Friday, May 22, 2009

Daddy Dearest

William Cunningham just got slapped with 100 years of prison time.

He got off lightly, if you ask me.

Cunningham is a Georgia man.

Correction. He's from Georgia.

But he's no man.

Cunningham was sentenced Thursday after a jury found him guilty on seven counts of aggravated assault for forcing his children in 2006 to eat soup laced with prescription drugs and lighter fluid.

Yep, you read correctly.

Not even in my most vile moods could I have concocted that as a tall tale.

Cunningham's motive was to have the kids, ages three years and 18 months at the time, ingest the poisoned Campbell's soup so that he could extort money from the company after they fell ill.

He did it not once, but three times.

“The third time, he forced it down them and this is the one that put the kids in the hospital and made them deathly sick,” said Ron Dockery, the children’s grandfather.

No, 100 years ain't enough.

How about some flogging, or some daily cell visits from brutes who'd like to make Cunningham their "boyfriend"?

Heck, make it twice daily.

And four times a day on weekends.

Then let's pull Cunningham's toenails out, one by one, and when you run out of those, go to work on the fingernails.

Throw in some waterboarding too, just for fun.

We still won't call it even, but at least we'd be getting there.

I have no use for those who abuse the defenseless; read children and animals.

Especially when the abuser is the biological parent of said youngster.

We spend endless hours warning our kids of the bogeyman.

Don't take candy from strangers!

That's been a mantra since forever.

But what are the kids to do when the bogeyman lives with them, masquerading as "mom" or "dad"?

Who protects them in that instance?

In Cunningham's case, the law, thank goodness.

But that's not always the case, of course.

Cunningham's 3-year-old son and 18-month-old daughter were hospitalized twice because of the poisoning. A family member said the youngsters may suffer lifelong respiratory problems from lung damage caused by the lighter fluid.

Make that three visits a day in prison from the boyfriends.

Cunningham's wife has since divorced him. That must have been the shortest divorce hearing ever.

Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2007 to a federal charge of making false claims against Campbell's Soup by threatening to sue them over the contaminated soup.

What possesses a man (or a woman) to deliberately harm their own children?

And this wasn't some fit of anger -- not that that's acceptable, either.

This was pre-meditated, calculated, and done strictly for money.

At the expense of the kids' health.

I wonder if Cunningham thought enough ahead to realize that the money he'd "win" would be spent on his kids' medical bills for the rest of their lives.

Forget the prison boyfriends. Let me at him for five minutes.

It's not even just the physical trauma that these children have endured and will continue to endure.

Who in that family draws the short straw and has to explain to the kids why daddy is in prison?

Presumably, it will be mom.

She gets to tell them that daddy is in jail because he tried to poison them. On purpose.

What would you do if you were the ex-Mrs. Cunningham? Tell the truth, or lie to keep the kids' image of their father pristine?

Of course, they're liable to find out eventually.

That's a nice thing for someone to lug around with them for the rest of their life.

Daddy poisoned me. Made me eat soup with drugs and lighter fluid in it.

To make money.

There's a place down below for the William Cunninghams of the world.

I hope his time spent in prison makes him wish for it.

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You can read more about this story HERE.

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