What's with all the gruesome news lately?

This is perhaps not a post for the faint of heart - you've been warned!

I have a degree in Criminology, and yet ever since Andrew came along I rarely write about my passion for the field.  I still think about it, I still read a lot of news stories that relate (who doesn’t, with the way the news is these days) but I don’t often delve into it with the same passion that I did when I was in school.  In large part, I’ve become more focused on family and every-day-life-with-my-boy and as much as I am still interested in certain aspects of Criminology (and always will be), I don’t have the same time to devote to it at this stage of my life.  I’ve also found since becoming a mother, I am that much more disgusted/saddened/horrified by the monsters that are out there, and perhaps I’ve wanted to push it away because sometimes it can affect me too much.

I don’t want to glorify what the recently  accused Montreal killer did (yes, I’m sort of looking at it as he’s guilty till proven innocent, sorry, but…does anyone believe at this point that it WASN’T him?!) by even talking about it, because then I feel like he’s getting what he wanted – negative, sensationalized attention.  But at the same time, I can’t help but share my absolute disgust that a human being could do something as horrific as cut someone up and send their body parts to various institutions.  And I know that’s not all he did, either. 

Obviously given my schooling, I’ve read a lot about some seriously disturbed people, and I get that these things do happen, whether due to a mental illness, chemical imbalance, as a result of drug use, or what have you.  I KNOW these people exist, and have since the beginning of time, I just could never become fully desensitized to it.  I still cringe whenever I think of the Greyhound Bus killer from a few years ago, for example.  It’s sickening to know that people capable of such monstrous attacks are out there, and in Canada no less.  And when body parts were mailed to several Vancouver schools today, I felt that much more creeped out by the Montreal killer (assuming they indeed will be able to link them back to the same crime, which seems likely – gawd, hopefully this isn’t a copycat crime) because it brought it that much closer to home.  I know several people who work at one of the schools that was targeted, and I can’t help but wonder why?  Why those schools in particular?  What was the tie?  I can’t believe they were picked completely at random.  You’d think if you’re going to go to all the trouble of cutting someone into pieces and mailing them to various places, you’d be quite meticulous in planning out where they’d be going.  Or, maybe it is just random – I can’t propose to know since I obviously don’t think with a psychopathic mind.

I’ve just heard too many stories lately of grisly murders, and even cannibalism.  Seriously – 3 cases involving cannibalism in the past couple of weeks between Canada and the US – what is up with that?  What’s WRONG with people?  It totally freaks me out that these monsters even exist.  I know everyone has their story, and their issues, and I WANT to take that into consideration.  Restorative justice was my main passion throughout my degree, and I did do some work with prison inmates, many of which had committed very serious crimes, including murder.  I know it’s important to understand what went wrong and why, and to realize that sometimes, often – perhaps always, wrongdoers are victims, too (usually stemming back to early childhood) – but…at the end of the day, we’re still all responsible for our actions.  And maybe it’s the Momma Bear in me, but when a crime is of such a serious and disturbing nature, I don’t feel there should be second chances. 

I get why capital punishment is illegal in Canada, particular due to the risk of mistakes, and no innocent man or woman should lose their life for a crime they didn’t actually commit.  However, when we’ve proven it and we know with 100% certainty, why are we letting that person continue to breathe?  I know it doesn’t sound very ‘restorative’ of me to say that, but really.  Like the Greyhound Bus killer – he cut an innocent man’s head off, ate pieces of him, stuffed body parts into his pockets, and held the man’s head up for all the other horrified passengers to see.  He’s apparently ‘doing well’ managing his Schizophrenia with medication now…but he’s getting some amount of day parole, and it sounds like they’re working toward releasing him back into society over time as with taking his meds he’s shown signs of being normalized.  I’m sorry, but can you really ever be normalized, can you ever be TRUSTED, when you’ve committed such horrific acts?  Would you want to sit next to that man the next time you’re on the bus?  I don’t care if he’s taking his meds – what if he chose to stop once he was out on his own again?  And what if the meds stopped being the right combination and he was sick again?  What about the poor innocent young man who lost his life due to this man’s illness?  I’m sorry, but as cliché as it sounds to say ‘an eye for an eye’ (and definitely NO pun was intended there, truly), I sometimes think it wouldn’t be such a bad thing to just say goodbye to people who have proven themselves insane.

I’m just ranting on about it for no real reason…I think I’m just tired of hearing so many horror stories lately.  I know the vast majority of people are not monsters though, and I do find comfort in that!


Lojo said…
I know, I know, I know! This Montreal killing is on my "write about" list this week, and beside it I wrote "Greyhound decapitator." We recently had a (somewhat local) mother who drowned her kids in a bathtub get 15 mos (they gave credit for time served in a mental facility). Sickening to say the least-- supposedly the Crown was aiming for 12 years, but even that... sorry. I, too, find that I am getting more sensitive to these things as I get older.

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