Friday, 28 March 2008

A roll of paper tied with a ribbon

This morning I read that on the first day of his trial at the Ardennes Court of Assizes, Michel Fourniret presented the court with a roll of paper tied with a ribbon. Important and special documents are presented thus. I have photographs of my daughter and a few years later, my son, proudly holding a roll of paper tied with a ribbon, and I look at those photos with love and pride.

Yesterday Michel Fourniret held a roll of paper tied with a ribbon, which he presented to the court, as though it were a diploma, words important enough to be tied with a ribbon.

Tied with a ribbon. A little girl's hair is tied with a ribbon. A little girl of maybe 12 years old, just leaving childhood behind and entering that phase of becoming a young woman. Just such a young woman was Elisabeth Brichet. Perhaps Elisabeth saw herself as too old, too grown-up, to be wearing a ribbon in her hair. And perhaps Elisabeth's parents were looking forward to that time when they could hold a photograph with love and pride, of their daughter holding a roll of paper tied with a ribbon. But little Elisabeth crossed the path of Michel Fourniret and there would be no more photos, a young life extinguished for the fantasies of a man the world would be better off without.

Michel Fourniret presents his evil in a roll of paper tied with a ribbon. Within that document, it is said that Fourniret describes himself as, "un être mauvais et dénué de tout sentiment humain" - an evil being, devoid of all human feeling. I read that he told his victims, "I am worse than Dutroux." Even now, with the families of his victims there in the court, being forced to live through the stories of how their loved ones were taken from them, Michel Fourniret presents his evil deeds with pride in a roll of paper tied with a ribbon.

The report in Enfants Kidnappés describes Fourniret as, "La bête," the beast. I don't have a word to describe such an evil person. To me, he is not worthy of being called an animal because animals do not kill members of their own species for pleasure. I have no way of understanding how a living thing could look like a human being, walk, talk, breath, eat, like a human being and yet have none of the natural characteristics of any living creature.

Sometimes I forget that I am totally against the death penalty.

My thoughts and prayers are with those families who are sitting through the trauma of this trial, being there for their loved ones, whose lives were taken. Theirs is the love and theirs is the pride that they will face the monster and see justice for all the rolls of paper tied with ribbons, which they will never see.

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