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murder trial begins for mother who drowned her chidren

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter

What do you think should happen to her should she be found sane & guilty? I think she was sane when she killed her children, and she should get the death penalty. Ya, it would be better if she sat in jail for the rest of her life thinking what she did to her children, that she supposedly loved, but why should she be allowed to live? I just hope the jury can see passed her 'insane'plead .....
post #2 of 28
I would like to know why people who kill always try the insanity plea and then a few years down the road they are miraculously sane again. I just don't get it. I say let her sit in prison for the rest of her natural life with no possibility of parole and let her think about what she did. But then again, why the hell should people's tax dollars go to keep a killer well fed, a roof over their head, access to all sorts of computers, free medical AND an education???

If they rule that she is guilty by reason of insanity, it means that she will serve at a maximum medical facility. It also means that she could be released years down the road.

So it's a no win situation either way ya look at it. Sad but true.
post #3 of 28
I have to agree with win either way. However,since it is Texas it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
post #4 of 28
log me in for another lose/lose

it's already a tremendous loss
post #5 of 28
Even though it will be expensive, I think this woman should have to sit in a prision for the rest of her life, reliving the horrible suffering her children went through when she killed them!
post #6 of 28
If I remember this case correctly, I think she had post partum depression. It's not an excuse, it's a reason, and I think it might actually qualify for temporary insanity.

Not condoning the murders, just making the observation.

And I wish there were some way to prevent her from having other children, since she obviously can't handle the stress of it.
post #7 of 28

I was watching "The System" the other nite and this other lady had killed her two week old son. She said he died while she was bathing him and then she left him alone to go have a cigarette outside ??? Then she drove 27 miles away from her house, piled two 20 lb rocks on him and left him there. They said the pictures were to graphic to show because he was already been dinner for some small wildlife. Now, does that sound insane? Yes! Her first attorney said it was not post partum...he didn't use that tactic...well, she was convicted of second degree murder and is not up for parole until she's 80 years old. She's trying to appeal this case and now her new attorney is going to claim that she did indeed suffer from post partum...go figure. Pretty disgusting stuff!

post #8 of 28
Well, as far as Post Partum Depression goes, it can be horrible, but is no excuse for murder( I know you didn't say it was an excuse,Sunlion, so I'm not aiming this at you-just an observation ). I had a short bout of it after my daughter was born, where I'd sit and cry at times because the responsibility seemed overwhelming. I think that maternal love usually brings people out of it on their own, it did for me anyways. I concede that at times people need to be medicated for it, but to even bring it up as an excuse to have killed your own child is digusting. This woman should have to endure precisely what her children did as far as I'm concerned. People like her are a waste of space.
post #9 of 28
I had post partum depression, but I still can't see how someone could use this as an excuse. Even if she had only killed one of them, which would be bad enough, maybe with a long stretch of the imagination,she might be crazy. She actually chased one of them down and dragged him back in the house to kill him! I don't think the state should have to fed and care for her for the rest of her life. I think they should give her the death penalty.
post #10 of 28
I think she deserves the death penalty, even if she was suffering from post partum depression. To kill that many children, especially your own... She chased the oldest around the house to catch him (her?) so she could do the deed. Horrible. More horrible that her husband is supporting her.

But to be fair, I think if they find that she was suffering from PPD, they should give her life in jail with no parole, and if they find her guilty, then the death penalty.
post #11 of 28
Okay, I have a feeling I'm going to get flamed here but here it goes.......

I know there was a gag order but there has been a lot of stuff here in the news in Houston. For instance, her doctor issued a letter after her fourth child strongly urging that they not have anymore children due to her depression. After the murders she was diagnosed with Post Partum Psychosis, much more severe that PPD. She had attempted suicide a couple of times before the murders. Before the gag order was in place the attorney stated something along the lines that he was having trouble talking with her, as if she were not mentally "with it" and the doctors were going to need to alter her meds to see if they could bring her to a "state" that would help them talk to her. It has also been noted in the news coverage that she homeschooled the children and was with the children 24/7. Also, it has been mentioned that her husband didn't help much with them.

Hearing all this really makes it difficult for me to even want to make a decision on whether she gets life or death without knowing extensive amounts about her medical and mental history and the amount of stress she was under that could have added to the situation. I definitely think her mental capacity was hampered when she killed her children. I know what this woman did is horrible and some sort of life sentence is in order but there are a lot of others things that need to be looked at and studied. I also think that her doctors are partially to blame for not catching just how bad off she was. They seemed to give a lot of verbal warnings but that really doesn't help someone with depression. The papers here have reported how little the doctors did after her suicide attempts.

I think a lot is going to come out of this case on recognizing depression and PPD and how extreme they can get when not monitored correctly, which is what I think happened in her case. Also, I think this case will bring forward the issue of family intervention and monitoring (this has been brought to the publics attention but I don't think it's been done effectively).

