Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Empathy With a Killer December 16, 2010

Filed under: Childfree by Choice,Current Affairs,Infertility and Loss — Life Without Baby @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,

I read this very disturbing story in yesterday’s LA Times. Former Food Network Chef, Juan-Carlos Cruz was recently sentenced to nine years in state prison after being convicted of paying a homeless man $1,000 to murder Cruz’s wife. The details in the newspaper of how Cruz suggested the man strangle his victim to avoid “a mess,” and how he provided doggie treats to keep his dogs from barking, are truly sickening. Regardless I read on, wondering what possible motivation there could be for this heinous crime.

A few more paragraphs in, I found his motivation: infertility.

According to the article:

Cruz told detectives when he was arrested that his wife had been “going through a midlife crisis” after unsuccessfully trying fertility treatments for more than a decade, according to the report. The couple spent more than $200,000 on fertility treatments and Cruz said he believed that killing his wife was “a ‘merciful’ way to end her suffering.”

The article continues:

Cruz, who told detectives he had considered taking his own life, said that Mother’s Day was especially painful for his wife and that he could not bear seeing her. When investigators asked Cruz when he began looking for someone to kill his wife, he told them that he had been looking for several weeks and wanted the task completed by Mother’s Day.

And this is the point where I actually felt sorry for the guy who plotted to kill his wife.

We all know (especially those of us who are childless-not-by-choice—just how hard Mother’s Day can be. I could picture this poor woman, already at the end of her rope, facing another Mother’s Day without children of her own. And I could picture her husband, at a total loss as to how to help her get through this. I can see the expression on his face, because I’ve seen that same look on my husband’s face when facing another infertility land mine and being powerless to do anything about it. Maybe murder was the only proactive thing that Cruz could come up with to help his wife.

Granted (as far as I know) my husband never conspired to have me bumped off, and I’m not condoning Cruz’s decision, but I can empathize with his motivation, even if I can’t understand, or forgive, his actions.