Mom Interrupted

September 24, 2009 in Sonder kategorie

This is the title of the book by Capetonian Debbie Adlington, whose husband murdered their 3 children with an axe in the early morning hours of 17 January 2002. He also tried to kill Debbie, before he killed himself. The story of how she survived the brutal axe attack is pure inspiration.

Ironically, at about the time that police arrived at the crime scene for the first time (just before 08h00 in the morning) , I had just given birth to my son Luc. While I was blessed with another healthy baby, another mother was fighting for her life. A life that would never be the same again… (You can order the book here: It’s a brilliant read, not overly sentimental, and I wish Debbie (who since had an in vitro baby) ALL the luck in the world. 

Why am I thinking of family murders? Beeld tells how Capt. Charlotte van der Westhuizen of Cape Town yesterday told the court that she wants her children back more than anything in the world. Their father Marius, also a policeman, shot their 3 kids on July 28th 2006 in cold blood, apparently while his wife was pleading for him to stop. He then locked her in the house with the bodies, and left.

I knew Charlotte, way, way back. I was primaria of Serruria, a female residence at Stellenbosch University, when Charlotte was a first year. I remember a somewhat shy, yet always very friendly blonde girl. I was shocked to recognise her on newspaper pics in 2006. To think how horribly her life turned out. I can’t begin to imagine the agony she must be going through.

Of course any story has two sides, so we can only speculate on what lead to horrible murders like this.

But WHAT posesses a parent to kill his own blood? A similiar thing happened last week in Nelspruit (the Koning-children and their mother were shot by their dad who then killed himself), and experts are now warning that we are entering the “season” for family murders (due to, amongst other things, the financial situation worldwide).

If you know of somebody close to this edge, PLEASE urge him to get help. And if you are a wife or a mother living with somebody that displays any signs that you or your children’s lives are at risk, PLEASE seek help! And to those planning to kill their children: PLEASE do kill yourself if you have a deathwish, but leave the innocent children. 

To all the Charlottes and Debbies of this world: may you find healing someday!

(*Of course it’s not only fathers who kill their children – many mothers do the same thing. But unfortunately it’s mostly men who kills a whole family at a time, hence this post.)

5 antwoorde op Mom Interrupted

  1. It is heartbreaking!

    Debbie’s brother is a personal friend of mine and I know how things like this absolutely shatter the entire family!

  2. I can’t imagine how one carries on, EVER! Enjoy your day!

  3. So incredibly sad…

  4. Terrible! I agree with you all the way!


  5. I probably would have wanted to die if I had to witness somebody killing my children. OC, I think you are right about that in the Van der Westhuizen case. In Debbie’s case she was left for dead, and spent months in hospital recovering and re-learning even basic things. Imagine how a head survives an axe!
    Now I’ll do my Madmom-impersonation: scoot, and go and have a LOVELY braai day. X

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