My heart breaks for this murderer

DALLAS – A suburban Dallas woman accused of killing her two young children told a 911 operator that she first tried to poison them because they were autistic and she wanted “normal kids,” then choked them with a wire until they stopped moving, according to the recorded call.
…When the operator asked the woman why she attacked her children, she said, “They’re both not normal, not normal. They’re autistic. Both are autistic.” Pressed further, she said, “I don’t want my children to be like that. … I want normal kids.”Later, the dispatcher asked the woman what she was feeling. “Nothing,” she responded.

Let me first get the obvious disclaimer out of the way: it is never ok to kill your children.  I can think of few instances in which it is acceptable to kill another person, family or otherwise.  Such behavior should be condemned and punished.

But.

Reading this horrific story, my heart broke for the murderer.

I can totally imagine the thought process that led this woman to strangle her own babies.  I picture her slogging through years of evaluations, treatments, meltdowns, quack cures.  I see her handling daily life with a child with autism as best she could, managing her son’s needs by day and crying from the stress every night, praying for a “normal” one, then enduring the heartbreak of realizing her second child was also atypical.  She fears for her children’s uncertain future.  She struggles with her children’s competing needs.  Her marriage feels the strain.  She feels overwhelmed.  She feels alone.  She feels responsible.  She mourns the life she thinks she should have had – the typical life with typical kids and typical expectations.

Some behavior or meltdown or quirk sets her off.

She snaps.

The future is unfathomable.  She considers suicide, but knows there would be no one left to care for her babies.

So she kills the kids.

The difference between mental illness and mental health is not the presence or absence of dangerous urges: it’s what you do with those destructive impulses.  No sane person would murder her children, but I think it would be insane not to feel impulses like that sometimes.

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Meredith Zolty
My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at http://notanaffliction.blogspot.com/
Meredith Zolty

TheRyanFiles

My kid is great! And he has PDD-NOS and ADHD (e-i-e-i-o). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Watch us navigate the world of neurodiversity at http://notanaffliction.blogspot.com/

0 thoughts on “My heart breaks for this murderer

  • August 10, 2010 at 11:07 pm
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    “The difference between mental illness and mental health is not the presence or absence of dangerous urges: it’s what you do with those destructive impulses.  No sane person would murder her children, but I think it would be insane not to feel impulses like that sometimes.”

    Exactly.  We’re all capable of doing unfathomable things; no one is above reproach.

    Only those that are insensitive, evil themselves, and/or “holier than thou” would think otherwise.  Empathy, therefore, is definitely solicited.

    Reply
  • August 4, 2010 at 5:58 pm
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    i feel sorry tht these two kids had her as a mother. whether they have a disorder or not a child is a child & for no reason shuld they be murdered for how they were born, they didnt ask to be autistic. im ashamed that this woman would do that & if i ever met her i would probly slap her in the face. im 17 years old with aone year old, when i was 6 months pregnant they told me my child would be mentally retarded. i was blessed tht he wasnt but instead we got other physical challenges i would never kill or hurt him in any way. ive been thru more evaluations drs physical therapy & ot then anyone culd imagine yet i would still never cause harm to him for how god chose him to be born

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  • July 31, 2010 at 4:28 pm
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    ” this woman, and any killer for that matter, has something mentally fucked up wrong with them. they don’t control it, they don’t want it, and they sure as fuck don’t mean to have something fucked up with them.”

    Any killer?

    Even when it’s a killer who said in public ahead of time that he or she did want to kill, and did a series of actions over time to get into a position in which he or she had more power to kill the people he or she said he or she wanted to kill (for example, I doubt the process of moving up the ranks of the Gestapo or the Khmer Rouge was helplessly flailing about in a fit of mental fuckupedness, and the people who went through those processes were in fact killers)?

    Are you sure?

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  • July 31, 2010 at 12:01 pm
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    Sometimes I’m scared that, when I’m ready for a child, I’ll have an autistic kid. I’m afraid I won’t love it as much. But I know that I would rise to the challenge if that did happen…

    This woman was under a lot of stress. Her actions are still monstrous though. She does sound like she went insane.

