CATCH THE LATEST WEBSLEUTHS RADIO AS WE LOOK INTO THE TERRIFYING WORLD OF MEDICAL SERIAL KILLERS
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

NOTGUILTY TX - Joshua, 8, & Luke Laney, 6, murdered, Smith County, 9 May 2003 *Insanity*

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Newswolf, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Newswolf

    Newswolf New Member

    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,115655,00.html

    "Deanna Laney's (search) oldest sons, 8-year-old Joshua and 6-year-old Luke, were found in their underwear with heavy rocks on their chests. The video also showed a large spot of blood in a baby bed, where Laney severely injured her youngest son, Aaron, 14 months old at the time. "

    http://courttv.aol.com/trials/laney/032904_start.html

    "The prosecution and defense were in agreement as Laney's highly publicized murder trial opened in this small town midway between Dallas and the Louisiana state line: Laney, who told police that God instructed her to kill her children, was insane on the night of the killings in May 2003.

    Although four forensic psychiatrists hired by the prosecution, defense and the presiding judge at the trial concluded that Laney was insane, only a jury can decide if she is not guilty by reason of insanity, Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said during his 12-minute opening statement. "

    If I have duplicated a thread, please delete.

    This is a horrible case.
     
  2. Peekaboo

    Peekaboo Former Member

    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I had started a thread on this; didn't see yours, Newswolf, sorry.
    We watched the proceedings on this today. It is so sad and horrible.

    It seems odd that NONE of her family seemed to notice anything unusual in her behavior AT ALL. What are your thoughts on this??
    Anyone know if Pentacostals would be against seeing a psychiatrist for mental problems (depression, etc.) or would they believe prayer is the answer?? I don't know much about that faith, though I know they believe in speaking in tongues, bible study, etc.

    Could she have been on a prescription drug without her family knowing??
    If she had been seeing a dr without their knowledge, would he legally have to tell LE, or would that information still be private??
     
  3. Newswolf

    Newswolf New Member

    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh no, I'm sorry Peekaboo if I duplicated your thread. Yesterday I kept switching off Court Tv doing the updates, it was so upsetting to hear about. Today I watched a little. Her husband seemed like he was in a place of almost detachment , I thought, which may be that the wall of grief is so immense, he just can't bear to look at it. The TH mentioned he and his wife never looked at each other, and psychologist said the woman seemed to be alone too much and in a family dynamic where something else was going on. I find it hard to believe as well that she was insane and no one noticed anything peculiar. Maybe she was just there, and no one really paid attention to her. I don't know anything about their religion. That video showed a well-kept home with lots of photos of those boys around. Looked like those were placed by loving hands. I feel for the family and for the jurors. I would not want to look at the pros. photos of what she did to them.
     
  4. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

    Messages:
    6,293
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The gag order in this case has been absolutely tight--a real contrast to some other high profile cases. I found only one reference to that there would be evidence (from the defense, of course) that she had had at least four psychotic episodes before this horrible action.

    It's possible that being a member of a charismatic church (was it actually a Pentecostal one--the terms are sometimes used interchangeably but there are some differences between them--I will have to go back and reread the news articles--if I can stand to do so) did hide some of her symptoms. I think if she said "I felt the devil was trying to get me last night--I could hear him" I think that could go right under the radar.

    They would believe in faith healing, so that would also be a factor. There is a strong emphasis also on "faith" as necessary to the cure--i.e., if you don't have it, you won't be healed. So a mentally ill person might think they have to just keep trying harder.

    All speculation, of course.

    I can only tell you that I was so sickened by the brief excerpts of the transcripts I read today, I began crying and I literally had to stop.

    I truly believe she is mentally ill, however, the fact that she hid from her husband what she was doing AS SHE BEAT that poor baby--(her husband heard the baby cry, came in, and she told him everything was okay so he went back to bed) almost to death and to certain brain injury--then held the other boys down to kill them--

    I am torn between knowing that she was not sane, and yet thinking that sadly there is no other place for her where she will be kept safe and medicated and where other humans will be safe--because if she ever goes off her meds, she will clearly be a danger.

    It just sickens and saddens me beyond words.
     
  5. Newswolf

    Newswolf New Member

    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well put Texana. I think, not positive, they referenced five psychotic episodes today that the defense promised to provide. This was also the first time I heard that one of the boys, I think the oldest, fought back and struggled with her. This is one case I can only handle in small doses.
     
