The Darkness Within

6 year old boy kills his 13 day old sister.

How does public policy impact the future of individuals?

You might say things like:

  1. You don’t support single parents because they are irresponsible
  2. You don’t support single parents because they should be able to support themselves
  3. Women who are single parents are just having more kids in order to get more money from the government
  4. The children of single parents are not the responsibility of society

The mother, Kathleen Marie Steele, was a victim of tragedy – her husband died of cancer. We all cope with death in different ways. She decided to use his semen to have children.

She had three children at the time of the incident. A 6-year-old, a 3-year-old and a 13-day old.

I remember when our family had our first and we didn’t leave him alone for at least the first six months. One can easily start to blame the mother for leaving her children alone in the car to go shopping for 1/2 hour.

That wouldn’t be right; however, as society didn’t provide her with any other possibility. Most likely the effort of getting a little shopping done with her three children seemed like a lot for a 62-year-old woman – after successive similar efforts. It tends to wear a person down. Because of her age it seems like that she no longer had parents or her parents would have been unable to watch the children.

So, with some idea in her mind she would be gone for as little time as possible and be back before there were any problems with the children.

While away, her 13-day-old child began crying and the 6-year-old took things in to his own hands.

Now, I’m far from saying that this is normal behavior for a 6-year-old boy. In fact, empathy even in a 6-year-old should have been such that he came over and cuddled his very young sibling in distress.

Instead, he got incredibly upset, and battered his 13-day-old sibling to death – an apparent fratricide. Not only did he batter her in to silence, but placed her back in the car seat before their mother returned.

Kathleen Marie Steele is now under charges for the actions of her 6-year-old. The 6-year-old cannot be held responsible for the fratricide due to his age.

The 6-year-old’s actions are outside the realm of the normal; however, don’t they reflect the callousness of our society – his lack of empathy for his sibling as society’s lack of empathy for him and his family?

If, as a society we had the empathy to have programs in place to help a single mother, to go out and purchase items and bring them to her home – would that have not prevented this particular instance of fratricide?

If, as businesses, we acknowledged that our customers are sometimes single mothers that need help in order to purchase our goods and make money for our company, wouldn’t a facility to watch children of all ages at the businesses have prevented this horrible incident of fratricide?

If she had relatives that were sympathetic, capable, and geographically nearby they could have gone out and purchased the items for her – stopping this situation from existing at all.

Yes, she could (and most absolutely should) have brought the kids in to the store with her. As a parent of 4; however, I know that this isn’t always something that can be done. We have left our younger children in the car leaving the oldest in charge – with the car on and the AC going (or heat). Never with such a young child, certainly. And our oldest was older than 6 when we first did this. Sometimes, it is just a little bit too much to ask to bring the kids in to the store – the melt-downs, the “I want this”, the crying for no known reason. It can be a lot even when both parents are around.

A lot of people (especially those against programs that help other people) cite the constitution, the founding fathers, etc – to say that we shouldn’t be doing those things. Lets look at the opening of the US Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

  1. “promote the general Welfare”
  2. “insure domestic Tranquility”

What do these clauses mean? General Welfare – means keeping your citizens alive. It has no clauses limiting these citizens to keep alive as only those that are securely in marriage – or any other qualifiers.

Insure domestic Tranquility – well that does this mean? Insure means do whatever you can to make sure that “domestic” the citizens of our country “Tranquility” I would say are relatively happy. Again, making sure your citizens survive is a key point before happiness can even be considered – according to Maslow’s pyramid.  The bottom level of Maslow’s pyramid – roof over head, food, hygiene, educated. Guaranteed no less in the first paragraph of the US constitution.

This is long before we get to the Bill of Rights. In fact, much of the Bill of Rights might well be implied by the clause “insure domestic Tranquility” and “promote the general Welfare”.


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