Sunday, November 11, 2012

Why Do Mothers Kill their Children?

The story in the news recently of a nanny who killed two of the children for whom she cared and then tried to kill herself has left many people asking "why?" The mother of the two children walked in on the murders, and that is when the woman turned the knife on herself. She was not successful in ending her life, which means she will have to stand trial for the murders . . . if she is found to be competent.

Another recent grisly murder of a child did not get as much media coverage nationwide as the Krim murders. But this one was equally tragic and even more heinous. In August, a New Jersey mother called 911 to report that her son was dead.  The woman had only regained custody of her son a few months earlier, after he had been removed from her custody due to her habitual drug abuse. During the course of the 911 call, the woman asserted that her boyfriend had murdered her son. However, seemingly tiring of telling lies, the woman revealed what really had happened to her son.

Baby Zahree & Chevonne
Before the police made it to the house, Chevonne Thomas stabbed herself in the neck and bled to death. When police arrived they found Thomas' lifeless body . . . and the headless body of her 2-year-old son, Zahree. She had decapitated him. Neighbors reported that she had exhibited bizarre behavior in recent months. She admitted that she had not taken her prescribed Prozac. Undoubtedly drugs -- whether of the legal prescription type or the illegal street kind -- played a part in this unspeakable crime.

The beheading of a child by a mother is unfathomable to rationale minds. Sadly, it is not a unique occurrence. In 2009, a mother in San Antonio, Texas, was accused of beheading her child and eating his brains. Otty Sanchez claimed that the devil told her to kill and eat her 2 week old infant. This video tells the disturbing story of this innocent victim's murder.

The 33-year-old mother is alleged to have have cut off her son's head, then eaten part of his brain and some of his toes. According to one website:

Baby Scott Wesley
Classification: Homicide
Characteristics: 'The Devil made me do it' - Mutilation - Cannibalism (apparently ate the child's brain and some other body parts)
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 26, 2009
Date of arrest: Same day (suicide attempt)
Date of birth: 1976
Victim profile: Her son, Scott Wesley Buchholtz-Sanchez, 3 1/2-week-old
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Status: Found not guilty by reason of insanity on June 30, 2010

I was once a public defender, and I can tell you that having to defend someone who has committed a heinous crime is one of the worst things that can weigh on your conscience. But it is the way our system is set up and, for the most part, it works.

However, I will never return to that career path.


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