Perpetrator: Anna Ritchie
Anna Ritchie is garnering all the wrong type of attention for her parenting skills. As a matter of fact it is said she resented being a parent at all. While her husband worked, she was tasked with taking care of young Austin Cooper, who was her stepson. That parenting dynamic proved detrimental and deadly, as Ritchie thought a fitting punishment for the child to be to soak his legs in 135 degree temperatures for upwards of 20 minutes.
For us to gain a true appreciation of the pain Austin suffered, a normal adult shower is taken at 105 degrees. The water was so hot and he was in there for so long that the skin began to peel from his legs.
Instead of taking him to the hospital, Anna Ritchie put Austin to bed with his injuries. When Austin’s father checked on him in the morning, he was no responsive. It was said he died of fluid and blood loss due to the burns, which if treated immediately, would have had a 95% chance of survival.
Robert Ritchie III (father) with son and victim Austin Cooper
Anna Ritchie was originally charged with Child Endangerment, but after facts came to light, those charges have been upgraded to include murder. The father has not been charged as of yet, but will undboutedly have moments of reflection as to what he did and didn’t do to protect his son.
I pray for Austin and the loss that his family suffers. I pray for mother and father’s well being and peace of mind especially with regards to the culpability of the latter.
This story is gruesome, sad, and everything in between. It involves justice in the most brutal sense of the word, albeit for an incredibly brutal crime. Ameneh Bahrami was apparently courted quite incessantly and when she rebuked the marriage proposals from her suitor, Majid Movahedi, the man felt so emasculated and was so wicked that he decided he would take her beauty away by splashing acid in her face. In the above picture you can see the before and after pictures of Ameneh. I don’t even think the word devastating would suffice here.
We always talk about the punishment fitting the crime and in this case, her unnamed assailant, was sentenced to having five drops of sulfuric acid dropped in each eye. He would obviously be bonded to a bad, immobilized, while she would take an eye dropper and place acid into his eyes, watching as the acid burned the organ away.
I am left with a moral quandary. Even though the act itself was so heinous, is not the punishment tantamount to that same sadism? Should sadism. even when seemingly appropriate, be a synonym for justice?
I don’t know. The punishment has been postponed but only because Amnesty International caught wind of the case. Had the complainant not been so vocal, this probably would have taken place. So what do you think? Is it a perfect punishment or are we stretching thin our humanity when resorting to such things?
Amnesty International Article
Ameneh Bahrami's Clothes After Acid Attack