Search results for 'murder'

Emerging evidence indicates that children with disabilities in general and with autism in particular are frequent victims of murder-suicide

22 Aug

The title a modified version of a line from a recent study: A Case Study of Paternal Filicide-Suicide: Personality Disorder, Motives, and Victim Choice. This is a topic that many of us, autistics and parents, have been aware of and trying to prevent for years. Parents and caregivers are killing people with disabilities. Not frequently, but far too often. Once is too often.

This study, this story, reminds us of why we speak out. Why when someone downplays the value of an autistic life, we speak out. Why when someone tries to downplay the seriousness of a murder, we speak out.

The study discusses the case of a father who murdered his autistic son. The researchers were able to speak at length with the murderer and report the details behind the murder. This sort of view into a murder is rare.

There were three major factors that fed into the murder. First, the father is mentally ill. He had an undiagnosed schizoid personality disorder.

Some people will jump on this and say, “aha, here’s the reason. It isn’t what we say that caused the murder, it’s because the father was mentally ill.”

For any of you reading this: you are completely missing the point. We don’t downplay murder, we don’t downplay the value of autistic lives specifically to not feed into a murder such as this. You can say, “I won’t judge parents who commit murder and almost every parent out there will not be encouraged to commit murder.

Key word: almost. There are people like this father out there.

And if you don’t understand that statements like this ares harmful and damaging to autistics, that they tell autistics they are less valued than the rest of us in society, please step back and rethink that.

The second factor that played into this father’s decision to commit murder was revenge. He was separated from his wife and felt that she had moved on to new relationships, and he wanted to hurt her.

Instead of hurting her directly, he chose to murder his son. He didn’t consider murdering either of his typical daughters, but only his autistic son.

Oh, and there’s a fourth reason. The second part of the motive (first being revenge). This exemplifies the reason why we don’t feed the narrative that autistic lives are worth less, that their struggles mean they would be somehow better off not alive. This is that the father felt a sense of altruism in murdering is son.

Yes, altruism. We hear that again and again. That somehow the parent is helping the child by ending his or her life.

The authors begin the section on altruism with this discussion:

The offender was convinced that his wife’s effusive preoccupation with their son’s impairment and her support of the educational inclusion project would be detrimental to their son. With his and his son’s death, both of them would be liberated from what he experienced as the mother’s intrusive and overbearing interference. Also, the offender had long been preoccupied with what would become of his son when he reached adulthood. He thought of his child as a nice boy and he believed that his son would be far too good to survive in what the offender considered to be a dog-eat-dog world. He was convinced that, by killing him, he would in fact spare him from a cruel destiny: “He wouldn’t have a future and would only get in trouble, anyway.”

Some people don’t understand why so many of us promote acceptance. Let’s leave aside the obvious (accepting people for who they are is the right thing to do), the message of “non-acceptance” is damaging. It is hurtful. Beyond that, yes, it feeds the murder narrative. Consider this from the study, the discussion of how the father saw his son as “different” and was “not very happy with him”.

Concerning his son, though, there was also another side to his attachment. Although he loved him, the offender admitted that, in fact, he was not very happy with him. He did not like having a son who was “different” and impaired. Although he admitted being ambivalent towards his son, he nevertheless stressed that this would not have been a sufficient reason to kill him.

Also note that the father saw that his son “lived on another planet” and didn’t respond as expected.

To him it appeared that his son “lived on another planet.” Discussing the offence, he emphasized that, contrary to human behavior, mathematically-based computer systems are regarded as “intelligent and reliable.” As the offender explained, the output of a computer is determined by the input: “a computer can only produce a stupid answer if the initial question is stupid.” “Hence intelligent input ineluctably leads to intelligent output.” Although he did his best to feed his son with what he considered to be intelligent input, the output was not as he expected. As has been observed with individuals with schizoid personality disorder, the offender saw the world as being out of line rather than himself not being attuned with the world around him (Esterberg et al., 2010).

If I am somehow not getting the message across–

There are messages that are not only damaging, they lower the bar for those considering murdering autistics (and other people with disabilities).

“My kid is different and I can’t accept that.”

“My kid’s life is harder, so it is less worth living.”

“My life is hard/my family’s life is hard because of my kid.”

“That parent murdered his/her child. I can’t judge that parent because I haven’t walked in his/her shoes.”

