Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mrs. Holt Murdered Her Kids & Used a Hatchet on Herself - 1922

FULL TEXT: Russell Springs, Ky. – After severing the head of her twelve-year-old daughter with a butcher knife and hurling her six-year-old son and an infant into a barrel filled with rain water, Mrs. Arnold Holt, residing at the home of her father, George Harris, ran head-on against the sharp edge of a hatched which she had wedged in a fence and injured herself probably fatally.

Mrs. Holt is believed to have become suddenly insane as a result of brooding over a divorce suit. She was separated from her husband several months ago.

Awakened by the screams of the daughter, George Harris rushed to the door in time to see Mrs. Holt sever the girl’s head with one blow of a sharp butcher knife. The son and the infant, who were nearby, then were seized by the demented mother and plunged into the barrel of water, the cover thrown on top of them to prevent their escape.

Tearing her hair and shrieking, Mrs. Holt then ran to a fence in which she previously had fastened a hatchet. Backing away 20 feet, she lowered her head and ran straight against the sharp blade, cleaving her skull.

The father watched the tragedy as though paralyzed until the woman fell, then ran to notify neighbors. The boy was found hanging head down over the edge of the rain barrel in an unconscious condition and hope is held for his recovery. The infant perished in the barrel.

Mrs. Holt was unconscious when picked up by neighbors and physicians who attended her said she would not recover. During a brief lapse of consciousness she whispered: “Why didn’t God let me finish it?”

She is said to have been despondent since her separation from her husband and dreaded the ordeal of appearing in court in the divorce proceeding which she had instituted.

Arnold Holt, the husband, formerly was employed as a salesman in Louisville. His present whereabouts is not known.

Mrs. Arnold’s brother, Elan Harris, is a well-known dentist in Danville, Ky.

[“Mother Cuts Off Head of Child – Drowns Another in Rain Barrel and Third is Rescued, Almost Dead, by Father,” New Oxford Item (Pa.), Jul. 13, 1922, p. 8]


NOTE: “Family annihilation” is a term that is currently used to describe filicide/suicide cases like this (often involving the murder of the other parent and/or other adult relatives). The general public, when presented with generalizations about “family annihilation” cases” is often given misleading information suggesting that such behavior is essentially connected with masculine psychology. Cases involving female annihilators are often underrepresented in discussions about such crimes, particularly because the theories favored by specialists require a “patriarchal” cause for the pathological behavior, thus making it necessary to construct theoretical excuses for the enormous number of cases that fail to support the preferred theories.

Specialists have as yet made no effort to examine how the various sort of family homicides dealing with questions of child custody involve motives and behavior that is in many ways – apart from the end product of homicide – extremely similar to Parental Kidnapping and its psychological variants (including Parental Alienation, Visitation Interference (Malicious Access Denial), Distance Relocation-as-Parental Kidnapping, Gatekeeping Parental Behavior, Narcissistic Parenting, etc.)


For more Violence by Women cases involving axes and hatchets, see: Give ‘Em the Axe


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