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Oregon – On December 4th, 6-year-old Samantha Kuberski was sent to her room after getting into an argument with her mother. When the mother went to check on the 1st grader some time later, she found her daughter hanging from an unused crib, a corduroy belt tied around her neck. Her mother tried to revive her but Samantha would die later at the hospital. We posted the death back in December and of course, a lot of people suspected the mother had something to do with it. But now the medical examiner has ruled the death a suicide. The investigating police and the parents feel that this was not a suicide, but rather a tragic accident. “Our investigators feel that it does appear that Samantha may have done the actions that led to her death,” said Captain Dennis Marks. “But we find it hard to believe that she would have intentionally done that, which we feel is part of committing suicide.” But chief medical examiner for Oregon state, Dr. Karen Gunson told KGW News, “Statements were made by the girl that indicated she was going to kill herself… She had the means and she realized that if she put something around her neck that was dangerous and could cause death — because her parents had told her that. My contention is that shows intent.”

I know that a lot of people just cannot grasp the fact that a 6-year-old little girl would get angry at her mother over an argument and then proceed to kill themselves. But this isn’t the first child suicide we have posted here. Probably just the youngest. But like the investigators and the parents are saying, the actions may fit the definition of suicide, but we have no real way of knowing what this girl’s true intentions were. Whether she knew she was ending her life, or was simply trying to get back at her mom by scaring her, or not fully grasping what being “dead” means.  Who knows. What do you think? I know we got some paranoid cynics in our ranks, but with both the police and the medical examiner saying this was a suicide and no one charging anyone, I just don’t see what other evidence points to this being anything but a tragic death of a girl who may or may not have known the true consequences of her actions.

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  • BLAH

    A 6 year old suicide? Hmm…

    I think she was playing and it went tragic.

  • Lizard

    No, I don't think it was “play.” I think she was truly pissed. But did she understand the consequences of her actions before she performed them? I don't think so.

  • Tundratot

    I don't think that a child this age actually forms the intent to commit suicide unless that child is in a truly dire living situation. If I thought this happened intentionally, I'd be looking very hard at the home.

    But, children this age also aren't usually into the stupid games of choking themselves yet either. As was pointed out earlier elsewhere on this site, that is a game pubescent kids get into. I don't believe she was playing a game that went wrong.

    So, what does that leave? Neither my elder child, when she was six, nor my youngest child, currently six, would do this kind of thing. Instead, they'd piss in corners, draw on walls and doors, tear things up. An extremely precocious child aiming to get even with mom by trying to commit suicide, unaware of the consequences and permanence of her actions? Maybe I'd believe that, but I'd have to know more about the child.

  • Smiley

    I agree with you. So incredibly sad =(

  • lisaznola

    So sad.
    In so many movies, t.v shows and even in kid's cartoons and or video games people / things / characters “die” but in some form, come back later.
    Not blaming any media at all, just saying that at 6, fantasy seems more real then reality,,,, and it should! There are way too many kids that know hard cruel cold reality, death should be fantastic, not real, not scary for kids.
    This little girl seems to have put on a Super-girl cape and tragically flown off of a roof, so to speak.
    She got mad and wanted to get back at mom, did not see that it could be permanent, did not know she could really be hurt, never mind killed.
    ………..
    Sad, tragic, yet so innocent.
    May she rest in peace.
    If there is a heaven, and right now I hope there is, I am sure she is there….

  • Wends

    Damn, has the mentality of youth changed! I recall when I would get royally pissed at about her age – I would entertain thoughts not of suicide nor scaring my parents with a potentially dangerous act. I would entertain thoughts of packing my backpack with clothes and cookies and running away for a few days. In fact, just about every kid I recall ever being friends entertained the 'run away from home' thought vice the 'do something dangerous and/or kill themselves to get back at the parents' thought.

  • VelvetGlove

    Exactly what I was going to say. I have a 6 year old daughter, and do not believe for a second that she is capable of grasping the finality of death. I think this little girl wanted to shake her mother up, nothing more. How very tragic.

