One of the nice things about living in Europe is that I tend to be divorced from some of the more sordid and horrifying crimes that happen in the United States. But then I go and watch YouTube videos, and since I am a true crime buff who tends to be interested in deviant people, I sometimes stumble across videos about truly sickening cases of depravity. Because I’m in a bit of a mood today, I think I’ll write a little bit about Texas killer Taylor Parker, who is currently sitting on death row.
Now… I’m sure Parker’s case was big news in the States. I missed it entirely when it was hot news. But I was randomly watching videos the other day when one popped up that I hadn’t expected to see. It was titled “Killer Realizes She’s Been Caught After Cutting Baby Out of Victim’s Stomach”. Right off the bat I cringed a bit, not just because this is just an incredibly sad and grisly crime, but also because people don’t carry pregnancies in their stomachs. Stomachs are for digesting food. They’re full of enzymes and acids, which would digest a developing fetus.
I think EWU Bodycam, the uploader of the video I watched, means that the baby was cut from the victim’s womb, or more precisely, the victim’s uterus. But in fairness to the uploader, the police officer who interviewed Taylor Parker also referred to the womb as the “stomach”. Maybe he did it to be on Parker’s intelligence level, but I suspect that he’s not that well versed on anatomy. He’s pretty good at getting guilty people to confess, though. I know this may seem like a petty thing to comment on, but I tend to be kind of a stickler about word choice.
Anyway… the story goes that Parker had befriended 21 year old Reagan Simmons-Hancock of New Boston, Texas, who was, in October 2020, about 34 weeks pregnant and already the mother of a three year old child. Parker had taken engagement and wedding photos of Reagan Simmons-Hancock and her husband, and that might have been the pretense that allowed for her to visit the young woman on the day of the murder. The three year old was present on the day of the murder and was left alone with her mother after Parker committed her crimes.
Parker, who was 27 years old at the time of the crime, already had two children before she got a hysterectomy. She decided to fake a pregnancy, and went as far as producing false ultrasounds and having a gender reveal party. It was reported that before she attacked Simmons-Hancock, Parker researched how to convincingly fake a pregnancy. She also watched a video on an examination of a pre-term infant delivered at 35 weeks gestation.
After she viciously attacked Simmons-Hancock, Parker took off from the crime scene and was soon stopped by a Texas State Trooper in DeKalb, Texas because she was speeding. The police officer, noticing Parker’s bloody condition, asked her what happened. Parker claimed that she’d given birth on the side of the road and was heading to a hospital because the baby girl wasn’t breathing. Parker and the baby were then taken by ambulance to McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, where the staff was immediately suspicious.
Parker refused to be examined by doctors, who were concerned that she might be hemorrhaging. She also didn’t have any Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone that all pregnant women have until about six weeks after giving birth. Taylor Parker had also stuffed Reagan’s placenta into her pants in a bungled attempt to try to convince staff that she was the one who had given birth… Honestly, WTF? She must have been out of her mind if she really thought that would convince experienced medical professionals.
Sadly, the baby died at the hospital. Even sadder is that Parker apparently thought she could get away with her crime. She had blood all over her hands and clothes, but it was very obvious to medical staff that she hadn’t given birth. And there she was at a hospital, thinking she would be able to refuse a thorough medical examination by the staff without arousing suspicion. Parker was later arrested when her victim’s body was discovered.
I read that Parker had faked the pregnancy to keep her boyfriend interested. In the video I watched about this case, there’s a picture of Taylor Parker all made up, seemingly pregnant, with a serene look on her face and her boyfriend’s arms around her stomach. I don’t have any experience with pregnancy myself, but it seems like it would be hard to create a very realistic looking womb that people could touch and not be suspicious. Moreover, I wonder about the people in her life, some of whom must have been around when she had a hysterectomy. I wonder why none of them called her out for her duplicity.
In 2022, Taylor Parker was tried in Texas for the capital murder of Reagan Simmons-Hancock. She was also tried for the non capital murder of the baby, whom Simmons-Hancock had named Braxlynn Sage. Not surprisingly, she was sentenced to death. While I am generally no fan of the death penalty and would vote against it myself, I am not surprised that Parker was sentenced to death. This was an incredibly gruesome crime. I can’t even fathom the deep levels of desperation and depravity that led Taylor Parker to do this to another human being. Hearing about this case made me feel absolutely heartbroken for the victims and the family left behind.
Is Taylor Parker a sociopath? I don’t know. Her crime is almost indescribably horrific, and it’s hard to explain why someone would show such callous disregard for another human. I think I would have to know a lot more about this case before I could conclude that Taylor Parker is a sociopath. Based on her hospital video, I would definitely conclude that she has some pretty severe mental illness and delusional thinking going on.
I did find the video of the cop’s interview with Taylor interesting, as he appeared to be someone who was very good at putting people at ease. He was rather gentle in his approach to Parker and he maintained an impressive poker face, as he confronted her about what had really happened. I heard him tell her it didn’t mean she was a terrible person, as he expressed empathy to her. Of course, that may have all been an act. It probably was, as being very aggressive and honest with his feelings about the crime would just make Taylor clam up. When you are about to be arrested for capital murder, you may be looking for a friendly face. The detective who interviewed Taylor gave her what she sought and gently cajoled her into giving up some of the truth of what she did.
I read more of the details of this case, which indicated just how completely savage and barbaric Parker’s crime was. It makes me feel terrible for the victims… which includes Reagan’s family, friends, and loved ones. I don’t blame people for thinking she deserves the death penalty. Personally, I just oppose it in most cases, although I know a lot of people disagree with me and may either want to confront me on this, or try to change my mind. There was a time when I was in favor of capital punishment, but for many reasons that I’ve already written about in other posts, I’m just not anymore.
I just think that while it’s understandable that many people think some really horrible crimes are worthy of the death penalty, it should be reserved for the rare situations in which a person has killed many people and will certainly kill again. I think it should be for public safety as whole– meaning the condemned person is a danger to everyone. I’m not sure Taylor Parker fits that description. She’s not like– say– Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy, or John Allen Muhammad (the Beltway Sniper). But, of course, I think Taylor Parker should stay locked up for the rest of her life.
And… while the cop interview was very interesting to watch (aside from his mistaking the womb for a stomach), I am kind of sorry I stumbled across the above video. It’s just such a tragic story on so many levels. So many young lives ended and/or ruined.
Anyway… that about does it for today’s post. Bill is coming home tonight. I look forward to seeing him.