Media, parents react to Upper West Side murder

Some have proven opportunistic in grappling with the brutal stabbing of two children

Topics: Crime, Children, Parenting, Murder, nanny, manhattan, ,

Moms and dads everywhere are talking about the real-life horror story of Marina Krim, who came home yesterday to find her two young children stabbed to death in a bath tub in their Central Park apartment. The nanny, who was in critical condition from self-inflicted stab wounds, has been arrested but not yet charged in the deaths.

Parents (and the general population) are understandbly unsettled — the news is chilling, and it realizes a parent’s worst nightmare. If it could happen to picture perfect Marina Krim, who ran a blog about her children and taught art classes, and her husband, the general manager of CNBC’s digital media, it could happen to anybody. As Gawker’s Drew Magary writes:

Every parent wants desperately to protect their kids from the dangers of the outside world, only to quickly come to grips with the fact that they can’t. All you can do is send them out there and hope for the best. You have to trust that the world will take care of them.

So when a nanny decides to kill two children in the most random and horrific way imaginable, it obliterates your trust in the world.

But others seem to be fixated not on parents’ fears, but on a mom’s fear. The SF Gate’s “The Mommy Files” warns gossip-prone moms everywhere to reserve judgment of Mrs. Krim:

As we all process this tragedy, I think we need to focus on sympathizing with Krim, sending prayers and our thoughts her way. Moms are often quick to judge one another and comments criticizing Krim’s decision to hire a nanny are already popping up in the online world. We all often want to think that we’re giving our kids the best situation and others aren’t making equally good decisions. “I found the best nanny after interviewing 20!” “I would never use a nanny and would only ever watch my children myself!” “I only allow my mom to watch my children!” But please, let’s not judge. Right now, Krim needs us all on her side.

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A Fox News article took advantage of this tragedy to stoke the central conflict of the mommy wars with a story called “Horrific New York Nanny Story Especially Agonizing for Working Moms:”

The murder of two young children, allegedly at the hands of their beloved nanny, has sent a chill through working mothers already conflicted over the often-agonizing decision to leave their children in the care of others while they work to put food on the family table.

One woman whom Fox quoted refused to play along:

“As a working mom who leaves her school-age children with a nanny during post-school hours, I don’t believe that one person’s horrible and intensely sad experience should be assumed to be a rampant issue or parental concern in the nanny world,” Hope Goldberg, a mother of two from Maplewood, N.J., said.

For every other parent — not just moms and not just working moms — Gawker summed up the general, sad sentiment:

Eventually, a certain kind of denial has to set in. Parents who whisper and think horrible thoughts in the wake of this will have to push the idea of such violence away and go back to trusting the world to take care of their loved ones. And soon, everything will be back to normal. Except for one family. For one family, the distrust stays forever and ever.

Prachi Gupta
Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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