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A sad end to a tragic tale

In the summer of 2003, New Hampshire's Manuel Gehring was involved with a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife for their two children. Gehring ended up kidnapping the two children and driving across the country, at some point murdering them and burying them along the highway somewhere in the Midwest. Gehring was caught and returned to New Hampshire, where he gave a full confession, including a description of where he buried Sarah and Philip.

Unfortunately, searchers couldn't find the bodies, and Gehring killed himself in jail in February of 2004. Since then, the children's mother, Teri Knight, (who has remarried since) has made several trips to the Midwest along Gehring's path, trying to find her children so she can give them a proper burial and, I hope, move on with her life.

Last week, a Hudson, Ohio woman searching for the children was out with her dog when they found two small bodies in a shallow grave. The description of the scene and the circumstances of the burial matched Gehring's confession nearly perfectly.

Autopsies are being performed today, and New Hampshire investigators are on the scene with the children's dental records to help in the identification.

It is hoped that these are, indeed, the bodies of Sarah and Philip Gehring, so they can be brought home.

And it is further hoped that Manuel Gehring is currently enjoying a very hot corner of Hell.

Update: Autopsies have confirmed that the bodies are those of Sarah and Philip Gehring.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference A sad end to a tragic tale:

» In Search Of Utopia linked with Maybe now they can rest in peace...

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with 2 Bodies ID'd As N.H. Siblings

» The Florida Masochist linked with Partial closure

Comments (33)

Yes, his soul is in hell.</... (Below threshold)

Yes, his soul is in hell.

But those of these children are in heaven. With God and all the happiness He can provide.

As sad as this is, at the v... (Below threshold)

As sad as this is, at the very least Sarah and Philip are going home and their mother can now take a small measure of comfort in the closure this will bring.

Funny, isn't it, that Teri's plight just didn't garner the interest of Mike Farrell, Jamie Foxx or Jesse Jackson?

Too sad for words.... (Below threshold)

Too sad for words.

I don't condone for a momen... (Below threshold)
frank h:

I don't condone for a moment what Manuel Gehring has done, but before you condemn him to hell, think carefully about the hell he and other 'dismissed' fathers go through every day because of the abyssmal treatment they receive at the hands of their ex-wives and the family court system. Had Gehring been awarded joint, shared custody of his children, it is highly unlikely he would have felt compelled to resort to this.

frankA male that w... (Below threshold)


A male that would put a bullet into the bodies of children, especially his own, would not have shared them.

Evil doesn't recognize compromise.

GAWD, I need to wash after reading your post.

I am the first to kvetch ab... (Below threshold)

I am the first to kvetch about the sexist and inappropriate prejudice that exists agains males in the domestic legal system, but one reason it exists is that sick guys like MG are so common and vile that they blind many to the realities of the rest of us.

Another is that there are enough victims out there who live with their pain, and blinded by above and their pain, are very resistant to considering that all men are not evil bastards. And these poor individuals often crusade within the system in women's shelters, hit lines, etc. To the detriment of innocent males.

Frank, I have to agree with Darlene, though I am not sure I have enough soap to lather it all away. Your premiss about mistreatment of some men is valid, but the conclusion that you somehow seem eager to absolve MG from the ninth ring of Hell he belongs in is heresy.

Frank would probably think ... (Below threshold)

Frank would probably think it's perfectly appropriate to blow another driver's brains out in front of his kids because of getting cut off in traffic.

Anyone who is capable of "f... (Below threshold)

Anyone who is capable of "feeling compelled to resort to this" should never be allowed visitation, never mind custody.

Upon what bizarre condition... (Below threshold)

Upon what bizarre condition was GM's share of custody dependent?

What was his current status in that regard, and for how long had it been such?

It's kind of amazing to me ... (Below threshold)
Frank h:

It's kind of amazing to me the hyperbole that some post in response to my post.

>>"A male that would put a bullet into the bodies of children, especially his own, would not have shared them."

How do you know this, Darleen? Are you aware that the suicide rate among divorced men is TEN TIMES that of divorced women? Most of these men had previously been loving, considerate and caring husbands and fathers. Obviously, you wouldn't even accept the notion that having your children kidnapped and your home "appropriated" by the state and your ex-spouse just MIGHT be a trigger for serious mental illness.

