By Bryan Thao Worra
Innsmouth, MA – Innsmouth police issued a statement that a mother accused of violently killing her two young sons and mother-in-law is claiming “ghosts” committed the triple homicide.
Najinya Laphitam was hospitalised on Friday for treatment of self-inflicted injuries following her efforts to take her own life with the same weapon she is alleged to have used in killing her
children, three-year-old Donja and six-year-old Nouvak, and her mother-in-law, Moannva Laphitam. She allegedly slashed each victim in the throat and eyes using a dhoptam, a traditional Tcho-Tcho knife. A dhoptam is a curved, two-foot-long, ornate machete Tcho-Tcho used to clear jungle underbrush and to prepare meals.
Vouk Laphitam, Najinya’s husband, returned to the family’s West Innsmouth home at approximately 1:00am Thursday to discover his injured wife, and dead mother and sons. Police said Najinya began her brutal assault shortly after Vouk had left for his shift at Fungo
Mushrooms that afternoon.
Innsmouth is home to one of the largest Tcho-Tcho refugee populations in the United States. Tcho-Tcho had lived in the mountains of Laos, Burma and Vietnam for centuries. Many assisted U.S. efforts during the Vietnam War and resettled in America to escape persecution for their roles in the conflict. Miskatonic University anthropologist Warner Cowan is a leading expert on Tcho-Tcho culture. He stated, “Tcho-Tcho maintain a very complex cosmology unlike any other found among the neighbouring cultures in their native lands. The term ‘spirits’ does not really do justice to the entities she is most likely referring to: the dhazhakh. In any case, this is a tragic case and my deepest sympathies go out to the Laphitam family.”
Sitting in her hospital bed, Najinya Laphitam, 38, told police that “the spirits murdered her children and possessed her mother-in-law.” Laphitam resisted treatment, insisting she did not wish to live. According to Innsmouth Police spokeswoman Sandra Lewiston, authorities are investigating possible effects that Najinya’s depression medication and traditional Tcho-Tcho herbal remedies may have had on her behaviour.
Najinya Laphitam is charged with three counts of first degree murder and could face life in prison if convicted.