In Gwinnett County on Wednesday evening, Isabel Martinez killed 4 of her kids and her husband. Another child, 9-year-old Diana Romero, is in critical but stable condition in the hospital. This family is a Spanish speaking family; only the kids can speak English fluently.
I watched Martinez in court this morning for her first appearance. You would think this case wreaks of the insanity plea … but I don’t think so. I think this woman knew full well what she was doing. I further think she is doing everything in her power to make it look like she is insane. She has told the police that she wants them to tell the community that a vicious killer is not on the loose (no, because she is in jail without bond). In the court appearance, she was waving at the press, smiling at them and at one point got out of her seat and bowed to them. She had to be asked by the guards to get back in her seat and stay still. She went as far as to represent herself in court and she doesn’t want the court to order a co-counsel in the legal field to be with her, in the event that she has questions. These are all indications of an insanity case. The crime itself yells insanity. I am having a hard time looking past all the signs that yell insanity and I am afraid the courts are going to be unable to also.
It is too early in this case for them to know who the prosecutor will be in this case, but whoever it is needs to really be on his/her toes and be ready for any rabbits in the hat that this lady might try to pull out because I think she is a little trickier than you see on the outside.
I have been reading some statistics in Latino mental health and the numbers are more alarming than I first thought. Approximately, 17.4% of the USA is identified as Latino and of that percentage, approximately 15% are diagnosed with mental illness. Most often times, the diagnosis is depression. One of the studies of women who kill their kids showed that there were other factors that played a part: most often of these are mental illness, post-partum depression, or they recently lost a loved one.
I personally have a hard time with this. I don’t think this lady had any of these. Sure, her family has come forward and said that she just recently lost her Dad and that after that event, she started acting different. I don’t think so. I think this was something much deeper; something much darker. First question I would ask the family is: how was she acting differently? Did she act depressed? Was she suicidal? Was she homicidal – had she spoken of killing anyone after her father died? I would need to know what was different about her before I could even take this as a factor in the case. Otherwise, I would have to chalk it up to family members trying to save the one alive and in trouble at the moment. Second, how did her father die? Was it natural causes or was he murdered? Third and final question, where did he die? Was he here in the USA or was he in Mexico? The news is reporting that not only has she been arrested and charged with 5 counts of murder and slew of other charges; she is also be held for the U.S. Immigration Enforcement and Customs Enforcement. My guess is, she will not even see the inside of a Georgia court room for her case. She will be deported back to Mexico or Cuba or anywhere else she might have come from.
I think maybe her father wasn’t in the US when he died and she may have wanted to go back to Mexico. Really? You would KILL your whole family to go back to Mexico because your Dad died? I think we need to hold her here, let her see the full force of the US law on mothers who kill their children. She thought this was her only option out; I think that opinion would quickly change under the US laws.
To answer the question that is in the title, apparently, only one seems crazy enough to do it. I plan to follow this case. I want to know more about her.