Mixtapes for Hookers

On The Worcester Baby-Snatching
July 31, 2009, 1:29 pm
Filed under: tv | Tags: , ,


I’ve been sick for the last couple of days, which probably has something to do with New England’s oppressive humidity, everyone’s oppressive air conditioning, the fact that I walk in and out of both all day, and the cat that’s been sleeping on my head for the last week while my boyfriend was out of town.  Also, my debaucherous drinking probably hasn’t been helping much.  But at least I’ve had a chance to catch up on some local news.  And, I admit it, I’m totally fascinated with the Worcester baby-snatching.

Is this national news?  I’m assuming it is.  But in case you haven’t heard, a woman named Julie Corey stands accused of killing her pregnant friend and then claiming the baby as her own after ripping it out of the dead woman. The victim, Darlene Haynes, was found dumped in a closet, and Corey was later arrested at a New Hampshire homeless shelter.  Staff at the shelter heard the report about the murder, and questioned the appearance of the baby’s umbilical cord, which had been tied off with a ribbon.

While baby-snatching’s not actually unheard-of, a couple of points in this case are particularly interested.  According to the very terribly-written account in the Worcester Telegram, which has been edited for readability since yesterday, it seems that both women had occupied the same apartment, though it’s not clear whether they ever lived there at the same time.  Also, the downstairs neighbor of the victim is convinced that both women really were pregnant, and that there’s now a missing baby.  The child is now the property of the state, since the mother had a restraining order against the father and hadn’t seen him for months before the child was born.  But, in a way, maybe the most lurid detail is that the alleged kidnapper/murderer tried to flee the homeless shelter after she caught a nurse taking cameraphone shots of the newborn.

I have a former friend who used to be really into baby-snatching stories, and he always talked about making a movie about one some day.  There seem to be a lot of Coen Brothers elements involved in this particular tale–gruesome violence, a failed escape from reality, not to mention the generally fucked-up cluelessness of even the minor characters.  Corey’s boyfriend seemed completely unaware of what was happening, and brought Corey and the baby to meet his family after she returned home.

Some people at the family cookout realized something was wrong.  Corey was breastfeeding the baby, or seemed to be, but there was also a bottle of formula on the table.  And, of course, there was the umbilical cord issue.

The boyfriend’s mother was interviewed on Boston’s Channel 7 News last night. She didn’t want her face to be shown, so the camera lingered awkwardly on her chest.  Standing in her front yard to defend her son’s innocence, she wore a t-shirt that read, in that crazy jokey t-shirt font, “If It’s Not One Thing It’s Your Mother!”  And that, probably, is the image that will haunt me long after this story’s over.

[photo of Corey and her lawyer from boston.com]

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