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Mother accused of starving 3 kids gets life term

By JEFF CARLTON Associated Press Writer The Associated Press
Friday, July 30, 2010 5:40 PM EDT

FILE -This July 20, 2009 file photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office… (AP Photo/Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, File)

DALLAS (AP) — A mother whose three children were found starving after being shut away in a hotel bathroom for as long as nine months was sentenced to life in prison Friday after changing her plea to guilty in the middle of her trial.

Abneris Santiago, 31, had faced between five years and life in prison on a felony charge of injury to a child.

Police rescued Santiago’s 11-year-old daughter and 10- and 5-year-old sons from a bathroom at an extended-stay hotel along one of Dallas’ busiest freeways in July 2009. The children, whose skeletons were visible beneath their flaky, stretched skin, were near death from chronic starvation. Authorities say the girl was repeatedly sexually assaulted by her mother’s boyfriend.

Alfred Santiago was convicted Tuesday of injury to a child and continuous sexual abuse. He was sentenced to two 99-year sentences, to be served concurrently.

The former couple share a last name but never married.

Abneris Santiago’s plea on the third day of testimony came a day after she apologized to her daughter in a tearful courtroom reunion, saying she wasn’t strong enough to stop the abuse. The girl said she loved her mother and did not want her to go to prison.

Prosecutor Eren Price addressed the girl’s concern in her closing argument, asking the jury to sentence Santiago to life in prison.

“One day (the girl) will understand,” Price said, adding that she wanted the jury to let Santiago know that she was the “worst of the worst.”

The defendant apparently thought her guilty plea Friday would end the proceedings and was confused after testimony continued before the jury for purposes of sentencing.

“I think this is unnecessary since I already pleaded myself guilty,” Santiago told the judge. “I want it over with. This is pointless.”

Instead, prosecutors called to the stand the doctors who treated Santiago’s children last summer.

Dr. Susan Scott, an emergency room physician, said the girl “looked like a skeleton with skin.” A photograph pinned to the courtroom wall showed the girl’s bare back, her ribs and spine clearly defined.

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Police look for mother accused of abducting son

Last Updated: Thursday, August 5, 2010 | 12:40 PM ET Comments8Recommend3

CBC News
Police are looking for Emilla Sardaru and her one-year-old son Robin Stanciu.Police are looking for Emilla Sardaru and her one-year-old son Robin Stanciu. (Toronto Police Service)Toronto police are looking for a 23-year-old woman who they allege abducted her son during a parental visit.

Emila Sardaru and her one-year-old son, Robin Stanciu, were last seen July 23 at around 10 p.m. near Dawes Road and Danforth Avenue.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance to find them.

They say Sardaru is of Romanian descent and speaks limited English.

She is described as white, about five feet and five inches tall. and about 165 pounds.

American mom charged with murdering 3 children


By BEN McCONVILLE, Associated Press Writer Ben Mcconville, Associated Press Writer Fri Aug 6, 5:47 pm ET

EDINBURGH, Scotland – Scottish police on Friday charged the American mother of three children who were found dead in an Edinburgh town house with their murder.

Theresa Riggi, 46, was arrested late Friday after police completed autopsies on her children: 8-year-old twins Augustino and Gianluca and their 5-year-old sister Cecilia.

The children were discovered after a gas explosion Wednesday at the town house, but are not thought to have died as a result of the blast. Riggi is hospitalized in serious but stable condition after apparently falling from an upper story of the house on the same day.

“Due to the medical condition of the accused, it is not at this time known when she will appear in court,” a police spokesman said on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

Riggi and her husband, American oil industry executive Pasquale Riggi, 46, of Colorado, were getting divorced and contesting the custody of their children.

Scottish authorities said the couple were due to attend court hearings in the case this week, and on Tuesday a judge raised concerns over the children’s safety when their mother failed to appear for the divorce proceedings.

Police said they are investigating the circumstances of the deaths and have interviewed the children’s father, but confirmed he is not a suspect in the case.

They said the autopsies on the children were completed Friday. No details were disclosed, but a report has been submitted to prosecutors, police said.

Pasquale Riggi described his anguish over the death of his children.

“Our family is struggling to come to terms with the immense and tragic loss of three beautiful children,” he said in a statement issued by Edinburgh’s Lothian and Borders police department.

His wife and the children went missing from the family’s home in Aberdeen, a port town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Edinburgh, on July 21, prompting police to launch a search.

