True Crime Society – Lauren Dickason murdered her three daughters of their beds

September 20, 2023by Naomi Cramer

On 16 September 2021, Lauren Anne Dickason allegedly killed her three daughters, 6-year-old Liané, and 2-year-old twins Maya and Karla at her residence in Timaru, New Zealand.  

We are going to begin with some background into the family.

I consider Lauren married Graham Dickason in 2006.  They celebrated their 15 12 months marriage ceremony anniversary on Might 1, 2021. Most of their social media has been eliminated however on the time Lauren wrote a put up about their anniversary and thanked Graham for the “stunning household” they’d created, however talked about sleepless nights, saying “could the subsequent years be extra blessed, extra pleased and should the youngsters allow us to sleep”.

The couple are initially from Pretoria in South Africa.  Once they have been residing there and pre-children, Lauren labored as a physician and Graham is an orthopaedic surgeon.  

Lauren has an extended historical past of melancholy and nervousness.  This began when she was round 15.  Graham has spoken about struggles that Lauren confronted when she was youthful.  “She had numerous issues at college with academics and buddies. In accordance with her, she was not standard… she was in an all-girls faculty… she was by no means invited to a dance or the promenade… she had numerous social, traumatic recollections from a younger age.”

When the couple determined to have children, they confronted infertility.  Lauren ended up needing 17 rounds of IVF and he or she had to make use of donor eggs.  In 2013, she had her first child, named Sarah, who needed to be born after 18 weeks of being pregnant. She died shortly after.

The couple ended up having three extra daughters- Liane, and twins Maya and Karla.

Graham spoke concerning the couple’s fertility journey.  “A variety of ups and downs throughout a fertility journey however there’s all the time an underlying concern – stress, expectations,” he stated.

“It undoubtedly influences your every day life… there’s additionally numerous monetary implications… there’s numerous hope and subsequent disappointments.

“I don’t assume it’s a straightforward time frame for any lady who goes by it, a journey like that undoubtedly goes with intervals of feeling involved, feeling not sure after which additionally bodily… it might impact your physique.

“It was undoubtedly a little bit of a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions.”

“I believe that was a really tough interval for each of us, it was not a pleasant time… Lauren was pregnant lastly after a lot time and so many disappointments and initially it went effectively.

“We have been in a interval of our lives the place we had numerous hope… you make plans, you stay up for numerous issues.”

“After Liané was born and he or she was wholesome that preliminary interval was only a huge aid and a way of lastly attaining what we had been working so exhausting for,” Graham stated.  

Liané was the primary grandchild on Dickason’s aspect of the household.

“Everyone beloved her and he or she was essentially the most fairly woman you’d ever seen… it was good to have a child in the home,” Graham recalled.

Once they lived in South Africa, they’d a nanny for the youngsters.  In one among Lauren’s posts on Fb, a month or two earlier than she left South Africa, she had posted a photograph of the nanny, and extremely beneficial her, praising her for the numerous function she performed in serving to to deliver up the children.

Graham spoke concerning the household dynamic.  Simply to notice that lots/ doubtless all of Graham’s quotes have come out after the murders.  “She would all the time make certain that there have been clear garments, meals to eat, she all the time made certain the youngsters are the place they wanted to be,” he replied.

“She was not a nurturing mom. The youngsters most well-liked me – not a lot Liané anymore as a result of she’s a giant woman, however the twins undoubtedly most well-liked me.”

“She was battling motherhood and I believe I compensated for that by giving the youngsters all the things they, they wanted on a social degree.”

“She verbalised on a number of events that she doesn’t appear to assume she’s a great mom. And I’ve all the time reassured her, possibly that was a mistake.

“She was not one which wish to choose them up or simply be with them or cuddle. She’s superb in organisation, her organisational abilities are distinctive however she may by no means simply take pleasure in them.

Liane was not an ideal sleeper and Lauren suffered from post-natal melancholy.  

Graham stated “Lauren was an especially good mom…. however she admitted it greater than as soon as to me… that the newborn half is just not her favorite part… you do numerous issues however you don’t get numerous suggestions.

