Saturday, September 24, 2016

Concerns – “The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study” & Understanding Child Abuse


Concerns – “The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study” & Understanding Child Abuse

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Popular press reports of the findings of the NLLFS (National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study) in 2010 stated:

• “Families headed by two lesbian women had a zero-percent rate of child abuse.”

  “The researchers, who interviewed a group of 17-year-olds, suspected that such family situations were more peaceful because no male tempers are involved.”

The validity of the study has been challenged on the scientific quality of its method.

Following is a sample of case histories of lesbian involved child abuse. This collection of cases may be useful to researchers who wish to look deeper into the questions raised by this controversial study.

The study is important for the reason that it was designed to give a foundation for public policy. The study’s authors not that their project and its claims have “implications for healthcare professionals, policymakers, social service agencies, and child protection experts who seek family models in which violence does not occur.” Thus it is necessary to look into the question of whether the family model studied is in actuality a family model “in which violence does not occur.”

Governmental social engineering initiatives based on faulty premises – often as the result of inaccurate “advocacy” scholarship often makes the problems it claims to address worse than before government intervened for the sake of “progress.”

This post does not make an effort to promote any conclusion, but rather seeks to promote further research and to assist in avoiding superficial interpretations and unjustified or misleading claims that frequently appear in the press. In particular the stated notion (a postulated conclusion from the study) that “male tempers” are more likely to result in physical abuse than “female tempers” deserves serious detailed exploration.

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NO “MALE TEMPERS” INVOLVED – A selection of (18) cases of child abuse perpetrated in lesbian households:

1961 – Jeannace Freeman & Gertrude May (Nunez) Jackson – Jeannace dominated Gertrude Jackson, and used to fly into a rage if rage wanted to make love to her and the [Jackson] came in. On the morning of 10th May [1961], they had driven to the cliff above Crooked River Cayon. Jeannace told Mrs. Jackson to take a walk. Then she strangled the boy Larry, [beat him with a tire iron], undressed him, and mutilated his genitals – possibly to make it look like sexual assault. Mrs. Jackson came back, and helped Jeannace to undress her four-year-old daughter. They then mutilated her genitals, and tossed her, still alive, off the cliff. The prosecutor asked Mrs. Jackson, “Didn’t you feel anything?” “No, I didn’t feel anything.” After both children had been thrown over, Mrs. Jackson pointed to some blood on Jeannace’s hand; Jeannace said “Yum yum,” and licked it off. Then they hugged and kissed in the car. [Colin Wilson, A Casebook of Murder, Cowles Book Co., N. Y., 1969] (lesbian couple)

1984 – Georganna Lagen (M) & Paula Martineau – Las Vegas, Nevada – Michelle King (27 mo.), died. (Jul. 19) – Both women Air force officers. Child beaten, skull fracture, massive hemorrhage.

1990 – Ana Cardona, 30 (M) & Olivia Gonzalez – Miami, Florida – Lazaro Figueroa, 3, died. –  (Oct. 31) – “Lazaro was often tied to the bed, locked in a closet, or left in the bathtub with extremely cold or hot water.  When his body was found, it was covered in bruises and bedsores, and the child weighed only 18 pounds. On 10/31/90, Cardona split Lazaro’s head open with a baseball bat, and when the child would not stop screaming, she beat him to death. Cardona and Gonzalez-Mendoza dumped the body in a Miami Beach neighborhood, fled to Orlando and were eventually apprehended in St. Cloud.”

1992 – Tivia Strother, 22 (M) & Lisa (Kevin) Smith, 24 – Los Angeles, Ca. – Tivia Smith, 18-mo., died (Apr. 7) – “the toddler was emaciated like ‘a concentration camp victim’ from being starved, and had been forced to stand in a corner for eight hours at a time. Prosecutors contended that the women would dunk the child's legs in icy water afterward to make them stronger, so she would be able to stand for longer periods of time. The youngster also was forced to eat only oatmeal or grits, and autopsy reports showed the girl's mouth was damaged from being force-fed with a metal spoon.”

2000 – Mozelle Brown (M), 36 & Terry Stockley, 38; Maywood, Il. – daughter (11 mo.), survived (Dec. 20, arrested) –  A Maywood mother and her female partner have been charged with abusing the woman's 11-month-old daughter, police said. . . . The baby girl remained in critical condition at Loyola Medical Center in Maywood with burns covering her torso and genitalia, two broken arms, several broken ribs, and a broken leg, authorities said. The mother, Mozelle Brown, 36, and her partner, Terry Stockley, 38, allegedly abused the girl between August and December, police said.”

2003 – Hanelie Botha, 31 (M) & Engeline de Nysschen, 33 – Vereeniging, South Africa – Jandre Botha, 4, died (June 12) – “De Nysschen had viciously assaulted Jandre while demanding that he must call her ‘daddy.’ Both testified that while Jandre was assaulted, his mother failed to intervene or protect him. Evidence showed he had sustained horrific injuries, including a fractured skull and brain damage, as well as broken legs, collarbone, hands and pelvis.”

2003 – Mary Rowles (M), & Alice Jenkins – Akron, Ohio – Darrell Shaffer, (14), 2 other sons, severe abuse, survived (Apr. 28, escaped) – “[On Apr. 28, 2003], shortly before dawn, Akron police picked up Mary Rowles' firstborn, now 14, wandering barefoot through the city's streets with two brothers -- one 10, the other 8. They told police they had pried open a nailed-shut window at their 30-year-old mother's home on Florida Avenue in Kenmore where she and her partner of seven years had kept them locked in a closet since Valentine's Day. The youngsters claimed the closet was hot, dark, reeked of excrement, and that they were allowed out only once a day to eat. … Their grotesque story of punishment and torture included them getting sick after their mother's partner, 27-year-old Alice Jenkins, forced them to eat dog and cat feces, they said. In another incident, according to the youngsters, they were forced to hold down the 10-year-old while Jenkins kicked him in the groin with steel-toed boots.”

2004 – Marcella Williams (M), 25 & Lisa Ann Coleman – Fort Worth, Texas – Davontae Williams (9), died (July 26) –“Davontae, 9, of Arlington, was found starved two years ago at the apartment he shared with Ms. Coleman and his mother, Marcella Williams. Ms. Williams, 25, is awaiting trial on a capital murder charge. Prosecutors said Davontae had a busted lip and 250 scars or wounds, and had been forced to live in an empty pantry while no one else in the house went hungry. Davontae weighed 35 pounds when paramedics were called to the family's apartment on July 26, 2004.”

2004 – Zahira Matos (M), 20 & Carmen Molina, 32 – New York, N. Y. – Yovany Tellez Jr. (2), died (Sep. 19) – “When Yovany died, he had a lacerated liver, broken ribs and a broken leg, and he was covered in feces, prosecutors said during trial. More than 40 bruises covered his body, they said.”

2008 – Starkeisha Brown, 24 (M) & Krystal Matthews, 21 – Los Angeles, Ca. – boy, 5, tortured, survived (Jun. 9 rescued) – “Officials say the child has countless cigarette burns all over his body, including his genitals, and can’t open his hands because he was forced to put them flat on a hot stove. The boy was also repeatedly beaten and forced to sit in his own urine, police said.”

