Join me on my delicious journey revisiting American home cooking in the era before convenience foods became popular (1919 to 1955), as I bake and cook from old cookbooks and recipe cards of home cooks purchased at estate sales in Akron, Ohio, and other exotic locations.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012
When Murder and Pastry Collide
In March, I wrote a post about the arrest of a desperate mother who stole a jar of yeast in order to bake bread to feed her hungry children. I was moved by the story, which I had read in Denis Hamill's column in the New York Daily News, as were thousands of others and the ending was happy: readers donated money to the impoverished mother, and authorities connected her to the social services she needed.
But is she a con artist? That's what an anonymous commenter on my blog claims. And even more interesting, s/he notes that the mother, Margaret Deming, is the daughter of notorious serial killer Arthur Shawcross, aka "The Genessee River Killer" who murdered 11 women near Rochester, New York, from 1988 to 1990. He died in prison.
Does biology/genetics determine destiny, in this case criminal behavior? Is Margaret Deming doomed by her family history?
I don't know the answer, but that question is addressed in one of my favorite 1950s film, The Bad Seed, in which a child named Rhoda (pictured above and played by Patty McCormick) is truly a bad seed (she kills people) and is later revealed to be adopted, and her biological father a serial killer.
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That is one of my favorite movies of all time! Gimme them shoes Leroy!!! Oh, I just love it!ReplyDelete
I love that line (and your name)! Thanks for writing.Delete
I don't remember Rhoda being adopted and it was her Mother's Mother that was a Murderer. Remember in the movie she shares with us that her Mother kills all her siblings and that she survived because she hid from her.Delete
One can argue nature versus nurture; however, who Ms. Deming is may not necessarily change the circumstances under which she shoplifted.ReplyDelete
Dawn -- Excellent point, as always.Delete
Oh, that movie was chilling. I recognized the picture of the little girl immediately.ReplyDelete
Yes, it was! And during my search for a photo, I saw pictures of her all grown up (and she didn't look scary at all!)Delete
Hi, I am engaged to Sean deming ( number three of Maggie's 7 children). Without causing to much uproar I just wanted to clarify some details. Maggie met Arthur when he was in prison(sometime around the mid to late 90s) while studying to get her degree in psychology. (She was interviewing him for a paper she had to write). Over the course of the interviews they became very close and she even brought some of the kids to meet him. I don't know all of the details but over a period of time he asked Maggie if he could adopt her and she said yes (weather it was because she felt sorry for him or genuinely cared for him I don't know). Maggie and my fiancés family have had a very hard life but I can assure you that nobody in that family is a con artist and they are not biologically related to Arthur in any way.ReplyDelete
Interesting story, Jessica. Thanks for writing, and congratulations on your engagement.Delete
Too bad Jessica made all that up about Maggie not being Arthur's biological daughter. Watch Interview with a Serial Killer (2008) on Netflix. They are related.Delete
Side note: A picture of the family is featured in the documentary with Maggie's daughter wearing a BURZUM shirt (picture here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Shawcross#/media/File:Arthur_Shawcross_et_al.jpeg) Burzum is a notorious neo-nazi musical project headed by a guy who is a convicted murderer. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burzum).
I'd lean towards your original con-artist conclusion in regards to Maggie Deming.
Anonymous, not sure what to believe. Maggie looks nothing like the guy and seems a little unhinged so what's to say she is not making it up? The only proof is a brief flash of a picture of a woman who he supposedly met in Hawaii but then she has this strong Brooklyn accent. She also says "my father told me" but maybe she is talking about her priest? Very confusing. If you look up Sean Deming's facebook page, he is indeed engaged to someone named... Jes. I would say that sometimes people are a little nuts and maybe this Maggie chick found it easier to just say "this is my dad" rather than tell the truth that she is a death hag.Delete
How can anyone take their children to see a child killer rapist, murderer,cabbibal, a person who mutilated and ate parts of them and went back and raped the dead bodies and in his own words has no remorse he also raped animals and the families dont have their loved ones and that evil monster gets to see his grandchildren that is so wrong on all levelsDelete
I agree! I would be ashamed to even tell anyone that I knew that monster. Let alone, that he was my father! Really where are the morals? I would be afraid that it would be passed on to my children!?Delete
It sure is the same woman and I agree,no way would I take my children to visit a monster.Delete
I find it hard to believe she didn't go to a church food pantry before thinking about shoplifting. Also her family qualifies for food stamps. Based on her states eligibility and the amount of children they have the amount of food stamps would be atleast $800 a month. Stealing yeast? Sure she bakes her own bread and had the other ingredients already instead of stealing loaves of bread. I'd like to know what the parents spent the food stamps on. Because I seriously doubt they didn't apply or receive them since they're both trying to get ssi disability. Sounds typical of parents who have a lot of children but use their govt resources on their habits rather than using it towards their kids.ReplyDelete
Why is that hard to believe? I shoplifted even though I also qualified for SNAP and shoplifted even WHILE I received SNAP. Also I could have gone to a church but chose not to. It's more common than you think.Delete
I am watching the documentary as I write, margaret is his daughter and it is showing the same women and there is no denying that. As for stealing, if as above is true, if she was in school for psychology and writing a paper when she met him, why is she not working? It said in her article she was hurt in a city job????ReplyDelete
I just finished watching the documentary of artur shawcross no were did it say he adopted her it he said his long lost daughter that he didnt know exsistedReplyDelete
I feel as if the whole arthur thing is nothing but a scam my family originally is from the place all these murders happened my grandmother claimed she was raped an got pregnant with my mother( who looks exactly like this man I might add) but she said it was by her step father who's name happened to be arthur but no one will go any further into it my mother was born 1975 so everyone claims none of the time lines add up but there are way to many coincidences in my family for this man not to be my mother's father or in some relation to her I've looked every for something to make my thought true but I cant find any of their names anywhere could they have changed their names? Am I living just one big lie? I will never knowReplyDelete
It is all a scam. Maggie Deming has been spinning tales for decades… I know first hand because sadly she was married to my brother. She has always played victim, many times using her own children to gain sympathy and possible payouts. She has only caused heartache to her and her husbands family.Delete
Also and most importantly Arthur was not her biological nor adoptive father. She spun the story so she could be in TV and hoped for a payout for doing so.
If she come across any type of fundraiser or business venture with her attached she go in the opposite direction and run far away.