Manhattan Nanny Stabbing Tragedy Brings Out the Worst in UrbanBaby Commenters


The message boards on anonymous parenting forum are frequented by impressively self-absorbed and judgmental city parents who fret over their paltry $700,000 household incomes, argue the merits of elite private schools, and write Moby Dick-length screeds on co-sleeping. But they wouldn’t stoop so low as to make yesterday’s fatal Upper West Side stabbing — in which a nanny is accused of killing two young children — about them, would they? Of course they would!

Last night, a mother returned home to her luxury apartment to find two of her children, a 2-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl, stabbed to death in a bathtub, allegedly by the family’s 50-year-old nanny, Yoselyn Ortega, who had been so close to her employers that they all once visited her own family in the Dominican Republic. Police haven’t determined the impetus for the senseless act of violence — Ortega, who apparently also tried to stab her own throat, hadn’t seemed depressed or agitated and didn’t leave any sort of note — but UrbanBaby’s posters have some thoughts on the tragedy:

Shame on you, working mothers!

All you ladies who put your career and money above your children, this is what can happen. And don’t give me the old tired you “can’t afford not to work,” which really means “I dont want to give up my current lifestyle and move or cut back on the manicures and what have you. I thank God everyday that my wife demanded that she stay home until our kids were in school. And it paid off!! We have great kids and we never put them in danger by putting their lives in someone else’s hands.

Shame on you, stay-at-home mothers!

Was she a SAHM with a nanny? This will teach you to never leave your kids with nannies unless you have to work to put food on the table.

Epic humble-bragging about life choices:

Sometimes I have felt I was missing something by not going back to work, but last night my husband said, I’m so grateful that you are willing to stay home with the kids, and I feel the same. You just never know when you leave your kids with someone. Look- they really “knew” this woman, went to the DR and stayed with her family, how much closer can you get to someone who works for you?? If you have a nanny, has this event raised your level of concern at all? I’m not judging those who do employ nannies, I know that for some people it is the right decision, I just think last night’s event would’ve sent my anxiety through the roof about leaving my kids home with someone.

Brown people are scary!

I think mexicans have a violent and bloody culture underlying a lot of other stuff.

(Note: Ortega is from the Dominican Republic.)

…and shouldn’t be here, anyway!

Do you think she was being paid on or off the books? here legally or illegally?

My nanny is better than your nanny.

Sometimes I meet a nanny at the playground or a class that I can see doesn’t really like her charges. Now I feel like I should seek put the mom and tell her. WDYT?

We’re not asking the important questions: did the kids go to Dalton?

Where did the children attend school?

Trend piece alert!

I would imagine the “nanny as status symbol” days are now over. Stay home and spend the time with your children. Your lunch dates, shopping and Yoga classes are not all that important.

This tragedy reminds me about myself, and how I fired a nice but crazy lady once. Good call, me!

This story makes me heartsick. I posted a long time ago about letting go of a housekeeper we loved. She had been acting “off” for several weeks, for example one day I found a load of dirty laundry in the dryer – she had not even put it through the wash first. Other things also here and there, like a random pot full of water on the stove, seemingly no purpose. I also noticed her talking on her bluetooth cell phone quite a bit. One day “the day” she came to work and would not speak English to me. I kept saying “English” and she would respond in Spanish. She started to worry me and I asked her if she needed to go home that day. She said yes, and was acting so oddly that I literally watched her get into her car and drive away, then I locked the door. 5 minutes later she was back, getting out of her car and dancing and singing in my driveway before sitting in the snow in our yard with our dog, who was out. The last thing she did was come to the door and ask if she could take our dog home with her. I told her no and that she needed to go home and feel better, immediately. I then locked the door again and called the police to tell them she had left my home. I heard several hours later from the police that they went to her home, and whatever transpired there, she was put into a psychiatric unit that night. It turned out she had schizophrenia that she had never disclosed to us, and she was having a relapse of some kind. The kids later told me that she never did chat on a cell phone, she was just talking to the air all the time and it freaked them out. She also liked to lock herself in closets in the house and talk to our cat. I never noticed this and left her alone with the kids regularly. That day was the last time I saw her. We still get holiday cards from her asking for her job back, but, sorry, as sad as I am and as much as I know she’s a good person, I could never have taken the risk again.

Advice on how to make sure your nanny never stabs your children:

One thing that we can do is let our nannies know if they ever feel overwhelmed by the kids or the job, it’s OK to park them in front of the TV or computer, put them in the crib even if they are screaming, close the door, go into anpther room and lie down for a while or listen to music, watch tv alone, call a friend, etc. They can even call you to come home if it gets too much. That you would never be upset or fire them if they needed to do this. Let them know you don’t want them feeling stressed out at work.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin