Daily Listing of Sacred Family Unit Atrocities
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Hello. You have accessed yet another of the Specialized Pages of the Manifesto of Forbidden Truth web site. This page will most likely be the most frequently updated of all of the pages of this web site, at least until I decide it has gottten large enough. You pathetic creatures do not seem to have the sanity or emotional capacity that is required to recognize that Sacred Family Unit mythology truly is one of the very core roots of the ultra-diseased and deranged fabric of human life. You seem to labor under the bizarre notion, imposed upon you by your evil and brainwashing governments and societies, that there is something "sacred", completely natural, and totally appropriate, within such insane activities as getting married, being terroristically compelled by your society to assume possession of your biological creations, being automatically decreed by society to be the owner of every child you create, and the owner of every child whose creator you choose to have sex with regularly, live with, or marry, being legally robbed of your own money as well as societally demonized if you dare to try and break free from a Sacred Family Unit, etc... These are all evil and completely unnatural rituals and beliefs, fascist, enslaving, brutally and genocidally harmful myths that your perverse, child and freedom hating societies impose upon you. And yet you cannot seem to find the sanity to recognize or accept this Truth. Hopefully all of the Forbidden Truths I express within this Manifesto have enlightened you. But just in case you remain totally blind to this precious and fundamental Truth, I have decided to devote this one page for the purpose of creating a massive collection, which will be updated on a daily basis, in which I will provide basic information on a new atrocity that is directly caused by Sacred Family Unit mythology. Each day countless thousands of such new atrocities occur, but I will only list one such atrocity, each day, and the atrocity will have to be from either a daily online newspaper or a daily news wire service, published on the exact same date which immediately follows the previously posted atrocity. Thus an unbroken, daily chain of Sacred Family Unit atrocities will be established. No date will be skipped, I will find and post a Sacred Family Unit atrocity published in an online newspaper or via a news wire source, for all 365 days of the year, including christmas day, thanksgiving, etc... The beginning date for this project will be March 15, 2002. Hopefully within a year or two this page will be quite massive, and perhaps one or two of you pathetic creatures, upon perusing this massive, daily chronicle of Sacred Family Unit atrocities, will finally be able to find the sanity and courage to recognize how completely and profoundly correct I am in all of the Forbidden Truths that I have revealed within this Manifesto, regarding the perversion of nature which is known as the Sacred Family Unit.

A few important points: First of all, I will not be devoting much effort towards finding the most "extreme" examples of Sacred Family Atrocities. The goal of this chronicle is not to find the most deadly or bizarre daily examples of such atrocities, but rather to simply demonstrate the entire, wide spectrum of such atrocities, and show how incredibly pervasive and prolifically occuring, these atrocities are, via a single, daily news item. Secondly, this page will not contain any commentary or revelation of Forbidden Truth from me. The Sacred Family Unit atrocity news items speak for themselves, and there are several other Pages within this Manifesto, both the Main Body as well as Specialty pages such as the Sacred Family Unit Atrocities Database Page, which are filled with my commentary and revelation of hundreds of different Forbidden Truths, on this issue of Sacred Family Unit mythology. As usual, these news items will not be posted in their entirety, but enough basic facts will be provided, together with exact source and date information, for all of the basic information to be clear, understandable, verifiable, and fairly easy for competent online researchers to find additional information/updates on each case, if they so choose to do. I have decided to also include the exact url address for the "main page" of the news source where the article content is taken from, however it is very important that you note the fact that this is not the actual url address for where the specific article information itself is located, but merely the main page of the news source, and the actual news article most likely will not be easily accessible from this main page, especially not once a few days have passed by since the article was published.

Okay, with all of these technical details out of the way, we begin our Chronicle of Truth: Date: September 11, 2002. News Source: The Scotsman Newspaper, http:// www.news.scotsman.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Look that signalled baby’s anguish: A FARMER told yesterday how a small child looked him "straight in the eye" in a poignant plea for help, two weeks before she was allegedly murdered after suffering months of abuse at the hands of her mother and her boyfriend. James King, who had leased his farm cottage to the couple, told a court that, moments before, he had been left incensed when he saw how the couple were trying to force the tearful infant girl to walk. "She was extremely distressed and she was hanging onto a baby walker," he claimed. "She was crying quite severely. "The little child just looked me straight in the eye and I thought she was looking for help. I just said ‘That’s not how you treat a child’." Mr King was giving evidence at the High Court in Stonehaven on the second day of the trial of Andrea Bone, 20, and Alexander McClure, 27, who are charged with murdering Bone’s 13 month-old daughter, Carla-Nicole Bone. The baby’s grandmother also told the trial how she contacted the social services because of her concerns about the little girl's welfare and neighbours also spoke of how they had been left shocked and angered at the couple's treatment of the "pale and thin" infant. Bone, who married David Mullany, Carla-Nicole’s natural father in a secret ceremony two weeks ago, denies the highly unusual charge of murdering her baby daughter by wilfully failing to protect her. McClure is accused of murdering Carla-Nicole on 13 May by slapping her on her hands, face and legs, and repeatedly striking her head and body against a wall and repeatedly knocking her head on the floor and against a stereo cabinet. Bone is accused of murdering her baby by wilfully failing to protect her and ensuring her wellbeing or seeking medical treatment following the alleged attack at a cottage at Forgue, near Huntly, in Aberdeenshire, as a consequence of which the little girl died at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital. Both Bone and McClure also jointly face a separate charge of abusing the child at the Seaview caravan site at the Bridge of Don and the Forgue cottage between January and May of this year. Mr King, 51, of Conland Farm, Forgue, explained that he rented his farm cottage to Bone and McClure in April of this year. He looked in on the couple and their child, known as Nicole, from time to time and had been concerned when he entered the cottage two weeks before Nicole's death to find the infant in extreme distress, trying to stand while holding on to a baby walker. "I could see the poor child was just sort of swinging on this thing," said Mr King. "I asked her (Bone) why she was crying and they both more or less said to me they were trying to make her walk. I was a wee bit angry at that." He stressed, however, that Nicole had generally appeared to be a "happy and smiley" baby and that he did not get the impression she was being abused in any way. Earlier the baby’s grandmother, Elizabeth Berry, told the court how she had contacted social services on several occasions because of her concerns for Nicole after Bone and her son separated at the end of last year and Bone moved into a caravan with McClure. Asked why she had done so, Mrs Berry replied: "Because Andrea had a temper. She wouldn’t have taken it out on the child, but she has got a temper and takes it out on other people. I wanted what was best for my grandchild because I didn’t get to see Nicole. I wanted social services to go and see Nicole to let me know that she was okay. It was for my peace of mind." Mrs Berry claimed, however: "She (Bone) was a good mum. She always put Nicole first." James Brooks, who was a neighbour of McClure and Bone at the caravan site, said he had been shocked when he saw McClure "force-feeding" little Nicole while Bone sat watching. He claimed McClure had held the baby’s nose and placed a spoon between her top and bottom lip to try to force her to swallow her food. The baby, he said, was "hysterical" and "crying and screaming". Mr Brooks told the court: "To me a baby will only eat when it is hungry. There is no point of force-feeding it." The trial before Lord Abernethy continues today."

Date: September 10, 2002. News Source: The Calgary Sun Newspaper, http://www.calgarysun.com. Sacred Family Unit Artrocity Details: "Fujii gets eight years for 'cruel and heartless act': Desperation and depression drove Rie Fujii to commit the unthinkable -- abandon her infant children until they starved to death, a judge said yesterday. "It is difficult to understand how any adult could so neglect a child with such inevitable, horrible consequences," Justice Peter Martin said, in handing Fujii the equivalent of an eight-year sentence. "She left them for 10 days, dooming them to certain death," the Calgary judge said. "This was a most cruel and heartless act." Giving Fujii double credit for the 15-months "dead time" she has already served, Martin said she must complete a 5 1/2-year term in a federal penitentiary. "I also understand and expect that Ms. Fujii will be deported from Canada on the completion of her sentence," the Court of Queen's Bench judge added. Fujii, 24, pleaded guilty in July to manslaughter in the May, 2001, deaths of her children, Gemini and Domenic Brown. Fujii left the infants, Gemini, three months and Domenic, 15 months, alone in a starkly furnished downtown apartment while she went on a 10-day sex romp with her new boyfriend. Martin ruled Fujii was still suffering the effects of depression brought on by the birth of Gemini and her inability to cope with single parenthood. He said that while the slayings "shocked the community," Calgarians had to recognize Fujii's actions were fuelled by her mental state. "Courts have recognized the diminished responsibility of parents who have committed such offences while suffering from depression or other mental disorders," he said. Fujii showed little reaction as the judge sent her to serve her time in a federal prison, while her parents quietly wept in the front row of the courtroom. Hideto and Tomoko Fujii, who flew from Japan to show support for their daughter, declined to comment following the ruling. But in a prepared statement, they offered an apology for their daughter's conduct. "We are very sorry for what our daughter has done in your country and we respect the judgment of the court," said the statement, released by defence lawyer Bob Batting. "We would also like to apologize to the Japanese community for her hurting their image of being good residents of Canada." The document, signed by father Hideto Fujii on behalf of both of them, said they must still hold a memorial service for Gemini, whose tiny body has never been found. "We had a funeral service for Domenic last year in July in Calgary -- his ashes are now in Japan with us," they said. "They are the first and only grandchildren for us and we will treasure their memory forever." Fujii told police she dumped her daughter's body in the Bow River, but it was later learned the corpse had been placed in a dumpster. Batting said outside court his client still hasn't come to the full realization of what she did. "We have to remember that in a way she does have a life sentence because as she gets better, the realization of what she's done is going to hit her," said Batting. "She'll never forget this." Martin said Fujii's mental state played a large role in his decision to decline Crown prosecutor Pat Yelle's call for a sentence of up to 14 years. "Ms. Fujii ... consistently presented herself to others as a very stressed young mother of two infants who felt lonely and sad and overwhelmed by the demands of her children," he said. "She was clearly alone in what, to her, was a foreign country and no longer able to cope with the demands of motherhood." Martin said her status as an illegal immigrant compounded Fujii's problems, forcing her to eschew social assistance. "She had no partner, not even a true friend," the judge said. "She lived in a starkly barren apartment with two infants for whom she was ill-equipped to care and she was in the country illegally, facing the risk of deportation." Martin said Fujii's depression was caused by a litany of factors, including being abused by the children's father, Peter Brown, who abandoned them to live in desolation."

Date: September 9, 2002. News Source: KOAT-TV, Action 7 News, , http://www.thenewmexicochannel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Boy Allegedly Locked In Basement Five Months: Second Child Remains In Family's Custody. DEXTER, N.M. -- A Dexter couple has been arrested for what investigators are calling a "disturbing case" of child abuse. Police in the town, south of Roswell, said the pair held the woman's teenage son against his will for more than five months. Two months ago, the 17-year-old went to the Dexter police department and told officers that his mother and stepfather had kept him locked in the basement. Police arrested Sharyl McMonigle, 35, and Mark York, 41. The couple faces 153 counts of false imprisonment for the 153 days the boy was locked up. York and McMonigle are also charged with one count of child abuse. The charges are fourth-degree felonies with possible sentences of up to 18 months in prison. The 17-year-old is now living at a different residence, but there is another child still living in the family's home. Police said their investigation shows that second child is not in danger."

Date: September 8, 2002. News Source: The Portland Press Herald Newspaper, http://www.pressherald.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother arrested on alcohol charge: DOVER, N.H. — A Rochester woman facing child endangerment charges in the death of her toddler daughter could have her bail revoked because of an alcohol violation. Police said Amanda Bortner, 20, was arrested in Epping on a charge of transporting alcohol by a minor on Aug. 29. That arrest could mean her bail on the earlier charges could be revoked. Bortner is expected to go on trial on those charges in November. Bortner's daughter, 21-month-old Kassidy Bortner, died on Nov. 9, 2000, at a baby sitter's home in Kittery. Bortner's boyfriend, Chad Evans, 30, was convicted in December of second-degree murder and multiple counts of assault for the abuse that caused the girl's death. Bortner, who blames her daughter's death on a baby sitter, not Evans, has been living at her former boyfriend's home. Evans is serving a prison sentence of 28 years to life. Just before Evans' trial, Bortner was charged with two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges allege she failed to protect Kassidy from Evans' abuse. Police say Bortner had been driving a vehicle that police found pulled off Route 101 around 2 a.m. They also said alcohol was found in the car. Transporting alcohol by a minor is a violation punishable by a 60-day license suspension or fines. Bortner is scheduled to be arraigned on that charge Oct. 4 in Exeter District Court. Bortner and Kassidy began living with Evans during the summer of 2000. After Evans' arrest in 2000, he was released on bail until August 2001, when his bail was revoked because he and Bortner violated a no contact order by living together."

Date: September 7, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper, http:/www.suntimes.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Man guilty of killing, dismembering girl: Everette Johnson was convicted Friday of killing his 15-month-old daughter, then dismembering the body and feeding it to dogs. Cook County Judge Lon William Shultz spared Johnson the death penalty despite the gruesome way Johnson and the girl's mother, Joan Tribblet, disposed of the frail, 18-pound body of Oncwanique Tribblet on Dec. 19, 1997. Shultz said the actions of both parents showed "combined malignancies of their hearts.'' "Mr. Johnson and Ms. Tribblet opened a window for everyone to see into the deepest and darkest depravity of their flawed human souls,'' Shultz said. The judge admitted the way the toddler's murder was hidden from police and even family for more than six months was heinous. But he said the way the girl was killed--choked and beaten with a ruler by both parents--was not extreme enough to warrant the death penalty. Prosecutors Frank Marek and Veryl Gambino said Johnson could receive up to 100 years in prison for the killing and five years in prison for concealing the murder. They called the way the toddler's body was disposed of the worst case of concealment they had seen. Johnson's lawyers blamed the killing on the mother. Tribblet was sentenced to 60 years in prison Aug. 30 after testifying against Johnson and pinning the girl's death on him. She claimed the death was accidental and said the couple had been sleeping when Oncwanique woke up at 4 a.m. and roused her and later Johnson. While she admits grabbing the girl in a stranglehold by the neck, she said Johnson hit the girl with a ruler several times while holding her face down on the bed. The girl finally went limp, she said. Johnson cut up the girl's body and told Tribblet to cook it. But they stopped because there was so much smoke that a neighbor summoned a Chicago Fire Department truck. Some of the remains were then fed to dogs, and the rest were dumped into a pot of acid."

Date: September 6, 2002. News Source: The Baltimore Sun Newspaper, http://www.sunspot.net. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman tried suicide before crashing car, police say: 35-year-old being held at Perkins is charged in daughter's death. The 35-year-old Parkville woman accused of killing her 9-year-old daughter tried three times to kill herself and her only child Monday - first by trying to cause several gas explosions at their house before deliberately driving her car into a tree, according to court documents released yesterday. Alana Anne Dieter died Tuesday at Johns Hopkins Hospital of injuries she suffered in the crash, the day she was supposed to start the fourth grade at Immaculate Heart of Mary School. Her mother, Lisa A. Dieter, who survived the crash, was released yesterday from Hopkins, where Baltimore County police had been guarding her for more than two days as they waited to arrest her on a first-degree murder warrant. Dieter appeared at her bail hearing before a District Court Commissioner wearing a hospital gown. She used a walker and was aided by several of her attorneys. She was ordered held without bail yesterday and was sent to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, a state mental hospital. "I was trying to kill all three of us," Dieter told police, according to the documents, referring to herself, her daughter and the family dog, Tabitha, which was also in the car when she hit a tree at Double Rock Park in Parkville. Dieter allowed her daughter to take off her seat belt while they were driving through the park, according to the documents. "Lisa said her daughter asked why she was driving so fast and she responded telling her it was like a roller coaster," police wrote in the document. Dieter's attempts to kill herself and her daughter began about 1 a.m. Monday when she turned on one of the burners on her stove, allowed the gas to fill the house and then "attempted to cause an explosion by lighting a cigarette lighter," according to the documents. When that didn't work, Dieter tried again about 3:30 a.m., according to the documents, this time allowing the gas to fill the white cottage in the 7800 block of Bagley Ave. for about four hours before trying repeatedly to ignite the leaking gas. When Alana woke up that morning, she asked to go to the park, according to the documents. It was then, police said Dieter told them, that Dieter decided to crash the car. She even used a blanket to cover the back seat so her daughter wouldn't use the seat belt, according to the documents. But Alana climbed into the front seat instead. The family dog, a black German shepherd survived the crash. Police also noted in court papers that, in addition to Dieter's statements, they had recovered physical evidence to suggest the crash was no accident. Police said they found no skid marks to indicate Dieter had tried to stop her 1992 Buick Century before hitting the tree in a part of the park near the 8200 block of Glen Road at about 9:30 a.m. Monday. Police offered no clues about why Dieter, who divorced nearly two years ago, might have wanted to kill herself and her daughter. Dieter's lawyers declined to discuss the case yesterday. She is represented by the Towson firm of Irwin, Green, Dexter and Murtha. "It's such a catastrophic family tragedy," said lawyer Joseph Murtha. "There aren't adequate words to describe the family's grief and sorrow. At this time, they're also very supportive of Lisa as she goes through this tragic and unfortunate experience." After being released from Hopkins, Dieter was taken by police to Perkins, the county's jail administrator said. Maryland's only maximum-security hospital, Perkins houses offenders found not criminally responsible for crimes by reason of insanity, or those who cannot stand trial because they are not mentally competent. The 220-bed hospital also serves as a pretrial center for defendants who need psychiatric evaluation or treatment. A funeral Mass for Alana Dieter will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, 8501 Loch Raven Blvd. A private wake is scheduled for 8:30 tonight at the Miller-Dippel Funeral home at 6415 Belair Road in Overlea, after visitation from 3 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. today. The family has asked that contributions to be made to the Alana Dieter Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School."

Date: September 5, 2002. News Source: The Tacoma News Tribune Newspaper, http://www.tribnet.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom agrees to 12 1/2 years in '97 death of daughter: Nancy Hope Siriani, the longest-serving inmate in Pierce County Jail, struck a deal Wednesday that will finally get her out: She pleaded guilty to assault and manslaughter in the 1997 beating death of her infant daughter. But after five years and two months in the county lockup, she won't be free soon. Under the terms of a plea bargain reached on the verge of what would have been her third trial, Siriani will be transferred to a state prison to serve the remainder of a 12 1/2-year sentence. With credit for time served, the 48-year-old woman will have just under 7 1/2 years left on her term. Lawyers on both sides said the bargain was a fair resolution to a case that dragged on for years, turning Siriani, known as Nancy Hope since divorcing her husband, into a fixture at the jail. "We're coming up on what would be a third trial and the last two have run at least a month," said Pierce County deputy prosecutor Kit Proctor. "The issue involves a baby in a small apartment and the only two people who know exactly what happened are her two parents." The baby's father, Joseph Siriani, found guilty of homicide by abuse in the first trial, is serving a 50-year sentence. Jurors couldn't decide whether Nancy Hope also was guilty. The guilty verdict against her in the second trial was set aside by a judge. Hope's lawyer, Philip Thornton, said both sides recognized there were problems with a third trial. "I know that some of the witnesses were tired of testifying," he said. "Certainly the state thought about the expenditures of a third trial." Hope's saga began in June 1997, when her 3-week-old daughter, Sherri Rose Siriani, died of a fractured skull and lacerated liver. The girl, who had Down syndrome, had bruises on her lower abdomen, a prominent black eye and marks on her head that appeared to be a knuckle prints when she arrived at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood. The Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the child had been battered and prosecutors charged both parents with homicide by abuse. The couple, who flew to San Diego after their daughter's death, initially tried to explain their daughter's injuries, claiming the baby might have suffered the skull fracture during her delivery, and that the lacerated liver was caused by seizures she suffered. At trial, they switched gears and blamed each other for the girl's death. By the trial's end, a jury convicted Joseph Siriani of homicide by abuse. His 50-year sentence was twice the normal maximum for the crime. But the jury couldn't decide on Nancy Hope Siriani's guilt, and prosecutors tried her a second time. The second trial, in August 1998, convicted her, but Pierce County Superior Court Judge Karen Strombom agreed to set aside the verdict because of improper jury instructions. A third trial was to begin Tuesday. Hope had asked to be released without bail between trials, but a judge refused the request. Friends said Hope couldn't afford to post $150,000 bail, so she remained in the jail. Thornton said Hope looked forward to proving her innocence, but decided it was in her best interest to agree to the plea bargain. She entered an Alford plea Wednesday to reduced charges of first-degree man-slaughter and third-degree assault of a child. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but agrees that a jury would likely reach a guilty verdict based on the evidence. The charges normally carry maximum sentences of 48 months and eight months, but under terms of the bargain Hope agreed to a 12 1/2-year sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 27. "It was a difficult decision for Ms. Siriani," Thornton said. "She thought long and hard about it." It wasn't easy for prosecutors either, Proctor said. "The problem is, no sentence would be enough for the death of a 26-day-old baby," she said. "This is a resolution in a case that's gone on since 1997." "

Date: September 4, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "DSHS ignored abuse of 3 children, suit alleges: A lawsuit filed on behalf of three Olympia-area children accuses state social workers of doing nothing in the face of overwhelming evidence the brothers were abused and neglected by their parents during a five-year period. The lawsuit filed recently in Thurston County Superior Court accuses 13 social workers from Child Protective Services, along with state Department of Social and Health Services and the state, of failing to act on at least 35 separate reports of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect by law enforcement, school officials, relatives, medical professionals and relatives. Most of the reports were taken from CPS records, said Gary Preble, the lawyer who brought the lawsuit on behalf of the three boys, now aged 10, 9, and 7. "The failures were so many, and some so egregious, that it was hard to lay it out in a manner that could be grasped," Preble told The Olympian for a story in Wednesday's editions. The complaint alleges abuse ranging from punching and kicking to forced participation in sex acts. The case was brought on behalf of the three children through three relatives who have served as their guardians since 1999. The suit does not specify damages, but Preble said they could be as much as $3 million per child. DSHS spokeswoman Kathy Spears called the allegations "serious." "These allegations and their context have not been substantiated," Spears said. "Our legal and management teams will review the facts of this case and present the department's side of these allegations in the courts." "

Date: September 3, 2002. News Source: The Miami Herald Newspaper, http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Baby who died in van was monitored by DCF: The care and well-being of the 7-month-old boy who died when left for hours inside a sweltering minivan was being monitored by the Department of Children & Families because the baby and his brother had recently left state supervision, the child-welfare agency confirmed Sunday. ''Because of privacy issues, we can't reveal why the children were originally taken away from their parents,'' said Charles Auslander, DCF's Miami administrator, when asked of the connection between DCF and the child, who died Thursday. DCF removes children from homes if they find evidence of neglect, abuse or abandonment. A court order issued this summer returned the baby, Phillip Gutmann, and his 5-year-old brother to their parents, Auslander said. He said he could not reveal further details but confirmed that at the time of his death last week, the agency was overseeing the care given to the baby and his older sibling. ''What happened here seems to be a tragic accident,'' Auslander said. Attempts to reach the baby's parents, Phillip and Machia Gutmann, were unsuccessful Sunday. It is unclear how long the children were under state supervision or the conditions that the parents met so that a judge could allow them to reunite with their children. Once back home, the brothers were being monitored through DCF's post-placement supervision program to ensure their well-being. A DCF caseworker made monthly visits, a routine that was to last for six months. An agency caseworker last checked on the children in August and found no problem, Auslander said. Under the program, the parents may have also been eligible to receive economic assistance from the state to pay for day care for their children. ''The subsidy would go directly to the family,'' Auslander said. ``But I cannot say for sure they were receiving money.'' On Thursday, the mother told homicide detectives she gave the baby to a friend at about 9 a.m. to drive to a day-care center. Both women live at Naranja Lakes Condos No. 5 at 14840 Naranja Lakes Blvd. But the friend forgot about the boy and drove to work cleaning houses. He was not discovered in her van until 3 p.m., still strapped to his child seat in the back. Temperatures on Thursday climbed into the low 90s, and it is believed that the baby died from heat exposure. As of Sunday, no one had been charged in Phillip's death. Miami-Dade homicide detectives will confer with prosecutors next week to decide whether anyone should be criminally held responsible for the death. An autopsy of the baby revealed no trauma, supporting the theory that he was overcome by heat inside the closed minivan. The baby's body is still at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office while his parents try to raise money to bury him. Relatives and friends plan to set up a trust fund on Tuesday where the public can send donations. Family friend Rita Rios is among those helping collect for the funeral. Rios defended the parents and said she did not believe the state had ever removed the Gutmann children from their home. ''That is a rumor going around, but it's not true,'' she said. Once taken out of their home, the children may have been placed in a relative's home. Another friend, who did not want to be identified, called it cruel to reveal the baby was once in DCF supervision. ''These parents are going through enough after losing a child this way,'' the man said. But sources said the children were removed from the home because of allegations of domestic violence, unrelated to the children. Auslander said the DCF files on the baby and his brother are closed unless a determination is made that the death is not accidental. In recent months, DCF officials have faced serious allegations that shoddy casework and poor judgment contributed to the deaths of several children whose perilous conditions were known to caseworkers. The scandal began last spring with the revelation that 5-year-old Rilya Wilson disappeared while in foster care. Since then, there have been numerous high-profile crises, including a DCF worker being arrested and charged with drunk driving while an infant foster child was in the car and several cases of children dying of neglect or abuse despite DCF having been told that the children might be at risk. The agency's director, Kathleen Kearney, resigned last month. Jerry Regier was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to become the new head of DCF. Regier has drawn scrutiny for his support of corporal punishment."

Date: September 2, 2002. News Source: The Tacoma News Tribune, http://www.tribnet.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "LAKEWOOD: Baby dies after choking on bottle nipple; father charged. A 3-month-old Lakewood boy hospitalized since Monday after choking on the nipple of a bottle died Saturday. The boy's father, 20-year-old Christopher Forks, has been charged with first-degree child abuse. Sheriff's department spokesman Ed Troyer said the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office will decide Tuesday if any more charges will be added. After calling 911 on Monday, Forks told police his son, whose name has not been released, had been drinking milk from a bottle and swallowed the nipple. But staff members at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Health Center told police the boy was too young to swallow the nipple without help. Family members told KING 5 television the child choked accidentally. Detectives are still investigating the baby's death, Troyer said."

Date: September 1, 2002. News Source: The Akron Beacon Journal Newspaper, http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman sues CSB, hospital: Summa, social workers failed to stop father's abuse, rape victim says. A women impregnated by her stepfather with a syringe as a teen has sued two local agencies, accusing them of failing to protect her from further abuse. Shenna Grimm, the stepdaughter of John Goff, filed a lawsuit in Summit County Common Pleas Court late Friday afternoon against the county Children Services Board and Summa Health System, which owns Akron City Hospital. Goff, 41, of Stow, was convicted Thursday of two counts each of rape and sexual battery and one count of child endangering. He is being held in the Summit County Jail pending an Oct. 7 sentencing. Goff, who maintains that he did no wrong, impregnated Grimm with a syringe filled with his semen in December 1998. He wanted a child, and Narda Goff -- his wife and Grimm's mother -- couldn't have more children because of a hysterectomy. Grimm, who was 16 then and is 20 now, subsequently gave birth to a son, who is in foster care. Goff was listed as the boy's father on his birth certificate, and a DNA test proved his paternity. The lawsuit contends that officials with CSB and the hospital learned about Grimm's unusual pregnancy but failed to report it or take any other action that might have spared her from more abuse. The suit says that Goff abused Grimm from June 1998 -- when he and Narda Goff first approached Grimm with their childbearing plan -- to 2000. In January 2001, Grimm moved out of their home and went to Stow police with her story. When Grimm went to City Hospital to give birth to her son, hospital officials -- based on her age and the behavior of her father -- knew or should have known that she was ``a minor child suffering from sexual abuse at the hands'' of her father and that ``such sexual abuse was likely to continue,'' the lawsuit contends. The lawsuit also alleges that unnamed social workers from CSB were informed of allegations of sexual abuse but failed to take action as required by law. Neither the hospital nor the CSB took ``any appropriate action to protect'' Grimm ``from further sexual abuse and made no meaningful referrals with respect to such abuse,'' the lawsuit says. By not taking action, the agencies ``were malicious, willful and reckless,'' and Grimm suffered permanent physical and mental harm, the suit says. Grimm is seeking compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees. The suit also names Goff as a defendant and lists his address as the Summit County Jail. Officials with CSB declined to comment Friday. A City Hospital spokeswoman said the hospital hadn't seen the suit or heard anything about the allegations and wasn't in a position to comment. The case has been assigned to Judge James Murphy."

Date: August 31, 2002. News Source: The Des Moines Register Newspaper, http://desmoinesregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Siblings begged their father not to stab boy, officer says: The disabled boy 'had the devil in him,' Raymond Boothe told authorities. While Raymond Boothe repeatedly stabbed his 11-year-old son with needle-nose pliers, his other three children watched and screamed for him to stop, an investigator said Friday. The cries of the children - ages 6, 7 and 9 - went unheeded, said Undersheriff Dave Zoellner of Leavenworth County, Kan. Boothe, 34, told authorities he plunged the pliers several times into the chest and back of Levi Boothe in a ditch off the darkened Kansas Turnpike, Zoellner said. "He dragged the boy to the edge of the road, and slung him out on to the highway," Zoellner said. "He said the boy was still moving. He said if he wasn't going to die by the stabbing, he knew he would get hit by a car or truck that will kill him. "Investigators aren't sure whether Levi died from stab wounds or from the impact of a vehicle - possibly more than one - that struck him. Autopsy results weren't complete Friday. Boothe told authorities he stabbed the physically and developmentally disabled boy, who lived in a group home in Creston, "because he thought the boy was evil, had the devil in him and he had to rid the family of that," Zoellner said. Investigators in Iowa, Missouri and Kansas are assembling a picture of the grisly events on Tuesday evening near the Douglas-Leavenworth county line. Boothe was in maximum security at the Leavenworth County Jail Friday, charged with first-degree murder. Officials said he struck a policeman before his arrest and might be suicidal. Investigators said the other three children were treated for minor injuries after Boothe smashed his Dodge Neon into a tree in Lawrence, Kan. Police called the wreck a suicide attempt. The children were expected to be reunited with their mother, Lisa Boothe, in Cameron, Mo., where they lived. On Tuesday afternoon, Boothe, a carpenter, picked up Levi at Creston's Irving Elementary School. Levi was mute and had a malformed brain, heart and kidneys, authorities have said. Boothe drove to Osborn in northwest Missouri to pick up the other three children at the house of his sister, Stacy Perry, authorities said. She was baby-sitting while their mother was at work, according to relatives. Boothe told authorities he became enraged on the way to Kansas when Levi "flipped him off," Zoellner said. "His father started choking him in the car," Zoellner said. "The children started screaming. He said he pulled the car on the side of the road, got out and went to the trunk to get the pliers. He went around and dragged the boy out of the car and threw him down in the ditch." Zoellner declined to say how many times Levi was stabbed. He said Boothe has showed remorse "on occasion." Boothe's lawyers have asked for a delay to allow psychiatric testing. The killing stunned family members, who described Boothe as an average guy with no apparent problems. He appeared to be a good family man, they said. "They did a lot of fishing and hunting together," Jack Carson of Diagonal, Lisa Boothe's cousin, said of the couple. He said the couple married and raised a family in Diagonal before moving to Cameron, Mo., a few years ago to be close to Raymond Boothe's family. "We can't understand why he did this," Carson said. "Somebody has to be out of their mind to do something like this." "

Date: August 30, 2002. News Source: WPLG-TV, Channel 10 News, http://www.click10.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Man Charged With Killing Child Over Breakfast Heads To Court: Jury selection is in its fifth and likely final day for the trial of a man charged with killing his girlfriend's child because she ate his breakfast. Juvon Pickett, 22, is charged with first-degree murder for the killing of Ashley Smithson, 3. Prosecutors say Pickett beat the malnourished girl in September of 1998 after she ate a breakfast sausage meant for him. Smithson lingered in a coma for the next month on life support, then died. The child's mother, Pecynthia Bradley, is serving an 11-year sentence after she pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Bradley reportedly did nothing to prevent her daughter's fatal beating. If Pickett is convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars."

Date: August 29, 2002. News Source: The Arizona Republic Newspaper, http://www.azcentral.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "DES chief: Agency lax in baby's death: Child welfare workers could have done more to protect a 10-day-old girl who died after being sent home with her crack-smoking mother, state Department of Economic Security Director John Clayton admitted Tuesday. "It appears that, from a preliminary review, certain actions taken in this case were not in keeping with the department's mission of protecting children," said Clayton, whose agency includes Child Protective Services. CPS had been monitoring the baby's family. Clayton has put together an independent panel to review what led to the death of Anndreah Robertson. The panel, including child advocates, a neonatologist and a judge, is scheduled to meet Sept. 6. Anndreah died Nov. 9, 2001, her intestines destroyed by a constant cloud of secondhand crack-cocaine smoke. Her death was ruled a homicide by the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office. She weighed 4 pounds. Anndreah's mother, Demitres Robertson, 23, was charged last week with first-degree murder and child abuse. The baby's grandmother and primary caregiver, Lillian Butler, 44, was charged with two counts of child abuse. Robertson, who is 9 months pregnant, already was in custody on a prostitution charge. The women are scheduled to appear in court for a hearing today. CPS caseworkers knew three weeks before Anndreah's Oct. 30 birth that crack cocaine was being smoked regularly in her family's central Phoenix apartment. Still, they let the girl go home after she stayed in the hospital for three days until the cocaine cleared from her system. The agency also allowed her two brothers to stay in the home. Agency officials said last week that parental substance abuse by itself is not a sufficient reason for removing children from their parents. "When the system does not respond adequately, I will make no excuses nor tolerate the same from my staff," Clayton said. Rep. Laura Knaperek, R-Tempe, a critic of the CPS, said she is glad the agency is taking responsibility. She said she plans to introduce legislation next session, if she's re-elected, that would broaden the definition of an abused child to include those born addicted to drugs. She also said she would make that reason enough for removal from their home. A similar bill introduced in 1996 did not make it through the Legislature. Knaperek also has asked Pat Shannahan of the Office of the State Ombudsman to conduct an investigation. Clayton said he wants the panel to recommend policies and laws to better protect children. Carol Kamin, director of the Children's Action Alliance and a former head of CPS, said that is why she agreed to be on the panel. "It's too late for Anndreah, but so that her life can have some meaning, we have to make sure this won't happen to other babies," she said. "That will be her legacy." A man living in the same apartment where the 10-day-old baby died of secondhand crack smoke is set to be a key prosecution witness against his wife and stepdaughter, both charged in the infant's death. Solomon Butler, 53, was given immunity from other possible charges in exchange for his Sept. 12 testimony at a preliminary hearing before Judge Gregory Martin of Maricopa County Superior Court. His wife, Lillian Ann Butler, 44, who was the baby's primary caregiver, is charged with two counts of child abuse in Anndreah Robertson's Oct. 30 death. The infant's mother, Demitres Robertson, 22, faces a felony murder charge and two counts of child abuse. In an interview before Wednesday's court hearing, Butler, a tall, frail man who walks with a cane, said his wife did not smoke cocaine. That contrasted with a police report that states Butler told a Child Protective Services worker that both Lillian Ann Butler and Robertson smoked crack in their Phoenix apartment and it was affecting Robertson's two young sons. The CPS visit was before Anndreah was born. Solomon Butler acknowledged Wednesday that Robertson did bring Anndreah to the couple's home after she was born, but said Robertson was "back and forth on the street like she always was" and was "basically homeless." "

Date: August 28, 2002. News Source: The Roanoke Times Newspaper, http://www.roanoke.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Drug possession charges certified: Additional charges of second-degree murder felony child abuse against Regina Harris are still pending. CHRISTIANSBURG - A woman accused of causing her infant son's overdose death led investigators to the tablets of methadone and oxycodone found in her home, an investigator testified Tuesday. District Judge John Quigley certified three charges of possession of a controlled substance filed against Regina Harris, 28, of Elliston after the hearing in Montgomery County General District Court in Christiansburg. The charges next go to a grand jury. Additional charges of second-degree murder, felony child abuse, and distribution of drugs to a minor are still pending against Harris in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. That preliminary hearing is set for next month. Harris is accused of giving her 6-day-old son, Toby Robert Harris, methadone and another opiate. He died May 9. Three weeks later, the medical examiner's office called his death a homicide after toxicology reports showed the drugs in the infant's bloodstream. Investigator Norman Croy of the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office testified Tuesday that Harris admitted to having a "big problem" with oxycodone, a drug that acts similarly to heroin when abused, and had been on a methadone treatment program. Harris' comments came as four investigators executed a search warrant at her home on Dark Run Road on May 31. Harris showed investigators a single oxycodone tablet and a bottle of methadone tablets, prescribed to another family member, that she kept in her bedroom, Croy testified. Harris did not have her own prescription for the drug and told investigators she kept the methadone for that family member because of previous thefts, Croy testified. Investigators also found four methadone tablets in Harris' purse and a straw with cocaine residue in a nightstand drawer, he testified. Methadone also showed up in her bloodstream, according to lab reports filed with the court. The defense presented no evidence. Defense attorney Joe Painter argued that Harris shouldn't be charged with possession of cocaine because investigators had no evidence, other than an old identification card in the same drawer, that the straw actually belonged to Harris. Quigley denied the motion. Harris has been free on $50,000 bond. She is in court-ordered drug counseling and is subject to random drug tests and check-up calls from authorities. Authorities have yet to proffer any public evidence on how they believe the boy ingested methadone. A second-degree murder charge means a death is considered accidental but connected to another felony, such as drug use."

Date: August 27, 2002. News Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper, http://enquirer.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother sentenced in newborn's death: DAYTON, Ohio — A woman who told authorities she suffocated her newborn infant in a plastic bag and hid him under the stairwell in her basement has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. Ruby Melvin, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of murder and one count of gross abuse of a corpse after a Montgomery County grand jury indicted her earlier in the day. "I apologize to the city of Dayton for causing such heartache and pain," Ms. Melvin said before Common Pleas Judge Michael T. Hall imposed sentence. "I do love my kids so much. I ask for my family to be strong." Ms. Melvin has six other children, 3 to 20 years old. Police found the infant's body July 17 under clothes and toys in Ms. Melvin's basement."

Date: August 26, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother accused of fatally shooting two of her children at Montana ranch: AUGUSTA, Mont. - A mother shot and killed two of her four children while they slept, then waited for police to arrive at their Montana ranch, authorities said. Jeanette Swanson, 46, allegedly shot her 14-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter early Monday and then called 911 asking for help. Relatives said the woman had been treated for depression just last week. Two other children, asleep in the home, were uninjured. Her husband, Gene, was sleeping in a camp trailer outside the residence. All awoke to sounds of gunfire at the home near Augusta, a ranching community of 285 people that is about 75 miles north of Helena. ``This is a bad one, it really is,'' said Lewis and Clark County Undersheriff Cheyle Liedle. ``This was not an accident.'' Swanson was being held in Helena on two charges of murder. Liedle said a motive hasn't been fully developed on why a mom, who home-schooled her children and doted on their care, would shoot two of them. The shooting shocked this small ranching community, where residents hadn't seen a murder in a dozen years. ``We spent most of our day dealing with the students' grief and dealing with that kind of loss,'' said School Superintendent Russ Bean. ``Even though they didn't know the kids well, it was an issue that they had to deal with.'' "

Date: August 25, 2002. News Source: The British Broadcasting Corporation News Service, http://news.bbc.co.uk. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Inquiry into 4-year-old's killing: An inquiry is underway into how a four-year-old girl came to be beaten to death for crying while in the care of her mentally-ill father. An Old Bailey judge sent Elvis Smith to a psychiatric unit indefinitely on Thursday after he admitting killing his daughter Nicole. The court heard that Nicole, who had been placed in her father's care by Greenwich Council following a custody hearing, was beaten with a leather belt because she kept crying. Smith, 36, of Casterbridge Road, Greenwich, south London, admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and the court accepted his plea of not guilty to Nicole's murder. Smith was known to have mental health problems but was said to have cared well for his daughter when she first went to live with him, aged six months. But later he began to seek help from social services and his doctor, the court heard. Nicole was not on the At Risk register at the time of her death. Judge Martin Stephens said it would be inappropriate for him to make any comment on the social services aspect of the case at this stage. He told the court: "I am informed a full inquiry is continuing to take place. All should await the results of the inquiry." Nicole's mother sat distressed at the back of the court as details of her daughter's last minutes alive were given by prosecuting counsel Christopher Hehir. Smith's relationship with Nicole's mother, Theresa Thorpe, had not continued for long after she was born, said Mr Hehir. He started a relationship with another woman for a time, but when that broke up, became involved in a sexual relationship with a man. "But in the summer of 2000, he learnt the other man was HIV positive. He took it very badly and made threats of violence to this man," said Mr Hehir. "He saw his GP and then a psychiatrist as he was increasingly suffering from anxiety about what he had learnt," Mr Hehir told the court. On July 2 last year - the day before her death - she had appeared happy. But early next day, Smith called an ambulance. When police arrived he told them: "I hit her. Oh God. Tell me she is not dead. Don't let her die, she is all I have got." "I asked social services for help. I told them I could not cope. They would not listen. They said it would be all right," he said. Cause of Nicole's death was haemorrhaging through injuries consistent with a sustained attack. Smith said his daughter started crying when told to go to sleep. "She said she wanted to see her father's friend who had HIV. Told she could not, she would not stop crying," said Mr Hehir. Psychiatric reports on Smith since his arrest show he is suffering from a severe personality disorder of a psychopathic nature. He will not be released without Home Office permission. Greenwich Child Protection committee said in a statement issued earlier: "The brutal ending of Nicole's life was a tragedy. "Elvis Smith's attack on his daughter came completely out of the blue. Until that point, the evidence suggests he was a caring and committed father. "He was not suffering from a serious mental illness. He was experiencing depression and anxiety and was being treated appropriately for these conditions. "There is nothing to suggest that this attack on Nicole could have been predicted." "

Date: August 24, 2002. News Source: The Log Cabin Democrat Newspaper, http://www.thecabin.net. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Pelham's trial delayed: Jason Pelham, 24, the Conway man accused of killing his infant daughter, will have to wait a while longer for his day in front of a jury. He was due in circuit court Friday for pretrial proceedings with a trial set for a few days after, but the trial has been delayed because the results of his psychological examination are not ready. "It's unfortunate it takes so long ɠbut there is nothing we can do about that. I have no choice but to continue" the trial, said attorney Frank Shaw, who was sitting in for Judge David Reynolds. Pelham, who has a history of being disruptive in court, was not present in the courtroom Friday. His attorney Kenny Fuchs was and agreed a continuance was necessary. Pelham is accused of killing his 6-week-old daughter, Juliet Pelham, at their Conway home in the early morning hours of Nov. 15. The girl's mother, Amanda Pelham, who has since divorced Jason Pelham, reportedly found her unconscious daughter in her bassinet next to the sleeping man. The girl was not breathing and her head was battered, according to Amanda Pelham, and emergency medical personnel were called. The baby was rushed to the Conway Regional Medical Center where doctors could not revive her. Jason Pelham was arrested at the hospital on first-degree murder charges and has been in the Faulkner County Detention Center since, being held with no bond. His pretrial was rescheduled for Nov. 1 with his trial scheduled for the week of Nov. 18."

Date: August 23, 2002. News Source: The Des Moines Register Newspaper, http://desmoinesregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother recalls son's last day: Ex-wife testifies at Martin murder trial. Three-year-old York Martin ate tacos and watched a "Peter Pan" video the night before he died, then he went upstairs to say his prayers and climb into his father's bed. York enjoyed prayer, his mother testified Thursday, the second day of her ex-husband's first-degree murder trial. York "loved the "thank-you" part," the former Karla Martin testified. "He had a really grateful heart." Prosecutors say it was Christopher Martin, 38, a legally blind motivational speaker, who silenced that heart sometime between the end of Jan. 8 and the beginning of the next day. West Des Moines police and paramedics found the child cold and lifeless when they arrived at 2601 Crown Flair Drive shortly after 4:15 a.m. Jan. 9. Investigators found blood on the bed where York and his father had been sleeping. Blood was splattered on the headboard and on two of the bedroom walls. A state crime lab investigator testified Thursday that DNA testing proved much of the splattered blood came from Christopher Martin. Martin, who had an injured right hand in police photographs taken Jan. 9, told detectives that he had cut himself while trying to fish broken glass out of the kitchen garbage disposal. Francis Garrity, Polk County medical examiner, said York suffered repeated blows to his face and head, but it was strangulation, not the head trauma, that killed him. Garrity testified Wednesday that hospital doctors were incorrect when they initially told police that the child had a broken neck. Police investigators have said they believe that York's large, bloody wounds can be matched to edges on the headboard of the bed where his body was found. Prosecutors ended Thursday's testimony by having Karla Martin, now Karla Daly, walk through the last day of her son's life. Daly described York as a healthy child who loved to run around outside, to count in Spanish, and most of all, play with his 4-year-old sister. "He was a very honest child and very trusting," she said. "We miss him very much." Daly testified that she and the two children were met by Christopher Martin at the Des Moines airport Jan. 8 as they returned from a Florida vacation that he had not taken. The family went home and ate a light supper, then Martin bathed the kids while his wife took a customary walk through the neighborhood. Daly said she later watched as the children said their prayers. York told his mother he loved her as Daly went back downstairs to retrieve some luggage. The last words he heard from his mother was that she loved him, too. Daly identified a piece of yellow paper that she said she found in a box outside Martin's basement office after the murder. Written in Martin's handwriting, it said: "Influence of poor father on son cannot be overcome by godly mother. Often, child will follow footsteps of ungodly man than steps of godly mother." Prosecutors argued that the note showed Martin's state of mind before the murder. But Judge Robert Blink refused to let jurors hear the evidence, ruling that no one could prove when the note was written."

Date: August 22, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: " Mother of sunburned children doesn't think she did wrong STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A woman who was jailed for eight days for allegedly allowing her children to become severely sunburned -- then abruptly freed after the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor -- said she doesn't think she did anything wrong. Eve Hibbits and her attorney, Shawn Blake, appeared on NBC's "Today" show Thursday morning, the day after three felony counts against her were dismissed and replaced with a misdemeanor charge of child endangerment. Authorities said the three children were not as severely injured as officials had believed. Hibbits was arrested Aug. 14, the day after a sheriff's deputy noticed her 2-year-old daughter, Rose, and 10-month-old twin boys, Thomas and Timmy, had sunburned faces at the Jefferson County Fair. Temperatures were in the 90s at the time. Sheriff Fred Abdalla said the children did not have any sunscreen or shirts on when a deputy spotted them and took them to a first aid station. They were later treated at a hospital and released. He said their faces looked like they had been "dipped in red paint." Hibbits, 31, said in the television interview that she didn't think she had committed any crime and being behind bars was awful. "It felt like the walls of the jail were falling in on me. I ain't never been in jail," she said. Blake said he thought the arresting sheriff's deputy overreacted. "The paramedics said it wasn't necessary, the kids were fine but they could take them to the hospital anyway," he said. Hibbits was released on her own recognizance and pleaded innocent to the misdemeanor. She had been held on $15,000 bond. Hospital officials initially told authorities the children suffered from second-degree burns but later reduced that to first-degree burns, Jefferson County Prosecutor Brian Felmet said. "I don't feel they (the charges) were too severe based on that information," he said. "With the benefit of hindsight with the information we have now, we feel they weren't warranted." The maximum penalty for the misdemeanor is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, but Felmet said probation was likely. While Hibbits could have faced up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each of the felonies, the prosecutor and sheriff said on Wednesday that was not their intent. "Never was it anybody's intent to put her in prison. ... My intent was for the safety of the children, which was accomplished, and to give her a wake-up call," Abdalla said. Felmet said authorities also were concerned because they thought that one of the twins had a collapsed lung. But medical records showed the boy's underdeveloped lung was the result of being born prematurely. Hibbits' husband, Richard, was working at the fair and the family had been camping there. The family lives in Brilliant, a small town south of Steubenville."

Date: August 21, 2002. News Source: WPBF-TV, Eyewitness News 25, http://www.thewpbfchannel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Day Care Worker Testifies In Trial: Testimony continued Wednesday in the trial of a mother, who prosecutors said didn't do enough to protect her son from her boyfriend. A string of witnesses have taken the stand in the high-profile trial of a mother accused in the death of her 2-year-old son. Prosecutors say Marguerite Saccone didn't protect her toddler, Joshua, from a man she knew was dangerous. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Saccone lied about her boyfriend -- the man who was beating Joshua -- lied about where he lived, and lied about leaving her son alone with his eventual killer. At the trial Tuesday, prosecutors said that in the months before his murder, Joshua told everyone he could that he was afraid of his mother's boyfriend "Junior" Lincent Chin. The boy's grandmother, Beverly Harbol said that Joshua ran and hid one day at an unexpected knock at the door. "He said 'Shh! Junior's coming. Hide! Junior's coming,'" Harbol said. "I held him and I said 'No one's coming, come out and play with me.'" Joshua's daycare teacher, Ebony Brown, said Marguerite Saccone asked her not to reveal her living relationship with Chin. "She said, 'I have a favor,'" Brown said. "'If anyone asks, tell them he doesn't stay with me.'" Joshua's father, Frank Saccone, testified that when he picked his son up from Marguerite's house in April 2000, the boy was so severely beaten that he took a photo. Joshua's pediatrician said on the stand that she knew the boy was being abused and inquired about the boy's injuries. The doctor said she even offered to keep the boy if there were problems. Prosecutors said Marguerite Saccone lied repeatedly about who was hurting her son. Prosecutors said that in the weeks before his murder, she left him alone each day with Chin and even let the child suffer with a broken collarbone for weeks because she didn't want to be blamed for the injury. Frank Saccone said his ex-wife admitted some guilt as their son lay dying of a fractured skull. "She didn't actually say what happened, but she said one time she was hit in the head with a phone by Junior, and she couldn't believe how blind she was. And she was sorry and all that," Saccone said. Joshua's doctor said she also warned the Department of Children and Families, but the agency did not follow through to make sure Joshua wasn't exposed to Lincent Chin. The defense said it plans to show how Marguerite Saccone had no idea Chin would kill her child."

Date: August 20, 2002. News Source: The Agence France-Presse News Service, http://www.afp.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Japanese mom suspected of killing baby son with alcohol: A suicidal Japanese mother is suspected of killing her 10-month-old baby son by forcing him to drink alcohol, reports said. The baby was found Monday along with his drunken mother, 30, at home in Aichi, 250 kilometers (155 miles) west of Tokyo, by the child's 35-year old father when he returned home from work, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper and Kyodo News agency said. The baby was already unconscious when an ambulance crew arrived and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital, the reports said. "I have been drinking with my child all day long," the mother was quoted by Kyodo as telling police officials. Police found three bottles of distilled liquor and whisky in the room. A police official declined to confirm the reports, but said alcohol had been detected in the baby's blood. The woman had left a message on her computer saying: "The two of us planned to die together," the Sankei reported."

Date: August 19, 2002. News Source: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Newspaper, http://www.knoxnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Girl may die before hearing: Testimony sought in mom's abuse case. A 15-year-old girl at the center of a firestorm over faith healing may not live long enough to testify this month at a hearing on charges of child abuse and neglect against her mother. Attorney Gregory P. Isaacs filed a motion in Loudon County General Sessions Court seeking a judge's approval to take the terminally ill teenager's deposition as soon as possible. The girl's mother, Jacqueline P. Crank, faces a preliminary hearing Aug. 28 on allegations she failed to seek emergency medical treatment for her daughter in May despite the urging of a certified nurse practitioner at Physician's Care Clinic in Lenoir City. Authorities have alleged Crank took her daughter to the clinic May 6 because of a large tumor on the girl's shoulder. After spending "approximately three hours with Crank to find orthopedic treatment," clinic nurse practitioner Tracy Gartman arranged for Crank to take the girl to the emergency room at the University of Tennessee Medical Center, a warrant stated. Crank, instead, returned to the home she shares with at least eight other members of her church, including the group's "spiritual father," Ariel Ben Sherman, authorities said. Isaacs has maintained that Crank, a devout Christian, turned to prayer to heal the girl. Crank was arrested in late June. Earlier this month, authorities also charged Sherman with aggravated child abuse and neglect, alleging he was advised in February to seek medical care for the girl. After Crank was arrested, the state Department of Children's Services took custody of the teenager and checked her into East Tennessee Children's Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer. The girl later was allowed to return to her mother's home, but DCS has maintained legal custody to ensure the teenager receives medical treatment. However, her chances of survival are slim, everyone involved in the case agrees. According to Isaacs' motion, Children's Hospital physicians estimated she "had approximately 12 weeks to live" when she was first diagnosed with cancer. Since then, her medical condition "has worsened and the child's prognosis is much worse," Isaacs wrote. Isaacs states in his motion that the girl's testimony is critical to her mother's defense. Although he did not detail what he believes the girl's testimony would show, Isaacs included in his motion copies of poems the girl wrote about her own faith. In those poems, the girl lists her last name as "Christ," saying she is a "daughter of God." Isaacs has argued state law specifically sets out a "spiritual treatment exemption" under the child abuse and neglect statutes. He also has filed a motion asking a judge to dismiss the case, citing a section of the law that states the child abuse and neglect statutes do not apply "for the sole reason the child is being provided treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone." Noting that some states with a similar exemption have added language that clearly sets out when a parent may forgo medical treatment in lieu of prayer, Isaacs argues Tennessee's law sets no such boundaries. "The statute is silent as to what point a parent's reliance upon spiritual treatment could become criminal conduct, if ever," the motion states. Either the charge against Crank should be dropped because she legally exercised her religious and parental freedom or it should be dismissed because the law is "vague and overly broad," Isaacs contends in the motion."

Date: August 18, 2002. News Source: The Log Cabin Democrat Newspaper, http://www.thecabin.net. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Benton County dealing with deaths of four babies: BENTONVILLE (AP) -- The arrest of a woman last week on an assault charge after her 15-month-old son died brings to four the number of cases in the Benton County courts involving the deaths of babies. Three people were charged with capital murder, while the woman arrested Thursday, 21-year-old Rosa Martinez, was charged with battery. But that could change, a law enforcement officer says. "We're still investigating it as a homicide but it will remain a battery charge for now," Benton County Chief Deputy Chris Plumlee said Friday at a bond hearing for Martinez. She was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bond. A trial is scheduled for Sept. 10 for Jerome DeAsis, 28, on a capital murder charge. He is accused of slashing his 5-month-old son's throat and then setting the family's mobile home on fire. The body of Dominic DeAsis was found June 17, 2000, after the flames destroyed the trailer. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Liliana Pina, 24, was charged with capital murder in the suffocation death of her 11-month-old daughter, whose body was found Oct. 10, 2001. Pina was found by paramedics in the attic of her home. A judge has ordered her treated for a psychotic disorder. No trial date has been set for Pina, but a hearing is set for Aug. 26 on whether to allow prosecutors to introduce as evidence a statement she made to investigators. No decision has been made by prosecutors on whether to seek the death penalty."

Date: August 17, 2002. News Source: The South African Press Association News Service, http://www.news24.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Couple arrested for child abuse: Rustenburg - Four children from a North West farm allegedly endured severe beatings by their parents who apparently did not register them at birth and prevented them from attending school, police said on Saturday. Inspector Gabashane Moseki said a couple appeared in the Brits Magistrate's Court on Friday after being arrested at their farm in Elandsdrift in Mooinooi near Rustenburg on Thursday. The 45-year-old man and his 31-year-old wife were arrested for the alleged negligence and abuse of their four children - three boys and a baby girl, aged between 10 and two. "The children were found to have bruises believed to have been caused by sjambok beatings. The children are allegedly not registered with the Department of Home Affairs, and none of them attended school," Moseki said. The police, including members of the Child Protection Unit, applied for a search warrant of the farm after being alerted by concerned community members. "After overcoming the owner's resistance on their arrival at the farm, police rescued the children," Moseki said. The children have been placed into the temporary custody of the social worker. An unlicensed rifle, a large quantity of live, empty and spent cartridges of ammunition and an engine and trailers, believed to be stolen property, was discovered on the farm. Moseki could not confirm newspaper reports that the man's wife and children lived in complete isolation from the rest of the world and even believed that South Africa was engulfed in a civil war. The children are reportedly illiterate and are believed to have spent their days helping their father, reported to be a diesel mechanic, repair engines. The three boys were allegedly forced to sleep in a shed on the property even in winter because there was no room for them inside the house. The home also does not have running water, although it has electricity. The couple, who were denied bail, will appear in court again on Friday."

Date: August 16, 2002. News Source: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Newspaper, http://www.knoxnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Pair charged with murder in death of infant son: Police call case of abuse one of worst they've seen. A Knoxville man accused of the abuse death of his 3-month-old son denied he killed the infant. "I did not murder my baby," a defiant Blake Delaney Tallant said Thursday evening as Knoxville police officers loaded the man into a paddy wagon. His wife, also charged with murder and aggravated child abuse, quickly interrupted her husband. "Shut up and get in the car, Blake. You're only making it worse," said Sarah Tallant, whose long dark hair was strewn over her face as officers locked her husband in the caged vehicle. Citing the number of the child's broken bones, police described the abuse as "brutal" and said it was one of the worst cases they've investigated. The couple's arrest came less than 24 hours after police responded to a call made by Sarah Tallant that her infant had stopped breathing. Two officers responded and quickly initiated CPR, but Lex Arson Tallant was later pronounced dead on arrival at East Tennessee Children's Hospital, according to Knoxville Police Chief Phil Keith. Police say the infant died of pneumonia caused by internal injuries. Keith said that Lex had been brutally abused over an extensive period of time and had broken ribs and a broken left arm and left leg. "There is evidence the child was held in a child safety seat for more than 24 hours straight," said Keith, who was visibly shaken while detailing the infant's injuries. Keith said there is also preliminary evidence that Lex was sexually abused. "We've seen a lot of gruesome (child abuse cases), but this is one of the worst we've had to work with," he said. "Collectively, it's just so brutal." When police first responded to the call on Knott Road, they found an assortment of drugs and drug paraphernalia, including more than a gram of crystal meth and the early stages of a meth lab. Police also seized a marijuana pipe and $1,500 in cash. Blake Tallant, 30, was arrested on the drug charges and later released on a $3,500 bond. Police worked throughout Wednesday night and Thursday to gather the evidence to arrest the couple on murder and child-abuse charges. The couple were then arrested at their home in West Knoxville Thursday evening. Both are being held at the Knox County Detention Center without the possibility of bond. "We feel fortunate to bring this case to a close," Keith said. Blake Tallant is originally from Jonesboro, Ark., and Sarah Tallant, 27, is from San Diego. Keith said both had no criminal records prior to Wednesday's incident. The couple also have a 3-year-old son who is now in the custody of the Department of Children's Services. Police say the elder Tallant boy has no signs of abuse."