  • Scarlett62

    How sad … I believe this is one of those “I'll get back at Mom” things … little children, when punished (unjustly in their eyes), sometimes feel that if something happened to them, the parent would feel bad or be sorry they yelled at the child. She probably thought, I'll just do something to “hurt” myself so Mom will feel really bad that she yelled at me. I doubt that she wished to die or even wished to cause herself true harm. She just wanted to teach Momma a lesson. (Remember A Christmas Story, when Ralphie comes home blind because they washed his mouth out with soap – how bad the parents felt?)

  • Siobhan

    I can recall having thoughts of suicide as early as age 5, perhaps even younger.
    I doubt if I understood the finality of death completely then, but I do remember thinking that, “If I die, I won't get hit anymore”.
    IMO, it is quite possible for children act on such thoughts, even if they do not fully understand the totality of the outcome.

  • Mr.Darcy

    I suppose it could have been an unfortunate accident or unintenional suicide or even intentional suicide. But regardless, I'd REALLY be checking into the background on that family. I wonder if there wasn't some abuse going on there?

  • Tob

    My six year old son has mentioned he wanted to kill himself. I dont think he realized what that actually ment. I dont think it's beyond a six year old to think of it or act like it. He does not live in a bad home. We do not beat him and he does not live in a dire living situation, although I can see how others would think that…I certainly would if my own son had not said it before. He has acted out in aggression by slamming things around when he is punished by being sent to his room. We have had long discussions on what that means and the consequences–also how much it would break my heart. I know already that in his teen years to be extremely cautious because he indicated that once. So I'd believe it…unaware of her actions, unaware of ther permanence of suicide.

  • Cassie

    Google Evan Perry. At the age of fifteen, he flung himself from a window. But since he could speak, he was talking and writing songs about committing suicide. Even his kindergarten teacher recalls him telling her that he wanted to jump out of a window.

    Terrifying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cgesford Cassie Atherton

    I can't say my 6-year old has ever even heard the words “kill myself”, let alone would she understand that people could actually want to do that. I, unfortunately, have been to the hospital for wanting to but successfully stopped myself. I just don't understand how it was even in a 6-year olds head to even perform this action, let alone with any intent other than just doing something stupid they don't understand. It scares me the things that some children know. I try to protect my daughter from these things, even though I know one day she'll know how evil and scary the world can be.

  • defenestratethis

    When I was six, the worst thing I could think of after a fight with my mom was to run away. I packed my stuff in a big paper bag many times, but I never made it any farther than the front door. Just seems so bizarre that a first grader would actually know how to hang herself in the first place. Jesus..what are kids watching these days.

  • http://www.ThePlaceInTheGrove.com/ Patricia

    I remember when my daughter wasn't much older that Samantha and was in a lot of pain because of the PA she was experiencing. A lot of conflicting emotions for a young child to process. She would periodically express she wished she was dead. I took it serious and took immediate action.

    They may not know the permanency of that kind of decision but they do have the concept I believe that it will end the pain they are experiencing and they have good ideas on how to do it.

    The important thing is to discover why the child is so angry and feels that way, usually there are signs that the child is unhappy, they tell us often. Then we need to make the child feel loved unconditional and feel safe to tell us their fears and help them resolve the issue

  • nevaehlee

    when i was about that age i had times where i was so upset i would want to kill myself but i would hold my breath in my pillow untill i couldnt hold it ne longer.. i never tried to really kill myself however untill i was about13.i have had thoughts like this for as long as i can remember and it stems from my violent father who would phisically,mentally and sexually abuse me
    if this little girl was really that mad no matter what she was mad at there must have been something else bothering her also……i jus remeber when i was that upset to have feelings like that i would start thinking about all the bad stuff that happened to me and then i would jus wish i was dead…..poor little girl

  • SarahM

    I can wholly belive a 6 year old could think this way – I was almost 9 when I had my first real elaborate plan to kill myself, and I knew then death was final, and not temporarily final like I would be dead until I didn't want to be or something

    once you aren't 6 anymore, you don't want to believe you had that much of a grasp on things because your point of view has changed and you realize you were more immature then – now, you may think back on being 6 and think “man I was stupid for wanting to kill myself, it turns out i would have missed x, y, and z” and not remember AT 6 you were thinking “this is the best option in my instance” because you couldn't see past your present, because you were in fact more immature then

    did she really want to kill herself? probably not – did she really want to die at that moment? yes