Pasquale Riggi grew up in Colorado, where he attended Denver’s Regis Jesuit High School, graduating in 1982. He serves as an executive with Royal Dutch Shell PLC in Scotland, and had previously worked with the company in the Netherlands.



Mother charged with child abuse

Son found wandering in neighborhood

Updated: Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010, 4:31 PM EST
Published : Tuesday, 02 Mar 2010, 12:05 PM EST

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A Suffolk mother faces child abuse charges after a neighbor found her 4-year-old son wandering around the neighborhood.

Jessica Cerise Monday, 24, of the 200 block of Teal Court was arrested Monday for an incident last month, in which her son was found last month wearing a t-shirt and shorts on Widgeon Court, in 40-degree weather, police say.

Police say this is the second time this has happened. Last September, the same child was found outside wearing just a diaper.

Cerise was not charged in that case. The child is now with a relative.

MOTHER PLEADS GUILTY IN DEATH OF HER CHILD

Denver Daily News staff report

Thursday, January 14, 2010

MOTHER PLEADS GUILTY IN DEATH OF HER CHILD: A Denver woman has pleaded guilty in connection with the 2008 death of her 2-year-old son, Elijah Archuleta. Isela Reyes-Talamantes, 24, pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death and is facing from 10 to 32 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. On Nov.7, 2008, at about 11 p.m., Denver police responded to St. Anthony’s Central Hospital on a report of a child with severe burns. The child was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the hospital. In exchange for her guilty plea, the first-degree murder charge against Reyes-Talamantes was dismissed. A co-defendant, John Vigil, is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death and is scheduled to appear later this year for a motions hearing.

MAN CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT: Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has formally charged a man in connection with an assault and sexual assault that occurred on Jan. 9 on the 3100 block of W. Louisiana. Ben Depue, who turns 49 today, is charged with sexual assault and third-degree assault. On Jan. 9, the Denver Police Department responded to St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in reference to a sexual assault. The suspect is accused of physically and sexually assaulting the victim after the two spent time drinking together and she refused to willingly have sex with him.

ARREST IN LABEL TAMPERING CASE: Jason Eric Kay, 38, of Longmont, was arrested yesterday afternoon without incident on charges of misbranding and altering food labels with intent to cause serious injury to the business of any person, prosecutors said.  Kay is accused of re-labeling one-quart tropical-mango flavored Gatorade bottles with labels depicting a photograph of professional golfer Tiger Woods and his wife Elin Woods on one side, and the word “unfaithful” on the other side.  Kay was held overnight in custody.  He will likely make his initial appearance in court today.

GRADUATION RATE UP: Data released yesterday by the Colorado Department of Education showed the statewide graduation rate for the calss of 2009 increased .7 percentage points to 74.6 percent. The graduation rate stood at 73.9 percent in 2008, 75 percent in 2007, and 74.1 percent in 2006. The Denver graduation rate jumped by 4.1 percent this year.

SUSPECT MAKES COURT APPEARANCE IN AIRPLANE SCARE: Muhammad Abu Tahir, 47, of Virginia appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya for his initial appearance. At that hearing, Tahir was advised of the charges pending against him, as well as the penalty for those charges. The charges are interference with a flight crew, which carries a penalty of up to 20 years in federal prison, and not more than a $250,000 fine, plus possible restitution. Tahir was arrested because of his Jan. 8 behavior aboard an AirTran Airways Flight #39 that was traveling from Atlanta to San Francisco. The plane was diverted to Colorado Springs airport because of Tahir’s unruly behavior, including assaulting a flight crewmember.

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Mother of scalded boy pleads guilty in 2-year-old’s death

written by: Jeffrey Wolf 1 hr ago

DENVER – A woman pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the death of her 2-year-old son in 2008 who died after being scalded in a bathtub.

The Denver District Attorney’s office says 24-year-old Isela Reyes-Talamantes pleaded guilty to child abuse resulting in death.

Denver Police say she brought her 2-year-old son, Elijah Archuleta, to St. Anthony Central Hospital on Nov. 7, 2008 with severe burns. He was pronounced dead shortly after he got to the hospital.

In exchange for her guilty plea, the first-degree murder charge against Reyes-Talamantes was dropped.

She will be sentenced on March 19 and could get up to 32 years in prison.

A co-defendant, John Vigil, is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.

During a preliminary hearing it surfaced that Elijah’s then 4-year-old sister told investigators that Vigil had “got fire on Elijah in the bathtub.”

