Crimes and Consequences Weekly Podcast Release
The Crucified Toddler
“There is such a thing as a “little psychopath,” or children who are prone to becoming psychopathic.” In the spring of 1971, the city of San Francisco was rocked by the murder of 20-month-old Noah Alba. The case would become even more terrifying when, to the community’s horror, two brothers, ages 7 and 10, confessed to the murder.
On April 14, 1971, Melanie Alba took her two children, Noah and Symanie, to Alta Plaza Park for some afternoon play while she sunbathed on a grassy lawn nearby. Around 2:00 pm, Symanie went to her mother without Noah in tow. Unbeknownst to Melanie, Noah had wandered off the playground and crossed the path of two brothers: “Bobby” and “Billy.”
Special thanks to our new contributor, Mariya Hamilton, for all the hard work she put into researching and writing this fascinating true crime story for us.
Note to readers:
There is much to debate about the case of Noah Alba. Let me be the first to say, if young children approach you asking if you are the parent of a small child, I implore you to do the right thing and help get that child back to their parent. Simple.
Additionally, this case brings up the topic of how to handle troubled children who break the law. Some believe that treating a violent child as a child is not worth the associated risks and that changing behavior is not possible. Meanwhile, there are many health professionals and children’s right’s activists who argue that a child can be helped with proper, early interventions.
Today, many states have lowered the age in which juveniles can be charged as adults, rendering it possible for convicted youths to be sent to adult prisons.
For those of you out there who watch Mindhunter, this case might feel vaguely familiar. In Season Two, Bill Tench’s character faces some gruesome circumstances when his son, Brian, is involved in the murder of a young boy. It would be Brian’s idea to place the boy on a cross. The details of the real-life case and the scenarios played out in Mindhunter do not align exactly, but there are several parallels.