Some folks are calling it the Stafford Line killings because that's the name of the road in Elgin County where the bodies were found. Whatever they call it, it's an immensely sad chapter in a story that never seems to run out of victims.
Or newsprint: this story has essentially pushed all others out of the front section since it broke on Saturday. Since this is a writing week for my column in the London Free Press, I felt this topic would resonate with readers. I deviated somewhat away from the somewhat standard "how awful" responses that one typically sees following this kind of thing. Here's what I wrote:
Biker ties shouldn't devalue victimsYour turn: Biker gangs...what's the solution?
Published Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The London Free Press
You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when it became apparent that Saturday’s mass murder near Shedden had been linked to biker gangs.
Fellow shoppers at my neighbourhood grocery store agreed that all murders are tragic, but it’s somewhat easier to accept when the victims may not have led lily-white lives.
If this logic holds true – and I hope it doesn’t – then we seem to accept that some lives are worth more than others. By extension, some of us merit justice, while some of us do not.
This justice-for-some mentality sets a dangerous precedent. If anything, it ensures justice will be meted out only on behalf of victims we deem worthy.
Whatever these eight murder victims did in the days and years leading up to their violent deaths should do nothing to diminish the value of their existence.
Murder is still murder regardless of who the victim may be. We harm society by writing victims off simply because we looked down on how they led their lives.