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Childlessness As a Cause of Death? You Betcha.

When I started The NotMom in 2012, it didn't take very long for Google to present me with an article from India telling of the death of a woman so focused on her lack of a child that she killed herself. In this instance, the woman set herself on fire.

Maybe her husband nagged her about their childless life. Maybe it was her in-laws who pushed her over the edge. If everyone assumes infertility is the woman's fault, the whole dang village may have buzzed about her.

Now, it's 2018 and I know that childless women die all the time in India. Suicides, murders, murder-suicides, double suicides. I don't post about all of these stories. I couldn't. But, sometimes a headline stands out, like the man who used an axe to kill his wife.

The murder of P. Gnanapriya (above left) by her husband, Prabhu (above right) .snatched my attention for its violence; the cover-up stood out for sheer stupidity.

Here's what happened on or about April 5, 2018, in the town of Vadapalani, India, according to two media reports:

12:15 a.m. After six years of marriage and "constant fights" over their childlessness, Prabhu, 35, couldn't take one more night of "insults to his manhood" and accusations of impotence from his wife, Gnanapriya, 26. He hit her in the head with a hammer, killing her.

12:30 a.m. Prabhu, a temple priest, calls his friend Manoj and asks him to come over. Manoj hops on his bike to make the trip.

2:30 a.m. Prabhu directs Manoj to take Gnanapriya's jewelry and stash it. Next, Manoj ties Prabhu's hands and sprinkles water on him before dumping him in the [outdoor] toilet. Manoj leaves.

The next day, 6.15 a.m. The landlord notices that Gnanapriya's house "is latched from the outside". (Nobody said Manoj was smart.) Looking around, he finds Prabhu gagged and lying unconscious in the bathroom.

@7:00 a.m. Police find Gnanapriya "lying dead in a pool of blood, with her hands and legs tied". Prabhu goes to the hospital.

What Prabhu told police: After regaining consciousness, Prabhu said that robbers arrived at 1:30 am "as he was using the bathroom and they hit him in in the head with an iron rod". Then, they killed his wife and took her jewels.

He said he had suffered a seizure on the morning of the murder, but medical tests disproved the claim.

What Police Knew: Security video showed no one other than Manoj had entered the house the night of the murder. Also, Prabhu kept asking about his wife's condition that night, police twisted the truth and told him, "She's in the hospital." His incredulous reaction, "Is she alive?!" was a bit of a tip-off.

No surprise, police easily found the stolen jewelry at Manoj's home, "hidden under an idol".

Final Eye-Roll: Prabhu and Manoj were arrested four days after the murder. Prabhu confessed to devising the cover-up and doing the deed.

Police said Prabhu had tried to murder his wife himself, just two days before the actual event, "but the plan failed since she was awake."


Some might say Gnanapriya was killed because she was a bitch who mercilessly taunted her husband. But, if you look for the a root cause of her bitch fest, you will see her as another casualty of death-by-childlessness.

Upper Photo credit The Hindu

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