Every year, around this time, I’m all over Facebook and Twitter with this request: please sign this petition and prevent two murderers getting parole. My blog is a lot of 20-something-quater-life-crisis angst, unicorn fluff and young adult fiction, so thanks for taking a moment with this sombre post. You can check out the petition link for the full story if you don’t remember the awful 2006 murders of these young, wonderful men. The reason I support this petition against parole? The families of Richard and Brett don’t want these men to leave jail.
If you want to find out why I am so passionate about this, read on after the jump. I can’t promise to be precise, but it’s why I care so damn much.
In 2005, my father worked on a production of Hamlet that Brett starred in (I saw it at the Grahamstown National Festival and at the Baxter, I’m a theatre baby, what can I say?). The play was part of a huge Shakespeare festival and in 2006, they were meant to be going to Stratford-Upon-Avon to be part of this international event. The Sunday before they were meant to leave, my father got a call: Brett was missing. The hours passed and no news came. And when new did eventually arrive, it was worse than anyone could imagine. I even wrote a poem about [yes, I was one of those girls who wrote poetry throughout school and university].
Brett and his good friend, Richard, had been murdered in cold blood, in a brutal, chilling and inhumane way. I saw, firsthand, how those who had worked with him and had become his friends were ripped apart by what happened to him, devastated beyond belief. And for what? A joy ride in a fancy car? A gang initiation? Money? Maybe we’ll never know that. But Brett, a bright, beautiful spark who lit up a room the moment he entered it, was gone. Worse, the reports in the papers and the front pages pictures of their dead bodies. [I still can’t drive past that M5 off-ramp without thinking of them.]
You may remember him from Crazy Monkey, but Brett was much more than that. He was a supremely talented actor in the prime of his life, his star on the rise. And I’m sure much the same could be said about his friend Richard, who I did not know.
Now, two lives are gone. Their families are forever warped and changed, and the two men who murdered them are applying for parole (not for the first time!) after serving only seven years in prison. Seven years? Are two lives only worth seven years? I don’t think it’s right, I don’t think it’s ok and I support Brett and Richard’s families in their need for justice and punishment.
[all imgs: from the Facebook page behind this campaign]