Was the murder of Dustin Hicks committed by a biomed mom?

10 Nov

Let me start with some resources. Shannon Rosa of the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism have done a good job in writing about resources for families. In particular, Parenting Kids With Disabilities: How to Get Through Tough Times. There are other resources out there as well. As Shannon wrote in a recent Facebook comment

Again: The solution **for this situation** is to spread the message that killing disabled people is unacceptable, and that parents have other choices. Here are some of those choices: http://www.blogher.com/parenting-kids-disabilities-through-toughest-times -SR

Also, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) has an effort to stop such murders. One can find information about that at their Anti-Filicide Toolkit page.

With that long introduction, here’s the main article:

Recently I posted news here about another murder/suicide. The autistic youth, the victim, was Dustin Hicks. Usually when I write these stories I leave out the name of the mother. I do because many news stories focus on the mother, even to the point of not naming the victim. Consider yesterday’s news where they asked if this was a mercy killing. A possible mercy killing?

Dustin Hicks’ mother was named Nina Hicks. They lived in Georgia.

As it turns out, there was a mom in Georgia named Nina Hicks who also listed herself as “Dustin’s Mom” in online discussions. As one can see in the signature in this post left to the “open Georgia Autism Group”. On this list, we see that she is a proponent of so-called “biomedical” intervention approach. Here we see her promoting the Amy Yasko “protocol” (which, by the way, is nonsense):

I would also highly recommend your looking into the genetic testing offered by Dr. Amy Yasko. It takes a lot of the guess work out of biomedical interventions and addresses the underlying reasons why your kiddo cannot excrete toxins like his typically developing peers can. You can find info regarding the Yasko protocol on the two sites I’ve listed above. It’s a little extra $$ up front, but it will save lots of (precious) time and $$$ overall.

She appears to have petitioned on behalf of her son for compensation in the vaccine court (Court of Federal Claims). The decision states that the mother did not provide any medical opinion or medical record that autism was a vaccine injury. Simply put, she didn’t really put forth a case.

One might ask why bring all this up?

Because the culture that goes with the alternative-to-medicine approach and the vaccines-cause-autism movement is toxic. Yes, I know these groups feel some sort of ownership over the word “toxic” and will feel that it’s ironic that I use it here. But their culture has very toxic elements. Let me explain. Because this is exactly what many of us have been fighting against. And the murder of Dustin Hicks is exactly the sort of event we have tried to prevent.

First we have the toxic message, “your child is damaged. You did this by vaccinating him/her. Now it’s your job to fix him/her.” Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at the introduction to Jenny McCarthy’s first autism book, “louder than words”. The introduction was written by DAN (Defeat Autism Now!) doctor Jerry Kartzinel:

“You broke him, now you fix him!” was the mandate given to me by my wife as we watched our fourth boy slip into the world of autism after receiving his first measles, mumps, andrubella (MMR) vaccine.

Further in the introduction, we read:

Autism, as I see it, steals the soul from the child; then, if allowed, relentlessly sucks life’s marrow out of the family members, one by one.

Let’s break this down. First we get the message that autistics are less than they should be. They are damaged. And not only are they damaged, but autism also destroys their loved ones. Allow autism to go unchecked and you are allowing this damage into your family.

So, “fix him!”. The goal of a parent is to try anything, tested or untested (mostly untested), with a demonstrated safety or (more often) not.

And while not in the above quote, “the clock is ticking”. You as a parent have only a short time before your child will forever be this source of sucking life’s marrow out of everyone around him/her.

Yes, that’s a toxic message. And yes, that plays into pushing some people over the edge. Did it push Dustin Hicks’ mother over? We can’t tell for sure. Did it push others? Yes. Consider Katie McCarron’s mother. She killed Katie because Katie was autistic and wasn’t on a path to being non-autistic. Who cared that Katie was a beautiful child with a future? Well, a lot of people. Her father. Her grandparents, just to name a few. But that wasn’t enough for her mother.