Of course this discssion comes shortly after I have spoken out against Polly Tommey for using exactly this language. Language that downplays the seriousness of murders (here and here). She says she “won’t judge” parents who murder their autistic children. Further she says this is because she “hasn’t walked in their shoes”. Saying that means that there may be some reason, some experience from “walking in their shoes”, that could mitigate murder.

There isn’t.

In the past I have also criticized Ms. Tommey’s colleague Andrew Wakefield. He has not just downplayed murder, but has portrayed the murder of autistics by parents as an act of love.

I don’t want to make this discussion about Tommey and Wakefield. They just serve as examples of people who are doing the harm I speak against.

Here is a link to the paper and the abstract:

A Case Study of Paternal Filicide-Suicide: Personality Disorder, Motives, and Victim Choice.

Although evidence with respect to its prevalence is mixed, it is clear that fathers perpetrate a serious proportion of filicide. There also seems to be a consensus that paternal filicide has attracted less research attention than its maternal counterpart and is therefore less well understood. National registries are a very rich source of data, but they generally provide limited information about the perpetrator as psychiatric, psychological and behavioral data are often lacking. This paper presents a fully documented case of a paternal filicide. Noteworthy is that two motives were present: spousal revenge as well as altruism. The choice of the victim was in line with emerging evidence indicating that children with disabilities in general and with autism in particular are frequent victims of filicide-suicide. Finally, a schizoid personality disorder was diagnosed. Although research is quite scarce on that matter, some research outcomes have showed an association between schizoid personality disorder and homicide and violence.


By Matt Carey

Polly Tommey, she won’t judge autism parents who murder, but judges Fiona O’Leary for just criticism

12 Aug

Readers here may recall this recent article: Polly Tommey won’t judge parents who murder their disabled children. That’s part of the problem. We discussed this video where Polly Tommey tells us about how she won’t judge parents who murder their autistic children.

In a later video she used the “I haven’t walked in their shoes” excuse.

Since then Ms. Tommey, through her film distributor Cinema Libre Studio, has threatened to sue an autism parent. An autistic autism parent. Fiona O’Leary: Cinema Libre Studios and Andrew Wakefield’s Vaxxed team threaten autistic autism mom.

In a more recent video she has posted she flat out judges Fiona O’Leary.

“She’s a pain, that woman”.

“She claims to be on the spectrum. In that case I feel bad for you.”

“She hasn’t seen the film” (Fact check–Fiona has, indeed, seen Vaxxed.)

Here’s a word for Polly Tommey:

Hypocrisy

hy·poc·ri·sy

The practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

Kill a kid: you will not be judged.

Criticize Polly Tommey: you will be judged.

Someone has her priorities seriously out of order. And it’s not Fiona O’Leary.


By Matt Carey

Polly Tommey won’t judge parents who murder their disabled children. That’s part of the problem

13 Jul

Let’s just jump right to the video clip. Because it needs no introduction, it is just so wrong:

The speaker is Polly Tommey. Polly Tommey has a long history of bad autism advocacy. When people think of the autism parents who just do advocacy wrong, they are thinking of people like Polly Tommey. She’s been a voice in the “vaccines-cause-autism” movement for a long time. She’s worked with Andrew Wakefield (whose unethical actions in relation to disabled patients at his hospital lost him his medical license. To name one of his many failures). This in itself demonstrates bad judgement and poor reasoning. Recall that Andrew Wakfield fictionalized an account of a parent murdering her autistic child, framing it as an act of love.

But the low point of Polly Tommey’s advocacy career came when she and Andrew Wakefield “helped” a family in crisis. They were working on a reality TV show (that failed to get off the ground) called the Autism Team. The idea was simple: find a family with an autistic child who is in need of help. Swoop in with Team Wakefield, blame vaccines, claim it’s all about gastrointestinal issues, claim to have helped the family and move on to the next. But it all fell apart with one family–that of Alex Spourdalakis. In the autism community, a community were people have extraordinary needs, Alex had extraordinary needs. What he didn’t need was for his mother to be fed false hopes and bad advice, which is what Team Wakefield did. What he didn’t need was for Team Wakefield to walk away to their next project, leaving his mother with nothing when the hope they were sold proved false.

