Court upholds Robidoux murder conviction

The state Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed the first-degree murder conviction of Jacques Robidoux, the infamous Attleboro cultist who allowed his infant son Samuel to starve to death because, he claimed, it’s what God wanted.

“It is apparent that Robidoux had the ability to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law,” judges wrote in a decision announced this morning. “He had disregarded leadings in the past and altered course when the leadings appeared to guide him astray.

The Body

In early press reports, The Body was referred to generically as the “Attleboro cult” or “Attleboro sect.”

The group’s doctrines and practices have been heavily influenced by the teachings of Carol Balizet’s Home in Zion Ministries

The Body is a cult, both sociologicall and theologically. Theologically it a cult of Christianity

“When faced with Samuel’s dire condition, he could have put the leading on hold. As Robidoux stated at trial, ‘No one can make me do anything.’ Regarding his responsibility for Samuel’s death, he testified that ‘the buck stops here.’ On this evidence, we cannot say that Robidoux lacked criminal responsibility.”

Robidoux, 34, wanted his 2002 life sentence overturned, arguing he was a victim of brainwashing by his late father Roland Robidoux’s Bible study sect.

He and his wife Karen, who was found not guilty of second-degree murder, withheld solid food from Samuel for more than a month.

Samuel, who never saw his first birthday, was buried in a homemade casket months after he died in the forest of a state park in northern Maine.

Former sect leader loses bid for new trial in son’s death

BOSTON (AP) – The state’s (Massachusetts) highest court has denied a new trial for a former leader of a religious sect who was convicted of murder in the starvation death of his infant son.

Jacques Robidoux was 1 of the leaders of a small Attleboro cult known as The Body. He was charged with murder after his son, Samuel, died three days before his first birthday in April 1999.

Robidoux said he and his wife believed they were following a message from God when they began feeding Samuel only his mother’s breast milk. Prosecutors said the boy starved over the next 51 days because his mother stopped producing enough milk to nourish him.

The Body

In early press reports, The Body was referred to generically as the “Attleboro cult” or “Attleboro sect.”

The group’s doctrines and practices have been heavily influenced by the teachings of Carol Balizet’s Home in Zion Ministries

The Body is a cult, both sociologicall and theologically. Theologically it a cult of Christianity

Jacques Robidoux appealed his conviction to the state Supreme Judicial Court, arguing he was mentally ill and under the brainwashing influence of the cult and his former lawyer should have used an insanity defense.

But the court ruled Tuesday that it was Robidoux himself who rejected the insanity defense after consulting with the lawyer.