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Thread: IL - Illinois Eight-year-old found dead in home, mother arrested

  1. #26
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    My heart is breaking......

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  3. #27
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    Rest in Peace Alexus.Every day another child dead WTH is wrong with these people!
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  5. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanE View Post
    Video interview of the aunt. Very long, raw interview.

    She says Alexus brightened everybody's day with her smile, was very cute, very smart, and she wanted to be a doctor.

    Towards the end she says LE told them Alexus was beaten, black and blue all over, her neck was broken, the back of her head was severely bludgeoned.

    At the very end, a child crying off-camera says that Alexus' sibling saw it all happen.

    http://www.kmov.com/video?id=125896568&sec=549692
    Her neck was broken and the back of her head was basically bashed in.....the mother apparently hated her child. I'd love to spend 5 minutes with the mother alone. If she didn't want her kids then why did she fight to have them back after they were taken away the first time? I hope this woman has a horrible time in prison. Some inmates don't take too kindly of a child murderer.

    RIP Baby Girl Alexus

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  7. #29
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    the world we inhabit is also occupied by monsters. Monsters who appear just as you or I or the cashier at the grocery, the maintenance man at the office.

    So sad they aren't more visible and obvious. I wish people's outside appearance matched the evil they possess on the inside. It would make it so much easier to stop this carp from happening.

    A person who could do this to their child must have some pretty dark, disgusting insides. If only it were more apparent to those who saw her every day.
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  9. #30
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    Alexus' funeral was scheduled for Saturday.

    http://www.kfvs12.com/story/15134665...-rest-saturday


    Mary Zumwalt-Jophlin, 28, is charged with concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice in connection with the death of her daughter, Alexus Nicole Smothers.

    An autopsy was performed Wednesday in Bloomington but final results are not expected back for several weeks.

    More charges could be filed once those results are in, Franklin County State's Attorney Evan Owens said.

    No other arrests are anticipated in connection with the child's death, authorities said previously.

    "This investigation is continuing. We anticipate it concluding in the next three to four weeks. We hope to have further charges in this matter," Owens said in a brief statement to media after the hearing.

    "We will stay with Alexus as this matter goes through the court system."

    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/state...#ixzz1T0yOFbfk

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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeanE View Post
    Video interview of the aunt. Very long, raw interview.

    She says Alexus brightened everybody's day with her smile, was very cute, very smart, and she wanted to be a doctor.

    Towards the end she says LE told them Alexus was beaten, black and blue all over, her neck was broken, the back of her head was severely bludgeoned.

    At the very end, a child crying off-camera says that Alexus' sibling saw it all happen.

    http://www.kmov.com/video?id=125896568&sec=549692
    I have a 7.5 year old, that is the absolute love and joy of my life. She also tries my patience at times that I just have to take a breath and hug her tight. I cannot fathom beating her - even when I'm holding her arm, or stopping her in her tracks for something I'm always aware of how much bigger and stronger I am. I mean it's ALWAYS in my mind to be careful. The other family members had to know this was going on - how do you not practically move in with them to make sure it isn't happening?
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  15. #33
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    I do not believe the mother was a monster - I've been driven to the end of my tether by a misbehaving child. No, I did not kill the child, but don't think it didn't cross my mind because it did. I tend to think I might be a bit more forthcoming, honest may be the operative word, but I don't hide negative feeling from myself. Almost everyone I know has had them at one time or another, even the best of parents. I believe many parents hide their negatives from themselves and present a perfect front to the world which does no one any good because it isn't honest.

    I've had my daughters (3 kids each) ask me how I managed to survive with 6, or maybe how all of the 6 managed to survive. I simply tell them with a limp and a stupid grin that "I wasn't always like this," you kids drove me crazy - which they did. I had one of my daughters knock on my door about 8 in the morning, and I worked nights. When I opened the door she pushed her 3 kids into my apartment and said, "you take care of them," which I did, having no choice. Maybe at that point in her life she made the right choice.

