Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stereotypes about murder...

When you think about murder, what are the words and images that come to your mind:

...horror, death, tragedy, blood, crime scenes, attacks, weapons, strangers...

How many of us picture being assaulted by a masked stranger? Shot in an armed robbery? Attacked by a mugger in a dark alley?

Sadly, these are not the most common types of murder. According to statistics from the Bureau of Justice, the victim and offender were strangers in only 14 percent of all murders between 1976 and 2005. Did you get that? Go back and read it again. Only 14 percent.

It is actually far more common to be murdered by someone you know. More than half of all murders are committed by a spouse, family member, or aquaintance.

The victim/offender relationship is undetermined in more than one-third of homicides.

What could be more comforting than this?

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14, Verses 1-4

thoughts for the day

With Kelly-Anne's murder nearly seven years ago now, I sometimes find a day or two goes by where I don't think about what happened. That is such an awesome feeling, especially when this heinous act was at the forefront of my mind for so many years. I think about Kelly-Anne all the time, but I don't dwell as much on her murder as I used to. Instead, I find myself remembering funny times, laughing at something that would have amused Kelly-Anne, or even thinking about what she's doing in heaven.


That's not to say I don't miss her. The reality is that I miss her all the time. My life isn't as rich or full without my dear friend Kelly-Anne in it. It's just not the same.


April brings National Crime Victims' Rights Week in the United States. I saw an advertisement for the program on a city bus the other week (of all places) and couldn't help but look into it. You can click on the link to their website here. Not sure whether some of this is all that valuable, but I do like the idea of the awards.


It is true, of course, that murder is a tricky crime because the victim is no longer with us to advocate on his or her own behalf. That unenviable task is left to the victim's loved ones. As W.H. Auden once said:

"Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest."


That's all I've got for today. What's on your mind?