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Mother and 2 children found dead - suicide/murder

(139 Posts)
ShaggingZumbaStylee Sun 14-Jul-13 00:46:10

It sounds like she was really struggling, but I find it so difficult to understand why she killed her children with her.


Spero Wed 17-Jul-13 20:12:10

There is a good quote 'letting go is not getting rid of. Letting go is letting be'.

noddyholder Wed 17-Jul-13 20:09:48

That is sad for you. Forgiving is all about you though not the awful person who took his life. It doesn't mean you accept what he did just that you stop it destroying you like it did him. I have had to do this which I won't go into here but it changed everything and I was free xx

LtEveDallas Wed 17-Jul-13 19:01:03

It's all good Spero. No worries smile.

Losing my bro changed my whole family, and wrecked a number of other lives. I cannot help but react. I remember how it was before, and have a tendency to see it in rosé coloured glasses I suppose. My brother had an awful lot of problems, MH issues too, but he had the chance to change taken away from him by one man (and the bastard was only done for manslaughter- served less than 3 years, because he 'didn't mean it' and was 'devastated')

It makes me angry, but holding on to the anger is better for me. SIL forgave - I can't. Her way is probably healthier.

noddyholder Wed 17-Jul-13 18:38:14

He is a lot better but will always struggle a bit I think Thanks smile

Spero Wed 17-Jul-13 18:26:08

I hope your brother is doing ok now noddy - that's a pretty stark example of just how disordered your thinking can become.

And I am very sorry to hear about your brother LtEve - I can see how that would impact very strongly on your emotional response to violent crime.

So sorry if I have been snippy. We all carry our own tragedies and they do change our responses. I guess all we can do is try to be aware of what is pushing our buttons.

Spero Wed 17-Jul-13 18:21:03

LtEve, I think you are probably right in that there is a tendency for different standards to apply to men and women on this site and elsewhere but I honestly don't think it is as widespread as you believe on here because I have seen that attitude frequently challenged and I think people are ready to think about their knee jerk responses - which is one of the many positives aout this site.

I completely agree with you aout how hard it is to contemplate the violent death of a child at the hands of an adult supposed to love and protect the child, it is unimaginable to me how anyone could do that.

But I am in my 'right' mind, or at least not currently suffering from any psychosis. But what if I believed my child was possessed by an evil demon and I had to beat out the demon? If I killed my child in the process I would have committed a horrific, wicked act but if I was delusional I would have believed I was trying to save my child and was acting for the best.

That's why the criminal law distinguishes between mens rea and actus reus - your state of mind and the act itself. As a society we don't usually convict someone if they were insane at the time I.e. they didn't understand what they were doing.

And I completely agree with that, I think it is a fundamental principle of a humane society - which is why the 'burn in hell' comment struck such a chord with me.

But we both agree that what happened to those children was awful beyond words and we wish it hadn't happened. I hope there will be a review and lessens learned about why the children were returned so soon after her first suicide attempt - my suicidal client had to wait over a year, with lots of medication and therapy.

noddyholder Wed 17-Jul-13 17:51:30

When you sit down face to face with someone in the throes of a psychotic episode nothing you say/do even touches them sad I talked and talked to my brother about how he was in a bad place and that with help it would pass etc etc and he nodded and made all the right noises but in the end he was convinced his cds were talking to him and telling him what to do and as soon as he got the chance he took everything he had and threw it in the river. If you met him now you would have no idea and at the time I couldn't get it either. I had bought him a bike and he thought it was on a list somewhere to be tracked and he threw it away too even though he loved it. It was a serious chemical imbalance.

LtEveDallas Wed 17-Jul-13 14:45:08

Ah right, OK, I understand now. Apologies.

I think you are very much an exception Spero. As much as I admire (and believe) your stance, I don't think that the 'collective' or 'majority' of MN would be the same. There have been many cases of filicide reported in the press, and then posted on MN that have had quite an opposite view to this thread, simply because the perpetrator was male.

In fact I would say that was true IRL too - there was a study into Infant Homicide in 2004 that stated as one of its findings that a male perpetrator would be more likely to be charged and found guilty of murder, whereas a female perpetrator would be charged with manslaughter, despite identical offences.

For me it is quite simple I suppose. I cannot excuse or find sympathy in myself for a murderer - of either sex. A child murder invokes even stronger feelings. I felt the same way as I do now about the guy who beat and stabbed his children to death in Shropshire. It's partly the fact that they are children that have been killed, and partly because of the way they were killed. I would be more accepting (probably not quite the right word) if the children had painless, quiet deaths. I just cannot get past the manner of death in this case.

Spero Wed 17-Jul-13 13:19:12

I was referring to your post of 9.15 where you apparently make the claim that if the father had killed the children, we wouldn't be expressing any sympathy for him. It's your third paragraph.

I disagree with this. I try not to be a sexist bigot so I try not to judge someone differently because they do or do not have a penis.

LtEveDallas Wed 17-Jul-13 11:11:25

If that is aimed at me Spero, please note I said expressing sympathy for the other parent in this case, not the parent that has killed.

Spero Wed 17-Jul-13 10:54:22

I have explicitly said earlier that I feel sympathy for any parent who kills their children and kills themselves. I mentioned the father in Shropshire last year.

Not because I know anything - I only 'know' what I read in paper, but because it is a reasonable assumption that a parent who has loved with and nurtured children for many years was likely not in their right mind in the time leading up to the murders. And had those around them noticed, had help been given, a tragedy may well have been averted.

There is an annoying amount of unnecessary emotive hyperbole on this thread.

It's not a question of all child killers should burn in hell but recognising that a lot of the time these parents are just not well.

