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  • Monday, December 20, 2004


    Geography lesson

    Good common-sense Midwesterner Kathy Sage rounds up the usual suspects:

    Hours before her arrest, Montgomery and her husband, Michael, showed off a newborn girl at a restaurant on Friday, said Kathy Sage, owner of the Whistle Stop Cafe in Melvern, a small eastern Kansas town.

    Many customers were surprised to hear the infant was only a day old, Sage said. She knew an Amber Alert had been issued for a baby missing from Missouri but did not realize the infant the Montgomerys carried was connected until hearing from a reporter on Friday.

    “You read about this stuff,” she said. “It blows you away when it’s here. This stuff is supposed to be in New York City or Los Angeles.”

    Well. No.

    Kimmi Hardy- Keokuk, Iowa:

    A woman who faked being pregnant, to the point of wearing maternity clothes and holding a shower after the "birth" of her child, has been charged with murder in the death of the baby's actual mother.

    Kimmi Hardy has been charged with murdering Theresa Lund and taking Lund's baby on August 28, the day Hardy told friends that she had given birth in her trailer home. Guests at a subsequent baby shower alerted police that Hardy's baby, actually 6 weeks old, seemed too old for a newborn.

    Dena Schlosser- McKinney, Texas:

    According to her lawyer, a Texas woman who admits killing her baby daughter by severing the girl's arms was guided by a Biblical passage that refers to cutting off body parts to cast away sin.
    Attorney David Haynes says 35-year-old Dena Schlosser, who has a history of mental illness, has been quoting Scripture where Jesus says, "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away."

    Schlosser was charged with capital murder last month after telling a 9-1-1 operator that she had cut off her baby's arms. Police found Schlosser in the living room, covered in blood, still holding a knife and listening to a hymn.

    Andrea Yates- Houston, Texas:

    Around 10:00am on June 20, 2001, Rusty Yates received a startling phone call from his wife, Andrea, whom he had left only an hour before.

    "You need to come home," she said.

    Puzzled, he asked, "What's going on?"

    She just repeated her statement and then added, "It's time. I did it."

    Not entirely sure what she meant but in light of her recent illness, he asked her to explain and she said, "It's the children."

    Now a chill shot through him. "Which one?" he asked.

    "All of them."

    He dropped everything and left his job as a NASA engineer at the Johnson Space Center. When he arrived fifteen minutes later, the police and ambulances were already at their Houston, Texas home on the corner of Beachcomber and Sea Lark in the Clear Lake area. Rusty was told he could not go in, so he put his forehead against a brick wall, trying to process the horrifying news, and waited.

    Restless for information, he went to a window and on to the back door where he screamed, "How could you do this?" According to an article in Time, at one point Rusty Yates collapsed into a fetal position on the lawn, pounding the ground as he watched his wife being led away in handcuffs.

    Susan Smith- Union, South Carolina:

    A bitter turn of events in the divorce of Susan and David Smith threw the young mother into a downward spiral that ended with the deaths of their children, a defense expert testified Wednesday.

    Social work professor Arlene Andrews said Ms. Smith's mental condition began deteriorating in August 1994 after a failed reconciliation with her husband.

    The couple agreed to seek an amiable divorce with neither party being at fault. But Ms. Smith reneged on the deal and decided to charge her husband with adultery.

    He retaliated. On Oct. 20, he searched Ms. Smith's purse and found a letter from Tom Findlay. When he told her he knew she was having an affair, Ms. Smith became confused and confessed to having an affair with Findlay's father, Cary Findlay, her former boss and owner of Conso Products Co.

    That's when David Smith threatened to reveal her relationship to Findlay's wife.

    Andrews said Ms. Smith was distraught and didn't know where to turn.

    "Susan thought she had done something unforgivable," Andrews said. "Her suicidal despair set in, and she began to think everything about her was bad."

    Five days later, Michael, 3, and Alex, 14 months, were dead, having drowned in the mother's car, which Ms. Smith had let roll into John D. Long Lake.

    Andrew Golden & Mitchell Johnson- Jonesboro, Arkansas:

    Children are returning to Westside Middle School today for the first time since four of their classmates and one of their teachers died in an ambush. A juvenile court judge on Wednesday ordered two boys accused of the killing held until April 29, when they may be formally charged with capital murder and first-degree battery for the attack which also wounded 10 students. Counselors will be in all the classrooms to help children cope with coming back to the school.


    Johnson and Golden are accused of killing four of their classmates, all girls, and an English teacher during a false fire alarm outside Westside Middle School Tuesday. Ten other people were wounded. Five students and a teacher are still in the hospital. One of the students is listed in critical condition, and doctors said her condition was improving.

    Shall I go on?


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