PA - Helen Miller, 19, stabbed to death by sister, 14, Manheim Twp., Feb 2021

Discussion in 'Crimes-Spotlight on Children' started by Richrd, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. Lusitana

    Lusitana Well-Known Member

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    Nobody ever takes care of the caregiver. If, big if, she was actually the primary caregiver for her sister, that changes things for me.
     
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  2. MimosaMornings

    MimosaMornings Well- Known Member

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    I’m thinking one of the parents would have been the primary caregiver.
     
  3. Hereshecomes75

    Hereshecomes75 Well-Known Member

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    Even if you aren’t the primary caregiver for a sibling with special needs, you can feel a lot of resentment sometimes when everything in the household seems to revolve around that one person. Especially as a teen, it can be a real mixed bag of emotions. On one hand, you don’t get the parental attention you might covet. But you also might enjoy less parental oversight than your peers, which can be fun. There might be things you can’t do as a family, because it’s not practical for wheelchairs or one parent must be with the other child.

    Another factor is how your friends feel about your sibling and coming to your house. People who have been friends forever just know about your sibling, but new friends might be uncomfortable coming to your house. This is probably less than when I was growing up, because special needs people seem more visible now than they did decades ago. Still, I think it can really take a toll to have a disabled sibling, not that it would justify killing her.
     
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  4. Lusitana

    Lusitana Well-Known Member

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    In a perfect World, yes. There are way too many cases of families where a child is the primary caregiver of someone else in the home, be it a parent, grandparent or a sibling.

    There's a family on YouTube where it's pretty clear that the primary caregiver of the family is a 17-year-old boy. I believe they were a family of 9 or 10 kids, the mother died and the father was left to care for all of his children. Which he doesn't. The poor kid helps with homeschool, baths, lunch, doing his little sisters' hair, etc. In several videos you can hear the youngest child calling her brother "daddy".

    I know Helen had both of her parents but it really doesn't mean that Claire wasn't doing a lot to care for her. Of course we don't know for sure if she was acting as primary caregiver or similar. But it's really interesting how LE removed and took as evidence the board that had her chores listed.

    And I don't mean to shame any parent, I know life is HARD. Many parents have no other choice than working long hours, sometimes even multiple jobs, there's no funds to pay for someone to come and care for the child that needs it, etc. I'm just saying that some cases are just plain neglect, like the one I just mentioned. Not syaing this is the case for Claire though.
     
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  5. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    This is going to sound harsh, but what’s done is done. Helen has been brutally murdered and tragically is not coming back. So what can be done regarding Claire. There is no doubt that the brutal murder of her helpless sister is a horrible crime, and based on her 911 call Claire knows it was.

    I ask...should Claire be incarcerated as a juvenile and receive the rehabilitation she clearly needs with the goal of restorative justice and redemption? Is redemption and restorative justice possible with Claire? Or should she be viewed as beyond redemption and be thrown away in the adult system with the goal of retribution and very little chance for rehabilitation? Neither option will bring Helen back, but the first option might well bring Claire back from whatever caused her to brutally kill her sister.
    JMO

    The following links talk about both options__

    It sounds as if PA is going to treat her as an adult unless her attorney can get her transferred to the juvenile justice system. The last couple of pages of this first document talk about rehabilitation help in the juvenile justice setting. However, the second link discusses the damage done to juveniles who are placed even temporarily in the adult system as PA law requires with Claire.

    OCYF-Bureau of Juvenile Justice Services

    A 2003 study found youths charged as adults in Pennsylvania were twice as likely than similar youths sent through the juvenile system to be rearrested within 18 months.

    Several factors play into these outcomes including the long-lasting negative effects of a criminal conviction, a sense of resentment and injustice felt by the youths tried and punished as adults, learned criminal behavior from being incarcerated with adult offenders and the decreased focus on rehabilitation in the adult criminal justice system, according to the OJJDP.

    Fine said a core tenant of the juvenile system is the rehabilitation of the child whereas the adult system focuses much more heavily on punishment.

