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Today's Fucked Up Things

This is a story I heard this morning in the car:

A MAN who allegedly raped his daughter almost daily for 30 years, kept her as a virtual prisoner and fathered her four children has been charged by Victorian police.

In a case as horrific as Josef Fritzl's decades of abuse of his daughter in Austria, child welfare advocates have called for a full inquiry amid claims authorities failed to investigate despite being warned 30 years ago.

A source close to the case claimed it could be "every bit as bad . . . (as) the Josef Fritzl case; especially the fact that she had so many children to her father."

Neighbours of the family said they had suspicions of abuse but did not go to the authorities because they did not want to cause trouble.

The victim's mother claims to have been unaware of any abuse, despite sharing a house with her daughter, husband and grandchildren until 2005.

My first thought was, fuck me, how could this happen twice anywhere in the world?

Of course, it probably happens more than these two examples, but just hearing about them makes me think of the world being such a cold and horrible place, and it only gets worse when I read about more abductions and rape (the girl, for example, in the States who was recently found after being abducted twenty odd years ago).

I've been kind of looking at this article, too, and trying to think of something insightful to say. In the local news there's a lot of coverage given to a old paedophile who was relocated to Ryde after abducting, raping three kids in the eighties. It's hard to get a proper feel for the case since I often waver between thinking, well, fuck you for what did, and you deserve what you get, and the opinion that I usually have for people who have done their time, which is that they're entitled to their freedom and to be left alone. And, as I have thought about the previous story, this one keeps coming up in my head, and there's just nothing to really say, there really isn't.




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Sep. 17th, 2009 08:38 am (UTC)

In Ferguson's case I have no sympathy for the "News of the World" style outing of his location in Ryde by all these "concerned local residents".

His crimes were committed 22 years ago and he has served 14 years in prison as I understand it. He has indeed done his time, and more importantly I don't hear anywhere that he has offended again. And for several more years (until 15 years after his release), he's required to report his address to authorities and is kept on a relatively tight leash.

It's self-absorbed hysterical NIMBYism that should be given short shrift by law enforcement and government.
Sep. 17th, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
I agree with all your points, but I still can't help but feel he should go away, go now, go anywhere but near me. It's just that gut reaction paedophilia brings out in people.

For what its worth, I spoke to a psychology academic friend this morning, who was earlier interviewed on radio about the Ferguson matter, and she acknowledged that paedophiles have virtually no chance of rehabilitation.

I don't know what the answer is: I do suspect no one will be happy until he kills himself - and then he'll be labelled a coward.
Sep. 17th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC)
I feel terrible for those kids, but I find it very hard to hate people like Ferguson, who in his statements to the press and police reminds me of various mentally ill / delusional people that I've known: friends of mine who've become more and more that way over the years, or been diagnosed schizophrenic or developed a psychosis.

I feel immense revulsion for the way that Ferguson acted, but he is, in many ways, just another sick man. And predictably, a man who is said to have suffered sexual abuse himself in his earlier life. It is hard to know what goes through the damaged, malfunctioning mind of a person like that.

I hope he never reoffends and pursues a relatively quiet, harmless life from this point on.
Sep. 17th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
yeah, this is pretty much where i sit on the things.
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Sep. 17th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Yes, but in this country it doesn't - he's done his time and is acting well within the limits of the law - you really can't blame him for the laws.

And yes: I did just defend the rights of a paedophile - it's still a democracy after all. Now if you'll excuse me I have to go drink some Dettol.
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Sep. 18th, 2009 04:12 am (UTC)
Perhaps if you cared to Google the product name you'd be a lot less inclined to judge me on my views - funny how you mention compassion below, but don't extend the same courtesy to me.

'Kill 'em all!' There; is that better? You're applying simplistic black and white solutions to very complicated issues.

Sep. 17th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
In my opinion people who think like that haven't considered what fourteen years locked up in prison with wardens and inmates who all hate and despise you actually means.

Fourteen years is a long time.

I in no way excuse Ferguson for his revolting, horrible crimes. I simply don't think continuing to punish him within the prison system achieves anything further after a certain point.
Sep. 17th, 2009 02:29 pm (UTC)
Given my comment above, I retract the "in no way excuse" comment. For some reason - perhaps I need an argument - I do seem to be finding a few excuses for him. He was abused. He is mentally ill and delusional. Etc.

That said I'd reiterate that I find his actions revolting, criminal and very much deserving of a heavy sanction.
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Sep. 18th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
"14 years may be tough, but the victims received life"

If being raped or beaten is "receiving life", then it seems likely that at some point in his fourteen years in prison (not to mention when he was abused as a child), Ferguson also "received life".

Would your opinion change if it turned out that one of those three kids he kidnapped and raped grew up to be a child abuser?

"Man hands on misery to man.
   It deepens like a coastal shelf."
Sep. 17th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
Maybe I am cynical, but I believe historically this kind of thing went on rather often, especially the farther back in history we go, when children had nearly no rights and were pretty much chattel of their parents, and no one would dare question enforced atrocities -- or at least turned a blind eye.

Sep. 17th, 2009 11:46 pm (UTC)
yeah, i'm sure it has gone on since the start of time. but it's still rather shocking to hear about it.
Sep. 17th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
I'm sure this has happened quite often, or more often then we'd like to think, however horrific that is. Also, the bloom of the Internet and global media also makes these crimes in other countries/continents more accessible to us so we get hit by the fact that it does exist more often.

Still horrific. Have you seen the movie Little Children or The Woodsman? The latter film stars Kevin Bacon as a paedophile after he's released from jail, trying to find work and his trials when he does but then gets found out he's an offender. In the former, an ex-cop heckles a convicted and released paedophile and leaves spray-painted messages on his mother's sidewalk (where he leaves) and such. The book, I think, was more powerful than the movie.
Sep. 17th, 2009 11:47 pm (UTC)
nah. i heard of both films, but i never actually got around to watching them. in the latter's case, it's mostly because i'm not much of a kevin bacon fan.
Sep. 18th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
I think it happens much more often than we hear about.
Sep. 18th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
These family rape and imprisonment stories surface all around the world with alarming regularity. I'll bet that right now there are thousands of undiscovered victims and we're never going to learn their names.
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