Even the daily horrors being described in the trial of Robert “Willy” Pickton haven’t managed to shock me. Now, to be fair, we have known for years what to expect out of the Pickton trial just by being able to read between the lines with what has been published since he was arrested five years ago. With all the discussions about the finding of victim DNA we pretty much knew the likelihood of the type of details we are now hearing, so I’m not sure I understand what the current fuss is about in the debate over the way the media is reporting on the trial.
But, having said all of that, I’ve been following the trial in Edmonton of two men accused of killing 13 year old Nina Louise Courtepatte in the spring of 2005.
Courtepatte’s broken, battered and abused body was found on the fourth fairway of the Edmonton Springs golf course in Spruce Grove, Alberta. The official cause of death was blunt force trauma. The autopsy report also noted she was sexually assaulted. Just from that depiction, we knew that nothing good happened that night on the golf course.
But, starting from the agreed upon Statement of Facts introduced on the first day of the trial last week and with each new day listening to new evidence from witnesses as the prosecution paints the picture of what happened to that poor girl, the true horror of her last moments on Earth is becoming known and has even shocked this cynical ex-cop.
The latest account given by a juvenile, female participant in the torture and killing of young Nina, was provided in a story that ran in the Edmonton Sun yesterday under the headline Diary of a Killing. It made my blood run cold.
We have seen many cases over the years where gratuitous teenaged violence has shocked, horrified and grabbed the attention of the nation’s media. The tragic case of Reena Virk comes to mind. But, even as horrible as that whole episode was including the many trials of the truly evil Kelly Ellard, to me it doesn’t rate for brutality, senseless violence and absolute disdain for human life demonstrated by the killers of Nina Courtepatte.
And for all that, what really surprises me is that the story, so far, has only been predominantly regional. For some reason the national media hasn’t picked up on it in spite of the fact the victim was aboriginal which would ordinarily be a magnet. Certainly they are captivated by the trial of an alleged serial killer in Vancouver, but that still doesn’t explain the lack of coverage to me.
Is it possible the media brains have decided that Canadians can only stomach so much gruesome news with their evening repast? Possibly, but I wouldn’t give them that much credit.
Unfortunately, I believe the average Canadian needs to be shocked out of their stupor when it comes to screaming for something to be done about the crime problem in this country and the need for our politicians to actually get engaged in the debate about the real issues of crime and youth violence. The brutal, senseless killing of an innocent 13 year old girl on a golf course outside of Edmonton has the ability to shock Canadians out of that stupor. Unfortunately, the national media isn’t paying attention.