    Even just holding young people in adult jails can have serious negative consequences.

    Youths held in adult jails and prisons are more likely to die by suicide than their adult counterparts, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. They are also roughly 36 times more likely to die by suicide than those held in juvenile facilities, according to a 2007 study conducted by the Campaign for Youth.

    “These kids are ending up in juvenile court anyway,” Fine said. “Why are we exposing them, traumatizing them and holding back their education [by holding them in adult jails]?

    Kids in Cuffs: Hundreds of Youths Charged as Adults in PA Every Year | The Crime Report

    In contrast, in Oregon all juvenile cases start with the juvenile held in juvenile facilities while it is determine if they should be tried as an adult or remain in the juvenile system. In the case I’ve mentioned a couple of times of the 12 year old boy in my town who stabbed his mother to death and attempted to kill his sister, he was held in the juvenile facility in our county for 22 months while he was evaluated and it was determined that he would remain in the juvenile system until he was 25. So during these 22 months he was not exposed to adult criminals and received some rehabilitation as described in this link below. His father said that he had matured and made progress in several ways and had the goal of higher education.
    Evidence Based Practices and Programs - Community Justice Juvenile Services

    After sentencing, he was transferred to the state facility for juveniles until he is 25, where he will continue to receive services aimed at rehabilitation rather than retribution, which is the focus of adult incarceration for the most part.
    Oregon Youth Authority : Services for Youth : MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility : State of Oregon

    This link to a powerful TV series influences my personal bias in Claire’s case:

    This CNN series “The Redemption Project” focused on victim families who were willing to meet with the violent offender and get answers. It was very moving and showed that redemption is possible, as described here:
    Restorative justice seeks to heal the harm caused by crime.
    Instead of focusing on retribution, it focuses on rehabilitation.
    At its core, it is a process that offers both victims and those who caused harm an opportunity to seek answers and accountability to begin to repair the damage caused by crime.
    The Redemption Project with Van Jones - CNN
     
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  6. MsBetsy

    MsBetsy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, in a two parent household I think it's unlikely a fourteen year old would have been enlisted to be a primary caretaker. There are also plenty of Centers for disabled adults in a city like Lancaster, where her sister could have worked or gone to for therapies during the day. Or they may have had a health care aide come to the house. We don't have enough information to assume Claire was her primary caretaker, although being a member of the family, I'm sure she would have helped out. It's hard to make sense of a crime like this. We don't know what motivated her to kill her own sister.
     
  7. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    I thought the mention that LE took her chore list into evidence interesting. Was it just a list or had she added comments to it? It's really hard to say what motivated this 14 year old girl to murder her sister, as mentioned above. At this moment, I'm thinking it might have been to give the middle finger to her parents. IMO
     
  8. Shamrock1

    Shamrock1 Well-Known Member

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    Per articles, Helen was a student at HMS in Philly. HMS does offer day therapies. I don’t know what covid-era transportation and/or therapy looked liked. JMO.
     
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  9. Shamrock1

    Shamrock1 Well-Known Member

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    Could be all/some of your ideas. I’ll just add that prosecutor must disclose all exculpatory evidence. JMO.
     
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  10. realanastasia

    realanastasia Well-Known Member

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    As I posted earlier, HMS also has a residential program for students whose homes are too far from campus to make a daily commute practical. It looks like the drive to/from school would’ve been at least an hour each way from the family’s home, which IMO is right on the cusp of being what most folks would consider “too long”—all this is to say that I could see Helen either living at the school 5 or 7 days a week, both of which are residential options, OR making the commute daily. If the former, then perhaps COVID pushed the parents to move HM back home for her safety. This would’ve definitely changed the dynamic in the home, and resentment could’ve emerged quickly as a result—especially if CM was accustomed to being the only child who lived at the house.
     
  11. Lilibet

    Lilibet Well-Known Member

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    Regarding HMS, this article presents conflicting information about whether Helen was enrolled at HMS “virtually” or received “educational services” from Manheim Township School District. It could have been both, of course. In any case, if she was living at home again due to Covid, the dynamic you describe could have ensued.

