Houston, Texas I’ve bitched and moaned about the judicial system allowing people to skate by on insanity pleas. I’ve always regarding “insanity” as a moot point for it can be argued that anyone committing some of the more heinous crimes are indeed, “insane”. Generally, I think it’s an easy out for some of these fuckers, those who know full-well what the hell they’ve done, know the consequences, and can act well enough to cop an easy deal spending time in a mental facility.
I wrote about one guy who’d murdered an old lady, set her on fire, and was found “insane”. He was further rewarded by earning day trips out with the other “containable” wards and one particular trip was to the County Fair where he was “insane” enough to slip away from the employees and go on the lamb for several days. That shit just pisses me the hell off. It happens time and time again, they spend their “time” in a play home and then some crackpot shrink petitions the courts saying they’re now cured of what ailed them and they’re out with no probation only to become a murderous, raping, fuckwad again.
And then there’s these two brothers. Twins. Their story has taught me there’s an exception…because I’m here to say you only have to look at these twins to realize they’re a little left of center and just knowing they stepped over their dead rotting mother for three months pretty much seals the deal.
Neighbors describe 89-year-old Sybile Berndt as a kind woman who always went out of her way to help others, who took care of her husband until he died of Alzheimer’s a few years ago, and who cared for her 48-year-old grown twin boys who were “oxygen deprived” at birth. When they hadn’t seen her about, when the yard started getting untidy, and when the boys were seen in the front yard with rat’s nests for hair and shabby beards, well, they started wondering what the hell was going on.
When they tried to call the house, the phone went unanswered. When they knocked upon the door, no one answered. Finally, one persistent and nosy neighbor received instructions about calling in a “wellness” check. I pity the cops who responded.
The detectives knocked upon the door and allege Edwin peeked out the window but did not immediately answer the door. The thing about retards, they don’t understand someone else’s persistence but their own. So the cops kept knocking. Edwin then appeared out of a side door, stating everything was fine and they didn’t need their help.
That didn’t work. The cops insisted on speaking with their mother and so Edwin had no choice but to oblige. And this is where shit gets a little wonky.
The boys claim Sybile had yelled at them during their game in January and had fallen on the floor. And three months later, that’s where she remained face down. On the floor. Nightgown pulled up under her armpits and no underwear. She wasn’t alone, though. After that time, with the aid of no air conditioning, she’d become host to a multitude of insects. (A gracious host to the very end)
She didn’t die instantly. Both boys claim she spoke to them from there on the floor the next day but since they didn’t think they had money for medical attention for her, they left her to die. Three days to die and three months to be transformed into one hell of a science project.
The authorities claim that smell was unbearable, especially with the atmospheric conditions in that house, being shuttered up all that time. Add onto that, if you possibly can, the fact the boys hadn’t showered during that entire time taking on an odor of their own…as well as hers. I’m sure she shared. That shit sticks onto you like you wouldn’t believe.
Edward and Edwin were both arrested for murder and held without bond but neighbors, even when they found out what had been going on inside that home, claimed those boys shouldn’t have been held accountable. Why? Even though one attended the gifted program and both graduated from high school, they were profoundly retarded and couldn’t possibly take care of themselves, let alone take care of their mother. They simply didn’t have the intelligence to understand their mother’s death even though she lay there rotting in the foyer…even though they had to walk over her daily.
A cause of death was never determined.
On July 12, a grand jury convened and the twins were “no billed” meaning they would not face charges for the death of their mother. The courts assigned a guardian for Edward and Edwin and ordered the two into assisted living where they’ll hopefully get the help they need.
I think the Grand Jury made the right call. Clearly, had this been a malicious act, they would have drug her into a room with a door they could shut or at least, into the fridge. Especially since they ate nothing but junk food for those three months…that space would have been available.
I do have to wonder since they were aware of the day she died, the day after her 89th birthday, if they sang the obligatory song to her as she lay there all sprawled out. I would like to think they did.