The murder of Rene Duckmanton

Photo: POOL
Sainey Marong sits in the dock during his trial in the High Court.

A noticeable lack of grace, empathy and professionalism has once again been displayed on the Stuff news website in its recent reporting into the murder trial of Christchurch woman Rene Duckmanton.

Apparently, the reporter in question, Sam Sherwood, seems to find nothing wrong with further besmirching the name of an innocent woman whose only apparent crime was to come into contact with the foul subhuman specimen who so violently and callously took her life.

It was of course left to the representative from the Royal New Zealand Police Force to remind everyone that the victim was not first and foremost a ‘sex worker’ but first and foremost a human being with a family who were still grieving.

“Renee’s family would like everyone to remember her as a much-loved daughter, sister, cousin, granddaughter and aunty – she will always remain a much-loved part of the family.”

-Detective Inspector Darryl Sweeney

It seems to be a fairly common theme that the Police who are confronted with the cold hard reality of these terrible events on a daily basis are also the ones who speak about them in the most sensitive and responsible manner.

I remember when this story first broke back in 2016 and Stuff were reporting on the apparent disappearance of a Christchurch ‘Sex Worker’. After some feedback from the general public, and most probably the investigating team of detectives, Stuff changed the manner of their reporting to emphasise the victim as first and foremost a woman with a family.

This obviously is not just about being respectful to the victim and their family but also about trying to elicit as much information from the general public as possible.

It seems to be an unfortunate reality that victims who are displayed as mothers, daughters and sisters will tend to be viewed with more sympathy from the wider community as opposed to prostitutes who can be so easily forgotten about and even partially blamed for the dangerous situations they sometimes find themselves in.

I personally could not begin to imagine the pain and hurt that would be felt at losing a close family member, but then to have their memory dragged through the ‘gutter press’ by unthinking and uncaring ‘reporters’?

As for the person responsible for this destruction of human life?

I’m no longer in favour of Capital Punishment. But I can’t quite help thinking that perhaps it would be better for society in general if he were to take a long walk alone in the woods with a length of rope and not come back.

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  • Fifth generation Kiwi, social-political writer who left the Left sometime back and turned right. Heavily reliant on spell check with hopefully the intelligence to admit when he’s wrong and the humility to see the truth, irrespective of where it’s found.