The death of a woman

I have never met Inspector Andrew Stamper. I can only judge his character by reading the words that he speaks in public. Yesterday, he spoke about the murder of a young woman in Melbourne, Australia. He said:

“This is a horrendous crime, as all murders are, and particularly the murders of women.”

Read it again. Reflect upon his words. Imagine you are a parent who has recently lost a beloved son to a random act of violence. A young man who never harmed a hair upon another’s head. A young man with enormous potential and a future which promised so much. He was bashed to death in a public toilet. His skull caved in by the kicks rained upon his unprotected head.

Imagine Inspector Andrew Stamper has worked on the case involving your now dead son. He tracked down the killer and made sure he was locked away before moving on to the next unsolved murder. But clearly, the viewing of your innocent boy’s mutilated body did not move him in the same way as the sight of a mutilated woman’s body does. There is simply something more tragic, more shocking, about the brutal murder of a female. Of course, many passive, gentle natured, physically weak males have been viciously murdered here in Melbourne through the years. Someone’s son, brother, father or grandpa bashed, stabbed, shot, burned, tortured and dumped in some godforsaken location.

But, each of these innocent victims had a penis.

This mitigating fact somehow softened the blow for Mr. Stamper.

Assistant Commissioner, Luke Cornelius (he’s the fat bloke standing next to Stamper above) reassured the women of Melbourne that Melbourne’s women are safe, followed by calls for men to offer more respect and end violence.

I think, given the time frame of this murder, that I was caring for my precious grandson, Dylan while it took place. My wife and I spent most of the day and till very late into the evening cuddling, kissing, reading to and singing with this beautiful human being. Yet Commissioner Cornelius clearly holds me at least partially responsible for the murder of the woman whose body was discovered last night. Why else would the man even mention “men” let alone call for us to take personal steps to prevent such murders from happening in the future?

If you truly read the absolutely disgusting words that are routinely spewed by law enforcement and our government leaders and see them for what they are– the vile, bigoted hatred of a societal group known as males, you would register your horror as forcefully as you possibly could. However, we have become almost desensitized to this despicable targeting of an entire gender every time an incident like this occurs and it becomes background noise to our numb ears and we turn the page or change the channel without giving it another thought.

It seems our Premier, Mr. Daniel Andrews is similarly moved to give emotional press conferences whenever a woman dies a violent death in his state of Victoria.

The Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, said of Herron’s death: “This is a terrible tragedy.

“This is not about the way women behave, this is not about where women are at what hour.

“This is most likely about the behaviour of men.”

Let’s hope he makes a public apology if her killer is a female. Politicians cannot wait to leap into male bashing even when the murderer has not been identified. Of course, men are more likely to murder and be murdered but the same logic could be applied to acts of terrorism. Yet Dan Andrews would never leap to any conclusions about the people or person behind an act of terror and say,

This is most likely the behavior of Muslims!

The same people who are applauding his rush to judgment and condemnation of an entire gender over this woman’s death would be outraged by his assertion and call it racist and xenophobic. Even if it were proven that the killer was indeed a Muslim terrorist the idea that all Muslims should in some way bear responsibility for the crime would be considered an intolerable act of bigotry.

One can be assured there will be another candlelight vigil for this young woman who was so brutally murdered. Thousands will gather with heads bowed and righteous anger burning in their breasts. They will feel the undeniable satisfaction one always feels when one knows one stands on the righteous side of the fence. One’s fury can be directed at men with absolute abandon. One has a “free hit” so to speak. This righteous, pure and entirely “justifiable” rage is further fueled by the solemn ritual we always bear witness to whenever a woman dies at the hands of a man.  Those who hold power in our community unhesitatingly support the mob as it targets anyone who happens to share the gender of the murderer.

Radio and television hosts will pounce upon this latest tragedy with thinly disguised relish as they are gifted another opportunity to express their contempt and disgust for males.

Courtney Herron, 25, was a homeless woman who suffered mental health issues and drug addiction.

“A homeless woman who was killed in Parkville in a “horrendous bashing” was a “vulnerable” person who was failed by the society who should have protected her, police say.

Homicide squad Detective Inspector Andrew Stamper said Ms. Herron had died as a result of a “horrendous bashing.”

Detective Inspector Stamper said Ms Herron had struggled in life with drug and mental health issues and described her as a “vulnerable” member of the community who society had failed to protect.

This was a young woman who had significant challenges in life. We as a community should be protecting these people and we didn’t. We failed on this occasion.”

A number of homeless people have been brutally murdered in recent years–most of them in Victoria and all of them men.

A homeless Melbourne man was stabbed to death but his killer had mental health issues and was not imprisoned. No candlelight vigil mentioned.

This article was very brief and lacking in any thing but the bare bones of the case. It is the only reference I could find despite my efforts to track down more details.

Again, no reference to a public outcry or expressions of grief, shock and mourning and no mention of a candlelight vigil. The homeless man was burned alive by two teenagers seeking a thrill.

