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    The silent deaths

    by Sunny on 10th February, 2006 at 6:11 pm    

    Eighty-four year old Victoria looked after the children while her daughter and her husband went to work. Both held down two jobs each.

    At about 8.30 in the morning, Victoria walked the two children to school. She arrived back home just before 9am. Victoria was set upon inside the flat. She was gagged, tied up with telephone wire, sprayed with petrol and set alight. She managed to crawl into the kitchen area. The flat was also burned. Victoria died on the kitchen floor.

    Nothing was stolen from inside the flat. The family had nothing to steal. No-one has ever been convicted of this crime. No motive has ever been discovered. Victoria was an illegal immigrant. She did not claim any benefits, and was supported by her daughter and son-in-law.

    This murder did not appear in the national media.
    [Printed in full from World Weary Detective]

    Print this page and comments   |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Media, Race politics

    13 Comments below   |  

    1. Jay Singh — on 10th February, 2006 at 6:23 pm  

      This is terrible.

    2. mirax — on 10th February, 2006 at 6:32 pm  

      I can’t open the link, Sunny. but I have a couple of questions. Your headline is in the plural- how many other unexplained/under-reported deaths like this are there?

      Any reasons you can think of why the national media do not run these stories?

    3. Kulvinder — on 10th February, 2006 at 6:51 pm  

      Any reasons you can think of why the national media do not run these stories?

      Can’t comment on the specific story, but generally the media (printed media in particular) aren’t charitable organisations, they exist in market conditions. As such they take up positions that emphasises their own market niche, the daily mail bigs it up for middle england etc, since circulation is crucial to their revenue they’re more inclined to add stories their readers will resonate with (or spin the stories in that manner) than grate against the people who pay their wages.

      The recent bruhah about the media being institutionally racist was bollocks, if you want to say society is then fine (but that really isn’t saying much). Its a capitalist world and the media makes a profit by aiming for the biggest demographics, which inherently excludes minorities.

      It simply a case of running/spinning stories that will sell to their market.

    4. Sunny — on 10th February, 2006 at 7:11 pm  

      There was a case reported in the Media Guardian a few years ago.

      A Daily Mail reporter had been interviewing a raped woman about her ordeal for a while, and they had planned to run a series of articles over a week to highlight her story. Those were roughly the details of how it was going to happen. Then someone higher up found out that the raped woman was black, and asked the reporter to drop the piece. The reporter resigned in disgust.

      I would say its more to do with the media than just saying they reflect society, but there is an element of that too. The Daily Mail essentially patronises its audience by trying to make them get mad about issues, and assumes they’re a gullible lot.

      Mirax - more than you think. Mostly they’re reported in places like the Blink website, on IRR or Indymedia, though I have no stats to say how many are reported and how many aren’t.

      There are quite a few bloggers though who keep going on about the over-compensation of the media and being politically correct (though that does happen too sometimes).

    5. NorahJones — on 10th February, 2006 at 8:42 pm  

      That is just so sad.

    6. Chris Stiles — on 10th February, 2006 at 8:54 pm  

      Mirax - more than you think.

      Wasn’t that the point ?

    7. soru — on 10th February, 2006 at 9:00 pm  

      The recent bruhah about the media being institutionally racist was bollocks

      That phrase is a really bad one: to adapt what Voltaire said of the holy roman empire, institutional racism is neither institutional nor racist. But it does label a real thing.

      Example: the Stephen Lawrence case was, as I understand it, championed by the Daily Mail. This was because Paul Dacre happened to know one of the dead guys relatives.

      Multiply that little fact by the number of people who have disproportionately same-ethnicity acquaintances, and the proportion of different ethnic groups in positions of power. You won’t get an answer that would imply everyone ends up equal, even if no individual or institution did anything really wrong.

      That doesn’t imply any particular policy that aims to counter it will work, and it is easy to imagine one being counterproductive.


    8. jamal — on 10th February, 2006 at 11:22 pm  

      This is a terrible crime, it should have been reported nationwide. This IS news.

      That World Weary Detective’s sites pretty interesting.

    9. laban — on 11th February, 2006 at 8:43 am  

      Two factors here. One is simply the high number of UK homicides. About 950 a year in England and Wales, 140-odd in Scotland, some (historically a lot) in Northern Ireland. 3+ a day overall.

      If they were all reported nationally by the papers and BBC, (as used to happen when the figures were low 50-60 years ago), the evening news would be ‘mostly murder’.

      There is IMHO though a tendency to ignore the death of ethnic minority victims unless native Brits are the killers. Dreadful murders like those of Carlton Speid and Ruth Okechukwu sink without trace.

      Similarly some murders of natives sink without trace. Anyone who reads the Guardian will know about the murders of Firsat Dag or Kalan Karim in Swansea. but they won’t know about Anthony Farrell’s killer.


    10. Bijna — on 11th February, 2006 at 1:02 pm  

      Silent deaths in the Netherlands as well. Solve this crime.

      - the house of a 65 year old man burned down
      - fires had started in several places inside the house
      - a witness heard an explosion and car driving fast away
      - after the burning near the house a burned car was found
      - at the front door a swastika had been brushed and a letter was attached to the door
      - the neighbour noticed the police covered the letter with a jacket
      -the contents of the letters is classified
      - a month ago the neighbour had a swastika brushed on her door
      - the old man often complained that Maroccan youth left litter behind in the play yard which he had to clean up
      - for this he was considered a racist by the neighbourhood
      - no clues were provided to the police after the case was brought on television (apart from that there was hardly no media attention)

      Case closed. It must have been suicide.

    11. Sunny — on 11th February, 2006 at 3:34 pm  

      Laban indeed there are a lot of homicides in the country, but I would have thought that the brutality of way it was done, and her age (old and young victims the media usually does report), would have made her a prime candidate for a media story.

    12. Laban Tall — on 11th February, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

      It did sound a particularly bad crime. Perhaps the Detective’s got a name. There’s a lot of murders reported in places like the South London Press which you never hear about nationally. There are also an awful lot of old ladies (and men) killed in London who you don’t get to hear about. Many of them are only reported on sites like the ‘fallen list’ maintained by people who seem to be well to the right of the BNP. It’s a disgrace IMHO that places like that are the only resource available for researching some murders - why are they the only people counting the bodies (and only white ones at that) ?

      The Home Office produces something annually called the Homicide Index but it’s not online and last time I asked they didn’t reply. Perhaps an FOI request would work.

    13. Steve M — on 11th February, 2006 at 8:51 pm  

      Truly horrific. What sort of person or persons could do something like this to anyone, let alone an 84 year old woman, and how terrible is it to think that the perpetrators are still out there? Scum.

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