When autistic children are murdered

This is something I’ve been thinking about every since I first heard this news. Right from the first news article, the media were trying to blame the children’s autism for their deaths rather than the parent that murdered them. The children’s autism is irrelevant! All children have issues, even neurotypical children. Verbal autistic children have issues, same as non-verbal autistic children. I’m sure this family did need a lot of help, I’m sure the mother was tired and stressed, especially with a husband who was frequently away. ….

But the irony is it was the father who killed them all! I have heard way too many people defend the father saying he was stressed at having two “disabled” children, etc – all the other ableist rubbish people use to defend murderers of disabled people. But the reality is, loving parents do not do what this man did to his family (except in cases of genuine psychoses, and genuinely psychotic people don’t set up elaborate murder plans like this man did).

This wasn’t about a stressed/depressed/whatever-lame-excuse man killing his disabled children – this was an evil man who killed his children out of selfishness and those children just happened to have autism.

I cannot understand how people can say what he did was understandable – it was his wife who was doing all the hard work with the children. And even then, it wouldn’t make it alright for her to have murdered them. This man killed his children either because he decided having children was too much hard work or because his wife wanted to take the children and leave, or both. The fact that the children had autism, just means they were more vulnerable and makes what he did to his family even worse.

And one of the biggest things that sticks in my mind is I am sure he did it because of domestic violence, because his wife was leaving. Why do I think that? Because murderers who have even an molecule of decency in them, would have left a note saying he was the one who did it, not his wife. Same as how I know the wife would not have been involved – she certainly wouldn’t have left one of the children to die alone. But to elaborately set up this plan, and to not leave a note, to let people think his wife was involved by not taking the credit/blame, it’s just one final act of spite and control by an evil man – and how even in death, victims are often still victimised whether it be innocent children being blamed for their deaths for having autism, or innocent women being blamed for their children’s murders because their cowardly abuser lets the world think it.

When are people going to wake up! Autism might have it’s own unique struggles (I can attest to that fact both personally and as a parent and as a partner), but autistic people can have amazing lives with the right support and right opportunities. Autism is not the tragedy that many people make it out to be. And even if it was, so what??? No one has the right to take away a disabled person’s life. It’s still murder – and even worse, it’s a hate crime because it targets someone’s life because of something they have no control over being.

Briannon Lee

TW – Homicide, filicide, family violence

Elisa and Martin died along with their parents and their family dog this week. Their murder was pre-meditated with a complicated system of gas bottles filtering a lethal gas through their ceiling.

As a parent of three children, the news of their death has hit me hard. Elisa and Martin’s faces on my phone, computer and TV are heartbreakingly beautiful in a way that all children are. They look happy, their young lives with so much potential. Just like my own children.

Their lives were taken from them, probably by one of their parents their father. An unconscionable act of filicide. As a mother who watches my darlings sleep at night, their little chests rising and falling as proof they are alive and well, I can not ever ever understand or condone a parent killing their child. Australians usually respond to filicide with…

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