French woman confesses to killing 8 babies

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Hachimitsu
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French woman confesses to killing 8 babies

Post by Hachimitsu »

This week a French woman confessed to killing 8 babies shortly after birth. It seems to a part of a string of infanticide cases in France.

It seems the woman did not want anymore children did not want to see a doctor for contraception. She had a weight problem and the pregnancies were not noticed.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10803080

I have not been able to get anymore in depth reports and some things don't seem to totally make sense. It says she had a difficult birth early on, but then she goes through 9 more births? If the first birth was so difficult wouldn't she want to avoid birth altogether? A part of me can understand the shock response of some people when they have a baby, but in this case it does not seem like a shock. It appears it was a normal and logical conclusion to smother and hide the babies in her mind. I really want to know how she was able to successfully hide this from her husband. It will be interesting what the psycological evaluation will reveal.
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Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

I heard about this today, too. What a horrible story! This woman is obviously disturbed.
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Post by vison »

The whole thing is so ghastly. I have a hard time believing that her husband didn't know what was going on.
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Post by halplm »

It's insane, no doubt... but is it any more insane than anyone voluntarily terminating a pregnancy?
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Post by yovargas »

Yes. (How'd I know that would be your post as soon as I saw your name?)
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Post by JewelSong »

halplm wrote:It's insane, no doubt... but is it any more insane than anyone voluntarily terminating a pregnancy?
Yes, Hal. It is.

And this thread is not about abortion.
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Post by Hachimitsu »

Please please do not let the thread go in that direction.

I think the biggest thing that is difficult for me to wrap my head around in this case, is that it was done repeatedly. Everyone said she was a kind woman (a nursing assistant), but very shy. She has 2 adult daughters. I was sort of thinking she was avoiding the doctor because she had a weight problem and was shy. But since there isn't enough news yet on this case I dunno, because if she went to a doctor for a cold, I don't understand why she couldn't get contraception. Also to avoid the doctor she could have just asked her husband for a vasectomy. She said she was fully aware of each pregnancy.

I think the part that shocks me the most is that once the children were born suffocating a newborn seemed the logical conclusion. Does France have safe baby drop sites? (In this case though it was village so it may have hard to prevent an investigation.
Also the biggest thing for me is how could she have hidden all of this from her husband and her kids. How can anyone hide labor 8 times? I truly believe the husband noticed something. Even just the feeling of an elephant in the room. I tried to muddle through a french report, but my french isn't good enough.
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Post by vison »

France may have safe drop sites but there might not be one close to her. And you are not dealing with a sane woman anyway. I doubt that this person could have made the rational choice, since none of her other choices were rational. It's horrible. I imagine her husband is as loony as she is.
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Post by Túrin Turambar »

Just to be controversial, I’ll say in response to hal that yes, it is worse than abortion, although morally, it seems less repugnant to me than killing a child or adult.

I know that in many cultures, such as in ancient China, an infant was not considered to have all the rights of a person on birth – they attached to them at a later date (eg. when they started to grow teeth). I imagine that this was partly a reaction to how common it was for newborns to die before modern medicine, and partly through eugenics or the necessity of population control. For example, according to wikipedia infanticide in Feudal Japan was called mabiki, or to pull plants from an overcrowded garden.

Partly, though, I think it’s logical if you ask why certain rights attach to people by default. If you don’t accept a religious or spiritual explanation (eg: the rights are God-given) then you need a rational, secular one. And the obvious explanation is that we should have the rights that we can appreciate. I don’t want to die, and people who like me don’t want me to die, so therefore it’s wrong to kill me. I can appreciate being free, so it’s wrong to constrain me. A pig doesn’t have awareness of its own mortality, but it can still feel pain, so it’s wrong to inflict pain on it.

I can accept abortion on the basis that a fetus doesn’t have consciousness or awareness and so doesn’t really care if it lives or dies, while a pregnant woman does have a conscious and long-term interest in whether she has a baby or not. The thing is, a newborn baby doesn’t have awareness of itself or its own mortality either – it’s not really any different from an eight- or nine-month fetus, or a dog. Nor is it capable of forming bonds and relationships in its own right. It is totally dependent on its parents. That’s why, if two parents decided to kill their newborn, it doesn’t seem as morally wrong to me as if they decided to kill another adult with hopes, dreams, feelings, loves, friends, etc.

It’s easy to pass judgment on this woman. Would it be as easy if she lived in a refugee camp in the Congo and drowned her newborn baby so it wouldn’t live a few years just to starve to death? And if you answer ‘no’, then you’ve now accepted infanticide in some cases, and the only debate is on what those cases should be.

I suspect that the ability to take horror at infanticide is a luxury that our prosperity has allowed us. In parts of the world where overpopulation and environmental destruction is biting harder and harder, I think that we may soon lose that luxury.
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Post by JewelSong »

Ironically, it may be that this woman was, in fact, opposed to both contraception AND abortion and that is why, to her, it seemed more MORAL to carry the pregnancy to term.