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  • July 31, 2010 at 10:22 am
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    When you make the choice to become a parent you have to be ready for what ever.  You have to take it and go with it.  She’s not the only one in the world that has to deal with children with special sometimes trying needs.  Hell even raising a “normal” child as she put it can be just as fucking stressful.  There is no reason for her to have done that, no amount of stress, strain, crying, nothing ..  I dont feel sorry for her, she should have never brought children in the world if she couldnt handle it.

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  • July 31, 2010 at 1:16 am
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    for all the people that have no sympathy. Mental illnesses are a horrible thing. and I’m not talking about autistic kids here. this woman, and any killer for that matter, has something mentally fucked up wrong with them. they don’t control it, they don’t want it, and they sure as fuck don’t mean to have something fucked up with them. My heart doesn’t break. but I don’t damn this woman to hell for being messed up in the head. 

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  • July 31, 2010 at 12:56 am
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    Yep. Definitely don’t nor never would feel bad for her. One of my friend’s has a daughter with mitochondrial disease and her son is autistic and she feels so blessed by both of them. You can be a mother of children who are as she says “not normal”

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  • July 31, 2010 at 12:37 am
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    In my opinion, she doesn’t deserve sympathy or understanding. When you decide to become a mother, the commitment to your child should be to love them UNCONDITIONALLY. There’s plenty of parents out there with autistic children, but they don’t use autism as an excuse to kill their child. Instead, loving parents encourage their children, watch them grow despite their difficulties, watch them succeed in different ways, and are proud of their children. That’s what good, understandable and sympathetic parenting is. And just a little news flash, there is not a kid or adult alive who is “normal.” Everyone’s got issues, and there’s a right way and a wrong way of dealing with them. This mother definitely chose the wrong way.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 11:58 pm
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    @Nawnaa@xanga – Clearly you didn’t read the post. She did clearly say that it is never ok to murder your children, and she clearly outlined the difference between mental illness and mental health.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm
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    @Nawnaa@xanga – Lmao.

    Seriously though. Hearing about her predicament pre-murder could possibly warrant an “aw + sympathy” response but post-murder it turns more into a “wtf psycho” response.
    I mean techinally anyone can add a sob story to explain the “why” portion of a crime.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2010 at 11:15 pm
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    Uh..lets review:

    “I don’t want my children to be like that. … I want normal kids.”Later, the dispatcher asked the woman what she was feeling. “Nothing,” she responded.

    And your heart BREAKS for her?  She is a cold blooded killer.  She didnt kill because she was frustrated with the stresses that come with raising a child with a disability.  She killed them because she wanted “normal” kids.   Don’t believe me (even though she sid it herself)?  Then why did she feel NOTHING afterwards.  Not guilt, not regret, not sorrow. NOTHING. Sounds like a sociopath to me.

    Further..she CHOKED them with a wire.  Thats not a fast process.  If you are stressed with your child and (God forbid) begin to hurt them…you have plenty of time to stop before they die if you are choking them.

    This woman deserves NO sympathy.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 10:39 pm
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    my heart breaks for the two children that were murdered. what the mother did was unfathomable. so she wanted normal kids, who wouldn’t. but she couldn’t love the ones she already had? that’s the most selfish thing in the world. those poor children.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 9:55 pm
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    Beautiful post. I’m sure you probably got most of her emotions, and the emotions of a typical woman with such fate..

    I feel really really bad for her, and even worst for her kids. Autism isnt the end of the world, her kids still had a future…

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  • July 30, 2010 at 9:37 pm
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    My heart doesn’t break either. I’m actually more sympathetic towards the man with Autism who killed one of his classmates, because of being teased. To drown them because they have autism is just evidence of having some screws loose, really. But the nagain, when it comes to the idea of both normalcy and forgiveness, I tend to think different ly than the average Joe and Jane.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 8:08 pm
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    @P1AutismMom – “What happened to the good ole days when people used to just off themselves and left everyone else alone.” Uh, there were never days like that. People don’t want to die alone. Mass suicides have been written throughout history. Murder-suicides even more so.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 7:36 pm
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    You’re obviously just as fucking insane at that damn murderer.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm
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    your heart is breaking?  mine is not.

