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Old 05-24-2009, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
Living in a Warmer Insanity
Tully Mars's Avatar
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Location: Yucatan, Mexico
WTF is wrong with people?

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A mother accused of throwing her two children into the Willamette River — killing her 4-year-old son and injuring his older sister — has a history of domestic violence and recently filed for separation from the children's father, police said.

Amanda Jo Stott-Smith, 31, was taken into custody at a downtown parking garage Saturday morning — some six hours after her children's screams were first heard on the river.

She had threatened to jump off a ledge when officers arrived, police said.

A state medical examiner determined that Stott-Smith's son, Eldon Jay Rebhan Smith, drowned. Her 7-year-old daughter, who has yet to be identified, was hospitalized after surviving a fall of 75 feet and more than a half-hour in the cold water. Police said Sunday afternoon that the girl's condition was improving and she had spoken with officers.

"How she's not dead is a miracle," said Sgt. Mike Marshman, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman.

Stott-Smith faces aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder charges. She is to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

Police have not yet released a motive. It's unclear if the woman has an attorney.

Stott-Smith filed for separation from her husband, Jason Smith, in March, according to Washington County Circuit Court records. The parents had joint custody of the children, Marshman said.

Court records show Stott-Smith had been charged with domestic assault in 2000.

Early Saturday, the father filed a missing persons report in suburban Tualatin that helped authorities identify the children, Sgt. Detective Rich Austria said.

At about 1:20 a.m. Saturday, residents reported hearing screams on the river. When officers and rescue workers arrived, they tried to find the source of the screams in the early morning darkness.

Pati and Dan Gallagher, both 50, live in a town home just east of a bridge. They were sitting on their patio, they said, when they suddenly heard a single splash, silence, then screams. They called 911.

"At first it was, 'Help me!'" Pati Gallagher said of the girl's screams. "Then it went to anguishing horrible screams."

By 2:10 a.m., police said, the children were pulled from the water.

"It's tough to get the sounds out of my head — the screaming, the splash," Dan Gallagher said.

Marshman said police remain in awe of the girl, whom he describes as "tiny for a 7-year-old," and how she was able to not only survive the long fall, but withstand more than 30 minutes in the cold water.
I read a story like this and wonder how someone gets to the point where they think the solution to life's problems involves throwing their own kids off a bridge?

I also wonder how she got from threatening to jump herself to being arrested in a parking garage sometime later? Did the officers follow her to the parking lot?

Whole thing sounds like another universe to me. Like bizzaro land or something.
I used to drink to drown my sorrows, but the damned things have learned how to swim- Frida Kahlo

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Old 05-24-2009, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
We work alone
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Location: Cake Town
I bet I can best it and state the same question.

(CNN) -- A 23-year-old woman suffocated her son and then buried his body beneath the sand of a playground, police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said Thursday.
Tiffany Toribio, 23, was arrested and charged with killing her son.

Police arrested Tiffany Toribio about 4 a.m., just hours after they said they wanted to speak to her about her missing 3-year-old son, Ty.

Family members had contacted authorities, saying her son matched the description of a boy found Friday at an Albuquerque playground.

Police Chief Ray Schultz said she confessed to killing the boy soon after being apprehended.

"She placed her hand over her son's mouth and nose and suffocated him. She had second thoughts about what she did. She performed CPR on her son, brought him back to life and then decided to go forward with that original act she had started to commit," Schultz said.

"What makes this story especially sad is, when asked the reason why she took Ty's life, Tiffany said that she did not want him to grow up with no one caring about him, the same way that she had grown up where nobody had cared about her."

An emotional Schultz added that Toribio has tried to kill herself since her arrest. She was being held in isolation at a detention facility and kept under observation, he said.

He added, "As you can see, this case has been very emotional for everybody in the department."

Toribio was charged with first-degree murder and an array of other charges, including abuse of a child under 12 that caused death.

The discovery of the body at Alvarado Park on Friday shocked the community, which dubbed the boy "Baby Justice" and "Baby Angel" as they rallied around his case.

Police released a composite image of the boy Tuesday, hoping to garner more leads in the case. They weren't able to release a photo of the boy because his body was so disfigured by the sand's heat.

Schultz said that after killing her son, Toribio dug a hole under gym equipment at the playground, moved the body and buried him in the shallow grave.

"Since that time, she's been walking the streets of the city of Albuquerque," he said.

The boy was wearing Arizona brand clothing, size 3T: nylon black running pants with red stripes, a red shirt with a monster truck on it and black, gray and lime green Skechers sneakers.

Toribio did not comment Thursday morning after her arrest as she was put in a police car.

