“I wanted it to end… I didn’t want to feel like a bad parent anymore,” Lauren Dickason told a psychiatrist after her daughters Liané, Maya and Karla’s death. That psychiatrist testified for the state against Dickason on Tuesday.
Dr. Erik Monasterio believes that Dickason was undoubtedly depressed but not suffering from psychosis or delusions at the time of her children’s deaths.
Monasterio also does not believe Dickason was insane or unaccountable as she can remember everything about that fateful day in September 2021 and told him this in minute detail during his evaluation of her.
Monasterio became involved in the case at the request of the state and conducted four interviews with Dickason lasting nine hours in total.
Dickason told him in the interviews how her children chose her husband, Graham, over her and that she felt rejected. She also referred to her concerns about Timaru, the town in New Zealand where her family had moved shortly before the tragedy.
These details formed part of Monasterio’s evidence in the High Court in Christchurch today.
‘Rejected’ after arrival in Timaru
Dickason told Monasterio in her interviews that she was shocked when her family arrived in Timaru on September 11, 2021. It was not what they were used to and the town seemed old and small.
She said in the interview that their house in Queen Street was small and that it offered no space for her and Graham to spend time without the children.
She also told Monasterio that the children woke up around 4:00 a.m. on the morning of September 12 and ran into her and Graham’s bedroom. The children pushed her out of the way to get to Graham on the morning in question.
Dickason felt rejected, Monasterio explained in court today.
During the interviews, Dickason told him how on the afternoon of 12 September 2021 she lay in her bed for a few hours and felt “catatonic”. By the next day she was thinking “what are we going to do” and “where are we going to live”.
She slept in her clothes that night without taking a shower.
Dickason told Monasterio that during this time she felt like a bottle of Coke that was shaken and ready to explode.
This is how September 16, 2021 goes
In the interviews, Dickason also told Monasterio about 16 September 2021 – the day she finally killed Liané (6) and the two-year-old twins Maya and Karla.
Dickason said that she can remember everything that happened that day up to and including the moment she passed out in the kitchen that night.
She told Monasterio that from about 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. that day she lay in bed thinking about their move to New Zealand. Graham arrived home around 2pm looking anxious. Apparently he had a bad day.
At one stage, she picked up the two-year-old twins Maya and Karla from the nursery school and Karla threw a floor nut. Graham put on his headphones and went to the bedroom. It appeared to Dickason as if he was withdrawing himself, she told Monasterio.
The family went to a nearby park later in the afternoon and the twins started shouting at Graham at one stage.
Dickason rejected again and felt like a bad mother. The children also wanted to walk home with Graham on the way back.
“They didn’t want to be with me,” Dickason told Monasterio.
When the family returned home that evening, Dickason made dinner for the children but the children complained that the food was not enough.
Graham went back to the bedroom before finally going to a work dinner.
“I was alone with the three children and they became difficult again. I couldn’t see how I would get through another day,” Monasterio would hear from Dickason after the children’s death.
According to him, she was “overworked and felt alone”.
Dickason told Monasterio that the children were jumping around and ignoring her.
“I wanted it to end… I didn’t want to feel like a bad parent anymore.”
It was then, according to Monasterio, that Dickason remembered the cable ties the children played with in South Africa and realized that she could kill them with cable ties. Dickason then went to the garage to get cable ties and asked the children to lie down in their beds.
Dickason initially tried to kill Liané (6) and the twins with cable ties. The little girls were finally suffocated on the night in question.
The trial will continue on Wednesday.
Sources: Stuff.co.nz, NZ Herald