Name: Rietje Willms. Died: June 12, 2016. Age at death: 80. Cause of death: Neglect. Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Disability: Dementia.
Rietje was the widow of a successful plumber and real estate dealer. She had inherited his money, and one of her four sons wanted it. When he saw that Rietje was getting dementia, he manipulated her into making him her sole heir. Then he locked her away in his house and neglected her; another of her sons said that sometimes, when he walked by the house, he could hear her in the house, crying to be let out. Rietje was eventually found dead of dehydration, a victim of neglect.
Perpetrator: Hans W. (Son), his girlfriend Susan, and a paid caregiver.
Name: Dominique J. Died: February 10, 2010. Age at death: 47. Cause of death: Wrists and throat cut. Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands. Disability: Down syndrome.
Dominique’s mother was afraid that her daughter would need institutional care; so she cut her daughter’s throat and wrists, killing her.
Dominique’s mother reported that her daughter had been assaulted and molested in an institution when she was younger. Dominique was supposed to go live with a sibling when her mother was no longer able to care for her.
Ronnie J. (Mother), convicted of murder, but not given a custodial sentence.
Name: Betsy H. Died: January 2, 2005. Age at death: 51. Cause of death: Suffocation. Location: Hardenberg, Netherlands. Disability: Intellectual disability, epilepsy.
For Betsy’s birthday, family and friends came to visit, but she cried through the afternoon. After the party guests had left, she had an epileptic seizure, during which her mother suffocated her with a pillow. Betsy’s mother confessed to the police afterward, but later claimed that she could not remember what she had done.
Margje H. (Mother), pleaded guilty to manslaughter, sentenced to 21 months in prison less time served.