A 17-year-old told authorities that her mother tortured, then killed, two siblings and forced her to place one of the bodies in the freezer. The girl told a tale of horrific abuse for her and her three siblings, according to the AP. The torture was so extreme it was reminiscent of a horror movie like Silence of the Lambs.
Mitchelle Blair appeared in court two days after the bodies of her nine-year-old son, Stephen Berry, and 13-year-old daughter, Stoni Blair, were discovered in a freezer. Currently, Blair, 35, is charged with child abuse, facing the charges via video while in jail. However, depending on the results of autopsies that will be performed after the bodies thaw, she could face murder charges. Magistrate Renee McDuffee entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.
Bond was set at $1 million. “The charges in this matter are… heinous,” McDuffee said in explaining the high $1 million bond, according to ABC News. According to the AP, the state indicated the following, quoting Blair’s 17-year-old.
“Blair tortured Stephen for approximately two weeks prior to his death by tying a belt around his neck, throwing hot water on him while in the shower and putting a plastic bag over his head.”
In the chamber of horrors house, the state indicated that when Stephen was found to be “unresponsive” on August 30, 2012, Blair wrapped his body in bed linen and placed him in the freezer, where he remained until recently discovered.
Nine months later, daughter Stoni indicated that she didn’t like her surviving siblings. This sentiment so “enraged” Blair that she strangled the girl with a T-shirt and suffocated her with a plastic bag, according to the Michigan Department of Human Services. The Department indicated that Blair then forced the 17-year-old daughter to “put Stoni in the deep freezer following her death.”
The Michigan Department of Human Services is working to terminate Blair’s parental rights regarding her two remaining children, both minors. One is the 17-year-old girl and the other an eight-year-old boy. They described living in a torture chamber, in which they were beaten with an extension cord and piece of wood, hit with a hot curling iron, and burned with a clothing iron, according to ABC News.
Both surviving children were aware that their siblings’ bodies were placed in the freezer. Medical exams revealed evidence of physical abuse, including numerous scars, on the children. The 17-year-old girl indicated that none of the children had attended school for two years.
According to the state, allegations of child abuse were investigated in 2001 and 2005. At the time, Blair was referred to counseling. It’s not clear whether she attended any counseling or if any other charges were filed.
The state indicated that the two fathers of the 17- and eight-year-old were deemed to be unfit to care for them, owing a $50,000 total in child support. The fathers haven’t seen their children in two to three years.
In another case of horrific child abuse, a Texas babysitter sent graphic text messages of the abuse she perpetrated on children as young as 11 months. She is being held on $350,000 bond.
What do you think the penalty should be for such horrendous crimes if it’s proven that Mitchelle Blair abused and killed her own children?
[Photo Courtesy AP]