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Karen McCarron asks for new trial, claims she believed Katie would be resurrected without autism

27 Oct

Karen McCarron was the mother of a beautiful daughter. I don’t think I will ever forget the image of Katie playing with her teletubbie doll. In 2006, Karen McCarron was tried and convicted of the murder of Katie.

In Convicted child killer Karen McCarron wants new trial, we find that Karen McCarron wants a new trial. She claims her attorney was not doing his job properly and that she (Karen) was suffering from religious delusions at the time:

Fischer said McCarron believed she was “not killing her (daughter) forever and Jesus Christ would resurrect her,” similar to a passage McCarron read in the Bible, and also believed her daughter would be resurrected without autism. Only later when McCarron realized her daughter was not being resurrected did she “snap out of it,” Fischer later said.

Recall that Karen McCarron was a doctor. A pathologist. The unfortunate fact is that Karen McCarron like had ample experience with the fact that when people die, they don’t get resurrected.

Let’s recall what Karen McCarron had to say during her 2006 trial:

……..McCarron told her defense attorney that she felt responsible for Katie’s autism because she allowed her the child [sic] to get vaccinated.

Katie was suffocated with a garbage bag. A police technician examined a bag entered as evidence for DNA:

According to Midden, a DNA substance was retrieved after she noticed possible teeth marks on the inside of the bag.

Possible teeth marks on the inside of the bag. Katie fought to live. Karen McCarron must have fought to kill Katie.

Rereading these descriptions is extremely painful, and Katie isn’t even a relative. I’ve never met any of the McCarron family in real life. My heart goes out to them as this story gets dragged up again.

A week of bad news

12 Aug

The past week has been a busy one. For me, personally, as you might have surmised from the lack of posts for a few days. But, in terms of news stories, specifically bad news stories, it has been busy.

Consider this one: Karen McCarron Seeks New Trial, Convicted of Killing Autistic Daughter. This article by Kristina Chew discusses a news story: Convicted child killer petitions court for new trial.

The story of Katie McCarron was discussed a great deal around the time that I was coming online to look for information. Here’s how the Star summarizes the story:

Five years ago, Karen McCarron, an Illinois pathologist, suffocated her three-year-daughter Katherine “Katie” McCarron with a plastic bag in her mother’s house. McCarron then drove the body of her daughter back home and put her to bed as if she were asleep. She was found guilty of killing Katie in 2008, sentenced to 36 years in prison and is incarcerated at the Dwight Correctional Center.

It is just a horrible story of a beautiful little girl who should be growing up. Back when this story broke, it affected many, including Kev and others on the Autism Hub, a great deal. He wrote about the story (see articles under the category Katie)and ended up in communication with Katie’s grandfather, Mike McCarron. Mike responded to the Autism Hub (From Mike McCarron to the Autism Hub).

Mike, I wish your family peace. I wish I had more to offer.

In another news story discussed by Kristina, Mother Kills Self, Autistic Son, In Despair Over School Placement, Kristina writes:

On August 2, the bodies of psychiatrist Margaret Jensvold and her 13-year-old, Ben Barnhard, were found in their home in Kensington, Maryland, an upper-middle class suburb of Washington, D.C. Jensvold, a Johns Hopkins-educated psychiatrist specializing in women’s health who worked at Kaiser Permanente, had left a note:

“School – can’t deal with school system,” the letter began, Jensvold’s sister, Susan Slaughter, told The Associated Press.

And later: “Debt is bleeding me. Strangled by debt.”

The story was carried by Forbes as Md. mom who killed son agonized over school costs.

A third story came out just over a week ago discusses the case of the death of Jawara Henry. The Wall Street Journal carried the story as Supervisor Is Charged in Death of Patient. The story opens with:

A supervisor at a state-run psychiatric center on Staten Island was charged Wednesday in the death last year of an autistic patient undergoing treatment at the facility, authorities said.

Erik Stanley, of Middletown, N.J., used excessive force when he subdued Jawara Henry on Dec. 4, 2010, at the South Beach Psychiatric Center, suffocating the patient with pressure on his neck and torso, Staten Island prosecutors said.

I find these stories obviously very troubling. I also find them very difficult to write about. How can we balance the need to discuss these stories and make it clear that these deaths were all needless, while keeping respect for those directly affected? A writer can try to inform. A writer can express personal outrage. A writer can also use other people’s tragedy for his/her own purposes. It is that third level that slows me down in responding to these stories.

What can I say? There is no reason for Katie McCarron, Margaret Jensvold, Ben Barnhard or Jawara Henry to be dead. There is no excuse, no rationale which explains these events. I wish their families well. I wish them peace. I hope for justice.

Baby killer blames autism

8 Jun

This is the sort of story I find it nigh on impossible not to get angry and scared about. Stephanie Rochester allegedly killed her 6 month old child because she thought he might have autism.

According to an affidavit seeking her arrest, Rochester wanted to commit suicide but didn’t want to “burden her husband” with the potentially autistic boy.

