When Caregivers Kill: Understanding Child Murder by Parents and Other Guardians

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From mothers who kill their children in postpartum fugues, to fathers who murder their kids for revenge against an estranged wife, the stories in this book are chilling yet real, and bring home the message that children are vulnerable to violence even in the care of those who should love and protect them the most. Sadly, child murder by parents and caregivers happens more frequently than one might guess, and while each case is different, there are often warning signs that something might be amiss. Signs of physical abuse may precede the ultimate act of murder. A mother's mental state after the birth of a child may signal true distress and the potential for extreme actions. No one can predict with certainty when a parent or other caregiver may snap, but here Alt and Wells examine many cases of child murder to find out what they have in common, how we might prevent such violence, and what more we can do to protect children in potentially explosive situations.

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Editorial Reviews

The Sunday Chieftain and Star-Journal
It's an undeniably grisly topic, but authors Betty Alt and Sandra Wells handle it respectfully in their new book, "When Caregivers Kill: Understanding Child Murder by Parents and Other Guardians."...Filled with interesting information.
Katherine Ramsland
Alt and Wells make a solid contribution to the literature in this disturbing area, offering a fine balance between case details, theory, treatment, and the law. They competently capture the challenges and tensions involved in the issue of fatal caretakers, keeping compassion in perspective with genuine criminal behavior. Anyone who teaches on this subject or who deals with these offenders clinically or in court should have this book in their collection. It's a fine reference as well as a readable overview of what the most prominent experts and researchers have discovered.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442200777
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/16/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 1,229,818
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Betty L. Alt is author or co-author of twelve books including Policewomen: Life with the Badge, Following the Flag: Marriage and the Modern Military, and others. She is a lecturer in sociology and criminology at Colorado State University-Pueblo. Sandra K. Wells is co-author with Betty Alt of Wicked Women, Fleecing Grandma and Grandpa, and other titles. She recently retired after twenty-nine years in law enforcement, fifteen as Chief Investigator with the Pueblo County, Colorado District Attorney's office. She lectures in criminology at Pueblo Community College.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Reasons for Child Murder 5

2 Mothers Who Kill 23

3 Fathers Who Kill 53

4 Other Caretakers Who Kill 79

5 Child Murder and the Court System 103

6 Searching for Prevention 115

Bibliography 127

Index 147

About the Authors 151

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 4, 2012

    Meticulous research

    Meticulously researched, WHEN CAREGIVERS KILL is also a dry, repetitive read, consisting more of a factual list of the unimaginable ways that caregivers – from parents to babysitters ¬– find to kill defenceless children. Motives and reasons for the brutal killings were given, but not fully explored. Referencing of sources was very good.

    I didn’t expect to enjoy this book, but I did expect to be moved by it. Unfortunately, there were only a few times when the victims became “real” enough that I could feel a twinge of any kind of emotion.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    not worth the money

    interesting and informative but extremely expensive for an average length book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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