Alex was murdered. Brutally murdered. By his mother and another caregiver. Alex was poisoned. When that failed to kill him, he was stabbed. Repeatedly. His wrist was slit to the bone. By his mother and caregiver. Alex bled to death, leaving a grisly scene for when his father, estranged from the mother, found him.

The fact that Polly Tommey won’t face up to her abject failure with Alex Spourdalakis is not surprising. It is also not surprising that Polly Tommey won’t judge the people who committed that brutal murder, or any other murder by a parent of an autistic child. Not surprising, but an example of the failure of Polly Tommey and other faux autism advocates to actually stand up and lead. How hard is it to say, “No! Murder is wrong”?

Polly Tommey met Alex Spourdalakis. But she “won’t judge” the person who plunged a knife into his chest. She won’t judge the person who poisoned him. She won’t judge the person who slit his wrist.

No, she won’t judge Alex’s murderers. Instead she and Wakefield capitalized on the tragedy to make “documentary”, taking Alex’s story to promote their own agenda.

Ms. Tommey tells us to check the web for stories. I searched for: autism parent murder child. First hit was this article: “Please Don’t Murder Us” Shouldn’t Be Controversial. Autistic people don’t share your views, Ms. Tommey. Autistic people don’t think we should stand back and “not judge” murderers.

Check the web, Ms. Tommey, and you will find the story of Katie McCarron.

katherine-mccarron-2

Katie was murdered by a mother who wanted a non disabled child. Katie, suffocated in a plastic bag by one of the people she most loved. Katie, who should be a beautiful young teenager today. Katie, whose mother felt that vaccinating her child made her responsible for Katie’s autism. Yes, the vaccination myth you, Polly Tommey, promote played into Katie’s murder. While Katie’s mother was suffocating her with a plastic bag, Katie struggled to get free, leaving teeth marks on the bag. She suffered. She feared.

Katie’s family (not counting her mother) loved her. She was valued. Her father stated, “If the measure of a person’s life could be quantified by the number of people that loved them, then Katie, in her brief 3 1/2 years, achieved well beyond all of us.”

Polly Tommey why won’t you judge Katie’s mother? Why won’t you stand up and say, “this is wrong”? Why not stand with Katie’s father?

Keep searching the web, Ms. Tommey and you will find London McCabe.

141108-london-mccabe-2049_a70e9dc1eaec004fa4cd41f4fc43798c.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000

He loved hats. More importantly, he was loved. Valued. His father is quoted as saying that London was his whole world. That he will miss London forever.

London McCabe’s mother took him to a bridge and pushed him over the rail. He fell over 100 feet, landing in a river. He not only had the fall to know that his own mother had pushed him over, he survived the fall, suffering multiple broken bones. He died from drowning. London McCabe suffered. He suffered fear. He suffered pain. He suffered betrayal. His mother had planned the murder, researched how to get off with an insanity defense (which thankfully failed).

But outright premeditated murder isn’t something you can judge, Ms. Tommey?

When you say, “I won’t judge”, you are saying, “autistics have such hard lives that killing them can be justified in some cases”. You were probably thinking of people like Alex, whose challenges were great. But you were wrong. Alex deserved his chance. He deserved his life. But even in your twisted logic, why can’t you bring yourself to judge Katie’s mother? London’s mother?

You and your new friend Del Bigtree are trying to make a name for yourselves with all your talk of freedom we Americans value so strongly. Let me remind you of the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

All men are created equal. And the first of the “unalienable rights” is life.

Alex Spourdalakis was created equal. He had a right to life.

Katie McCarron was created equal. She had a right to life.

London McCabe was created equal. He had a right to life.

All people with disabilities are created equal. All have a right to life. A many are murdered. Why don’t you stand with them? Why do you stand with those who murder?

The phrase “parental rights” doesn’t exist in the Constitution. As a parent I am not endowed with the right to chose life or death for my child. Until you understand that, all your “freedom” rhetoric is, frankly, just a bullshit public relations effort.

When you refuse to judge, you enable. You make it just that little bit easier for parents and other caregivers to murder.

My kid faces an uncertain future. A future where abuse and murder are real possibilities. My kid needs advocates who will stand up for him and his rights. If I do wrong by my son, damned right someone should judge me. Because if we refuse to judge parents, we say it’s acceptable to commit murder. It’s acceptable to treat autistics as less valuable, less human, less deserving of basic human rights.

