Welcome back to 52 lock up with 52 weeks of 52 crimes, I am your Appletini Cadma of Bitten Apple TV. 52 Lock Up is a series I started to talk about one of my biggest passions of true crime. I am returning to you with season 2; I did forget to apologize for the incomplete year of crime in season 1 but some things occurred is the best way to summarize. Am I saying I’m Batman? No, but I am saying you’ll never see us in the same room. Let’s get back to Cadmaniac Murder Mondays with next 52 crimes. Hope you guys enjoy, be sure to like, leave some feedback and subscribe; viewer discretion is always advised.
Let’s pretend we are in high school and 14 years old like Cassidy Goodson of Florida whose facing murder charges. Cassidy Goodson was born in 1997 to Teresa and Timothy Goodson and so far from what I found online seems to have lived a normal life. She has sisters but the reason we are discussing this Kathleen High School freshman is because she was pregnant in her Greenbrier Village.
During the terms of her pregnancy Cassidy hid her pregnancy from her parents by wearing baggy clothes. So throughout the summer, as she is walking around in baggy sweat pant and loose-fitting T-shirts; family members became suspicious due to her appearance and attempted to discuss it with the teen’s mother Teresa. It would seem that Teresa denied the suggestions that her daughter was pregnant and made her daughter take two at home pregnancy test; but Cassidy was able to take the test in private in her own bathroom and the results were negative. Her father Timothy stated he had noticed Cassidy’s weight gain and that she had been walking around at home wrapped up in a blanket frequently.
Let’s take a break for a second, what is standing out to me the most is the fact that the parents had to be told from other family members that they thought she was pregnant and the mother’s testing seems skeptical. I am surprised that she would let a 14 year old take the test alone; which gives the impression the mother gave her the test and walked away. Now either Teresa gullibly wholeheartedly trusted her daughter or she was skeptical from the get go about the pregnancy; and the last option is that Cassidy was highly ignored in the household and perhaps even her siblings. Timothy’s statement of noticing Cassidy wearing blankets all day during the summer is very telling. No one seemed to question what was happening with Cassidy.
September 19th 2022 when her water broke Cassidy muffled the sound of her pain from giving birth by running tap water and gripping a towel between her teeth as she sat on the toilet to give birth. Cassidy would also use scissors to assist her to pry the baby out of her; and again for her voice to be drowned out by running tap water and gripping a towel and having time to strangle the infant, hide it, clean up her own blood and act like nothing happened. How little attention was the child getting? That is a lot of noise and action for no one to notice on top of the 9 months.
Cassidy at a 5’3” and 100 lbs would give birth to a 9.5 lb baby boy. She felt a pulse and proceeded to strangle the baby to death and hid the corpse in a shoebox with dirty laundry.
Teresa did notice something of the blood in the toilet and knew had been recently used by Cassidy and her mother took her to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. The medical staff there began treatment and told Teresa that she had suffered a miscarriage and showed four to five lacerations on her vaginal wall; you know from Cassidy’s cutting of the baby coming out. Remember Cassidy had pried the baby out of her with a pair of scissors. Since the miscarriage was stated Cassidy would falsely confess to her mother that she had indeed had a miscarriage at home and flushed the fetus down the toilet by mistake.
September 22, 2022, days later Teresa her mother would be cleaning her daughter’s room and noticed the room had a heavy foul odor under a pile of soiled clothes. At approximately 7.30pm, Teresa would remove a bag of smelly, wet clothing from a storage stool in her daughter's bedroom; that is when she found the deceased infant hidden.
After the foul odor was discovered and police were involved the 14 year old describes how she delivered her own baby and strangled it. She stated in a clip with ABC “Its eyes weren’t open but I felt to see if it was breathing or not, and (it was breathing) so I put my hands around its throat to make it stop breathing.” The police asked about how hard did she squeeze and her response was “Enough for it stop breathing”. Cassidy would use a Santa Claus doll to reconstruct the crime of how she handled the baby in the bathroom at home.
After an autopsy was performed it would later be determined that the victim/baby was a full term infant and he was alive and breathing prior to their untimely death. The baby died as a result of asphyxia from strangulation and blunt force trauma. It is interesting that she kept the body in her room and it makes me wonder if that could mean remorse, could it mean she wanted to get caught? Why didn’t she even try to completely get rid of the body? Was she not able to afterwards to do it properly? Was she scared still? Was she holding on it? Who is the father? The father of the child is not discussed at all. There are no mentions of a young teenage boy or a man; which I find to be very strange. Was she assaulted by an adult or a family member; and held her tongue? Did she do this because she didn’t think she had access to abortion care? This not a black and white, yes and no kind of case; there are a bevy of reasons, steps and choices of everyone that lead to this moment.
