Bad Breeders

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Mom Diagnosed with Postpartum Depression Walks Free after Killing Her Baby in Fire

Danielle WailsOkee guys, time to revisit that age-old controversy: how much does mental illness impinge on moral accountability? This isn’t an academic question in the case of 22-year-old Danielle Wails of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, who called police one night to report that her house was burning down with her baby trapped inside. When detectives arrrived, she spun a fanciful tale about being tied up by intruders, and forced to dial 999 (British 911) with her tongue. As overdramatic as that sounds, newspapers ran with it as the official version of events.

Well, you all know what site you’re on, so you know the sad direction this is heading. The story unraveled. There were no intruders; Wails set the fire herself to try and “win back” the baby’s father. The blaze killed her son, Alexander Gallon. Wails was arrested and charged with murder. But at the recommendation of psychiatrists, she was allowed to plead to the lesser charge of infanticide, which earned the young mom a mere three months probation. Two experts testified that Danielle was suffering from postnatal depression (that’s postpartum depression to us States-siders), and therefore wasn’t legally culpable for her actions.

This may earn me some hate, but I call bullshit on that sentence. Let’s agree that PPD can be devastating, and that society can and must do better about recognizing and treating it. On the other hand…three months probation for the murder of your child?! I know many, many mothers who have suffered PPD – some of them severe cases. Not one ever decided to torch her house, and her baby along with it. On top of that, Wails had already been diagnosed with the condition, and was receiving treatment for it. So a reduced sentence, with PPD as a mitigating factor? That I could accept. But this sentence absolves Wails of ANY personal responsibility for her actions. It’s like being granted a retroactive license to kill.

Don’t think that I’m letting the dad off the hook, though. Why did Wails think that killing off his kid would “win him back”? Was that the delusional belief of a mentally ill woman…or an idea planted in her mind by the dad himself? If father Robert Gallon had anything to do with steering Wails’ mind towards murder, then he deserves to share a jail cell with Russell Yates.

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54 Comments

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  1. PPD should not be something that allows you to walk free. Or as I call it, it should be “a reason, not an excuse.”

    I’ve wanted to kill my kids, and I didn’t. Andrea Yates did it, and will spend a very long time in a mental hospital for it. Regardless of there being a reason, you still need to pay for what you did.

    I usually side with the PPD, but three months? That is SHITE.

    And how in hell can the baby die of carbon monoxide poisoning and burns, and yet there be no injuries to the baby?

    I just hope he died quickly. How fucking horrible. Serve me right for reading my feeds right after dinner.

  2. PPD should not be something that allows you to walk free. Or as I call it, it should be “a reason, not an excuse.”

    I’ve wanted to kill my kids, and I didn’t. Andrea Yates did it, and will spend a very long time in a mental hospital for it. Regardless of there being a reason, you still need to pay for what you did.

    I usually side with the PPD, but three months? That is SHITE.

    And how in hell can the baby die of carbon monoxide poisoning and burns, and yet there be no injuries to the baby?

    I just hope he died quickly. How fucking horrible. Serve me right for reading my feeds right after dinner.

  3. PPD is not an excuse. Plenty of women suffer from it. I don’t even care if they use the “I didn’t know right from wrong” excuse. I don’t care. They still need to go to jail for a LONG time.

  4. PPD is not an excuse. Plenty of women suffer from it. I don’t even care if they use the “I didn’t know right from wrong” excuse. I don’t care. They still need to go to jail for a LONG time.

  5. I agree that PPD is not an excuse. I felt awful for Andrea Yates who was severely mentally ill, but the point of her story is that she’s going to be in a mental hospital for most of her life. If someone’s well enough to walk free, they’re well enough to take responsibility.

  6. I agree that PPD is not an excuse. I felt awful for Andrea Yates who was severely mentally ill, but the point of her story is that she’s going to be in a mental hospital for most of her life. If someone’s well enough to walk free, they’re well enough to take responsibility.

  7. Any woman who has had a child, has at one point (usually due to PPD) had a thought of killing there offspring. Most of us live with the shame and guilt of those thoughts long after the hormone surge dies down and our children grow up. My cousin made the mistake of believing at 13 years old you were not able to get pregnant the first time you had sex. About a week after the baby was born, she called her mother crying and begging for help. Her mental health was so bad that she had to be hospitilized (in a mental health facility) until her daughter was 3 months old. My point is even at 13 years old and with severe mental problems, the girl knew to get help before harming her baby. I don’t believe this woman has a excuse other than selfish stupidity. I know first hand how bad it is after you bring a child into this world, but I also know that the modern world offers a wide selection of help for those in need. Please, use it before you do anything stupid.