Let’s look for another source of the toxic message of the autism-is-vaccine-injury community. Here’s part of the introduction to Dr. Bob Sears’ “The Autism Book”, titled ironically “an encouraging word”. It begins:

Autism has become one of the most widespread childhoold epidemics in recorded history. Except for some infectious disease epidemics of the past, no other serious condition has ever affected so many of our children.”

He goes on later in that paragraph,

“What makes it so devastating for parents is that autism can strike unexpectedly, seemingly out of nowhere; a healthy and neurologically normal infant can suddenly regress into autism, between ages one and two.”

Where’s the encouraging message? We get the “devastating” and “epidemic” messages. What’s encouraging about that? Well, having sewn despair and fear, Dr. Bob offers encouragement in his book of untested (for either efficacy or safety) treatments based on either disproved or just bad ideas of what autism is.

And, again, having instilled the fear in the parents, what happens as the fake medicine doesn’t really render the child non-autistic? Not only the autism remains, but the fear and despair.

And that’s classic for the Dr. Bob’s and the Dr. Jerry’s of the world–use despair and fear and then sell hope. False hope. Tell them all will be better with fake treatments like chelation. Years back, JB Handley, founder of Generation Rescue, told the world that if you chelate your autistic kid, you “get them back”.

Boyd Haley, long proponent of the autism as mercury poisoning idea tried to coin the phrase “mad child disease” (because autism is just like mad cow disease, right?) for autism. He went on to try to sell an untested industrial chemical, a chelation compound, as a “supplement”.

Then you have people like Andrew Wakefield. Mr. Wakefield has been at the forefront of the vaccines-cause-autism movement for about 20 years now. He introduced one of his first books with a glorification of a murder/suicide. He gives a fictionalized account of a real incident in which a mother jumped to her death, taking her autistic child with her. With no apparent sense of irony, he ends his intro with

She knew. She was ready. Falling ever faster, she pulled him to her, love and instinct keeping him safe.

Because pulling/pushing your child to his death is “love” and “keeping him safe”.

Andrew Wakefield also famously took on a family in a very desperate situation–the Spourdalakis family. Alex Spourdalakis was an autistic teen with very extraordinary needs. Mr. Wakefield was trying to launch a reality show where he would show that his “autism team” could swoop in and save people like Alex, blame vaccines and move on to the next family.

Only after collecting his tape, after taking him to his colleague for the diagnosis of the non-existent diagnosis of “autistic enterocolitis”, Alex’s mother brutally murdered him.

But don’t look to the people who spread the message of despair to take responsibility. No. They will tell you, as Dr. Bob does, that they are giving “encouraging messages”.

In the days when Yahoo Groups were flourishing and many were focused on giving autism parents a venue to discuss autism as vaccine injury and ways to “heal” that supposed injury, one could often read parents write, “what have I got to lose”. Because the lives of their autistic children where already so devalued by the process of selling fake cures that parents actually came to believe, “what have I got to lose”.

Is this what drove Dustin Hick’s mother to the edge? We don’t know yet. Maybe in the past few years she came to separate herself from the ideas of autism as vaccine injury and autistics as being less and “devastating” to the family and all that goes with that message.

While writing this article, the Age of Autism blog came out with their own article on the murder/suicide. Kim Stagliano left this as the conclusion to her comment.

I do understand that some families will be so overwhelmed, so set adrift, so exhausted and facing such despair that murder and/or suicide seems the only solution. There but for the grace of God.


No, Kim, you don’t understand. You are and have been part of the problem. You are just using this tragedy to continue to spread your message of despair. You offer no help, instead you just throw an anchor to those who are already having trouble staying afloat.

Not “there for the grace of God”, Kim. How about, “if you get to that point, STOP. Find resources. If you have reached the end of your abilities, pass on the responsibility to someone else. Because even though it may seem the only solution, it isn’t.”

How about trying to stop this instead of claiming it’s some “new normal”. Not on my watch, Kim. Perhaps on yours, but not on mine.

I won’t close with that. Instead I’ll end as I started, with Shannon Rosa’s Parenting Kids With Disabilities: How to Get Through Tough Times.