LtEveDallas Wed 17-Jul-13 09:15:01

But I agree there's a discrepancy in our attitudes (in society and media) which may not be fair or fully warranted

I agree. There is always a tendancy to give the mother the benefit of the doubt, or to excuse her actions by saying with absolute certainty that she was depressed, or abused, or protecting her children and so on.

I do not believe for a second if it was the boys father that had done this, that we (the MN 'we') would be saying the same about him. In fact quite the opposite - posters have jumped on the fact that he must be an abuser - when he hasn't actually been convicted yet. I'm just as guilty - I'm quite sure he will be convicted, but actually, he could quite easily be a victim in all this too.

I am also shocked that there have been no (or hardly any) posts expressing sympathy for him - he has lost his children in the most awful circumstances, but all the sympathy seems to be aimed at the dead person (who doesn't care) rather than the living parent who now has to live with his loss for the rest of his life.

I guess it does make a difference though cory if the person is the primary care giver - the relentlessness of the 24/7 responsibility and work of motherhood ?

Fathers are not usually in that sort of situation with young children ?
But I agree there's a discrepancy in our attitudes (in society and media) which may not be fair or fully warranted.

And perhaps I feel that the wrongness of the murder of the children is not something which should "go without saying" - however self evident it may be.

cory Wed 17-Jul-13 08:31:56

edam Tue 16-Jul-13 18:42:52
"I think everyone knows it is wrong to kill children. Doesn't that go without saying? But when you look at a terrible tragedy like this, you tend to ask 'why?'"

What worries me is that if it had been a father committing suicide with his children, we don't tend to ask those questions- at least not on Mumsnet. There is very little tendency to excuse a man in that situation on grounds of mental health or desperation: however little is known about the actual case, the consensus is usually that he is an evil bastard who does it specifically to get at the mother.

ChippingInHopHopHop Wed 17-Jul-13 01:35:23

She was that desperate that it seemed like her only option... she is not 'evil', she was badly failed by the man who should have loved & protected her & by our society. How can you blame a woman for doing the only thing she thought would protect her & her children?!

LtEveDallas Tue 16-Jul-13 21:24:53

No one who is posting on this thread knows anymore than the next person. No one has anymore insight than the next person

Very true MrsDV, we only 'know' what we have read. It is the'facts' of the case that have made me angry, maybe more will come out in time that will soften my views, I don't know, none of us do.

Fair enough MrsDeV.

I guess we all bring whatever insight we can find to something like this in an attempt to make some sense of it, at least for ourselves.

noddyholder Tue 16-Jul-13 20:50:32

Perfectly said spero.

Spero Tue 16-Jul-13 19:50:58

I seem to be on a different thread. I haven't read anyone to say that killing children is ever 'right' - I thought there was pretty universal recognition that it is shocking and terrible.

My problem is the automatic assumption that this mother is an evil bitch who should burn in hell.

Because it is those assumptions that further stigmatise mental illness, that drives sufferers underground and makes others scared or disinclined to help them.

I feel sorry for anyone who is so desperate or evil or stupid that they think killing their children is an option. That doesn't mean I congratulate them.

MrsDeVere Tue 16-Jul-13 19:02:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

edam Tue 16-Jul-13 18:42:52

I think everyone knows it is wrong to kill children. Doesn't that go without saying? But when you look at a terrible tragedy like this, you tend to ask 'why?' And asking why is probably more constructive than slagging off one of the victims. Maybe we will discover something that can help to avoid future tragedies.

I once heard a war reporter talking about her experiences. She explained that one crisis she was covering, I think in East Timor, mothers were throwing their babies over a razor-wire fence into the UN compound. They were desperate - the knew soldiers were coming, that civilians would be slaughtered, and throwing their babies was perhaps the only chance they had to protect them. Many of those babies were killed in that compound. Does anyone feel like judging those mothers? If not, why not?

Is it because they were acting in some ways rationally in a desperate situation? Perhaps someone who is suicidal believes they are acting rationally to protect their children. It may not look rational to an outsider, that's because we aren't suicidal and suffering from altered reality, or a reality that is too painful for an onlooker to understand.

But I think not even acknowledging it is wrong to kill, especially children, which seems to be how these tragedies are reported, is not right either.

Surely we can say that something is wrong as well as terribly sad, and as well as recognising that there are reasons behind things happening too. And therefore that support could be improved to prevent future tragedies.

Personally I find the lack of recognition of any middle ground frustrating.

Spero Tue 16-Jul-13 17:23:11

I read an article today which said she had tried to kill herself before, the children went briefly into care then were returned. It didn't sound like she had any help or support. I think she must have felt utterly helpless, utterly adrift and by now knew that no one would help her.

So I don't wish her burning in hell.

And i dont understand why our own our own personal tragedies are a justification or excuse for stripping ourselves of any compassion for others.

I bet every single person on this thread has had to face tragedy in some form or other.

I wouldn't want some of you to judge me when I have been at my lowest.

Trigglesx Tue 16-Jul-13 17:12:16

I think a lot of these types of situations is down to poor mental health care and lack of support for those that are struggling with stress and mental health issues or DV.

Time and time again we see that there are red flags all over the place after the fact, which would have saved not only the children, but the parent as well. When my H had mental health problems, it took over 6 months to get counselling. They just handed him some antidepressants and turned him loose. It was not pretty.

Perhaps it's time to call for better mental health care and support, rather than endlessly arguing over whether or not she is evil.

Personally, if MNHQ was going to do a really worthwhile campaign, this would be it.

handcream Tue 16-Jul-13 11:13:22

Why is she a 'poor' women? She killed her children. Realistically social services should have got those children out of there.

But SS dont do they... They give chance after chance to people who make the most appaling decisions and let them do it again and again. If the partner had done this would we be saying the same thing. Somehow I dont think so.

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