Murder of Autistic Persons

See also:    Abuse    Aversives    Law Enforcement    Legal Rights    Restraints   

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The program allowed the 19-year old to be limited to as few as 300 calories a day. She was deprived of food for merely having the wrong answer on the computer.
Coalition for the Legal Rights of People with Disabilities
Cunningham "never had a history of violence but was sensitive to people touching him," said Moss, who also is executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Illinois. "The force likely caused more agitation to Hansel. It's common for people with autism to be sensitive to sounds, to bright lights, to touch. "This type of force was not needed, the action was not necessary. The restraint was not protocol. Apparently the police were aware it was a home for autistic adults. But perhaps the police weren't framed or trained in less violent techniques."
Chicago Tribune
Ethicists and others who act as experts and leaders of public opinion need to consider this risk; endorsement of altruistic homicide may be responsible for some part of increasing numbers of children killed by parents.
Dick Sobsey, J.P. Das Developmental Disabilities Center
When disabled people are said to make the lives of others so difficult that we can be murdered, abandoned, warehoused (I was in fact warehoused right next to a boy with autism and Down's syndrome at one point, and what I heard everyone saying was it was no wonder his mom abandoned him because he was "like that"), and so on, with those who do this to us not facing the same penalties that would happen if we were not disabled, then there is a problem here.
Ballastexistenz
Four unlicensed therapists were charged in the death of a 10 year old girl who died during "attachment therapy" in Golden, Colorado. It's not the first time that a child died because of so-called "holding" or "rebirthing" treatment for emotional disorders
'[They] were just praying for him and asking God to deliver him from the spirit that he had,' Hemphill said. 'The little boy had spirits in him, and we was asking God to deliver him.'
CNN
A 5-year-old Monroeville boy died this week during a medical treatment that's being touted by some as a cure for autism. The autistic boy died while receiving chelation -- an intravenous injection of a synthetic amino acid known as EDTA, for ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the practice only to treat heavy metal (such as lead) poisoning. The treatment is becoming increasingly popular, though still controversial, for autism. Police are investigating the boy's death, which occurred Tuesday morning in the office of Dr. Roy Kerry in Portersville. Kerry did not return calls today.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A 14-year-old autistic boy died in a San Antonio mental hospital March 4 after being restrained by hospital workers, the city's second death in a month in which a child patient died while being restrained.
Chris Schreiber
A severely autistic boy was found slashed to death in a bathtub in his Bronx apartment yesterday morning after his father called the authorities to report that the boy was dead, the police said. ''I've terminated the life of my autistic child,'' the police said the father told officers who responded to the call. Police officials identified the boy as Ulysses Stable, 12. His father, Jose Stable, 50, was charged last night with second-degree murder, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, the police said. Mr. Stable has implicated himself in the homicide in talking to detectives, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said.
New York Times
On Friday, August 22, 2003, eight-year-old Terrance Cottrell, Jr., who suffers from autism, was wrapped in sheets and held down by church members during a prayer service held to exorcise the evil spirits they blamed for his condition.
Kevin Christopher, Skeptical Inquirer
An 8-year-old autistic boy who died at a prayer service where church members tried to heal him of "spirits" was suffocated, the medical examiner's office said Monday.
Cable News Network
Daniela Dawes pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her 10-year-old son Jason. She was placed on a five-year good behaviour bond. The Crown has described the sentence as manifestly inadequate and says it will appeal.
ABC New South Wale
I do not claim to be infallible, nor do I purport that the case was worked perfectly, but I am resolute in my belief that in no way am I or anyone else in my office responsible for this child's death.
Reese Browher
Last week, Danielle Blais drowned her 6-year old son, Charles, in a bathtub in her north end Montreal home. Charles Blais was autistic. The (news) treated Blais in a sympathetic fashion, portraying her as a loving mother who reached her breaking point.
When Terrence Britt pleaded guilty, a judge declared a mistrial for Renee Britt. Two days later, she was freed after a prosecutor dropped charges of conspiracy to commit homicide by child abuse and aiding and abetting homicide by child abuse.
