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Christine Penmark is the young and empathetic mother of Rhoda Penmark and the main protagonist of The Bad Seed movie. Christine is described as very beautiful. She was portrayed by the late Nancy Kelly. She has Nordic feminine features that are traced to her biological father. Christine is also well groomed, intelligent, and despite being a submissive 1950's homemaker, she is very independent and hands on. As the novel unfolds, Christine slowly pieces together that Rhoda has possibly killed her pet dog, an elderly neighbor in Baltimore and another child, Claude Daigle. Christine doesn't know whether she should love or hate her daughter, but knows that Rhoda will undoubtedly kill again if something is not done. Not knowing what to do, Christine writes letters to her husband about her worries and discovery of Rhoda's true nature, but in the end disposes of them out of fear and decides to wait and discuss the matter with Kenneth in person. Meanwhile, Christine has suspected being adopted since her late teenage years, but did not pursue the idea in fear of upsetting her adoptive parents. After researching, Christine learns her biological mother is Bessie Denker, an infamous serial killer who was executed when Christine was just a small child. In the end, and after unintentionally witnessing Rhoda kill Leroy in cold-blooded murder, Christine finally attempts to kill Rhoda to stop her from harming anyone else and save her from experiencing the same fate as Bessie Denker. She secretly gives Rhoda an overdose of sleeping pills she tells her are "vitamins". At the end of the film during the closing credits, She gives her spoiled daughter, Rhoda (Patty Mccormick) a happy spanking.

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