Did Mommy Blogger Lacey Spears Poison Her Son To Death So She Could Blog About It?
In what is being touted as a horrifying instance of social media addiction taken to the extremes, one woman, Lacey Spears, has been accused of fatally poisoning her son in order to blog about it online. 26-year-old New York resident Spears wrote for a mommy blog called Garnett’s Journey, named after her son. She was active and popular on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. And to do that, she allegedly pumped her 5-year-old son with sodium until he died in January.
On Tuesday, prosecutors made their case against Spears: they said that she had done research on the web to figure out what salt would do to her son, Garnett. They said that Garnett had been taken to Nyack Hospital in mid-January with seizure-like symptoms, and was then transferred a few days later to a different medical center after his sodium levels spiked for no medical reason. During those few days at Nyack Hospital, the prosecutors alleged, Spears took her soon into a private bathroom and pumped his stomach with sodium.
They also mentioned that she had blogged — a lot — about Garnett's ever-worsening medical state, for years. They believe that Garnett had been medically harming her son to do so.
Could social media, and its noted addictive qualities, possibly be to blame? Well, it certainly didn't help matters. According to officials looking into the case, though Spears had allegedly been medically abusing her son for a long time — maybe years — the attention she got via her social media accounts definitely made it worse. But the illness Spears reportedly has — Munchausen syndrome by proxy — is a mental illness defined by the need for attention and sympathy.
If Spears indeed does have Munchausen's by proxy, social media was just a vehicle for her horrifying act, not the driving force.
On Wednesday, Spears was indicted on charges of depraved murder — meaning that, though it carries the same maximum sentence as intentional killing (25 years to life) — the prosecutors are suggesting extreme recklessness with her son's life, rather than a desire to kill her own child. Whether or not she is found guilty, however, we've got a case of publicized, untreated mental illness being the cause of a death. Again.