  6. Peekaboo

    Peekaboo Former Member

    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Newswolf, it was me who duplicated the thread, but it was deleted. No problem!! ;)
    I just happened to check ctv today, and the trial was going on. Even my husband (he's not really into this stuff) became intrigued and started watching. We just could not grasp how a loving mother could 'suddenly' snap and do this to her precious children. Something HAD to be wrong, and perhaps she couldn't admit it, or thought it was evil, instead of a physical or psychological problem beyond her control.

    I'm wondering what the psychotic episodes involved. Maybe she told her psychiatrists after the fact that something had been going on previously.
    I agree that this is not a case one could stay with for too long; the Peterson case is bad enough.
     
  7. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

    Messages:
    6,468
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I just looked on the Court TV site and I couldn't find what time they are showing this trial - it kept coming up that it was the Jayson Williams trial. Which show airs the actual trial? I'm sure it's the Court TV channel, but not sure which of the shows to tune into (or tape). TIA!

    Edited to add: Texana, where did you read the transcripts? I missed when the trial started and am hoping to find out when it's on in time to tape it tomorrow. My friend had told me about this story when it happened, but I hadn't heard anything else about it until now - I can't believe I missed the beginning of the trial!
    Will the mother testify? Anyone know?
     
  8. Peekaboo

    Peekaboo Former Member

    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    SieSie, I don't know what time they started the trial; we turned it on about 2:30 or 3 p.m. There must be a guide somewhere we can look at??

    I found a link to the Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph on Court tv message boards; here it is:

    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?brd=1994

    Someone who said they live in Tyler had posted on the board; they said we will be surprised at what comes out in this trial, but did not elaborate at all.
     
  9. SieSie

    SieSie Active Member

    Messages:
    6,468
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    All the shows on Court TV from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. are Live Trial Coverage, according to their online schedule at:
    http://www.courttv.com/schedule/index.html?tempDate=3&nextWeek=no Maybe it's on all of those shows, just continued with different hosts?? I'll throw in a tape tomorrow for the full 8 hours and see what's on.

    Thanks for the link!
     
  10. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

    Messages:
    14,189
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I wathced today as her mother in law described how she didn't notice anything wrong that day. She said that the daughter in law has said in church that she was going to "get her house in order", that it was a prompting from God and not at all unusual to speak of. I know that Pentecostals believe in word from God and in prayer for healing. I don't remember ever hearing anything about them denying health care though. My ex husband and his wife became members of a charismatic church. Our son was severely allergic to tomato and when he would visit them, the food always had tomato. They would just pray over him when it made him sick, which made me furious. I think that was more their ignorance, than the church though.
     
  11. txsvicki

    txsvicki Active Member

    Messages:
    14,189
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    36
    How come these women we are hearing about lately are killing their kids just as the oldest is beginning to get big enough to be able to defend theirselves and maybe prevent the murder? Could the women be sane enough to know that, to get rid of them before they can really fight back? Maybe having multiple young children, an existing mental disorder, and no medication just causes them to snap.
     
  12. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

    Messages:
    6,293
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There were excerpts in the Houston Chronicle (online edition) and you also can find good coverage in the Dallas Morning News online. (www.houstonchronicle.com and www.dallasmorningnews.com)

    They have reporters there and are excerpting testimony for their articles. It's pretty graphic, though.
     
  13. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

    Messages:
    6,293
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0

    I think you are on to something Txsvicki, definitely, with the age of the children, although I think there are a couple of cases where the children are older and they just use guns. I think those cases get less notoriety because the children are teenagers and there's not an obvious religion link.

    I think one reason these women have such a dramatic difference between their active religious lives--that they are very religious people who then do these completely unfathomable acts--is that the women are fighting, to some extent, the instability inside themselves--For awhile, it works--when they are having a bad time, they simply "do more" in the religious sense--then the delusions take over that part of their mind as well.

    Also, charismatics tend to be much more dramatic and emotional so highs or lows, if a person is having great mood swings, wouldn't be noticed necessarily as unusual.

    I also think for these women homeschooling is definitely part of the factors contributing--because it puts so much responsibility on the mothers--With homeschooling, you are not only responsible for laundry, nutritious meals, and character development--you are responsible for reading above grade level, outstanding science, etc.--

    There is a huge and open pressure in homeschooling to do better than the public schools in terms of academic achievement. It's obviously one reason people DO homeschool. Some people handle it well, some have a much harder time with the demands--especially if you are a very perfectionist person OR you are not a well-organized type A woman--

    The mothers also are very isolated in terms of not always getting time to themselves or to be with other mothers (which isn't always supportive, if you have ever been around a competitive group of mothers, you know what I mean--) and that also is a big factor in raising the risk.

