Pamela Cameron’s parents, Marilyn and (now-deceased) Paul, were at the dedication of South Surrey’s Forever Garden on Oct. 4, 2004, 10 years after their daughter was murdered by repeat-offender Mitchell James Owen.

Pamela Cameron’s parents, Marilyn and (now-deceased) Paul, were at the dedication of South Surrey’s Forever Garden on Oct. 4, 2004, 10 years after their daughter was murdered by repeat-offender Mitchell James Owen.

LETTERS: Some are beyond rehabilitation

Editor:

Re: Caissie charged in girl’s death, Sept. 23; Anger over teen’s death, Sept. 25.

Editor:

Like everyone else in the Lower Mainland, we have been watching the news and discussing the senseless death of yet another young girl, and a “sex offender” has been charged with her murder (Caissie charged in girl’s death, Sept. 23).

My husband came up with an interesting theory. Maybe these predators do not ever belong out on the street again.

Remember the senseless death of another young woman 20 years ago. Her name was Pamela, and I have never forgotten her. Even though I had never met her, I cried for her and every time I pass her garden at the park, I think about how her life was cut short and all that could have been but will never happen.

Anyway, she was killed by a predator who had committed a similar murder years ago, had served time and had been let out of jail just a year prior to offending again.

Maybe, there could be something to my husband’s theory.

Maybe these predators are just defective persons who cannot be rehabilitated.

D. Barros, White Rock

• • •

The murder of 17-year-old Serena Vermeersch is a horrific crime. People are understandably outraged, and the accusations of culpability are deafening.

Predictably, Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts has no problem apportioning blame on a “broken system” (Anger over teen’s death, Sept. 25); she was quieter on the fact that she has been part of this system for 10 years.

But is the justice system at fault? Justice Stuart Leggatt gave Caissie a long 22-year sentence, noted at sentencing that he was “a very serious danger to the public” and would likely offend again. The police were able to give a warning about his location in Surrey, but within legal parameters, there was nothing left to be done.

Perhaps this offence is a result of inadequate policing? Certainly there will be political opportunists to suggest that option; Coun. Barinder Rasode, running for mayor of Surrey, has based a large part of her campaign on it. Few would argue that an area the size and complexity of Surrey needs more policemen.

Unfortunately, sick and aberrant offenders have always been present in society, and they will never disappear.

But would that mean that there would have been a police officer in that park – at that moment – to save Serena? Not likely.

As much as we would like, the justice system will never be able to fully contain predators.

Ms. Vermeersch’s death is a heinous crime. Pretending that we could have prevented it is a further insult to her young life.

Alexis Statz, Surrey

 

 

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