AikenOnline
Misdemeanor charges have been filed against the owners of a defunct child day care following an investigation into the death of a 2-year-old autistic boy last year. Randie Wilhelm and Vickey Stauffer were charged yesterday with injury to a child, resisting or obstructing an investigation, and failure to report child abuse. Police allege that Michelle Bott-Graham, who is 39, hurt Cameron Hamilton when she was treating him for autism at her home on November 29th... Cameron died December 5th of severe head trauma.
NBC Newschannel 6
In the case of a New South Wales woman who suffocated her autistic son, neither the State Opposition nor a national carers' group have any quarrel with the judge who let her go free.
Tanya Nolan, ABC Australia
Gilpin told the family that three people were holding him face down on the kitchen floor - one on each shoulder and one on his legs - when all of a sudden he stopped breathing and his body went limp.
Leroy Leubner
At a Monday news conference, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced that the foster parents of Marcus Fiesel have been charged with his death. David Carroll and Liz Carroll have been arrested on involuntary manslaughter charges.
WCPO Cincinnati
Fifteen-year-old Michael Renner-Lewis III, who had autism, died on the first day of school, August 25, 2003. The 6-foot, 165-pound teen died during or after he was restrained on his stomach.
The death of a 7-year-old girl who died after being restrained at a treatment center in Rice Lake, Wis., was ruled homicide by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office. Angellika Arndt died May 26 at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Arndt was brought to the hospital after she stopped breathing at the Northwest Counseling and Guidance Clinic in Rice Lake.
WCCO Minneapolis
Restraint is intrinsically an unsafe procedure, which, however, in some circumstances may be less dangerous than the alternatives available.
B. Paterson et al
Because of a pastor who believed that Terrance Cottrell's autism was not an illness or condition, but was a spiritual battle occurring in an eight-year-old, many therapies may be at risk.
Floyd Tilton
State officials temporarily banned new admissions at a residential center for the mentally retarded Monday after an investigation into the beating death of an autistic man showed that Fairfield Center's staff failed to protect the victim. The report by the Ohio Department of Health comes almost three weeks after Joseph Beaudoin, a 50-year-old man with profound mental retardation, was beaten and strangled.
Sheila McLaughlin, Cincinnati Enquirer
It's a terrible tragedy for the family, who argue that Osman was a vulnerable man who suffered from autism and epilepsy and who should never have been in a psychiatric hospital... Just over nine years ago, on December 8 1995, their other brother, Alton Manning, also died in the care of the state, this time in Blakehurst prison in Worcestershire.
Laura Smith
A 15-year-old autistic high school student who lost consciousness and died after being restrained by school employees was incapacitated for an hour-and-a-half before school officials sought medical help, according to a lawsuit filed by the boy's family.
Detroit Free Press
A Bronx man overwhelmed by what he called the "burden" of his 12-year-old son's autism killed the boy Wednesday morning by slashing his throat -- then confessed to police when they got to his apartment, police sources said. "I just couldn't take it anymore," Jose Stable, 50, said, according to sources. "My son is just a handful. "He's a burden."
New York Newsday
They look like any mother and son arriving at a railway station at the start of an Easter day out. But just over an hour after this CCTV footage captured Alison Davies and her son Ryan, both probably leapt 100ft to their deaths from the Humber Bridge. Although Ms Davies suffered from depression, her decision to take her son away - so that her family "would not have to worry any more" - came at a time when new possibilities had opened up in her life. She had just started a new job, finally passed her driving test and was busying herself with home improvements at her house.
Ian Herbert, The Independent (UK)
Daniela Dawes has been charged with the murder of her disabled son Jason after allegedly admitting to police that she had killed him because she was depressed and having difficulty coping with him.
Lisa Miller
Includes Child's Name and Age; Name of Facility/Program; Date of Death; Cause of Death; Suicide; Restraint; Negligence
“Not guilty” was the plea entered by Dr. Karen McCarron, who is charged with killing Katherine McCarron, her autistic three-year-old daughter. Dr. McCarron was charged with first degree murder, obstructing justice and concealing a homicide, and kept in hand and leg shackles as she approached the bench, as reported by WMBD today.
