Public Nut Cases

Some of you know Mary Diwell as the opinionated voice on the Russell Williams’ posts. While others were inclined to play super-sleuths, Mary has been quite critical of the “looky loo” mentality; expressing that we should all wake up and get a life.

I struck up a friendship with Mary because I saw the merit in her argument. While biding my time here at WKT? I often post about other cases, and I often get caught up in them. But like Mary, I really believe that this is a warped obsession. In passing a car crush it is oftentimes hard to avert our eyes, but lest we gaze too long it is always good to heed the words of the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche:

“He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

I do not wish to be a hypocrite. I have many times watched “Unsolved Mysteries”, CSI. and any number of Discovery Channel forensic dissections that are lurid and fascinating. But I would emphasize that all my car-crash gawking came LONG BEFORE I had an inkling that my sister was a victim of murder. When that horrific reality took hold I abandoned television altogether, and became addicted to facts. To anyone who derives pleasure from unsolved crimes, a word of caution: unless you have been touched with such tragedy, go back to enjoying your lives… you have no business here.

As you might have now guessed, I have invited Mary Diwell to post some comments here about our public obsession with horror, tragedy and violence. Here is her piece. Thank you Mary:

“The recent arrest of Colonel Russell Williams on sexually motivated murder charges brings to mind the notion of those who derive pleasure from the misfortunes of others. In this case, a voracious media and ignorant on-line commentators have had a field day.

Surely this is a human tragedy for all concerned – firstly for the victims and their families but also for the colonel and his family particularly his wife. However, what do we see? A media attributing every rape and murder in Canada to the colonel and a public baying for the blood of both them. Particularly disturbing to me is the fury over the defence of property transfers in order to financially protect Ms. Harriman. Woman who probably call themselves feminists are baying for this woman’s blood – supposedly in support of the women who were the colonel’s victims.

We all should be silent in pity for those who are victims of violent crime. The pain of their families can only be imagined by those of us who have no experience of such horror and special concern should be for the families for whom there is no closure because the killer has never been found. The anguish is there forever.

And then there is the hypocrisy in the case of Colonel Williams. The media was ever so quiet and respectful when the bodies of three teenage girls and an older woman were pulled from the Rideau Canal last summer – murdered by their own family. Political correctness demanded a muted response to such barbarism because it was a “cultural” matter. The colonel and his wife have no such excuse. Its been open season on them.

The sometimes tragedy of the human condition should be considered by all those who pass judgement on others and a humble respect given in its place.”

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2 thoughts on “Public Nut Cases”

  1. “Hypocrisy is the vaseline of social intercourse.”
    — Mr. Natural

    Mary – This is a damn good piece you’ve written. Few of us have the guts to say this. All of us have the tendency to fall into the wrong attitude sometimes. If you will but allow me to be a blogger and still have a life, I would be very pleased to read more contributions from you like this. Thank you.

    John – I love this quote from Neitzsche. I may want to “borrow” this from you sometime, please. I promise I’ll take good care of it.

  2. I think it might surprise Ms. Diwell to know that many of the people who read and post on crime forums have indeed come face-to-face with monsters. They are there not because they enjoy it, but because, much like you, John, they need answers. They need to feel that something good will come of their own traumatic life experiences, even if it is awareness by others of what goes on in the world. Things have happened beyond their control, and this is their way of fighting back.

    It is never good to turn a blind eye to monsters. Monsters don’t hide in closets, they walk among us. The only way to keep them from doing more harm is to out them.

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