    Children and parents today live in a different world than 30 or 40 years ago. Back then parents were allowed to discipline their children, were encouraged to do so in order for them to become socialized, able to live in a world with other people. Today? If you spank your child, there is a chance you'll go to jail. This frustration builds up. Another of my daughters (I have 4) has to deal with a stepdaughter who lives in the home - her mother is a druggie. The stepdaughter is messed up, but you cannot get physical, only the kid can, and she does. My daughter had to lock herself in the bathroom to escape from the girl. Sure, she has all kinds of therapists, counselors, whatever, but it does no good. In my day I would have beat the hell out of the kid (no, I wouldn't have killed her, hopefully), but when I got done that girl would think 15 times before she gave me any more crap. In fact, I've had the girl overnight in my home (I love her like a biological grandchild), and she didn't give me any trouble at all. She knew better, she knew I would knock her flat with no compunction. The thing is, kids today know they legally rule the roost, and their isn't anything their parents can do about it. Sad.

    Now, on the other hand, if there were drugs involved in this, that is a different story. Seems the "war on drugs" that we are all paying for isn't working, and never has. It seems that drug abuse among all levels and ages of society gets worse every day. When is the gov't and the people going to wake up and do things differently? Probably never, too many people, all kinds of people, getting rich.

    If the mother had mental illness, why was there no help for this? When her kids were taken the first time, why? Where was her family? Surely that sweet aunt would have helped? Surely she knew something wasn't quite right?

    Until we get to the bottom, or bottoms, of why mom's kill their kids, and help to prevent it, we will keep reading these ugly stories, and going ooh and aah, but not doing anything to prevent it. We have MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, how about Mothers Against Drugs?

    One more thing I've noticed is sometimes people with no children, or just one, will be quick to judge. No kids, or one kids, is a whole lot different than having 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or more. The more kids, the worse the stress.

    End of rant. My opinions only


  16. #34
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    Trident there is a huge difference between even harsh discipline and using your kid as a punching bag, and beating an EIGHT year old to death.


    (I have a sarcastic retort about only children being a breeze, but I'll refrain for now.)
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  18. #35
    I don't think there is that much of a difference.If you think a child deserves harsh discipline,even a spanking couldn't that lead to ,depending on the stress level of the situation to exactly the unimaginable thing that happened here?
    I don't understand why it should be acceptable to use any type of physical punishment when raising a child.

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  20. #36
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    'Cause it works?

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  22. #37
    I completely disagree.I can't even begin to imagine what it should accomplish.
    Teaching your child that it is ok to use violence to get someone else to do or to stop doing something?What else could a spanking possibly teach a child?

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  24. #38
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    I think in this instance we can all agree there is no justification for beating a child and breaking her neck, and callously hiding the body as if it were trash.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie09 View Post
    I think in this instance we can all agree there is no justification for beating a child and breaking her neck, and callously hiding the body as if it were trash.
    Yes, on that we can agree. I just wonder if she set out to break the kid's neck on purpose, or she may have fallen down the stairs, or the mother just plain "lost it".

    I think we can all agree it is horrible to kill your child, no matter what the reason, but sometimes I sorta can understand how it might happen. Hiding the body, however, is not a good thing, but then again, fear. People do strange things when they are afraid. Or so I believe.

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  27. #40
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    Monstrous acts of a monstrous person. This was not an anger fueled spanking that got out of control. This was a woman who had a history with child services for neglect and had not regained custody of her son based on that prior case. This does not give the appearance of a one time incident gone awry.

    IMO this seems to be a case where a monstrous person who should not have had children, did not want to parent children, continued to have custody of her little girl til it was too late for Alexus.

    I will stand by my monster analogy.
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  28. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Trident View Post
    Yes, on that we can agree. I just wonder if she set out to break the kid's neck on purpose, or she may have fallen down the stairs, or the mother just plain "lost it".

    I think we can all agree it is horrible to kill your child, no matter what the reason, but sometimes I sorta can understand how it might happen. Hiding the body, however, is not a good thing, but then again, fear. People do strange things when they are afraid. Or so I believe.
    I believe in physical punishments to a minor extent. A smack on the butt.. hand.. to emphasize discipline. HOWEVER, if you strike a child or anyone for that matter in anger.. you have lost control of yourself and you are the one that needs help with your own self and your own stresses and issues. And frankly..if you cant outthink and control yourself around an 8 yr old.. then you just plain cant control yourself.

