Speaking Ill of The Dead: Children Rip Their Abusive Mother in Chilling Obituary

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Speaking Ill of The Dead: Children Rip Their Abusive Mother in Chilling Obituary

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 11, 2013 | Comments ()


Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick died a couple of weeks ago. She wasn’t beloved by her family. In fact, she was downright loathed, and I get the sense that the children’s hatred for their mother was earned. Still, when someone terrible dies, most people manage to cough up a few decent words about the deceased out of simple respect for the dead. These kids, however, clearly had no respect for their 78-year-old mother, who clearly had no respect for them. This obituary has apparently been scrubbed from the Internet, but the folks over at Gawker managed to get the full text:

Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.

On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.

Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgiveable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a “humane society”. Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.

That’s a powerful indictment of a dead woman, and a nice reminder to all parents: Do not f**k with your kids. Death does not extinguish resentment. She sounds like a horrible woman, and if she was as abusive as the obituary makes out, may she rot in hell.

(via Gawker)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Kai

    I'm sorta shocked she had 8 children! Who would actually WANT to have sex with that she-beast!?!?

  • This obit is the exact opposite:


  • LindaVK

    My mother was also a mean vile bitch who tortured us and made my life especially a nightmare. Her main goal in life was to make sure we were not successful and reminded me always that i was not wanted or loved.One of the happiest days in my life was the day i was told she died-free at last. Not everybody is blessed with a good mother. The bost book I ever read was " When you and your mother can't be friends". It said that in such extreme cases, divorce is necessary from the family. I highly recommend it!
    Rot is hell you Bitches, and good for her children for outing her wicked behavior-now they can have a life.

  • NateMan

    Wow... There are so many things ringing true for me here, particularly in light of recent conversations, that it kinda gave me chills. I could see writing this. Although physical abuse was never a problem, emotional... Well. Kinda good to read.

  • okayflint

    bad ass. the only thing better would have been if they made a "mistake" and had it published before her passing

  • John W

    What's the address of the place where she lived so I don't accidentally spend the night there.

  • LexieW

    My grandfather too was an abusive, alcoholic son-of-a-bitch. He nearly killed his wife more than once, in full view of his 4 children. Of those children - the eldest son grew up and remains a bachelor, because he's terrified that he could potentially be the same kind of father/husband that he had. The eldest daughter abused her child early on. The second daughter became a psychiatrist but also has had relationship issues stemming from her father's abuse, and the youngest son abuses his wife and daughter.

    I remember my grandfather's last days - only my mother (2nd daughter) could deal with him, and he raised hell until his last breath. I remember my nearly-beaten-to-death grandmother (a devout Catholic) saying that we should talk about all the good things we remembered about him. 10-year-old me stubbornly kept my mouth shut when it was time for the grandkids to say what we'd miss about him.

    I never loved him, was unaffected at his funeral, and don't miss him. I hardly ever think about him.

    My own relationship with my father had always been very difficult, but lately we've both been making efforts to change it - mostly because I shocked him by saying that I used to wish he would die and leave me in peace. That woke him up.

  • Slash

    Good for you. For all of that.

    One of the reasons (maybe the major reason) abuse of children persists is this thing where we don't talk about it because it makes the family look bad or this stupid "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" thing. Fuck that. The only thing that has any hope of maybe convincing somebody to change is telling them that what they're doing is wrong. And refusing to be nice about it. And refusing to go along when relatives persist in putting a cheerful face on a terrible situation.

    The psychological damage caused by child abuse in this country is incalculable. Allowing it to remain hidden by letting "bygones be bygones" is repellent. Why not hand the abusers a World's Greatest Dad/Mom mug while we're at it?

  • LexieW

    Exactly, Slash. Exactly. And thanks :)

  • stella

    I gotta go call my parents and thank them for being amazing.

  • Judge_Snyder

    The Chaser said it best...