    I can certainly understand the thoughts that might come before such an act, but to actually murder your children is reprehensible.   For sure there are some killers who I have sympathy for; this is not one of them.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 5:17 pm
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    Wow, all I can say is, wow.

    Are there places you can send Autistic children instead of kill them? Did she think they would be better off dead than to live in this world? I was thinking she might feel shame if she gave them up, but then I thought about it and she would have more shame for being found as the killer. I wonder if she was emotionally stable before hand. If so, I guess this means any normal human could snap one day and do this. That’s terrifying. I’m so scared of that idea, our own parents killing us. Yikes.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm
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    @Laura – It seems that she suspected the younger child was autistic b/c he wasn’t speaking yet. I also think she might be schizophrenic. It doesn’t make the murder okay, but it does make me sympathize with the murderer.

    Reply
  • July 30, 2010 at 3:14 pm
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    I would never feel bad for somebody who did that. Everybody has their struggles and problems but no problems will EVER make it okay to murder, let alone have somebody feel bad for them. She was perfectly well aware of what she was doing.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 2:44 pm
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    I really can’t believe you feel bad for her.

    I would feel bad for her for the frustration of not knowing how to deal with children who have autism. But I have no sympathy whatsoever for her due to the fact that she thought her own feelings were reason enough to murder two innocent children.

    She was stressed, so she thought someone else had to die. Two someone elses, in fact. That is just about the most selfish, horrific thing I’ve ever heard.

    That woman deserves no sympathy. She deserves a firing squad.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm
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    Supposedly, an uncle said there was nothing wrong with the kids at all. They were just regular kids, probably hyper happy little things. a 2 year old and a 5 year old. Of course they’re rambunctious.

    This woman should be shot.

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  • July 30, 2010 at 11:20 am
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    Sorry but I feel absolutely no empathy or sympathy for the mother. She should be shot really for killing her own children. Who cares if they’re not normal, they are still her children and she has no right taking them out of this world. They have a right to life.

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  • July 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm
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    I don’t think I can fully understand.  I can certainly empathize with her, but I do not understand how anyone could kill their own children.   I understand being frustrated,wanting your life to be different, but murdering your children because they are not normal is not the solution.

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  • July 27, 2010 at 9:42 pm
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    You say it well

    @keystspf@xanga – and so do you.

    It’s proper for justice to take its inexorable course.  But those know the score–like the author of the post–are qualified to speak on the additional aspect of an attitode of empathy and mercy.

    C.S. Lewis says about loving one’s enemy and forgiving doesn’t mean to reduce one iota the revulsion we feel for evil and crime.  Or to make the penalty any less severe.  It does mean to wish the offender the very best under the circumstances, and hope for their cure–in this world, or perhaps the next.

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  • July 25, 2010 at 4:10 pm
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    I think some people are just better suited to being mothers than others.  I know it’s tough for my mom to take care of my autistic brother.  She gets angry, frustrated, but she only wants what is best for him.  

    I know another mother who has 3 children, two autistic boys and one normal girl.  She handles everything just fine and in stride. She says raising any child is tough, and her boys are just different challenges. 
    It would appear that this woman was a bit unstable to begin with to feel nothing about the death of her two children.

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  • July 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm
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    It sucks that any person would be allowed to be pushed to that point. This is why friends, community, family, and all of that is SOOOO important. Yeah, it is evil. It is wrong that someone would feel that hopeless and desparate to resort to murder.  Just as bad to feel that hopeless and desparate to resort to suicide. Perhaps it was selfishness to the utmost degree, perhaps it was a moment of insanity… or perhaps a lifetime of it. You can never know what is going on inside another person, not really.

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  • July 24, 2010 at 10:01 pm
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    What happened to the good ole days when people used to just off themselves and left everyone else alone.   And do you ever notice that those who also “intended” to kill themselves after their horrific crimes never quite succeed in that endeavor. 

    Lets just call it what it is here, EVIL

    Reply

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