‘Stand by her’: In letters, dozens show support for Duxbury mom accused of killing her 3 children

DUXBURY, Mass. — In one letter to the court, Duxbury mother Lindsay Clancy, who is accused of killing her three young children, is called “a ray of sunshine.”

In another letter, she is described as “balanced and calm” and in yet another letter, Clancy, a labor and delivery nurse, is recounted by a work colleague as a “Kind, compassionate, patient, empathetic” nurse and mother who was devoted to her children.

“She is a great human being and you would be hard pressed to hear anything but positive remarks about our dear sweet Lindsay,” wrote Laura Sanders, a nurse at Massachusetts General Hospital who worked the night shift alongside Clancy for seven years, in a letter dated Feb. 5.

Sanders is among dozens of people who have either written, signed or sent letters and emails of support for Clancy, who is accused of using exercise bands to strangle her three children: 5-year-old daughter, Cora, her 3-year-old son, Dawson, and her 8-month-old baby, Callan, at the family’s home on Jan. 24, court documents show. The elder children were pronounced dead that day; the infant died days later.

Close to 100 mothers from Foxboro, Mansfield and North Attleboro signed a letter dated Feb. 6 to a judge outlining their support and empathy for the 32-year-old Clancy, who tried to kill herself by jumping out of a second-story window at her home the same day her children’s bodies were found. She suffered serious spinal injuries that left her paralyzed, said her defense attorney, Kevin Reddington, who argued in court that Clancy had been fighting mental health issues and had been overmedicated as she sought treatment.

Some of the mothers who signed the Feb. 6 letter know Clancy personally, while others solely know of her from media reports, they wrote.

“No one understands what Lindsay has experienced better than a mother who has had a difficult time after giving birth, and who has also experienced postpartum-related mental health issues,” the mothers wrote in their letter. “Many of us have felt despair, that we could not go on. We are so saddened we were not able to help her, but we know her family was doing everything they could to get her the help she needed.”

The outcome, the mothers wrote, was devastating for the entire Clancy family.

“Lindsay will have to live with the aftermath of her postpartum depression, and that is a sentence we would not wish on any grieving mother. None of us can even begin to imagine what she is feeling, nor do we want to,” the mothers wrote. “As mothers, we know Lindsay was not in a healthy space to carry out the acts she is accused of, and we want to stand by her in her darkest hour as we wish any other mother would do for us, if we found ourselves struggling, too.”

Several current and former colleagues of Clancy echoed their support for her.

“She is a compassionate, supportive & excellent nurse. There wasn’t anything she loved more than her children Cora, Dawson, Callan & her husband Patrick. I am proud to stand beside her,” wrote Grace McNulty, a nurse, in a Feb. 6 email to Reddington.

Jenni Hennessey wrote that she met Clancy seven years ago when they were graduate nurses before more recently helping to deliver Clancy’s third child, Callan.

“As the years went on and she had her children, she blossomed into the most wonderful mother. She lived and breathed for her children,” wrote Hennessey. “I was able to care for Lindsay and her family in the hospital when she had Callan. You could see the sheer joy and contentment in her eyes when she had her baby on her chest, taking in every sweet new moment of motherhood. It goes without saying that this terrible tragedy just was not in Lindsay’s character.”

Patricia Cody, an obstetric nurse, pleaded to the judge that Clancy not be jailed.

“This is a lovely woman. There is no doubt in my mind that Lindsay suffered from postpartum psychosis,” wrote Cody in a Feb. 5 email. “Dear judge, please have compassion and allow her to recover in an environment other than a jail cell. I believe this will change the way we treat woman who suffer from postpartum depression. Even in the most horrific moment of her life, Lindsay is still helping people.”

Heather Fraser, a nurse in the labor and delivery unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, wrote in a Feb. 5 letter to the judge that she has worked with Clancy since 2015. The year prior, Clancy was her teaching assistant in nursing school.

