In 2007, a jury at Dublin Country Coroner's court unanimously ruled that the infant found stabbed to death over three decades ago belonged to Cynthia Owen. The infant was alleged to have been murdered by its grandmother The Minister of Justice had previously rejected a request by Cynthia Owen to have the body of the child exhumed, a decision Ms. Owen did not contest. The inquest was prohibited from assigning blame due to the Coroners Act of 1962 and therefore returned an open verdict. Also, the jury was instructed that the standard of proof was not the "beyond a reasonable doubt" benchmark of criminal trials, but rather the lesser standard of determining whether Owen's claims were true based "on the balance of probabilities". Ms. Owen made claims about a stillborn second child buried in the family garden, but police found no human remains after digging up the plot. The father of the child is alleged to be a member of the Garda Síochána who raped Cynthia Owen weekly. Owen's parents, as well as her older siblings, deny her allegations of abuse.
During the trial, Owen provided her account of incest, organised abuse, and satanic ritual abuse orchestrated by her parents involving at least nine other men and her account was supported by her psychologist. She claimed that her brother, Michael, and sister, Theresa, were also abused, a charge that was denied by her older brother and father. One of the alleged abusers is Cynthia Owen's older brother, Peter Murphy Junior, while the father, Peter Murphy Senior, is also an alleged abuser. One brother, Martin, committed suicide in 1995 after revealing he had been sodomised in his family home, while another brother, Michael, disappeared in 2002 and sister Theresa committed suicide shortly after the discovery of his body in 2005; Theresa's detailed 37-paged suicide note corroborated Cynthia's account. A friend of Theresa's testified at the trial, stating that Theresa had spoken to him at length about her sexual abuse in childhood. Theresa Murphy committed suicide on February 24, 2005 as a result of childhood sexual abuse, this finding was supported by police evidence. Theresa was the child of her older sister, Margaret Murphy.
Following the findings of the Coroner's Court, Owen has raised questions regarding the disposal of her daughter's body and the failure of the police to investigate the murder. In particular, she has highlighted the fact that no blood or tissue samples were kept, that the bag and sanitary towels found alongside the murdered child have gone missing, that the records of the first inquest into the murder have gone missing, and that her daughter was buried in a mass grave alongside other infants. Owen claimed that the police knew about the murder and did nothing. She also stated that she felt robbed of justice by her mother's natural and peaceful death.
Owen's father, Peter Murphy Senior, and three of her sisters won the right to appeal the findings of the inquest from the High Court. The family claimed that the coroner was biased toward Owen, shielded her when giving evidence and was selective in the evidence presented to the jury. According to recent reports, the case of the murdered child remains the subject of an ongoing investigation by the garda. Peter Murphy Senior has since died.
Read more about this topic: List Of Satanic Ritual Abuse Allegations
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