Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Conn. Mother Convicted in Son's Suicide

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:01 AM
Original message
Conn. Mother Convicted in Son's Suicide
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:03 AM by spinbaby
MERIDEN, Conn. (AP)--A woman was convicted Monday of contributing to the suicide of her 12-year-old son, who hanged himself in his closet with a necktie after being picked on for months at school over his bad breath and body odor.
(snip)
Legal experts said the case may mark the first time a parent has been convicted of contributing to a child's suicide.
(snip)

http://tinyurl.com/q0ay


On edit: removed extra-long URL.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds like some deep, untreated psychological problems are involved
Undifferentiated schizophrenia would be my guess. Being prosecuted is the last thing that woman needs.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I agree totally - they needed to provide this woman with help
but because she was working class poor, uneducated and not good looking they threw her in the dust heap which is what people always do with older women who don't look like Barbie.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. all to often!!!
;(
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
2. Looks like major neglect on her part to me - -
From the article:

"Judith Scruggs acknowledged Daniel would sometimes have body odor or bad breath and would soil himself to get out of going to school. She said she frequently told Daniel to take showers, but said she could not force him to do so.

Scruggs told police Daniel was afraid of bullies who had kicked and punched him, and he kept knives in his closet out of fear before killing himself in January 2002.

Prosecutors presented evidence that showed there was barely room to move around her home because of clothes, boxes, papers and other debris that littered the floor. The kitchen was full of dirty dishes and spills and stains. The bathroom floor and the bathtub were covered with clothes, and the toilet, sink and tub were soiled.

Prosecution witnesses also described a foul odor. To get an idea what it was like, one officer suggested sticking your head in a hamper full of dirty clothes and whiffing garbage at the same time."

<snip>

Also the article mentions that she is 52 - that'd make her 40 when the boy was born -

I am not quite sure how I feel about the jail sentence thing

- maybe there is more to this than we know -

Hmmmm

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JNelson6563 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I saw this story on TV yesterday
and they said a 23 year old brother testified that she had totally left him on his own as a child and there were pictures of their pigsty house. It was not just messy, we are talking serious filth.

Let's not be too quick to martyr this woman (I don't mean you on this point CC). I too was a working mother (who may has well've been single at the time) and I worked long and varying hours. We were very, very bad off. I was poor but my kids were cared for and my house was clean. I don't care how poor you are, you can afford to keep a house clean enough to not be a health hazard.

This story made me sick. That poor child. *sniff*

Julie
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
prolesunited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:33 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I understand what you are saying
But I think those types of living conditions are attributable to neglect or laziness. I would suspect the woman has untreated psychological issues. Normal people don't simply chose to live in filth. I wonder if they did a psychiatric work up on her?

The fact that the 23-year-old said he was left on his own, too. It sounds like she wasn't able to bond with her children. It sounds like intervention was needed long before this story reached a tragic conclusion.

I'm very sorry that a 12-year-old boy thought he had no choice other than suicide, but I think the tragedy touches the entire family. Perhaps this woman needs psychiatric treatment and not jail. Think of the life sentence she already has to live in her head knowing that her son committed suicide.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. "Perhaps this woman needs psychiatric treatment"
I think that would be a wiser move

First of all

- I'm pretty sure that Judith

- who is 52 is not happy about losing her son

- 10 years in jail will kill her I think

I am not a big supporter of present penal systems which usually just ruin people or make them worse - then we let them go !

Correct me if I'm wrong - but I seem to remmember a blurb that per capita

- the USA ranks second in the whole world of citizens in Jail

If this be true - are the People THAT nasty, or is it the Government?

(I think that's what we call a rhetorical question )

'Tis a sad situation in the "Good Old USA" -

Just My Humble Canadian Opinion
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
20. I doubt she will ever connect her behavior with what happened to her son
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 08:51 AM by sybylla
"Think of the life sentence she already has to live in her head knowing that her son committed suicide."

I have known people, some were family members, who neglected their children to an extreme. I suspect this woman, if she is like these people, was seriously messed up psychologically. If she couldn't bond with her children, if she couldn't care enough for her children to ensure that they lived in a decently clean house, her son's suicide will never touch her heart.

What I don't understand is, if neighbors saw her treating a dog as this boy was treated, someone would have called the humane society. And yet, no one seemed all that interested in getting social services involved to help this poor child out of his misery. My question is, where were the teachers? where were the family members? where was the father? It takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to let one slip through the cracks.

On edit: of course I make these statements as an outsider making certain assumptions. I also understand and very much sympathize with the problems facing single mom's.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
indigo32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. Amen
somebody should have stepped in before.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
25. I agree with you, she is probably in need of serious counseling.
n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Heddi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #5
30. Generally, people who live in that kind of environment
have Obsessive/Compuslsive disorders to the nth degree. Usually, they're also slightly agoraphobic as well....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ProfessorGAC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
31. I Understand Your Point. However, . . .
. . .why aren't the prosecutors pursuing the bullies? Her, possibly psychologically rooted, neglect may have put him in this position. But, he killed himself, not over her neglect, but over the bullying.

