Baby killed as family jumps from Paris window after 'devil sighting'
Saturday, 23 October 2010
A baby died when a family of 12 leapt from their second floor balcony in Paris claiming they were fleeing the devil.
Eight more were injured, some seriously, in the tragedy when they jumped 20ft into a car park in Paris suburb of La Verriere.
The baffling incident occurred when a wife woke to see her husband moving about naked in the room, police said.
She began screaming 'it's the devil! it's the devil!', and the man ran into the other room where 11 others adults and children were watching television. One woman grabbed a knife and stabbed the man before others pushed him out through the front door.
When the man forced his way back in, they all began screamed in terror and leapt from the balcony screaming 'Jesus! Jesus!'
The naked man also leapt from the balcony, detectives said.
A four-month old baby died in his mother's arms, while a two-year-old was critically injured in yesterday’s incident.
Police said they had found no evidence of hallucinogenic drugs or unusual religious rituals.
Versailles assistant prosecutor Odile Faivre added: “A wife in the next room saw her husband moving around naked and began screaming that he was the devil.
“In the confusion following this apparent case of mistaken identity, the naked man's sister-in-law stabbed him in the hand and he was ejected through the front door of the flat.
“When he attempted to get back in, panic erupted and the other occupants of the flat fled by jumping out of the window.
“A number of points surrounding this incident remain to be cleared up,” Mr Faivre said.
I happen to think that the belief in "the Devil" to be very much a odd religious ritual.
More so, the idea that if I saw the devil unexpectedly, that the proper response would be immediate flight from the scene. It seems that if one believes in the supernatural, the idea that one could (1) injure the devil with a simple knife, and (2) escape this supernatural being on foot seem obviously futile. The fact that this woman believes this so deeply that she'd throw herself AND HER CHILDREN seems crazy (an understatement). Added craziness is the husband who, perhaps in the confusion of being stabbed, also threw himself out the window thinking that his wife might have been right.
What. the. ****?
I wish this story was just a comical thing. It's not. It's ******* tragic. This woman in religious zealotry killed her child. For a moment I wonder if she'll have learned anything about the irrationality of her fear. However, I think more likely that she probably will believe even more strongly in the devil now. Perhaps the new narrative will be that the devil was in her and ultimately the devil is now responsible for her actions and therefore her child's death.
What motivates someone to stab their husband, and throw their own children from a window? I don't think Preachers meant this when they say to fear the devil. Perhaps though, it would be good in the future to entertain the notion that someone is going to actually take what they say literally.
I won't blame anyone but the woman. Churches can take a free pass from me on this one. Free pass or not though, there is a lesson here.
EDIT: I reread and it was the sister who stabbed the man. Only thing this changes is how many people made stupid (and violent) responses to the situation.