Return to Transcripts main page

NANCY GRACE

Mother Kills Her Children to Get Back at Cheating Husband

Aired July 10, 2012 - 20:00:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Breaking news tonight. An elementary school teacher, a mother of two, forces her 5-year-old boy and 4-month-old baby girl to gulp down windshield fluid mixed with their juice. Then Mommy seals the windows and turns up the gas on the stove. Why? Revenge. She claims her husband cheats.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A young mom of two allegedly murdered her two young children because she believed her husband had cheated on her and gotten another woman pregnant. Lisette Bamenga reportedly poisoned her 5- year-old son, Trevor, and 4-month-old baby girl Lillian, then sealed off the windows of their apartment and turned on the stove`s gas burners.

Bamenga also slit her wrists in a suicide attempt, but her wounds weren`t deep enough to be fatal. Firefighters knocked down the door and attempts were made to revive the children, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. Bombshell tonight. An elementary school teacher, a mother of two, forces her 5-year-old little boy, her 4-month-old baby girl to gulp down windshield fluid mixed with their juice. Then Mommy seals up the windows and turns up the gas on the stove.

Why? To get back at her husband. She wants revenge after she claims he has an affair. How does she get back? By murdering her little children. Then she claims she tries to commit suicide, but whoops, the wounds aren`t deep enough. So Mommy`s alive tonight, but her two children are dead.

We are taking your calls. Straight out to Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, "In Session." Jean, this was an elaborate plot.

JEAN CASAREZ, "IN SESSION": An elaborate plot because first she had to tape up all the windows and the door and then get that antifreeze type of fluid. And the children allegedly drank it. And then she turned on the burners of the stove.

Two notes found by the bodies that said, "You got what you wanted. Me and the kids are in a better place." Also, "Do not resuscitate" -- DNR -- was another note.

But Nancy, she didn`t drink any of the fluid with the windshield wiper substance in it, she just slit her wrists superficially.

GRACE: You know, Jean Casarez, we have seen over and over and over and over the murder of children, and then the perpetrator claiming they tried to kill themselves. Somehow, they always manage to live and the children die.

An extreme elaborate plot -- out to Ellie Jostad. This is an elementary school teacher, a mother of two, who goes through all types of machinations to murder her two children, a 5-year-old little boy, a 4- month-old baby girl, by forcing them to drink what? The windshield -- the windshield wiper cleaning fluid?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER (via telephone): Yes, Nancy, it`s actually the deicing fluid that you would use in the wintertime. Experts say that it is a colorless, odorless substance, but it has a sweet taste, so that`s probably how she was able to get the kids to drink it.

And unfortunately, it`s also very poisonous. So they still aren`t sure which actually was the fatal act here. Was it the making them drink the poison, or was it the gas they breathed in from the stove? They`re doing more tests to try to figure out that out right now.

GRACE: Deicer? What is in deicer? And I don`t understand. Would she have to go out and buy that? Ellie, she mixed in what, orange juice, apple juice, their regular little sippy cup? How did this happen?

JOSTAD: Yes, Nancy, she mixed it in some juice for her kids. We don`t know what type of juice, but police said it was, you know, juice that you would normally feed your children. She somehow got them to drink this. And then, you know, she`d gone to all this trouble to actually tape up all the windows, seal them airtight with plastic. And then she just turned on those gas burners and let the room fill up with gas.

GRACE: What was their final COD, Ellie? Did they die of drinking the deicer mixed with juice in their sippy cups or did they die of breathing in the gas from the gas oven?

JOSTAD: Well, that is what the medical examiner is still trying to find out. The autopsy results are not completed yet. They are running more tests to try to figure out what actually killed these children. Did they breathe in gas or were they dead already from this toxic drink their mother allegedly fed them?

GRACE: And let me guess. She`s on a medical ward somewhere, is that right, being observed, Ellie?

JOSTAD: Right. According to relatives we spoke to today, she is actually still in the hospital. Police say that those wounds she had, cuts to the wrists, were just superficial, not deep enough to kill her. She is going to get a psychiatric evaluation, so that`ll happen before she probably ends up in jail.

GRACE: What did she try to slit her wrists with? Let me think, a crayon? What?

