Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Evil is as evil does

I'm taking a completely different tack on the conviction of Vincent Tabac for the murder of Joanna Yeates. You can read details at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1350309/Joanna-Yeates-murder-Vincent-Tabak-remanded-custody.html – the case is, sadly, a fairly usual murder tale. The person most likely to harm you, after your family, is someone you know.

Vincent Tabac has been justly convicted. We can be fairly sure of that as he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. The jury decided it was murder. I've no problem with that.

I do have a problem with some aspects of the media reporting of the case; because, other than some fairly dodgy reporting, there is not much else of interest or renown.

Vincent Tabac killed his neighbour in a fit of rage/depression/desperation/perverse excitement or something else. Only he really knows. He then tried to dispose of the body. He failed miserably.

The media make great play of the fact that he went shopping with Jo's body in the back of his car – as if this some great indicator of his evil nature. This is nonsensical. If, and he never claimed otherwise, Tabac was not suffering from some mental disturbance at the time, going shopping is simply an indicator of the stress he was under at the time – not some Machiavellian machination.

His half-hearted attempt to dispose of the body again shows that he was not thinking clearly. The media have portrayed him as some kind of techno-weirdo, highly educated and somewhat of a misfit. Much has been made of his “odd” personality.

Actually, he seems no more odd than any number of people you and I know.

Finally the media have sought to sensationalise his interest in internet porn, and violent internet porn at that. It also appears he paid for sex and visited some fairly decadent quarters to find it.

It would be great if this were so abnormal as to be outrageous. Unfortunately, it is not. The internet is awash with sites that you and I would find very disturbing. One thing you can be sure of – if no-one looked at them then they wouldn't be there. Not only Vincent Tabac looks at disturbing web sites.

Vincent Tabac is not a very nice person, despite the fact that neighbours found him fine and his girlfriend had no suspicions about him. So, but for the grace . . .

He will pay dearly for his crime, and so he should. But, to portray him as something so out of the ordinary that it is beyond comprehension is wrong.

Sadly that part of the human condition which “allows” us to mistreat, murder, maim or pervert our fellow humans is just not understood, either by the public, the police, the courts or the sociologists.

I suspect it never will be. Tabac will have a long time in prison to think about it, and so he should.

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