2009 – Erica Mae Butts, 25, (godmother), Shanita Latrice Cunningham (best friend of victim’s mother, Butts’ partner), 25 – Summerville, South Carolina – Serenity Richardson (3), died. (Nov. 3) “Doctors and nurses at the hospital saw cuts and bruises on Serenity's chest, abdomen, legs, arms, feet and back. The police report said there was a golf-ball sized bruise on her head and a large burn mark on her right leg. An autopsy by a Medical University of South Carolina forensic pathologist determined that the cause of death was ‘full body blunt force trauma.’”

2013 – Polly Chowdhury (M), 35 & Kiki Muddar, 43 – Chadwell Heath, east London, England – Ayesha Ali (8), tortured, died (Aug. 29)“Ayesha Ali's body had more than 40 injuries, including a bite mark and she had earlier written heart-rending letter asking what she had done wrong.” “She died of a head injury but had suffered more than 40 injuries including carpet burns and a bite mark.”

2014 – Eraca Craig (M), 31 & Christian Deanda, 44 – Salinas, Ca. – abused; son, 3; 3; adopted boy, 5; adopted girl, 8 (Mar. 24) – “The doctors also noted the girl had bruising and marks up and down her body, including bite marks on her arm. Jane Doe told authorities Deanda and Craig would chain her ankle to the wall and force her to sleep chained by the front door, prosecutors said. She also described an incident where Deanda told the girls two younger brothers, known in court as John Does 1 and 2, to urinate on her. The girl also said Deanda beat her with a belt, hosed her down with cold water and forced her head under an open faucet. The two boys supported Jane Doe’s statements, stating that they were forced to urinate on Jane Doe and belt her at the command of Deanda, prosecutors said. Both boys also stated that they saw Deanda and Craig chain Jane Doe up at the front of the house. During a search of the defendants’ home, photos and videos were found of Jane Doe with visible injuries, prosecutors said.”

2014 – Rachel (Trelfa) Fee (M), 31 & Nyomi Fee, 29 – Glenrothes, Fife, Scotland  – Liam Johnson, extreme tortures, died (Mar. 22) – “After Liam had died, they allegedly grabbed the hand of the seven-year-old and forced it into the dead boy’s mouth before police and paramedics arrived at their home near Glenrothes in Fife. The couple are also said to have deprived all three boys of food, refused to let them go to the toilet at night and forced them to stand naked and shivering under a cold shower if they wet the bed. The Fees told the older boys that their penises would be cut off with a saw and said to one of them that they had killed his dad with a saw, prosecutors claim in a court indictment. They allegedly made a cage out of a metal fireguard and piece of wood and imprisoned one of the youngsters in it with his arms and legs bound to the structure for prolonged periods of time. The couple are also said to have forced the same youngster to eat his own excrement and dog excrement, put soap in his mouth and shut him in a darkened drawer to sleep. The other seven-year-old child was allegedly compelled to eat his own vomit and had his face rubbed in underwear soiled with urine and faeces. One of the seven-year-olds allegedly had a cage of rats put on his head and the other was tied naked in a room were rats and snakes were kept and told a boa constrictor there ‘ate naughty boys’. Both women are charged with assaulting Liam, who was also known as Liam Fee, by repeatedly inflicting blunt force trauma to his head and body between January 2012 and March 2014.”

2014 – Crystal Jean Hostetter (M), 24, & Sarah Elizabeth McClain, 30 – Douglasville, Georgia; boy (6), survived. (Apr. 26, arrested) – They “forced the boy into a small pet crate, and covering his hands and feet with syrup and cat litter. They also forced him to hold a brick over his head for 15 minutes and refused to give him prescribed medications. While the abuse was happening, neighbors could hear the boy screaming “Don’t kill me!” and “Don’t you love me?” according to police. Hostetter said that the abuse was her way of punishing her son, and she told police that the reason she poured the syrup on him is because she knows he doesn’t like it.”

2014 – Kimberly Lucas (killer) & Elliana Lucas-Jamason (M, innocent) – Jupiter, Florida –Elliana Lucas-Jamason (2), died; Ethan (10), survived; (May 25) – “Lucas reportedly gave unidentified pills to both the boy and Elliana Lucas-Jamason, according to a probable cause affidavit. Lucas reportedly told the boy that the pill would make him grow faster and gave it to him in a cup of coffee, the report said. She also allegedly tried to give half a pill to Lucas-Jamason in a glass of water, but the toddler didn’t like the taste and refused to drink it. Lucas-Jamason was found dead in a bathtub by police. The 10-year-old reportedly tried to save the girl and called 911 during the alleged incident, police said.”

2014 – Becky Truelove (aunt), 43 & Lisa Vanetten, 45 – Oklahoma City Ok. – 13, niece, abused (Oct. 1) – “Court documents did the talking, and in a probable cause affidavit just filed against Lisa Vanetten it stated Vanetten and her lesbian partner Becky Truelove sexually abused two girls who were in their care. The document stated for years the girls were assaulted and Vanetten and Truleove touched the girls private areas, made the girls go into their bedroom and undress and ‘forced to watch Truelove and Vanetten have sex.’ In another document filed against Truelove it described sex acts the couple would perform on the girls. It also stated the couple tried using a sex toy on one of the girls.”

2016 – Rachel Stevens (M), 28 & Kayla Jones, 25 – Muskogee, Oklahoma; boy (5); survived. (Jan. 14) – “the little boy and learned that the child had been tied up, had duct tape placed over his eyes and had been kept in a locked room, the document states. The toddler also claimed that his mother struck him on the hand with a hammer, and that both she and Jones hit him with a belt all over his body. According to police, the horrific abuse went on for several months. The little boy said on one occasion, his step-mother kicked him in the groin until he bled.”

***

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The study:
[Nanette Gartrell, Henny Bos, US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents, Pediatrics, May 2010]
Reporting:
[Todd Venezia, “Lesbian parents get high child-rearing marks,” New York Post (N. Y.),  Nov. 13, 2010]
Criticism:
[Robin Marty, “Do Lesbian Households Really Have No Child Abuse?” Care2, Nov. 12, 2010]
[Mark Regnerus, “Lesbian Mothers’ Children: Is it time to retire the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study?,” National Review, Nov. 12, 2012]
[Janice Shaw Crouse, “Lesbian Mothers Think Their Children Are All Above Average,” American Thinker, Jun. 18, 2010]
[Peter Sprigg, “New Study On Homosexual Parents Tops All Previous Research,” Family Research Council, 2012]

***

Popular press report of the NLLFS:

FULL TEXT: Families headed by two lesbian women had a zero-percent rate of child abuse in a study released yesterday. Not a single one of the 78 children raised in lesbian households interviewed for the US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study reported being hit, punched, sexually assaulted or otherwise mistreated. The researchers, who interviewed a group of 17-year-olds, suspected that such family situations were more peaceful because no male tempers are involved. "One possible explanation for the discrepancy," the authors concluded, "might be that most of the . . . adolescents grew up in households in which no adult males resided." They also noted that "corporal punishment [is] less commonly used by lesbian mothers as a disciplinary measure than by heterosexual fathers." The study also found that kids in lesbian-headed homes have their first sexual experience almost a year later than other children. [Todd Venezia, “Lesbian parents get high child-rearing marks,” New York Post (N. Y.),  Nov. 13, 2010]