JOSTAD: Right. We still don`t know that yet, Nancy. Police say then they got there, she was bleeding. And another thing I should point out, too. A neighbor said he heard strange sounds that night. He says he heard three loud thumps, as if somebody was dragging something on the floor, something hit the floor hard. And then he said he heard just this eerie silence. So who knows, you know, what else the medical examiner might find, whether or not there were other injuries to the children, in addition to this poisoning from both the juice and the gas.

GRACE: Joining me right now, Brett Larson, afternoon anchor, 101.9. Brett, what more can you tell us?

BRETT LARSON, FM NEWS 101.9 (via telephone): Well, Nancy, I mean, it`s -- aside from being just an atrocious -- an atrocious way to die and how anyone could kill their own children -- you know, the neighbors also had complained of there being a heavy smell of gas in the building. One of the neighbors was just amazed that the apartment didn`t blow up.

I mean, this is -- it`s summertime. It`s hot. She`s got gas running in this well-sealed apartment. Somebody just wipes (ph) a match or maybe a firecracker accidentally goes off, we could have had a very different story on our hands. Maybe the mother would have been dead.

I mean, she`s been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. She`s getting a battery of psychiatric evaluations. But what`s interesting about this -- she`s a school teacher. She teaches young children. She brought her new child into the classroom to show it off.

The question that we can`t seem to get answered is, doesn`t she have to have some sort of psychological evaluation to be a school teacher, to be in front of children, that she`s now accused of killing her own?

GRACE: So Brett Larson, this whole theory that she`s going to pursue, I guarantee you, mental insanity, is not going to work. She is a school teacher, an elementary school teacher in the public school system.

Brett Larson, what I don`t understand is, all this because she thinks her husband had an affair?

LARSON: Yes. Why not just confront the husband and say, Hey, what`s going on here? I mean, this was -- this -- I can`t see how this can be two counts of first-degree murder and not something more premeditated. I mean, you have to think about getting deicer. You have to think about the fact that your kids are probably going to drink it because it`s colorless and odorless. You have to think about getting plastic and -- and tape to tape up your windows.

I mean, I guess what you don`t have to think about is what you`re going to use to slit your own wrists so that the cuts are deep enough and not just these superficial wounds that -- that the cops said that she got.

But it`s -- this is -- this is crazy, that she`s -- you know, she walks away from this just because she thinks her husband was having an affair. Her husband`s only a couple years older than...

GRACE: Well, Brett Larsen, why the children? Why the children, Brett Larson? If she wanted to get revenge on him -- this is all about revenge. A seemingly beautiful young elementary school teacher in the public schools, big smile, beautiful family, a boy, a girl, apparently a loving husband. It all goes bad. The children are found dead in the home.

She claims it was all about revenge on the husband that had an affair and got some other woman pregnant. So if she`s angry at him -- did anybody hear about Lorena Bobbitt? I sure heard all about it! So why did she go after the children? Why not him?

LARSON: Exactly. Why not -- why not, you know, beat him up after work? Or why not just take the kids and disappear, you know, go home to parents or...

GRACE: Why not get a divorce? Hey, why not a divorce, Brett? What`s wrong with that idea, Brett Larsen?

LARSON: Divorce is very expensive. Maybe she just didn`t want to pay for the divorce, but I mean, to kill the kids just...

GRACE: I`m just sick about it! And to think...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: I mean, hey, Brett, do you have children?

LARSON: I don`t. I have -- I have a dog.

GRACE: Let me tell you something. Let me tell you something. Mine are about this age. They`re 4-and-a-half. This is a 5-year-old boy and a 4-month-old little girl. They look at you to give them what they need. If I give them juice, if I give them water, if I give them medicine, it`s up to me to do the right thing.

But this mother, in an angry fit, seeking revenge when she learns her hubby allegedly has an affair, takes it out on the children, forcing them to gulp down windshield deicer mixed in their juice in their sippy cups, then tapes up the windows and turns the gas stove on high.