Date: August 15, 2002. News Source: WCVB-TV NewsCenter 5, http://www.thebostonchannel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom Charged In 2-Year-Old's Death: Woman Held On $100,000 Bail. QUINCY, Mass. -- A Braintree woman is facing manslaughter charges in the death of her 2-year-old child. NewsCenter 5's Pam Cross said the boy allegedly died of severe skull injuries, and Natasha Higer has been charged with manslaughter in the case. Cross said that Higer and her husband, Louis, adopted the child, Zachary, on Dec. 24, 2001. Police said she brought her 2-year-old son Zachary to the doctor Tuesday suffering from life-threatening skull injuries. Doctors suspected the child had been beaten. "The skull fracture was consistent with a fall from a multi-story building," prosecutor Robert Nelson said. Higer told investigators that the baby was fine at about 8 a.m. Tuesday, but that she could not rouse him by 11 a.m. His injuries included a stroke to the left side and severe swelling on the left side of the brain. "It was a flat surface that the baby's head hit. So it wasn't quite the corner of the table because the fracture of it would look different than it did. It is some type of flat surface," Higer's lawyer, William Sullivan, said. Higer's lawyer said that she is upset about the child's death, even though she questioned police about the care of her dog. "There were statements made as she was placed in custody. There are some questions about who was going to take care of some of the household items. She never said that she cared more about the dog than the child," Sullivan said. Higer's husband was not in the courtroom during her arraignment Thursday. She was held on $100,000 bail."

Date: August 14, 2002. News Source: The Indianapolis Star Newspaper, http://www.indystar.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Boy's death no surprise to some: Abuse of siblings had been reported to officials; girl was taken from home, boy wasn't. A day-care worker who knew Mary Francis Edwards isn't surprised by allegations that the Coatesville woman's 5-year-old son, David, died after being left in an open pickup truck bed on a sweltering July day. Dawn Miller, former executive director of Kid Zone Daycare in Brownsburg -- where all three of Edwards' children would go -- even called authorities with her concerns. And she wonders why Edwards still had custody of her children at all. "It was obvious to all of us she was neglectful and abuseful," Miller said. "She told us she hated the father and they (the children) reminded her of the father." So Edwards bleached David and his 6-year-old sister's hair and eyebrows, and she would punish David by taking him out of day care, giving them crackers for dinner or nothing for lunch, Miller said. She said she called Child Protective Services three times, including once after seeing severe bruises on the girl's buttocks. Edwards was charged; the 6-year-old is now being cared for by her grandmother. "When she pled guilty to child abuse with (the girl), she shouldn't have had the other two," Miller said. But Andrew Stoner, Gov. Frank O'Bannon's executive assistant for human services, said: "The state didn't kill anyone, the parent is responsible." John Hamilton, secretary of the Family and Social Services Administration, declined comment on this case but said there is generally a strong preference to keep families together. "If there were circumstances where the home was in such a condition where no food was available, evidence that the children were not being protected and cared for," Hamilton said, "you might have a response dealing with the whole family." A routine internal review is being conducted to determine whether procedures were followed, he said. Becky Pryor, former executive director of Indiana Advocates for Children, is outraged that Edwards still had custody of David and her youngest child, a 2-year-old girl. "How much harm do you have to do first?" Pryor said. Pryor said that the state should have intervened for David and the 2-year-old, who was placed in foster care July 22, the day David died. "Often when one child is being abused, you remove that child, they start abusing the other child," Pryor said. "Someone should have been checking on the children." David died after being taken to Riverview Hospital in Noblesville, where his core body temperature measured 108 degrees. Edwards had driven to Noblesville from Hendricks County, where she had appeared in court earlier that day in the abuse case involving her oldest daughter. Along the way, she stopped and put David in the back of her pickup truck. She left David outside for an hour to an hour-and-45-minutes after arriving at the apartment of her mother, Betty Shirrell. As they chatted about Shirrell's upcoming wedding to her ex-husband, the temperature of the truck bed, lined with black plastic, soared to 140 degrees. At a probable cause hearing Tuesday, detective Mark Pruitt of the Noblesville Police Department testified that Edwards' boyfriend, Vincent Scott Tansy, told police that Hendricks County child welfare officials had been notified that Edwards was trying to starve David to death. Pruitt also testified that the cause of death was environmental hyperthermia, and the death was considered a homicide. "He had dehydrated. His body was wasting away," Pruitt testified. "He had sunken eyes, a low body weight of 30.5 pounds. David almost had no body fat. His body was absorbing all the body fat that he had trying to stay alive." Edwards told police her son was "an evil child," Pruitt said, who smeared feces and urine on the floors and the walls. She said she would wake up to find him standing over her with a butcher knife. Edwards has now been charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent leading to serious bodily injury. If convicted on both counts, she would face up to 40 years in prison. "I wish they had a Class A felony in neglect for this one," Hamilton County Prosecutor Sonia Leerkamp said during the hearing. She said a date for a pretrial hearing would likely be set today. Edwards remains in Hamilton County Jail."

Date: August 13, 2002. News Source: The St. Paul Pioneer Press Newspaper, http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "NEW HOPE: Mom held in son's death: A New Hope mother suspected of killing her 8-year-old son is expected to be charged this morning in Hennepin County District Court. Latrice Jones, 29, has been jailed since Sunday, the day she is suspected of stabbing her son Quentin to death. She had been distressed and has a history of mental instability, authorities said Monday. Jones was being held Monday at the Hennepin County jail on probable cause of murder. New Hope police detective Sgt. Jeff McFarlane said relatives of Jones had become concerned about her emotional state and called for help Sunday evening just before 7 p.m. Jones let officers inside her 5701 Quebec Ave. apartment, where they found Quentin's body. She was arrested a short time later. On Monday, the Hennepin County medical examiner's office said Quentin had been repeatedly stabbed and died of his injuries. Relatives of Jones told investigators that she had suffered from mental illness for at least the past four years, McFarlane said. On Sunday, a family member talked with Jones on the telephone and became concerned as Jones continued to "rant" and "rave," McFarlane said. The relative, an aunt, became concerned and called police, saying Jones had "exhibited emotional distress," authorities said. The relative wanted to check on Jones and her son but was concerned that she would not be able to make it to Jones' apartment in time. So she called police, McFarlane said. Jones was home alone at the time with Quentin, authorities have said. When officers arrived, she let them into the apartment. She was arrested a short time later after Quentin's body was discovered. She was questioned by investigators and booked into jail. When officers escorted Jones from her apartment, she was barefoot and wrapped in a quilt, said neighbor Lisa Andersen. Jones appeared to be calm at the time, she added. The Crystal Towers apartment complex in New Hope is home to a number of children, who play in the parking lot and a nearby small yard. While officers occasionally patrol through the complex, there have been few problems. "I was shocked when I heard," Anderson said about Quentin's death. According to Hennepin County social workers, they have had no reports of child maltreatment concerning the Joneses. But Jones has had a few problems with the law; in 1994 she was arrested and accused of disorderly conduct, and in 1995 she was accused of fifth-degree assault. Quentin's death happened nearly six months after another Twin Cities mother said to be mentally unstable stabbed her son to death in California. On Feb. 24, Donna Anderson stabbed her 13-year-old son, Stephen Burns, to death as he visited his father in Burlingame, Calif. Anderson, who lived in Shoreview, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty in June. Although she was diagnosed as delusional, a California judge ruled that Anderson was competent to stand trial."

Date: August 12, 2002. News Source: The Des Moines Register Newspaper, http://desmoinesregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother gripped by loss, regret: With mate charged in son's death, she and others reflect on why she stayed in an abusive relationship. Davenport, Ia. - Enough of the message got through that Mary Essary knew something was seriously wrong. The Davenport woman was pouring milk for residents at the nursing home where she works when the call came from her husband, Jeramy. "He was hysterical," Mary Essary, 26, remembered. "I said, "What's wrong?" He said, "I found Niqolus at the bottom of the stairs with a dirty diaper, unconscious and gasping for air." Then we got cut off because he was using a cell phone." Mary Essary hung up and ran for the door. She wanted to get home to her 16-month-old son. What she found that morning this past May would change her life and make her question the story told by her husband, who awaits trial on first-degree murder charges. It would make her wish she had left Jeramy "a long time ago." It would also make others question how a mother whose husband had a history of child abuse did not see this coming. Mary Essary was a 17-year-old high school student when she had her first child, Victoria. From the start, she and Jeramy, then her boyfriend, struggled to pay bills. She worked part time at Hardee's, trying to complete high school during the day and attending vocational school three nights a week. "I gave it all that I possibly could," Essary said. One night in 1993 while she was in class, Jeramy Essary broke the leg of his 3-week-old daughter. According to Scott County court records, hospital personnel who treated the girl told investigators the break and bruises to the girl's face "were of a very violent nature and could not have been accidentally inflicted." He pleaded guilty of child endangerment and spent time in prison for that and for a burglary conviction. A Department of Human Services social worker opposed allowing Jeramy Essary to have contact with his daughter, court records indicate. Officials believe Mary Essary willingly initiated contact with Jeramy, however, and he was allowed to resume life with his family after his release, records indicate. Mary Essary said she didn't see at the time that she should have gotten out of the relationship. "I think now, looking back, that he had an anger problem," she said. Their second daughter, Alison, was born when Mary was 18. By then, Jeramy Essary had begun a cycle of being in and out of jail, often doing time for violating his conditions of release. When he was out, he had trouble sticking with jobs for more than a few months, Mary Essary said. "When he'd first get out, he was fine. He had his head straight, everything else," she said. "But later on, it would all just fall apart." The couple married in 1998. Within a few years, they were expecting their third child, Niqolus. They hoped for a new start. The morning of May 15 started badly. Jeramy, 27, said he'd been up all night, working on the kitchen floor of the couple's Davenport home. They argued when he asked his wife to change her stomach-baring shirt before she went to work. According to court records, Jeramy slapped her, spat on her and pushed her, knocking her over a bicycle, records say. Mary, bruised and cut, changed her shirt. As she rushed home later that morning, Mary Essary thought there must have been an accident - despite the broken leg nine years before, despite the fight that morning, despite incidents just days earlier. On May 12, authorities believe Jeramy grabbed Niqolus by the back of the neck and slammed his head into an entertainment center, according to Scott County records. The crying boy had a red-and-blue bump on his forehead. Mary Essary tried to intervene that day but backed off when her husband told her to"stay out of it or he would really hurt" the boy, court records indicate. On May 14 - a day before Niqolus died - Jeramy held a hand over Niqolus' mouth for one to two minutes when the toddler wouldn't stop crying, authorities allege. When Mary barged into the house May 15, it struck her that Niqolus wasn't on the main floor. If he'd fallen down the stairs, why wasn't he there on the floor or on the nearby sofa? She found her husband and son upstairs. "My son was in the farthest bedroom, lying on the floor about this far from the wall," she said, demonstrating about a foot's distance with her hands. "He was lying on his side." Jeramy, panicky, discouraged her from going to the hospital, she said. "He said, "They're going to think I did it. They're going to think I did it," " Mary Essary remembered. "I said, "If you didn't do it, then why are you worrying?" " During the drive to the hospital, both made rough attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Neither knew exactly how. Niqolus lay lifeless in his mother's arms. "I couldn't get anything out of him," Mary said. Shortly after Niqolus was pronounced dead at the hospital, Davenport police charged and arrested Jeramy Essary for the unrelated incidents of abuse that had allegedly happened earlier in the week. He remained in jail as the investigation continued. Niqolus was buried, and family and friends waited months for results of the autopsy. Last month, they received some answers. Deputy State Medical Examiner Dennis Klein ruled that the cause of death was asphyxiation, or lack of oxygen caused by an obstruction to normal breathing. The death was not natural or accidental, authorities said. The findings didn't match Jeramy Essary's story about his son's fall. On July 16, he was charged with first-degree murder, various counts of child endangerment and willful injury. Mike Walton, the assistant Scott County attorney who will prosecute Essary, said it wouldn't be appropriate to discuss the case. Mary Essary, however, said she expected that Jeramy would be accused of trying to quiet the boy by holding his hand or a pillow over the boy's mouth. Jeramy Essary, who will be arraigned Aug. 22, is being held in the Scott County Jail. His attorney didn't return a call last week. Beulah Essary, Jeramy's grandmother from Bettendorf, is one of few people who visit him regularly in jail. He hasn't talked to his wife since the day his son died, and his parents live in another state. "He swears up and down that he didn't do it," Beulah Essary, 77, said. "He wanted a boy so bad, and after he had a little boy, I really don't think he would have done it." She said she wondered what prevented Niqolus from breathing, but she wasn't ready to judge. Too many people at Niqolus' funeral were ready to condemn Jeramy, she said. "The talk was that Jeramy killed him," she said. "I said, "You don't know until he's proven guilty." The Bettendorf woman said she wished she had visited the family more often. "I just kind of blame myself for not going down and checking on him," she said. She said she wondered, though, why Mary Essary didn't get out of the relationship if there was so much abuse. Mary left the house almost every day to go to work, she pointed out. Mary Essary knows others wonder that same thing. The Department of Human Services placed her two girls in foster care immediately after her son's death. She sees them once a week. "They say it's because of the past domestics," Essary said, explaining that the social workers were afraid she would end up in a relationship in which her daughters could be abused. "But this is the way I look at it: You walk in my shoes," Essary said. "If you haven't walked in my shoes, you do not know what it's like." Mary Essary said she planned to divorce her husband, whose letters from jail she usually doesn't read. She's getting counseling, as are her daughters. She has advice for anyone in an abusive relationship: "Get out, because they are never going to change. They'll tell you they'll change, but they're never going to change. I wish I would have left a long time ago." She wants justice for Niqolus, and she wants her daughters back. Eventually, she hopes to volunteer with victims of domestic abuse. She hopes her loss will serve as a lesson. "Look at what I've got now. I have nothing," she said. "I will never see my son grow up, learn to go potty, learn to tie his shoe, have a best friend, start his first day of school. I'll never get to see any of that." "

Date: August 11, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom Accused of Neglect in Son's Death: CRESTVIEW, Fla. (AP) - A woman was charged with child neglect of her mentally impaired son who died in November, more than a decade after the state began investigating reports of abuse. The Department of Children & Families investigated James Alford's death but concluded it was not caused by neglect. The finding ensured that the agency's performance would not be evaluated by a review team created by the Legislature to help prevent child deaths. Michelle Wesson, 33, was arrested Friday. A police report said she "habitually failed" to provide minimal care for James, who was 14. The medical examiner's report found he died of septicemia, likely brought on by unsanitary living conditions. Wesson was being held without bail Saturday. Whether she had an attorney could not immediately be determined. A police report said James came to the agency's attention in 1990, when a caller reported that the 3-year-old boy was physically abused. More than 20 reports of abuse of neglect were investigated thereafter. Over the years, callers told the state agency that James was hit with a switch, sometimes leaving open cuts, and was beaten with a rubber hose or board and burned with a cigarette. Wesson repeatedly told investigators that James or his siblings were accidentally hurt and promised she would clean her house and better supervise her children, records showed. Investigators repeatedly found the home teeming with bugs and human and animal waste. When sheriff's deputies found the teen Nov. 11, the home was so filthy that several animals they removed had to be euthanized, authorities said. The child welfare agency has been immersed in scandal since reporting in April that a girl in its care had been missing more than a year. Rilya Wilson of Miami hasn't been seen since January 2001."

Date: August 10, 2002. News Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Newspaper, http://www.jsonline.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman charged with killing son in crash: 3 other children hurt; she told police she had been drinking, complaint says. A woman was charged Thursday with killing her 3-year-old son in a drunken driving crash that occurred, a complaint says, after she downed "a few drinks to settle her nerves" following a quarrel with another son. After Collette Renee Finchis' car jumped a curb Tuesday and slammed into a utility pole, she staggered around the crash scene, leaned on her car to keep her balance and was unable to perform sobriety tests, according to the criminal complaint. "Forget it, I can't do it," Finchis told police when she lost her balance while trying to stand on one leg, the complaint says. "Yeah, yeah, I know. I was drinking. I can't do it." Inside her car, according to the complaint, police found three of her children and one of her grandchildren injured. Her 3-year-old son, Kamar Pugh, was found fatally injured on the floor by the front seat, the complaint says. Emergency personnel tried reviving him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Another son, Marv'Tavis Pugh, 4, was found on the back seat and was taken to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, where he was treated for a broken leg, lacerated liver and head injuries, the complaint says. Another child, 7, and an 8-month-old grandchild were taken from the rear seat to Children's Hospital for treatment of injuries and released, according to the complaint. Finchis, 36, of the 2700 block of N. 56th St., was charged with homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the crash about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 6200 block of W. Appleton Ave. The first officer who arrived at the crash scene found Finchis' Lincoln Town Car off the roadway and adjacent to a fallen utility pole and Finchis sitting in the driver's seat with the engine running, the complaint says. When she was questioned about her children, Finchis had difficulty remembering their names, dates of birth and where they were seated, and at one point suggested that police stop asking her such questions and get the information from her relatives instead, according to the complaint. Finchis told police she had put a seat belt on the son who died but he sometimes undid the belt and was not in a child seat, the complaint says. She said she'd earlier had four "kind of strong" mixed drinks to calm herself after a quarrel with a son, and a blood sample obtained after the accident showed she had a blood-alcohol level of 0.208, more than twice the 0.10 considered proof of intoxication in Wisconsin, according to the complaint."

Date: August 9, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Parents allegedly abused own children in global porn ring: WASHINGTON - A group of parents sexually molested their own children and sent pornographic pictures of them worldwide over the Internet, U.S. Customs officials said Friday, announcing 20 arrests in the United States and abroad. Forty-five children, including 37 Americans ranging from 2 to about 14, were victims and have been removed from the care of those indicted, Customs officials said. Eighty percent of the children were molested by one of their own parents, they said. Authorities say the parents traded photos of themselves sexually abusing their own children and shared tips in online chat rooms. Most of the children are now in the custody of another parent or relative, or foster care. "I've rarely seen crimes as despicable and repugnant," Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner said. All of the suspects are men except one Danish woman, Bente Jensen, who is charged with her husband, Eggert Jensen. Ten U.S. citizens face charges filed since January, including nine people named in an indictment unsealed Friday in Fresno, Calif. The other, Jeffrey Naimo of Killeen, Texas, already has pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Bonner said. Six residents of Denmark, Switzerland and the Netherlands also were indicted in Fresno and the Justice Department is seeking their extradition to face charges, Bonner said. Four other Europeans were charged abroad as part of the joint investigation with the Danish National Police that reached Belgium, Germany, England, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Customs officials said they would not identify them or specify their nationality because the investigation is ongoing. Bonner said he had never seen a broad conspiracy of this type among parents before. "If this isn't unusual, God help us," he said. The charges of sexual exploitation of children, conspiracy to exploit children, and receiving and distributing child pornography each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to a maximum of 20 years. Some defendants could receive 60 years if convicted of all charges against them, Bonner said. More arrests are expected. Authorities are still trying to identify other children in some of the explicit pictures. The indictment alleges that members of the ring, referring to themselves as "the club," traded messages across the Internet requesting photographs of specific sexual poses. One man asked for an audiotape so he could hear a child crying while being spanked, the indictment said, and another posed naked with an underage girl. In one instance, a man swapped his own children with another pedophile to be abused, Bonner alleged. He said the wide availability of child pornography on the Internet encourages pedophiles. "Together we must find ways to protect our children and to starve the pedophiles of the sordid images that induce them to act," he said. A few of those arrested received pictures but did not produce them, Bonner said. The investigation began when the international charity Save the Children found on the Internet a picture of Eggert Jensen molesting his 9-year-old daughter and reported it to Danish authorities, authorities said. The Danish National Police traced Jensen through a company logo on the shirt he wore in the picture, said Customs special agent Mike Netherland. Danish police found information on the Jensens' computer that was forwarded to the U.S. Customs Service and led to the arrest in January of chiropractor Lloyd Alan Emmerson in Clovis, Calif. Paul Whitmore and Brooke Rowland, both of San Diego, also were arrested in January based on information from Denmark, investigators said. Searches of the California suspects' computers led to nine other U.S. citizens, Netherland said. The other Americans facing charges include: Tracy Reynolds of Longview, Texas; Leslie Peter Bowcut, Burley, Idaho; Michael David Harland, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Harry Eldon Tschernetzki, Spokane, Wash.; John Zill, Greeneville, S.C.; and Craig Davidson, Kansas City, Kan. An 11th American, Sean Bradley of Reno, Nev., committed suicide prior to the filing of formal charges, Netherland said. The six foreigners indicted in Fresno were identified as the Jensens of Denmark; Jean-Michael Frances Cattin, Marcel Egli and Peter Althaus of Switzerland; and Dirk-Jan Prins of the Netherlands. No hometowns were provided."

Date: August 8, 2002. News Source: The South Africa Press Association News Service, http://www.news24.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Child raped as mom looks on: Cape Town - A foster mother discovered that a six-year-old girl in her care had allegedly been raped by her biological mother's lover, while the mother looked on, the Cape Town magistrate's court heard on Thursday. The little girl was allegedly sexually abused by the mother - a prostitute - and her lover-pimp. The mother and her lover appeared in the court on Wednesday on provisional rape and attempted murder charges. They were arrested on August 1 and have not pleaded. No details were given about the attempted murder charge. The mother is not named to protect the girl's identity. The court heard that the foster mother made the discovery when the girl winced as the foster mother washed her private parts during a bath. Later, after the foster mother had managed to gain the child's confidence, the child had described how her biological mother had allegedly watched while her lover-pimp allegedly raped her. The girl alleged that both her biological mother and the mother's lover had afterwards sexually abused her with their fingers. The child was placed in foster care by court order, after a Juvenile Court ruled the mother unfit to care for her. The court order resulted from the biological mother's use of the child in a shoplifting incident, for which she (the mother) has already been convicted and sentenced. Prosecutor Ruwayder Badrudien said there was no objection to bail, provided both had a fixed abode. The lover-pimp told the court he had lost his job at Seagulls, a Sea Point restaurant-bar, since his arrest, and that both he and his lover would live with his mother in Bothasig. The pimp admitted two previous convictions, one for shoplifting, the other for fraud. Asked if she would stay with her lover if released on bail, the mother replied: "Yep." The biological mother said her lover had R250 for bail, but could raise R500, while she said she had no money at all. Magistrate Derek Winter said R500 bail was "laughable" on charges of child rape and attempted murder, and fixed bail at R1 000. The case was postponed to August 28 for further investigation."

Date: August 7, 2002. News Source: The St. Petersburg Times Newspaper, http://www.sptimes.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "The Baby Survives 17 Hours in Trash Bin. ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A newborn baby girl who was put in a garbage bag and dumped in a bin survived for about 17 hours before a neighbor rescued her, police said Tuesday. The baby's mother, Stephanie Smith, told authorities she delivered the child at home and dumped her in a bin across the street Sunday, according to a police report. A neighbor heard noise and fished the child out Monday, police said. She was wrapped in a dirty towel with placenta still attached, but was in good condition despite daytime temperatures of up to 90 degrees. "It's very unusual for a baby to be born and put in that environment and not have any problems," said Dr. Benjamin Torres of All Children's Hospital where the child was taken. Smith told police she dumped the full-term baby hoping it would die in the bin so she could keep the birth a secret. The 23-year-old was charged with attempted first-degree murder. She remained hospitalized Tuesday for complications related to the delivery and was not available for comment. A lawyer had not been appointed."

Date: August 6, 2002. News Source: The Reuters Health News Service, http://www.reuters.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "US Child Abuse Deaths Sharply Underestimated: Study. NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Many children's death certificates do not correctly list abuse, neglect or other forms of maltreatment as the cause of death, Colorado researchers report. Because of this child abuse deaths may be more common than current figures indicate, their study suggests. "Child abuse is underrecognized as a problem in the United States," Tessa Crume, an epidemiologist at the Colorado Department of Public Health ( news - web sites) and Environment, told Reuters Health. The current ways of assessing child abuse--analyzing data from death certificates--"are drastically underestimating it," she said. "I don't think death certificates are the place to assess child abuse," Crume added. "We look to death certificates, but we shouldn't." Crume and her colleagues compared data collected by a statewide child fatality review committee, including information from the coroner's office, social services, law enforcement and other vital records, with information on the death certificates of children who died in Colorado from January 1990 to December 1998. The children ranged in age from newborn to 16 years. Of the 295 deaths that the committee identified as maltreatment-related, only half were listed as such on the children's death certificates, Crume and her team report in the August online issue of Pediatrics. The researchers also found biases in how child abuse information was recorded on death certificates, the report indicates. For example, death certificates for black children and girls were more likely to have child abuse or neglect correctly listed as the cause of death than were death certificates for boys or for Hispanic or white children, study findings indicate. Further, maltreatment was 60% less likely to be recorded on the death certificates of children who died in rural areas as opposed to those who died in metropolitan areas. "These discrepancies in ascertainment raise concerns that professionals who investigate child deaths may be more likely to conclude that maltreatment was a contributing factor in the cause of death for children with certain sociodemographic characteristics," the authors write. Children who died from shaking, by blows from a blunt or sharp object, firearms or some other violent means were more likely to have their death recorded as maltreatment-related than those whose death was caused by neglect and abandonment, drowning or some other act of omission, the report indicates. What's more, although parents were most commonly responsible for the abuse or neglect, maltreatment was nearly nine times more likely to be recorded on a death certificate if the perpetrator was someone unrelated to the child, study findings indicate. This may be due to a number of factors including the hesitancy of law enforcement officials to consider grieving parents as potential abusers, the researchers note. In addition, "the same police officers who investigate child deaths are the same ones who investigate adult crime scenes," Crume said. Many investigators are not trained to recognize certain types of evidence that are different from what they would look to find in the case of an adult death, she explained. In light of the findings, rather than looking to death certificates, "the only way to assess child abuse fatality is to have a multidisciplinary child death review team," Crume said. The study was partially funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. SOURCE: Pediatrics 2002;110:e18."

Date: August 5, 2002. News Source: The United Press International News Service, http://www.upi.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Capital murder charge prepared in shooting: Police said Monday a capital murder charge would be filed against a 29-year-old man they say killed his wife, their two children and two other relatives in what one detective called the bloodiest family violence he had ever seen. Abel Revill Ochoa, 29, was arrested shortly after the shooting at a home in the southwest section of the city Sunday night. He was held in lieu of $2 million bond at the Dallas county jail under a 24-hour suicide watch. Police will ask the district attorney to file a capital murder charge against Ochoa because it was a multiple-slaying and involved children, Sgt. Hollis Edwards said. Prosecutors could seek the death penalty in the case. Investigators were still trying to piece together what sparked the bloody shooting spree in the Oak Cliff area of the city. The suspect became upset with his wife but they don't know what sparked the disturbance, the sergeant said. "While the family was in the living room he walked in and began shooting with an automatic pistol," Edwards said. Killed were his wife, Cecelia Ochoa, 32, and two of their children, Anahi Ochoa, 10 months, and Crystal Ochoa, 7; his father-in-law, Bartolo Alivizo, 56, and his sister-in-law, Jacqueline Saleh, 20. Another sister-in-law, Alma Alvizo, 27, was critically wounded and remains hospitalized at Methodist Medical Center. Neighbors heard a string of gunshots that sounded like firecrackers Sunday night and then Alma Alvizo ran bleeding from the house to get help. She told a relative what had happened before being rushed to a hospital. A veteran Dallas police detective told The Dallas Morning News it was the worst domestic violence he had ever seen in the city. "This is the worst that I've ever seen -- and I've been in homicide 10 years," said Sgt. Gary Kirkpatrick. "There's never been one of this magnitude." The suspect's brother said the family had some domestic problems, Kirkpatrick said. Witnesses reported seeing the suspect run from the home and leave in a sport utility vehicle. He was arrested without incident a short time later at a shopping area in the area. Neighbors could not recall any past disturbances at the home. "It scares me -- they were a peaceful family," said Maria Torres. "I don't understand why this would happen." "

Date: August 4, 2002. News Source: The Dallas Morning News Newspaper, http://www.dallasnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Different paths, same desolation: An analysis of Texas inmates suggests that women who kill children have little in common -- except despair. Killing a child is a horrific act, universally condemned by society, the antithesis of the maternal instinct – but every year, women kill dozens of Texas children. Young children in Texas are most at risk. And mothers are responsible for the greatest percentage of child deaths attributed to abuse or neglect in Texas. Seventy women are serving time in Texas prisons for having a role in killing their own children, stepchildren or a relative's child. A Dallas Morning News analysis of their cases produced a disturbing picture of who kills and who is killed, what can motivate a mother to commit such a horrible crime – and how society responds to it. That number does not reflect the full scope of the problem. Legal experts say that some women who kill their children may never face trial because of difficulties in linking them to the crime – or an insanity defense may keep them out of prison. But those who are convicted typically will spend a very long time behind bars, in part because of "get tough" legislation passed in the early 1990s requiring Texas inmates to serve a greater percentage of their prison sentences, and perhaps reflecting society's growing intolerance towards child killers. Sixty-four percent received prison sentences of 40 years or more. More than half of the women in Texas prisons for killing children in their households were incarcerated since the beginning of 1997. Some of the women in the News study killed children in fits of rage, as they succumbed to the stresses of crushing debt or were overwhelmed by the demands of being a caregiver to multiple children and the family's only source of income. Others murdered while grappling with the demons of mental illness. Teenagers abandoned newborns. Two older women killed during custody battles – one shooting her 3-year-old son with a shotgun as he watched cartoons, the other strangling her two young sons with a scarf. "Whether we're talking about conduct that's borne out of mental illness, or we're talking about parents losing it, each is more likely when we have families that are under increasing amounts of stress," said Sam Houston State University forensic psychologist Phillip Lyons. "So the tighter and hotter the pressure cooker, the more likely we are to see parents losing their cool or a manifestation of some sort of mental illness." In all, 83 children died in the incidents that resulted in prison time for the 70 Texas inmates in the study. Eight out of 10 killed victims who were 5 years old or younger. Seven killed more than one child. The victims were strangled, smothered, scalded and stabbed. They were drowned, burned, shot or poisoned. Infants were slammed into walls or left to die in trash bins. Trauma accounted for about 39 percent of the deaths. Roughly one in four of the victims were drowned, suffocated or strangled. Relatively few were killed with weapons: seven were stabbed, four were shot and one was struck in the head with a hammer. According to Texas Child Protective Services, mothers were responsible for 48 percent of the abuse or neglect deaths in Texas last year. Fathers accounted for 26 percent of the deaths, "paramours" (boyfriends mostly, or girlfriends) 14 percent, relatives 7 percent and "other" 5 percent. But for a variety of reasons, not all child killings result in criminal prosecutions or lengthy prison time for the culprits. Who goes to trial – and who doesn't – may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Exactly how many abuse and neglect deaths result in criminal convictions or mental health commitments is not known – in Texas, or, for that matter, the nation. "Some deaths involve very young children and occur at the hands of a sole caregiver in the privacy of the child's own home," a recent report by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services noted. "Foul play may never be suspected, or, if suspected, is difficult to prove." The report also pointed out that "no single agency is responsible for tracking child deaths." Economics and race sometimes may play a role in what is reported as a suspicious death, said Juan Parra, a University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio pediatrics professor who heads one of the state's more than 40 child fatality review teams. The teams produce data that help reduce preventable child deaths. Dr. Parra indicated that hospitals catering to more affluent clients with private insurance may not report suspected abuse as often as institutions that deal primarily with poor and mostly minority clientele. Other cases never end up in a courtroom because they are simply too difficult to prosecute. Forensic science is an evolving field. And in some instances, scientists know less now than they thought they did years ago. "When I was an intern and doing my residency 25-26 years back, we were taught that, based on the color changes or a contusion or a bruise, or a tissue reaction, one could give predictive value as to when exactly that occurred," said Tarrant County Medical Examiner Nizam Peerwani. "We know now that this is absolutely bogus. One can't really do that. Human tissues behave differently and react differently and different color changes occur. ... So we give what are called windows – we give a range." Those ranges, Dr. Peerwani acknowledged, "are sometimes helpful and sometimes are not helpful in trying to prosecute a given parent or care provider." Harris County prosecutor Denise Oncken, who serves in the child abuse division of the district attorney's office, points to two issues that make it difficult to prosecute child killers. "It may be hard to determine who the person is that abused the child, especially if there are multiple caretakers," she said. "The second problem is determining ...what the injuries were caused by." Particularly in communities that do not have ready access to medical examiners or other trained forensic experts, child deaths may not be identified as criminal acts. A death may be attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, for example, when in fact the child died because of trauma. In 1996, Tanya Reid was convicted of murder in Deaf Smith County for the 1984 death of her infant daughter, after a conviction three years earlier was overturned on procedural issues. Eight-month-old Morgan died after repeated episodes of what originally was thought to be infant apnea, and an autopsy indicated that SIDS may have been a factor. Texas authorities began looking at her daughter's death after the former nurse was convicted in 1989 for endangering a baby son in Iowa. A closer examination suggested that Ms. Reid may have been smothering her children to gain attention, so-called "Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy." Dr. Peerwani said that conducting a thorough investigation at the scene and forensic evaluation are crucial to identifying criminal cases and "depending on the resources of the community, these things may not be done as they should be done." Some women who do go to trial avoid prison with an insanity defense. For example, a Harris County jury found Evonne Rodriguez, accused of strangling her 4-month-old son with rosary beads because she believed he was possessed, not guilty by reason of insanity in 1998. However, she was committed to a state mental hospital. "It's very rare, relatively, for women to kill their children, but when they do, they tend to have some type of psychotic disorder. ... They tend to be fairly seriously mentally ill," said Dr. Lyons, a former Alvin, Texas, detective who specialized in crimes involving children. "And I wouldn't be at all surprised if that doesn't result in a number of acquittals or plea bargains or an unwillingness on the part of prosecutors to prosecute." Whether mental illness is an issue or not, punishment for similar crimes can vary dramatically. Angela Dawn Skierski's newborn died in 1994, after she abandoned the baby in a trash bin. The former college coed, 18 at the time of her infant's death, received a 60-year prison sentence. Other young women have received relatively short sentences or even probation. Samantha Pearson's newborn was found dead after she wrapped him in towels and placed him in a garbage bag. She, too, was 18 at the time. In 1998, she pleaded guilty in a Johnson County court to charges of injury to a child and child endangerment. She was released on parole last year. Juana Leija received a 10-year probated sentence more than a decade ago after she threw six of her children into a Houston­area bayou, drowning two. Her attorneys argued that she suffered from mental illness and had been abused by her husband. In 1993, Kimberly Lynnette Harris abandoned her 23-month-old daughter near another Houston-area bayou in 1993. During her trial, experts testified that she was psychotic, suffered from depression and had a low IQ; she reportedly was grappling with financial problems and had a troubled relationship with the child's father. A few days before abandoning her daughter, she'd also undergone an abortion. She was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Ms. Oncken, the Harris County prosecutor, said that every case involving a child's death is different, and there's a range of punishment. "Typically they're going to a jury ... so it's 12 citizens who are making the decisions," she said. "It depends on the community's standards and what they think of that particular person who committed the crime. Some people just play better to the jury than others do." Changes in the law also have led to stiffer sentences. In the early 1990s, killing a child under the age of 6 became a capital offense under Texas law. In some cases, women who kill children are charged with capital murder but later plead to a lesser charge, or accept a life sentence rather than risk the death penalty. Gerry Morris, former president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said plea bargains to lesser offenses or sentences are not unusual because such agreements enable prosecutors to avoid the cost of a trial, while ensuring the woman stays behind bars past her childbearing years. When considering an appropriate sentence in a plea bargain, attorneys also take into account if there is a child who survived the woman's attempt to kill, Mr. Morris said. "The concern there is certainly you want the surviving child to reach adulthood, to be able to defend himself against Mama." "

Date: August 3, 2002. News Source: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Newspaper, http://www.sun-sentinel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "No charges against Florida mom who refuses to give son medication to save his eyesight. FORT LAUDERDALE - Police won't press charges against a mother who has refused to give her 11-year-old son a medication that his doctor said could save the boy's eyesight. The boy's mother, Margie Lacre, said a drug prescribed to treat his arthritis-related eye disease could have side effects of lung and liver damage. The Broward County Sheriff's Office, which investigates possible child abuse and neglect cases for the state's Department of Children & Families, found no evidence of any criminal wrongdoing by the mother, spokesman Jim Leljedal said Friday. The DCF can request another investigation into the boy's case if his condition changes, or his symptoms become worse, said Mary Allegretti, a DCF spokeswoman. Dr. Barry Waters, the boy's arthritis specialists, filed a complaint in July against Lacre to the DCF, hoping the agency would try to persuade or force the mother to agree to the treatment. The boy's doctors contend side effects of the drug, methotrexate, only occur rarely and the boy could go blind within months without treatment. Over the past year, Lacre has left her son on medications that let his vision get worse, Waters said. Lacre could not be reached for comment. Her telephone number is unlisted. Methotrexate often is prescribed to relieve the inflammation and pain of arthritis, Waters said. In the boy's case, Waters said the arthritis is attacking collagen in his eyes, damaging his eyesight and preventing normal eye movement."

Date: August 2, 2002. News Source: The Scotsman Newspaper, http:// www.news.scotsman.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother Who Killed Son Sent to Mental Hospital: A mother who deliberately set fire to a shed killing her young son was today detained indefinitely in a mental hospital. Mercy Atsu was "tormented" when she torched the outbuilding on November 3 last year, Preston Crown Court was told. Aaron Elleray, then just 18 months old, suffered burns to 55% of his small body in the blaze at his father’s home in Queen’s Square, Bowness in Cumbria. The toddler underwent skin grafts at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital but his condition later deteriorated and he died on March 23. Atsu, 26, who comes from Ghana, but was staying at the Lake District home of her partner, Stephen Elleray at the time of the incident, denied murder but admitted the manslaughter of her son on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Sentencing her today, Judge Peter Openshaw, QC, the recorder of Preston, said her plight deserved pity rather than condemnation. He added: "The evidence ... Makes it quite clear to me that you were suffering from a mental illness with delusions even before you left Ghana. "Your relationship was unstable and you were otherwise quite without family, without friends and without any other cultural links or associations in this country. And that led to you being isolated, alienated and vulnerable – particularly when you had the added responsibility of looking after your infant child. "I’m sure that you were driven to commit this dreadful act as a result of your mental illness. Your plight deserves pity and not condemnation. You need treatment and not punishment." Atsu, who sat beside an interpreter throughout the proceedings, will be detained at Guild Lodge, in Whittingham. The court heard how she was suffering from schizophrenia. The judge said he was satisfied that she "presented a risk of committing further offences" if she was she released back into the community at present."

Date: August 1. 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Body found in freezer: A SWEDISH woman has been charged with two counts of infanticide after allegedly admitting to killing two newborns and keeping one body in a freezer. It is alleged that Helena Pettersson suffocated a baby girl immediately after giving birth in 1993. Charges filed with the district court in Nacka, just east of the capital Stockholm, say she killed her newborn son in a similar way six years later. The boy's body was found wrapped in terrycloth towels three months ago in a wooded area east of Stockholm. Police say they found the girl's body in a freezer during a subsequent search of Pettersson's apartment. Pettersson, 31, had confessed to killing the babies but does not remember exactly why or how, prosecutor Eva Finne said. No trial date was set. Infanticide carries a maximum penalty of six years in prison in Sweden."

Date: July 31, 2002. News Source: The Scotsman Newspaper, http://www.news.scotsman.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Father guilty of killing his two babies: SOCIAL workers were last night under pressure to order a full investigation after a father was found guilty of killing his two baby sons. Ian Metcalfe, 34, was convicted of the culpable homicide of Kyle Metcalfe in 1988 and Dylan Lockerbie in 1996, despite their being under the supervision of the Dumfries and Galloway social work department. He was also found guilty of assaulting, asphyxiating and endangering the life of a third child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in 1989. Child protection agencies, backed by politicians, immediately called for a change in the law to force the authorities to review all "unexpected" child deaths, including cot deaths. Metcalfe suffocated both children, but the death of Kyle, aged 11 weeks, was attributed to cot death. Dylan, aged five months, died in 1996, while the family was under informal supervision by social workers. They had been alerted after the boy was found to have unexplained marks and bruises on his body, but it was decided not to put him on the "at risk" register. A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh acquitted Metcalfe of murdering the boys, but found him guilty of culpable homicide. Maureen Lockerbie, 24, Metcalfe’s fianc饠and the mother of Dylan, vowed to stand by him. She said: "The verdict is not what we wanted. We will do whatever we can to appeal against it. If anyone knew him, I did, and I know he wasn’t capable of all these crimes. " Michelle Johnstone, 32, Metcalfe’s former wife and the mother of Kyle, said: " This trial has been difficult and disturbing for all of us. Nothing can make amends for the tragic death of my son . "I am relieved the trial is over and now I have the opportunity to try to come to terms with the circumstances of Kyle’s death." Metcalfe did not give evidence during the trial, but his counsel, Donald Findlay, QC, argued the Crown had failed to prove that he had deliberately asphyxiated the children. The jury decided by majority a verdict that Metcalfe committed the attacks, but held that the final and fatal assaults did not amount to murder because he had not intended to kill. Mr Findlay said he first met his client, charged in October 2000, about two years ago. He added: "He told me then and consistently since then, he did not cause harm to his children. I have spent the last two years endeavouring to provide Ian Metcalfe with the answer he sought, as to why his two sons died. " The judge, Lord Carloway, told Metcalfe he wanted to "attempt to obtain some form of information as to what may have lain behind these assaults". He ordered psychological and psychiatric assessments and reports before sentencing next month. Metcalfe was remanded in custody. The sentence for culpable homicide is at the judge’s discretion. During the trial, Mr Findlay was scathing in his criticism of the Dumfries and Galloway social work department. He said Metcalfe and Ms Lockerbie had been keen to accept an offer of help , but it took four weeks for a social worker to visit them - and the help provided amounted to " next to none." He added: "The social work department let them down very badly." A spokeswoman for the child protection charity Children First said: "This case only highlights the reasons why we support the need for a comprehensive child death review in all cases of the unexpected death of a youngster. While such an investigation may cause great distress, if it was carried out as a matter of course parents would be less likely to feel anger if a finger was being pointed." Roseanna Cunningham, the SNP’s justice spokeswoman, expressed her concern that the authorities had allowed Metcalfe to slip through the net - and backed Children First. She said: "If it would allow all the parties to talk to each other to prevent a repeat of the Ian Metcalfe scenario, it would make sense." A joint statement by Dumfries and Galloway Council, the local NHS Trust and Dumfries and Galloway Police, refused to confirm if an inquiry would be held."

Date: July 30, 2002. News Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper, http://enquirer.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom who killed children not guilty by insanity. By all accounts, Bridget Stovall loved her children. They were her life and she would have done anything to protect them. On April 7, 2001, she killed them. In the midst of a psychotic breakdown and believing her family had succumbed to a voodoo hex, she drowned her 4-year-old daughter, Cariyan, and her 20-month-old son, Iyan, in a bath of saltwater. Her attorneys told a three-judge panel Monday that the 24-year-old Evanston woman believed she was exorcising demons from her children and didn't know the wrongfulness of her actions. Those delusions and hallucinations helped the mentally disturbed mother escape the death penalty Monday when the trio of Hamilton County Common Pleas judges found her not guilty by reason of insanity. She was ordered to appear in court again on Aug. 8 to determine treatment. She will remain hospitalized until doctors are sure she is not a threat to herself or society. This case is reminiscent of the high-profile trial of Andrea Yates, the Houston mother who drowned her five children last year. But unlike this case, Mrs. Yates' insanity plea was rejected. She was sentenced to life in prison. Experts agreed that Ms. Stovall's children were the victims of the paranoid delusions and hallucinations that led their mother to believe evil spirits possessed them. Dr. James Hawkins, a court-appointed psychiatrist who examined Ms. Stovall for two hours in March, told Judges Fred Cartolano, Thomas Crush and John Andrew West that Ms. Stovall will likely never regain her sanity. He said she began experiencing a break from reality about a week before she drowned her children. A day before their deaths, during a visit to her mother's home, she believed her young son spoke to her in complete sentences and told her she was not his mother. When it was time for them to go home, Ms. Stovall's mother gave her daughter $10 to take a cab. Instead, Ms. Stovall walked to a nearby hospital chapel. In a prayer book, she requested prayers for her children. "Please help wash the demons away," she wrote. She placed the $10 in a collection plate and stopping briefly to buy snacks for her children. She walked the remaining miles to her Woodburn Avenue apartment. Through the night and into the morning she kept her children next to her on the living room couch. She played gospel music and read the book of Genesis aloud over and over again. Dr. Hawkins said she told him she saw furniture move and her lights flicker. She saw dark shadows. She said she was following her mother's advice to bathe the children in saltwater to rid them of the demons, but she did not admit to drowning the children. Robert Kurzhals, a court-appointed clinical psychologist, agreed that Ms. Stovall was unaware of her the wrongfulness of her actions. He examined her in February. "In the state of mind that she was in at the time ... she saw a different reality than what was taking place," Mr. Kurzhals said. But Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Jerry Kunkel countered, "it wasn't voodoo, evil spirits or demons that killed those children, it was the defendant." He acknowledged that she suffered from "severe mental disease" but that she was ultimately to blame. But Ms. Stovall still believes she did nothing wrong, according to her attorney, Clyde Bennett II. "She understood that if we lost, she would die," Mr. Bennett said after the trial. "But her belief and understanding to this day is that she did not kill her children." "

Date: July 29, 2002. News Source: The Houston Chronicle Newspaper, http://www.chron/com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Former deputy gets 30 years: Infant shaken to death after vomiting on man. RICHMOND -- A former Fort Bend County sheriff's deputy received a 30-year prison sentence Monday after pleading guilty in the death of his girlfriend's 11-month-old daughter. Mark A. Parmer, 29, of Wallis, pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony charge of injury to a child in state District Judge Brady Elliott's court, said prosecutor Fred Felcman. Parmer was indicted late last year on a charge of capital murder in the death of Aubrey Hardcastle. The charge was changed to injury to a child as part of the plea bargain, Felcman said. "He will have to serve 15 years before he is eligible for parole," Felcman said. An autopsy showed the child died from brain damage and had multiple contusions to the face and head. Rosenberg police began their probe after Parmer brought the girl to Polly Ryon Hospital in Richmond on Oct. 11. He told doctors she had vomited after drinking a bottle of baby formula at her Rosenberg house, where he was watching her while her mother was at work. Hospital workers were immediately suspicious because the girl's injuries were so serious that she had to be flown to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, where she died shortly after arrival. The girl's mother, Helen Hardcastle, 24, married Parmer several months later, police and prosecutors said. She hugged and kissed Parmer in the courtroom Monday, Felcman said. Parmer joined the Sheriff's Department in October 1999 and worked as a detention officer. He was fired soon after officials learned he was a suspect in the criminal investigation. In a statement to internal affairs officers Oct. 12, Parmer said he became angry when the little girl threw up on his shirt. "When she spit on me, I grabbed her from her arms and pushed her hard away from me and shook her once or twice, and I told her she needed to cut her spitting out," he said. Rosenberg police said they were satisfied with Parmer's sentence. "We were glad to get it resolved. I think it was fair," said Lt. Margaret Hedden. Felcman said prosecutors consulted with other relatives of the victim and obtained their approval before agreeing to the 30-year term."

Date: July 28, 2002. News Source: The Daily Nation (Kenya) Newspaper, http://www.nationaudio.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Man kills wife and 3 children: A man hacked his wife and three children to death. The man killed his wife, a daughter and two sons in Mabera village along the border of Trans Nzoia and Bungoma districts. A third son, who survived the attack, is in a critical condition at Kitale district hospital. Family sources said neighbours took the injured boy to hospital while the bodies of his 29-year-old mother and siblings aged 9, 4 and 2 were taken to the hospital's mortuary. Shocked villagers were yesterday trying to come terms with the incident. The assailant was arrested after he surrendered himself to the Kitale police. The man's mother-in-law said her daughter had expressed fears over her life following constant threats by her husband that he would one day slash her and the children to death. "I had dismissed the threats which had been issued against my daughter. Little did I know that one day my son-in-law would fulfil the threat," she said between sobs."

Date: July 27, 2002. News Source: The New York Daily News Newspaper, http://www.nydailynews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Brooklyn bloodbath: Mom kills daughter, 7, knifes 2 others in rampage, cops say. A Brooklyn mom believed to be high on angel dust fatally stabbed her 7-year-old daughter yesterday and then turned the knife on a neighbor who tried to save the little girl, police said. Police sources said Yolanda Billingslea, 30, took the powerful hallucinogen sometime before she began attacking her child, Tashima, around 11 a.m., stabbing her more than 35 times. A next-door neighbor, Leasha Byrd, 22, a friend of Billingslea's, heard the child's screams, rushed to the Greene Ave. duplex in Bedford-Stuyvesant and tried to intervene. Billingslea then turned the small pocket knife on Byrd, stabbing her repeatedly in the chest until the bleeding woman stumbled out into the street, police sources said. As Byrd screamed for help, Billingslea went outside and began hacking at her again - this time with a steak knife - as Byrd tried to fight back with punches, police sources said. "I heard the woman yelling, then these women were beating on each other, and there was blood on the lady's back," said neighbor Lillie Davis, 65. Another woman, who spotted the bloodbath as she drove down the block, stopped to help, and Billingslea allegedly tried to attack her. The woman escaped injury, but a man who tried to intervene in that assault was slashed in the hand, cops said. As Byrd lay bleeding and gasping for air in the street, Billingslea returned to her home, where her daughter was dying, and stabbed herself in the neck repeatedly with a pair of scissors, sources said. Detectives arrived at 11:34 a.m., followed a trail of blood to Billingslea's home, kicked in the door, wrapped the bleeding girl in a blanket and rushed her to Woodhull Hospital. "It was one of the worst things I have seen," one investigator said. "The little girl was in really bad shape." Tashima died a short time later at the hospital. Billingslea was in critical but stable condition at Woodhull yesterday and was expected to survive the apparent suicide attempt, hospital spokeswoman Emily Mescon said. Billingslea was placed under arrest last night and charges were pending, cops said. Byrd was in critical condition at Kings County Hospital last night. Hours after the slaying, Tashima's aunt collapsed outside the crime scene, clutching a photograph of the little girl, who wore her long hair in braids, was in a program for gifted children and had just learned how to jump rope. "She was my baby, my angel, and she died because she had a suicidal mother," said Belinda McKinnies, whose brother, Louis McKinnies, is Billingslea's husband and the child's father. "She had a PCP problem, and that's why she went crazy and killed her child," McKinnies said through tears. "She doesn't deserve to be dead. If anyone should be dead, it should be the mother." Billingslea's neighbors on the tight-knit block said the mother's life became unglued recently when she lost her job at a Manhattan company. The bills began to pile up, and last week a Brooklyn judge evicted her from her home. The money troubles, coupled with constant fighting with her husband, may have led her to drugs, police sources and neighbors said. Cops had been called to the couple's home on numerous occasions about domestic disputes, sources said. Yesterday, neighbors tried to make sense of what happened. "I don't know why Yolanda snapped this morning. She loves her daughter," said neighbor Roslyn Pointer, 38. Pointer's 13-year-old daughter, Diamond, was stunned at the death of her friend Tashima. "We'd ride our bikes every day. I was teaching her to jump rope because she was kind of afraid of the rope," Diamond said. "I feel hurt." "

Date: July 26, 2002. News Source: The British Broadcasting Corporation News Service, http://news.bbc.co.uk. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother charged over baby's beach death: A 32-year-old woman from Birmingham has been charged with murdering her son, whose body was found on a beach near a popular west Wales holiday resort. Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed on Friday afternoon that Mirlene Priscilla Stewart is accused of killing her son Jordan, who would have been two next Tuesday. His body was found shortly after 1030 BST on Tuesday by a couple walking along Coppet Hall Point beach near the holiday resort of Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire. Jordan had been discovered submerged in a rock pool. A post mortem examination later confirmed the cause of death as drowning. The toddler's buggy was found near to his body. Ms Stewart was arrested within hours and had been interviewed by detectives at Carmarthen Police Station. On Friday, officers confirmed that she had appeared before Carmarthen magistrates and was later remanded in custody. A statement from Dyfed Powys Police said: "Mirlene Priscilla Stewart appeared before Carmarthen Magistrates this afternoon and was remanded in custody. "The deceased has now been formally identified as Jordan Reid, Ms Stewart's natural son." The picturesque sandy stretch of beach on which the boy's body was found is close to the resorts of Tenby and Saundersfoot and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. A memorial service for Jordan Reid will be held at the beach where he died on Sunday evening. His body was found shortly after 1030 BST on Tuesday by a couple walking along Coppet Hall Point beach near the holiday resort of Saundersfoot in Pembrokeshire. Jordan had been discovered submerged in a rock pool. A post mortem examination later confirmed the cause of death as drowning. The toddler's buggy was found near to his body. Ms Stewart was arrested within hours and had been interviewed by detectives at Carmarthen Police Station. On Friday, officers confirmed that she had appeared before Carmarthen magistrates and was later remanded in custody. A statement from Dyfed Powys Police said: "Mirlene Priscilla Stewart appeared before Carmarthen Magistrates this afternoon and was remanded in custody. "The deceased has now been formally identified as Jordan Reid, Ms Stewart's natural son." The picturesque sandy stretch of beach on which the boy's body was found is close to the resorts of Tenby and Saundersfoot and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. A memorial service for Jordan Reid will be held at the beach where he died on Sunday evening."

Date: July 25, 2002. News Source: The Durham Herald Newspaper, http://www.heraldsun.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Suspects returning to N.M. ROXBORO -- New Mexico authorities will travel to Roxboro soon to claim a local schoolteacher and her adoptive parent who were arrested here in late June for allegedly killing the teacher’s adopted child in 2000. In a Tuesday hearing, Veronica Bogey, a fifth-grade teacher at North Elementary School last year, and her adoptive parent, Teri Bogey, waived extradition. Veronica Bogey had fought extradition for several weeks while in custody at the Person County Jail, but this was Teri Bogey’s first hearing. Lt. Albert Pruitt, head of the Person County Jail, said deputies from the Chaves County, N.M., Sheriff’s Department would pick up the Bogeys once the paperwork was completed. "We’ll work with their authorities any way we can," Pruitt said. "Everything’s on go right now." On June 21, a Chaves County grand jury indicted the pair on several felony counts of child abuse resulting in the death of 3-year-old Grace Bogey. According to the autopsy, Grace Bogey, who suffered from spina bifida, died on Sept. 2, 2000, from severe blunt-force trauma to the head consistent with "falling from a high structure, a car crash or being shaken with trauma." Art Weidemann, an assistant district attorney for Chaves County, also noted that several scars, scratches and an untreated broken arm revealed a pattern of abuse in the months leading up to the child’s death. Veronica Bogey was the last person to be seen with Grace Bogey before the child was brought into a Roswell, N.M., emergency room early in the morning of Sept. 2 with a low body temperature and labored breathing, Weidemann said. News of the extradition had Charlene Blevins eagerly awaiting the Bogey’s arrival. "I hope [the Bogeys] get what’s coming to them," said Blevins, Grace’s foster mother in New Mexico from age six months to 2 years old. Blevins, who live 200 miles away from Roswell in Las Cruces, N.M., fought doggedly for the charges and pressured law enforcement, prosecutors, the media and the governor’s office to finish their investigation. "I try not to dwell on what happened," she said. "But it’s been too long for Grace to get her justice. "My husband Bo and I will be at the trial with bells on," Blevins said. "We’ll be there, even if we have to live in our [recreation vehicle] for the whole trial. The Bogeys face lengthy prison sentences if convicted, Weidemann said, in an interview earlier this month. Veronica Bogey is charged with five counts of felony child abuse; Teri Bogey, with two counts of felony child abuse. Some confusion has surrounded Teri Bogey’s gender. Person County authorities initially said Teri Bogey, whose first name they spelled ‘Terry," is Veronica’s father and a cross-dresser. But New Mexico authorities said Bogey has a genetic condition causing ambiguous sex characteristics."

Date: July 24, 2002. News Source: The Los Angeles Times Newspaper, http://www.latimes.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "L.A. Mom with Dead Baby in Car Charged with Murder: LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Los Angeles woman who allegedly left her baby boy strapped in his car seat for several days after his mysterious death was charged on Tuesday with murder, although a coroner had not determined how the infant died. Roxanne Rodrigo, 23, also was charged with child abuse in the death of her four-month-old son, Christian, whose body was found inside her Toyota Camry on Saturday by his grandfather, after apparently dying earlier in the week. Coroner's office officials determined that the boy probably died in the car several days earlier and police said Rodrigo never removed him from the seat. Rodrigo appeared in court on Tuesday but did not enter a plea to the felony charges, which carry a potential life prison sentence. Her arraignment was postponed until Aug. 7 and the young mother has been jailed in lieu of $1 million bail. Rodrigo's father discovered his grandson's body on Saturday afternoon inside her car in the parking lot of St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Hacienda Heights, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, said Los Angeles Sheriff's Deputy Bill Spear. Rodrigo's father followed her to the church after her friends telephoned him from a car wash, saying that she was acting "erratically," Spear said. Sheriff's investigators believe that Rodrigo had left the baby unattended in her car Wednesday for seven or eight hours, during a California heat wave that sent temperatures soaring above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and found the child dead when she returned. The Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner deferred listing the cause of the child's death for about two weeks while the results of further tests are pending, coroner's spokesman David Campbell said. The child's body was clothed and strapped into his car seat and showed no signs of trauma when paramedics examined him at about 2:45 p.m. on Saturday, Campbell said. He was declared dead at the scene, Campbell said. Information about the dead child's father was not immediately available. Prosecutors released few details about the case at Tuesday's hearing. "We have a case of a mother, a dead baby and a murder case," District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told reporters."

