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From Cradle to Grave: The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children
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From Cradle to Grave: The Short Lives and Strange Deaths of Marybeth Tinning's Nine Children

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,310 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
She drove a school bus in Schenectady, New York. She even worked as a nurse's aide in a pediatric ward. But this seemingly normal woman killed her ninth child by smothering it and is suspected of doing the same to her other eight children--while escaping suspicion for more than a decade.
Hardcover, 363 pages
Published February 1st 1989 by William Morrow & Co (first published January 1st 1989)
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Emma O'shea
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes true stories
What goes through someones mind when they are writing something like this. It is an incredible story about a woman (I cannot bring myself to call her a mother, sorry) who has Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She killed nine of her own babies, without detection until the end!! What was going on with the authorities!! Anyway, do not read this book while pregnant or with young children it'll be far too upsetting.
Jul 31, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: local interest readers
Creepy as hell, very disturbing look at a mother who killed ALL of her babies! I was interested in reading because it takes place in Schenectady NY near my sons' homes. Couldn't put it down, it made me think of this woman and her husband for quite awhile after reading. They seemed so normal, yet she was a serial killer and he probably knew it.
Kaaron Warren
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Reading this book is difficult. Marybeth Tinning's story is upsetting in the extreme, as she kills baby after baby. Egginton tells the story journalistically, with little emotion, reporting the facts. These facts speak for themselves. She shows us interviews with the many, many people who suspected Tinning of murder, and gives us glimpses into the processes.
It does make me feel ill to read it, but I am fascinaed at the same time.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story of a mother(Mary Beth)who kills 8 of her 9 children. It shocks me that it took so long for them to actually do something about all the deaths of those babies. She loves all the attention she gets when a child dies which I've heard is typical of MSVP, she also did work in a medical facility which a lot of the times is the case too. Most of the residents who knew her in her small town in New York, believed her story of her children having a genetic disorder.
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
The dispassionate actions of this unwell and sad woman are much more disturbing than the bulk of fictional works I've read. 4 stars due to the writing and the depth, not because it was "fun" to read.
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Grim tale of a multiple infanticide. Well worth your time.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Egginton does an incredible job of relaying this story. Absolutely fascinating.
Sandra Swartz
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These true crime novels never cease to amaze me. The capacity we humans have for evil can seem endless. There is no doubt in my mind this woman is guilty and I am glad she is in jail where she belongs!
Sep 19, 2014 added it
Shelves: true-crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Saying that I like a book like this one feels a bit weird. I don't like dead babies, I just enjoy reading about the disturbed lady who had so many of them.

This is a scary account of a typical woman next door, who just so happens to have nine children, all of whom mysteriously died. This book was detailed and well written. Some of it was dated, not surprising since it was written in the late 1980's. For instance, I don't think disassociate disorder as described within the book (basically multipe
Roos Boum
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read the book in Dutch: En toen was het stil.