  8. Any woman who has had a child, has at one point (usually due to PPD) had a thought of killing there offspring. Most of us live with the shame and guilt of those thoughts long after the hormone surge dies down and our children grow up. My cousin made the mistake of believing at 13 years old you were not able to get pregnant the first time you had sex. About a week after the baby was born, she called her mother crying and begging for help. Her mental health was so bad that she had to be hospitilized (in a mental health facility) until her daughter was 3 months old. My point is even at 13 years old and with severe mental problems, the girl knew to get help before harming her baby. I don’t believe this woman has a excuse other than selfish stupidity. I know first hand how bad it is after you bring a child into this world, but I also know that the modern world offers a wide selection of help for those in need. Please, use it before you do anything stupid.

  9. You people dont even know this woman and you are judging her!! you people have no fucking right commenting her like that! you nasty fucking bastards! When youve been through what Danielle went through then you can have your own opinions!

  10. You people dont even know this woman and you are judging her!! you people have no fucking right commenting her like that! you nasty fucking bastards! When youve been through what Danielle went through then you can have your own opinions!

  11. Well, x-xcalliex-s, you DO realise that this IS a forum? And people are allowed to comment and express their opinion on a forum? Nah, you sound like you are probably way too dense to realise these two things.
    Oh, and MY opinion on Danielle is I hope she burns in hell for all eternity. I don’t CARE what she went through. She KILLED her baby.
    Kill your baby, burn in hell. Simple enough for even idiots like you to understand. maybe.

  12. Well, x-xcalliex-s, you DO realise that this IS a forum? And people are allowed to comment and express their opinion on a forum? Nah, you sound like you are probably way too dense to realise these two things.
    Oh, and MY opinion on Danielle is I hope she burns in hell for all eternity. I don’t CARE what she went through. She KILLED her baby.
    Kill your baby, burn in hell. Simple enough for even idiots like you to understand. maybe.

  13. I SECOND THAT

  14. I SECOND THAT

  15. My first comment is for Lisa.

    I have NEVER, NOT ONCE, thought about killing my daughter.

    My second comment is for x-xcalliex-s.

    We are judging her because she is a murderer. Plain and simple. If someone decides to take the life of an innocent baby, they give up their right to be treated with respect.

  16. My first comment is for Lisa.

    I have NEVER, NOT ONCE, thought about killing my daughter.

    My second comment is for x-xcalliex-s.

    We are judging her because she is a murderer. Plain and simple. If someone decides to take the life of an innocent baby, they give up their right to be treated with respect.

  17. No1 deserves to speak of Danielle like that! You’s dont know her! And she didn’t kill her baby it was a fucking accident! Papers twist stories so it looks worse than what it is. And i have never thought about killing my daughter and never will! I am a teenage mother and i love my daughter to bits and wouldnt dare do anything to hurt her. And as a person who is distantly connected to Danielle… I believe that she did not kill her son Alexander. She loved him with all her heart. She might of had PPD but she still loved him! All you people out there can think what you want but there is only 1 person that knowsthe truth and that is Danielle herself.

  18. No1 deserves to speak of Danielle like that! You’s dont know her! And she didn’t kill her baby it was a fucking accident! Papers twist stories so it looks worse than what it is. And i have never thought about killing my daughter and never will! I am a teenage mother and i love my daughter to bits and wouldnt dare do anything to hurt her. And as a person who is distantly connected to Danielle… I believe that she did not kill her son Alexander. She loved him with all her heart. She might of had PPD but she still loved him! All you people out there can think what you want but there is only 1 person that knowsthe truth and that is Danielle herself.

  19. An accident? She set the fire herself…to win back a man? I doubt the papers just made this up out of nowhere. They obviously had evidence. Like you said, only Danielle herself knows the truth, and unfortunately for her, she has to live with that truth for the rest of her life!

  20. An accident? She set the fire herself…to win back a man? I doubt the papers just made this up out of nowhere. They obviously had evidence. Like you said, only Danielle herself knows the truth, and unfortunately for her, she has to live with that truth for the rest of her life!

  21. An “accident?” Gimme a break! Let me pose this question to all the other moms on this forum. If your house was on fire and your baby was trapped inside would you waste your time calling 911? No, you would NOT. You would run into that burning house and save your baby. Or gladly die trying.

