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3 Boys Killed by Mom: The State of Ohio vs. Brittany Pilkington

Discussion in 'Courtroom' started by noZme, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    Bellefontaine 8-18-15
    Brittany Pilkington calmly called 911 to report her baby son wasn't breathing, then hours later confessed to killing him and her two other young sons over the past several months.


    Pilkington, who's 23 years old, is accused in Tuesday's death of 3-month-old Noah Pilkington and in the deaths of 4-year-old Gavin Pilkington, who died in April, and 3-month-old Niall Pilkington, who died in July 2014. She admitted smothering each child with a blanket. The reason: her husband did not pay enough attention to her & their 3 year old daughter Hailey.

    Noah and Hailey were returned to their parents just this past week after the deaths of Gavin and Niall were not deemed suspicious by a medical examiner. The causes of death are still under investigation.

    Pilkington's father speaks about accusations against his daughter: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ohio-mom-says-she-killed-3-young-sons-13-months-n412111


    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/mom-kills-3-sons-give-daughter-dad-attention-article-1.2330400







     
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  2. Melanie

    Melanie Trying to Survive

    People are beyond crazy. Lock her up, feed her to the wolves, get that nut job off the street. Those poor babies. RIP sweet babies. Your no good mother will rot in hell.
     
    GarAndMo49 and noZme like this.
  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Uno2Much, GarAndMo49, Kimster and 2 others like this.
  4. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    "Another factor in the murders, according to Goslee, was emotional abuse Brittany received at the hands of her father and husband. He says Joseph was “a very controlling man, and kept her at home.” She had indicated at the time of Niall’s death an interest in counseling, but was denied by the children’s father. Meanwhile, Pilkington also told investigators she was physically abused by her father.

    Joseph Pilkington, the children's father, has also been linked romantically to Brittany’s mother."

    Investigators had a "gut feeling" but not enough evidence to prevent returning the children to Pilkington.

    A special Grand Jury will convene next week to determine the level of murder charges against Pilkington.

    http://www.10tv.com/content/stories...th-who-wanted-to-eliminate-male-children.html
     
  5. spike

    spike Bronze Member

    I wish the AMA would fund more research into postpartum psychosis....for the sake of children....
     
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  6. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Not that it's any excuse for murdering one's kids! But it sounds a LOT like there was some generational abuse going on among the various family members. WHY this woman wasn't helped sooner, I dunno. I wonder whether she'd reached out to anyone about the situation she lived and grew up in, before.

    It's interesting that the kids' father had also had an affair or relationship with their grandmother, too.. Given what was said about this woman's father being controlling and abusive, the thought crossed my mind that she'd passed off to another pedo once she'd grown, one familiar with the family via the father. It's happened before... and then the grand-kids get passed around the pedos.

    In any case, if all of this true then there could be many factors involved in why this woman murdered her children. Not that it should prevent her from doing appropriate prison time, but it should serve as a lesson for those in authority -- and hopefully those making the laws regarding at-risk children, and also domestic abuse.
     
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  7. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2015
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  8. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    Andrea Yates came to mind when I first read about Pilkington. Surely there is psychosis. Delusion.... I do not see a Susan Smith scenario here.

    I don't even want to think about punishment. I am consumed with Find Lonzie & am counting on harsh sentences there. Whatever, some people must be separated from the rest of society for their own safety & ours.

    I have become very suspicious, too. I am not going back to read now about her having an attorney, but could the talk about Pilkington's past abuse be coming from defense standpoint? I am so jaded.
     
    spike and Lily like this.
  9. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    The amount of official back-pedalling in this case is sickening. I've seen it all before, in many cases similar.

    Post partum depression ---might-- be part of it, but I feel it's a pat answer that lets way too many people off the hook, as far as responsibility for this young woman's mental health and the safety of her kids.

    She married her stepfather when he knocked her up at 17yo. That alone speaks volumes about red flags that were never picked up on.


    -----

    Logan County Children’s Services, police, coroner’s officials and prosecutors had worked for a year to determine why two of Brittany Pilkington’s children died under strange, almost identical circumstances about nine months apart.

    “Did the system fail? The system failed to see the unforeseeable,” Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee said.

