WARNING: Graphic Images
- Cynthia Randolph deliberately shut her toddlers, aged 16 months and 24 months, in a hot car to “teach them a lesson” for not leaving the car when she wanted . Believing the toddlers could get themselves out, Randolph went into the house, smoked some marijuana, and slept for 2-3 hours. The temperature outside that Texas day reached 96 degrees. The toddlers did not survive. Randolph is being held on $200,000 bond.
- Aramazd Andressian killed his 5 y.o. son “Piqui” after a trip to Disneyland . Andressian and the boy’s mother had been in the midst of a highly contested divorce. Andressian alternately threatened to take the boy to Cuba, Iran, or Armenia. The child’s body was found after a two-month search involving rescue personnel, volunteers, and cadaver dogs. Andressian has since pleaded guilty.
The majority of child victims who die at the hands of their parents are under five years of age . More than a third are under the age of one. Men murder six out of ten of these children, most often by beating or shooting them.
To “Teach Them a Lesson”
Some 700 children have died in hot cars in the last 20 years . Over half the time, these children were forgotten by their caregivers. About 17% of the time, children were intentionally left in the car by an adult, as was the case with the Randolph toddlers.
One might be tempted to blame Cynthia Randolph’s stupidity for her children’s deaths (raising the possibility of an affirmative defense of diminished capacity). But Randolph was capable of devising several stories, in an effort to exculpate herself, before disclosing the facts. The deaths have been ruled homicides .
It would seem that Cynthia Randolph is the one who would have benefited from lessons.
Aramazd Andressian went a step further. He killed his son from sheer self-centeredness. The vast majority of “family annihilators”, i.e. those who kill their immediate family, are men . These men come from all backgrounds. Most show no outward signs that violence is imminent.
It may be that Andressian did not distinguish between his son and himself. Perhaps he could not envision a future for the boy without him. This is selfishness in the guise of altruism. Or perhaps Andressian simply wanted to inflict maximum pain on his wife.
Murdering his children is a twisted way for a man to exercise power. Murder is, also, a way of obtaining revenge against his wife or ex-wife. In half such cases, a family annihilator will kill her, along with the children. In some cases, in-laws and other relatives are, also, targeted.
Additional reasons parents kill their children include: drugs/alcohol, long-term abuse, financial pressures, family “honor”, or a psychotic break .
Tragically, the incidence of parents murdering their children is on the rise.
The Judgment of Solomon
There is a Bible story about two women who came before King Solomon, arguing over a child. The women, who lived in the same house, had given birth within days of each other. However, one woman carelessly smothered her infant by rolling onto him in her sleep. Both now claimed the living child.
Solomon listened to the women, then called for a sword to be brought, so that the living child might be divided in half.
“Then the woman whose child was the living one spoke to the king, for she was deeply stirred over her son and said, ‘Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him.’ But the other said, ‘He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him!’ Then the king said, ‘Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him. She is his mother’ ” (1 Kings 3: 26-27).
This is how we determine parentage: By the degree of self-sacrifice a parent is willing to undergo for a child. DNA notwithstanding, those who treat their children as property cannot be called “parents” in any true sense.
That ought to be the first lesson in parenting.
 Washington Post, “2 toddlers die after mom left them in hot car to teach ‘a lesson’, police say” by Amy Wang, 6/24/17, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/24/texas-mom-arrested-after-leaving-2-toddlers-in-hot-car-to-teach-them-a-lesson-police-say/.
 Los Angeles Times, “After killing his son, a South Pasadena man enjoyed Vegas shows and skydiving. Now he is heading to prison for life” by Nicole Santa Cruz, 8/23/17, http://www.latimes.com/local/crime/la-me-andressian-sentencing-murder-20170823-story.html.
 USA Today, “Parents who do the unthinkable – kill their children” by Marisol Bello and Meghan Hoyers, 9/11/14, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/09/10/parents-kill-children-fbi-data/15280259/.
 San Jose State University, Dept. of Meteorology and Climate Science, “Heat Stroke Deaths of Children Left in Vehicles” by Jan Null, 8/18/17, http://noheatstroke.org/.
 ABC 13/Eyewitness News, “Deaths of 2 Texas toddlers left in hot car ruled homicides”, 8/7/17, http://abc13.com/deaths-of-texas-toddlers-left-in-hot-car-ruled-homicides/2280877/.
 UK Daily Mail, “Why ever more fathers are killing their children: Top criminologist reveals her research into this sickening trend” by Elizabeth Yardley, 5/21/13, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328784/Why-fathers-killing-children-Top-criminologist-reveals-research-sickening-trend.html.
 Forensic Outreach, “Deadly Dads: Some of the Shocking Reasons Fathers Kill Their Own Children”, http://forensicoutreach.com/library/deadly-dads-some-of-the-shocking-reasons-fathers-kill-their-own-children/.
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