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Wednesday's Child: Follow-Up

On Saturday, I wrote this long post about children who grow up to murderers. The thoughts were brought on by reading about this child, a local boy who became a killer. I wondered:

Maybe this guy in Newsday today didn't have a father, didn't have a mother who doted on him. But she sent him to school, she fed him, clothed him, did she do everything but love him?

The first thing I see in today's Newsday is this:

Police: Mom an accomplice in jewelry murders

Police said Christopher DiMeo's mother, Maryann Taylor-Casey, went into J&J Jewels in Glen Head before the Dec. 21 robbery and scoped out merchandise her son could steal. Then she allegedly drove his getaway car after the robbery, which became a murder when jeweler Thomas Renison was fatally shot.

Well, that answers a lot of my questions regarding this particular case. Christopher DiMeo never had a chance. And while he is responsible for his actions that led up to him pulling the trigger, his mother is ultimately responsible for the person DiMeo ended up becoming.

That's sad in so many ways.


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Today's been a day of thinking about kids and the role of parents in determining just who kids turn out to be. Some of this is a conversation from yesterday, where we wondered how the kids' personalities would have differed [Read More]


Oh good Lord ...

Well, I don't feel quite so bad about implicating his parenting and their apparently nomadic upbringing now. I just feel kind of ... ugh ...

Color me shocked.

I figure as a parent that I can provide my children with opportunities, but if they succeed and prosper, ultimately it is to their credit and comes from within themselves.

However, as a parent, I know that I have a lot of years to really damage my children and I see one of my responsibilities is to not do this.

It's not fair, but I don't believe parents can make their kids turn out well but they can screw them up. Of course some kids are just bad apples and nothing you can do will help.

Bolie IV

I'm curious about how many of these children who grow up to be killers are also bullied repeatedly during their formative years. I've read elsewhere, and know from personal experience, that bullying during childhood can have extremely detrimental effects of self-esteem, which can prevent a child from participating actively in extracurricular activities or some form of social life. The kids feel worthless and marginalized, so they choose to segregate themselves from others, in order not to be hurt any worse.

Also, a prime motivation for many criminals is psychopathic behavior. A psychopath, to my knowledge, is someone who has no feelings of remorse, morality or right and wrong. Many of these people, from what I've read, were socially marginalized during childhood and adolescence, and as a result came to believe that no-one cared for them. When you believe that no-one is looking out for you, or is concerned for your well-being, it becomes easy to make the rationalization of, "They don't care for me, so to hell with them, I'll do what I want." All to often, what "I want" is to satisfy one's most primal of urges, by any means necessary.

It seems like every time someone snaps and goes on a killing spree, the thing most of their neighbors say about him is that he was quiet, he kept to himself, and he didn't appear to have much of a social life. I get the feeling that a lot of killers are lonely people, and they've been lonely for a long, long time.

I had to come out of lurking in the shadows for this one. Out of high school I dated an 'honor roll' guy. He got up in the middle of the night to bake bread at the Italian bakery he worked at, went to university, and I found out later; supplemented his income with credit card fraud and drug trafficking, and other stuff I'm glad I don't know about. His dad was doing time in minimum security for driving the getaway car. His mom and younger sisters knew how he 'supplemented' his income and encouraged it with statements like "it's honest work. He's providing a service, if they pay someone else, better they pay him. we have to eat and who cares about the people buying the drugs, let them lose their souls." I got wind that they were okay with 'hits' as well, 'cuz, they have had to be bad people, so whoever is doing them is providing a public service AND it's not on his soul, but the the person who ordered it. Saint Joseph protects the murderer because he was 'working'"

He was the eldest son in an Italian family. His parents doted on him. His sisters worshipped him. He was elegant, polite, funny, and if you were family or a friend he was a sweet, caring guy!

WTF? Where's the psychopathology? Does anyone have any insight? Any takers? Spare me the stereotypes, I grew up in Little Italy Suburb, where nearly all families with the exception of maybe two or three, were not involved in criminal activity.

Needless to say I backed away from that family, without drawing too much attention to myself..

