I am a reporter.
I write on all manner of things, from cheque presentations to government corruption.
Sometimes this includes fairly significant court cases. In the last year I have been made aware of two murders in my neck of the woods. OK, one of them I went to the scene and even spoke to a friend of the family. But I don’t know the people involved, so for me, they are simply stories.
Now, as you are all well aware, I do have a vested interest in one specific murder case currently going through the courts. You all know to which one I am referring.
I’m not going to rehash any of the reporting already done on this trial. But I do have some thoughts and comments on the case and trial as a whole.
This is the first time I have had a vested interest in such a significant event. It’s not very often you hear of a murder-for-hire plot involving someone you know, even tangentially. When the accused is someone who knew fairly well, and someone you considered a friend, it’s especially eerie.
Think about it. When I first heard about the shooting, I was led to believe, as everyone was, that it was a botched home invasion.
Then the charges were laid.
The I started hearing things from people back home who had better connections than I did.
Now the testimony.
I’m following the trial best as I can because, and I hate using this analogy, it’s like a train wreck — you can’t look away.
Yet I feel more voyeuristic than I have felt when following other trials.
The Stephanie Rengel murder trial didn’t make me feel strange. And that was an especially tragic case.
I don’t remember the Paul Bernardo/Karla Homolka trial, but I imagine I would not have felt out of place following that one.
But this one is different. I know the parties involved and I am still disbelieving it’s all true (although that does remain to be seen; but the police would not have recommended charges if they didn’t believe they had a reasonable chance of conviction).
For many people watching this all unfold, it’s just another sordid tale.
For me and many of my friends, it’s people we know going through something that is going to alter their lives forever.
I’m going to have to keep that sentiment in mind as I continue through my career. Because I know I’ll be spending many, many more hours in courtrooms.