    But many investigators admitted they had their suspicions about the 23-year-old mother.

    “I had a terrible gut feeling,” said Melanie Engle, executive director of Logan County Department of Job and Family Services.

    But when both boys’ autopsies revealed no evidence of foul play and a doctor testified that the children could have a rare genetic disorder, a judge released the remaining two Pilkington children to their parents.

    Six days later 3-month-old Noah Pilkington was dead.

    His mother has confessed to killing all three of her sons, placing a blanket over their faces and holding them until they died, Goslee said.

    The deaths have shocked the community, with even hardened detectives shaken.

    “No community should ever deal with what we’re dealing with right now,” Bellefontaine police Lt. Rick Herring said. “This shouldn’t happen. There’s not answers for it.”

    ‘Did the system fail?’

    Logan County Children’s Services, police, coroner’s officials and prosecutors had worked for a year to determine why two of Brittany Pilkington’s children died under strange, almost identical circumstances about nine months apart.

    “Did the system fail? The system failed to see the unforeseeable,” Logan County Prosecutor William Goslee said.

    But many investigators admitted they had their suspicions about the 23-year-old mother.

    “I had a terrible gut feeling,” said Melanie Engle, executive director of Logan County Department of Job and Family Services.

    But when both boys’ autopsies revealed no evidence of foul play and a doctor testified that the children could have a rare genetic disorder, a judge released the remaining two Pilkington children to their parents.

    Six days later 3-month-old Noah Pilkington was dead.

    His mother has confessed to killing all three of her sons, placing a blanket over their faces and holding them until they died, Goslee said.

    The deaths have shocked the community, with even hardened detectives shaken.

    “No community should ever deal with what we’re dealing with right now,” Bellefontaine police Lt. Rick Herring said. “This shouldn’t happen. There’s not answers for it.”

    -------------------

    DJFS is examining all of its interactions with the Pilkington family to see if any policy or procedural changes should be made, Engle said.

    Everything that could have been done was done, according to Goslee.

    “No one could predict the behavior of this mother,” he said.

    Numerous officials involved in the case admitted their intuition told them that something wasn’t right.

    “Everyone had a gut feeling, but how do you articulate the gut feeling? How do you prove a gut feeling with evidence that’s not there?” Assistant Prosecutor Natasha Wagner said.

    DJFS first had contact with Brittany Pilkington and her husband Joseph Pilkington, 43, in 2012 after a tip about the conditions of their home. Their oldest son, Gavin, was about 2 years old. Social workers visited and said the couple complied with a plan to clean up the house.

    After three months the case was closed, Goslee said, and the county didn’t have further contact with them until last summer.

    On July 22, 2014, 3-month-old Niall Pilkington was found dead by his father when he came home from work. The cause of death was undetermined, based on testing and a lack of evidence at the scene.

    The baby was at the common age for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, which many times can’t be detected or explained during an autopsy. It was considered a tragedy for a young mother, Goslee said, but at the time no criminal investigation was warranted.

    Then on April 6, 4-year-old Gavin was found dead by his father — again when he came home from work.

    Police investigated but found no evidence to suggest how the child died. The autopsy was again inconclusive.

    “At that point my office, the police department and Children Services all had suspicion triggered probably at wide open throttle,” Goslee said.

    But he said their hands were tied.


    They enrolled the Pilkingtons in a voluntary program that allows case workers in the home to observe and see if more action is needed. The purpose, Engle said, was to find out what was going on in the home.

    “We feel like we fought hard for these kids,” she said.

    Brittany Pilkington was eight months pregnant at the time of Gavin’s death, so Children Services sought an emergency custody order. When Noah was born he was placed in foster care, along with the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Hailey.

    “Noah never left the hospital with his parents,” Goslee said.

    The actions of the prosecutor’s office and the county kept Noah alive for three months, Wagner said.

    A court hearing this summer lasted a contentious three days instead of the normal few hours, Goslee said. A Lima doctor testified they could have a rare genetic disorder that affects young boys.

    Officials planned to test the other children for the defect. Investigators also wanted to do psychological evaluations on both parents, but they refused.

