"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Pregnancy and Homicide

ABC News reports on the significant co-incidence of pregnancy and homicide. A pregnant woman is more likely to be murdered than die in a car accident or of any other cause than medical complications from childbirth. Why? Predictably, men (like Scott Peterson) seem to seek freedom from obligation. However, some women present a threat as well. Here's a story from the article:

Unlike men, women who attack pregnant women usually do not know their victims well, if at all. They are usually obsessed with pregnancy and crave the attention — and what they perceive as power — associated with carrying a child.

Relatives said Lisa Montgomery, of Melvern, Kan., faked pregnancy five times. During the last false pregnancy, she allegedly zeroed in on Bobbi Jo Stinnett, a Missouri woman who was eight months pregnant, strangled her and cut Stinnett's baby from her womb. The child was found alive with Montgomery, who allegedly told relatives she had just given birth. Montgomery now faces a capital murder charge.

"With women who actually want to steal a woman's baby, they are usually psychopaths. They claim to be pregnant when they are not," Brown said. "She usually loves the attention and power that is associated with pregnancy and motherhood. … They like to use the child to get attention for themselves. But they like to try to manipulate others with the issues that motherhood and pregnancy bring."

Kentucky authorities said Katie Smith told family and friends she was pregnant. She wore maternity outfits and had a completely furnished nursery with baby clothes, diapers and formula.

But there was no pregnancy. To get a baby, police said, Smith, 22, lured neighbor Sarah Brady — who was nine months pregnant — to her apartment by telling her a package intended for Brady had been delivered to Smith's home by mistake. When Brady, 26, showed up, Smith tried to stab her, but the pregnant woman managed to turn the knife on her attacker, police said. Smith was killed. Investigators said Brady acted in self-defense, and she was not charged.

1 comment:

Jay D. Homnick said...

I returned from two days in New York to find this post, and I was really excited to see it - because this idea had occurred to me just last week when the pregnant woman and her child went missing. I said to myself, "Self, someone needs to look into the idea that pregnant women might be getting killed at a higher frequency than others. Or, conversely, is it just that their stories are more newsworthy but not intrinsically more common."

Always great when you anticipate an idea and then witness it germinate into something fully developed. Thank you so much for this segment.