Think about the Andrea Yates case for a minute. Do any of you think that Andrea Yates ought to be acquitted due to mental illness? If so, then why not Gehring? Do you think that Gehring deserves more or less compassion than Andreas Yates? Frankly, I think he should have fried, but I'm not at all afriad to examine the case to see if the system is doing more damage than it needs to.

And it is.

Jay Tea? Excuse me a moment... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea? Excuse me a moment while I address frank with some rather harsh language.


You fucking, spineless, pusillanimous piece of dogshit. How DARE you even attempt to HINT that the dead and rotting corpse Manuel the Child Murderer had any extentuating circumstances.

How do I know? Get this through your indecent black soul... I DON'T FUCKING CARE You know why? Because I see too much of the same type of pseudo-being and ITS victims every day. Because I gotta listen to the putrid blatherings of the "save Tookie" mob while last Friday alone I had my court liason tell me to expect reports on TWO broken babies this coming week. An 18 month old in ER with fracture of the arm leg and ribs.... and FRIDAY MORNING a FOUR MONTH OLD baby died with (last count) 14 separate fractures, and some of those fractures were OLD.

I DO NOT CARE WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCE. There is none, no excuse for visiting such horror and death to CHILDREN. Andrea Yates should have had a bullet put in her head at the scene. I'm only sorry Gehring lived long enough to continue to torture his ex with vague descriptions of the graves of those he murdered.

Do you hear me, Frank, you piece of vulture carrion? YOU are not FIT to be around any child. YOU are not fit to be within 100 yards of any decent person.

GO do us all a favor and eat a shotgun.

Darleen, thanks for putting... (Below threshold)

Darleen, thanks for putting into words the same sentiments I was about to voice.


Darleen: Please, min... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Please, mind the language. That sort of thing is not welcome here.

If you're going to insult someone, it's a good idea to use words they understand. Do you really think Frank understands "pusillanimous?"

Please, keep such things in mind around here.


>>"Do you hear me, Frank, y... (Below threshold)
frank h:

>>"Do you hear me, Frank, you piece of vulture carrion? YOU are not FIT to be around any child. YOU are not fit to be within 100 yards of any decent person."

Wow. I touched a nerve. Last time I got a reaction like this, I was explaining to a woman that prostate cancer is more prevailent than breast cancer. (It is, according to the American Cancer Society.)

What Darleen is revealing here is an underlying hatred for men. She refuses to even respond to the questions on the Andrea Yates case. I can only assume that Darleen thinks that, when a man commits a hienous crime, he is simply evil, worthy only of extermination. That there is no reason or value, regardless of his guilt or the weight of his penalty, to examine the crime or it's causes. But when a woman, like Andrea Yates, commits a similar crime, she deserves compassion and the source of her anguish MUST be examined. It would appear that, in Darleen's world, men are disposable, even consumable, and women are higher forms of life.

You folks are welcome to think whatever you like about me. But the truth is that I'm pretty normal, average even. And there are men (and enough women) who share my viewpoint: crimes like this rarely happen without provocation, and while the crime itself demands punishment of the perpetrator, the fact that crimes like this are happening with alarming regularity demands that society examine its own role in their provocation.

You're right JT, I had to look up "pusillanimous." But then again, I don't need to use two-dollar words to make my point.

Frank, here's a little more... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Frank, here's a little more evidence of your lack of reading comprehension:

Darlene said: "Andrea Yates should have had a bullet put in her head at the scene."

Frank, Darleen is consistent. You, on the other hand, are clearly a dipshit with an axe to grind. (That means you have your own issues you're trying to work out here, and are bothered by how you might identify with Mr. Gehring.)

I'd ask you what you would consider suitable "provocation" for a man to murder his own children, but I'm afraid you might just answer that. The only acceptable answer is "none." If he was that furious at his ex-wife, he should have at least had the decency to strike out at her, not his own innocent children.

