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Schlosser following her arrest in 2004

Dena Schlosser, born in 1969 in Plano, Texas, killed her eleven-month-old daughter Margaret Schlosser in 2004, amputating the baby's arms with a knife and supposedly believing that she was offering her to God.

On November 22, 2004, the Texas Police arrived at Schlosser's apartment to find the mother of three sitting calmly in her living room listening to hymns. She was covered in blood and holding a knife.[1] The officers were responding to a 9-1-1 call made by workers at a local day care center, who had spoken to Schlosser earlier that day. The 911 operator had subsequently telephoned Schlosser, who euphorically[2] confessed she had cut the arms off her eleven-month-old baby daughter, as the song "He Touched Me" played in the background. The child later died in the hospital.[3]

Psychiatrist David Self later told a court that Schlosser had taken a television news story about a boy being mauled by a lion as a sign of the apocalypse. Self, who assessed Schlosser in the months after her arrest, said Schlosser had heard God commanding her to remove her baby's arm and then her own.[1]The attack was later described as "religious frenzy".[4]

Schlosser was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was sent to the North Texas State Hospital until she is no longer deemed a threat to herself or others.[4] She shared a room with Andrea Yates, who had drowned her five children in the bathtub in order to protect them from Satan.[5]

Schlosser was suffering from postpartum psychosis[6] and had been investigated earlier that year by the Texas Child Protective Services, who had decided she did not pose a risk to her children.[3] Her husband, John Schlosser, later filed for divorce. As part of the divorce settlement, Dena Schlosser was prohibited from having any contact with either her ex-husband or her two surviving daughters.

On November 6, 2008, it was announced that Schlosser would shortly be released into outpatient care. The order requires her to see a psychiatrist once a week, take medication, be on a physician-approved birth control and not have any unsupervised contact with children.[7]

The 2005 documentary The God Who Wasn't There briefly features Schlosser, together with Charles Manson and Pat Robertson, in a list of persons who have used Christianity as a rationale for either conducting or inciting others to conduct criminal activity.[8]


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