    The fact that this chick DIDN’T do that tells me all I need to know about her and whether or not she really cared for her baby. The fact that she casts her slimy pall on the whole issue of post partum depression, which is a REAL concern for millions of women who, by the way, do NOT murder their babies, disgusts me.

    I’m with Jaleja and Sees4: Kill your baby, rot in hell. End of story.

  22. An “accident?” Gimme a break! Let me pose this question to all the other moms on this forum. If your house was on fire and your baby was trapped inside would you waste your time calling 911? No, you would NOT. You would run into that burning house and save your baby. Or gladly die trying.

    The fact that this chick DIDN’T do that tells me all I need to know about her and whether or not she really cared for her baby. The fact that she casts her slimy pall on the whole issue of post partum depression, which is a REAL concern for millions of women who, by the way, do NOT murder their babies, disgusts me.

    I’m with Jaleja and Sees4: Kill your baby, rot in hell. End of story.

  23. Ihavekidstoo, put me down as “I would have run in and saved the baby.” If I couldn’t have saved the baby you would have found my very crispy remains somewhere inside.

    Of course, I don’t light buildings containing babies on fire.

    x-xcalliex-x, I understand why you’re sticking up for Danielle, I’m not going to argue with your reasons. But many of us see our own children when we read these stories– and we are outraged.

  24. Ihavekidstoo, put me down as “I would have run in and saved the baby.” If I couldn’t have saved the baby you would have found my very crispy remains somewhere inside.

    Of course, I don’t light buildings containing babies on fire.

    x-xcalliex-x, I understand why you’re sticking up for Danielle, I’m not going to argue with your reasons. But many of us see our own children when we read these stories– and we are outraged.

  25. i have a baby girl myself and would have went back for he if my house was on fire too but Danielle had her hands bound together with wire so she couldnt do much 4 herself! Danielle also loved Alexander with all her heart.

  26. i have a baby girl myself and would have went back for he if my house was on fire too but Danielle had her hands bound together with wire so she couldnt do much 4 herself! Danielle also loved Alexander with all her heart.

  27. Thordora, I don’t mean to be rude, but that poor baby should not have died at all! I wouldn’t even think about killing my (future) kids at all cuz I know it’s wrong. I just hope you are not offended!
    As for you, x-xcalliex-x, you need to keep all of your comments to yourself! No wonder why you seem to be sticking up for this so-called mother of that poor baby! If you still don’t care about that baby, then leave and never come back again cuz this website is only for people who care deeply for kids and not for people who came here just to spew random garbage into it (this website)! That so-called mother does NOT love her baby at all; she ONLY loves herself and she needs to get a death penalty! We are not judging her; we are only standing up to her and you know that!
    Oh, and BTW, that bitch’s face screams, “I don’t care. F**k you!” Well, I hope to God that she dies in prison! X-xcalliex-x needs to stop making excuses for that monster!

  28. Thordora, I don’t mean to be rude, but that poor baby should not have died at all! I wouldn’t even think about killing my (future) kids at all cuz I know it’s wrong. I just hope you are not offended!
    As for you, x-xcalliex-x, you need to keep all of your comments to yourself! No wonder why you seem to be sticking up for this so-called mother of that poor baby! If you still don’t care about that baby, then leave and never come back again cuz this website is only for people who care deeply for kids and not for people who came here just to spew random garbage into it (this website)! That so-called mother does NOT love her baby at all; she ONLY loves herself and she needs to get a death penalty! We are not judging her; we are only standing up to her and you know that!
    Oh, and BTW, that bitch’s face screams, “I don’t care. F**k you!” Well, I hope to God that she dies in prison! X-xcalliex-x needs to stop making excuses for that monster!

  29. sfdude_2008 you can shut the fuck up… i will write what i want wher i want! and i am a mother myself! and you can not tell me what to do or what you think i should do! and she did love alexander you dont know her! so stop judging her! you lot are bastards!

  30. sfdude_2008 you can shut the fuck up… i will write what i want wher i want! and i am a mother myself! and you can not tell me what to do or what you think i should do! and she did love alexander you dont know her! so stop judging her! you lot are bastards!

  31. sfdude_2008, when you are a parent if you don’t feel like losing it or just throwing yourself out a window every once in a while you’ve either produced the second Christ child or you’re some kind of reincarnation of Buddha.