“Her pleasure was extra within the toddler part… I believe the primary 12 months with Liané was not her favorite half however I believe she was very efficient in dealing with it.”

Through the years, Lauren spoke to Graham 3 times with issues about hurting the children.  

This data is from the New Zealand Herald:

“The primary incident was roughly in Might 2019… it was a traditional night time, the night time nanny got here… Lauren was serving to with settling down the twins. When she got here again into the principle kitchen space I may see that she was crying and he or she regarded anxious,” he stated.

“I instantly requested her what’s incorrect. I can’t bear in mind the precise phrases however she stated she felt like she may do one thing to the infants.

“She didn’t specify what she meant. I sat along with her… and tried to calm her down. She was crying.

“I phoned her mom who instantly came to visit and we simply tried to speak to Lauren and discover out what was bothering her.”

Lauren went and noticed a psychiatrist and was advised she doubtless had postpartum melancholy. She continued having remedy and took treatment.

Graham suspected the “nervousness attack” was “a mix of sleepless nights and fatigue” and “frustrations with the children” who didn’t sleep effectively.

“I don’t recall there have been another points at that stage,” he stated.

“She improved, undoubtedly… Lauren appeared to have much less nervousness and he or she appeared to have a great relationship and was functioning effectively with the children after that.”

The second incident was in July 2021 when the couple have been nonetheless working in the direction of emigrating which he stated was a really disturbing time.

She had a “extreme nervousness assault” and talked about “she may make an finish to all of it”.

“Once I inquired additional… she stated she appears like she will sedate the children and reduce their femoral arteries so it might simply all be over,” stated Graham.

He stated he was not fearful about her “doing it” extra about “why she was saying it”.

“Lauren was not a violent individual,” he defined.

“It was the primary time I’d heard her say one thing like that.”

Graham requested his spouse to see her physician once more and stated the subsequent morning issues gave the impression to be again to regular.

“I didn’t take any additional motion, I linked it to her nervousness assault,” he stated.

The third incident was when the household have been staying with Graham’s mom earlier than they moved to New Zealand.

“Lauren got here to me out of the blue… I consider her phrases have been ‘I’m having that feeling once more’,” he stated.

“I advised her to right away take her anti-anxiety meds… it was a a lot lesser incident.”

Graham obtained a job in 2021 as an orthopaedic surgeon at Timaru Hospital in New Zealand, so the household determined to maneuver.  

Graham has stated South Africa is a “stunning place” however there have been many political and racial points.

“The present scenario in South Africa is that white individuals are closely within the minority and it’s harmful. There’s numerous crime and lots of people getting hijacked, killed, murdered – harmless individuals,” he stated.

“The nation goes backwards when it comes to infrastructure – electrical energy provide, the land worth has dropped considerably during the last couple of years.

“There’s lots of people emigrating from South Africa in all places – particularly individuals like us with, with younger children to attempt to safe higher high quality of, of life, safer life.”

He stated his job provide was “a great pulling level”.

“She was all the time on board – the truth is, she drove this immigration, she needed it,” he stated.

Graham later spoke about stressors that the household confronted on the time.  “We needed to pack up the home, pack a container and we moved into my mum’s home with the youngsters and our suitcases,” he stated.

“We have been solely supposed to remain for 4 or 5 days after which fly out to New Zealand, however Lauren additionally had a foot operation, which she would have had earlier nevertheless it was delayed additionally attributable to Covid restrictions on the hospital.

“And simply previous to that we had extreme riots in South Africa… the place there was extreme looting occurring, political unrest and he or she was very scared.

“There was nothing near our home however she was very, very scared…. I believe it was lots at one time.

“After which whereas at my mum’s we went for our pre-flight Covid take a look at and my one daughter examined constructive… and that pressured us to be in isolation for 2 weeks at my mum’s place, which we didn’t anticipate.

“Throughout that point she actually struggled. She didn’t eat a lot, she didn’t have numerous dialog with anyone, she was actually pressured.”

