Woman Kills Children, Husband Kills Wife

BRENTWOOD, N.H. —  A New Hampshire man, 38-year-old Christopher Smeltzer, claimed to returned home on Nov. 7, 2010 to find his 4-year-old son, Mason, strangled by the boy’s mother and a 7-year-old daughter, Mercey, unconscious.  He has pleaded guilty to killing his wife as she tried to commit suicide. He was charged with second degree murder in the beating death of his wife, Mara Pappalardo, who had been hospitalized for paranoia.

Smeltzer told police he “lost his marbles” and attacked Pappalardo with a flashlight. She had a rope around her neck, preparing to commit suicide. Pappalardo reportedly feared that Smeltzer and her mother-in-law wanted to take the children away from her.

Smeltzer, believing that both of his children were dead, then tried to kill himself by taking all the pills he could find in the house. But in the morning, his daughter who’d had a ribbon tied around her neck, woke him up and he called 911, according to the newspaper.

The untold story here is that the husband had been a drug addict, and the wife had likely been a victim of abuse.  He had probably threatened to take the children away and likely threatened to kill her as well.  This would explain her “paranoia.” Often abuse victims are misdiagnosed with mental problems.  Mercy, the seven year old recorded a message that was heard at the trial saying, “I am mad and sad that my Daddy killed my Mommy and brother Mason. If my daddy gets out, how will I keep safe? Please keep him in jail for the rest of his life.”

Mercey’s statement contradicts what she said in the days after the attacks and to her counselor, but it is quite normal for a child to change their statement when they begin to feel safe after abuse had occurred. Smeltzer himself said he left  his “delusional wife” to do cocaine and smoke crack with his friends before coming home.

The mother likely felt she had no option other than to kill herself and her children, as bad as that is, if she did in fact try to kill them.  Victims of abuse often feel there’s no way out but suicide.  If she was the perpetrator, she was certainly wrong for killing her children , but the actions of the husband would still not be justified by this.  He got off easy for this horrible crime.  My question is what did this woman go through before this day that may have made her feel she had no option but this? But more than likely she and her children were victims of prior abuse and were likely killed by her husband.

Don’t be Silent: Stop Domestic Violence


About mamaheartfilled

I am a mother of eight wonderfully challenging children and nine grandkids, of whom I am very proud. I am also a bi-vocational ordained evangelical minister, and a Christian Counselor. I received my B.S. degree in 2004, studying primarily in the areas of Psychology, with minors in Religion and English. I received my Masters Degree in 2009 in Psychological Counseling with an emphasis in Christian Counseling. I have endeavored to paraphrase the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, for the last ten years or so and am working on a final edit, now. It is my hope that it will be of some use in the great commission of Christ. My ministry is primarily geared toward victims of sexual and domestic violence, including victims of childhood sexual abuse, whether currently or in the past. Since I have personally experienced the healing hand of God in overcoming many of the life issues that Christians may face, I feel qualified and compelled to discuss them in a truthful and open manner, as God’s word tells us that “We shall know the truth and the truth shall set us free.” God has brought me through such diverse tribulations as sexual, physical, and mental abuse, being a victim of a drunk driving accident, spousal pornography addiction, adultery, divorce, remarriage, a very brief, though unjust, incarceration, and having experienced multiple miscarriages and various other trials. I have been asked to leave two Southern Baptist Churches, due to my being a female, ordained as a minister, and fired from a SBC sponsored Christian School (mostly white) for speaking out against racial prejudice in the Family of God. Through God’s merciful forgiveness of my own sins and inadequacies and God’s grace given to me to forgive those who have been a stumbling block to me, I have overcome many of these adversities. God’s word tells us that “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord and are called according to the purposes of God." Since I have this hope, I believe that God has blessed me with the ability to confront and relate these issues to the Christian community around the world. I hope to be able to use my personal experiences as a ministry of God’s grace and in the comforting of the people of God with the truth of God's mercy. I claim II Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 as my calling, which states: “Blessed be God, the Origin of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Origin of mercies, and the God of comfort; who comforts us in all our troubles, that we may be able to comfort those who are in trouble, by the comfort we ourselves have been given by God.” As I have received the gift of God’s healing, I hope to be able to bring the peace beyond understanding to others with the message of God’s mercy and grace. My love for the Sovereign Lord of my life, Jesus Christ, along with my passion for writing has drawn me to explore these commonly experienced crisis issues from the perspective of my own experience in the hope that I may bring an empathetic and compassionate insight to God’s people. I am now a published author and have several books in publication, including my autobiography, "A Little Redneck Theology." The views expressed in my writings are strictly my own insights, acquired from personal experience and diligent study of the related topics and God’s word concerning them. Though I am an ordained minister, my views should not be considered authoritative. I believe that the Christian community’s ultimate authority is the guidance of the human heart by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
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