Mum Openly Admits Killing Son

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express

OXFORD, ENGLAND--Patrick Markcrow's killer confessed to the crime in open court Friday.

And even though the killer used a plastic bag to suffocate Patrick after giving him a sleeping pill, people in both his family and the killer's neighborhood have expressed unyielding support for the killer and the killing.

The woman who killed Patrick was his own mother, Wendolyn. The reason for the sympathy toward her appears to be that her 36-year-old son had Down syndrome and autism.

Mrs. Markcrow pleaded guilty to manslaughter rather than murder on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The prosecutor accepted the manslaughter plea in light of "overwhelming" psychiatric evidence regarding the stress the 67-year-old woman was under.

Neighbors have described her as a "very conscientious", "fantastic" and "devoted mother". A local pastor said the mood in their village was one of "profound sadness and sympathy" for Mrs. Markcrow.

"She has my full support," said one neighbor.

Several British news sources quoted community members as saying she was under "extreme pressure" in taking care of her son.

"She never once complained but I know she would have liked for Patrick to go to someone a few afternoons a week so she could rest," one neighbor.told the Times.

Mrs. Markcrow is scheduled for sentencing next month.

The community's reaction is similar to that of other cases in which parents have killed their own children that have disabilities. Often, the community sympathizes with the parent who does the killing rather than the victim who is murdered.

"Mother, 67, confesses to killing her Down's son" (The Times)

September 26, 2005 - InclusionDailyNews Department | Email this story


Comments (newest comments at bottom)

So now the general public thinks it's o.k. to murder a disabled person, since their living puts a stressfull burden on the family/caregivers? This story is discouraging. Looks like we have a long way to go with educating the general public about disablity.

Posted by: Gimpy Mumpy on October 10, 2005 07:19 PM

As in our province's case of a father killing his daughter (Latimer), I am appauled and support the prosecution of anyone who takes another person's life, regardless of ability.
If this woman's neighbours are so compassionate, why did they not offer support to give the mother'a rest'. The care of children in our society is often shared by many, in the form of sleep overs, invites for dinner, holidays, celebrations. The so called normal child is supported by many systems in our society thus inadvertanly giving parents 'a rest'. It is high time the neighbours and all the 'others' out there look seriously at giving families respite from one another. The person with the disability often does not want to 'hang out' with their parents day in day out anymore than the parents want to be responsible for the care of a child all the time.

Posted by: maureen o'hara jolly on October 11, 2005 03:35 PM

I cannot express how disgusted i am having heard that this woman has walked free from court with a 2 year suspended sentence.

The result of this trial should be no different whether Patrick was disabled or not. And secondly, working in mental health and suffering depression myself, since when has severe depression meant you can get away with murder? Since today it would seem.

Posted by: Matt on November 2, 2005 08:49 PM

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