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since June 19, 2001


Of mice, men and mutant motherhood

Thanks to Susan Wolpin for sending us the following. --ACFC

Is this why we have so many bad mothers??


Fathers' & Children's Equality
Bucks County FACE



Of mice, men and mutant motherhood

Carol Robidoux -  Bucks County Courier Times

11 October 1998

"The mutant moms failed to respond appropriately to their newborns, usually ignoring at least one and failing to feed about half of them."
    That quote comes from a news story I read a few  weeks ago. Seems a group of scientists at Cambridge University have found  "good mother" genes in lab mice. And to prove these genes have everything  to do with mousey mothering skills, the scientists mutated some of the good genes, known as Peg1, creating a strain of maternally maladjusted mice.
    They believe Peg1 is one of at least four rodent genes responsible for prodding female mice into caring for their young.
    According to the story, no such gene has been found in human mothers.
    Which may or may not explain a small story I read on the same news page, about a human Chicago mother, Dianna Meeks, who stopped for a manicure instead of taking her starving 2-month-old baby, Dontory Jordan, to the hospital.
    Dontory died at the nail salon.
    The cause of his death was maternal neglect. There was no sign of food in his system, according to the medical examiner's office.
    At first I wondered if these two articles were juxtaposed by someone with a wry sense of irony.
    Then, I considered motherhood.
    Or more precisely, good motherhood vs. bad motherhood.
    After all, it's a universal topic; even if you've never been a mother, at some point, you had one.
    So you know that what qualifies a mom as more or less than adequate depends, mostly, on who's doing the evaluating.
    In some circles, a bad mother lets her kids eat ice cream for breakfast.
    In other circles, a bad mother sleeps in while her child gets himself up in the morning; she doesn't help him find clean clothes, doesn't notice he's wearing yesterday's shirt again, won't realize he let himself out the door without a  lunch for lack of food to pack.
    Clearly, the Chicago woman with the nice, shiny nails was worse than a bad mother.
    But could we go so far as to think she's a victim of bad -- or missing -- genes?
    That might be a topic for debate among scientists still convinced "good mother" genes exist in humans.
    Even though they haven't found them yet.
    Disclaimer: I've never studied genetics. I am not a DNA expert. If you are a scientist, don't call to tell me I have no business forming an opinion about genetic predisposition to anything, including mothering.
    That said, here's a collection of my unscientific theories on motherhood based on several hours of deep thought and my own four lab animals, Aimee, Neil, Billy and Julianna:
    What's instinctive in humans is not the ability to mother, but the need for good mothering.
    How human adults respond to that need has little to do with genetics.
    It's not quite nature vs. nurture.
    More like, by nature we need to be nurtured.
    When we fail to nurture our young, they instinctively find ways to compensate. Some of those ways work out better than others.
    Leading some to become bad mothers.
    Even good mothers have bad mothering days; usually it's just temporary and hormonal.
    Good mothering is not exclusive to females. There are plenty of guys who make darn good mothers.
    Humanity is unpredictable. No matter how many double-blind studies on human nature are conducted, there's never a guarantee. People reproduce at their own risk.
    And everyone else's.
    Sometimes good mothering produces bad children. I don't know why.
    In America you need a license to drive a car or carry a gun. Meanwhile, there's no prerequisite for parenting.
    The assumption being we are all genetically predisposed to being good parents, I suppose.
    We are not.
    Dianna Meeks was not scientifically altered as a test of her "good mother" genes.  However, a random study of her ability to mother her newborn proved sometimes humans are less qualified to reproduce than laboratory animals.
    Science can teach us many things. How we prevent the tragedy Dontory Jordon's short and tragic life is the lesson we have yet to learn.

Life With Mom
(Something we don't mention much)

Why use just mutant mice as an example of mutant mothers?  Without genetic engineering, and under perfectly natural conditions, mis-mothering (mothers rejecting or killing their babies, with some even eating them) is quite normal with just about all animals: sows; bitches; cats; cows,  and even with ewes (a female sheep is called a ewe).  Still, in husbandry (a farm operation for the production of livestock) it is bad management practice not to cull (eliminate) such mutant mothers.  The concept of total ownership of a child by his mother applies only to human society.  Total ownership implies and bestows absolute power, even the power of a mother to kill her child with impunity. —F4L

Practice Makes perfect


From: Just 4 Children <j4cd@cron-2.mco.on.ca>

By Don Murray -- Free Press Court Reporter

London, Ontario, January 9, 1998
In a voice that could at times barely be heard, a nine-year-old boy described Thursday how he was attacked at his school last year and ran for help with a knife sticking out of his neck.  The knife fell out, the boy testified, but he knew he had been cut " 'cause blood was gushing out."  The boy told Justice Grant Campbell of family court that he knew his assailant, the 13-year-old girl on trial, and rode the same bus.
    The stabbing and a series of other alleged incidents took place during the noon-hour recess at Princess Elizabeth school last Nov. 25.  The boy said the girl called him over on the playground, grabbed him and started pulling him toward the walkway along the east side of the school, located at Thompson Road and Adelaide Street.  "Shut up or I'll kill you right now," he said she warned him.  Later, without saying a word, she suddenly pulled a knife from her coat and tried to stab his shoulder through his winter coat.  Then, the boy said, she slashed at his throat before stabbing him in the neck.  She ran to the front of the school, he testified, and he ran for help.  The Grade 4 pupil found playground and lunchroom supervisor Kim Cronkwright, who applied pressure to control the bleeding until the ambulance arrived.  The boy could have died without Cronkwright's proper action, a doctor testified at the trial of the Grade 8 pupil on several charges, including the attempted murder of the boy.
    The bleeding was stopped by the time the boy reached hospital, said Dr. Harold Silverman of the pediatric emergency department at the Westminster campus of London Health Sciences Centre.  He said the boy had a three-centimetre laceration on the right side of his neck, a wound that would bleed profusely.  The boy's jugular vein was nicked.  Silverman said he found a superficial scratch across the boy's throat.
    The accused is also on trial for two charges of assault with a weapon (a knife) involving two girl pupils, and a charge of threatening death against one of the girls.  The accused, who cannot be identified under the Young Offenders Act, pleaded guilty earlier to possessing a weapon dangerous to the public peace and is to be sentenced on that charge Jan. 29.  Assistant Crown attorney Geoff Beasley, who closed his case Thursday, told Campbell he will ask the judge to dismiss one of the two assault charges and substitute a threatening charge for the other.  That will leave the accused facing two threatening charges involving the two girls, one in Grade 8 and the other in Grade 6.  Defence lawyer Frank Troller called no evidence Thursday.  Campbell adjourned the trial until today, when the lawyers are expected to present final arguments.
    After the stabbing victim left the stand, Beasley called a string of student witnesses.  One of the accused's classmates said on the day of the incident the girl came back from the washroom with a red, swollen eye.  She said the girl told her she hurt it herself.  She said three other girls planned to beat her up so she did it for them.  The witness also testified that when the accused left class to get an ice pack, she came back with a knife sticking out of her pocket.  The girl said it was for "self defence" and that the three girls "were going to come after her."
    The witness added that the girl brought out some tarot cards and said they showed "something bad was going to happen . . . they were evil."  She didn't explain, however.  Another student testified that she and her friends yelled at the accused as she was walking with the Grade 4 boy and "she told us to mind our own f. . . business!"  A boy in Grade 8 told Beasley that when the commotion began, he spotted the girl against the fence near the walkway, holding the knife in front of her in both hands with the blade up.  When he called to her, she turned and drew the knife across her throat, he said.  Beasley read into evidence a statement to police by one of the female complainants, who said she saw the blade of a knife in the accused's pocket during a washroom confrontation.  "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't kill you now," she said the  accused demanded.

