Jude Mirra was an autistic boy who was murdered by his mother. He was eight years old and communicated by typing.
Jude's millionaire mother Gigi Jordan took him to an extremely expensive hotel suite. She gave him an overdose of various pills, and overdosed herself.
Jordan survived. Jude did not.
Jude's mother pleaded not guilty.
The court viewed her less favorably than the media did. Justice Charles Solomon criticized her unrepentant nature, saying:
“You’d think the defendant would say, ‘What a terrible thing I did! How could I kill my own son? How could I do that to my own flesh and blood?’ “But she never said I’m sorry.... The defendant attempted to portray this as a tragedy — there are tragedy’s here: first and foremost, is Jude Mirra, a smiling, happy 8-year-old boy that was killed by his mother. All the money and all her resources — she decided to kill him.”
Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos noted that “ true worth of any society is not by how it cares for its wealthy, its best and brightest, the real value of a society is how it protects its weakest, its most vulnerable.”
She argued that she was trying to protect Jude from abuse; Justice Solomon was skeptical of this claim.
The jury found Jordan guilty of manslaughter (not murder), and sentenced her to 18 years of prison.
As usual, media focused on Jordan's despair over her "severely autistic" son, portraying her as a loving but desperate woman. NBC New York published a remark by Cammie McGovern: "It's so lonely to love a child who is unable to express that back."
Media sensationalized the murder, giving every detail of the episode in the hotel room.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network issued a statement on the sentencing, thanking the judge for taking the murder seriously, and noting how remorseless the mother was.
"We are especially disturbed at the particular nature of the claim that she murdered Jude in order to protect him from sexual abuse. Many autistic people are survivors of childhood sexual abuse and are often targeted because of their disability status. This type of violence is particularly reprehensible, but in no way whatsoever justifies murdering a child. Rather than seek justice or meaningful protection for her son, Jude’s mother made a deliberate choice to end his life."
Due to the horrific nature of the subject matter, all references have a general trigger warning. Sources that humanize the murderer and/or dehumanize the child are marked.
- NBC New York: Friend: NY Mom Who Allegedly Killed Son Obsessed Over His Autism (trigger warning)
- Huffington Post: Gigi Jordan Pleads Not Guilty
- New York Post: Millionaire mom who killed autistic son gets 18 years in jail
- CNN: New York executive describes for jury how she killed her son (trigger warning)
- ASAN Statement on Sentencing in Jude Mirra’s Murder