I would like this to be VERY CLEAR. I am not a psychological profiler or fetal abduction expert.
In recent days, I have been contacted by news media outlets again. All asking how I knew about Dynel Lane and her plans to abduct a fetus. I shared my story in a previous post Why I Said Yes to the Media. This is not a post I thought I would write. It’s horrific to hear that a fetal abduction has happened again.
The case of Ashleigh Wade killing Angelique Sutton and removing her baby from her womb is all too familiar. It’s gruesome and tragic, an experience few want to think about or hear about. Pregnant women should not be so vulnerable to violent crime but there are some articles out there that suggest pregnant women are more likely to die from homicide than any other cause.
When I became pregnant for the first time in 2003, Laci Peterson was still missing. I remember hearing about a pregnant woman who was missing and was suspected to have been murdered. As a newly pregnant mother, you can imagine my concern. I wondered if pregnant women were more susceptible to murder and at the time, I worked for a police department and understood how to access statistics.
In general, women are less likely to be murdered than men. Here is a 2009 report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics on violence against women. Pregnancy is not reported in here but as many from early 2000 suggest, the homicide rate among pregnant women is high. In researching this today because of a statement I made to The Guardian, I wanted to be sure I gave the proper number, but there are very little recent articles out there on homicide and pregnant women. Even so statistics don’t accurately report how many women were pregnant at the time of their murder.
I am all too familiar with being unable to document the true number for a specific issue. It’s similar to how do we understand the true statistic for miscarriage if many miscarriages are not reported to their doctors. If a woman’s pregnancy status is not part of the statistic gathering process, the true rate of homicide among pregnant women will not be seen. This study is the most current study I could find. It states:
“In 1999, homicide was the third leading cause of injury-related death for all women (pregnant or not pregnant) of reproductive age, 15 to 44 years of age, after deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents and suicide, and it was the second leading cause of injury-related death among women aged 15 to 24 years and among Black women of reproductive age.1“
So you can see how I was concerned during my pregnancy about homicide if homicide was the 3rd leading cause of death in women and the number 1 cause of death in pregnant women. Please note that the murder is typically a part of domestic violence.
But this was all years ago and how does it apply to today and what I am writing about? The application to this post is that I began to be concerned and this lead me to share with other women. Then, when I became a hospital security manager and police officer in 2010, I learned much more about crime and more specifically the profile of an infant abductor.
Gavin De Becker’s book, Fear Less helps people understand there are risks but that there are also warning signals that lead to certain activities. It helps us identify those signals and learn how to take action. The book is intended to help you become liberated from fear especially during this time of terrorism. It’s not specific to fetal abduction or violence against women but the information it contains is very helpful. The Gift of Fear, also by De Becker is also a very good book to help you listen to your intuition and fear to help you survive.
Another excellent book is Crime Signals by David Givens. In his book he states, “Murderers, sexual predators, terrorists, and thieves, all emit telling cues before their misdeeds.” Lt. Col David Grossman also writes books on tactical survival but the information is also very relevant and assisted me with investigations as well as my own personal survival skills.
So while these books above aren’t specific to fetal abduction or even violence against women, they are helpful for anyone wanting to know more about how to survive an protect themselves against violence. In the process, you will learn about signs of crime. Even the book Columbine by Dave Cullen will show you all the signs that lead up to the events at Columbine and many people who suspected something or even knew something.
While we are all responsible for our own personal safety, this does not mean that just because these books can help you understand how to protect yourself utilizing intuition and other signals you will not become a victim of a crime, nor does it mean that the crime was preventable. There is evil in this world and we are all susceptible to it as well as to suffering.
In the case of Dynel Lane, I came across a post by a friend who was concerned. Her intuition was telling her something wasn’t right so she shared with others. My response was merely to warn that something “could” happen, not that it “would,” yet months later it did. What does someone do with the information they get from these signals? Some of these books talk a bit about what you can do but only if someone will listen but much of this information is gathered after-the-fact and used for investigation and prosecution, hence one of the reasons I said “yes” to the media. Once they confirmed the information, the police contacted me.
I have very little to do with that case and nothing to do with the case in New York City yet somehow, because I came across a post and responded with a warning, I have become some sort of expert. I am not. I am a person, just like you, who tries to protect herself and others from evil and harm. I have rocks I hide under to protect my own emotional response and to push out all the negative we hear about in this world. I don’t live in a bubble but believe me, I try.
I am not naive that bad things happen and that things we may only see in movies can become real. When I told the woman on Facebook what could possibly happen, “she [Dynel] may do the unmentionable and harm the mother and take the baby,” it was based on my training and experience, knowing this has happened before (although rare), and my own intuition as a mother.
I will break down my thoughts here based on what I knew based on the posts on Facebook.
- A woman was supposedly pregnant yet had told others she had a hysterectomy.
- She was due in November but has not produced a baby.
- There was concern she was never really pregnant and only stated this to get her boyfriend to marry her
- Her boyfriend had never attended any prenatal appointments.
So this is what I thought:
- Pregnant after hysterectomy. It’s not impossible for a woman to become pregnant with no uterus. Depending on the type of hysterectomy a woman may become pregnant. I knew this was possible as well as an abdominal pregnancy. Abdominal pregnancy can also occur where the baby grows outside the uterus but I knew this is not the condition the original poster was referring to. Still realizing that almost anything is possible when it comes to pregnancy, I wasn’t overly concerned with this particular fact.
- It’s January and no baby has been born. This is concerning. While I know due dates are only a guess, it would be extremely unusual to have a baby 2-3 months beyond the original due date. I personally know friends who have delivered at 43 weeks of pregnancy but if this baby was due in November and it was now January 14th (date of the post), the baby is at least 2 months overdue.
- Sketchy Pregnancy. The original poster shared that she was concerned that Dynel faked a pregnancy to keep her boyfriend. With all the above information, my internal red flags were waving fiercely.
- Boyfriend had never gone to a prenatal appointment. Of course this was third-hand info but when the original poster added that the boyfriend had never actually been to an appointment (to the posters knowledge), there was no validity to being pregnant. Yes, plenty of partners do not attend prenatal appointments but with the other concerns above, this just adds to the suspicion that something isn’t right.
When those pieces are put together, it wreaks of suspicion. The woman in question (who we learned later was Dynel Lane) would have to produce a baby or look like a liar. She would have to share with everyone that she was not pregnant and would reveal more about her mental status. The question would be, how would she produce a baby if she couldn’t give birth on her own? With either an infant abduction or a fetal abduction. Dynel chose the fetal abduction.
This was the piece I warned the original poster about. I didn’t want to cause more alarm than I was already sharing so I didn’t use the term, “stab the mother and cut out the baby,” but in ALL of my Newborn Care classes up to the Dynel Lane Case, I used to share with my parents; “Do not let anyone in your home that you do not know. If you do, they may stab (stabbing motions) you and take the baby.” I no longer make this statement.
There is my thought process. This is how I knew what I knew and why I made the statements I did. I am not an expert. I don’t study this type of crime. I just know certain things and when I put those things together, it equated into a tragic incident that occurred and is continuing to occur.
When our intuition tells us something isn’t right, we really should try to act on it. If pieces of a puzzle are coming together but you can’t quite fill all the holes, we should try to act on it. We do that by sharing the information with others such as the police, social workers, therapists, and others who may be able to help. It’s awkward and uncomfortable and we risk being harmed (either physically or emotionally) in these situations. But if we continue to ignore our intuition, eventually, we will suppress it and we will no longer have “the gift” that our bodies naturally possess to protect us.