The fundamental lesson that the legend of La Llorona teaches Latinos across the globe and that reflects is that we as women and mothers have a profound responsibility to love and protect our children, and those women who betray this responsibility will suffer the consequences.

To better understand La Llorona, the director of explored real life cases of mothers who commit infanticide. A few of these “Modern Day Lloronas,” dating back to 1825, are included here.

Wife of Millville Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Manslaughter
Millville, NJ 2007

Tina Marie Reynolds, 30, pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless manslaughter after allegations she gave birth to a full-term baby in her bathtub last year and allowed the child to drown. She is scheduled to be sentenced to four years in state prison, followed by three years of parole.

Andrea Yates Conviction Overturned
Houston, TX 2006
A Texas Jury overturned Andrea Yates’ capital murder conviction in the drowning deaths of two of her five children. Yates’ is declared not guilty for reasons of insanity and committed to North Texas State Hospital.

Mother Found Guilty of Endangerment in Her Own Children’s Drowning
Decatur, IL 2006
Amanda Hamm, 30, was convicted of child endangerment in the drowning deaths of her three children, Christopher Hamm, 6, Austin Brown, 3, and Kyleigh Hamm, 23 months, after the family's car sank in a Clinton lake three years ago. Prosecutors had charged Hamm with first-degree murder for going along with her boyfriend's plan to drown the children to hold onto a troubled and sometimes abusive relationship.

Oakland Mother Says God Told Her to Drown Children in San Francisco Bay
San Francisco, CA 2006
LaShaun Harris, 23, claims to have heard voices from God telling her to sacrifice her three children, 6-year-old Trayshawn Harris, 2-year-old Taronta Greely, Jr., and 16-month-old Joshua Greely, and tossed them over a railing into the cold waters of the San Francisco Bay. Taronta's body was recovered that same night. The other two have not been found.

Boy Dies after Mother Attempts to Drown Him in Bathtub
Bristol, VA 2005
After spending 5 days on life support, the son of Andrea Jennings Petrosky died. Petrosky, 38, faces attempted capital murder and felony child abuse charges after allegedly choking her 6 year-old son, then attempting to drown him in a bathtub.

Downs Charged with Drowning Death of Seven Month-Old Daughter
Norfolk VA 2005
Roxanne Downs, 26, has been charged with the drowning death of her 7 month-old daughter, Sarah. The prosecutor says that Downs confessed to deliberately holding the child under the bathwater for several minutes.

Sherr Charged With Attempted Drowning Of Her Two Children
Landsdowne, VA 2005
Isabel Sherr, 30, has been charged with two counts of attempted capital murder after she allegedly tried drowning her 19 month-old daughter and 4 year-old son. Sherr later jumped out of a second story window of her home in an attempt to kill herself.

Body of Newborn Discovered in Laundry Bag
Palatine, IL 2005
The body of a newborn boy was discovered outside the back door of an apartment building in Palatine, hidden in a bloodstained laundry bag.

Woman Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering Her Infant Child
Memphis, TN 2005
After being found guilty of murder of her 8 month-old son, Lisa Marie Butler, 20, was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder. The woman had admitted to police that she punched the infant in the head and stomach on June 17, 2003, following an argument with the child’s father.

Firefighters Find Two Children Drowned in Bathtub
Chicago, IL 2004
Abby Granson, 23, faces two charges of first-degree murder after her young children were found drowned in a bathtub at their home. The bodies of two-year-old Isaac and four-year-old Sandra Yonan were found after firefighters put out a small fire in the kitchen.

Mother Charged with Killing Newborns and Hiding Bodies in Concrete
Canadice, NY 2004
Stacy DeBeer, 30, was arraigned on charges of killing two of her infants—one in June 1998 and the other in May 2003 — and hiding their bodies in pails of concrete that investigators had to break apart with hammers.

Woman Kills Herself after Allegedly Smothering Infant Daughter
Bayonne, NJ 2004
It is believed that Emiri Padrone smothered her 10 month-old daughter with a stuffed animal prior to killing herself by stabbing herself in the chest. No motive was discovered, however, Padrone had been in psychiatric care.

