The Beast Vampire Demon of Blenheim
Everybody expects the Michael Laws inquisition.
Tempers flare over 'Beast' release date
Angry Wanganui residents have vowed to do whatever it takes to stop the Beast of Blenheim moving to the area when he is released from prison next month. Tempers flared at a community meeting today to debate how to counter serial sex offender Stewart Murray Wilson's parole to the Wanganui district.
If the mainstream NZ media thought they could get away with it, they'd all be calling Stewart Murray Wilson the 'Beast Vampire Demon of Blenheim'.
I'm not sure what should concern us more, an un rehabilitated sexual offender about to be released or Michael Laws leading the lynch mob.
I think the easiest fear to stoke is a threat to our children, but the demonization of Stewart Murray Wilson side steps the reality that the vast majority of sexual abuse occurs by people the victim knows within the whanau or friend structure. The stranger danger fear isn't the largest threat if we are talking about risk assessment.
There's no question that Stewart Murray Wilson is a sick and damaged individual, but I'm amazed at how quickly fascist we can become in such a short period of time when we are frightened. At the meeting called in Wanganui over the weekend, they were demanding punishment beyond the sentence and it's this knee jerk reaction to call for retrospective permanent detention that is the fascist element on display, it's a fascism that is easily stoked by a media keen to use the term 'beast of blenheim' as many times as they can before the adverts.
This man has almost served 18 years of his 21 year sentence and we are talking about adding longer periods of time onto that sentence for future crimes he has not committed yet?
The problem for Corrections is this, they have to grant Stewart Murray Wilson parole now while they can still stipulate controls over him, leave it another 3 years and there isn't anything they can demand once he has served his full sentence.
I think part of the problem is that our imprisonment system demands the prisoner admit their guilt before they receive any rehabilitation, many sex abusers block their actions out and can't admit their responsibility which leads to the situation here where a dangerous individual hasn't had any rehab whatsoever, has nearly served out his full sentence and we all freak about releasing someone as damaged as this back into the community without critiquing the system that has led to this.
I'm not sure what the answers to these hard questions are and I'm not sure what happens next, but what I am sure of is that if a frightened Wanganui resident does get caught up in the media inspired vortex of fear and commits violence against Stewart Murray Wilson, then not one media organization will step forward and take responsibility for their actions in generating that level of trigger point.