James Edward Fredrickson
- December 14, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial

How much should an 18 month old child weigh? Research is telling me that depending on how tall the child is, a healthy 18 month old child should weigh between 20 and 25 pounds. James Fredrickson was born weighing in at nine pounds. SHOCKINGLY, when he died 18 months later, he weighed only 10 pounds and 10 ounces. If you do the math, that is a weight gain of only one pound ten ounces in well over a year, for a growing child. What could happen to cause this in a child? How about his parents, slowly starving him to death!?!

Kristian and Amanda Fredrickson, who were both 24 years old at the time, were arrested and charged with first degree murder in the death of this precious baby boy. In the home, Police found James to be living a room that had feces all over the floor, around the crib where he slept and on the furniture in the room of the filthy home he and his family lived in. Every ounce of fat and muscle had long gone from his body when he was found.

The two seemed to be careless about what had happened to their son. The night before, Kristian had gone out and rented a movie and brought home fast food for the family, not even worrying about what James was going to eat. Amanda and Kristian both admitted that they didn't feed James or worry about getting medical attention for him. After dinner, James was found in his crib, face down and not moving. After being taken to the hospital, James was pronounced dead at 6:20 p.m., though the E.R. staff believe he had been dead at least six hours.

Barry Lloyd, the Public Defender said that it may have been a case where both of these parents were pointing the finger at the other. The couple was held without bail. Dr Jill Glick said:

"When kids die of starvation, that's an extreme process. The body is, breaking down all of it's
and tissue muscle to run the heart and vital organs"

The medical examiner also reported that James had Osteoporosis and anemia. Mary Mathews, a social worker with the Children's Memorial Hospital said that the degree of malnutrition that James was suffering from was shocking adding that when infants are not fed on a regular basis, they never learn to eat and can stop crying when they are hungry. James's five year old sister was taken from the home and placed with the Illinois Department of Children And Family Services where it would be determined if she would go live with family members of a foster

Deputy Director of Children's Services, John Goad, said that in child abuses cases, starvation is rarely seen and said that out of 350 reports in a year, maybe one would be a starvation case. Kristian was sentenced to 45 years in prison for starving James. I am unable to find out when.

In June of 2005, Steve Beach, a Fire Department Paramedic held back tears as he talked of how they had found James that night:

"It looked like somebody had taken tissue paper and put it over a skeleton. There was no muscle
or fat. You could basically see his entire bone structure.

Amanda Fredrickson, who was 27 at the time, was on trial, facing the death penalty for a charge of first degree murder for the death of James. A Pediatrician, Dr Charles Nozicka, said that healthy babies will quadruple their weight by 18 months old. Tom Byne, the Prosecutor, told the members of the jury and the courtroom that James had died because Amanda was too selfish to care about what he needed:

"This is a case about a mothers responsibility to care for her own child"

Kathryn Lisco, Amanda's lawyer, said that this was not an accurate description of her and said that Amanda did love her son, but that she was suffering from depression and had very little help from her husband, Kristian as he was often gone. According to Kathryn, Amanda simply did not realize her son was dying and she certainly didn't want him to die. I find it interesting that she knew to feed herself and her daughter, but not the baby, the one who depended on her the most. Kathryn said that Amanda had neglected James to death and that was not the same as murdering him. In my opinion, Kathryn is wrong and should be ashamed to have said something so stupid!

In court, Diane Sanford, a Psychologist read from Amanda's diary in an attempt to show that she was suffering from major depression during the time she starved her son to death:

"I hate my life. Maybe it would be a better life without me in it. I hate it all and have no one to
truly love me"
Amanda - written January 3, 2001

Diane said that the depression made Amanda suicidal and unable to do simple, daily chores. Amanda's parents also said that she might have suffered from depression when she was a young child.

Arden Duggan, a man who had a short romantic relationship with Amanda, said that he had moved into the home in June of 2001 and was immediately shocked by how Jame's looked. Arden said he would feed Jame's and that he always ate all of what he was given. Arden said that he moved out on December 14, 2001 and in part he had moved out because he could see that James was dying. REALLY? He could SEE that a child was dying, yet took no steps to help him other than feeding him? This makes no sense to me. Why not call the police or CPS to get some help for James? Walking away from a dying child is as good as signing his death warrant, in my opinion.

In August of 2005, Amanda would cry at different times in the court room as she was sentenced to 45 years in prison for "neglecting" James to death. Amanda was 28 years old at the time Circuit Judge Thomas Facarotta Jr. sentenced her after she was found guilty of first degree murder. Amanda's sentence was the same as Kristian's and the Judge made it a point to say that it was not intentionally done that way, though he felt it was fair:

"Her conduct is that she is a selfish, spoiled person. I believe she didn't want to be in that
home raising children"

Kathryn asked for a new trial and that request was denied. States Attorney Tom Byrne had been asking for a 60 to 100 year sentence but was satisfied with the 45 years that was given. A statement was read in court, from Amanda, in which she said she was sorry:

"My only comfort is that James is not suffering any more. I am faced with the fact of not only
 the loss
of my son, but my whole family"

The Assistant to Kathryn said that Kristian and Amanda should not have had children:

"It's almost a perfect storm. She was living in a car, living in a forest preserve. These are two
trying to keep it together. They didn't know the first thing about raising children. It was
 destined to
go wrong"
Susan Smith

Death Occurred in the state of Illinois

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