I don't know Chris Dimeo, but I know Nicole Pearce and all about her up bringing. Nicole is a confused little girl still. Always trying to get daddys approval and mom with conversation all about herself never on how Nicole is doing or feeling. Nicoles mother is a heroin addict herself. Nicole bounced back and forth from rich daddy with stepmother never getting the attention a little girl needs. So you look at Chris and Nicole,they were brought up the same way no love..

I don't know Chris Dimeo, but I know Nicole Pearce and all about her up bringing. Nicole is a confused little girl still. Always trying to get daddys approval and mom with conversation all about herself never on how Nicole is doing or feeling. Nicoles mother is a heroin addict herself. Nicole bounced back and forth from rich daddy with stepmother never getting the attention a little girl needs. So you look at Chris and Nicole,they were brought up the same way ,no love..I know alot of people want to give Nicole a cold shoulder right now, and that is understandable under the situation. I believe in my heart that she didn't know Chris was going to shoot his first victim. And once he did, she was terrified of him and would do whatever he wanted her to do. Plus the power of her addiction and knowing how hard it would be to kick off the heroin, and knowing she was all alone and her family wasn't going to be there to help her, she seen no other alternative.

Nicole called me and another friend at the end of October, asking us to send her some money to come home because she just wanted to come home and get away from where she was. I feel pretty guilty now because I didn't trust her enough for her to use the money to come home and not use it for more dope. My heart and pain goes out to her. When all the fog clears from her mind and reality sets in she will see the extent of her damage and there is no turning back now. I pray for you Nicole and I love you.

Check this out, I'm Nicole Pearce's brother and most of this stuff is bull shit, my mom does not talk/care about only her self, she cares more about Nicole and I then any of u, she is not a heroin addict just because when she used heroin when she was in her late 20's does not mean she still uses, u think she would be here if she did??? no i dont think so... My mother and my sister's father have tried everything within thier grasp to help her, I've lost count on how many rehabs they've sent her to, i know for a fact they've spent thousands on her geting well. The point is my mom and her father would have given it all for Nicole had they knowen Nicole was gonna turn out like this. For you ppl who know about my mother's small trust she'd have spent it all for Nicole if she still had that money when Nicole's problems began. SO THAT ALL OF YOU KNOW, MOST OF WHAT YOU READ ABOUT NICOLE AND HER FAMILY IS NOT ALL TRUE, SO DONT LISTEN TO THESE WANNABES WHO THINK THEY KNOW THE HALF OF IT, BECAUSE THEY DONT KNOW JACK!!! We all love Nicole and would do anything in our power to help her! This is from a loving brother to his only sister. I pray that this helps and clears up any misunderstandings you may have. "Scott"

Hi Scott, &, um, hello "Dawn"(pretty sure I know who you are...),

You said it far better than I can, Scott. You did a grand job of bringing some BALANCE to this blog discussion - not that the other bloggers really have the sort of knowledge of, or love for your sister, that you have. They don't really give a shit. They can go on their merry ways at any time, working their mouths and keyboards, whereas you have to LIVE through this every moment of your life... Forgive me - although I know you well IRL ;), I'm going to add my own, somewhat different perspective also.

I've known Nicole longer than either of you have (but no where as closely as Scott), so I can remind "Dawn": you're forgetting that Nicole has obvious mental injuries/ illnesses, over which her parents had little or no control. Nini was spoiled and allowed to do most anything she wished in relatively affluent homes, yes, but I think the origins of the bigger problem was more that her parents didn't know how to deal with what amounts to her sociopathic tendencies and obvious manic depression.

I knew Nini both before and after her fall down the 300 foot rocky Mexican beach cliff (at age 3 while on visitation with her father). I have ALWAYS told the family of my (more impartial??) observances of this drastic change in Nicky. I know because one of my duties was babysitting her while working for her grandparents at that time, and I have been associated with the family ever since, especially as best friend to Nicole's mother (a position you cannot claim, Dawn).