I guess the practicing girl was tried in Family Court—called Kangaroo Court by members of the Legal Industry—to give her additional training pertaining to the ins-and-outs of the legal system w.r.t. how it will treat her when she becomes an adult, so that she'll be totally fearless when that time comes.  —WHS


1-16-98, Houston Chronicle, State Briefs

FORT WORTH, TX — A Grapevine woman has been convicted on a charge of injury to a child/serious bodily injury in the starvation death of her month-old son.  Tarrant County jurors found Thursday that Kimberly Ann McVay, 23, knowingly caused the starvation death of Robert Allen Callaway in May 1996.  McVay faces up to life in prison when she is sentenced by visiting Judge James Walker in about three weeks.  She has filed an affidavit seeking probation, according to testimony.  The infant died of protein calorie malnutrition on May 30, 1996.
    CPS obviously knew what the mom was like and what she was doing, or else, why would all of those charges have been laid.  If the father of the boy would have been there when the child was alive, I'm sure that he would have made sure his boy wouldn't starve to death.  It's a father-thing...
    A Novato woman was arrested after an hour-long high-speed chase with two small children in the car, officers said.  Lou Ann Waltrip, 35, was in police custody for allegedly evading police, resisting arrest, driving while drunk, endangering children and driving with a suspended license, according to Novato police spokeswoman Elizabeth Wilson.
* Ed. Note: See also Big Sister Is Watching!

An epidemic of state-sponsored kidnapping feeds a tyrannical system hungry for revenues.  Child Protective Services and Children's Aid Societies systematically and increasingly often rob children from their parents.  Kafkaesque chicaneries that the targeted families find impossible to comply with are the tools used to keep the revenues rolling in.  Many families don't survive the ordeals that they are being subjected to by any given CPS or CAS. 



17 January 1998, By CIARAN GANLEY -- Toronto Sun (Canada)

HAMILTON -- A woman youth pastor who repeatedly fondled the breasts of a teenage girl has been sentenced to perform 240 hours of community service.  Joanne Thompson-Millar, 39, was also placed on probation for 12 months and ordered not to have contact with any girls under 16 years of age.  The accused was the youth pastor at the evangelical Victory Christian Centre in Hamilton until she was charged in April 1994 with assaulting a 15-year-old girl.  A friendship developed between the two in 1992 at a Guelph trailer park, where they were both staying.  The relationship progressed to a point where the accused was buying the girl gifts and treating her like a daughter.
Fondled her breasts as if she were her daughter, eh?  Will they give her credit for the time spent with her congregation in lieu of community service.  I think they should keep her "in touch."  —WHS


Feb. 20, 1998 AP

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.--A woman admitted she threw her 18-month-old son out a speeding car into a highway median Thursday because she "would rather see her baby dead than to be involved with pornography," police said.  Krisann Haddad, 30, of West Palm Beach, was being held on $60,000 bond after being charged with first-degree attempted murder and second-degree aggravated child abuse.  Police believe the woman had taken drugs, alcohol or both.  Blood test-results are pending.
    Her son, Stephen, was listed in critical condition with broken bones at a West Palm Beach hospital.  She crossed the grassy median into southbound traffic, then zipped back toward the north-bound lanes, witnesses said.  At least three people reported seeing the woman throw the toddler through the driver's side window, according to the arrest affidavit.  She later told police she "would rather have her son dead than to be involved with pornography movies."


2-17-98, UPI

LAWRENCEVILLE, VIRGINIA --Police are searching for the woman who gave birth to two full-term babies and left them in the basement of a women's dormitory at St. Paul's College.  The bodies of the infants were found Monday — the first by a cleaning lady who summoned Lawrenceville police and the second by police when they arrived. . . . 



RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- The small, neatly lettered sign out in front of the white house said ''Child Care.'' In the fenced-in front yard was a pink and green girls' bicycle.  Nothing looked amiss.  But when police got there Thursday night, they found Bonnie Patterson leaving the house, distraught and with a bloody knife in her hand.  Inside, a baby that had been left in her care lay dying of stab wounds and a man had been shot twice and seriously wounded.  On Friday, Mrs. Patterson, a 45-year-old mother who made money baby sitting in her home, sat in jail as police tried to figure out what caused the deadly rampage in her small, quiet home in a middle-class suburb.
    Police say Mrs. Patterson shot her husband, Harold, twice, fatally stabbed Hassan Shodeinde, a 13-month-old boy left in her care, and called police to report the attack.  The toddler's 2-year-old brother was also at the home, but was not hurt.  The Pattersons' 8-year-old daughter was not home, police said.  Hassan died at Medical College of Virginia Hospitals at 11 p.m. Thursday.  Harold Patterson remained in critical condition Friday afternoon with gunshot wounds to the torso and leg.


