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True Crime Review – Killer Moms


Killer Moms: 16 Bizarre True Crime Stories of Murderous Moms
by Jack Rosewood


Review by jjares

When readers think of murderers, they think of men as the perpetrators. However, about 10% of murders are by women, most often for profit, pleasure, and revenge. Furthermore, women use poison more, while men use strangulation more. In addition, women are also far less likely to stab someone to death. Finally, there are even fewer women who kill their children. This is called prolicide – the killing of one’s offspring. This book outlines sixteen cases of mothers committing crimes against their children.

I think the value of sharing Christy Sheats’s story is to warn families with unstable partners to oversee them carefully. Although Christy had been in mental facilities for three suicide attempts, her husband decided to mention his desire for a  divorce on his birthday. So, to punish her husband, Christy murdered their two daughters in front of him. When the police arrived, she was waiting with her gun, and they shot her with a single shot. It was clearly ‘suicide by cop.”

Each story is interesting for its unique nature. For example, there’s the Casey Anthony case, which was the first court case tried on social media. In many ways, these compilations help bind stray facts together into a cohesive whole, so the reader can understand the complete story that may have occurred over months or years. One example would be the case of Andrea Yates (the mother in Houston who drowned her five children in the bathtub). Andrea’s case intersects with another mom behind bars, Dena Schlosser (Chapter 15).

The case that gave me pause was Megan Huntsman, who was on meth for more than a decade. She didn’t tell people she was pregnant eight or nine times that she gave birth.  Megan snuffed out their lives and wrapped each baby in a small box  Years later, when her husband cleaned the garage, he called the police about a tiny body in a parcel. There were a total of eight corpses resting in separate boxes, making Megan Huntsman a serial killer.  Another serial killer in this group of sixteen stories, Marybeth Tinning’s case is truly macabre.  It took nine children’s deaths to make the police suspicious.  Social Services even allowed the Tinnings to adopt a child — that died.

Jack Rosewood has a very readable style  One thing I was disappointed by, however, was that he didn’t allow his readers to make up their minds about truth or innocence  In another instance, I was disappointed that he would label Texans gun-happy: “It’s not easy to get denied for a carry permit in gun-loving Texas.” (page 8)  In the first story, Christy Sheats was turned down for a carry permit because of her mental health issues.
Indeed, medical experts now understand that some women experience postpartum depression or psychosis after giving birth. Probably the case of Andrea Yates did more to explain this psychosis to the American public than anyone else. Yet, tragically, so many innocent children had to die before medical science recognized the danger of unstable mothers. These are readable stories about an unusual subject — Mothers who kill their children.



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