Top 13 Real-Life Evil Mothers in American History That Horrify You
|Top 13 Real-Life Evil Mothers in American History That Horrify You. Photo KnowInsiders|
You think stepmothers only appear in fairy tales like The Queen in 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' or Lady Tremaine in 'Cinderella'? Stepmothers exist in real life! If you have never heard of evil stories about real cruel mothers, we will tell you.
Read More: Top 11 Greatest Mothers In American History
Top 13 Real-Life Evil Mothers In American History That Horrify You
1. Catherine Lowe
On the morning of January 13, 2011, five-year-old Celeste Lowe was sick from a stomach bug. Instead of bringing the child to school, her stepmother, Catherine, 34, brought the young girl to work. When they arrived home, her father, Wesley, 32, noticed his daughter was still vomiting. The couple rushed the little girl to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Tests revealed the time of death to be two hours prior to the child’s arrival. The coroner noted that rigor mortis had begun taking effect. He ruled the death a homicide, as a result of internal injuries that bled into the body cavity.
While being interviewed by police, Catherine and Wesley stuck to their story that Celeste simply had the flu and they did everything they could for her. But Catherine’s coworkers told investigators that the child was a pale blue color and was unable to stand on her own. They told her Celeste needed to see a doctor. Catherine said she called Wesley but he told her not to bring his daughter to the hospital because Child Protective Services would get involved.
Catherine was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Wesley was charged with negligent homicide, but those charges were later dropped.
2. Elisa Baker
Zahra Baker was born in Wagga Wagga, Australia, on November 16, 1999. Her mother suffered from post-natal depression and was unable to care for the little girl. She relinquished custody to Zahra’s father, Adam Baker. At the age of five, Zahra was diagnosed with bone cancer. As a result, she lost part of her left leg and her hearing. In 2008, when the young girl’s cancer went into remission, they moved to the United States with Adam’s new wife, Elisa, to get a fresh start.
On October 9, 2010, Adam called 911 to report Zahra missing from their home in Hickory, North Carolina. He told the operator someone had set fire to his property the day before and left a ransom note for his boss’s daughter. He thought the kidnappers took Zahra by mistake.
During the investigation, it was discovered that no one had seen the girl for at least two weeks. When questioned by police, Elisa broke down and confessed to murdering her stepdaughter. She told officers she had dismembered Zahra in the bathtub and scattered her remains at various sites. She tried to implicate Adam in the murder, but police eliminated him as a suspect. Elisa pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years. In 2013, she gave an interview stating she was innocent, and it was Adam who really murdered Zahra.
3. Sueanne Hobson
On April 17, 1980, 13-year-old Chris Hobson was reported missing from his home in Overland Park, Kansas, by his father, Edward. Less than a month later, his body was discovered in a shallow grave. He had been shot in the head and chest.
Later that day, Chris stepbrother, James “Jimmy” Crumm, was taken into custody. Jimmy, 16, confessed to the murder and implicated his mother, Sueanne, 39, and his friend, Paul Sorrentino, 16. The teenager told police his mother had previously tried to kill Chris by poisoning his ice cream. When that failed, she enlisted the help of the two teenagers. She told them she wanted her stepson gone by Christmas so she wouldn’t have to buy him any presents.
On the night of the murder, Jimmy and Paul picked Chris up at the Hobson residence. The three boys drove through some back roads and stopped at a dead end. They had Chris dig a shallow grave and told him to get in to try it out. On the count of three, Paul and Jimmy took turns shooting the teenager.
Paul, Jimmy, and Sueanne were each sentenced to life in prison. Sueanne was released in 2011. She is currently living with her husband Edward.
4. Debby Poisoner
The woman who became known as the Derby Poisoner, The Modern-Day Lucretia Borgia, and America's Queen Killer murdered her first husband in 1863, after he lost his job, lapsed into a deep depression, and she decided she'd rather kill him than have to deal with him. A little arsenic fixed that, and then — realizing that she'd killed the family's source of income — she killed a few of her kids, too.
It wasn't long after that, says the New Haven Register, that she moved on to husband number two. She poisoned him, inherited an estate that would be worth about half a million today, and moved on to another widower. This one came with four children, but that wasn't going to stand in the way of the newly-made Lydia Sherman.
The baby was the first to die, dosed with arsenic added to his bottle. A teenage stepdaughter was next, and then it was time for the husband to go. She was arrested and found guilty after an eight-day trial, and according to the New England Historical Society, she escaped after five years in jail. Just a week later she was recaptured and returned to prison, where she died in 1878.