There aren’t words for how sickening this is. I feel personally attacked by this woman that she should attempt to make autism responsible for the death of her child rather than shouldering the blame herself. My own autistic child and step child and all other autistic people deserve better than this cheap attempt at buck passing.

And really one has to examine the social atmosphere this kind of thing takes place in. Who gave this person and her attorney the idea that autism is such an awful awful thing that a jury might see past her culpability and accept that it was OK to place blame on autism itself? I know I have my own ideas about this.

I was moved by the love of a mother must have for her child to take his life rather than him fall upon a society that really didn’t give a damn.

Death better than autism says Andrew Wakefield

28 May

When I first got involved in this, 15 years ago, I got a call from a parent in the North of England who said ‘Dr Wakefield please do not judge me harshly but when I die I’m taking my child with me, because I’m the only one who loves him’ and I didn’t judge that mother at all. In fact I was moved by the love of a mother must have for her child to take his life rather than him fall upon a society that really didn’t give a damn. from 2:30 to 3:25.

Those who are regular readers of LBRB may guess how I felt upon hearing such words coming from a man who swore as a doctor to do no harm. If nothing else, they confirm exactly the type of human being Andrew Wakefield is. I also note he waited until _after_ the GMC hearings before expressing such an extreme viewpoint.

I believe that death is not better than autism. Part of the reason LB/RB exists and continues to exist is to counter the idea that autistic people are second hand citizens who can be done away with because of false ideas that they are ‘inconvenient’. There are no reasons based in any morality that it is ever OK to kill another human being. The fact that the other human being might be autistic is irrelevant.

I was already disgusted and appalled at the money grabbing callousness of Andrew Wakefield. Now I find myself more than anything, relieved that the GMC acted as they did and that he has no more access to children in the UK.

Murderers should not be pitied

30 Sep

The deaths of a man and his 11-year-old autistic son on Sunday were the result of a murder-suicide, Edmonton police said….”To say that this can’t happen for other families,” Phillips said as her eyes welled up with tears talking about the tragedy. “The dad just felt he couldn’t do it any longer and he just didn’t think he could get the help he needed.”

So? So what? We all struggle. Its damned hard, we all lack services, all autism parents all over the world and guess what? We don’t murder our kids.

Don’t pity this murderer, don’t enable pity for this murderer, don’t blame lack of services for excusing a murderer and try to remember not to kill your children today, okay?


Another autistic child murdered

20 Nov

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that 12 year old Kyle Dutter was murdered by his dad..

He wasn’t killed. He was murdered. His dad, his own father, put him in the car, drove him a distance and then shot him. This coward then turned the gun on himself, thus at least saving Kyle’s family the sort of horror and recurring tragedy that the McCarron family had (and still have) to face following the murder of Katie.

On Tuesday, an anonymous 911 caller directed Madison police to a sport-utility vehicle parked in front of Haen Family Park on the city’s Far West Side. Inside, police say they found Dutter and his son with gunshot wounds.

Kyle, who had a developmental disability, died that day. His father died Wednesday. Authorities say Dutter, 36, recently of Middleton, shot his son, then himself.

There is a website for Kyle which shows an excitement about Hallow’een. There are also a collection of photos on the website showing Kyle and his killer.

There can’t be any excuses for this. None. Kyle’s killer may well have been suffering from financial pressures or other kinds of pressure and the locality may well have had a severe lack of appropriate autism services – so what? That is no excuse – and never should be – for picking up a weapon and taking away someone _elses_ options and life. Kyle had a mother. Why not simply take Kyle back to her? What about Kyle’s grandparents mentioned in the article? There was no need for this.

I have a 16 year old son who is just beginning to spread his wings in the world. Kyle Dutter is another in what is a unnervingly long line of autistic children who will never have that opportunity, an opportunity denied to them by the very people who should be providing it to them.

Better dead than autistic

15 Sep

This is Heidi Roger who is the Treasurer and a founding member of SafeMinds.

Heidi is a firm, firm believer that vaccines cause autism. No shock seeing as she’s a member of SafeMinds.

What is a shock though is her attitude to human life. In an online debate regarding the book Autism’s False Prophets Rogers made the following astounding claim:

…AUTISM is no joke, it is not “oh well” so their kid will work at McDonalds instead of Trump tower, it is a nightmare without end, it is post traumatic stress disorder every day, it is not better than measles, mumps or rubella and maybe even not better than polio.

That’s right, autism is worse than Polio which can leave some kids needing an iron lung is better than autism.

Measles which has left two teenagers in the UK dead in the last two years and still kills hudreds of thousands worldwide is better than autism.

I beg to differ. Its my opinion that my autistic child is in a much better place than some poor child in an iron lung.

But then, later on, Roger topped even this heartless statement with one so heartless and chilling it made me catch my breath:

Death may be better than autism in some cases….

Is that an official position of SafeMinds I wonder? That death ‘may’ be better than autism. If anyone has any doubts about why I and others feel it necessary to devote so much time blogging against these peoples beliefs you have it encapsulated right there. Death is not better than autism.