Schultz said there had been no reports of child abuse filed against Toribio. But he said family members indicated that she did not express the typical love of a mother for her child.

"She did not show the normal relationship that you would see with a mother, son," he said.

This week, police had gone to residences where she had lived previously, but she wasn't there, Schultz said. Police had gone there after family members expressed concern because "they did not like the way Ty was being treated," the police chief said.
Police: Mom killed boy, buried him in playground sand - CNN.com
Maturity is knowing you were an idiot in the past. Wisdom is knowing that you'll be an idiot in the future. Common sense is knowing that you should try not to be an idiot now. - J. Jacques
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
Living in a Warmer Insanity
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Location: Yucatan, Mexico
I didn't mean to start a competition. But yeah that's fucked up too. Maybe more so, don't know how you judge stuff like this or why you'd want.

Still want to know what snaps inside someones head that makes them think killing their own children is the answer to anything. Just does not compute in my head.
I used to drink to drown my sorrows, but the damned things have learned how to swim- Frida Kahlo

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Old 05-24-2009, 07:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
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How does one go about creating a society that can prevent parental child murder? We all know it does occasionally happen, people that either aren't emotionally stable have children and the unthinkable happens, but what steps can be taken to discover these people? Should we have children analyzed by professionals in school? Should we have parenting licenses? It seems like the only way to really take a crack at preventing this is to take somewhat orwellian steps.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What always gets me about these stories is that there are a greater proportion of women who kill their own children than men. What tends to stick out is that I think more men commit murder-suicide on their families than women. The latter, of course, is more sensational.

Despite how far we think we've "progressed," there are many aspects of every society that has its ills.
Knowing that death is certain and that the time of death is uncertain, what's the most important thing?
—Bhikkhuni Pema Chödrön

Humankind cannot bear very much reality.
—From "Burnt Norton," Four Quartets (1936), T. S. Eliot
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
Eat your vegetables
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Location: Arabidopsis-ville
The changes that take place in a woman's life when they have children is extreme. The physiological changes alone are enough to send some women into distress. Post-partum depression is an under-diagnosed problem. Support groups for young mothers are difficult to find in many communities. Mental health care is not mandatory nor commonplace for parents.

I could go on.

Yes, these are horrible occurances.
The more frequently they are reported, the more outrage will ensue yet more women will think of it as a viable option. Similar to a teen's purposefully botched attempted suicide, they assume that by going to extremes someone will notice their distress and they will finally receive the care they were not given.
"Sometimes I have to remember that things are brought to me for a reason, either for my own lessons or for the benefit of others." Cynthetiq

"violence is no more or less real than non-violence." roachboy
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Old 05-25-2009, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
Location: here&there
What genuinegirly said is so true, as far as the post-partum depression. Brook Shields has tried to bring it to the publics attention, but everyone just sticks their head back in the sand. and where do these young mothers go for help. The boyfriend , or husband, comes home just long enough to get them pregnant again and then he's off and running, leaving her with sometimes 3-4-5 little kids, 2 still in diapers. Horrible situation, where the girl is sometimes a child herself. Talk about genuine despair, and a feeling of absolutely no light at the end of a tunnel. The living conditions at times, I'm sure, are one of complete squalor, no food in the house, the young mother has no where to turn to. And the handful , (or it is becoming more prevalent nowadays) that resort to killing their children, are every much a victim themselves.
It truly is heartbreaking, but for how long can these people keep doing this to innocent children that never asked to be born in the first place. How anyone , much less a mother, could harm a child is beyond my capability of understanding.
It gives me that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that doesn't go away for awhile.
But something has to be done, it can't keep happening at the rate it seems to be , without someone stepping up with some sort of solution.
This may sound lame, but if I notice a young mother on the block where I live, I try to be friendly, and if I see she has a bigger burden than she should, I always offer my help in a real friendly way, not so as to make her think I don't have confidence in her parenting ability, , but I tell her I miss my grand kids who live out of state, and it would be a real joy to watch her kids for her if she ever wants some time to herself. Even if she has no where to go, just bring the kids to my house and take a bubble bath or something. I realize you are leaving yourself wide open to be taken advantage of doing something like this, but usually they give you the respect back, that you afford them. Just a kernel of a suggestion to help these young mothers.
Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about. ~
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Old 05-26-2009, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
Eat your vegetables
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Location: Arabidopsis-ville
lktknow - you offer sound advice. I'd want to have you as a neighbor.

Here is an article from CNN on the psychology behind sudden snaps of violence. I found it an interesting read and it seems applicable to the discussion.

Insights on why people 'snap' and kill

By Elizabeth Landau
(CNN) -- A University of Georgia professor shot and killed his wife and two other adults in Athens, Georgia, in late April, according to police. A U.S. soldier fired on fellow troops in early May at a counseling center at a base outside Baghdad, Iraq, killing five comrades, according to authorities.

While the full stories behind these particular shootings remain unknown, psychiatrists do have some sense of why some people "snap" and become violent.

In fact, although a person's snap into violence may come as a total surprise, in most cases there is a psychological buildup to that point, said Dr. Peter Ash, director of the Psychiatry and Law Service at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

"There's a pathway to violence that starts with some thinking and then fantasizing about a plan," he said. "There may be a more explicit planning phase that other people don't particularly notice."

The fantasy of killing others may turn into intention, leading the person to track victims and obtain weapons, Ash said.

The psychological buildup to a violent outburst with the intent to kill usually takes a minimum of a few days, said Dr. Lyle Rossiter, a forensic psychiatrist in Saint Charles, Illinois. However, in highly unusual cases, a person with bipolar disorder could experience a buildup of only hours, he said.

A person who has already decided to kill someone else may develop an "eerie composure," firmly believing that the moment to turn back has passed, said Dr. Charles Raison, a psychiatrist and director of the Mind/Body Institute at Emory University.

Despite the planning during the buildup, experts have found that a perpetrator often cannot recall particulars about the moment of the attack. "You would think they would give it a lot of thought, but sometimes they go into a somewhat dissociated state where their feelings are really kind of split off from what they're doing," Ash said. "They may even experience it as if they went on autopilot."

There are clear risk factors to snapping, psychiatrists say. These include brain tumors, seizures, alcohol and drug abuse, and psychosis stemming from schizophrenia or other disorders.

Another risk factor is a condition called delusional disorder -- and in particular the "persecutory type" -- that causes people to believe that someone is plotting against them, Rossiter said. People with psychotic depression and schizophrenia may also develop such delusions, he said.

Although none of these risk factors is a certain predictor of snapping, there are associated warning signs, Raison said. If a person becomes unusually paranoid or suspicious, believes someone is out to get him or her, or says God told him or her to kill someone, these all indicate that the person may do something to harm someone else. They may stop bathing, become extremely agitated, and "go from 0 to 60 in a second," he said.

If delusions can contribute to violent behavior, what about flashbacks? Experts say people who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder are unlikely to act violently while experiencing a flashback. The range of emotions that a PTSD patient feels during a flashback -- fear, anxiety, dread, a sense of shock -- usually does not lead to a violent action, Rossiter said. The association between mental illness and snapping is controversial, some say. Most people with mental illness are not violent, said Dr. Roland Segal, a forensic psychiatrist in Phoenix, Arizona.

Life experiences can also contribute to snapping. When mental health professionals evaluate perpetrators of violent crimes, they look at relevant defining events and personality traits, he said. For example, the person may have experienced or witnessed violence or abuse early in life, Segal said.

Studies have shown that brain injury increases the risk of violent and aggressive behavior. Damage or abnormalities in the frontal lobe -- a brain area that regulates movement, inhibition, emotions and general behaviors -- has been linked to violent behavior. A 2007 study from the American Journal of Psychiatry found an association between violence and cortical thinning in some areas of the frontal lobe.

Damage to the brain's temporal lobe, which contains structures involved in fear response, has also been suggested to have a connection to violence. "If a person has damage to the frontal or the temporal lobe, perhaps they cannot identify or evaluate the fear appropriately, and perhaps their response is of a more physical nature," Segal said.

Other warning signs include feelings of being hopeless, ashamed and trapped, Raison said. People with these feelings may announce ahead of time that they are going to kill someone else or themselves, which increases the likelihood that they will follow through with violence.

When people who are not psychotic are committing a homicide, some dehumanize or blind themselves to the person they're shooting, Ash said.

"It's striking when you talk to people who have done things like this, how they're really preoccupied with their own feeling and have in their mind stopped thinking of the other person as real full human being," he said.

If the warning signs are strong, the person should be taken to a hospital's emergency room, Raison said. Most ERs have the capacity to determine if someone is a danger to himself or others. In California, residents can call police to have someone evaluated, and then hospitalized if needed.

"You can't hold people forever, but this is the best thing society has at this point," Raison said.

Even 48 to 72 hours of treatment for psychosis reduces the risk of violence if a person has "just blown a fuse," he said.

Why some people snap and others don't is still a mystery, experts say.

"It's not possible to say that if you have A and you add B, and then C, that's going to equal violence," Segal said.
"Sometimes I have to remember that things are brought to me for a reason, either for my own lessons or for the benefit of others." Cynthetiq

"violence is no more or less real than non-violence." roachboy
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people, wrong, wtf

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