Mother “culled” after killing her 5 children


March 3, 2023 | 12:54 p.m

A Belgian woman who murdered her five children was killed – of her own accord – 16 years to the day after she slashed the throats of her son and four daughters with a kitchen knife, her lawyer said.

Genevieve Lhermitte, 56, murdered her children – aged 3 to 14 – on February 28, 2007 in the town of Nivelles while their father was away, the BBC reported.

She tried to commit suicide at that point by stabbing herself, but failed and called the emergency services.

Lhermitte was sentenced to life in prison in December 2008 and transferred to a psychiatric hospital in 2019.

Her lawyer, Nicolas Cohen, said she died by euthanasia on Tuesday – the 16th anniversary of the murders, according to Sky News. It is not clear how she died, but lethal injection is usually the method.

Lhermitte died at the Leonard de Vinci hospital in Montigny-le-Tilleul, the news agency reported, citing Belgian news website Sudinfo.

Genevieve Lhermitte, 56, was voluntarily killed on Tuesday, 16 years to the day after she murdered her five children.
Genevieve Lhermitte, 56, from Belgium was killed – of her own accord – 16 years since she murdered her five children.
AFP via Getty Images

Under Belgian law, people can decide to be euthanized if they are determined to have “unbearable” mental or physical suffering that cannot be cured.

The person must be aware of the decision and be able to express the request in a reasoned and consistent manner.

“It is this specific procedure that Ms. Lhermitte followed, with the various medical assessments that were gathered,” Cohen said.

Psychologist Emilie Maroit told RTL-TVI that Lhermitte probably chose to die on Tuesday in a “symbolic gesture in respect for her children.

Children place flowers in 2007 at the entrance to the home where the murders took place.
Getty Images

“It may also have been for her to finish what she started, because basically she wanted to end her life when she killed them,” Maroit said, according to the BBC.

During the trial, Lhermitte’s lawyers argued that the woman was mentally disturbed and should not be sent to prison. But the jury found her guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced her to life behind bars.

In 2010, Lhermitte filed a civil lawsuit seeking up to 3 million euros — about $3.2 million — from a former psychiatrist, claiming his “negligence” failed to prevent the murders.

Bouchaib Moqadem, the killer mother’s husband and the father of their murdered children, walks into a court where she was tried.
Lhermitte was sentenced to life in prison in December 2008 and transferred to a psychiatric hospital in 2019.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

She abandoned her legal battle after 10 years.

Last year, 2,966 people died by euthanasia in Belgium, a 10% jump compared to 2021.

Cancer is the most common reason for euthanasia.

Since 2014, Belgium has also allowed children to receive help in dying if they are terminally ill and in great pain – and if they have the consent of their parents.

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