    Family Court Judge Dan Bratka decided the case warranted further involvement, but that there wasn’t enough evidence to keep the children from their parents.

    “There really was no evidence of foul play at that time and I’m going to be fair to the judge. The judge had the evidence that was available, just as we presented the evidence that was available to us,” Goslee said.

    Bratka was distraught along with everyone else when news of Noah’s death reached him Tuesday, Goslee said. Bratka declined to comment, citing the ongoing case.

    The law prevents removing children from their home if prior deaths are undetermined, Engle said, which she’d like to see changed.

    “When there’s multiple fatalities, yes, I think that we should be able to intervene and remove children,” she said.

    Isolated and depressed

    Investigators said they saw some red flags over the past year. After the deaths of her sons she had a, “rather flat affect,” according to Goslee.

    “That did give everybody some cause for concern,” he said.


    And the Pilkingtons’ relationship was a bit troubling, Goslee said.

    Joseph Pilkington is 20 years older and had a relationship with Brittany Pilkington’s mother. He lived in her home in a stepfather role while she was a teen, Goslee said.

    She became pregnant when she was 17 and they married two months after she turned 18 and three months before Gavin’s birth.

    She told police that she’s estranged from her family and called her 3-year-old daughter her best friend.


    “He kind of kept her at home taking care of the children … He managed to keep her very isolated and therefore she had no friends,” the prosecutor said.

    She indicated that she killed her sons because she was jealous of the attention they got from their father compared to Hailey, Goslee said.

    ----

    The district couldn’t release whether Brittany Pilkington participated and it’s unknown whether she’d been diagnosed with depression. She gave birth four times in just over five years.Some evidence suggests she may have been abused when she was younger, Goslee said, and she comes across as immature.

    “She presents like a 14-year-old,” he said.


    Because of this, he said he’s unlikely to seek the death penalty.

    “Given the facts, I have yet to find a woman who is a mother who would give her the death penalty,” Goslee said.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/news...ine-mother-confesses-to-killing-3-sons/nnMPT/
     
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  10. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    Whoa. I didn't know the husband was also the step-father.
    Thanks @Lily
     
  11. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    NP, @noZme. It just gets worse, I'm afraid.. Check out her mother's comments here:

    Goslee said Pilkington was dominated and isolated by her 43-year-old husband, Joseph Pilkington, who had been Cummins' live-in boyfriend before marrying Brittany Pilkington in 2010. He isn't a suspect in the case. A message was left with him Thursday.

    Cummins, 43, said she wasn't bothered by the fact her ex took up with her daughter, saying she wasn't getting along with him, though they still all lived under one roof.

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/prosecutor-mom-legal-system-blame-sons-deaths-33195442

    Now I want to know what, if any, criminal charges any of the parent-figures (including hubby!) in Brittany's life might have in their past.
     
  12. noZme

    noZme Bronze Member

    I guess they are the ones who put "fun" in dysfunctional.

    Sorry, I cannot say what I really think. This looks to be one of the cases that keeps getting worse every day.
     
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  13. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    And worse...



    Lori Cummins, on the other hand, said she saw her daughter and grandkids often. She said Mrs. Pilkington was a good mom but Gavin, in particular, had been a handful.

    “I told her that three kids was too much for her,” said Lori Cummins, 43, who lives in Bellefontaine.

    Lori Cummins said the whole family has had it issues. She once had a longstanding relationship with Mr. Pilkington, then her daughter, who is 20 years younger than he is, dated him and became pregnant to him when she was a junior in high school. She said she had tried to discourage them from marrying.

    ---

    Once Children Services stepped in in April, the Pilkingtons were under no court order to cooperate, and their involvement with the agency was still considered voluntary, Engle said. Mr. Pilkington was “less than cooperative” and his wife seemed to be led by him to do whatever she was told, Engle said.

    Still, he seemed to be caring for Hailey, getting her to medical appointments, and caseworkers saw no sign of immediate danger, she said.

    But then Mrs. Pilkington went to Mary Rutan Hospital and gave birth to Noah on May 14. That changed everything, said Natasha Wagner, the assistant county prosecutor who handles Children Services cases.

