On April 30 1999 a 16-year-old girl was raped and killed in a field, about 2 km from her home. At first asylum seekers got blamed by local media. Through DNA testing it soon became clear that the perpetrator had to be a local man.
12 people were being questioned and 900 people gave their DNA voluntarily. The perpetrator wasn’t found.
In 2012 another investigation started. This time it was a DNA Relationship Test. 8000 men, who lived in a 5-km radius at the time of the murder were asked to give their DNA to see if they had a link to the perpetrator.
In November 2012 the forensic team got a hit. The perpetrator had given his DNA voluntarily.
Today his court case has begun. The media are all over it. The local newspaper is tweeting live from the court-house. Every gruesome detail is readable to everyone on Twitter.
Now I do understand the impact of this particular case. I do understand people wanting to know what happened. I do understand people asking themselves why the perpetrator has given his DNA. I do understand the general public wanting closure.
But do we really need to know every detail? Do we really need to know how the events of that evening went from minute to minute?
Of course, I don’t have to read the tweets. I know that. I know that I can block the hashtag that the newspaper uses. I can simply unfollow the account. No problem. But I’m just as interested as thousands of other people. Am I a bad person for following this?
I wondered what the girl who was killed would’ve thought about the details in this court case. There has been talk of how the perpetrator undressed her, how he strangled her with her bra and then cut her throat three times. Thank God they didn’t tweet how he raped her. Thank God they had the decency to leave that part out.
I think she would’ve been very embarrassed about it all.
So, is it too much to ask for a bit of decency? Is it too much to just not tweet about it, but write about afterwards? Is it too much to protect the victim? Even though she isn’t alive anymore?
A 16-year-old girl has been raped and killed by a man. Do we really want to know all the details?