It`s sick! I want the death penalty!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scary. Just hope -- you know, sorry for the family. They have my condolences.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Condolences for a family seen sobbing uncontrollably. Unidentified relatives came to speak with investigators in Parkchester (ph) Friday afternoon after two of their little loved ones, Trevor Noel, Jr., and Lillian Noel died inside.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I seen the babies, but they pulled the baby out as soon as the door was open.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 5-year-old boy and his 4-month-old baby sister were pulled from a ninth floor apartment on 1500 Noble Avenue after residents complained of a gas leak just before midnight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At about 10:30 when I got home, it smelled like gas on the floor, the 9th floor. And then shortly after, the cops came.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: We are taking your calls. Out to Kathy in California. Hi, Kathy. What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. I want to know if there`s any kind of warning signs. I have a 2-and-a-half-year-old and a 3-and-a-half-year- old. And how would I know, like, something like this would happen? This is insane. I don`t understand how I can protect my children from something like this. How would I know myself (ph) would do something like this?

GRACE: Well, what`s crazy to me is that this attractive young woman, beautiful smile, seemingly a happy family, was teaching in the public school system! She was exposed to everybody`s children every single day.

And in her mind, the answer to her husband having an affair was to force her children to drink windshield fluid deicer. The main ingredient is methyl alcohol. It`s wood alcohol. Deicer causes abdominal pain, blindness, blue skin, lips and fingernails, blurred vision. You can`t breathe, confusion, dizziness, headache, cramps, seizure, vomiting.

That`s what this woman put her 5-year-old son and her 4-month-old baby girl through just to seek revenge on a cheating husband -- allegedly, a cheating husband. I don`t know if there were warning signs. Apparently, the public school system thought she was just fine. Then she claims she tried to kill herself.

Why is it, Dr. Patricia Saunders, they never kill themselves, they just kill their children?

PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Well, because they`re so egocentric that their attachment to their children isn`t genuine or real. It`s about their ego, about their injured ego. Nobody who had any attachment to their child would torture their children like this.

And you`re right, it is very carefully staged. There`s a malignancy in this woman that really needs to be put behind bars.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers, Jennifer Smatters, Randy Kessler, Kirby Clements. Randy Kessler, why is she still on the medical wing? There`s nothing wrong with her.

RANDY KESSLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, we`re not doctors. We`re not psychologists. Obviously, something is very, very, very wrong with her, in my opinion, just from the outsider looking in.

GRACE: Yes, she`s a killer.

KESSLER: Well, she`s also done -- she`s done more than just kill. She`s done it in a brutal way. She`s done it for reasons that nobody else thinks are rational.

GRACE: Put him up! So are you now saying that some murderers are not as bad as other murderers? I mean, she leaves written instructions, Kessler, "DNR," do not resuscitate, let my baby die. This is so premeditated, Kirby Clements. There`s no way that it can be anything but premeditated malice murder, two counts. There`s no way around it, Kirby.

KIRBY CLEMENTS, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, there`s no way around the charge. But it sounds like premeditated murder committed by someone who was -- who had lost their mind. Clearly, she is mentally deranged. She writes "DNR" -- and by the way, Nancy, she did try to kill herself.

GRACE: What`s clear about it?

CLEMENTS: She taped the windows shut and turned the gas on. But for the fact that that was discovered, she too would have been dead. And I guess then the answer to your question, is why do they always survive, would have answered because she would have been dead. It`s -- but I would suggest to you this woman...

GRACE: Kirby...

CLEMENTS: ... is clearly deranged.

GRACE: ... if she wanted to be dead, she`d be dead, all right? If she wanted to be dead...

(CROSSTALK)

CLEMENTS: ... turned the gas on.

GRACE: ... what she wanted was -- what she wanted, Jennifer Smetters, was to get back at her husband. That`s what she wanted.

JENNIFER SMETTERS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Exactly.

GRACE: She did that by taking the lives...

SMETTERS: Exactly!

GRACE: ... of her children. She didn`t want to be dead, she wanted to sit back and see her husband suffer when he finds out...

SMETTERS: Tortured.

GRACE: ... his 4-month-old baby girl died in a brutal manner, along with his only son.

SMETTERS: Nancy, you are absolutely right. She already probably felt that she lost the love of her husband, so she went directly straight at his heart and took the objects of his affection, which she treated as pawns. And it`s the most vile act that you can possibly think of, is a mother taking the life of their children! And this was done to strike back at the father, clearly, in my mind. And also, she did it with mental capacity, revenge and the wherewithal. To claim mental illness here is a desperate attempt that will surely fail!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then they took out a body (INAUDIBLE) CPR.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say their mother, 29-year-old Lisette Bamenga, was also in the apartment with her wrists slit. Sources say the children were given a chemical deicer fluid to drink, and Bamenga had also turned on the gas stove.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: We are taking your calls. This mom seeks revenge, revenge on a husband that she thinks is philandering with another woman. She claims he gets another woman pregnant. Does she get a divorce? No. A separation? No. Throw his clothes out in the middle of the front yard and set them on fire? No.

