Her image and story is all over the internet and in magazines and newspapers. Reet Jervetson from Montreal moved to LA when she was 19 and disappeared. Her remains were found 47 years ago but never identified. She was stabbed 150 times near Mulholland Drive, not far from the infamous Manson Family Murders of Sharon Tate and others. With no id, she remained a cold case.
Recently her 73 year-old sister identified her from an on-line photo. The part of this that I cannot get my mind around is that Reet Jervetson last contacted her family in 1969, telling them she had found a nice apartment and that she was happy. They didn't hear from her ever again and they never reported her missing to police. They just assumed she was making her own way and would eventually get in touch. Who does that???? My kids are grown, and have been on their own for a while. They haven't escaped my benevolent attention. Before Facebook and texting, I called once a week. If, ever, I hadn't heard from my kids, I would have moved well, hell and high water... you don't hear from your daughter, your sister. What kind of people do that? How could this poor young girl be unidentified, unclaimed and anonymous for 47 years? I am gob-smacked. Look at her. Her sister says they always wondered about her. That was the extent? Wondered? There were phones in 1969, police made inquiries, people don't just never make contact again. Offpspring can choose to sever ties BUT I would have to be told baldly, blankly, LOUDLY, "I never want to see you again." Poor Reet.
Has a whole new meaning for the parents of children who are attending the same school as Karla Homolka's in Chateauguay, Quebec. What would you do? How would you feel? Perhaps your children have already attended at birthday party for one of her kids at her house. "Deal with the Devil" is one headline from 1993 when Homolka was allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter rather than be charged in the rape/murder of 14 year-old Leslie Mahaffy who she and husband, Paul Bernardo,chopped up with a circular saw and encased in cement before throwing her in a lake and the rape/murder/torture of Kristen French, 15, who they kept for three days before killing. The Deal with the Devil was the revelation of videotapes of their heinous acts which Homolka reportedly viewed with "feral joy."
Homolka was sentenced to 12 years in prison and she did serve all 12. However, she had sexual liaisons with male and female partners while serving her time and their memories of her are disturbing to say the least.
In 2005, Karla was released from prison and by 2007 had married and given birth to a baby boy. She moved to the Antilles and lived under the name Leanne Bordelaire. She has surfaced in Quebec and her children are attending a public school.
The children can't be held accountable for the inhuman crimes their mother committed. She has 'paid her price to society' and yet, and yet. What if your child was friends with Karla and wanted to go to a sleepover? What if they were best friends? Karla's son is the same age as my grandson. Would I want them to be friends? The parents and teachers in Chateauguay are grappling with a complex problem whose solutions will suit no one... how would you Deal with the Devil?
I cannot lie. I have loved the mild winter and the early spring. Today we were out walking, April 18, and didn't need jackets. The sun was warm and lovely.
The unlovely part was the normally somewhat spongy lichen that crunched under my feet, the dust that swirled and danced on the wind so that we had to close the windows on the truck. Opening the windows in the house to the fresh spring air was lovely. Not so lovely was having to shut them because our house was beginning to smell a little like smoke. The country side is dry and there is no rain in the forecast. The wind howls and sucks the moisture from the ground. A carelessly tossed cigarette butt can ignite an inferno.
It is the warmest three months on record globally. I am of an age that if I didn't have children and grandchildren I could, maybe, enjoy this with an evil lack of guilt. But I do have kids and grandkids and I fear for the future. Global climate change is real and some predictions show that we have set events in motion that we can't stop or control
The wildfire in Parkland County where people are under compulsory evacuation orders is just a harbinger of things to come. HIAHB- Hell in a Hand Basket.
There is nothing as entertaining as Margaret Atwood's wit. Last night she delivered the CLC Kriesel lecture at the Winspear. These days she's kind of an old lady like me but it hasn't dulled her acerbic mind. After a forgettable introduction by someone who went on for way too long, she began by saying, "I feel well summarised."
The talk's title was "The Burgess Shale: The Canadian Writing Landscape of the 1960s." The first slide of the power point presentation was her own illustrations of Burgess creatures. Although she was talking about Canadian writing, her thoughts ranged through the 1960s CanLit scene, her unusual childhood in the 40s and personal observations of the birth of Canadian Publishing. In the 1960s Canadian writers and publishers were pioneers, inventing "stuff" as they went along. Some publishing houses, established because the founder owned a printing press, are still viable enterprises. Margaret self-published her first book of poetry and handset the print. Truly a labour of love. When she published "The Edible Woman", her first novel, she was given an author table in Eaton's men's socks and shorts department. She sold 2 books.
