February 24, 2008

February 24 | Catherine Noe

December 3, 1964 - February 24, 1966: Age 1

Catherine Ellen Noe died suddenly and unexpectedly at a little over one year. The death certificate gave the cause as SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. This is not uncommon, sadly; about 1 in 2,000 babies born in the US die like this. What was uncommon is that Catherine had 9 brothers and sisters, 7 of whom died of SIDS, one who was stillborn, and one who died in the hospital. Of all 10 children, Catherine lived the longest.

Marie Noe and her husband were the most famous bereaved parents in the country during the 1960s. Between 1949 and 1968, they had ten children, all of whom died within a year. There was speculation about a "death gene", some kind of inherited disorder to account for the streak. "We just weren't meant to have children" and "The Lord needed angels" was Marie Noe's verdict.

In the late 1990s a journalist became interested in the case and interviewed the Noes. When he was through he was pretty sure something was wrong, and handed over his findings to the authorities. The autopsy reports of the babies were examined and concluded that it was likely the babies were smothered. When questioned by the police, Marie Noe (by that time she was 70) confessed to killing four of them. She couldn't remember how the other four suspicious deaths had occurred.

In the end, she pleaded guilty for all eight murders. Perhaps there would have been more, but she had a hysterectomy for medical reasons in 1968.

Sources: findagrave.com, Women Who Kill


pilgrimchick said...

That's incredible--I am amazed that no one thought something could have been wrong with this story when it was "occurring."

franca said...

Here is the crazy thing...it's not the only time it's happened, by any means. There was a woman named Mary Beth Tinning who murdered nine babies in this way, including one who was adopted!

Anonymous said...

What a fucking bitch. May she burn in hell.