Why parents kill their kids

Jessica Edens Credit: jessicaedensphotography.com (left) - Harper Edens used with permission by Dillard Funeral Home (middle) Hayden King (right)

In 1994, a young woman stepped up to a podium in Union County and issued a plea for her two sons to be returned.

Just days later we would learn that the young mother would be arrested for the deaths of those two boys.

The crimes of Susan Smith would shock not only the Upstate, but an entire nation. How could a mother take the lives of her two children?

In the past 23 years we’ve seen the crime repeated dozens of times across our area.

Many again are shocked and saddened after authorities said a Pickens County mother killed another woman on Thursday before killing her two young children and turning the gun on herself.

According to FBI data, an average of 450 children a year are killed by their parents. Most of the children killed are under the age of 5, according to the data.

According to criminal psychologists, parents who kill their children fit into five motives:

-A psychotic break

-A parent believing they don’t want a child to grow up without them

-A parent acting out of revenge against a spouse

-An unwanted child

-Neglect or recklessness

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