Moms who kill their babies

Krista - posted on 11/29/2011 ( 24 moms have responded )

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A 26 year old woman in my home town recently gave birth at home after a concealed pregancy and then threw the baby in the garbage. The police are still searching the dump and have not found the body. The woman is apparently in a psych ward now.

A similar case was in the news a couple of months ago:

http://www.edmontonsun.com/2011/09/09/ba...

This woman strangled her newborn with her thong underwear and threw him over the fence into a neighbor's yard. After first being sentenced to life in prison, she is now free.

The judge in her trial seemed to feel that the woman was deserving of sympathy: “Naturally, Canadians are grieved by an infant’s death, especially at the hands of the infant’s mother, but Canadians also grieve for the mother,” said Veit.

Do women who kill their babies deserve harsh penalties, or are their actions signs of "mental disturbance" as the article states and therefore there is "diminished moral blameworthiness"?

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Kate CP - posted on 11/29/2011

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How...how could a woman strangle her newborn baby with her underwear? That's...that's just sick. I'm disgusted. I have no words. These women HAVE to be insane...that's the only way I can make any sense of this. Because it makes no sense. :(

Amie - posted on 12/02/2011

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I know (most) of these women have to be insane or have had a break from reality of some sort to be able to do this.

I can not bring myself to feel sorry or grieve for them though.
That's all I have to say or I know I'll go on a long rant.

[deleted account]

I had my son when I was 18, I was single, near destitute, suffered from awful postpartum depression and to add to it all, he was colicky and suffered from inexplicable chronic ear infections, rashes....everything imaginable. It was the MOST awful year of my life. I literally would sit on my couch, baby in my arms and he and I both would cry for hours and hours. Never, not once did I ever want to harm him. Even at my most sleep deprived moment did that cross my mind. I've watched all of these shows about women that hurt their children and I have to believe that they suffer from severe mental illness. I don't believe that they deserve leniency however, unless, like Teresa said, mental help can be offered along with sterilization as a choice to get out. If they are allowed to leave prison and reproduce over and over, what is to stop them from doing it again? Mental illness cannot be "cured", it can be managed, but the ill person has to actively participate in managing their illness, otherwise treatment is useless.

Sal - posted on 12/01/2011

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I think each case deserves to be judged alone one mum might be mentally ill and needs support and leniency while another might of killed for greedy or sinister reasons and deserves the full force of the law, like any case if is too dangerous to group all these people together when in reality they may have nothing in common at all apart from the victim

[deleted account]

Since abortion isn't illegal, you can put a baby up for adoption before birth, and there ARE safe drop locations for newborns.... There is absolutely no excuse for a woman to kill her baby! I do agree that no sane woman could do this... I also don't think that means the woman should be given sympathy or set free though.

Personally I think they should be locked up while receiving counseling... Then they can be given a choice. Stay locked up or be sterilized.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 11/29/2012

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****MoD Alert****



Old thread. Locking it. Feel free to start another debate!



Happy debating

~DM MoD Little Miss~

[deleted account]

As one who is recovering (slowly) from a complete nervous breakdown, I've a better understanding and more compassion than before for people we term 'insane.' I was in-patient at a psychiatric facility for just over a month. I saw a lot of people with terrible problems and sorrows. I saw people who, like me, saw things that weren't real. I think in regard to that young woman, it's impossible to guess. Now I never once had suicidal or homicidal thoughts but I was roommates with a young lady who had very bad suicidal thoughts. I met cutters in ages and people ranging from teenagers to a corporate executive who slashed his arms (with no intent to kill himself.) It is absolutely possible that she may not have really realized what she was doing. It is possible but we can only speculate.



I do feel sympathy for her and sorrow for the child. However in a very strange way , I'm relieved she was not a mother for long as nutty as that sounds. This way the child never faced years of potential abuse. Now I'm not excusing her actions at all, let me make that clear. I am saying that unless you've been on the other side of the straitjacket, you can't say what person may see/think/or hear. For example, before I was hospitalized, one night I tried to tear my face off with my nails in the presence of my s15 year old son. He is of course traumatized and there is NOTHING I wouldn't do to erase that night from his memory.



But it happened and that was it.

Abby - posted on 11/23/2012

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Moms or ANYBODY that has the nerve to harm a child are sick, sick, sick individuals who have SERIOUS mental problems. They need help, they really do. They have no respect for kids, or even themselves to be frank.

Kelina - posted on 12/27/2011

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I think insanity is the first thing that jumps to everyones mind when being charged with something. While I can understand being depressed or having a mental breakdown right after having a baby, I still don't understand how you could kill your child. and honestly I don't think that every mom who kills their baby is mentally insane, I just think that it's difficult to differentiate between those who need help and those who need jail time. It wouldn't be fair to someone who actually suffered a psychotic break to do jail time when they probably didn't even know what they were doing, and have no recollection of it. It would be like sending a two year old to jail for killing someone-they didn't know.

[deleted account]

I think that the woman should be punished, but I don't think that she should just be sent to jail and locked up. She should do some jail time, but first she needs to be treated for the underlying cause of why she killed her child.

