As far as crimes go, this is pretty much as horrific and stomach-turning as it gets, folks. Sarah Vercauteren of Pennsylvania has been accused of murdering her mother on New Year's Eve with a hammer to the head. According to authorities, Sarah and her mother, Dawn Wagner, were having an argument about using Dawn's car, and when Dawn attempted to run away, Sarah chased after her and hit her in the head with a hammer 18 times.
But wait. It gets worse. Oh, so much worse.
After Sarah was arrested last Tuesday in connection with a bank robbery (yes, there's that too), she confessed to the crime. She told police that she attacked her mother with a hammer, then dragged her to the bathroom, tied her up with duct tape ... and realized she was still alive. Sarah then admitted to attempting to strangle her (her own mother!) with her bare hands, and then leaving her in the bathroom to die alone.
All while her 2-year-old son was under the same roof.
Sarah reportedly attempted to hide her crime by stealing Dawn's cellphone and responding to text messages, as if she were Dawn herself. The body was found last Thursday by Dawn's estranged husband. Sarah's currently being held without bond on charges of criminal homicide and robbery.
On a daily basis, we're bombarded with horrifying stories of death, murder, and rape, but there's something about this one that's just a little more disturbing. Maybe it's the incredibly unsettling image of a child brutally murdering her mother with a hammer, or the fact that this child has a child herself.
Sadly, what's done is done and nothing can bring back poor Dawn, but let's all hope that Sarah is locked up for the rest of her life (or worse), and, mostly importantly, that her son is put in the care of kind, loving people who will erase the horrific memory of his biological mother forever.
What do you think is a suitable punishment for this crime?
Image via James Bowe/Flickr