Here on EmpowHER, many of the questions asked in our Community and our Groups are questions about being a parent; for example, the physical, emotional and sociological aspects of life as a woman and mother. One thing we clearly see is the genuine concern, fears and passionate love our moms have for their children. Which is why such horror is expressed when parents (allegedly, in the case of Casey Anthony) kill the children that the rest of us would die for.
What are their motives? Are they mentally ill or just evil? Is it possible that we are capable of this kind of murder ourselves, if supposedly “normal” people can end the lives of their own children and seen perfectly normal – even happy – before and afterward? The concept of filicide – or the killing of one’s own son or daughter –has probably been with us since the beginning of human kind. Parents kill their children for many reasons: greed/profit, hate, depression, desperation, resentment, or anger. Filicide is also practiced in the animal kingdom.
There are genuine cases of insanity – like Andrea Yates. There are cases of sheer resentment and choosing a man over her own children – like Susan Smith. And a case like Casey Anthony who, allegedly, killed her young daughter because she resented her for disallowing Anthony from enjoying life as a party-loving 20-something who never wanted a child in the first place. Anthony’s lawyers are using claims of childhood sexual abuse by her father and brother and her subsequent co-dependent behavior as her defense. The child drowned in her grandparent’s pool, they said, and Anthony could not cope with the death due to her childhood horrors, so threw the child in the wilds, a mile or two from her home – conspiring with her father to do so.
The prosecution is countering that her lifestyle directly after the child, Caylee, went missing, was not that of a grieving mother. She took part in a “Hot Body” contest, hung out with her boyfriend, drank and partied in nightclubs and bars, pretended she had a job and stole money by cashing fraudulent checks she stole from a friend. During this time, she claimed her daughter Caylee was with a nanny.