Mommys Little Angels: The True Story of a Mother Who Murdered Seven Children by Mary Lou Cavenaugh (June 1995)

Publication Date:
June 1995
Onyx True Crime
$0.01 and up

Reviewed by:
On November 10, 2009
Last modified:February 4, 2013


The author fails to do any personal research, especially when it comes to the perpetrator's background, but being the only book about this case, I'll still recommend it.

Mommys Little Angels by Mary Lou Cavenaugh
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The case of Diana Lumbrera, a mother who killed all six of her children plus a relative’s six-week-old baby, is very familiar.

It goes something like this: Lumbrera has a baby.  Anywhere between 2 months and 5 years, the child allegedly stops breathing.  Lumbrera rushes to the nearest emergency room with said child.  Said child dies.  Only thing observed is a small amount of blood dispensing from the child’s nose.  Cause of death undetermined; generally given a “wastebasket” label such as SIDS or septicemia.

Six times this scene played out. Fortunately, the experience and keen eye of a doctor would stop this child killer in her tracks and put her behind bars until nature ensures she can never breed and kill again.

I had a difficult time putting down Mommy’s Little Angels.  The story of Diana Lumbrera is disgusting yet intriguing tale, yet one that leaves readers repeatedly asking, “Why?” and “How?”

It seems that author Mary Lou Cavenaugh obtained most of the story from law enforcement officials, court documents, and personal observations from attending the trial.   And with no in-depth background information provided about Diana Lumbrera or any other key players involved, it leaves readers with a feeling that Cavenaugh dropped the ball on doing her own research.

Would I recommend it?  Sure.  Although a little lacking in some important facts, Mommy’s Little Angels is a fast-paced, interesting book about a crime that, in every detail, is unfathomable.

Where Are They Now?

Released from the Kansas Department of Corrections on June 30, 2005, Lumbrera was immediately transferred to the custody of the Texas Deparment of Corrections to serve her life sentence for crimes committed in that state.  The first date she will be eligible for parole is September 8, 2013.

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One Response to “Mommys Little Angels: The True Story of a Mother Who Murdered Seven Children by Mary Lou Cavenaugh (June 1995)”

  1. [...] possible death sentence under a new serial-murder statute. In an ironic twist of self-preservation, Diana Lumbrera pled guilty to daughter Melissa’s murder to avoid being executed. The additional charges two charges of [...]

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