How can it be? On Sunday, for the third time in less than four months, Western Australian police have attended a home and discovered what appears to be a mass murder.
Yesterday in Perth’s north-eastern suburb of Bedford police found two-year-old twin girls, their three-and-a-half-year-old sister, their mother and their grandmother all deceased. Two women and three children killed in suburbia.
— ABC Perth (@abcperth) September 9, 2018
Authorities were reportedly alerted to the property after a man attended a regional police station in WA yesterday to hand himself in. The man believed to be in his 20s is in custody but no charges have been laid yet and his relationship with the victims is unconfirmed.
Unsurprisingly attending officers have described the scene as horrific. Neighbours are shocked. The community is shattered.
“This is a tragic event and it will no doubt have an impact not only the family and friends of the deceased but for the whole of the community, those first responders who are faced with attending a scene with multiple deceased people,” the Assistant Police Commissioner Paul Steel told the gathered media yesterday. “It does send a ripple through the community of Western Australia.”
It takes the toll of women killed violently in Australia this year to 46, according to the Counting Dead Women Australia researchers of Destroy The Joint.
It’s shocking, but worse, that figure doesn’t count children. It doesn’t include the four children of Katrina Miles who were found shot dead in their beds, along with their mum and their grandmother, in May by their grandfather.
It doesn’t include Michelle Petersen’s two children Rua and Bella who were murdered in Perth’s north in July. It doesn’t include Sydney teenagers Jack and Jennifer Edwards who were killed by their father in the same month.
There is no end to these horrors: the injustice and brutality is unspeakable. The fact these massacres were all carried out in the victims’ homes compounds the monstrosity.
When two year old twins aren’t safe in the confines of a home where are they to go? Where is anyone to go when the gravest threat to their life isn’t posed by a stranger in a dark alley but instead within the walls of your home? It’s a question we have had cause to consider too often this year, but it’s a question we cannot ignore until we no longer have to answer it.
This is a national crisis: an epidemic of horror that words fail to adequately describe.