Former CT resident Lindsay Clancy ‘destroyed’ by medications

Former CT resident Lindsay Clancy ‘destroyed’ by medications

Clancy, a former Connecticut resident, is facing murder and other charges related to the Jan. 24 incidents. She appeared virtually from a hospital bed Tuesday when a judge determined she could be released to another facility once discharged to get specialized treatment for her severe spinal injuries.

According to Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sprague, Clancy had been on three prescribed medications when she used exercise bands to strangle and kill her children — 5-year-old Cora, 3-year-old Dawson and 8-month-old Callan — and leaped from a second-floor window in a suicide attempt.

Her husband, Patrick Clancy, found her on the ground in the backyard of their home in Duxbury, Mass., with cuts on her wrists and neck after he had left the home for less than an hour to pick up food and medication for one of their children, Sprague said.

While Sprague argued that Lindsay Clancy planned the attack by ensuring her husband was gone long enough to commit the killings, defense attorney Kevin Reddington claimed it was a product of several medications and mental illness.

“Our society fails miserably in treating women with postpartum depression, or even postpartum psychosis,” Reddington said in court Tuesday. “It’s medicate, medicate, medicate. Throw the pills at you, and then see how it works. If it doesn’t work, increase the dose or decrease the dose, then end up trying another combination of medications.”

And Clancy was “a beautiful person who was thoroughly destroyed by these medications,” he said.

According to her case file, Clancy was prescribed a mixture of SSRI antidepressants, or specific serotonin reuptake inhibitors, benzodiazepines and antipsychotic and antiseizure drugs in the months leading up to the killings. These include Prozac, Zoloft, Trazodone, Seroquel, Amitryptiline, Remeron, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan and Lamictal.

The prescriptions started after Clancy gave birth to his third child, Callan. In September 2022, she felt anxious about returning to work as a labor and delivery nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, according to her husband’s statements to police in the criminal complaint.

Reddington said Tuesday that Clancy’s other pregnancies had been uneventful. There weren’t any issues after Cora, the eldest, was born in 2017. Clancy gave birth to Dawson in 2018 and again didn’t suffer any significant issues aside from needing some stitches, he said.

Thoughts of harming children

But when Callan was born, Reddington said Clancy “ended up becoming depressed and suffering from anxiety.”

“She consulted with a number of doctors,” said Reddington, who “indicated that she would be able to sleep, she would be able to feel, she would be able to emote once these medications were kicked in.”

Clancy went to a psychiatrist, who gave her a prescription for Zoloft. She then saw another psychiatrist, who prescribed her “multiple other medications, including Valium, Trazadone, Ativan, Klonopin, Prozac and Seroquel,” according to Patrick Clancy’s statements to police in the criminal complaint.

In meticulous, daily journal entries, “she detailed the difficulties she had with each of the medications that were prescribed to her,” Sprague said in court Tuesday. “When she had issues with a medication, her doctor had her stop it or weaned off it and then tried something else.”

“She was never on more than four to five medications at a time, and at the time of the murders, she was taking three medications,” Sprague continued. “She always took medications as prescribed.”

According to Sprague, Clancy was initially diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. She was then evaluated in December when a psychiatrist said she did not have postpartum depression.

At the end of December, Lindsay Clancy told her husband she was having suicidal thoughts and thoughts of hurting the children, Sprague said. She contacted her psychiatrist and then admitted herself to a mental health facility from Jan. 1 to Jan. 5, the complaint stated.

Later that month, Clancy told her husband she was no longer having suicidal thoughts, the complaint stated.

Patrick Clancy once confided in a friend, expressing how he wanted to become more involved with his wife’s treatment “due to the fact that Lindsay was going by herself to a psychiatrist for a while and he felt that she was prescribed too many medications,” the complaint stated.

But on the night of the killings, Patrick Clancy told police it had been “one of her best days,” Sprague said.

“She was smiling and happy and there was no indication that she was going to harm the kids,” Sprague said. “No one described her as acting like a zombie in the days leading up to the murders or on the day of the murders.”

Letters from dozens of childhood friends and co-workers detail how the incident was out of character for Lindsay Clancy. One colleague described her as “soft-spoken, gentle, kind, compassionate and always with a listening ear.”

They said the mother of three was loving and caring for her children, and before having a family, she told friends and colleagues she wanted a baseball team of children.

One maternal child health nurse, who worked with Clancy, said the health care model had failed families like the Clancys and was shocked at how many medications the mother had been prescribed.

“We do very little to concretely help a mother who is suffering from postpartum depression, and when it comes to postpartum psychosis, we fail completely,” the nurse said. “Lindsay and her loving husband Pat, were desperately seeking help and were betrayed by an inadequate medical system that had not devoted enough resources nor time learning how to help our new mothers.”

‘She could have changed her mind at any point’

But in court Tuesday, Sprague argued that Lindsay Clancy planned to kill her children, citing she had been coherent in the months preceding their deaths.

She also said Clancy searched online the time it would take her husband to pick up food and medication for one of their children.

Patrick Clancy was gone for less than an hour. The children each died of ligature strangulation, which Sprague said would have taken anywhere from four to six minutes to do on each child.

“She could have changed her mind at any point during that time and removed those bands from their necks and she did not,” Sprague said. “She used Apple Maps to make sure she would have enough time to strangle each child before her husband returned from where she had sent him.”

According to an email from Clancy’s trauma surgeon included in the court filings, she suffered several severe spinal fractures, including a spinal cord transection, from the 20-foot fall. The surgeon said she was not expected to recover, “which would make her paraplegic,” or unable to move her legs or feel anything below her belly button, the email stated.

Clancy also has rib fractures on both sides and cervical spine fractures, “which will necessitate wearing a collar around his neck” to prevent further injury,” according to the email.

“She is nearing readiness to leave the hospital, but will have continued, extensive rehabilitation needs, specifically with respect to (the) spinal cord injury,” the surgeon told Reddington, according to an email in the case file. She will require specialized spinal cord rehabilitation so she can be taught self-care for bodily function and use her upper body strength for wheelchair mobility, the email stated.

Days after the killings, Patrick Clancy asked people to forgive his wife in a statement posted on a GoFundMe page raising money for the family. As of Wednesday, the campaign has raised more than $1 million.

Lindsay Clancy was charged with two counts of murder, three counts of strangulation or suffocation and three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Not guilty please were entered on her behalf and a probable cause hearing was scheduled for May 2. Additional charges, including those related to the infant’s death, are likely to be added, officials said.

Anyone who has thoughts of harming themselves, or seeks access to free and confidential mental health support, can call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or 800-273-8255 (en Español: 888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing dial 711 and then 988) or visit 988Lifeline.org.
People in need can also text the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

Liz Hardaway may be reached at [email protected]

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