Monday, February 4, 2008

If the body does not fit, you must acquit

Several questions arise in my mind when I read this story about the long-missing wife and mother basically chopped up in a drum at the family home.
A MAN has told a Victorian court he was convinced the remains of his ex-wife's missing mother were inside a drum his father-in-law kept at the family home.
Frederick William Boyle, 58, of Carrum Downs, who is on trial in the Victorian Supreme Court, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his wife Edwina Ruth
Boyle 25 years ago. Mrs Boyle, then aged 30, disappeared from the home she
shared with her husband and two young daughters, Careesa and Sharon, at
Dandenong North, in Melbourne's outer southeast, on October 6, 1983. Mr Boyle
claimed she had run off with a truck driver named Ray. Michael Hegarty, the
former husband of Mr Boyle's eldest daughter Careesa, told a court that he had
had a fixation with a drum kept in the backyard of the Boyles' home since 1990
when he met Careesa. "It gave me chills and I was positive I knew what was in
it," Mr Hegarty told the court.
Question the first might be why it took him SIXTEEN YEARS to open the drum if he thought it contained HIS MOTHER IN LAW’S CORPSE. Jesus, I can’t even stop myself from opening a present before my birthday, let alone contemplate letting ol’ Billie Hadfield’s cold, dead, murdered body rot in a drum in the backyard. Nevertheless things only get weirder…
“Mr Hegarty said that he decided to finally open the drum on September 16, 2006,
during a clean-up of the family home in Denis Court, Carrum Downs, in Melbourne's outer southeast. "I had a thing about the drum for years," he told the court. "For 16 years I thought Careesa's mum was in that drum and I was cutting it open." When he cut the drum open he found women's clothes, including underwear and a large hessian bag, Mr Hegarty told the court. But he did not look inside the hessian bag and later thought that Mr Boyle had loaded it and the other contents of the drum onto a trailer to be taken to the tip.”
Mmm hmm. So you think there’s a woman’s body in the drum. You find A BAG and women’s clothing in the drum but you don’t open the bag? Right, right… So eventually…
“He said two weeks later he found the same hessian bag in a wheelie bin in the
garage of the house, so he decided to look inside it.”
So the husband who may or may not have murdered his wife put HER BODILY REMAINS into the family wheelie bin? Okay, okay. And things get even fucking weirder…
"Defence lawyer Jane Dixon, SC, told the jury her client did not dispute that his wife died on the evening of October 6 and appeared to have been a homicide victim. Ms Dixon said Mr Boyle did not dispute that he concealed her death and body for 23 years and falsely claimed she left him for a truckie. "What is disputed is he cause her death and had any part to play in it,'' she said. Mr Boyle never took "that logical step'' of destroying his wife's remains and had no motive to kill her.
The “logical step” of destroying his wife’s remains. Logical. Step. Hmm. This genuinely intrigues me. I’m no vulcan, nor a wordsmith, but I would like to dispute the use of the word “logical” in this context. Is it fair enough to freak out if you find your wife’s murdered body? Shit yes. Is it reasonable to lose your shit? Yes. Is it understandable, even, to do something stupid and lie about it afterwards? Sure. Is it logical to chop up your wife's body, mash it into a barrel and leave it in your backyard while pretending she'd run off with a trucker? Hmm, good luck selling that defence, buddy...

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