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by Abigail Van Buren

Researching Family History Exposes Old Murder Charges

DEAR ABBY: While researching my family, I discovered that my now-elderly mother was charged with the murder of a toddler 40 years ago, before I was born. She was never convicted and never mentioned it. However, after reading her testimony and things she's said after the incident, I have no doubt she is guilty.

This has me reeling because she has always been a great and loving mother. When she heard I was researching our family, she mentioned that I would find something unsavory and asked me to please not look into it because it's in the past and she didn't want it to tarnish my image of her. I don't know how to feel or what to do. -- SHOCKED IN THE WEST

DEAR SHOCKED: If your mother was charged with murder, either the charges were dropped or she was found innocent by a jury. You wrote that your mother was a great and loving mother. For that you should feel grateful because not all children are so fortunate as you were. I think it's time for you to take the opportunity to get her side of the story. Unless you have all the facts, the last thing you should do is judge her.

Read more in: Family & Parenting