Date: July 23, 2002. News Source: The Milford Daily News Newspaper, http://www.milforddailynews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Kampen to be arraigned Thursday: BELLINGHAM - The mother accused of trying to kill her two sons by setting the family house on fire in February 2001 will be arraigned Thursday in Worcester Superior Court on two revised indictments of attempted murder. Carol I. Kampen, 43, formerly of 71 Center St., was scheduled to appear yesterday in Worcester Superior Court, but the arraignment was put off until later this week. The revised indictments are a result of corrective language being incorporated into the two charges, according to Elizabeth Stammo, spokesperson for Worcester District Attorney John Conte. "The charges remain the same," Stammo said yesterday. Stammo could not elaborate on the technical changes made to the two indictments. Kampen's attorney Joseph M. Shields of Framingham was unavailable for comment yesterday afternoon. In May 2001, Kampen pleaded innocent to two counts of attempted murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of assault to murder and one count of arson of a dwelling. Earlier this month, a pre-trial hearing in the Kampen case was delayed after a transportation problem prevented the defendant from appearing in court. A number of Bellingham police officers who investigated the case, including Officer Tony Carneiro, Detective Sgt. Richard Perry and Sgt. Paul Peterson attended that hearing to testify. Kampen is being held on $100,000 bail at MCI-Framingham, where she has been since February. Assistant District Attorney Joseph Moriarty is prosecuting the case. Kampen was troubled by financial and marital problems and was despondent over the suicide death of her mother a few days before she prosecutors say she poured and lit cleaning solvent in 13 areas of the house. She barricaded herself and two young sons inside the home she shared with tenants, police have said. If convicted of all charges, Kampen could face up to 130 years behind bars."

Date: July 22, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Father Convicted in Child's Death: NEW YORK (AP) - A man who claimed he was an absentee father unaware that his wife was starving their 4-year-old daughter has been convicted of second-degree murder in the death of "of a little girl who was never loved." A Manhattan jury took less than an hour Monday to convict Leroy Dickerson, 42, of depraved indifference in Nadine Lockwood's death. The girl weighed about 15 pounds — about the size of a typical 18-month-old — when she was found dead under a heap of filthy clothes in her soiled crib on Aug. 31, 1996, 18 days before her fifth birthday. Prosecutors said when the child cried, Dickerson said, "I'll give you something to cry about," then put her in a plastic bag and slung her around. Sometimes he would throw her against the ceiling, Assistant District Attorney Susan Broderick said. "Nadine was a little girl who was never loved," Broderick said, "a little girl who spent her life in her crib, a little girl whose tiny body was forced to try to save itself by eating away at its own internal organs." Dickerson testified that he was not around much and he believed his wife, Carla Lockwood, 39, was caring for Nadine properly. But prosecutors said Dickerson was in Lockwood's apartment most of the summer before Nadine died and knew the child was being starved. Dickerson suggested that he had been framed. "You got your railroad," he snapped at Broderick as he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs. He faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 8. Dickerson's wife pleaded guilty Sept. 30, 1997, to second-degree murder in Nadine's death. Police quoted her as saying after her arrest that she hated the little girl and blamed her for her troubles."

Date: July 21, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Tribune Newspaper, http://www.chicagotribune.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Parents held in toddler's '95 death: State task force took over case 15 months ago. Seven years ago, Oceanan Rodgers suffered punches so hard that her organs were crushed against her spine. She died after being airlifted to the hospital in seizures, her 3-year-old body marked by dozens of injuries, many of them fresh. But not until Saturday did anyone stand in court to face charges in her death. Prosecutors say the two responsible are her parents--Connie Ferba, 29, of Country Club Hills, and Lester Rodgers, 32, of Harvey--who appeared in the Markham courthouse charged with first-degree murder. Cook County Circuit Judge Thomas Panichi set their bail at $75,000 each. The arrests came after the Illinois State Police Child Homicide Task Force took over the case 15 months ago. Harvey police originally investigated the child's death in 1995, but no charges were filed. Members of the task force would not spell out what led them to charge Oceanan's parents seven years after the crime, saying only that extensive interviews with witnesses and expert pediatricians resulted in their arrest Friday. Oceanan died June 7, 1995--less than two months after the state removed the 3 1/2-year-old from foster care and returned the girl to her parents. Several weeks later, the Cook County medical examiner's office ruled her death a homicide from blunt trauma to the head due to child abuse. "Witnesses revealed [Oceanan] was healthy prior to going back to Connie and Lester," Illinois State Police Lt. Patricia Jordan said at a news conference Saturday. Oceanan had been abused before. When she was 1 month old, she was taken to the hospital with tremors, chills and a fever. A few days later, neurologists diagnosed her condition as shaken baby syndrome, authorities said. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services removed Oceanan, her brother and her two sisters from the home, Assistant State's Atty. Alzetta Bozeman-Martin said during the hearing. Oceanan was released from the hospital in April 1992 and remained in the care of her maternal grandparents for three years. On April 12, 1995, at the recommendation of DCFS caseworkers, she went back home to her mother and father with her siblings. "While she was with her grandparents, she thrived and went to school," said Illinois State Police Special Agent Tammy Girten. "When she was returned, it was not good." A little more than a month after her return, her parents reported that she fell off a bike. Two days later, they took her to the hospital, saying she woke up with a swollen face, Bozeman-Martin said. On June 5, 1995, Ferba called Harvey paramedics saying that Oceanan was having seizures because of the earlier bike fall. When paramedics arrived, Ferba said the child hit her head on a washing machine, prosecutors said. Oceanan died in Wyler Children's Hospital two days later. An autopsy found that the girl had 28 new injuries in the last five days of her life that were not childhood-related. In addition, she had 21 older injuries, Bozeman-Martin said. Oceanan had a large head bruise consistent with a blow to the head or violent shaking, and the medical examiner determined that it was not the result of the 1992 shaking or a fall from a bicycle, prosecutors said. The autopsy also found that the girl had five internal injuries. She had been punched repeatedly in the stomach, damaging her internal organs, authorities said. The parents were the girl's only caretakers from April 12, 1995, until her death, Bozeman-Martin said. Authorities said neither parent has a criminal record. Harvey police officials could not be reached Saturday for comment on the original investigation. As she sat in her Harvey home, Rodgers' mother said she was shocked by the news of the charges. Arcola Rodgers described her son as the type of father who didn't spank his children. Oceanan was always a sickly child, she said. Ferba and Rodgers' son died last July at the age of 8 of complications from diabetes, investigators said. Rodgers had another son who died in 1989 of sudden infant death syndrome. Ferba's two older daughters are in the custody of their biological father, Girten said. Ferba and Rodgers are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing July 31."

Date: July 20, 2002. News Source: The Salt Lake Tribune Newspaper, http://www.sltrib.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Supreme Court Upholds Convictions in Child's Death: The Utah Supreme Court on Friday upheld the murder convictions of a mother and male friend who tortured her 3-year-old daughter to death, in a ruling that said autopsy photographs of the victim were appropriately admitted at trial. Ferosa Bluff, 30, and Andrew Fedorowicz, 49, were found guilty by a jury of first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony counts of child abuse and sexual abuse of a child. Both were sentenced to serve up to life in prison. Their first parole hearing is scheduled for 2010. The pair -- who are Canadian citizens -- had claimed Rebecca Bluff must have injured herself in a fall down the stairs of Fedorowicz's Salt Lake County apartment. But medical experts testified the child, who died Oct. 21, 1998, had been physically and sexually abused with whips and other devices. The autopsy photos, showing a large solid purple bruise over the girl's buttocks and lower back, caused jurors to grimace in horror during a 1999 trial in 3rd District Court. But prosecutors insisted the photos left no doubt that the child had been murdered. "A picture is worth a thousand words," prosecutor James Cope told news reporters following the trial. "In this case, it was worth a million." Defense attorneys Edward Brass and Gilbert Athay had fought against introduction of the photos, claiming they would unfairly inflame the jury against their clients. But trial Judge J. Dennis Frederick decided the photos had "unusual probative value" in light of the differing versions of events leading up to the child's death. In Friday's unanimous opinions, Chief Justice Christine Durham agreed with the trial judge, saying the photos "tended to rebut Bluff's testimony that she knew nothing of the injuries prior to Rebecca's death." Durham added that the photographs "accurately show Rebecca's various injuries, including their placement and pattern." The high court also approved evidence of a videotape depicting Bluff, Fedorowicz and Fedorowicz's wife whipping each other's nude bodies with a cat-o'-nine-tails during "sadomasochistic sexual activities." "The behavior captured on the videotape was sufficiently similar to the acts that were, according to expert testimony and photographs, perpetrated on Rebecca, to make its admission highly relevant to the questions of identity, knowledge and accident," according to Friday's opinion. "The videotape evidence also established that Bluff knew how to use the whips in question." Durham noted that jurors never saw the videotape. Rather, a police officer who had viewed the tape described what he had seen for the jury. The high court rejected other issues raised by the defense, including that the trial court refused to reduce Bluff's first-degree felony murder conviction to third-degree felony child abuse homicide; and that the judge sentenced the defendants to consecutive rather than concurrent prison terms on the convictions."

Date: July 19, 2002. News Source: The Asbury Park Press Newspaper, http://www.app.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Police: Parents killed infant, incinerated body: BURLINGTON CITY -- A Berkeley grandmother, worried because she had not seen her grandson in two months, opened an investigation that led to the arrest of her daughter and boyfriend on charges they beat their infant son to death and burned his body in the fireplace of their home. The suspicions of the maternal grandmother, whom authorities refused to identify, were key, said Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi yesterday, announcing murder charges filed against Kevin Abrahams, 25, and Jessica Morgan, 20. They were arrested by sheriff's officers in Kissimmee, Fla. Tuesday. "If she hadn't reported her concerns, no one knows when or even if this tragic death would have been discovered," Bernardi said at a news conference yesterday. Investigators believe the couple killed and burned Sage Tyler Morgan-Abrahams between March 31 and the end of April; police estimate the baby was between 6 months and a year old. Bernardi said that period was determined because the child's maternal grandmother had seen him on Easter and the boy was not present when Abrahams' relatives gathered on April 28. Authorities have not been able to positively identify the charred remains they found in the house as Sage but they hope DNA reports will be able to do that. But Bernardi said the remains have been identified as an infant between six and 12 months old. That and the fact that Sage is missing leads to the conclusion, Bernardi said. The child's maternal grandmother became suspicious soon after the couple's hard-partying lifestyle got them thrown out of the friend's home where they had been staying in Burlington City, Bernardi said. The next day, Morgan went to her mother in Bayville, without the child. Two days later Morgan, Abrahams and a friend, Barbara Johnson, and her two children, ages 2 and 5, left Burlington City in a 1990 Dodge Spirit, headed toward Florida. "After learning that the grandmother was going to report the child missing to police, they apparently became jittery and decided it was best to 'Get out of Dodge,' " Bernardi said. Morgan's picture was shown on television after the charges were announced. Katie Jonin of Pine Beach, who knew Morgan well, couldn't believe what she saw. "I was just so shocked," Jonin said. "She never did any drugs that I know of in high school. She was just a normal teen-age girl. She wasn't the type person who would do something like this." Six months ago, Morgan called Jonin and asked her if she had a car to take her to Philadelphia. "She said her boyfriend (Abrahams) had been arrested for drugs and she needed to go there and bail him out," Jonin said. "I told her I didn't have a car. I only met her boyfriend one time, but I didn't like him. There was just something about him that rubbed me the wrong way." Bernardi said Abrahams had beaten both the child and Morgan and had a history of violence. Dover Township Police Chief Michael G. Mastronardy said Abrahams was arrested June 2, 1998, for assaulting a 20-year-old woman who was then his girlfriend. Mastronardy would not release the name of the woman Abrahams assaulted. According to a police report on the incident, Abrahams punched the woman and bit her in the face. He also dragged her into a bedroom in the home and threw her on the bed. When police arrived, Abrahams said, "I'm guilty. I choked her last night," the report said. Abrahams eventually pleaded guilty to criminal restraint and was sentenced in January 1999 to serve three years in state prison, according to court records. When they left New Jersey after being thrown out, the group had little money. They made it to Roanoke Rapids, N.C., before their car broke down, Bernardi said. There they made a deal with a mechanic to swap their car for a 1988 Plymouth Voyager, in which they drove to Florida. They arrived in Central Florida about the end of the month. Johnson, became concerned about her companions and called home July 13. She told her relatives in Burlington County where she was and that she wanted to come back home. Police went to the Kissimmee motel they were staying early Sunday and removed Barbara and her children. Authorities found drugs in the motel room and arrested Morgan and Abrahams. By then, New Jersey had issued murder warrants and the parents were identified, Bernardi said. They were being held last night in the Osceola County jail awaiting extradition. Johnson has returned to New Jersey where she is charged with hindering the arrest of Abrahams and Morgan. But Bernardi said there is no evidence she knew about the murder. Bernardi said the process of extraditing the couple back to New Jersey has begun, but could take a month or longer. He said when they return, they could face the death penalty, though he had not decided whether to file capital charges against them. By the time of the arrest, investigators in New Jersey had been working on the case a month. They searched the Burlington City home on June 21, Bernardi said. "They had no idea what they were looking for at all," he said. They found harrowing clues: an infant's charred remains and an empty baby formula can inside a pillowcase that was placed in two plastic bags. The bags were placed in a green wooden box that investigators found in a closet in a room where the couple stayed. The infant's remains were too badly charred to be positively identified, Bernardi said. Investigators found no ashes in the fireplace, but snaps -- like those from a baby's one-piece outfit -- remained. Authorities believe the can was used to scoop the ashes out of the fireplace. Bernardi said investigators believe Abrahams beat the baby while Morgan did nothing to save him, and the couple let the infant die in his crib. A spokesman for the Osceola County jail said yesterday that there was no record of a lawyer for either Abrahams or Morgan. Robert Wesley, public defender for Osceola and Orange counties, said he did not know last night whether his office would represent either of them. In Burlington City yesterday, neighbors on the tidy street expressed shock. They said the house where Abrahams and Morgan lived stuck out because of the loud parties there -- but that loud parties don't add up to murder. "I don't know how anyone could even think of doing that," said Keith Gale, a 32-year-old Burlington City resident as he gazed upon the house where the ashes were found. "I've got a 2-year-old." "

Date: July 18, 2002. News Source: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Newspaper, http://www.sun-sentinel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Police confirm child-abuse visit to mother who later drove into bay: When child abuse investigators visited Ruthmae Bethel's Hollywood home Sunday, her mother said the family had no problems. But the 22-year-old woman, who on Monday drove into Biscayne Bay with her two children, told a different story. She said she had problems with her mother, Brenda Williams, and was "upset with her due to past abuse," according to records released Wednesday. But no one could have imagined Bethel would deliberately drive into Biscayne Bay with her two children, just one day after that visit, killing herself and her 5-year-old daughter and nearly killing her 3-month old son, who remained in critical condition late Wednesday. Bethel's 3-month-old son survived but was in a deep coma on life support. "Every family has their disagreements, but it's nothing to involve the kids over," said Bethel's aunt, who declined to give her name. On Wednesday, the Broward Sheriff's Office released records confirming child abuse investigators had been to Bethel's home. The Sheriff's Office also said police had been called out to the house a total of seven times, including three times to investigate possible child abuse and once in January for a domestic disturbance. The other calls were not serious. During Sunday's visit, records show, Bethel admitted to hitting her 5-year-old daughter, Nadia Dorval, "because Nadia had sucked her teeth when she was told to do something. ..." The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Bethel panicked the morning she drove into the bay because she thought the child welfare agency would take her children away. Police said Bethel had tried at least once before to commit suicide. Reggie Thomas Sr., the boy's father, had received a panicky call from Bethel shortly before the incident, but didn't find out where she was calling from. Records show Williams told Sheriff's Office investigators, who handle Broward child abuse investigations, that she and her daughter were not having any problems, and the children were well cared for. Bethel, a single mother, said she was angry with her 40-year-old mother. The women were referred to counseling. Investigators found no signs of child abuse. Investigators had looked into possible child abuse last October, records show. Again, Bethel admitted she hit her daughter with a belt because she sucked her teeth at her in disrespect. The child told an investigator the discipline did not last long and only later did she realize she had scratches on her arm. Bethel said she grabbed her daughter's arm and may have scratched her by mistake."

Date: July 17, 2002. News Source: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Newspaper, http://www.dfw.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman, three children found dead in Texas home, estranged husband wounded: A mother apparently shot her three children, wounded her estranged husband and then killed herself Tuesday at their North Texas home, sheriff's deputies said. HUDSON OAKS - A Fort Worth firefighter told police that he was shot almost three hours before he called authorities who later found his estranged wife and three children dead in the couple's home, Police Chief Ray Riley said Wednesday. Authorities are puzzled about the time lapse and have not been able to interview fire Capt. Manuel "Manny" Perez, 38, since his surgery Tuesday. Police also don't understand why the house was so immaculate after the shootings and why all the doors were locked when they arrived, Riley said. Still, Riley said authorities think the deaths were homicide-suicide - with Dee Etta Perez, 39, fatally shooting the couple's three children and wounding her husband before turning the gun on herself. Police found a .357-caliber revolver near the mother and 15 .38-caliber shell casings in the house. Riley said each child had been shot three times and were found in their pajamas in a child's bedroom in the house. At the request of police, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office said it would not release its results on the four family members until Thursday. Riley said authorities want to re-examine the crime scene to figure out exactly what happend Tuesday on Cottonwood Court. Despite Riley's statement Tuesday that the family had no history of domestic violence, he said Wednesday that authorities have five reports of disturbances at the home in the past two years. In one case, Dee Etta and Manny Perez were charged with assault, authorities said. The couple, whose 14th anniversary was May 27, had filed for divorce in January. Both cited deep personality conflicts as a reason for the split. Dee Etta Perez also accused her husband of cruel treatment and adulterous behavior. The wife's divorce attorney said the final divorce decree was close to being finalized when the shooting occurred. Authorities say they received a telephone call at 1:20 p.m. Tuesday from Manny Perez saying he had been shot. They responded to a neighbor's house on Juniper Court where they found the severely wounded firefighter, who told them that four people had been shot in his Cottonwood Court home. Manny Perez, who had been shot in the back, did not say who had shot him before he was airlifted to a Fort Worth hospital, Riley said. Riley said he still considers the firefighter as a victim rather than a suspect. "It's very devastating," Riley said of the shootings. "It's a very sad day for Hudson Oaks. Riley said that the body of 10-year-old Sergio Perez's body was found in a top bunk, and that the bodies of 9-year-old Diego and 3-year-old Bianca were found on the bottom bunk. The shootings left neighbors in the quiet subdivision baffled as investigators tried to piece together events leading to the shooting and determine who fired the shots. Manny Perez joined the Fort Worth Fire Department in 1985 and was a captain assigned to Station 17, 212 E. Felix St. "Our hearts go out to him and his family and we, as an organization, will be here to support him in anything that he needs," said Lt. Kent Worley, a Fire Department spokesman. A fellow firefighter, who asked not to be identified for concern that the family might be upset, said Perez is well-liked and respected. "Anytime we hear anything about fellow firefighters who have problems ... it hurts all of us," the firefighter said. "He was crazy about his kids. "Once he recovers, it's going to be even harder after what happened. This is why firefighters are around him now. A situation like this you really don't know what to say. You're so helpless." Towson, the wife's divorce attorney, said he last saw her at a divorce mediation session Monday night. Manny Perez attended an administrative hearing in the divorce Tuesday morning, Towson said. The couple had no dispute about custody of the three children, he said. Dee Etta Perez was upset about the divorce, but no more than any person whose marriage was dissolving, Towson said. "It's just a very surprising event to me," Towson said of the shooting. The shootings Tuesday came less than two months after another family tragedy. Dee Etta Perez's brother, 29-year-old Greg Nieto, was found dead inside a Motel 6 in May. The Tarrant County medical examiner ruled that Nieto, who was self-employed, died from an accidental drug overdose. On Tuesday, Dee Etta Perez's mother went to Cottonwood Court after reports of the shooting but collapsed and was taken away by ambulance. Her condition was not known Tuesday night. Tearful friends told a reporter she was a good mother. "I'm sure there was a lot of pressure that nobody understands," said Donna Ware. "She just loved her kids. She was a real good mom." In separate telephone interviews Tuesday, a woman who identified herself as Manny Perez's aunt and another who said she was Dee Etta Perez's aunt declined to comment. Manny Perez's aunt said family members had not informed Perez's elderly father, who she said is paralyzed. The Perezes' neighbors said they often saw the children and their mother. The boys and their mother were at the swimming pool Sunday, neighbors said. Sergio Perez had recently completed third grade at Mary Martin Elementary School, and his brother, Diego, had finished fourth grade. The boys also played soccer, neighbors said. Hudson Oaks, a community of about 1,650, is about 20 miles west of Fort Worth and seven miles east of Weatherford. On Tuesday afternoon, residents walked around crying, collapsing into one another's arms as they met in the streets. "It's a friendly neighborhood. Nothing happens here," said Linda Bushnell, a neighbor who has lived in the community for 12 years. Dee Etta Perez participated in the neighborhood's monthly gatherings for women, Bushnell said. The neighborhood also sponsored hayrides and Fourth of July activities, she said. Norma Garland, another neighbor, said Manny Perez worked a lot, so neighbors saw little of him. But the mother and children were frequently seen around the neighborhood. "They seemed happy," Garland said. "She was very protective of those kids." "

Date: July 16, 2002. News Source: The Baltimore Sun Newspaper, http://www.sunspot.net. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "City man indicted in death of girl, 3: Boyfriend of mother charged in fatal beating, unrelated 2001 assault. A Baltimore man was indicted yesterday for first-degree murder and child abuse in the beating death last month of the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend. Erik Stoddard, 21, of the 2500 block of Moore Ave. was indicted in the killing of Calen Faith Dirubbo. Stoddard lived at that address with the girl and her mother, Cheryl Dieter-Dirubbo. He was also indicted yesterday in an unrelated case of two counts of second-degree assault. Stoddard is accused of assaulting two women in a house in the 6900 block of Harford Road in November, authorities say. He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 23 before Circuit Judge Clifton J. Gordy. Police initially arrested the girl's stepfather, Nicholas Dieter, in connection with her death, but prosecutors later dropped charges after evidence surfaced implicating Stoddard. When Dieter arrived to baby-sit the girl at her home June 16, she had been beaten and was either dead or dying, police said. The girl's mother and Stoddard had gone out for the night, authorities said. Dieter called 911 when he found the girl unresponsive, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Stoddard was charged with first-degree murder and first-degree assault two days after the girl's death. According to the medical examiner, Calen had bruises from head to toe that were in various stages of healing and had been inflicted for the past several months. She died from "blunt force trauma impact to the abdominal region" that ruptured her organs, causing her to bleed to death over several hours. The medical examiner's office said Calen's fatal injury was the result of "at least two punches by an adult fist." According to authorities, Dieter-Dirubbo said during a taped statement that she had heard her daughter "scream in pain" on several occasions while she was in Stoddard's care. When she investigated the screams, Dieter-Dirubbo told police, Stoddard said he didn't know why the girl had cried out. The child was allowed to whimper, not cry, Dieter-Dirubbo said, adding that she was punished for crying. Dieter-Dirubbo also told authorities that after noticing bruises on her daughter, she told Stoddard not to hit the child when he disciplined her. She also said Stoddard abused her, having once hit her in the chest so hard that it "knocked the wind" out of her. Dieter-Dirubbo told authorities she was afraid of Stoddard. Assistant State's Attorney Julie Drake, chief of the Felony Family Violence Division, will prosecute Stoddard in each of the cases, for which he will be tried separately."

Date: July 15, 2002. News Source: The Guardian Newspaper, http://www.guardian.co.uk. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Burning car father left note: It was supposed to have been a family outing to the cinema. As Claude Mubiangata packed his four young children into the car, they believed their loving father was taking them to see Scooby-Doo. But within hours Alpha, 12, Cyndy, nine, Kio, six, and Aaron, three, died at the hands of depressed Mubiangata, who also took his own life. The children's bodies were found beside their father's in a burning car in a deserted industrial estate in West Ham. Two notes from the 38-year-old were found, one saying: "Sorry." Today the children's mother, Chantelle, is being comforted by family and friends at her Upton Park home where the children lived. The three eldest were pupils at Elmhurst primary school, where their classmates were today being told of the tragedy. The Nissan Primera was seen ablaze by a passer-by and firefighters found the bodies inside. Scotland Yard said post-mortems on all five bodies found they died of severe burns and inhalation of fumes from the fire. Mubiangata had became depressed as his once strong marriage collapsed. His friend Cino Mangono, 37, said he became isolated after moving out of the family home. "He was hurt, really hurt," said Mr Mangono. Cino Mangono, said that when he heard of what had happened he went to his friend's house in Forest Gate, east London, and found two notes, one addressed to his wife and one to his brother. Mr Mangono claimed the note to his wife read: "I didn't want you to see me going around as a mad person. Forgive me for everything I have done.You know everything behind it. "I am giving you freedom to do your thing and look after your sister's kids because I am taking mine with me." "He was already living in another world before committing this. He was somewhere else, somewhere different, somewhere we couldn't go." He said Mubiangata had made a cry for help, saying, "I've got a problem, it's very serious," weeks before the killings. Mubiangata had come to live with Mr Mangono after emigrating from the Congo to Britain in 1989 to find a better life for his growing family. "He was a very intelligent man. His life was his kids," said Mr Mangono. "Claude could never tell you more than two or three facts without mentioning his kids. He would say 'My kids are everything to me, without them I'm lost'. They were really in love with their father. He would take them everywhere. They were very, very good and lovable, a lot of fun." Of Mrs Mubiangata, Mr Mangono said: "She used to say she was the happiest woman, that their marriage was so strong. Claude was always behind them. Everything was Chantelle. Chantelle was like Jesus to him." But five months ago the marriage collapsed after Mrs Mubiangata's sister moved in with the family, and Mubiangata moved to a flat nearby. Mr Mangono said his friend often tried to hide his troubles, adding: "Everybody who saw him on Saturday said he was the happiest man, playing football with the kids and telling everybody he was taking them to see Scooby Doo at the cinema." The dead man's full despair was laid bare in the twin suicide notes he left for his wife and his brother, Prosper. In his letter to his wife, Mubiangata said: "I didn't want you to see me going around as a mad person. Forgive me for everything I have done. I'm giving you the freedom to ... look after your sister's kids, because I am taking mine with me. I am dying with your love inside me." He asked Prosper that his ashes be scattered in Upton Park, and said: "Sorry. I have let people down."

Date: July 14, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Abuse calls concerning slain toddler began 2 years ago. LAKELAND, Fla. - The first call to the abuse hot line came Aug. 28, 2000. The caller said 2-year-old Rheyna and 10-month-old Alfredo Montez didn't have enough to eat and that their mother, Jeanna Lynn Swallows, constantly had parties and did drugs. The investigator assigned to the case at the time, Shannon Kersey, wrote that she was unable to locate the family. The pattern of abuse calls and visits from child protection workers - sometimes successful, other times not - continued until July 1, when police say Alfredo, now 2, was killed by a baby sitter for soiling his pants. The boy's death has again put Florida's child welfare agency on the defensive, after months of criticism for its handling of the case of a missing 5-year-old. Murder charges have been filed against the baby sitter, and on Friday, a child welfare investigator became the first person charged with falsifying records under a new state law. According to Department of Children & Families documents, five calls were made to the agency's abuse hot line about Alfredo and his sister in the 23 months before July. Department investigator Erica Jones was fired Friday and charged with falsifying records about the last abuse call logged at the hot line, the day of the boy's death. "Mother is always high on methamphetamine and acid," the caller told the hot line. "She hits the children when she is high. Last week Alfredo had bruising on the top of his forehead and knots on his head. The children are chronically dirty." Jones reported that she visited Alfredo and 4-year-old Rheyna on July 1 at the home. In a handwritten note, one of hundreds of pages of documents released by the DCF on Friday, Jones wrote Alfredo had "no marks or bruises. Child was clean and appeared happy." But police say there was no way Jones could have seen Swallows or the children that day. Swallows dropped her children at Richard Chouquer and Amandy Lawrence's mobile home in Auburndale on June 28. The boy wasn't reported missing by a family friend until Monday. The mother, Swallows, was arrested Tuesday on a violation of probation warrant for writing bad checks and avoiding police, said Polk County Sheriff's Office spokesman Scott Wilder. Alfredo's body, wrapped in a bedspread with figures of Disney's "101 Dalmatians" on it, was spotted late Thursday by a passing motorist 30 feet off the edge of Interstate 275 in west-central Florida. On Saturday, a small, wooden cross stood near where the body was found. The boy's name was written across it, and "We Love You" was written down it. Rosary beads and a toy bear were affixed to the cross. Chouquer, 23, is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the boy's death. Lawrence, 22, is charged as an accessory after the fact. Police said Chouquer told investigators in Utah he was disciplining Alfredo after the boy soiled his pants, hitting him at least five times in the face. Police said he told them the boy never got discipline. "I was trying to help," he said, according to the arrest affidavit. After Alfredo lost consciousness and died, the couple put his body in the trunk of their car and drove until they found a place to drop him, police said. Their two young children were in the car, as was Rheyna, police said. According to Lawrence's arrest affidavit, before Chouquer dumped Alfredo's body she told him "to wrap him up tight" so he would not get cold. Authorities were awaiting the extradition of the couple from Hurricane, Utah, where they were arrested this week. Rheyna is now in the custody of her paternal grandmother in Lake Wales. Gov. Jeb Bush called Alfredo's case "heartbreaking." DCF Secretary Kathleen Kearney said Jones was being charged with a third-degree felony under a new state law prompted by another department debacle, the disappearance of 5-year-old Rilya Wilson in Miami. "We do not believe this is widespread," Kearney said at a news conference Friday. Those comments were to similar to those Kearney made when it became public that state workers lost track of Rilya, who hadn't been seen for 15 months before she was reported missing in April. But DCF and police officials both say that even if Jones had actually visited the home, the outcome for little Alfredo would have likely remained the same, since the family wouldn't have been there. "The reality is this mother chose to give her children to two very inappropriate caregivers," Kearney said. Jones' first handling of the case came Dec. 26. Previous abuse allegations against Swallows were handled by three other case workers. All of them reported either that they couldn't locate the family or that the mother, neighbors and relatives denied the abuse. Kearney said Jones admitted to state police that she falsified the records on July 9, after she learned Alfredo's disappearance resulted from a possible homicide. Jones, who is 8 months pregnant and had been at the agency for less than a year, turned herself in Friday and was released on $1,000 bond. Kearney said the department is reviewing every file Jones has handled. Under the law prompted by Rilya's case, those convicted of falsifying documents related to children, the elderly or disabled in state care could be sentenced to up to five years in prison. If the person is seriously hurt or dies because of the fraud, it could be a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Tampa attorney Anthony LaSpada, who is representing Jones, said he could not comment about the charges. On Saturday, only a large white Husky dog was inside Jones' off-white stucco home in Land O' Lakes, about 30 miles northeast of Tampa. A 'for sale' sign sat in the front yard and a purple Chrysler convertible was parked in the driveway. The home appeared to be empty of furniture. Debbie Davis, a realtor who lives two doors away, said Jones and her husband had placed the house on the market for $166,900 and were supposed to close the sale on Friday. Davis, who was not involved with the sale, described them as "nice people" and described Davis as "tired" as she neared the end of her pregnancy. Alfredo's mother remained jailed Friday on a violation of probation warrant. The boy's father, Alfredo Montez, is in federal prison in Jessup, Ga., for trafficking in methamphetamines, police said."

Date: July 13, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Daily Southtown Newspaper, http://www.dailysouthtown.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman whose six children died is killed in car crash: A former Illinois woman with ties to the Southland who came under suspicion after six of her young children died in what were initially ruled SIDS-related deaths was killed in a car crash in Las Vegas. Deborah Fornuto, 47, formerly known as Deborah Anne Booe Narbone Gedzius, was killed Thursday after the car she was a passenger in sped through a red light, causing a four-car crash, Las Vegas police said. The driver of Fornuto's car, Thomas Mannix, 32, of Las Vegas, fled the scene but was eventually captured and charged with 15 felony counts, including involuntary manslaughter, drunken driving and reckless driving, police said. Fornuto's story made big headlines in Southland. Between 1972 and 1987, six of her babies died, none living longer than two years. The explanation for the first four was Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Fornuto formerly lived in Alsip, Burbank and Chicago's Mount Greenwood community. Chicago police and Cook County prosecutors had long suspected foul play in the deaths of Gedzius' children, but she was never charged. According to a medical theory of the day, SIDS could run in families, but experts have now largely dismissed that theory. Because Fornuto moved so often and changed names as she remarried, no one made a connection between the deaths for some time. Harry Gedzius, Fornuto's one-time brother-in-law, first alerted the medical examiner's office — in 1980, after the fourth baby's death — that Deborah's previous babies had also mysteriously died. Then a fifth child died on Feb. 11, 1984. Fornuto said she found her 2-year-old son dead after napping with him. Harry Gedzius contacted the medical examiner again and was told they were already investigating. Again, nothing conclusive was found and SIDS was suspected, although the boy's death was labeled "undetermined." A sixth child, another boy, died three years later, despite a fetal monitor that was supposed to warn of breathing problems. On April 27, 1990, Cook County's medical examiner, Dr. Robert Stein, wrote a letter to the Cook County state's attorney's office after re-examining the cases. "After careful consideration, it is my opinion that all of the deaths were caused by suffocation, and the manner of death is homicide," Stein wrote. Fornuto's attorney told the Daily Southtown in September 1997 he expected murder charges to be filed against her. A grand jury was convened, but Fornuto was never charged. A spokesman for the state's attorney's office, Jerry Lawrence, said Friday there was never enough evidence to file charges, but all six cases remain open. A Loyola University neonatal expert told the Daily Southtown in May 1997 the odds of six children in one family dying from SIDS are almost incalculable. The expert said SIDS deaths occur in one or two of every 1,000 births, and the rate of a single recurrence in a family is only 2 percent. "You have to be suspicious that something else was happening," another expert said of having six children in the same family die of SIDS. In April 1989, Fornuto's husband Delos Gedzius was found shot in the head in his apartment, a few days after dining with Deborah to settle their divorce. Fornuto claimed she was miles away with a police officer at the time of the killing. Police investigated but she was not charged. Deborah later married James Fornuto, a Chicago police officer who was fired after he was convicted of theft. They moved to Nevada. SIDS cases — which number about 3,500 a year nationwide — are medical mysteries. Seemingly healthy babies die in their sleep for no detectable reason. SIDS is a diagnosis given when all other causes have been ruled out. The vast majority of cases are not murder. Harry Gedzius still believes Fornuto was responsible for the deaths of his three nephews, his brother and the three children who died before she married his brother. He said he learned of his former sister-in-law's death when Las Vegas authorities phoned him Thursday night."

Date: July 12, 2002. News Source: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Newspaper, http://www.sun-sentinel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Miami mother to get new trial on charge of torturing, murdering baby son: A Miami Woman sentenced to die for the months-long torture that ended in her 3-year-old son’s murder will get a new trial. Ana Maria Cardona, one of three women on Florida's Death Row, should be retried because prosecutors never shared with the defense three interviews in which Cardona's girlfriend, the state's key witness, also admitted to abusing the boy, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The boy's murder shook a entire community more than a decade ago after his battered body was found discarded under a cherry hedge in Miami Beach. Investigators, who thought he was a baby because he weighed only 18 pounds at the time of his death, named him "Baby Lollipops" for the design on his T-shirt. After his mother's arrest, Lazaro Figueroa's case raised new alarms about a child welfare system that failed to protect the boy from 18 months of brutality and abuse after the state returned him to his mother. His final injury: a skull fractured by a baseball bat. The Supreme Court's ruling Thursday shocked veteran detectives and prosecutors who described the case as the most horrific they have ever been assigned. "I'm sick to my stomach about it," said Kathy Vogel, who tried the "Baby Lollipops" case among some of South Florida's most gruesome murder trials. "I tried the Jimmy Ryce case. This case was even more heinous. This child was 36 months old and for half of his life he was virtually tortured." Though Vogel said it was "not her place" to criticize the decision, she noted the strains a new trial would bring to the justice system so long after a crime is committed: Memories fade, witnesses move, cases lose momentum, prosecutors and detectives move on. Vogel now works for the State Attorney's Office in Key West. Gary Schiaffo, the lead detective on the case, retired from the Miami Beach Police Department. Now an investigator for the State Attorney's Office, he said he wants to do all he can to make sure Cardona dies in prison. "How could you do that to your own child," he asks himself now, 12 years later. In the 4-3 ruling, the Supreme Court said defense attorneys were not given a fair chance to argue that Cardona's girlfriend, Olivia Gonzalez, was mostly to blame for the boy's abuse. "The critical issue in this case was whether Gonzalez, rather than Cardona, was the prime perpetrator of the escalating abuse that culminated in the child's death," states the unsigned majority decision. In a strongly worded dissenting opinion, Justice Charles Wells wrote that the majority missed the point: "This was not in reality a trial about relative culpability. This was a trial about a mother who tortured a child over a long period of time, resulting in the child's death." Shortly after hearing the decision, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said her office, along with the Attorney General's Office, will seek a rehearing on the issue. Rehearings, however, are hardly ever granted, noted Todd Scher,a criminal defense attorney who appealed Cardona's case to the Supreme Court. He said Gonzalez's interviews showed the contradictions in her story clearly. "It really goes to the heart of guilt," said Scher, who until recently worked with the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, which represents Florida Death Row inmates in their appeals. "The verdict is called into question." The death of "Baby Lollipops" still haunts Floridians as a boy forgotten by the state and brutalized by his own mother. The boy had been taken from Cardona two years before his death because she left him with a sitter and didn't come back for three months. Welfare investigators returned him to Cardona, noting no evidence of abuse. When Cardona moved, the child welfare system lost track of them and the caseworker did not report the disappearance to the court for four months. When his emaciated body was found, it was testament to the abuse he suffered in his short life. The boy's two front teeth had been knocked out about a year before his death. His autopsy revealed signs of internal injuries that went back months before his death and evidence that he was kept in bed for such long periods of time, he developed bed sores. His left arm was useless after the muscles between his elbow and shoulder turned to bone after repeated injury. Gonzalez, who made a deal with prosecutors to testify against Cardona, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years. At Cardona's trial, Gonzalez told jurors that her former girlfriend starved and beat her son and kept him gagged and tied up in a closet. Cardona, who until Thursday waited to die at Broward Correctional Institution, will get a second chance to save her life. In the affluent Miami Beach neighborhood where "Baby Lollipops" was found, people expressed outrage over the high court's decision. Said Lori Davis, who lives nearby: "It was pretty clear to me we had a guilty mother there." "

Date: July 11, 2002. News Source: The Union Leader Newspaper, http://www.theunionleader.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "NH mom to be extradited to face Maine charges of trying to kill her kids: OSSIPEE — A Wolfeboro woman charged with attempting to drown her two children in the Piscataqua River last September waived extradition to Maine yesterday and was taken to the York County Jail in Alfred, Maine. Traci Brigham Brennan, 38, was secretly indicted on July 3 in York County Superior Court in Maine, on charges that she attempted to drown her 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son last Sept. 12 under the Route 1 bridge in Kittery, Maine. She was arrested at her home on Council Tree Drive Monday night by Wolfeboro police and detectives from the Maine State Police. The two children were not hurt, according to Maine State Police Sgt. Matthew Stewart, who said the incident was not related to the terrorist attacks of the previous day. The Ossipee mother arrested Monday for trying to drown her two young children last fall was charged with drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident on the same day the alleged drowning attempts took place. She was charged with driving while intoxicated on the morning of Sept. 12, 2001, according to documents on file in Hampton District Court. Two charges of child endangerment, lodged for driving drunk with her 4-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter in the car, were dropped, court records show. Brennan’s license was revoked for 90 days as a result of the DWI conviction and it was recommended by the court that she attend an Impaired Driver Intervention Program, which she completed in December. Complaints on file in Portsmouth District Court show Brennan was twice charged with conduct after an accident on Sept. 12 when she struck two mailboxes on Post Road in Greenland and then a Ford Escape on Portsmouth Avenue and failed to stop. The first charge was dropped while the second was placed on file with the court. At the time she was living in Hampton and was in the process of divorcing her husband, Michael Brigham. Since that time she has remarried and now uses Brennan as her last name. Brennan faces one class A felony count of aggravated attempted murder, two felony counts of attempted murder and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of a child, according to Maine authorities. Stewart said detectives have been investigating the incident since March, when they first learned about it from New Hampshire authorities. He said the two children have been living with their biological father since shortly after the incident. He said the North Hampton Police Department and a Portsmouth-based child advocacy center were instrumental in the investigation. Stewart wouldn’t comment about a possible motive for the incident. Stewart said there were no witnesses, other than the two children, to the incident, which took place in the early morning hours of Sept. 12. Wearing an orange jump suit and handcuffs as she was escorted into the Southern Carroll County District Court yesterday, Brennan sat quietly throughout the proceedings, her voice barely audible as she told Judge James Patten that she understood what she was doing when she waived extradition. She was represented by attorney Charles Meade. Judge Patten explained that she was being arraigned on fugitive from justice charges and had the right to wait until the Maine governor formally initiated extradition proceedings. He said the fugitive charges would be dropped after Brennan was taken to Maine. Lt. Brian Black of the Wolfeboro Police Department said that when Brennan was arrested Monday night, her physical condition appeared to be so bad that she was taken to a hospital before she was booked. He declined to elaborate on the medical condition, but Sgt. Stewart said during an initial appearance in court Tuesday afternoon Brennan said that she suffers from multiple sclerosis. Black said police had reason to believe Brennan knew she was being investigated but there was no indication the children of her current husband were in danger from her. Stewart said Brennan will most likely be arraigned in York County Superior Court before the end of the week on the attempted murder and child endangerment charges. He said the Brighams had lived in Kittery earlier but he wasn’t sure how long or for what period of time. Stewart said Brennan does not have a criminal record and has not been employed in recent years. She faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of aggravated attempted murder. The child endangerment charge carries a 3- to 5-year punishment if she is convicted."

Date: July 10, 2002. News Source: The Roanoke Times Newspaper, http://www.roanoke.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Authorities call it worst case of abuse: Botetourt parents convicted of neglect. The mother of three girls faces 26 years in prison, and their father could receive five years. FINCASTLE - Classmates shunned the 11-year-old girl because her fingernails were dirty and she had a nauseating smell. She missed half of the 24 days she was enrolled at a Botetourt County elementary school. Most of the time she arrived late or her mother picked her up before the day was over. Several times, teachers saw roaches crawling out of her bookbag. School officials tried working with the family, even collecting clean clothes for the children and taking them food. But when the 11-year-old came to school with significant bruis es on her arms and hands, the school nurse notified social services. Tuesday, the girl's parents were convicted of felony child neglect in Botetourt County Circuit Court. Her mother also was convicted of malicious wounding and obstruction of justice. She faces up to 26 years in prison. Her father faces five years when they are sentenced in October. The child is in one foster home, and her two younger sisters are in another. To protect the children's identities, The Roanoke Times is not naming the parents. Both parents took plea agreements in which they would face only one count each of felony child neglect rather than the three counts each with which they were originally charged. The mother sat with her head down through most of Tuesday's hearing. She entered an Alford plea, meaning she maintains her innocence but concedes she could be convicted based on the evidence. The father pleaded no contest, meaning he was not going to challenge the evidence. Judge George Honts III released the father on bond and ordered him to stay away from his daughters. Honts revoked bond for the mother, saying her past behavior demonstrates she is a flight risk and that he was concerned for the children. She was charged with obstruction after showing up for a court hearing late and starting an altercation when deputies tried to arrest her. She also was accused of whispering a threat to her daughter during a visitation. "This is a case where everybody did the right thing. School officials acted promptly, and social services and the sheriff's office moved as quickly as allowable," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Clay said after the trial. "They are to be commended for getting these children to a place of safety as quickly as possible." In December, after a grand jury indicted the parents, Clay called the abuse "heinous," and Botetourt County law enforcement authorities said this was one of the worst cases of child abuse and neglect they had ever encountered. The case was rare but demonstrated what happens when children slip through the welfare safety net. It appears the family moved several times as social service agencies in different jurisdictions started investigations. Social workers had tracked at least six different addresses for the family and investigated numerous complaints during the ast five years before the family moved into a Buchanan house on Aug. 1. School officials notified social services after they couldn't get cooperation from the parents. Social service officials intervened but couldn't get the family to clean up its house. In a summary of evidence, Clay said officials found the girls in a filthy bed, covered with cat urine and cat food in the early afternoon. When the girls were taken to the hospital for treatment, they had to be separated from other patients because of the odor. They also suffered from urinary tract diseases caused by filth, he said. The 11-year-old had hand, foot and mouth disease, a contagious viral infection. She also had as many as 30 burns that a burn specialist would have testified most likely came from a cigarette. When repeatedly questioned about sores on her hand, the child told a school nurse, "My mama did not burn me." When the girls were placed in a foster home, they would take their plates and hide to eat at mealtimes, according to the summary. The 4-year-old, then 3, was most vocal, telling authorities her mother burned her older sister and kept the youngest girl in a playpen. Clay said the mother defended herself, saying the girl had been bitten by bugs and that she had just run out of food."

Date: July 9, 2002. News Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper, http://enquirer.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother will stand trial in burning death of son, 9: A Hamilton County judge has found a Silverton mother competent to stand trial in the suffocation and burning death of her 9-year-old son in May 2001. DeMarlo Hayes' attorneys had requested the psychological evaluation last month during a court appearance before Common Pleas Judge Richard Niehaus. She is accused of murder and faces a potential death penalty in the death of her son, Diarro. His burned body was found in a trash can in Daniel Drake Park in Kennedy Heights. A coroner later found he had been asphyxiated before being set on fire. Ms. Hayes' trial date previously had been set for July 15. But on Monday, her newest defense counsel withdrew and the judge delayed the trial until new attorneys could be assigned. Ms. Hayes, 27, earlier had fired a different set of court-appointed attorneys after they tried to get her to agree to a plea deal that would have allowed her to escape the death penalty. Authorities said the Silverton woman admitted the killing after initially reporting the boy missing and helping police search for him. But she now has told her various attorneys she is innocent and won't help them with the case because she is waiting for police to arrest the "real killer." Police said she detailed how she killed her son for "defying" her. She was so angry, she told them, she stuffed napkins far down into his esophagus and taped his mouth shut, suffocating him. She then taped his body up, threw it into a garbage bag and then into the back of a pickup, drove to the Kennedy Heights park, stuffed it into a garbage can and set it ablaze, police said she told them. "I left. I didn't even look back," Ms. Hayes told police."

Date: July 8, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Siblings remember abuse as Florida foster children: MALABAR, Fla. — Sitting together in the home of their adoptive parents, the six children seem unshaken as they describe seven years of beatings and other abuse at the hands of their foster family. The Roe children — Jesse, 15; twins Jordan and Joseph, 14; Toby, 12; and twins Suzanna and Robbie, 9 — realize they are finally safe. "We stuck together," Jordan said in a recent interview. "We depended on Jesse. He kept track of us, kept us in line." "I didn't know I had that responsibility," said Jesse, who now plays basketball, is learning to drive and dreams of becoming a Navy Seal. "I didn't know what a normal life was." The children's harrowing years with foster parents Jackie and Frank Lynch — and the role the department of children & families played in the disturbing story — have come to illustrate Florida's troubled child welfare system. The agency has been under intense criticism for failing for 15 months to notice the disappearance of 5-year-old Rilya Wilson, a Miami girl under its supervision. That case has drawn national attention and become an issue in the governor's race. In May, the agency agreed to a $5 million settlement of a lawsuit stemming from the Roe children's abuse. Documents filed under the 1999 lawsuit suggested the agency "ignored clear signs of danger" by licensing the Lynch home for foster care. Records also showed Jackie Lynch's daughter from a prior marriage was removed from her care in 1987 for sexual and emotional abuse. Frank Lynch had an arrest record for obstruction of justice and owed $16,000 in child support, and Jackie's son Michael was arrested as a teenager after he allegedly videotaped himself having sex with a 14-year-old. The Roe children lived with the Lynches from 1990 to 1997. They say their foster parents locked them in a room, beat them regularly and fed them a diet of Nyquil and cereal soaked in Kool-Aid. The children attended school erratically and rarely left one small room. "We were always getting hit a lot by Jackie, Frank and Michael for no reason," said Jordan, a poised young teen-ager. The children say Michael Lynch used to beat them and that he allegedly would shove Jordan or Joseph inside a plastic crate, tape it shut and toss it into the swimming pool. "I used to think — I'm going to die," Jordan said. Efforts to reach the Lynches, who moved to Alabama in 2000, were unsuccessful. Telephone numbers in their names have been disconnected. In 1997, Jackie Lynch plead guilty to one count of child negligence and paid a $140 fine after an undisclosed plea bargain. The siblings were removed from the Lynch home in 1997 "because of the pervasive abuse they suffered," according to court records. Their adoptive parents, Rod and Kathy Rodrigues, said it was a struggle to help the children overcome the years of abuse. On their first night as a family, the couple put the children to bed in separate rooms. The next morning, they found all six asleep in a clump on the floor, much as they were forced to do during their years in the Lynch home. The siblings dismantled a bedroom dresser and made a fort of the panels. They lit fires, flooded bathrooms, slammed into walls and cut their own foreheads with scissors. "It took two years before we decided to hang on to them," said Rod Rodrigues, 47. Jordan and Joseph were slightly cone-headed from constantly banging their heads against walls. "You could mark their growth based on the holes in the walls," 37-year-old Kathy Rodrigues said. There were also medical and developmental problems. The siblings arrived malnourished and emaciated. The Lynches allegedly routinely sedated them with adult-strength Nyquil, likely the cause of the liver damage that showed up on medical tests, according to Kathy Rodrigues. Academically, the children lagged far behind. Nine-year-old Suzanna, who spoke only in whispers to her siblings for her first months in the Rodrigues home, is just learning to read. "We wondered if she was autistic," Rod Rodrigues said. "It makes me scared to talk about myself," the little girl said. But eventually, the children flourished. "I've tried to put everything behind me," Jesse said. "There's a lot more to do than be stuck in a room." "

Date: July 7, 2002. News Source: The Oklahoman Newspaper, http://www.newsok.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Oklahoma child deaths post decline: Forty-eight children died in Oklahoma in 2000 as the result of abuse or neglect, according to the most recently confirmed records. There were 10 fewer deaths in 2001, but those numbers are preliminary, state Department of Human Services officials said. "One child dying a death of child abuse in Oklahoma or anywhere is just one child too many," said George Johnson, the department's spokesman. Until last year, the number of deaths were going up. In 1999, 47 children died; in 1998, 45 children; in 1997, the number was 42; and in 1996, 29 children died. Since 1991, 357 state children have died as a result of abuse or neglect. Skyla Brooks, 21 months old, of Sapulpa, was one of those victims. She died in March 2000 from a "blunt blow to the head." Authorities said the girl's body was "covered with bruises and other wounds, including adult bite marks." The girl's mother and her boyfriend later were charged with murder and lewd molestation. Tavian Nathan, 5 months old, of Tulsa, was another victim. He died in May 2000. His mother had told police she found him dead between the bed and wall. She was later charged with murder after admitting to picking him up "out of anger" and dropping him between the wall and bed. DHS officials say the decline in the 2001 number of child deaths is not enough. Why the abuse happens is difficult to explain without asking the abuser, Johnson said. Who the abuser is and who is most likely to be abused can be easier to identify by looking at trends. According to DHS statistics for the 2000 fiscal year: Fifty percent of the children who died were under 1 year old. About 63 percent of the deaths were caused by neglect, not child abuse. The majority of the children killed were white and female. The leading cause of death was head trauma by 20.83 percent. It was followed by medical neglect and drowning from lack of supervision. The person most likely to kill their child by abuse or neglect was the mother by 48.65 percent. She was followed by the father, male live-in friend, grandparents, and stepfather. The age range of a person most likely to kill their child is between 22 and 25 years old. The next likely age group is 26 to 35 years old. Johnson said most child deaths occur in situations where DHS has not been involved. He said others happen in cases where DHS could not substantiate abuse. The numbers could be much worse, Johnson said. He said there are about 5,800 children in the state's foster care system daily. "We know that the work we do keeps a lot of children out of harm's way," he said. Another way DHS officials are helping children is through public education. Abuse is still occurring, despite education and prevention methods. Johnson said the reason is simple: children are still being born and parents are still caring for them. DHS receives about 150 to 200 calls a day from people reporting suspected abuse, Johnson said. He said about one in every four of those cases can be confirmed. Johnson said people have a responsibility to report suspected abuse. Abuse can be reported at (800) 522-3511. People who report abuse may remain anonymous, but need to give enough specific information to help the social worker with the case, Johnson said. Dean Gates, director of the nonprofit Prevent Child Abuse Oklahoma, agrees that reporting is the key to child abuse prevention. She said people should continue reporting suspected abuse and encourage others to do so. Gates said Oklahoma has the highest rate of abuse per 1,000 children in the United States. The state ranks high, she said, because of what officials consider to be child abuse or neglect and because of the number of children living in homes where methamphetamines are present. What most often starts the abuse is stress, Gattis said. She said people abuse to feel like they are gaining control. "They truly feel that the children are bad mouthing them or disobeying them and need to be taught a lesson," she said."

Date: July 6, 2002. News Source: The Japan Times Online Newspaper, http://www.japantimes.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman held for starving 14-month-old son to death: NAGOYA — Police on Friday arrested a 24-year-old woman in Nagoya's Nishi Ward on suspicion of starving to death her 14-month-old son by not giving him food, police officials said. Miyuki Tamura, a single mother, is suspected of starving her son, Kenichi Matsumoto, to death by failing to give him food from late June. Tamura, a restaurant employee, allegedly told police investigators she did not have money and fed her son with tea since late June. The child weighed only 5.1 kilograms when he was found by authorities. The diaper had not been changed for a while, police officials said. Tamura and her husband divorced in February and she moved from Higashiura, western Aichi Prefecture, to Nagoya in March. She found a job with a restaurant with baby-sitting facilities in Nagoya's Nishi Ward but left the company in late June. She got another job and allegedly left her son at home while she went to work. Tamura called for ambulance service around 3 p.m. Thursday saying there was something wrong with her child. When the paramedics arrived, the boy was already dead, police officials said. Police officials said an autopsy shows the boy was dead by Wednesday. (Kyodo News)"

Date: July 5, 2002. News Source: The Savannah Morning News Newspaper, http://www.savannahmorningnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother convicted in murder of autistic child: Justin Malphus was kicked by his mother one day and taken to his favorite fast-food restaurant the next. For Christmas, the 5-year-old boy got a punch in the stomach. A few months later, his mother slammed him into a refrigerator and tossed his broken body into an algae-covered swimming pool, ending what prosecutors say was hell on earth for an autistic child. Effingham County Superior Court jurors convicted Joyce Malphus of felony murder and two counts each of aggravated battery and cruelty to a child in the first degree. Judge John Turner sentenced her to life plus 60 years in prison -- the maximum sentence possible. Assistant District Attorney Tony May said the nature of abuse at the Malphus home on Log Landing Road demanded a strong sentence. "The pattern of abuse culminated when Malphus slammed this 5-year-old boy's head into the refrigerator and threw him into the swimming pool," May said. "This was as vile and cold-blooded an act as I have ever seen." Joyce and Frank Malphus summoned deputies to their home on April 12, 2000. They claimed their boy died after accidentally falling into a back-yard swimming pool. Investigators were immediately suspicious of the father's account. Stories told by the mother over the next two weeks kept changing. Joyce Malphus then admitted Justin was trying to get away from her when he accidentally fell into the pool. But the prosecutor contended a more ghastly story occurred -- based on evidence found at the scene and results of an autopsy. Days after Justin's death, May and deputies obtained a search warrant for the Malphus house. They noticed the doors of a side-by-side refrigerator were dented and a handle was broken. Injuries to the boy's head matched the dents on the refrigerator. Investigators also testified that Malphus admitted the abuse started when the boy was 3 years old. Just a week before Justin's death, Effingham Hospital staffers called the Department of Family and Children Services after Malphus brought the boy to the emergency room. Social workers opened a file on the case but did not contact the sheriff's department. After the trial, May credited sheriff's investigators Mike Bohannon and Rick Daily, and GBI agents Vickie Tapley and Woodrow Boyd for their work on the case. The boy's father was not charged. The family's youngest child, who was about 3 years old at the time, is now living with a foster family. "This child was tortured by his mother," May said during closing arguments. "She was incapable of dealing with this special needs child and lashed out when she was frustrated. She calls it an accident. This was no accident. "She lashed out and slammed Justin's head into the refrigerator and threw him into the pool. It was murder." Effingham County jurors needed less than four hours to convict Joyce Malphus."

