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From Cradle to Grave: The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children

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She drove a school bus in Schenectady, New York. She even worked as a nurse's aide in a pediatric ward. But this seemingly normal woman killed her ninth child by smothering it and is suspected of doing the same to her other eight children--while escaping suspicion for more than a decade. She drove a school bus in Schenectady, New York. She even worked as a nurse's aide in a pediatric ward. But this seemingly normal woman killed her ninth child by smothering it and is suspected of doing the same to her other eight children--while escaping suspicion for more than a decade.


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She drove a school bus in Schenectady, New York. She even worked as a nurse's aide in a pediatric ward. But this seemingly normal woman killed her ninth child by smothering it and is suspected of doing the same to her other eight children--while escaping suspicion for more than a decade. She drove a school bus in Schenectady, New York. She even worked as a nurse's aide in a pediatric ward. But this seemingly normal woman killed her ninth child by smothering it and is suspected of doing the same to her other eight children--while escaping suspicion for more than a decade.

30 review for From Cradle to Grave: The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    Munchausen Syndrome taken to the extreme. Damn - this was disturbing!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emma O'shea

    What goes through someones mind when they are writing something like this. It is an incredible story about a woman (I cannot bring myself to call her a mother, sorry) who has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She killed nine of her own babies, without detection until the end!! What was going on with the authorities!! Anyway, do not read this book while pregnant or with young children it'll be far too upsetting. What goes through someones mind when they are writing something like this. It is an incredible story about a woman (I cannot bring myself to call her a mother, sorry) who has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She killed nine of her own babies, without detection until the end!! What was going on with the authorities!! Anyway, do not read this book while pregnant or with young children it'll be far too upsetting.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kaaron Warren

    Reading this book is difficult. Marybeth Tinning's story is upsetting in the extreme, as she kills baby after baby. Egginton tells the story journalistically, with little emotion, reporting the facts. These facts speak for themselves. She shows us interviews with the many, many people who suspected Tinning of murder, and gives us glimpses into the processes. It does make me feel ill to read it, but I am fascinaed at the same time. Reading this book is difficult. Marybeth Tinning's story is upsetting in the extreme, as she kills baby after baby. Egginton tells the story journalistically, with little emotion, reporting the facts. These facts speak for themselves. She shows us interviews with the many, many people who suspected Tinning of murder, and gives us glimpses into the processes. It does make me feel ill to read it, but I am fascinaed at the same time.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janette

    Creepy as hell, very disturbing look at a mother who killed ALL of her babies! I was interested in reading because it takes place in Schenectady NY near my sons' homes. Couldn't put it down, it made me think of this woman and her husband for quite awhile after reading. They seemed so normal, yet she was a serial killer and he probably knew it. Creepy as hell, very disturbing look at a mother who killed ALL of her babies! I was interested in reading because it takes place in Schenectady NY near my sons' homes. Couldn't put it down, it made me think of this woman and her husband for quite awhile after reading. They seemed so normal, yet she was a serial killer and he probably knew it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    The story of a mother(Mary Beth)who kills 8 of her 9 children. It shocks me that it took so long for them to actually do something about all the deaths of those babies. She loves all the attention she gets when a child dies which I've heard is typical of MSVP, she also did work in a medical facility which a lot of the times is the case too. Most of the residents who knew her in her small town in New York, believed her story of her children having a genetic disorder. The story of a mother(Mary Beth)who kills 8 of her 9 children. It shocks me that it took so long for them to actually do something about all the deaths of those babies. She loves all the attention she gets when a child dies which I've heard is typical of MSVP, she also did work in a medical facility which a lot of the times is the case too. Most of the residents who knew her in her small town in New York, believed her story of her children having a genetic disorder.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

    The dispassionate actions of this unwell and sad woman are much more disturbing than the bulk of fictional works I've read. 4 stars due to the writing and the depth, not because it was "fun" to read. The dispassionate actions of this unwell and sad woman are much more disturbing than the bulk of fictional works I've read. 4 stars due to the writing and the depth, not because it was "fun" to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Fishface

    Grim tale of a multiple infanticide. Well worth your time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Loved the book until the end!??? Ugh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Courteney

