13-page suicide note: The woman who jumped from her Manhattan window with her baby in arms left a 13-page suicide note.
The woman who jumped with her baby from a Manhattan apartment building earlier this week left a 13-page suicide note, which spoke of her failings as a mother and described “two shameful incidents” that may have damaged her baby.
Cynthia Wachenheim, an attorney with the Manhattan Supreme Court, died after she jumped from her Harlem apartment on Wednesday. However, her 10-month-old baby, Keston, survived and was rushed to the hospital and suffered only bruises.
According to a source with The New York Times, she spoke of “two shameful incidents” in the note, including one where her baby fell off a bed and another where the child fell from a play set. She thought the falls had damaged the child for life and she blamed her self.
She believed that the falls caused Keston to have seizures and concussions, and thought that his behavior was different, with sleepiness and crying. However, his doctor and others did not see any discernable changes in the boy.
“The note said she was not happy and she talked about what she planned to do,” a source told the New York Daily News.
“I love you. I’m making you suffer. You’re going to think I’m evil,’” another source told the News, referring to what she wrote in the note. “She thinks she’s a failing mother. On the last page, she refers to postpartum depression. She was supposed to see a therapist, but she blew him off.”
The Times said Wachenheim frequently called her child “beautiful” in the note.
A source with the Daily News believes that Wachenheim may have been suffering from postpartum depression and that she was supposed to go see a therapist.
Dr. Catherine Birndorf, a psychiatrist with Weill Cornell Medical College, told the Times that postpartum does not generally lead to depression or suicide, suggesting that Wachenheim may have had a more serious mental illness.
“Usually these intensely lethal acts happen in the context of losing some kind of touch with reality,” she told the paper. “What mother in their right mind would kill their kid?”
Christian Johnson, a lawyer who lives nearby, said he heard Wachenheim and her husband arguing hours before the incident.
“When I came home, they were arguing. And I actually stopped to listen, and I heard screaming, and the baby was crying. He just kept saying why wouldn’t you pick up the phone, why would you put that stress on me? Why wouldn’t you pick up the phone, why, why? He was screaming, why, why?” he told PIX-11 television.
Steven Dominguez, 18, said that he saw the woman jump.
“I noticed a woman was falling. As she was coming down, she was coming down on her back. I saw the baby bounce on her chest and fall to the concrete. The baby started crying,” he told the New York Post.
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