To Dustin’s father, I can only imagine what you are going through.

Dustin, you should be alive today.

By Matt Carey

46 Responses to “Was the murder of Dustin Hicks committed by a biomed mom?”

  1. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss November 10, 2015 at 21:55 #

    There’s another way, I think, in which the biomed pushes parents into a bad place, and that’s the sheer cost. The same people sell parents the idea that to “save” their child they have to give him or her these biomed treatments, then charge them a lot – and if I understand correctly, there really are few external resources to cover these untested, unsupported, potentially abusive or dangerous treatments. Insurance won’t, with good reason. So the parents are pushed to the edge in that sense, and put in a position where they failed to save their child because they can’t afford the treatment that would save him or her.

    And I don’t hear anyone in that community saying, as you said, if you can’t, give that child and walk away. To the contrary – fostering suspicion against those you would be giving him to seems to close that avenue.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 10, 2015 at 22:28 #


      In one of the Yahoo group comments, you can see Dustin’s mom writing about the cost. For the “Yasko Protocol”, which is total nonsense. Money thrown down the drain.

      And true to your second point. Those groups do try to separate people from the community and, with that, a access to support.

  2. Broken Link November 10, 2015 at 22:39 #

    She also appears to have used the ‘nym “hicksninadustin”

  3. Lori November 10, 2015 at 22:41 #

    I hate when people say “it got that bad”. I’m an Autism Mom. My boys were diagnosed in the days of no services and mom’s were “blamed” as being “refrigerator mom’s”. Yes I collapsed from the stress. And yes I wanted my life to end. But I never, NEVER, wanted to end my child’s life. No parent, even under extreme stress and duress, wants to eNd their child’s life. It goes against our very nature. That is unless the parent has a neurological impairment of their own. Post partum for example. The child’s neurology does not enter into it at all. A parent who kills their child does so whether their child has challenges or not. It is not the child making the parent kill. When will people get that and stop making martyrs of parents who kill? Investigate why the parent’s neurology allowed them to turn off the “protect my child with my very life ” button and allowed them to commit filicide. Do not demonise the victim. Do not ignore the victim. Put the blame where it belongs and find ways to make sure no other parent does this again. The ASAN sites on this topic are exceptional. I wish every media outlet were mandated to commit them to memory!

    • wzrd1 November 11, 2015 at 12:02 #

      Other than the two murders mentioned in the blog, the only other cases I’m aware of where a parent murdered their child and frequently then committed suicide were triggered by precipitated by a financial crisis.
      The common denominator in these cases was despair. Despair and depression that distorts the thinking of the parents into the bizarre notion that everyone would be off better dead, rather than “suffering” through adverse conditions in life.
      Here’s the question; how do we fix that? How do we intervene and show these people, in their despair and depression, that things aren’t so dire as they believe them to be?

  4. Chris November 11, 2015 at 03:17 #

    My oldest has been very frustrating lately. Recently we found out that he lied to us, which is a something that has made me angry. Though the core reason was that he was given a task (submit his quarterly disability bus pass authorization to the public transit office), but something happened and it was not done. So instead of telling his parents and his state social services counselor about the hiccup, he lied and said his bus card was funded. The state SS counselor called me a few days about it,and told me that someone would call me about it today. Well, no phone call from such a person yet.

    This is what I was going to discuss with his psychologist before his appointment, but she called in sick. Double aargh.

    Would life be easier without oldest son? Yes. But it would be lots less interesting, and these are just bumps in the road. Plus his younger siblings have also caused frustration, though at a slightly lower level (just slightly, the middle kid did not gain our good graces when he dropped out of college for a year and refused to admit it to us, he did graduate. while working for the city he came to his own conclusion that having a college degree had an advantage).

    While I did not expect to be parenting an almost thirty year old child, at least I did not buy into the fantasy he could be “fixed” or that he was terminally “broken” if I did not give him chelation, bleach enemas, restrictive diets, massive supplement, RNA drops, and on and on. He is what he is, and I wish someone would hire him despite his appearance, stim behaviors and abnormal speech. He is bright and literate, and just needs some direction and a routine that gets him out of the house.

