Marie Noe and Arthur Noe married and began having children in 1948. She gave birth to ten children (1949-1968) and all of them died mysteriously within months of their birth. One was a stillbirth, one died in the hospital hours after birth, and the others died before reaching 14 months.
The police and medical facility that Marie Noe brought her children to said that they all passed of natural causes, crib death or SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). She was not charged for murder or negligence, as her husband and her community found her to be innocent.
A Philadelphia Magazine article was published in 1998, sharing her story though not sharing her name, bringing the case back to the media. In 1998, Marie Noe confessed that she had killed their children. In her twelve-hour interview, she confessed to police that she killed four of her children but wasn’t sure what happened to the other four or why it happened.
On her first murder, she stated, “He was always crying. He couldn’t tell me what was bothering him. He just kept crying…there was a pillow under his face…I took my hand and pressed his face down into the pillow until he stopped moving.”
Noe pled guilty to second-degree murder and received a sentence of five years of house arrest and twenty years of probation. Unusual sentence for an unusual case. Marie took a plea deal to obtain her lenient sentence and agreed to psychiatric studies to help understand why mothers kill their children. In 2001, psychiatrists filed with the court that Noe was suffering from mixed-personality disorder.
There is a book about Marie’s story, titled Cradle of Death by John Glatt.
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