***

Inferences made by the authors of the study:

“[T]he absence of child abuse in lesbian mother families is particularly noteworthy, because victimization of children is pervasive and its consequences can be devastating. To the extent that our findings are replicated by other researchers, these reports from adolescents with lesbian mothers have implications for healthcare professionals, policymakers, social service agencies, and child protection experts who seek family models in which violence does not occur.” [Nanette Gartrell, Henny Bos, US National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents, Pediatrics, May 2010]

***

Regarding the faulty method of the study:

1) The "research" consists of the mothers' opinions about their own children;
2) Only 77 lesbian couples participated in the "study," and they were not typical parents in other regards. An earlier NLLFS report described the sample population as Caucasian (93 percent), predominantly college-educated (67 percent), mostly middle- and upper-class (82 percent), professional or managers (85 percent), and earning a median household income of $85,000; and
3) the study did not consist of a random sample -- all the participants were volunteers recruited via posted announcements in women's bookstores, at lesbian events, and in lesbian newspapers in three major metropolitan areas (Boston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco).

[Janice Shaw Crouse, “Lesbian Mothers Think Their Children Are All Above Average,” American Thinker, Jun. 18, 2010]

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THE REALITY THAT IS BEING COVERED UP

Wikipedia: “Domestic violence in lesbian relationships” –

EXCERPT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s 2010 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey reports on the lifetime prevalence of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner, focusing for the first time on victimization by sexual orientation. It finds a victimization prevalence of 43.8 percent for lesbians, making it the second most affected group after bisexual women (61.1 percent), ahead of bisexual men (37.3 percent), heterosexual women (35 percent), heterosexual men (29 percent) and homosexual men (26 percent).

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SOURCES for quotes:


1961 – Jeannance Freeman, 19 & Gertrude May (Nunez) Jackson (M), 33 – Jefferson County, Oregon – [Colin Wilson, A Casebook of Murder, Cowles Book Co., N. Y., 1969]
1984 – Georgiana Lagen (M) & Paula Martineau – [Tim Dahlberg (AP), “Dad won’t give up on solving child’s death; ex-wife to go on trial,” Spokesman Review (Spokane, Wa.), Apr. 20, 1987, p. C10]

1990 – Ana Cardona, 30 (M) & Olivia Gonzalez – [Court record: CARDONA, Ana Maria (H/F); Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County, Case #90-48092; DC #162180; DOB: 11/26/61; Sentencing Judge: The Honorable David L. Tobin; Date of Offense: 10/31/90; Date of Sentence: 04/01/92]
1992 – Tivia Strother, 22 (M) & Lisa (Kevin) Smith, 24 – [“Lesbian Couple Charged in Fatal Beating of Toddler, Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Apr. 15, 1992]
2000 – Mozelle Brown (M), 36 & Terry Stockley, 38; Maywood, Il. – [Rick Hepp, “Women Charged With Abusing Infant,” Chicago Tribune (Il.), Jan. 3, 2001]
2003 – Hanelie Botha, 31 (M) & Engeline de Nysschen, 33 – [Baldwin Ndaba, “Lesbian couple guilty of gruesome murder,” IOL (Cape Town, South Africa), Mar. 23, 2006]
2003 – Mary Rowles (M), & Alice Jenkins – [Steven Snyder, “Children Allegedly Locked In Closet, Fed Animal Feces,” Akron Beacon Journal (Oh.), May 2, 2003]
2004 – Marcella Williams (M), 25 & Lisa Ann Coleman – [“Fort Worth: 9-year-old's mother still awaiting trial on murder charge,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Tx.), Jul. 22, 2006]
2004 – Zahira Matos, 32 (M) & Carmen Molina, 20 – [Murray Weiss, “‘Monster Moms’ – Lesbians Killed Potty-Tot: Cops,” New York Post (N. Y.), Sep. 21, 2004]
2008 – Starkeisha Brown, 24 (M) & Krystal Matthews, 21 – [“Police arrest lesbians for 'torturing' boy, 5; Forced him to put his hands on hot stove, burned his body, genitals with cigarettes,” WND (World Net Daily), Jun. 15, 2008]
2009 – Erica Mae Butts, 25, (godmother), Shanita Latrice Cunningham (best friend of victim’s mother, Butts’ partner), 25 – [Laurie Whitwell, “Bizarre courtroom scene as lesbian lovers collapse and wail after hearing they will serve life for murdering three-year-old girl, “ Daily Mail (London, England), Nov. 7, 2011]
2013 – Polly Chowdhury (M), 35 & Kiki Muddar, 43 – [Emily Pennink, “Polly Chowdhury: 'Wicked' mum and her lover jailed for torturing daughter to death,” Mirror (London, England), Mar. 6, 2015]
2014 – Eraca Craig (M), 31 & Christian Deanda, 44 – [“Salinas women sentenced in torture, child abuse case,” The Californian (Salinas, Ca.), July 17, 2015]
2014 – Rachel (Trelfa) Fee (M), 31 & Nyomi Fee, 29 – [Mark Duell, “Mother and lesbian lover 'murdered two-year-old toddler and blamed the killing on a seven-year-old boy',” Daily Mail (London, England), Apr. 11, 2016]
2014 – Crystal Jean Hostetter (M), 24, & Sarah Elizabeth McClain, 30 – [MRC, “Lesbian Couple Locked Son In Cage, Tortured Him While He Cried For Help,” MrConservative.com, Apr. 27, 2014]
2014 – Kimberly Lucas (killer) & Elliana Lucas-Jamason (M, innocent) – [Matt Morgan, “Police: Jupiter woman facing murder charges tried to give kids pills,” Palm Beach Post (Fl.), May 27, 2014]
2014 – Becky Truelove (aunt), 43 & Lisa Vanetten, 45 – [Joleen Chaney, “New Details In Child Sex Abuse Allegations Against OKC Couple,” News 9 (Oklahoma City, Ok.), Feb. 20, 2015]
2016 – Rachel Stevens (M), 28 & Kayla Jones, 25 – [Byline “via Whoopie,” Cops: Lesbian Couple Tortured 5-Year-Old Boy, Blurrain, Jan. 14, 2016]

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Advocacy science kills.

