Blame news media and crime television. I am jaded. The first thing that I thought upon reading this horrific story about a surviving mother who lost her four children in a house fire was: Did the mom set the fire?
Isn't that awful? I know! I feel terrible for thinking this way; however, there have been countless times my heart has broken for a grieving parent only to find out that person is guilty of harming their child. Remember Casey Anthony? Melissa Huckaby (she didn't kill her own daughter; but she definitely played the "mom card")? Susan Smith? Diane Downs? Four moms who played innocent to child murder until we found out the truth.
It's sad to admit, but I have been programmed to contemplate, even just for second, that surviving mothers are killers, or could be. This dark, cynical impulse thinking isn't all that fun to carry around either, but is always there.
Here's what we know so far about this horrible tragedy that cost four young kids, all under age 10, their lives.
But before we go any further, in no way am I saying the mother in this particular case is guilty of anything or that she had a hand in deaths of her children. I'm just sharing with you the glum effects that news media has had on my brain. I am shining a light on the knee-jerk reactions I so commonly have in response to these stories.
I do wonder if you've become a naturally suspicious person, too.
Back to the case ...
The house fire in the small community near Ashbourne, Derbyshire claimed the lives of Tommy, 9, Alisha, 6, Rocco, 4, and Apollonia, 2. As the fire tore through their home, the children's mother Rachel Henson screamed, "How many of my babies are dead?" from the curb.
Rachel was downstairs in her two-story house when she noticed the flames. After a failed attempt to get through the smoke at the top of the stairs, she ran outside and yelled to neighbors for help. It is believed the fire started in the lounge.
Friends recall Henson told them she received threats that her house would be "torched." So far in the investigation there is no evidence of any such threats against Henson or any any evidence that the fire was suspicious in nature.
Got your CSI notebooks out? Jotting down notes? I know I see some red flags, but then again, I'm just jaded and rotten inside. I'm just going to sit down and shut up now.
Are you overly suspicious when you hear about over-the-top tragedies like this? Or do you always give (or try to give) people the benefit of the doubt?
Image via wickedchimp/Flickr