Cassidy would tell detectives she was motivated to hide her pregnancy and choke the baby 'to stop him from breathing,' by the fear that her relationship with her parents would change if they found out the truth. She was arrested and transported first to the Juvenile Assessment Center and then to the Polk County Juvenile Detention Facility.
She is charged with premeditated first degree murder under the Florida Statue 782.04 which can be punishable up to life in prison. She is also charged with capital felony and aggravated child abuse, a first degree felony. Her lawyer was able to negotiate a plea deal reducing the charge to manslaughter and allowing her child client to serve a sentence as a minor. Under the unique terms of Cassidy Goodson’s plea, she will avoid an adult prison facility and will serve her minimum 18 month sentence in a juvenile detention facility.
An article from the New York Times quoted Dr. Phillip J Resnick a professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve Medical School about their 1970 study of women who kill their newborns; and he stated 'A prominent feature in several of the neonaticides was the inability of the unwed girl to reveal her pregnancy to her mother,''
Dr. Resnick said in an interview that while in many cases the pregnant teen-agers feared both parents, they feared ''the mother in particular.'' While out-of-wedlock births may carry less stigma today than ever, he said, many of these teen-agers are ''good girls'' who are afraid ''that their mother would have so much shock and disapproval that they couldn't bear to face it.'' At the same time, he cautioned that ''some fathers are very strict, and I can see a father being less forgiving.'' Dr. Robert Blum, a professor of pediatrics and adolescent health at the University of Minnesota, said that fathers are more peripheral than mothers. ''Ask the average 15-year-old what the worst thing is about being pregnant, and she'll say, 'Telling Mom.' Moms are more in the lives of kids,'' he said. ''It is the fear of rejection, of retribution, of falling in the esteem of your parents,'' he added. ''We spend our lives trying to appease our parents. That is the most important community you will ever have. For a kid who has no other resources, the notion of being rejected by your family is petrifying.''
Dr. Margaret Spinelli, director of a maternal mental health program at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, said she found that pregnant teen-agers seemed equally afraid of telling either parent. In extensive interviews with nine teen-agers who killed their newborns, she found several patterns. Seven of the nine had been sexually or physically abused (by someone outside the family). The girl was usually her father's favorite, excelling in school and earning good grades. ''They have no sociopathic traits,'' she said. ''Some are cheerleaders.'' But in many cases, there was a complex family dynamic with a confusion of roles. The mother of the teen-ager was often cold and rejecting, Dr. Spinelli said, and the father ''hyper-vigilant and intrusive'' in his daughter's life. The girl played something like the role of wife to her father, so that when she became pregnant, she was overwhelmed with guilt that she had betrayed him. And she had to hide this closeness from her mother. Abused women tend to ''compartmentalize'' their sexual activity, she said, so when they become pregnant, they block it out as a coping mechanism. ''They don't consciously hide it, they dissociate from it,'' Dr. Spinelli said. ''They can go along with an unawareness of their pregnancies, then blame the baby on something like the food they ate.''
One pregnant teen-ager was riding in a horse show, interrupted her ride to go to a secluded stall and deliver her baby, then climbed back on her horse. Another left in the middle of work to deliver her baby. Dr. Spinelli quoted her as saying, ''I was convinced the baby was dead, so I went back to work.'' Dr. Resnick explains such seemingly incomprehensible behavior by saying that such a woman does not bond with her infant in utero. ''The woman views the infant as foreign, like a peach pit going through her body,'' he said. Because she doesn't think of herself as pregnant, she makes no preparations, either to care for the infant or kill it. Mostly, he said, the teen-ager fantasizes about a stillbirth so she won't have to do anything. ''Then the infant cries,'' he said, ''and there is a need to silence the intruder.''
I am very much looking forward to this case and seeing how it unfolds; how did we get here?
The roads are dark and dank and flooded with fears and mental isolation on a different level. How did we get here Cassidy? I want to know more about her parents and what were they doing and not doing? I am also curious to who the father is and going back to Doctor Resnick, if we’re looking at an abused child whose suffering will she be seen as such or will she be completely blamed for this.
I would love your opinion on this case.
As always stay safe, stay vigilant
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