Happy Mother’s Day everyone! This is the time of year that we celebrate our maternal parent’s infinite love and eternal sacrifice in rearing us up from the time when we were babes mewling and puking in our cribs to the sterling adults that we doubt are now. The image of the mother figure is iconic throughout all of history and well represented in art from the beginning of time.
However, as we all know, not every female is cut from the same nurturing cloth and should have been sterilized at birth. To counter the overwhelming schmaltzy female adoration that will be plastered everywhere this weekend, I present to you a sample of the worst mothers in history.
Kathrine Mary Knight: She has the distinction of being the first woman in Australian history to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Knight's father was an alcoholic who openly used violence and intimidation to rape her mother up to ten times a day. Her mother, in turn, often told her daughters intimate details of her sex life and how much she hated sex and men. As such she grew up to be a violent bully who would fly into uncontrollable rages. She went through a series of mutually violent marriages, whelping several children, before meeting John Price.
One night he returned home to find she had sent the children away, and after a romantic night of booze, pills, and sex, she stabbed him to death and then skinned him. She then put his skin on a meat hook, cooked his head and parts of his body and placed them together with vegetables on plates with placecards with the children's names.
Marie Noe: A wonderful example of someone with Munchausen-by-Proxy syndrome, wherein a caregiver exaggerates, or induces mental or physical health problems of a child in their care, usually to gain attention or sympathy from others. Noe was convicted in June 1999 of murdering eight of her children. Between 1949 and 1968, eight of the ten Noe children died of mysterious causes which were then attributed to sudden infant death syndrome.
All eight children were healthy at birth and were developing normally. Her other two children died as well, but this was shown to be of natural causes (or else it couldn’t be proven otherwise). Ironically in 1963 Life magazine published a sympathetic article on Noe (written by Mary Cadwalader and using the pseudonyms Martha and Andrew Moore for Noe and her husband) after six of Noe's children had died
Viola Lucas: Mother of infamous serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. Giving birth to nine children, then having to care for a husband who lost both his legs in a train accident, was too much for this mother. She found a wonderful way to vent her frustrations by beating her youngest child, one of which went so far that it actually resulted in him being in a coma for three days. She left an eye injury Henry had received unattended for four days. It became infected and had to be removed then replaced with a glass eye. She often dressed him up as a girl and curled his hair to embarrass him. She often forced him to go to school in this manner. While earning money as a prostitute she often made watch while she had sex with clients.
He eventually repaid this attention by murdering her. On January 11, 1960, in Tecumseh, Michigan, Lucas killed his mother during the course of an ongoing argument regarding whether or not he should return home to his mother's house to care for her as she grew older. He claimed she struck him over the head with a broom, at which point he stabbed her in the neck and she fell. He stated, “All I remember was slapping her alongside the neck, but after I did that I saw her fall and decided to grab her. But she fell to the floor and when I went back to pick her up, I realized she was dead. Then I noticed that I had my knife in my hand and she had been cut.”
Susan Smith: On October 25, 1994, Smith, a South Carolinian with a history of drunk-and-disorderly arrests, reported to police that her vehicle had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her sons still in it. For nine days, she made dramatic pleas on national television for their rescue and return. Her and her ex-husband, whom she had cheated on repeatedly, were subjected to intense polygraph examinations.
|The murdered children of Susan Smith|
Following an intensive investigation and a nationwide search, on November 3, 1994, she confessed to letting her 1990 Mazda Protegé roll into nearby John D. Long Lake, drowning the boys, 3-year-old Michael Daniel Smith, and 14-month-old Alexander Tyler Smith. Her motivation was reportedly to be able to have a relationship with a local wealthy man, even though the latter had no intention of forming a family. She was sentenced to life imprisonment for her crimes (It’s amazing how few of these women actually get the death penalty even for the most heinous of crimes. It’s a clear example of the sort of sexism we’ve all been fighting against). She will actually be eligible for parole in 2024, but due to lack of remorse it is unlikely that will happen.
Sanae Nakamura: A sex worker in Japan, she fought for custody of her two children during her divorce then quickly grew tired of caring for them. She had no time or inclination to do housework, as evidenced by the mountains of garbage in the apartment. In March 2010 Sanae Nakamura got herself a boyfriend and began to spend the nights with him, leaving her 3-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son home alone.
A concerned neighbor contacted the Osaka municipal child consultation center 3 times because the children could be heard crying and screaming “mama, mama!” every night. The first phone call was made on March 30, 2010. Two welfare officials showed up on March 31, April 1 and April 2. Nobody answered the door so they left. The neighbor called again early on April 8, 2010. The children were still crying and screaming late into the night. The welfare officials showed up that day but again nobody answered the door. So they left. This happened again a third time.
In early June, 2010, Sanae Nakamura locked the door to her apartment and walked away. Little Sakurako Hagi and her baby brother Kaede Hagi were abandoned inside and left to die. She later told the police that she wanted “to flee from everything and have time to myself. I thought about a week later they might be dead. I didn’t feel like I should return home to save them.”
|Left to starve to death by Sanae Nakamura|
On July 29, 2010 Sanae Nakamura did return to the apartment, but as soon as she found her babies’ decomposing corpses she left again, just as if nothing happened. On July 30, 2010, police arrived at the apartment after somebody reported a “strange smell coming from apartment 303”. The police had to enter the apartment from the balcony because the door was locked. When they got inside, they discovered the source(s) of the smell. The 2 tiny, emaciated corpses were naked and lying face up in the middle of the room, surrounded by garbage.
When arrested, she showed no remorse. “Since I divorced in May last year, I had become tired of caring for my children. I wanted free time,” She openly told police. “I wished I hadn’t had children. I knew that such young children couldn’t live if I left them behind and refused to give them food or water.”
At her trial, she used all of the usual tactics of blaming her actions on a poor upbringing and false statements of being sexually molested when she was a child. Which availed her as well as the rest of the women on this list. She was given thirty years in prison.
I hope you enjoyed this little segment. Have a happy Mother’s Day!