A mother who investigators believe killed all nine of her children, is set to walk free by the end of the month after being granted parole.
Between 1972 and 1985 Marybeth Tinning on Schenectady, New York murdered her nine children. The case began as an investigation into the tragic deaths with doctors believing that Tinning was inflicted with a horrific hereditary disorder, or the possibility that her babies died from SIDs. In the end, with little evidence to prove otherwise, Tinning was convicted only of the death of her four-month old baby Tami Lynne in 1985, though she later confessed to the murders of 6 week old Timothy in 1973 and five-month old Nathan in 1975 but later recanted.
Many believed that Tinning suffered the condition known as Fictitious disorder by Proxy, or more commonly known as Munchausen’s by Proxy and that following the death of her first baby, who most believed died a natural death, she enjoyed the attention showered on her so much that when that attention waned, she murdered more of her children to return the spotlight to her. According to forensic pathologist, Dr Michael Baden, “I think it was a combination. Not just sympathy, but it was a combination of being overwhelmed by the babies, as well as the fact that she didn’t get punished for it.” All of Tinning’s nine children, including an adopted son died before the age of 4.
Since 1985, Tinning has remained in prison, but that is about to change. The killer was granted parole in July and may be released from prison as early as August 21, 2018 according to People Magazine. Schenectady District Attorney Robert Carney told People, “The problem I have is that she showed absolutely no insight into her behaviour or acknowledged in any way what she did,…I can’t believe you can say she is rehabilitated when she refuses to admit the true extent of her conduct.”
Syracuse.com reported that she has been before the parole board six times since she became eligible in 2007 after being sentenced to twenty years for the murder of Tami Lyne and all previous attempts at parole were denied. In a previous parole hearing she stated “After the deaths of my other children … I just lost it, I became a damaged, worthless piece of a person and when my daughter was young, in my state of mind at that time, I just believed she was going to die also. So I just did it.”
In another confession that she later recanted, Tinning claimed that in 1974 she had tried to poison her husband Joe with sedatives-laced juice. When the seventy-five year old is released from prison she will return to living with her husband.