Another young homeless man stabbed to death in a Melbourne boarding house.

Yet another homeless male in Melbourne butchered:

Wayne “Mousey” Perry was living under a railway bridge next to the Yarra.

“You have to sleep with one eye open because you don’t know who’s going to bash you or stab you or rob you,” he told The Age last Friday about street life.

He was a popular guy,” Paul said. “Everyone who would come down here would stop and chat with him.”

Paul, 39, said a skinny young man with a shaved head had come down to their camp in the early hours of the morning.

The man, dressed in a black hoodie and black leather jacket, had stabbed his friend in his bed after ranting about vampires and werewolves, Paul said.

No candlelight vigil for Mousey. Was he killed by toxic masculinity or a person with a mental illness? I’ll let you be the judge.

Another homeless man stabbed to death. Here is a quote from a police spokesman.

“Peter loved Australia,” a NSW Police spokesman said. “He gave up his United Kingdom passport and became a citizen.”

Police this week raided a property near where Mr Hoffman’s body was found and are appealing for information.

Compare the dry, emotionless comments from the cop when he speaks about the brutal murder of Mr. Hoffman to the emotive, accusatory tone adopted by the detective and police commissioner when speaking about the murdered woman.

No reassuring words to the men of Australia that they are indeed safe nor is there any expression of disgust or outrage over this senseless, brutal murder or heartfelt statements about failing to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.

Here is a comment by a homeless man in Sydney in response to an inquiry into the violence faced by homeless Australians (80% of whom are men living rough on the streets).

Early one morning my friend and I were awoken by a size 12 alarm clock. For some reason three guys who had a few too many decided they would attack a couple of ‘streeties’ and me and my mate were the first that they came across. They kicked and punched us so hard that they put us both in hospital. When we reported the attack to the police they said ‘well you live on the street, what did you expect?’. This story, shared by one of Sydney’s rough sleepers in the report, highlights the random nature of violence against homeless people and a belief on the street that these attacks are not taken seriously……

If the victims are men.

I typed the words, Candlelight vigil for murdered homeless man in Melbourne and all I got was endless references to vigils for the handful of murdered women in my home city.

Detective Inspector Stamper said Ms. Herron’s family had been notified and were “heartbroken.”

“Courtney had sporadic contact with her family which is very much part of the challenges that happen when there is a child that suffers drug use and mental health issues … family relationships can be fragmented,” he said.

“But I stress, that doesn’t mean that families out there don’t love their children and their heart breaks for them. We’re dealing with a heartbroken family.”

It must be a relief for Inspector Stamper when he is working on a case where the murder victim is a young man or homeless male. Surely the families who loved these people would not find the savage, violent murder of their son, brother or dad quite as shocking and heartbreaking as the murder of a female family member.

For those who would suggest I am being too harsh in my judgement of some off the cuff words spoken by a man who is clearly upset and feeling the strain after the discovery of a dead woman, I say:


He would never have uttered words like this had he discovered a dead white man.

All murders are horrendous crimes, and particularly the murders of white men.

All murders are horrendous crimes, and particularly the murders of Christians.

All murders are horrendous crimes, and particularly the murders of Australians.

He would never be forgiven. He would lose his job the same day these words left his lips and he would be driven from public view in shame and for ever carry the infamy of his words as deeply and visibly as if they were carved onto his chest. He would never recover his good name, reputation or honour no matter what he did for the rest of his life. This is not hyperbolic language. It is the truth.

Yet he did speak those bigoted words, but the difference was the group his words targeted, whether by omission or directly as Commissioner Cornelius did. When men are the group being collectively blamed for the crime of an individual there is no outcry or demand for a retraction. In fact, such blame is widely applauded and reinforced by editorials, articles and commentary around the country.

Commissioner Cornelius, who happily hurled men under the bus yet again, did so in fear of the backlash from the feminist media and government in this state. He clearly wanted to get ahead of the pack and plant his flag emphatically and unequivocally in the fertile soil of man blaming which is such a winner where winning counts- television talk shows, radio talk shows, social media and of course from those who butter his bread, Mr. Dan Andrews and company.

Men need to offer more respect and end violence.

What an insanely stupid comment! When will our police make it clear that the only person, they blame for any murder is the person who committed the murder? Who knows, we may yet again, discover this young woman’s killer has his or her own mental battles and drug addiction and was perhaps a member of the very community Inspector Stamper declared to be our most vulnerable people and worthy of our protection.

I am lucky enough to have two beautiful children-a son and a daughter. Both Ricky and Julianne have been victims of horrific violence on the streets of my beloved Melbourne. My son had a machete slashed down his chest and received 36 stitches in the wound which doctors said was a centimetre or so away from killing him. We were shattered when it happened and shed tears of grief over his vicious assault.

My gorgeous daughter was smashed in the face by a drug addict wielding a steering wheel lock. He fractured her cheekbone before grabbing her handbag and running from the scene. Both of my kids have permanent scars as a result of these assaults. I wept when my daughter was assaulted and felt a stabbing pain each time I saw the scar on her cheek.

