'Strange form of love' leads to parents killing children - KMOV.com

'Strange form of love' leads to parents killing children

NORMANDY (KMOV) - Experts say mothers who kill their own children do it because of a twisted sort of love.

Police statistics show 250 to 300 children are murdered by their parents each year in the United States. Not all of the cases end with the mother's suicide. Last year, an East St. Louis mother was arrested with a shotgun still in her hand after she allegedly killed her 4-year-old and 5-year-old.

"Often these mothers have some sort of mental illness history and that can be in the form of depression, it can be in the form of suicide," said Jerry Dunn of UMSL's Children's Advocacy Center.

Mental illness and financial problems were cited in the case of a Glendale mother who killed her children and herself in July. Her motives are unclear, but the number one reason is a twisted logic that they are actually helping the children.

"These mothers may have a perceived idea that the child is going to be suffering or there's some difficulty in the future and so they actually are trying to harm the child or kill the child as a way to protect the child," Dunn said.

Another risk factor would be a recent gun purchase by the person after having little or no interest in weapons.

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