Zelf overlever zijnde van een moeder die kindermishandeling door Münchhausen by proxy pleegde, moest ik dit boek gelezen hebben. Het boek is een rapport van een onderszoeksjournaliste. Het leest dan ook bijna documentarisch. Zeer goed weergegeven en vooral voor mensen die het niet zelf bij de hand gehad hebben, moet het ongelooflijk zijn dat iemand 8 eigen baby's en 1 geadopteerd kindje kan vermoorden eer er iemand erg in heeft. En het gebeurt nog s
Victoria Brown
Mar 03, 2014 rated it liked it
As much as I hate a book about a mother accused of killing her children...this was an excellent book. It follows the life and trial of Mary beth Tinnings who was accused of killing 8 of her 9 children before she was finally arrested. This of course is a sad story and you keep reading and reading about friends..doctors and coworkers who wish they would have done something after each child. took forever for anyone to stand up and speak out. This book is very well written..flows ...more
Aug 17, 2008 rated it liked it
I wasn't very pleased with the writing in this book. The author wrote on a 9th grade level. It was hard to follow sometimes. The story itself is CREEPY! I'm not sure why I read this book when I am pregnant. This lady is psycho! I'm not sure how anyone could do this to her children. I was more disgusted by the behavior of the people who knew Marybeth Tinning. How could they go all those years and all those children without making a bigger deal about the deaths of her children. Why did it take her ...more
Dec 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I found this book interesting, but definitely not easy to read. Mostly I found it shocking and frustrating. Nonfiction about a woman who over the course of fourteen or so years, killed eight of her nine children. She was reported to the Child Protective Services (or whatever it was called back then) by family members and coworkers, but nothing came of it. She was even allowed to adopt a child, who didn't make it to the age of three.
Tory Hunz
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The true story about a disturbed woman who was accused of killing her children over two decades in my hometown Schenectady, New York. Nine children died during this time period and the likelihood of Marybeth Tinning, their mother, being the murderer is for you to decide. It's surreal to read street names and landmarks that I grew up with while not knowing their significance. I highly recommend this book.
May 29, 2010 rated it liked it
This is woman was crying out for help, one would almost feel bad for her. Unfortunately same as when she was a child and ignored by her father, authorities, friends etc. ignored also her until it was far too late. I feel Social Services should also be at fault for this as well as her husband. It seemed like nobody really cared at all about these kids.

Overall good book, I read most of it in one day. It seemed to drag at some parts. I wouldn't recommend this for pregnant mothers, it's creepy.
Nora aka Diva
Jul 30, 2010 rated it liked it
It's a good book but not for those who are easily upset. It is unnerving that this woman could harm so many of her own children and yet no-one caught on for way too damn long. Munchhausins by proxy what a horrid thing. As a mom myself I just couldn't understand at all why a mother would go over the edge like that.
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disturbing and sinister true crime novel with no end to its horror, vividly detailed and unforgettable. It's incredibly sad that these deaths happened, and this book gives the story of the police investigation that brought the killer to justice.
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was so sad. It's unbelievable the things people got away with back in the 60's and 70's. This was an interesting book for those that want to understand the thought process of the mind. It is sad that no one really paid attention to the warning signs until it was too too late.
This was my first "adult" book I ever read. I was 12, we were camping, and I had already finished all my reading material for the week. I grabbed this every time my mother put it down. I've always been fascinated by serial killers and this is one of the few female serial killers.
Emily Smiltneck
Feb 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book after reading a Mary Higgins Clark book (Where Are The Children, or something like that) that referenced it. Freaky, scary, intense book- I cannot comprehend how it could be true, and yet, it is. Terrible story, wonderful book.
Jun 10, 2015 marked it as to-read
Own in hardback.

FS: "A few hours before she killed her infant daughter Tami Lynne, Marybeth Tinning bought her a quantity of Christmas presents."

LS: "Suddenly fearful, the prisoners exchanged looks, remembering what happened to Tami Lynne."
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boy was this book disturbing. I'm not often a non-fiction reader or even a "true crime" reader but this one peaked my interest....and kept it. All I can say, is sometimes truth is more interesting than fiction.
Ann York
Mar 20, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was very upsetting to read it is how a woman had babies and they died it is more horror then that of jack the ripper all i can say about is why did nine babies have to die this is a true story
Cheryl Schibley
Jun 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This very sick and murderous woman had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy which is a mental condition that makes them harm their children because they like the attention they get at the hospitals. Unfortunately, she murdered 8 of her own children before she was finally brought to justice.
Aug 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The sick and strange true story of a woman in Schenectady NY who murdered her nine children and almost got away with it.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
One word: UNbelievable
Eleanor Thompson
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: true-crime
Well written story about a terrifying subject. It was like a bad car accident...I found myself unable to look away.
Oct 09, 2009 rated it liked it
It's kind of amazing how what we expect to see prevents us from seeing what's really there.
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