Revealing Letters: Mum Who Killed Her Three Children - The Sun Newspaper- Exclusive News Investigation- ***May 2011***

This article gave a tragic insight into the mind of Terersa Riggi- the mum who murdered her three beautiful children.


We were contacted by somone who had been writing to Riggi in prison and wanted to sell the letters he had received.


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LIKE any other mum she brims with pride, talking about her three children - her "precious angels".

In a series of moving letters Theresa Riggi delights in recalling their life together.

On one occasion they gave a blanket to a homeless man to keep him warm.

She writes: "My children were so pleased to see the same man the next time we drove by and he had our blanket on his legs."

Yet behind the happy words lurks a much darker truth.

Riggi, 47, is behind bars after stabbing the children EIGHT times each in August last year before a failed attempt to take her own life.

She admitted culpable homicide in the Scottish court on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was jailed for 16 years.

She had originally been charged with murdering her twin boys Augustino and Gianluca, eight, and their sister Cecilia, five. The bodies were found at their Edinburgh home.

Just 48 hours earlier Riggi had spoken to her estranged husband Pasquale by phone. The court heard that she asked if he was going to take the children away. He said she had left him no choice.

Riggi replied: "Say goodbye then" and hung up. Tragically, they were the latest of a growing number of children killed by their mothers and fathers as a result of mental illness, the break-up of families and bitter custody battles.

Earlier this year Christopher Grady, 43, was jailed for life after driving his car with his kids inside into a river.

His daughter Gabrielle, five, was trapped for two hours in the submerged vehicle near Evesham, Worcestershire, and died three days later from brain injuries. Grady, who had been having financial problems, and his son Ryan, six, survived.

In Stockport in 2009 disturbed Helen Caudwell, 42, used a pyjama case to smother her three-year-old daughter Bethany and was sentenced to life.

The court heard she was leading a double life, with two men believing they were both Bethany's father.

In 2007 Rekha Kumari-Baker, now 43, murdered daughters Davina, 16, and Jasmine, 13. She stabbed the girls 69 times at their home in Stretham, Cambs, using kitchen knives bought two days earlier.

She had become increasingly jealous of her ex-husband, the girls' dad. She was given a life sentence.


Jailed ... Theresa Riggi's scars from suicide attempt are clearly visible as she is driven to court
Jailed ... Theresa Riggi's scars from suicide attempt are clearly visible as she is driven to court
Last year Linda Haskell, 57, discovered the horrific scene after her daughter Vicki Case, 31, was stabbed to death and her granddaughters, Phoebe, two, and Nereya, one, were suffocated. Delivery driver Andrew Case, 33, had murdered his family before hanging himself in their home in Fordingbridge, Hants.

It was believed Case was taking anti-smoking medication which had possible side-effects of anger and depression.

And John Hogan, now 37, leaped off a fourth-floor hotel balcony in Crete with his two young children in August 2006.

His son Liam, six, died in the plunge but his daughter Mia, then two, survived the 50ft fall.

Hogan was cleared of murder but had a spell in a Greek psychiatric hospital before returning to the UK in 2009.

So why do such tragedies happen so frequently?

Dr Keith Ashcroft, an investigative psychologist at the Centre for Forensic Neuroscience, said: "To most people it seems almost inconceivable that an adult would take the life of a child, yet homicide by immediate family members is a common cause of death among children, particularly so where there is also a history of parental neglect."


Ultimate betrayal ... from left: Davina, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13, were stabbed by their mum. Phoebe, two, and Nereya Case, one, were suffocated by their father. And five-year-old Gabrielle Grady died after her dad drove his car into a river
Ultimate betrayal ... (from left) Davina, 16, and Jasmine Baker, 13, were stabbed by their mum. Phoebe, two, and Nereya Case, one, were suffocated by their father. And five-year-old Gabrielle Grady died after her dad drove his car into a river
During her time in custody awaiting trial Riggi, an American-born violinist, corresponded with a pen pal. Her letters provide a window to a severely fractured mind. She had been locked in a bitter custody battle with Pasquale, 46, since 2009.

She writes: "I miss my children every second of every day and so wish to be with them! Soon I hope!"

In another passage she says: "I will carry on precisely as my children expect me to. Everything I do is with them in mind."

According to psychiatrists, Riggi suffers from multiple personality disorders. She was branded narcissistic and paranoid.

Dr Ashcroft said: "In some rare cases of infanticide the motivations for the killer centre around the need to retaliate by making her spouse suffer.


Tragic ... Theresa recalls moving incident involving her children and a homeless man
Tragic ... Theresa recalls moving incident involving her children and a homeless man

"For example, in the context of a divorce or estrangement, the child would be killed knowing that this would bring substantial and unremitting agony to the father."

Riggi and her husband, an oil executive with Shell, had begun divorce proceedings by the time of the killings.

In one letter, talking about him, she writes: "How someone so close to you can seek your total destruction is unfathomable to me. And it is not in me to return the favour, even though I could. There can be no good or satisfaction from such a deed.


'Precious angels' ... she describes her pain at losing her children
'Precious angels' ... she describes her pain at losing her children

"I pray I can let go of the hatred in my heart some day soon as I feel that is what keeps me from my children now. I must find a way to forgive him and all his accomplices. Only then shall I truly find peace."

Dr Ashcroft said: "The methods used by mothers to kill their children vary according to age and ability of the victim to resist attack.

"In the majority of cases suffocation or drowning is used. Where there is prior neglect, more brutal means tend to be used, such as shaking or being thrown to their deaths. Mercifully, the use of weapons, as in the Riggi case, is very rare indeed."

In her letters, Riggi writes without irony: "I weep for the loss of my three precious angels who would've, and indeed already had, made this world a better place."


Letter ... jailed Riggi tells pen pal she will live her life with her children in mind
Letter ... jailed Riggi tells pen pal she will live her life with her children in mind

She convinces herself that her kids' deaths were not her fault, writing: "Too many have remained silent and failed to act to help me when they could. Sorry if I am going on too much but I do have a mission to ensure that this doesn't happen again."

Passing sentence at the High Court in Glasgow, Lord Bracadale told Riggi: "You, who had a genuine but abnormal and possessive love of your children, have lost them and are brought to this sorry pass." He said that, while Riggi's responsibility had been diminished, she was still responsible for her actions. Her estranged husband clearly agreed.

A statement read on his behalf outside court said: "The horrific manner in which my children died will leave an indelible mark on the rest of my life.



"As a father, my natural instincts were geared towards safeguarding my children from the dangers of this world.

"It pains me to the core that I was unable to protect them from the selfish, brutal and murderous acts that ended their lives so unfairly.

"There is no justification for this heinous crime, repeated three times.

"Nor is there any sentence that can provide justice for the overwhelming loss of three lives and the subsequent painful grief and devastation caused to surviving family and friends alike."



Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3582167/The-Sun-investigates-Terrifying-trend-of-killer-parents.html#ixzz1MgysQtDa


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