“Baby Bernie” Dies of SIDS? Are you sure it’s not MSbP? Part 1

The media are abuzz with reports that 4-month-old (really young) Oliver Jack Carter Lomas-Davis, whose family dressed him as Bernie Sanders and paraded him around (really weird), just died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Here, I write two posts pointing out that both medicine and the media are not doing their jobs of ruling out the possibility of Baby Bernie having died of MSbP murder. My first post in this two-post series provides background info. My second post provides the evidence, and a plea to the media.

Baby in Casket

Please note my two-post series titled, “Two Reasons why SIDS Can be Undiagnosed MSbP” that I wrote long before this news story. I will requote J.L. Emery from the American Journal of Diseases in Children:

…between one tenth and one fifth of children currently diagnosed as cases of SIDS are not natural deaths.

Of course, “1 in 10” or “1 in 5” does not mean 100%. I means literally 10% and 20% – which means 90% and 80% are real SIDS deaths. So, odds are Baby Bernie is not a victim of death from MSbP misdiagnosed as SIDS. So, if I was telling someone to bet, I’d say it would be smartest to bet that Baby Bernie is NOT an MSbP murder. But let’s consider the possibility for a moment.

How Does a Baby Die of SIDS?

SIDS is not actually a real reason a baby dies. It’s what’s called a “diagnosis of exclusion”, meaning “we don’t know why the baby died”. It’s like saying someone died of “natural causes”. What are “non-natural causes”? If you get run over by a truck, you die from being crushed, which is pretty natural, given gravity and all.

Let’s say you have an older relative with Alzheimer’s and heart disease, and she is found dead. If you have an autopsy to see the cause of death, they know where to look – in the brain, heart, etc. They have her medical history.

Or, conversely, let’s say you have a young person who is found dead in a particular circumstance – such as in a running car – the autopsy will focus on likely causes of death, such as carbon monoxide exposure.

But if someone young is found dead and there are no hints – no known medical background, no prior accidents, no known allergies, no known toxins – it is hard to tell why this young person died. If it is believed the young person was poisoned, the type of poison must be hypothesized, and then that test run. If a person was poisoned with rat poison but the test is for a different kind, then the rat poison will be missed.

Message to Healthcare Providers

This is my message to providers:

In order to do your job of diagnosing a baby as “dying of SIDS”, you basically can’t settle on an “I don’t know” cause without ruling out MSbP murder, which is the top differential diagnosis to SIDS as cause of death according to scientific evidence.

Yes, sometimes you feel you have done every investigation, and you cannot figure out why this baby died, and you feel awful. I am empathetic to this situation.

But you must first rule out MSbP death before calling it a SIDS death, because MSbP death is unfortunately the most likely differential diagnosis. If you do not first rule out MSbP in a SIDS case, you have not done your job.

Image with arm holding a magnifying glass over people figures, suggesting that people should be invetigated.

If you are a provider saying, “Fine, Monika, you convinced me. But how do I rule out MSbP in a SIDS case?” check out my blog post on an MSbP toxicology panel for starters.

What about Baby Bernie?

But now, let us do some detective work. Let us build a logical case. In the unlikely event that Baby Bernie was an MSbP death:

  1. Then there would have to be an MSbP perpetrator of either a parent or provider type.
  2. According to research, this perpetrator would most likely be his mother. In fact, in scientific reports, it is often assumed that all MSbP perpetrators are mothers, although that is technically not the case, as men are occasionally found to be perpetrators.
  3. Also according to research, the mother would be also enmeshed with her own MSbP mother.
  4. Also according to research, the mother would have attention-seeking traits associated with borderline personality disorder (BPD). People with BPD lie a lot and are very comfortable with lying, so they can even pass lie detector tests. Hence, their lying tends to be very convincing to authorities and the general public.
  5. The father would be missing in action, according to research.
  6. According to research, there would also be a history of the mother lying about health issues in the family (hers and others) and displaying Munchausen Syndrome symptoms, and possibly accusing others of sexual abuse, possibly perpetrating medical sexual abuse.
  7. There would be a downplay of the cause of death, because if someone looks into it too closely, that person may see murder.
  8. The family would display inappropriate affect (usually directing attention to themselves rather than the baby) after the baby’s death. They would not be concerned with the cause of death, and would not be angry at the doctors or others. They would seem to enjoy the attention.

After my younger sister died, this was how my mom acted. My younger sister died within 24 hours of her birth of anencephaly because my mother overdosed on Vitamin A during her pregnancy, causing this.

In my next post, I reflect on these points with respect to the Baby Bernie case.

Want to see the cutest pics of Baby Bernie?

Check out this link with a lot of tweets, vids, and pics of Baby Bernie on Lifeposts.

Photograph of baby in casket courtesy of Keene Public Library and the Historical Society of Cheshire County. Investigate image by geralt.





2 thoughts on ““Baby Bernie” Dies of SIDS? Are you sure it’s not MSbP? Part 1

  1. Ouch! I’m so sorry. Granny doesn’t sound very nice!

    It is amazing what we can tell about MSbP by just looking at personality profiles and family dynamics. The difference between an MSbP and non-MSbP family is pretty clear on this front, as far as I can tell.


  2. Oh, this hit some red flags for me, and I am grateful for the lovely rundown of the Eight Points you list in seeking to rule out or rule in MSbP in any case. My grandmother would’ve hit about five of those, if not more.


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