    I can't understand how Park Dietz (the psych. who testified against Andrea Yates) can say that Dee Laney is insane, though, when she seemed to show the same behaviors Yates did:

    1) signs of premeditiation (Laney hid a rock under the baby's crib, Yates planned for days and admitted it)
    2) signs of hiding the act from others (Laney told her husband everything was fine after she hit the baby, Yates waited til her husband left the house for work)
    3) calling 911 after the act (both women did, it was considered a key piece of evidence for Yates being sane enough to know the act was wrong.
     
  14. Newswolf

    Newswolf New Member

    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    SieSie as far as coverage times, CTV normall updates with live reports at half past the hour, then turns to full coverage late in the day after the Williams case wraps. They also do live coverage during the lunch break in the Williams case.

    Ok so on the morning update, we just learned that the mother had an affair. Don't know the time frame or if this had anything to do with the killings. She also identified with Andrea Yates, thought the 2 of them had been chosen to be the final witnesses at ends' days, they would survive . I haven't read any of the newspaper articles yet but those are a couple of items of interest. Thaks for the links Texana, I'll be reading.
     
  15. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

    Messages:
    6,293
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I agree with you Newswolf, small doses of this case only. After I read about the 8 year old struggling, that's when I broke down and had to walk away for the rest of the day.

    Another point--both of these women (Yates and Laney) were pretty close to the same age span--35-40--it is a time when a lot of women have hormonal fluctuations beginning, they may have little or big "mid life" crises-- something else in the mix.

    What strikes me with both cases is also the amount of physical violence and rage necessary to kill these children. These were not passive killings via overdoses. They required a huge amount of physical force.

    Utterly chilling and sickening. I find I really have to know what happened before because I need to know for my own peace of mind there were signs of trouble before she woke up one night and beat her children senseless.
     
  16. Peekaboo

    Peekaboo Former Member

    Messages:
    2,061
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think we all have that question Texana, and we may never know the answer. It would seem that the reality of what they had done would hit after they hurt the first child; but to keep on and go after the rest; then calmly call 911??
    It must have been in her mind for some time. That is the part I can't understand; how could someone not realize how wrong this would be??
    The family testified that she had a lot of support. Yet, I wonder...did she have any contacts or activities outside of her family or church at ALL?? My SIL is very active in the church, but has plenty of other contacts & friends.
    I'm not excusing anything here; just trying to get a grasp on how & why something so horrible could happen.
     
  17. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

    Messages:
    6,293
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Exactly, how much support other than that circle of church/family did she have--and that circle being pretty much the same, so there's no break from one to the other--

    She knew her husband would stop her, so the fact that she was "sane" enough to hide it from him--

    I just can't get how Dietz can argue that Laney was insane but Yates was sane--Yates was practically catatonic, she wasn't bathing or even taking care of herself physically. If Laney was up and about, acting normal, and planning this all the time (she took the rock and hid it under the crib well ahead of time) then that speaks more for meeting the requirements of being sane, not insane.
     
  18. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

    Messages:
    6,293
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Also, Peekaboo, and I'm not trying to slam homeschoolers (I could paraphrase the old saying as "I have friends who are homeschoolers!") but there is a strong sense also of "going against the mainstream" to do what they think is right. I'm not saying that all homeschoolers leap to breaking the law, just that the personality required to be happy with has a certain sense of being comfortable going against the flow of opinion.

    It can for some people be a rebellion against all kinds of authority--government, organized religion, etc.-- I believe Wesson (who killed his daughters and grandchildren) was also homeschooling.

    Homeschooling as I see it exacerbates the problem in two ways, one, if you are a nut (like Wesson) it allows you to crawl under the radar of other people's normal observations--and if you are suffering mental or emotional problems, it isolates you even further within that.

    The statue for insanity in Texas is pretty clear, if you knew what you did was wrong (morally or legally) at the time, you were sane, no matter what else was going on. So based on that I think Laney will be convicted but probably get life.
     
  19. Newswolf

    Newswolf New Member

    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If that's how the statute reads, I agree, because of several factors which include that she plotted the order of the killings, she covered up when her husband walked into the nursery and she called 911. Unless I hear something different during the defense case.
     
  20. Texana

    Texana Overreaching

    Messages:
    6,293
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    It's called M'Naghten's Rule and it is in about 18 states the test for insanity. I personally think it is pretty good as a rule because there is at least an objective standard for how mentally ill someone is--if they recognize that it's illegal, they have some mental connection with the world of reality left.
     

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice