September 26, 2005

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)

Posted on September 26, 2005