It is perfectly acceptable, even important, to judge others when they fail. Ms. Tommey, in case it isn’t clear, I’m judging you right now.

By Matt Carey

Daniel Joost, autistic young adult, murdered by family member

11 Feb

Daniel Joost becomes the latest autistic who has been killed by a family member and made the news. Mr. Joost was 18 years old. Daniel Joost and his mother, Margaret Joost, were strangled by Daniel’s father David Joost, who then committed suicide. The Chicago Tribune has the story: Family dead in murder-suicide struggled with financial problems.

Daniel Joost is survived by his sister Kathryn Joost. An effort is underway to collect money to support her through this time. (Friends, family raising money for daughter in murder-suicide)


By Matt Carey

(note, I should have put this up before the article about supports and strategies for families facing very great challenges. I ended up mixing the article about the passing of Mr. Joost with the support information. Always we need to keep the victims first, especially when as so often happens when a disabled person is murdered, it is the murderer who gets the focus of news stories.)

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.

Kim

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

Jude Mirra’s mother sentenced to 18 years for murder

31 May

Jude Mirra was murdered .  His mother gave her son an overdose and killed him.  For this she has been sentenced to 18 years, included the five she has already spent in jail.  

Jude was autistic.  His mother spent years and part of her fortune in an attempt to cure him.   She claimed in the end there was a fantastic and complicated plot to harm her son and that the murder was somehow a mercy killing to save him.  

Jude deserved to live.  Thankfully the sentence doesn’t appear to have been lightened because he was disabled (although the prosecution did ask for 25 years).

This won’t bring Jude back and I wish his family (not including his mother: she gave up the right to claim to be his family) well.  I thank the court for a conviction and a sentence that will make others think twice before contemplating the murder of disabled family members.

By Matt Carey

Yes, the video “who killed Alex Spourdalakis” video whitewashes a murder

17 Feb

Consider this review of Who Killed Alex Spourdalakis on Examiner.com. The review is bad. Really bad. But it shows that at least some of the people watching this video are coming away with the idea that the primary fault for the murder does not lie with those who committed the act. In fact, even the murder itself is downplayed.

Don’t believe me? Check out this paragraph:

Alex Spourdalakis had two extremely devoted caregivers who would literally do anything to relieve the problems that he dealt with. He was a normal, happy baby until 18 months. Dorothy, Alex’s mother, and Yolanda Agata Skrodzka, Alex’s godmother, doted on him every moment when he started to show problems, often never leaving his bedside when he wound up in various hospitals. The story that movie tells is a heartbreaking tragedy of an arrogant and misguided healthcare system, not able to accept the changing state of autism in America. Dorothy and Yolanda trusted the doctors as Alex went through numerous changes, assuming the doctors knew best. Over time, it became clear that the doctors mostly didn’t know what they were doing. Eventually, at age 14, Alex died.

Eventually he died? That’s how you describe a death that involved poisoning, having one’s wrist slit and multiple stab wounds to the chest? “Eventually died”? Alex’s life is put in the context of his mother and godmother. He has a supporting role in his own life’s story.

Consider another paragraph:

It becomes obvious looking at the film that there is no coherent method of dealing with this growing problem, and it is the families who are being punished to unimaginable degrees. Hospitals don’t want to deal with this problem, which has led to an epidemic of stress-induced homicides. In Alex’s case, after he was at his very worst he was discharged by Lutheran Hospital in Parkridge, Illinois after a long line of hospitals had passed him along. It was shortly after that, that Dorothy and Yolanda were arrested for the death of Alex. The film shows very clearly that the two women were saints who obviously eventually succumbed to despair. This story is also shown to be a common problem.

So much wrong in that paragraph. So much. But let’s consider the worst: “The film shows very clearly that the two women were saints who obviously eventually succumbed to despair.”

Seriously? They stabbed him. Murdered him. But they are “saints”?!?

One could go sentence by sentence and point out the many flaws in this review, but I think the point is clear: Alex’s death is important in so far as it condemns the medical establishment. His life is important in so far as it shows that his caregivers, and murderers, are “saints”.

Alex deserved better in life. He deserves better now than to have his story told in this way.

By Matt Carey

Jude Mirra’s mother takes the stand in murder case

9 Oct

Jude Mirra was an autistic 8 year old.  Was as in he’s dead.  His mother killed him with a fatal overdose of drugs and alcohol.  His mother, Gigi Jordan, is now on trial for his murder.

