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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Michigan
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    MD - Mary Kilrain, 46, starved to death, husband & GF charged, 25 Feb 2005

    John Joseph Dougherty, 52, allegedly told police he kept his common-law wife, Mary Elizabeth Kilrain, 46, locked in their bedroom for the past six years. According to charging documents, Kilrain weighed 81 pounds when officers found her.

    According to charging documents, Dougherty admitted he was "neglectful of her basic needs which included food and hygiene."

    Neighbors told WBAL they were shocked to learn of the arrest. They said the couple's three daughters -- ages 10, 13 and 16 -- often play outside.

    The couple's youngest daughter brought a drink to her mother last Friday, but found Kilrain's body cold, stiff and unresponsive on her bed in a homemade prison surrounded by moldy food and her own excrement.

    More at link: Click On Detroit
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    *My posts are my opinions, expressed freely thanks to the First Amendment.*

  2. #2
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    Feb 2005
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    North Carolina
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    My gosh, why didn't those poor kids tell someone what was going on? Didn't the neighbors notice the mom was never around?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by teonspaleprincess
    My gosh, why didn't those poor kids tell someone what was going on? Didn't the neighbors notice the mom was never around?
    It sounds like the kids were told they were being protected from her. They are also victims. What a horrible life, I hope they get help.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2005
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    North Carolina
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    It is just such a horrible story. I can't imagine a good way to die, but to waste away in your own home, with your family around you and no one helping? That is awful. Why would a grown woman allow herself to be treated that way? It seems like she would have tried to escape and get help from somewhere. I hope those kids go to a decent home.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    152
    Hi. I'm new to the forum, but have been reading it for quite some time.

    This case is relatively local for me and we've gotten quite a few news reports in this area regarding it. Apparently, the woman had an aneurysm and became physically disabled and verbally abusive towards the children. The husband/father then decided to lock her in her room (oddly, instead of seeking some help with her condition) to "protect" the children. From one report that I read yesterday, which I haven't been able to re-locate today, the children didn't like their mother and that's why they didn't feel it necessary to report it. Additionally, the father had a girlfriend who also had children, though not by him.

    Strange, strange, strange.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalilah
    Hi. I'm new to the forum, but have been reading it for quite some time.

    This case is relatively local for me and we've gotten quite a few news reports in this area regarding it. Apparently, the woman had an aneurysm and became physically disabled and verbally abusive towards the children. The husband/father then decided to lock her in her room (oddly, instead of seeking some help with her condition) to "protect" the children. From one report that I read yesterday, which I haven't been able to re-locate today, the children didn't like their mother and that's why they didn't feel it necessary to report it. Additionally, the father had a girlfriend who also had children, though not by him.

    Strange, strange, strange.
    Welcome to WS, Dalilah! Any details that you can give us that you are able to get from local news and papers that I probably won't ever see, would be appreciated. It's a very sad and strange case. I can't even imagine how the kids must be feeling, I hope they get lots of help.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    *My posts are my opinions, expressed freely thanks to the First Amendment.*

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Shreveport, LA
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    190
    Okay I understand the kids not saying anything if the father told them not to, but come on his girlfriend lived there too, and she didn't say anything???

  8. #8
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    Feb 2005
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    North Carolina
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    It seems like SOMEONE, some member of her family not directly in the home, would have come around asking questions and took her to a doctor and got the poor woman some help.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalilah
    Hi. I'm new to the forum, but have been reading it for quite some time.

    This case is relatively local for me and we've gotten quite a few news reports in this area regarding it. Apparently, the woman had an aneurysm and became physically disabled and verbally abusive towards the children. The husband/father then decided to lock her in her room (oddly, instead of seeking some help with her condition) to "protect" the children. From one report that I read yesterday, which I haven't been able to re-locate today, the children didn't like their mother and that's why they didn't feel it necessary to report it. Additionally, the father had a girlfriend who also had children, though not by him.

    Strange, strange, strange.
    So perhaps this woman should have been in some type of rehabilitation hospital or nursing home?

    A lot of people who should be receiving care from professionals are not getting help for one reason or another.

    I don't know what the details of this case, but often people don't have the means to provide long term care. Other times they just don't care enough, and it's a lot cheeper to keep someone locked in a bedroom than in a nursing home bed.
    It's not only sad, but abusive, to everyone involved.


    Sudzi

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    152
    From what I understood from the report, the girlfriend and her children did NOT live with them, but the father was with the girlfriend and her kids at her home when he called and asked his daughter to bring the mother a drink of water. The daughter did so and found the mother dead. She then called her father back and told him that the mom was dead and asked if she should call 911. The father then told her to wait and he would be coming home. When he did get there, he checked the mother and called 911.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    152
    Oh you guys are gonna LOVE this new report from the Baltmore Sun:

    Man's girlfriend charged in death of woman locked in bedroom

    Associated Press
    Originally published March 7, 2005

    ELKTON - Police have filed a manslaughter charge against the live-in girlfriend of a man accused of keeping the mother of his children locked in a bedroom for more than five years before she died.

    Kathleen Zeman, 32, was charged yesterday with manslaughter in the death of Mary Elizabeth Kilrain, the Cecil County Sheriff's Office announced.

    Kilrain's emaciated 81-pound body was found Feb. 25, surrounded by food and excrement.

    Zeman and her two children had been living at the home with John Joseph Dougherty and his three daughters for two weeks when Dougherty, 52, was arrested and charged with manslaughter and abuse of a vulnerable adult family member in Kilrain's death, police said.


    Zeman surrendered to police yesterday. She was being held on $250,000 bond.

    Dougherty is free after posting $350,000 bond. His daughters - ages 10, 13 and 16 - have been put in foster care. According to police, Dougherty told them that he began keeping Kilrain in the bedroom in 1999 after she suffered an aneurysm and became verbally aggressive toward their daughters.

    _________________________

    It seems the girlfriend did in fact have a hand in this after all. How disgusting. She should have her children taken away as well. How could she let them live there? How could SHE live there? How the hell could she be involved with someone like that? I don't get it. I just don't get it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    23,799
    Sounds like she may have been the one charged with taking care of the woman. Probably that was the story given to the neighbors for why she moved into the house.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?


    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  13. #13
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    Feb 2005
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    Vermont
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    This is so cruel and selfish. I hope they nail them both. What a disgusting way to be raising children...with Mommy locked in a bedroom dying slowly. That poor woman should have been in a nursing home or Psch/hosp if she had problems related to her illness. Not locked away and ignored.


    Sudzi

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    19,887
    Good timeline on the case:

    http://www.cecildaily.com/article_58...72b36cf8a.html

    From March 2006:

    http://www.cecildaily.com/article_56...0b6353416.html

    A charge of second-degree murder against John Joseph Dougherty was dropped Wednesday. Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court Judge Thomas G. Ross dismissed the charge in response to a defense motion by William F. Riddle, who argued that the state had failed to meet its burden of proof for that count...

    Involuntary manslaughter and abuse of a vulnerable family member are the most serious charges remaining...

    The granted motion for acquittal is reminiscent of action taken in August during Zeman’s related trial. She had been charged with neglect of a vulnerable family member. At mid-trial, a Cecil County circuit court judge dismissed the sole count against Zeman after Riddle made a motion for acquittal.
    From May 2006:

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/200...ty-anne-county

    A Cecil County man was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison in the starvation death of his longtime partner, the Cecil Whig reported.

    John Joseph Dougherty, 54, received the maximum 10-year sentence with six years suspended from a judge in Queen Anne's County, where the trial was moved because of publicity about the case.



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