A case of jealousy

The Boston Globe/June 21, 2002
By Michele Kurtz

She was a spectral presence at her brother's murder trial, allegedly the trigger of a little boy's slow death in the name of God.

For two weeks, jurors heard tales of Michelle Mingo's holy visions and her Attleboro sect's religious beliefs, which members said drove two of their brethren to slowly starve to death their baby son.

But former sect members and prosecutors contend that Mingo's prophecy about withholding solid food from Samuel Robidoux may have sprung from something all too worldly and familiar - jealousy.

Prosecutors have said that Mingo, the child's aunt, may have been so envious of her sister-in-law's svelte figure and her standing as the wife of the group's newly anointed leader that she concocted the vision she said came from God.

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