27 Aug Utah Mom Kills Six Newborns Due to Meth Addiction
Most people appreciate that addiction can drive people to do terrible things, but some stories still hold the power to shock. News has recently emerged that a Utah mother addicted to methamphetamine killed six newborn children over the course of a decade because she was unable to cope with the responsibility they represented. She has admitted to the crimes, and is currently being held on $6-million bail. Her story is a definitive reminder of the lengths some people will go to when they are under the influence of an addiction.
Six Murders Over a Decade
Thirty-nine-year-old Megan Huntsman was arrested in April and charged with six counts of premeditated murder. The murders were committed between 1996 and 2006, with the bodies being hidden in the garage of her home in Pleasant Grove, just south of Salt Lake City. All of the children were hers, fathered by her estranged husband—as DNA evidence has confirmed—and there was also a seventh, but this baby is believed to have been stillborn. She is believed to have strangled or suffocated the infants, five of whom were girls and two were boys.
Her husband, Darren West, was released from federal prison in January, following an eight-year stint for possessing chemicals used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. He was the one who originally alerted police after finding a white box sealed with electrical tape that contained one of the infants. Although he was the father of the children, he is not a suspect in the murders.
Huntsman is said to have killed the infants because she was addicted to methamphetamine and didn’t want the responsibility they represented. An additional worrying detail is that she couldn’t remember how many children there were initially, estimating eight or nine in total. Police are confident there were only seven, but her inability to recall the precise number says a lot about her state of mind.
Captain Mike Roberts of the Pleasant Grove police commented, “It was completely selfish. She was high on drugs and didn’t want the babies, or the responsibility.”
Meth Addiction and Criminality
The story drives the message home that drug addiction can lead people to do despicable things. Ordinarily, it may be a mugging or theft in order to obtain money for drugs, and it must be said that this is easier to understand and even sympathize with. During addiction, the brain is hijacked by the substance and the only thing the person really cares about is getting his or her hands on more of it. The brain’s reward circuitry is re-wired and focused only on the drug. Morals become less and less important, as higher brain functions, like rational decision-making, are undermined. However, in cases such as this, the extent of the crimes makes you genuinely wonder if something else is responsible for the individual’s actions.
It may be far beyond anything most people—addicted or not—would ever do, but Megan Huntsman’s story does serve as an important reminder of why it’s vital to overcome addiction before it seizes control of your life. Meth is an intensively addictive substance and when it becomes all you care about in the world, the lengths you may be willing to go to keep getting high can be nothing short of shocking. Getting help is absolutely essential, and although the road to sobriety may be rocky at times, you can get to the end of it.
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