“I have always admired her maturity level and aspirations to be a devoted mother outside of her role as a labor and delivery nurse,” Fraser wrote. “Since I have known Lindsay, I knew she wanted a large family. She would often tell us at work that she wanted six children. I feel privileged to have been able to watch her dreams unfold in becoming a mother, all while remaining a focused and hard working nurse to her patients and an asset to the labor and delivery team.”

Fraser wrote Clancy “often spoke fondly of her children and there was never a doubt the amount of love she had for each one of them.”

“In fact, I have never heard Lindsay voice a negative word about anyone in the 9 years I have known her,” Fraser wrote. “While she loved her job, her priority above all else was her role as Cora, Dawson and Callan’s mother. She brings a calming presence to any room and never engages in nonsense or gossip. She is level headed and an unbelievably strong and positive human being. She is the nurse you would want caring for your wife, sister, or daughter as they welcome their child into the world.”

Another colleague, Jonatha Kerr, wrote that Clancy “was always a team player and worked hard” on the labor floor.

“The Lindsay I know would NEVER do what happened 2 weeks ago, which is what is so shocking to me,” Kerr wrote. “She loved her kids and her husband so much. She loved being (a) mother. She loved being a nurse.”

Kerr also wrote: “I wish I had known Lindsay was suffering. I now know she was getting help, but maybe not the ‘right’ kind of help. The tragedy that happened in the Clancy household was not Lindsay. I would bet my life on it. Please consider this letter as testimony for her.”

Shelby Oster wrote that Clancy was her labor and delivery nurse when she delivered her first child in 2021.

“Lindsay demonstrated emotional stability as she always remained balanced and calm, even during the many stressful situations that developed during our labor and delivery experience,” Oster wrote in a letter dated Feb. 5 to the judge.

Clancy’s friends also shared letters and emails of support, including a sixth-grade classmate of Lindsay‘s and a bridesmaid in her wedding.

The childhood friend wrote that Clancy’s personal accomplishments “were always impressive.”

“A top-of-the-class student, talented athlete, a caring nurse, a passionate teacher... She always had an admirable drive and an ability to excel in anything she took on,” she wrote in a letter dated Feb. 6, adding that Clancy’s “joy, passion, pride, and purpose” was being a mother.

On Feb. 7, Lindsay Clancy was Zoomed into Plymouth District Court and arraigned on charges of murder, strangulation or suffocation, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, an exercise band, in the deaths of her children. During her arraignment, Clancy lay in a hospital bed, wearing a white mask and a neck brace.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sprague argued that Clancy planned the killings of her children, and outlined a timeline of events on Jan. 24, a day that began with Clancy taking her daughter to the pediatrician for a morning appointment. In the days leading up to the children’s deaths, Sprague said Lindsay meticulously detailed her activities and never showed signs that she was hallucinating or delusional.

Reddington argued that Clancy was on “significant” dosage of medication and that she had been prescribed and taken several medications including Prozac, Ativan, Benadril, Seroquel, Amitriptyline, and Trazodone.

While most of the letters to the court showing support for Clancy are from women, Michael Petta, a father of three, wrote to Reddington to share his daughter’s experience with SSRI and antipsychotic medications, court documents show.

“While on these drugs, her mental state deteriorated intensely, leaving her delusional and uncharacteristically angry and randomly violent,” said Petta, a retired military attorney. “At the most dire moment, she attempted to jump from a window in our 5th floor apartment. Fortunately, I was present and pulled her to safety. She’s now 28 years old, married, and expecting her first child--a son.”

Petta wrote he was compelled to offer his help in the Clancy case because “It reminded me of my daughter’s difficult time 10 years ago.”

A GoFundMe taking donations for Patrick Clancy has raised more than $1 million as of Feb. 14. The donations are intended for medical bills, funeral services, and legal help, according to the GoFundMe page.

Late last month, in a statement posted to the GoFundMe page, Patrick Clancy urged people to forgive his wife.

“I want to ask all of you that you find it deep within yourselves to forgive Lindsay, as I have,” he wrote.

Lindsay Clancy is due back in court on May 2.

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