When you bear in mind, 2021 was peak-covid time and New Zealand had among the strictest quarantine legal guidelines on the planet.

Once they arrived in New Zealand, the household spent two weeks in a quarantine resort.  Once they have been launched, they moved into housing for medical professionals close to the hospital the place Graham can be working.

The household had deliberate to get settled after which Lauren had deliberate to search for work.  Graham stated “ I had plenty of hope that we’d combine simply and make buddies with them and Lauren would hopefully make buddies on the faculty with the mums – that was my concept,” he stated.

“I’d be working and Lauren would primarily are likely to the children and we might develop from there…. we all the time had the concept that as soon as the youngsters have been at school, getting some employment for Lauren.”

Lauren spoke pretty typically about her struggles with parenthood.  In July 2021, one among her buddies despatched her a TikTok video the place a mom recites a poem named “Mother wants a minute”, concerning the struggles of elevating her children and the “chaos within her mind”. Lauren responded by saying “Superior, that’s precisely how I really feel”.

Lauren additionally advised buddies about her troubles along with her 2 y/o daughter Karla.  She stated that Karla was a tough child and that she lashed out typically.  Lauren stated that Karla slapped and bit her. She additionally stated that her children have been “by no means sufficient”.

“I really like my children however I really feel like they don’t love me and I’m simply their slave. Simply will get me down as a result of they all the time need Graham.”

Lauren did communicate lovingly about her children now and again “Maya is the little mom. At all times useful and peaceable and obedient. Karla is the firecracker. She will be able to throw an incredible tantrum however can be lovable and talks a canine out of a bush. She and Liané are finest buddies. That is such a pleasant age. I want they’ll keep this huge endlessly.”

Graham spoke about Lauren’s psychological well being struggles.   “She went on a little bit of a well being quest and he or she began exercising and he or she adopted the programme referred to as Kaizen Wellness… like a weight reduction help technique,” he stated.

“And he or she did very effectively on that and he or she felt good and he or she stopped the treatment with out me realizing about it… however there was no points actually.”

Lauren had foot surgical procedure at one level and Graham stated she was “struggling” and he requested if she was taking her meds.

“She verbalised that she stopped it and we instantly began her again on it,” he advised police.

He requested his spouse on a “semi common” foundation if she was taking her drugs and he or she’d guarantee him she had been.

“To my information in the mean time she has been taking it for at the least 4 or 5 weeks once more,” he stated.

The date of the murders was September 16, 2021 . We now know that Karla threw a tantrum within the automotive on today.  The night time earlier than, Lauren advised a pal that the youngsters have been “annoying, cheeky, wild and disobedient”.

She additionally advised a pal  “I want I may give them again and begin over. Now [Graham] is extraordinarily offended with me.” 

As a substitute of divorcing her husband she would moderately divorce “my children”, she stated.

Lauren would later say “I’ve had the youngsters round me 24/7 with no break, and um, it simply obtained too overwhelming.”

Lauren gave the impression to be feeling overwhelmed as a result of she had hoped Graham would assist her unpack and get the brand new home so as, however he felt like he needed to be on the hospital.  “They required me to begin on the hospital the subsequent week and I wanted to familiarise myself on the hospital,” he stated.

“She was not very happy with that association… she was undoubtedly shocked by that association and was irritated with me.”

Lauren had been frequently battling the transfer to New Zealand.  The household had left a contemporary, newly constructed home in South Africa and have been a bit disillusioned by rental choices in Timaru in New Zealand. Graham stated “I don’t assume she was too impressed with (the properties they considered). She felt that the homes have been chilly and a little bit bit rundown,” he defined.

Graham went out with colleagues that night time and Lauren was residence alone with the children.  

Lauren fed the women dinner they usually’d settled in entrance of the TV.  At round 7pm, Lauren stated the women began their ‘excessive jinx and that’s once I simply couldn’t any extra”.

Lauren advised the youngsters “Mummy’s very sick and goes to die. I can’t go away you behind as a result of I don’t know who’s going to take care of you.”

