Name: Katie Lynn Baker
Died: May 28, 1996
Age at death: 10
Cause of death: Murder (Starvation)
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Katie Lynn Baker had Rett syndrome. She was an elementary school student whose enthusiasm for life brightened her special-education classroom. Though she was non-verbal and severely intellectually disabled, she was overall a happy child.
Among the symptoms of Rett syndrome is a tendency to get constipation, along with loss of appetite; as a result, Katie often did not want to eat. Katie’s mother responded to this problem not by taking her to a doctor, but by deciding that because Katie did not want to eat, Katie must want to die. So she starved her daughter to death. When her school reported Katie’s emaciation to the social workers, Katie’s mother talked them into leaving. Then she took Katie to a friend’s home and stopped feeding her entirely.
It took Katie four days to die. Her mother was never charged. To add insult to injury, some time later, a movie was released, praising her mother’s decision to kill her.