Oh, and Frank: you're an asshole. Just wanted to make that clear -- from a guy, not a "man-hating probably lesbian psycho bitch" like you probably consider Darleen (who, to the best of my knowledge, is none of those things).


Isn't the most important th... (Below threshold)

Isn't the most important thing decreasing the risks of, let alone actually preventing, the further occurrences of this kind of tragedy ITFP?

And if that is the case, then shouldn't we be talking about how and why these things happen, in order to better achieve that protective, preventative end through greater knowledge of the conditions that contribute to such situations?

How is it that I, as an actual survivor of a murder attempt by a parent, can nevertheless manage to maintain my composure and keep my focus upon the primary goal of better protecting children?

And can I get some answers to my previous questions as well, please?

[chiming in]I defi... (Below threshold)

[chiming in]

I definitely must agree with Darleen and JayTea. There is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for a parent to injure his/her child, much less murder them.

It is obscene that in this culture such deviant behavior gets excuses from anyone.

Yeah, it's too bad that this guy had issues with his wife, but that's in no way-shape-or-form permission to kidnap and kill them. Period.

Oh, and Jay? Your "caution" to Darleen was... priceless! [grin]

Darleen? I am so glad to be associated with you as a Lady of the Cotillion; you did an awesome job (not surprised).

frank? No, you don't need two dollar words to make a point. You need to work on making one with the 5-cent words first.

-- R'cat
CatHouse Chat

Frank h. You claim that th... (Below threshold)

Frank h. You claim that the suicide rate for divorced men is 10 times that of divorced women. Do you have a link to back that up, or should I just trust you because you are a great guy?

[OK I got caught in the SPAM filter - since I provided too many links. Here is the minimum number of links... if the powers that be will approve the other post, then more links will appear!]

Here is a nice statistic. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2004, one third of all women murdered are killed by husbands and boyfriends. (Most of those are killed when they are trying to LEAVE the relationship. Think divorce) Here is a link to the 538 page PDF document. You will have to read the PDF.

Here is another fun statistic about men, women and violence. Homicide is the Number 1 cause of death for pregnant women. "According to the CDC, approximately 324,000 pregnant women are hurt by an intimate partner or former partner each year." Men who kill pregnant women are most often their intimate partners and they see the pregnancy as an "unwanted burden."

If the suicide data is true, I am sorry for that. But I am also upset about the murder data. Let me say it again. One third of all the women in America who are murdered, are murdered by men who claim to love them. Every week I read and write about murders, and murder/suicides. Let's get these divorced men psychiatric help. Let's set up group therapy for expectant fathers. Let't make damn sure that they don't hurt themselves or anyone else. But let's not feel too sorry for murderers - whether they murder women they claim to love or children who are helpless or both the women and unborn children in one shot.

Unless you are legally insane, you are responsible for your actions - whether you are a man or woman, divorced or not. Do men have such poor impulse control that so many have to kill themselves or someone else when life doesn't go the way they want it to?

frank h's initial post suff... (Below threshold)

frank h's initial post suffers from a poor choice of words and lack of clarity; based upon his subsequent posts, it appears that he is initially comparing the societal reaction to fathers who kill their children with mothers who kill their children. His opening statement ostensibly disapproves of Mr. Gehring's actions, although a poor choice of words afterward appears contradictory.

frank makes a valid point, which is that society generally isn't interested in why a man commits such a violent and horrific crime but simultaneously exhausts all resources to determine why a woman does the same thing. One could not watch TV without hearing about Andrea Yates, and that went on for years; the Gehring tragedy was, comparatively, a mere blip on the radar.

I am a parent of a 21-month-old baby girl, and no one gets to her without going through me first; however, the two Gehring children are not my children and they are not your children. I feel badly that their young lives were unceremoniously snuffed before they'd even begun, but I try to be objective and read posts with an open mind. I realize that the vast majority lack these very necessary skills, but the capacity presumably exists. Exercise that capacity instead of immediately spouting off with self-righteous pseudosympathy, speaking as if the Gehring children are your own or as if you know the family personally; it is THEY who fear something within themSELVES...not frank h.

spouting off with self-r... (Below threshold)

spouting off with self-righteous pseudosympathy, speaking as if the Gehring children are your own


First read this


Now, bite me.

