Joseph and Vanessa Rawlings originally moved to Charlotte, North Carolina after living in Manchester, a province in the United Kingdom for most of their life. Brother and sister, the two had a son, Malcolm. Due to being a product of incest, poor Malcolm suffered hemophilia induced by that incest. Each time the Rawlings would transport young Malcolm anywhere, he would bruise extremely easily. Malcolm was taken away from Joseph and Vanessa Rawlings as courts believed they were abusing their young son. By the time Joseph and Vanessa could secure documentation on Malcolm's condition that could potentially get him back, they found that Malcolm had already suffered an untimely demise. Flanked by guilt and grief, the Rawlings change their surname to "Richardson", and move to the United States, to the Charlotte area, to start a new life.
The Richardsons live in the largest, and most impressive house on Chelsea Bay Drive. Like their neighbors, they actively keep an eye out on the other residents, and are curious when the police begin questioning Ben Crawford, the neighbor living directly across from them, about the death of Tom Murphy, a five-year-old who lived adjacent to Joseph and Vanessa.