The Chapel of Baby Rose
Let the night begin there's a pop of skin and the sudden rush of scarlet
There's a little boy riding on a goat's head and a little girl playing the harlot
There's a sacrifice in an empty church of sweet li'l baby Rose
And a man in a mask from Mexico is peeling off my clothes - Joan Baez
I'll return to the subject of Friday's post shortly, but first I thought this judgement from Ireland needed attention, and little commentary.
From The Belfast Telegraph:
Inquest jury agree Cynthia Owen gave birth to baby
The jury at the Dun Laoghaire baby inquest has found that the infant girl, found in a plastic bag in a laneway over thirty years ago, was Noleen Murphy, the daughter of Cynthia Owen. When the verdict was read out at Dublin County Coroners Court today, there were loud cheers from Cynthia Owen and her family.
Following three and a half days of evidence and four hours of deliberation, the jury in this inquest returned a unanimous verdict. All twelve members agreed that Cynthia Owen gave birth to the baby girl that was found dead in a plastic bag in Lees Lane in Dun Laoghaire.
They agreed that she was born on the fourth of April 1973 at Whites Villas in Dalkey. The cause of death was haemorrhaging from stab wounds.
Cynthia Owen was 11 at the time of her baby's birth. The fact of her childhood pregnancy was hotly denied by her father, brother and now-deceased mother, whom she claims abused her and killed her baby. The fact of grave abuse in the home was attested to by her niece, who has since killed herself.
Possible broader implications of the case were broached in this report from last week:
Psychologists convinced witness was raped
Two psychologists today told Dublin County Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty that they were in no doubt that Cynthia Owen had been raped and gave birth to a baby that had been murdered.
The inquest heard the 45-year-old told Dr Dawn Henderson that she had been the victim of satanic abuse and also mentioned a paedophile ring, details of which she did not want disclosed at the hearing.
Dr Henderson raised concerns over legal proceedings in relation to the case, and said she feared for other children in the family who were in contact with A, B, C and D.
"Cindy is not mentally ill," said Dr Henderson, clinical psychologist with the North West Wales NHS Trust. "In my opinion she is reacting in a normal way to a very abnormal and horrific childhood experience."
Cynthia Owen is now calling for a public inquiry into the handling of her case, and Ireland's Minister of Justice Michael McDowell is demanding a full report into the conduct of the 33-year old murder investigation. "It is profoundly disturbing but the truth is that some of the allegations made in it are really profoundly disturbing," said McDowell.
There's a brief post from a couple of years ago, based upon an email I received, entitled "She was always surprised they never found those bodies." Here's the story of a baby found in an alleyway wrapped in bloody newspapers with more than 40 stab wounds on her body, and it still took more than 30 years to hear something like the truth spoken in court. When people really don't want to know, even knowing where the bodies are doesn't appear to mean very much.
I'll stand before your altar and tell everything I know
I've come to claim my childhood at the chapel of baby Rose
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