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's not really possible for me to rate this book, it's just too heartbreaking to like. I started the story because I was interested to find out what kind of person could do something so horrifying to her children, and finished it only with the sense that I could never understand someone like this. They defy all logic. Marybeth Tinning maintains that she loved her children, but if this is true why did she bury all of them long before their natural lives ever would have been over? The only child It's not really possible for me to rate this book, it's just too heartbreaking to like. I started the story because I was interested to find out what kind of person could do something so horrifying to her children, and finished it only with the sense that I could never understand someone like this. They defy all logic. Marybeth Tinning maintains that she loved her children, but if this is true why did she bury all of them long before their natural lives ever would have been over? The only child we can say with certainty that she didn't have a hand in killing was her third child Jennifer, and even then it's suspected that the meningitis the baby got in utero that did kill her was caused by Marybeth attempting to induce labor. What kind of fractured personality does it take for someone to kill her children and then say with complete certainty that she had nothing to do with it? After reading this book I have more questions about this woman's mental health than the answers I was looking for.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. POTENTIAL SPOILERS: It seems odd to give a rating of "I really liked it" to a book written about the suspicious deaths of 9 children in the same family. It was well written by Ms. Egginton and that is from where my rating stems. I consider myself a rational person and can only see things from my perspective of rationality - I can not possibly fathom how someone could watch child after child die and not want to know why - why no genetic testing, why did the couple continue having children, why did POTENTIAL SPOILERS: It seems odd to give a rating of "I really liked it" to a book written about the suspicious deaths of 9 children in the same family. It was well written by Ms. Egginton and that is from where my rating stems. I consider myself a rational person and can only see things from my perspective of rationality - I can not possibly fathom how someone could watch child after child die and not want to know why - why no genetic testing, why did the couple continue having children, why did it take 9 deaths before a real investigation was launched? This book doesn't give a great deal of insight into the mind of Marybeth Tinning - mostly due to her lack of participation and honesty. What can be learned about her is gleaned from former friends, co-workers, neighbors and family members. But ... you can learn a great deal from people's impressions of her and why they all (with the exception of her husband and a few family members) eventually pull away.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Swartz

    These true crime novels never cease to amaze me. The capacity we humans have for evil can seem endless. There is no doubt in my mind this woman is guilty and I am glad she is in jail where she belongs!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    This book is well-researched and very thorough, which explains the nearly 400 pages. It can be a bit droll at times (as facts tend to be) so it took me a while to get through it. This is a fascinating true-crime story about an obviously mentally ill woman who ended up murdering all nine of her children- eight biological, one adopted. I have no idea how she managed to go for so long killing one child after another and very few, if any, accusations were made. Especially after her adopted son died, This book is well-researched and very thorough, which explains the nearly 400 pages. It can be a bit droll at times (as facts tend to be) so it took me a while to get through it. This is a fascinating true-crime story about an obviously mentally ill woman who ended up murdering all nine of her children- eight biological, one adopted. I have no idea how she managed to go for so long killing one child after another and very few, if any, accusations were made. Especially after her adopted son died, it seemed like that would be a catalyst for involving law enforcement, yet again nothing concrete was done. And the fact that she was obviously poisoning her husband and once nearly fatally poisoned him-- yet she was free to live and get pregnant again and smother yet another baby. Her odd, embellished stories, the arsons, the poisonings, the truck stop hookups, and the smothering of her children all show just how mentally ill Marybeth Tinning is. I really appreciated the end chapter where the author tries to help explain what could be behind Marybeth's actions. Really that is what I wanted the whole time- some sort of explanation, a diagnosis, a REASON why Marybeth would do and act the way she did. Obviously there is no real answer, only conjecture. I resisted googling Marybeth until I finished the book, and was surprised to read that she is still alive and was released from prison in 2018. This book very much reminded me of Helter Skelter in terms of its thoroughness and details (and length!).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nena

    I gave this book five stars because the author went into depth with her research into this riveting, heartbreaking case. This is the true case of a woman who, under the diagnosis of munchausen's syndrome, murdered her children one by one shortly after they were born. Frankly, I don't buy the munchausen's syndrome thing; I think this is just a label that a cold-blooded, psychopathic, premeditating murderess with no conscience can hide behind and then "justify" murdering her own flesh and blood. As f I gave this book five stars because the author went into depth with her research into this riveting, heartbreaking case. This is the true case of a woman who, under the diagnosis of munchausen's syndrome, murdered her children one by one shortly after they were born. Frankly, I don't buy the munchausen's syndrome thing; I think this is just a label that a cold-blooded, psychopathic, premeditating murderess with no conscience can hide behind and then "justify" murdering her own flesh and blood. As far as the husband is concerned, I have no doubt in my mind he knew what was happening and simply closed his eyes to it because he didn't want his boat rocked. That being said, if you like true crime, this is a great book to read and duly worthy of the five stars that I gave it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Tuplin

    This was a very well presented, true crime story about a young mother and the deaths of her 9 children, most within months of their birth. The gaps in the Social Service and law enforcement systems allowed this to go on way longer than one would expect. Although eventually convicted of the murder of her last child, the portrayal of her as a person left me feeling that now the justice system had failed her. She seemed to be very much in need of psychiatric help.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meghan Agresto

    Make me want to read it when I was awake in the middle of the night? check Make me tell me tell my friends all about it and hope they'll read it? check Make me compare all the visions-of-grandeur/hero/victim folks I know to the main character with shock and glee? yep Teach me all about the fascinating psychology of infanticide? Yup. 5 stars Make me want to read it when I was awake in the middle of the night? check Make me tell me tell my friends all about it and hope they'll read it? check Make me compare all the visions-of-grandeur/hero/victim folks I know to the main character with shock and glee? yep Teach me all about the fascinating psychology of infanticide? Yup. 5 stars

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sblprl1

    My cousin was cleaning out a trailer and this was in there, so I grabbed it for something different to read. Fascinating story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lettie Cox

    It took 9 dead children for people to finally open their mouths & get involved. Interesting book but much too long.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Saying that I like a book like this one feels a bit weird. I don't like dead babies, I just enjoy reading about the disturbed lady who had so many of them. This is a scary account of a typical woman next door, who just so happens to have nine children, all of whom mysteriously died. This book was detailed and well written. Some of it was dated, not surprising since it was written in the late 1980's. For instance, I don't think disassociate disorder as described within the book (basically multipe Saying that I like a book like this one feels a bit weird. I don't like dead babies, I just enjoy reading about the disturbed lady who had so many of them. This is a scary account of a typical woman next door, who just so happens to have nine children, all of whom mysteriously died. This book was detailed and well written. Some of it was dated, not surprising since it was written in the late 1980's. For instance, I don't think disassociate disorder as described within the book (basically multipersonality disorder, Sybil style)is accepted by most psychologists today. It still is a fascinating account. It made me wonder about what darkness hides inside everyone and what sorts of trauma can make it appear in such a hideous way.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Brown

    As much as I hate a book about a mother accused of killing her children...this was an excellent book. It follows the life and trial of Mary beth Tinnings who was accused of killing 8 of her 9 children before she was finally arrested. This of course is a sad story and you keep reading and reading about friends..doctors and coworkers who wish they would have done something after each child. Heartbreaking...it took forever for anyone to stand up and speak out. This book is very well written..flows As much as I hate a book about a mother accused of killing her children...this was an excellent book. It follows the life and trial of Mary beth Tinnings who was accused of killing 8 of her 9 children before she was finally arrested. This of course is a sad story and you keep reading and reading about friends..doctors and coworkers who wish they would have done something after each child. Heartbreaking...it took forever for anyone to stand up and speak out. This book is very well written..flows well and keeps your interest through out. Its a longer book but goes very fast. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I wasn't very pleased with the writing in this book. The author wrote on a 9th grade level. It was hard to follow sometimes. The story itself is CREEPY! I'm not sure why I read this book when I am pregnant. This lady is psycho! I'm not sure how anyone could do this to her children. I was more disgusted by the behavior of the people who knew Marybeth Tinning. How could they go all those years and all those children without making a bigger deal about the deaths of her children. Why did it take her I wasn't very pleased with the writing in this book. The author wrote on a 9th grade level. It was hard to follow sometimes. The story itself is CREEPY! I'm not sure why I read this book when I am pregnant. This lady is psycho! I'm not sure how anyone could do this to her children. I was more disgusted by the behavior of the people who knew Marybeth Tinning. How could they go all those years and all those children without making a bigger deal about the deaths of her children. Why did it take her 9th to bust her? Her husband is also STILL married to her! CREEPY!!!!!!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I found this book interesting, but definitely not easy to read. Mostly I found it shocking and frustrating. Nonfiction about a woman who over the course of fourteen or so years, killed eight of her nine children. She was reported to the Child Protective Services (or whatever it was called back then) by family members and coworkers, but nothing came of it. She was even allowed to adopt a child, who didn't make it to the age of three. I found this book interesting, but definitely not easy to read. Mostly I found it shocking and frustrating. Nonfiction about a woman who over the course of fourteen or so years, killed eight of her nine children. She was reported to the Child Protective Services (or whatever it was called back then) by family members and coworkers, but nothing came of it. She was even allowed to adopt a child, who didn't make it to the age of three.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    This is woman was crying out for help, one would almost feel bad for her. Unfortunately same as when she was a child and ignored by her father, authorities, friends etc. ignored also her until it was far too late. I feel Social Services should also be at fault for this as well as her husband. It seemed like nobody really cared at all about these kids. Overall good book, I read most of it in one day. It seemed to drag at some parts. I wouldn't recommend this for pregnant mothers, it's creepy. This is woman was crying out for help, one would almost feel bad for her. Unfortunately same as when she was a child and ignored by her father, authorities, friends etc. ignored also her until it was far too late. I feel Social Services should also be at fault for this as well as her husband. It seemed like nobody really cared at all about these kids. Overall good book, I read most of it in one day. It seemed to drag at some parts. I wouldn't recommend this for pregnant mothers, it's creepy.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tory Hunz

