Another senseless death
I felt an overwhelming sadness looking at the beautiful face of Sarah Cafferkey. Bearing an uncanny resemblance, in its light, beauty and openness, to the other young Melbourne woman, Jill Meagher, who also lost her life as a result of a senseless and thuggish attack. Can anybody tell me why?
Sarah Cafferkey was all of 22 years of age. She’ll never even know how it feels to celebrate her 30th birthday. As her mother, Noelle Dickson said in a statement this morning.
“I’m just thinking about my poor little girl. She’s all I ever had and now he’s taken her and I’m never going to be able to see her again, she won’t get married, she won’t have anything now. This is my little girl ... I don’t have any more and nobody deserves this. She had her whole life ahead of her.”
The hopelessness of this situation is made even more unbearable by the fact that it’s only been two months since Meagher’s brutal and tragic death – yet here we are again. Another death, another police investigation, another young life completely destroyed.
Jill Meagher’s death inspired a national outpouring of grief. We walked to reclaim the night. We told each other to up the ante on personal safety, or at least we argued about it. But this week’s events really make me wonder - does any of it really matter?
It’s becoming quite clear that there is almost nothing we can do to prevent these horrific crimes because there will always be people who commit them. They are people driven by personal demons, anger, or just sheer self-absorption to commit the most reckless, inhuman and callous and cowardly of all acts.
There’s a fantastic essay by Helen Garner in the most recent edition of The Monthly that recounts her own discussion as she sat talking in a pub with a friend, about Jill Meagher’s death. “Does a bloke like that think?” Garner asks her friend about Jill Meagher’s alleged killer, Adrian Ernest Bayley.
It’s a hauntingly simple question, but it encapsulates the senselessness of these deaths, especially today as we mourn the loss of Sarah Cafferkey’s life. And it’s quite clear that the answer is a resounding and unequivocal, no.
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