5. Marie Noe
Marie Noe of Philadelphia was a rather odd woman who, between the years 1949 and 1968, suffocated eight of her ten infant children, the other two having died from natural causes. Each of these deaths was attributed to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Since her husband, Arthur, believed her innocence, the authorities simply played along. Thirty years would pass before a local publication, the Philadelphia magazine, ran an article called “Cradle to Grave” in 1998 questioning the Noes’ innocence. The author of the piece, Stephen Fried, not only interviewed the Noes but also spoke with police officers who quietly reopened the case.Marie was brought in for questioning the same day Fried’s article ran. During twelve hours of interrogation, she admitted smothering four of her babies. However, she claimed she was uncertain how the other four died. As to the very first murder, she stated: “He was always crying. He couldn’t tell me what was bothering him. He just kept crying… I took my hand and pressed his face down into the pillow until he stopped moving.” Marie pled guilty to eight counts of 2nd-degree murder, which made for the biggest case of maternal infanticide in history. Yet, she never spent one day inside of a jail cell up until her death in 2016.
Marie was 71 years old at the time of her arrest, and she was offered a rather unusual plea agreement wherein she’d stay out of prison as long as she allowed a team of experts from around the globe to pick her brain, trying to discover what exactly makes women like her tick. This plea agreement was unprecedented, and instead of incarceration, she was to receive 20 years probation serving the first five under house arrest. Of course, she’d have to be a fool (and not just a murdering maniac) not to jump at the offer.But as she was willing to undergo widespread psychiatric examination, the controversial study never took place beyond a diagnosis of mixed-personality disorder (ya think?). Though, some form of developmental disorder and alcoholism also appear in her medical records. As the original author of “Cradle to Grave” has stated, Marie got to sit at home watching TV with her husband for the next decade or so, which is what she’d been doing for years anyhow, despite the fact she had broken her probation early on when she ate at a Denny’s restaurant.Arthur Noe died in 2009 after years of defending his wife’s innocence. Marie died in a nursing home in 2016, the year her firstborn would have turned 67 if she hadn’t smothered him as a baby.
6. Bette Davis
Bette Davis’s daughter, Barbara “B.D.” Hyman, released her own celebrity tell-all book about her mother in 1985. But unlike Christina Crawford, she did it while the woman was still alive. In My Mother’s Keeper, Hyman alleges a childhood of domestic violence, alcoholic parents, and emotional abuse. Hyman’s book came out when her mother was recovering from a stroke yet overseas filming a movie, and upon her return, Davis was shocked to discover what her daughter had written about her. Much like in the aftermath of Mommie Dearest, friends and family members came forward to defend Davis against Hyman’s claims, many of them furious over the extremely bad timing of the book’s release.In her book, Hyman painted a picture of physical abuse from Gary Merrill, her stepfather and Davis’s 4th and last husband. She also described her mother as a selfish alcoholic who would fake suicide attempts to punish her children, two of whom she claimed had been adopted simply to be her companions. Davis institutionalized one of her adopted kids, Margot, at the tender age of three. She remained there for most of her life after being diagnosed with brain damage and mental disabilities. Hyman also claimed that Davis pulled her out of school to be her personal assistant when she was just eleven years old!Gary Merrill was one of the people who came to his ex-wife’s defense, though his testimony wasn’t well delivered. He basically confirmed his stepdaughter’s claims, though calling them exaggerated and “kernels of truth.” He then admitted to having had physical altercations with his family but condoned it all by stating that they did, after all, drink excessively and that his ex-wife, Davis, usually started the brawl. And he actually gave this explanation in a 1985 interview for People magazine, trying to sweep the controversy under the rug. It must have been his first time handling a broom…
7. Heather Leavell-Keaton
Heather Leavell Keaton, 26, was jealous of the attention her stepdaughter, five-year-old Nathalie DeBlase, received. She segregated the little girl from her grandmother, causing Nathalie to become withdrawn. Heather didn’t appreciate being ignored, so she began physically abusing the child. She would often put antifreeze in the little girl’s sippy cup.On March 20, 2010, Heather gave Nathalie too much antifreeze, causing her to become violently ill. When the little girl began screaming in pain, Heather and her common law husband, John DeBlase, 30, duct-taped Nathalie’s hands and feet and placed her in a suitcase. In an act he calls a mercy killing, John choked his daughter to death. The couple drove to the woods and disposed of the body.John’s son, three-year-old Chase, began asking where his sister was. The couple were worried he would mention something in front of relatives. Three months after murdering Nathalie, Heather dosed Chase with antifreeze, tied him to a broom handle, and left him in the bedroom overnight. He was then strangled by his father and his body dumped in the woods.Both Heather and John were found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death for their horrific crimes, making Heather the first woman in Mobile County, Alabama, to be sent to death row.
