Thursday, July 23, 2015

“Oulu Serial Killer Mother” – Finland, 2014


They died in a bucket. That’s where their mother tossed them soon after they came into the world. Year after year. Five of them. Some would call it murder. Some would call it empowerment.

And some professional medical ethicists would call it “after birth abortion”: Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva).

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In Oulu, Finland between 2005 and 2013 a 35-year-old woman (whose name is being withheld by the government) was found to have killed five of her own newborn children and hid their corpses in a freezer. The crimes were discovered on June 4, 2014. The mother claimed they had all been stillborn. It was a lie. It was determined, using dental evidence, that some of the victims had lived up to four days before they were dumped into a bucket where they perished from exposure and starvation.

The first two infant victims were fathered by different, unidentified, men. The Oulu mother married a man in 2010, gave birth to another baby and killed it, reporting to the father that their child had miscarried. The couple conceived two more children and, as as is seen in so many cases of maternal filicide, the mother seems to have convinced that father that the signs of pregnancy were the result of ordinary weight gain. The father of the three murdered children filed for divorce immediately after the bodies were discovered. All of the babies were born full-term or nearly full-term, according to the statements of the prosecutor.

On December 16, 2014 the Oulu District Prosecutor Sari Kemppaine demanded that the Oulu District Court reduce the gravity of the charges against the mother, from murder to aggravated assaults and aggravated manslaughter. The prosecutor used the terms “gross negligence” to describe the cause of all five deaths.

On June 15, 2015 at the District Court of Oulu, the mother was convicted of killing the five infants and was sentenced to a nominal “life” sentence, which in Finland means she will likely serve only 12 years for the deaths.

[Based on facts reported in: “Finnish mum gets life for killing five newborns,” Agence France-Presse, Helsinki June 15, 2015; “Viiden lapsen ruumiit löytyivät kellarikomerosta Oulussa,” (“Five bodies were found the child's basement in Oulu”), Ilta-Sanomat, Kotimaa (Finland), Jun. 4, 2014; Heidi Hietala, “Oulun vauvasurmat: Äiti oli raskaana tutkintavankeudessa viime kesänä” (“Oulu babies were killed: The prosecutor is demanding alternative charges”), Ilta-Sanomat, Kotimaa, Dec. 16, 2014]

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For more cases of this type, see Serial Baby-Killer Moms.

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