  • Sars

    There is nothing* wrong with speaking ill of the dead, and I hate that someone's death automatically renders them a saint and washes all of their sins.
    My grandfather was a tyrant. He abused his own children, his wife, and altimately, attempted* to sexually abuse his grandchildren. The man was hurrendous and had no soul. He was a hunter and had adorned his home with the heads of dead animals he had shot.
    He was an alcoholic, and married my aunto to his best friend, when she wall all of 13 years old, all because his drinking buddy had money and basically owned half the town. Well the drinking buddy ended up drinking up all his money, died of liver cancer, and left my poor aunt effectively destitute and at the mercy of her 7 siblings who had their own shit and baggage to deal with.
    He used to beat his wife, and encouraged my dad to do the same to his mother and us. He physically abused my father, which sadly, meant he physically abused us at a young age. (not sexual- that was limited to the grand father). He made everyone call him sir and he had not one ounce of kindness inside him. the only person he cared about was himself. He had an unending amount of self-pity and always saw himself as the victim, when he was the victimizer.
    He died of cancer, and he SUFFERED. Im glad he suffered. when they told me how he died, I was so happy. He got an iota of the pain he had caused 2 generations of people, through abuse and neglect.
    but my dad, who hated my grand father when he was living, now talks about him like he was a saint. "my poor father this" and "my poor father that." the funny thing is my granddad would beat his childrean to a pulp if they called him "father"- it always had to be "Sir". I always refer to him as the devil- if i refer to him at all. Out of sight and out of mind. I hope he burns in hell for eternity.
    So ya this obituary is perfect.

  • While I understand and agree with your larger point, I do have a minor quibble in that neither hunting nor mounting trophies are a symptom of soullessness in the same way that the other qualities you mentioned would be.

  • Sars

    If someone can kill something in cold blood for sport and enjoyment and then tell stories of said act, describing horrible accounts of gutting and blood gushing out, that person has no soul/ needs to get in touch with their soul/ spend some time with animals to understand they are living beings like us. signed off- vegan*

  • If someone does those things in the manner you relate, then I would say that they are hunting for all the wrong reasons. But that they do those things does make them indicative of hunting as a whole.

    Hunting and trapping supplied about 75% of our food when I was younger. I grew up hunting for food, not for sport, and I still do it for that reason. I wouldn't say I enjoy the actual killing per se, but I do enjoy hunting as a whole and the killing and dressing are a necessary and inevitable concomitant. I'm not a big trophy taker, either, but I do have a few heads on the wall and a bearskin on my bed, more as mementos of special trips than anything else.

  • Sars

    I dont have a problem with hunting as means of sustinence. Im sure you are a lovely person and I didnt mean to be harsh. I used to go hunting too, but I guess it affected me the opposite way. Taking a life was very hard for me, and while I still love nature and camping etc, I rather enjoy the animals in their element and alive. Everybody is different I guess...again I'm vegan, and really hated going hunting and killing things so I obviously have a differnt view on it.

  • My fiancee is a lot like that. She loves camping and the outdoors and all that, but she prefers seeing animals in their element and doesn't like seeing the immediate end result of a hunting trip. Once it's dressed out, she'll help me preserve it, freeze it, pack it away, prepare it and cook it, but her willingness to be involved in the process begins and ends there.

  • Laura Darch

    Sorry if this was mentioned before - if you guys wanna raise funds for victims of child abuse, write a book on this beast mother, and figure out a way that it'll become one of Oprah's favorite things or whatever - therapeutic, informative, a little bit morbid maybe, but moneymaking, definitely.

  • icecreammang

    This reminds me why I don't play the lottery. It wouldn't be fair - I won it the day I was born.

  • Sars


  • Slash

    Respect, whether for dead or old people, has to be earned. Abusive parents should be shamed.

    It's kinda too bad there isn't really a hell (other than the one humans have created on earth). That's why you need to do things while people are still alive. That's the only time you have to try to fix something or make up for something.

  • simplysarah

    My husband's father was a horrible man. He abused my husband and his siblings, he abused their mom. He was hateful and a plain ole' nasty person. During his funeral, my husband had to get up and walk out as his sister stood up and spoke about how wonderful of a father he was and how great of a man he was. Death does not make the life one lived invalid. If you lived an asshole, you died an asshole. People don't forgive Hitler just because he died.

  • True_Blue

    Totally agree--death (which all of us must face someday) does not turn an asshole into an angel. I wonder if the whole "don't speak ill of the dead" is a leftover from the days when people worried about pissed off ghosts coming back to haunt them.

  • frozen01

    Probably, but it could also be a sort of way to heal. You know, "he's gone, we don't have to put up with his bullshit anymore, so let's just whitewash the past and let it go"? Not saying that's a good way to go about things, but maybe that's part of the reason.

  • Miss Nev

    This was in my local newspaper. I hope her family finds peace.

  • merryxmas

    Why do people suddenly deserve respect just because they died? If she was a ghastly person who only lived to inflict misery onto others than it's only right that her memory is forever and justly reflected in the life they led. It's disingenuous to sift through their pieces to try and find one good memory if someone was a true horror in life.

