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MISSED SIGNS: Mother Kills “Mouthy” Teens

Next time your feel like your teens are out of control, and it’s making you crazy…take a deep breath, please!  You’d think it should go without saying that we need to do whatever we can to avoid losing it, like this Florida mom who admitted to shooting her two teens.  Sure, sometimes our kids push all the right buttons and we just want them to stop.  Julie Schenecker, 50, said that her children were being disrespectful and “mouthy” so she killed them.  That’s how she made them stop.  She is being charged with first-degree murder for shooting her 13-year-old son, Beau in the car on the way to soccer practice and her 16-year-old daughter, Calyx, in her room while she was doing her homework.  Police arrested Schenecker at her home where she sat covered in blood.  Her husband, an Army colonel, is on his way back from Qatar.

We tell our kids to cry for help,” when they are in trouble.  But, what happens when we are in trouble?  When we have lost control…there have to be signs…we have to know it’s happening, right?  Or, do we just snap?  When we need help – get it.  If the kids are driving you mad, drive them over to your parents.  Take them to the neighbors.  Walk away.  Call a friend.  Call 911.  Get some help.

Apparently, this mom didn’t get help and her kids got hurt.  There were lots of people who heard the cries for help…directly and indirectly…there were warning signs. Schenecker, was arrested for the shootings after her mother called police telling them she was worried her daughter was depressed.   So, Shenecker’s mom saw a sign.

Last November, police came to the Scheckner home after daughter Calyx told a counselor at school that her mother had repeatedly hit her in the face.  The police went to the home, but did not find enough evidence to press charges.  So, a counselor saw a sign.

That same month, Schenecker was involved in a traffic accident and was suspected to have been drug impaired, but was not given a field test and left the hospital before a test could be administered.  So, the police saw a sign. 

Plenty of people missed the big, neon signs that flashed loud and clear that this family was in crisis.  Tragically, there were so many missed opportunities to connect dots, fill in gaps and help this mom…and these kids.  Looking out for one another is tricky, we walk the fine line between minding our own business and taking responsibility for helping each other.  So, what would YOU do MAMAs, if you knew someone was in trouble?

2 Responses to MISSED SIGNS: Mother Kills “Mouthy” Teens

  1. stacey1017 February 2, 2011 at 10:57 am #
    Opinionated MAMA
    Party MAMAs

    I think that so many people, including the law, does not want to get involved and therefore they choose to miss the signs. I was married to a man that abused my stepchidren. They were given to their mother. Their father decided he wanted one of them back. There has been admitted drug abuse; OCS has been to our home repeatedely even after we were divorced; OCS has pictures of the abuse to my oldest stepson. The father manipulated the younger son to say he knew nothing about the abuse – the mother fought it in court and the father was still awarded custody of the younger son because his younger son did not like living with his mother – she had to many rules; he could not remember the abuse by his father; the drug abuse was imaginary; and on and on. I know first hand that our judicial system; our protection by law enforcement; OCS is nothing more than people doing what they want and hoping that it all turns out okay – but not enforcing the rights of these children. The police was called out to our home in the middle of a drug induce rage by my now ex-husband. The law officer told me that if someone called the police again I would be going to jail. I looked at him and asked him, "I will be going to jail".. I knew then it was time to pack it up and get my children and stepchildren out of there.

    I do not give it a second thought to turn someone in for abuse; to ask questions; to question why something is going on. I lived in this lifestyle and wished more people would have helped me. I was even told by OCS that they were tired of their father being reported for drug abuse and child abuse – they always called his mother before they would go to the home (so she could get the kids) and search it for drugs. Of course, his mother would call my ex and tell him that they were on the way. The question is -who do you call? Who do you tell? Who do you report it to? If someone would have told me today that I should have done more – I would have done more every second that I could. People – don't ever think it is not your business to protect someone else's children. Make it your business! I certainly will!

    • Anonymous February 5, 2011 at 7:14 am #
      Opinionated MAMA

      Good points Stacey – I always assumed the police were the first point of contact and they would involve child protective services. It's disheartening to hear that is't really productive. I guess there is "the boy who cried wolf" syndrome with law enforcement – they probably get too many calls that are minor disputes, that they ignore the ones that really need help?! I'm sorry for all the drama in your life – hope you, your kids and stepkids are safe and happy.

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