Duxbury Tragedy: Complications with Postpartum Psychosis


Boston Globe

The memorial made by neighbors for the Clancy children at their Duxbury home.

Annie Vogelmann, Managing Editor

On Tuesday, January 24th, a mother in Duxbury, Massachusetts, allegedly killed two of her children. Cora (6 years old) and Dawson (3 years old), were found dead in their home  after their mother attempted to commit suicide. Lindsay Clancy, 32 year-old mother, and nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital, suffered from postpartum depression after her third child, Callan was born. Callan had barely survived on the 24th, but passed away several days later in the hospital. Callan was 8 months old. 

Currently, Lindsay Clancy is facing multiple charges for the deaths of her children. The court is reviewing how to handle complications of postpartum depression in murder. Lindsay’s condition is a more rare and extreme case of postpartum depression called postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a mental illness that 1 in 8 mothers face after giving birth; effects including delusions, hallucinations, depression, paranoia, and separation anxieties. 

Patrick Clancy—father to the three children, and husband to Lindsay—made an emotional and reflective statement a few days after the tragic event. He thanked his community for their support through this devastating time. He said,  “I want to share some thoughts about Lindsay. She’s recently been portrayed largely by people who have never met her and never knew who the real Lindsay was. Our marriage was wonderful and diametrically grew stronger as her condition rapidly worsened.” With Patrick Clancy’s statement, it can be deduced that Lindsay had not been herself and that she felt that she did not have enough support to get through her mental battle. 

Junior Bridget Patten shares her thoughts on the matter: “I think it is a devastating tragedy and a reminder that postpartum depression must be taken more seriously. If there was more support and resources for the mother, this horrible accident might never have occurred.” 

Indeed, support practices for mothers need to be put in place. Postpartum depression and psychosis can no longer be ignored, because mothers like Lindsay Clancy need more help. This is just another example of how women’s health is disregarded by our society today, just like how the right to abortion is being stripped from many women.

Above all, Patrick Clancy asks that everyone forgive Lindsay, as he has already, and that “the real Lindsay was generously loving and caring towards everyone – me, our kids, family, friends, and her patients. The very fibers of her soul are loving. All I wish for her now is that she can somehow find peace.” 

With the numerous surprisingly violent events that happened recently on the South Shore, people are reminded to check in on their friends and family as mental health crises continue to occur.