Margaret Atwood has become an icon (something she riffed on several times) and she knew so many of the iconic poets, novelists and publishers of the day. Yet she doesn't ever take herself too seriously and her self-deprecation is refreshing.
The 60s writing and publishing scene were very much dependent on everyone involved getting together to fund raise. One of the funniest anecdotes was her satiric contribution to a Porno Project that didn't go anywhere. Harking to Sinclair Ross' "As for Me and My House", Margaret titled her story, "As for Me and My Grain Elevator." The piece went downhill from there and part of the reason for its inclusion illustrated how commonplace pornography has become.
The best speakers are entertaining but deliver a strong message. So it was last night. It was only in reflection, I realized how much information Margaret had included. I guess I am a fan.
Marie Heinin is the go-to criminal defence attorney in Toronto. She is the epitome of success- smart, sought after and tough. Someone feminists should love. She is competing and winning in a man's world.
But such is not the case. She has been maligned for defending Jian Ghomesi and presenting an air-tight case that got him judged not guilty.
She has admitted in interviews that she is not a warm, fuzzy person. It's good thing, considering her chosen occupation. She isn't practicing sleazy personal injury law, but criminal defence. Her job is to provide a defence for those charged with criminal acts. Because she is so tough and smart, she has had a stable of rich and famous clients. She has worked hard for her success and wealth and doesn't expect to win popularity contests. She does her job and does it so well that she is able to pick and choose her cases. No where does it say that as a woman, she must not defend a man charged with sexual assault. The criminal justice system guarantees that one is innocent until proven guilty. Marie Heinin did her job with great skill and showed that the evidence did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Ghomeshi was guilty of sexual assault.
It is a shame that feminists do not celebrate her success. The cases she takes are nasty and she is supposed to defend her clients and show that they didn't commit the crime or crimes they are accused of. She does exactly that. She is not a betrayer of her own sex.
' "Justice does not mean that you are guaranteed the result that you want; justice does not mean that you will be presumptively believed, or that your evidence will not be tested … You are guaranteed an opportunity to be heard and … a fair trial,” Ms. Henein said in a measured, yet somehow impassioned, way.' - The Globe and Mail
The social media outcry when Jian Ghomeshi was acquitted showed that emotion, not intellect ruled. The hashtag, IBelieveSurvivors describes faith. Fortunately, the justice system relies on evidence to provide proof of guilt. Do I believe that the three women who accused Ghomeshi of sexual assault were assaulted? I do. I also think they made a lot of bad decisions.
Is Ghomeshi attractive? He sure is. Is he a celebrity? Yes. I think these women were blinded by attention from someone who moved through and was comfortable in celebrity circles even though at the time of the assaults, Ghomeshi wasn't as "celebrated" as he became. They were flattered that he noticed them and shocked when he took liberties and "played rough." The one thing heard from Ghomeshi was the Facebook post where he defended his predilection for rough sex. No one cares (or they shouldn't) what his sexual proclivities are as long as they practiced by consenting adults.
The Crown in Canada doesn't have its own investigators. They depend on evidence uncovered by the police. In this case, charges were brought after relatively short interviews with the women. It seems that emails and pictures, even letters from the period of the assault weren't found. The Prosecution led by Marie Heinin was able to present damning evidence of the women seeking Ghomeshi's company after the assaults. Emails, a hand-written letter, pictures. One of the accusers claimed her attack occurred in Ghomeshi's yellow Volkswagen- a car he didn't own until 7 months later.
The credibility of the women kept being called into question. Admittedly, after ten or more years, details will be lost to memory; recollections will blur but everyone has seen enough television to know that once electronic records are "out there", they are never erased. Lucy DeCouterre and a second accuser texted and messaged one another saying things like, "He's going down, the pr--ck." It sounded like collusion and a conspiracy of a pair of spurned women.
Experts who work with victims of sexual assault have said that the actions of the three women are to be expected. Our justice system doesn't encourage women to come forward and when they do, sometimes they lose. The problem, then, as Justice William Horkins said in his ruling, the women were just not credible. There were too many inconsistencies in their testimony; he believed they were assaulted BUT he didn't believe that there wasn't reasonable doubt. The evidence needed to convict Ghomeshi wasn't there. All the inconsistencies, confusion and poor decisions of the women led to the verdict of "not guilty."
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.