Tuesday, April 24, 2018

On a more sombre note

by Rick Blechta

I find myself very contemplative today after the tragedy that occurred in Toronto yesterday afternoon. Those of us who write crime fiction deal with violence and the aftermath of violence nearly every time we pick up our (literal or virtual) pens. But with us, it’s just “funning’ around.” I doubt if many of us have actually come across the body of a person whose life ended in murder. (I did once, but that’s a story for another day.)

What has hit home with me (as with many others in and around Toronto) is that I’ve walked that stretch of sidewalk many times over the years. We don’t live that far away, there’s a movie theatre we patronize, and in Mel Lastman Square there is an outdoor amphitheatre where I’ve performed several times with various groups over the years. Literally, I’ve stood right where one person was struck and killed yesterday. A fact like that really tends to make one feel very mortal.

Thank the Lord, this doesn’t appear to be a terrorist attack, just the random act of a troubled person. Because of the actions of a very brave and very well-trained police officer, the suspect was apprehended alive. He was obviously itching for “suicide by cop” if you’ve watched the video of his capture, but the cop resisted using deadly force to end the stand-off. As a result, we might get answers as to why this man did such a horrible thing — not that it’s going to change anything, but answers are always good.

I’m at a point right now in my novel-in-progress where a murder needs to occur.

I don’t think I’ll write about that today.


Sybil Johnson said...

Always sad to hear about things like this. It must be particularly hard when it's some place you know fairly well.

John R. Corrigan (D.A. Keeley) said...

Thanks for sharing this, Rick. We should all consider these events in such a poignant manner.

Irene Bennett Brown said...

Agree very much with Sybil and John's comments.

Rick Blechta said...

It's been a very strange experience for a lot of us in Toronto. One of the nicknames of this city is known as "Toronto The Good." I guess that's changed definitively on the world stage now.

Aline Templeton said...

You have all my sympathy too, Rick. It's hard to believe in hideous violence in a normally quiet place. I am still haunted by the Dunblane massacre of primary school children (which Andy Murray escaped. We were working in a school just twenty miles away at the time.

Rick Blechta said...

Dunblane was far more awful, in my opinion.

But all of these tragedies... It just saps the spirit, which is exactly what the perps are going for, be they terrorists and crazies.