glimpse into child killer's mind
appearance before parole board, Marybeth Tinning said
deaths ''damaged'' her
ROBERT GAVIN Staff writer
12:00 a.m., Friday, February 11, 2011
-- In her most expansive interview to date, notorious
Tinning, told the
state parole board last month she was a "messed up
smothered her 4-month daughter with a pillow because
she feared the
infant would die.
the deaths of my other children ... I just lost it,"
Tinning told the
board Jan. 26. "(I) became a damaged worthless piece
of person and when
my daughter was young, in my state of mind at that
time, I just
believed that she was going to die also. So I just
68, formerly of Schenectady, is serving 20 years to
life at Bedford
Hills Correctional Facility in
Westchester County for killing her daughter, Tami
Lynne , on Dec. 20, 1985. On Feb. 5 she was denied
parole for the
third time since becoming eligible for release
Lynne was among nine of Tinning's children, including
an adopted son,
who did not live beyond the age of 4. Authorities
first child died naturally -- but that she killed the
transcripts of the Jan. 26 parole hearing at Bedford
Hills in which
Tinning reveals her guilt in the murder more than ever
before. In 2009,
her only explanation for her grisly crime was that she
through bad times" when she committed the murder.
in 2007 she was admonished by the board for a lack of
Jan. 26, parole commissioner, Mary
Ross, asked Tinning:
"This charge involved the murder of your 4-month-old
child who was
smothered with a pillow, is this right?"
ma'am," Tinning replied.
you do that?" Ross asked.
ma'am, I did," Tinning answered.
later asked Tinning what she thought when her children
replied: "Two things that I wanted in life was to be
married to someone
who cared for me and to have children and, other than
that, I can't
give you a reason."
said sudden infant death syndrome caused the deaths of
the interview, Ross noted Tinning has certificates of
nonviolence and anger management programs and that she
now works for a
chaplain. Ross and parole commissioner, Jared
Brown, also cited
letters of support for Tinning from people she has
worked with in
prison, as well as from Georgetown Law School, with
some describing her
as the "most loving, most generous, caring person that
one point Ross asked Tinning, "When you look back at
your actions ...
what insight do you have into it or yourself?"
replied: "When I look back I see a very damaged and
just a messed up
person and I have tried to become a better person
while I was here,
trying to be able to stand on my own and ask for help
when I need it,
others when they need it. ... (S)ometimes I try not to
look in the
mirror and when I do, I just, there is no words that I
can express now.
I feel none. I'm just, just none."
noting she worked with AIDS patients in prison, said
she would like to
volunteer with such patients if released -- and that
some places have
told her husband, Joseph, they would be willing to use
said she would live with her husband if released. He
visits once a
month but it is "getting harder," she told the board.
was also suspected of trying to poison her husband,
Feb. 5, the parole board's decision found Tinning's
release would be
incompatible with public safety and would diminish the
is eligible for parole again in January 2013.
parole board's ruling stated: "This decision is based
on the following
factors: You stand convicted of the serious offense of
murder in which
you caused the death of your infant daughter by
smothering her with a
pillow. This was a heinous crime. You were in a
position of trust and
violated that trust by taking the life of an innocent