while serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison has been causing headlines around the country. There is a considerable section of the population which appears to find this sort of thing fascinating.
A television series I have not seen (and do not wish to see) has apparently been made about this character. How realistic it is I do not know but the legal fraternity was concerned enough to request that viewing of it be restricted in his home state while his trial was running.
I suspect that did little good. Copies of the programmes would inevitably have been slipped in by relatives and friends of those who did want to watch it. Trying to restrict viewing of it merely added to the mystique surrounding the individual in question. No doubt it did even more to ensure a guilty verdict. "It said on the telly that..." and therefore it "must" be "true". Perhaps it was. I do not know. I am thankful I was not on the jury.
Now questions are being asked as to how he could be murdered while in virtual isolation in maximum security. Conspiracy theories, fanned by his legal representative, abound. There are demands for an inquiry that would extend well beyond those on duty at the time. I doubt there would be answers.
One of the things that may have set all of this off was a front page story - on more than one newspaper - that the police were paying fees for this individual's daughter to attend a fee paying school. Now yes, this may well have been "news", the sort of front page news the media loves.
It was also irresponsible journalism and may well have led to his death.
Many people will say he is "no loss to society" and that it was costing taxpayers money to keep him incarcerated. Many of those same people will say in the next breath that they do not approve of the death penalty.
In the middle of all this is a young girl. The individual was her father. The media must be held at least partially responsible for her distress.