Friday, August 1, 2008


I was greeted yesterday morning by a most horrific, bone-chilling news flashed all over Canadian television.

A 40-year-old man repeatedly stabbed a twenty-something man sleeping next to him as they rode in the back of a Greyhound bus together along the Trans-Canada Highway near Portage la Prairie, Winnipeg. Afterwards, he decapitated the man and waved the severed head in front of thirty-four passengers who watched in complete and total horror.

How I wished this was simply a gruesome scene from a horror movie, or photos in magazines from faraway places. But this was real, the grit and pain and horror of life, up close and personal.

Amid my disbelief and horror, I rationalized that there must have been a deep motive for the gruesome killing, like a personal vendetta of some sort. It was my mind’s way of tuning out a most shocking and unacceptable reality.

Subsequent reports about the incident had my defense mechanism crumbling to the ground. Alas, there was no motive that would account for the mayhem. The murderer and the victim didn’t know each other. The latter, a simple, unassuming boy who worked in a rolling carnival in Edmonton, was going home to his parents in Winnipeg. The killing was not planned nor pre-meditated. The murderer simply went on a rampage, attacking the first person closest to him who happened to be that sleeping boy.

The psychopath is now in jail, and during his brief court appearances, he never said a word, never had an eye contact with people. He provided little clues as to what was going on in his mind. Sketchy reports said that he worked as a newspaper delivery boy and his supervisor attested that he appeared like a "normal" person although with some marital problems.

I came from a country where crime happens everyday to the point that its vastness has numbed my senses. But this incomprehensible incident has personalized the horror once again and made me shudder anew in terrible disbelief. It is an intensely personal matter that has tied my emotions into knots and leaving me dazed, angry, scared, almost like a spiritual vertigo.

By the chilly manner of killing his victim, it is as if the psychopath was telling me “I am doing this and I can do it to anybody.” I cringe at the thought that that that anybody could be me, or someone I care for.

Why does it have to be a world where predators stalk prey and violence is an integral part of life? why do terrible things have to happen to innocent people?

I hope that the indifferent stars will give me the answers soon.


Gina said...

Gruesome. I just read some more details a few minutes ago - that the killer took pieces from the body and ate them. This is straight from a horror movie.=(

I can't begin to imagine how the victim's family would cope.

Mel said...

yes, all we could do is to pray for the victim's family. i don't know, but man's inhumanity to a fellow human just defies all explanations. we all have to face death for sure, but no one, even the worst of sinners, deserves a violent, inhuman and painful death like that.