Thursday, 30 July 2009


“Murder most foul, as in the best it is, But this most foul, strange, and unnatural.” - William Shakespeare

The news story that’s presently making me shudder is the case of Darlene Haynes, the 23-year-old Massachusetts pregnant woman who found dead in her apartment with her fetus cut out of her womb and taken away. This is one of the most gruesome of murders that I have heard about for some time and once again it makes me question the kind of civilisation we are evolving (devolving?) into. It brought to mind the horrors of the fall of the Roman Empire and the inhumanity and savagery that characterised the degeneration of what was the most advanced society of its time.

Apparently the dead woman (who also had another child, a one-year-old daughter – who is well and with relatives) had been having problems with her 24-year-old boyfriend. Neighbours have just come out of the woodwork (claiming their 5 minutes of fame…) to say that the couple had been screaming, shouting and crying from the dead woman’s apartment, but no-one had “wanted to get involved”. Yet another of our society’s signs of chronic illness…

When I bring the scene of the young woman’s death in my imagination, I shudder. The killer murdering her and then slitting open her belly to tear out the fetus is something that is grossly monstrous and wildly inhuman. The baby could have survived, but one wonders whether the murderer would have wanted it to live. The thought that such people live amongst us is a sobering one. Society is silently complicit in that it allows more and more criminal activity in our midst. Punishments for even serious crimes may remain particularly lenient and even for heinous crimes such as the one we are considering here, the sentence in terms of years in gaol is considerably reduced after a few months inside…

Where as a society have we gone wrong? How can we stand such inhumanity? How can we hope that rehabilitation will occur in gaol? There, crime abounds also. Drug use is rife, violence, even murder, is a common occurrence. What punishment is deserving of the murderer describe here? Can such a person be ever rehabilitated? And the corporal punishment question raises its ugly head once again. But what to do in such cases of heinous crimes?

“It is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their kind.” - George Bernard Shaw

heinous |ˈhānəs| adjective
(of a person or wrongful act, esp. a crime) utterly odious or wicked: A battery of heinous crimes.
heinously |ˈheɪnəsli| adverb
heinousness |ˈheɪnəsnəs| noun
ORIGIN late Middle English: from Old French haineus, from hair ‘to hate,’ of Germanic origin.

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  1. This made me sick. I agree that our society is becoming more permissive and people can get away with more and more things. Even convicted criminals in jail can now go on "leave". Some of them go out and commit more crimes or never return.

  2. The baby has been found alive and a woman in New Hampshire has been arrested. read about it here:

  3. There was a similar crime a few years ago in the US. A woman was murdered and the fetus cut out of her by a woman who actually wanted to have the baby for herself.

    I also sometimes find myself wondering what kind of a society we are devolving into. We seem to becoming sociopathic - too many people in our society see other human beings as things to be used (or even abused) rather than other people with equal rights