Saturday, June 23, 2007

Dad drowns daughters in bath, then kills himself

The murder of children in a marital dispute seems to be primarily a male activity, I wrote in the original version of this post. However, if you check the comments, below, you will see that I may have been wrong and that parental murder of children may be at least a 50/50 male/female activity. The post was based on this story in the Irish Independent about a father in New Jersey but originally from Ireland who drowned his two small daughters and then hanged himself. His marriage had broken down two months earlier and the children had been visiting him. I have never been able to dredge up an iota of sympathy for men or women who behave like this. How dare they assume they have a right to exercise the power of life and death over their children? These people get Church funerals with kind words spoken by clergy - frankly I believe they should be denied any rites of any kind.

More important is the question of what sort of thinking leads people - men or women - to behave in this way? And what can be done about it? Any ideas anyone?

Related post:
Current or former partners kill two women a week in the UK


Christy said...

Padraig, I am surprised at your claim that "The murder of children in a marital dispute seems to be primarily a male activity". I read the article you have linked to in the actual paper itself, beside which there was a column listing similar recent tragedies. The list included four mothers and three fathers. Mothers are just as capable of murdering their own children as fathers are.

Padraig O'Morain said...

Thanks. I don't know where to find official statistics on this. My impression was that killings following a separation were more of a male thing. Perhaps I'm wrong. Anybody know where this can be checked out?

Anonymous said...

A quick google search produced the following link:
which claims that "Women—who commit less than 13 percent of all violent crimes in the United States—commit about 50 percent of all parental murders. Why do so many women direct their most violent impulses toward their own children? While it may once have been true that women were the sole—and often frustrated—caregivers of small children, mothers now work, yet they don't kill their colleagues; they kill their babies. Why? Feminists and legal researchers tend to claim that such women must be extremely ill. Judges and juries mostly agree, with the result being that women who kill their children in this country are disproportionately hospitalized or treated, while men who do so are disproportionately jailed, even executed."
As it was on the internet, I can't verify it but thought it might be of help....

Padraig O'Morain said...

Thank you, Anonymous and Christy and I have amended the original post in the light of your comments. The link from Anonymous is very helpful.