3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Defying all medical, moral, and psychological classification, Marie Noe stands alone as the most prolific baby killer in history. Suffocating 8 of her 10 children, most of whom did not live past a few months in age, Noe seemed compelled to kill her babies. Although neighbors and physicians began to grow suspicious of these unexplained baby deaths, medical autopsies revealed nothing, leaving police investigators helpless to pursue the matter.
1n the 1960's, with the medical description and explanation of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Marie Noe was afforded sympathy and fame as the most bereaved mother ever. Never ones to turn away the media, Marie Noe and her strangely protective husband, Arthur, were only too willing to discuss their dead children. Often memorable to both reporters and medical staff alike as displaying bizarre affect and little real emotion, the Noes continued to defend themselves against the increasing community suspicion that a mother might be killing her babies.
With the Noe babies, a 30 year "cold case" finally came to fruition when it was revealed that another murderous mother, Waneta Hoyt, had murdered 5 of her infant children... including two that were part of the initial study in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. With Hoyt's admission of guilt, the theory that SIDS was a genetic killer was destroyed, and Marie Noe's innocence along with it.
In a bizarre dismissal of acceptable legal standards, Marie Noe was allowed to walk out of the police station after confessing to multiple murders. Outrageous! Eventually pleading guilty to premeditated murder in a court of law, Noe was sentenced to HOUSE ARREST for a period of 5 years, followed by lifetime community supervision. True, Noe is not a risk to society at large, but the sentence seems severely lacking with regard to legal and moral standards of justice.
While reading this book, I was particularly baffled by Marie Noe's husband, Arthur Noe. Denying that he was ever suspicious of his wife, Noe turned a blind eye to the circumstances of the deaths of his children and ignored that his wife was the ONLY person present when all the babies stopped breathing. In fact, Noe continued to defend his wife even after she confessed, recanted, and reconfessed to suffocating 8 of their children. Strangely dependent upon one another and dancing a symbiotic waltz of denial, the Noes remain together, prisoners in their own home. As the author, John Glatt, so eloquently states: "Now, as long as they live, Marie and Arthur Noe will be locked together in a desperate co-dependency with its own warped rules of survival. Marie can never dare admit the she killed the children to Arthur, who in turn can never accuse her."
With a solid reporting of family history and childhood traumas for both Marie and Arthur Noe, CRADLE OF DEATH is a good and easy read for a rainy afternoon!