Yesterday, someone who shall remain anonymous, wrote a comment on my blog post.

"With all due respect BDB, I couldn't give a damn about this individual.
Every story I have read so far mentions this killers name, but I have seen very little on the ones that were killed. In history we always remember the killers but never the victims, can anyone name Jack the Rippers victims, the Montreal massacre, Columbine, and the list goes on."

This person got me thinking about why we often do not hear a lot about who the victims are, sometimes for days.  I think that perhaps there are a couple of reasons why that is.

1) It takes a long time to gather information on the victims, there are so many and there are police protocols to consider.

2) One would hope, that in spite of a world that is hungry for details, journalists and news outlets have some degree of empathy to the pain the families must be feeling and exercise a small modicum of respect.

Anonymous says: "In history we always remember the killers but never the victims, can anyone name Jack the Rippers victims, the Montreal massacre, Columbine, and the list goes on."

Why is that? This person may be right you know. 
Do we as a society do tend to remember the perpetrator and not the victim? 

I could not recall the names of the shooters in Columbine, nor that of the victims, so I Google searched the information and found a page dedicated to all who were lost.
The site includes the who, what, where, how and why of journalism. (Columbine Massacre)
The site from what I gather, is run

I could not recall the name of the man in Oslo Norway who took 92 lives in a bombing and shooting at a youth camp or the names of the victims.  So, I Google searched. I found lots on the shooter/bomber - very little on those whose lives were taken.  

The Columbine Massacre site was compiled and is owned by Cyn Shepard - it is an independent site and in stark contrast to all of the other reports/ers on the various other mass shootings - balanced in approach without over sensationalizing or glorifying the killers.

For me personally, I either have Alzheimer's setting in or my mind just tends to block out the details in an effort to protect myself. I am not sure about the rest of you, what you remember from some of history's most notorious of violent crimes.

Do I remember Robert Picton AND his victims?
NO I remember Robert Picton. Why? because of the lengthy trial and investigation.

I barely remembered Clifford Olson, but I did remember that the parents of one child had started a non profit called "Victims of Violence" that had a motto "It shouldn't hurt to be a child"  Their web site appears to be down and I don't have the hours to devote to find their names, but Gary and Sharon Neufeldt (SP) comes to mind.

I all cases, I recalled that there had been brutally, cruel horrors perpetrated.
But the details, the who, what, when, where and why. Not really.

When I started Google searching, I realized that for those who do recall the names of the horrifiers but not the victims, there really is a reason why that happens.

The cruelty of these people is something that everyone tries to wrap their head around.
But the innocents - no matter their age - are not mentioned as often - very little can be known by those who'd rather grieve in private. And in too many cases the sheer number of victims becomes impossible to commit to memory. Certainly it does not appear that many journalists focus any of their energy on the victims in any meaningful way.

I am not a journalist - I have never gone to school to report on the issues.
I have no large team of people feeding me facts so to write anything thoughtful takes me hours to accomplish.

Am I interested in the victims of Sandy Hook, who they were as people?

Am I willing to satisfy my desire to know their stories by violating their wishes to grieve privately?

So what am I left to do to numb the pain? To help me make sense of it? 

If you are me, with the background I have, you look at how someone came to be this way.
You look at what you can do to change things. You look for ways to feel less powerless.
You look for something joyful to hold on to.

Rich Boersma shared with me the link to an article called:"26 Moments That Restored Our Faith In Humanity This Year"

I takes millions of these small moments to help distance our minds from the abject horrors that invade our world at times.  They are out there, there are millions and millions of good people around the world who in their small way attempt to make the world a better, brighter place.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Is gun control the answer - I don't know but I doubt it.
Criminals the world over manage to get guns to use in their crimes regardless of bans.

Drunk drivers continue to drive in spite of bans.
How many times do you hear of drunk drivers driving without benefit of license?

Are better mental health programs the answer?

As long as there are people, the war between good and evil will rage on.
I leave you with this two Cherokee Legends to consider.

A Cherokee Legend
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. 
"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed." 

Here is the same story, but it is called "Grandfather Tells" which is also known as "The Wolves Within"

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice, "Let me tell you a story.

I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do.

But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times." He continued, "It is as if there are two wolves inside me. One is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ah! He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes, it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."
So what are your thoughts on the thought provoking comments made by Anonymous?

I would love to hear yours - because I desperately want to believe that through thoughtful and respectful dialogue we can improve things...and I am always open to other ideas and ideals - I may not accept them as right for me, but I will always listen.

And, that is where my heart is at today...

Have a wonderful Monday
Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider
“Each time I perform an act of kindness, a part of me heals.” ― Lupi Ngcayisa

Post a Comment

  1. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Clifford Olsen - not Robert Olsen... That SOB nearly got me... He lived in my neighborhood for years & was preying on children...


  2. I realized that I had put in Robert instead of Clifford when I was rereading it - thanks...It's been fixed.

  3. Bonecutter4:54 PM

    I'm pretty cynical about a lot of journalistic practices that go on.

    I think we hear about the killer because somehow they fascinate us.

    I've heard it said that these "monsters" let us touch, for a moment, the darkness that lives in all of us. Maybe that's true. Or maybe the stories about the carnage feed the same need that causes some people to want to gawk at car wrecks.

    But for the journalists and editors - it just makes great copy. The victims seem to only be important because they make up the body count. The higher the count, the bigger the story.

    Sorry, but I told you I was cynical.

  4. Anonymous7:10 AM

    I need to concentrate on the Cherokee Legend.
    As far as why we don't remember the victims goes, it is a direct result of the murderers name being released first. I think that no names should be released until all the victims families have been notified, and then do not release the name of the if this is going to happen. God bless all the victims.