In October 1991, Kristine Cushing used a .38 caliber handgun to kill her 4- and 8-year-old daughters while they slept at their posh home in Laguna Niguel, Calif. The killings were later blamed on the mother's bad reaction to the anti-depressant drug Prozac, and she was sent to a mental institution for a decade.
Today, however, the emancipated child killer is back with her old husband, and is now court-approved to hang out with the children of another woman.
The AP reports that retired Marine fighter pilot John P. Cushing Jr., the Vashon Island man who was married to Kristine Cushing back in '91, is back together with his old flame and is celebrating the end of a bitter custody battle with Trisha Conlon, his ex-wife (who he was married to for nearly the entirety of Kristine's institutionalization) and the mother of two boys, aged 13 and 14.
Conlon had found out, despite the efforts of the Cushing family, that Kristine was living with her ex-husband and was there with her sons when they visited.
As one might imagine, Conlon wasn't pleased with this situation. She sued to change the post-divorce parenting arrangement with her ex, so that her sons couldn't go see their dad as long as Kristine was there.
A court commissioner disagreed.
Commissioner Leonid Ponomarchuk of King County Superior Court said that since the boys had been spending time with Ms. Cushing since 2008 with no problems -- even if it was unknown to Ms. Conlon -- there was not evidence of a change in situation that would warrant a change of the parenting plan.
"I have to look at this dispassionately," Commissioner Ponomarchuk said. "Would I ever want my children around her? I would say no. But that is an emotional reaction coming from a parent."
Essentially because Kristine was acquitted of killing her children by reason of insanity, no actual crime was committed. She was eventually deemed mentally fit enough to leave the California institution she stayed at, and is thus no more evil (legally speaking) than the average stepmother.
With that in mind, Conlon will now be driving her boys over to visit their dad and his girlfriend every Sunday.