Murder-suicides seem to be a reality that touches so many lives. “According to Fox News published yesterday, A [Harlem] New York woman holding her baby son plunged eight stories out of an apartment window to her death in an apparent suicide, but her child survived, Authorities say.45-year-old Cynthia Wachenheim was found on the street with her son, 10-month-old Keston, near her arms. The child was rushed to the hospital and is in critical but stable condition.”
The police found a seven page suicide note under her bed. Fox News go on to say,” Wachenheim said in the note she recognized what she was about to do was "evil" ; but she was concerned about how her child was developing, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case. “It was unclear whether the baby, who neighbors said was an only child, had any mental or physical problems.
A neighbor said the mother was, "very nice, very friendly, very warm… I wouldn't have thought anything was wrong with her… They were a happy-looking family. I wouldn't think anything like this would happen."
This is not the first time a mother has taken her own life and those of her children in New York. Time Health & Family reported that in April 2011, a woman from, “Newburgh, N.Y., drove herself and her four children into the Hudson River. Her eldest son escaped the minivan and fled to get help, but the woman and her three younger children — two boys, ages five and two, and an eleven-month-old daughter drowned in the river. “
Dr. Phillip Resnick, director of forensic psychiatry at Case Western and a leading expert on parents who kill their children, identified five of the most common circumstances under which a parent might feel driven to take the life of his or her own child.
The first is “altruistic.” The classic case is the mother who plans to take her own life and believes that the children are better off in heaven with her. Number two is the case in which the parent is acutely psychotic. The third type is fatal battering. The fourth is [to get rid of] an unwanted baby, for example an infant born out of wedlock. The final category is spousal revenge [in which a parent kills the children to hurt the partner], typically after infidelity.
The police have not disclosed anymore details about the suicide note in the Wachenheim case.