The prosecutors seem to me to have pursued the wrong bad guys.
The Professor
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. she had to work 2 and sometimes 3 jobs! to make ends meet!
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:51 AM by ElsewheresDaughter
i imagine i would be a little cleaning-impaired too
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. Hoarding is a characteristic of OCD
not widely acknowledged or understood. You hear stories sometimes of county agencies going in to clean out someone's house or yard. I've been to estate sales where 30 years worth of frozen food trays have been saved. -It's a psychological condition.

It sounds to me as though society is doing to her what it did to her son.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
16. what has age got to do with it?...hell i was 42 when i had my last child.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Mel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. count me out of having
anymore babies in Amerika!

Norris said prosecutors never provided evidence linking the condition of the home to the suicide. He portrayed Judith Scruggs as a loving single mother who worked two jobs--one full-time as a teacher's aide in Daniel's school and the other part-time at a Wal-Mart.

Norris had called the boy's death a case ``Bullycide.'' The suicide spawned a Connecticut law mandating schools to report bullies to authorities.




What I want to know is why weren't the bullies convicted or what about the school the boy went to why weren't they put on trial?

Another question where was this single Moms support system? Why do I never see the people that are against abortion helping people like this woman?


Sorry a dirty house doesn't make one commit suicide there are actually kids out there that will help their Mothers clean the house!

What about the families that are homeless now due to 'welfare reform' and the sinking economy are we going to lock those parents up to if their children commit suicide?
I know there is not enough affordable housing in this country yet we allow this?

We don't have health care for the working poor so how was this woman suppose to afford someone to help her out with her sons distress?

I guess, she should of just gotten a third job to pay for it and then the holier than thou's could blame her for being a bad Mom and not being there for her son.
I swear being a single Mom is sometimes a damned if you do damned if you don't situation!

I'm disgusted why did these no count sitting on a jury citizens, convict this woman with NO evidence linking this boys suicide to a dirty house? BS stupid citizens not understanding what their civic duties are?

I think part of the blame lays at the feet of the Neo Cons. and their demonization of the poor and single Moms in this country.

If this lady would of had MONEY or been a famous person she wouldn't of even been tried for this and if she had she wouldn't of been convicted.

Yes, it's class warfare!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
zanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. I agree with Mel.
Anti-abortion people are at this moment trying to prosecute women who are neglectful during their pregnancies; the Supreme Court just refused a case like this. For a long time, I thought that "pro-life" people were sincere in their beliefs that life is sacred. But, more and more, I'm beginning to see them as people who want to repress women, and destroy any progress we've made in the area of equal rights for women.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
23. Mel.....you are exactly right!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SammyWinstonJack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #6
26. I agree
Excellent Question re: the people who are against abortions who are absent in these situations. These people only care about a fetus. They feel no obligation whatsoever to an unwanted child after birth. They would much rather have their tax dollars go to greedy corporations than too give a child a fighting chance at a decent life. Bush* and the rest of the repukes would just say this poor woman should have found herself a man too marry and this wouldn't have happened. :silly: Now lets all just go celebrate "Marriage Protection Week," enacted so every child in 'Murica can grow up in a "safe and loving home." :eyes:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
qb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
7. This reminds me of the film "Cypher in the Snow"
It was shown at my school years ago - it's about a boy who is teased at school and neglected at home. He is profoundly depressed throughout the film. At the end he collapses, dead in a snowbank.

It breaks my heart to think about what this poor kid went through.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
32. They've been showing that movie for years
I saw it in the late 60's. I think they show that movie so they can wash their hands of the mess.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
whyaduck Donating Member (21 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
8. this is unbelievable
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 08:11 AM by whyaduck
There is no way they can point to one circumstance and say "*this* caused to the boy's suicide." His mother was working two jobs to support them, which most likely means that the father, wherever the hell he is, was not paying child support. Also, poor hygiene can be a result of low self-esteem - perhaps abandonment by his father also contributed to that? I don't think it's possible to know for sure.

Add to that the bullying he endured at school, and the fact that pre-teen and teenage years are already difficult for a lot of kids because of the changes you go through physically and emotionally.