I am of the firm opinion that Nini's mental and emotional difficulties stem from the lack of follow-up tests afterward. Remember? The ER doctor on call at Scripps (after her mother paid for a helicopter airlift from Mexico) had a wife delivering their first child upstairs? Nini's face & brain swelled to twice normal size before any skull x-rays were done (no MRI those days) and a 160+ degree fracture was found from her temple, up over her head, and down to the base of her neck? Even THEN, no full-body imaging was done on the toddler, nor any other follow-up tests...

Neither did the "health insurance" father Geoff was court-ordered to pay ever amount to anything sustained long enough for proper diagnosis & long-term treatment.

The difference in her personality afterward was like night and day. She turned from a playful, curious, and loving child into a demanding tyrant who would HIT anyone who didn't do her bidding immediately. She no longer wanted to join me to walk the dogs or learn the names of the flowers she used to love. All she cared about was what I or anyone else would "give" her, or let her do. Her mother & grandparents knew she had become an unmanageable "brat," but didn't put 2 & 2 together until long after - when it was obvious that the personality change was permanent, and had begun at that very point in her life. They were not medical experts - how were THEY supposed to know? Why would they think to go against the professional opinions they were given from one of the most prestigious hospitals in the US? ~jill

Scottie, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings on anything I have said. I just don't want people condemning her before they know the whole story. And you are right I also don't know the whole story.But, I do know what she has confiding in me.And I do feel in my heart that she could never have killed anyone and right now she is a scared little girl who needs support from family and friends. And that's what I am Scottie I am her friend. I also didn't mean your mother is an active heroin user right now. But, she was and that has some kind of effect on Nicoles upbringing as well as yours to..And it's not to offend your mother either Scott cause I wouldn't do that. To any one in your family. Especially right now. I pray for your family every day..And my thoughts are never far from Nicole and I pray for her not to get life in prison. Scott please don't hate me for voicing my opinion, you know what they say opinions are like a--holes everyone has one. I care about your sister.

It's sure interesting to see the denial in each and everyone's remarks. Nicole doesn't know what to do with support, what she needs is some serious, heavy duty long term counseling to undo all the crap she's been through. There's nothing wrong with her brain. She knows right from wrong. Heroin is a powerful drug. She's not a killer. She's an addict and addicts are only interested in their next fix. They live in crappy homes not caring what their kids friends think of them or the embarrassment they cause them. They become the best of liars, becoming compulsive about it. Heroin and lousy parenting are the real killers here

this shit is all crazy, how do we know if you people aren't phony, imposters? Probebly. I think i wanna write a book about this Dimeo kid though. The media sure glamorized the story, i was pulling for the kid during that week of media frenzy.

Pulling for him? Whatever for? He's a murderer.

For those here defending Nicole, please not that this post and the previous one on the story had nothing to do with Nicole or her upbringing. It was about DiMeo. In many ways, I view Nicole as a victim.

Nicole the victim?!?! How about the innocent victims and their families?!? I have heard way too many excuses for this girl....she was ignored as a child, she had no rules growing up, and last but not least, she hit her head. Please! Yes, she is a junkie, but that excuse along with any of the other excuses above do not quite justify anything when it's your family member/loved one that has been killed. Put yourself in the places of those people. I truly feel sorry for this girl's family, but innocent little Nicole belongs in prison, where she can no longer hurt herself or anyone else.

It seems as though people are forgetting one important factor here, heroin addiction can lead people to do unspeakable things. I do blame parents for the way children turn out...without question. Parenting is the most important job in the world, and the only one that requires absolutley no credentials....its unbelivable. But I also blame the child for chosing the path to drug abuse. At every moment in our lives, we are given a choice. Unfortunately, many people do not make the right one, and rather then turning their pain and suffering into something constructive, they end up destroying themselves and others in a weak attempt to escape the pain. Drug use is the lazy choice...in the beginning it seems fun - an easy escape. But it can spin out of control, and if you are able to escape its grasp, you are now faced with an entirely new set of problems...the work at overcoming the issues that lead you to that place, as well as the addiction itslef still remain. I blame parents for not instilling enough self-respect in their children...for not giving them the proper tools to deal with their problems...and for being so selfish to think that their own misery will not affect their children. Parents need to WAKE UP!!! The one most important credential to be a parent should be a loving selflessness....the child should always come first.