THE PUBLIC RIGHT TO KNOW
Further thoughts on the tragic murder/suicide involving Dr. Ferdinand Mejilla
Okay. I need to get this off my chest so I can get on with my day.
While I and my family are still reeling from the tragic details surrounding the death of our chiropractor and friend, Dr. Ferdinand Mejilla, just when I started to believe we were at last moving on, today’s headline in the Hamilton Spectator:
CLAIRMONT: True motive for Burlington chiropractor’s murder may never be revealed
brought it all crashing down on me again. Let me correct that. It wasn’t so much the headline: it states a simple truth ie. the real reasons for why David Williamson did what he did died with him. So let it all end there then and spare the families involved any more heartache. Aren’t they already suffering enough?
But what really got me was this line in the article by Susan Clairmont: “But now that he has died, the public’s right to know more about this very public murder outweighs most other concerns.”
Why? Why I ask! The public is in no danger from the person who did this. What justifiable reason is there for invading the privacy of the Williamson and Mejilla families? Is there some better good being sought by revealing more details? I cannot, for the life of me, understand why I or you reading this need to know any more! You and I already know WHAT happened. But, since there is no threat to the public…like terrorism or an escaped criminal on the run…why do we need to know WHY this tragedy happened?
Susan Clairmont states: “I hope, once homicide investigators have completed their work, that at least some questions are publicly answered.” I guess she thinks that if we are told WHY it happened we might be able to prevent such tragedies happening in the future, in other homes, in other people’s private lives. Really?? Susan says:
“We can’t know if there was a way to prevent this tragedy unless we know what happened. Could we have kept the gun out of Williamson’s hands? Were there warning signs this murder was going to be carried out?”
You’re right in one way Susan i.e. we already know what happened. For the life of me, I can’t see how knowing WHY it happened might prevent a re-occurence. We are all so different; so many of us live in our own private hells. There’s enough information out there already on how to identify potential suicide victims or what drives people to desperate acts like this. How will telling everyone what was happening in David Williamson’s life prevent someone else from doing similar?
I’m not having a go at Susan Clairmont. She’s just doing her job. I have read up on her and I know from past cases she has an issue with the conflict between the “public right to know” and “invasion of privacy”. But because I personally knew Dr. Fred and David’s wife, I do feel this public right to know IS an invasion of privacy in this case. What about the lives of the children involved in both families? The younger ones are still in school. Their classmates will be looking at them, talking about them, feeling sorry for them sure, but curious as hell as to what happened and why. But is the WHY anyone’s business?
I think not. It’s not my business and it’s not yours. I know WHAT happened and it broke my heart. I do not need to know WHY!