I don't know whether US readers have been following the murder trial in England of 16-year-old Joshua Davies, who's just been convicted of murdering his 15-year-old former girlfriend, Rebecca Aylward. The truly sickening aspect to this case is the apparent lack of any moral convictions whatsoever by the killer and his circle of friends. As Jan Moir points out:
In October last year, Davies took Rebecca into woodland near his home village of Aberkenfig, South Wales, and murdered her. He hit her six times over the head with a rock, after attempts to break her neck failed.
He left her there, lying face down on the forest floor, wearing the new clothes she had bought for their date. Later, he took at least one friend back to view the body. Good times.
What is so awful is that this was no crime of passion or a moment of madness.
The truth is much darker and more difficult to understand.
For Davies did it for a laugh, for a dare, for a bet. He did it for a free breakfast, promised by one of his mates if he went ahead with the murder.
He did it because he was bored. And one cannot escape the bleak suspicion that he did it to have something to text his friends about, to fill a void in his personal cyberspace, to satisfy an adolescent thrill.
Rarely has a life been taken so cheaply or a murder carried out so frivolously.
No wonder that Rebecca’s family are heartbroken and have vowed never to forgive Davies. There is no reason why they should.
The court heard that the teens had an on-off relationship that was ended by Rebecca after three months.
Following this, Davies spent weeks telling friends he wanted to kill her because she was ‘annoying’.
He said he might drown her or push her off a cliff, depending on mood and circumstances. He even bought some poison, showing he had bent his mind to the practicality of the act.
His friends indulged him, egged him on, texted their words of encouragement. Later they all said that they did not take him seriously, but can that be true?
Their texted responses seem to tell a very different story. And none of them thought to warn poor Rebecca, whether they believed Davies or not.
At the very least, if it was a joke it was in extremely bad taste.
Sure, they called him a ‘sick, sick boy’, but this appeared to be in admiration rather than reproach.
Two days before the murder, Davies texted the friend who had promised to buy him a meal if he went through with the killing and told him: ‘Don’t say anything but you may just owe me a breakfast.’
The friend replied: ‘Best text I ever had mate. Seriously, if it is true I am happy to pay for a breakfast. I want all the details. You sadistic b******.’ He signed off with a smiley face symbol.
Surely the friend who offered to buy Davies breakfast for killing Rebecca bears a certain amount of culpability, too? And what about the rest of the gang — are they all nascent monsters, or just another batch of desensitised and casually violent teens?
During the trial, another of the friends — they cannot be named, as they are under 16 — gave evidence in court, before later mocking the proceedings and the accused on Skype. Within minutes of giving evidence via a video link.
Nothing is real to these dislocated teenagers. There seems to be a thick cyber-screen between them and the real world. Everything is a bit of a laugh to them, with none of them seemingly capable of telling right from wrong.
Davies is a bright boy whose parents went to church regularly, but he appears to have no moral compass or respect for the sanctity of life.
For him, murder was a bit of a giggle. Until he ended up in jail.
There's more at the link.
I honestly don't know what to say about this. It's so sickening, so beyond my comprehension that anyone could be so casually brutal, that I just can't wrap my mind around it.
All I can say is that, in Africa, one sometimes comes across a predator that's gone rogue. Instead of killing for food, it kills for no discernible reason whatsoever. If animals can be said to kill for fun, these rogue predators do so. The only solution to them is to put a bullet through their brain. Only by killing them can one stop their predation. In this case, one must seriously wonder whether that isn't the only way to stop predators like this conscienceless teenager . . . because I can't for the life of me see how he'll grow a conscience behind prison bars.
Does anyone have a better idea?