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In 1942 an infant living with her parents in a suburb outside of New Haven, Connecticut died mysteriously. In 1951, another infant perishes. And in 1956, another. They all shared one thing all deaths had in common – an in-home baby nurse who shook them to death. Virginia Jaspers was the daughter of a very influential state senator, William Jaspers, whose arm of power was far-reaching, thus preventing authorities from catching up to Virginia for years. It was largely agreed that the murders an abuses of many infants would have stopped sooner had Jaspers not wielded such power over the New Haven district. Jaspers’ crimes created the medical term “shaken baby syndrome”. Watch lilacs in the rain true crime female serial killers
Virginia Jaspers stood 6-feet tall and weighed 220 pounds. Her tiny victims weighed no more than 15 pounds. She conducted an 8-year reign of terror in the New Haven, Connecticut area. After being released from prison she lived in apartment 3G, trying to avoid media attention. She had notoriety among child-abuse medical professionals, since she was the featured perpetrator in the original medical journal article that named shaken baby syndrome as an entity in 1972. The woman had shaken, twisted, squeezed, and slapped babies in the 1940s and ’50s–killing three and injuring twelve others. She had known, and later admitted, that what she did was wrong but this knowledge hadn’t stopped her from striking out. This was the true nature of a serial killer, having no remorse and no ownership for her deeds. She continued shaking and abusing infants simply because her voltility protected her. No one dared prosecute her. watch shaken baby syndrome
Abbe Kapsinow was her second victim. Her mother Sheilah Kapsinow stated she never had a good feeling about Jaspers and wasn’t certain the woman was competent at her job. Her older children were frightened when they met Jaspers. When Kapsinow returned home from a visit with a neighbour she found the infant lying on a couch in the living room, wheezing, with blood running from her nose. Jaspers stood calmly in the kitchen doorway and did nothing to help as Kapsinow called for an ambulance. Abbe died later that evening at the hospital. watch kens-5 presents: shaken baby syndrome
Two more infant victims of Jaspers’, Cynthia Hubbard and Jennifer Malkan, were also shaken and beaten to death by the live-in nanny. Jennifer’s mother, remarried as Joan Brainerd, blamed society for not protecting her family from Jaspers. All of the signs were there yet no one forewarned this young mother about Jaspers’ violent history with children. Bruce Shaefer, one of Jaspers’ more fortunate victims, survived to tell people about the large tongue depressor that was used for a splint on his tiny broken leg. Years later his father Marvin still felt guilty that he had unwittingly exposed his son to a serial killer. watch shaken baby synrome 3d
Jaspers spent a number of years in a women’s correctional institute, was released, and died at the age of 80 in April 2004.