On the homepage of this site is a pink ribbon. If you click on that ribbon you will see some photos of Katie McCarron. Katie was murdered by her mother. Her mothers defence was that death was better than autism.

Katie’s family didn’t feel that way. Her Dad, her grandma and her grandpa didn’t feel that way. I have had the pleasure of meeting her dad and grandpa and I know that they loved Katie just as she was and that what was done to Katie was a violation. To even discuss the idea that death is better than autism is a violation. How someone who is parent to an autistic child can even suggest that death is better than autism is quite frankly beyond me.

Happy Birthday Katie

22 Jul

Today, Katie McCarron should have been six. Just about three years older than my youngest and two years younger than my oldest pair of girls.

Its still difficult – impossible – to think of Katie without thinking that in a fair and just world, we would never have heard of Katie and she would be just another little girl, one amongst billions, anonymous and safe.

I know that Katie’s family will be going to her grave today and so I ask you that, if you are the kind of person who prays to pray hard for them. They must go through the pain soon of an appeal hearing as Katie’s killer seeks once more to escape her responsibilities. If you not the sort who prays, then send them good thoughts.

If you look on the home page of this site you will see a pink ribbon on the left hand side. This is my best graphical representation of the pink ribbon, chosen by Kassiane and worn by the McCarrons every day of the killers trial and by me too during those days as Mike and Paul brought some over to us when they visited us last year. Please click that ribbon for photographs of Katie. Remember her.

There is also a memorial grove where you can donate money for a grove of trees for Katie. Her dad and grandad visited the grove and saw the young living saplings that her life had inspired to be planted. They grow wild and free, as should a little girl from Illinois in whose memory they thrive.

36 Years

1 Apr

It can’t ever be enough.

Nothing will bring Katie back and nothing will make it not have happened but tonight my hope is that for the first time in a long, long time the McCarrons can mourn for their daughter/granddaughter/sister/niece without the shadow of yet another court date where they will have to look at or deal with her murderer.


18 Jan

Yesterday, the 12 jurors of Tazewell County returned a guilty verdict on all counts to the murderer of Katie McCarron.

Happiness is the wrong word for how I feel about this. I am glad for the McCarron’s that this aspect of their association with Karen McCarron is over and I am relieved that the jurors were so emphatic in their deliberations. One of the jurors, RH, commented on the trial at Kristina’s blog:

As a juror on the trial, I can say it was an exhausting, emotional, and mentally draining trial. In the end, the evidence was clar and the defense did virtually nothing to convince us that she was either insane or impaired by her depression, certainly not enough to warrant killing a child. A terrible tragedy on all fronts, but I left that trial knowing we made the right decision, and now hope the family can move on the best they can in the next phase of their lives.

We all hope that. It’s nigh on impossible to really know just how painful and draining this has been for the McCarron’s. All I can do is imagine (or try not to) how I would feel if one of my kids died. Hopefully, this day can be the first for along time that they can operate in a world that they know is free of their granddaughters killer and can know that justice for Katie has been done.

Paul made a public statement after the verdict:

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.

I’d like to recognize the tireless efforts and personal sacrifices of the States Attorney’s Office, specifically Kirk Schoenbein and Kevin Johnson, and the Morton Police Department, specifically Ray Ham and Bill Roth, for the relentless pursuit of the truth and justice. We are blessed to have these caring and professional people in our community.

I’d like to thank all the people that worked with Katie. Specifically, Kia Quick and Stephanie Blair—your ability to make Katie smile while you taught her is a testament to your talent and love.

I ask all parents and especially those of children with disabilities to ALWAYS love your children and be proud of them. Cherish every moment you have with them. Love, patience and tender efforts are the best therapies.

Speaking as the parent of an autistic child myself, I am also very grateful that the afore mentioned teachers, attorneys and police personnel were on hand to do right by Katie. It gives me hope in the idea that diversity can be respected and that crimes against people who are disabled are seen as exactly that, crimes. No watered down investigating and prosecuting because the victim was autistic.

I would remind people of the words Paul closed with ‘Love, patience and tender efforts are the best therapies’. Katie’s mum was part of a group that didn’t think that was so. They, Sue Grimm from ANSWERS, Erik Nanstiel and David Ayoub from Fair Autism Media amongst others, felt that Karen was a loving mum. David Ayoub attended Katie’s visitation and met a reporter there to expound on his vaccine hypothesis, describing Karen as ‘one of the most loving mom’s’ within a few feet of Katie’s body. Erik Nanstiel was considering inviting Karen to become a member of FAM. Sue Grimm testified on Karen’s behalf.

Justice has been done for Katie despite the best efforts of such persons. I hope that they can find some way to live with themselves and what they contributed to (not that I suggesting they played any role in Katie’s murder, that was all Karen). I hope they can stop the relentless mad drive to fix ‘imperfection’.

Raise the love, value patience. The life of Katie McCarron deserves no less.