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Moms Who Murder Their Own Kids

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What is going on with these murdering moms?

stacey pagli

Stacey Pagli was arraigned Wednesday on charges of killing her daughter, Marissa Pagli, 18. Officials say that it appears Marissa was strangled -- and that Stacey has attempted suicide in jail.

What is going on with all these murdering moms? Well, it seems that it is not that uncommon -- it is just horrifying to our sensibilities as caring and loving mothers. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, from 1976-1999, 30% of murdered children under the age of 5 were killed by their mothers, while fathers were responsible for 31%. Momlogic spoke with psychologist Dr. Michelle Golland to find out what could drive these moms to murder.

Some of the issues involved with these moms include mental illness, isolation, anger, and fear. They also have poor coping skills to handle stress and may have little emotional support from family or friends.

What has been found is that murdering moms usually fall into one of the following categories:

Altruism: These women believe their children are suffering or are in some type of pain and they believe killing them will put them out of their misery. These moms usually are severely depressed.

Psychosis: These moms suffer from schizophrenia or another psychotic disease such as postpartum depression with psychotic features. They often hear voices telling them to kill their children.

Unwanted Children: This mom doesn't want her children. They are inconvenient to her lifestyle. These moms usually have narcissistic or borderline personality disorders.

Maltreatment: This is the most common category. These mothers kill their children in the course of abuse without the intention of murder.

Revenge: These moms want to punish the father by taking away what she believes to be the most important thing to him: his kids.

Women from the first two categories are suffering from a true psychotic disorder, and once on medication are horrified and devastated by their actions. In many other cases, drugs and alcohol play a significant role as well. One common theme is the lack of emotional support, either perceived or real, that these mothers feel.

Many of us may have been at the end of our "rope," but something stops us from taking such devastating and murderous actions.

I ask you, what do you do when you reach your limit or you are worried that a fellow mom is reaching her limit?

next: Plies and Thank You: Where's the Discipline?
5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Melissa February 25, 2010, 12:44 PM

Those numbers just make me want to vomit. That’s disturbing that so many infant deaths are caused by parents!

mercaties February 25, 2010, 2:25 PM

The picture of that girl breaks my heart she looks just like my own daughter.

T Twomey February 26, 2010, 10:15 AM

Just a note about terminology: Murder is a very specific term used to indicated “bad intent” - which exludes atruistic intent or due to psychosis (generally speaking). The proper term here would be “kill”.
T Twomey, JD
Author of “Understanding Postpartum Psychosis: A Temporary Madness.”

Anonymous June 30, 2010, 7:22 PM

that is just asame

Half_Dozen May 29, 2011, 5:11 AM

I find the callous disregard for putting the public in danger on the part of the writer of this article criminal.

The article fails to mention many facts about the cases which point to the actual culprits which are psych meds. Wellbutrin is the cause in this particular case. Andrea Yates and Julie Shenecker were plied with even more mind-altering drugs.

People going on bloody rampages under the influence of psych meds is not anything new. Happens all the time.

I have first hand knowledge of this b/c I am a survivor of Lexapro.

It’s way past time that programs like NAMI, the Mother’s Act, Teen Screen, and TMAP in TX were banned until further research on these drugs is done by a third party. Innocent kids and parents should never have to pay the ultimate price for fraud committed by the FDA and pharma.

The writer also fails to mention her expert opinion’s financial ties to pharma groups or university research funded by pharma.

Very poor article if you are looking for valid inoformation.

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