Susan Baker gets 25 years

As I have recorded previously, last month Susan Baker, the stepmother of Paul Baker and the prime suspect in his 1987 disappearance, was convicted of kidnapping someone else’s kid and keeping her (alive) in a box under her bed. Her protests that she was “protecting” the child from abusive parents were in vain.

Well, Susan got 25 years in prison for her crime. The judge said the kidnapping was “bizarre and cruel.” She got credit for the 375 days she was in jail awaiting trial, so that makes 24 years. The prosecution asked for 35 years — which is one year for every hour Shannon Dedrick spent stuffed inside that box. But 25 years still means Susan Baker will not get out of prison until she’s an old woman.

(The article has a picture of Shannon. I swear she is the roundest-headed kid I’ve ever seen. She looks like Charlie Brown.)

The article refers to James Baker — Paul’s father — as Susan’s ex-husband. They were married at the time of Shannon’s kidnapping, so their divorce must have been fairly recent. I wouldn’t want to be married to someone who’s going to spend the next two and a half decades in prison. I would consider such a spouse to be effectively dead. Never mind that she probably killed James’s son, try as he might to deny that.

Where is Paul?

18 thoughts on “Susan Baker gets 25 years

  1. Liz O November 16, 2010 / 1:39 pm

    I live in Florida and remember when Shannon’s case was all over the news recently. When Shannon’s case made headlines, I also heard that this woman was involved in the disappearance of such a sweet little boy out of state. How can this happen TWICE? It’s terrible to hear. I don’t understand why there has been no movement in little Paul Baker’s case. It’s so sad.

    • Meaghan November 16, 2010 / 3:18 pm

      From what I know about the Paul Baker case — and the resulting charges against Susan — it sounds like the cops did the best they could with what they had. Possibly the outcome would have been different today with all the modern forensic stuff, I don’t know. But now that Susan is going to be in jail for a very very long time, perhaps witnesses who were afraid to speak before will come forward now. We can only hope.

  2. Candice November 16, 2010 / 2:48 pm

    I find it so sad that none of this has led to any information on Paul’s whereabouts.
    (And I agree with you on Shannon’s appearance; I remember seeing her on the NCMEC, and thinking, “does she have a medical condition of some sort?”)

  3. Elena November 16, 2010 / 3:47 pm

    Looks like macrocephaly (drainage of the cerebro-spinal fluid from the skull is obstructed, water accumulates between the skull and the brain, thereby stretching the skull and putting pressure on the brain). Almost always accompanied by mental retardation, because the brain never developed properly.

    • forthelost November 16, 2010 / 4:04 pm

      That’s usually treated with shunt surgery ASAP. I’m in agreement it’s some sort of genetic condition.

    • Meaghan November 16, 2010 / 7:03 pm

      It does look very odd. But I haven’t heard anything about her being anything but a normal baby.

  4. J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 16, 2010 / 5:53 pm

    One blithe commenter on the article suggests, “She kidnapped it cause it looked like an alien. Cute baby though.”

  5. Princess Shantae November 16, 2010 / 7:23 pm

    Good grief! She does look like Chuck! She’s kind of cute now but she probably won’t be that good-looking when she grows up. A lot of the things that look cute on babies or little kids don’t work so good on adults.
    Like this little girl that lives near my in laws. She was realy cute when she was small, even won some pageant type of things. She kind of had a bunny rabbit look to her, and now that she’s like 14 I think and she still has the little pointy face and buck teeth and she isn’t cute at all.

    • J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 16, 2010 / 7:32 pm

      Are her ears long and floppy, too? Just asking as several tenants on my manor have children with that affliction, eh what?

  6. Stina November 16, 2010 / 7:32 pm

    This Baker-woman should bee put in a box for 25 years!

  7. marycarney November 17, 2010 / 12:13 am

    Actually, I think the child just has a big head. I’m a peds nurse, and have seen lots of kids with hydrocephalus – she just doesn’t look like one of them – the eyes are the giveaway, and hers look normal.
    We had a saying in the NICU “Don’t run genetic tests until you’ve seen both sets of grandparents – sometimes they’re just FLK (funny looking kids)”

    • forthelost November 17, 2010 / 4:05 pm

      Well, FLK is also a term used when the child is suspected of having some sort of genetic condition with dysmorphism.

  8. Jen November 17, 2010 / 4:39 pm

    I just want to see one photo of Shannon smiling! It was really odd in the video!

  9. Princess Shantae November 17, 2010 / 8:11 pm

    Another thing to think about: isn’t Shannon’s mother supposed to be mildly retarded or something? Could that explain anything about the way Shannon looks? There’s just something a little bit off about her and its not just her Charlie Brown head.

    • Meaghan November 17, 2010 / 8:32 pm

      Mild retardation is usually not hereditary.

  10. danielle November 17, 2010 / 9:06 pm

    will there be truth in sentencing? Chances of Susan Baker getting out early??The sentence means nothing if it’s not enforced.

    • Meaghan November 17, 2010 / 9:15 pm

      “Those sentenced to prison in Florida who committed their crimes on or after October 1, 1995 will serve a minimum of 85% of their sentences. This applies to all inmates, regardless of the type of crime they committed.”

      “Parole in Florida was eliminated for non-capital felonies committed on or after July 1, 1984… Of the 101,849 inmates in Florida prisons on June 30, 2010, only 5,531 or 5.4% of them remain parole eligible. Only 43 (or 0.1%) of the 36,463 inmates released from Florida prisons in FY 2009/10 were paroled.”

    • Meaghan February 4, 2011 / 11:20 pm

      Just checked Susan’s record in the Florida Department of Corrections database. Her scheduled release date is 2034. So yes, 25 years is 25 years.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s