What does she do? She forces her 5-year-old son and her 4-month-old baby girl to drink window -- windshield deicer mixed with their juice to kill them. Then she tapes up the windows and turns the gas stove on high.

Back out to you, Jean Casarez, legal correspondent, "In Session." She leaves a note for her husband. In addition to all the notes that say, Do not resuscitate my children, let them die, she leaves a note for her husband. What does it say, Jean?

CASAREZ: "You got what you wanted, we`re in a better place now," so she`s placing herself in that suicide scheme again. And then "Do not resuscitate." Those are the things.

But Nancy, her husband is a police officer. This should be the all- American couple. He`s a police officer. She`s a public school teacher and she specialized in language. She taught elementary school children French.

GRACE: You know, I`m thinking about what they went through, Jean Casarez, in death, the suffering, the severe stomach aches, the nausea, the dizziness, the cramping that goes through your body when you ingest windshield washer or deicer. The main ingredient is wood alcohol, Jean. And then to lay there on the floor, suffering like that, inhaling gas from the stove...

CASAREZ: Amazing.

GRACE: ... while your mother stands by.

CASAREZ: It`s called heinous, atrocious and cruel. That`s what it`s called right there, all put together.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A young mom of two allegedly murdered her two young children because she believed her husband had cheated on her and gotten another woman pregnant. Lisette Bamenga reportedly poisoned her 5- year-old son, Trevor, and 4-month-old baby girl Lillian, then sealed off the windows of their apartment and turned on the stove`s gas burners.

Bamenga also slit her wrists in a suicide attempt, but her wounds weren`t deep enough to be fatal. Firefighters knocked down the door and attempts were made to revive the children, but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Condolences for a family seen sobbing uncontrollably. Unidentified relatives came to speak with investigators in Parkchester Friday afternoon after two of their little loved ones, Trevor Noel, Jr., and Lillian Noel, died inside.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The 5-year-old boy and his 4-month-old baby sister were pulled from a 9th-floor apartment on 1500 Noble Avenue after residents complained of a gas leak just before midnight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police say their mother, 29-year-old Lisette Bamenga, was also in the apartment with her wrists slit. Sources say the children were given a chemical deicer fluid to drink, and Bamenga had also turned on the gas stove. The medical examiner is awaiting toxicology results to determine which killed them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: We are taking your calls. An all-American family -- he`s a police officer, she is a very well liked public school teacher in a prestigious language program, a beautiful mom with a big smile, two children, and apparently, a loving husband. What went wrong?

Police arrived at the scene to find her 5-year-old little boy, her 4-month- old baby girl dead. Why? Because mommy forces the two children to gulp down windshield de-icer fluid mixed in with their juice, all because she believes her husband is having an affair. Of course she lives after a futile attempt to commit suicide.

We are taking your calls. Helene in Florida. Hi, dear. What`s your question?

HELENE, CALLER FROM FLORIDA: Hi, Nancy. How are you? You`re amazing. I love you.

GRACE: I`m good, dear.

HELENE: My question is from research, you see that there`s a lot of post- partum depression and it seems to be an epidemic, that so many mothers are just killing their children, in post-partum depression, you don`t bond with your children and then you go into a post-partum psychosis where you have paranoia, delusion, and confusion. And I`m just wondering is this woman suffering from this post-partum psychosis?

GRACE: Well, Helene in Florida, apparently the public school system thought she was just fine, all of her colleagues, co-workers, friends, thought she was just a beautiful woman with a big smile and two happy, healthy children.

Let`s go a friend joining us right now. A special guest. Gwen Richardson. She is the neighbor of the mom here, Lisette.

Gwen, thank you for being with us. What happened on the evening the day that police arrived at the home to discover the children dead.