8. Tracey Wright
The stepmother and father of a six-year-old girl who was punched so hard that her digestive system collapsed were convicted of manslaughter and wilful neglect yesterday.
Tracey (31) and Craig Wright (38) insisted they loved and cared for Lauren Wright and that more than 60 bruises found on her body when she died in May last year were caused by a combination of clumsiness and bullying in the school playground.
But instead of the loving family environment the couple claimed they provided, the jury at Norwich Crown Court was told that Lauren suffered sustained physical and mental torture. Her stepmother punched her and forced her to eat sandwiches filled with pepper while her father "turned a blind eye".
The jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts and the couple will be sentenced at a later date.
Meanwhile, the case has again raised questions about the role of social services in relation to vulnerable children. Calling for a public inquiry, a former education secretary, Ms Gillian Shephard, described the case as "a public disgrace".
An inquiry carried out by the Norfolk Area Child Protection Committee condemned staff from Norfolk Council's social services for failing to act with "due urgency" and for missing opportunities to monitor Lauren's health and living conditions.
9. Shaquila L. Byrd
The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of her five-year-old stepson. The child was reported by elementary school staff to be hungry, and covered with burns and bruises all over his body. Byrd later admitted to hitting the boy with a belt, as well as making him do push-ups as a form of punishment. She also later admitted to a judge that she would lock her stepson in his room from the time he come home from school until he left for school the next day, sometimes causing him to soil himself.
10. Jessica Ann Cox
The 39-year-old mother was arrested in 2013 on accusations that she handcuffed and tortured her two stepsons. The teenaged boys testified that she had not fed them for three days, and that she would beat them with rolling pins and mallets, as well as burn them with cigarettes and force them to bath naked in bathtubs full of ice cubes and cold water.
11. Renee King
On November 20, 2010, Renee King, 29, of Macomb County, Michigan, called 911 to say her stepdaughter, two-year-old Lily Furneaux, was unconscious. When first responders arrived, Renee claimed her back gave out while she was bathing Lily, causing her to drop the child.The coroner determined Lily had died at least two hours before her stepmother called for help. In addition, the injuries sustained were inconsistent with Renee’s explanation. The little girl had suffered at least 20 blows to the head and had a penetrating injury to her vagina.Renee was arrested and charged with felony murder, child abuse, and criminal sexual conduct. During the trial, it was revealed the she was upset with Lily because she frequently soiled her pants and had temper tantrums. Renee was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Due to the heinous nature of the crime, the judge added an additional 30–50 years for the sexual assault and five to seven years for child abuse.
12. Monique Dillard-Bothuell
On June 14, 2014, Charlie Bothuell IV called police to report his son, 12-year-old, Charlie V, missing from their home in Detroit. The case quickly garnered national attention. Almost two weeks later, Mr. Bothuell appeared on the TV news program Nancy Grace. During the live broadcast, a bombshell was dropped when the father was informed police had just found his son alive in the basement of his house.
Mr. Bothuell and his wife, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, the child’s stepmother, were arrested and charged with torture and second degree child abuse. During the trial, Charlie testified that his stepmother forced him into the basement and told him to stay there no matter what. He heard her go upstairs and call his father, telling him his son was missing. The young boy recounted how he was deprived of food and forced to undergo an extreme exercise regime. He stated he was scared to come out of hiding, even when police were conducting a search of the basement, because his stepmother had threatened him. Mr. Bothuell was sentenced to 18 months of probation and ordered to attend anger management classes. His wife accepted a secret plea deal that involved no jail time. Her record was erased six months later.
13. Melinda Drabek-Chritton
On a cold February day in 2012, a 15-year-old girl was spotted wandering the streets of Madison, Wisconsin. When a good Samaritan noticed the girl was barefoot and only wearing pajamas, they contacted police. The girl told authorities she had been held captive in the basement of her family home, where she was sexually and physically abused. Her father, Chad Chritton, 42, her stepmother, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, 44, and stepbrother, Joshua Drabek, 20, were arrested.
During the trial, the teenager testified she was confined to the basement, which was equipped with an alarm and motion sensor. She was denied food, beaten, and forced to eat her own feces. She was also sexually assaulted by her stepbrother. The young girl told the court that while her father took part in some of the abuse, it was her stepmother whom she feared. Chad and Melinda Chritton were each sentenced to five years for reckless endangerment, child abuse, and causing mental harm to a child. Joshua was convicted of sexual and physical assault and also received a five-year sentence.
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