A Response Letter to the Editor Regarding the Vancouver Sun Article, Surrey Man Gets Nine Years For Killing Girlfriend In Front Of His Son by Tom Zytaruk

Dear Editor,
First and foremost, I personally see the reviewed article deeply disturbing and alarming as it involved not just a crime of slaughter but a display of utmost violence in front of a juvenile. People are used to this kind of news every day however as a dig deep into the possible effects of this article and even to people, I am worried that it may entail a negative implication to the peoples ideal of a peaceful and morally stable community.

In recalling the details of this crime, it is incontestable that the main root of such brutality was not just the murderers personal anger and doubt, but also the influence of alcohol. The author, Zytaruk, specifically notes, He (McKenzie, the murderer) told the court he had no memory of the killing, except for his dad coming over to the house later and the ambulance arriving (Zytaruk, 2010). Obviously, this alone tells a lot about the dreadful effects of alcohol. Although the murderer claimed that he was initially affected by his anger to Chatham, his girlfriend, as she stole money from him, this obviously does not provide a sufficient reason for killing. Thus, it is very apparent that the act was somewhat pressured and pushed forth by the influence of alcohol as it seemingly temporary took the murderer away from his sanity.

Apart from this, the fact that the murder was done in front of a nine-year-old child makes it disturbing enough. Violence in the mass media has always been a typical topic when tackling about the negative effects of hostility in children. This alone has ignited considerable attention which started debates and movements that condone violent influences on children. However, this kind of case makes the situation a lot worse. Rather than seeing it in the television, the child actually saw the act in real life. This may entail a considerable amount of trauma on the child. Witnessing murderer, especially one which involves family member, can be deeply traumatizing for a vulnerable and nave mind of a child. This can possible haunt him for years, and this will always remind him of how cruel the world can sometimes be. But apart from this, the bigger concern is the effect of this incident on the childs possible violent tendencies. A lot of studies have that address the effects of violent scenes on childrens behaviour have been conducted through the years and generally, the results of these studies mostly advise that witnessing violent scenes whether through the mass media or through real life experiences greatly affects a childs violent tendencies in the future. In light with the societys aim of maintaining a morally stable and sane community, this posts a real threat and alarm. The violence portrayed in the mass media is easier to control as there are several media regulatory agencies and organizations already. The government can also be observed to grow more concerned about this issue of media regulation nowadays. However, this kind of case, is something which appears out of the government or these regulatory agencies and organizations hands. What only appears doable and applicable to this kind of cases is to impose really serious penalizations in order to remind criminals that such an act will make them pay more than what they take.

In this light, I am deeply troubled by the fact that instead of spending an ample amount of sentence in jail, the murderer was even granted the possibility of shortening his sentence from nine years to six and a half years. Personally, I think this is absurd. A life was what has been taken away here. This kind of cases actually lets people doubt on the standard of justice system in this country. Thus, I am just left to hope that this article shall awaken responsible institutions like child welfare organizations, alcohol abuse rehabilitations, police systems and justice systems to take an active part in securing a much safer and peaceful world for the children, such as the young boy involved in this incident. He has lost a mother and was left with a drunkard father in jail. I am one with many who are hoping for a brighter future for this child.


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