    Not going to get into a debate on this topic. I have been stressed to the max with having 9 kids all under the age of 11 living with me for almost a year so I am well aware of how stressful they can be and how much you want to smack the hell outa them sometimes. I also made my mistakes at how I handed out discipline when I lost my cool, but hitting them in anger is NEVER justifiable and should never be condoned. This is just my opinion and at 50 years old.. its not changing.

    pat


  29. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trident View Post
    Yes, on that we can agree. I just wonder if she set out to break the kid's neck on purpose, or she may have fallen down the stairs, or the mother just plain "lost it".

    I think we can all agree it is horrible to kill your child, no matter what the reason, but sometimes I sorta can understand how it might happen. Hiding the body, however, is not a good thing, but then again, fear. People do strange things when they are afraid. Or so I believe.
    does it matter if she broke her daughter's neck on purpose or not?
    Her skull was smashed, her neck broken and she was beaten black and blue.
    She was EIGHT years old. There is nothing that an 8 year old does that deserves this type of abuse.
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  30. #43
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    There. Is. NO. Excuse. For. Killing. A. Child.

    Period.

    (MHO)
    Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?


  31. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synaptic Cliff View Post
    There. Is. NO. Excuse. For. Killing. A. Child.

    Period.

    (MHO)
    You are 100% correct!

    No way this was spanking gone wrong.

    This was horrific abuse that led to death!

    I also agree with tlcox. This woman is a monster.
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  33. #45
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    I raised 5 children-ages now 22-38. I have 15 grandchildren. I have never hit one-I was a single parent for all intents and purposes.(Navy Mom). I have grounded, taken away privileges and 'left home' with a sitter. My children obeyed me because I was authority. Not because they were afraid of me. We talked out our issues, and I did lecture. To this day my 38 year old son says would rather have had a spanking than a lecture! I don't always know how I did it, but I did it. One rule I strictly adhered to was 'never hit your kid when you are angry'. I always felt any idiot could hit a kid-it took someone smarter and special to handle one without hitting them. I take pride today, however, watching my children handle their children without 'spanking' them. I know I did something right.


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    This is a summary of the video... paraphrased unless it's in quotes.
    There were several important things in the video I hadn't seen in articles.

    http://www.kmov.com/video?id=125896568&sec=549692

    This Aunt is the sister of Alexus' mother.
    She did attempt to go visit the defendant to find out why, what happened, why didn't she call one of them... they would have gone to get Alexus, they would have taken all the kids.
    But she didn't call them to do that.

    Alexus just caught her first fish with her grandmother.
    Alexus had her first bike ride at her Aunt's house.
    Alexus came home from Mississippi with fire ant bites all down her legs and thought they were freckles at first.

    Alexus is always happy, always a bright smile that brightens everyday.
    Alexus is reserved, kept to herself but if she wanted something she wouldn't stop until she got it.
    Alexus had a great attitude, always made everyone's day better... if she smiled flashed her big smile you couldn't help but smile back at her.

    Alexus is very intelligent.
    Alexus and her cousin were going to work at McDonald's together and then be doctors together, she had life long plans.

    Alexus went through things with her Mom, such as not being stable.

    Alexus is a very loving girl and they are never going to stop loving her.

    Aunt doesn't want to believe her sister did this... she didn't just lose one person, she lost 2. Even though her and her sister didn't always get along, she's still her sister.

    If Alexus' Mom didn't do it then she is feeling really bad for her, because she shouldn't have to go through this alone.

    If she did do it, she wants to know why... why she didn't just pick up the phone.

    The family was told she was found in the crawlspace.
    They checked for a pulse and found none.

    "The cops told us that she was beat, almost her whole body was black and blue."
    "Her neck was broken and the back her head bludgeoned severely."

    "They think where it really happened was at the bottom of the steps and that's where she passed away at."
    That Alexus' Mother was so scared that she just tried to hide everything.

    "I don't understand how she can carry her lifeless body and put her somewhere else, that's the part I don't get. That's the part where I don't understand. You know, how can a Mom do that period. If she didn't do, how could she still cover it up, how could she still try to cover it up."

