Tanicia Goodwin: Salem mom held without bail for allegedly trying to kill her children

Tanicia Goodwin

A Salem mother accused of trying to kill her two children by slitting
their throats and lighting her apartment on fire told police she was
trying “to protect” her son and daughter.

Tanicia Goodwin, 25,
was arraigned in Salem District Court yesterday. Her two children, an
8-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl, were in critical condition at
Children’s Hospital Boston, authorities said.

According to police
reports, emergency personnel were called to the Salem Heights apartment
complex Sunday night for a report of a fire. Goodwin’s children were
found inside with “deep lacerations [on their necks] from one side to
the other,” said Essex County Assistant District Attorney Melissa
Woodard.

A paramedic who responded to the scene said Goodwin’s son nodded his head when asked if it was his mother who hurt him.

Shortly
after allegedly lighting the fire Sunday, Goodwin arrived at police
headquarters, where she collapsed inside the foyer, covered in blood and
lighter fluid, and smashed a glass display case, according to reports.

Goodwin also had a “superficial wound” on her neck, said prosecutors.

“She stated [to police] ‘I’m not supposed to be here, I’m not supposed to be alive,’” Woodard told the judge.

During
an interview with police, Goodwin repeatedly told officers she did what
she had to do “to protect” her children and apologized, according to
court documents.

Filicide expert:?Murder for love?

A
leading expert in filicide cases — the act of a parent killing his or
her child — said the Salem incident sounds like it could be
“altruistic.”

According to Dr. Phillip Resnick, professor of
psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, filicide has
five categories. Altruistic cases have two subcategories, he said.

“One
is when a mother intends to take her own life and doesn’t want to leave
her children motherless,” he said. “The second is where a mother
believes she is protecting a child from a worse fate than death.”

“By
saying she is saving them, she is in a category of saving their
souls,”?Resnick said. “It’s murder out of love, rather than murder out
of hate.”

Mother arraigned

Goodwin was arraigned on two counts of
armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a deadly
weapon and arson to a dwelling. She was held without bail pending a
dangerousness hearing next week.

The evidence

According to prosecutors, several items were found during the investigation:
   
Goodwin dismantled smoke detectors and blocked sprinklers inside the apartment.
   
The doorknob from the front entrance was taken off from the inside.
   
Officials discovered lighter fluid, a large kitchen knife and matches inside the apartment.

Follow Steve Annear on Twitter @steveannear


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