The photograph above is s one most people look at and think, “What a lovely family!” And they would be correct – at least until last Saturday, when Christine Adewunmi made her husband, Leonard, a childless widower within the space of just a few brief moments. Christine (allegedly) drove her three beautiful girls, Lauren, 8, Samantha, 6, and Kate, 3, out to a remote campground along the Meramec River, where she shot each of them to death and then turned the gun on herself. Out of respect for the father and family who might inadvertently find their way to this blog, I will refrain from my usual tirade against the mother. All of our regular readers should know by now what kind of feelings I have for this murderer, and can apply that knowledge on their own. To the father and family: My heart goes out to you, and you will be in my prayers for a long time. May God heal you and give you peace. That said, any family members who have been reading this should probably stop here – because the rest of this article will be dedicated to my personal views concerning this act of senseless violence against the children. And some of them may not be pretty.
From all accounts, the Adewunmis were a close and loving family. Both parents loved the children and each other, and the girls were well cared for. That is what makes this story so difficult to write. I actually ran across this story myself a couple of days before April sent me the links, and thought, “I would hate to have to write this up for BB.” Then April asked me to, and I just could not bring myself to tell her no. It took me another 36 hours before I could begin, and I’m still not sure I if I will be able to do it justice.
I will start with Christine, since she is, ultimately, the reason I am writing this. What in the name of all things holy happened?!?! Her friends, neighbors, family and church all said the same things – it’s like a broken record – she loved the girls, they were her life, she was a good mother. Only she couldn’t have loved them THAT much, since she killed them. And if ‘they were her life’, then why did she show that by being the death of them? As for good mother….maybe at one time she was, but any woman who kills her children ceases at that very moment to be a ‘good mother’. When she takes the life of her babies, she becomes a murderer. Yes, everyone knew she was depressed, so lets not get into that ‘mental problems’ excuse. I don’t buy it. If you are depressed, and want to off yourself, fine. Do it. But for the love of Pete’s panties, man, don’t take the babies with you!
I understand depression, people. I’ve suffered from it most of my life, and had it compounded by PPD for a few months after the births of most of my children. I know what it feels like to be in that dark, black place. I know what it feels like to think that nobody would miss you if you died, and that the world would probably even be a better place without you in it. I KNOW!!!!!! BUT – never once did I think of taking my kids with me. The world in general, and my life in particular, have been a much better environment since they were born, and I would not even think of taking their lives – of taking their light out of the world. How could this woman KILL her kids? Not only that, but how could she shoot them all, one after the other, and think her actions were in any way acceptable? HOW?!?!
I cannot imagine the terror those children had to be feeling when their mother shot them. Even if she killed the first one without warning – at the point she fired the gun, the other two KNEW what was going on! To watch the woman you love, the woman who raised you, loved you, and tucked you into bed at night, kill your sisters and then turn the gun on you: it must have been horrifying. I have cried buckets of tears for these babies in the past few days, and every time I see their pictures, I tear up again. She didn’t have to take them with her. Either to the river, or to her grave. She could have left them in the care of a friend or relative, and only taken herself out. Hers was an act of pure selfishness. It was all for her. She took something from everyone when she left, instead of leaving the best parts of her to continue their lives. I know that a lot of people say that a mother thinks her children are better off with her – even in death – than without her. What a load of horsehockey! My children are important to me, yes, but even more important for the great things they will do in their futures. If I had to choose between saving myself and saving my kids, they’d win every time. I would die a thousand deaths to save my children. And this selfish person put her own personal problems ahead of the well-being of her kids. She was depressed – so they all had to pay for it. What a waste of precious lives….
Apparently, I am not the only one who is confused about this heinous act. Most of her friends and neighbors have given variations of the “I never would have thought it,” statement. One said “they were very gentle, peaceful people,” and another was quoted as saying, “She was real happy.” Apparently not. Another quote from a neighbor was, “I’m just blown away.” No – that would be the children.
I am so heartbroken over this tragedy, and the fact that I think it was preventable makes it even worse. Many family members admitted knowing she was depressed, but none of them thought it might be a good idea to protect the children. I’m not blaming them, just questioning their judgement. The blame rests squarely on Christine’s shoulders.
The only good thing I could come up with was that, at least for the short time they were on earth, they were loved. By all accounts both parents doted on them and made them a priority. Small consolation though, since they will never be able to share that love with children of their own – or anyone else, ever.
Rest in peace, Lauren, Samantha and Kate.
Thanks for the heads-up go to Jennifer, Erin and our friends at Conservative Babylon. And to April who sent the links to my inbox.