    "There's a lot of questions all of us have. What happened, how did it happen... did she suffer? That's the most question that all of us have been asking in this house tonight."

    "Did she suffer? You know, I don't want to think she did. Honestly, I know this sounds bad, but I hope she went... you know I hope she died fast...rather than died a gruesome death where she had to suffer a long time.
    You know she's my niece... but it's just heart wrenching. It's just hard to deal with, for all of us."

    They sat down and went through pictures, remembering about all the good times. They found the last message Alexus wrote... "I love you Phoebe."

    The reporter asks about Alexus' brother and sister.
    Including a younger, 6 year old sister.


    The Aunt says that "yeah, she seen it happen, she was there."

    An adult in the background says "and so did the autistic son."

    The crying child says: "She was sitting on the couch when Aunt Mary killed my cousin, she watched it happen."

    http://www.kmov.com/video?id=125896568&sec=549692

    And I want to go hug that child and tell her that it will be okay... and make it all go away for her.

    I feel horrible for this Aunt... and seeing her cry, smile, laugh... when remembering Alexus.
    Seeing her go from "Alexus is" to "Alexus was" and back again... (acting like a typical grieving family member) was horrible.
    But hearing that little girl in the background crying... was just above and beyond.

    My daughter and Alexus are 3 months apart and about 3 letters apart on their names.
    My daughter was almost named Alexus... spelled that way.



  35. #47
    Rest In Peace Alexus.

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  37. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarmelEyesD View Post
    I always felt any idiot could hit a kid-it took someone smarter and special to handle one without hitting them.
    Carmel, I commend you on raising a wonderful family. I also agree 100% that we shouldn't hit anyone in anger let alone children.

    My father was anything but an idiot. As a small child I blatantly disobeyed my mothers orders to wait to go outside until she finished caring for my two brothers who were barely a year apart. An infant and a baby.

    Not only did I leave the house I ran between parked cars and across the street which I was forbidden to ever cross alone. Not only was I spared being killed by inches I gave the man driving a heart attack. Literally the man had to be taken by ambulance because he suffered a heart attack thinking he hurt me.

    Aside from neighbors screaming and screeching tires I to this day remember the beating I received when they reached my dad on his Highway Patrol duty. I got the belt. I also remember my poor mom beside herself and I remember him saying that he felt awful, but he'd feel worse if I once again ran in that street and was killed.

    If I had not gotten that whooping I guarantee that I would have done it again. I was that kind of kid. I believe that my parents would have been negligent if I hadn't gotten that beating. There's plenty of idiotic parents that wouldn't even care what their children are doing let alone giving poor elderly men heart attacks.

    Of course this is all different from what poor Alexus suffered. My dad didn't hit me in anger. He hit me out of fear. Fear that I would cross that street again and be killed.


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    "The cops told us that she was beat, almost her whole body was black and blue."
    "Her neck was broken and the back of her head bludgeoned severely."


    That's not "discipline" gone awry. That's cold-blooded MURDER. Period. End of story.


  39. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeFromLB View Post
    "The cops told us that she was beat, almost her whole body was black and blue."
    "Her neck was broken and the back of her head bludgeoned severely."


    That's not "discipline" gone awry. That's cold-blooded MURDER. Period. End of story.
    I agree.

    However, I worry about 3 defenses in this case... if she doesn't plead guilty.

    "They think where it really happened was at the bottom of the steps and that's where she passed away at."


    I am concerned if it happened at the bottom of the stairs that they are going to try and say it was an accident with the stairs.

    I am concerned that she is going to use the "overwhelmed mother" excuse. Especially if the very last part of that video is correct... about the 6 year old sister and the brother with autism witnessing the crime. The overwhelmed mother with two little girls and a son with special needs... blah blah blah. (I have two children with special needs, including autism.)

    I am concerned that if the brother with autism (still assuming there is one) is incapable of defending himself... that she might claim it was him acting out in a violent tantrum/rage... that he didn't mean to hurt his sister and that she panicked to cover up for her son.

    If she doesn't plead guilty that 6 year old girl is going to have to testify.
    I so hope that she just pleads guilty.

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