    Someone obligated by law to report suspected abuse called Children Services and said Mrs. Pilkington wasn’t bonding with Noah and Hailey was dirty and disheveled.

    By 3:30 the next afternoon, on May 15, Children Services had won an emergency court order to take custody of Noah and Hailey. Wagner said Mr. Pilkington grew so enraged when caseworkers went to the hospital to take the children that security was called and he was banned from the property.

    And in the three months while the children were in foster care, Wagner said, the Pilkingtons didn’t cooperate. The agency had devised a plan that the couple had to follow if they wanted the kids back. It included psychological testing and mental-health assessments.

    Both refused.

    When the couple went to court last week to conclude the three-day custody hearing and to hear Bratka’s ruling, none of the case plan had been followed and none of those requirements had been met, Wagner said.

    And during that hearing, a guardian appointed by the court to look out for the children’s best interests said there was no way they should be returned to their home. The Children Services caseworker testified that there was no way that should happen. The prosecutor argued against it. And a Bellefontaine police detective, an investigations supervisor, a nurse and a doctor all testified that the children in some way were neglected or dependent and needed help.

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/08/19/Bellefontaine-mom-killer.html
     
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  14. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Lori Cummins it seems has had her head up her arse for years, regarding her daughter's well-being..and was she really trying to say the little boy was to blame, for being a "handful"?

    Joseph Pilkington seems at best a violent control freak, and is possibly a sexual predator (let's just see how long their 'relationship' had been going for, while still under the mother's roof, eh..).

    The father, Ed Cummins, was divorced from Lori when Brittany was 3, and says he could not have abused Brittany because he "wasn't there". Despite claiming to have had little to do with her, he still offered to help her raise her children..

    None of this excuses Brittany's murder of her innocent children, but it go some ways to explaining her frame of mind. I feel a LOT of people let this vulnerable young woman down over the years, including official agencies.
     
  15. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    And worse......

    http://wdtn.com/2014/05/28/father-accused-of-seriously-injuring-2-month-old-daughter/
    http://examiner.org/news/40905-cummins-given-10-years-for-abusing-infant

    This is not the family’s first run-in with child abuse.

    Pilkington’s younger brother, 21-year-old Steven Cummins, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for nearly killing his 2-month-old daughter in May last year.

    Mike Brugler, a detective with the Logan County sheriff’s office, investigated that case. He said the baby girl’s head had been repeatedly squeezed so hard that her skull was fractured from ear to ear.

    “The doctor who saw her said that’s pressure, that somebody was pressing her little head until they couldn’t press it anymore,” Brugler said. “And it had happened so many times that, literally, the doctor said, one more time would have killed her. That baby was probably one day from death when this was caught.”

    He said the baby’s maternal grandmother started an investigation after wondering why the baby was always so uncomfortable and fussy when nothing appeared to be wrong. A medical examination found that the baby also had six fractured ribs and a broken leg.

    Paperwork filed in that case says that Cummins told investigators he abused his daughter out of frustration because she wouldn’t stop crying. He admitted picking her up out of her crib and dropping her.

    And then, the paperwork says, he admitted this: “He said ... he placed his hand over her face, including her mouth and nose, and pushed down all the while squeezing her head.”

    Brugler said the child suffered no brain damage and has recovered.

    “She was one of the lucky ones,” he said. “These others were not.”

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/08/20/Logan-County-mom-murder-hearing.html
     
  16. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    Ed Cummins, Brittany Pilkington’s father, said he divorced Lori Cummins in 1996. Brittany would have been 4 years old at the time.

    “I told you guys I didn’t have a big relationship with my daughter. And what I gathered it was decent. I didn’t see any problems there,” said Cummins.

    Cummins regretfully admitted to not being in his daughter’s life.

    His ex-wife of nearly 20 years says Cummins never physically abused their daughter, only verbally.

    Lori Cummins said after they divorced, Ed didn’t see his daughter much. A few years later, that’s when Joe Pilkington came into the picture.

    Joe and Brittany’s mom were romantically involved for years.

    “Those three was all sleeping in the same house together so. I knew there was things going on. No one wanted to do nothing,” said Jeff Scaggs, uncle.

