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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Secret Births, Secret Deaths

     In 2004, 24-year-old Katie Stockton and her 4-year-old son lived with her parents in a rural home near Rockton, Illinois in the northern part of the state. After becoming pregnant in March of that year, Stockton continued using cocaine and kept her pregnancy secret. On December 17, 2004, under clandestine circumstances, Stockton gave birth to a living baby.

     Because she didn't want anyone to know about the baby's existence, Stockton stuffed the breathing infant, the placenta, and her bloody garments into an orange shopping sack that she placed into a white, plastic trash bag. Knowing the consequences of her act, the new mother dumped the trash bag and the baby alongside a road 100 feet from her parent's house.

     Days later, the baby was found dead from either exposure or suffocation. A forensic toxicologist determined that the infant--referred to as Baby Crystal--had been infected with hepatitis. The baby also had traces of cocaine in her system.

     Detectives questioned Katie Stockton about the murdered infant. She denied having given birth to the baby. She also refused to provide the authorities with a sample of her DNA. Without enough evidence to support a court order requiring Stockton to supply the DNA evidence, the case fizzled-out.

     Four years later, Baby Crystal's murder was under investigation by a team of cold-case homicide detectives who considered Stockton the prime suspect. An officer who had the suspect under surveillance recovered a cigarette butt she had discarded. The DNA on the cigarette butt matched the bloody clothing found inside the trash bag with the dead baby.

     Detectives, in August 2009, arrested Stockton on the charge of first-degree murder. Notwithstanding the DNA results, she denied being Baby Crystal's mother. Shortly after the arrest, investigators located Stockton's blue Saturn that had been parked for years in an impound lot. Police officers searched the car, and in the trunk, found the skeletal remains of two other infants. The babies had been stuffed into a pair of bags hidden beneath the spare tire.

     Stockton was not charged with the murders of the two infants in the car because forensic pathologists couldn't establish if the babies had been born alive. Later DNA analysis revealed that the infants in Stockton's vehicle were Baby Crystal's sisters. The three dead babies had been fathered by three different men.

     In February 2013, Stockton, facing life in prison (Illinois abolished its death penalty), pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in hopes the judge would show her mercy. At her April 5, 2013 sentencing hearing before Winnebago County Judge John Truitt, public defender David Doll asked that Stockton be given a prison term of 25 years. The defense attorney described his client as a good person who struggled with drug addiction.

     The defendant, in speaking directly to Judge Truitt, said, "I was in a very dark place for many years. I apologize to those I hurt and ask forgiveness. I'm truly sorry for the pain and hurt they have endured."

     Judge Truitt, apparently unmoved by the murder defendant's apology, sentenced the 32-year-old woman to 50 years behind bars. Without the possibility of parole, Stockton will probably spend the rest of her life in prison. 


  1. "In hopes the judge will show her mercy". Are you kiding me! She didnt show mercy for her three babies! She should be punished to the full extent of the word. Life in prison is nothing after what she did. She still lives and those innocent babies didnt even get that chance. :(

  2. How awful. This makes me so sad. Her poor son. What
    Is worng with people these days

  3. This is a sad example of people who should never have been able to reproduce! There are many wonderful people waiting to adopt. Then you have scum like this... I hope she suffers at the hands of a female Bubba for the remainder of her pathetic existence!

  4. Yeah....I met her personally, she ain't a person, she's a monster serial baby killer!!! Shed never say a word to me or anyboby else!!!! If the state of Illinois still did the lethal injection method she should be on that list!!! I have no respect for baby killers!!! She obviously isn't mentally stable or smart enough to use protective sex!!!

  5. I've also had the unfortunate opportunity of meeting her. A very sick individual at best. I've no mercy on her, and the courts should of brought back the death penalty if only for her. She walks around the prison she's in, working in the kitchen, smiling, the guards talk to her as if she's really a human being. I don't know how they do it. Yes I have also been to the prison but I could never look at her, I was also in the county jail with her, and she didn't act like she was there for such a heinous crime very unfazed to what she had done. But who really knows what goes on in her head? She has God to deal with, who Forgives all. I have dealt with drug addiction, and can honestly say that I couldn't ever do the things she has done