GWEN RICHARDSON, NEIGHBOR OF MOM ACCUSED OF GASSING KIDS TO DEATH: I didn`t realize that there was a gas leak until about 11:00 p.m. We smelled earlier but I live on the front of the building, she lives on the back and she`s one apartment away from me. I smelled something that I thought was people cooking on their grills. And that was maybe around 8:00. And I kept smelling it and then after a while, it didn`t seem like it really was that. And then around 11:00, the authorities started knocking on doors and when we opened our door, the stench of the gas filled my apartment. And it was burning my eyes, it was choking me, it was so strong.

And I kept thinking, even when they knocked the door down to get in, these are metal doors, a spark could have been set off that killed all the authorities, that killed everybody on the ninth floor, I mean she had the safety and lives of all of the families and authorities that were in the building that night. He really put us all in jeopardy.

GRACE: All over allegedly a cheating man.

We are taking your calls out to Michelle in New York. Hi, Michelle, what`s your question?

MICHELLE, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Hi, Nancy, it`s really not a question, but the fact that she`s an elementary schoolteacher, as I have been for 36 years, I raised two children, came from an abusive marriage, a single mom since `98. You seek out help. The woman who said about post-partum, I don`t go with that theory at all.

I do believe that not only is suicide selfish, if you want to kill yourself, kill yourself, why would you do that to your innocent children who have no say and no control over the matter? So for me, pleading insanity, I don`t think so. She planned it.

GRACE: You know, Michelle in New York, I`m with you. If you want to kill yourself, OK, I`m not happy about it, but don`t hurt your children. And another thing, Michelle in New York, didn`t anybody see the coverage of Lorena Bobbitt? All right?

MICHELLE: That`s the first thing I thought.

GRACE: If you think your husband is cheating and you just got to go after somebody, why not him? Or certain parts of him and I`m not advocating dismemberment, but what I`m saying, why the children? Why are the children the ones that have to suffer in this case.

Michelle, now, you`re saying a public schoolteacher for 36 years.

MICHELLE: Right.

GRACE: And you managed to come out not just a husband cheating, but an abusive marriage.

MICHELLE: Right.

GRACE: You raised your children, you`re a schoolteacher, got out of a marriage, what do you make of these claims of post-partum depression.

MICHELLE: I don`t go with that theory at all. I have had three children and to bring home a brand-new baby, my third one, to a situation that I was unhappy with, that 11 months, when my daughter was 11 months old, he knocked the crap out of me. Grabbed my three kids, dropped them off at a friend`s and went to family court. I said I`m not living this life anymore. It`s one thing if I have to deal with it. But for my children, I`ll deal with him as an adult, one adult to another, but when my children are involved, they take precedence, they take priority. I will protect them to the end.

Mama -- you know, Mama bear her cub. That`s what she should have done. If she believed that he was, you know, cheating on her, whatever scenario she has in her head, it doesn`t matter, take the children and go somewhere safe.

GRACE: And here`s the thing, if you think your husband is cheating, who wants him back anyway? Why? Why would you want him back? You know, I`d send him out COD to the other woman. Cash on delivery, you can have them. Keep him, don`t send him back to me.

We are taking your calls, I want to go back to the lawyers, Jennifer Smetters, Kirby Clements, Randy Kessler.

Weigh in, Smetters.

JENNIFER SMETTERS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: Yes. What you said is exactly right and your caller was spot on. She did not act as a responsible adult, she acted as a vengeful, selfish individual. And again that, defense, it`s not going to work.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They pulled the baby out at soon as the door was open. 10:30 when I got home, I saw the gas on the floor, ninth floor, and then shortly after the cops came. That`s when I`d seen they took out the body and started seeing them with CPR.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Scary. Just, hope, you know, I`m sorry for the family. They have my condolences.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Condolences for a family sobbing uncontrollably. Unidentified relatives came to speak with investigators in Park Chester Friday afternoon after two of their little loved one Trevor Noel, Jr. and Lillian Noelle died inside.

The 5-year-old boy and his 4-month-old baby sister were pulled from a ninth-floor apartment on 1500 Noble Avenue after residents complained of a gas leak just before midnight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- on the floor and then when we came back in the building from getting my mom, she was, like, she was inside, I guess, with her husband or boyfriend, whoever he is, and they were asking them questions about what had happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: We are taking your calls. When a mother finds out she believes her husband is cheating, what does she do? Ask for a divorce? No. Give him a black eye? No. Throws his clothes out in the front of the backyard? No. She forces her children to drink de-icer for windshields, then she tapes up the windows and turns the gas on high.