My main point is, this conviction is unfair because the situation is probably a lot more complex than it appears. I'm not excusing the fact that the home was filthy, but it is unusually cruel to compound this woman's suffering by implicating her exclusively in her son's death. If the boy had died from illness that was the direct result of the filthy state of the home, or from starvation or some similar reason, then there would have been a case for neglect.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
goddess40 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:44 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. why weren't the bullies arrested
along with the school personnel who allowed, and sometime encourage, the bullies arrested?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Susang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
27. Exactly, where's the damn father?
Shouldn't he be up on charges as well? I'm so sick of seeing stories like these where the father isn't even mentioned.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
10. this is truly sad...the child killed himself because of BULLIES at school
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 08:07 AM by ElsewheresDaughter
the mother had registered many complaints to the school over the years about the bullying of her son...she had to work 2 jobs (one at phucking WalMart)to support herself and son because of the laws our lawmakers pass....and the establishment i.e. the school and powers that be do not want to be sued over their lack of handling this "bullying" issue....so they make it a double tragedy for the mother.....what do they think....that they can punish her anymore??? Hell i'm sure that she would welcome the death penlty ...as i would in her shoes......God forgive them
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bowens43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
14. There is no excuse for this kind of neglect.
She needs to spend a long time in jail.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DoNotRefill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. It sounds like she was doing her best....
and going after her was easier than going after the bullies...maybe their families were "better" than the poor boy's family... :eyes:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. bowens...why? she did NOT kill her son!!!
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 08:32 AM by ElsewheresDaughter
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. You don't understand the full effects...
Of grinding poverty and hopelessness, do you. Did you know that money problems have been named the #1 cause of Psychiatric Problems in the US, by no less than The American Psychiatric Association? They have.

Have you ever been poor to the point of utter despair? I have. I wouldn't recommend the experience to anyone.

Have you ever worked at a job, or two, that paid crap and offered you no hope of getting ahead? I do, right now. I wouldn't recommend the experience to anyone.

The "charicter" it creates is not worth the price.

Dig a little deeper with the shovel of compassion and try to understand the issues facing the grindingly poor right now, not the least of which is the fact that if you are on ANY form of public assistance, the experience is utterly degrading, for THAT is how it is administered these days. The social workers know it, and they really don't like it. But their hands are tied.

Being poor and receiving public assistance is anything but a vacation. In many real ways, there is No Way Out, and in our society, unlike others, when you are down, people line up to kick you while you are down. It's sport, and they enjoy it. Guess it makes them feel better about their own shitty lives.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #19
24. Very thoughtful and understanding post.
Most of us know that just feeling down and depressed for a day or so
can make you very lethargic, and it's hard to motivate yourself to do anything. Generally you can snap out of it, but someone with serious money problems and raising two kids by herself might not find that so easy. And hey - two boys their age - couldn't they have helped out a bit? Too much trouble to help clean up the bathroom? I'm just trying to look at it from all angles.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Corgigal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
22. Sounds like the school system
got itself off the hook from a civil lawsuit by going after the mom.
Surprised it took this long. School love to blame parents for every human failing under the sun but responsibility for any behavior/situation that was directly caused by a school? Good luck with that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RobinA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
28. Whatever Culpability
this woman may have, this case is a VERY slippery slope.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ignatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
29. Damn, my heart is breaking for that child. We all know
how cruel jr. high kids can be...this is a total shame that could have been prevented if only someone had spoken to the mother and the proper authorities.

What must his life have been like? May he find peace and joy in his after life that he did not have in this one.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Throckmorton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
34. This site has some good articles on this case
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
zizzer Donating Member (575 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 03:06 PM
Response to Original message
35. I am for once truely ashamed of DU'ers
I cannot believe some of the horrible hatefull things being said in this thread.

The mother, obviously has mental issues. She was working two jobs, raising two boys (working in the school no less, how involved are YOU in your childs school) and she had no husband and presumably little or no support structure. She got no help from the school when she went to them for assitance in dealing with these bullies. And what do I see here "she was lazy ... or sick", she was negligent she was a bad mother. Jesus FUCK people do you have no hearts?

This poor poor boy. Imagine, just for a moment living that hell. A mother too sick to be able to care for you properly, a school system that does not help. A mother who cannot get the school to help. Having kids in school see the sorry shape your mother is in. A sibling who testified that there was a problem that they did nothing about. What sorts of emotional problems did this atmosphere create in this poor boy? I can only begin to imagine.

Where was the school? Where was the father? Where were the neighbors? Where was Wal~Mart? Didn't any of these people see a problem? Why didn't they help? Where were the parents of this poor boys abusers (yes I say ABUSERS)?

To see some of what has been said in this thread is unbelievable to me. You want to mock Edi Amen when he dies, fine. Fuck him, he was and is a monster and I won't cry when he dies a slow painfull death but why such venom for this poor(in so many senses of that word) woman.

Zizzer <-- maybe feeling a little sensitive today ...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Throckmorton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Did you read the articles in my link?
I offer no opinion on them, other then to say that it is too bad the older brother and sister, they are 19 and 23 now, so they were 17 and 21 when all this happened, if I can beleive the local press, didn't try harder to help his younger brother. In fact, I can find nothing to suggest they did anything to help.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Sep 18th 2014, 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC