- Filicide is a word for the deliberate act of a parent killing his or her own child.
- List of parents condemned guilty of the most heinous acts — killing their own offsprings.
Another day I found there is a word for the deliberate act of a parent killing his or her own child -- filicide. There is also prolicide -- the killing of one's offspring. Feticide -- the killing of a fetus. Neonaticide -- the killing of a child during the first 24 hours of life. And infanticide, the killing of an infant from birth to 12 months.
Lacey Spears (mother)
Lacey was a mommy blogger who killed her son with a lethal dose of salt. A classic example of Munchausen by proxy syndrome -- a disorder when caretakers to harm children for personal attention. Over the years, she took her son to 20 different medical facilities and detailed the journey on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and blog. She decided not to testify at the trial and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
Rosario Porto & Alfonso Basterra (parents)
Asunta Fong Yang was adopted as a baby from China by a wealthy Spanish couple Rosario Porto & Alfonso Basterra. Her parents were systematically drugging her. On many occasions, Asunta revealed her suspicions to her to teachers and friends. Her father Alfonso bought fifty doses of Orfidal -- the very same drug that killed her. Aged 12, she was found dead beside a country road.
Anna and Josef Michel (parents)
The story of Anneliese Michel is a bit different. She experienced epileptic seizures and was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. Depressed and treated at a psychiatric hospital, her family decided to cure her by undergoing Catholic exorcism rites.
She died malnourished and dehydrated. Her parents and the priests responsible were charged with negligent homicide. The defense played tapes of exorcism sessions and claimed that Michel was possessed. The priests insisted the demons identified themselves as Lucifer, Cain, Judas Iscariot, Hitler, and Nero among others. What an insane way to die.
Randy Janzen (father)
Emily Janzen was suffering from migraine attacks for all of her life. It made her life difficult. At one day, her father Randy decided to make her ‘pain-free’ by simply killing her. And then his wife, so she wouldn’t have to hear her daughter died. And sister Shelley, so she wouldn’t “have to live with this shame.” And then himself, before burning down his house.
Amanda Lewis (mother)
Amanda Lewis was found guilty of drowning her daughter in the pool. She admitted that taking care of her daughter was a daily struggle and that she had trouble with bonding in the beginning, but insisted the affection had grown over time. The victim, Adrianna, had problems paying attention and sometimes controlling her behavior. Doctors diagnosed her with ADHD — attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The star witness at the trial was her own son, who described what happened by drawing a picture and burst into tears when seeing her mother. The defense argued a child witness is unreliable. He kept changing his story, and the prosecutor and grandfather placed the story into his head. Nonetheless, she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Andrea Pia Kennedy Yates confessed to drowning her five children in their bathtub. In 2002, she was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. But the verdict was overturned on appeal, and this is when things go interesting.
Her defense claimed she had been suffering from very severe postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. She had a history of mental illness. On one occasion Andreas was caught shaking and chewing the fingers of her daughter. The next day, she attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on pills. She mutilated herself, and read the Bible frantically. She was admitted to the hospital and prescribed antidepressants. After many hospitalizations, she was given a mixture of medications and antipsychotics. One of her psychiatrists testified that she urged her not to have more children, as it would guarantee future psychotic episodes Yet, she stopped taking antipsychotics and gave birth to daughter Mary.
In 2006, Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to the mental health treatment facility.