  5. Margaret November 11, 2015 at 09:34 #

    To mat Carey.What a stupid and insensitive response to a very complicated situation which you have no personal knowledge. Leave this family alone.

    • Lawrence November 11, 2015 at 14:41 #

      To Margaret – this “family” murdered a child for no other reason than autism…..that, by itself, is horrible and should be commented on.

      If anyone appears to be insensitive, it is you.

      • Virginia Flanigan November 12, 2015 at 23:35 #

        You too Lawrence are ignorant of the facts!

      • Margaret November 14, 2015 at 19:49 #

        To lawrence ,No one was murdered, you are ignorant of the facts.

      • reissd November 14, 2015 at 19:57 #

        When the mother put a bullet in the child’s head, she murdered him. I’m a little shocked you say no one was mutdered. What an insult to Dustin, victimized all over.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 14, 2015 at 23:55 #

        “To lawrence ,No one was murdered, you are ignorant of the facts.”

        Are the news reports inaccurate? Was Dustin Hicks not found dead of a bullet wound?

        What other name do you have for that?

      • Chris November 14, 2015 at 20:01 #

        “To lawrence ,No one was murdered, you are ignorant of the facts.”

        Then what do you call what happened to Dustin? What do you call it when someone shoots a person in the head?

      • wzrd1 November 15, 2015 at 13:27 #

        There is indeed another word for the heinous action, he was summarily executed by the one person in all of the world expected to protect him from harm.
        The act then being murder.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 11, 2015 at 16:42 #

      Perhaps you could expand? Do you have personal knowledge of this family?

      here’s the thing–the vaccines-cause-autism movement is the most damaging thing to happen to the autism communities since the refrigerator mother theory. Has it contributed to deaths? Absolutely. And that information is based on a case where I have personal knowledge.

      The “alternative-to-medicine approach is based on enforcing the guilt and despair parents feel and then capitalizing on it by selling false hope.

      Was that in play for this family at the time of the murder? I can’t say. And I make that clear above. Is it possible? Yes.

      Even if, let’s say, this mother was able to pull herself back from these damaging ideas–she murdered her own child. Why should I stand back and “leave her alone”? She murdered her own disabled child. And if we accept that, if we pretend that “there but the grace of God go I”, we make it easier for others to get away with abuse and murder once we parents are gone and others take over support for our children.

      If you have sympathy for the mother, shame on you. I don’t care if she’s your best friend. If my best friend killed her kid I’d be on the forefront of people decrying that action.

      And don’t try the “you haven’t walked in her shoes” response. I have an autistic kid. And the huge irony with that phrase is that no one who says “take a walk in her shoes” ever seems to want to take a virtual walk in the shoes of the victim.

      • Virginia November 14, 2015 at 18:32 #

        There is no excuse for what Nina did; it was wrong! However, it was not about Autism! I’m not sure why you and others want to think it was due to Dustin’s autism

      • wzrd1 November 14, 2015 at 21:22 #

        Virginia, when a lengthy behavioral trend like hers is observed, when her “solutions” all fail, at great effort and expense, the murder is easily ascertainable as to motive.
        She couldn’t “cure” him, likely thought he couldn’t receive quality care and she murdered him to “protect” him.
        This isn’t the first time a special needs child was killed by a mother in a murder suicide.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 12, 2015 at 21:13 #


      I apologize for the response before, as I should have taken more time to prepare. I am angry. I am angry that this child is gone. I am angry that this mother is gone.

      Is this complicated? Absolutely.

      But let me state this–were I ever to get to the point of such an action, I would want someone I know to stand up and tell this truth: such an action is against everything I stood for in life. That whoever I was at the time of the murder, I was someone other than the person who should be remembered.

      I am angry at a culture that instills despair in autism parents. I am angry that charlatans can use this hook on us and profit by it, but do not take responsibility for pushing the most vulnerable if not over the edge, part way to the edge. I am angry that false hope is sold rather than support. I am angry that advocacy energy from the autism parent community gets focused into useless avenues like fighting vaccine legislation while almost none goes into advocating for a better life for our kids.

