Convicted child killer Marybeth Tinning is now free.
The 75-year-old was released from Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills in upstate New York on Tuesday morning after 31 years behind bars, according to the Daily Gazette in Schenectady.
She was serving a 20-years-to-life sentence for the smothering death of her daughter Tami Lynne in 1985. However, Tinning actually buried all nine of her children between 1967 and 1985. Not one child lived past the age of four.
It was only after the death of her ninth child, 4-month-old Tami Lynne, that Tinning became the subject of a criminal investigation.
Investigators have long suspected that Tinning also killed seven of her other eight children over a 14-year period, though she was never tried or convicted in their deaths.
Tinning was granted parole earlier this month, on her seventh attempt, as reported by Oxygen.com.
“After the deaths of my other children … I just lost it," Tinning told the parole board in 2011, according to the Times Union. "(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 did it."
She has denied killing her other children.
"The Lord above and I know that I am innocent," she said at her 1987 sentencing hearing, according to the Daily Gazette. "But one day, the whole world will know that I am innocent, and maybe then I can have my life back once again, or whatever is left of it."
Experts believed Tinning’s case to be an early example of Munchausen by proxy, as previously reported by Oxygen.com. The condition, first identified in the 1970s, involves a caregiver fabricating health problems of the person they are caring for with the intent to gain sympathy and attention.
Until 1985, doctors apparently attributed the premature deaths of Tinning’s children to bad genes. However, the sixth child who died in her care, Michael, was not related to her by blood. He died in 1981, four years before any investigation was kickstarted. She apparently also poisoned her own husband, Joseph Tinning, in 1974 who was hospitalized with barbiturate poisoning. She had slipped pills into Joseph's grape juice but he declined to press charges.
Tinning told the parole board this year that if she gets out she plans to live with her husband, the same one she allegedly tried to poison, in upstate New York, near Schenectady, her old stomping ground.
Residents and local elected officials are outraged by Tinning’s release.
"I don't think Marybeth Tinning should ever see the light of day,” New York Republican State Senator Jim Tedisco told CBS 6 in Albany.
Tinning will be under parole supervision for the rest of her life.
"Tinning is being supervised in Schenectady County," said state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokesman Thomas Mailey in a statement. "For safety and security reasons, the department does not issue specific residential, reporting or employment information for individuals on community supervision."
[Photo: New York State Dep’t of Correctional Services]
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