Recently, people in Massachusetts and New England were stunned to hear of the death of a 100-year-old woman. Elizabeth Barrow was a resident of Brandon Woods Nursing Home in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. At 100-years-old, she was in fairly good health and looked forward to more years at this facility. However, on September 24, 2009, Elizabeth was found strangled in her bed with a plastic bag over her head! The death of Elizabeth Barrow was ruled a homicide.
In this day and age, I find this terrible incident to be shocking! This woman lived for 100 years. She saw women get the right to vote. She lived through two world wars, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Gulf War and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was blessed with a son, Scott and three grandchildren. She worked in the Dartmouth Public Schools as a cafeteria worker as well as the Bishop Stang High School. Elizabeth and her husband moved into the nursing home four years ago; he passed away about two years ago after 65 years of marriage. Scott Barrow told the press, “I’m at a loss right now. I’m just in shock.” Had this been my mother, I would have been in shock as well. I cannot imagine my reaction to such a terrible crime and the effect it would have had on my life.
A nursing assistant found Elizabeth Barrow’s body; it was originally thought to be a suicide. However, after an autopsy was performed her death was ruled a homicide; there were no signs of struggle. Elizabeth got along well with the staff. The day prior to her death, her son and grandchildren took Elizabeth out to lunch and shopping for winter clothes. Scott Barrow said, “She was in great spirits.”
When Elizabeth and her husband entered the nursing home, no doubt they realized this would be their last residence. At the same time, Scott Barrow thought his parents would be safe and would obtain the medical care they deserved and needed. After devoting their lives to family, community and country, our elderly should be cared for with concern and compassion.
The picture of Elizabeth Barrow on television shows a woman with a kind face and soft smile. Her eyes tell of the love she felt for her son, grandchildren and friends. This sweet and gentle woman had reached a milestone in her life and still faced many years to share with her son and grandchildren. She apparently was a woman who worked hard and loved her family deeply. To be taken away from them in such a manner is despicable. Why would someone perform such a horrendous act of violence against such a kind and caring woman?
The Associated Press