Christine Falling, The Serial Killing Sitter

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Christine Falling was any parent’s worst nightmare. Children in her care were constantly dying, yet no one ever thought that the seemingly sweet babysitter could’ve possibly been to blame.

People generally felt sorry for the 17 year old, she’d lead such a rough life. She’d grown up in Perry, Florida, in poverty; she had health issues such as epilepsy, and her parents had been abusive – especially her father. Christine was psychically and sexually abused, until her parents gave her up for adoption. Christine developed violent tendencies; as a young girl she liked to torture animals, especially cats. At the tender age of 14 Christine married her much older step brother, but the marriage had only lasted a few weeks as the man was abusive; Christine was single now, and just trying to survive. She had an IQ of 85, had not been given a decent education, and people generally wanted to help her. They hooked the young woman up with babysitting jobs; again and again their good intentions would prove fatal.

On Februrary 25th of 1980 she babysat a two year old named Cassidy Johnson when an “accident” occurred; Christine claimed the toddler fell out of her crib. Cassidy was rushed to the hospital, diagnosed with brain inflammation, and she passed away a couple days later. Autopsy proved that Christine’s story was a lie, the poor baby had died from blunt force trauma to the head; still the police bought Christine’s story, and nothing was done.

After Cassidy’s murder, Christine moved to Lakeland, Florida, where she had family. While babysitting she murdered a 4 year old boy named Jeffrey Davis, and a heart condition would catch the blame. 3 days later, Christine was asked to sit for her victim’s cousin, 2 year old Joseph Spring, during little Jeffrey’s funeral. Yes, that family lost two babies to the same killer that week; when the family returned home from said funeral they found little Joseph dead in his crib. Christine walked away from both of these murders scot free.

At one point, Christine accompanied her own step sister to a pediatric appointment for her ten week old baby, Jennifer Daniels. The baby had received a round of vaccinations, and on the way home Christine’s sister ran into a grocery store, mistakenly leaving a killer alone with her baby. Within minutes the child was dead.
In July of 1981, Christine tried her hand at housekeeping; on her very first day on the job, the elderly homeowner, 77 year old William Swindle, had dropped dead from a “heart attack” on his kitchen floor.

Those around the young woman believed her to be a “victim of circumstance”, until mid 1982, when 10 week old Travis Coleman died while in her care. His autopsy revealed internal ruptures which had obviously been caused by suffocation. Finally people began to realize that Christine hadn’t simply been victim to an unlucky black cloud hovering above her, but the young woman had been a merciless child killer.

Christine was taken in for questioning and she admitted to killing three of the babies by “smotheration”. She would press a blanket over their tiny faces in response to hearing voices in her head which chanted, “Kill the baby.”.
“The way I done it, I seen it done on a TV show,” the killer explained. “I had my own way, though. Simple and easy. No one would hear them scream.”.

Many experts have said the real motive for these murders was attention- Christine had Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Though she had a history of serious mental illness, Christine was deemed sane; the court sentenced her to 3 life terms, with no parole for the first 25 years. She remains in prison even today, and we’re all probably safer for it.

*I hope you’re all doing well, this year has been so trying. I hope that you are okay.

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