Attleboro, Massachusetts, Spring 1999: Michelle Mingo received a vision from God that compelled her to instruct her sister-in-law, Karen Robidoux, to consume only almond milk for a period of time. This would purge her ungodly vanity, Mingo explained.
The problem was, Karen was breastfeeding her infant son, and Mingo also instructed the Robidouxs too feed him only breastmilk.
52 days after Karen and baby Samuel began this odd dietary regimen, Samuel died of starvation. Father Jacques had recorded the whole ordeal in a journal - unfortunately for him, because he and his wife were brought up on murder charges. Mingo was charged only with being an accessory to assault and battery on a child.
The Robidouxs and Mingos belonged to a Christian sect that believed in divine revelation; members followed "leadings" of their brethren. Jacques's father, Roland, started this unnamed church in 1978, after leaving Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God. He adopted the beliefs of a former nurse named Carol Balizet, who wrote Born in Zion. She encouranged believers to withdraw completely from society because it is controlled by "Satan's counterfeit systems": banking, medicine, education, commerce, entertainment, government, and schools. The church, known informally as The Body, lived semi-communally and echewed such things as eyeglasses, entertainment, and hospital births. Karen's father, Roger Daneu, joined in 1986. Jacques, an unemployed window-washer, married Karen in 1996. She already had 2 children, and together they had 3 more. Jaques was made a church elder shortly before Samuel's death.
Mingo's "leading" told her that Karen, 26, was too vain.
Jacques Robidoux was convicted in June, 2004.
Michelle Mingo lost custody of her 5 children.
"In God's Wilderness" by Anne Thompson, AP, Portsmouth Herald, Sept. 17/00
"Jury acquits Robidoux of murdering baby" by John Ellement, Boston Globe, Feb. 4/02
"Woman admits role in child's death" by John Ellement, Boston Globe, Feb. 11/02