Posted by Darleen at Dec... (Below threshold)

Posted by Darleen at December 6, 2005 11:15 PM


First read this


Targeting me with a 'what-if-this-was-YOUR-little-girl' emotional appeal was rather sophomoric; while I do feel very badly for this baby girl (and her parents, supposing that it was not they who murdered her), she is not my baby girl. Her horrible fate doesn't change my aforementioned objective mindset.

What is it that you - and others who share your views - fear? Is it that you can somehow identify with these walking monstrosities? Is it that you can envision yourself raising a hand to your own child(ren), regardless of whether or not you actually would? Is that what drives you to rage against those who do?

I hold that society (read M... (Below threshold)

I hold that society (read MSM) isn't interested when a man kills his wife/girlfriend and her children because it happens so often.

Do a google search on ex-husband and shot, and see how many stories show up. And in the insane backwards way that the MSM determines what is news, since it happens all the time it isn't "interesting." Tragic perhaps, but not worthy of mention on CNN

Okay, then, Zendo Deb; let'... (Below threshold)

Okay, then, Zendo Deb; let's test your factoid awareness.

A man in the usa who kills someone is most likely to kill:

A) A child
B) A woman
C) Another man
D) None of the above

Which is it?

a man - how does that impac... (Below threshold)

a man - how does that impact the 30% of women murdered are killed by husbands/boyfriens?

Men are statistically more violent and statistically more apt to be murdered - I would have to go back to 2004 UCR to determine exact numbers and whether this holds true for assault and violent crime generally.

OK so you've "Tested my factoid knowledge." Do you have real point to make, or are you just trying to say what a horrible time men have in the world?

And the MSM is generally no... (Below threshold)

And the MSM is generally not interested in murders - accept to fan fears of what a violent society we live in.

Murders of attractive young white women do occassionally end up on the news - like that girl who disappeared on a high-school trip to some island. But that feeds into the whole crime frenzy about how suburban folks like to pretend that they are not at risk.

And I still don't know if F... (Below threshold)

And I still don't know if Frank h's claim about suicide rates are correct or not. No link?

Why don't you test Frank's factoid knowledge?

And that's a typo - the act... (Below threshold)

And that's a typo - the actual percentage of female murder victims killed by men who claim to love them is 33.0%

But "A man" was not one of ... (Below threshold)

But "A man" was not one of the options given.

Would you please identify which selection you meant by means of the associated alphabetical letter? This is not pedantic trolling; there is a rational reason for the request.

As to its impact, 33% is indeed a large proportion -- at least, of a particular set. But 33% of a very, very small number of women who are killed each year still remains only one-third of a very, very small number ITFP.

The bottom line is that significantly fewer women are killed than men overall -- according to the FBI stats, less than 22% of all identifiably gendered murder victims were female.

Thus, I could point out in counterargument that when women kill, 90% of their victims are male, period. But it would be a deliberately false representation on my part, because I am aware that likewise, significantly fewer women than men kill others, period.

However, the same point applies to your statistic regarding the apparently high percentage of killings of wives or girlfriends by their corresponding male partners; except, of course, that I courteously assume that you were not aware of the relative numbers overall, and therefore were not deliberately making a false representation. But almost certainly, being a pregnant woman is one of the safest kinds of people to be in the usa when it comes to being murdered.

That is how it is relevant. And the specificity required WRT to the set of possible answers provided to my multiple-choice question is in turn relevant because it is actually a Socratic teaching question, deliberately constructed to cause an illuminative experience of enlightenment.

Hint: if you look analytically, there is something odd to notice about the categorization of the available choices.

Also, let's take a closer look at the FBI's annual report.

Male / female murder victims breakdown: 77.9% / 21.9%. Therefore, at 33%, 7.3% of all murders of women in the usa were committed against wives/girlfriends by their corresponding male partners. Female murders of male partners: 2.7%, or therefore 2.1% of all murders of men committed against husbands/boyfriends by their corresponding female partners. Quite a distinct difference!

Except. . .

. . .for the fact that (and to the best of my current knowledge, circa 1999) the FBI continues to classify multiple-offender killings separately from these statistics above.

