Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Whoops! We Cooked the Baby!

The Legend:  Hippie-type babysitter uses LSD and then accidentally cooks the infant thinking it is a turkey.

Status: Mostly False

[Taken from the Internet]

(This story isn't generally emailed, but told orally.  This is how it often goes...)  This story was told to me by a friend who heard it on the news on the radio about a year or so ago. It is a factual account. A couple left their infant at home with a teenage, hippie-type babysitter so they could go out for the evening. Later in the evening, the mother phones home to check up on things. The babysitter says everything is fine and that she's put the turkey in the oven. Shortly, the couple realized that they didn't leave a turkey at home, so they better go home to see exactly what's going on. They arrive to find the babysitter, high on LSD, has cooked their baby in the oven.

  • The babysitter thinks she's cooked a roast instead of a turkey.
  • Sometimes there are other drugs besides LSD involved, including marijuana and alcohol.
  • Some versions have no drugs at all, the babysitter is just frustrated that the baby won't stop crying so she puts him in the oven.
  • In one variation the babysitter is driven insane by the baby's crying and puts him in the oven.
  • Sometimes the parents get home in time to save the baby.

This legend feeds on some very basic fears, especially the vulnerability all parents feel surrounding the safety of their children.  There is the reminder that strangers and teenagers are not to be trusted, especially "hippie-type" teenagers. Innocent children once again fall victim to evil drug users. The "LSD makes you crazy" message is loud and clear as well.

This is an old rumor started as early as the 1960's. At that time there were no documented cases of this ever having happened.  That all changed in 1999.

While there are no documented cases of an LSD-using baby-sitter mistaking the baby for dinner, there is record of a baby being cooked by his caregiver. In 1999, the body of 1-month-old Joseph Lewis Martinez was found in the microwave of his parent's home. His 19-year-old mother, apparently in a state of confusion, (no drugs or alcohol involved), had put him into the microwave and turned it on, killing him. She pled no contest to involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to five years in prison. This is a mental health tragedy, not an LSD tragedy.