More Than 200 Women Kill Their Children Each Year

More Than 200 Women Kill Their Children Each Year

Women killing their children occurs more often than commonly believed, due to a host of factors, often related to the psychological wellbeing of the mother.

PUBLISHED ON : JULY 6, 2011 / 12:20 PM

Mothers killing their children may be more common than we thought.


On Tuesday Casey Anthony, the mother accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter, was found not guilty on a count of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and aggravated manslaughter of a child. To some, she may have gotten off easy, because currently of the 62 women on death row, 10 killed their children.  Last year, however, a study by the American Anthropological Association said that there are more than 200 cases each year in the U.S. in which mothers kill their children.


Michelle Oberman, the co-author of "Mothers Who Kill Their Children: Understanding the Acts of Moms from Susan Smith to the 'Prom Mom" says that the most common way young mothers who have a lot of children kill is to leave their children unattended, or they fail to get their child medical help when ill.  Another very common way children die at the hands of young mothers is to hide their pregnancy. Many mothers deliver their children alone in bathrooms, Oberman says, and leave them in places where they may die.


Other reasons mothers kill their children include the following:


Physical abuse.

Failure to protect their children from abusive men, usually a husband or boyfriend.

Postpartum mental illness.


The 10 women who killed their children currently on death row are:


Caroline Young: Stabbed her 4-year-old granddaughter and 6-year-old grandson to death in 1993.

Caro Socorro: Shot three of four of her sons to death when they were sleeping.

Susan Eubanks: Shot four of her sons, aged four to fourteen, in the head in 1999.

Robin Lee Row: Killed her 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter in 1992.

Michelle Sue Tharp: Starved her 7-year-old daughter to death.

Kenisha Berry: Covered her 4-day-old son with duct tape.

Debra Jean Milke: Killed her 4-year-old son in Arizona when she was 25-years-old.

Darlie Lynn Routier: Stabbed her 5-year-old son to death.

Dora Luz Durenrostro: Killed her 4- and 9-year-old daughters.


If you are pregnant or a mother needing personal help to keep your baby safe, contact Planned Parenthood at 877.4ME.2ASK or text 53634.


If it is an emergency call 9-1-1.



To share story ideas or to contact national reporter Danielle Wright, tweet her at @DaniWrightTV


(Photo: Shawano Cleary/Landov)


Written by Danielle Wright


Latest in news