  • frozen01

    I'm still shaking my head over the fact that this woman had 8 kids.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I hope that writing this gave them the sense of vindication and relief that they clearly needed so very badly. Knowing that your treatment was reprehensible and recovering from it are two very different things.

  • emmalita

    I had a really complicated relationship with my mother. She wasn't evil, but I got a lot more of her crazy than anyone else. Other than saying we had a complicated relationship, I didn't say anything negative in her obituary or at her memorial service. But it was hard when people were telling me what an angel she was and how I would probably weep for her loss every day for the rest of my life. I do miss my mom sometimes. There are a lot of great things she did for me and we did love each other. But my life is so much easier without her. I feel for that woman's children. I hope they lead lives full of happiness, love and compassion.

  • PDamian

    My life is so much easier without her.

    I often think this is the most difficult thing to comprehend for people who come from happy families. You're not sitting around, moaning and groaning and bewailing your lot, and you're not bitter, morose or sullen. Often you're quite happy, or at least content. Others see that, and think, "He/she's in such a good place now -- can't he/she forgive and forget, and be happy families?" They don't realize that you're in a good place because you've cut the cancer out of your life, and to let it back in would be disastrous for your health, your sanity and your life.

  • emmalita

    Nail on the head my friend. Nail. On. The. Head.

  • Jim

    Our Moms sound similar - I often say mine was bi-polar before it became fashionable. As with you there was little evil just lots of crazy. She pushed us all constantly and, unfortunately for them, my sisters and brother have personalities that wilt under that pressure. I pushed back because that's how my brain works. I got respect and space, they got more pressure until the day she died.

    Strangely, I find she made me stronger and more independent. I'm very, very good at reading people's moods and dealing with it.

    I, too, wish those childen find peace but it's a faint hope. I visited my sisters last summer - Mom has been gone for almost 20 year. On their walls and mantels, among other family items, were vintage photos my parents early marriage with my Mom expertly cropped out of frame. She may be gone but the resentment remains.

  • emmalita

    My crazy crazy parents gifted me with many skills, among them, avoiding and/or handling crazy people. Actually, she encouraged me to be smart, independent, and stand up for myself. All things that later lead to us butting heads. After I left home she got into showing dogs. The dogs were a much better fit for her. They were smart, funny and energetic, but far more trainable than her only child. I'm sorry for your sisters. There is always a possibility that they will be able to let go and move on. I had a really great therapist while my mother was ill. She was worth every penny I paid her in helping me work through most of the anger and resentment.

  • frozen01

    My dad is awesome; it's my mom who's the crazy one. They didn't really prepare me to "handle" crazy people, though. They just encouraged me to avoid people altogether (I wasn't allowed to really leave the house growing up, except for school and work, which is why I got two jobs and signed up for volunteer work during high school, just to get out of there). I never developed good social skills as a result, and still struggle at 31, but I am very independent.

    After I left (the day I turned 18), my parents started breeding cats for a second income. I've always felt my mother would've been better off getting a kitten instead of having children.

  • Wigamer

    My dad just died a couple of months ago, and I had the same ambivalent experience about his death as it sounds like you did with your mom's. You can't really prepare for how you're going to feel when a not-so-great parent dies. I felt a lot of relief, and then immediate, massive guilt for feeling that relief. Now I'm just saddened by the waste. It must be so different to grieve a healthy relationship.

  • Sars

    I have a really difficult relationship with my father too. A life time of physical and emotional abuse that took many years to recover from and still affects me to date. I've just cut him off at this point, and I dont feel sorry for him, nor do I feel I love him. I know he is reaching that age where he is going to leave this earth, and I know that after his death I will feel bad, sad and guilty that I didnt give it one last try. but I KNOW, that me trying wont do anything, other than hurt me, so i'll just wait. all this to say, I feel you.

  • PDamian

    And I feel you. I always have the thought in the back of my head that my father's getting older, he's slowing down (according to relatives who keep in touch; I haven't spoken to him in over 20 years), I won't have him much longer, I should reconcile now or be forever sad and regretful ... and I can't do it. Mostly because I know that doing so would be pointless; after all, I have other siblings who have attempted to reconcile with him and come away furious and betrayed all over again. But also because my life is good, and peaceful, and everything it wasn't when he was in it, and I deeply fear the loss of that. What's more, I have a terrific stepdad, and have no need for a father figure. Not that my father was ever much of a parent, or father figure, or anything other than a misery and a scourge to anyone who tried to love him.

  • Slash

    Christ, don't do it. He's a grownup. If he hasn't made an effort to contact you and try to make some amends (however pathetically late and too little they might be), that's it. He's made his decision. For fuck's sake, don't let anybody continue to punish you with any guilt whatsoever. Seriously, that makes me mad.