    What we know about the 14-year-old accused of killing her disabled sister and why she’s in an adult prison

    A spokesperson for the Manheim Township School District told Lancaster Online Tuesday that Helen Miller received educational services through the district.

    A family directory for the HMS School in Philadelphia, which is intended for children with cerebral palsy, also listed Helen Miller as one of about 40 students.

    Tom Quinn, president of the school, told ABC27 in an email that Helen Miller was a student and participating in the school’s program virtually.
     
  12. MsBetsy

    MsBetsy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that she was enrolled at HMS while receiving services from her school district probably means she was a student at the school district and they paid for her to attend HMS. They would also be responsible for any other services she required so she would have been eligible for occupational and physical therapy at home. That may have been difficult due to covid.

    Either way, it probably would have been a stressful situation for everybody. It may have been a factor, but it's certainly not a reasonable excuse for murder. Whatever her motive, she clearly showed intent, and probably premeditation. She attacked her sister while everyone was sleeping, stabbing her multiple times, possibly with several weapons. Imo
     
  13. ChatteringBirds

    ChatteringBirds Well-Known Member

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    Quote RSBM.

    I don't understand what you're getting at here. What would have been stressful for everyone, especially C?
     
  14. MsBetsy

    MsBetsy Well-Known Member

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    I was referring to the suggestion that Claire may have been her sister's primary caretaker and may have been resentful, as a contributing factor to her motive for murdering her sister.
     
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  15. ChatteringBirds

    ChatteringBirds Well-Known Member

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    Nothing has been said anywhere about her taking on any caregiving roles, though, right?
    I would assume she might have to help out with cooking, her own laundry, etc as teens should, but I do agree if it were actual hands-on caregiving, that could cause resentment.
     
  16. MsBetsy

    MsBetsy Well-Known Member

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    Right, it was just speculation that she might have been her primary caregiver, especially "if" the parents worked outside the house and Claire and her sister were both at home during the day. Claire's school was open since Sept for in school learning, but we don't know if she attended or stayed home. I don't think we know any of those details. Imo
     
  17. MimosaMornings

    MimosaMornings Well- Known Member

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    Anyone grow up with non-verbal disabled sibling?
    Wished your sister could talk to you?
    Wanted a birthday cake in a flavor you liked but never got because your sister didn’t like it.
    Prayed she wouldn’t have a seizure in public.
    Loved her but hated the disease.
    “We can’t do that because your sister can’t/meltdown/etc” was always the reason.
    Wished for one on one time with a parent without them half paying attention to you because they were always watching/listening for your sibling.
    Envious of your classmates “normal” summer vacation.
    Longed for a day at the lake. Or the pool.
    Watching whatever you wanted on tv at whatever volume you wanted.
    Your mom fixing your favorite food or meal.
    Signed your own report card.
    Wished not to be invisible.
    JMO
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
  18. Shamrock1

    Shamrock1 Well-Known Member

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    I’m going to put this rather indelicately, but why would the parents pay for CM to attend prep school if they wanted her to assume significant caregiving duties? I’m inclined to think CM was a sibling with normal chores (and echo @MimosaMornings above, which I wish everyone would read) and not a default caregiver. JMO.

    That said, I imagine it’s easy to feel resentment when a sibling simply isn’t physically capable of doing the dishes. And what 14yr old *doesn’t* feel resentment about something?!

    MOO
     
  19. MsBetsy

    MsBetsy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I think just about every teenager resents doing chores, having to look after younger or disabled siblings, or having more responsibilities at home than their peers. All the teenagers I know would much rather be on their phones or socializing with friends.

    It's normal to feel overwhelmed or resentful towards a sibling. What's not normal is stabbing them to death.
     
  20. Wild Rose

    Wild Rose Well-Known Member

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    Wondering why the call to 911. She stated that she killed her sister prior, so did she think they could revive her? Or was she worried she would continue the violence? Or did she know she was wrong and needed to be picked up? We have seen on these pages were many teens anever call 911. Some have parties.
     

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