Tag Archives: child murder

Voodoo

Voodoo dolls, Author Brendajos70, Source Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/7960800@N04/2959709431 (CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

An outgrowth of the tribal religions of West Africa, Voodoo originated among Haitian slaves.  The religion varies from place to place, but generally combines belief in a chief god and many powerful spirits with ancestor worship [1][2].

Catholic saints and symbolism were superimposed on the Voodoo belief system, and Catholic hymns, prayers, relics, statues, and candles incorporated into Voodoo rituals.  Though many practitioners of Voodoo self-identify as Roman Catholic, Protestants for the most part consider Voodoo incompatible with Christianity [3].

Tragically, this attempt by slaves to cope with the cruelty and hardship to which they were subjected continues to create victims of its own.

Latarsha Sanders recently stabbed her 5 and 8 year old sons to death with a kitchen knife, subsequently telling Massachusetts police the violence was “Voodoo stuff” [4].  The older child was stabbed 50 times.  Sanders has no known history of mental illness.

Meanwhile, two sisters in a nearby community deliberately burned and scarred a 5 year old girl, and threatened to behead her 8 year old brother, in the course of a Voodoo ritual.

” ‘And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination…’ ” (Jer. 32: 35).

Many cultures have engaged in child sacrifice – the Canaanites, the Etruscans (predecessors of the Romans), the Carthaginians (contemporaries of the Romans), the Celts, the Maya, the Incas, and the Aztecs to name a few [5][6][7]. Continue reading

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Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Religion

Lessons in Parenting

“Judgment of Solomon” by Raphael (c. 1510), Apostolic Palace, Rome (PD-Art, Old-100)

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 [1]. 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 [2]. 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 [3].  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 [4].  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 [5].

It would seem that Cynthia Randolph is the one who would have benefited from lessons.

Self-Centeredness

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 [6].  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. Continue reading

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A Little Life

Baby holding toy, Author Asha Lall (CC BY-SA 4.0 International)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

Donald Trump is now the presumed Republican candidate for US President; and — despite Bernie Sanders’ optimism — Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate.  These are major developments.  One way or another, they will ultimately impact world events.

We watched the story covered from every angle, examined in minute detail.  What we did not see much about, on the evening news, was the death of a toddler in Utah.

Eighteen month old Ethan Antes had been left in the care of his stepfather, Codey Jolley.  The child was found floating facedown in the tub, with trauma to his upper body.

Police have charged Jolley with abuse homicide [2].  Ethan had sustained injuries on two earlier occasions, after being left alone with his stepfather.

While momentous events were unfolding on the national stage, a little life was lost.  We cannot know what impact that little life might have had, given the chance.

Nor can we know what impact all the other lost lives might have had — Jahi Turner or Malachi Golden in North Carolina [3][4], Charlie Brame in Florida [7], Jeida Torres in New York [8], or two unnamed little girls in Oklahoma and Arizona [5][6].

But those lives mattered.  They mattered every bit as much as the lives of politicians and celebrities do.  No little life should be lost.

But Jesus called them to Him and said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God’ (Luke 18: 16).

[1]  Fox 13 Now, “Family remembers toddler who may be victim of child abuse homicide” by Kiersten Nunez, 5/3/16, http://fox13now.com/2016/05/03/family-remembers-toddler-who-may-be-victim-of-child-abuse-homicide.

[2]  Fox 13 Now, “Millcreek man faces child abuse charges; 18-month-old has died” by Mark Green, 4/30/16, updated 5/1/16, http://fox13now.com/2016/04/30/millcreek-man-faces-child-abuse-charges-16-month-old-not-expected-to-survive.

[3]  Fox 8, “Stepfather arrested in NC in death of 2-year-old”, 4/19/16,  http://myfox8.com/2016/04/19/stepfather-arrested-in-nc-in-death-of-2-year-old.

[4]  Fox 46, “Mother charged in death of young son, day after stepfather charged”, 11/2/15, updated 11/3/15, http://wwww.fox46charlotte.com/news/local-news/43529838-story.

[5]  News OK, “Stepfather arrested in death of 2-year-old in Norman” by Jane Cannon, 8/6/15, http://newsok.com/article/5438504.

[6]  Fox 10, “Police investigating death of young child; stepfather charged” by Brian Pryor, 6/5/15, http://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/2480066-story.

[7]  NY Daily News, “3-year-old Florida girl, raped, beaten by new stepfather before death: police” by Rachelle Blidner, 11/26/14, http://nydailynews.com/girl-3-dies-raped-beaten-stepfather-police-article-1.2025585.

[8]  NY Daily News, “Social workers gave apartment the ‘OK’ day before Brooklyn girl was beaten to death by stepdad at homeless shelter” by Caitlin Nolan, Greg Smith, Tina Moore, 10/20/14, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/man-beat-brooklyn-girl-death-claims-escape-punishment-article-1.1980588.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Politics, Religion, Sexual Abuse

Murder in the Family

Many news stories in December were overshadowed by the ongoing Ferguson controversy, the SONY hacking, and a terrorist siege in Sydney which left fatalities. Two, however, warrant our attention.

In Pennsylvania, Bradley Stone killed his ex-wife Nicole and five of her relatives before turning a knife on himself [1]. Victims included Nicole’s mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law, and a 14 y.o. niece. A 17 y.o. nephew is recovering from his wounds. Thankfully, the two Stone daughters were spared.

According to the prosecutor, Stone’s attack was clearly pre-meditated. It has been attributed to a custody dispute. Since Stone was a veteran and briefly on tour in Iraq during 2008, there was speculation that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) might have played a role. The Marines who served with Stone dispute this.

In Australia, a suburban mother (also, wielding a knife) killed seven of her own children and a niece – all youngsters between the ages of 18 months and 15 years [2]. A 20 y.o. sibling found the children. The woman unsuccessfully attempted suicide. She is now under arrest. Continue reading

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Ignorance and Evil

In Texas, the first of a series of cases is being tried involving an 11 y.o. girl raped by 20 men and boys, over a period of months. Some actually blame the girl.  In NY, a 16 y.o. killed the 5 y.o. granddaughter of a woman who had been kind to him.

Little can be said in the face of such ignorance and evil.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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