"Murder in the nursery"
Australian mom killed her 4 babies
TORONTO SUN, By Michele Mandel, May 23, 2003
It seemed a tragic coincidence - at first.
Craig and Kathleen Folbigg's first son died in his sleep at 19 days old. Their next child, Patrick, died two years later at nine months.
Still, it was after their fourth baby died before Australian police suspected something was terribly wrong.
In Sydney's New South Wales State Supreme Court this week, Kathleen Folbigg, 35, was found guilty of killing all four of her babies.
The jury's work would have been made much easier if they had been allowed to read Folbigg's entire secret diary. In it, she practically confesses to following in her dad's deadly footsteps.
"Obviously I am my father's daughter," the Australian woman wrote in her diary Oct. 14, 1996, having already killed three of her four children.
"But I think losing my temper and being frustrated and everything has passed. I now just let things happen and go with the flow. An attitude I should of had with all my children, if given the chance, I'll have it with the next one."
Folbigg was pregnant at the time with her fourth child. She would go on to kill her as well.
This week, with a jury rejecting her defence that all four had died naturally of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Folbigg became Australia's worst convicted female serial killer.
It was only after the verdict was returned that people learned that murder runs in her family. Her father killed her mother after she had abandoned them when Folbigg was just 18 months old. After refusing his pleas to come home to their crying baby, he stabbed her 27 times with a butcher knife.
With her mother dead and her father shipped off to prison, Folbigg was first sent to a church orphanage and later placed with foster parents.
She seemed to put her tragic past behind her until her older foster sister married and had a baby. Angry at all the attention diverted to the infant, Folbigg turned bitter and cold. But no one suspected that she would turn that anger on the defenceless children she would later bear over a decade.
Folbigg smothered 19-day-old Caleb in 1989, eight-month-old Patrick in 1991, 11-month-old Sarah in 1993 and 19-month-old Laura in 1999. Court heard the odds of four unexplained infant deaths happening in one family with children under two years old were one in a trillion.
Her first child's death was blamed on SIDS. After her husband begged for another child, Patrick was born. He was four months old when Folbigg "discovered" that he, too, had died. But she had screamed this time, too soon. Ambulance attendants revived him, but he was left with massive brain damage. Folbigg wanted to leave her husband then -- and the child. Her husband and sister-in-law talked her out of it.
Four months later, she struck again. This time, she made sure Patrick was dead.
Medical authorities would blame an epileptic fit.
While her husband was devastated, Folbigg seemed to move on easily, going to work at a baby store and going dancing with her friends.
Yet she was the one who insisted on having more children, even leaving her husband for several weeks when he refused her demand for a fourth after Sarah died at 11 months.
Ultimately, she won and Laura, that fourth baby, would survive the longest. In her diary, Folbigg wrote that her youngest and most well-behaved child must have received messages from her dead brothers and sister. "She's a fairly good-natured baby, thank goodness," she wrote. "It has saved her from the fate of her siblings. I think she was warned."
But Laura, too, would suffer their tragic fate.
Folbigg laughed and joked at Laura's wake and was back at the gym the first Monday after her cremation.
Why didn't any doctor, hospital or social worker realize what was going on?
The Folbigg children's deaths failed to attract suspicion partly because the family moved regularly and changed doctors and hospitals for the births.
It was only after her fourth child died that alarm bells finally sounded. At 19 months, Laura was considered too old to be a victim of SIDS. When the cause was deemed "undetermined" the coroner ordered a police investigation.
And what of Folbigg's husband?
"I had had the odd suspicions," he would tell the court, "but it was really hard to get my brain around it."
After Folbigg left him following Laura's death, he found one of her diaries in their bedside table. He couldn't believe what he read.
"I started to think, 'Oh God, did she do this?'" he said.
"It was too horrible to think of. It frightened me; it worried me; it sickened me."
He went to the police.
On Wednesday, June 11, 1997, Folbigg wrote in her diary: "My brain has too much happening, unstored and unrecalled memories just waiting. Heaven help the day they surface and I recall. That will be the day to lock me up and throw away the key. Something I'm sure will happen one day."
And so it shall. Sentencing submissions begin in August.
Copyright 2003, CANOE, a division of Netgraphe Inc.
Associated Press, U.S.A.
September 23, 2008
ORLANDO, Fla. U.S.A. -A mother who was videotaped spraying her young daughter with a high-pressure water hose at an Orlando car wash has pleaded no contest to assault.
A judge sentenced Niurka (Nicki) Ramirez to one year supervised probation on Monday.
Prosecutors had dropped the more serious charges - felony child abuse and culpable negligence - from the February incident.
Teacher "We are not going to put up with it."
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Mom's death dance
SHE PARTIED AS DAUGHTER LEFT TO DIE IN HEAT
September 29, 2004
SINGLE MOM Clara DaSilva admitted yesterday she danced the night away while her 2-year-daughter was dying of dehydration in a sweltering apartment. Tiny toddler Adrianna Maria DaSilva was abandoned for at least 33 hours in a 35C room before her mom discovered her dead on Sept. 9, 2002.
Clara DaSilva, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Justice David Watt will sentence her shortly after Jan. 17 following a five-day trial with one contested fact -- the allegation that her purse, with keys and cash, was stolen at a club the day of her child's death. Read More ..
ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.
Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.
Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.
It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.
At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.
Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, USA, August 26, 2008
HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.
The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.
She tried to kill herself afterward.
The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.
Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.
A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.
Wednesday, May. 22, 2002
KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) -- An Ontario woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in one of Canada's stiffest penalties for child abuse will be released on full parole after serving less than half her term.
Lorelei Turner, 38, and her husband Steven were convicted of manslaughter in July 1995 for beating and starving their three-year-old son John to death in a case that horrified Canadians who followed the trial.
But on Wednesday, a panel of the National Parole Board in this eastern Ontario city ruled Turner will be released but placed on probation until July 2011.
Until then, she must remain within 25 kilometres of her residence, is not allowed unsupervised contact with anyone under 16, and must continue to receive counselling.
"The board would have looked at the risk and obviously found a low risk to reoffend," Carol Sparling of the National Parole Board said Wednesday.
Australian Associated Press
December 05, 2008
A WOMAN who killed her infant son by jumping with him from the eighth floor of a city apartment block has walked free after being convicted of manslaughter.
Yeeda Topham, 40, of Roleystone near Perth, had pleaded guilty in the West Australian Supreme Court to a charge of unlawfully killing 21-month-old James Topham on November 5 last year. Read More ..
Fire Officials Claim Fire Intentionally Set
NBC4-TV, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
LOS ANGELES, USA -- Murder charges are expected to be filed against a woman whose infant son's body was found in a washing machine after firefighters doused what they say was an intentionally set fire, authorities said Tuesday.
Latunga Starks, 32, was taken into custody last night, according to the Sheriff's Department Web site.
Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Dennis Shirey identified the mother and her nearly 3-month-old son, Michael Kelvin Thompson.