      I am angry at a system that does not support people with disabilities at a humane level. We may not be able to change that, but we certainly won’t if we throw our advocacy away.

      I do not know the details of the situation–other than the mother is a murderer and the child is the victim. And that it appears that at some point in the past the mother bought into the false hope of “biomed” and the guilt/shame of the vaccine-injury model of autism. And I know that culture has contributed to the death of another child. I know because a family member told me so.

      I live in fear of reading that story play out again.

      People always say, “you can’t comment until you’ve walked in her/his shoes”. I have. I am the parent of an autistic child with medical needs who will rely upon society for support as an adult. I am a parent who wonders constantly what will happen when I am gone.

      If I went down that path, I would want no one making excuses for me. I would want no one downplaying my actions. I would want people to remember who I was. I would want people to work to prevent such events in the future, and that doesn’t happen by giving any excuses. Because excuses downplay the rights and dignity of the victim. And that makes it easier for the next person to rationalize such an action. And that makes it less likely that my child will be treated humanely when I am gone. I do not pretend to speak for Dustin. I speak for my own son when I express my criticism and anger at this murder.

      I am very, very sorry for whatever loss you are going through with this. Whatever your relation to the family may be. And these words may seem harsh right now. And for that I apologize, but now is the time to speak out. Now, when people are listening.

      It is what I would want my friends and family to do were I to make this horrible action.

      • Margaret November 14, 2015 at 20:08 #

        To matt, ‘if I went down that path’. What path? Who’s path?which path? You have no idea how you would respond you just don’t know because you haven’t traveled there. I haven’t either. I do know that I respect a family that is grieving for a sister and nephew.Leave them alone.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 14, 2015 at 23:52 #

        This is so common–one says that we can’t say anything because we haven’t been there.

        Our entire judicial system is based on putting non criminals in the place of deciding the guilt or innocence of those accused of crimes.

        Every convicted murderer was put in prison by people who did not commit murder.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 14, 2015 at 23:57 #

        “You have no idea how you would respond you just don’t know because you haven’t traveled there. ”

        Have you traveled that path? If not, by your own logic, you can not comment on the situation.

        I know that people who apologize for those who murder disabled children do not respect my son nor my community.

    • Tia November 14, 2015 at 13:15 #

      How unfortunate the situation, I have to agree with Margaret. We need to focus on solutions, not the problem.

      • wzrd1 November 14, 2015 at 13:39 #

        Tia, if you don’t focus on the problem, you cannot direct efforts toward a solution.

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 14, 2015 at 23:54 #

        Downplaying the situation is part of the problem. Facing it is part of the solution.

        Claiming this isn’t murder is a HUGE problem.

  6. Anne November 11, 2015 at 19:44 #

    Another heartbreak. In this case, as in some of the others, the mom was considered a loving and devoted parent. She appears to have been a home-schooling, biomed mom, doing everything she thought was right for her child (whether other parents would agree with her methods or not). And then this.

    What can we do to recognize the risk for a parent like this? When I read Kim’s commentary, I noticed she said: “Few people know what goes on behind closed doors even here in my own home.” Then she referred to killing one’s child as a “new normal.” Is this an indication that her children could be at risk of dying by her hand? How is it possible to know when somebody is on the brink, and then, how best to help them so that their children can live? I agree Matt that everyone needs to walk in the shoes of the children. As Lori says in her comment, the children must not be demonized. But the parents are the instrumentalities of their death and cannot be ignored.

    I have to respectfully disagree with those who don’t think we should try to understand what has happened when parents kill their children. I think we should. To understand it is not to condone it. To understand it is to try to have a basis for meaningful intervention. Our children are among the most vulnerable to harm from all, even their own parents. We shouldn’t shy away from trying to learn whatever we can to save their lives.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 11, 2015 at 20:55 #

      “In this case, as in some of the others, the mom was considered a loving and devoted parent”

      The thing is, of course, that if the mother had been showing signs of being a danger, people may have stepped in. So when we get the news stories that a murder like this has happened, it’s often going to be from the mothers who appeared to be loving. And, yeah, the mother may have convinced herself that this is an act of love. She may have also convinced herself that she can “walk in the shoes” of her kid.