But eight times? No matter how you spin it, something is dreadfully wrong. And yes, I would feel similarly if someone had eight abortions in a row. There seems to have been some kind of disconnect here.
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Post by Túrin Turambar »

JewelSong wrote:Ironically, it may be that this woman was, in fact, opposed to both contraception AND abortion and that is why, to her, it seemed more MORAL to carry the pregnancy to term.

But eight times? No matter how you spin it, something is dreadfully wrong. And yes, I would feel similarly if someone had eight abortions in a row. There seems to have been some kind of disconnect here.
Yes, no doubt. The fact that this happened eight times in a first-world country where contraception is readily available is profoundly disturbing.
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Post by Hachimitsu »

Well I guess a part of this for me is, it is clear that something went wrong with her wiring, but in my personal experience, when that happens signs show up eventually. The more menatlly unwell the person is the sooner the signs show up. This crime seems a clear sign of a severe mental problem. How could this woman have hidden this for 20 years? I can understand her family looking the other way to some degree, but eventually friends and neighbours and the nosy busybody types (which every community has), eventually pick up on it. It's hard to hide that degree of insanity.

I do realize thought that some of the bodies were hidden on one property, which was sold. It does not appear as if she went back to dig up and hide the bodies again.(The investigation started when the new owners started digging to put in a pool.) Don't know to what degree she was involved in the sale of her parents old house.

Especially when looking back on it, there may have been some signs, that either were not discussed or explained away.

The husband worked as a carpenter and was on the town council.

EDIT: I am so sorry I missed a ton of posts from people when I posted this. I am so sorry. :oops:
Last edited by Hachimitsu on Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by JewelSong »

I would imagine that each time she did it, the act became more...well, "routine" for lack of a better term. She got pregnant, went about her daily business, delivered the baby and systematically smothered it and disposed of the body. It must have simply become the thing to do, without any morality or second thoughts involved.

Her reason given, though, about having a "difficult pregnancy/delivery" the first time is highly suspect. If things were so difficult, how could she have hidden both the pregnancy and the delivery so easily?

She disconnected from the reality of what was happening. And although she MAY have been "seriously mentally ill" I would imagine that her affect and actions were not suspect in the least to anyone else...including her husband. Not all mentally ill people are running around drooling or acting bizarre.
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Post by Primula Baggins »

Sociopathic people can sometimes "pass" quite successfully as normal; their acts don't horrify them, so they can seem perfectly sane and even charming (I'm thinking of Ted Bundy).
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Post by Hachimitsu »

Ah Prim and Jewel, I see what you guys mean there. I would be shocked if she had 8 abortions too.

I hope to hear at least a bit about what the husband thought about this. Hiding labour eight times just seems unrealistically difficult. What if one of them was in a breach position? There is risk and unpredictability involved with each labour, especially doing it on ones own. It seem impossible to do it quietly or secretly, (I have not had a baby yet, but from some have told me, there is going to be some crying out when labout starts.)
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Post by vison »

The story of her traumatic first pregnancy doesn't cut any ice with me. Uncounted millions of women have had traumatic first pregnancies and few of them carry on to get pregnant another 8 or 9 or 10 times and smother the babies. This woman also has 2 grown daughters, according to one story I read. Where did they come from? The cabbage patch?

It might be simplistic to say she's crazy, but it's pretty clear she is crazy. I also think that I would be just as certain of her lunacy if she had had 8 abortions.

The problem with this woman is the getting pregnant part. She KNEW that, she could not possibly have just simply been afraid or reluctant to go to a doctor, that's just baloney as far as I'm concerned. It is the irrationality of it all that convinces me she's just bats**t crazy.

And the husband? He can't not have known something was going on. For pete's sake, we have to assume he was having sex with this creature.

In one version of the story it said she was so fat she weighed 200 pounds!!!!!! Excuse me. If it was 500 pounds it might be different, but lots and lots of quite ordinarily fat women weigh 200 pounds without being regarded as so grossly fat they wouldn't know they were pregnant.
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Post by halplm »

JewelSong wrote:
halplm wrote:It's insane, no doubt... but is it any more insane than anyone voluntarily terminating a pregnancy?
Yes, Hal. It is.

And this thread is not about abortion.
Actually it's not. And you can believe it or not, but when I made the statement I wasn't even thinking about it in terms of abortion... simply that this woman didn't want those lives to happen, which I think is insane.
For the TROUBLED may you find PEACE
For the DESPAIRING may you find HOPE
For the LONELY may you find LOVE
For the SKEPTICAL may you find FAITH
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Post by River »

So, eight times over, this woman decided that abstinence was bad, that contraception was bad, abortion was bad, but infanticide was okay. And she went to lengths to hide that she was even pregnant (reports I read put her weight close to 300 pounds and, obesity aside, not every woman gets huge), somehow managing to deliver in secret.

She needed/needs help. And if her husband had no clue, it had to have been because he simply didn't want to have a clue.
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Post by Nin »

Wilma, if you could link to the report in French, I could certainly read and understand it.
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Post by Hachimitsu »

Thank you Nin for the offer:
I think this one discusses the husband:

http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/Region/actua ... -les.shtml

I think this one is about the village:

http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/Region/actua ... bloc.shtml

I looked at this website from the related links in the BBC article, I do not know if this news site is good.
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