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2016/10/rachel-nyomi-fee-civil-partners.html

Males should not be allowed to raise children. If you disagree, please read these 2 pieces, and “viralise” them:
Rachel & Nyomi Fee, Civil Partners – Sadistic Child Torturers who Murdered a Toddler – Scotland, 2014
&
Concerns – “The National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study” & Understanding Child Abuse

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Sanette Balmir, Terror Squad Leader, Serial Killer – Haiti, 1964


EXCERPT: [Haitian President] Duvalier also chose Sanette Balmir, a lesbian, to command the [Tontons] Macoutes in Jérémie, near the tip of the southern peninsula. Balmir, a convicted thief, had felt publicly humiliated by having to perform convict labor in black-and-white prison garb on the streets of Jérémie. As Macoute comandant, she targeted relatively prosperous mulattos with extreme savagery in the massacres known as the Vespers of Jérémie. [Andrew Reding, Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti, World Policy Institute, ‎2004, p. 82]

***

[T]hey were commonly known as Tontons Macoutes, Creole for “Uncle Knapsack,” evoking a Vodou image of a bogeyman who takes away misbehaving children in a peasant’s straw knapsack. In rural areas, their preferred dress was blue denim and red scarves, as the Cacos had worn. In urban areas they emulated Duvalier himself, who deliberately dressed in the style of Vodou lwa (spirit) Bawon Samdi, guardian of the cemetery, in black suits, hat, and sunglasses (see next section). The Tontons Macoutes were part of a conscious strategy to identify spiritual forces and nationalism with loyalty to Duvalier, and to instill fear in opponents. [Andrew Reding, Democracy and Human Rights in Haiti, World Policy Institute, ‎2004, p. 16]

***

~ The Jérémie Vespers

Wikipedia: The Jérémie Vespers refer to a massacre that took place in August, September and October 1964 in the Haitian town of Jérémie. It took place after a group of 13 young Haitians calling themselves “Jeune Haiti” landed on August 6, 1964 at Petite-Rivière-de-Dame-Marie with the intention of overthrowing the regime of François ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier.

The 13 were: Max Armand, his brother Jacques Armand, Gérald Marie Brierre, Miko Chandler, Louis Drouin, Charles Forbin, Jean Gerdes, Réginald Jourdan, Yvon Laraque, Marcel Numa, Roland Rigaud, Gusley Villedrouin and Jacques Wadestrand.

~ Outcome

The massacre was called the “vespers” because many of the families killed by the regime are remembered as the families who took many aforementioned “vesper” picnic excursions.

Several of the group were from the town of Jérémie. During two months they fought in the hills, the regime ordered the arrest and murder of Jeune Haiti’s family members. 27 people were murdered, ranging in age from 85-year-old Mrs Chenier Villedrouin to 2-year-old Régine Sansaricq. Other children murdered were aged 4, 6, 8, 10, 16, 18. (A full list of victims is included in the Wikipedia article.)

The members of “Jeune Haiti” were killed one by one in combat with Haiti’s army, until the last two survivors, Louis Drouin and Marcel Numa, out of ammunition, were captured alive, brought back to Port-au-Prince and shot in public against the cemetery wall on November 12, 1964.

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Wikipedia: The Tonton Macoute (Haitian Creole: Tonton Makout) or simply as the Macoute was a special operations unit within the Haitian paramilitary force created in 1959 by dictator François “Papa Doc” Duvalier. In 1970 the militia was renamed the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (Militia of National Security Volunteers or MVSN, perhaps named after the homonymous Italian Fascist paramilitary organisation. Haitians named this force after the Haitian Creole mythological bogeyman Tonton Macoute (“Uncle Gunnysack”), who kidnaps and punishes unruly children by snaring them in a gunny sack (French: macoute) and carrying them off to be consumed at breakfast.

~ Reign of terror

Papa Doc Duvalier created the Tontons Macoutes because he perceived the military to be a threat to his power.

After the July 1958 Haitian coup d’état attempt against President François Duvalier, he disbanded the army and all law enforcement agencies in Haiti and executed numerous officers. He created a paramilitary force in 1959, Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (Militia of National Security Volunteers or MVSN), two years after he became president, that answered only to him. He perceived a threat to his regime from the regular armed forces.

Duvalier authorized the Tontons Macoutes to commit systematic violence and human rights abuses to suppress political opposition. They were responsible for unknown numbers of murders and rapes in Haiti. Political opponents often disappeared overnight, or were sometimes attacked in broad daylight. Tontons Macoutes stoned and burned people alive. Many times they put the corpses of their victims on display, often hung in trees for everyone to see and take as warnings against opposition. Family members who tried to remove the bodies for proper burial often disappeared themselves. Anyone who challenged the MVSN risked assassination. Their unrestrained state terrorism was accompanied by corruption, extortion and personal aggrandizement among the leadership. The victims of Tontons Macoutes could range from a woman in the poorest of neighborhoods who had previously supported an opposing politician to a businessman who refused to comply with extortion threats (ostensibly as donations for public works, but which were in fact the source of profit for corrupt officials and even President Duvalier). The Tontons Macoutes murdered between 30,000 and 60,000 Haitians.

Luckner Cambronne led the Tonton Macoute throughout the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s. His cruelty earned him the nickname “Vampire of the Caribbean”. He profited by extortion carried out by his followers. In 1971, President Duvalier died and his widow Simone, and son Baby Doc Duvalier ordered Cambronne into exile. Cambronne moved to Miami, Florida where he lived until his death in 2006.

Some of the most important members of the Tonton Macoute were Vodou leaders. This religious affiliation gave the Macoutes a kind of unearthly authority in the eyes of the public. From their methods to their choice of clothes, Vodou always played an important role in their actions. The Tontons Macoutes wore straw hats, blue denim shirts and dark glasses, and were armed with machetes and guns. Both their allusions to the supernatural and their physical presentations were used with the intention of instilling fear and respect.

The Tontons Macoutes were a ubiquitous presence at the polls in the 1961 election, in which Duvalier’s official vote count was an “outrageous” and fraudulent 1,320,748 to 0, electing him to another term. They appeared in force again at polls in 1964, when Duvalier held a rigged referendum that declared him President for Life.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Rachel Wall, Serial Killer Pirate – 1789, Massachusetts


Rachel Wall was executed for a violent robbery, but she is thought to be responsible for 24 murders in partnership with her husband, George Wall.

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EXCERPT: Rachel, around the age of 16, loved the water. The boats and dockyards always spoke to her. Born on a farm outside of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, it bored her; so, while in Harrisburg, she went to the docks. She was harassed, harangued and attacked by a group of girls. Enter George Wall –- a fisherman and former privateer who served in the Revolutionary War. He saved Rachel from the girls and Rachel, against her devout Presbyterian parents, eloped with him.

They went to Boston where she stayed on as a servant girl while George plundered. He convinced her to join him and his cohorts in piracy. It proved successful, for a time.

Their plan was this: anchor near an island during a storm. When it passed, make their boat appear damaged. When another boat came, Rachel would shout for help. Help would come. They’d then murder the would-be rescuers, steal their valuables, and sink their ship. Those awaiting the unfortunate sailors would think simply that the storm had taken them away, not Mr. and Mrs. Wall. Between 1781 and 1782 they captured 12 boats, murdered 24 sailors and kept around $6,000 in booty for themselves.

[Jonathan Shipley, “Rachel Wall,” ExecutedToday.com, Oct. 8, 2009]

***

Rachel Wall (c.1760 – October 8, 1789) was an American female pirate, and the last woman to be hanged in Massachusetts. She may also have been the first American-born woman to become a pirate.

