly 3,400 managed to escape their situation for good. It’s imperative to note that while Faye’s daughter Michelle recently tweeted her mother had shut down operations following the Bipin Shah case, she herself admitted Children of the Underground was still active back in 2016.
“My group still exists,” Faye told Newsweek during an exclusive interview before adding that “it’s much harder,” but they still use phony documents and disguises if necessary. “You can still do it; you’ve just got to have a lot more — I don’t want to get into that too much,” she admitted. “…I cherish the calls that I get when the woman calls me before she makes that decision [to leave].”
Read More: Where is Faye Yager’s Daughter Michelle Now?