    The difference between normal people and crazy people is the normal ones don’t act on their crazy impulses and the crazy ones do. PPD does make people crazy– I don’t know enough about it to know whether or not it could make someone crazy enough to kill.

    x-xcalliex-x I believe you when you say that Danielle loved her baby, but I’ve seen people destroy everything they loved for very stupid reasons. Maybe help didn’t come as soon as she expected, maybe she didn’t expect things to get out of control– but the court decided that it was her actions (whether she’s held competent for them or not) that led to the fire and the death of her child.

  32. sfdude_2008, when you are a parent if you don’t feel like losing it or just throwing yourself out a window every once in a while you’ve either produced the second Christ child or you’re some kind of reincarnation of Buddha.

    The difference between normal people and crazy people is the normal ones don’t act on their crazy impulses and the crazy ones do. PPD does make people crazy– I don’t know enough about it to know whether or not it could make someone crazy enough to kill.

    x-xcalliex-x I believe you when you say that Danielle loved her baby, but I’ve seen people destroy everything they loved for very stupid reasons. Maybe help didn’t come as soon as she expected, maybe she didn’t expect things to get out of control– but the court decided that it was her actions (whether she’s held competent for them or not) that led to the fire and the death of her child.

  33. x-xcalliex-x – “Danielle had her hands bound together with wire.” So you’re still buying her mystery intruders story? Wow. You have a lot of faith in a tale that NO ONE else believes and the authorities could find NO evidence of. That she herself pretty much admitted was B.S. by pleading that post partum depression prompted her to set the fire herself.

    Based on testimony of people of the scene, the prosecutor said in court “Danielle Wails stumbled outside and lay down on the ground. She had some telephone wire around her right wrist only.” Any REAL mother who had one hand free and could walk would have NEVER left that burning house without her baby.

    And if she was assulted by these made-up intruders, why did she agree to use post partum depression as a defense? Her entire story is so full of holes it would almost be comic if an innocent baby hadn’t died because of her.

    There’s no defending what this woman did (although it’s a free country and you’re welcome to try) and the fact that she got away with it in this life has no bearing whatsoever on the real punishment that awaits her in the next life.

  34. x-xcalliex-x – “Danielle had her hands bound together with wire.” So you’re still buying her mystery intruders story? Wow. You have a lot of faith in a tale that NO ONE else believes and the authorities could find NO evidence of. That she herself pretty much admitted was B.S. by pleading that post partum depression prompted her to set the fire herself.

    Based on testimony of people of the scene, the prosecutor said in court “Danielle Wails stumbled outside and lay down on the ground. She had some telephone wire around her right wrist only.” Any REAL mother who had one hand free and could walk would have NEVER left that burning house without her baby.

    And if she was assulted by these made-up intruders, why did she agree to use post partum depression as a defense? Her entire story is so full of holes it would almost be comic if an innocent baby hadn’t died because of her.

    There’s no defending what this woman did (although it’s a free country and you’re welcome to try) and the fact that she got away with it in this life has no bearing whatsoever on the real punishment that awaits her in the next life.

  35. http://www.theindychannel.com/news/15133239/detail.html
    This link will show how this situation should have really been handle had this “mother” had been a real mother or hell even a person with a heart.

  36. http://www.theindychannel.com/news/15133239/detail.html
    This link will show how this situation should have really been handle had this “mother” had been a real mother or hell even a person with a heart.

  37. sees4,

    Now that’s a REAL mother!

  38. sees4,

    Now that’s a REAL mother!

  39. If only all people who give birth had this much love for their child/children this world would be a better place for all.

  40. If only all people who give birth had this much love for their child/children this world would be a better place for all.

  41. I agree. I would like to think I would do the same thing.

  42. I agree. I would like to think I would do the same thing.

  43. What a courageous woman and a great mother! She did what any REAL mother would do in that situation – put her baby’s safety before her own.

    Hell, even ANIMALS know to do that. Does anyone remember the story of Scarlet, the cat from Long Island who was severely burned rescuing every last one of her kittens from a burning building? Her heroism so moved the firefighters at the scene that they rescued her and her brood, called the local TV station and got her so much attention that she and all her babies found loving homes very quickly.

    So we can safely say that Danielle didn’t have the maternal instinct of a cat. What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

  44. What a courageous woman and a great mother! She did what any REAL mother would do in that situation – put her baby’s safety before her own.

    Hell, even ANIMALS know to do that. Does anyone remember the story of Scarlet, the cat from Long Island who was severely burned rescuing every last one of her kittens from a burning building? Her heroism so moved the firefighters at the scene that they rescued her and her brood, called the local TV station and got her so much attention that she and all her babies found loving homes very quickly.