Date: July 4, 2002. News Source: The Des Moines Register Newspaper, http://desmoinesregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Court rejects moms' appeals in baby deaths: The convictions of Heidi Watkins of Spirit Lake and Heidi Anfinson of Des Moines are upheld. The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the convictions Wednesday of two Iowa mothers in the deaths of their babies. The court rejected all claims by Heidi Watkins of Spirit Lake and Heidi Anfinson of Des Moines. Watkins was convicted of child endangerment and sentenced to up to 50 years in prison after her 2-year-old daughter, Shelby Duis, died in January 2000 from multiple injuries. Watkins and her boyfriend, Jesse Wendelsdorf, were acquitted on murder charges. Anfinson was convicted of second-degree murder in the drowning of her 2-week-old son, Jacob, in September 1998 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Prosecutors hailed the rulings Wednesday, saying the court had bolstered efforts to prosecute such cases. Watkins and Anfinson are expected to ask the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn the rulings. "It was a difficult case because you largely had circumstantial evidence," Dickinson County Attorney Edward Bjornstad said of Shelby's death, which unleashed outrage and led to changes in the state's child-protection system. "But the court of appeals did a fine job and recited the law and the facts accurately." Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said the ruling "confirms what we've thought all along" in Anfinson's case. "Obviously it was a sad situation all around, but justice was done," he said. Watkins claimed in her appeal that prosecutors were inconsistent, stating in Wendelsdorf's trial that he caused Shelby's death and at her trial that she caused the child's death. She said the different claims were reason for reversal. The court said her accusation was irrelevant because Watkins didn't stop the abuse of her daughter. That and other facts showed the evidence of child endangerment was sufficient, the court said. Watkins knew Wendelsdorf was a threat to her daughter, the court said. In Anfinson's case, she told police she was giving her son a bath when the phone rang. When she returned, she found Jacob was drowning, Anfinson told police. Anfinson's lawyers said she panicked and placed the baby in Saylorville Lake. The body was weighed down by 25 pounds of rocks, police said. In her appeal, Anfinson claimed she wasn't fully informed by the police about her right to a lawyer. The court rejected that claim. Anfinson also contended that an investigator's testimony that she showed no emotion when talking about the baby's death should have been stricken. The officer testified, "I was trying to figure out what my wife would feel like or how she would be acting in a situation like this." The court said that while the testimony was irrelevant and should have been inadmissible, it was not prejudicial enough to require a reversal. Steve Scott, executive director of Prevent Child Abuse of Iowa, said the circumstances of the two cases were strikingly different, but both underscored the tragedy of child deaths in Iowa. "Certainly, in the Shelby Duis case the family structure was what you'd expect," he said. Wendelsdorf lived with Watkins, and witnesses at Wendelsdorf's trial testified that the two were regular users of methamphetamine. "Not true with Heidi Anfinson," Scott said. "This was somebody who was married, in her upper 30s, there were no drugs at issue. It was just the kind of murder out of the blue, which is much scarier to me because it couldn't be predicted." "

Date: July 3, 2002. News Source: The Boston Herald Newspaper, http://www2.bostonherald.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Horrific: Dorchester mom kills her 2 kids before cops shoot her. A Dorchester mother with a history of mental illness slit the throats of her young son and daughter yesterday before being shot by police officers she attacked with the blood-soaked knife used to murder her children. ``No mother in her right mind would do something like this. Obviously this woman was in a deranged state of mind. As a father, my heart aches for these two small children,'' said Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley. The children - a girl, 6, and her brother, 3 - became Boston's 27th and 28th victims of homicide this year. The city's last three murders have claimed children, including Trina Persad, 10, of Dorchester, who was fatally shot in the head Saturday night while strolling through a Roxbury park. The mother, identified as 36-year-old Laveta D. Jackson, died shortly after the 3:50 p.m. triple tragedy at 124 Milton Ave., but it was unclear if the police gunshots killed her because she had apparently mutilated her neck and chest with the murder weapon. The woman was shot when she surprised the three stunned police officers as they were examining the children's bodies in the basement. ``The cops came through a side door of the basement and were looking at the kids like, `Oh my God!' They didn't even see her,'' a source said. One source said the mother, a black woman in her 30s, sliced her own throat with such force that she was nearly decapitated. ``She had what appeared to be self-inflicted stab wounds,'' Boston police spokeswoman Mariellen Burns confirmed. ``The children were dead when we found them,'' she said. ``The mother slit their throats, then she came at the officers with the knife.'' The woman recently underwent treatment and was being prescribed medication for ''paranoia and other mental problems,'' officials said Wednesday. Harry Spence, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, said Laveta D. Jackson, 36, had checked herself into Beth Israel Hospital in June 2001 and then moved to Hartford, Conn., where she was treated for several months at an outpatient mental health clinic. Jackson had no history of violence, he said. Jackson lost custody of her children, Sydney Murphy, 6, and Scott Murphy, Jr., 3, when she was admitted to the hospital, but after a year of treatment, regained custody last month. ''Based on her outstanding participation in her treatment and her efforts to overcome her mental illness, we and the court and the family agreed that she was capable of having the children live with her again,'' Spence said. The three officers who shot the mother were treated at area hospitals for stress. A neighbor said one of the officers appeared so distraught that ``he didn't know what direction he was going in.'' Police Deputy Superintendent Paul Farrahar said police were summoned to the house by a man doing renovation work there. ``The caller stated that he observed a woman in the basement with a knife and that there were two children in the basement who were bleeding,'' he said. ``What struck me was the irony of all this,'' Conley said. ``We have one mother publicly grieving for her daughter, who would do anything to have her back, and another mother kills her two beautiful children.'' Neighbors, who were largely unfamiliar with the mother, said it wasn't the first time they'd seen cops at the door of the gray and white two-family home on Milton Avenue. One neighbor, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the mother has a second, older son who lives with the children's father and that his sister, who owns 124 Milton Ave., had custody of the siblings since last fall. The mother, the neighbor said, was living with them and suffered from ``mental problems.'' ``As far as I know, she was in and out of mental hospitals,'' the neighbor said. The neighbor said the children's aunt had taken custody of her niece and nephew so the state would not take them away. Their mother had ``seemed fine'' of late, the neighbor said, ``and was working hard to get her kids back.'' A woman visibly shaken by yesterday's shocking events in this friendly, family-oriented neighborhood near Codman Square said a woman she works with had been searching for the mother and her children all day because she had ``psychological problems.'' She refused to elaborate. Farrahar said, ``We are aware that this woman did have a history of mental illness and was being treated and was currently on some medication.'' He said the mother and the children lived on the first floor with a man and woman who ``were trying to assist this woman in caring for and bringing up her children.'' It was unclear last night whether the state Department of Social Services had been involved with the family. The agency, however, had not been called to their Dorchester home yesterday, said spokeswoman Carol Yelverton. ``DSS is called when a child is at risk for abuse and neglect,'' Yelverton said. ``We have received no calls (today). If there was a child at risk for abuse and neglect and needed to be helped, we would be called in.'' As police awaited a search warrant and the children's bodies remained on the floor of the unfinished basement late last night, neighbors could only shake their heads in disbelief. Some gasped when they overheard Burns telling reporters how the children had died. ``This woman must have just went off,'' said a neighbor, who did not want to be named. ``It's too sad. Too sad.'' Vanessa Graves said she went trick-or-treating at the house last Halloween and remembered the mother as ``pleasant enough. She gave my baby a lot of candy. I guess you never know what's on people's minds. ``I've never seen her around the neighborhood or anybody out on the porch,'' she said. ``I just can't believe it. What would make her do that?'' Helen De-Allie called the murders ``too much of a shame. I don't care how bad it is, you don't harm your kids. There's always someone to take them. I can't even imagine doing that.'' Lyndsey Purchon, 19, a makeup and wardrobe artist working in the neighborhood on an independent film, said she heard the officers' shots. ``It sounded like fireworks until I saw a bunch of little kids running out of the house. The kids were small. They were running pretty fast for little kids. We saw the cops run to the building and surround it,'' she said. Thomas Drechsler, an attorney for the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, said the shooting of the mother is under investigation, ``but from what I understand, the actions of the officers were entirely justified in a very difficult situation. ``It sounds like a tragic situation prior to the arrival of the officers,'' he said. ``It's been very stressful (for them) and their health and well-being comes first.'' "

Date: July 2, 2002. News Source: The Detroit News Newspaper, http://www.detnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother's senseless act stuns nation: Woman who left kids in hot car has history of criminal offenses. SOUTHFIELD -- She had a habit of ignoring court dates, traffic tickets and criminal charges. On Friday, police say she ignored the welfare of her children, and it cost them their lives. Tarajee Shaheer Maynor, 25, of Detroit is sitting in a jail cell charged with two counts of felony murder in the deaths of her 3-year-old son, Adonnis Dominque, and 10-month-old daughter, Acacia. Police said Maynor, a single parent supporting herself on loans, intentionally left her two children inside a locked black Dodge Neon for more than three hours in 80-plus-degree heat as she relaxed in a chair in a hair salon, never once checking on the children. When she emerged, her hair neatly coiffed, her children were dead from hyperthermia, covered in vomit in the back seat. For another few hours, she drove around the city trying to concoct a story for police in which she was the victim, a tale that easily fell apart when she couldn't recall what her supposed rapist looked like, police said. "People have been asking me what kind of a background she has and what kind of person she is," Southfield Police Chief Joseph Thomas said. "I really don't care. She's a murderer. She murdered both of them, and she has to pay for that." Anger, revulsion and sheer disbelief were shared across Metro Detroit and the nation. And in a year when 13 Metro Detroit children already have died of gun violence, this might be the saddest loss. Maynor, who was discovered to be pregnant while hospital workers administered a rape exam, is incarcerated in the Oakland County Jail on charges that could put her behind bars for the rest of her life. At her arraignment, Maynor stated her address, slowly and concisely, then winced and clasped her hands over her mouth while crying softly. When the judge asked how she was supporting herself and her two children, she replied: "The last couple of months, I've been living on, like, loans ... my student loans," she said. They were for education at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Meanwhile, others, from the woman's neighbors to prosecutors, look for answers to why she would ignore a mother's No. 1 responsibility: the welfare of her children. "I am appalled. I don't understand how you can leave your children in the car for hours," neighbor Tarajee Wade-Warner said. "How can you do that? I don't understand how you can do that to your babies." "Don-Don" is what the neighborhood kids called 3-year-old Adonnis. The precocious boy loved to ride his bike down the sidewalk, play tag, ask folks to treat him when the ice cream man drove by and jabber with anyone who would listen. "The way he talked, he just sounded so cute," said Shareese Davis, 11, who lived four doors down from the Maynor home on Prest Street on Detroit's west side. "He was real curious," said 16-year-old Andrew Williams, who lives across the street and recently bought Adonnis a frozen torpedo pop. "He asked a lot of questions. He always asked you where you were going, what you were doing." Neighbor George Moore, 45, remembered seeing Adonnis tending to his baby sister's stroller before mother and children left the house late Friday morning. "You don't know what she was thinking," he said. "I don't even want to speculate. My deepest sympathies go to the family. You can only imagine how they are suffering." Initially, police said Maynor told them she had been in Southfield on Friday afternoon "looking for a job" when she was abducted, driven elsewhere where she was raped and then returned several hours later to her car, where she found her lifeless children. Maynor drove the children at 11 p.m. to Providence Hospital in Southfield. Two hours later, she was jailed in their deaths. "Her story didn't make sense," Thomas said. "Nobody saw anything, and when she couldn't offer up a description of her rapist or where the rape occurred, investigators kept questioning and got the truth out of her. "What's amazing to me is to think she drove around with them in the car for three hours before seeking help. A hospital was just 10 minutes away. Would it have made a difference? I guess we'll never know." Police released few details about Maynor's whereabouts Friday. But they said that starting at 4:30 p.m., she apparently spent more than three hours getting her hair worked on at the Utopia salon, which is in the North Park Tower apartments. An employee answering the phone at the salon Monday said she worked on Maynor's hair Friday, but declined to discuss the matter further. Court records revealed little about Maynor, who told police she was an unemployed student who lives with her father in Detroit. No one could be reached at the Detroit home on Monday. In September 1999, Maynor pleaded guilty to stealing more than $15,000 in jewelry from her then-employer, Service Merchandise in Livonia. She never showed up for sentencing in January 2000, and, two months later, a warrant was issued for her arrest. Neither Southfield nor Hazel Park police arrested Maynor as a fugitive when they stopped her for traffic offenses in 2000 and 2001, respectively. Instead, Maynor remained on the streets, where she piled up driving infractions and license suspensions. Maynor's theft happened between October 1997 and March 1998, records show. She purloined a bridal ring set and gold rings, a bracelet and a gold chain. When police arrested her in August 1999, Maynor quickly confessed, waived a hearing on the felony charges and pleaded guilty to two felony embezzlement charges. Maynor's former attorney could not be reached for comment Monday. Jon Wojtala, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor, said Maynor would likely have received probation in the embezzlement case, along with an order to pay the store for its losses. "It is troubling," Wojtala said of the fact two police agencies never arrested Maynor, "because if a warrant is out there ... it should pop up. Unfortunately, it doesn't always happen that way. Obviously, there's some kind of fault in the system." Maynor's driver's license has been suspended three times, and she has been barred from driving since 1999. Deborah Carley, Oakland County's chief assistant prosecutor, said investigators are attempting to find two possible fathers of the victims. They are also trying to find a report from the Family Independence Agency in Wayne County in which investigators were sent to the Maynor home to check on the children. Allegations made in the complaint, which are unknown to Oakland's prosecutors, were not substantiated and no action was taken, she said. In charging Maynor with felony murder, prosecutors do not have to prove the children were murdered, Carley said. Prosecutors must simply prove there was an underlying felony -- first-degree child abuse in this case -- and during the course of that felony the murder occurred, Carley said. On Monday, Maynor's family hired Pontiac attorney Elbert Hatchett. He declined to comment other than to say that he spoke with Maynor and her family. Several legal experts say prosecutors may have a difficult time convincing a jury that Maynor intentionally caused the death of her children, a finding needed to convict her of murder. Larry Dubin, a professor of law at the University of Detroit Mercy and a former criminal defense lawyer, said a stronger case could be built for a charge of involuntary manslaughter. "If what she did seemed to be more of error in judgment, a mistake possibly based on immaturity or a lack of intellectual capability, then I think manslaughter may be a reasonable finding," Dubin said. "Most mothers do not want to see their children die. The act of leaving your children in a car on a hot day is different than intentionally killing them. The more likely cause is bad judgment due to circumstances." But members of a jury, who have seen high-profile cases such as Susan Smith, who strapped her two children into a backseat and pushed the car into a lake, or Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children, may be extremely angry at such a careless act. "People will have mixed emotional reaction of what happened. They will be angry and suspicious of her judgment. There also can be a certain amount of sympathy felt for the horrendous consequences she had suffered as a result of her act," Dubin said. At least 120 children, most of them age 3 and under, have died of heat stroke in hot, parked cars since 1996, according to a study released by General Motors Corp. and the National SAFE KIDS campaign. Studies have shown that the interior of a car parked in 75-degree temperatures can reach 120 degrees within a half-hour and can heat up to 140 degrees in two hours. At least one child died on a 60-degree day. Kids 'N Cars, a national nonprofit group that tracks as many of such deaths as possible, said the Maynor children are the seventh and eighth heat deaths this year -- that are known. "While heat stroke is a concern, especially in the summer, leaving children unattended at any time in a car is a potentially deadly situation," said Jeannette Fennell of Kids 'N Cars."

Date: July 1, 2002. News Source: The Oklahoman Newspaper, http://www.newok.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Girl's death is ruled homicide: CHANDLER -- The death of a 5-year-old Lincoln County girl was ruled a homicide, a state medical examiner's spokesman said Monday. Doctors concluded Melissa Ellison was murdered, but cannot determine how, said Ray Blakeney, medical examiner's spokesman. "It is a little bit different because of the circumstances and the condition of the body," he said. The girl's father admitted last week to beating her to death and dumping her body, police said. Authorities found the body along a creek bank two miles east of Meeker. They think the girl died June 20, nearly a week before she was found. Her family has been waiting to make funeral plans until the body is released from the medical examiner's office. Michael L. Ellison, 28, is being held in the Lincoln County jail, charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and unlawful disposal of a body. He told authorities he became enraged and killed his daughter for urinating in her pants following an argument with his estranged wife, according to a probable cause affidavit from the sheriff's office. Ellison hit the girl on her abdomen and caused her death, according to the affidavit. He said he was on methamphetamines at the time, the affidavit states."

Date: June 30, 2002. News Source: The Worcester Telegram & Gazette Newspaper, http://www.telegram.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Final tribute to century-old tragedy: BARRE-- A little more than a century ago, an unspeakable tragedy stunned this community and the small neighboring village of Coldbrook Springs. That village no longer exists, taken by the Metropolitan District Commission for watershed land. And in large part, the story of the Naramore family and the events of March 21, 1901, have been laid to rest with the bodies of the six children who lie in unmarked graves in the paupers' corner of Riverside Cemetery on Granger Road. Anonymous for a century, the children were not alone, however, said former state Sen. Robert D. Wetmore, who lives a short distance from the cemetery. A giant, solitary oak that shades the site has stood sentinel over the graves since the children were buried, awaiting the day their names, ages and story would be etched in granite for all to read. That day has come. Through the combined efforts of Mr. Wetmore, the Barre Historical Society, state Rep. Anne M. Gobi, D-Spencer, and Secretary of State William F. Galvin, "The Coldbrook Tragedy" will be sand-blasted into a piece of Canadian granite by Gerry Granite Works in Gardner. Mr. Wetmore said it was about a month ago when Albert Clark, town historian, told him the story of the Naramore family in response to his interest in a nearby marked grave at Riverside. "I was interested after reading accounts of the tragedy and contacted Representative Gobi," he said, suggesting state agencies that might have the money needed for a historical project at the end of the fiscal year. Mr. Galvin provided $4,000 to cover the cost of creating and placing a 4-foot-by-3-foot granite marker near the six graves, now only identifiable by slight indentations in the ground. Lester W. Paquin, a member of the Barre Historical Society, said there has been interest in placing a Naramore memorial marker at Riverside for as long as he can recall, but until recently, those efforts were simply good intentions. In 1991, on the 90th anniversary of the event, Mr. Paquin researched the archives of the Barre Gazette and Historical Society files and put together for the Barre Gazette an account that chronicled the events leading to the killings, the day of the carnage and the outrage that swept the community afterward. He said the late Michael J. Ryder, then Barre police chief, was one of several who took an immediate interest in the story. Mr. Paquin said Chief Ryder was so captivated by the story that he spent an evening at the Henry Woods Memorial Library, poring over the source material himself. The story could easily have been ripped from the headlines of today's tabloids: "Mother of Six Says, 'I Killed Them All'; Attempts Suicide." Bereft of all hope, a destitute mother married for a decade to a man who was an uncaring father and an abusive husband, took the lives of her six children "to save them." In a last act of desperation, she vainly tried to take her own life. Leaping from the yellowing pages of old newspapers, the story is as compelling as any murder mystery. In fact, a similar story in Texas captivated the nation earlier this year, as Andrea Yates was sentenced life in prison in connection with the drowning deaths of her five young children. Elizabeth Craig, a native of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, was 19 when she met and fell in love with Frank Naramore of Baldwinville. From the outset, Miss Craig's family and friends disapproved of the union, and with little money and few friends, the couple moved to the once-stately home of the Whiting and Babcock families in Coldbrook Springs. Mrs. Naramore was described as a hard worker, a loving mother and a person of integrity by those who knew her best. The Rev. Charles Talmage, pastor of the Barre Congregational Church, would later reflect that the worst decision Miss Craig ever made was to marry Frank Naramore. Her husband was universally regarded to be ill-tempered, abusive, adulterous and drunk more often than sober. When he worked at the Parker Lumber Co. sawmill two miles from his home, he was well-paid, but was not considered to be dependable. After the killings, an investigation of the family's background by Rev. Talmage turned up one instance where Mr. Naramore had drawn two weeks' advance wages, telling friends he was traveling to Worcester to buy furniture for the family. He returned home three days later with no furniture and no money. This instance and others proved to be a pattern, and Mrs. Naramore was left to make do with what little she had. Seeing the steady decline in the family's situation, Mrs. Naramore had reached out for help. Initially, it was friends and neighbors. As a last resort, she went to plead for help from the Overseers of the Poor in Baldwinville, where she had once lived. Help arrived, but it was not at all what she had hoped for. The home visit from the Overseers of the Poor, a few days before the day of the killings, was a fateful and decisive one. The overseers assessed the living conditions and the lack of food in the dilapidated home and told Mrs. Naramore they would return in a week, take five of her six children and place them in foster homes and find shelter for her and her youngest child, 11-month-old Lena, in a poorhouse in Holden. News accounts suggest that Mrs. Naramore feared that she would never again see her children: Ethel, 9; Charles, 7; Walter, 6; Chester, 4; Elizabeth, 3; and the baby. On that Thursday, after feeding the children a meager lunch, Mrs. Naramore brought them to the kitchen one by one, oldest to youngest, took a club and an ax and killed them. She piled their blood-soaked bodies in an adjoining bedroom and then attempted to kill herself by cutting her throat. When that failed, she opened an artery in her leg using her husband's straight razor. As it turns out, on the day she killed her children, her husband had gone to work at the sawmill and on the way had stopped at C.H. Parker & Son, the grocer in Coldbrook Springs, to have some potatoes, flour and other groceries delivered later that day to the home. By some accounts Mrs. Naramore seemed more cheerful than usual that morning when he left for work with two biscuits in his lunch pail. But by then, the damage had been done: The die had been cast. A customer at the grocery store, who was a neighbor of the Naramores, volunteered to drop off the parcels at the Naramore home about 3 p.m., because he would be passing right by the house. When he arrived, there were no signs of life -- no responses to his knocks on the bolted front door, or any other door. He looked through the first window he came to, staggered backward, and fled in terror back to Parker's store. The neighbor told the storekeeper what he had witnessed. Someone went to the mill to get Mr. Naramore and a group of men went out to the house. Breaking down a rear door, the men found the kitchen awash in blood. A bloody ax and wooden club lay against the stone cold wood stove. In an adjoining bedroom, the bodies of the two oldest children lay on one bed; the bodies of the other four children were piled on a second bed. The infant was clutched in her mother's arms, and all presumed Mrs. Naramore to be dead, until she stirred when an attempt was made to take the infant from her. Upon seeing his dead children and bloodied wife, Mr. Naramore began cursing and screaming and was taken outside to await the arrival of Dr. Henry J. Walcott Jr. of Barre, medical examiner. Mrs. Naramore, her throat and leg wounds bound, regained consciousness long enough to confess to Deputy Sheriff Sylvester Bothwell of Barre that, after careful planning, she had murdered her children with a wooden club and double-bitted ax. The bodies of the children remained at the house where an undertaker prepared them for burial. Mrs. Naramore was taken to the Bemis Hotel in Coldbrook Springs and was arraigned the following Monday before Judge Matthew Walker. Rev. Talmage, one of the first to reach the house as word spread of the killings, assembled sufficient information about the children to perform the funeral service at the Baptist Church in Coldbrook Springs. Unnerved by what he had encountered, he began his own investigation of the Naramore family. The local cemetery in Coldbrook Springs, within walking distance of the Naramore home, did not have a paupers' section, and no one had come forward offering to pay for "a proper burial" for the children in the Baptist Church cemetery, so the children were buried at Riverside. According to the accounts of the funeral, the service drew many curiosity seekers. The six coffins were lined up at the altar, and the bruised faces of the children were visible through window glass in the coffin lids. Mr. Naramore was seated with his brother and brother-in-law in the front pew of the church. The funeral oration was not exactly what people expected. Rev. Talmage chastised the congregation as representatives of a society that would allow such conditions to exist, prompting such a tragedy. Absolving Mrs. Naramore of responsibility for the crime, Rev. Talmage indicted society and roundly pointed the finger of responsibility at Mr. Naramore. Looking to turn the finger of blame from themselves, some blamed the house itself, saying it had been cursed since an itinerant tin peddler hanged himself in an upstairs bedroom 30 years earlier. Three weeks after the killings, Rev. Talmage addressed the community in Williams Hall and produced the results of his investigation, which again was an indictment of Frank Naramore. Mrs. Naramore was tried for the crime of murdering her daughter, Ethel M. Naramore, and was found not guilty by reason of insanity, an outcome that had been predicted by District Attorney Rockwood Hoar when he first surveyed the scene of the killings. The mother of "the forgotten six" was never tried for the murder of her five other children, but was placed in a state mental hospital for five years. At that time, she was judged to be sane and was released. After the trial, Mr. Naramore vanished and was never heard from again. Likewise, after her release from the mental hospital, Mrs. Naramore was never heard from again. Mr. Paquin speculated that Mrs. Naramore likely became reclusive and moved to a large city such as Boston or New York, where she could live in anonymity, or returned to New Brunswick, where she would have had the support of family members. "No one knows," he said. The Historical Society plans a dedication of the new marker, once it is in place."

Date: June 29, 2002. News Source: The Houson Chronicle Newspaper, http://www.chron.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Child's death still a mystery: Family members know little about time girl spent with her mother. For months, she was nobody's child, a nameless, faceless little girl who met a tragic, brutal end, thrown away in a ditch. Fall passed, winter came, then spring arrived as her remains went unclaimed, leading some to wonder if the child was even from Houston. But when she finally was identified as a local child who lived just blocks away, no one was more surprised or devastated than the girl's extended family who had taken turns caring for her since birth. Angel Doe, as she was called by child advocates during her six months of anonymity, was eventually identified as Raysate Chain Knight, a 6-year-old whose happier days were divided between loved ones in the Sunnyside neighborhood of southeast Houston, where her grandfather is a church pastor, and an aunt and uncle in Georgia, who were like her mother and father. That was before Raysate's birth mother, Connie Gazette Knight, 40, took the child back home to live with her -- and before Raysate was found dead Sept. 9 in a trash-filled ditch in the 5100 block of Groveton, killed by blunt trauma to the head, her body marked by signs of long-term abuse. The circumstances of Raysate's death are as unusual as they are tragic. Rarely is a child that old -- a girl who should have been starting the first grade -- killed as a result of abuse or neglect. "Children are abused this age, but to have a child that age die is unusual," said Dr. Curtis Mooney, president of DePelchin Children's Center, which provides counseling to children and families, including victims of abuse. Infants or toddlers more commonly are the victims. Statistics show 80 percent of children who die as a result of abuse or neglect are under the age of 3, a consistent trend locally and nationally in recent years, experts say. But exceptions do occur. In Raysate's case, the child's stunned aunts, uncles and grandparents are trying to figure out how such a lovable, bubbly little girl could meet such a cruel fate. They have no real answers. "It's mind-boggling," said the slain child's grandmother, Joan Bell, 62, of Houston, in a recent interview. "I think the thing that really bothers me about this is we were always here, always here. I just can't make any sense out of it. I can't get a handle on it. "Actually, when I first knew (Angel Doe) was Raysate, when my husband finally did tell me, `It's the baby,' I was really full of rage. I was just so angry that I couldn't eat or sleep. ... (Connie Knight) never made one overture toward us. She never called. Somebody said maybe she was ashamed." Knight, who remains in the Harris County Jail awaiting trial on a charge of injury to a child, isn't shedding much light on what happened. She declined to talk with a reporter about her daughter's death, as did her attorney, Laine D. Lindsey. Also not talking are Knight's other children, who lived in the same house with her and Raysate -- three girls, ages 17, 13 and 8, and a 4-year-old boy. They remain in the protective custody of state officials in Louisiana, where they have been since their mother's arrest in that state in March. They have yet to tell child welfare officials or Houston police anything about what happened to their sister, investigators say. While the details of what happened to Raysate may not emerge for some time, what little is known paints a heartbreaking picture of a child whose life showed moments of promise and hope before it was destroyed. Raysate, affectionately called "Bitly" by her grandmother, was born in Houston on May 20, 1995, to Connie Knight and Raymond Jefferson Sr. She was the fifth of six children born to Knight, a lifelong Houston resident and single mother. Knight, the eldest of four children born to Bell, has always been close to her family and has no previous history of abusing any of her children. "She has a good heart, good intentions," Bell said of her daughter. "She hasn't always been able to execute what she intends." Raysate's brief life, though marked by upheaval and frequent moves to various relatives' homes, had moments of happiness. She was a cheerful baby who rarely cried, and her keen intelligence quickly became apparent to those around her. She also had an ear for music and loved to dance. "She was the kind of child, you just could not help loving her. She was affectionate. She was a funny little girl," Bell said, noting that her granddaughter often mimicked the way she sat, tilted her head and crossed her legs. At birth, Raysate tested positive for exposure to drugs, so she was placed in state custody, Children's Protective Services officials in Harris County confirmed. The baby went straight from the hospital where she was born to a foster home. But Bell stepped forward almost immediately, identifying herself as the child's grandmother, and Raysate was allowed to go live with her in December of that year after authorities approved her home as a safe environment. Bell recalls the moment she saw her granddaughter for the first time, when Raysate was 5 months old. "She had curly black hair and really long eyelashes," Bell said. "She was a beautiful little baby." Knight did not object to having the infant placed with Bell. "We were attempting to work with (Knight), offering her the possibility of treatment," said Judy Hay, spokeswoman for CPS in Harris County. "But she was not interested in raising Raysate and did not fight her mother having custody." Raysate went to live with Bell and her husband, Walter Bell, pastor of Christ Way Church on Comal Street in Sunnyside. Knight, meanwhile, went on to become drug-free for three years, according to her mother, and had frequent visits with her young daughter. When CPS last had contact with the family in 1998, Raysate remained with her grandmother, Hay said. But Bell had a stroke and began having health problems that made it difficult for her to raise a young child, so Raysate went to live with an aunt and uncle in Norcross, Ga., Randy and Gloria Knight. The couple were described in the child's recent funeral program as "special parents," and Raysate called them Mom and Dad. By all accounts, they thoroughly enjoyed having the child in their home, even including her in their formal family portraits. In Georgia, Raysate seemed to thrive. She took her first step on her first birthday during a birthday party. By the age of 2, she was talking nonstop. Soon, she was attending the Apple-a-Day day care in Duluth, Ga. But in March 2000, when Raysate was 4 years old, her birth mother went to Georgia and took the child back to Houston, unknown to CPS officials in Harris County. Had CPS officials been told, they would have evaluated the child's new home -- but there was nothing to prevent Connie Knight from reclaiming her daughter as long as Bell, as the child's custodial caregiver, allowed it, Hay said. Bell said Connie Knight was never satisfied "with somebody else having her, which I thought were pretty normal feelings. She wanted her back. My son and his wife (Raysate's uncle and aunt in Georgia) are both still totally devastated by that." For the last year-and-a-half of her life, Raysate was under the sole care of Knight, and for most of that time she lived with her mother and siblings at a house in the 9300 block of Ashville, not far from her grandmother's in Sunnyside. Knight's oldest son, now 20, was the only one of her children who did not live with them. Raysate was never enrolled in school in Houston, police said. Relatives outside the home, including her grandmother, never saw her. From what police have learned, she was rarely let out of the house. Relatives asked about Raysate and tried to see her but were always told the child was not home and was out visiting other loved ones. Bell, consumed with round-the-clock care for her own ailing mother, talked with Raysate on the phone a few times but never became suspicious. "I never got alarmed, because I saw the other children, and they were fine," Bell recalled. "I talked to her several times on the phone at Connie's house -- I never got any kind of signals anything was abnormal. ... I'm seeing Raymond (Raysate's father), and he didn't seem concerned." While Raysate's last days remain a mystery, typically in child abuse situations, the victimized child may be the scapegoat of the family, and may suffer more severe consequences than the other children, such as more spankings, confinement in a room or isolation, experts say. Usually in such cases, "that child becomes the one everything is blamed on ... and probably over a period of time has taken the brunt of the family problems," said Mooney, the DePelchin president. Such a victim may be targeted because he or she is seen as a "problem child" or perhaps has a more aggressive personality than the other children, he added. "It's not totally inconceivable that could have happened to this child," Mooney said. But, he added, "I can't imagine that happening in a home with other children and them not knowing about it." Since the arrest, police have questioned Knight's other minor children, but they have denied that Raysate lived with them. Knight's 13-year-old daughter shook uncontrollably when a caseworker in Louisiana handed her a photo of Raysate, but she still denied she had ever seen the child, police said. "All of the children denied knowing who she was," said Houston police Sgt. Clarence Douglas. "My personal opinion is that the mother probably told them not to acknowledge this child as their sibling, and if they did, they would be taken from her -- something to that effect. They just won't acknowledge this young child as being their sister." Thinking of the other children compounds the pain felt by their grandmother, who says this is "absolutely" the worst experience she has ever endured. "It's not even about anger," Bell said. "It's my daughter, then it's my grandchild that's dead, plus I have all these other grandkids I don't have access to -- what could be worse than that? How do you put words to that? I don't think you can." Child welfare officials in Louisiana earlier this month contacted CPS in Harris County to begin discussions on returning Knight's other children to Texas, but the children will be placed initially in a foster home and remain in protective custody, Hay said. In September -- right around the time Raysate died -- Knight and her children vanished from Houston without explanation to her immediate family. The last time Bell saw her daughter, Knight was talking about getting married to Jefferson and taking legal custody of Raysate. Then one day, Bell went over to Knight's house and found everyone gone, the house empty. She didn't know what to think. "Before, when Connie had an addiction, it wasn't unlike her just to leave, so I didn't know what was going on," Bell said. "My mom had just died ... and Connie was real close to my mom, so I don't know if that had affected her. I'm sure it did in some way. We talked about it, but we couldn't come to any conclusion about it. After that, we never had contact with her." Knight's sisters didn't know where she was, either. No one in the family had heard from her. As it turns out, she was in Lafayette, La., living in an apartment with her children. Police say Jefferson went to Lafayette first, to look for a job, and Knight and her children soon moved there to join him. Houston police won't say how they traced Knight to Lafayette. But she showed little reaction or emotion when officers finally showed up at her door in late March, Douglas said. Knight admitted being Raysate's mother. In a statement to police, she said she had caused the child's death and that she had acted alone. Police don't want to give any details, but an autopsy found the child died from blunt trauma to the head. Jefferson has not been charged in the case, but police say the investigation remains active. Police will not say if Knight disclosed why Raysate was killed or if she admitted to having any problems with the child. They also will not disclose if a search of the family's Houston home yielded any evidence. However, detectives at a previous news conference said they were particularly interested in hair and fibers collected from the house, and that the blanket wrapped around the child's body when she was found held foreign carpet fibers that were red and blue, similar to ones inside the house. Raysate's body was found lying in a water-filled ditch just a few blocks from the home, in an area known to police as a common dumping ground. She was identified months later, in March, only after Bell, her grandmother, saw a sketch of the child's face on TV. Troubled by the drawing, Bell contacted police and endured a traumatic two-week wait before tests confirmed the child's identification. "It's still hard to believe, even though I know we had a funeral and buried her coffin. It's still hard to believe she's actually dead," Bell said. "It's just a lot of raw emotions." For the first few weeks after Knight was returned to Houston and booked into the Harris County Jail, her mother and sisters were unable to bring themselves to visit her. Finally, a jail chaplain called on Knight's behalf and asked Bell to come visit. Since then, Bell has met with her daughter more than once. "I think she was just surprised that I came. Mostly, (she was) just very remorseful," Bell said, declining to elaborate. Though Bell still cannot fathom how her granddaughter was treated so cruelly -- "just thrown away like that," as she describes it -- she says she has forgiven her daughter and still cares for her. "I don't know if I can make you understand it," Bell said. "I love Connie. I love her; I love her a great deal. I really tried to be a good mother to them. I just don't know what happened." "

Date: June 28, 2002. News Source: The Des Moines Register Newspaper, http://desmoinesregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Parents charged with abusing toddler: The former Iowa girl was found bruised and malnourished, police say. A former Iowa child who had been removed at birth from her parents' care when drugs were found in her system is the victim in a felony child-abuse investigation in Omaha. Rose Flynn, now 21 months old, was malnourished, had numerous injuries, and was covered with bruises when she was found earlier this month by Omaha police, according to spokeswoman Cathy Martinec. She said police were acting on an anonymous tip. Martinec said that part of the child's nose has been damaged by an untreated infection and that she may need reconstructive surgery. A police report said the girl, who is now in foster care, spent most of her time in a darkened room. Kevin Flynn, 48, and his wife, Sally, 31, the parents, are each being held in Omaha on $100,000 bond on charges of felony child abuse. Four other girls were removed from the Flynns' apartment and put in foster care. Police said they didn't appear to be abused. According to local reports, the Flynns faced allegations of child abuse in Ohio and Connecticut before moving to Council Bluffs in 2000. Court documents show that Department of Human Services workers took the baby from the Flynns in September 2000 after hospital workers found drugs in her system at birth. She was placed in foster care and was returned to the Flynns in February 2002 by a Pottawattamie County judge. The department and Pottawattamie County Attorney Rick Crowl cited confidentiality laws and declined to discuss the case Friday. Crowl said that state law requires authorities to reunite a child with the parents when the parents show they are "amenable to services," such as counseling and drug rehabilitation. Crowl declined to say if the Flynns agreed to services. "There's no law that says the child can be removed because the state feels the prospects of the child aren't very good. Can you imagine where that could lead?" Crowl said, "People are always wondering why we have to wait until something happens before we can do something about it. Well, this is an example." "

Date: June 27, 2002. News Source: KOCO 5 Eyewitness News, http://www.channeloklahoma.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Norman Police Investigate Alleged Child Abuse: Doctors in Norman reported the possible child abuse and abandonment of a 3-month-old girl to Norman police Tuesday afternoon, according to a Norman Police Department press release. Carrie J. Busenbark, 24, dropped her infant daughter off at Norman Regional Hospital and told hospital personnel she was going to pick up her 5-year-old daughter from daycare, police said. Busenbark did pick up her 5-year-old daughter, Triston I. Hudson, from day care, but she never returned to the hospital. The infant was treated for severe head trauma and other injuries, doctors said. Busenbark told hospital personnel the injuries were caused by a fall from a sofa while under the care of a baby sitter. However, a neighbor told police the child was home with her father, James T. Hudson, 27, at the time. Norman police Capt. Steve Schultz said police are looking for the family to take Triston Hudson into protective custody. "(The infant) was physically abused," Schultz said. "The baby is currently at Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City. Right now we're trying to find the family because we're concerned about the welfare of the 5-year-old." Investigation by Norman police uncovered an outstanding warrant for James Hudson out of Texas for injury to a child. Norman police are pursuing formal charges of child abuse, abandonment and enabling against Busenbark and Hudson. Busenbark, Hudson and their 5-year-old daughter have not been seen since Tuesday afternoon. They were last seen in a white 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse with dark tinted windows and damage to the passenger door. The car bears Texas license tags."

Date: June 26, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press World News Service, http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Report: Mother confesses to drowning to boys in lake, left a suicide note: ROME - A mother distraught over relations with her husband and in-laws has confessed to drowning her two boys — one of them 21 days old — in a lake in northwestern Italy, prosecutors said Wednesday. Olga Cerise, 31, who had also threatened to kill herself, admitted to the drowning while under questioning at the hospital where she has been since Monday, the ANSA news agency said, quoting prosecutors at a press conference. Cerise initially told authorities that she had waded into the lake near Aosta on Monday afternoon with her youngest child, Davide, in her arms after 4-year-old Matthew got in over his head as he played in the water. A passer-by helped Cerise out of the water, but her boys were already dead. Prosecutor Fabrizio Gandini said Cerise gave a different story Tuesday night under questioning, ANSA said, citing the prosecutor's report asking for Cerise to be kept in custody. "She in fact admitted that, in a moment of insanity, she had pushed her oldest boy in the lake, and soon after, threw herself in with her youngest boy in her arms," the report said. Prosecutors said Cerise was confused and imprecise, but they nevertheless said she provided a compete reconstruction of the event. Police later found a suicide note in a drawer at Cerise's home, in which she hinted at the resentment she felt toward her husband and her in-laws, prosecutors told a press conference in Aosta, near Italy's border with France and Switzerland. "For Pietro, you won't miss women, congratulations," ANSA quoted the note as saying. "Good-bye. I want to be cremated." In his report, Gandini said that Cerise showed "concrete resentment and bitterness in her relations with her husband and in-laws." Prosecutors quoted Cerise as telling them in her confession that neither her husband nor his parents, who live in a house nearby, gave any consideration to her or her children, ANSA said. Cerise was arrested on charges of aggravated homicide. Prosecutors asked that she remain in custody of a psychiatric hospital, ANSA said. Cerise' attorney, Giovanni Borney, said he would have no comment on the case. Calls to prosecutors' offices went unanswered late Wednesday."

Date: June 25, 2002. News Source: KPRC-TV News, Channel 2, Houston, Texas. http://www.click2houston.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Police: Father Jailed For Sexually Abusing Son Again: A Florida man convicted twice of sexually abusing his son was behind bars Monday for again abusing his son and taking sexually explicit photographs while in the Houston area, authorities said. The 30-year-old father, who's not being named to protect the boy's identity, was charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count of sexual performance of a child. Texas City detectives told News2Houston that the sexual snapshot was taken at the Hampton Inn in Texas City, but then the father moved with the boy to the Hobby Hilton in Houston. The father was having his regular visit with his 9-year-old son this weekend in Houston when police said that they arrested him on the charge of raping the boy. He already had two prior convictions for assaulting the same child in 1994 in Florida. Police and Childrens Protective Services workers said that they were amazed that the father was released after serving just three months of his three-year conviction, and then was allowed visitation rights, given his convictions. CPS officials said that their agency opened a file on the boy in April when his mother, who has since divorced his father and moved to Texas, alleged that the dad would rape the boy when he came to Houston for his visit. "They all told me, 'Well, he served his time. He did his 12-week counseling. He has full rights,'" the boy's mother said. Police said the FBI is looking into whether the father was involved in a child pornography ring. He's being held at the Galveston County jail on a $300,000."

Date: June 24, 2002. News Source: The CBS Television Network, KEYE-TV News. http://www.k-eyetv.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Austin Mother On Trial For Trying To Kill Her Kids: An Austin mother charged with attempted murder faces a jury. Sailaja Hathaway is accused of trying to poison her kids with pesticide. On Monday jurors heard opening statements from both the prosecutors and the defense. The prosecution presented evidence that Sailaja Hathaway intended to take her own and her boys' lives back on February 15th of last year. Jurors saw suicide /homicide notes and writing on mirrors, signed by Sailaja. Jurors heard how the home was filled with vomit, urine and feces, and an overwhelming odor of pesticide. Defense attorneys don't dispute these facts but say her depression and mental psychosis from a divorce and custody battle are to blame. The defense's witnesses will testify to that. The boys, who were 3 and 6 years old at the time, are now living with their father. Prosecutors said they plan to call Sailaja's ex-husband, Michael Hathaway. Jurors will also hear from the two boys, who will testify via a closed circuit monitor. The prosecutors could rest their case by Tuesday so the defense can begin their case for Hathaway after that."

Date: June 23, 2002. News Source: The Buffalo News Newspaper. http://www.buffalonews.com Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother sentenced for abuse: Michelle Ames, a 22-year-old Buffalo woman, was sentenced Friday to two years in jail on her misdemeanor conviction for scalding and beating her 3-year-old son last year. Ames, who was free until Friday morning, was handcuffed and taken from State Supreme Court Justice Mario J. Rossetti's courtroom shortly after 10 a.m. to begin the two-year jail term he imposed on her assault and child endangerment conviction. Rossetti found Ames guilty of six counts of misdemeanor assault and two endangerment charges following a four-day nonjury trial that ended April 17. He imposed the maximum jail term for the March 26, 2001, scalding and earlier beatings of the boy at her former Unger Street flat.The judge, who had acquitted Ames of felony first-degree assault at the nonjury trial requested by her attorneys, accepted the sentencing recommendation from prosecutor Judith G. Olin, and said he had given "much thought" to the punishment he imposed. Ames has Erie County Family Court proceedings pending in her effort to regain custody of her 4- and 7-year-old sons and her 3-year-old daughter. She will serve her term in the Erie County Correctional Facility in Alden.The Ames children have been in court-ordered foster care since the March 2001 scalding. Court officials confirmed that the current foster care situation is the second time in a little over two years that the Ames children have been taken from their single mother because of home problems. Ames declined to comment as the judge imposed sentence, but her attorney, Michael J. Stachowski, unsuccessfully urged the judge to place her on probation and allow her to continue attending the counseling sessions she recently began and keep working. Olin urged the judge to impose the maximum sentence "based upon the seriousness of the conduct." Ames was convicted of inadvertently placing her then-3-year-old son under a scalding bathtub faucet. Stachowski said Ames has consistently claimed she had to leave the bathroom to check on her daughter, who was crying in another room of the flat, when her son was scalded accidentally after he climbed into the tub filling for his bath."

June 22, 2002. News Source: The Baton Rouge Advocate Newspaper. http://www.theadvocate.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother accused of arson: DENHAM SPRINGS -- Livingston Parish sheriff's deputies arrested a woman Friday on counts of attempted murder of her four children. On March 7, the mother sent her children to bed and then set fire to her house, Sheriff Willie Graves said. Sheriff's Deputy Brad Treuil broke into two bedroom windows that night at the house at 30612 Anderson Drive and saved the children, two of whom suffered critical injuries. Graves said that after extensive investigation of the case, Tracy Rogers Hill, 30, admitted to setting fire to her home in an attempt to kill her children. A single mother, "she came home from a trip feeling frustrated and overburdened," Graves said. The woman told detectives she was folding clothes around 10 p.m. when she made the decision to kill her children, ages 4 through 8, Graves said. She sent them to bed and set the towels she was folding on fire, according to the sheriff. When one of children left the bedroom area and came to her, she told the child to go back to bed and that she would call the Fire Department, Graves said. Hill left the residence, letting the fire grow worse, the sheriff said. She said that at one point she tried to get back into the house, but couldn't because the fire had gotten too bad, Graves said. At that point, she called 911, he said. Treuil, who arrived at the house before firefighters, reported that flames already were shooting through the roof. The deputy said Hill told him the children were in the rear bedrooms. Treuil said he ran through a kitchen door to try to save the children, but was forced back by the heavy smoke. He then broke through a bedroom window with his police baton, finding three of the four children in the smoke-filled room. He left that room after getting the children out and broke into the window of a second bedroom and saved the fourth child. Detectives subsequently received information that the mother of the children had been involved in an earlier case of arson, Graves said late Friday. "Through the investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office, investigators determined it was an arson, he said. After investigators interviewed the children and Hill, she finally admitted to trying to kill the youngsters, Graves said. Sheriff's detectives booked Hill with four counts of attempted murder and fire investigators booked her with aggravated arson, authorities said. The children are all recovering well from the fire, Graves said. Detectives said the children have been placed in the home of a relative."

Date: June 21, 2002. News Source: The Arizona Daily Star Newspaper. http://www.azstarnet.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom denies killing baby: August trial set in case of body in outhouse. The mother of a newborn baby found dead in an outhouse near Mission San Xavier del Bac pleaded not guilty Thursday to a count of second-degree murder. Ermalinda Capone, 28, will go to trial in August in connection with the death of her daughter, Jasmine. The girl was found dead last June 28 in a wooden outhouse on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, about five miles west of Tucson International Airport. U.S. Magistrate James C. Carruth ordered Capone held without bond. She lives on the reservation near the Mission San Xavier del Bac with her husband and has five other children. The indictment, issued June 12, states that Capone "with malice aforethought did unlawfully kill and murder Baby Girl Capone (Jasmine Capone)." Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynnette C. Kimmins said she could not talk about any motives behind the girl's death. Javier Chon-Lopez, an assistant federal public defender assigned to represent Capone, declined to comment on the case. Capone's baby was found two weeks after the initiation of the Tucson Safe Baby program, in which local hospitals and clinics will accept unwanted newborns. A mother can drop off healthy newborns to a site within 72 hours of delivery without fear of prosecution."

Date: June 20, 2002. News Source: The National Post Newspaper. http://www.nationalpost.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother pleads guilty to manslaughter: CALGARY (CP) _ A Japanese woman pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter in the deaths of her two babies _ one whose emaciated remains were discovered in an empty apartment and the other whose body has never been found. Rie Fujii, who was living in Canada illegally after her visitor's visa expired, showed no emotion as the plea was entered in Court of Queen's Bench. She did not look at her parents, who travelled from Japan to attend the proceedings. Fujii, 24, had been charged with two counts of second-degree murder last year following the death of her 15-month-old son, Domenic Brown, and the disappearance of the boy's three-month-old sister, Gemini. Domenic's decomposing body was discovered in a deserted apartment June 5, 2001, when a landlord came to collect the rent and was overwhelmed by a pungent odour. Police divers scoured the murky Bow River for days after Fujii told investigators Gemini's body was wrapped in plastic bags and thrown into the water. Her body has never been recovered. In a statement of facts, Crown prosecutor Pat Yelle said Fujii had become overwhelmed by trying to care for two infants. She made repeated use of a crisis nursery in Calgary, leaving Dominic there for up to three days at a time and again after Gemini was born. Even before the second child arrived, Fujii turned to women's shelters for a place to stay when her boyfriend became abusive. Yelle said she lied to shelter counsellors about being a landed immigrant and was afraid to tell them her visa had expired, fearing that she would be sent back to Japan without her child. Fujii surrendered to police several days after the discovery of Domenic's tiny body. Her parents only learned of their grandchildren's existence after his death. Fujii came to Canada in 1997 on a visitor's visa and briefly attended Mount Royal College. It is expected that she will face deportation after her legal case is concluded."

Date: June 19, 2002. News Source: The Des Mines Register Newspaper. http://desmoinesregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Sibling claimed Bosses tied boy, report says : Donald and Lisa Boss bound their 10-year-old son to a chair in his basement room and eventually found him unresponsive, another Boss child has told attorneys. The deposition of Claxton Boss, 14, remains sealed at the Plymouth County Courthouse. But Donald Boss Jr.'s attorney revealed portions of it in court documents. "The parents, with the assistance of Claxton and Rudy (also a Boss child), made sustained efforts to resuscitate Timothy, but without success," wrote Michael Williams, a state public defender from Sioux City. "Eventually, Claxton was instructed to run a tub full of cold water. "Timothy was carried up to the tub and placed in the water with Claxton also in the tub to hold up Timothy's head. No success resulted." That was the last time Claxton saw his brother, Williams said. Donald Boss, an electrician from Remsen, has been charged with first-degree murder in the case. Lisa Boss is being held as a material witness but has not been charged. Williams made the revelations in a motion on jury instructions, one in a series of motions made in recent weeks. If Donald Boss placed or helped place a collapsible tieband around the neck of Timothy, Williams asked the court, but another child caused the band to constrict and choke the boy, should the jury be prohibited from finding the father guilty of murder? Williams did not outline specifically which child might have tightened the band. According to Williams' account of Claxton's deposition: Lisa and Donald Boss tied Timothy to a chair after the boy repeatedly beat holes through the wall of the basement room and made sexually explicit comments. Timothy was bound by the wrists, legs and around the neck. He also was spanked. The child remained bound until the next morning, but was conscious and making sounds through the night. According to the court document, Claxton returned to the basement when other Boss children had left for school. Claxton said he saw Rudy poking at Timothy's face and laughing. At some point, Donald Boss took food to the three boys in the basement and cut Timothy loose. The boy slumped in the chair, but remained seated. Later, Lisa Boss found Timothy on the floor and called for her husband. Donald Boss' trial is scheduled to begin July 9. Lawyers are debating a number of issues, including whether to move the trial from Plymouth County and whether Lisa Boss should be made available for a deposition. Des Moines attorney Maggi Moss, who is representing Lisa Boss, said her client would not answer questions at a deposition. She would cooperate with the state, Moss said, if she were granted immunity from prosecution. "She would testify and be very helpful to the state," Moss said Tuesday. Moss said Lisa Boss was concerned not about a murder charge, but other possible charges stemming from the case. Lisa Boss remains under house arrest in a Sioux City shelter for battered women. The 10 remaining Boss children are in foster homes. Four of them, including the three mentioned in the deposition, were special-needs children adopted in Michigan. Investigators say Timothy died Feb. 23, 2000. But no questions were raised about his disappearance until January - almost two years later - when family members in Michigan asked Iowa authorities to check on the child's whereabouts. They did, and quickly arrested Donald Boss. Eventually, he told investigators they could find the boy's body buried under the basement of the family home in Remsen. The state medical examiner's office is still awaiting test results before determining the cause of death. Besides being beaten, the child also may have been overmedicated with behavior-modifying drugs."

Date: June 18, 2002. News Source: The Arizona Republic Newspaper. http://www.azcentral.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom accused of slitting baby's wrists during drug high: A Phoenix mother got high on drugs then slit her wrists and those of her 2-month-old son, authorities said Tuesday. It was part of a twisted scheme in which Billie Jo Peters, 26, wanted to take both herself and her baby to heaven, said Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley. "She slit the child's wrists do deeply that it cut just not tendon but the arteries," Romley told reporters at a Phoenix press conference. Peters and the boy, Ramon, survived. She has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and child abuse, Romley said. The infant was believed to be in the care of Child Protective Services, a state agency. Citing confidentiality laws, Fernando Vender, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Economic Security, declined to discuss the case. The mother is receiving care in a secure ward at Maricopa Medical Center and is unavailable for press interviews, said Sgt. Bill Knight, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office. Eventually, she will be transferred to jail, where her bail has been set at $685,000. The incident occurred Friday at Billie Peter's apartment complex in the 2600 block of West Claremont Street, north of Bethany Home Road. Romley said that based on police investigation, Peters got high on methamphetamine and decided she wanted to go to heaven with her infant.. So she filled a bathtub with warm water and slit the wrists of both of them, he said. Tassie Sias, a resident at the apartment complex, said she has been a babysitter for the boy, whom she described as "a precious, beautiful baby." Sias also described Billie Peters as a troubled woman who is struggling with a number of mental-health issues and receiving disability income. Court records show that Peters had a brush with the law in 1996, when she was charged with custodial interference and placed on probation."