Mother Charged with Gruesome Death of Baby
Dallas, TX 2004
Dena Schlosser, 35, was charged with capital murder on November 22 for killing her 10 month-old baby. After dialing 911, police and paramedics found Ms. Schlosser at home covered in the blood of her child, still holding a knife.

Mother Sentenced in Christmas Slaying of Newborn Baby
Mineola, NY 2004
Kathleen Brown of North Massapequa was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for the killing of her newborn son on Christmas Day 2001. Last June, Brown pleaded guilty, confessing to have placed her baby in a plastic bag while he was still alive.

Mother Throws 14 Month-Old Twins in Mississippi River
St. Paul, MN 2003
Naomi Gaines threw her 14 month-old twins into the Mississippi River, after which she jumped into the river yelling, "Freedom!" She and one child were saved. It is believed that Gaines has had a history of postpartum depression and mania.

Lisa Diaz Drowns Her Two Daughters
Plano, TX 2003
Lisa Diaz, 33, is being charged with the drowning deaths of her two daughters in a bathtub. The bodies of Briana, 6, and Kamryn, 3, were discovered by their father, Angel Diaz, on the bed in the master bedroom, naked, wet, and covered with a blanket. Lisa Diaz was found bleeding from self-inflicted stab wounds to her chest, neck and arms.

Mother Drowns Her Three Sons in Bathtub and Kills Herself
Norfolk, VA 2002
According to police, Sonita Barkley drowned her three young sons in her bathtub then jumped off a bridge, killing herself in the Elizabeth River.

Baby Girl Found Buried in Mother’s Back Yard
Tuscon, AZ 2002
Heather Porzel, a 20 year-old University of Arizona student, was arrested and charged with the premeditated murder of her baby girl after the infant’s remains were found buried in Porzel’s back yard.

Flores Drowns her Kids and Herself in Rio Grande River
Pilar, NM 2002
Bernadine Flores, a 32 year-old resident of Taos, drowned her two children and herself in the Rio Grande River in Pilar. The children were 4 years old and 16 months old.

Andrea Yates Drowns Her Five Children
Houston, TX 2001
Andrea Yates, 36, was charged with capital murder in the drowning deaths of her five children, ages 6 months to 7 years, in the bathtub of her suburban Houston home.

Woman Found Guilty for Brutal Stabbing of Her Baby
Vallejo, CA 2000
Jurors found Teresa Nelson guilty of second degree murder in the 1999 brutal killing of her 23 month-old daughter. After an argument with the child's father, Nelson allegedly stabbed her child to death, then stabbed herself in the abdomen, after which she called family members.

Riggs Executed by Lethal Injection for Murder of Her Two Children
Sherwood, AK 2000
Christina Riggs was executed by lethal injection for the 1997 deaths of her two children, Justin, 5, and Shelby, 2. Riggs herself requested a death sentence, and is the first woman to be executed in Arkansas in 150 years.

Noe Confesses to Killing Her Eight Children
Philadelphia, PA 1999
From 1948-1968, all ten of Mary Noe's children died at the age of less than six months. Although two deaths were of natural causes, Noe confessed that she had killed the other eight children with her own hands.

Rodriguez Acquitted of Strangling Death of Son for Reasons of Insanity
Houston, TX 1998
Evonne Rodriguez was found not guilty by reasons of insanity of the strangling death of her 4 month-old son with her rosary beads. She discarded the baby’s body in Buffalo Bayou because she believed he was possessed by demons, and later told police that the child had been kidnapped.

Teen Mother Pleads Guilty in Baby’s Death
Dover, DE 1998
Amy Grossberg, 19, accused of killing her newborn son and leaving him in a motel trash bin in 1996 pleaded guilty to manslaughter during a court hearing. Her former boyfriend Brian Peterson, 19, also pleaded guilty to manslaughter and agreed to testify against Grossberg.

Woman Drives into French Creek, Drowning Herself and Her Three Children
Meadville, PA 1997
Tina Reid, 29, drove her car into French Creek near Meadville, drowning herself and her three children. Police investigators are trying to determine the mother’s motivation. A note was found in the woman’s home addressed to her husband, raising the question of suicide.