Dusty - posted on 12/26/2011

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Mental disturbance or not, they deserve harsh penalties. There is NO excuse for killing your child, EVER. Just like with Casey Anthony, these women get away with too much. It's sickening to think that we live in a world where a mother can kill her child & get away with it. A pathetic show of our justice system.

[deleted account]

i think that a woman who kills her child, usually but not always, is mentally disturbed. she should be punished for what she did, but the primary focus needs to be on treatment. Prisons being what they are, treatment options are very limited and often cause the mental condition of the person to worsen. Inevitably, at least in Canada, they will get out and if they are still mentally unstable they will continue to commit crimes. It is in everyone's best interests to try and help the woman to recover from whatever she is suffering from.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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i agree they have to be insane to not have mothering instincts to protect their newborn but yeah i can't feel sorry for them. i had a kid like debbies and i would cry with him but i never contemplated killing him.

Stifler's - posted on 12/02/2011

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They need to be sterilised at the least to make sure it never happens again.

Sal - posted on 12/02/2011

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12 months ago I would of felt very differently From now my sil has a friend who went into post partum pyscosis and tried to suffocate her new born... Luckily it was while she was still in hospital and staff found her, dad went home with bub and mum to the physc ward..... They said it was a chemical response and yes she chose to be sterilized..... Another friends sil just up and left one mornIng with : week old twins in bed and turned up at her work Just like she did everyother day pre babies with no clue she left babies at home, both these nice women could be in your story for having killed babies and both needed serious help

Caitlin - posted on 12/02/2011

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Amanda - The reason that Karla "got away with it" is because she struck a plea bargain with the Prosecutor. In fact, it was Paul Bernardo's attorney that screwed him over because he kept Karlas role in the whole scheme quiet until after she had struck her plea bargain, and after that was signed, her true role came out and they couldn't do anything about it because she promised to testify against her husband.

Still - In Canada there are 3 types of "murder" (1st degree, 2nd degree and infanticide). Infanticide is when the mother "still recovering from the birth of her baby" kills the child. It is assumed it's kind of like a mental break and that the mother needs help to deal with it, not punishment. The sentences for infanticide are MUCH more lenient (don't remember exactly what, but something like max 2 years?). The women need help, and sure, it would have been great if she had the ability to decide to drop the child off at a hospital or police station,but when something flips in your head, you don't really have control.

I've had my moments where I felt like pitching my kid out the window, but i've never done it. If I've felt that and i'm a really laid back kind of person, then I can only imagine what another woman could do if her personality was more intense and spontaneous. Especially if she has no support!

[deleted account]

Mental illness can make people do the most awful of things like this.I don't think i can ever understand it but i do believe they need a lot of helping.If it is to give them the help and a shorter sentence so be it.

I tell you it makes me so thankful i don't have to deal with anything like this.Its sad so many suffer each day with a mental illness even they don't understand.:-(

Jennifer - posted on 12/01/2011

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I'd have to say look at each case. I can't imagine they are not insane, can't imagine what could drive a woman to do it, but I can't imagine many things that people do..........this one just horrifies me more than most.

Christy - posted on 12/01/2011

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I don't understand, insane or not, why they don't just drop the baby off at an orphanage, fire station, police station, etc anyonomously (SP)??? There are many childless couples out there that would love to have a baby but can't. It irks me to no end.

Amanda - posted on 11/30/2011

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Woman who kill in Canada generally get away with it easier then men, baby or not. Look at Karla and Paul Benardo, I recall everyone convinced she must of been an abused wife. There is no way a woman could do this to her sister and two young girls. She only got a few years in jail, while her husband will die in jail. We only found out later that she was more then a willing person in the rapes and murders of these girls. People were shocked (not I), it is way to easy for woman to claim mental illiness in Canada, because we as people find it hard to believe a woman can be pure evil.

Becky - posted on 11/29/2011

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I don't think it's insanity, I think it is fear and desparation, in a lot of cases. A lot of these cases, the mom kills the baby very soon after birth, which I think would be too soon for post partum psychosis to have hit. (although I'm no expert, I could be wrong about that.) But I think a lot of the time, they are moms who weren't prepared to have a baby, have no support and no means to support a child, probably hid their pregnancy from everyone around them and were in denial about it, and when the baby is born, they are so scared and desparate and clueless, that they can't see any alternative but to just get rid of it. I think it is horrible and I do have a very hard time having any sympathy for them, because there are alternatives. Drop the baby at a hospital or on a church doorstep, even. But I think that they are just in such a desperate place that they can't even recognize or think about any other options. Kind of like when a person commits suicide, I think it's maybe a similar mindset.

Kate CP - posted on 11/29/2011

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Well, post partum psychosis is a real thing and some think it's what causes some moms to kill their babies...but it's still just...awful.

Krista - posted on 11/29/2011

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I don't get it either. You'd have to be insane, right? But when does the insanity kick in...if you're a normal person otherwise? Does pregnancy/childbirth cause insanity in some women?

I know the 26 year old whose baby they're searching for right now. She used to serve me at one of my favorite restaurants...seemed to have her head screwed on straight. I just don't understand what could make a normal person do this, and I really don't know if I think that they deserve punishment or just help.

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