All of the people in the list below were murdered as a result of their autism or disability.
Credit for this list goes to Autism Wars - Until The Murders End.
(NB: I think she, in turn, got the list from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN).)
23, starved by her sister, 2005. | ZAIN AKHTER 12, Strangled by her mother, July 2010 . | AJIT SINGH 12, forced to drink bleach by his mother. February 2010 | BENJAMIN BARNHARD 13, shot by his mother, August 2011 | BETTY ANNE GAGNON 48. tortured to death by her sister and brother-in-law. November 2009 | CALISTA SPRINGER
16, smoke inhalation-chained to her bed by her father and stepmother, February 2008. | CHASE OGDEN 13, shot by his mother along with his sister Olivia, October 2010 | CHRISTOPHER DEGROOT 19, locked in apartment set on fire by his parents, May 2006 | CHRISTOPHER MELTON 18, gassed by his mother. June 2010 | DANIEL CORBY 4, drowned by his mother. March 2012 | FARYAAL AKHTER 2, strangled by their mother, July 2010 | FRANCECCA HARDWICK 18, locked in a burning car with her mother, October 2007 | GEORGE HODGINS 22. shot by his mother, March 2012. | GERREN ISGRIG 6 years old, died of exposure after his grandmother abandoned him in a remote area, April 2010. | GLEN FREANEY 11, strangled by his mother. May 2010 | JEREMY BOSTICK 11, gassed by his father. September 2009 | JEREMY FRASER 9 years old, died of recurrent leukemia alter his mother withheld the medication that would have saved his life. March 2009 | JORI LIRETTE 7, decapitated by his father, August 2011. | JULIE CIRELLA 8, poisoned by her mother. July 2011 | KARANDEEP ARORA 18, suffocated by his parents, October 2010. | KATIE MCCARRON 3 years old, suffocated by her mother. May 2006 | KENNETH HOLMES 12, shot by his mother. July 2010. | KYLE SNYDER 9, shot by grandmother, October 2010. | LAURA CUMMINGS 23, tortured to death by her mother and brother. January 2010 | LEOSHA BARNETT 17, starved to death by her mother and sister. May 2011 | NAOMI HILL 4, drowned by her mother, November 2007 | NOE MEDINA JR. 7 months, thrown 4 stories by his mother, August 2011 | PAYTON ETTINGER 4, starved by his mother, May 2010 | PETER EITZEN 16. Stabbed by his mother. July 2009 | ROHIT SINGH 7, beaten to death by his father, September 2010. | ROBERT ETHAN SAYLOR 26, asphyxiation during catastrophic police encounter, January 2013 | RYLAN ROCHESTER 6 months old, suffocated by his mother because she believed him to be autistic, June 2010 | SCARLETT CHEN 4 years old, drowned by her mother, July 2004 | STEVEN SIMPSON 18, doused with tanning oil and set on fire during his birthday party by party guests, June 2012 | TONY KHOR 15, strangled by his mother, October 2009 | TRACY LATIMER 12 years old. gassed by her father, 1995. | WALTER KNOX HILDEBRAND JR 20 years old, died of a seizure induced by his brother's physical abuse. November 2009 | ZAHRA BAKER 10, murdered and dismembered by her stepmother and perhaps her father. October 2010.
I have one simple message to follow this list - it is never okay to murder someone, even if they have a disability. We often hear people say, "Well, these parents must have been under enormous pressure. It's understandable really." But, quite frankly, that's an insane statement, which is only ever applied to murders of disabled people - and it is simply not true.
It's not understandable, okay or reasonable that someone can kill a baby, child, young person or vulnerable person in their care. I can understand that parents might be completely stressed out of their minds. I can understand that they might be pushed beyond breaking point. But this never justifies killing another person, disabled or otherwise. And certainly not a member of their own family.
I think that's the proverbial litmus test in this case. Perhaps you can for a moment try to imagine yourself, the parent, in an unbelievably stressful situation where your child has pushed all of your buttons and you're feeling utter rage, total helplessness, absolute exhaustion and complete overwhelm. Can you ever see in that circumstance that killing your child might be an okay or reasonable response to the situation? Is it the only course of action left to you? Is it the best thing you can do? Would it be merciful to your child to snuff out their light?
I can categorically state as a long-time parent of an autistic child, that it has not once, does not now, and never will feel okay or reasonable for me to kill, or consider killing, my own child, no matter what the circumstances. In fact it has never occurred to me. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone there! Furthermore, I cannot think of a single rational reason anyone could ever give me that would ever convince me that killing my child would be a worthwhile course of action.
These are not mercy killings and the murders are not reasonable, because the killers always had a choice, and the victims did not. They could choose to kill, or they could choose not to kill, and to find a different solution. If they were so desperately overwhelmed, they could have sought help. All it takes is a phone call. And if that one doesn't work, another phone call. And another. And another. As many as it takes until you get the help you need. I know this is true, because I've made those phone calls myself. Because I valued my child's well-being enough to never give up on finding a positive solution. Hmmm, a toss up between asking for help and killing my child. Tough decision, NOT.
Murder is not okay, regardless of the victim's disability status.
NB: This may seem a very dark topic to post on here, but it's imperative that the conversation not be snuffed out. These deaths cannot go unnoticed and without comment. Because the more we stay quiet, the more people will think it's okay. It logically follows that therefore it will happen more, and then more excuses will be made for killers, who will continue to get away with murder.