~ Early life

Wall was born Rachel Schmidt in Carlisle, in the Province of Pennsylvania, to a family of devout Presbyterians. She lived on a farm outside Carlisle as a child, but was not happy there. Having become a young woman she preferred the waterfront but she was attacked by a group of girls on the docks, and a man named George Wall came and rescued her. The two fell in love and, despite her mother’s concerns, they married.

~ Career as a pirate

When George went to the sea on a fishing schooner after the newlyweds moved to Boston, Rachel took up a job as a servant. When George came back, he brought with him five sailors and their lovers, and persuaded Rachel to join them. In one week, the party had spent all their money and the schooner set sail again, upon which George suggested they all become pirates. He borrowed another schooner from a friend, and the party set sail.

Rachel and her crew worked in the Isle of Shoals, just off the New Hampshire coast. After storms Rachel would stand on the deck and scream for help. When passers-by came to give aid, they were killed and all their goods stolen. The crew was successful in capturing twelve boats, stealing $6,000 cash, an indeterminate amount of valuables, and killing twenty-four sailors, all between 1781 and 1782.

~ Arrest and execution

Eventually, after her husband and the crew washed out to sea by accident, Rachel returned to Boston and resumed her role as a servant. However, she still enjoyed going to the docks and sneaking into harboured boats, stealing things from inside. Her final robbery occurred when she saw a young woman named Margaret Bender, wearing a bonnet which Rachel coveted. She attempted to steal the bonnet and rip Margaret’s tongue out, but was caught and arrested. She was tried for robbery on September 10, 1789 but requested that she be tried as a pirate, while maintaining that she had never killed anyone. However, she was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to be hanged on October 8, 1789. She is said to have quoted “...into the hands of the Almighty God I commit my soul, relying on his mercy...and die an unworthy member of the Presbyterian Church, in the 29th year of my age”, as her final words. Her death marked the last occasion a woman was hanged in Massachusetts.

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EXCERPT: On 2 April 1789, Boston’s Independent Chronicle and the Universal Advertiser printed the following item on the attack, which had taken place on 27 March.

“A singular kind of robbery, for this part of the world, took place on Friday evening last : As a woman was walking alone, she was met by another woman, who seized hold of her and stopped her mouth with her handkerchief, and tore from her head her bonnet and cushion, after which she flung her down, took her shoes and buckles, and then fled. She was soon after overtaken and committed to jail.” (Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Vol. XIX, Boston: 1907, 184)

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For similar cases, see: Female Serial Killer Bandits

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Mary Read, Serial Killer Pirate – Caribbean, 1720


Lesbian partner of fellow pirate Anne Bonny.

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Wikipedia: Mary Read (c.1690–1721), also known as Mark Read, was an English pirate. She and Anne Bonny are two of the most famed female pirates of all time; they are the only two women known to have been convicted of piracy during the early 18th century, at the height of the Golden Age of Piracy.

Mary Read was illegitimately born in England, in the late 17th century, to the widow of a sea captain. Her date of birth is disputed among historians because of a reference to the “Peace of Ryswick” by her contemporary biographer Captain Charles Johnson in A General History of the Pyrates. He very well may have made an error, intending to refer to the “Treaty of Utrecht”. Whichever it is, her birth was around 1691.

Because she had become pregnant as a result of an affair following the disappearance of her husband, Read’s mother attempted to hide the birth of her daughter, Mary. She first began to disguise illegitimately born Mary as a boy after the death of Mary’s older, legitimate brother Mark. This was done in order to continue to receive financial support from Read’s paternal grandmother. The grandmother was apparently fooled, and Read and her mother lived on the inheritance into her teenage years. Still dressed as a boy, Read then found work as a foot-boy, and later found employment on a ship.

She later joined the British military, allied with Dutch forces against the French (this could have been during the Nine Years War or during the War of the Spanish Succession). Read, in male disguise, proved herself through battle, but she fell in love with a Flemish soldier. When they married, she used their military commission and gifts from intrigued brethren in arms as a funding source to acquire an inn named “De drie hoefijzers” (“The Three Horseshoes”) near Breda Castle in The Netherlands.

Upon her husband’s early death, Read resumed male dress and military service in Holland. With peace, there was no room for advancement, so she quit and boarded a ship bound for the West Indies.

~ Becoming a pirate

Read’s ship was taken by pirates, who forced her to join them. She took the King’s pardon c. 1718-1719, and took a commission to privateer, until that ended with her joining the crew in mutiny. In 1720 she joined pirate John “Calico Jack” Rackham and his companion, the pirate Anne Bonny, who both believed her to be a man. On 22 August 1720 the three stole an armed sloop named William from port in Nassau.

Read’s sex was revealed when Bonny told Read that she was a woman, apparently because she was attracted to her. Realising this, Read revealed that she too was a woman. However, Rackham, as Bonny’s lover, did not know this and suspected romantic involvement between the two. To abate his jealousy, Bonny told him that Read was also a woman.

~ Capture and imprisonment

On 15 November 1720 pirate hunter Captain Jonathan Barnet took Rackham’s crew by surprise while they were hosting a rum party with another crew of Englishmen at Negril Point off the west coast of Jamaica. After a volley of fire left the pirate vessel disabled, Rackham’s crew and their “guests” fled to the hold, leaving only the women and one other to fight Barnet’s boarding party (it is also possible that Rackham and his crew were too drunk to fight). Allegedly, Read angrily shot into the hold, killing one, and wounding others when the men would not come up and fight with them. Barnet’s crew eventually overcame the women. Rackham surrendered, requesting “quarter.”

Rackham and his crew were arrested and brought to trial in what is now known as Spanish Town, Jamaica, where they were sentenced to hang for acts of piracy, as were Read and Bonny. However, the women escaped the noose when they revealed they were both “quick with child” (known as “pleading the belly”), so they received a temporary stay of execution.

Read died of a violent fever while in prison. Her 28 April 1721 burial is in the records of St. Catherine’s church in Jamaica. There is no record of the burial of her baby, suggesting that she may have died while still pregnant.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Anne Bonny, Serial Killer Pirate – Caribbean, 1720


Lesbian partner of fellow pirate Mary Read.

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FULL TEXT: By 18, Anne Cormac was already a fierce-tempered, hard-drinking gal, who had a bad reputation for being rebellious. Like the time she knifed her maid to death five years earlier on her father’s Charleston, S.C. plantation.

As an adult in the early 1700s, she sought to bolster that image. The legends of her early exploits (such as beating suitors nearly to death, shooting peoples’ ears off, and humiliating her fencing teacher by publicly stripping him naked with her own sword), were only the beginning of her illustrious career as a South Seas pirate of the swarthiest caliber.

When she eloped with pirate James Bonny, who had his sights set on stealing Anne’s father’s plantation, her father disowned her. She retaliated by burning down his plantation. The couple skipped to British-controlled New Providence in the Bahamas. When Anne discovered her husband to be a traitor, coward, and a government snitch, she dumped him and sought the company of a group of pirates who – so the story goes – swung “port,” as well as “starboard.”