    The true story about a disturbed woman who was accused of killing her children over two decades in my hometown Schenectady, New York. Nine children died during this time period and the likelihood of Marybeth Tinning, their mother, being the murderer is for you to decide. It's surreal to read street names and landmarks that I grew up with while not knowing their significance. I highly recommend this book. The true story about a disturbed woman who was accused of killing her children over two decades in my hometown Schenectady, New York. Nine children died during this time period and the likelihood of Marybeth Tinning, their mother, being the murderer is for you to decide. It's surreal to read street names and landmarks that I grew up with while not knowing their significance. I highly recommend this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nora aka Diva

    It's a good book but not for those who are easily upset. It is unnerving that this woman could harm so many of her own children and yet no-one caught on for way too damn long. Munchhausins by proxy what a horrid thing. As a mom myself I just couldn't understand at all why a mother would go over the edge like that. It's a good book but not for those who are easily upset. It is unnerving that this woman could harm so many of her own children and yet no-one caught on for way too damn long. Munchhausins by proxy what a horrid thing. As a mom myself I just couldn't understand at all why a mother would go over the edge like that.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emily Smiltneck

    I read this book after reading a Mary Higgins Clark book (Where Are The Children, or something like that) that referenced it. Freaky, scary, intense book- I cannot comprehend how it could be true, and yet, it is. Terrible story, wonderful book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    This book was so sad. It's unbelievable the things people got away with back in the 60's and 70's. This was an interesting book for those that want to understand the thought process of the mind. It is sad that no one really paid attention to the warning signs until it was too too late. This book was so sad. It's unbelievable the things people got away with back in the 60's and 70's. This was an interesting book for those that want to understand the thought process of the mind. It is sad that no one really paid attention to the warning signs until it was too too late.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    This was my first "adult" book I ever read. I was 12, we were camping, and I had already finished all my reading material for the week. I grabbed this every time my mother put it down. I've always been fascinated by serial killers and this is one of the few female serial killers. This was my first "adult" book I ever read. I was 12, we were camping, and I had already finished all my reading material for the week. I grabbed this every time my mother put it down. I've always been fascinated by serial killers and this is one of the few female serial killers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Schibley

    This very sick and murderous woman had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy which is a mental condition that makes them harm their children because they like the attention they get at the hospitals. Unfortunately, she murdered 8 of her own children before she was finally brought to justice.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ann York

    This book was very upsetting to read it is how a woman had babies and they died it is more horror then that of jack the ripper all i can say about is why did nine babies have to die this is a true story

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shelia

    Boy was this book disturbing. I'm not often a non-fiction reader or even a "true crime" reader but this one peaked my interest....and kept it. All I can say, is sometimes truth is more interesting than fiction. Boy was this book disturbing. I'm not often a non-fiction reader or even a "true crime" reader but this one peaked my interest....and kept it. All I can say, is sometimes truth is more interesting than fiction.

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