2-4-98, UPI

NEW YORK --Police in New York are investigating a Queens woman's claims that a baby-sitter sexually abused her 3-year-old daughter.  Cops reportedly want to talk to the 34-year-old woman who has been watching the youngster while she and her mother have been staying with family friends in the Morris Heights section of The Bronx. 


7 March 1998, Chicago Sun-Times


A Hickory Hills woman with a love of gambling and a history of petty fraud resorted to killing her 7-week-old daughter to collect on a $200,000 insurance policy, federal prosecutors alleged Friday.  "The facts are so chilling that the allegations in this case make your blood run cold," U.S. Attorney Scott Lassar said of the indictment against Dina Abdelhaq, 33, formerly of Alsip.
    Abdelhaq is charged with insurance fraud in connection with the death of her daughter Tara on Nov. 14, 1995.  Abdelhaq allegedly masked the murder as a case of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  The indictment prompted Cook County Medical Examiner Edmund Donoghue to reopen the case of another daughter, who died Aug. 9, 1994, at just 18 days old.  The cause of death for Lena Abdelhaq was reclassified Friday as "undetermined" after being listed as SIDS for more than three years, Donoghue said.

And the moral for any murdering mama is: don't kill more than one of your children and don't leave any blood, or you may get caught.  —WHS

   Update 2003 05 23

Infanticide — "SIDS" in Australia; four children killed in one family

Proving that women who kill no more than one of their infants get away with murder, Kathleen Folbigg raised the suspicion of the authorities only after she had killed her fourth child of her four children she had killed, a 19-month-old baby girl.
   Mind, you, if her husband would not have found her diary, she would have gotten away with murdering that child, too.  Full Story


Thanks to Paul Laird

1998 03 08, AP

Fountain Hills, Arizona - "My mother is trying to kill me, and the house is on fire!" a 16-year-old boy told a police dispatcher after waking to find his mother standing over him with an ax.  Beverly Sturgeon hacked son Ryan on the chest, head and arms Thursday, cut her 11-year-old son with a knife, set fire to their home and slashed her own throat and wrists....
    The boys got away, locked themselves in a bedroom and followed the dispatcher's order to break a window and get out of the house.  Sturgeon, 45, told Maricopa County sheriff's deputies she was despondent over her pending divorce.  She feared her husband would take everything, including the boys and the house.

Yeah, we know.  Men must be able to take it better, though.  However, it would have been a good thing to get the kids away from that murdering mama, before things went too far. —WHS


Thanks, Marty Witbeck, ACFC, March 5, 1998

Last week, here in St. Louis a little girl was rescued.  Her name is Valorie Phillips.  Valorie is three years old.  She is now in the hospital.  It is the worst case of child abuse this city can remember.  The policemen are going through counseling because of what they saw.  It seems for the entire life of the child she was brutalized with pliers and other instruments of torture.  Valorie is missing parts of her nose, lips and other parts of her body.  She had bruises and scars all over her body.  Valorie's mother Clintressa Phillips was arrested and is now in jail.  Valorie is in critical condition.
    If the state had only required Valorie's father be involved in her life, this probably would not have happened.  Even if her father had been a drug pusher or drunkard he is probably not as bad a parent as Clintressa is.  At the least he might have reported Clintressa to the Child Abuse Hot-line or taken Valorie away.
    I used to work as an internal auditor at a bank.  We watched tellers open the night-drop box to verify two people opened the mail together to protect any cash that might be in it.  Shouldn't we protect our kids as well as we protect our money?

That's just a few items of information out of about 150 or so that were sent to me over a two-month period that describe:

Life with Mom
(something we don't talk about very much)

More recent information about women's violence at the blog of Fathers for Life

For stats and additional information check Child Abuse

See also:

  • DVStats.org — a search engine, aggregating research that examines the impact and extent of domestic violence upon male victims. (Off-site)

    This search facility equates domestic violence to intimate partner violence between men and women in relationships.  It does not provide information on violence between homosexuals, siblings or violence against family members other than heterosexual partners and spouses, such as infanticide, child abuse or violence against elderly in families.

    The primary purpose of the site is to shift public perceptions of such violence away from political ideology, and instead toward objectively verifiable scientific research.

2003 05 23 (added reference to "SIDS" murders in Australia)