It is known that women who have suffered from depression before pregnancy are more likely to suffer from PPD than other women. As an individual who has struggled with depression since I was 6 years old I am really concerned that I might suffer from PPD and to what severity I might. Due to my history of depression, before I even think of having children I will be consulting a professional.
post #12 of 28
Brave reply, sfell. Sometimes in cases such as these, it is so tough to make a decision based strictly upon the information that the media is feeding us. I have a tough time understanding why anybody kills anybody, except in self defense.
post #13 of 28
All I can say is The $#*&@ needs to die and she needs to be drown exactly how she murdered those innocent angels.
post #14 of 28
I am speaking here not as lotsocats, but as Dr. Duncan, the chair of a university Psychology department, college professor, and clinical psychologist.

With psychosis, the brain has become seriously injured for whatever reason (I could go into the reasons and the type of damage to the brain if anyone wants this information). Because of the problems with the brain, the person can no longer think and process information the way "normal" people do. So, the psychotic person might honestly believe with all of their heart and mind that their children are the devil or that the children should die in order to be saved or some such bizarre thing. You could show them all of the evidence in the world that their belief is not true, but because of the problem with their brain, they cannot change their mind.

Thus, if she truly has Post-Partum Psychosis, because of the changes in her brain that were likely caused in part by the pregnancies, she is (or was at the time) physically incapable of knowing that the murders were not the best thing to do for her kids.

Think of it this ask a psychotic person to think in a rational way and to behave in a rational way is the same as asking a person with no legs to run a marathon. -- Most psychotic people respond fairly well to medications which help straighten out their thinking, just like most amputees can use prostheses to walk. BUT, there are some psychotic individuals who do not get better with medication (just like some amputees can't use the false legs). Apparently, she was one of those folks who does not get better with medications. I think she was guilty of murdering her children? You bet! Do I think she was "insane" at the time? You bet! Do I think she should be put to death? Absolutely not! Instead, I think she needs to be under intensive psychiatric care until they can find a treatment that will clear her thinking. After that.....hmmmmm, I'm not sure what I would do; but I certainly would not kill her because she was physically incapable of thinking rationally at the time she killed the kids!

Okay...I'll step out from behind the podium. As lotsocats (rather than as Dr.D), I think someone needs to punish her husband....clearly he could see how sick she was, yet he kept getting her pregnant! What an idiot! While I know that it takes two to tango, he had to have seen that she got worse with every pregnancy, especially since the MD told them not to get pregnant again. So, I hold him partically responsible, not only for helping her get pregnant (which made her even more sick), but for leaving the kids with her 24 hours a day despite knowing what a huge psychological mess she was!
post #15 of 28
Thank you for saying this, because I know it but couldn't have said it so well.

What is it called when someone plans a criminal action with another person? Not conspiracy, not aiding and abetting, there's another one.

Where is the post from Houston, that gave more details about the situation? I don't remember who made it. Anyway, given that she kept having children and that husband was not very involved in the family life, it seems like a good chance it was an abusive relationship, at least emotionally abusive. How can any husband who truly loves his wife and children, watch his wife become ever more crazy and not take measures to help her when she clearly cannot help herself? I bet he didn't take her out to dinner or watch the kids so she could have an hour to herself sometimes. I'm sure she was the 24/7 nanny and he acted like a single person, except without the hassle of dating because he knew she was home. He might even have kept her pregnant as a way of controlling her, and encouraged her insanity for the same reason.

But that of course is my opinion, not based in much more than a gut feeling.

She is guilty of the murders in the sense that she did it. Is she responsible, given her mental state at the time? Well, that's what a jury's for, and I'm glad I'm not on it.
post #16 of 28
WOW! Lotsocats, that was certainly impressive!
I believe you're right about blaming the father too. What did he get out of all of this? if the doctor told them no more kids, then why isn't he being blamed along with her? It DOES take two to tango and he should be right on the chopping block with her, trying to tell eveyone why he kept getting her pregnant time and again!
I don't condone what she did but I feel like he needs to be convicted of accessory to murder or something along those lines too.
post #17 of 28
Here is my 2 cents from someone who isnt a parent but this story makes me so angry. First- why didn't she close the gate..last time I checked- unless she was raped she couldve prevented another pregnancy. I cant imagine being so anything that I would kill my own children- I would imagine taking my own life first..I would think. I think she needs to spend the rest of her life in prison...but each day she should be held under water long enough to feel the pain of drowning. Just like that crazy Susan Smith. People are sick. She shouldve been spayed long before this could happen!
post #18 of 28
I know you probably didn't mean it this way, but you were absolutely right when you said she was sick. As Dr. Duncan said, if she did have post-partum psychosis, it is a physical illness or injury of the brain.

As someone who has a brain chemical imbalance, and has several friends and family members who also suffer from varying brain issues, I understand first-hand how someone's personality can completely change, and how one might do things that just don't make sense. I only have a mild problem which is being treated, but before diagnosis, it was causing a lot of problems in my life.