Date: June 17, 2002, News Source: The Dallas Morning News Newspaper. http://www.dallasnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Year after rescue, girl's spirit strong: The 8-year-old girl thought grass was biting her the first time she walked barefoot across it. When her future mother brought flowers to her hospital room, she asked what they were. This was a year ago, not long after the emaciated girl was rescued last June from the filthy bedroom closet of her parents' trailer in Hutchins. Police say her mother and stepfather forced her to live there and in other confined spaces with little food and clothing for four years. Now 9, the girl climbs on her jungle gym, does puzzles and has friends for the first time. Although she will struggle to cope with her past, her spirit has amazed those who love and help her. "[The girl] likes everything," Child Protective Services caseworker Kimberly Curtis said with a smile. "She likes to make mud pies. I've made many, many mud pies." The girl, who is not being identified because she was sexually abused, has found new parents in Bill and Sabrina Kavanaugh, a Van Zandt County couple who tried to adopt her at birth but were forced to return her. When they heard that the girl they tried to adopt years ago was the child found in the closet, they immediately tried to see her. She lives with the Kavanaughs and has called them "Mommy" and "Daddy" since last summer. The Kavanaughs' attorney, David Cole, said the girl would officially become their daughter this summer. "We won't be in court again until it's time to finalize the adoption," he said. Although the girl has made great progress, her doctors say the years ahead will be difficult. She probably will need lifelong therapy and will struggle with issues of trust and intimacy, they said. The girl stood 3 feet tall and weighed 25 pounds when she was found in the closet. She has grown and gained weight since, but her doctors testified that she would always be small for her age. The girl's mother, Barbara Atkinson, was sentenced to life in prison in January for forcing the girl to live in the lice-infested closet lined with waste. Her stepfather, Kenneth Ray Atkinson, is scheduled to go on trial in September on charges of serious bodily injury and sexual abuse. Both have declined to comment. Ms. Atkinson, who did not testify at her trial, told police that she locked the girl in the closet because she had an eating disorder that caused her to eat too much. Doctors testified that the child did not have an eating disorder, and they used methods similar to those used to treat victims of famine in Third World countries to help the girl. She also had to have surgery to repair the damage from the abuse. Ms. Atkinson has appealed her sentence and remains at the Dallas County Jail because she could be called as a witness in Mr. Atkinson's trial or the civil trial in which CPS is seeking to sever parental rights to her other children, jail records show. The girl's five siblings also were removed from the trailer last June and now live together in a foster home. Though they had lice and were dirty, they did not suffer the same abuse as their sister. Several of the children, now ages 2 through 11, had delayed motor skills and will need continuing therapy because they witnessed much of the abuse. The civil trial was scheduled for earlier this month but was pushed back to October. Ms. Atkinson has relinquished her rights to all the children, Mr. Cole said. Three of the children are Mr. Atkinson's, and he has not given up his rights, court records show. Mr. Atkinson's mother, Sheila White, is asking the court to allow those three children to live with her. Ms. Atkinson's parents, Doris and David Calhoun of Canton, are seeking visitation with the five children, court records show. They initially asked to see the girl, but they withdrew the request. All the children have worked hard this year to catch up on what they missed by not attending school while living with the Atkinsons, according to the state. Despite the publicity surrounding the case, their classmates don't know their history, said Ms. Curtis, the caseworker for all six. Each of the five children in school was promoted to the next grade for the fall by spending time studying outside of school. "They aren't in school with the label of who they are," she said. "It's been hard to adjust to putting the time in studying. They also want to learn and know the things their friends know." To the extent that it is appropriate for their ages, the children know that their parents are in jail, CPS says. They sometimes speak of their parents, but it's usually "something like Barbie likes this kind of sandwich. They don't dwell on it," Ms. Curtis said. The oldest child, 11, spends time listening to CDs and playing with her friends, CPS says. Two of the children, ages 7 and 6, play together constantly. The 6-year-old's favorite toys are baby dolls. The 2-year-old loves the television show Blue's Clues and the 4-year-old likes trucks, Lego bricks and puzzles. Stephanie Boniol, a CPS caseworker who investigated the children's case for the first three weeks, said the children's ordeal made her appreciate her parents. "It really made me thankful for what I had growing up," said Ms. Boniol. The girl, Ms. Curtis said, is lucky to have found parents such as the Kavanaughs. "They openly took on a challenge, and they love her. That's what gets them through," Ms. Curtis said of the Kavanaughs. "They have done a wonderful job of accepting who she is and not what she would be had they not lost her." "

Date: June 16, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper. http://www.suntimes.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "T-shirt used to wrap dead baby led cops to mom: Shortly after giving birth to her son in the bathtub of her ex-husband's home in South Holland on May 22, Karla Emaus held the tiny body to her chest, smothered him, then wrapped him in a T-shirt and dumped the body in the Little Calumet River, prosecutors said Friday. A business logo on the T-shirt--a place where she had once worked--led Illinois State Police to Emaus, 34. "She picked up the baby, held it and felt it breathing. Then she held it tightly to her chest until it stopped breathing," prosecutor Michael O'Brien said. "Only employees of the company were issued a T-shirt, and State Police determined she was a former employee." Emaus was ordered held without bond Friday by Criminal Court Judge Paul Nealis. She is charged with first- degree murder and concealment of a homicide, and admitted in a videotaped statement that she had smoked crack cocaine and marijuana during her pregnancy and did not seek prenatal care, O'Brien said. Emaus had kept the pregnancy secret from her family, her ex-husband and her boyfriend--the boy's father, prosecutors said. After the baby was born, Emaus yanked the umbilical cord from her body before smothering him and wrapping his body in the T-shirt. Then she walked to the kitchen, grabbed a plastic bag from a garbage can and stuffed the body in it, O'Brien said. She walked out of the house in the 15000 block of South Clark, looked out to make sure no one was watching, walked to the bank of the Little Calumet River and threw the bag in, he said. "She wanted to hide it," O'Brien said. "She didn't want her boyfriend or her ex-husband to know she was pregnant." Boaters found the baby's body floating less than a mile away in Harvey on June 8. The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled the infant's death a homicide by asphyxiation a day after he was found. State Police said they compared the time of the baby's death and its age with the speed of the river's current. Investigators said they think a warming of the water temperature Saturday helped buoy the newborn's body to the surface. Emaus, wearing loose fitting shorts, a T-shirt and a fleece jacket, answered "Please," when Nealis asked if she needed a public defender to represent her. Emaus has two other sons, 12 and 8, who live with her ex-husband. Officials from the Department of Children and Family Services said they have never investigated her, and O'Brien said Emaus did not have a criminal background. Her ex-husband and her boyfriend do not face charges, state police officials have said. Prosecutors did not reveal the name of the company shown on the T-shirt, but Tom Justic, her public defender, said she had been laid off from the firm four weeks ago and had earned two associate degrees. About a half-dozen family members and friends of the family sat in the front row of the Markham courtroom as Emaus was led in wearing handcuffs. Emaus' family and friends attended the hearing to let her know they were there for her, said Bob Schutt, a family friend who spoke on behalf of Emaus' family. "We'll be Christlike," Schutt said. "Stand behind her and forgive her and support her in all things." "

Date: June 15, 2002. News Source: The South African Press Association News Service. http://www. news24.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Cop saves baby from pit toilet: Bethlehem - The hospital calls him Baby Miracle and he is alive because a young policeman saved him from certain death in a long-drop toilet. After a mother dropped her newborn baby in the toilet on a farm outside the town, 22-year-old Constable Willem van Niekerk did what none of the onlookers were prepared to do. Without thinking twice, he went down the stinking, dark hole head first and saved the baby's life by lifting him from the cesspool with his bare hands. He said: "At first, I couldn't see the baby. Then there was a faint groan and I saw its right-hand fingers emerging from the excrement. "My only thought was to get hold of the baby. What possesses a mother to do something like this? Life is precious. "I went down and wiped the excrement from the baby. With one hand under his head and body, I lifted him out and wiped his nose and mouth with a cloth, then wrapped him in a blanket. Prays for good life for baby "An ambulance driver said the child was half-dead. It broke my heart. "I'm glad the baby is alive. My wish for him, after his dreadful first moments, is a good home with lots of love. With God's help, I was able to give him half a chance. Now, I can only pray he gets his due." The hospital's maternity ward decided to call the baby Miracle and Van Niekerk has been declared a general hero. Among miracle-baby photographs on the ward's wall, pride of place was given to Van Niekerk with Baby Miracle in his arms. Van Niekerk, who has been in the police force for the past year, has been a regular visitor to the ward. Senior Sister Emma Moloi said: "Few such babies survive. It's a miracle. Constable Van Niekerk saved the baby's life." Dr Jan Morrison said: "Miracle was close to death. On arrival at the hospital, he was cold and his heart was beating irregularly. Constable Van Niekerk saved him in the nick of time. He is much better and we have started feeding him." The baby lies relaxed in Constable Van Niekerk's arms, despite being in pain from a fractured shoulder, bruises and burns to his skin from acid in the toilet. Baby Miracle's 36-year-old mother is in custody on a charge of attempted murder."

Date: June 14, 2002. News Source: The NZOOM TV ONE News Service. http://onenews.nzoom.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Convicted mother pregnant: Deborah Moorhead, who has been jailed for five years along with her husband Jan over the death of their six-month-old baby, is 23 weeks pregnant with the couple's second child. The bombshell revelation came from the Crown prosecutor who said Deborah Moorhead has told a probation officer she is nearly six months pregnant - meaning she conceived in the full knowledge she would stand trial. Child, Youth and Family said it will become involved with the welfare of the new baby if there is a threat to the child. CYFS were in the process of getting a court order to have Caleb admitted compulsorily to hospital after doctors alerted them to the case. But Caleb was whisked away into hiding before they could act. Spokesman Stephen Ward says CYFS can become involved if the welfare of the Moorhead's new baby is thought to be at risk. The Moorheads clutched their Bibles as Justice Rhys Harrison passed sentence. "I am satisfied that the effective cause of Caleb's death was your uncompromising, dogmatic self-belief. The fact that the belief may have been based on sincere or genuine grounds is of little relevance," Harrison said. He said the couple were not being punished for their faith or philosophies. He said they had showed no remorse and the couple knew their son would die without immediate medical intervention. Earlier, the Crown mounted a full scale attack on the Moorheads' criminality. "It is submitted by the Crown that there are no mitigating features," Crown prosecutor Christine Gordon said. Again the court heard evidence of the baby's physical state. Caleb was severely malnourished, underdeveloped and anaemic. His brain was shrunken and he had a skin rash with exposed open flesh. While the family hid at a property south of Auckland, Caleb's life slowly ebbed away. The Seventh Day Adventist church has said the Moorhead's practices are not the teachings of the church. Starship Hospital paediatrician Patrick Kelly was one of the few doctors to ever see Caleb. He told the Sunday programme that prison is not inappropriate for the Moorheads. "His (Caleb's) life has been taken away. And I think whoever takes a life away should pay for it," Doctor Kelly said. Professor of Paediatrics Barry Taylor said he was not entirely sure that five years of punishment would make them change their minds. "I would be more interested in what could be done in the meantime for people in their position or similar position," Taylor said. Detective Sergeant Scahill said this is a tragic case that did not need to happen and he hopes this sort of situation never arises again. He said the couple chose their faith over their son's life and Caleb died needlessly. Moorhead's pregnancy will be an issue down the line for police and other officials. "There certainly are grounds to take action when the baby is born. And we will obviously be in contact with Child Youth and Family with relation to that," Scahill said."

Date: June 13, 2002. News Source: The Detroit Free Press Newspaper. http://www.freep.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "System silent as child dies: Mother had history of neglect. Pregnant again and dripping wet from the heavy rain one night in April 1990, Kali Ann Hopper walked into Garden City Hospital with her 4-year-old daughter in tow and said there were two more kids alone in her apartment. "I've been raising children since I was 15 years old," she told police called by hospital personnel. "I don't want them. I want to see the world and live." Hopper, then 18 and unwed, later voluntarily gave up her rights to those kids as well as the baby she gave birth to in August 1990 and then another born in November 1992. But as for seeing the world, Hopper spent much of the past decade in local bars and police lockups in Westland and Romulus for fighting, shoplifting and child neglect, according to court and police records. And she kept having more babies. Two more sons somehow remained in her care despite her 12 years of involvement with Michigan's child protection system. On Wednesday, Hopper, now 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after she left her youngest child -- 8-month-old Liam Mesler -- alone in a bathtub with his 2 1/2-year-old brother in a Melvindale motel on June 4. Liam drowned as the Melvindale mother was outside talking to a neighbor for four to eight minutes, according to Melvindale Police Chief John Difatta. "Children are born needing the trust and responsibility of their parents," Difatta said. "In this case, there was no trust and no responsibility." Beyond the tragedy of Liam's death are questions about the actions or inaction of the FIA, which apparently allowed Hopper to keep two children despite losing her parental rights to five others. Under FIA policies that went intoeffect in March 2001, the names of parents of newborns reported to the state Department of Community Health are compared with the FIA's Central Registry of people who have abused or neglected children. The change came about after the September 2000 beating death of 7-month-old Miracle Jackson whose mother, Tracey Swan, had lost her parental rights to other children because her boyfriends abused them. The FIA was not notified when Swan gave birth to Miracle, officials said. The new policy on parents previously deemed to be unfit requires the agency to assess the safety of any new children. If the FIA knew about Liam's birth and his mother's extensive background of failing to care for her children, the agency is not saying so. FIA spokeswoman Maureen Sorbet said that under the Child Protection Act, the agency cannot even acknowledge a case involving specific children exists. In 2001, the Free Press asked the FIA for case records of more than a dozen children who had died while under the agency's supervision. FIA Director Doug Howard denied the newspaper access to the records, and the Free Press is appealing those decisions in Wayne County Circuit Court. Judge Isidore Torres has ruled Howard abused his discretion when he denied the records, but the judge continues to review legal briefs and has not decided whether to order the FIA to release documents. Free Press attorney Cynthia Thomas said the Child Protection Act gives the FIA director discretion to release documents under certain circumstances. But the FIA's Howard has cited the confidentiality of the siblings of the dead children as one reason to deny the files. The Free Press has argued the names of those children -- most of which the newspaper already knows from court records -- can be edited from the documents. "There should be open disclosure," said Richard Bearup, former state Children's Ombudsman who investigated many of the FIA's failures. "Acknowledgement of such cases is imperative to both the public trust and the protection of children." Although many states also have strict confidentiality laws, several allow the release of information when a child has died. John Goad, deputy director for child protection for the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, discussed the case of Tammy Burse, the 34-year-old woman charged in Detroit with stabbing her 14-year-old daughter Irika Peterson to death May 23. Burse's four daughters had been in and out of foster care in Illinois for several years because of neglect, Goad said. He said that after several well-publicized tragedies involving children under Illinois state supervision, the department now releases information when a child dies. "The more we explain ourselves, the better job we wind up doing. . . . It took us a while to learn that," Goad said. There is a lengthy file on Hopper in Wayne County Juvenile Court. Those records show Hopper admitted she began using marijuana at age 13, crack cocaine at 17 and then began drinking heavily. In 1991, she used her baby as a shield during a fight with her boyfriend at a Garden City bar. The child was slightly hurt. While Hopper's record of having and then giving up custody of her first five children is documented in juvenile court, little is known about her care of Liam and his older brother. Under the new policy, the FIA should have been notified of Liam's birth eight months ago. The FIA won't say whether it was notified or whether a safety assessment was done to see if Liam was in any danger in his mother's care. If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Hopper faces up to 15 years in prison. On Wednesday, Judge John Courtright of 24th District Court in Allen Park ordered Hopper held in lieu of $100,000 bond pending a June 24 preliminary examination. The FIA placed the surviving child in foster care. Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform based in Alexandria, Va., said children could be embarrassed by the release of confidential information. "But given the record of child welfare agencies around the country, if you had more openness, more children would probably live long enough to blush," Wexler said."

Date: June 12, 2002. News Source: The Bangkok Post Newspaper. http://www.bangkokpost.com. "Abusive parents kill babies: Two infants have been brutally killed by abusive parents in China, state media said yesterday, in separate incidents unusual in a nation which places great emphasis on childcare. A man and a woman are facing trial in a Beijing court for murdering their 32-day-old baby girl after her body was found buried in a shallow grave last year, the Beijing Evening Post said. The unmarried couple, in their late teens and mid-20s, had no stable income and had not planned to have a baby, the paper said. But instead of giving the child away they began raising it in a rented motel room. But the baby was forced to bear the brunt of the couple's frustrations after the woman found out her partner was having an affair and the pair launched into a series of arguments. Friends saw evidence of the couple's abuse on the child, but did not notify police until it was too late. The baby was seen covered with bruises and signs of violence, with one friend claiming to have seen the father hold the child roughly by her neck and pressing her against a wall, according to the paper. The parents told friends the baby received bruises from accidentally bumping into things. In a separate case, a migrant worker in Beijing has been charged with murder after he killed his 18-month-old daughter in a drunken rage, the Beijing Legal Times said. The man, married to a woman in his home village, fathered the child after moving in with another woman in Beijing. The baby's mother died shortly after giving birth and the man's wife refused to help take care of the child. Unable to cope, he began drinking heavily and slashed the crying baby repeatedly with a kitchen knife during a drunken rage, the report said."

Date: June 11, 2002. News Source: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Newspaper. http://www.sun-sentinel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Miami man charged with killing girl 2 days after state workers visit: MIAMI -- A 20-year-old Miami man was charged Monday with killing his girlfriend's baby two days after the state's troubled child welfare system visited the child's home to make sure she was safe, police said. Though a child abuse investigator identified the mother's boyfriend as a potential danger to the child, the Department of Children & Families did not remove the 21-month- old from her home, did not turn to the courts to keep the man away and took more than a month to begin providing services to the family, records show. Robert Tyrone Battle was arrested Monday on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse just as a national child welfare group condemned the agency's top administrator for removing too many kids from their homes, prompting Gov. Jeb Bush to note the irony. "When the department chooses family preservation as its underlying objective, occasionally things happen. Likewise, when children are taken out [of] the care of those families ... things happen as well," Bush said Monday. "It's an interesting dilemma that we face and we'll always face." The death of Briyonna Jean-Noel comes as the Department of Children & Families confronts mounting criticism for failing to notice that 5-year-old Rilya Wilson had been missing from her caregiver's home for 15 months. The agency's administrators said Monday that Briyonna's case was appropriately handled. "I, like anyone else, wish this child would be alive and well today," said Charles Auslander, DCF district administrator for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. "It's an absolute tragedy, but investigators followed appropriate procedures." To many, however, the toddler's death was just another sad example of how the state fails its children. Last month, Lee County sheriff's deputies found the remains of a 4-year-old boy who had been buried in a shallow grave in North Fort Myers. The department had removed the boy's brother from their mother's home in 1999 after calls to the abuse hotline. But the younger boy, James "Jami" Cotter, was left behind. Neighbors have been charged in connection with his death. "The system is broken," said state Rep. Nan Rich, D-Weston, a longtime child advocate. "We know it's not an isolated incident, as indicated by the department with the Rilya case. It's far more extensive, and we need to admit that. God, this is just unbelievable." DCF began its abuse investigation April 24 in Briyonna's case after someone called the state's child abuse hotline, alleging abuse. The caller said the toddler had scratches to her eye and back, her head was swollen and one of her ears was bleeding, according to her case file. "The mother is always taking the child to the hospital," the file quotes the caller as saying. An investigator who went to the child's home, where she lived with her mother and her grandparents, noted only scratches. But he spoke with the toddler's family, who told him Briyonna had hit her head when she was at Battle's home and that she sometimes had unsupervised visits with him and with her father. The report does not indicate who could have been abusing Briyonna, but the investigator told her mother, Shavon Greene, that her boyfriend should no longer baby-sit the toddler. On April 25, the investigator and the state's Child Protection Team decided to keep the child in the home and provide services to the family. It took more than a month for officials from an intensive crisis counseling program to visit the home, on June 4, according to her file. They set up another appointment for June 6, but the mother was not home that day. Two days later, Briyonna died in Battle's home. She had multiple injuries, and was hit so hard the impact killed her, a county medical examiner determined. Miami-Dade police on Monday arrested Battle, who initially told detectives that the toddler was not breathing when he awoke. He also said he watched Briyonna while her mother worked. Broward attorney David Bazerman, a child advocate, said the child may have been left at risk because the family wasn't referred to Miami-Dade dependency court. With no judge monitoring the case, he said, "nobody was there to compel the department to follow up on these things." "It really begs the question, how do you know the problem's been resolved?" Auslander said it's easy to second-guess after the fact: "Lord knows if we knew a tragedy would result, we would not have left the child in the home." Briyonna's case is not uncommon. The Florida Child Death Review Team found that at least 60 children who had previous contact with the child welfare system died of abuse or neglect in 1999 and 2000 -- 30 in each year. The mothers' boyfriends were found responsible in at least 12 of the 60 cases. The team also found that more than 80 percent of the deaths could have been prevented by someone involved in the child's life, such as a family member or caretaker. More specifically, they found clear inadequacies in DCF's services to the children and their families in 10 cases. In 18 cases, problems such as referrals for inappropriate services and lack of follow-up hampered the team's ability to gauge the department's effectiveness. In 20 cases, the team found DCF services to be adequate. At Briyonna's northwest Miami-Dade home Monday, her grandmother, Sharon Humphrey, said the family was suffering "a devastating loss." Neighbors in the neat neighborhood of middle class homes near Pro Player Stadium described Briyonna's family as church-goers and Shavon Greene as a warm and loving mother. About 10 miles south, near the Airport Expressway, Battle's family gathered outside his home, saying the toddler's mother was the abusive one. "He loved that baby too much to harm that baby," said his aunt Mary Bradley. His neighbors milled about while children played, speaking of their shock and grief over Briyonna's death. Audrey Belote, who lives next door to Battle, said she often heard arguing coming from the house. The mother of 5 and grandmother of 12 said she was distraught to hear the girl died so close by. "It's a hurtful thing," Belote said. "It's a shame. It seems like an epidemic." "

Date: June 10, 2002. News Source: The Baltimore Sun Newspaper. http://www.sunspot.net. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Columbia man accused of killing daughters: Girls ages 2, 4 apparently strangled, police say; Filippi, wife had filed for divorce; 'It's a terrible tragedy'. A Columbia man who feared his estranged wife would move their two young daughters to her native Japan was charged today by Howard County police with murdering the girls, ages 2 and 4. Robert Emmett Filippi, 43, of 10855 Harmel Drive was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault, police said. He was ordered held without bail. Officers found Lindsey Ayaka Filippi, 2, and Nicole Erika Filippi, 4, in a bedroom with rope around their necks late last night at Filippi's home. A broken piece of wood found nearby apparently had been used to twist the rope and strangle them, according to charging documents. The officers went to Filippi's home around 11:30 p.m. after receiving a call from Filippi's sister, who told police Filippi had murdered his two children and was going to kill himself. Upon arrival, officers saw Filippi in the kitchen, entered the house, then found the two girls "unresponsive" in an upstairs bedroom, according to police. The girls were taken to Howard County General Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. Autopsies were to be performed later today. Filippi was initially taken to Laurel Regional Hospital for what police called "an unknown medical condition." Following his release from the hospital, he was arrested and taken to the Southern District county police office for questioning. Police have not released a motive for the killings, saying only that the investigation is ongoing. But in a divorce filing, Filippi claims his wife, Naoko, took their children to Japan twice since April 2000, returning each time weeks after she said she would. After returning in August 2001 from the second trip, she neglected the children, and left again for Japan in January without the children. Filippi stated in the suit that he was concerned his wife would return and try to take the children to Japan permanently. In her countersuit filed March 11, Naoko Filippi claims her husband shut her out of the home when she returned from Japan, denied neglecting the children or planning to move them to Japan permanently, and accused her husband of assaulting her physically and verbally. Robert Filippi wanted to reconcile their differences, but the two agreed on Feb. 25 to separate and seek a divorce. The two were scheduled to meet on Tuesday with a mediator to "move forward on outstanding issues," according to the countersuit. The attorneys representing Filippi, James Kraft, and his wife, William G. Salmond, refused to comment today on the case or the killings. Neighbor Bradley Arnold, who lives two houses down from Robert Filippi, said the Washington banker was going through a divorce, but he said he spoke to Filippi last night and the children seemed fine. "I have a hard time believing it, absolutely," Arnold said. "I was speaking with him last night, and he seemed to be in good spirits. He certainly wasn't remorseful about anything. His kids were with him, they were in a good mood. I just have a hard time understanding." Filippi met his wife on a business trip to Japan, said Arnold, who described her as quiet, possibly because she didn't speak English well. "I think that was part of the problem -- she wanted to go back to Japan," Arnold said. Filippi moved to the neighborhood about three years ago, Arnold said. "It's a complete mystery; I have no idea why or how or what," Arnold said. "His children were everything to him. He loved his kids, took excellent care of them. They were well-behaved, full of life, absolutely wonderful children. It's a terrible tragedy." Another neighbor, Luther Williamson, 69, said Filippi built a wood picket fence around his front yard so his children wouldn't stray into the road. Williamson also said he spoke to Filippi last night, while the children were playing in an inflatable pool in the backyard after being dropped off by their mother about 5:30 p.m. "I can hardly believe it," Williamson said. "He loved those kids. He really loved them. He always loved his kids and did things for them." "

Date: June 9, 2002. News Source: The Durham Herald Newspaper. http://www.heraldsun.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom pleads guilty to reduced charge in smothering attempt: BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A woman whose infant son's death in North Carolina is being investigated as a homicide pleaded guilty Friday to child abuse involving her 9-month old daughter. Stephanie Glasby, 25, was sentenced to two years in prison in exchange for the plea. If she violates probation, she will serve another eight years in prison. She had been charged with attempted murder, which could have brought a life sentence. The South Carolina native was arrested last July after police said a hospital surveillance tape showed her covering the mouth and nose of her daughter Alycia. Alycia was in the hospital for monitoring because Glasby said she was suffering seizures. Doctors found nothing wrong, but Glasby said her daughter still had trouble breathing and would turn blue. At first, officials believed the woman suffered from Munchausen by Proxy syndrome, in which a parent seeks unneeded medical attention for a child, usually for the parent's own psychological benefit. Glasby's attorney, John Robbins, said he doesn't believe she suffered from the syndrome. "I felt all along that what you saw on the videotape did not rise to the level of attempted murder," Robbins said. "However, my concern from the beginning was my client's potential liability on the lesser offense of child abuse." Glasby also had an 8-month-old son, named Matthew Rogers, who died in North Carolina in 1996. The coroner in North Carolina then ruled the child died of natural causes related to seizures, Robbins said. North Carolina law enforcement officials reopened the investigation of Matthew's death as a homicide last year after Glasby's arrest in Birmingham. "In light of recent information, it seems prudent to initiate a death investigation to determine first of all whether the child did in fact die of natural causes or was the victim of a homicide," said a statement at the time from Rutherford County's (N.C.) assistant district attorney, Charlie Walker. On Friday, Robbins dismissed the investigation as grandstanding. "They have no evidence to bring any charges," Robbins said. "That North Carolina case made this whole (Birmingham) case a little more sexy. It brought in more media attention because another child died at a similar age in 1995." "

Date: June 8, 2002. News Source: The Augusta Chronicle Newspaper. http://augustachronicle.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother's plea is rejected: Standing before a judge Friday morning, the woman accused of injecting bacteria into her daughter's bloodstream could not admit her guilt. "I can't say I did it," a tearful Tara Dorfman said to a supporter in the courtroom after a hearing in Richmond County Superior Court. Defense attorney Sam Sibley told the judge that Mrs. Dorfman wanted to enter an Alford plea, in which a defendant acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to win a conviction but does not admit guilt. "Somebody needs to take responsibility for what has happened," Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet said in rejecting the Alford plea. "She has to admit she's done it." Mrs. Dorfman was indicted on a charge of cruelty to children in March 2001. Investigators contend she is afflicted with Munchausen by proxy syndrome and made her child sick to get attention. Between 1994 and 1998, the daughter was taken to the hospital 183 times, hospitalized 14 times and operated on 30 times, investigators said. The girl's medical problems began when she was 3 years old. In late 1998 the girl was treated for a rash at Medical College of Georgia Hospital. After she was sent home, Mrs. Dorfman brought her back with a 105-degree fever. A blood test revealed water-borne micro-organisms, the kind found in the bottom of an aquarium, investigators said. At the hospital, doctors suspected more bacteria were injected into the child's IV. Assistant District Attorney Patricia Johnson opposed Mrs. Dorfman's request to enter an Alford plea because "it feeds right into the syndrome." But a trait of the syndrome, Mr. Sibley said, is an inability to admit responsibility. Judge Overstreet gave Mr. Sibley a short recess to discuss with Mrs. Dorfman whether she wanted to plead guilty. She would not, he told the judge later. Mrs. Dorfman, who remains free on a $20,000 bond, will be rescheduled for trial. In general, it is difficult to get a mother with Munchausen by proxy syndrome to admit to it, said Elizabeth Sunde, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at MCG who has dealt with such cases in the past. Dr. Sunde is not involved in the Dorfman case. In a four-year study at Scottish Rite Children's Medical Center in Atlanta, doctors used hidden cameras to help investigate and document suspected cases of Munchausen-related child abuse. Yet when confronted, only nine of the 20 mothers confessed. "There's a high level of denial," Dr. Sunde said. That self-deception might be part of why the mothers can carry out the abuse and might be one of the reasons Munchausen is not well understood, Dr. Sunde said. "These people who do these kinds of things - there are many parts of their moral and emotional development that don't occur appropriately," she said. "They are just much better at denying to themselves and denying to others." "

Date: June 7, 2002. News Source: The San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper. http://sfgate.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Guilty plea in son's slaying: Minnesota woman represents herself. Composed and smiling, obstetrician Donna Marie Burns Anderson acted as her own lawyer Friday and pleaded guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court to killing her 13-year-old son in his Burlingame home on Feb. 24 and then trying to murder her ex-husband. Anderson, 49, had said in press interviews that she fatally stabbed Stephen Burns with a 7-inch kitchen knife to save the boy from pornographers. She faces a minimum of 39 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced July 5. Judge Mark Forcum said he wasn't aware of a previous murder case in which a defendant entered a guilty plea while acting as his or her own attorney. He reviewed the consequences with Anderson during a three-hour hearing and then accepted it as "knowing, voluntary and intelligent." Throughout, Anderson demonstrated an intelligence and knowledge of legal subtleties that impressed even the judge. "You understand the interplay of these legal concepts very well," Forcum said. "There is no doubt in my mind that you know exactly what you are doing." In answering the judge's questions, an eerily calm Anderson repeatedly voiced her desire to take responsibility for the crimes, though she showed no sign of remorse. Dressed in an orange prison outfit, she sat erect and still in a wooden chair, hands handcuffed to a chain around her waist. "I know that murder and attempted murder are both legally and morally wrong. I do know the difference between right and wrong," said Anderson, who had lived in Shoreview, Minn., before showing up unexpectedly at the home where her ex-husband resides with his parents. "I do know I will be in prison effectively for life and die as an indigent prisoner." She also calmly told the court how she committed the murder."I bought a knife at Albertson's. I brought the knife into the house. I thought about some choices, but then I killed my son by stabbing him multiple times in the abdomen and he died," Anderson told the judge. "I used a knife to do that and I inflicted big bodily harm on him when I did that." The unusual character of Anderson's legal position reflects the bizarre nature of the case. At the time of his slaying, Stephen was staying with his father, Frank Burns, in Burlingame while his divorced parents considered sending him to live with an aunt in Mountain View. Shortly after 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 24, Anderson showed up unannounced at the home, carrying a concealed kitchen knife she had bought at the local Albertsons, police said. She entered her son's bedroom, where Ida Burns was sitting with her grandson, who was talking on the phone with a cousin, police said. "Ida Burns said she was going to make some tea and asked the defendant if she wanted any," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe in recounting the evidence. Anderson told her yes. At that point in the hearing, Ida Burns, who was sitting in the front row, began trembling and weeping. Anderson told the court that she stabbed her son 15 times, and began swinging the knife at Frank Burns when he came in the room and tried to stop her. As police took Anderson into custody that day, Wagstaffe said, she told officers, "I stabbed him. I'm glad I did it. I hope he's dead." Anderson's ex-husband, who has not attended any of Anderson's previous court appearances, was not in the courtroom Friday. Wagstaffe said Burns family members are hoping to learn more about what motivated Anderson when she is sentenced. "The question that's on everybody's mind is: Why did this happen?" Wagstaffe said. "It remains unknown." "

Date: June 6, 2002. News Source: The Worcester Telegram & Gazette Newspaper. http://www.telegram.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother charged in death of autistic son. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SEYMOUR, Texas-- A woman slit her autistic 10-year-old son's throat, wrists and ankles, then crashed their car into a ravine to make his death appear accidental, police said. Melanie Rochelle Dickson, 32, was arrested Wednesday and charged with murdering Mitchell Dickson. Bloody sheets were found in a motel room where they had stayed the night before the car wreck, and authorities believe Dickson, a single mother, killed the boy there. Police found them Tuesday in 15-foot-deep ravine along a country road near Seymour, about 160 miles west of their home in the Dallas suburb of Garland. Mitchell was dead, pinned under car with a severed jugular vein, and cuts on his wrists and ankles. Dickson was sitting next to the car with self-inflicted cuts on her neck, wrists and ankle tendons, police said. Police found a bloody razor blade in her purse, and blades were scattered around the accident scene, District Attorney Bill Neal said. After undergoing surgery, Dickson was jailed on $100,000 bail. Autopsy results for the boy were expected Monday. Neal said he was probably killed at the motel and bled to death before the crash. The district attorney said Dickson suffered from a mental illness, and a note from her was found in the motel room. He would not disclose its contents or be more specific about her mental condition. Dickson had no record of child abuse and no criminal history, authorities said."

Date: June 5, 2002. News Source: The Washington Times Newspaper. http://www.washtimes.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Prophecy cited in death of child BOSTON (AP) — It was said to be a prophecy from God: Karen Robidoux, a young mother and member of a tiny religious sect, needed to overcome her vanity. To do so, according to the prophecy delivered by her sister-in-law, she should drink only the liquid of boiled almonds and withhold solid food from her infant son, Samuel, by feeding him only breast milk. For months, authorities say, members of the religious sect that eschews modern law and medicine adhered to what they said were God's instructions — even as 10-month-old Samuel cried for food, became comatose and died. The murder trial of the child's father, Jacques Robidoux, was to begin yesterday with jury selection. Michelle Robidoux Mingo, the baby's aunt, faces a later trial on charges of being an accessory to assault and battery on a child for coming up with the idea of starving the child. Karen Robidoux is charged with second-degree murder. No trial dates have been set for them. All three have pleaded not guilty. Francis O'Boy, attorney for Jacques Robidoux, said he will challenge the notion that Samuel starved to death, arguing that the child's breast-milk diet was unusual but not unheard of at his age. He also planned to argue that the child could have died for any number of reasons, such as iron deficiency, scurvy or rickets. And even if the jurors find Mr. Robidoux responsible, they should consider if he is guilty of a lesser charge than first-degree murder. "There's certainly reasonable doubt as to what was the cause of death," Mr. O'Boy said. "We expect it to be a hotly contested trial, and the jurors will have a lot to think about. As usual, the facts may be considerably different from what the press has portrayed them to be so far." Gary L. Mello, spokesman for the Bristol County district attorney's office, declined to comment. The bizarre case of the sect, known as "The Body," took investigators from Attleboro to Maine's back woods, where in 1999 members buried the bodies of Samuel Robidoux and his newborn cousin, Jeremiah Corneau, far from the society they rejected. Jeremiah's parents, David and Rebecca Corneau, maintained he was stillborn and have not been charged in his death. The infants' bodies were later found, based on information provided by David Corneau. Police first came to the sect's home about 30 miles south of Boston in 1999 after Dennis Mingo, Michelle's husband and a dropout from the sect, found a journal describing Samuel Robidoux's condition. He took it to police. The journal described Michelle Mingo's vision about Samuel. Prosecutors argue that Mrs. Mingo fabricated the vision because she was jealous of Karen Robidoux. In November 2000, a grand jury indicted the Robidouxs and Mrs. Mingo. District Attorney Paul Walsh said it was a "clear case of murder." "As the child is starving, with his ribs sticking out and his eyes rolling in opposite directions, they walked past the child on the way to the dinner table," he said. Other sect members also are facing legal trouble. David and Rebecca Corneau have been jailed for months for refusing to cooperate with state investigators who are seeking information about Rebecca Corneau's latest birth, believed to have been last fall. State prosecutors believe the Corneaus are withholding information and want to know if the child is alive. The state has custody of the couple's four other children."

Date: June 4, 2002. News Source: The Daily Courier Newspaper. http://www.pittsburghlive.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Daughter testifies to mother's part in murder: UNIONTOWN - One night in the summer of 1992, Mary Jo Overly walked into the kitchen of her parent's house in Bear Rocks and found her mother, Roberta F. Gillin, standing at the counter, concocting a mixture of laundry detergent and heart medication. Forty-five minutes later, Overly witnessed her adopted sister, Helen Louise Gillin, standing out in the yard, throwing up. Overly, 32, asked her mother why, to which Roberta Gillin, 51, replied, "I just want her (Helen Gillin) to fall asleep and not wake up." As Helen Gillin, the mentally challenged, adopted daughter of Roberta and James Gillin, staggered around the yard, regurgitating the mixture her mother allegedly fed her, Roberta Gillin, testified Overly on Monday, yelled at James Gillin, "You'd better do something with that (expletive) because I can't stand to look at her anymore." James Gillin then ran out to the yard and stomped his adopted daughter to death as Roberta Gillin, according to Overly, watched from inside her residence. Roberta Gillin, according to Overly, wanted to see Helen Gillin gone because James Gillin had been having a sexual relationship with the mentally challenged woman for 10 years. The state police "Cold Case" squad arrested the couple in August 1999, seven years after police allege they disposed of Helen Gillin's body by burning her corpse in a backyard pit and dumping the ashes in woods across the road from their house in Bullskin Township. Both were charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, criminal conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and criminal conspiracy to commit abuse of a corpse. James Gillin was convicted in January 2001 on all charges and sentenced to life in prison and an additional 5 to 14 years. Roberta Gillin's trial began on Monday before Judge Gerald R. Solomon, the third time she has appeared in court on the charges. She had previously attempted to enter a guilty plea to the charges of criminal conspiracy and abuse of a corpse, but this plea bargain was rejected by Judge Conrad Capuzzi. She then entered a guilty plea to third-degree murder in March 2001, but withdrew her plea right before sentencing by Solomon. Overly, of Acme, testified that she, her husband, Charles, and children resided with her parents during the summer of 1992. Overly said Helen Gillin, who was 25 at the time of her death, needed help completing the most basic tasks, including dressing herself, brushing her teeth and washing her hair. Questioned by Fayette County District Attorney Nancy Vernon, Overly testified that Helen Gillin was forced to stay in the basement or garage when she became older because "my mother couldn't stand the sight of her after she found out what my father had done." Overly testified that there was tension in the Gillin household because her father was allegedly having a sexual relationship with Helen Gillin. On the night of Helen Gillin's death, Overly testified that she watched her father from an open window on the second floor. "I heard my father scream 'Die, (expletive), die.' I heard her bones cracking, her gasping for air. It sounded like someone under water for too long." Overly ran downstairs to her mother and husband, telling them to stop James Gillin. She said her mother went outside - with knife in hand in the event Helen Gillin had not died - but came back inside, proclaiming that Helen Gillin was dead. Her parents then left to purchase gasoline at a station. Overly said she went outside to where Helen Gillin laid, something she only told police about during her father's trial because she said it was a precious moment. "I just picked her up and held her," said a sobbing Overly. The trial resumed today before Solomon with Overly continuing to testify."

Date: June 3, 2002. News Source: The Kentucky Post Newspaper. http://www.kypost.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Trial OK'd for mother accused in bridge threat: A Kentucky state psychologist has concluded that an Over-the-Rhine woman accused of threatening to throw her three daughters off the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge last year is competent to stand trial. Lawyers for Rochelle Roe said on Monday they may dispute that contention at a hearing scheduled for July 10 before Kenton Circuit Judge Greg Bartlett. But one of her attorneys said he is more likely to contend that Ms. Roe was insane at the time and should not be held criminally responsible for her actions last year. Bill Spicer, who represents Roe, said her depression and related stress may have caused her erratic behavior. Police said Roe, 27,threatened to throw her three daughters - then 1 month to 3 years old - off the bridge at 1:30 a.m. July 10. She was stopped when three employees of the nearby Waterfront restaurant raced to the bridge after they saw her holding one of her children. She was indicted in November on a felony charge of attempted manslaughter in the first degree and two misdemeanor counts of terroristic threatening. Her lawyers immediately requested a psychiatric examination. The difference between competency to stand trial and insanity is significant. Competency depends on the defendant's state of mind at the time of the trial, and simply determines whether she can understand the charges and what happens during a trial. The trial can be delayed indefinitely until the defendant becomes competent. Insanity depends on the defendant's state of mind at the time of the crime. If found insane after a trial, the person must be found not guilty and cannot be tried again. Perhaps anticipating her defense, the grand jury's indictment recognized that Roe has mental problems. The charge says she tried to kill her children under ''extreme emotional disturbance,'' which makes it a less serious crime than attempted murder. After her arrest, Rochelle Roe was taken to St. Elizabeth Medical Center South in Edgewood. Since then, she has been treated at Eastern State Hospital in Lexington and the state psychiatric ward near LaGrange. She is being held in the Kenton County Jail, and no longer has custody of her children."

Date: June 2, 2002. News Source: The Anchorage Daily News Newspaper. http://www.adn.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother guilty of killing son. SUZETTE WELTON: Wasilla woman convicted of murder, attempted murder, arson. Palmer -- Suzette Welton hoped to kill her two sons when she set fire to the family home nearly two years ago, a jury ruled Friday, finding her guilty of murder, attempted murder and arson. The 38-year old Wasilla woman sobbed as Superior Court Judge Milton Souter read the verdict to a packed Palmer courtroom. Jurors deliberated for nearly two and half days before concluding that the former day-care worker had done the unimaginable: plotted to kill her own children for money. Prosecutors had argued Welton drugged her sons with sleeping pills then set the family duplex afire early in the morning on Sept. 15, 2000. She had taken out $100,000 life insurance policies on the boys just a few months before. Her son Samuel, 14, died in the blaze while Jeremiah, then 16, narrowly escaped by jumping out a window. Welton's daughter Bree, then 6, was with her mother inside the house, and also escaped. Juror Heather Jackson said afterward that the biggest hurdle in finding Welton guilty was believing a mom could kill her child. "It was hard for me to imagine that somebody would do that to their children, because I would die for mine," she said, a tear on her cheek. Dennis Welton, who divorced Suzette in 1999, said he was relieved, not surprised by the verdict. "Anybody looking at the evidence would have come to the same conclusion as the jury did," he said. He said he felt no emotion for his ex-wife as the verdict was read and thought her tears might have been faked. "I think she thought she was going to get away with it," he said. He said his wife's behavior had become increasingly erratic in their 18 years of marriage, although he hadn't thought her capable of harming her children. Defense attorneys Greg Heath and George Davenport said they are considering whether to appeal. They have already asked the judge to throw out the conviction on the grounds the evidence did not support a guilty verdict. "I just don't know what (the jurors) looked at," Heath said. Although the courtroom was often nearly empty during the six-week trial, the room filled up for Friday's verdict. Many observers were court personnel and other lawyers. The only family present was Dennis Welton and his sister-in-law. A hush descended when the jury entered. When Souter read the verdict, Welton collapsed onto the table in front of her. "Oh God, oh God," she said in barely audible tones. "I can't believe this." She had gotten little visible family support during the trial. Dennis Welton and his son Jeremiah testified for the prosecution. Suzette's brother, Robert Burghardt, flew in from his home on the East Coast during the middle of the case. He spoke little to his sister but gave interviews in which he said he thought she was guilty and mentally ill. Juror Bill Weith, a retired state trooper, described the deliberations as emotional. The eight women and four men prayed every morning before deliberating and cried after reaching their verdict, he said. Each juror told the others why they thought Welton was guilty. Afterward they met with Judge Souter for comfort, he said. "This is without a doubt the toughest thing to do, to sit in judgment on a person," Weith said. Jackson, a 25-year-old bank teller, said she wasn't convinced by defense arguments that Samuel might have lit the fire to kill himself. "Fire would be a very violent way to die," she said, adding that it would be difficult to not try to escape. Samuel's body was found in his bedroom, huddled next to his window. She also didn't think that the boys drugged themselves with sleeping pills by spiking their soda and juice. She also said she would have liked to have heard from Welton herself, but that she didn't hold it against Welton that she didn't testify. She did, however, think Welton's purchase of life insurance for her sons was odd, given that she was about to lose her car for lack of payments. "That would be the last thing on the list (to buy)," she said. Welton is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 9. She faces up to 99 years in prison."

Date: June 1, 2002. News Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune Newspaper. http://www.uniontrib.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "La Mesa mother pleads not guilty: Woman is accused of suffocating son, 7. A La Mesa mother accused of suffocating her 7-year-old son pleaded not guilty yesterday while grieving and baffled family members showed support for her, saying she had become increasingly troubled. Anita Castellanos, 25, was ordered held on $1 million bail on a murder charge by San Diego Superior Court Judge David Szumowski, who also ordered her to be examined by jail psychiatrists and placed on a suicide watch. The dark-haired, slightly built Castellanos stood quietly during a brief arraignment as Deputy Public Defender Cynthia Bolden referred to the apparent mental problems Castellanos was having. "Clearly," she told Szumowski while a half-dozen family members looked on from the courtroom gallery, "there are some issues here that we need to get to the bottom of." Prosecutor Chris Lindberg said Christopher Castillo, the woman's 7-year-old son, was asphyxiated Tuesday afternoon. He said the mother then went to a relative's home and said "I killed Christopher." Lindberg said the last person to see the boy alive other than his mother was a worker at Lemon Avenue School, which Christopher attended. He said the employee went to Castellanos' apartment on Third Street in La Mesa around noon because Christopher was not at school that day. Both the boy and the mother were fine, Lindberg said. A little more than four hours later, Castellanos showed up at the relative's home on Lemon Street, about a mile away, said she had killed the boy, grabbed a knife and tried to kill herself, according to police. Relatives subdued her and called 911. Police went to Castellanos' apartment, broke down the front door and found the boy lying on the living room floor. Lindberg told the judge the boy's arms were crossed over his chest, and he was covered by a blanket, "sort of like a shroud." Outside court, Castellanos' mother, uncle and the boy's paternal grandmother said they believed Castellanos was not in her right mind. Yolanda Carrion, her mother, said Castellanos had been acting "very paranoid" for the past several months. The family had urged her to seek help, but she never did, Carrion said. "She needs help; she needs mental help," she said. "She does not understand the full effect of what she has done." Beatrice Martinez, Christopher's paternal grandmother, said that Castellanos was a devoted parent. "When she was a mom, she was the best," she said. "I know in my heart Anita does not realize what she has done." Family members clustered close together outside the courtroom, quietly and patiently answering questions from a clutch of media pressed around them. An uncle, Earl Hangen, said they came to support Castellanos, and admitted that between the death of the child and the charges against Castellanos "our hearts are torn." He said the family had seen signs of increasing stress in Castellanos over the past six months or so, but she rebuffed their efforts to get her to seek help. Hangen said family members are struggling to understand how she could have harmed her son. "We just have no clue," he said quietly."

Date: May 31, 2002. News Source: The Australian Associated Press News Service. http://www.news.com.au. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Dad murderer may get life: A JUDGE has foreshadowed a life sentence for a Sydney man who suffocated his three children on Father's Day last year. In sentencing submissions in the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Greg James said the father was still unable to explain why he murdered his children. The 30-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the children's identities, had pleaded guilty to the murders. His two daughters and son, aged 11 weeks, 11 months and six, were found dead, dressed in their pyjamas, on a bed in their father's Cabramatta home on September 2, 2001. The man was charged with their deaths after he walked into a police station and declared: "I've put my kids to sleep ... permanently". Justice James asked defence barrister Peter Zahra to provide evidence on "whether or not there's discretion for the offender not to serve the rest of his life in custody". The victims impact statements by the mothers relayed the terrible tragedy and the court must have compassion for "mothers deprived of children in this way", the judge said. According to papers tendered to the court, the man had been drinking at his home and had argued with his girlfriend and mother before the murders. His mother, who had also been drinking, last saw him sitting watching television looking "a bit sad, I knew because of the sound of his voice" while the children were asleep. Throughout the early hours of the morning, he sent a series of text messages to his girlfriend, one of them declaring "good buy (sic) from me, my son and daughters". About 5am the man visited his girlfriend at her home, asked her to embrace him and said "I love you, I'm sorry and tell my mum that I'm sorry", the papers said. Three hours later he gave himself up to Parramatta police while his family made the grisly discovery. The mother of his youngest child told police that in 1999 during a custody battle over his son, the man spoke about a murder-suicide. He said words to the effect, "I thought about taking (the boy's) life and my life but then I think why should he suffer because it's not his fault", the papers said. The matter will return to the court on July 17."

Date: May 30, 2002. News Source: WKRN-TV, News 2. http://www.wkrn.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman Accused of Beating Baby to Death: Clarksville neighbors are shocked after a woman is accused of beating her baby step-son to death. The child was just under two-years-old. Police said he died from multiple wounds all over his body. According to investigators, the weapon was a Native American drumstick. Neighbors said the family had only lived in this house a couple of months and kept to themselves, but they seemed friendly enough. "I used to walk the dog and see them on the front porch playing." "You wouldn't think nothing like that would go on. It's pretty sad," neighbor Robert Lyle said. Tuesday afternoon, the unimaginable happened. The baby boy was rushed to the hospital unconscious. He died, and an autopsy revealed he was a victim of child abuse. "Mrs. Sturgeon, in her call to 911, indicated the child had fallen and sustained the injuries. During the interview with Detective Kaminiski, she did admit to severely whipping the child with a drumstick," said Lt. Phil Ashby. Police recovered the alleged weapon, a Native American-type drumstick measuring 18 inches long. They arrested the baby's step-mother, 35-year-old Giovanna Sturgill, for first degree murder. The boy's father is a Fort Campbell soldier. Police said he was at work on post when the tragedy happened, and they said he is not a suspect. "He was very close to his child." Authorities told News 2 the soldier and his wife had just gotten custody of the toddler about a month ago. Now, the baby is gone, and his step-mother, who police said had no history of violence, could spend the rest of her life in prison. Police told News 2 the father wanted custody of his son, who was living in Florida, because he couldn't stand being away from him. The motive for this crime? According to investigators, the baby's step-mother got angry because he was crying and kept asking for his father."

Date: May 29, 2002. News Source: The Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot Newspaper. http://www.pilotonline.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Murder case against NSU mom to proceed: NORFOLK -- Kuturah Aldridge took off her wire-rimmed glasses and wiped away tears Tuesday morning while she waited for a judge to read her 18-page confession to police. Aldridge's attorney argued that her preliminary hearing on a murder charge in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court should be postponed. The medical examiner's ruling on the October death of Aldridge's baby girl is pending, he said. But Judge Joseph P. Massey ruled that the confession was enough for the case to be presented next month to a grand jury.The 18-year-old Norfolk State University student from Washington remains free on bond. Aldridge was arrested in February and charged with murder after a baby's body was found inside a unit she had rented at Uncle Bob's Self Storage in the 1200 block of E. Brambleton Ave. The infant had been stuffed in a book bag and placed in a trunk. The woman's confession to detectives was filed in court in April. Aldridge told detectives that she gave birth to the infant, then put her in a tub of water at a Military Highway hotel. When detectives asked her if the baby was alive at the time, Aldridge said she thought so, because her arms and legs were moving. After about a minute of holding the baby under the water, Aldridge pulled her out and tried unsuccessfully to revive her, according to the confession. Aldridge told police that she wrapped the baby in towels and put her in the book bag. She took the bag to her dorm room and hid it in the trunk, she said. Two or three days later, she said, she moved the trunk to the storage facility. Detective Brad Huffman testified Tuesday that investigators learned Aldridge's name from the rental facility manger on Feb. 13, the day the baby's body was discovered. The woman's initials also were inside the bag, Huffman said. That night, Norfolk State University police took Aldridge and a roommate to talk with city homicide detectives. Aldridge was then arrested and charged. If convicted, she faces a maximum punishment of life in prison."

Date: May 28, 2002. News Source: The Melbourne Age Newspaper. http://www.theage.com.au. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother asks for help after setting fire to kids in car: A Brisbane mother charged with murdering her three children in a car inferno pleaded for help to save her dying son soon after allegedly setting the vehicle on fire. Witnesses told a committal hearing today 30-year-old Kerry Anne Lane was shaking "like a leaf" as she cried out to firemen for pain killers to help her fatally burned son, Mason. "He's in a lot of pain. Can you give him something for the pain?" she asked, reassuring eight-year-old Mason as he lay on the ground near the smouldering car. "You'll be right Masy, I've called the ambulance," she cried. Her two other children, Kerrod Coxsedge aged seven and Jacqueline Duggan aged nine months did not escape from the car and perished in the ferocious blaze that was so hot it caused the vehicle's tyres to explode and windows to shatter. Mason Coxsedge died from burns sustained in the fire several weeks later. Lane also suffered serious injuries and spent more than a month in hospital. Her face and hands were wrapped in surgical bandages as she appeared in the Southport Court today for the first day of a four-day long committal hearing. As firemen and passing motorists described the roadside blaze that killed her children soon after 2.30am on October 6 last year, Lane stared blankly away from the witness box, tugging at her bandages and making notes on a pad. Off-duty security guard Terry Davis called the fire department and, after stopping at the burning car, saw Lane, badly burnt and upset, running towards him crying "My child! My child!" Lane told Davis and two firemen that she had thrown her "baby out the side of the car" but didn't know where the child was. The body of the infant, Jacqueline, was later found in the vehicle. Asked by fireman Paul Graves what had happened Lane replied: "I don't know. I was on my way to Sydney and the baby started to cry and I pulled over." Police investigator, Detective Senior Constable Mark Procter, said Lane refused to speak with police about the fire. There was no history of any previous mental health problems, he said. "All the doctors we spoke to said there was no history of depression or mental illness whatsoever," said Senior Constable Procter. A gas cylinder was found in the car and two fuel canisters were on the ground nearby. DNA and fingerprint tests as well as checks on as many as 30 service stations failed to find any link between the items and Lane. Two other witnesses to the fire reported seeing a silhouetted figure standing in front of the inferno "just staring" at the flames. Both witnesses believed the person was male but were uncertain because of the intensity of the fire. Lane, who lives in Bethania south of Brisbane, is free on a $10,000 Supreme Court bail and is required to report to police daily. She has not had to enter a plea. As many as 50 people are expected to be called to give evidence during the committal hearing."

Date: May 27, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "South Carolina Killer Wants Death: COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Michael Passaro planned to die more than three years ago when he doused his van with gasoline outside his estranged wife's home and set it ablaze with his 2-year-old daughter strapped inside. But Passaro jumped out after igniting the fire, leaving behind a typewritten suicide note and the toddler. He was in the van long enough to suffer severe burns but survived, pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to death. Now, Passaro is again ready to die. He has refused to appeal his sentence and urged the courts to ignore the efforts of well-meaning attorneys to spare him from a lethal injection. "You do not have to live this life. I do," he wrote in a letter to South Carolina's Supreme Court. "The state says I should die for what I did, and I am not going to stand in their way." The state's high court is set to hear arguments Wednesday on whether Passaro can be executed without ever having his case reviewed. Prosecutors say if the 39-year-old killer succeeds in dispensing with the lengthy appeals process, he could be executed by the end of the year. "If the state and the defendant really want the same thing, is that punishment?" asks Passaro's lawyer Joe Savitz. In the letter written to the justices five months ago, Passaro left no doubt about his intention to die. He also left no doubt of his intentions to kill his daughter in November 1998 to get back at his estranged wife, Karen. "Whatever anyone does, please make sure that Karen doesn't kill herself over this," Passaro wrote in his suicide note, salvaged from the blaze by investigators. "I want her to live in pain for the rest of her life." Defense lawyers say the seeds were sown nearly a decade ago, shortly after Passaro married his first wife. When she ran out of their house to help the victim of a nearby car accident, another car struck and killed her. "I want to be buried with my first and only love, Donna," he wrote in his suicide note. Passaro was devastated, turning to drugs and alcohol to ease his pain. Eventually, he regained control of his life and moved to South Carolina, becoming a paramedic near Myrtle Beach and studying to be a nurse. He met his second wife, Karen, at a hospital where she worked. The two were married and by 1996 had a baby girl, Maggie. "All he had ever wanted was a family and a home and someone to love him," Passaro's mother, Betty, said in court. But the marriage soured. Passaro's wife asked for a divorce and got a restraining order. Passaro got to see his daughter one weekend a month. It was after one of those visits he parked his van outside his wife's condominium and set it on fire. One of the first officers on the scene would later testify Karen Passaro heard the commotion and came outside. She recognized the van and demanded over and over to know whether her daughter was inside. Horry County Fire Capt. James Cyganiewicz stalled as long as he could but eventually broke the news. He said she collapsed in sobs. "It's pretty funny how the system works," Passaro wrote in his suicide note. "I get visitation with my daughter, and I'm allowed to end our lives from existence with the help of the courts and my wife. I guess that I'm getting the last laugh now, Karen." Passaro is far from the first death row inmate to waive appeals and ask to die. According to the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C., 16 prisoners who volunteered to die have been executed in the past two years. In a case similar to Passaro's, Daniel Zirkle killed his 4-year-old daughter in August 1999 then attempted suicide by cutting his own throat. Zirkle pleaded guilty and asked for the death penalty. He was put to death in Virginia on April 2. Savitz doesn't have a lot of faith that he can save his client's life. "Mr. Passaro and I are stuck together by operation of law," he said. Beyond that, Passaro has hardly made himself a sympathetic character. His temper in prison has been well documented. One guard testified Passaro got angry when he was told he couldn't have orange juice. "I have burned my child to death, and I'll burn you," Passaro told the guard. "I'll burn your house down with your family in it." A psychiatrist has ruled Passaro is competent to waive all his appeals. He told Savitz he was willing to ask the courts to look at his case only if he would spend 15 years or fewer in prison because he didn't want to spend the rest of his life behind bars. "I really miss the electric chair because lethal injection is literally a painless way to go," Savitz said. "And if you don't want to be in prison, it looks like an easy way out." "

Date: May 26, 2002. News Source: WDIV-TV, NewsChannel 4. http://www.clickondetroit.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom Charged With Stabbing Daughter: A woman accused of killing her 14-year-old daughter was charged with first-degree murder Monday.Tammy Burs, 34, is accused of repeatedly stabbing her daughter, Irika Peterson, Friday, following an argument. Peterson was found dead inside of her family's west side Detroit home. Earnest Burs, Peterson's stepfather, told Local 4 that he discovered the girl's body in a closet of a back porch in the house. Homicide detectives believe that the mother and daughter argued because Peterson threatened to alert authorities about deplorable conditions in which she and her three younger sisters were forced to live. Earnest Burs told Local 4 that he found the suspected murder weapon, and believes that Peterson tried to fight off his wife but was not strong enough to prevent the attack. He said he treated Peterson like his own child. Tammy Burs remains in police custody. She is scheduled to be in court again June 6."

Date: May 25, 2002. News Source: The Lincoln Journal Star Newspaper. http://www.jpurnalstar.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Doctor accused of throwing child to plead innocent: CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A family physician accused of child abuse in Nebraska for allegedly yanking his 18-month-old son out of a vehicle and throwing him onto the ground plans to plead innocent, his attorney said. Dr. Joseph Dobson, 36, of Cheyenne, issued a statement through his lawyer, Mike O'Donnell, Friday that said the allegations against him are "utterly false." Dobson is also charged with third-degree assault after allegedly grabbing a 36-year-old woman who attempted to intervene Wednesday morning along Interstate 80 in York County about 30 miles west of Lincoln. York County District Attorney Randy Stoll said four witnesses have offered essentially the same account of the incident. "Their stories do not correspond to what he and his wife have said," Stoll said. "They (the witnesses) tend to corroborate one another." Although all four offered similar statements, none was as detailed as the woman's, he said. Colleagues and co-workers have expressed shock and surprise at the charges, saying Dobson is well-respected and volunteers for several organizations. The Wyoming Board of Medicine's screening committee likely will review the allegations and decide whether to take action against his license, said Gay Woodhouse, an attorney for the board. Gov. Jim Geringer has begun removing Dobson from the 21-member Governor's Advisory Board on Substance Abuse and Violent Crime. Dobson was released from jail late Wednesday after posting 10 percent of a $10,000 bond. He has been ordered to have no contact with the child, who was not injured, until further court notice. He returned to Cheyenne Thursday with his wife and three of his four children. The whereabouts of the toddler involved in the incident was not disclosed. "The child is not at the Dobson household," O'Donnell said. The attorney said Dobson plans to plead innocent to the two misdemeanor charges and has asked that his next hearing be held earlier than the scheduled date of June 5. Dobson and his family were headed to a Mormon church function in Illinois in a minivan when it became mired in a traffic jam, authorities said. The snarl near Beaver Crossing was caused by high winds and a dust storm that led to a 10-vehicle pileup that killed three people. According to York County Sheriff Dale Radcliff, the 36-year-old woman, who was in another vehicle, said she saw Dobson pull the child out of the van by his leg, then throw him onto the grass where he landed on his shoulder and head. The woman told officers that when she tried to pick up the child for his safety, Dobson grabbed her shoulder and took the boy. He told her "the child deserved what had happened," according to a court affidavit. Dobson put the boy back in the van. He was later stopped by deputies about nine miles west at the Waco interchange and arrested. The boy was found by authorities to have no injuries or grass stains on his clothing. Dobson told deputies his son was "throwing a temper tantrum," so he placed him on the grass shoulder. Then a woman approached, he said, trying to take his son away. When questioned by deputies, Dobson's wife said her husband was upset when he abruptly stopped the van, then set the boy on the ground. She told deputies that Dobson's actions were "inappropriate for the situation," an affidavit said. Stoll said even if the child were gently placed on the ground, the act would warrant a misdemeanor, given the weather conditions. Until the Board of Medicine makes a decision, which is expected within the next two weeks, Dobson is allowed to continue to practice as part of High Plains Family Medicine in Cheyenne. O'Donnell said he was not scheduled to see any patients because he was to be on vacation. Reached for comment Thursday, one co-worker said she didn't believe the charges against Dobson, who is well-known in Cheyenne as a doctor and volunteer with the Cheyenne Community Clinic for low-income patients, the American Cancer Society and the Wyoming Tobacco Use Prevention Coalition. "In my personal opinion, this is ridiculous," said Patti White, office manager at High Plains Family Medicine of Cheyenne, where Dobson practices. "He's a very good and loving man," White said of Dobson. "I've never seen any action close to what these reports have said."

