"There is no way words can express how sorry I am for taking the lives of my babies. Now I can be with my babies, as I always intended."
—Christina Marie Riggs, executed in Arkansas on May 3, 2000
The story of Christina Riggs has always interested me.
She was not insane.
She was not coerced or beaten.
She smothered the life out of her two preschool aged children in their own beds.
She was a licensed nurse. Single mother of two living in Arkansas. She killed her children and then took enough undiluted potassium chloride to kill five grown adults. She also took up wards of 40 Elavil and laid down next to her children.
Her suicide notes tell of a life full of misery, of loneliness of certainty. She had been raped, abused, and molested her entire life. From 7 to 13 years by neighbors, family friends and her step brother. Like most every single victim of that type of abuse she gained weight, became sexually promiscuous and pregnant by 16. She gave that child up for adoption only to become pregnant again shortly after.
She married, had a few miscarriages and during her last pregnancy was working in a hospital when the Oklahoma City bombings took place. From this point on she was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress syndrome. Suicide was never far from her mind. She was afraid her death would result in a separation of her children or a life of equal misery for them; shuffled from relative to relative or foster homes.
She obviously had no will to live and fully intended to kill herself.
Somehow, she lived. Paramedics found her and rushed her to the hospital. Once they necessitated her they gave her a death sentence. I just don't understand that. Not a bit.
During her trial she refused an insanity plea citing only her complete and utter depression and a will to die. She asked and received a death sentence and thanked the jury when she received it. She appealed only reluctantly and with no hope or wish for a remedy.
She was put to death in 2000.