Trial of Karen McCarron: Day 3

Karen McCarron’s mother-in-law, Gail McCarron, and her sister-in-law, Jennifer McCarron, testified on the third day of her trial, the January 10th Peoria Journal-Star reports. Karen McCarron is charged with killing her three-year-old daughter, Katherine “Katie” McCarron, on May 13, 2006.

Gail McCarron recalled that her daughter-in-law said “‘I really wish Katie were dead,’” at least three to five times and also that “”if Katie had cancer, I could deal with it. But I’ll never accept autism’.” Gale McCarron also said that “toward the end,” Karen McCarron did not call Katie by her name, referring to the three-year-old as as “‘the kid.’” Recalling a phone conversation with Karen McCarron, Gale McCarron also related details of how Katie died:

“‘”She said it was about two minutes,” Gail McCarron said. “At one point, she said it was terrible.”

Witnesses also testified about Karen McCarron’s obsession with curing Katie from autism.

…….[she] was a perfectionist who would not accept the fact her daughter wasn’t “indistinguishable” from her peers.

“It was embarrassing for her,” Jennifer McCarron said. “She said she didn’t want anyone saying her kid was slow.”

Witnesses have said she constantly criticized her daughter’s progress and the team of family members, therapists, teachers and care providers hired to help her.

They said the topic of every conversation with her revolved around curing Katie’s autism. Negativity and hatefulness were ceaseless when she discussed the child, who they say she never hugged, kissed or praised after she was diagnosed with autism.

“It was never good enough,” Jennifer McCarron said. “She looked at Katie as a problem, and she got rid of her problem. There’s nothing more to it than that.”

There is too much that is very difficult to read about here. Regarding Karen McCarron saying that she could “deal with” cancer but never “accept” autism: Autism has often been discussed in relation to cancer. It is often stated that autism is “more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined and that autism is “worse than cancer”; Not Mercury wrote about this in an October 2007 post. As Not Mercury notes, parents may often speak of autism in regard to cancer because—having learned that their child has a serious neurological disability—-they are “trying to use an extreme example of how difficult it can be to have and raise an autistic child.” But, after times passes, “if you happen to be blessed with a good memory and the honesty to accurately recall the origins of these emotions, you may feel more than a bit guilty for ever uttering those words. ……Autism…… is never a fatal condition, though many autistic people may require extra help to recognize and avoid dangerous situations.” In closing, Not Mercury writes that

If you are reading this and you absolutely must insist on trying to draw parallels between cancer and autism, take some time to really think about that and imagine how you would make healthcare decisions for your child if he or she were faced with a potentially fatal disease rather than a developmental delay.

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    • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

      McCarron’s taped confession was played today, Thursday January 10, in court, the Peoria Journal-Star reports.

    • http://www.thismom.com kyra

      this is physically hard for me to read. i am so upset by how that child was treated by her mother. it sickens me. what a disturbed and dangerous woman.

    • http://www.rettdevil.org Kassiane

      I just want to go back in time and hug Katie…

    • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

      I don’t think you’re alone in that wish……….

      Central Illinois Proud reports that the confession was played today. The tape played for over an hour.

      The jury saw McCarron’s hospital room confession, videotaped just two days after her three year old autistic daughter Katie died. On the tape McCarron is seen hunched over on the side of her hospital bed holding her husband’s hand. She spoke softly while telling a Morton police detective how she suffocated Katie with a white, plastic garbage bag. On the tape the defendant said “I just wanted autism out of her life.”

      She admitted having thoughts of hurting Katie for more than a year before the death. But McCarron said it was a spur of the moment decision to kill her daughter. She told the police detective she removed the murder weapon from the scene of the crime and disposed of it at a Casey’s General Store because she thought for a moment she could get away with it. At the end of the tape, McCarron told the detective, autism left her hollow and drained her of all emotion. As the tape played in the courtroom – McCarron’s head could be seen sinking farther and farther down.

      The prosecution rested its case early this afternoon and the defense began calling witnesses. The judge actually dismissed the jury at around 2:30, saying lawyers were way ahead of schedule. The trial resumes tomorrow morning at 9.

    • Maria

      Good grief! There were many warning signs that she might hurt Katie. No one wants to believe a mother would harm her own child.

    • Karen

      Like Kyra, I had such a painful reaction to reading this…this is just unbelievable to me.

      Thanks again for the “readers digest” version of this for us to read…I don’t think I could read the articles in their entirety, I appreciate your efforts to keep us updated.

    • Regan

      Apparently the prosecution now rests and tomorrow the questioning by the defense team begins.

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    • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

      From today’s WTHI tv:

      A videotaped confession was played in a Tazewell County court today from a woman accused of suffocating her 3-year-old autistic daughter.

      In the recording, 39-year-old Karen McCarron said she felt “relieved” after the girl’s death because she no longer had to deal with her autism.

    • Regan

      “McCarron felt like a failure because of Katie’s autism and was sad and hurt because the child couldn’t interact with her very well.

      “I just wanted autism out of my life,” she said, adding it was frustrating and heartbreaking for her to watch the child fail at simple tasks.”
      http://www.pjstar.com/stories/011108/TRI_BFF9S16O.007.php
      —————————-
      Arrrrrrrgh!!!

    • Another Perspective

      Although it is not a cut and dry issue, I think that the drugs that Karen McCarron was on need to be examined. If she was on a type of anti-depressant in the SSRI family, she very well may have been in a drug induced insanity state. These drugs have been a godsend to many, but there is a portion of the population that cannot handle them and the drug companies are not yet forthcoming in their studies to reveal it to the general public. At this time, there are hundreds of families who are living through tragedies just like the McCarrons due to these drugs. The drugs have the propensity to induce suicidal and homicidal ideation and with the emotional blunting they produce, the results are deadly. The pharmaceutical companies have our politicians in their back pocket so getting anyone of consequence to look into this is difficult. There is a lot of information on the internet regarding this if anyone cares to examine it further. In the meantime, I wonder if Karen McCarron is a victim also.

    • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

      @Regan—- Katie was only 3 years old—I think of where my own son was then and of how he was just learning to do so many things…..

      @Another Perspective—- Thank you; I have seen this point made elsewhere. A lot more evidence and details would certainly be needed to make any such argument.

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    • Regan

      Kristina,
      I think that is why I finally kind of lost it–because, exactly, Katie was 3. I think that I would have thrown cartwheels if Eleanor had been able to do at 3 the skills that Katie had learned. Babysteps are to be treasured, not denigrated.

      As for interacting, and this is my own filter speaking, based on the statements from the trial, that if Ms. McCarron was unwilling to put love in, it was unfair to expect love out. I’m not sure if she would have seen it even it was there.

      The testimony paints a picture of someone who made it all about herself and how sorry she felt for herself. That is something that one has to get over for any challenge in life. In regards to a small child who needed love and help, it especially offends me.

    • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

      Regan, I really appreciate your writing these regular comments—every news story I read about this makes me feel, well, not so good. I’ve tried mostly just to report what happened—the facts say too much as it is.

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