  • Concerned

    Mental illness if often overlooked or dismissed in children. I am not saying that this young child may have had mental illness. I am suggesting that if children or adolescents routinely express thoughts of suicide, have consistent behavioral issues, seem depressed, or exhibit any other signs that are not “normal” behavior for their age it SHOULD NOT be ignored. Mental health issues are a serious matter and can have dire consequences. Seek counseling or other treatment options from a professional. Advocate for your child and yourself. Research on the internet and at the library. Don't wait until a tragedy such as this to realize there may have been more underlying issues than just getting mad at someone. We did not live in this home and have no idea what it was like for the parent or child on a day to day basis. It is not for us to judge but to recognize there may have been more than what is shared. Mental illness in children is REAL and we can not afford to overlook it any longer! I speak from my own personal experience as it relates to my daughter.

  • EveryVillainIsLemons

    My brother attempted suicide when he was five. It was shortly after he was raped by another biologically related person. Fortunately, the branch broke. 25 years later, he finally had the courage to tell everybody what happened.

    I don't know if something like that happened to Samantha, but kids are VERY good at keeping secrets sometimes, especially if the people, pets, or things that they love are threatened to be hurt if they ever tell on their abusers.

  • paige

    or you can watch the document “boy interrupted” about Evan perry its so sad. but kids at that young of an age kinda know what death is. maybe not how permanent. but we also have to think kids are really smart these days. even more so then when we were young. so i mean as much as i hate to say this. it doesn't surprise me.

  • Bozo the Psychologist

    What a stupid claim. You don't KILL yourself because you are ANGRY, you idiot.

    You KILL yourself because you're in such great DESPAIR that you feel there is no other way out.

    For a six year old to get to that point means she was the victim of a long series of mental cruelty. Clearly.

  • http://www.dreamindemon.com Morbid

    Unfortunately, kids DO kill themselves because they are angry. There are more than enough articles out there that delve into all the myriad of factors that can lead to a child killing themselves, and sorry to disappointed you, but a long series of mental cruelty is not always the sole factor – or even a factor at all. Sometimes kids, especially young ones who do not fully grasp death, react out of anger. Sometimes, as may be the case with this young lady, it could have been an act born from anger that led to an unintentional result.

    This link has experts talking about factors of child suicide, one of them being that they are simply angry over an event:
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is

    KidsHealth.org also informs people that not all suicide is planned. “Many times, though, suicide attempts happen impulsively, in a moment of feeling desperately upset. A situation like a breakup, a big fight with a parent , an unintended pregnancy, being outed by someone else, or being victimized in any way can cause someone to feel desperately upset.” http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_hea

    But hey, at least you picked an adequate username.

  • http://www.scribblemuse.com ScribbleMuse

    I can all too easily see how this happened. :( I can't imagine the mother's grief–how many times have we had an argument with our kids and they storm off to their rooms in a tizzy? I can completely imagine a 6-year-old doing this without any concept of the true consequences–maybe she thought she would pose a little to really rub it into her mom, and didn't realize how quickly strangulation can occur if done correctly. Maybe she really intended to take her life with full knowledge of her actions, but I would believe the first option much more likely. My own daughter has declared in a fit of childish anger that she was going to either run away OR kill herself, and it was completely for dramatic effect.

    I hope this mother can forgive herself, though I have a feeling that she will never, ever, stop wondering what would have happened if she followed Samantha to her room rather than maintaining distance b/c of the high anger/emotion of the situation. She did nothing improperly IMO–there is a point in arguing with your kid that it's MUCH better to take a step back for a moment rather than to continue fighting. But as a mom, I don't think that she would ever be able to stop wondering if she were at fault or weak for allowing herself to get to that point.

    Truly a tragedy that will have suffering for the rest of the lives of this family.

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