Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Childhood, Interrupted

It was a truly ghastly murder. A mother of three children, at home recuperating after surgery, with her 15-year-old daughter remaining home from school to help look after her mother. And then agreeing to go out briefly shopping with her father to buy a cake and flowers for wife/mother in recognition of their 17th wedding anniversary. When father and daughter returned, the girl found her mother in a pool of blood, seemingly stabbed to death.

Police seemed puzzled, no clues appeared to exist. Clearly the father was innocent, since he was out of the house in the company of the daughter. There is another daughter, younger, and an even younger son. Suddenly without their mother. Wrestling with the unthinkable, that someone murdered their mother. The father protectively draws them toward him, to comfort those he loves.
Bhupinderpal Gill and son, Ottawa Sun

Hearing and reading the news, the public is shocked. The January murder represented the first murder in Ottawa of the new year. In Ottawa, the Sikh community hardly knew what to think, that a member of their tight-knit group was a victim of a savage murder. And then rumours began to circulate within that community.

Months later, Gurpreet Ronald, 34, who works at OC Transpo as did the murdered woman, Jagtar Gill, 43, was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder. Police warn that they are not finished arresting, not just yet, and several days later Bhupinderpal Gill, Jagtar's 38-year-old husband who also worked for the public transit facility is also arrested on the very same charge.

That rumour that was in circulation was that Gurpreet Ronald, the mother of two young girls, was having an affair with Bhupinderpal Gill. When his family asked him about this, he denied that anything like that had ever occurred. The children of the murdered woman and the children of the woman arrested for her murder were playmates. The two families, living in close proximity, were friends.

Police discovered an abandoned, bloody metal bar in a field not far from the two family homes. They speculate from the autopsy and the appearance of the dead woman's body that she had been beaten before her throat and wrists were slit inside her living room on January 29. Now there are five children whose lives have been completely upturned from normalcy to nightmare.

The two children of the woman who will now stand trial on a first-degree murder charge will have to live with the knowledge that their mother killed another human being, an act that deprived them of her presence, although they will have the loving ministration of their devoted father trying to fill the tragic gap in their lives.

The three children of Jagtar Gill, aged 15, ten and eight, will be living a life where the memory of their mother having been brutally murdered will always linger in a desolate reality of dreadful proportions, magnified by the knowledge that it was their father whom police are charging for having planned the murder, carried out by a family friend.

In this tragic human tragedy justice will seem a cruel paradox.

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