A NZ woman who murdered her three daughters before trying to kill herself has revealed she sleeps with teddy bears made from their clothing.
South African doctor Lauren Dickason, 42, was found guilty in August of murdering her two-year-old twin daughters Maya and Karla and their six-year-old sister Lianè, at their home in Timaru, New Zealand on September 16, 2021.
She admitted to killing the girls but pleaded not guilty to murder, arguing she was suffering from post-partum depression at the time and didn’t know that what she was doing was wrong.
After a four-week trial, a jury of eight women and four men rejected Dickason’s legal defences under New Zealand’s insanity and infanticide laws. They were not unanimous, voting 11-1 for conviction, a split allowed under New Zealand laws.
Now, Dickason is in custody at Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch, awaiting sentencing. She communicates with a group of about 1500 people who have expressed their support for her during the trial and since she was convicted.
The Facebook group, ‘Support for Lauren Dickason’, was started in July 2022 and has roughly 1500 members, mostly women, from New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, the United Kingdom, United States, Namibia, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Netherlands, Vietnam and Mauritius.
In one recent, handwritten letter posted in the group, according to NZ site The Press, Dickason revealed she sleeps with teddy bears sewn from the dead girls’ clothing.
Her letter was sent in response to a care package she received from the group on the two year anniversary of her children’s deaths. The package included a peace lily plant and edible goods from a South African shop in Christchurch.
“Thank you to everybody for your love and support during this difficult time”, Dickason wrote.
In the post, she included a painting of a bouquet of sunflowers, writing: “to commemorate the girls passing on the 16th of September”.
Sunflowers have become a symbol for the group, with members sharing photographs of them planting the flower in support of Dickason.
Dickason also shared a photograph of three teddy bears she said were made with the children’s clothing, with their names embroidered on the feet.
“I sleep with them at night, to hold them close and remember all the wonderful cuddles my girls used to give me”, she wrote.
The letter was signed with a love heart and “Lauren xxx”.
Dickason will be sentenced on December 19.
The support group plans to host a peaceful march in Christchurch in November ahead of Dickason’s sentencing. More than 1300 supporters have signed a petition asking that she be sentenced leniently due to her post-partum depression.
It is not clear whether Dickason was ever diagnosed with the illness.