Both of my kids are very resilient and neither of them has suffered long term problems because of their experiences.

Does anyone reading this think for one moment that the pain and grief we endured when we saw our daughter’s suffering was somehow deeper and more painful than the pain we experienced when our son was assaulted? The very suggestion would appear to be obscene to any empathic, intelligent human being.

Yet this is exactly what Inspector Stamper is suggesting.

I will go to my grave bewildered and outraged by this very prevalent belief.

Does Mr. Stamper feel a different level of outrage when a young girl dies a violent death as opposed to a young boy? Is there a cut off age where the maleness of a victim is too entrenched for him to receive the same level of public horror when he dies compared to a girl of the same age? What age might that be. Ten, twelve, fourteen?

My Uncle Wal (Walter Hughes) was kicked to death by a drug addicted woman. I don’t recall any huge outcry at the time. He was in his eighties and almost blind at the time of the assault.

The fact that his assailant was intoxicated and a drug addict was seen as a reason to be more lenient in sentencing.

Justice Neave said it was argued in Hegarty’s defence that when she laid into Mr Hughes with her Doc Marten boots she was too intoxicated to realise that her attack could have caused Mr Hughes death or really serious injury.

Justice Neave said it was argued that Hegarty’s behaviour before and after the deadly attack showed that she could not have foreseen the consequences of kicking and punching an elderly man.

I wonder if the mental state of Courtney’s assailant will be considered as a mitigating factor by the law and the general public.

I can imagine some people reading this and immediately reaching for their thesaurus so they could brand me with as many nasty, derogatory adjectives as they could possibly discover.

Yet I have always felt the most profound love, compassion and empathy for all human beings and the suffering they endure. I am horrified when a young woman loses her life to some senseless act of violence. However, unlike so many people, I experience the same horror when I read about the violent death of a man. My compassion and empathy is not conditional or selective.

That is my iron clad armour.

That is my source of strength in the face of the abuse I once received when I was stupid enough to have my own Facebook page. I have never placed the value of one innocent person’s life over that of another for any reason, but especially for something as immutable as their gender or race.

If that makes me someone deserving of the label, misogynist, then I carry the title with pride.

There are some people who suggest that because it is mostly other men killing homeless males these men are less worthy of our compassion. It is an insane argument. Female genital mutilation is almost exclusively performed by women. Does that make the young girls subjected to this abuse any less worthy of our empathy or the crime any more palatable? The most common victims of terrorism around the world are Muslims. Do we discount this fact because the major perpetrators of terrorist acts are also Muslims?

How does the gender, race or creed of the perpetrator bear any relevance to the level of our concern for the victims of their violence?

I have woken to discover the perpetrator of this murder was indeed a homeless man. Clearly, he has his own demons.  The police commissioner who placed collective responsibility for this tragedy upon the heads of all men should be condemned as a bigot, unworthy of the position he holds.

Just as I suspected he is said to suffer from a number of mental disorders-something I predicted before the man had been arrested. Why are so many others so desperately quick to lay the blame for this tragedy at the feet of men and their apparently toxic attitudes toward women? It is an outrageous claim with no more validity than if I were to suggest the women who murder their babies are driven to do so due to a poisonous aspect of their femininity which must be probed and changed before yet more innocent babies are brutally killed by their mums.

I could urge all women to have a discussion about their propensity to kill the most vulnerable in our society. But there is no need, for women who kill are always assumed to have mental challenges. Why, the very notion is enshrined in our law and we call it post-natal depression.

I wrote an article about the countless good deeds performed by men last year. I focused specifically on the rescue of the boys from the cave in Thailand. Hundreds of men (and only men) risked their lives saving these trapped boys and one man lost his life in the process. Not one article in any mainstream newspaper thought to write about the courage, compassion and goodness of these men. There were muted references to “rescuers” but their gender was not once made the centerpiece of any tribute.

Hundreds of men risking their lives did not lead to anyone collectively praising the goodness and courage of men as a collective who almost exclusively carry out all dangerous rescue operations around the world.

One individual commits a vile crime and his gender becomes the entire focus of the story as does the collective responsibility of all men for his actions.

This perfectly illustrates the poisonous attitude to men in today’s society. Shame on anyone who chooses to blame the innocent for the crimes of one guilty individual.

Oh and my prediction of a candlelight vigil was also proven to be an accurate one.

Organisers of public vigils for them and other women slain in Melbourne in the past year plan a vigil for Ms Herron at State Parliament soon.

“It is to honour each and every time a woman loses their life at the hands of a man,” We Keep Vigil’s Jessamy Gleeson said.

“These deaths aren’t inevitable. We have a duty to look after anyone who is ­vulnerable.”

If anyone ever doubted that we place a very different value upon our two respective genders’ lives and well- being, you cannot remain in doubt anymore.

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