Date: May 24, 2002. News Source: The St. Thomas Source Newspaper. http://new.onepaper.com/stthomasvi. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "MOTHER CHARGED IN 3-YEAR-OLD'S BEATING DEATH: - The mother of 3-year-old Melea Pownell, who was beaten to death on May 10, is scheduled to appear in Territorial Court on Saturday to face charges of child abuse and neglect. Police say that Sylvia Byrd, 34, of Altona, knew that her boyfriend, 25-year-old Derick Hoheb of Paul M. Pearson Gardens, regularly beat and abused Byrd's two daughters, Melea and her 8-year-old sister. Melea died on May 10 from blows to her head and body, according to autopsy reports. Hoheb has been charged with first-degree murder and 19 other charges in connection with the death and what police say was the frequent beating, intentional burning and choking of the two girls. Hoheb pleaded not guilty to all of the charges on Thursday. On Friday morning, police arrested Byrd and charged her with child abuse, child neglect and concealing felony actions. She is being held in jail on $75,000 bail. In April, the 8-year-old girl told one of the teachers at her school that Hoheb had grabbed her by the hair and pounded her head on the floor, according to an affidavit signed by police Detective Roselyn Bedminster. The girl also told the teacher that Hoheb sometimes choked her so hard that her eyes bulged out and it felt like she was going to die, Bedminster stated. The teacher spoke to Byrd about what the girl had said two days later, but Byrd told the teacher that her daughter was "blowing things out of proportion," Bedminster stated. Social workers removed the girl from the home and put her into foster care on May 2, but they were still investigating whether Melea might be in danger at the time that the 3-year-old died. After Melea's death, Byrd told investigators that the child suffered from sickle-cell anemia, and that any marks on her body were caused by Melea scratching her irritated skin. Police also say that Byrd had denied Melea medical care after some of the assaults because she knew that nurses would ask questions about the marks on the little girl's body. If convicted of child abuse, Byrd could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison. Hoheb faces a maximum sentence of life in prison on the murder charge."

Date: May 23, 2002. News Source: WEWS-TV, NewsChannel 5. http://www.newsnet5.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom Denies Setting Fatal Fire; Mistrial Declared: A Cleveland mother maintains that she didn't set a fire that killed two of her children, but she'll have to wait awhile longer before getting her day in court. NewsChannel5's Debora Lee reported that Judge Ronald Suster declared a mistrial Wednesday morning in the trial of Eve Rudd. The mistrial was precipitated by something that occurred Tuesday on the jury view of the Eddy Road house where Steven and Eriel Rudd died last summer. Defense attorneys heard the bailiff tell jurors to take note of some paper that was on the floor at the house. That, they say, could place an undo emphasis in the minds of jurors and keep Rudd from getting a fair trial. Members of Rudd's family, who said they haven't even had a chance to grieve yet for the children, said they will wait as long as it takes to make sure the children's mother gets a fair trial. "I was up this morning praying; I said, 'God, do for us what we can't do for ourselves,' and he gave me a peace this morning, and I knew when I walked in this courthouse it was OK, so the delay is OK with us," said Marion Rudd, Eve Rudd's mother-in-law. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason said that the jury could have been instructed to disregard the bailiff's remarks, but his office decided not to contest the mistrial. "I think it's better to start off with a clean slate; that way, regardless of the results, we won't have to worry about that accusation later," he said. Investigators said that Rudd doused a second-floor bedroom with flammable fluid in the early morning hours of June 10, and then walked out of the house with her toddler, leaving her other two children inside. Prosecutors said that that Rudd killed two of her three children as revenge on her husband, who she thought was cheating on her. It is not yet known when the new trial start, NewsChannel5 reported. A new jury will be chosen Thursday and a new judge will be appointed as well. Suster removed himself from the case."

Date: May 22, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Daily Southtown Newspaper. http://www.dailysouthtown.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Judge finds mom fit to stand trial in stabbing of sons. URBANA — A judge on Tuesday found a woman mentally fit to stand trial for stabbing one of her sons to death and injuring another. Champaign County Circuit Judge J.G. Townsend set a June 26 pretrial hearing for Ellen Feinberg, who is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the Feb. 28 attack on her two sons. Feinberg, 43, who closed her eyes and wept when the charges were read against her, pleaded innocent. Her attorney said he plans to argue that Feinberg was insane when she stabbed her children. He declined comment after the hearing. Feinberg, a former pediatrician, is charged with killing 10-year-old Adam Feinberg and injuring 6-year-old Matthew Feinberg, who suffered stab wounds to the chest and abdomen. He was released from an Urbana hospital about a week after he was stabbed. The wife of a surgeon, Feinberg gave up her own medical practice to spend more time with her sons. She was described as suicidal after her arrest and had been held at a mental health facility until Tuesday, when she was transferred to the custody of the county sheriff's department. Feinberg is being held without bond. Champaign County State's Attorney John Piland said the prosecution plans to hire an independent psychiatrist to examine Feinberg. The state's evaluation could take months, and Piland wouldn't say when he expects the case to go to trial. "That would require wild speculation to judge how long this will take," he said. A conviction on the murder charge carries a sentence of up to life in prison because the victim was under 12 years old; the attempted murder charge carries a sentence of up to 30 years. If found not guilty by reason of insanity, Feinberg could be ordered held indefinitely in a mental health institution. "We are not concerned with prosecuting someone for murder if that person is found to be mentally unfit," Piland said. The prosecution also asked the judge to seal the contents of a 911 tape of Feinberg speaking with a dispatcher shortly after she stabbed her children. Feinberg called authorities and said "she had killed her children and wanted to be killed by the police," according to testimony. Prosecutors said Feinberg had blood on her hands, arms and clothes when police arrive at her home in an upscale Champaign neighborhood. Police said only the mother and children were home at the time of the attack. The judge ordered contents of the tape temporarily sealed and instructed the prosecution to file the motion in writing. He also ordered Feinberg's mental health report sealed."

Date: May 21, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman pleads innocent of killing child who died in freezer: LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) -- A 19-year-old woman pleaded innocent Monday to first-degree murder in the death of her infant son, who died in a freezer last summer. Amy Tonguis' trial is set for Oct. 21, the same date set earlier for her husband, Benjamin, on the same charge. Benjamin Tonguis pleaded innocent April 17. Amy and Benjamin Tonguis are both charged in the death of 9-day-old Tristan Tonguis. Judge Al Gray has said they may be tried separately because their defenses are in conflict. Each has said the other put Tristan Tonguis in the freezer. The parish coroner has said the child was alive when he was put inside the freezer. Amy Tonguis' attorney, Clive Stafford-Smith, filed motions Monday for a speedy trial, court funding for experts, and open-file discovery of prosecution material. Hearings on those motions are set for June 7."

Date: May 20, 2002. News Source: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Newspaper. http://www.pittsburghlive.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Federal jury deciding Minerd penalty: Prosecutors painted the image of Deana Mitts engulfed in flames, pleading for help, as they sought to convince a federal jury Monday to impose the death penalty on the man convicted of killing her and her 3-year-old daughter. The defense attorneys for Joseph Minerd, 46, of Bullskin Township, however, mounted an emotional appeal to spare Minerd's life — showing jurors a photo of Minerd with a pony he owned as a young child. They also said Minerd helped pull the family together after his father killed himself on Dec. 23, 1976, and they argued Minerd's judgment had been impaired at the time of the murder because he had been taking prescribed anti-depressant drugs. "And some people, these drugs create violent reactions, especially with withdrawals," said Jay McCamic, one of Minerd's court-appointed attorneys. McCamic contended that doctors prescribed the medication after Minerd suffered a head injury in early 1997 after he fell off scaffolding while trying to fix the ceiling in his mother's home. A jury in Pittsburgh convicted Minerd Friday of the New Year's Day 1999 firebombing in Connellsville that killed his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her daughter, Kayla, 3. Tests showed that Mitts was carrying a child fathered by Minerd. Now, the jurors must decide between life in prison or death for Minerd. The last federal execution in Pennsylvania occurred in Philadelphia in 1837. The Minerd case is believed to be the first federal death penalty case in the history of the western district of the state. Testimony and arguments in the penalty phase will continue today in the courtroom of Senior U.S. District Judge Maurice B. Cohill Jr. Prosecutors contend the whirlwind romance between Minerd and Mitts soured when she became pregnant, and that Minerd planted a pipe bomb after Mitts refused to have an abortion. Mitts was 8 months pregnant when she died. "There are times when people do things so terrible that those crimes cry out for the ultimate punishment," assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Dillon told the jury. "This was a monstrous crime." The prosecution recalled the trial testimony of Wendy Swank, a bystander who heard Mitts' screams the night of the murder. Dillon reminded the jurors of how Swank burst into the home and found Mitts in the kitchen with flames around her body, calling, "Help me. Help me." As Dillon methodically reminded the jurors of the details of the death, including the cap of the pipe bomb that was found embedded in the victimbody, Mitts' mother, Pauleen Mitts, wept softly. Defense attorneys countered by calling Minerd's brothers to the witness stand. They said their brother was a hard-working, kind man who became a father figure to his youngest brother, Mark, after their father killed himself. Mark, 34, of Connellsville, testified that after the suicide his older brother comforted him and told him he wasn't to blame. He said that Joseph Minerd encouraged him to go to college and taught him how to hunt and fish and fix cars. Mark recalled seeing his father die, and he said another death in the family likely would kill his mother, Emma Jean Minerd, who has suffered two strokes. "I can't think of them putting the needles in him," he said as he began to cry."

Date: May 19, 2002. News Source: WYFF-TV, NewsChannel 4. http://www.thecarolinachannel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Bond Set For Mother In Son's Death: A judge set bond at $100,000 for a woman accused of beating her 13-year-old son to death in March. Earnetta King, 30, has been jailed at the Greenville Law Enforcement Center since March 25. Until Friday, she had been held without bond. She had not posted bond as of Sunday morning. King and her boyfriend, Patrick Walker are charged with murder in the death of Rodrekus King. In March, the boy's body was found at the family's home. Earnetta King told investigators that her son fell and hit his head. An autopsy later determined the boy was beaten to death. In addition to the murder charges, Earnetta King is barred from having any contact with her other two children."

Date: May 18, 2002. News Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Newspaper. http://www.jsonline.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: " Mother too dangerous for release: Woman who killed son with baseball bat to remain in hospital. A woman who clubbed one of her sons to death with a baseball bat to save him from a life of misery and "send him to God" is too dangerous to be released from the state mental hospital where she has spent the past 4 1/3 years, a judge ruled Friday. With her psychosis in remission, a trouble-free treatment record and a vow to stay on needed medication, Elise Ledvina promised to leave her former husband and surviving son alone in order "to get my life back." "I can say this with certainty because I'm under oath," the former elementary school teacher and church choir member told Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Victor Manian. "I have no intention of contacting him, my son or the Ledvina family." But three relapses cited by her former husband as proof of Ledvina's habit of discontinuing medication helped convince Manian that she wasn't ready for freedom, even it came with a variety of supervisory conditions. "These were not isolated incidents, but periods of years," Manian said of the relapses, the third of which culminated with Ledvina killing one son and trying to kill the other. "That demonstrates some concern about whether she would remain on her medication despite her statement." Manian also agreed with the former husband's concern for his surviving son. "No one has said that such a delusion could not re-occur," John Ledvina Sr. had told Manian at one point during the four-hour hearing. "Mental illness is a very, very serious condition," Manian said later. "It's still not completely understood. "She presented a (conditional release) plan which may be appropriate at some point in the future. But I don't think it is now." Manian's ruling did not prompt any outward emotion on the part of Elise Ledvina, who has kept her married name in spite of her termination of parental rights, divorce and her former husband's remarriage. But John Ledvina Sr., who held hands with his current wife while listening to his former wife testify, was beaming and hugging supporters when the hearing ended. Most in the overflow crowd of about 100 also were smiling, many of them wearing large buttons bearing a portrait taken of the Ledvina boys before their mother's attack, something Manian termed "almost unspeakable, almost unimaginable." Elise Ledvina, now 39, was committed to the institute in January 1998 after a two-day trial. The trial concerning whether she suffered from a mental disease began after she pleaded no contest to first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide. The charges were issued against Ledvina for the attack Aug. 26, 1997, in the family's home in the 100 block of N. 78th St. Ledvina's 8-year-old son, John Edward, died that night of multiple skull fractures. Her 9-year-old son, Joseph, suffered a fractured skull but survived. During his testimony Friday, John Ledvina Sr. testified that his former wife, whose mental illness dates to 1991, experienced three relapses spanning several months each beginning in 1991, 1994 and 1996, referring to the periods as cycles of therapy and non-compliance. "She resisted my efforts to return to therapy," he told Manian. Elise Ledvina, who is undergoing treatment at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, was supported in her petition for a conditional release by psychiatrist George B. Palermo, one of the mental health experts who unanimously concluded during her trial that she was criminally insane and in need of commitment. "I don't know what else we can do," Palermo testified, noting that Ledvina had received the "maximum benefit" possible from her commitment and was on low doses of anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medication. "With medication, this person will behave properly." Defense Attorney Stephen M. Glynn called his client as a rebuttal witness to respond to her former husband's concerns about past relapses and the welfare of his surviving son. "I understand my mental illness differently now than I did then," Elise Ledvina testified. "I thought of my mental illness like a cold . . . and I had no understanding why I taking medication." She said that if she wanted to pester her former husband and his family, she already has plenty of opportunity while at Winnebago or when on unescorted trips off the grounds to attend school. "I have free access to the phone, and I could call any time of the day or evening if I wanted to," she insisted. "If I really wanted to break the rules, I could take the bus to Milwaukee."

Date: May 17, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Swedish Woman Accused of Infanticide: A 31-year-old Swedish woman is facing charges of infanticide after the bodies of her two newborns were found — including one in her freezer, authorities said Wednesday. Police launched a search for the suspect after the first baby was found by two boys playing in a wooded area in Gustavsberg, just east of the capital, Stockholm, on May 1. The police received tips that led them to the woman after the infant boy was found wrapped in terrycloth towels and pictures of the towels appeared in national newspapers, prosecutor Katarina Lenter said. Police said they arrested the woman Wednesday morning at her office and found the second infant later, during a search of her apartment in Gustavsberg. It wasn't clear if that was a male or female child. "She confessed rather quickly that it was her child and that she killed the child. She told us there was another child in her freezer," police spokesman Jan Ullen said. It was not clear when the children were killed nor how long the second child had been in the freezer. Ullen would not comment on a motive, nor how the children had been killed. He said they appeared to have been born one or two years apart. Lenter said the suspect was single and also had a 13-year-old son, who was placed in the custody of the social services agency after the arrest. She declined to give more details, saying autopsies were being performed. The suspect, who was expected to be formally charged at a hearing later this week, was being held in police custody in a special psychological unit, Ullen said. A charge of infanticide carries a maximum sentence of six years, he said."

Date: May 16, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Tribune Newspaper. http://www.chicagotribune.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "$500,000 bond for couple in deaf-blind girl’s death: Bond was set at $500,000 apiece today for the mother and stepfather of a 9-year-old deaf and blind girl who died after falling from the family’s third-floor apartment in Lincoln Square on the city’s north side. Sundas Balwa, 33, and Shakir Alshahien, 37, appeared before Cook County Judge Nicholas Ford in Central Bond Court, Chicago, on charges of felony endangerment of a child’s life in the death of Parwin Husan. Balwa, the child’s mother, also faces a felony count of criminal negligence of a disabled person. Police have said they believe the girl had been tied to a radiator Sunday evening while the couple went out, and she somehow freed herself before climbing out a window and falling 30 feet to the pavement below. She died of her injuries Monday in Children’s Memorial Hospital. Alshahien gave investigators a videotaped statement admitting he and Balwa had tied the girl to a radiator in the past, but neither admitted doing it Sunday, Assistant State’s Atty. Erin Antonietti said in court today as about a dozen friends of the couple looked on from the visitor’s gallery. On Sunday, Antonietta said, the couple went to a social gathering in Bartlett, leaving the girl home alone in their apartment in the 2600 block of West Farragut Avenue. Defense attorney Leonard Goodman said, "This is clearly a tragedy. But there’s no history of violence (by the couple)." Balwa is a political refugee from Iraq, having fled to the U.S. with her daughter in 2000, Goodman said. Alshahien also is an Iraqi immigrant and has lived in this country about six years, the lawyer said. "Why this child was left alone is unclear. This was not a common practice," Goodman said."

Date: May 15, 2002. News Source: The Indianapolis Star Newspaper. http://www.starnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Man gets life term for rape, murder of stepdaughter, 13: By Associated Press. BLOOMFIELD, Ind. -- A man who pleaded guilty to killing and raping his 13-year-old stepdaughter before burying her near the family's home was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors asked Greene Circuit Judge David K. Johnson to order the life sentence for Jeff Leone, who attacked his stepdaughter Jennifer Watkins in December 2000 to get revenge on his estranged wife. "This case strikes me as an example of the danger of evil thinking," Prosecutor David Powell said. "Society should never have to face Mr. Leone in the free world." In a taped confession, Leone told investigators he used a dog choker to strangle the girl, then raped her body and buried it behind a shed near the family's mobile home north of Bloomfield, about 30 miles west of Bloomington. Linda Davis, Jennifer's mother and Leone's ex-wife, said during the hearing that she did not care whether he regretted committing the murder. "Sorry won't bring her back. May God forgive me for not forgiving you," she said. The victim's older sister, Stephanie, also said she had no intention of forgiving Leone. "I think you should die, and I hope you do so soon," she said. Defense attorney Jessie Cook argued during Tuesday's hearing that Leone's statements were the result of psychiatric problems that could be helped through medication. Leone plans to appeal the sentence, Cook said. Leone's sister, Norma Evans, said their family had a history of mental illness. "Jeff was tormented and tortured for not being medicated," she said. "He was treated worse than dogs."

Date: May 14, 2002. News Source: The Portland Press Herald Newspaper. http://www.portland.com/news/index.shtml. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: " Schofield waives trial by jury: AUGUSTA — A Chelsea woman who is charged in the suffocation death of her foster child will be tried without a jury. Sally Ann Schofield is charged with manslaughter and depraved indifference murder in the death of 5-year-old Logan Marr. The trial for Schofield, a 40-year-old former state social worker, is scheduled to begin on June 18 before Superior Court Justice Thomas Delahanty II. Her decision to be tried without a jury allays concerns about finding an unbiased jury, said her attorney, Jed Davis of Augusta. To ensure that there will be an unbiased jury, trials can be moved to other parts of the state. "We're not concerned about (ensuring) an unbiased jury because there will be no jury," said Davis, who has notified the state Attorney General's Office of Schofield's decision. Schofield allegedly bound the child to a chair and covered her mouth with duct tape. She told police in an interview after the child's death on Jan. 31, 2001, that she restrained Logan to discipline and calm her after the girl awoke from a nap in a rage. An autopsy showed that Logan died of suffocation. If convicted of murder, Schofield will face a minimum of 25 years in prison and the possibility of life in prison. For a manslaughter conviction, she would face as much as 40 years in prison. A separate civil case is pending in U.S. District Court in Bangor. The wrongful-death lawsuit was filed by the family of the victim, including her mother, Christy Marr. U.S. Magistrate Margaret Kravchuk has recommended dismissal of claims against the state Department of Human Services, but claims against several individuals remain. The case has generated criticism of Maine's child-protective services and prompted a pair of legislative investigations. The state DHS acknowledged after Logan's death that her caseworker failed to make a quarterly visit to the Schofield home, where Logan and a younger sister, 3-year-old Bailey Marr, had been in foster care."

Date: May 13, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Police detain mother of infant found dead in washing machine: MILAN, Italy - Authorities accused a woman in northern Italy of drowning her seven-month-old baby girl in a washing machine, and ordered Monday that the woman be held in a mental hospital. The baby's father found the child Sunday evening and immediately called authorities, local police Col. Francesco Capone said. The mother, who was charged with voluntary murder, had been suffering from depression, news reports said. Locals in Madonna dei Monti were deeply troubled by the death in this small town about 75 kilometers (about 50 miles) northeast of Milan, just south of Switzerland. "This has been a great shock for the entire town," Capone said. "Nobody expected something like this out of Ms. Zen." The crime reminded many Italians of the slaying of a 3-year-old boy in another small northern town in January. The mother of the child was briefly held in that case, but ultimately released for lack of evidence."

Date: May 12, 2002. News Source The MetroWest Daily News Newspaper. http://www.metrowestdailynews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Azar released after plea deal: CAMBRIDGE - A former Sudbury man who won the right to a new trial after serving nearly 12 years in prison for killing his infant daughter pleaded guilty to manslaughter this week and was released. David Azar, 47, was sentenced to up to 20 years in jail for the 1988 death of his 4-month-old daughter, Geneva Azar. He had served 11 years, eight months in prison following the earlier conviction. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Charles Hely suspended the remainder of the sentence. "Substantially, we feel that justice has been served," said Middlesex district attorney spokesman Seth Horowitz. "We feel it's in the best interest of the commonwealth and of the family involved." On the morning of Nov. 27, 1988, Azar was at his home on Prides Crossing Road in Sudbury with his three young children when his 4-month-old daughter, Geneva, suffered fatal head injuries. Azar told police his daughter had been having breathing problems, and he claimed he accidentally dropped her onto a kitchen counter while he was reaching for a telephone to call his wife. Suzanne Azar called her sister, who drove over to the house and tried to revive the baby. While his sister-in-law was trying to breathe life into his daughter, David Azar allegedly said, "Oh, my God, I killed my baby." Later, Azar also said he had a "personality problem" with the baby and that "she didn't like him," according to the appeals court ruling. A pediatric radiologist who testified at Azar's 1989 trial concluded the child's injuries were consistent with "shaken baby" syndrome. During the trial, a prosecutor told jurors that David Azar's handling of the child "created a plain and strong likelihood that serious grievous bodily injury would occur." In July 1989, Azar was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. In February 2001, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled Azar deserved a new trial because the prosecutor and judge incorrectly told jurors that "third prong malice" means to commit an act that can result in serious bodily harm. Instead, the term means committing an act that a reasonable person believes would result in death, the judicial court said. A 1972 graduate and star gymnast at Lincoln-Sudbury High School, Azar was released from prison on $60,000 bail. In her 18-page opinion, Justice Susan Beck acknowledged the gravity of the murder charge and said there was ample evidence to convict Azar. But she questioned whether jurors would have convicted Azar of second-degree murder if the trial judge had not given them the wrong definition of malice. "The crime was abhorrent," Beck wrote, citing case law. "But it is in just such cases that we must be on guard against too passionate a reaction, which in the long run will not promote due enforcement of the criminal law." Azar, who was 34 when he was convicted, agreed to plead guilty to manslaughter to avoid any more jail time, Horowitz said."

Date: May 11, 2002. News Source: The Oklahoman Newspaper. http://www.newsok.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Police say teen knew of plan to kill baby: An Oklahoma City teen-ager jailed after emergency workers found a dead infant in an apartment told police he knew in advance the girl's mother was planning to kill the child, a court document said. Mary Nicole Fox, 21, and Eddie Dewayne Thomas Jr., 16, were arrested on murder complaints after 17-month-old Laesha Fox died Thursday at St. Michael Hospital. About 2:24 a.m., emergency workers were called to the Hillcrest Residence Apartments, 1402 SW 59, to assist a child who was not breathing. First responders saw "obvious signs of physical trauma," police Sgt. Charles Phillips said. Thomas, whom police said is Fox's boyfriend, said he witnessed Fox beat and choke her daughter over a period of hours, a probable cause affidavit says. He told police he knew "the mother was going to kill the baby before it occurred." Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane, who heard from detectives about the slaying Friday morning, described the events as "horrible." Charges have not yet been filed. Thomas told detectives the elder Fox beat her daughter, then conspired with him to come up with a story to tell police. Fox advised him to call 911 "after she gets this over with," the affidavit says. Then "Mary Fox returned to another room and choked her child," Detective Randy Kirby wrote. "Thomas heard the child choking." Soon after, the infant was dead. Fox, who told the media she was asleep during the slaying, denied any knowledge of the child's injuries, the affidavit says. "I didn't let no one kill my baby, I don't know what happened to my baby." "I was asleep. I was asleep because he (boyfriend Eddie Thomas, Jr.) came and woke me up," Fox said."

Date: May 10, 2002. News Source: The Dallas Morning News Newspaper. http://www.dallasnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Dallas couple charged in starving of son, 4: Initially on life support, boy in foster care after 6-week investigation. A Far East Dallas couple methodically starved their 4-year-old son – possibly for as long as two years – and locked him in a bathroom when he tried to sneak out of his room to eat, police said Thursday. The boy's father, Johnny Edwards, 29, and his stepmother, Monica Edwards, 27, were charged with serious bodily injury to a child after a six-week investigation by police and Child Protective Services. The boy, who was hospitalized on life support for a time and not expected to survive, has improved and is now in foster care, along with his 11-year-old stepsister, authorities said. "Ideally, we’d like to think there is no neurological damage and this child can progress without any lifelong effects," CPS spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner said Friday. "We are really concerned he could have longterm effects." Authorities could give no reason why the parents might have denied the child food, but officials described the boy as a sick child who had become a burden to his father and stepmother. The case comes less than a year after an 8-year-old girl was found locked inside a small room of a Hutchins mobile home for up to four years. When the girl was rescued in June, she weighed 25 pounds and had severe developmental problems. Records do not show how much the Dallas boy weighed when police found him, but Ms. Meisner said he had lost 2 pounds since his second birthday. The average weight for a 2-year-old is about 28 pounds; for a 4-year-old, it is about 37 pounds. Ms. Meisner said the Hutchins girl suffered similar abuse for a longer period of time but had less severe injuries than the Dallas boy, who had been in his father's care for two years. "Abuse to the extent that this child suffered is uncommon," Ms. Meisner said. "But it's not uncommon for parents to use food as a form of punishment." She said the boy was talking and very helpful to investigators. Police said the Dallas couple called 911 on March 26 after the boy went limp and became unresponsive after a bath. When authorities first found the boy in an apartment in the 1600 block of John West Road in Far East Dallas, he had a body temperature of 84 degrees and was covered with sores and bruises, police records indicate. The boy's stepsister was healthy, authorities said, but the boy was frail. Mr. and Mrs. Edwards told police and child-abuse investigators at the time that the boy hadn't gained weight because of a gastrointestinal problem. Child development experts say that neglect and starvation can inhibit a child's development, including learning, language, attention, judgment and social skills. The chances for full recovery drop if brain damage has occurred, because significant brain development occurs in infancy and childhood. Dallas police Deputy Chief Alfredo Saldana said the boy was kept in a locked room and given only small amounts of food. When his parents did feed him, it was sometimes only a bite from a sandwich, he said. At night, the boy would sneak out of the room to find more food, and at one point he ate raw bacon, according to police reports. The couple punished the boy for sneaking out of his room by placing him in a locked bathroom, Chief Saldana said. Doctors have ruled out any medical condition that could have caused the boy to lose weight, investigators said. Police say they now believe that the two adults systematically deprived the boy of food over an undetermined time period. The investigation took several weeks because of medical tests, Ms. Meisner said. "We wanted to make sure that any medical conditions could be ruled out," she said. Neighbors in the couple's apartment complex were stunned to hear about the boy's condition. Some were surprised to learn that the couple even had children. "I never knew they had any children," said Penny Anderson, 28, who lives one floor above the Edwards. "I can't believe this happened right in our building ... right downstairs." Latres Bagley said she had never seen the Edwards' children, but her son, Jukeidric, said he had seen their daughter. "She would ride her bike or roller blade. A lot of the time she would be sitting on the steps, but I didn't know she had a brother," the 13-year-old said. He said there were times he and friends would see the girl crying. Whenever he asked what was wrong, she wouldn't respond, he said. Mr. Edwards pleaded guilty in 2001 to evading arrest and unlawfully carrying a weapon. He was sentenced to 12 days in jail and placed on probation for a year, according to Dallas County records. Two charges of possession of a controlled substance were dismissed in 1991, records showed. Mr. and Ms. Edwards each face five to 99 years to life in prison on the charges of injury to a child if convicted. In the Hutchins case, the girl's mother, Barbie Atkinson, pleaded guilty to serious bodily injury of a child and was sentenced to life in prison. Her stepfather, Kenneth Atkinson, faces trial in September on charges of injury to a child and sexual assault."

Date: May 9, 2002. News Source: NewsChannel 5 TV News. http://www.newsnet5.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother Allegedly Cuts Kids' Throats: A mother is in the hospital after she allegedly tried to kill her children, 5 and 15, by cutting their throats and poisoning them, NewsChannel5 reported. The children are in stable condition. Police said that the mother was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the incident Tuesday. She was arrested. She is currently in St. Vincent Charity Hospital undergoing psychiatric evaluation. WEWS also learned that the mother has received psychiatric treatment in the past as well. In addition, Children and Family Services got involved with the family a few weeks ago. "We were working with her and with the extended family making sure the kids were OK," said Jim McCafferty, of the Children and Family Services. "I don't believe anyone really believed something like this would occur." County officials are now saying that the mother was given custody of her kids, ages 5 and 15, after making a similar threat several weeks ago. On Tuesday, the 15-year-old ran to a neighbor's house to get help. Witnesses said that her throat was cut. After police entered the home on Talford Avenue, they found the mother disoriented and the 5-year-old lying on the floor with his throat cut. Witnesses said that the woman also threatened to poison her children, so police confiscated a concoction that was found in the kitchen to have it tested. The children are likely to be placed with relatives after they are released from the hospital, NewsChannel5 reported."

Date: May 8, 2002. News Source: WJXT-TV News. http://www.news4jax.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Lake City Mother Pleads To Death Of Toddler: A Lake City woman has agreed to plead no contest in the death of her 2-year-old son two years ago, and agreed to testify against her boyfriend. Barbara Hall, 38, reached a plea bargain with the state, reducing her sentence in exchange for testimony against her co-defendant, Ryan Spalding. Under the terms of the her plea agreement, Hall withdrew her previous plea of not guilty and pleaded no contest and testify against Ryan, 41, in exchange for receiving a reduced sentence. She will serve a 4-year prison sentence, followed by 10 years of probation. Police found Hunter Parrish lying on the living room floor of Spalding's residence April 11, 2000, covered in a white blanket. Reports said there were several bruises on the child's head and legs. Hall told authorities that she was at work the night before from 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and left her child in Spalding's care. During an interview with the sheriff's office, Spalding admitted to grabbing the child around the ribs and shaking him on March 24 and striking the child on the head on April 4 for not listening to him, reports say. Spalding also told authorities he shook the child on April 8 and April 10. Spalding said in reports that as soon as he shook him, the child stopped crying and looked at him blankly so Spalding changed his clothes and put him to bed, checking on him at 11:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. the next day. At 11:30 a.m. on April 11, Hall came in and found her son dead. Hall was charged with third-degree murder and Spalding with five counts of aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder. Under the terms of the plea agreement, the two years Hall has already spent jailed awaiting trial will count toward her sentence, and could be released in 2004."

Date: May 7, 2002. News Source: The Las Vegas Review-Journal. http://www.lvrj.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother arraigned in death of infant. Attorney: 4-year-old might be involved. An attorney for a Las Vegas woman suspected of killing her infant child said he is exploring the possibility that a 4-year-old may have accidentally caused the death. The comments from attorney James Leavitt came shortly after his client, Tiffany C. Clay, 21, was arraigned early Monday before District Judge Sally Loehrer on a charge of first-degree murder by child abuse. Clay pleaded innocent to the charge. "She's maintained her innocence from Day One," Leavitt said. According to authorities, Clay's 7-month-old daughter, Arial Matthews, was pronounced dead March 16, one day after being admitted to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. An autopsy determined that a head injury fracturing the skull killed the infant, according to police reports. Police reports also indicated that Clay told police after the death that the child died from either accidentally rolling off a couch, a bed and or a car seat. Police have said evidence in the case does not support such a version of the events leading to the death. On the day the fatal wounds were suffered, Clay's 4-year-old child was in her custody at her home near Boulder Highway and Tropicana Avenue. Leavitt said Monday that he is exploring the possibility the child dropped the infant, causing the baby to hit her head on a coffee table. Clark County Deputy District Attorney Lisa Luzaich said Monday she believes that scenario is not possible, once again citing evidence already gathered in the case. A trial date for Clay is tentatively set for October."

Date: May 6, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Tribune Newspaper. http://www.chicagotribune.com Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Even in death, the boy is kicked around: For much of Charles Green's six years on Earth, it seems, he was looking for just one thing: Someone to protect him. Instead, he was punished. As we reported Sunday, authorities in Des Moines, Iowa, believe he was punished to death -- kicked to death by his stepmother, Shalonda Green, 27. And now that he is dead, efforts are under way to blame the child for provoking his own killing. He is not here to defend himself -- and those who have the most to gain by insulting his memory are doing just that: attempting to depict the dead child as having behaved in a way that brought about the discipline that police say killed him. We will get to that momentarily -- we will get to the efforts to degrade the boy even in death. But we will start where Charles Green started -- as a child who was heartlessly punished even before he was old enough to understand what punishment is. He was born to a Chicago woman, and lived with her for two years. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services removed him from her home after investigating disturbing allegations. Debbie McCarrel, an official at DCFS' headquarters in Springfield, told us that Charles suffered from "cuts, welts, bruises, scalding, and human bite marks from his mother." When he was rescued from that home, he was placed with an aunt in Illinois. She took care of him for three years, and reportedly he was safe. But his biological father -- Tumma Green, who lived in Iowa -- wanted him back. Charles was placed in the Hephzibah Children's Association in Oak Park, Ill., where he was to be evaluated to see what would be best for his future. Officials of DCFS and the Iowa Department of Human Services agreed that Charles would be well served if he was sent to Iowa to live with Tumma Green and Green's wife, Shalonda. Mary Anne Brown, executive director of Hephzibah, told us that when the boy departed for Iowa last fall, "We thought this was the beginning of a great life for Charles." Instead, he was dead within five months. Police and prosecutors say that Shalonda Green, who reportedly weighed 280 pounds, kicked the 6-year-old so brutally that he suffered severe head injuries, a torn liver, and blood clots under his skull. He died two days later. Now -- now that it is too late -- authorities in Iowa are trying to determine how Charles' arm was broken after he moved in with Shalonda and Tumma Green. They are trying to determine how his head was split open a week before the alleged stomping that killed him. Tumma Green said the boy had fallen on some stairs. Doctors lined the child's head with surgical staples following that injury -- the surgical staples were in place when, a week later, Shalonda allegedly kicked him repeatedly and fatally in the head. Which brings us to the insults to Charles now that he is gone -- the blaming him for bad behavior, now that he cannot speak for himself. Shalonda and Tumma Green portray Charles as a boy with deep behavioral problems. They have depicted him to authorities as being violent with other schoolchildren, as being developmentally disabled, as refusing to talk, as defecating on himself to draw attention, as having so much wrong with him that he had to be moved to a school for children with multiple disabilities. Tumma Green has said Charles was diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder. Shalonda Green told an Iowa television station that "I had had a feeling like I had wanted to hit him and then I wanted to hurt him." Not that this should matter; as Polk County, Iowa, prosecutor John Sarcone told us, "You can't kill a child -- I don't care if he is difficult." But if Shalonda Green's defense is going to be based on what a difficult, violent, misbehaving child was sent to her from Illinois -- and if Tumma Green is going to back her up on that -- then what we will report next should be of interest to prosecutors in Iowa. Because -- there is no other way to say this -- from what we have been able to learn about the kind of boy Charles was in Illinois before he was sent to his death in Iowa, any contentions about chronic and violent behavior problems he allegedly brought with him would appear to be a complete lie."

Date: May 5, 2002. News Source: The Palm Beach Post Newspaper. http://www.gopbi.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Teacher who killed family a free man: It started as a whisper from nowhere. Then the whispers became voices. James Michael Brown had no choice but to listen. In the mid-1970s, Brown had contracted a venereal disease while married to his first wife, and though doctors cured him, Brown remained convinced that the disease smouldered deep within. His eyes burned, a strange taste lingered in his mouth and an odor emanated from his body. Doctors sent him to a psychiatrist, but the obsession persisted. By 1977, Brown had remarried, gained a master's degree in education and was working as a seventh-grade teacher at Lincoln Park Middle School in Fort Pierce. To anyone else, it seemed a successful, middle-class life. But Brown was sure that he stank. The stench of disease never left him. He tried to ignore it, tried to wash it off by splashing water on his face, tried to drown it by guzzling Aqua Velva. Then the stench began to spread. First to his wife -- a teacher, 4-H worker and Girl Scout leader. Then to his children. It came out of their noses and their mouths with every breath. On Aug. 10, 1985, Rosa Lee Walker called the police. She had not heard from her daughter, Carolyn Walker Brown, in almost a month. A Port St. Lucie patrolman was dispatched. He found the house at 1955 S.E. Millbrook Terrace unlocked. The windows were open. The rear sliding glass door was ajar. He called out, but no one answered. Inside, he found the television on, cold soup in a pot on the stove and the family's beloved pet hamster, Harry, dead of starvation. Letters had overflowed the mail box until the post office stopped delivery. Police checked with Southern Bell and found that no one had used the phone in more than a month. No one had seen or heard from the family since July 8. Neighbors thought they had been on vacation. "It's like the whole family dropped into a void," one detective said at the time. A month later, on Sept. 10, police found James Michael Brown in Savannah, Ga. He had tried to shoot himself but missed. The bullet grazed him behind the ear. Brown pulled the trigger again, but the gun was empty, the bullets spent. It was the voices, Brown said. They had driven him to it. Driven him to shoot his wife while she slept, driven him to smother their 2-year-old son. He took the two other children in the car, but not for long. In the middle of the night, he carried them into the woods along a highway. He shot Barry, 6, in the back of the head and Sheketah, 10, in the face, killing both. The court system found him insane -- a paranoid schizophrenic. A judge shipped him off to the state hospital for the criminally insane in Chattahoochee. He stayed there 10 years as doctors pumped him full of drugs and steered him back to the real world. Then in 1997, after 18 months in a halfway house, the doctors set him free. He was no longer insane, they said. No longer dangerous. Next month marks five years since Brown's release. The man who killed his family spends most days puttering around Tallahassee, going to McDonald's for breakfast, reading the paper at Barnes & Noble and spending afternoons in the dark and deserted theaters of the local 50-cent movie house. He lives an anonymous life, tucked away in tiny Midway, a quiet town one local calls "two houses short of being non-existent." Most people there don't know about Brown's violent past. Until a reporter called, even the sheriff's office didn't know there was a killer in their county. As if Brown hasn't seen enough death in his life, he now works a few days a week in his brother's funeral home. He answers the phones, runs errands. He doesn't handle the bodies. He visits a social worker every month for a 100-mg. shot of Haldol, a potent psychotropic, the same drug another schizophrenic, Andrea Yates, stopped taking two weeks before she drowned her five children in a bathtub in Houston. If Brown doesn't show up for his injections, he'll be arrested. He is not allowed to own or handle a gun or drink alcohol. Brown says the persistent voices that told him to kill his family no longer haunt him. He answers questions, though sometimes only with a long blank stare, and talks easily about the slayings. One moment he dispassionately describes dismembering his wife's body, and in the next moment, dissects Janet Reno's chances in the November election. At 5-foot-7 and 254 pounds, Brown is an imposing presence. But he says he is not a danger anymore and just wants to live a quiet life. "I am not an animal," he says. "I just got sick in 1985." Even today, Brown says he clearly remembers what happened on that morning in July 1985, when the voices won. He wrote a 40-page account of his life and sent it to Oprah, in hopes of getting published. Oprah didn't respond. This is part of what he wrote: "On July 14, 1985, I woke up that Sunday morning and had sex with my wife. About thirty to forty minutes later I shot my wife with a.22 automatic pistol. She died right away. I put a pillow over the head of my baby son, and he died. I went to a department store to buy a hacksaw to use on my wife. I cut her body into eight pieces. Her arms, legs and thighs and head was cut from the body. I placed her and the baby in the garbage bags. I carried them to another town and placed them in a trash dumpster behind a grocery store. My oldest two kids stayed with me at our house until Tuesday evening.... I told my oldest two kids to go to the car and that we were leaving. I had the pistol in my pocket. I did not know where we were going. We ended up in Jacksonville, Fla. That Wednesday, while in the car I shot my son and daughter in the back of the head. Both of them died and I put them in a trash dumpster behind an office building." In jail, Brown was haunted by vivid dreams. He saw his dead family running toward him. The walls seemed to move. He believed the guards were fattening him up to be eaten. But under heavy medication at the hospital, the hallucinations and dreams subsided. Under Florida law, because Brown had never been convicted of the slayings -- the judge found him not guilty by reason of insanity -- the state could only hold him as long as he was a danger to himself or others. After 10 years, doctors said he was stable. And that meant freedom. "Thank God for Florida law," says Brown, who now admits that he has changed details in his account of the killings for fear that bones might be found in Georgia. In his initial confession, he said he shot Sheketah and Barry in the woods along I-95 near Brunswick, Ga., and left the bodies where they fell. But in the essay to Oprah, he said he killed Sheketah and Barry in the car, not mentioning in which state. Confronted about the inconsistencies, Brown says flatly, "I lied." He told detectives the truth, he says, before he knew the intricacies of insanity pleas. "I'm surprised you caught that," he says. Brown has lied before. Social workers at the halfway house called him "deceptive and manipulative" in a report to the court. Brown would converse freely with peers, the report noted, but with staffers he became guarded, his speech slow and deliberate. "This appears to be an effort to not say anything that will be used against him," officials wrote. He lied about small matters: He told staffers he was making phone calls to his case worker, but they were actually to his sister. He opened a Burdines charge account without permission. He bought a $20,000 car, officials discovered, after a notice of default was sent to the halfway house. Halfway house officials were blunt: "He is not ready to be in the community without close supervision." Six months later, doctors granted Brown his freedom. In some ways, Brown is a success story. "I feel blessed," he says. "I'm lucky to be on the streets." On most days when he isn't helping out at the funeral home, Brown spends time in Tallahassee. On this particular Monday, the funeral home isn't busy, and Brown doesn't have to go to work. "No body," he shrugs. At McDonald's, Brown orders a double cheeseburger meal and settles into a corner table. Dunking fries into a pool of ketchup, he talks about the voices he says he no longer hears. Asked why he started playing the Lotto last March, Brown looks up and smiles. "A little bird whispered in my ear," he says. "If anyone ever tells you they haven't heard a voice, they are lying to you," he says. "But I hate to tell you that I heard a voice, because you print that and I'm going up to see the doctors," he says. "So no way I'm going to tell you that I hear voices, 'cause I don't." In his brother's doublewide trailer, Brown leafs through a photo album. The album seems unremarkable, easily overlooked, almost like Brown himself. But as Brown slowly turns the pages, it becomes clear that this album is like no other. Page after page displays yellowed newspaper clippings. Headlines scream: POLICE HAVE CONFESSION BUT NO BODIES. DOCTORS RULE TEACHER INSANE. Brown pauses at the articles his sister carefully cut from newspapers, dutifully saved and gave to him as a gift after he was released. He stares blankly at the images of two of his dead children. There he is in a newspaper photo, his head shaved, being led from a patrol car in handcuffs. Brown flips past a certificate of achievement declaring "Congratulations!" Hospital staffers presented it to him after his release. A hopeful note at the bottom reads, "ABC: Anywhere but Chattahoochee." Then a series of family photos from happier days: James Michael Brown in his Army uniform. His troubled father smiling from the distant past. Brown with Sheketah and Barry and a new bicycle. Another taken after church shows a smiling Sheketah in a pink dress and Barry in a suit. Each one draws a vacant stare. Brown turns the last page. A naked woman lies on a motorcycle, her back arched, her head thrown back, long brown hair falling down her back. And James Michael Brown, who has coolly flipped through the pictures of his dead family, finally smiles. He nods toward the nude photo. "This," he says, "this is for me." "

Date: May 4, 2002. News Source: The Boston Herald Newspaper. http://www2.bostonherald.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Officials: UMass teen stuffed baby in trash. AMHERST - After secretly giving birth to a baby boy, a freshman at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst stuffed the newborn in a garbage bag and dumped his tiny body in a dormitory trash bin, authorities said yesterday. The 19-year-old student, whose name was not released, could face a range of charges including murder, depending on final autopsy results, officials said. ``First, we need to determine whether a crime has been committed,'' Northwestern District Attorney Elizabeth Scheibel said. ``No charges have been brought at this time.'' The white baby boy was delivered at full-term and weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces. Scheibel said it's still unclear how the baby died and she wouldn't say if the infant had any visible signs of trauma. She also refused to say how long the baby was dead. The mother, who is from Massachusetts, lied to friends about her pregnancy, Scheibel said. ``A number of other students in the dorm thought that she appeared to be pregnant,'' the DA said. ``She denied she was pregnant.'' The boy's 19-year-old father is not a UMass student but lives in the same hometown as the mother. The father was notified of his child's death and was interviewed by police. The dead baby was discovered by a female janitor about 7:20 a.m. Thursday in a second-floor trash room in the William James House, an all-female dorm in the southwest section of the sprawling Amherst campus. The cleaning woman made the grim find after lifting an unusually heavy bag of trash. ``The bag in the area appeared to feel heavy and that's what prompted the discovery,'' Scheibel said. The shaken janitor was sent home and given yesterday off, according to UMass maintenance employees. The cleaner called 911 and police found the mother in the dorm. She was taken to a local hospital, where friends say she's still being treated. ``She's the most down-to-earth person. She's just a nice girl,'' said a friend of the mother, who didn't want her name used. The student said she knew of no financial or academic problems the teen may have been having and said she did not appear distraught. ``She was one of our friends and we just don't know the details,'' she said. Another student who lived next door to the mother said it was obvious the teen was pregnant. ``Her friends knew. You could tell,'' said the student, who didn't want to be identified. The student was in the dorm Thursday morning and did not hear the child birth. ``It's so sad. We just don't know what happened,'' the young woman said. One freshman who lived on the floor above the mother said the woman should have sought help. ``It's just disturbing. I thought a college girl would know better,'' said the teen, who didn't want her name used. ``There's a lot of resources here she could have gone to.'' Other students who live in nearby dorms expressed outrage and sadness over the horrific incident. ``It's so sad that someone would feel they had to do that,'' said 19-year-old sophomore Susie Reddy of Buckland. ``It frustrates me a lot.'' ``It's pretty sick,'' added sophomore Ethan Furtek, 19, of Falmouth. ``A lot of people are in shock and a lot of people are pissed.'' Josh Wedge, a 20-year-old junior from Dracut, shook his head and wondered why the teen mother didn't reach out for help. ``There's a lot of students here who have children and there's plenty of resources,'' Wedge said. ``It's a bad situation.'' UMass spokeswoman Barbara Pitoniak said the tragedy has rocked the 24,000-student campus. ``People are very saddened by this event. The whole campus is affected by it,'' she said. The baby's death comes just three months after 21-year-old Amie Sorel of Ware allegedly left her newborn in a closet for days and then dumped his body in the Ware River. Sorel is awaiting trial on manslaughter charges."

Date: May 3, 2002. News Source: The Charleston Daily Mail Newspaper. http://www.dailymail.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman wrongly accused, lawyer says By The Associated Press ALEXANDRIA, La. -- The prosecutor is biased, the state fire marshal is wrong and an innocent woman has been accused of burning her home to kill her three children, her lawyer says. Mike Small, Amanda Gutweiler Hypes' lawyer, said prosecutors have wrongly accused the former West Virginia resident of setting fire to her home in January 2001 and killing Sadie Plum, 10, Luke Hayden, 6, and Jessica Gutweiler, 3. "I'm absolutely convinced Amanda had nothing whatsoever to do with the deaths of her children," Small said. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Hypes, 31, who surrendered to deputies Wednesday and was booked on three counts of first-degree murder. The children died of smoke inhalation following the Jan. 9, 2001, fire in their Tioga home. Hypes said nothing when she was arrested at Small's office and taken to jail, Sheriff William Earl Hilton said. Hypes is expected to be arraigned Friday. Small said Assistant District Attorney Tom Walsh is biased against Hypes. "It's been clear for months the prosecutor has very fixed ideas about the case," Small said. "The indictment came as a disappointment, but not a shock." Walsh was unavailable for comment. Small also questioned the state fire marshal's determination that the fire was deliberately set. "I've seen many cases where the state's expert was proven to be wrong, and I certainly think that will be so in Amanda's case," he said. Hypes told authorities she left the house on the day of the fire to go to two banks. She said she returned to find her house on fire and tried to rescue the children. However, a neighbor told investigators that Hypes prevented him from entering the house to try to rescue them. Investigators said they found evidence of an accelerant in the bedroom where the children were found. After the fire, Hypes moved to her parents’ home in Wyoming County, W.Va. She later divorced her husband, married a fourth time and moved in with her new husband, Josh Hypes, in Durham, N.C. Officials said Hypes spent the weekend at her parents' home in Mullens, W.Va., then went to the home of her new husband. She drove back to Alexandria with her husband and stepbrother after learning that a Rapides Parish grand jury had indicted her Tuesday. Small said he would file "numerous motions" that will likely delay the trial, including a motion to move the trial away from Alexandria because of media coverage."

Date: May 2, 2002. News Source: The Denver Post Newspaper. http://www.denverpost.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Affidavit: Mom watched TV after dropping child out window: A woman accused of dropping her 7-year-old autistic son out a third-story window said she did it because the boy was not as handsome as his brothers, according to court documents released Wednesday. Then she watched television and returned to the window to see if her child was dead before calling paramedics, the woman told Denver police. Cecelia Martinez, 31, originally told police that her son Nicholas fell out of the window April 21 at her friend's apartment on South Monaco Parkway. But when detectives interviewed her a day later, she confessed to trying to kill him, according to an arrest affidavit. Nicholas was in fair condition Wednesday night at Children's Hospital and is expected to survive. Martinez told detectives she was ashamed of her son and wanted him to die, the document states. He is not as "good-looking" or tall as her two other boys, she told the detectives, according to the affidavit. After Martinez dropped the boy from the window, records say, she watched TV in the living room of her friend's apartment. "After a short period of time, she returned to the window to see if her son was dead," the affidavit states. When she saw he was still alive, Martinez told her friend that Nicholas had fallen from the window. Jim Devane, Martinez's friend who was at the apartment at the Martinez time, said he doesn't believe Martinez was trying to kill her son. "It is such a terrible, terrible accident," Devane said. "I just did not know how active that child is that he could get out that window. "There's no way that she could have done that." Martinez appeared in court Wednesday. She has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, child abuse and third-degree assault of an at-risk juvenile. Martinez's friends said Nicholas was severely autistic and could not talk and could hardly walk on his own. Sharon Mann, the mother of an autistic adult son and the executive director of the Colorado chapter of the Autism Society of America, said raising an autistic child is a difficult process made even tougher without the proper support. "I am very sympathetic to the stress and the intense emotional suffering she must have been under," Mann said. "But harming a child is just unconscionable." "

Date: May 1, 2002. News Source: The Evansville Courier & Press. http://www.myinky.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Murder suspect stricken again: Accused triple killer Paul Michael McManus was taken from his trial to the hospital for the second successive day Tuesday, and a physician diagnosed his disorder - marked by chest pains and shortness of breath - as a panic attack. McManus, 29, whose breathing appeared labored prior to a 9:30 a.m. recess, received oxygen after he complained of symptoms similar to those that prompted jail officials to send him to the hospital during the Monday noon hour. But unlike Monday, when the judge jettisoned the day's trial schedule because of the illness, McManus on Tuesday received nerve medication at Deaconess Hospital, then returned to the courtroom, where the trial judge rejected a defense motion for a mistrial. McManus attorney Glenn Grampp moved for a mistrial, pleading for time to have McManus' illness and medications evaluated by a psychiatrist. Grampp argued McManus' illness had already impaired his understanding of previous trial proceedings, and would continue to hamper his understanding and ability to aid in his defense. Circuit Judge Carl Heldt retired to his chambers for a few minutes, then ruled that a delay of a few weeks would not improve McManus' health and denied the motion to void the trial. Heldt then ordered McManus - who moments earlier had been examined outside the courtroom by a Deaconess Hospital emergency physician and pronounced to be "much more calm" and "definitely rational" - be brought to the defense table. But McManus, disheveled and staggering, leaned on a deputy sheriff's arm as he entered the courtroom, prompting Grampp to renew his outcry. "I ask the court to take notice of my client," Grampp said, demanding a delay in the trial. "The doctor testified he was fine," Heldt replied. Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room Doctor Reza Mohammadi, whom Heldt placed on the witness stand before ordering the trial resumed, testified that despite complaints of chest and arm pain and labored breathing, McManus was experiencing no cardiac, circulatory or respiratory illness. Mohammadi testified McManus' legitimate "panic attack" symptoms - including a respiration rate more than three times normal - had been brought under control by administering nerve medicines through an intravenous tube. Responding to a question from Prosecutor Stan Levco, Mohammadi said McManus' symptoms were "probably 85 percent" due to the fact he could get the death penalty if convicted of the Feb. 26, 2001, killings of his wife, Melissa, 29, and their daughters, Lindsey, 8, and Shelby, almost 2. Heldt pressed on with the trial until 5:15 p.m., enabling the prosecution to get 18 witnesses on the stand despite the long gap. After the killings, McManus climbed to the top of the superstructure of the southbound bridge over the Ohio River into Henderson, Ky. A succession of police officers who were dispatched to the bridge testified McManus was never physically combative, but he was sometimes verbally hostile from the time they discovered he'd climbed to the top of the bridge to the time some of them attempted to warm him after he jumped 11 stories into the frigid river. Officers said McManus tossed a wallet and a cap down from the top of the bridge, alerted them with a shout of "Yoo, hoo," but later shouted obscenities as officers tried to talk him down. Sheriff's Department Maj. Tom Wallis testified he attempted to warm McManus by rubbing him down after the rescue and also ordered a deputy to turn up the heater in a squad car. He also sent a sergeant after blankets to cover McManus. Wallis said McManus told him inside a squad car that he killed his wife "because it was her time to die" and killed his children "because he didn't want them to live without him." Later that night, Vanderburgh County Sheriff's Sgt. Sam Preston said he heard McManus tell emergency room personnel, who treated him at Community Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Ky., "something to the effect that, 'You shouldn't be doing this. I don't deserve this. I just killed my family.'" Kentucky State Trooper Michael Dotson, who guarded McManus for 12 hours a day at the same hospital, said he asked nurses to turn on the TV so he could watch accounts of the funeral of his wife and daughters. Dotson said McManus commented that "it was a nice funeral, but that what they were saying about him was not true." At another point, Dotson said McManus asked him if he knew how many people had survived a jump like his plunge. When Dotson replied that he doubted many had, he said McManus replied: "Pretty cool." Several former co-workers with McManus at Ru-Van Plastics in Evansville said McManus was never hostile, but began talking in early 2001 about killing his wife and family. All recalled they had heard him describe his children, including the infant Shelby, who suffered from birth defects that caused the family's medical bills to mount. Levco said he plans to rest the state's case by early today after calling "five or six" more witnesses."

Date: April 30, 2002. News Source: The Anchorage Daily News Newspaper. http://www.adn.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Boyfriend admits to abuse: CHARGED: Josh Rowden recalls popping infant's legs, police say. Adrian Cole Fackrell was born a healthy little boy, but when his teenage mother took him to a Ketchikan doctor at 6 weeks old, his body was broken and bruised. Doctors in Seattle later determined he had been shaken until his brain bled. Both legs were broken, one in two places. He had broken ribs. On Saturday, Adrian was pronounced dead. Ketchikan police say his mother's boyfriend, 16-year-old Josh Rowden, killed him. Rowden is charged with first-degree murder. He will be prosecuted as an adult because of the seriousness of the charge, police said. This is the first child abuse death so far this year in Alaska. Last year, four babies and toddlers died from abuse, according to the Division of Family and Youth Services. Adrian's mother, Leah Fackrell, 18, and Rowden met in a Job Corps program in Oregon, where she got her high school equivalency diploma and training in culinary arts. Rowden had been in trouble with the law. They came to Alaska in December after Rowden faced new problems for leaving Job Corps without permission, said Michael Weins, Fackrell's stepfather. The baby's father, Matt Barton, also was in the Job Corps. Adrian was born March 5 at Ketchikan General Hospital, weighing 8 pounds, 2 ounces. Relatives e-mailed congratulations that were posted on an Internet baby album along with his picture. The couple shared a house in Ketchikan with other young people, said Police Chief Grant Sirevog. No one reported to authorities any problems with Adrian's care. Barton wrote in about a week after his baby's birth in a message full of joy. "I'm so excited to see you in person I can't wait. I've had nightmares about what you would look like and now that I have seen your picture I know you're a beautiful little fella." Fackrell never mentioned any problems to her family in Seattle and California, Weins said. "She said she was a little nervous at first and real careful with him all the time," Weins said. "She was literally getting her parenting wings." Most children killed by abuse are younger than 1, when they are less likely to be seen by neighbors, child care workers or other people who may notice bruises or other injuries, said Theresa Tanoury, DFYS director. On April 16, Fackrell took Adrian to a Ketchikan clinic. He was determined to be terribly sick and was sent to the hospital. Within hours he was sent by medical plane to Seattle Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center. Seattle doctors determined that the baby had bacterial meningitis, and they found multiple broken bones. On April 18, DFYS was alerted of suspected abuse. The agency contacted Ketchikan police the next day. In an interview Friday with Ketchikan police in Seattle, Rowden described repeated violence against the child, according to a charging document. Rowden told police he shook Adrian twice, said the document filed Saturday in Ketchikan. Once, the baby stopped breathing after Rowden shook and squeezed him and he had to initiate CPR, the document said he told police. Another time, when Rowden was changing Adrian's diaper, he jerked the baby's legs upward, making a popping sound and causing the baby to scream, the document said. Rowden also said when Adrian was in his car seat, he twisted the baby's legs hard outward from under him and again heard the popping sound, the document said. Both lower legs were broken and the baby's right femur suffered a spiral fracture, the charging document said. Another incident occurred when Rowden jumped five or six feet into the air. Adrian was on a bed, and Rowden landed on the baby's leg and head with his knees, the document said. Fackrell may also face charges, Chief Sirevog said. Police are wrecked emotionally by what happened to Adrian. "It is so sad, and it is so sickening," Sirevog said. Other people in the Southeast logging and fishing town also are shaken up. "He was a beautiful baby. It was a short little life to have gone through so much," said Gigi Pilcher, executive director of the Ketchikan women's shelter."

