Imagine entering a house and finding it eerily quiet, seemingly deserted by its inhabitants, and so you visit each room until you walk into a scene of such bloodiness that you have to quickly turn your back and leave. You might start to shake and even feel the urge to vomit; you might struggle for breath or howl from the shock or with grief, and yet a small part of you might disbelieve your eyes and bodily reactions until you confront the same scene again. You might experience none of those things, except for the shock and disbelief which may not come then but later. When you're some place else.
should you (why would you want to?) imagine such circumstances?
Because it happens. Because it could happen. It's not out of the
question. Something seems suspicious and so you take a look;
something occurs that's unusual or out-of-the-ordinary that makes you
think 'what's going on there?'; you have a feeling that all is not
right as a person didn't show or stick to their normal routine; or
you were meant to be there at that time and so it was you, who
honouring the arrangement, had to raise the alarm.
alarm raised, how do you feel? The process unfolding as it does in
such cases (I imagine) with cops, forensics and emergency services;
photographs, finger-printing, identification of the body (or bodies),
the bagging of evidence and the site secured; then the interviewing
of potential witnesses or suspects, the coroner's report, and the
the discoverer, are out of this picture but not yet out of it.
Fingers of suspicion may be pointed. Questions will be asked over and
over. Statement given gone through again, maybe weeks, months, years
after the incident if the killer has still not been caught.
Shock-waves will continue to run through the community: they were
such a nice family, and characters, of the murdered or of those
suspected, will be dissected, because until the killer is found
nobody is safe from being judged, nor feels safe in their own back
of murder, single or multiple, has consequences, particularly if
there's no rational or logical explanation, or none that's
immediately apparent to those known to or by the victim(s) and the
officers investigating the crime. So a piecemeal approach ensues, and
is painstakingly done, when people, those related and unrelated to
the incident, just want answers. Any answers, even if later on these
could be proved wrong.
imagine the evidence gathered suggested these murders, which for the
sake of argument are multiple and that of a family, were
premeditated: a senseless but plotted crime, which hints the killer
might have been known, for if there's no obvious motive, such as
burglary, what else is there but a score to be settled, some wrong
the killer felt the need to redress which to their mind demanded the
whole family was systematically wiped out. The same cord-tied hands
and feet and taped mouths, the same death by the same weapon. A clean
sweep with no survivors. No eye witnesses. Yet if all known persons
who might have held a grudge are dismissed, or there's no real
vendettas to speak of because, after all, they were such an
up-standing family, pillars of the community and the like, then what?
you want to believe it was a cold-blooded affair, that the killer(s)
had no link to the victims? Because somehow it seems more rational,
at least to the human psyche, if they were known. And yet if those
persons were from outside, then it proves you live in a tight-knit
community which has got to be a good thing, right? But then if you
never find out who and why, won't there always be a level of mistrust
and rumouring? How does a community repair and rebuild itself with
that as its foundation?
particular scenario, since it's imaginary, is resolved, resolved in
that the killers, who were not known, are eventually caught and
confess, but what they confess to is far more chilling: a
remorselessness. A brutal crime motivated by lack of feeling, in its
execution and its aftermath. How do you forgive an emotionless state
when, like the blood spilled, it dominates the space (or cell) it's
Picture credit: The Tomb of the Wrestlers, 1960, Rene Magritte