Kristina Chew
Stephanie Jobin died at a Brampton, Ont., group home for children in 1998 after staff restrained her under a bean bag for 20 minutes.
Nancy Carr, Canadian Press
The Chief Medical Examiner has ruled that the cause of Andrew's death was traumatic asphyxia, resulting from compression of the chest due to the weight of an adult individual applied during a so-called "therapeutic restraint hold."
State of Connecticut Child Fatality Review Panel
As part of the Press Conference, APRAIS will exhibit a photo gallery of children who have been injured, traumatized, or killed through the use of restraint, aversives, or seclusion in their education or treatment program.
Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusion
In the name of "restraint," one staff member held down her feet, while another sat on a beanbag chair, placed on top of Stephanie's chest, until Stephanie stopped breathing.
I would like to say something about Katie. Some newspapers have reported that this was done to end Katie's pain; let me assure you that “Katie was not in pain”. She was a beautiful, precious and happy little girl. Each day she was showered with love and returned that love with hugs, kisses and laughter. Katie loved music; she would fill in some of the words in children's songs as my wife would sing along with the CD that would be playing, their own version of “karaoke” . She liked to dance, she loved to do the “hooky poky”. She loved being in among flowers and tall grass. She would say “I like grass”. She enjoyed the zoo and because of all of the drills and flashcards she could identify the animals. Which I thought was pretty amazing for such a young child. She was also the only little child in her non-autistic play group that could identify an octagon. My wife and son had a party for her the day they heard that from the teacher.
Kevin Leitch
This page is about a beautiful little girl who's life was taken too soon.
Rett Devil
Within the last two years, Jim Helm is the second young person with an intellectual disability who, as far as we know, has neither wished nor deserved to die, and yet had died at the hands of a loving mother who despaired for their future.
Ian Ritchie's Website
Maggie Caraballo, a Hispanic woman in her late thirties who lived at 165 Frank Street, was brought to the hospital with injuries throughout her body including broken bones, contusions and lacerations.
New Haven Police Department
When I read about your fall in the newspaper, my heart hurt. I know that the police are still trying to find out if your mother dropped you or if you were tossed over the guardrail. But, in many ways it doesn't matter. The fact is, as soon as people knew you had Down Syndrome, that changed the story. Now there was a reason for you to be thrown away: you are a baby who doesn't really matter.
Astra Milberg
'I did it. I strangled my daughter. She was a misfit. People were scared of her because she was different,' she said. 'I wish it could have been quicker. I'd wanted to kill her for a long time.'
ClariNet, Christchurch Press Company, The Daily Telegraph
The church's founder, David Hemphill, testified during the trial he ordained his brother without formal training, and his brother has a talent for healing through casting out demons.
Lisa Sweetingham, Court TV
'He died mentally for two years before he died physically. Every ounce of dignity was taken away from him.' -- Janice Roach, whose 14-year-old son, Matthew Goodman, died in February 2002 while at Bancroft School, a New Jersey institution.
The suit states that on the day Michael died, he fainted at about 12:30 p.m. and became combative after regaining consciousness. Four school and KRESA employees restrained him by grabbing his limbs and holding him on the ground. The employees, according to the suit, ignored his need for medical attention. An emergency call was made just before 2 p.m., but Michael could not be revived and was pronounced dead at Bronson Methodist Hospital. An autopsy report in December 2003 ruled Michael's death an accident. The cause was listed as prolonged physical restraint in prone position associated with extreme mental or motor agitation.
Kalamazoo Gazette
'The pattern of abuse culminated when Malphus slammed this 5-year-old boy's head into the refrigerator and threw him into the swimming pool,' May said. 'This was as vile and cold-blooded an act as I have ever seen.'
Don Lowery
A mother who feared she could be parted from her autistic son jumped to her death from a bridge taking the 11-year-old boy with her. Mr Tweddle recorded a verdict of suicide on Miss Rogan and unlawful killing on Mark.
