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Mendum Paul CORVIN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Twice impregnated his adolescent daughter, killing newborns to avoid prosecution for incest
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1968 / 1970
Date of arrest: April 18, 1995 (25 years later)
Date of birth: 1934
Victims profile: Newborn babies
Method of murder: Buried alive - Suffocation
Location: Florida/Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty. Sentenced to three concurrent life sentences in Pennsylvania and Florida in 1997. Dies in prison on September 4, 2000

Man accused of killing 2 babies he had with daughter

The Albuquerque Tribune

April 18, 1995

SCOTTSDALE, Pa. A man accused of burying alive a baby he had with his daughter 27 years ago has confessed to killing a second child he fathered with her, police said.

Paul Corvin, 61, was arrested this morning at his home near Scottsdale on a charge of homicide in the second child's death.

Police in Boynton Beach, Fla., found the skeletal remains of the first child, a boy, Saturday after Corvin's daughter [39 years old] told investigators he buried the baby alive in the family's back yard.  She said she gave birth in a bathroom at home, and her father first tried to drown the boy [in the bathtub].


Killer dies in prison

The Associated Press

September 5, 2000

A man serving life in prison for raping his daughter and killing two babies he fathered with her has died in a Pennsylvania hospital.

Mendum Paul Corvin, 66, died of a heart attack Aug. 14 while serving three concurrent life sentences, The Palm Beach Post reported Monday.

Corvin pleaded no contest in August 1997 to a first-degree murder charge after police found remains of an infant in the coal cellar of his former home in Scottdale, Pa., near Pittsburgh. The newborn girl was killed in 1970 or 1971.

In November 1997, Corvin pleaded guilty to killing another child he fathered with his daughter and burying the newborn in the yard of the family's Florida home in Boynton Beach in 1968.

At the time of the plea bargains, Corvin had said he wanted to avoid a trial so he could spare his now-grown daughter, Sharon Corvin Moore, the agony of testifying.

Police began investigating the old murders after Moore's boyfriend went to police in April 1995 and told them about the baby buried in the back yard. Moore confirmed the story and led detectives to the skeletal remains of the two infants.

Corvin, a retired electrician, had been ill over the past several years and had suffered several heart attacks.


Charges unlikely against grandmother

Stephanie Smith - Sun-Sentinel

April 22, 1995

Rosina Corvin says she never knew her husband sexually abused their three daughters, her attorney says. She never knew her 12-year-old daughter was pregnant with her husband's child. She never knew the child was buried for 27 years in the back yard of her Boynton Beach house where she still lives.

"There's plenty of households in America where abuse goes on and one side or the other doesn't know about it," said Michael Salnick, Corvin's attorney. "It's less naive than you think."

Salnick said Corvin was as shocked as anyone about the allegations of incest and murder.

Legal experts say it's unlikely Corvin could be prosecuted for failure to protect her daughter or her granddaughter, the same type of charge used successfully to prosecute Pauline Zile.

Zile, of Riviera Beach, was convicted last week of first-degree murder of her daughter, Christina Holt, 7, because a jury found she did nothing to protect Christina when she was beaten and suffocated by her husband. Zile faces a possible death sentence.

In Corvin's case, her ex-husband, Mendum Paul Corvin, 61, is accused of sexually abusing the couple's three daughters, fathering two children with his oldest daughter and killing the newborn babies.

The daughter, now 39, told police she gave birth the first time in Boynton Beach, when she was 12. Then again, at age 15, in Pennslyvania.

At first glance, the cases of Corvin and Zile may not appear much different: Both mothers did not intervene in the abuse of their daughters, with tragic results.

But the key distinction is that Corvin is a generation removed from the murder victim, the baby, but Zile was the victim's mother.

In Zile's case, prosecutors established that the mother had a legal duty to protect her child from abuse when she knew of the abuse, and her failure to intervene made the parent just as guilty of the child's death as the killer.

Whether that theory would extend to a grandparent is questionable.

"It doesn't sound like there is any basis of charging anyone other than the father," criminal defense lawyer Thomas Gano said.

"Considering the mother was 12, what are they going to do, charge her with failure to protect her baby from her father?" Gano said.

Assistant State Attorney Scott Cupp said prosecutors have no plans to charge the incest victim with any crime.

The father, Mendum Paul Corvin, has been charged with criminal homicide in Pennsylvania and prosecutors in Palm Beach county say they expect to present a case of first-degree murder against Corvin to a grand jury.

As for the incest victim's mother, Cupp said it was premature to speculate what charges, if any, could be filed.

"We don't even have a [police) file yet," Cupp said. "I don't know what the victim is saying about the mother. I don't know if the mother was around and knew what was going on."

The prosecution of Zile was precedent-setting under current laws. In Corvin's case, 1968 legal standards would have to be applied because the killing occurred then.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Paul Zacks said prosecutors are researching laws on the books in 1968, including the felony first-degree murder law that was the basis of charging Zile and whether a parent had any legal duty to protect a child from abuse at that time.

"I doubt it in 1968," Zacks said. "Society and laws have changed a lot since then. It's troubling."



MO: Twice impregnated his adolescent daughter, killing newborns to avoid prosecution for incest.

DISPOSITION: Pled guilty; two concurrent life terms.



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