    If you absolutely must contact him, write him a letter. Tell him you're prepared to forgive him if he's prepared to apologize. If he doesn't respond (or responds poorly), you've done all any decent person can. Write him off. The biological part is the least important part of being a parent.

  • Sars

    My boyfriend suggested the same thing- re: letter. But knowing him, he will enjoy it and take it as having defeated me and I just dont want to give him the satisfaction. It's horrible, but I just dont want him to get happy from that.

  • Slash

    Sure. That makes sense, too. Some people feel the need for "closure." Personally, I've always felt that moving on from horrible people is all the closure you need, but not everybody agrees. Maybe send a letter with the words "Fuck you" in a giant font. Don't even sign it. Make him wonder who sent it. Or don't. Whichever.

    Note: My parents were not horrible. They had their issues (and were, in some ways, not great role models) but were not anywhere near as horrible as this woman from the story apparently was. Just FYI. My father is deceased and I do miss him. My mother is still alive. She is mostly quite lovely and I attribute some of her behavior to her dysfunctional childhood (her mother was a real piece of work) and another part to the Jesus freaks she's been hanging out with for the past 25 years.

  • PDamian

    This is why I read Pajiba. Come for the movie news and snark, stay for the unexpectedly sage and tender advice. Thanks, Sars, Slash.

  • Sars

    Some people just cant be saved. When the only happiness they know is from inflicting pain on the easiest of victims (usually family members based on proximity and vulnerability) they dont deserve redemption and forgiveness.
    Good for you for moving on and not speaking to him for 20 years. Mine calls from time to time (when he needs something) and I havent yet figured out how to screen his calls ( I dont have his number saved- it gives me anxiety)

  • Something my father used to say to me and my brothers is that sometimes you have to let people go to hell their own way, you know? After you've done what you can, sometimes you have to just step back and let them pursue destruction.

  • Maguita NYC

    All around internet hugs to all of you wonderful ladies. Hope your mourning comes to pass, and you are surrounded by nothing but love and sincere friendship.

  • emmalita

    Yeah. When I meet someone who whole heatedly mourns their parent I feel a little jealous. I get over it pretty quickly.

  • frozen01

    I have absolutely no idea how I'll react when mine passes. She wasn't evil, but I don't think she should've been a mother. Incredibly involved until I was about 6, and then just... I don't know, disconnected... I always felt that she probably should've just gotten a puppy or something. When I got older and realized how much things had gone awry, my dad tried to "show me the light" by telling me about how, when she got pregnant with me, she was so excited because she thought we would be the best of friends when I grew up, and something about that just disturbed me.

    Anyways, I'll probably be moving abroad in the next few years so we may just not be a part of each others' lives by that point.

  • Mrs. Julien

    I had a difficult relationship with Pater Julien. He had cancer and had a heart attack during treatment. He then spent about 10 days in and out of consciousness. We held his hand and kept him company. It was entirely cathartic. When he died (still holding his hand), I was able to mourn him without any baggage. Those 10 days were the best, most bittersweet gift I have ever received.

  • emmalita

    Having time to come to terms with our relationship while she was dying was a blessing. It let me put aside the bad feelings and just hold her hand in those last few days.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Wow. Well, my mom was crazy and a control freak, but she loved us... pretty much, most of the time... when we weren't being assholes. She got us back by leaving us to deal with our dad.

  • George Tarleton

    My greatest hope for her children's and her children's children is that they don't let that bitterness infect and ruin the rest of their lives. Put her in the ground, and put your lives with her behind you. The saddest thing is to see how the children of terrible parents cannot shake the specter of their upbringing, and cannot be happy because of a past life of misery.

    Go forward and live better than you were able to when she was alive. Don't let her ghost destroy your future. The greatest final shot will be to simply forget her.

  • Slash

    Who says they're not happy? Telling it like it is doesn't preclude happiness. There's no reason to put a "happy" face on a shitty situation.

    And I doubt anyone can completely "shake" the specter of their upbringing. They should remember, at least enough to determine not to be like her. Some people are useful only as bad examples.

  • George Tarleton

    I feel like your response is a bit... much? I'm not saying that they're unhappy or happy. I'm merely saying that I hope they will BE happy, and that I wish them the best. There was a bit more snap in your response than was probably warranted, since all I was saying is that I want them to live well and be happy despite their past hardships.

  • Slash

    You used the word "bitterness." That kind of implies unhappiness.

    I also doubt any of her children will forget her. So your advice was unhelpful. Children rarely forget the people who abused them.

    Just sayin'. Telling unpleasant truth does not mean the person telling it is bitter or unhappy or doomed to a life of misery.

    This woman got the obituary she deserved, apparently. Her children obviously felt truth (and man, at this point, I hope it's true and we all haven't been trolled) was more honorable than pretending their dear mother was being mourned by the children she treated so terribly.

  • George Tarleton

    OK, you appear determined to misconstrue what was a simple wish that they find happiness. I used bitterness because they clearly were unhappy because of their clearly terrible mother, and all I was saying is I hope that they are happy in the future. I'm not saying that they're miserable people, merely that often people from such backgrounds are unable to ever recover from such abuse, and I hope that they do or have. I'm not sure why such a harsh criticism of my comment was warranted.

    But you know what? Never mind. Let's just move on, because I don't want to waste any more time on this.

  • What gives me hope is their message about helping other abused children. How better to live a good, fulfilling life than to reach out to those who are hurt and help them heal, too?

  • dizzylucy

    It does sound like most of them have broken the cycle, which is an achievement in itself. To then help other people too is especially inspirational. Good luck to them.

  • emmalita

    The best revenge is a life well lived.

  • chanohack

    I can't even tell you guys how much I love this and am totally sending it to my siblings. (This is not hyperbole. I literally don't think I can explain how much I love this. Good for them.) I do kind of hate that Gawker is presenting this in the light of "Be nice you your kids or else they might make a mean obituary about you!" Um. No. Be nice to your kids.

  • Janey

    Years ago, my great-uncle died and I heard my grandmother say "Well, he was an alcoholic and abused his wife and kids, but you know, he was a nice guy in a lot of ways." I couldn't even begin to figure out a way to refute her comment. Just because someone is graced with the mantle of death is never a reason to put them up on some sort of pedestal... He was an asshole, and now he's a dead asshole.

    Bravo to these children of that woman. Good riddance and I hope that they do get some sort of closure.

  • Tinkerville

    The societal need to pretend that awful people were kind and decent after their death drives me batshit insane. Death shouldn't excuse their actions and lying about them does a disservice to everyone they harmed during their life.

    It always makes me think of that scene from Analyze That when Billy Crystal's character rails against his father during the eulogy and then snaps to reality to give the polite one. Really the former is what we should be doing.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I always knew I lucked out to have the mom I do. It's stuff like this that makes me realize just HOW MUCH I lucked out.

  • alannaofdoom

    Ditto. Going to call both my parents tonight and thank them for being their weird, wonderful selves.

  • I grew up dirt floor, ketchup soup poor and we lacked for a lot of stuff, both luxuries and necessities, but one thing my parents did was make sure we were looked after and made sure we knew we were loved and wanted. That makes up for a lot when you're a kid

  • I have a couple of friends who were homeless for nearly six months a couple of years ago. They convinced their three boys that they were just on a really long, really awesome camping trip every night. They sang and told stories around a fire, and slept in their family van. Their boys are some of the happiest, most creative, well-adjusted kids I've ever met. After childhood in poverty, I spent my adolescence in a two-story house with a big-screen TV and jet skis. None of my siblings or I speak to either of our parents anymore. Mom is into machinations and Dad is verbally/physically abusive (and has been so even into our adulthood).

    It's the caring that makes the difference.

  • apsutter

    This is awesome and reminds me of "Life is Beautiful" and how even though they were in a terrible situation he would do anything to hide it from his son.

  • NIkki

    My friends told me about___billionairefish.com___they told me it's the largest club for finding educated successful men and classy gorgeous women for relationships. I have tried, it's fantastic, hundreds of thousands of elite singles are there. Have a try and good luck! *_*

  • bastich

    So how are the parenting skills of the educated successful men and classy gorgeous women that your site offers?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Clearly, one's bank account outweighs one's grammar as grounds for participation. It's the way of the world, I suppose. Remember grade 5 when it actually mattered who was a good speller, or grade 11 when it mattered who knew what an Oxford comma was and could deploy it properly? Now it's all bank accounts and toned thighs. I suppose I should applaud the cynical honestly of it all.

  • Maguita NYC

    Must admit though, phishing had gotten some sophisticatin' to them on the recruiting for sugar daddies.

  • BigBlueKY

    You have some great parents. Unfortunately, there's a lot of really shitty people out there who feel the need to procreate and be shitty to innocent, dependent human beings. So sad. This bitch is enjoying her VIP status in hell right now though so at least there's that.

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