Unwelcome Exposure

The Irish Travelers dwell in a mysterious parallel universe, temporarily invaded by one mother's scandal

The Irish Travelers of North Augusta, S.C., stopped their pickups in the middle of the road last week to commiserate over the "outing" of Madelyne Gorman Toogood. The woman caught thrashing her 4-year-old on a surveillance video in Indiana is also, as it turns out, an Irish Traveler. And though they don't know her, they know what her arrest means: 15 minutes of grueling fame for a community that thrives on secrecy.

"I'm not going to tell you they're all honest, good citizens here," says Mike (Mikey Boy) Sherlock, 68, gesturing out toward his 3,000 fellow Travelers who live in Murphy...

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