When Is Crib Death a Cover for Murder?

Waneta Hoyt grieved the loss of her five children. Now, 23 years later, she is charged with killing them.

In the cruel roulette of life, Waneta Hoyt seemed to be an especially tragic loser. Nearly 30 years ago, she lost her first child, Erik, suddenly and inexplicably. The mother tearfully told doctors that she found him barely breathing in his crib and could not revive him. He was three months old. Waneta's second child, James, was a little over two when, according to his mother, he called out after breakfast one morning and expired. A daughter, Julie, died at 48 days; her mother was feeding the child when the infant choked, turned blue and died. Another daughter, Molly, died at...

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