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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Father's Lethal Act of Revenge

Perhaps I do not understand depression. I do know how it is to be nearly divorced, unemployed, on welfare, and in debt. Because all of these problems cannot, in my mind, justify the killing of one’s own daughter. It is a tragedy when one feels such despair that one must resort to suicide. But it is evil when one decides to take an innocent child’s life along the way.

Alnoor Amarsi had threatened suicide before, and when his wife refused to give him more time with his daughter, he decided he’d put into action this final, desperate act of revenge. Amarsi picked up his five-year old on Sunday afternoon, as was his usual practice. This time, however, he left a note indicating he hated his wife, and was planning to kill their daughter Inara before committing suicide.

Most devastating is the fact that police officers were aware of the situation as it unfolded and were standing by. Passers-by were observing from car windows, wondering at the strangeness of a man holding his daughter on a bridge few pedestrians used. Nobody could fathom the possibility that such evil was in the works.

Miraculously, the little girl was not struck by any car. But she remains unconscious and in critical condition, and it is not clear whether she will recover. Canadians are praying for her recovery, knowing fully well that even if she does heal, she will have to come to grips with the fact that someone she trusted – someone our society entrusted to cherish and care for her - purposefully put her in harm’s way.

Yes, children are resilient, but no child expects to suffer the horror of having her own father toss her headfirst from a bridge three stories high into oncoming traffic. And not just any traffic. Highway 401 is Canada’s busiest highway. Cars zoom by at fast speeds. There is no time to stop. There is no time to be aware of a man and five-year old on a bridge.

I wish I could probe the mind of this man, to know what he was thinking at the time. Autopsies and investigations can determine if a deceased individual killed or was killed. They can retrace an individual’s steps to find out what led to the murder. But I will never be able to comprehend how someone could commit such a callous act. No justification will ever be good enough.


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