    Lori said she got out of the relationship because he was too controlling and said it seemed like Joe and her daughter, Brittany, had a closer relationship.

    The two married in 2010 when she was Brittany was 18. Joe was 38.

    Prosecutors say Joe remained controlling throughout their marriage.

    The family says Joe Pilkington is nowhere to be found.

    http://wdtn.com/2015/08/20/sorting-out-pilkington-family-dynamics/
     
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  17. Nagatha Christie

    Nagatha Christie Well-Known Member

    ETA: I was typing as Lily was so we both came up with the same link.

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2015/08/20/Logan-County-mom-murder-hearing.html

    "This is not the family’s first run-in with child abuse. Brittany Pilkington’s younger brother, 21-year-old Steven Cummins, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for nearly killing his 2-month-old daughter in May last year.

    Mike Brugler, a detective with the Logan County sheriff’s office, investigated that case. He said the baby girl’s head had been repeatedly squeezed so hard that her skull was fractured from ear to ear.

    “The doctor who saw her said that’s pressure, that somebody was pressing her little head until they couldn’t press it anymore,” Brugler said. “And it had happened so many times that, literally, the doctor said, one more time would have killed her. That baby was probably one day from death when this was caught.”

    He said the baby’s maternal grandmother started an investigation after wondering why the baby was always so uncomfortable and fussy when nothing appeared to be wrong. A medical examination found that the baby also had six fractured ribs and a broken leg."


    This whole case is just layer upon layer of horror. So Brittany's brother is in jail for almost killing his 2 month old after repeatedly abusing the baby and BREAKING HER RIBS, HER LEG AND FRACTURING HER SKULL FROM EAR TO EAR.

    So Brittany's mom (lets just call her"Grandma Cummins" ) has raised TWO child abusers/killers. OK, so THAT tells me that we need to dig further and find out what the hell kind of environment she was raising them in. We know it wasn't good since grandma was dating Mr Pilkerton/living with him when he began "dating" Brittany who became pregnant her junior year. WTF kind of a mother allows that and is so oblivious to it?

    I am NOT excusing Brittany at all but let's face it, if she is a sociopath, there seems to be some evidence of why she became this way. Joseph Pilkerton seems to be a controlling pedophile who targeted teen aged Brittany and her obviously oblivious and idiotic mother. So Brittany get pregnant her junior year and then has 3 more kids after that? (Yes, I understand she never had all 4 kids at the same time).

    Now the daughter in in the care of "paternal relatives"? Umm hell no, get that child away from her pedophile, abusive father and his family. The dad Joseph may not have put the blankets on those babies faces but he created a situation where teen aged Brittany was impregnated, taken away from school and family, impregnated repeatedly, controlled, overburdened and overwhelmed with children.

    Interesting that Grandma called 4 year old Gavin "a handful". I guess that means that he had picked up on his father's controlling ways and his mother's lack of power and was probably coached by dad to treat Brittany the same way. Brittany called Hailey "her best friend". Maybe with little Hailey it seems Brittany saw something of herself, a small girlchild , her only chance of an ally since the boys would be raised to disrespect their mother and Brittany's own mother had long ago abandoned her.

    Once again, I am in no way excusing what Brittany did - what she did was incredibly wrong. I'm just looking at the incredibly effed up dynamics in that family that led to this happening. Joseph needs to have his parental rights to Hailey severed (as does Brittany's mom) and she needs to be placed in a new family far away from these horrible people, where she has a chance of growing up in a normal world.
     
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  18. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

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  19. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    snipped for brevity.. But yup, @Nagatha Christie - it's horrifying, all round and YES that little girl needs to be kept the hell away from anyone related to her, IMO.
     
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  20. Nagatha Christie

    Nagatha Christie Well-Known Member

    I have the feeling there is so much more to the story. Brittany had indicated she wanted therapy/counseling at some point but her husband seems to have squashed that. I hope she gets lots of therapy now and reveals just what the hell her life was like. Nothing excuses what she did but it looks like there is a looong history of abuse, control, neglect, etc that went into shaping Brittany into the person she is. Herr mother and husband should be held accountable as well for their part in creating the environment that Brittany was raised and lived in.
     
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