Moral Low Ground


Canadian Wife Expecting ‘Resurrection’ Kept Husband’s Rotting Corpse in Home for 6 Months

Peter Wald's van, as seen on Google Earth.

Peter Wald’s van, as seen on Google Earth.

A Canadian woman kept her dead husband’s body rotting in their home’s upstairs bedroom for six months because she believed he would rise from the dead, a court head Monday.

Kaling Wald, 50, of Hamilton, Ontario pleaded guilty to failing to notify authorities that her husband, 52-year-old Peter Wald, had died from an illness that was not being treated by a doctor.

The Toronto Star reports Kaling Wald and her six children, ages 11-22, believed Peter would be resurrected from the dead, as Christians believe Jesus Christ was, because they prayed daily to ‘God’ for such an occurrence.

Peter Wald died “probably around March 20th” of last year, according to a court statement. He had diabetes and his left foot was infected. But like the ‘faith healing’ Christian fundamentalist parents who allow their children to die of preventable ailments because they believe in the power of ‘God’ to cure their loved ones, Wald refused to seek medical treatment for his illness and instead relied upon the ‘power of prayer’ to heal him. He soon fell into a coma and died.

Kaling Wald then covered her husband’s body, sealed off the upstairs bedroom to conceal the odor of his decomposing body and set to praying for his ‘return.’ When curious neighbors asked where Peter—who drove a minivan conspicuously covered in Christian messages—was, his widow told them, “in God’s hands now.”

Police discovered the macabre scene on September 17, 2013 while carrying out an eviction order after Wald fell behind on her mortgage. The family had expected the eviction and had packed Peter’s belongings for the move. But upon unlocking the upstairs bedroom door, she found only a heavily decomposed body that had been set upon by rodents.

Originally charged with neglect of duty regarding a dead body and offering an indignity to a body, the charges against Wald were reduced under the Coroner’s Act. Assistant Crown attorney Janet Booy acknowledged that Wald had no ill intent, arguing the woman’s devout Christianity had “tainted and warped her better judgment.”

“We were trusting God . . . we thought, ‘OK, Lord, you know better,’” Wald told the Hamilton Spectator following her Monday court appearance.

But Superior Court Justice Marjoh Agro asserted the case wasn’t about Wald’s faith.

“Your belief that your husband would resurrect is not an issue,” Agro said in court on Monday. “This is not about your religious beliefs. It is about your safety, the safety of your children and the safety of the community at large.”

Wald, who has no past criminal record, was sentenced to 18 months of probation. She was also ordered to undergo counseling. Her family has relocated to Fort Erie, Ontario and she says she can now properly mourn the loss of her husband now that her bizarre court case has concluded.

“It was unusual, yes. It was certainly not normal,” Wald told the Spectator. “And we won’t do that again… laws exist and we know that now.” She still, however, believes in resurrection.

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