May 25th started as just another normal Sunday for Becky D’Aoust, a teacher and counselor in the San Diego area. Her husband and two of her daughters were still in bed and the other daughter was away at school. I imagine she went downstairs to make herself a cup of coffee and perhaps prepare breakfast for her family. That’s of course before one of her daughters attacked her in the kitchen with a claw hammer, striking her in the head at least 15 times. Rebecca D’Auost died in the hospital from her injuries on May 26th. Her father, James D’Aoust heard the screams from downstairs and ran to restrain the daughter, Heather D’Aoust, until 911 could be called.
According to the defense as well as her father (who she also tried to attack) Heather suffers from mental illness and had for at least a year prior to the monstrous murder of her adoptive mother. Of course she does. Anyone that murders their parent or child suffers from mental illness. Does that mean she shouldn’t be punished for the horrific crime? I guess that’s for a judge and jury to figure out but in my opinion she should face the court as an adult and be tried for the murder.
Apparently the court feels the same way because she will be back in court on Tuesday, December 23rd to have a trial date set.
I’m sure that part of the decision made to charge her with murder came from the fact that it was very cold-blooded and premeditated. Heather kept a to-do list on her cell phone for that day which included items such as “wake up. kill with hammer as they wake up. hide bodies in back seat of van. Drive to church. Leave them with Christian-hating note, steal money. Bike home. go to sleep again” she also mentioned spending the day with some of her friends as well. The note ended with her plans for the next day which included reporting to police and acting panicked.
In addition to her to-do list she used the computer to search for some helpful items the night before she killed her mother. Stuff like “parents murdered by child” and “children who kill”. She also got the idea to use a claw hammer at Big Daddy Blog where there was a list of the top ten murder weapons (it’s been taken down now). The hammer was #6 on the list.
Heather’s MySpace page is currently set to private but it wasn’t always that way. A friend of her father’s told him back in March that Heather had posted a suicide note on her MySpace page. She had made suicide threats prior to that as well.