Pictures show that the burns to the boy were so severe that the skin on his forehead and chin had fallen off.

(Copyright KUSA*TV, All Rights Reserved)

via 9NEWS.com | Denver | Colorado’s Online News Leader | Mother of scalded boy pleads guilty in 2-year-old’s death.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Female Narcissist

This article comes from the website of Dr. Irene Matiatos (article reprinted with the kind permission of the author):

The Female Narcissist
by Irene Matiatos, Ph.D.

February 16, 2002

Abusive behavior in men or women can be a function of many underlying issues. Personality disorders or their milder counterparts (i.e., “traits” or “features”) are one underlying etiology. This article tries to help the reader understand the mindset of the female with NPD or with narcissistic features.

Like her narcissistic male counterpart, this lady harbors deeply held and undisputed irrational underlying beliefs that affect her feelings and behavior. Most of these beliefs are never questioned and are only dimly realized, if they are realized at all. While we all harbor irrational beliefs, those with personality disorders harbor belief systems that are deeply embedded and intertwined.

A Real Charmer

Dana is an extremely pretty 23-year old young lady. A delight on the surface, she has an uncanny knack of presenting herself extremely well to the target audience she wants to impress. She has a corresponding almost magical ability to make people feel verrrry good. She can WOW you! You’ll be gushing (or panting if you’re a guy), and there just isn’t anything you wouldn’t do to please her. She will continue to reward your good behavior as long as she needs you. After all, it is very hard work to be “on” so much of the time.

If she’s accomplished her mission and you are no longer useful, she spends less and less energy being perfectly charming and engaging. In most cases Dana has no real desire to be disrespectful, but as she “relaxes,” becoming more “herself,” she becomes quiet or mildly disrespectful.

A Typical Narcissist

The problem is that the only person Dana cares about is Dana. You are no more than the object who provides her with whatever it is she wants and needs: love, admiration, money, encouragement, support, etc. While she pretends to care, and indeed wants to care, the reality is that she doesn’t care. Her world starts and stops with herself. She hides that fact pretty well from most people; especially those who are consistently meaningful to her (i.e., parents, husband, siblings, boss, etc.). Most of these individuals would be shocked to hear this, and in fact would think you’re crazy!

Dana is typical as pretty female narcissists go. She relies on her beauty and her charm. She feels good about herself as long as she “has it over” anybody she considers “the competition.”

Few Real Friends

Parents are parents and too often love unconditionally, but friends and acquaintances don’t. As a result, while new people Dana meets like her, the more they got to know her, the less interested they are in her company. Except, of course, for the young men, most of whom vie for her attention.

Other than a childhood best friend with virtually non-existent self esteem, there are no friends. There are acquaintances and those who share her environment as well as the many men who surrounded her – all of whom she refers to as “friends,” but there really are no friends.

She explains this deficit by rationalizing that her peers disappoint her in one way or another. This one uses drugs, that one you can’t trust, the other one is jealous of her, etc. There is virtually no recognition that the reason people who are not related to her or have no sexual interest in her do not like her given how she treats them!

I’m The Best!

Dana is not content unless she feels she has it over her peers, especially female peers. She believes she has the prettiest face, the nicest hair, and the best figure – which she flaunts with her form-fitting, sexy, and hip wardrobe. She is always well-dressed, even when lounging around. “Studied cool” describes her style. While giving the impression of having thrown together any old top and pair of jeans, the trained eye can discern the hours and hours spent trying the outfits on, making up to appear not made up, etc.

Every asset she has, she flaunts. One weekend, invited to spend a weekend with some new friends at their family’s home in a poor section of a neighboring town, she found reason to make a 30-mile detour to her parents’ upscale, gorgeous home – to show it off – as though announcing her supremacy. Of course, she would never admit that’s why she came home. Her reasons are always framed in wording that casts her in a positive light such as “It’s my dad’s birthday, or, “I have to pick up something important I forgot.” Never an honest reason like, “I wanted to show off the house to intimidate them.”

Jealousy

Jealousy is a huge issue. Her own envy is as cut off from her consciousness as Wisconsin is cut off from the Atlantic Ocean. While she has no clue regarding her pervasive jealousy, it is sadly evident to the sensitive observer.