Ananova
A mother apparently frazzled over the care of her autistic adult daughter shot the disabled woman in the chest Thursday afternoon, set their home afire and then turned the gun on herself, police said. Neighbors and those who knew Jane Naylor said the 55-year-old mother had a difficult life trying to raise her daughter Sarah on her own.
Cincinnati Enquirer
The prosecution is seeking a first-degree murder conviction, saying Audrey McDaniels intentionally starved 18-year-old Brahim Dukes because she was overwhelmed by having to care for the severely disabled teenager along with all of her other children.
Scranton Times Tribune
Wendolyn Markcrow, 67, suffocated her son Patrick after his violent and loud behaviour escalated and drove her to despair, Oxford Crown Court heard. Late on 29 March, after sleeping drugs had failed to suppress her son's noisy insomnia, Markcrow smothered him with a plastic bag at the family home in Long Creedon, Buckinghamshire.
Scotsman
Wendolyn Markcrow pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of her 36-year-old son Patrick at her home in March. Police said Patrick died of plastic bag suffocation while intoxicated on zopiclone, a sleeping pill. At a 15-year-minute hearing at Reading Crown Court, Markcrow -- watched by family members including her sons Martin and Jonathan -- denied murder and admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility... Patrick also suffered from autism and behavioural difficulties.
Times Online
This is the most difficult page to write on my site. The reason it is difficult is that these atrocities are still happening today - autistics are being killed simply because they are autistic. I'm sorry, but these pages will be hard for anyone who has respect for the lives of autistics to read. There is simply no way to present this subject without causing pain - especially in those who relate to the dead. But this subject must be presented, and I must write about it, in the hope that even one murder could be prevented by the words here. Some of the autistics mentioned were intentionally killed, with the desired result by the murderers being death of the autistic. Others were killed as a result of gross negligence, neglect, failure to follow proper medical protocols, medical experimentation without proper oversight, or attempts to "cure" autism using untested and dangerous methods (for the record, autism has no cure).
Joel Smith
Tuesday afternoon, on the stoop of the family's two-story home in a manicured neighborhood, relatives said they have no idea why Delfin Bartolome, 55, shot his son before killing himself.
Laguna Niguel News
Council Of Parent Attorneys And Advocates (COPAA)
Authorities say James Cummings, Senior walked into the Aventi Nursing Home yesterday morning and stabbed his 46-year-old son James, Junior. Police say the son was autistic and had recently suffered a stroke.
Almost two years after a 6-year-old autistic boy, Gabriel Britt, was found dead in a rural Dorchester County pond, his parents have been charged in his slaying.
The State, Jan. 23, 2003
The McCarron family invites those who wish to keep Katie's memory alive to view and download these images, and to post them on their websites and blogs. They- and we - only ask that the images be used in remembering Katie as a beautiful, precious, and happy little girl. They, and we, do not approve of the pictures being used as part of a message suggesting that she was "in pain" or a "burden."
Not Dead Yet
In 1993, 17-year-old Casey Collier, an autistic boy who was 6 feet 5 inches tall and weighed 220 pounds, died of asphyxiation after being held in a physical restraint hold in a Cleo Wallace facility.
Police said that the victim, Brahim Dukes, of Ruan Street near Penn Street, died of dehydration and malnutrition on Dec. 29. Police are awaiting the results of toxicology tests on Dukes, who had autism.
Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social behaviors and parent-child interaction. It has been associated with an increased risk of social victimization, and a recent rise in number of acts of filicide of developmentally disabled children has included several cases of autism. In this article, possible risk factors for filicidal behavior in families with autistic children and prevention strategies are reviewed.
Mark T. Palermo
Autism has been associated with an increased risk of social victimization, and a recent rise in number of acts of filicide of developmentally disabled children has included several cases of autism.
M.T. Palermo
An autopsy revealed that Matthew Vick, 23, was asphyxiated by compression, meaning his chest or airways were restricted so that he could not breathe, Fort Bend County Justice of the Peace Joel Clouser said Thursday.