And so conspiratorial murders, where a wife or girlfriend gets another male to do the killing for her, whether contractually for money or by emotional or sexual manipulation, are not calculated into the FBI's given figures which you cite.

To say nothing of deliberate poisonings misdiagnosed as accidental deaths.

Which all together means that the actual reality behind the numbers may in fact be very, very different than what you propose.

I am also at a loss as to how your comments are meaningfully relevant to the consistent point Frank, Leslie, and I have been attempting to make regarding the relative importance of calm discussion targeting practical solutions versus accusatory emotional breast-beating in regards to the consignment of people's souls to hell.

As to Frank's stat, I believe the most likely source to be Warren Farrell's "The Myth of Male Power", circa 1995. However, considering what I have seen in the news reports since then, I would feel reasonably confident that said ratio has not altered to the detriment of its support of Frank's thesis.

And last but certainly not least, if I could get some answers to my previous, still outstanding questions, from those still reading along, I would greatly appreciate it.

Because it's getting harder and harder to maintain this degree of composure and politesse in the face of such arrant rudeness and insensitivity. In case some haven't noticed, or need to be reminded, I AM a survivor of a parental murder attempt, so if anybody around here is qualified to be self-righteously judging the opinons and behavior of others on the grounds of their personal offendedness and outrage, I'm pretty sure it's me.

And I've been treating you all in a fashion which even Miss Manners could only approve, to say nothing of her singling it out as a model example to others.

"C) Another man" is the cor... (Below threshold)

"C) Another man" is the correct choice.

I'm sorry you aren't smart enough to see that this answer is the same as "a man." Or perhaps it is that "calm discussion" requires being literal to the point of being pointless.

Let's take a closer look at Intimate Partner Violence. The reference for the subject I could find is Bureau of Justice Statistics - Special Report: Intimate Partner Violence from 2000 (it is a PDF!). "Intimate partner violence made up 22% of violent crime against women between 1993 and 1998. By contrast, during this period intimate partners committed 3% of the violence against men."

But before you go computng how many crimes that comes to here is the answer from that same source. "In 1998 women experienced about 900,000 violent offenses at the hands of an intimate, down from 1.1 million in 1993. $ In both 1993 and 1998, men were victims of about 160,000 violent crimes by an intimate partner." Even if you decide that for every crime committed against a man by his intimate partnet, a woman hires 2 assailants to do her dirty work (and I don't believe it comes to anything like a 2-to-1 ratio) woman are still the on the receiving end of more domestic violence than men.

The simple fact is that men are more violent - this shows up in the statistics on violent crime generally - and their wives and girlfriends bear the brunt of some that violence.

My point is, and has been t... (Below threshold)

My point is, and has been twofold.

One is that Frank was using statistics with no citation. There is no excuse for this in a forum that allows at least one like per comment.

The second and principle part of the point I am trying to make is that Frank was using those statistics to show what a raw deal men get in divorce. He seemed to use that to justify the killing. Th implication being that the husband/father in this case would not have killed his children if only the courts were fair. If the courts were fair, the first time a husband struck his wife, he would doing hard time for assault and battery. Many are sent to "anger managemnet" seminars and required to attend group therapy.

And the point I believe that many others are trying to make, even if the courts were patently unfair, that does not excuse the murder of children.

Thank you for specifying.</... (Below threshold)

Thank you for specifying.

Unfortunately, however, while "C) Another man" may be 'correct' in the sense of being the choice you selected, it is not correct in the larger context of answering the original question properly.

Nor is it the same as "a man". The distinction, as I have said previously, is not only meaningful but deliberate.

I think we would all better off here if you would please try considering the possible reasons for that distinction, rather than simply assuming -- again incorrectly -- that it represents a failure of intelligence on my part.

It does not. In fact, if anything, it indicates much more both the inverse and reverse.

Found this in my email toda... (Below threshold)
Found this in my email t... (Below threshold)

Found this in my email today:


Posted by: A at December 10, 2005 05:13 PM

...and the silence is deafening. Excellent link - I'd be interested in reading of more cases like that.






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