One year Dana didn’t get her cousin a Birthday present. While Stephanie routinely bought Dana beautiful and expensive gifts, Dana couldn’t say why she didn’t get Stephanie anything. When pressed, annoyed, she provided a series of senseless answers. “I made a deal with my friends that we were not to exchange gifts.” “Did you made that arrangement with Stephanie?” “No, but I’m not getting any gifts. We’re going to lunch. I’ll pay.” Not only did she not end up paying, Stephanie paid for both Dana as well as for Dana’s boyfriend!

The “problem” was that Stephanie, her peer, had gotten her life together. Also beautiful, she found her calling and was pursing an advanced degree with straight As – a feat Dana couldn’t hope to accomplish. She also had a rich boyfriend who adored her. You get the picture. When asked point-blank if she was jealous of Stephanie, Dana replied too quickly and with an affected laugh, “Jealous of Stephanie? WHAT is there to be jealous about?”

The Price She Pays

Part of the price Dana pays to manipulate others is the exhaustion required to be “on” much of the time. When caught with her vigilant guard down, she is not nice: often impatient, short, arrogant and condescending, reflecting her near chronic bad mood. Shopkeepers, boyfriends who try too hard and all the not-too-important people in her life who will put up with it are the unwitting victims. This is subtle. For example, one day she walked into her compulsively clean mother’s house and saw a leaf on the sparkling floor by her feet. Instead of picking it up, she asked, “What’s that?” Her mother, almost on cue, dropped what she was doing to pick up the leaf by her daughter’s feet.

The Devil in Disguise

The apparent angel is the devil in disguise.

A compulsive liar who needs to mislead to maintain her unblemished facade, Dana is not a mean or cruel person. This young woman really wants to do the right thing. While she derives a measure of immediate satisfaction from her cruelty, when forced to face her behavior, she is not happy she mistreats others. After all, a misbehavior is not in keeping with her perfect image of herself! When reality occasionally hits her and she is confronted with her condescending acts, she becomes upset with herself, often in tears. For a short time. Soon all is forgotten. Time heals or she takes solace in blaming others. When she presents her selectively-presented view, it sounds compelling. Until one realizes nothing ever seems to be her issue. Someone or something else is to blame – or the entire topic is dropped. No matter how much she has vowed to correct these behaviors, she does not. She cannot because she will not.

Why, Why, Why?

She cannot because she chooses not to face the truth about herself. She cannot face that her nature is in fact dark and very imperfect. She cannot face that she is no more special, no more unique, no more perfect than anybody else. Unthinkable! What can she possibly fall back on if she were to simply enjoy her many assets as well as accept and work around the impact of her many deficits?

She believes special rules apply to her, and she is not willing to give these up without a struggle. She’s secretly glad others haven’t figured out how to be as special as she is. Giving up her specialness in unthinkable. It does not feel good.

How, How, How?

Keep in mind that narcissism is a lifelong pattern developing from childhood and believed to have a biological basis. If deception and pretense have provided a lifetime of comforts and esteem supplies, why mess things up? Isn’t it more satisfying to concern herself with gratification in the moment? Why work when you can instead do just enough to get by? Better to spend that energy cultivating one’s external assets and targets. These yield immediate rewards.

After all, the only thing she compromises is herSelf, her integrity, her relationships. All the things she has never known or understood, but thinks she knows well.

Trustworthiness

With all these issues, the narcisstic woman (or man for that matter) cannot be trusted. They are not trustworthy – unless they are expending energy pretending to be trustworthy. So, at best, their trustworthyness is inconsistent. Like the male abuser, her moods are unpredictable. When frustrated, the energy demands of being “on” are too great. Her frustration slips away from her – and spills onto anybody unfortunate enough to be in the way.

In a Nutshell

To feel whole, a woman like Dana needs to be the center of attention, be the prettiest, the most fortunate, the most talented, the bestest. She cultivates others who will be manipulated by her to admire her, adore her, inflate her, love her, and overlook her pretense, lies and half-truths.

If she is questioned, she distances. This simple yet effective technique invariable affects the codependents in her life. On cue, they lay low and let the issue drop or chase her, thinking they must have done something wrong/ worrying that she won’t want to be with them. Should an admirer truly believe in her specialness and try too hard to win her, they are treated with contempt instead of charity. These people represent that which she despises: only the weak and common permit themselves to be demeaned.

The bottom line is that this very beautiful, very charming (and extremely manipulative) young woman has absolutely no concern for others apart from those who are in a position to provide her with narcissistic supplies.

Does anybody know a Dana? Even worse, have any men out there fallen in love with a Diana? (May God help you…)


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