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I've always loved stories and poems about the wonder of women. Tales that highlight and remind a woman just how crucial she is to life and well-being. One of my favorites is "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Rules The World" by William Ross Wallace, and reads, in part, as follows:
"Woman, how divine your mission, here upon our natal sod; Keep-oh, keep the heart open always to the breath of God! All true trophies of the ages are from mother-love impearled, for the hand that rocks, the cradle is the hand that rules the world."
What happens in the mind of a woman that takes the very life that she bore of herself? What makes a mother kill her child? Take a look at this mom, who snuffed the life of her children without remorse and in the most cold-blooded manner you could imagine.
Mitchelle Blair stood in a courtroom in Detroit, Michigan, and very bluntly told the presiding judge exactly how two of her four children, Stoni Blair (13) and Stephen Berry (9), ended up dead and stuffed inside her chest freezer in her living room. As the presiding judge asked her direct questions as to her guilt, Blair proudly announced, "I killed those demons, and I would do it again."
In a trial that found Mitchelle Blair staring menacingly at the fathers of the children she murdered, loud outbursts and a bone-chilling admission of guilt, residents of Detroit, Michigan were callously led through the last moments of Stoni and Stephen's lives.
Mitchelle began to weave a shocking tale of sexual abuse between her children, starvation, and physical beatings that would end in the violent deaths of two of her children. When she found out about the abuse taking place between Stephen and Blair's youngest son, Matthew, she called police and asked them what would happen if an older sibling was abusing a younger one. She further explained that she was asking for a friend, and when she was told that all of the children would be immediately removed from the home pending investigation, she hung up the phone without giving any details. She did the only thing she knew how to do, and that was to get violent.
The sexual abuse between her children came to light when six-year-old Matthew was found acting out a sexual act with his toy figurines. When Blair questioned him about where he saw that type of thing, she said that Matthew told her Stephen had done it to him. Blair saw red and began to punish Stephen. The horrors that child faced during the two-week punishment inflicted on him by his mother is beyond the pale of comprehension. She stood him in the bathtub of their Detroit apartment and threw water from the faucet over her nine-year-old son's genitals. Water that was so hot out of the tap that it immediately blistered and melted the skin from his genital area and legs. She hit him. She kicked him. She wrapped a leather belt around his neck, lifting him from his feet and strangling him until he passed out. When she was sure he was out, she would lower him to the floor until he awoke. Matthew told her that Stephen made him drink "the blue stuff under the sink," and Mitchelle retaliated by making Stephen drink Windex. Because Matthew accused Stephen of taking the meat off his plate at every meal, Stephen was denied all but vegetables and oatmeal for the last two weeks of his life. The last day of young Stephen's life, Mitchelle beat him, threw scalding water on his genitals and legs, and then wrapped a plastic grocery bag around his head, suffocating him. Once he stopped breathing, Mitchelle would smack his face until he began to breathe again. He was weak, he was dehydrated, he had been beaten and burned and now, mercifully, he was dead. With no emotion and no remorse, Blair wrapped her son in his favorite blanket and dropped him in to the chest freezer that sat in her living room. Stephen, Blair explained, was an accident. He was only being punished for his role in abusing his brother. Blair went on to explain to a captive courtroom that though it wasn't her intention to kill Stephen, she understood that it was her actions that led to his death. Actions, that Blair made clear, she was very proud of.
Nine months after the brutal murder of her son. Blair turned her rage on Stoni. Blair found herself, once again, confronting one of her children for sexually abusing another. Blair began to show a bit of emotion as she talked about the two days she spent torturing her daughter. The emotion wasn't wasted on the loss of her daughter, but the loss of her son's innocence. Blair said Stoni had "ruined" her son, and she was going to kill her. She stood Stoni in the bathtub, asking Matthew to tell her what Stoni had done to him. Every time Matthew told his mother a new story, she responded with beating Stoni. A stone-faced and completely unemotional Mitchelle Blair explained that she threw scalding water on her daughter's body, hit her in the head "very hard" with a stick and her fists. She used the wooden stick to hit Stoni on the back and recalled hitting Stoni's tailbone and lower part of her back with the same stick. She used her feet to kick her young daughter. Finally, Mitchelle put a plastic grocery bag over the head of her daughter and a t-shirt around her neck and suffocated the life out of her 13-year-old daughter. Once Stoni was dead, she joined her brother in the deep freeze in her living room, a task Mitchelle made her oldest daughter help her with. When Blair was later asked why she would put Stoni on top of Stephen in the freezer, she answered quickly, "I ain't got but one freezer. Where am I supposed to put her?"
Mitchelle Blair wove a tale of sexual abuse between her children and cast herself as a mother who would go to any lengths to protect her son. She, as a child, had been sexually abused, and when she told her mother, the only response was, "What do you want me to do about it? It's over with now!" That is the reason Mitchelle says she killed her kids. It is her view that because she always told her children that rape is THE worst act you can commit against another person that the abuse taking place between her children was done in a willing and knowing manner. In her mind, her children weren't abused children in desperate need of help—they were damaged goods. Unfixable. Death, as Mitchelle saw it, was the only option. It is worthy to note that Mitchelle's remaining children, even her beloved Matthew, were covered in bruises and scars that indicate her abusive behavior was a way of life and not in response to a trigger that set her off and led to her killing her children. There is also no evidence that Matthew had been sexually abused, though extensive medical examinations were carried out. All of the marks, scars, and bruises found on her surviving children were, in fact, left by the hand of the mother that was supposed to protect and love them.
Mitchelle Blair will spend the rest of her natural life in prison, as Michigan is devoid of the death penalty. She will never see the outside again as a free woman. The judge surmised that the biggest tragedy to befall those children was that they lived and died never knowing what it was like to live without fearing their mother. It is truly tragic to think that their safe place, their home, their place of peace and happiness, was torture and hell, brought by the hands of their own mother. Mitchelle continues her erratic behavior inside the Huron Valley Correctional Facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan. She has continued her violent behaviors and refuses to follow even the most basic of rules. The second day Blair was in prison, she attacked another inmate and was put in segregation. She continues, at this writing, with the same behavior and has added a new favorite for her, throwing her urine and feces at fellow inmates and guards.