Date: April 29, 2002. News Source: The Indianapolis Star Newspaper. http://www.starnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Prosecutor describes infant's suffocation: Ronald Shanabarger's trial on charges of killing his son begins in Johnson County Superior Court. FRANKLIN, Ind. -- Ronald Shanabarger placed plastic wrap over his infant son's head and then made a sandwich while the child suffocated, the Johnson County prosecutor told jurors this morning. As Shananbarger's murder trial opened, his defense attorney warned the jury that the case is not as clear as it seems. Shanabarger is charged with murder in the death of 7-month-old Tyler Shanabarger. The boy was found dead by his mother on Father's Day 1999 in the family's Franklin home. Initially, officials ruled his death a tragic accident -- sudden infant death syndrome. Then, the day after Tyler was buried, Ronald Shanabarger walked into the Johnson County Jail and told anyone who would listen that he had wrapped Tyler's head in plastic food wrap, killing him, police said. Shanabarger, police said, killed his son to avenge his hurt feelings after his then-fiancee, Amy, refused to return from a family vacation to attend his father's funeral three years earlier. Hamner described for the Johnson Superior Court jury, the scene of Tyler’s death in his nursery. Shanabarger saw his smiling son playing with his toes. Then Shanabarger covered Tyler's face with plastic food wrap, the prosecutor said. "And while Tyler struggled for air and for life, his father walked out of the room, went to the kitchen and made himself a sandwich," Hamner said. Defense attorney Jay Hoffman told the jury that without Shanabarger's confession, the prosecution had no case. "Things are much more complicated, complex, bizarre and strange, than what Mr. Hamner just told you," Hoffman said. Shanabarger's defense rests on the family’s financial problems, insurance policies and conflicting statements made by Shanabarger and his wife, he said. Hoffman said the cause of Tyler’s death is unknown and could have been SIDS, as authorities first believed."

Date: April 28, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Child stabbed to death in Philadelphia; father held Associated Press PHILADELPHIA - A man allegedly stabbed his 8-year-old son to death Saturday with a pocketknife, police said. George O'Hara, 33, was in custody Saturday night, charged with murder in the death of his son, Rory, authorities said. The boy was found with multiple stab wounds in a backyard near the father's residence, police Sgt. Alex Strong said. Strong declined to comment on a possible motive. The father was seen running away with blood on his clothes, Strong said. Police later recovered the pocketknife from him. It was not immediately clear if O'Hara had a lawyer. Police said the boy lived in Baltimore with his mother; he was visiting his father for the weekend with a younger sister. Neighbor Tishia Robinson said she saw the boy running away and crying, but she didn't realize the danger he was in. Nicole Lindsay, another neighbor, added: ``I saw the man coming out of the alley and his hands were still bloody.''

Date: April 27, 2002. News Source: The Waterford News Newspaper. http://www.munster-express.ie. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "South Kilkenny tragedy unfolds in Court: A 30 year-old mother of three, who strangled and suffocated her eight year-old son, refused to be admitted to a psychiatric ward just hours before the tragic incident. A jury at the Central Criminal Court were told on Monday that they must decide if Jacqueline Costello was guilty of the murder of her eldest son Robert Costello, or if she was insane at the time of the killing. Ms Costello, formerly of Woodlawn Grove, Waterford, denies the murder of the young boy at Deerpark, Mullinavat on 28 October, 2000. Opening the trial, Ms Miriam Reynolds SC, for the prosecution, told the court that, at the time of the "very sad and very tragic" incident, Ms Costello was living in a rented house in South Kilkenny with her three children, Robert(8), Martin (3) and Stephen (22 months). One month earlier, she had moved out of the house she shared with her long-term partner, Stephen O'Keeffe, in Waterford.The young boy was removed to Waterford Regional Hospital by ambulance but was later pronounced dead. A post mortem revealed he died from asphyxia, due to suffocation, neck compression and inhalation of gastric contents. There was traces of a tranquiliser, benzodiazipine, in his system also. When gardai arrived at the house they asked Ms Costello what happened to the child, to which she repled: "I killed him. I just wanted him to take the sleeping tablets. He said 'no fucking way', so I caught him by the throat and killed him". The defendant cried bitterly and showed the tablets to the gardai, counsel said. On Tuesday, the brother of the accused, Mr. Patrick Costello, said it was "inconceivable" to think that his sister would harm any of her three sons. Mr Costello gave evidence that, when gardai contacted his family home on 29 October to request someone to identify the deceased, his first thought was that his sister had harmed herself. "I thought my sister had done something to hurt herself", Mr Costello said. "When they told me Jackie was implicated I was stunned, I thought Robert had fallen down the stairs or something", he said. Mr Costello had travelled from Dublin to Waterford on the afternoon the tragic events took place because he had received a number of phone calls in the early hours of the morning from his sister. "She was very confused, very agitated and was crying down the phone", he said. During one phone call only hours before the little boy was strangled and suffocated, Mr Costello assured his young nephew not to worry. "She kept handing the phone to Robert, I told him not to worry that I'd be down that night," he said. He described his nephew as "a beautiful boy" and said he was "almost like a little brother to me and my brother". "Her being with her children...it was all she really lived for," he said. "It was inconceivable that she would ever harm them." Since Ms Costello had separated from with her long-term partner in September 2000, he said she was "trying to do too much at the one time". The court heard that Ms Costello had tried to take an overdose in 1995 and, on another occasion, had cut herself. She moved into the rented house with her three sons, Robert, Martin (3) and Stephen, who was just 22 months old, less than two weeks before the incident.The father of the accused told the court that his "biggest mistake" was turning Jacqueline away from the family home seven weeks before the incident. Mr Thomas Costello said that he and his wife could no longer cope with their daughter's condition. "I took the decision to refuse her because, at that stage, we were wrecked from it all, we couldn't go through it again", he said. His wife, Mrs Irene Costello, told the court that her daughter was "very frail and physically exhausted" at the time of the killing. "Robert loved his mother, he loved Jackie, and she loved him", she said. The defence is not contesting admissions made by the accused to the gardai following the death of Robert Costello. Ms Miriam Reynolds told the jury that the issue they must decide upon is whether Jacqueline Costello was guilty of murder or if she was insane at the time.The trial, which is expected to last over a week, continues at the Central Criminal Court before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of four men and eight women."

Date: April 26, 2002. News Source: The WJXT-TV News Network. http://www.newsforjax.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Detective: Woman Killed Twins To Spite Ex-Husband: Deposition Judge Wanted Sealed Found In Court Records. ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Lawyers defending a Ponte Vedra woman charged with murdering her twin 4-year-old boys are dealing with new, incriminating information in the case. In March 2001, police arrested Leslie Demeniuk and accused her of shooting her children. A judge sealed many of the court documents in that case, but one statement by a detective in the case was never sealed. The deposition of St. Johns County sheriff's investigator Jay Lawing was supposed to be kept from public view under a court order, along with other records sealed in the case. It was found in some court documents by a reporter with The St. Augustine Record. Lawing said his interview with Demeniuk led him to believe that the killings were done to punish the twins' father, her ex-husband, Thomas Demeniuk. "As an investigator, I see this as she got angry at her ex-husband and did something really egregious to get back at her ex-husband," Lawing's deposition said. According to Lawing's deposition, Demeniuk said: "I went in the closet and got the pistol down off the shelf. The bullets were underneath the foam and I loaded the pistol. ... I shot both boys in the head. I think I shot Jamie first. I think I shot one of them twice." After her arrest, Sheriff Neil Perry said that Demeniuk's blood-alcohol level was almost four times the legal limit for driving. Lawing said Demeniuk was very withdrawn and quiet on the afternoon of the killings. Thomas Demeniuk could not be reached for comment. His telephone number is no longer listed. Leaving the deposition unsealed was a mistake, said Circuit Judge Robert Mathis, who is presiding over the case and is the county's administrative judge. Asked by Channel 4's Heather Murphy about why the document wasn't sealed, the court clerks said the judge's order was difficult to interpret, even by seasoned workers. "It's just, we were trying to interpret what he was meaning in the order, because we thought it was a grey area." St. Johns County Clerk of Court, Cheryl Strickland, said Thursday. The deposition has since been sealed. Assistant State Attorney Norma Wendt, who is prosecuting the case, said the accidental release of the deposition "opened up a can of worms." She said she wants to try the case in St. Johns County, despite the mistake. Demeniuk's Jacksonville attorney William Sheppard declined to comment on the impact of Lawing's statement being made public. On March 17, 2001, Demeniuk's boyfriend called 911 after finding the slain boys and her lying on a bed, holding a handgun, according to transcripts of the call. Demeniuk, who was 31 at the time, and her sons, James and John, had been living with her father in his Sawgrass condominium during her divorce. Preparation for her trial has been kept from public view since a July 2001 court order that sealed documents in the case. The seal was ordered by Mathis in response to publicity in an effort to protect the integrity of the trial. That St. Johns County investigator said Demeniuk told him she killed her children. He thinks it was because she was trying to get back at her ex-husband. The clerk of court's office told Channel 4's Heather Murphy that document was not sealed because it was tough to interpret the judge's orders. Jury selection in Demeniuk's trial is scheduled to begin June 17 in St. Johns county. Prosecutors said in May that they intend to seek the death penalty in the case. Demeniuk has pleaded not guilty."

Date: April 25, 2002. News Source: The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch Newspaper. http://www.stltoday.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Double murder-suicide rocks small town of Carlinville, Ill. George Setzekorn had been threatening for five years to wreak havoc, including murder, on his ex-wife's family if she would not reconcile or turn over custody of their daughter. On Tuesday, he made good on the threats. Authorities in Carlinville, Ill., say Setzekorn fatally shot his 14-year-old daughter, Skylar, and set fire to the house of his ex-wife's parents. Then he drove to the home of his former sister-in-law, killed her and finally turned his gun on himself. The killings came 24 years after Setzekorn, 53, of Centralia, Ill., killed his first wife, Verna Stapleton, in Athens, Ill., northwest of Springfield. He served about nine years of a 20-year sentence for that murder, in a period when Illinois allowed sentences to be reduced half or more for good behavior. That practice was ended in the 1990s. Tuesday's shootings rocked Carlinville, a close-knit county seat and college town about 45 miles north of St. Louis that was recently listed in a book called "100 Best Small Towns in America." "This is difficult for the whole community," said Carlinville Police Chief Stephen Stone. "We're a small town, and the family was well-known here. We're doing as well as can be expected." The last murder in Carlinville, population 5,685, was believed to be in 1988. It, too, was a murder-suicide in which a man killed his former wife. Skylar Young was apparently the first person to notice anything wrong - about 3:30 p.m. when she returned from school to the home of her grandparents, Neal and Margaret House, where she and her mother lived. She called her mother, Patricia Young, at Carlinville Area Hospital, where Young is a nurse. "George is lighting the house on fire," Skylar told Young, according to a hospital colleague of Young's. Young told Skylar to get out of the house. She then called her sister, Janie Goesmann, to tell her to get ready to go over to their parents' house. But when Young arrived at her sister's house to pick her up, she saw Setzekorn shoot her sister, police say. Setzekorn, also known as George Young, walked to his car parked at a nearby Shell station and shot himself in the head. An ambulance sent to the burning house stopped at the scene of the shooting. Goesmann, 45, died at the hospital, where she also worked as nurse. She was the mother of four. Skylar's body was found in a basement apartment of the burned home. Her grandparents had escaped and were later treated for smoke inhalation. Skylar was an eighth-grader at Carlinville Middle School. She was a cheerleader and member of the choir. A friend, Becki Perry, said Skylar had talked of being a nurse like her mother. After being released from prison in the first killing, Setzekorn married Young. They were divorced in 1997. Later that year, Young moved to Ohio and began receiving threatening phone calls from Setzekorn, according to court documents. He several times threatened to kill Young if she did not agree to a reconciliation or to turn over custody of their daughter. Young later returned to Carlinville to live with her parents, and the threats continued. Based on a tape-recorded telephone threat, Setzekorn was convicted in Winnebago County of intimidation. He served less than two years. Friends and co-workers said Young continued to fear her ex-husband, as did Goesmann, who once obtained an order of protection against him. Authorities said Setzekorn had been living in Centralia, but police there said they were unfamiliar with him. Carlinville police were familiar with him, at least by name. Police Chief Stone said Goesmann repeatedly had complained of threats made against her, her sister and her parents. "We were well aware of the problem, but we had never laid eyes on the guy," Stone said. "If anything unusual happened, she would contact us." Once, he said, police determined that Setzekorn had spent a night in a local motel. Macoupin County State's Attorney Vince Moreth said that although some people were aware of Setzekorn's threats, there was little that could have been done about them. "An order of protection is a piece of paper," he said. "If we can't stop people from shooting the president or shooting the pope, with the guards they have, you can't protect anyone." Moreth said Setzekorn may have frightened the women since being released from prison but apparently had done "nothing that would rise to the level of going to jail." Tuesday, Moreth said, "was a very sad day for our community." Michelle Rock, the assistant state's attorney who prosecuted Setzekorn for intimidation in Winnebago County, said she remembered the case well but could not remember Setzekorn ever speaking or showing any emotion in the courtroom. She said he had pleaded guilty to the charge. Rock said she didn't know what could have been done to prevent the slayings. "When there's a crime, you charge as much as you can," she said. "A person can get an order of protection that says you can't come around me, but that doesn't stop anyone who's determined to do something."

Date: April 24, 2002. News Source: The Portland Press Herald Newspaper. http://www.portland.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Two suspects in baby death held as fugitives in Portland: A nomadic couple charged in Arkansas earlier this year with murdering their infant may have killed another baby in Vermont in 1999, then kept the remains with them for a year and a half before discarding the body when a new child was born, police said Tuesday. Jason M. Hann, 27, and Kriss L. Werntz, 22, are being held without bail in the Cumberland County Jail as fugitives from justice. They were arrested by Portland police Monday night at Motel 6 on Riverside Street, and their 1-month-old child was placed in state custody. Hann and Werntz became the target of a nationwide manhunt after the body of an infant was discovered inside a pop-up camper trailer they had left at a storage building. The body, its head wrapped in duct tape, was stored there in a plastic container in October. The body was discovered in February by a person who bought the travel trailer after it was auctioned to cover unpaid storage costs. Now investigators have learned that the couple may have killed another baby while they were staying in Burlington, Vt., in July 1999. That son, named Jason like his father, was born March 23, 1999, in Youngstown Ohio. Investigators believe Hann killed the boy. Werntz has given birth to at least three children, two of whom Hann beat to death while they were infants, said Police Chief Michael Chitwood. "They then carried this body with them in a Rubbermaid storage container for 18 months," Portland Police Chief Michael Chitwood said Tuesday. "There's some type of psychological issues here." "Are they serial killers? I don't know. I'm glad they're off the streets," Chitwood said. Police said the pair left the body in a trailer in a shed in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., in December 2000. On Dec. 15, 2000, Werntz gave birth to a baby girl they named Montana. Police believe that Montana was killed while the couple were in California, and that they kept that body for 10 months before leaving it last October in a New Hampshire-registered pop-up camper trailer stored in Arkansas. The discovery of that body in February led to murder warrants being issued for the pair on March 1. "The information we have right now is that he killed the kids," Chitwood said, referring to Hann. He said Hann has been cooperative with police, but Werntz has not. Police credit an alert clerk at the Motel 6 on Riverside Street - who recognized the couple from a bulletin distributed to all hotels in the chain - with saving the life of the 1-month-old. "The department feels the clerk, being able to recognize these people . . . probably prevented that baby from dying also," Chitwood said. "That baby was doomed to die." The baby - born March 21 this year - also was named Jason. "The baby was very lethargic. He never cried, never made a peep," Chitwood said, recalling the arrest outside a hotel room filled with cigarette smoke at 10 p.m. Monday. The baby will undergo a medical evaluation, he said. The pair are set to be arraigned today on charges of being fugitives from justice in the Arkansas case. Hann and Werntz met four years ago and are not married, although Werntz sometimes uses Hann's name. They have moved frequently, staying in at least 11 states in the past few years, often moving from campground to campground. It is unclear how they subsisted. When arrested, they had somebody else's credit card, but had paid cash for the hotel room. They were driving a white 1994 Plymouth Sundance that is registered to somebody else. Both have minor criminal records for things such as fraud or bad checks, Chitwood said. Police found handcuffs, a wig and some sexual devices in the couple's belongings. Authorities do not know what drew the couple to Maine, though police have some information that they may have lived at one time in Dover, N.H., which is the address listed on Hann's driver's license. Dover police say he never lived at that address, although he may have known somebody who lived there. Police are also investigating what the couple termed "miscarriages," including one in Texas that involved twins, Chitwood said."

Date: April 23, 2002, News Source: The Associated Press News Wire. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother whose daughter is missing is charged in stabbing of 12 year old son: By The Associated Press MAYFIELD, Ky. - A 37-year-old mother whose daughter has been missing since 1987 has been charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of her son in a cemetery in rural western Kentucky, authorities said. Trooper Barry Meadows, a spokesman with the Kentucky State Police post in Mayfield, said Pamela Lynn Bailey was arrested early Tuesday morning at a Nortonville gas station. The mother had taken her 12-year-old son to a cemetery shortly before 9 p.m. CDT Monday in a sparsely populated area of Graves County, Meadows said. The boy ran away from his mother to a house across from the cemetery on Kentucky 80. State police received a call from residents who lived across from the cemetery on Kentucky 80, saying a boy had been stabbed. "He told detectives that his mother had taken him to a cemetery and stabbed him," Meadows said. Meadows said the boy was taken to the Jackson Purchase Medical Center. A hospital spokeswoman could not immediately confirm the boy's condition or whether he was still at the hospital. Police arrested Bailey at the gas station, apparently after she made a phone call. Bailey was lodged in the Graves County Detention Center. Meadows said no weapon was found. Meanwhile, Mayfield Police Chief Joel Natividad said his department is reopening an unsolved case into the 1987 disappearance of Bailey's daughter. Bailey first reported her daughter, Marlena Childress, missing from the front yard of the family's home in Union City, Tenn., on April 16, 1987. Hundreds of people volunteered to search for the little girl. Several weeks later, the search halted abruptly when Bailey confessed to accidentally killing her daughter. She told police she threw the body into the Obion River. But no body was found, and Bailey later recanted the confession. No charges have been filed in the disappearance of Marlena Childress"

Date: April 22, 2002. News Source: The Brockville Recorder and Times. http://www.recorder.ca. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother, father, two children dead near Montreal in apparent murder-suicide: LONGUEUIL, Que. (CP) - A babysitter made a gruesome discovery Monday afternoon when she showed up for work to find a man hanging lifelessly from a cable in the centre of the living room. Police believe the man killed his estranged wife and two young girls before hanging himself at a home in this suburb on the south shore of Montreal. Longueuil police spokesman Michel Soutiere said the babysitter became worried when she didn't hear from the family. "Normally (the babysitter) receives some news," said Soutiere. "Nobody called, so she decided to come on the premises and see what's going on." The babysitter, after seeing the man through the living-room window at the front of the two-storey house, called 9-1-1 just after noon Monday without entering the home. Soutiere said the two young girls were aged 18 months and 4½ years, respectively. The man was 33 and the woman 31, Soutiere added. Their names were not given. The man's parents arrived on the scene later in the afternoon, with his father yelling furiously at police. "I just found out on TV that my son is dead," he screamed. The woman was found dead in the master bedroom, while the two children were found dead in the bathroom. No details on the causes of death were provided. "We don't know the cause of death, it's too early," Soutiere said. "The first hypothesis is an incident of conjugal violence, a triple murder, followed by a suicide." Sylvain Lapointe, who lives across the freshly-built crescent from the house where the incident occurred, said things looked suspicious early Monday morning. "He got here at 6:30 this morning, which isn't normal," Lapointe said. "She normally leaves for work at 7:30 in the morning, but she was still there at 7:30. "So my wife told me there were signs that things could happen. He's not usually there at 6:30 in the morning." The neighbourhood where the incident took place is relatively new, having been built no more than six years ago. This is why the family in question decided last summer to organize a corn roast for the local residents. "It's a new neighbourhood, we just basically got together to get to know each other," said neighbour Stu Cowan, fighting back tears. "There were prizes for the kids, every kid got a prize. "Apparently they were going through a divorce and that's all I really know. It's a shock, it really is." Though many people said they attended the corn roast, few people could honestly say they knew the family very well. Lapointe said he saw no signs of trouble in the family and that the father came to see his daughters regularly after the couple separated six or seven months ago. He said the father picked up and dropped off the children a number of times without incident. "We saw them walking hand in hand last summer to pick up the kids from day care," said Lapointe. "We knew they were separated, but they never gave any signs of weakness or violence. They were polite people. "(The mother) never told anyone in the area that he was violent, that there were any problems." The four bodies were taken away late Monday afternoon and an autopsy was planned for Tuesday morning."

Date: April 21, 2002. News Source: The Houston Chronicle Newspaper. http://www.chron.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Trial to begin for dad accused of killing daughters: Associated Press DALLAS -- The best defense for John Battaglia, an accountant accused of fatally shooting his daughters while their mother listened on the telephone, most likely won't be strong enough to free him or save his life, legal experts say. Before testimony begins Monday in Battaglia's capital murder trial, he will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty in the May 2 deaths of 9-year-old Faith Battaglia and 6-year-old Liberty Battaglia. Battaglia's attorneys have filed a notice reserving the right to claim their client is innocent by reason of insanity, but experts call it a risky strategy since Battaglia doesn't have a documented history of mental illness. "The chance of a jury finding he was legally insane at the time of the offense is zero to none in his case," said Barry Sorrels, a 20-year criminal defense attorney not involved in the case. "The hope of anything short of the death sentence is just not realistic." To show just how difficult an insanity defense is to prove, experts point to Andrea Yates, the Houston mother convicted of drowning her children in a bathtub. Even with her history of severe mental illness, she was found guilty of the crime. Sorrels said Battaglia's case was much different from the Yates case. "This case is simply about someone who became so angry that they decided to use their children to get even with their spouse. And it's a story that's told too often in this country," he said. After 12 weeks of jury selection for the Battaglia trial, 12 jurors have been chosen, including five women and seven men. Battaglia hasn't publicly admitted or denied shooting his daughters. In an interview last June, he said battles with his ex-wife and his workload had left him feeling overwhelmed before the slayings. "I guess I was at my wits' end, trying to do too many things at one time," Battaglia said in the interview with The Dallas Morning News. At the time of the shootings, Battaglia was being prosecuted for violating probation terms barring him from contacting his ex-wife. Battaglia was charged with two counts of capital murder after his daughters were found shot in his loft apartment. The evening of the shootings, Battaglia was to have taken his children to dinner. Instead, he phoned his ex-wife, Mary Jean Pearle, and, according to Pearle's police statement, he had Faith ask her, "Why are you trying to put Daddy in jail?" The girl was next heard saying, "No, Daddy, don't do it. No, Daddy, no," followed by a burst of gunfire. Pearle called police, who broke into Battaglia's apartment and found the girls' bodies, along with handguns, shotguns and rifles. Battaglia was arrested hours later in the Deep Ellum entertainment district several blocks from home, after getting a tattoo on his left arm of two flowers he said represented his daughters. A loaded pistol was recovered from his vehicle. Battaglia had a history of domestic violence, and authorities at the time were preparing to ask a judge to revoke his two-year probation for assaulting Pearle. The request, alleging that Battaglia had violated conditions of the probation, was filed the day after the slayings. Long silent about her daughters' deaths, Pearle spoke out in February, blaming former judge David Finn for not locking up her ex-husband when he violated probation. "I know if John Battaglia had been in jail on the probation violation, my children wouldn't have died on May 2," Pearle said. But Finn blames the district attorney's office for seeking only probation in the assault case, instead of a tougher penalty allowed for repeat offenders. "Mr. Battaglia, if the DA's office had done its job, would have been serving up to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections when these two little children were murdered," Finn said. Prosecutors and defense attorneys did not respond to repeated requests for interviews with The Associated Press. Pearle, 39, said she did not want to comment before the trial. Finn said prosecutors have a chance in Battaglia's trial to redeem themselves, but he added, "Redemption's not going to bring the two little girls back, and there's the tragedy." Some experts theorized that defense attorneys may argue that Battaglia acted in "sudden passion" during an argument with his ex-wife. Others said such a defense wouldn't fit the crime. "This looks more like a calculated, vengeful, getting back at the wife," said Baylor University law professor Brian Serr."

Date: April 20, 2002. News Source: The Las Vegas Sun Newspaper. http://www.lasvegassun.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Jury Seeks Death for Toddler Killer: DOTHAN, Ala.- A jury recommended the death penalty for a woman who beat and stomped to death her 2-year-old adoptive daughter. Patricia Blackmon was convicted of capital murder Thursday in the May 1999 death of Dominique Bryant. She claimed the child fell from a bed and hit a bed post. But an autopsy showed that the girl had suffered numerous new and old injuries, including a fractured right leg. Former medical examiner Dr. Alfredo Parades testified that she was stomped in the chest with enough force to leave a shoe imprint. Defense attorney Michael Crespi contended that some of Dominique's injuries could have been caused by Blackmon's misguided attempts to resuscitate the child. But Dr. Jamie Downs, chief medical examiner and director of the state Department of Forensic Sciences, said he has no doubts that Dominique was beaten and stomped to death. Judge Larry Anderson must decide whether to adopt the jury's recommendation, issued Friday, or sentence Blackmon to life without parole. No date was set for his ruling."

Date: April 19, 2002. News Source: The Sympatico NewsExpress News Service. http://www.ab.sympatico.ca/news. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Father, stepmother guilty of second-degree murder in 7-year-old's beating death: TORONTO (CP) - The parents of a seven-year-old boy relentlessly beaten in one of the worst cases of child abuse in Canadian legal history were convicted Thursday of second-degree murder and now face life in prison for months of thrashings they inflicted on the child that finally killed him. After a three-month trial that horrified the city, Tony and Marcia Dooley were found guilty by the four-man, eight-woman jury after three days of deliberations. It was a verdict that came as a relief to both authorities and every-day Torontonians, who were seemingly haunted by the photos of the sad-faced, doe-eyed boy that stared at them almost daily from the city's newspapers. Some attended the trial wearing lapel pins adorned with Randal's picture. "This verdict is sending a very, very strong, strong message to people who want to beat their children: You can no longer do that in our society," Crown attorney Rita Zaied said outside court. "You take a child and you beat a child over several months, it's no longer going to be considered manslaughter. It may very well be considered that you intentionally killed your child." Months of abuse left little Randal incontinent and unable to keep down food before his death in September 1998, court was told during a trial that heard from 61 witnesses and featured 92 pieces of evidence, including the blue bunk-beds where the boy's emaciated body was found. Along with a tapestry of scars and bruises, a post-mortem on Randal's emaciated, 40-pound body discovered 13 broken ribs, a lacerated liver and a tooth in his stomach. Every inch of his tiny body was covered with scars, bruises, welts and cuts. Only the soles of his feet, the palms of his hands and his scalp were spared from abuse. Tony and Marcia Dooley, who both sat stone-faced when the verdict was read, face an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for at least 10 years. Superior Court Justice Eugene Ewaschuk can increase the length of time each of them must stay in jail before being considered for parole when the pair are officially sentenced May 3. As they waited for the jury to return with a sentencing recommendation, Tony Dooley, 36, played with his hair and Marcia Dooley, 32, rocked back and forth in her seat nervously. The Crown asked that victim impact statements be read from Randal's brother Tego, 11, his birth mother Racquel Burth, 26, Tony's sister Beatrice Dooley, and his Grade 1 teacher, Gloria Robson, who was the first to alert authorities to the abuse of the boy, before sentencing. Many people in the packed courtroom wept openly and cheered when the jury, who had been sequestered since starting deliberations late Tuesday, read the guilty verdict. A dozen people waiting outside the courtroom because there wasn't enough room inside yelped and cheered 'Justice!' when told of the verdict. "No one can forget this boy," said 18-year-old Luna Ilgic, who attended court almost daily in support of Randal although she never knew him. "He led a torturous life. It's not like any other case." Others blamed a children's aid system that doesn't adequately protect kids. "There was nobody for Randal. The sytem failed the boy," said Enid Campbell, another supporter who attended the trial daily since it began Jan. 16. "The jury has now picked up the pieces." Medical experts said Randal - whose frail, rigoured body was found in his brother's bunk bed on Sept. 25, 1998 - died of brain injuries that were likely caused by being shaken repeatedly. The trial heard from countless witnesses - police and emergency crews, family members, school authorities and medical experts among them. Jurors wept as they stared at life-sized autopsy photos and winced when witnesses described horrifying details about the beatings inflicted on Randal, a quiet boy who came to Canada a year earlier from his home in Jamaica to live with his father and new stepmother with hopes of a better life. Even the judge described "poor, pitiful" Randal as possibly being "be the worst victim of child abuse in Canadian penal history" during his charge to the jury. "Millions of people have been devasted by the death of this beautiful child," a weepy Robson, the Grade 1 teacher who first alerted authorities about the boy's suffering, said after the verdict. "I feel very saddened for those of you who did not know him because what sustains me and heals my wounds are my memories of beautiful Randal." Robson discovered marks on the boy's arms and back in April 1998. But Toronto Children's Aid officials refused to get involved in what they considered a police matter. But the police officers who investigated the allegations of abuse believed Marcia Dooley's story that Randal sustained whip marks on his arms and back as a result of a game played with other children. The case sparked criticism from child advocates who said government and police don't do enough to protect children from assaults by their parents, relatives and other adults. "Horrific child abuse like this can never be truly eliminated," said Kim Snow, a Ryerson University professor and expert on child abuse. But cases like Randal's could be reduced if "society took child abuse seriously," Snow said. "The system failed this boy." Snow said "far more education for the general public, . . . teachers and doctors on the signs of child abuse is needed." Cheryl Milne, a lawyer with the Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law in Toronto, said the case highlights a problem with child abuse prevention programs in Canada: the law makes reporting assaults a moral decision rather than a legal one. "If people don't report child abuse it can end in a tragedy such as this," she said. "There were people who knew and didn't report anything." During closing arguments last week, Tony Dooley's lawyer Mara Greene admitted her client administered a vicious thrashing in August 1998, but argued that Randal's stepmother was the principal abuser. She beat Randal a month later after becoming angry he had vomited yet another meal, Greene said; court was also told that on one occasion, she forced him to eat his own vomit. Medical experts said the boy's troubles with food, along with his bowel and bladder incontinence, were likely the result of an undiagnosed brain injury. Greene pointed to other medical evidence that suggested the fatal injuries were sustained during an afternoon beating the day before he died, when he was home alone with Marcia. Damien Frost, who represented Marcia Dooley, countered that his client's husband was the more violent of the two and caused the more serious injuries that ultimately killed the boy. He pointed to a severe thrashing Dooley administered within days of returning from a trip to the United States, in which the child was whipped with a belt until it shredded. Frost cautioned jurors against letting their anger "overwhelm all reason," arguing Marcia Dooley's abusive tendencies were not evidence of murderous intent. He also conceded his client was guilty of manslaughter, but not of second-degree murder, which would have meant she knew her abuse would kill Randal."

Date: April 18, 2002. News Source: The Cable News Network. http://www.cnn.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "N.Y. mother charged with drowning son: HOOSICK FALLS, New York (CNN) -- A mother is charged with murder after the drowning of her 4-year-old son in a bathtub and the attempted drowning of her 5-year-old son early Tuesday, police in upstate New York said. Christine A. Wilhelm, 38, was arrested after Hoosick Falls police, responding to a 911 call shortly before 2 a.m. EDT, found Luke Wilhelm, 4, dead in a bathtub full of water, according to a written release by the police department. Another son, Peter Wilhelm, 5, was treated and released at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, New York, Hoosick Falls Police Chief Clifford Ruschmeyer said. He would not comment on what condition the boy was in when officers arrived at the home. Christine Wilhelm was charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree attempted murder. No bail was allowed at her arraignment Tuesday. Hoosick Town Justice Arthur Harrington ordered her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. She is being held in Rennselaer County Jail. The father of the two boys, Kenneth P. Wilhelm, was working a night shift when the crimes occurred. Hoosick Falls, with a population of 3,000, is in eastern New York state, 23 miles northeast of the state capital, Albany."

Date: April 17, 2002. News Source: The Guardian Newspaper. http://www.guardian.co.uk. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "'Loving mother' who killed her babies: Police baffled by woman who smothered infant sons to death. The small tombstone in the Wiltshire hamlet of Winterbourne Gunner suggests that, when the two Cannings babies died, it was a doubly cruel coincidence."Our Little Children: Gemma Cannings, born 14.8.1989, fell asleep 14.11.1989. Jason Cannings, born 25.4. 1991, fell asleep 13.6.1991", it reads, cloaking their deaths in innocence. But yesterday, a jury at Winchester crown court decided that there was a far more sinister explanation for the death of seven-week-old Jason and, eight years later, of his 18-week-old brother, Matthew. Their mother Angela, a woman who claimed not to know what she had done to lose her children, was jailed for life for smothering to death her infant sons. As the forewoman delivered her verdict, Cannings, 38, of Salisbury, Wiltshire, turned ashen-faced, muttered "no, no, no", and wept before having to be held by a dock officer. She will appeal. Cannings had denied the charges and claimed the children were victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). But the court heard that her 13-week-old daughter Gemma had also died, 19 months before Jason, when alone with her mother, while another child suffered an acute life-threatening experience (ALTE) - gasping for breath and breathing heavily - while being cared for by Cannings. Detectives originally charged her with Gemma's death but the charge was dropped for lack of medical evidence. As family and friends cried out in despair at the verdict, Mrs Justice Heather Hallett expressed regret that she had no option but to impose the mandatory jail sentence: "It's not my decision to ask when you will be released but I intend to make it known in my remarks that in my own view you will never be a threat to anyone in the future." Cannings - who remained calm during police interviews and appeared in denial in the dock - had refused to undergo a psychiatric examination, and the investigation had found no signs of post-natal depression. However, the judge told her: "I have no doubt that for a woman like you to suffocate these babies, there must have been something seriously wrong with you. "You wanted these babies and you cherished them." Cannings' apparent love for her children emerged in court when, in her defence, videos were played of her breast-feeding and cuddling her babies; when she claimed she felt "empty inside" after her bereavements and when she said she "battered" herself over the deaths. No one doubted that her children were tragic victims of cot deaths until Matthew died in November 1999, and police began their investigation. Cannings' lawyers argued that it is not unknown for a family to suffer two deaths, as this had happened to her second cousin in Ireland. In the defence's most controversial explanation, Michael Mansfield QC suggested Gemma and Jason could have been poisoned by toxins released at the nearby nuclear, biological and chemical research centre at Porton Down. But the prosecution argued that both Jason and Matthew had suffered an ALTE exactly nine days before they died - for which they needed hospital treatment and from which they recovered - and alleged that these were early attempts to smother the babies. As Paul Dunkels, QC, prosecuting, explained: "Each time she was alone in her home with her babies, she must have placed something over the nose and mouth to stop them breathing, taking each of them to the very edge of life or death. For a mother to attack a child in this way is against nature and instinct." Some of the most crucial evidence came from Gloria Peacock, a health visitor who arrived on a routine visit to see Jason and ended up resuscitating him when he suffered his first ALTE, in June 1991. She claimed that Cannings had greeted her with an air of resignation, and said: "It's happened again." But Cannings claimed she was panicking when she greeted her, and rushed to the door on hearing her car pull up. Ms Peacock claimed her car, a small family saloon, was quiet and that she sat in the car for a while before she went to the door. The prosecution also offered medical evidence suggesting that iron deposits found in Jason's lungs were indicative of "deliberate imposed upper airways obstruction", and focussed on the fact that, when Matthew suffered his second, fatal ALTE, she rang her husband Terry, 48, a Tesco baker, instead of calling 999. A neighbour also told of how she left the baby unattended in her house and car for short periods despite the deaths of her two other babies; the prosecution argued that this was because she knew the ALTEs and deaths had been by her own hand. The crown also brought in experts who proved that Cannings would have been able to hear an apnoea baby alarm which indicated Matthew had stopped breathing, despite her claims to the contrary. After the verdict, Wiltshire police said they were still nonplussed as to Canning's motive. "There is only one person who can answer that," said Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Symes, who headed the inquiry. He added that the case had caused problems for officers, many of whom were family men, and said there was no sense of triumphalism. "Angela Cannings has been sentenced to life imprisonment and the family has lost the babies," he added. "There have been absolutely no winners. We cannot glean any satisfaction from this." Speaking before the verdict, his deputy, Detective Sergeant Rob Findlay, added: "Angela Cannings came across as a caring and loving mother and that makes it difficult to explain. I feel tremendous sympathy for her because she strikes me as a nice woman. "I don't think people will understand that it's not like a normal incident in which someone wants to kill somebody. She will have the same feelings of loss that any parent who has lost their child will have - and we need to try and research why such deaths happen to help and understand people like her." The Cannings' case recalls that of Sally Clarke, a solicitor convicted of killing her sons at Chester crown court in November 1999. After yesterday's verdict, Clarke's friend, solicitor John Batt, said his "heart went out" to Cannings and her family."

Date: April 16, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Wire. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Woman who left son's body in crib sentenced to three and a half years: LONDON - A woman whose boyfriend killed her toddler son was sentenced to three and a half years in jail Monday for mistreating the child and leaving his dead body in a crib for 18 days. Emma Back, 22, was convicted of cruelty to her son Sam, who died just before his second birthday, and conspiring to prevent his burial. Justice Anne Rafferty said Back stood by while her boyfriend Aaron Goodman beat the child, allowed him near people smoking crack cocaine, failed to get him medical treatment and sometimes abused him herself. Goodman, 27, who was not Sam's father, was sentenced to life in jail for murdering the toddler, who died in December 2000. Prosecutors said Back and Goodman smoked a large amount of crack cocaine after the boy's death, leaving his body in a crib for 18 days as they fretted about paying back a drug debt. Police found the body after Sam's grandparents became suspicious. An autopsy found he'd suffered a heavy blow to his abdomen and had a bite mark on his leg and traces of cocaine in his blood. Rafferty said Back, of Bexhill, southeastern England, did not cause Sam's death but made her "own grim contribution to his misery." "He was not a toy you were entitled to pick up and put down on a whim," the judge said. "He was low on your list of selfish and callous priorities." "For 18 days you connived to the leaving of his body in his bloodstained cot, rotting, while you lied ... to people who would have helped him," she said. Back was sentenced to three years for cruelty and six months for conspiracy to prevent burial. Her mother, Brenda Kingshott, 50, said the sentence should have been tougher. "She should have got at least 10 years for what she has done," Kingshott said. "She took away our grandson, deprived us of him. It's just a slap on the wrist."

Date: April 15, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Daily Herald Newspaper. http://www.dailyherald.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother saw no signs of trouble before ex-husband shot children: Andrea Bahena thought it strange when her ex-husband appeared on her doorstep late Monday night, but she welcomed him in, anyway. Tomas Bahena, 44, rarely came by after dark unless it was an emergency. He appeared to be in a genuine predicament, claiming his car had broken down and asking to sleep on the couch. His ex-wife agreed, unwittingly starting a deadly chain of events inside the family's Glendale Heights home. By dawn, Tomas and their son Christopher, 14, would be dead, and their two daughters fighting for life. "Tomas seemed fine," Andrea Bahena says in her first interview since the shooting spree. "I don't know why this happened. I am so confused." Tomas Bahena, a custodian, arrived at his ex-wife's house Monday after finishing the night shift at a Northbrook elementary school. His 12-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, was thrilled by her father's unexpected visit, and rushed about the house grabbing linens to make up a bed for him. He and Andrea chatted amicably. Tomas and Andrea Bahena, who married in 1981, had maintained a cordial relationship since their 1995 divorce. He often helped with household chores, took the younger ones to school and watched the children when his ex-wife was ill. Though he lived with his girlfriend in River Forest, Tomas stayed at the family home for a month this past winter when Andrea was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism. "We worked very hard to have a good relationship," Andrea says. "We worked at it very hard for the kids' sake." Their divorce settlement granted Tomas visitation rights every Sunday afternoon, but Andrea allowed him to spend time with the kids whenever he wanted. Police officers and social workers who knew the Bahenas considered him to be a stabilizing figure in the often troubled family. Andrea, however, contends her ex-husband was wrestling with his own demons. A doctor put him on medication for schizophrenia a few months ago, but Andrea says she told him to go back and get a different prescription. About five weeks ago, she says, the doctor placed him on Prozac and Tranzodone, both popular anti-depressants. Andrea doesn't know if he was on the drugs when he showed up at her house Monday night. "He didn't seem depressed," she says. "There were no signs." Once Tomas settled onto the couch, Andrea and Nicky, Andrea's 5-year-old son from a different relationship, went to her bedroom to watch a movie. Jacqueline got ready for school the next day. Tomas turned on the news. "There was no argument or fighting or anything like that," Andrea says. "I've let him come and go as he pleases. I trusted him to be a loving father." A half hour later, the couple's oldest daughter, Esther, 18, returned from shopping with her younger brother Christopher, 14. The teen was not pleased to see her father, Andrea says. The relationship between the two had been icy in recent months, and Esther retreated to her mother's room to avoid a confrontation. Christopher and Jacqueline, who both attended Glenside Middle School, went to sleep around midnight. Nicky was asleep in his mother's bed by 1 a.m. Andrea and Esther watched "The Long, Long Trailer" together while the teen did her laundry. The girl made herself a cup of tea at 2:30 a.m. and said goodnight. Believing everyone in her house - including Tomas - had fallen asleep, Andrea rewound the movie, shut off the lights and went to bed. She estimates she had been asleep for 30 minutes when shots rang out in the house. The first blast came from Jacqueline's room, the one closest to the living room. Police say Tomas fired a bullet from his .22-caliber handgun into the girl's head around 5 a.m. Tomas then continued down the hallway to Christopher's room, and shot his son. The eighth-grade boy, who was protective of his younger siblings and loved to make people laugh, died before paramedics arrived. Jacqueline has been on life support at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, and her mother does not expect the girl to survive. However, a hospital spokesman said Saturday the girl was upgraded to serious condition. "I feel like she died at the house," says Andrea, 44. "Chris and her were so close, they probably went up to heaven together." After shooting Christopher and Jacqueline, Andrea says, Tomas went into Esther's room and fired a single bullet at her. The teen told authorities it felt like someone had hit her in the head. Esther cried out for her mother. "Mommy, mommy I've been shot," she yelled. "Help me." Esther chased her father into the living room where he shot her again, Andrea says. Glendale Heights police said they could not confirm the account while the case is under investigation. The second shot apparently did not incapacitate the teen, either. She grabbed some clothes and pressed them to her head to stop the bleeding. She then watched in horror as her father put the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger. Andrea entered the living room soon after with the cordless telephone in her hand. She stepped over a lifeless Tomas to reach Esther, who was crying that her head hurt. She says she called 911, but became too overwhelmed to answer the dispatcher's questions about whether Tomas was still alive. "You'll never know the pain of stepping over your ex-husband's dead body to go help your daughter," she says. Nicky, who is in pre-kindergarten, watched the bloodshed from the doorway of his mother's bedroom. Though he wasn't biologically Tomas' son, Andrea says her ex-husband loved the boy and provided child support for him. "You always hear about deadbeat dads," she says. "He was not a deadbeat dad. He was a loving father. He cared about all the kids." Three days after the shootings, Andrea still wonders what her husband truly intended to do that night. He clearly had been making his way down the hall, stopping at each bedroom he encountered. If he hadn't shot Esther twice, she believes he would have shot her, too. "I am alive today because my room was at the end of the hall," she says as she starts to cry. "Why did he do this to me? Why did he take everything I loved away?" Andrea has spent the majority of the past week with Jacqueline at Loyola Medical Center. The girl had undergone several surgeries but had shown no signs of life. Her mother already talked about her in the past tense. "She had a bubbly personality," Andreas told a reporter. "You should tell everybody she was going to be in the 'Oliver Twist' musical at school. You should tell them she won a contest for the best DARE poster and she got to walk in the parade." After three days of tragedy and media scrutiny, Andrea Bahena looked tired. A series of health problems have complicated her breathing and forced her to use a wheelchair to get around. She had slept just a few hours since the killings and had been home only once to grab some clothes. She says she has sent Nicholas to live with a family friend to prevent the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services from taking him away. Her oldest son, 17-year-old Antonio, recently was released from a juvenile detention center and is living in a foster home. Andrea visited Esther for the first time since the shootings on Thursday night at Glen Oaks Medical Center in Glendale Heights. She would have liked to have seen her daughter earlier, Andrea says, but she needed to be with Jacqueline who is in more critical condition. A hospital spokeswoman says Esther remained in serious but stable condition Saturday. Andrea also must contend with Christopher's funeral. Though she says the arrangements have been taken care of, the boy's body was still at the DuPage County coroner's office Saturday. Rest, it seems, will not come anytime soon. "I am tired," she says. "But I can't close my eyes. It's too hard."

Date: April 14, 2002. News Source: The TVNZ News Service. http://onenews.nzoom.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Murder-suicide rising in Hong Kong: A three month-old baby boy and a girl aged three were killed by their parents in two separate murder-suicides in Hong Kong. The baby boy was thrown to his death from a 38th floor flat in the Tin Shui Wai district of Hong Kong by his 25-year-old mother who then jumped out from the apartment herself at around midday on Saturday. One hour later, a three-year-old girl was found dead alongside her pregnant mother and father in Hong Kong’s Tsuen Wan district. The parents had apparently gassed themselves to death using charcoal. Murder-suicides involving children are more common in Hong Kong and other Asian countries than in the west, partly because of traditional beliefs that children are the property of parents and it is crueller to leave them alone than to die with them. A police spokesman said the family who died on Saturday left behind a suicide note saying they had lost money in Hong Kong’s economic downturn. The mother who killed her baby boy is believed to have been suffering from postnatal depression. Both cases have been classified as murder-suicides, the spokesman said."

Date: April 13, 2002. News Source: The Des Moines Register Newspaper. http://desmoinesregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: " Suspect to court: I won't flee: Nevada, Ia. - An Ames woman accused of killing her newborn daughter last summer spoke in court for the first time Friday, in a second attempt to be freed before trial. Ann McGowan, 34, said she wouldn't flee if Judge Michael Moon released her from the Story County Jail. She is being held on a $250,000 bond. "This is my home," said McGowan, who wore a black-and-white striped prison jumpsuit. "I am fighting this." Another judge turned down a similar request at a bond review hearing in August. Moon's decision is expected next week. McGowan admitted she strangled her baby July 21 and discarded the body in a trash can behind her home, police say. She was arrested the next day. Her Des Moines attorneys, Mark Pennington and William Kutmus, say the baby was born dead. Seven other witnesses testified for McGowan, including the baby's father, Patrick Jeffrey Condon; Condon's mother; his aunt; and his co-workers. Condon, McGowan's live-in boyfriend of 14 years, put up about $100,000 of company stock to ensure McGowan would show up for her trial. Condon's aunt also offered to put up her home. "I think she has an excellent chance of beating those charges," said Condon, who moved to Ames with McGowan in January 2001. The president of a Roland manufacturing firm where Condon works testified that McGowan would have a full-time job there if the judge released her. Story County Attorney Stephen Holmes asked the judge to deny the request, adding McGowan could become pregnant again if released."

Date: April 12, 2002. News Source: WPLG-TV News. http://www.click10.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Lawyer Wants Teen Mom's Confession Thrown Out: A teenager accused of killing her newborn baby was back in a Broward County court Friday. Aimee Lee Weiss, 18, appeared in a court for a hearing in which her lawyer, Ellis Rubin, asked that part of her confession be thrown out of evidence. A tape of her full confession was played in open court. Her defense team has filed a motion that would keep the confession from being heard by jurors. Rubin maintains that some of what Weiss said to police is not acceptable as evidence because of problems with the wording of Miranda warnings officers quoted to her. Rubin says that Miranda warnings used in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa fail to meet legal standards and may endanger convictions. He says warnings must meet strict standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Florida Supreme Court or confessions, including Aimee Weiss', are null and void. Detectives say that they "followed the book" while arresting Weiss and her confession was properly handled. Weiss is awaiting trial for the death of her newborn son. She was visibly shaken in court Friday as she listened to the confession she gave to officers nearly a year ago. She has been out of jail since last summer, after a judge ruled there was not enough evidence to keep her behind bars until her trial. Weiss has been required to wear a tracking device. She was not allowed to leave her father and stepmother's home except to attend school, or meet with her lawyer or psychologists. She is charged with first-degree murder and is being tried as an adult. Weiss told investigators that she gave birth to a baby boy March 26 in the bathroom of the town house that she shares with her father and stepmother. More than a week later, an 11-year-old boy found the backpack that Weiss put the baby in and tossed into a canal, according to police. The medical examiner said that the baby was suffocated. A start date for the trial has not been set yet."

Date: April 11, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Wire. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Murder charges filed in malnourishment death of mentally impaired man locked in room for years: FOLEY, Alabama - An elderly woman and her husband have been charged with killing her mentally handicapped adult son, who was found dead of malnourishment after being locked in a lightless room for 10 years. The death of Eugene Williams, 39, was reported in an emergency call to police on March 18. He had been dead several days and the call apparently was made after the smell became intolerable, prosecutor David Whetstone said Wednesday. Williams' 74-year-old mother, Daisey Mae Holmes, and Willie Holmes, who was the dead man's stepfather, were arrested Tuesday. They were charged with murder, kidnapping, abuse and neglect of a protected person, and theft. The couple had no attorney appointed by Wednesday and no court date set. Whetstone said Mrs. Holmes may also be mentally impaired. Williams stood nearly 6 feet (1.8 meters) tall, but his body had dwindled to 74 pounds (33 kilograms) before he died of malnutrition and dehydration, investigators said. "He appeared to have been locked in the room for a decade or more," Whetstone said. "That's like being in solitary confinement ... for 10 years." Whetstone said the window in Williams' room had been boarded up. There was no television or radio. Investigators found trays of rotten food and moldy drink containers in Williams' room and said he was naked and had no bedding or blankets to keep him warm. Williams apparently was last seen outside the house in 1988 or 1990. The nearest neighbor lived about 100 yards (meters) from the house. Two of Mrs. Holmes' adult daughters, who authorities also described as mentally impaired, and an 11-year-old grandchild also lived in the house. "It's not an isolated community," Whetstone said. "No one wants to get involved in a situation like this. This was a difficult person who should have been in an institution when he disappeared." Whetstone said the couple kept the government's dlrs 500 monthly benefit check sent for Williams' care. He said his office has subpoenaed records from state and federal agencies who were supposed to provide care and protection."

Date: April 10, 2002. News Source: The Indianapolis Star Newspaper. http://www.indystar.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom accused of strangling baby: Woman, 23, made incriminating statements after 5-month-old girl was found dead, authorities say. A woman has been accused of strangling her 5-month-old daughter. The infant died at a Westside home where the woman was staying with relatives after an argument with her husband, Marion County Sheriff's Department investigators said. After people in the house in the 800 block of Lyons Avenue called 911 Monday morning, firefighters went to the house and found Katelyn Medsker was dead. What the girl's mother told the firefighters hasn't been revealed by detectives, but it led to her arrest. "She made incriminating statements to fire officials as well as sheriff's officials," said Lt. Mike Turk of the sheriff's investigations division. According to a printed sheriff's report, Medsker said, "I took his breath away by putting my hands on her." Crystal Medsker, 23, is being held in the Marion County Lockup on preliminary murder charges. No court date was immediately set. "She was a beautiful child. She's never been in trouble before in her whole life," said Medsker's mother, Delores McGarr. "She loved her kids more than anything in this world." Medsker lived with her husband, Milton Medsker, in the 4500 block of West Beecher Street. She had no criminal record in Marion County; jail records list her as unemployed. She had left her home Sunday with Katelyn after arguing with her husband, investigators said. Medsker's 6-year-old son from a previous relationship was not with her. McGarr said the Medskers had argued before, and her daughter would spend a few days at her house until things calmed down. But McGarr had left Indianapolis this weekend, and Medsker went to the Westside home. Investigators believe the baby died Sunday night or Monday morning. The reason hasn't been determined, and investigators are waiting for an autopsy today to determine the exact cause and time of death. Firefighters found Katelyn dead on a bare mattress on a bedroom floor. Conditions in the house were "probably nothing that you and I would tolerate," Turk said. Monday's death was the second time this month an infant has died under unusual circumstances in the Sheriff's Department's patrol jurisdiction. Last week, a baby boy at an unlicensed day-care center became tangled in straps on a swing and choked, dying two days later. Recent abuse deaths include: • Caleb Hope, 7 months, killed in June 2001. Sandra Shearer, the live-in girlfriend of the boy's father, was charged with murder. • Willon Blanchard, 2 months, killed in April 2001 and found several months later, buried in a field. His father was charged with murder. From July 2000 to July 2001, according to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, 45 children in Indiana died from abuse or neglect."

Date: April 9, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Tribune Newspaper. http://www.chicagotribune.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Lemak gets life term for killing her 3 kids: Saying he wanted Marilyn Lemak to ponder her "terrible acts" the rest of her days, a DuPage County judge Monday sentenced the Naperville woman to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the 1999 drugging and suffocation of her three children. "It is appropriate that every day as you look at the walls, the floor, the ceiling, the bars, you will see the faces of these young children and hear these young voices asking you, `Why, Mom? We loved you, Mom. Why did you do this to us?'" Judge George Bakalis said, adding that he would order psychiatric services for Lemak, "so you will always maintain the capacity to understand the horror of your crime." The harsh rebuke from the normally reserved Bakalis visibly rattled Lemak and drew tears from her ex-husband, David Lemak, who moments before had delivered a moving 4-minute statement about the loss of his children. Taking a moment to describe the children, David Lemak introduced each with the phrase, "Let me tell you a little bit about ..." Nicholas, 7, then Emily, 6, then Thomas, 3. His oldest child was a good student who loved to learn and dress up as a policeman or secret agent, he said. His daughter was a budding artist, he said, and his younger son, "the happiest child I've known." "His greatest thrill, I think, was every day," he said. Marilyn Lemak, 44, was found guilty of murder in December after a DuPage jury rejected her insanity claim at the end of a three-week trial. She is expected to be transferred from the DuPage County Jail to the Dwight Correctional Center by late Tuesday, authorities said. At Monday's 30-minute hearing in the Wheaton courthouse, Bakalis rejected arguments from defense attorneys who cited 17 alleged trial errors and asked for a new trial. Lemak's attorneys have argued that Illinois' insanity statute is unconstitutional, making it impossible for Lemak to receive a fair trial. They argued David Lemak's second wife, Janice, should not have been allowed to take the stand and tell the jury about harassing telephone calls, allegedly made by Marilyn Lemak, in the weeks leading up to the slayings. Also outlined were concerns about a juror in the case. The Naperville man came to the attention of defense attorneys after being quoted in the Tribune after the trial that he "thought [Lemak] was guilty from the beginning," spurring the attorneys to question if he had preconceived ideas about the case. Bakalis rejected the arguments and a request to have the juror questioned. Bakalis pointed out he was limited by Illinois statutes to the sentence he handed down Monday after prosecutors in January decided against seeking capital punishment. Calling the life sentence appropriate, Bakalis said Lemak deserved to be punished for robbing society of the children's potential. Each could have become "a great scientist, a talented actor or musician, a skilled doctor or a gifted athlete," the judge said. "Maybe they would have become none of these things. Maybe they would have just been ordinary people that would have loved and been loved in return." On the advice of her attorneys, Lemak made no statement before she was sentenced. Lead defense lawyer John Donahue promised an appeal within 30 days. During her trial, Lemak's lawyers described her as seriously depressed and said she lost her sanity as her marriage dissolved. She killed her children and attempted suicide believing they would be reunited in a better place, the defense said. On March 4, 1999, Marilyn Lemak fed her children peanut butter laced with antidepressants and then suffocated them with her bare hands. Prosecutors arguing that Lemak killed her children out of anger after her husband began dating. Marilyn Lemak's parents and sisters attended the hearing but declined to comment afterward. David Lemak's family, including his wife, also left the courthouse without commenting. DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett praised the sentence. Lemak, who has been a nurse, wife and mother, will now become an inmate serving the sentence "she richly deserves," Birkett said. Donahue, Birkett and Bakalis all offered condolences to David Lemak and his family. Attorneys and other observers of the case have said it will be Lemak's haunting reflections on his loss throughout the ordeal that stays with them. "I have had to experience seeing photographs of their dead faces and see their three coffins in a cold cemetery," Lemak said Monday. "I have had to bear the comprehension that their deaths were not without pain, and that I could not save them."