Both children, a 5-year-old little boy, a 4-month-old little girl are dead, thanks to mommy. Mommy claims she tries to slit her wrist, well, guess what, she`s alive and well sitting in a bed right now reading a magazine in a hospital. There`s nothing wrong with her.

We are taking your calls. Right now Dawn in Ohio. Hi, Dawn, what`s your question?

DAWN, CALLER FROM OHIO: I wanted to know, is she eligible to get the death penalty? Like seriously?

GRACE: Well, I can only pray, Dawn, in Ohio, she shouldn`t get it just once, she should get it twice, once for each child. A lot is going to depend on her frame of mind, but Dawn in Ohio, I want you to listen to what Michelle Dupre is about to say.

Dr. Dupre, medical examiner, forensic pathologist, joining me out in Columbia. The main ingredient in this is called methanol, wood alcohol. What effect would that have on a 4-month-old little girl and a 5-year-old boy, Doctor?

DR. MICHELLE DUPRE, M.D., MEDICAL EXAMINER AND FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST: Nancy, that can be devastating. Methanol has terrible effects on the body especially small children, and of course depending on the amount, the child would become unconscious, and possibly even go into seizures, go into a coma and then eventually death, it would not be pleasant.

GRACE: What I`d looked up, our research shows, Dr. Dupre, severe abdominal pain, then the child would start going blind, almost immediately, wouldn`t be able to see what was going on, and it would be having severe abdominal cramps, where you bend over in pain. The cramps go all over your body from your head to your legs, seizure, vomiting, uncontrollable vomiting.

All this taking place there on the kitchen floor as mommy calmly turns the gas up on the oven to kill her own children. Why? Because she says her husband had an affair. Her husband had an affair? So she commits double murder? Over a over an affair?

We are taking your calls. I want to go to Steve Kardian, former police detective and now lead instructor.

Steve, how can we show that she was sane at the time of the incident?

STEVE KARDIAN, FMR. POLICE DETECTIVE, SELF-DEFENSE EXPERT, LEAD INSTRUCTOR AT DEFEND UNIVERSITY: Well, Nancy, she`s going to be put into the criminal justice system on what we call a 7-1030 in New York and that`s to see if she`s going to fit to be able to stand trial for these charges. So two things. She`s either completely evil or severe mental illness to commit such a heinous crime.

GRACE: Out to the lines, Josh in Mississippi. Hi, Josh, what`s your question?

JOSH, CALLER FROM MISSISSIPPI: Hi, Nancy. I was calling -- well, first of all I wanted to say that I cannot believe that a woman would do this to her children, this seriously sickens me. But my question is that it seems to - - well, first a statement then a question. It seems to me that she knew exactly what she was doing and now she`s looking to plead insanity because her suicide attempt failed and she doesn`t want to do jail time. That`s just my personal opinion.

Is there any way that the prosecution is going to use that, just that thought or that against her in order to have her serve jail time like she`s so rightly deserves for killing her children, or how might that work?

GRACE: Good question. Let`s go out to Jean Casarez, not only lawyer, but legal correspondent for "In Session."

Jean, what do we have to show premeditation which would negate insanity?

JEAN CASAREZ, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Many, many things. Let`s talk about the jug, of the de-icer fluid, that allegedly was found in the home. Let`s talk about the tape. Getting the tape, getting the paper to tape the windows, to tape the door. So it`s all sealed and shut. The affirmative action, to turn the burner, the affirmative action to pour the juice, to buy the juice, to get the juice.

Many, many things, and the affirmative action to write the notes and the affirmative action to not drink the poison yourself.

GRACE: You know the mixing of the fluid and the juice, the taping up of the windows, but specifically the notes, Jean Casarez, the note that she wrote to her husband showing motive. That`s not crazy. That is a legitimate motive for anger. What about it, Jean?

CASAREZ: No, you`re exactly right, "now you`ve got what you want," and it also shows I think her trying to build a scheme that it was all to commit suicide, but lo and behold she left to negate any type of intent to kill the children because it was a mass suicide attempt she was trying to show.

GRACE: So, Brett Larson, she is propped with pillows behind her back right now probably reading the "National Enquirer" or "OK" or something in a hospital bed. Somebody is bringing her three meals on a tray.