Houston Chronicle
Rather than an enlightened and compassionate mental health system attending to needs of our young, we have a dangerous and coercive system that stands impassive not only in the face of repeated failures but, unbelievably, of child deaths due to treatment.
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International
Society devalues people with disabilities and their murders are viewed differently than the murders of nondisabled people. Society has an easier time accepting the justifications proffered by the killer when the victim has a disability.
Yes, there was an abomination here, but it was not Katie's autism. It was her murder and the attempted rationalization of that murder by hate groups in the guise of autism charities.
ABFH
A state appeals court reinstated a third-degree murder charge against the stepmother of an autistic teen who weighed 94 pounds and was covered in sores when he died of starvation and dehydration in December 2001... During McDaniels' July 2004 trial for the death of one of her 10 children, Brahim Dukes, a homicide investigator testified that McDaniels said she had prepared food for the autistic teen only three or four times in a 16-day period.
Centre Daily
22-year-old Charles Mancill suffocated because of compression on his chest. Mancill lost consciousness Feb. 13 after an altercation with group home workers at a Super Kmart on Ford Road after he took a toy from the store.
Shanteé Woodards, The Detroit News
Lawmakers said restraints are used too often on the mentally ill to punish them or change their behavior, or for the convenience of workers who may be poorly paid, overworked and badly trained.
Associated Press
The young girl was autistic or "had difficulty with language" but one pair of neighbours hotly contest that and police spokesman won't confirm it. By Tuesday morning something didn't sit right with the investigators and the homicide squad was called in.
Bill Dunphy, Hamilton Spectator
Virtually all of of these psychiatric patients dying before their time, whether with or without restraints in the mix are on or have been on drugs that are heart poisons.
Fred A. Baughman Jr.
Mr. Stable has a record of ten arrests; those for which information was available did not involve his son. A number of autistic children have been killed by their parents in recent months: the social profiles of the alleged perpetrators vary but the media focus on the challenges of raising an autistic child is constant. Reporters interview parents, neighbors and professionals never autistic persons though some might surely offer valuable insight. Since Ulysses was labeled as "severely" autistic it might be argued that a "higher-functioning," "verbal" autistic person's viewpoint would be of limited value; indeed the popular misperception of autistic persons as socially withdrawn and incapable of empathy might seem to disqualify them altogether as useful sources.
James T. Fisher, Commonweal
Christschool
As a matter of principle, our society does not - cannot - permit a mother or father killing their own child. If we start, where do we draw the line? Who decides which disabilities grant a mother the right to kill her child? The line could constantly shift. If autism is OK, then is deafness? What about sex, race or religious affiliation? This is the same thinking that in the past has OK'd discrimination, institutionalization, segregation and even genocide. The history books are filled with examples of groups of people who at some time fell outside the line of protection provided by someone's fuzzy definition of "normal."
Sheila T. Romano, PJStar
The department investigated the Colorado Springs facility in 1999 after 32 physical restraints were reported in one month and a boy suffered a cracked vertebra while being restrained.
Kirk Mitchell, Denver Post
How do we make sense of the murder of William Lash IV, an autistic 12-year-old from McLean, killed by his supposedly loving, well-respected father? After living with my son Nat's severe autism for 16 years, I am no stranger to hardship and struggle... No question, dealing with autism without understanding it is difficult. But murdering because of it? Unfathomable and inexcusable. We all have our own sack of troubles, as my great grandmother, a pogrom survivor, used to say. And to paraphrase another survivor, Tina Turner: What's autism got to do with it?
Washington Post
No matter how soon any changes come, however, they will come too late for Casey, whose ashes now rest atop a Japanese cabinet in his parents' home.
Westword
A mother yesterday admitted killing her son, who had Down's syndrome, after caring for him in her family home for more than 30 years. Wendolyn Markcrow, 67, of Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility after the death in March of her third son, Patrick, 36, who was autistic and also had behavioural difficulties.
Guardian
Like Tracy Latimer, Charles-Antoine had a handicap, in his case autism. Unlike Tracy, he had a life. He could get out of his bed. He attended school. He had the hope of one day becoming independent, perhaps even productive.
David MacRae

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