      I can come to an understanding of the person. I can not fully understand a murderer.

      • wzrd1 November 11, 2015 at 21:15 #

        In some very real ways, I can, on this very appropriate day. I’m a veteran, one of two wars of relatively recent occurrence.
        So, I know a whole hell of a lot about murdering someone, I drink enough that some dreams don’t awaken me at night.

        I commented above, but I suspect anger and especially, rage has clouded reviewing my questions and reply to despair and depression, although, “Sullivan” did obliquely glance off of my thoughts.
        I’ve had buddies suicide, with military training later giving guidance on warning signs. Those are some of my nightmares.
        I’ve had intelligence failures and more buddies died. See the last sentence.
        I’ve had lousy evacuation and families died when I guided a precision munition onto a really unpleasant person’s home and neighbors that weren’t evacuated had their home next door collapse onto them.
        So, I’ll close as a husband of a wife who had sixteen miscarriages and two live births, wanting only one additional child.
        Try to harm a child anywhere near me, there’s the wrath of God and there’s me and the Almighty long ago agreed to take that day off when I get started.
        Hearing the news, I was indeed enraged.
        But, the difference between I and my peers and you is, we learned early on to turn that rage off, when contemplating solutions. If we didn’t, our mission would fail and our nation would have to spend many millions of dollars and man hours to replace us.
        Our selection was, who would quit in an adversarial environment on our first week, after, who lost the ability to use their mind, in the many weeks following.

        What that means is, when hearing of an atrocity, not reacting out of anger, but of analyzing the angering situation and finding a way to improve it later.
        One wins hearts and minds by having a calm, fact filled conversation. One never wins flies with vinegar.
        So, try to mentally walk a few feet in the bunghole’s shoes, you might learn something to defeat their self-defeating stratagedy.
        Yes, a Buggs Bunny phrase, but appropriate.
        Just a notion though.

      • Anne November 12, 2015 at 04:31 #

        I know. And also, I fully understand and respect your desire to give your attention to the victim and not to the perpetrator, and not to acknowledge any excuses for killing a child, including “lack of services.” This is all a legitimate reaction to hearing that a parent has murdered their disabled child. I’m just … I want to know if we can protect these children better.

  7. chaoticidealism November 12, 2015 at 00:40 #

    I keep wondering: How many such murders are committed by “biomed moms”? Is it an actual risk factor, or is it coincidence? Is there something about the “biomed mindset” that attracts people who are likely to become homicidal in the future?

    “Biomed moms” are far more common than homicidal moms, of course, so it’s not something you could really use as a red flag; but in these homicide cases there seems to be this downward slide where the therapies get ever more desperate and expensive and take up ever more time, until finally the parent commits murder or murder-suicide.

  8. Shannon Rosa November 12, 2015 at 02:20 #

    Thank you for speaking out.

    In terms of the “loving mother” defense: our society lets parents of people with disabilities say almost anything re: being stressed, depressed, angry, frustrated, etc. — yet still be considered good, loving parents– because it’s *expected* that such parents would behave that way. This expectation is dangerous for PWD, as Sam Crane of ASAN has pointed out. Such behaviors are considered red flags for parents of non-disabled kids; the same standards should apply to parents of kid with disabilities. More of Sam’s observations on the matter: http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2014/11/how-asan-helped-issy-stapleton-get.html