BRETT LARSON, AFTERNOON ANCHOR, FM NEWS 101.9: Exactly. After -- and she gets all this royal treatment after she killed her own children and she knowingly does it. You know this is -- like you were just saying. This isn`t something that she on a whim said, you know, I`m going to run to the grocery store and grab a few things and kill my kids. No, this is something she planned out. And this is -- you know, a rookie cop who works the night shift, who leaves his family behind thinking they`re safe in the hands of his wife and the mother, and only to come home from his night shift and find this horrible things had happened in his house.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: A young school teacher and mom of two allegedly murdered her two children in a revenge plot against their father. Lisette Bamenga reportedly fed her 5-year-old son and 4-month-old baby girl poisoned juice then turned on the gas in their apartment. Police broke down the door after neighbors reported smelling gas but attempts to revive the children were too late and they were pronounced dead at the scene.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: We are taking your calls. Straight out to Sarah in Ohio. Hi, Sarah, what`s your question?

SARAH, CALLER FROM OHIO: Hi, Nancy, how are you? I`m going to throw out a few things that this woman might try to use. I had two small children, 3 and 2, and a newborn. I had postpartum depression. I came home on my birthday to find my ex-husband now sleeping with one of my best friends, having intercourse in my bed.

I got my children and I got out of there. I did what was best for me and my children. I was in an abusive marriage and obviously my husband was cheating on me. The very first thought that entered my mind, yes, was going after this man and this woman. But I didn`t. I stopped and I turned around and I went and got my children out of their bed and I got a couple of change of clothing and I left, and I did what was best for us.

And I`m a firm believer in God does everything for a reason. It`s 10 years later and I`m with my second husband now. He has raised, you know, my previous children from a previous marriage as his own. My husband gets no contact with them for, you know, physical abuse toward the children as well.

I have two other children with my husband now. We have a great marriage and if I wouldn`t have turned around that day and did what was best for my babies first, you know, God only knows where I`d be. But never once in my mind did the thought enter of harming my children.

And what bothers me the most about this woman is if the poison was good enough to force down those babies` throats, why didn`t she drink it? You know, instead of failing at slicing her wrist, why didn`t you drink that? It was good enough to kill your kids with, stick it in your own mouth. It`s selfish.

It`s like -- if he did cheat, she wanted to take that back from him, children. What did they do? I`m just -- I`m so sickened. I never call in. I never -- you know, I`m fan of your page, I read everything. And I`m tempted to call in a lot of times and I don`t. This one really hit home because I was in this exact situation, but not really. This woman doesn`t even know for a fact that this man`s cheating. I knew. And I was suffering with postpartum depression. The very first thing I did was collect my babies and start a better life with them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: When she discovers that she believes her husband is cheating, what does she do? She forces her children to gulp down de-icer from windshield fluid mixed with their juice, tapes up the windows and turns the gas on high. Of course, she lives. Her two children, a 5-year-old boy, a 4- month-old little girl, both dead.

We were just talking to Sarah in Ohio, and Sarah in Ohio, what you had to say is right on. You have just inspired so many people with your story, a bona fide case of postpartum depression. A cheating husband, children to raise, and you did what was right for them. For your children. Not what you wanted to do, but what was right for your children.

I only wish this woman was as strong as you. Now there`s a 5-year-old boy and a 4-month-old girl dead. And she is propped up in a hospital getting trays of food brought to her with a flower in a vase.

Let`s stop and remember Marine Lance Corporal Dennis Burrow, 23, Naples, Florida, killed, Afghanistan. Also severed Iraq. Purple Heart. Iraqi Campaign Medal. Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Buried, Arlington. Loved computer, math, helping others. Leaves behind parents Darryl and Morgan, brother, Chris, who severed the army. Sister, Megan.

Dennis Burrow, American hero.

Thanks to our guests, but especially to you for being with us. Tonight, happy birthday to Fayetteville`s Chuck Lynch. After a big career in printing, he is now rewired beautiful wife, Ann, trimming his blueberry, tomato and apple trees. Three grown children, six grands. The best grandfather in the world.

Happy birthday, Chuck Lynch.

And tonight, if you can hear me, please get well, Linda from Menlo.

Dr. Drew is up next, everyone. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern and until then good night, friend.

END