    So we can safely say that Danielle didn’t have the maternal instinct of a cat. What a pathetic excuse for a human being.

  45. Lisa, you sound like you suffered severe ppd. I hope you were able to find the help and support to get you through those hard times. mjohnson77, you are right. Not everyone thinks of killing their offspring. But I talked to a counselor about depression after the birth of my kids. He made me feel much better. Some people have a harder time than others.

  46. Lisa, you sound like you suffered severe ppd. I hope you were able to find the help and support to get you through those hard times. mjohnson77, you are right. Not everyone thinks of killing their offspring. But I talked to a counselor about depression after the birth of my kids. He made me feel much better. Some people have a harder time than others.

  47. The story she gave to the cops certainly sounds ridiculous. What I don’t understand is why she got away with murder.

    xxcalliex, you come off like an immature teen, telling people what they can and can’t say when this is a forum for opinions. Yet, you say that you are free to say what you want, including the obvious lie that “she loved him with all of her heart”. GET REAL. Ok, well I, too, am going to say what I want. Your “friend” is a POS and you seem to be more concerned about her than the precious baby she murdered so that makes you a POS as well. I feel sorry for your baby. I only hope we aren’t reading about you later on this site. Do you realize how many people there are who would give anything to have a child and trash like her can have all the children that they want it seems.

    It’s not right that this woman didn’t have to pay for her crime. That’s outrageous to me.

  48. The story she gave to the cops certainly sounds ridiculous. What I don’t understand is why she got away with murder.

    xxcalliex, you come off like an immature teen, telling people what they can and can’t say when this is a forum for opinions. Yet, you say that you are free to say what you want, including the obvious lie that “she loved him with all of her heart”. GET REAL. Ok, well I, too, am going to say what I want. Your “friend” is a POS and you seem to be more concerned about her than the precious baby she murdered so that makes you a POS as well. I feel sorry for your baby. I only hope we aren’t reading about you later on this site. Do you realize how many people there are who would give anything to have a child and trash like her can have all the children that they want it seems.

    It’s not right that this woman didn’t have to pay for her crime. That’s outrageous to me.

  49. I don’t buy this. I have had severe PDD. I begged my Doctor to treat it, and he set up a psych evaluation. Two weeks before the evaluation, I had a horrible time when I realized I wanted to kill myself and my baby. Know what I did? I called my husband at work. He told me to go to bed, not understanding that I was ACTUALLY suicidal and homicidal.
    Guess what I did then? I called the crisis hotline, and a social worker and a cop were at my door in under ten minutes. The police officer took my baby into her room and played with her and checked for bruises while the social talked to me and called my Doctor. He came right away, started me on anti-depressants and phoned a female relative to come and stay with me.
    You always have a choice, no matter what you are going through.

  50. I don’t buy this. I have had severe PDD. I begged my Doctor to treat it, and he set up a psych evaluation. Two weeks before the evaluation, I had a horrible time when I realized I wanted to kill myself and my baby. Know what I did? I called my husband at work. He told me to go to bed, not understanding that I was ACTUALLY suicidal and homicidal.
    Guess what I did then? I called the crisis hotline, and a social worker and a cop were at my door in under ten minutes. The police officer took my baby into her room and played with her and checked for bruises while the social talked to me and called my Doctor. He came right away, started me on anti-depressants and phoned a female relative to come and stay with me.
    You always have a choice, no matter what you are going through.

  51. its all bull about her not gettin any help for post natal depression coz she just wasnt botherin taking her tablets she is a liar nd shud be in jail for a very long tym i hope it eats away at her every day til she duz every1 a favour nd dies

  52. its all bull about her not gettin any help for post natal depression coz she just wasnt botherin taking her tablets she is a liar nd shud be in jail for a very long tym i hope it eats away at her every day til she duz every1 a favour nd dies

  53. Found this through the random links and I think it wasnt killing the baby that she thought would win him back, but rather her “brush with death”. She may have even thought the kid would be rescued and the dad would realize what a wonderful family he was giving up. Shes obviously fucked in the head so I guess I could go on and on about what she may have been thinking, but I doubt it was “he’ll be so happy his son is dead!” Although, with all I’ve heard from this site, who the hell knows.

  54. The law is infanticide and while yes she is a fucknut of the highest caliber it is still infanticide and the sentance was correct for infanticide. Should she be detained in a mental hospital and sterilised Yes absolutely but it’s not going to happen.

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