If hers was even 10 times worse than mine, I can understand her actions. I don't condone them, but neither did I condone many of my own actions, the worst of which were violence toward my husband (I threw stuff at him) and reckless driving due to "road rages", when I narrowly avoided about 10 accidents in a couple of months. I also had difficulty finding words while I was speaking, and lost my depth perception, so I was walking into doorframes, dropping stuff and tripping down stairs on a regular basis. So as you can see, there were other brain problems than just "being bad" or bitchy or reckless. It truly was a physical brain problem.

Those who judge without knowing are LUCKY they don't have the life experiences needed to be able to empathize. But that doesn't mean we can't be merciful and forgiving, and try to sympathize.
post #19 of 28
No flaming. I do drive fast and get so pissed at drivers that go slow...I throw things, I thought it was cause I was Italian. My boyfrieds resort to calling me "the beautiful trainwreck" ...I'm such a clutz...(well, at least they thought I was beautiful :disturbed) I'm not making fun, I'm serious. I do have epilepsy pretty bad. Do you think that could be start something like that? How did you get that diagnosed? I used to be very articulate in my speech, but as time goes on, I feel that the written word is much better than speaking; as I do forget my train of thought..etc....this is very strange!

Hmmm???? Thinking...I'm on soooo much meds, I don't think I could handle anymore right now. I've been so sick lately. I wake up to take fifteen! UGH...Breakfast isn't necessary, I'm stuffed!

post #20 of 28
Oh, I did want to mention that your post did shed quite a different light on this horrific crime. However; it is pretty hard to deal with that too.

post #21 of 28

It wasn't so much the things I did that caused concern, but that in the past those things weren't in my personality at all. My imbalance is hormone-related, so once a month I would do the "transformation" into a totally different type of person. Most of the time I was patient, cautious, in control, calm and diplomatic. Then I started to get irritable, reckless, freaked-out and obnoxious for one week a month. I take anti-depressants and although it doesn't stop all those feelings, it helps me control my actions.

And I apologize if I flamed a bit in self defense... I only wanted to give people more info on what may be behind this terrible tragedy. Mental and brain illness is so misunderstood.
post #22 of 28
I didn't think you flamed at all...I was just saying I hope you didn't take what I had to say as a flame...sorry for the misunderstanding! I agree that it is very misunderstood and does indeed need more extensive research in order to provide the necessary treatment for all individual diagnosed with this illness.

post #23 of 28
Sorry if I offended anyone. My husband is bi-polar, so I understand the results of chemical imbalances. However, I don't believe that his actions in a moment of anger are necessarily excuseable. Does that make sense? For the same reason, this woman (or yes, her husband) should have taken the action to stop having children. She should have also, in my opinion, cried out for help long before drowning her children. My thing is this- I would have to imagine that she had episodes prior to this, maybe lesser, but clues. All these women on TV who I have seen talk about this say that they understand because they had these feelings make me think that she might have had an inkling...ok- so I havent ever experienced this so I guess i have no room to talk, but as a teacher it really irks my nergen that a parent can do this to a child...just makes me ill and I feel that there has to be consequences. Sorry again if I offended anyone. Thanks for "listening" (reading) to my rambling. Have a great day!
post #24 of 28
She did cry out for help. She attempted suicide and she was seeing a psychiatrist. Suicide is a pretty powerful way to say "HELP!"

To get a better understanding of why (if she does have psychosis) she could not control her behavior, go see the movie A Beautiful Mind. It is an excellent movie and it does the best job I've see at showing how extremely real the delusions (bizarre/irrational beliefs) are of the psychotic person.

As I said before, I am horrified at what this lady did and I grieve for the children. However, I "understand" how her psychotic thinking could lead to her killing the children and am not at all surprised that this happened given her diagnosis of Post Partum Psychosis (note that this is different from Post Partum Depression). I remain angry that the husband did not step in and help her (and that he chose to impregnate her). Also....when you're as messed up as she is, she probably didn't have the psychological strength to tell her husband that she did not want to tango.
post #25 of 28
You now Lotsocats, if this were Law & Order they would go after the husband.
post #26 of 28
I can't speak for everyone but you didn't offend me with your post. I think you'll find here that everyone is pretty respectful of other peoples opinions. As long as thoughts are presented in a unflammatory way no one has any problems. The threads I personally enjoy the most are the ones where people have differings opinions. I learn the most from them!
post #27 of 28 has been bugging me this evening. I am very outspoken, but I try to present myself respectfully. It upsets me when I look back and question the manner in which I presented myself. I appreciate your comment.
post #28 of 28

Even though I obviously disagree with your view on this, if you look back to the beginning of the thread you'll see that the majority of the posts agree with you rather than me. I respect your views 100% and am glad you posted them! It is great that we can disagree and remain civil!
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