Purposeful Killing: Kimberlee Snyder — (Mothers who Kill Their Children)

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Mothers who Kill Their Children

by Cheryl L. Meyer, ‎Michelle Oberman, ‎Kelly White,  New York University Press, 2001

July 30, 1996

Like many expectant mothers, twenty-five year-old Kimberlee Snyder was ecstatic about the prospect of having her first child.  In the months leading up to the birth, she spent hours shopping for baby clothes and poring over books on pregnancy and motherhood. So when her daughter Tahlor Dawn was born, she and her husband couldn’t have been happier about the new addition to their family.  However, no one could have prepared for the events that unfolded five months later, when on July 30, 1996, Kimberlee Snyder killed her child in a fit of rage.

On the day of the murder, Snyder awoke in what she claims was an agitated state and began hitting and shaking Tahlor Dawn…The assault continued as Snyder violently threw Tahlor Dawn onto the bathroom floor.

Snyder explained that she felt like she was having an out-of-body experience and like a demon had taken over her body.  When she realized what she had done, Snyder called 911, claiming her daughter had fallen from the kitchen counter.  Five-month-old Tahlor Dawn suffered massive head injuries and died the next day…At her trial, Snyder’s attorneys argued that she was not a premeditated murderer, but rather a woman who suffered a psychotic episode brought on by postpartum depression…

Only one month after the birth, signs were already emerging that Snyder was suffering from postpartum depression.   During a routine follow-up examination, Snyder told a midwife that she had feelings of anger toward her daughter and resented not having time for herself.  The midwife, suspecting Snyder might be suffering from postpartum depression, referred her to a psychiatrist for further evaluation.   Upon examination, the psychiatrist prescribed antidepressant medication

Four months later, Tahlor Dawn was dead…

Snyder pled not guilty by reason of insanity…

She was found guilty of murder.