Parents Who Murder Their Children

Why are parents murdering their kids? As a Mother I just cannot understand how a parent could murder their children. And it seems to be happening more and more. Parents are murdering their kids and it isn’t getting the attention that it should.

A 15 year old girl from Brampton murdered her child minutes after giving birth by stabbing her neck. A father murdered his 2 year old daughter who was found with her throat slashed. A father of 4 killed his kids and himself by driving over the edge of a cliff, and a father is charged because he killed his 6 kids and set the house on fire. All this happened in March 2002.

June, 2004 In Warsaw, Poland –A husband and wife murdered their four children, whose mummified bodies were found in barrels at their family’s apartment. The city of Lodz found the barrels in a closet last year. They contained the bodies of five-year-old twin boys, killed about five years ago, and of two newborn babies. The couple’s remaining child, a 12-year-old girl, has been placed in an orphanage.

June, 2003 a young couple in Texas strangled and then decapitated their three young children. Children under the age of 5 in the United States are more likely to be killed by their parents than by anyone else. FBI crime stats show that in 1999 parents were responsible for 57% of these murders. Even though women commit less than 13% of all violent crime, they are responsible for about 50% of all parental murders.

Some prefer a more hands-on approach like beating, drowning, shaking, strangling or suffocation. Others will resort to poisoning, stabbing or exposure to the elements. In 1999 351 kids under 5 were killed by a parent!

Gabriela Babineau smothered her child, 3-year-old Rossio Katherina Chaparro-Najar, in 1995. Rohini Maharaj, 33 killed herself and her two young sons by carbon monoxide poisoning in the garage.Susan Smith was sentenced to life in prison for strapping her two toddler sons into her car, then pushing it into a South Carolina lake. For nine days, Smith maintained a web of deceit wherein she made a nationally televised plea for the return of her children, after claiming they’d been taken by a black carjacker. It was finally found out Smith had drowned the boys after her new lover said they had no future together because he didn’t want children.

Thomas Dewald of Chatham, sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole until 2022, for drowning his two children – aged 10 and 12 – in the lake just outside his parents’ cottage. A widower, Dewald had been told by a woman with whom he was obsessed that she could not get along with his daughter. In Canada, in 1997, 64 children under the age of 12 were killed. Of those, 62 were killed by parents. Six in 10 of the victims were 5 years of age and under. That year also saw a large increase in the number of mothers accused of killing their children. That figure nearly doubled, from 13 in 1996 to 25 in 1997. A suburban father in Southern California turned his home into a gas chamber in February 2002 that same month, a housewife and former nurse went on trial in Texas for drowning her five children in the family bathtub.

Eric Crutchfield of North Carolina was sentenced to life for the first-degree murder of his 6-year-old daughter, shot point-blank in the back with a .22-caliber rifle, and the wounding of his young son. The children were shot during a weekend visit to Crutchfield’s home. Socorro Caro, a doting mother in Ventura County, a church- going wife of a respected physician, was convicted of killing her three sons, who were shot while they slept. Marilyn Lemak, a suburban Chicago mother and former surgical nurse, was convicted of smothering her three young children with her bare hands.

Parenting is supposed to be a part of human nature; it is supposed to be instinctive. Parents love their children while in the womb and as soon as they see them. What is going in this world when parents kill those supposed to be most precious to them? These killings are absolutely distressing; we tend to see them as isolated. But this is a more prevalent problem than people think.

One mother, who was 24 and had 6 children, said she hit her 2 1/2-year-old because he was frowning and wet his pants and needed discipline,” says Lewis of the University of Connecticut Health Center. “She used a closed fist and she made his internal organs rupture, and he died.” And a case that is in the news now and bothers me so much is about Terri Knights children.

Terri Knight is from New Hampshire she scours Interstate 80, looking for the makeshift graves of Philip, 11, and Sarah, 14. She recently poked around Ottawa, LaSalle, Peru and other central Illinois towns connected by I-80. For 17 years, Knight was married to Manuel Gehring. The family made their home outside Concord, N.H. She says he was physically abusive to her early in their marriage, but his bad behavior tapered off. Moreover, she says he never hit their kids. Still, two years ago, the couple decided to divorce, and she moved 25 miles away. At first, she had sole custody of Philip and Sarah. However, in 2003, Sarah decided to move in with her father so she could go to school with old friends. And Philip visited there often. By July 2003, Sarah had changed her mind. She wanted to rejoin her brother and move back to her mom’s place. The kids were to be staying with their father from July 2 to July 6, 2003. Witnesses saw him and the kids at a July 4 fireworks show in Concord. Sarah was arguing with Gehring, and both siblings were crying. The children have not been seen since.

Gehring confessed to shooting and killing his offspring. He said he wrapped their bodies in plastic, then put duct-tape crosses on their chests. Gehring said he then headed west on I-80. Somewhere in the Midwest – somewhere between Pennsylvania and Iowa City – he buried the bodies near the interstate. Before police could get any further with him, in January 2004, Gehring killed himself in jail. The bodies have still not been found. The police and the children’s Mother still continue to search. Following the clues left by Gehring, Knight will park her car and hunt on foot. How horrible for a Mother to have to try and find the bodies of her dead babies killed by the man who should have protected them.

Diane Downs’ 3 children whom she shot while they lay sleeping in her car on a dark road in Williamette Valley, Oregon on May 19, 1983.Her daughter Cheryl died, her other daughter, Christie, almost died and her son, Danny, was left a paraplegic. Downs tried to blame it on a “bushy-haired” stranger, but was prosecuted for it.

It happens in families where there’s no history of violence and where there’s a long history of violence. It crosses racial lines, socioeconomic lines. It’s not black, Hispanic or white, rich or poor. It’s a horror that we as a society are going to be confronted with again and again

We end up with a lot of dead kids in this country, yet we persist with the unrealistic view that this is rare behavior. These are not the isolated cases we would like to believe. Homicide is one of the leading causes of death of children under age four. Parenting in the U.S. is extremely difficult, Prevention is the key. Prior to a homicide, lots of people know these men and women are having difficulty parenting. The public has to be better educated in recognizing how to intervene and how to support child abuse prevention. We must start treating children more seriously.

Something has to be done I do not know exactly what that is. But I do know of parents who have had their kids taken away because they abused or neglected them. These same people had more kids which weren’t taken away and they did the same things to those kids. If someone is unfit to raise the kids they have then why would they be allowed to have more? Reporting child abuse even if it’s just suspected might be a way to stop the murders of children. It’s our responsibility as adults and parent’s to see that are children are taken care of.

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