Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sympathy For The Devil

Nine's A Current Affair 'reported' a couple of weeks ago on a group of old biddies who were upset that they couldn't take their dogs into the local bingo. Their ire is not the subject of this post.

What is is that one of the 'heroines' of the piece was admiringly referred to as the matriarch of a gangland family.

Also that same evening on Nine, the father of Melbourne gunman Christopher Hudson, who shot three people in cold blood on a Melbourne street, killing one, was seen in a press conference talking about his son.

And several weeks ago, 'multimillionaire milk mogul' Ken Lacey was seen on TV and in print denying that his sons Jade and Dionne could have had anything to do with the shooting murder of a 23 year old man. This after his offspring were also linked to the kidnapping and torture of another person.

While the media has forever been besotted with the likes of the latterday Ma Barker and her murderous spawn, there's a more recent trend for newspapers and TV news shows to give column inches and airtime to the protestations of the most spotless innocence by the family of all manner of despoilers of life, limb and innocence.

One might expect an expression of disbelief from a father or other family member for whom a child or relative's outburst of murderous violence is sudden and unexpected.

But in the case of Terry Hudson, his son is a Hell Angel - a member of an organised crime gang - and his boy was last year involved in a bike gang brawl at a Gold Coast hotel in which illegal guns were fired indiscriminately in a packed venue.

Meanwhile, Ken Lacey's virginal lads were also linked to the kidnapping and torture of another person, indicating fairly clearly that they were not as pure as the proverbial driven snow.

Which brings us to convicted rapist-murderer Bevan Meninga who was the central player in this Thin Man post back in May last year.

It's unusual for a post to attract comments once it's dropped off the front page but it happens every now and then as subjects and names are googled and the posts show up in the search results.

Which must have been what happened when, suddenly, persons sympathetic to Meninga popped up in comments, also a couple of weeks ago.

Commenter helenb did a quick txt-style drive-by in which she said:

I would just like to say you should all get ur facts straight before writing untrue and unfair statements for the world to see to all u people who belive this garbage u are as bad as the scum who wrote it as beven is doing his time he deserves a second chance NO 1 IS PERFECT
Commenter Nicky was more thoughtful, if equally grammatically challenged:

I just hope this letter makes some of yous think a little bit more of bevan meninga he is still a human with feelings. He just wont the same things in life that you want that is to be happy he has to live with his mistakes every day. It is just so weird because everyone has there own perception of him and how they think of him.
Nicky also returned a few times to cryptically hint that Meninga had been, to use the Pommie parlance, 'fitted up':

It is so unfair how storys are told there is your side his side and the truth [no rape or stabbing]... was bevan ever charged with a rape or stabbing NO so get the truth... he did comit murder but not in way the media tells it im not going to get in to the how,and why the people how care know
While Nicky and I were exchanging comments on the issue, a possible explanation for the reason why helenb and Nicky had suddenly raised their heads over the trench emerged.

Meninga was named in a June 23 Brisbane Courier-Mail article as possibly linked to:

...a cash-for-favours scam embroiling four detectives. Bevan Meninga, 34, Lee Henderson, Gerhard Rade and several other unidentified prisoners are believed to have received money in their trust accounts from Queensland police officers via Australia Post money orders.
Despite Nicky's evasiveness when questioned, it's fairly clear that he and helenb are intimates of Meninga or the Meninga family, if not actually members of the family themselves.

The question that has to be asked is this: Just what does it take to convince the families and friends of those who commit horrific crimes that their relatives and confederates are as the evidence portrays them?

And what part does the media play in perpetuating, or indeed enabling, amplifying and encouraging, this cognitive dissonance by the way in which it today not only fetes the families of gangland 'superstars' but even the relatives and pals of the grubbiest of common killers?

-- Nick

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