As you can imagine, this early release often had tragic and sad endings. Just like today, mental problems can often be misdiagnosed and remain hidden until some unknown trigger sets them free again.
Bacon The Butcher
Martha Bacon was from Lambeth, London. She had already done a stint in a mental hospital due to her erratic and sometimes violent behavior, but once she was deemed to be “treated,” she was released back into society and the arms of her family. Sadly, her psychotic behavior was far from cured and, on December 29, 1856, she took a butcher’s knife and brutally murdered her two young children, slashing at their throats almost to the point of decapitation.
After being questioned by police, she vehemently claimed that the murders were committed by a crazed intruder. The evidence did not back up her claims, and she was found guilty of murder by reason of insanity. She spent the rest of her life in a high-security mental hospital, using her spare time (of which she had plenty), to knit children’s clothes and practice needlework.
Even today, with all of our improved methods of treatment, some former mental patients are not fully prepared to face modern society without some form of supervision. It's sad, but sometimes it can't be helped.
Coffee in the kitchen this morning because it's trying to rain.