June 21, 2001
A recent history of infanticideJANETTE RODRIGUES
The slaying of five children in Clear Lake on Wednesday is the worst case of infanticide in the Houston area in recent memory.
Authorities suspect the children's mother killed them by drowning them in the family bathtub. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that a parent is most often the perpetrator in the deaths of children ages 5 and under.
Other similar cases in the area include:
- Timothy Lee Rumsey, 42, fatally shot his children -- Kirstie, 7, Dylan, 9, and Brittany Whalen, 11 -- and then himself last February in Katy during a standoff with police. He had barricaded himself in their home after his wife, Joy, went to police about his abusive behavior.
- Rowlett housewife Darlie Routier, 31, was sentenced to death in the 1996 fatal stabbing of her son, Damon. Her 6-year-old son, Devon, was also killed in the attack. She claimed a stranger broke into her home and stabbed them before knifing her.
- Nirmala Devi Katta, 28, murdered her three children -- Jessica, 3, Jonathan, 4, and Anil Kumar, 6 -- and her husband, Ashok Katta, 37, with a pistol in 1996. She used gasoline to set fire to their Stafford home before killing herself. Police attributed her actions to domestic violence.
- Juana Marie Leija threw six of her seven children into the murky waters of Buffalo Bayou in 1986. Two of them -- Juana, 5, and Judas Dimas, 6, -- drowned before rescuers jumped in and saved the others. She attributed her actions to years of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband. She received 10 years' probation in the deaths.
Copyright 2001 Houston Chronicle