Police later requested if the children had questioned Lauren and he or she stated “Not the 2 little ones, however the oldest one was very offended and he or she needs to know why I’m doing this to them as a result of I’m the very best mum and he or she loves me.”

Lauren advised the three women that they have been going to make necklaces.  She then positioned cable ties round their necks and tightened them.  The children have been asphyxiated however didn’t move away.  Lauren reduce off the cable ties after which smothered them with blankets.  Lauren tried to take her personal life with a knife and drugs.

Graham arrived residence at round 10pm that night time.  Neighbours heard wailing and a girl sobbing.  Graham could possibly be heard screaming “Is that this actually taking place?”

Neighbour Jade Whaley stated: “The primary noise we heard was anyone sobbing, after which we heard a loud thud like somebody simply slammed a door.

“We may see somebody by our fence wandering behind the home and wailing.”

One other neighbour Karen Cowper stated “We requested him if he was OK. He didn’t reply to us and was screaming and crying hysterically.”

Police arrived on the residence and Lauren was taken to hospital in a steady situation.  She was taken to a psychiatric unit the next day.  She was ultimately charged with murdering her three daughters.

Graham made a press release quickly after the murders- much like the one Lindsay Clancy’s husband made.

“My phrases are few in the mean time. On Thursday the sixteenth of September 2021 my life and Lauren’s have been turned the other way up when our three treasured angels have been ripped away from us.

“It’s a loss that I’ll carry with me for the remainder of my life. On this time of horrible tragedy and adversity, I can solely ask for prayer for myself, my household, and my buddies – prayer for power, and for therapeutic.

“Please additionally pray for my pretty Lauren, as I truthfully consider that she is a sufferer of this tragedy as effectively. Those who know her effectively will testify to that – I’ve little doubt.

“I’ve already forgiven her, and I urge you, in your individual time, to do the identical. It’s the key to therapeutic from this loss we’ve all skilled.

“For the individuals touched and affected by this – take care of your self. Take care of your wives, your husbands, your companions. Take care of your children.

“For these with religion in Jesus Christ – maintain on to that. For the parents with younger children – bear in mind them.

“Keep in mind to allow them to run free, bear in mind to allow them to play wild, enable them to chortle as a lot as they’ll.

“And they’re by no means too younger to be launched to Jesus. I thanks to your love and help.”

A former colleague and neighbour, Natasja le Roux advised the South Africa Sunday Instances: “I can’t comprehend what occurred, she is a medical physician and he or she wasn’t boastful or something like that. She was very humble.

Lauren’s trial began in July 2023 and ran for 3 weeks.  Lauren pleaded not responsible to the costs, utilizing a defence of madness and infanticide.

“All the defence specialists agree that there was an altruistic motive … That implies that Lauren killed her children out of affection,” defence lawyer Anne Toohey stated.

“In her thoughts, she was killing them out of affection – she was killing herself and he or she didn’t wish to go away the children… she was so certain this was the correct factor to do she persevered.

“That is about postpartum melancholy and a mom who killed her children. She didn’t wish to go away her children and not using a mum… she additionally didn’t need her children to endure from having such a nasty mom.”

This data about infanticide in relation to this case is from

Another international locations additionally enable a manslaughter conviction the place somebody has a psychological dysfunction that reduces their ethical culpability for a killing. New Zealand has by no means had such “diminished accountability” – besides in relation to infanticide.

Infanticide has a legalistic that means within the courtroom: it doesn’t imply the killing of an toddler. Fairly, it’s an offence that may solely be dedicated by a girl.

Secondly, it should contain a child of that lady who’s below 10 years of age. It should contain what would in any other case have been homicide or manslaughter.

Crucially, the jury should discover that the lady “shouldn’t be held absolutely accountable” due to the extent to which “the steadiness of her thoughts was disturbed” from the consequences of childbirth, lactation or any dysfunction attributable to childbirth or lactation.

If this sequence of steps is met, then the offence known as infanticide, which carries a most sentence of three years.

