by Earlie Doriman
The recent news about a 60 year old British woman Jennifer Mills-Westley, stabbed to death and then beheaded at a market in Los Cristianos Tenerife; was the most tragic incident my recollection could serve me this year. That is if I have to exclude deaths from natural calamities and deaths due to war. This one brings back memory about the saddest death that my cousin’s 12-year old son met, two years ago. These two deaths have one thing in common – They were attacked by a mentally deranged man.
The TENERIFE ORDEAL:
It is unbelievably ghastly; a retired UK council worker described to be very kind, full of life, and would do anything for anyone; in a matter of minutes was not only killed but brutally torn into body and head – decapitated.
I have so much respect and warmth for the elders and it is so appalling to know about a death of a 60-year old woman, helpless, innocent, vulnerable, and away from her loved ones. I cried inside for this very heinous crime. I know I could not help but the feeling of anguish just diffused as I imagined the grief of her family, children, and grandchildren who never expected her demise.
As her story and good deeds continue to live amongst people who she had touched, may the lessons of her death become an eye-opener to some laws that rather protect the wrongdoers than the victims?
How could she be given justice if the criminal has a history of mental illness? By and large, the mental condition of an offender is a legitimate mitigating reason to escape the penalty of the crime or perhaps an exempting circumstance to send him out again and let loose. There shall be an imminent and continuing danger to the society because some human right laws do not make sure that the majority are safeguarded.
Who to blame for this? Surely an explanation from the Spanish Psychiatric System could not bring back her loving ways, love and light; but at least it could provide an enlightenment why such a man who has been admitted into the psychiatric unit for involvement in violence was released to claim another innocent life.
MY COUSIN’s SON:
He was an intelligent young man, 12 years old, full of dreams and hope. Being the eldest son of my cousin, he was most close to him. One tragic day, two years ago, in the Philippines, in a very unspeakable incident, he died. Earlier that day, he was just one of the ordinary kids so eager to go to school as the summer commencement exercises came closer. Without any given clue, it was also the last day he could see his family. At lunch break, whilst he and few others enjoyed dashing around in the school playground, a familiar face moved towards him, grabbed him, and stabbed the innocent young boy to death. The man was so familiar to him because he was their neighbor.
His friends said, he tried to escape the attack but his feeble youth did not matter the strength of the mentally deranged man. The whole scene left everybody around in shock but one teacher gathered his courage to go pinned the man down as others went to help and controlled the criminal’s struggle. Hoping to save the young brilliant boy, some rushed him to the (nearest) hospital some kilometers away but he was declared dead on arrival.
How could a father bear such tragic death? It was the most difficult times of bereavement and sorrow. Losing a very loving son is almost similar to losing your own breath.
But how could justice be served if he was a victim of a faulty Psychiatric Program? The criminal was a mental health patient who unfortunately escaped from the confined of his secluded world. The death could have been prevented should there was quick action on the part of the institution that takes care of the mentally ill individuals. And it could have been avoided if the criminal’s parents were cooperative enough to report to the authorities about the whereabouts of their son.
Lessons are learned too late. Should there be another life to waste?