  9. Anne November 12, 2015 at 04:24 #

    When I mentioned the “loving mother,” I wasn’t thinking of it as a defense, but rather trying to say that it can be hard to recognize the risk when a parent is perceived that way. My question is, how can we get better at detecting the risk and stepping in to prevent a child killing before it happens? I would really like to know whether Matt is right in asking whether a parent’s involvement in the autism recovery industry could be a factor. I wonder whether Shannon is right that a parent’s expressions of stress, depression, anger, and frustration should be viewed as a red flag. Well, I’m pretty sure the answer is “yes” and, unfortunately, the echo chambers where you often see these emotions expressed don’t seem to offer the kind of support that would mitigate these feelings. It’s almost as if you are a Bad Parent if you don’t feel that way, and any attempt to come to terms with your child’s autism is derided as “giving up” and acting as if having an autistic child is a life filled with unicorns and rainbows. (Actually, sometimes it is like that.) Anyway, I really wish we had a better understanding of what is driving these child murders and how we can prevent them from happening. I know my comments today are not particularly helpful. This is just such distressing news.

  10. Virginia Flanigan November 12, 2015 at 23:31 #

    How dare you judge! You have no right. Dustin’s autism had nothing to do with what happened. Dustin had severe physical issues that caused him to hurt. Dustin’s father and I know they are together in Heaven, without pain! How dare you judge when you lack the facts- this was not about Autism!

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 12, 2015 at 23:57 #

      I don’t need autism invoked to state that this is murder and this is wrong.

      • Margaret November 14, 2015 at 20:21 #

        You invoked autism!

    • brian November 12, 2015 at 23:59 #

      Well, if it’s all for the best, I suppose it’s just as well that you and Dustin’s father didn’t intervene. It must be a great comfort to you both that the murderer and her victim are “together in Heaven.”

      • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 13, 2015 at 00:23 #


        that is perhaps a bit too harsh.

        I don’t ask you to agree with these statements (I do not), but recall that they have lost loved ones. If they see Dustin Hicks as being in a better place, that’s one thing. I sincerely doubt they wanted to see him murdered.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) November 13, 2015 at 00:02 #

      I have read it reported that he had Crohn’s disease. Are you referring to that? Or what, exactly? What mitigates the murder of a youth?

    • Broken Link November 13, 2015 at 00:32 #

      Virginia, maybe you could think about a slightly different case, and what your reaction would be. Here’s a case of son who killed his mother because she had MS, was fully dependent on others for her care, and her son was her sole caregiver. He killed her by setting fire to her bed, and running from the apartment. He barricaded the door so that the the rescuers could not get in.


      Consider the tone in the article. Does it say that we should feel sorry for the son? Does it say that his mother is in heaven without pain? Does it ask us to sympathize with the son because of his burden in looking after the mother?

      And this mother was not young. You could argue that she was at the end of her life.

      This is not the case with the young man we are discussing. He was at the beginning of his life. His murder is inexcusable, just as was the murder of the mother with MS.

      It is never acceptable to kill another human being for your own convenience. It simply is not. It is not acceptable even if you kill yourself as well. It is not.

    • Anne November 14, 2015 at 18:38 #

      Virginia, what do you think could have been done to prevent this?

    • Tomas March 21, 2019 at 18:53 #

      Pro-Murder Virginia: I hope you never have someone who loves you as much (and in _precisely_ the same manner) as Dustin’s mom “loved” him.

  11. Missing Dustin December 4, 2015 at 13:54 #

    Thank you for showing respect to Dustin. I was beginning to think I was the only one that cared. I was friends with Nina and Dustin. In our friends group and in our local special needs group, everyone seems to make Nina out as the victim. I feel like I am the only one that is silently standing, darting my eyes back and forth….wondering if I am the only one that feels the way that I feel. Nina murdered a child. She is not a hero or a victim. Does Dustin’s life not matter? Just because he had autism and Crohn’s ? And there is a big part that I feel bad talking bad about a deceased friend…but OMG, she took a gun and shot her son in the head. Dustin, I love you ! Your life did matter to me and you will be missed!

  12. Missing Dustin December 4, 2015 at 14:03 #

    And why is there an obituary for Nina, but not Dustin? His life does matter!!!!


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    […] Was the murder of Dustin Hicks committed by a biomed mom? Woman, son dead in apparent Dawson Co. murder-suicide Dawsonville mother shoots disabled son, self […]

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