Friday, January 15, 2010

At long last

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Nicolas Wright (mentioned previously on this blog here) we were able to put together an amazing video tribute to Kelly-Anne to play at her wake in October 2004. It was a labor of love--Nic, Stephen, and I worked for hours long into the night to create a lasting memory in honor of our dear friend, Kelly-Anne.

For years I have been unable to find a way to upload this video to YouTube. But at LONG LAST I have managed to get it up there for all the world to see. It is gut-wrenching and heart-warming all at the same time. And, more importantly, it brings me back to a place where I can focus on Kelly-Anne's life. I especially love seeing the video clip at the end where she is interviewed by CTV about her lifeguarding accomplishments.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Do the crime, serve your time

Kelly-Anne's mother, Doreen, has a great post up today on her blog. I encourage you to read it and consider your role in making sure the parole board keeps the man who killed Kelly-Anne in jail for his entire sentence.

What kind of society do we have where you can murder someone in cold blood and be released on parole after 13 years? Talk about miscarriage of justice.

Kelly-Anne deserves better.

Funny Memories--Part Six

Here is a snippet of a funny memory of Kelly-Anne that was posted on her online condolence book. The full post can be found here.

I only had the opportunity to meet Kelly-Anne in the last year of her life, but I was so amazed and graced by her presence. She always made me laugh and helped me plan my halloween party, even cutting out little paper pumpkins, and she dressed up like Harry Potter. Small little things were fun with Kelly-Anne and we would often talk about joining up to the gym together and then laugh about what big procrastinators we were...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Interesting Comment

Since starting this blog more than 5 years ago, I have recieved many emails and comments about both Kelly-Anne and the man who murdered her. It is very encouraging when people post comments or send in stories about Kelly-Anne. I really enjoy reading these and Kelly-Anne's mother, Doreen, and I will often exchange emails about how happy we are to read something new about Kelly-Anne.

On the other hand, it is both fascinating and horrifying to read the accounts of person after person who knew Marty in the past and had a negative experience with him. Countless people on the West Island have a "Marty" story, and from these experiences it seems clear to me that there was a definite pattern of escalating issues for a long period of time.

Nothing makes me sadder than when I think of how things ended up. Kelly-Anne is never coming back and Marty locked away in jail (for at least another few years). It makes me especially sad because it was completely and utterly preventable. Marty could have taken his issues seriously and sought professional help. Kelly-Anne could have recognized the patterns and signs of a volatile, abusive individual and ended the relationship before her life was snuffed out. We, Kelly-Anne's family and friends, could have been even more insistent to her that she get out of this relationship before it was too late. Obviously, though, the blame for this horrific act of violence lies with one individual and one individual alone.

I want to share the below comment which appeared on the blog yesterday from someone who knew Marty in the past. I hope it will inspire you to take abuse seriously and make sure that if you find yourself in an abusive situation--either as the abuser or the abused--to seek professional help for your problems before it is too late. To the man who made this comment: thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. At some point in the not-too-distant future, Martin will be up for parole so I hope you will consider supporting the family by sharing your recollections about his character.

I unfortunately knew Martin when I was aged 16 to 21. He had a notoriously volatile temper and was always quick to respond to any confrontational situation in an unusually aggressive manner. I can remember him getting into fights at the slightest provocation. This was often fuelled by alcohol abuse. Martin's older brother wasn't much of a role model, either.

I tried to see the good in Martin, but after years of sharing the same circle of friends, I realized that it was time to grow up and seek a more positive environment.

I remember Martin quitting school after high school. I convinced him to start CEGEP at John Abbott College, but after a short time, he could never fully apply himself, and as a result, dropped out.

I bumped into him years ago with my wife, while we were having our car rust proofed. My first thought was, "I don't want my wife around this guy, and I don't want to socialize with him, either."

Years later, I heard about the murder and was shocked and disgusted. I knew Martin to be angry, but killing his girlfriend over rent money???!!!

Martin could never understand that those flashes of anger that he felt could cause irreparable harm to others.

I offer my most heartfelt condolences to Kelly-Anne's family and friends.

I hope that Martin rots in jail, because I don't think that he has it in him to change and become a regular part of society again. He knows how to pretend that he is sorry without actually feeling any remorse. Hearing his excuse about how the knife flew out of his hand sounds like one of his usual excuses. He never could accept the blame for any of his own wrong-doings. It was always somebody else's fault. If let out of jail, my feeling is that he'll just go back to his old ways.

I did not know Kelly-Anne, but she seems like she was one of the bright, shining stars in the universe.

I hope that Kelly-Anne's memory inspires hope, happiness, and a zest for life for others.