If you have followed this story, you likely know what a strange story she has told.  At one point someone (presumably associated with her) posted multiple documents online (gigijordanbail.com as I recall).  Rather than focus on her account, let’s consider the facts.  She killed her son.  The only question now appears to be whether she forced the drugs into his mouth or not.  From the New York Times, In Testimony, Mother Who Killed Son, 8, Denies She Forcibly Drugged Him:

The police found the boy, Jude Mirra, dead in a bed at the Peninsula Hotel at about noon on Feb. 5. The door had been barricaded with a chair. Ms. Jordan was on the floor next to the bed, surrounded by pills. A pill crusher and a syringe used to force feed patients were discovered, along with empty vodka bottles.

An autopsy showed Jude had ingested fatal doses of several medications, including the sleeping pill Ambien and the tranquilizer Xanax. A medical examiner testified the boy had bruises on his face and chest consistent with having a mixture of pills forced down his throat.

She claims that her son was being abused by multiple people, including his biological father.  And, her story goes, she was being stalked by her son’s legal father (her former husband) who was trying to have her murdered. And, if I recall correctly, he also was allegedly abusing Jude.  She had to kill her son, you see, to protect him from falling into the hands of his abusers.

The Post discusses her stories in Someone lock up Gigi Jordan once and for all!.  But what do we have except another version of “I had to kill him to protect him”.

CNN is also reporting the story, noting:

“His fate was sealed,” assistant district attorney Matt Bogdanos said in opening statements. “He didn’t die fast. One by one, his vital organs shut down. It didn’t take minutes. It took hours to die.”

While Jude lay dying, Bogdanos said, Jordan sent an email to a financial adviser instructing him to transfer the $125,000 trust she set up for her son to her personal account.

It took him hours to die.  And the mother, who supposedly was attempting suicide, transferred money out of his account while he was dying.  It’s not like the police arrived just in time to save the mother from her pills, either:

The exact time of the boy’s death could not be determined, but Jude’s body temperature was 80 degrees, suggesting that when police arrived, he had been dead for 8 to 14 hours, Bogdanos said.

Sadly, Jude’s mother appears to have been a part of the “cure at all costs” community.  The New York Times is also reporting.

For several years, Ms. Jordan took him to medical specialists across the country, seeking a cure for his symptoms and subjecting him to experimental chemotherapy, injections of powerful steroids and filtering his blood to counteract autoimmune disorders.

How much did the false hope sold by charlatans play into this murder?  We may never know.  Jude died in 2010 at age 8.  He grew up during the height of the “better dead than autistic” rhetoric.

Jude’s mother is reportedly using her defense to obtain a manslaughter conviction rather than murder.  She’s quoted as calling this a “mercy killing”.

This is no mercy killing.  This is murder.  Brutal murder.  I hope the jury sees through Ms. Jordan’s bizarre stories.

Matt Carey

Sentencing expected for mother who attempted to murder her autistic daughter

7 Oct

Isabelle Stapleton is an autistic teenager who survived an attempted murder by her mother.  The mother has pled guilty to a lesser charge and is expected to be sentenced on Tuesday, reports SeattlePi.com

Sentence expected for mother of autistic teen

Shannon Des Roches Rosa: Changing Conversations: When Parents Murder Disabled Children

11 Sep

Shannon Rosa is the incredible parent of incredible kids, one of whom is autistic. I could say this from what I’ve read because Ms. Rosa is an excellent writer, but I have also met her and Leo in real life. Ms. Rosa writes at BlogHer as well as The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and Squidalicious.

A recent BlogHer article she wrote covers a very important topic: how when a disabled person is murdered the conversation usually focuses on the murderer, not the victim

Changing Conversations: When Parents Murder Disabled Children

Her article starts:

Michigan parent Kelli Stapleton recently pled guilty to poisoning her autistic teen daughter Issy. According to police reports, Kelly lured Issy into a van, “drugged her, lit the grills and left the van to get more charcoal while her sleeping daughter breathed in poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.” Kelli and Issy both survived the attempted murder-suicide. Issy emerged from a coma and seems to be doing well; Kelli is in jail, and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 6th.

Go to Changing Conversations: When Parents Murder Disabled Children for the full article.

–By Matt Carey