Rishonda Jones

No PhotoName: Rishonda “Nickie” Jones.
Died: February 8, 1988.
Age at death: 15.
Cause of death: Neglect.
Location: Detroit, Michigan, USA.
Disability: Arthritis, scoliosis.

Details:
Neglected by her mother, Rishonda died of starvation and infected bedsores.

She was an honor student who liked to write poetry and short stories.

Perpetrator: Michelle Jones (Mother); charged with manslaughter and child cruelty.

Source: Probe starvation of disabled teen

Aaron Norman

A gravestone. It says: Precious. Aaron John Norman, April 7, 1977 to December 20, 1987.Name: Aaron Norman.
Died: December 20, 1987.
Age at death: 10.
Cause of death: Abuse.
Location: Mead, Washington, USA.
Disability: Juvenile diabetes.

Details:
Aaron’s parents abused him and denied him medical treatment. He died of untreated diabetes, aggravated by being beaten with a board.

Perpetrator: Bob Norman (Father), manslaughter, 41 months; Judith Norman (Mother), charged with homicide; five elders in the No-Name Fellowship, charged with criminal mistreatment, two convicted, one sentenced to three years.

Source: Faith Gone Awry

Brian Myers

No Photo
Name: Brian Myers.
Died: November 27, 1987.
Age at death: 2.
Cause of death: Abuse.
Location: Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
Disability: Cerebral palsy.

Details:
Brian was beaten by his foster parents until he died of a skull fracture. Before Brian died they had been able to escape suspicion for their abuse despite Michael’s bruises because they blamed his injuries on Michael’s disability, claiming he hurt himself.

Perpetrator: Janet Portman (foster mother), pled guilty to second-degree criminal abuse, sentenced to 6 months in jail and 5 years probation; Michael Portman (foster father), not guilty of child abuse.

Source:
Misplaced Mercy
Board rules cabinet was negligent in death of child, orders award
Agency found negligent in death of toddler; state to pay $100,000

Eric Bernstein

No PhotoName: Eric Bernstein.
Died: May 11, 1987.
Age at death: 2.
Cause of death: Murder.
Location: Broomall, Pennsylvania, USA.
Disability: Hypoxic brain injury at birth, causing cerebral palsy.

Details:
After putting her son through months of intensive, 15-hour-a-day therapy to try to cure him, Eric’s mother, seeing that he wasn’t going to be cured, shot him to death.

Perpetrator: Irene Torres Bernstein (Mother), pleaded no contest to third-degree murder, sentenced to a $1000 fine and 5 years probation.

Source: Mom Pleads No Contest In Son’s Killing
Mom Given Probation Didn’t Ask For Mercy In Tot’s Death

Dominic Diehl

A gravestone. It reads: Andrew Joseph Diehl. July 20, 1973 to October 29, 1986. Your life was not lived in vain, my son. Inset: A poor-quality black-and-white newspaper photo of a dark-skinned boy in a white T-shirt.Name: Dominic J. “Andrew” Diehl.
Died: October 29, 1986.
Age at death: 13.
Cause of death: Fatal abuse.
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.
Disability: Child abuse survivor; emotionally disturbed.

Details:
Andrew died of head injuries inflicted by his adoptive father; he was tied to the floor of the family bus and severely beaten.

Andrew liked to read Western novels.

Perpetrator: Michael Diehl (Adoptive father), first-degree murder, 41 years; Karen Diehl (Adoptive mother), manslaughter, 31 years.

Source: Dominick J. (Andrew) Diehl

Linda Helton

A gravestone. It reads: Linda Sue Helton, July 29, 1940 to January 6, 1986. At rest.Name: Linda Sue Helton.
Died: January 6, 1986.
Age at death: 46.
Cause of death: Murder.
Location: Precott, Arkansas, USA.
Disability: Intellectual disability.

Details:
Linda was shot by her mother, who called it a “mercy killing”.

Perpetrator: Esther Helton (Mother); charged with murder.

Source: Woman Charged In Death Of Mentally Retarded Daughter

John Muir

No PhotoName: John Muir.
Died: November 6, 1985.
Age at death: 65.
Cause of death: Contract killing.
Location: Aptos, California, USA.
Disability: Partial paralysis from polio.

Details:
John was stabbed to death. His wife, who had married him only three months before, most likely paid two men to kill him. She had been the caregiver for his deceased first wife, and the two had recently separated.

John was a retired IBM executive.

Perpetrator: Richard Vance Richardson (hired killer), pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, sentenced to15 years to life. Clinton Lee Burns, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Charlene Richardson (Stepdaughter), charged with accessory to murder, sentenced to 6 months in jail. Barbara Muir (Wife), charged with accessory to murder, sentenced to 6 months in jail.

Source: Man who killed IBM executive in Aptos in 1985 denied parole

Tara Kelly

No PhotoName: Tara Kelly.
Died: September 15, 1985.
Age at death: 9.
Cause of death: Fatal abuse.
Location: Rochester, New York, USA.
Disability: Intellectual disability.

Details:
While her mother’s boyfriend was babysitting Tara, he killed her by hitting, kicking, and suffocating her.

Perpetrator: Thomas Osburn (Mother’s boyfriend), second-degree murder, 20 years to life.

Source: Man Sentenced in Death of Retarded Girl

Cory Watts

No PhotoName: Cory Watts.
Died: July 10, 1985.
Age at death: 22.
Cause of death: Murder-suicide.
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, USA.
Disability: Head injury from motorcycle accident.

Details:
After Cory’s mother lost a $10-million lawsuit against the company that made the helmet Cory had been wearing during his motorcycle accident, she went home, shot Cory to death, and killed herself.

Perpetrator: Cordelia Watts (Mother).

Source: Lawsuit Lost, Mother Kills Son

Emily Gilbert

No Photo
Name: Emily Gilbert.
Died: March 4, 1985.
Age at death: 73.
Cause of death: Murder (Shooting).
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.
Disability: Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis.

Details:
Emily’s husband killed her by shooting her in the head.

She loved tailored clothes and traveling, and was the mother of one daughter.

Perpetrator: Roswell Gilbert (Husband), convicted of murder, sentenced to 25 years; granted clemency and released after 5 years. Received $50,000 for the rights to his story.

Source:
Shots in 1994 Fort Lauderdale death started mercy killing crusade
Roswell Gilbert, 85, Who Killed His Ill Wife and Went to Prison
Gilbert v. State
The Agony Did Not End for Roswell Gilbert, Who Killed His Wife to Give Her Peace – Vol. 27 No. 2