Date: April 8, 2002. News Source: The Orange County Register Newspaper. http://www.ocregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Baby died after 3 reports of abuse: A watchdog group says authorities didn't do their job in the case of a 13-month-old Anaheim girl. Police and county Social Services agents should have acted sooner to remove four Anaheim children from the custody of their parents instead of waiting until the death of a 13-month-old girl last month, officials at a private child-protection agency say. Infant Samantha Rose Gutierrez was found dead March 26 inside her parent's North Harbor Boulevard home. At least three separate child-abuse reports had been made to police or Social Services investigators since November, but the child was allowed to remain in the home, police confirmed. After her death, Samantha's three siblings were immediately placed in protective custody while police investigate whether child abuse was involved in her death. "Obviously, somebody dropped the ball," said Lorri Galloway, director of The Eli Home, an Orange-based nonprofit group that advocates for abused or neglected children. "I believe there was enough evidence there that somebody should have been aware to do something. They need to err on the side of protecting the child." Officials with the county's Children and Family Services division said they are precluded by law from publicly discussing their involvement. They have opened their own investigation into the case. Dr. Michael Riley, director of Children and Family Services, said his agency is often caught between a rock and a hard place in trying to keep children safe without needlessly separating families. "We really work hard at being very balanced in our assessment and investigation," he said. An Anaheim police spokesman said officers only visited the Gutierrez home once - on Jan. 17 - and found no obvious signs of abuse. Luis and Star Gutierrez, the girl's parents, declined requests for an interview. The parents have spoken to police but have not been arrested. "Right now there's a possibility there's a crime, but we're not sure yet because the coroner has not ruled on a cause of death," Sgt. Mike Hidalgo said. Police would not disclose whether the child's body showed signs of injury. An autopsy was performed last month, but coroner's officials are seeking additional tests and don't expect to announce a cause of death for one to three months. The Eli Home has followed Samantha's case since January, when a roommate of the child's parents notified Eli Home officials that she feared for the girl's safety, Galloway said. Dulce Soriano, who shared a subdivided garage with Samantha's family, said she called Social Services several times in recent months to report that the mother often yelled at the infant and appeared to handle the child in a rough fashion. Eli Home officials said a counselor from their agency called the county's child-abuse hot line Jan. 17 after receiving a panicked call from Soriano, who said she heard what sounded like a child being slammed against a wall. The thumping sound was reportedly followed by Samantha's screams. Police said they were called to the scene by Social Services on the same day but found no obvious evidence of abuse. Upon learning that police took no action, counselors from The Eli Home visited the Gutierrez family the next day and managed to see the baby. "There was swelling and a black eye, and bruises on the left arm," Galloway said. The officers who responded did not know that two previous child-abuse reports had been made about Samantha, Sgt. Hidalgo said. Detectives investigating the death have since learned that an emergency-room doctor at an unspecified Anaheim hospital made a child-abuse report in December while treating Samantha for a broken elbow. A month earlier, Social Services officials went to the Gutierrez home after receiving another child-abuse report from an unknown individual. Samantha's death marks at least the second time in four months that an Orange County child has died amid allegations of improper oversight by government agencies. In December, 18-month-old Darian Robinson was found beaten to death inside his mother's Fullerton apartment. His mother, Sherri Robinson, has been charged with his murder. State and county investigators found that a welfare-fraud investigator from the District Attorney's Office ignored a child-abuse report from Robinson's neighbor on the day before that baby was found dead."

Date: April 7, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "California woman who murdered three of her sons is sentenced to death. VENTURA, Calif. (AP) -- A mother of four has been sentenced to death for killing three of her sons -- ages 5, 8 and 11 -- by shooting them with a handgun as they slept. Judge Donald Coleman sentenced Socorro Caro to death Friday after denying a defense motion for retrial. In his ruling, Coleman said the killings were premeditated and were deserving of execution. A jury convicted Caro in November of three counts of first-degree murder. Jurors also recommended the death penalty. Prosecutor Cheryl Temple expressed relief over the sentence. "The jury worked very hard to come to their decision," she said. "We're very pleased the court agreed with the jury's interpretation and our interpretation and imposed this sentence." After-hours calls to the public defender's office were not answered. In the motion for a new trial, Deputy Public Defender Jean Farley alleged juror and prosecutorial misconduct and legal errors by the judge. Farley presented sworn affidavits from an alternate juror and a former panel member who said they witnessed other jurors consistently talking about the case before deliberations, which is prohibited. But Coleman agreed with prosecutors that such conduct did not influence the jury's decision. Prosecutors had said Caro 44, was angry after a fight with her husband and methodically shot the boys with a handgun while they slept at their million-dollar Santa Rosa Valley home on Nov. 22, 1999. A fourth infant son was unharmed. She then shot herself in the head but survived, authorities said. Caro's defense originally contended that her husband, Dr. Xavier Caro, killed her children, then shot and framed her. She had pleaded innocent to the murder charges, but later changed her plea to innocent by reason of insanity. "She was angry and lashed out and used these children as symbolic pawns to get revenge on her husband," Temple said. "She wanted her husband to come home and find a house full of bodies." Temple said investigators determined through phone records and surveillance cameras that Xavier Caro had just left work at the time of the killings and could not have been involved. But outside court, the defendant's relatives shouted at Xavier Caro, calling him a killer. "I'm going to tell you, I hope this man burns in hell for what he did," said Ester Donhauser, Socorro Caro's aunt. Xavier Caro filed for divorce after the killings and has custody of the couple's 3-year-old son."

Date: April 6, 2002. News Source: The Times Online Newspaper. http://www.thetimes.co.uk. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Life for addict who beat and starved boy to death: A heroin addict was ordered to spend a minimum of 16 years in jail yesterday for the murder of a two-year-old boy who suffered weeks of starvation and beatings at his hands. The skeletal frame of Scott Saunders bore the marks of 150 separate injuries consistent with being punched, kicked, bitten and dragged across floorboards. His internal organs had begun to change in a way usually seen only in starving Third World children. The boy died alone two months before his third birthday in a cold, bare room at his home in Rutherglen, Glasgow, where he had been left for two days without food or water. In the final week of his life neighbours saw his tear-stained face at the window, his hands clawing the glass. No one alerted the authorities. Yesterday his mother’s boyfriend, Mark Connelly, 29, was jailed for life at the High Court in Edinburgh after being unanimously convicted of murder. The judge, Lord Kingarth, told Connelly: “The horrifying nature of your crime will live with all of us who have listened to and seen the evidence.” The court was told that Scott was a happy and well-nourished child until five weeks before his death on March 31, 2000. His parents were former drug addicts and he was not on any “at risk” register. But his father, George Saunders, 27, moved out of the family home after discovering that the boy’s mother, Cheryl Hanson, 29, was working as a prostitute to pay for her rekindled heroin habit and was having an affair with Connelly, also an addict. Within five weeks of Connelly moving into the home, Scott had died of pneumonia brought on by his injuries. Traces of the drug temazepam were found in his body. The court was told that he had suffered from hypothermia and malnutrition, having been fed, on Connelly’s orders, on cornflakes or bread and butter and water only twice a day. In the final week of his life he was beaten for asking for a glass of water. He was then left alone for two days and nights without food while his mother and Connelly indulged their heroin habits. On the day he died his mother obtained a crisis social security loan claiming that she needed to feed her hungry child, but spent the money on drugs and at the bookmakers. Hanson is serving a nine-year sentence for the culpable homicide of her son. Passing sentence, Lord Kingarth told Connelly: “Although it is the view of the pathologist that the child did not die directly from the injuries he suffered, you have nevertheless been found guilty of a series of despicable assaults on a defenceless little boy."

Date: April 5, 2002. News Source: The San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper. http://www.sfgate.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Santa Clara family shot to death: Police suspect mom killed 4 in murder-suicide. On coroner's gurneys, they came out one by one last night from a home in a quiet neighborhood in Santa Clara. And then, a fourth tiny body, in a white sheet cradled in the arms of an investigator. They were a mother, father and two young daughters who died in an apparent murder-suicide, which probably occurred Monday night. It was a scene not unlike the bloody rampage that left five people dead in Merced last week. Except in this case, police think the mother did it. They found a .38-caliber revolver in her hand. Her 4-year-old daughter was dead, in bed with her. Her other daughter and estranged husband were dead of gunshot wounds downstairs. Santa Clara city police said the four bodies were discovered yesterday just after noon. "It's a very disturbing crime scene for me," said Detective Kurt Clarke. "I have kids. There's a lot of blood." Police said some of the victims were shot more than once and that the pistol had to have been reloaded before it was all over. Police would not release the names of the Santa Clara victims, but neighbors and property records for the home indicated that they were Uli Schiefer, 38; his wife, Tae Schiefer, 42; their 4-year-old daughter, Jessica; and Elsa, Tae Schiefer's 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. The bodies were discovered around 12:30 p.m. Police said the mother and 4- year-old were found upstairs. The father was in the living room, the 12-year- old in the family room downstairs. Sgt. Phil Cooke said there were signs of a struggle in the home. Police found some writings in the home but did not know if they were related to the killings because they were not in English. Doh Kim, who bought the couple's previous Santa Clara home on Warburton Avenue, said Uli Schiefer was German and a software engineer and that Tae Schiefer was Korean. Police were called to the Schiefers' Madrone Avenue home by Uli Schiefer's boss from work. The father was last seen by co-workers on Friday and was due back on Tuesday but had not shown up, prompting his boss to go look for him, police said. On coroner's gurneys, they came out one by one last night from a home in a quiet neighborhood in Santa Clara. And then, a fourth tiny body, in a white sheet cradled in the arms of an investigator. They were a mother, father and two young daughters who died in an apparent murder-suicide, which probably occurred Monday night. It was a scene not unlike the bloody rampage that left five people dead in Merced last week. Except in this case, police think the mother did it. They found a .38-caliber revolver in her hand. Her 4-year-old daughter was dead, in bed with her. Her other daughter and estranged husband were dead of gunshot wounds downstairs. Santa Clara city police said the four bodies were discovered yesterday just after noon. "It's a very disturbing crime scene for me," said Detective Kurt Clarke. "I have kids. There's a lot of blood." Police said some of the victims were shot more than once and that the pistol had to have been reloaded before it was all over. The deaths come just a week after a retired Santa Clara County deputy sheriff, distraught over the breakup of his marriage, shot his young daughter and three stepchildren to death last week in their Merced home and then killed himself. Police would not release the names of the Santa Clara victims, but neighbors and property records for the home indicated that they were Uli Schiefer, 38; his wife, Tae Schiefer, 42; their 4-year-old daughter, Jessica; and Elsa, Tae Schiefer's 12-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. The bodies were discovered around 12:30 p.m. Police said the mother and 4- year-old were found upstairs. The father was in the living room, the 12-year- old in the family room downstairs. Sgt. Phil Cooke said there were signs of a struggle in the home. Police found some writings in the home but did not know if they were related to the killings because they were not in English. Doh Kim, who bought the couple's previous Santa Clara home on Warburton Avenue, said Uli Schiefer was German and a software engineer and that Tae Schiefer was Korean. Police were called to the Schiefers' Madrone Avenue home by Uli Schiefer's boss from work. The father was last seen by co-workers on Friday and was due back on Tuesday but had not shown up, prompting his boss to go look for him, police said. When the boss' knock went unanswered, he went to the rear of the home and looked through a window, police said. He spotted bodies and used his cell phone to call police. Detectives tentatively put the time of death at Monday evening. Police would not say whether they had ever been called to the home for any disturbances, or whether there were restraining orders issued against either of the parents. Police said the couple had been separated for several months and that Uli Schiefer had been living out of the area. Investigators were trying to contact relatives in Germany and Korea to try to get more information about their relationship, police said. Uli Schiefer worked in the Mountain View office of Remedy Corp., a corporate network support company that was acquired by Peregrine Systems Inc., a San Diego firm, in August 2001. Phyllis Friedman, a former office manager at Remedy who was laid off after the company merged with Peregrine, described Schiefer as a "wonderful guy" who had worked at Remedy for at least 4 years. "I know he was a person with a lot of spirit. Uli was very much a part of things. He was very personable," she said. She said she had also met his wife at several company occasions. "She was really, really sweet." The company has undergone several rounds of layoffs, and she said she was not sure whether Schiefer, a software engineer, had lost his job. The couple bought the 4- bedroom home in 2000 for $798,000, records indicate. It is 1,810 square feet, with a pool. Neighbors said the family members were sociable and attended the annual block party on the street. They said Jessica, the 4-year-old, played soccer, and Elsa, the 12-year-old, was active in the Girl Scouts and ran track at school. Laura Ashby said Tae Schiefer was an "absolute doll," and that the kids brought flowers for Ashby's ailing father on Easter. Gloria Noble, who uses a wheelchair and oxygen tank, said Tae Schiefer was always offering to help her, or apologizing for not coming around. "I just can't believe it," she said last night. "It's amazing." Detective Clarke said the killings were Santa Clara's first homicides this year. But murder-suicides involving families are far from rare. Last May, a 68-year-old Gilroy man used a high-powered rifle to kill his wife and mother-in-law before taking his own life, Santa Clara County Sheriff's officials said. In November 1999, the wife of a respected Los Angeles physician, described as a doting mother and active churchgoer, apparently shot and killed her three children, then tried to kill herself with a gunshot to the head."

Date: April 4, 2002. News Source: The Houston Chronicle Newspaper. http://www.chron.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Drowning case similar to Yates' under way in Germany: BERLIN -- A U.S. Army soldier accused of murdering her two young children by drowning them in the bathtub at their home gave tearful testimony today before a court-martial in the western German city of Mannheim. Spc. Lillie Morgan admits killing her three-year-old son Joshua and 2-month-old daughter Jazmin in a case that recalls that of Andrea Yates, a mother of five sentenced to life in Houston last month for drowning her children. Prosecutors say the 22-year-old acted out of revenge against a husband she suspected of cheating on her. Defense attorneys, meanwhile, are pleading insanity resulting from Morgan's own fraught childhood. The trial opened Monday. Morgan, of Marksville, Tenn., testified for about four hours Thursday under questioning first from her attorneys and then by prosecutors. "She told the court in her own words how she grew up, how she experienced her relationships with her mother, her husband" and other relatives, said Hilde Patton, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army's V Corps, based in Heidelberg. Prompted by indirect questions, she also told of the events leading up to the killings last Sept. 18 at her at her military accommodation in Hanau, Germany. "There were times when she cried and got upset," Patton said. Earlier this week, prosecutors presented testimony from an Army forensic pathologist and autopsy photos of the children as they argued that Morgan had committed a "perfectly evil" murder out of jealousy and the desire to get back at her husband. Defense attorney Capt. Tom Fleener has countered that an "incredibly dysfunctional" family history of neglect, drugs, sexual abuse and mental illnesses lay behind the killing. Coupled with alleged abuse from her husband, the father of the younger child, Morgan suffered a "psychotic meltdown," Fleener told the court Tuesday, and was innocent as charged. Morgan's husband, a former American soldier, is not under investigation in connection with the killings. The trial was to continue Monday with witness testimony. Army judge Lt. Col. Stephen Henley -- Morgan waived her right to a jury trial -- is expected to reach a verdict next week. Morgan could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment."

Date: April 3, 2002. News Source: The Indianapolis Star Newspaper. http://www.starnews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Death of baby shows cracks in system: Couple say they'll never forgive the system that removed young boy from a loving family. Lisa Curran was in the delivery room when Caleb was born on Nov. 4, 2000. She and her husband, Sean, already were raising Kathleen Hope's other two children, Brien, 2, and Alyssa, 6. But the foster parents knew raising Caleb would not be easy. He was born addicted to crack cocaine, which caused a host of medical problems. Curran spent the first few weeks rocking the tiny bundle through nightlong bouts of jitters and shakes as Caleb worked the drugs out of his system. Now that he's gone, she cherishes the memory of those sleepless nights on the living room recliner. The Currans say they'll never forgive the system that took Caleb from a loving family and placed him in the care of his biological father, who molested him, and the man's girlfriend, who is accused of killing the boy. "We thought somewhere along the way there would be some form of abuse or neglect, and Caleb would get taken away" from his father, Sean Curran said. "If I'd have had any idea he was as perverted as he is, I'd have made the judge come and take him from us." Attorney T.R. Fox said Drummond wanted to do the right thing by raising his son. He took parenting classes and other steps the court asked. He won custody April 14. Caleb died June 14. "A mother's intuition means nothing in a courtroom," said Lisa Curran. "I expressed my reservations every step of the way. (Caleb's caseworker) heard everything I said, but she was bound by procedures." State child welfare officials say the law requires them to reunite families. "Children feel safer with family. It's familiar; people love them," said Wanda Goodloe, state program director for Child Protection Services. The sexual abuse the boy endured was discovered only after Caleb's violent death. A Marion Superior Court jury last week found Drummond guilty of molesting Caleb. Drummond has maintained his innocence, but he told police he accidentally abused Caleb when he was bouncing the boy on his lap. "God forgive what happened, and I'm sorry if I didn't bring it out sooner," Drummond told police in a recorded statement. "But if you were in my shoes, what would you do?" Drummond is scheduled to be sentenced April 24. He faces a maximum of 50 years in prison. Sandra Shearer, 29, is accused of murder in Caleb's death. She is scheduled to go on trial May 20."

Date: April 2, 2002. News Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Newspaper. http://www.jsonline.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Homicide charge sought in infant's death: Waupaca - Prosecutors said Monday that they plan to charge a man in the death of his baby daughter. Chad Sprenger, 24, already has been charged with three felony counts of child abuse after his 9-month-old daughter, Alexis, was hospitalized Wednesday. The baby died Sunday of a skull fracture and other injuries at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa. Assistant District Attorney Jim Fassbender said Monday that prosecutors will amend one of those charges to first-degree reckless homicide after they receive an autopsy report and other information. The charge carries a maximum of 60 years in prison. Waupaca County Circuit Judge Philip Kirk increased Sprenger's bail Monday from $25,000 to $200,000 because of the expected homicide charge. Sprenger admitted he threw the child onto a hardwood floor at their Clintonville home late on March 26, said Don Conat, a detective with the Waupaca County Sheriff's Department. The baby's mother found her unresponsive in her crib the next day and called authorities. Sprenger admitted causing other injuries to the baby last August, including broken bones, Conat said. Sprenger's next court appearance is scheduled for April 9."

Date: April 1, 2002. News Source: The Associated Press News Service. http://www.ap.org. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom convicted in toilet-training death shouldn't get 2nd chance, Illinois says. The Associated Press. CHICAGO - A Jerseyville woman convicted in the brutal 1989 death of her 2-year-old son shouldn't get the chance to raise another baby, the Illinois Attorney General's office told an Appellate Court. A Jersey County judge in November ruled that Sheryl Hardy, 33, had turned her life around since her 1990 murder conviction in Florida and deserved a chance to raise her son Billy, who was born to Hardy and her new husband, Randy Hardy, last year. The attorney general's office and Jersey County State's Attorney Mary Kirbach are appealing the ruling. Due to Sheryl Hardy's past crime, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had taken custody of Billy Hardy the day after he was born. Attorney General Jim Ryan's office mailed its argument to the Appellate Court in Springfield on Friday, Lori Balas, a spokeswoman for the office, said Monday. In it, assistant attorney general Richard Huszagh said Hardy failed to prove she had changed her ways since her 1989 crime, for which she served nine years of a 30-year prison sentence. He said that a psychiatrist who examined Hardy before her custody hearing in Illinois said she had made progress, but also recommended DCFS closely monitor the baby in the Hardys' care. "He stated that ... it would be better to keep Billy in DCFS custody than return him to the Hardys' unsupervised care," Huszagh told the court. "Yet that is exactly what the circuit court ordered," he said. Hardy has admitted standing by smoking a cigarette while her former husband, Thomas Coe, rammed her son's head down a toilet like a plunger after the toddler soiled his pants. When the toddler later died of head injuries, doctors found bruises all over his body, particularly on his genitals. Prosecutors say Hardy, then Sheryl Coe, had abused Bradley McGee long before the final incident. The crime prompted the Florida Legislature to overhaul its child-protection laws and spend $78 million improving child-abuse detection. Sheryl Hardy could not be reached Monday by The Associated Press. Her phone number is not publicly listed. The Appellate Court is expected to issue a ruling in the case over the next few months."

Date: March 31, 2002. News Source: The Warren Tribune-Chronicle Newspaper. http://www.tribune-chronicle.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother charged in murder: WARREN - Less than 24 hours after authorities launched a hunt for a hit-and-run motorist who killed an Austintown girl, Weathersfield police Chief Joe Consiglio announced Saturday morning that the girl's mother had been charged with deliberately killing her daughter so she might be sent to a ''better place.'' Sherry Marie Delker, 27, 36 N. Turner Road, Austintown, was taken into custody about 9:30 p.m. Friday. She faces aggravated murder charges after a special Saturday afternoon court appearance before Trumbull Common Pleas Judge Peter Kontos. Delker is charged with aggravated murder after being accused of killing her 6-year-old daughter, Samantha Mae Martin, by running her over with a car Friday. Delker is accused of killing her only daughter, Samantha Mae Martin, 6, a first-grader at Lloyd Elementary School in Austintown. The murder case is a potential capital case since it involved the purposeful killing of a child younger than 13. But the capital specification will first have to be considered by a grand jury. The case has been assigned to Judge John M. Stuard, and a pretrial is set for 1 p.m. April 8. Sometimes appearing scared and holding back tears in court, Delker pleaded innocent before Kontos and was being held without bond. Delker's daughter died at St. Elizabeth Health Center Friday morning. She had been transferred there from an Austintown ambulatory center where Delker had brought her after being struck by a car in Weathersfield Township. A state trooper said the girl was crushed to death when a tire ran over her chest about 8:30 a.m. Friday. According to an affidavit filed Saturday by Trumbull Prosecutor Dennis Watkins, Delker staged the pedestrian accident within sight of the Weathersfield Police headquarters on Prospect Street in Mineral Ridge and then picked up her injured daughter and took her to the ambulatory center, which normally treats less serious patients. One witness on Prospect Street told Weathersfield Detective Todd Stitt that he noticed a woman pull something from beneath her dark-colored car and put it in the back seat. The witness thought it was an animal, according to the affidavit. Delker became a suspect when Consiglio and two female detectives found inconsistencies in the mother's account of what happened Friday morning. The affidavit claims that Delker originally made up a story about a blue pickup truck or mini van running over her daughter. But by Friday evening, before she was formally charged, Delker confessed to Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Vickie Casey that she killed her daughter to send her to a better place because ''they were trying to take her baby away'' and ''to stop the abuse.'' In a statement Delker gave to Sheriff's Detective Latrese Morgan, the defendant said she stopped by St. Mary's Catholic Church, at the corner of Prospect and Ohio 46, to ''ask for forgiveness for sending her daughter to a better place.'' An autopsy done by Dr. Jesse Giles, a Mahoning County forensic pathologist, revealed that the girl had been sexually assaulted both vaginally and anally, the affidavit says. Detectives are believed to be pursuing that in a separate investigation. Consiglio said it didn't appear that Delker was familiar with Prospect Street since she later could only identify it as the road off Ohio 46 with the big white church on the corner. It was that church where she later admitted to stopping to ask for forgiveness. A witness who worked at the nearby church told Stitt that she saw a young girl near a dark car ''skipping'' before the incident. Besides praising the work of Casey and Morgan, Consiglio pointed out how Highway Patrol troopers called in evidence experts from Columbus, who arrived by helicopter Friday afternoon. The troopers matched a tire pattern on the defendant's car with a pattern found on Samantha's clothing. They also found fiber evidence on the undercarriage of the car and hair follicles and clothing embedded in the pavement of Prospect where scuff marks were noted as being consistent with a body being dragged by a car. Delker's black Chevrolet Lumina with a red pinstripe was towed by troopers from the Austintown ambulatory center, where it had been left, to the Southington Post of the Highway Patrol for further processing. Consiglio said typical blood evidence that pointed to the girl being transported for medical treatment also was evident in the car. Delker was not picked up for questioning until the child's natural father, Jeff McBeth, called Weathersfield police and told them Delker was at his Warren home. The woman was picked up there by sheriff's deputies and taken in for questioning shortly after 3:30 p.m. Friday. In court Saturday afternoon, Delker's attorney, Anthony Consoldane, argued unsuccessfully to have bond set and to seal the formal affidavit filed by prosecutors to show probable cause for the charge. Although Consoldane called the document inflammatory, Watkins said his affidavit was a public record, and Kontos described the draft as one of the least inflammatory affidavits he recently had read. Watkins later said that the state legislature provides for a recommendation of no bond in potential capital cases. Consoldane said his client, a single divorcee, had no job and was on disability after being diagnosed as schizophrenic. Delker and her daughter lived with Delker's father, Les Martin, in an apartment-like wing of his Austintown home, according to Consiglio."

Date: March 30, 2002. News Source: The Boston Herald Newspaper. http://www2.bostonherald.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Lowell father held on $1M bail in baby's slaying: A 21-year-old Lowell man was being held on $1 million bail yesterday after he was charged with killing his 7-week-old son. Alexandro F. Alves of 18 Pollard St. was originally charged Thursday with domestic assault and battery on a child under 14 in the death of his son, Samuel. But Middlesex County prosecutors upgraded the charges to murder yesterday after the Medical Examiner's Office determined the infant had died as a result of injuries he sustained by being violently shaken. Alves took the child to Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell about 9 a.m. Thursday, police said, but within an hour the baby was dead. Hospital staff called authorities, suspecting the death was suspicious. And by Thursday night, Lowell police had taken Alves into custody. Yesterday, the infant's mother wept silently in court as he was arraigned through a Portuguese-speaking interpreter and pleaded innocent to the assault and battery charges. Authorities said Alves was alone with his son Thursday morning and began to shake him violently when he would not stop crying. Sources said he admitted hurting the baby on several prior occasions, sometimes accidentally, at other times out of frustration. Initial autopsy results revealed the child had several broken bones. Assistant District Attorney Katharine Folger asked Judge Maurice Flynn to hold Alves on $1 million cash bail, citing the possibility that the charges would be upgraded to murder and that the defendant might flee the country. Alves got a job at a local pizza shop after emigrating from Brazil a few months ago, and none of the neighbors in his working-class Lowell neighborhood appeared to know him. ``I've seen him only three or four times,'' said Maria Rivera, who lives directly across the street from him and the child's mother. ``They seem like normal people. They're very, very quiet, and they seem hard-working.'' Rivera said she was home Thursday morning, but never heard the child cry. `It's so sad,'' said Linda Lemieux, who lives two doors away from the modest three-decker where the suspect lives. ``It took me 20 years to have my daughter, and I could never do that.''"

Date: March 29, 2002. News Source: The Buffalo News Newspaper. http://www.buffalonews.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Two-month-old girl fighting for life after severe abuse: A 2-month-old Town of Niagara baby remained in critical condition in Children's Hospital today with a skull fracture and other head injuries suffered in what investigators call one of the most shocking cases of child abuse they've seen. Corinne F. Paterson suffered a seizure in her pediatrician's office on Friday and was rushed to Children's Hospital. After doctors stabilized the infant's condition and determined that the injuries were a result of child abuse, Niagara County sheriff's investigators charged her father, Aaron A. Paterson, 27, of Tuscarora Road, with three counts of first-degree assault. "This is one of the worst cases of child abuse I've ever seen," said Investigator Joseph Taylor. Sheriff's officials have accused the father of three separate assaults, all in the family's home, dating back to earlier this month: March 9, frustrated by his daughter's crying, Paterson is accused of cutting off her air supply for about 30 seconds by holding her face in his shoulder. March 16, he's accused of shaking the baby for 30 seconds. March 18, he's accused of slamming her head into a door jamb, apparently causing the skull fracture. Investigators say the baby's mother, Melissa, was home during the incidents, but witnessed none of them and was unaware of any trouble until she noticed how listless the baby seemed and took her to the doctor. Aaron Paterson pleaded not guilty to the three first-degree assault charges Monday and was sent to Niagara County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail."

Date: March 28, 2002. News Source: The Roanoke Times Newspaper. http://www.roanoke.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: She says she knew her boyfriend molested or beat her 16-month-old twins: Mother pleads no contest to child abuse charges. Both children were taken from the woman's custody. Her boyfriend, Timothy Hackney, is awaiting trial. A Roanoke woman told police she knew her boyfriend, a convicted sex offender, had physically and sexually abused her twin 16-month-old children, according to court testimony Wednesday. But she had lost children to Social Services workers in the past, she told investigators, and didn't want that to happen again. Authorities say the abuse ended in December, when the woman and her boyfriend, Timothy Hackney, took the girl to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. She was suffering severe vaginal bleeding, and her face and body were bruised and cut, hospital officials said when they called the police. The woman, 29, pleaded no contest Wednesday to two counts of felony child abuse. The Roanoke Times is not identifying the woman to protect her children's privacy. "She did not act on suspicious behavior she had seen herself, and she lied about the girl's injuries" at the hospital, Roanoke police Detective Tim Spence testified. Authorities say Hackney, 36, sexually and physically abused the girl, and physically abused the boy. Both children have been taken from the woman's custody. Hackney is in Roanoke City Jail, charged with object sexual penetration. Another convicted sex offender, James Rodney Lester, has also been jailed in the case. Lester and Hackney, who met in a sex offender treatment group, became friends, according to testimony. Lester even baby-sat the children on several occasions, as did Hackney when the woman was at work, Spence said. The woman knew that both men were not allowed unsupervised contact with children and that they were not allowed contact with each other outside the sex offender group, Spence said. But not only did she allow it, she can be seen and her voice heard in a home video in which the men taunted probation officers as the children ran around the hotel room where they lived in the 4500 block of Melrose Avenue Northwest, Roanoke Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Ann Gardner said. Circuit Judge Robert "Pat" Doherty convicted her and ordered a presentence report. She remained free on bond Wednesday."

Date: March 27, 2002. News Source: The Orange County Register Newspaper. http://www.ocregister.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Retired deputy kills 4 children, himself: While his estranged wife is jogging, he shoots their daughter and three stepchildren. MERCED -- A retired sheriff's deputy fatally shot his 5-year-old daughter and his three teen-age stepchildren before killing himself Tuesday while his ex-wife was jogging, investigators said. Christine McFadden found her 17-year-old daughter lying dead in a hallway near her bedroom when she returned to the house shortly after 7 a.m., said Merced County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Cavallero. She rushed next door to call police and then went back to the gray ranch-style home with deputies to find her three other children and her estranged husband lying dead in separate bedrooms. Former Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy John Hogan, 49, was found in the bed of the master bedroom, holding his dead 5-year-old daughter, Michelle Hogan, in his arms. The victims appeared to have been sleeping. "No word can explain walking through that," said sheriff's commander Mark Pazin. "I can't put it into words. It's horrifying." Melanie Willis, 17, and Stanley Willis, 15, were students at Golden Valley High School. Stuart Willis, 14, was an eighth-grader, and Michelle was in preschool at Our Lady of Mercy School. Melanie, a junior, was a straight-A student, ranked second in her class of 467 students, and was on the ballot Friday to become senior class vice president. Stanley was on the baseball team. "They were very positive and engaging kids," said Golden Valley Principal Ralf Swenson. "Melanie had some very high goals for herself. I think she talked about going to Stanford." Hogan and McFadden married in December 1995. Three years later, they separated and she claimed in an application for a restraining order that he was verbally abusive and used foul language around the children, according to papers in Merced Family Law Court. "My husband has a very bad temper and when he gets angry he explodes," McFadden wrote in June 1998. Hogan retired as a deputy in 1993 for undisclosed medical reasons after 10 years on the force, said Terrance Helm of the Santa Clara sheriff's department. For the past six years, he worked as a private investigator, said Casey Simmons, a defense lawyer for juveniles who hired him and considered him a friend. Simmons said she was shocked by the news because Hogan loved his daughter. She said he was always calm and never showed any signs of violence or a temper while working with kids. Hogan's life took an abrupt downturn last year when he and McFadden split up for good, Simmons said. He became despondent and quit working, she said. "Obviously what he was trying to do was hurt Christine as deeply as possible," Simmons said. Hogan apparently got into his ex-wife's house with his .40-caliber handgun after she and a neighbor went jogging at 6 a.m. Hogan called a former co-worker at the Santa Clara Sheriff's office and left a message that he was bankrupt and depressed, said Assistant Sheriff Henry Strength. Officers had been called to the house in the past for domestic disturbances and McFadden had a restraining order in the past, Strength said. But it was not immediately clear if it was in effect. Merced deputies were shaken by the killings and counseling for officers was scheduled for Wednesday. The department has investigated a number of grisly crime scenes in recent years. In the summer of 2000, a Delhi teen-ager beheaded his mother and was found sitting naked in her blood, reading the Bible.

Date: March 26, 2002. News Source: The British Broadcasting Corporation World Service. http://news.bbc.co.uk. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Baby boy sacrificed in north India: Police in northern India have arrested five members of a family and accused them of sacrificing a young boy to invoke the help of the Hindu goddess of wealth, Laxmi. The family, from a remote area of Uttar Pradesh, is reported to have told police they were following a magician's advice that sacrificing a baby boy of the highest Hindu caste would bring them wealth. Indian police recovered the decapitated body of the two-year-old from a village pond, and say they have sent reinforcements to the area in case of retaliatory caste violence."

Date: March 25, 2002. News Source: The Augusta Chronicle Newspaper. http://www.augustachronicle.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Child abuse was suspected: An Augusta woman charged last week with abusing her 6-month-old daughter had been investigated by police a month before, police said Monday. Authorities investigated Shannon N. Claiborne, 23, and her boyfriend after Tyasia Claiborne was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Feb. 2. The boyfriend, Tyrone Levon Brown, told police the baby fell from a bed while he was caring for her. He said the mother was working in Beech Island at the time. Last week, Ms. Claiborne returned to MCG and told doctors her child had had a seizure. Doctors found signs of abuse, including a fractured collarbone and bleeding in the brain, police said. On Thursday, police charged Ms. Claiborne with felony cruelty to children. She remained in jail Monday. Tyasia was still in critical condition."

Date: March 24, 2002. News Source: The South Florida Sun-Sentinel Newspaper. http://www.sun-sentinel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Miramar mom charged in tot's death: Miramar- The Miramar woman who police say drowned her 2-year-old daughter in the bathtub Friday and then tried to kill herself has been charged with aggravated child abuse and first-degree murder, a police spokesman said. Eulie Polanco, 30, was in a coma at Memorial Regional Hospital on Saturday. Polanco called a friend Friday afternoon and said she'd just drowned her baby and was going to kill herself. Police officers and rescue workers forced their way into Polanco's Meadows of Miramar duplex and found the woman bleeding in the bathtub with her daughter, Dana, and a hair dryer. Medics rushed the 2-year-old to Memorial Hospital West in Pembroke Pines, where she died. The Medical Examiner's Office determined drowning was the cause of death, according to Officer Bill Robertson. Polanco survived several self-inflicted cuts and a possible attempt to electrocute herself. Neighbors said she was going through a difficult divorce from her husband, Octavio Polanco, and had been waging a battle over visitation rights. But his lawyer, Jerrard Bernard Cutrone, said the parties met on Thursday and reached an agreement on visitation and child support."

Date: March 23, 2002. News Source: The Houston Chronicle Newspaper. http://www.chron.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mom arrested in death of 'Angel Doe': Tip, CPS file reveal mystery girl's identity. The mother of a little girl whose bruised, malnourished body was found in a southeast Houston ditch last year had a history of involvement with Children's Protective Services. That history, along with a tip, led Houston Police Department homicide investigators to Lafayette, La., where 40-year-old Connie Knight was arrested Thursday for the death of her daughter. "Angel Doe," as the little girl has been known since her body was discovered Sept. 9 in a rubbish-filled ditch in the 5100 block of Groveton, finally was identified this week. Raysate Knight was born May 20, 1995, and was 6 when she was killed by blunt trauma to the head. The girl was born in Houston, and police suspect she was killed here. Homicide investigators, who had been trying for six months to identify Angel Doe, received a tip in the case last week and followed it to CPS offices, where the agency's spokeswoman, Judy Hay, said Knight's file was found right away. Connie Knight, interviewed by authorities at the jail in Lafayette where she is being held, admitted causing the child's death, police said. They said the mother has told them she acted alone. The woman has been charged with injury to a child, police said, and will be returned to Houston. Investigators remained in Lafayette on Friday, and little was known about the motive for the child's death. Raysate was not supposed to be living with her mother, Hay said. Immediately after the girl was born, she was removed from Knight's custody because the mother tested positive for drug use, Hay said. Hay said that when Knight declined to submit to drug treatment after Raysate's birth, Knight's mother agreed to care for the child. In November 1996, Hay said custody of the child was transferred from CPS to the maternal grandmother. On the last CPS visit to the Knight home in 1998, Hay said Raysate remained with her grandmother, Knight's other children appeared well cared for, and Knight was cooperative and appeared to have ample support from her family. It is unknown when the child was returned to her mother, but police said Friday the grandmother apparently did so because she became ill and could no longer care for the child. They did not know whether the grandmother saw any of the extensive publicity given "Angel Doe," or ever guessed that the unidentified dead girl was her grandchild. Raysate was the fifth of six children born to Knight, Hay said, and the only one with whom the mother never bonded, since she never lived with her mother as an infant. An autopsy showed the girl has suffered long-term physical abuse. In 1998, CPS took custody of Knight's firstborn, who is now 19, but no abuse or negligence was ever indicated, Hay said. "He was a very, very disturbed child," Hay said of Knight's eldest. "She was not able to care for him, and he became dangerous." Hay said the boy remained in CPS custody until he became an adult. Knight's other children, girls ages 16, 13, and 8, and a 4-year-old boy, were taken into custody by Louisiana child welfare authorities after their mother's arrest, police said Friday. She apparently went to Lafayette late last year or early this year to live with the father of some of her children, who has relatives there, they said."

Date: March 22, 2002. News Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer Newspaper. http://enquirer.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Child-drowning trial set. The Associated Press. A woman who has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to the drownings of her two children in a bathtub was ordered today to stand trial on July 29. If convicted of the aggravated murder charges, Bridget Stovall could be sentenced to death. She waived her right to a jury trial and will be tried before a three-judge panel in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Stovall, 24, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the April 7 drownings of her 20-month-old son, Iyan, and daughter, Cariyan, 4. She said she drowned her two children in the family's apartment while trying to exorcise the devil from them, said her lawyer, Clyde Bennett II. "She's going to be found not guilty by reason of insanity. You can count on that because she was insane when she did this," Bennett said. Judge Fred Cartolano ruled in January that Stovall is now mentally competent to stand trial. She was initially considered psychologically unable to be tried and was placed in a psychiatric facility shortly after her arrest. Police broke down the door of Stovall's apartment, responding after a neighbor reported that a woman was screaming. Officers said they found Stovall in the bathroom with the two children. The children had been drowned in the bathtub, the Hamilton County coroner concluded. Stovall told mental health workers she was trying to exorcise the devil and baptize her children in the bathtub, Bennett told the judge at a hearing last year. Neighbors said Stovall previously had cared for her children and seemed to be a good mother. She had no history of child abuse or neglect charges, lawyers said."

Date: March 21, 2002. News Source: The Chicago Daily Southtown Newspaper. http://www.dailysouthtown.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Mother killed infant: Flick found guilty; had dumped body in a pond. The Southeast Side mother charged with killing her middle child and tossing his body in a Hammond pond sobbed as she was taken from the courtroom by sheriff's deputies, convicted of murder. Heather Flick, known as Heather Corman when she was first arrested by Hammond police in 1998, was convicted of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death after a two-day bench trial that ended Tuesday evening. Her baby was found in a plastic grocery bag in a pond, autopsied and buried by a group of local residents under a headstone that reads "Baby Boy Angel." Months later, police matched the baby to Flick, who had told her fianc頳he had a miscarriage. Neighbors and friends said Flick was smart, friendly, hardworking and a great mother to her daughter Sara, who was 2 when Flick was arrested. Some said it was hard to believe she would hurt anyone or break the law, especially since she had been vice president of the Chicago Police Explorers program, graduated early from high school and gone on to college while holding down two jobs to support Sara. But prosecutors said Flick, now 24, gave birth to healthy baby boy March 2, 1998, then stuffed a sock in his mouth, strangled him with a necktie and put his body in a plastic grocery sack. It wasn't an empty bag, so candy wrappers and discarded craft supplies accompanied the boy's body into the Hammond pond where he was found a month later by three children fishing there. Also in the bag were the pieces of a torn up note — a bet Flick made with her sister and then threw away — rating the chances of her marrying an old grade school acquaintance. Police were able to piece together the note, which started out, "I, Heather Corman ..." It wasn't long before police paid a visit to Flick at home where she lived with her parents in the 11000 block of Avenue J. Prosecutors said Flick first told police she had suffered a miscarriage. When police told Flick the baby had been murdered, she offered a different version of events, said Assistant State's Attorney Kent Delgado. She told police she had given birth when her fianc馣39;s male friend was at the house. She told police the friend said the baby was dead, and he left with the boy. Flick told police the friend instructed her not to tell anyone, prosecutors said. But that friend had an "airtight alibi," Delgado said. At the trial, Assistant State's Attorneys Delgado and Walt Hehner presented medical evidence proving the baby boy belonged to Flick. On Tuesday, the second day of the bench trial, Flick's lawyer called only one witness for the defense: Flick herself. Delgado said Flick took the stand and told a third version of events. She testified she gave birth to the boy at home, but instead of the male friend, it was her sister who came into the house while she delivered the boy. Flick testified her sister took the baby from the house and returned later without the boy. When she asked her sister about the baby, Flick said, her sister gave her a hug and told her everything would be all right. She testified the two never spoke again about it. Cook County Circuit Judge Colleen McSweeney-Moore did not believe Flick's version of events and convicted Flick on all charges. Lacking any criminal background, Flick is not eligible for the death penalty or life imprisonment. McSweeney-Moore can sentence Flick to 20 years to 60 years in prison for murder plus two to five extra years for concealment of a homicidal death. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 16. Meanwhile, Flick's husband and the father of their youngest child, 1-year-old Sydney, has filed for divorce and is seeking custody of both surviving children, according to court documents. In a recent court filing, Robert Flick said: "It is not in the physical or emotional best interests of the minor children to remain in the custody of Heather Flick." Heather Flick's mother, Brenda, attended the trial. "We're just dealing with it. Heather is in (jail) and there are two little girls to think about, too," she said. Flick had been free on bond for the four years after she was charged with murder. Her family helped post the $25,000. She married Robert Flick, gave birth to Sydney, and held down a job. Mother and wife, daughter and defendant, Heather Flick walked in and out of her court hearings through the main doors. On Tuesday night, she left the Criminal Courts building in handcuffs."

Date: March 20, 2002. News Source: The Everett Herald Newspaper. http://www.heraldnet.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Man charged with murder in daughter's death: SEATTLE - An unemployed Seattle man killed his 11-year-old daughter because she didn't fit in at school and because he didn't want her to live with her mother any more, prosecutors said Tuesday as they charged him with first-degree murder. William James Harrold, 51, was ordered held on $20 million bail. King County prosecutors said he posed a risk to himself and others and had access to a large inheritance from his father. Charging papers indicated Harrold explained his motive in letters he addressed to someone at St. Therese School, where his daughter, Tiffany Granquist, had been a pupil. They make reference to failure of "the System" to deal with her problems - she was expelled recently for a behavior disorder - and say Harrold didn't want to bring the girl to her mother's home in Marysville. "Her sweet, little life had spun out of control, and a halfway competent Dad decided he was not going to risk anymore damage in Marysville, and so he decided to give his only child to God," Harrold allegedly wrote. "This does not excuse what I have done, but at least it might help you push to include a child who doesn't quite fit in." He is scheduled to be arraigned April 1."

Date: March 19, 2002. News Source: The Toronto Sun newspaper. http://www.torontosun.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Teen in 'trance' when baby killed? Expert: Girl was likely traumatized giving birth. A 15-year-old Brampton girl charged with killing her baby girl moments after giving birth may have been in a "trance-like state" when the attack was carried out, a psychiatric expert said. The girl, who will face a second-degree murder charge in court tomorrow, follows a clear pattern of women who kill their babies within 24 hours of birth, said Dr. Donna Stewart. Stewart said these mothers often come from families where they fear the consequences of being an unwed mother. "Typically they are young teenagers, immature for their age, often very secretive, and they conceal the pregnancy," said Stewart, chairman of the Women's Health Network at the University of Toronto. "They usually give birth by themselves, most frequently in the bathroom. "The trauma of giving birth by themselves often makes them go into a trance-like state and they often kill the baby when they're in that very agitated trance-like state." Stewart has seen a few of these cases herself and testified in court as an expert witness. She said the girls look almost like they are sleepwalking. Usually within a couple of days they're back to their normal self and fewer than 20% have a diagnosable mental illness. "None of them I've seen have been in a normal frame of mind when they've done it," Stewart said. Police said the Brampton girl hid the pregnancy from her parents and friends for nine months before the baby girl's arrival forced the secret to be revealed. In a hectic series of events Saturday evening, police allege the teen gave birth in the second floor bathroom of her parents' house, stabbed the baby in the neck, then screamed for help. Both the mother and her newborn daughter were rushed by ambulance to William Osler Health Centre, where doctors could not save the baby. The 15-year-old was released from hospital Sunday and is being held at an Oakville detention centre until her court date. Police are still investigating who fathered the baby. A teen mother killing her newborn most commonly strangles, suffocates or drowns the baby, Dr. Stewart said. "Stabbing is the sixth most common way," she said. Peel Police Det.-Sgt. Rick DeFacendis said hiding a pregnancy does happen and teen girls determined to mask their increasing size can find ways to do it. "There are numerous examples we've seen where mothers have been completely able to conceal their pregnancies to full term," he said. "It's a great tragedy when somebody of this age feels she doesn't have the resources to deal with this in any other fashion," DeFacendis said. Jennifer Fodden, a clinical supervisor at Kids' Help Phone, said their hotline frequently takes calls from pregnant teens who want to explore their options. "We often get calls from girls with specific roadblocks," Fodden said. "They say abortion isn't possible, usually because of religion, or their parents will kick them out of the house. "There isn't a script for them," Fodden continues. "We let them know their rights legally and really try to connect them with a support organization." That could be alerting them to alternate housing, maternity homes, abortion clinics, or in some cases Children's Aid. Fodden said this case really highlights how important it is for parents to talk to their kids."

Date: March 18, 2002. News Source: WLKY News. http://www.thelouisvillechannel.com. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Camm Found Guilty Of Murdering Family; Ex Trooper Could Get 195 Years In Prison. NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- After three days and almost 30 hours of deliberations, jurors found David Camm guilty of murdering his family. Camm, a former Indiana State Police trooper, killed his wife, Kimberly, and his two children, Bradley and Jill, in their Georgetown, Ind., house in September 2000. NewsChannel 32's Abby Miller reported that the jury came back with its verdict shortly after 11 p.m., finding Camm guilty on all three counts of murder. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 65 years in jail. The decision came after almost 30 hours and three days of deliberations. Miller reported that as the guilty verdict was read, David Camm said "I was playing basketball" -- and hung his head. Miller reported that the jury's work is now done. Under Indiana law, it's up to the judge to decide on sentencing. Striegel said that sentencing will occur in about a month. Camm's sentences could run consecutively or concurrently. Miller reported that Striegel has been notoriously tough in the past with sentencing, but there's no indication which way he'll lean in this case. Miller reported that defense attorney Mike McDaniel will immediately file an appeal in the case. McDaniel cried foul when the jury first said that it couldn't come up with a sentence earlier Sunday. He said that there's a question of coercion, and believed that the jury should not have been sent on a dinner break and asked to deliberate more, Miller reported. Miller reported that Striegel did raise the possibility that they were straddling the line of "duress" -- how hard they could push the jury to make a decision. McDaniel also pointed to the evidence of Camm's extramarital affairs as another potential reason for appeal. He said that it never should have been allowed in the trial, Miller reported. "I'm just totally surprised," McDaniel said. "We tried the case out the way we wanted to try the case out -- blood spatter versus alibi. The only thing I can say is that I look forward to retrying the case without all the character assassination, and I think we'll probably be back here in 18 months." Miller reported that there was momentary chaos after the verdicts were read. Camm's sister, Julie Hogue, and his brother, Donnie Camm, had to be escorted out of the courtroom for an emotional outburst. Hogue stood up in the courtroom and screamed uncontrollably, Miller reported. Donnie Camm stood up and shouted at the jury, calling them "idiots," and saying that 11 people saw David Camm playing basketball the night of the murders. Camm's eldest daughter from a previous relationship had to be wheeled out of the courtroom on a stretcher, Miller reported. "Total shock." Camm's uncle Sam Lockhart said. "Unbelievable that a jury after nine weeks, comes in undecided then somebody changes their mind from not guilty to guilty. It's unbelievable." "There's someone out there who killed a wife and two kids walking the streets tonight," Donnie Camm said. Hogue talked to Miller about her feelings on the verdict. "It's horrible and excruciating," Hogue said. "We thought we lived through the worse, and it keeps getting worse. We were hoping and praying for the best, and in the end, an innocent man is being sent to jail." Hogue was upset that the jurors were sent back to deliberate more after it appeared they couldn't reach a decision. "I think someone caved in to what they believed in," Hogue said. "They caved in to the pressure from the other jurors. We have a hard time believing that someone who thought he was not guilty, now believes that he's guilty." Hogue said that the battle is far from over. "We will not stop fighting. He's an innocent man. We are not going away," Hogue said. Camm's family was supposed to get the chance to spend time with him after the verdict was read, but Camm was apparently too upset, Miller reported. Kimberly Camm's family said that the jury did their job well, and spoke of justice and closure, Miller reported. "We still don't have the kids back and we never will," Kimberly Camm's sister Debbie Karem said. "We won't have Kim back in our family and that can't be changed, but at least he's not out." "I think we feel a little bit of relief now ... a little bit satisfied with the results," Kimberly Camm's father Frank Renn said. "I know Kim is looking down now shaking her head at David Camm." "Three people lost their lives and we lost them -- it'll never be the same," Kimberly Camm's mother Janice Renn said."

Date: March 17, 2002. News Source: The Arizona Republic Newspaper. http://www.azcentral.com/news. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Phoenix father held in death of 3-year-old: A west Phoenix man was being held Saturday in Madison Street Jail after police said he abused and killed his 3-year-old daughter. Dannie Souza, 33, was booked on suspicion of second-degree murder and child abuse. He is being held in lieu of $123,000 bail. Souza called 911 about 10 p.m. Friday to report that his little girl wasn't breathing. Paramedics arrived minutes later and tried to revive Krystal Souza, whose heart stopped beating in the ambulance, but she died shortly after arriving at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center. Souza, who was alone with Krystal, initially told the 911 operator that he was dancing with her and she stopped breathing. But when police arrived, Phoenix police Lt. Jerri Williams said, Souza changed his story and said he was spinning Krystal and she hit the wall. Krystal's body had visible marks consistent with abuse, Williams said, and Souza admitted having a few drinks that night. Souza had no criminal history in Arizona other than a misdemeanor for shoplifting, police said."

Date: March 16, 2002. News Source: The Oregonian Newspaper. http://www.oregonlive.com/news. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Family's murder-suicide leaves 6 dead, few answers: McMINNVILLE -- Robert Bryant's four children died in their beds, their sheets still tucked in around them. His wife died between her bed and the bathroom. Then Bryant -- the father and husband who apparently killed them all -- died in the living room from a blast of the 12-gauge shotgun still clutched in his right hand. Police, family, and friends struggled Friday to make sense of the apparent murder-suicide that ranks among Oregon's worst mass murders. "It was a horrible sight," said Brad Berry, Yamhill County district attorney, of the bodies that likely had been there three weeks. In addition to Bryant, 37, the dead include his wife, Janet Ellen Bryant, 37; Clayton Keith Bryant, 15; Ethan Lance Bryant, 12; Ashley Rose Bryant, 9; and Alyssa Megan Bryant, 8. There was no apparent motive for the deaths, Berry said. The family moved to the McMinnville area after leaving the Northern California town of Shingle Springs in June bruised by a falling out with their Jehovah's Witnesses congregation and the bankruptcy of their landscaping business. The residence has three bedrooms. Ashley and Alyssa lay in one room, in twin beds formed like an "L." Older brothers Ethan and Clayton lay in bunk beds together. Their mother lay on the floor nearby. There was a lone spent shell for each victim. Berry said the county medical examiner has not yet decided whether to perform autopsies. Tests to determine whether the victims had been drugged before being killings have been rendered useless by the passage of time since the deaths. Bryant, a self-employed landscaper, was alternately recalled as aloof and cheerful by those who knew him in California. "They were somewhat standoffish," said Albert Clary, 73, a neighbor who knew the family in Shingle Springs. "They didn't mix with the other neighbors." That changed after the Bryants were "disfellowshipped" by elders in their Jehovah's Witnesses church, Clary said. The action, also called shunning, required even Robert Bryant's numerous family members in the area to refuse to associate with him. Julia Gibbs, an El Dorado, Calif., attorney who handled Bryant's bankruptcy, said he told her the shunning represented the main reason he was moving his family to Oregon. "He wanted to get away from his estranged family," she said. Steve Maranville, a Shingle Springs firefighter, rented a house to the Bryants for three years before selling it to them. He said Bryant told him his parents had initiated a custody battle in an attempt to keep the children in the congregation. No records of any custody disputes could be located Friday. "The guy was a great family man, just really down to earth," Maranville said. "They were a very quiet, very nice family," said an employee of the trailer park who declined to give her name. "They all fit in very well here." Michel Jo Scott owns a cat-boarding business in Newberg. She became worried about the family after Bryant failed to show up to complete irrigation work he'd contracted to do. She, like many others Friday, was left searching for answers. "He just seemed to be such a nice fellow," Scott said. "He had the sweetest smile."

Date: March 15, 2002. News Source: The Canoe News Service. http://www.canoe.ca. Sacred Family Unit Atrocity Details: "Father of six children killed in fire charged with first-degree murder: VANCOUVER (CP) -- A man who shaped his life to protect his six children from the evils of the outside world was charged Friday with first-degree murder after the youngsters were killed in a house fire on remote Vancouver Island. RCMP Sgt. Grant Learned said Jay Handel was arrested without incident at a hospital in Comox, B.C. He was taken into nearby Courtenay for his first court appearance. Learned said Handel, 45, will undergo a 30-day psychiatric review in Vancouver. Sonya Handel, the children's mother, was told of the charges Friday morning. "Mrs. Handel remains under a doctor's care, obviously very distraught," Learned said. The six brothers and sisters are: Sebastian, age 11, Roxanne, 9, Martial, 7, Moriah, 6, Levi, 4 and Lydia, 2. "I am relieved, angry and sickened," said Lynda Mullett. On Sunday, the day before the fire, three of the Handel children were at her house for her son's 10th birthday party. "Sebastian our timer, Roxanne a pretty flower right down to her pretty white shoes and Martial our little clown with the whoopi cushion," said a distraught Mullett. "Martial almost emptied my relish, mustard and ketchup bottle on one hot dog and Sebastian had two heaping bowls of ice cream." Jay Handel had been in hospital since the early Monday morning fire. He had been held under a provincial statute that allows people to be kept under a doctor's care if they are considered a danger to themselves. Handel continues to receive medical care and investigators have yet to do a thorough interview with him, Learned said. Witnesses at the scene said they saw Handel in his van outside the family home where he attempted to slash his own throat. His wife screamed hysterically nearby, pounding on the van. The couple had separated in December. Learned said only minute bone fragments were taken from the fire, but there was enough for pathologists to study. "What was recovered were a number of partial skeletal remains, very badly burned, almost to the point of incineration." Autopsies are being conducted. According to accounts of neighbours and friends, Sonya Handel, 32, had spent Saturday and Sunday nights at the homes of friends. Her husband worked in Port McNeill during the week and stayed with the children in the family home during the weekend. One friend said it appeared Sonya and her husband were growing apart. But there had never been any police involvement and no one viewed the relationship as violent, said Learned. "There was absolutely nothing," the officer said during Friday's news conference. "There's nothing that would have given rise to not only the police in the community but to the neighbours and friends. Everyone we've spoken to indicated that this came as quite a shock to them." On Monday morning, Handel arrived early to pick up his wife, says the woman who offered her a bed Sunday night. When the couple reached the family property, the house and three other buildings were ablaze. Police announced the bodies of the six children were found Wednesday. From the beginning, police said the property was considered a crime scene and the fire suspicious, largely because all four buildings on the site were consumed by fire at once, even though they were not close together. "In a tragic case like this there are many questions, questions from reporters, questions from family members and questions from the community," Learned said Friday. But police won't be able to provide many details. Jay and Sonya Handel have been described as loving parents. The couple appears to have met in Salt Spring Island where Sonya grew up and where Handel worked at a variety of bars and restaurants. Sonya was very young when they met and married. "He always kept her barefoot and pregnant," said Gerry Smallwolf, who knew the couple on Salt Spring Island. "He was sort of old-fashioned, you know, and I think if he had had his way he would have made himself a ball team." The couple operated a diaper service for a while. Sonya was an active church member who had, until recently, home-schooled her children. She's been described by those who knew her as creative, but craving a simple, faith-filled life. In her high school year book, Sonya wrote: "I want to live in a castle by the sea, with an adoring husband and one child while searching for the meaning of life." On Salt Spring, Jay Handel was actively involved in a recreational group whose members dress up in medieval costumes and re-enact scenes from the Middle Ages. The burly man with mutton-chop sideburns and a beard, was described by friends and neighbours as friendly and community-minded, though at times "odd-ball." Mullett, the family neighbour and friend, said she found Handel "controlling." Jay Handel had strong convictions on raising children and was against such things as inoculations. The children were not allowed to watch radio or television."

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