Escaping matrimonial tyranny, Anne met up, and sought refuge with Calico Jack Rackham, a perfumed and effeminate pirate who fancied frilly clothes and the company of women over that of masculine ruffians.

After a night of drunken debauchery with her new pirate pals, an enraged James abducted Anne, and delivered her naked to the governor. She was charged with the felonious act of marital desertion. Anne escaped, and again caught up with Jack. Disguised as a man, she officially joined his pirate crew, and set sail upon the high seas to pursue her pirate career.

Although the exploits of Anne Bonny are too numerous to mention, her first set the tone for her career. After hearing from one of her gay pirate friends, Pierre the Pansy (yes, he was real), that a fully loaded merchant ship would soon be sailing by, they set into action one of the most bizarre acts of piracy ever witnessed.

Anne, Pierre, and other thugs stole a boat and doused the sails with buckets of turtle blood. On the bow, they lashed a dressmaker’s dummy clothed like a woman, also splashed morbidly with blood. With Anne similarly bloodied, and wielding a beheading axe, the crew sailed the boat quietly under a full moon and pulled alongside the merchant ship. The merchant crew was so frightened they gave up without a fight.

In an ironic turn of fate, while on-board Calico Jack’s ship, Anne fell in love with Jack’s lieutenant “Mark” Read. Legend has it Anne burst into the lieutenant’s cabin one day, stripped off her shirt exposing her breasts, and proclaimed her love. Lieutenant Mark (actually Mary) Read, similarly removed her clothing, and both realized there wasn’t a man between them and the bunk, which they eagerly climbed into.

Soon after, the pair no longer bothered with costuming themselves as men, and felt free to murder and pillage proudly as lesbians. Not content to be second in command, Anne liberated Calico Jack’s private quarters for herself, but allowed him to save face and retain his Captain’s command.

However, one day in 1720, one Captain Barnet attacked Calico Jack’s ship in order to subdue the pirates. While Anne and Mary are said to have fought like savages against the attackers, Jack and his crew hid below decks and cowered in fear. This outraged the women, and while fighting off the enemy alone for two hours, they also began shooting their own crewmates, even wounding Calico Jack for his cowardice.

Eventually, all survivors onboard were captured and brought ashore to be hanged. Knowing they faced execution themselves, Anne and Mary begged to be spared, and lied that the two were pregnant. Since it was illegal to hang a pregnant woman at the time, their lives were spared for having “plead their bellies.”

Mary died in prison of fever, but eventually Anne was granted a reprieve. After that, the daring lesbian pirate Anne Bonny mysteriously disappeared, as if she dropped off the face of the earth. – JOHN DOOLEY

[John Dooley, “Anne Bonny: Butch Buccaneer,” The Portland Mercury (Or.), June 12, 2003]

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Anne Bonny (c. 1700 – c. 1782) was an Irish woman who became a famous pirate, operating in the Caribbean. What little is known of her life comes largely from Captain Charles Johnson’s A General History of the Pyrates.

~ Early life

Anne Bonny was born around 1690. Her birth name was Anne McCormac, and her birthplace was Cork, Ireland. She was the daughter of servant woman Mary Brennan and Brennan’s employer, lawyer William McCormac. Official records and contemporary letters dealing with her life are scarce and most modern knowledge stems from Charles Johnson’s A General History of the Pirates (a collection of pirate biographies, the first edition accurate, the second much embellished).

Anne’s father William McCormac first moved to London to get away from his wife’s family, and he began dressing his daughter as a boy and calling her “Andy”. When discovered, McCormac moved to the Carolinas, taking along his former serving girl, the mother of Anne. Anne’s father dropped the “Mc” from their Irish name to more easily blend into the Charles Town citizenry. At first the family had a rough start in their new home, but Cormac’s knowledge of law and ability to buy and sell goods soon financed a townhouse and eventually a plantation just out of town. Anne’s mother died when Anne was 12. Her father attempted to establish himself as an attorney, but did not do well. Eventually, he joined the more profitable merchant business and accumulated a substantial fortune.

It is recorded that Anne had red hair and was considered a “good catch”, but may have had a fiery temper; at age 13, she supposedly stabbed a servant girl with a table knife. She married a poor sailor and small-time pirate named James Bonny. James hoped to win possession of his father-in-law’s estate, but Anne was disowned by her father.

There is a story that Bonny set fire to her father’s plantation in retaliation; but no evidence exists in support. However, it is known that, some time between 1714 and 1718, she and James Bonny moved to Nassau, on New Providence Island, known as a sanctuary for English pirates called the Republic of Pirates. Many inhabitants received a King’s Pardon or otherwise evaded the law. It is also recorded that, after the arrival of Governor Woodes Rogers in the summer of 1718, James Bonny became an informant for the governor.

~ Rackham’s partner

While in the Bahamas, Bonny began mingling with pirates in the local taverns. She met John “Calico Jack” Rackham, captain of the pirate sloop Revenge, and Rackham became her lover. They had a son in Cuba. Many different theories state that he was left with his family or simply abandoned. Bonny rejoined Rackham and continued the pirate life, having divorced her husband and marrying Rackham while at sea. Bonny, Rackham, and Mary Read stole the ship William, then at anchor in Nassau harbour, and put out to sea. Rackham and the two women recruited a new crew. Their crew spent years in Jamaica and the surrounding area. Over the next several months, they enjoyed success, capturing many, albeit smaller, vessels and bringing in abundant treasure.

Bonny took part in combat alongside the men, and the accounts of her exploits present her as competent, effective in combat, and respected by her shipmates. Governor Rogers had named her in a “Wanted Pirates” circular published in the continent’s only newspaper, The Boston News-Letter. Although Bonny was historically renowned as a Caribbean pirate, she never commanded a ship of her own.

~ Capture and imprisonment

In October 1720, Rackham and his crew were attacked by a “King’s ship”, a sloop captained by Jonathan Barnet under a commission from Nicholas Lawes, Governor of Jamaica. Most of Rackham’s pirates put up little resistance as many of them were too drunk to fight. However, Read and Bonny fought fiercely and managed to hold off Barnet’s troops for a short time. Rackham and his crew were taken to Jamaica, where they were convicted and sentenced by Governor Lawes to be hanged. According to Johnson, Bonny’s last words to the imprisoned Rackham were: “Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hang’d like a dog.”

After being sentenced, Read and Bonny both “pleaded their bellies”: asking for mercy because they were pregnant. In accordance with English common law, both women received a temporary stay of execution until they gave birth. Read died in prison, most likely from a fever from childbirth.

~ Disappearance

There is no historical record of Bonny’s release or of her execution. This has fed speculation that her father ransomed her, that she might have returned to her husband, or even that she resumed a life of piracy under a new identity. Some evidence suggests that Anne’s father bought her freedom from Jamaican Governor Lawes and married her off to a Virginian, Joseph Buerliegh (different spellings) with whom she had eight children and lived into her 80s. There are some records that seem to tie this all together, but nothing is conclusive.

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Gwendolyn Graham & Cathy Wood, Serial Killer Nurses – Michigan, 1988


Quote: “When she [Graham] was killing people at Alpine and I didn’t do anything, that was bad enough. But when she would call me and say how she wanted to smash a baby, I had to stop her somehow. I knew she was working in a hospital there. She said she wanted to take one of the babies and smash it up against a window. I had to do something. I didn’t care about myself anymore.” (Michael D. Kelleher & C. L. Kelleher, Murder Most Rare: The Female Serial Killer, 1998, p. 146)

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Jul. 1985 – Graham Hired at Alpine Manor in July 1985.
Jan. 1987 – Graham entered the room of a woman who had Alzheimer’s disease and smothered her with a wash cloth as Wood acted as her lookout.
Oct. 1988 – The murder investigation began in 1988 after Wood’s ex-husband, whom she had told about the murders, went to the police. Her ex-husband told the police in October 1988, which led them to investigate further.

Nov. 30, 1988 – The first victim was exhumed on November 30, 1988 almost a year after her burial. The coffin was then taken to Kent County Morgue for examination. Eight possible victims were identified, but police ended up pursuing five.
Dec. 4, 1988 – arrested.
Dec. 5, 1988 – arrested.
Sep. 1989 – guilty plea to charges of second-degree murder spared Wood from life imprisonment, earning her a sentence of twenty to forty years.
Nov. 3, 1989 – Graham was found guilty of five counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder, and the court gave her five life sentences.
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Wikipedia: Gwendolyn Graham (born August 6, 1963) and Cathy Wood (born March 7, 1962) are American serial killers convicted of killing five elderly women in Walker, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids, in the 1980s. They committed their crimes in the Alpine Manor nursing home, where they both worked as nurse’s aides.

The two women met at the Alpine Manor nursing home [location] shortly after Graham had moved to Michigan from Texas. They quickly became friends, and then lovers, in 1986. Two years later they both were facing murder charges for allegedly smothering five elderly patients as part of a “love bond.”

The details of the murders came almost entirely from accounts to criminal justice authorities by Wood, whose murder charges were reduced by a plea agreement so she could testify against Graham in Graham’s trial for first-degree murder. However, Wood’s accounts and her self-portrayal as Graham’s pawn were later brought into serious question by award-winning journalist Lowell Cauffiel in his 1992 true crime book, Forever and Five Days.

According to Wood’s account, in January 1987, Graham entered the room of a woman who had Alzheimer’s disease and smothered her with a wash cloth as Wood acted as her lookout. The woman was too incapacitated to fight back, and thus became the pair’s first victim. The woman’s death appeared to be natural, so an autopsy wasn’t performed. Wood claimed Gwen murdered the patient to “relieve her tension.” Also, they now shared a horrible secret that would assure they would never be able to leave each other.

Over the next few months, four more Alpine Manor patients were murdered by Graham, Wood alleged. Many of the victims, whose ages ranged from 65 to 97, were incapacitated and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Wood testified that the couple turned the selection of victims into a game, first trying to choose their victims by their initials to spell M-U-R-D-E-R. But when that became difficult, they began counting each murder as a “day,” as in the phrase, “I will love you for forever and a day.” A poem by Wood to Graham, and introduced in the trial, concluded, “You’ll be mine forever and five days.” Wood also testified that Graham took souvenirs from the victims, keeping them to relive the deaths. However, no such souvenirs were ever discovered by police. Wood also portrayed Graham as being sexually, physically and emotionally dominant in their relationship.

The couple eventually broke up when Graham began dating another female nursing aide who also worked at Alpine Manor. Graham then moved to Texas with the woman and began work in a hospital taking care of infants.

The murder investigation began in 1988 after Wood’s ex-husband, whom she had told about the murders, went to the police. Detectives for the Walker Police Department extensively questioned Cathy Wood in a series of interviews. She incrementally leaked out her version of the homicides, portraying Graham as the mastermind and hands-on killer. The investigation led to the exhumation of two nursing home victims who had not been cremated. But when medical examination failed to reveal physical evidence of homicide, not entirely unusual in a smothering case, the county medical examiner nevertheless ruled the deaths homicides, basing it on the interviews Wood had given to the police. Warrants were issued for the arrest of Wood and Graham. On December 4-5, 1988, Graham and Wood were arrested and charged with two murders. Wood was apprehended in Walker; Graham in Tyler, Texas.

During the trial, Wood plea-bargained her way to a reduced sentence, claiming that it was Graham who planned and carried out the killings while she served as a lookout or distracted supervisors. Graham maintained her innocence, testifying that the alleged murders were part of an elaborate “mind game” by Cathy. Despite the lack of physical evidence, the jury ultimately was swayed by the testimony of Graham’s new girlfriend, who revealed that Graham had confessed to five killings.

On November 3, 1989, Graham was found guilty of five counts of murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder, and the court gave her five life sentences. Graham is housed in the Women’s Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Pittsfield Charter Township, Michigan.

Wood was charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 20 years on each count and has been eligible for parole since March 2, 2005. Wood is currently incarcerated in the minimum security Federal Correctional Institution, Tallahassee in Florida; she is expected to be released on June 6, 2021.

However, as Lowell Cauffiel documents in his nonfiction book, friends, co workers, family members and others who knew Graham and Wood told an entirely different story than the one Wood spun as the key witness in Graham’s trial. They described Wood as both a coercive and seductive pathological liar who took delight in wreaking havoc in the lives of others. “Forever and Five Days” presents evidence that Wood planned the first murder after she found Graham with another woman. She involved Graham as an insurance policy to keep her from ever leaving her. When Graham left her anyway after the series of alleged killings, the maniacal Wood was willing to put herself in legal jeopardy by disclosing to police to exact her revenge. The book portrays Wood as a psychopathic criminal mastermind who manipulated the prosecutor and the jury to punish Graham. Psychological testing also revealed Graham could be easily manipulated, suffered from borderline personality disorder and lacked the sophistication to plan the series of killings, let alone adequately defend herself in her trial.

Wood, the book also reveals, later told inmates two other versions of events: The first, that she had made the entire story up to put Gwen away for life for leaving her for another woman.The second, that she had done all the killing, but framed Gwen, also for revenge.

Several of the families sued the owners of Alpine Manor for hiring “dangerous and unbalanced employees.” Alpine Manor has since gone out of business, but the building now houses a nursing home called “Sanctuary at Saint Mary’s.”

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Beverly Allitt, Serial Killer Nurse – England, 1991


“‘The trouble is, the more you knew Beverly Allitt the more normal she appeared in every way,’ said Mrs Eileen Jobson, mother of Allitt’s lesbian lover, Tracy. Allitt stayed with the Jobsons for four months while the attacks at Grantham Hospital were under investigation.

During those four months Allitt left a knife stuck in Mrs Jobson’s pillow, tried to poison her dog, stole money from her purse, set fire to her curtains and poured bleach on her carpet. (She was acquitted of trying to murder Mrs Jobson’s son, Jonathan, by giving him insulin.).”

[Lynn Barber, Mad, bad and fully qualified,” The Independent (London, England), May 22, 1993]

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Wikipedia: Beverley Gail Allitt (born 4 October 1968) is an English serial killer who was convicted of murdering four children, attempting to murder three other children, and causing grievous bodily harm to a further six children. The crimes were committed over a period of 59 days between February and April 1991 in the children’s ward at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, Lincolnshire, where Allitt was employed as a State Enrolled Nurse. She administered large doses of insulin to at least two victims and a large air bubble was found in the body of another, but police were unable to establish how all the attacks were carried out.

In May 1993, at Nottingham Crown Court, she received 13 life sentences for the crimes. Mr. Justice Latham, sentencing, told Allitt that she was “a serious danger” to others and was unlikely ever to be considered safe enough to be released. She is detained at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire.

Allitt was born on 4 October 1968 and grew up in the village of Corby Glen, near the town of Grantham. She had two sisters and a brother, her father Richard worked in an off-licence and her mother as a school cleaner. Allitt attended Charles Read Secondary Modern School having failed the test to enter Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School. She would often volunteer for baby-sitting jobs and left school at the age of 16, taking a course in nursing at Grantham College.

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The victims:

* Liam Taylor (aged seven months old) - was admitted to the ward for a chest infection and was murdered on 21 February 1991.
* Timothy Hardwick (aged eleven years old) - suffered cerebral palsy and was admitted to the ward after having an epileptic seizure. He was murdered on 5 March 1991.
* Kayley Desmond (then aged one year old) - admitted to the ward for a chest infection. Allitt attempted to murder her on 8 March 1991 but the child was resuscitated and transferred to another hospital where she recovered.
* Paul Crampton (then aged five months old) - admitted to the ward for a chest infection on 20 March 1991. Allitt attempted to murder him with an insulin overdose on three occasions that day before he was transferred to another hospital where he recovered.
* Bradley Gibson (then aged five years old) - admitted to the ward for pneumonia. He suffered two cardiac arrests on 21 March 1991, due to Allitt administering insulin overdoses, before he was transferred to another hospital where he recovered.
* Yik Hung Chan (then aged two years old) - admitted to the ward following a fall on 21 March 1991. He suffered an oxygen desaturation attack before he was transferred to another hospital where he recovered.
* Becky Phillips (aged two months old) - admitted to the ward for gastroenteritis on 1 April 1991. She was administered with an insulin overdose by Allitt and died at home two days later.
* Katie Phillips (then aged two months old) - the twin of Becky, she was admitted the ward as a precaution following the death of her sister. She had to be resuscitated twice after unexplained apneic episodes (which were later found to be due to insulin and potassium overdoses). Following the second time where she stopped breathing, she was transferred to another hospital but, by this time, has suffered permanent brain damage, partial paralysis and partial blindness due to oxygen deprivation. In a twist of fate, her parents had been so grateful to Allitt’s care of Becky that they had asked her to be Katie’s godmother.
* Claire Peck (aged fifteen months old) - admitted to the ward following an asthma attack on 22 April 1991. After being put on a ventilator, she was left alone in Allitt’s care for a short interval during which time she had a cardiac arrest. She was resuscitated but died after a second cardiac arrest, again following a period when she was left alone with Allitt.

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Trial and imprisonment:

Allitt had attacked thirteen children, four fatally, over a 59-day period before she was brought up on charges for her crimes. It was only following the death of Claire Peck that medical staff became suspicious of the number of cardiac arrests on the children’s ward and police were called in. It was found that Allitt was the only nurse on duty for all the attacks on the children and she also had access to the drugs.

Four of Allitt’s victims had died. She was charged with 4 counts of murder, 11 counts of attempted murder and 11 counts of causing grievous bodily harm. Allitt entered pleas of not guilty to all charges. On 28 May 1993 she was found guilty on each charge and sentenced to 13 concurrent terms of life imprisonment, which she is serving at Rampton Secure Hospital in Nottinghamshire.

Allitt’s trial judge recommended she serve a minimum term of 30 years, meaning she would not be released until at least 2022 and the age of 54, and then only if she was no longer considered to be a danger to the public. This represented one of the longest sentences given to a woman in Britain, exceeded only by those given to Rose West and Myra Hindley. In August 2006, Allitt launched an appeal against the length of her sentence. On 6 December 2007, Mr Justice Stanley Burnton, sitting in the High Court of Justice, London, confirmed that Allitt must serve the original minimum sentence of 30 years. It was reported that some families of Allitt’s victims had previously mistakenly believed that her minimum tariff had been set at 40 years.

Allitt’s motives have never been fully explained. According to one theory, she showed symptoms of factitious disorder, also known as Münchausen syndrome or Münchausen syndrome by proxy which may explain her actions. This controversial disorder is described as involving a pattern of abuse in which a perpetrator ascribes to, or physically falsifies illnesses in, someone under their care to attract attention.

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Chronology:

Feb. 21 (23?), 1991 –old Liam Taylor, 7 mo. (elsewhere “seven months old”) died.
Mar. 3, 1991 – Eleven-year-old Timothy Hardwick had cerebral palsy and had been in hospital before. On March 3, he had an epileptic fit at home and was taken to Ward 4 at Grantham. Two days later he unexpectedly died from an apparent heart attack.
Mar. 10, 1991 – Five days later another child almost died of a heart attack. Fourteen-month-old Kayley Desmond was admitted as a precaution with a minor chest infection. She was expected to recover quickly but on March 10 the young nurse caring for her, Beverley Allitt, shouted for the ‘crash’ team. Kayley was having a heart attack. She survived, but doctors did notice strange mottled marks on her arm.
Mar. 28, 1991 – Five-month-old Paul Crampton; survived.
Mar. 30, 1991 – two-year-old Henry Chan; survived.
April 1, 1991 – three-month-old Becky Phillips was admitted to Ward 4 with a stomach upset. One of her nurses was Beverley Allitt.
April 5, 1991 – Allitt told another nurse she thought the child looked ill, but when the other nurse checked she could see nothing at all wrong.
April 22, 1991 – Then fifteen-month-old Claire Peck died.
May 2, 1991 – the hospital management called in the police. They had a secret meeting with Detective Superintendent Stuart Clifton.
Jul. 26, 1991 – By 26 July 1991, police felt that they had sufficient evidence to charge Allitt with murder but it wasn’t until November 1991 that she was formally charged.
Sep. 3, 1991 – “It was, however, not until two months later, on 3 September, that Allitt was arrested on suspicion of murdering Becky Phillips” [Vincent Marks and Caroline Richmond, “Beverly Allitt: the nurse who killed babies,” J R Soc Med. 2008 Mar 1; 101(3): 110–115.]
Feb 15, 1993 – she went to trial at Nottingham Crown Court on 15 February 1993.
May 28, 1993 – Sentenced to 13 concurrent terms of life imprisonment.
May 2005 – Allitt was the subject of a ‘Mirror’ newspaper enquiry in May 2005, when it was revealed that she had received over £25,000 in State benefits since her incarceration in 1993.

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[Jonathan Foster, “Child-killer diagnosed as dangerous in 1986: Delay in alerting police over poisoned baby left Beverly Allitt free to kill fourth child,” The Independent (London, England), 17 May 1993]
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