However the laws additionally notes that if the defendant’s dysfunction was so nice that there was madness, then there should be a “particular verdict of acquittal on account of madness attributable to childbirth”.

When the trial began, we discovered extra concerning the night time of the murders.

Constable William Turnbull was the primary officer on the scene, and requested for permission to enter the home.

“I regarded within the room on my proper, it seemed to be a child’s room and I noticed an grownup feminine mendacity perpendicular throughout the top of the mattress.”

He observed the grownup feminine’s chest was rising and falling and made the triage resolution to delay treating her, earlier than coming into the room the place the children have been.

“I noticed three younger children within the room all have been feminine. Two of the children have been in particular person beds with the sheets up round their chests. The third child was on the top of the correct hand aspect mattress.”

He advised police communications there have been no indicators of life from any of them.

He then went again to Lauren within the different bed room, and tried to talk to her.

“She opened her eyes. I needed to communicate fairly loudly. I noticed no accidents on the feminine. She appeared drowsy and was capable of partially sit up.”

“She stored closing her eyes like she needed to sleep,” Constable Schrader advised the court.

“I advised her she wanted to maintain her eyes open and he or she wanted to speak to me so I knew she was okay.”

Proof about Lauren’s psychological well being was additionally introduced at trial. A psychiatrist testified that Lauren was “presenting with extreme melancholic melancholy” and likewise had “ongoing ruminative ideas.”  She had additionally advised one psychiatrist that that she “wouldn’t hesitate to be given a deadly injection”.

Details about Lauren’s google searches was introduced at trial.

She looked for “Deadly dosage alprazolam in children” (July 31 2021), “Ambien deadly dose” (August 14), “Best overdose in children” (August 20) and “drugs to overdose children” (late August that 12 months).

Dr Susan Hatters-Friedman spoke through the trial about Lauren’s obsession along with her incapacity to parent.  

Lauren stated at one level “Ever since they have been born, mums all the time really feel this instantaneous love for his or her children and I by no means actually skilled it with my children, like I don’t know what individuals are speaking about … after which I believe there was one thing incorrect with me for not feeling that and I did my finest that I may … they undoubtedly most well-liked their dad over me.”

“She was preoccupied along with her incapacity to parent… she thought that she couldn’t do one other day,” Dr Hatters-Friedman stated.

“She simply felt so determined… she was tearful and distant… saying she didn’t wish to be alive.

“She felt disconnected to her daughters… she stated she was working on an empty tank all the time.”

Lauren was stated to have a “profound sense of hopelessness” and shared “an intense concern and fear one thing unhealthy was going to occur” to her or her husband.

“For instance, that they might get most cancers or die in a automotive accident,” stated Dr Hatters-Friedman.

Lauren advised medical doctors about how she was feeling within the months previous to the murders.  “I haven’t felt like I’ve been residing in my very own physique, I’ve felt lifeless – no feeling. I really feel like my soul had been pulled out of me.”

Dr Hatters-Friedman stated the case was a transparent instance of an altruistic motive – the place a parent kills “out of affection” moderately than out of anger or hate.

“She had been severely depressed and had developed psychotic considering,” she stated.

“She tried to kill herself… she considered the world as harmful for her children to develop up in.

“She noticed a joint suicide and filicide as a method out of this for her beloved children and herself… She thought she was getting her children to security.”

Hatters-Friedman’s formal opinion was that Dickason dedicated a “homicide out of affection” based mostly on a view of the world “by psychotic eyes”.

“It’s my opinion that on the time of her alleged offending Lauren Dickason was labouring below a illness of the thoughts to such an extent that it rendered her incapable of realizing that the act was morally incorrect,” she advised the jury.

“Having regard to the generally accepted requirements of proper and incorrect, it’s my opinion that her illness of the thoughts on the time of the offending was a significant depressive dysfunction with mood-congruent psychotic options.

“She conceptualised that (killing the children) was the correct factor to do.”

Crown Prosecutor Andrew McRae cross-examined Dr Hatters-Friedman.

He refuted the notion that Lauren had carried out the murders out of affection.

He put out these examples as issues Lauren had communicated:

“I’m afraid I’m going to take out my complete household.”

“I simply strive to not homicide the twins.”

“We most likely may commit homicide in that small (managed isolation) room in these two weeks.”

“I’ll homicide them if everybody stays residence once more like in lockdown.”

“Tonight Graham and I made a decision that our children is not going to abuse and scream at us and hit us any additional. Any further they’ll get hidings and all their good issues shall be held again till they begin exhibiting some respect.

“Possibly the twins are simply in horrible twos. However f**ok, they’re going to kill me. I used to be so offended tonight I used to be shaking.

“I really feel like elastic that has been stretched and may snap at any time.”

“They’re little shits in the mean time. I often wish to smack mine however Graham stops me.”

Throughout the trial, there was numerous proof given about Lauren’s frame of mind earlier than, throughout and after the murders.  

Dr Simone McLeavey spoke about how Lauren had advised her that she needed to “finish the struggling” and after that “there was no turning again”.

“Her intent was to die… she stated her husband returned sooner than anticipated,” Dr McLeavey advised the court.

Lauren advised Dr McLeavey that she felt “despondent” previous to the murders and felt that household life had even grow to be “an excessive amount of” for her husband.

“We have been each on the finish of our tether,” Lauren stated, noting her husband appeared “irritated”.

“It was like he was giving up… in some unspecified time in the future after (he left the home that night time) she thought she deserved to die… she thought her children deserved higher.”

“She stated there was no preplanning… it was impulsive and disorganised. She stated she left no suicide be aware as a result of ‘what I did was fairly self-explanatory’,” stated Dr McLeavey.

Lauren advised the physician how she killed the three children, admitting she “killed Karla first as a result of she was offended at her”.

She stated it was “an out-of-body expertise” and stated: “it was like I used to be above.”

The trial continued into the second week of August.  

The court heard how Lauren advised a psychiatrist she was “lacking the youngsters lots” and waking each morning was “like a kick within the guts” and he or she “simply needed to die”.

She cried lots, admitted struggling and stated her temper was “decrease than it had ever been”.

Lauren additionally advised the psychiatrist that she needed to return to South Africa and die so she could possibly be reunited along with her children – who’re buried there.

Dr Barry-Walsh testified in court about how Lauren felt that she was residing in a dream like state.  

‘She spoke about how unsettled their lives had been, she felt like they’d ‘been placing (the women) by torture with the shift to New Zealand’,’ Dr Barry-Walsh stated.

‘They have been asking after they may see their grandparents and their buddies… asking why they’d moved someplace so chilly.

‘She couldn’t see a method out of it… killing the children felt proper… she was involved concerning the future…. she thought the children have been higher off lifeless.’

Closing arguments have been delivered within the trial on Friday August 11.

This data is from the New Zealand Herald

Lauren killed her little women “one after the other” then tucked them into mattress with their tender toy sheep and blankets and advised them she beloved them for the final time.

She admits this – and that the act was “horrific and surprising” however her lawyer has advised the jury at her Excessive Court trial there isn’t a method her actions that day have been homicide.

Fairly, they have been the actions of a deeply unwell lady who couldn’t bear to dwell one other day and determined to die – and to “defend” her children, determined to take them along with her.

“Her stunning women, who she beloved a lot … the deaths don’t have something to with anger or resentment – and have all the things to do with what was a extreme psychological sickness,” her lawyer Kerryn Beaton KC stated this afternoon in her closing tackle.

“That is the very form of case that the regulation of infanticide was designed for.”

“Whether or not or not she was legally insane … is your resolution however I ask that you just look again on the full image,” she implored.

“She determined to kill herself and likewise the women and I recommend that’s as a result of she was so delusional and so disordered in her considering.

“However in her thoughts, it was the morally proper factor to do.

“Lastly, Lauren Dickason by no means abused her children, by no means uncared for them … she was a loving mom, she was severely depressed – so depressed she was suicidal and thought it was proper to kill her children.

“She tucked them into mattress and he or she advised them that she beloved them, one final time.”


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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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