FLYNN, Helen Marie

Father Kills Baby in Nightmare About Mad Dog Attacking Her

Evening Star (Washington, D.C.) July 20, 1940

Munford, Tenn., July 20 – A bereaved father told yesterday of a nightmare that made him leap from bed and kill his little daughter under the delusion that she was a mad dog.

Magistrate C. L. McClain said Rueben Flynn’s strange story had been investigated and no charges were being filed in the death of 3-year-old Helen Marie Flynn at their tenant farm home Thursday night.

The family was awakened by the child’s screams, found the 35-year-old father failing her against the walls of a bedroom where she had been sleeping with her parents. Awaken, Mr. Flynn told dazedly of his dream that a dog was attacking Helen Marie. The baby’s skull was crushed and she died in a few hours.

The Rev. C. B. Betts, a neighbor quickly summoned, said of the tragedy:

“As soon as they got Mr. Flynn awake he hugged the dying baby in his arms and would hardly turn her loose. He is a poor but kind and gentle man.”

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