Susan Smith Found Guilty of Drowning Her Two Sons
Union, SC 1995
After five days of testimony, along with Susan Smith's confession, it took the jury only two and a half hours to reach a verdict of guilty on two counts of murder in the drowning deaths of her two sons by strapping them in their car seats and rolling the car into the John D. Long Lake.

Death of Twin Newborns Investigated
Allison Lake, British Columbia, Canada 1994
Princeton RCMP has launched a homicide investigation after twin newborn girls were found dead in the pit of an outhouse at Allison Lake Provincial Park on October 9, 1994.

Postpartum Depression Argued a Mitigating Factor in Murder of Infant
Washington, D.C. 1993
LaTrena Pixley of Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the smothering death of her 6 week-old daughter. Her lawyer argued postpartum depression as a mitigating factor.

Woman Investigated for Smothering Two Newborns
New York, NY 1989
Ann Green of New York is under investigation for the smothering deaths of two newborns. One child died in 1980 and a second in 1982. The deaths were investigated only after she allegedly tried to kill a third child. Ms. Green said she had seen hands she did not recognize holding pillows over the infants' faces.

Mother Guilty of Killing Son by Tossing Him in Traffic
Orange County, CA 1987
An insanity defense was unsuccessful in convincing a jury to acquit Sheryl Massip of Orange County, California of murdering her 6 week-old son by tossing him into traffic, then intentionally running over him in a car. A judge overturned the verdict.

Tinning Convicted of Murdering One of Her Nine Deceased Infants
Schenectady, NY 1987
Mary Beth Tinning, 44, who lost all of her nine children from 1972 to 1985 as infants, has been found guilty of the murder of her child Tami Lynne. The sentence will carry a potential 20 years to life in prison.

Woman Tosses Six of Her Children in the Buffalo Bayou
Houston, TX 1986
After tossing six of her seven children into the Bayou, Juana Leija pleaded no contest for the drowning deaths of two of her children and received a sentence of 10 years of probation. The others children were rescued by passersby.

Fisher Drowns Three More of Her Children
Bangor, ME 1966
After being released from a five year stay at a mental hospital for the drowning deaths of three of her children in 1954, Constance Fisher, returned home only to give birth to three more children and drown each of them.

Mother Hangs Herself after Drowning Her Five Children
Aiea, HI 1965
While undergoing treatment at a psychiatric hospital for the drowning deaths of her five children in a bathtub, Maggie Young hanged herself in a shed on the hospital grounds.

Woman Accused of Infanticide Sentenced to Death
Baltimore, MA 1951
A woman, Betsey, was tried at Haggerstown for murdering her infant illegitimate child. The infant had been found where it had been concealed, under circumstances that were conclusive based on the opinion of the examining physician that the child had been born alive and that the child’s life had been terminated under violent circumstances. The jury, after being out 15 minutes, returned a verdict of guilty. Sentence of death was passed upon the prisoner.

A Case of Infanticide at Greenville
Greenville, SC 1874  
Great shock has been caused at Greenville owing to the discovery in the railroad depot of a traveling bag containing a dead male child supposed to be from four to six weeks old. The head of the child was black, and the hands tightly clenched, indicating that it may have been strangled to death.

Shocking Case of Infanticide
Manchester, NH 1851  
A woman named Kate V. Poole was housed in our jail for the murder of her infant child of two months by throwing it from the car about one mile below Manchester on the Nashua route.

Woman Drowns Her Three Children
Pittsfield, IL 1841
A woman destroyed her three children, the oldest about 8 years old, by drowning them in a creek. The woman informed a man of what she had done and where they could be found, and of her intention to drown herself in the Mississippi River. The children were found laid out and protected by some boughs to cover their faces. The woman has not been seen or heard of since.

Unknown Mother Drowns Baby
Eastern Argus, MA 1825  
A bag was discovered at the end of Yoeman’s and Dolby’s wharf containing a horrible and heart-wrenching spectacle. Inside it was the body of a female infant, which appears to have just been committed to a watery grave by some inhuman wretch, to conceal, no doubt, her guilt and infamy.