Victim of heinous crime is attacked again.
Father has no remorse for killing his daughter
by Cheryl Eckstein
The 11th anniversary of Tracy Lynn Latimer's death has barely passed. Tracy Latimer's cold hearted murderer has served almost 4 years out of his term of 10 years for unashamedly, unblushingly murdering his 12 year old daughter Tracy. If she had lived, she would be a young woman of twenty-three.
Sadly, most reporters as example post below, have earnestly, and energetically reported only what a burden this child was to the family, primarily her father. Every time a article is written about the Latimers, Tracy, the victim of the heinous crime is attacked. Reporters want to be sure to focus on subjective criticism. Undoubtedly, the worst symptoms many of the reporters have ever suffered is a hang over. Otherwise, I believe there would be more conscientious and compassionate responses to Tracy and her disabilities. With proper care, and some additional surgery, Tracy would no doubt be alive today. Furthermore, had she been place in a home where children like her are wanted and loved, she would be loving cared for and happy.
Tracy depended on her every breath and need from guardians. which happened to be her parents; but her guardians deemed her life not worthy of life.
Tragically, and mysteriously, too many in society seem to agree with her biological daddy, that killing Tracy was the only solution to ending her pain and suffering. Some have voiced opinions that society is kinder to crippled animals, because they can be "painlessly and legally euthanized." Latimer said, "I have a positive frame of mind in knowing that what I did was right . . ." Apparently, killing his daughter seems no more stressful than slaughtering a crippled animal.
Are you going to agree with Robert, that death was the most humane gift he could have given her?
How many remember the ceremony of the father's planned execution? Did he treat her with any dignity as he gathered filty rags from his work shed? Rags is what he used to prop her fragile body up. This has always bother me. This man did not lay her on clean sheets or blankets, nor did he allow her to lay comfortably across the seat of his pickup, but instead, used greasy, blackened. filty, smelly rags that forced her to sit upright. Perhaps he reasoned, "Why waste clean sheets on her when I am going to burn her body anyway?
With new television shows out, like CSI., we are told that victims of crimes and humans who died of natural causes, are respected, and treated with utmost dignity as they try to find the cause of death. I have watched documentaries about coroners. When a dead body is found in the skid row, they are taken to the morgue, where they are respectfully handled. Tracy Latimer's father sat safely in the open air, having the best view from his pick up, and watched her execution patiently as the gas was released into the cab where her unprotected body was forced upright by dirty filty rags, holding her captive - and alone.
The windows were shut tight, so no fresh air could seep in and spare the innocent child from the poisonous gas that would slowly but surely kill her.
Robert Latimer sat out in the fresh -life-giving air, and watched the planned execution of his daughter. The coroner estimated it took about 20 minutes for Tracy to die.
From the moment Robert propped her up he could have changed his mind and pulled her into his arms, sheltering her from the cold October day. Every second that passed, proved his plan was from the start, premeditated.
For those reporting on Robert Latimer, remember only one side of the story can be told. Tracy could not speak for herself.
The murder of his flesh and blood drew barely a tear from society. There were no balloons, no candles, no teddy bears, no love notes. Children didn't leave hand drawn cards outside the family's farm ... no one drew pictures or wrote poems to tell her "we love you Tracy." Instead, grown men and women yelled "we'll get you out Robert." "Your love won't be forgotten!" "I will try to take your time in jail for you Robert, so that you can be with your family." "Don't worry Robert and Laura, we'll help you with expenses, and lawyers." "You are a hero Robert!" Filled with emotion, they would not be discouraged, they held to their belief, 'Tracy was better off dead.' They believed the lie that her suffering was beyond relief, and much too hard for any family.
If some one breaks into your home and you happen to have a weapon, and, you feel like your life, and that of your family is threatened, you might be tempted to grab that weapon and use it. Most likely, charges against you would be dropped, even if you killed the intruder. It is called self defense. A man burns his home, his family is in it, and he knows they are. After evidentiary proves without doubt the father is guilty of first degree murder, depending on which American state he is in, he could get the death penalty.
Alexander and his brother Michael Smith thought they were out for a fun ride with their mommy. Their mommy was their protector. They loved her. They laughed all the way to the lake. But as the Van began to sink, their laughter turned to screams. Their mommy watched from a safe distance on the shore. It took nearly 20 minutes for the van to sink. It took nearly 20 minutes for Tracy to die of carbon monoxide poisoning. The world hates Alexander and Michael's mommy. They wanted her to die. After all, she murdered her two very healthy sons. Mr. Latimer supporters raised money to pay his legal fees; they arranged a letter writing campaign begging Parliament for mercy - even begging authorities to allow them to exchange places with him. No one blushes when they hear Tracy's father lament ..
All this I have told you so that you will not go astray . . . a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or Me. " John 16: 1- 3
If you are still reading, I have more questions. What do you think should happen to children who survive serious accidents, but become seriously disabled? How should chronic pain patients be treated? What about adults who are disabled, and are unable to speak. What if they need diapers, wheel chairs, countless doctor visits, 24/7 care . . . what if you get little to no respit, and what if you can't pay the medical bills. What shall be done with
those labled "useless eaters?" "vegetables" "life unworthy of life." What happens
to families who are forced to place the loved one in a home, because the
government will not cooperate and allow in home assistance?
Do you know the cost of a lethal injection is about $25.00? Compare that to the thousands upon thousands of dollars it costs to care for the bedridden could live well into their 70's.
If my questions sound cold and cruel, believe me, I am not asking original questions. These are serious questions. The only answers I seem to get, are cloaked in euphemisms. It all comes down to selfishness and greed. Love and respect for life is drawing to a close. Compassion will become a dying act, as people try to brace themselves against the economical storm that has hit the land, it will be everyone for himself. Single organ donations must become available, and euthanasia a option. We must not suffer. We must not decay. We must all be able bodied, if not, every useable organ will be harvested to give to those who are deemed worthy of life. We will destroy and discard human life who have additional chromosomes and whoever is classified unfit, or of no use to fellowman. Already many of the elderly and those suffering with dementia, have fallen in the cracks. One Dutch lawyer wants the Netherlands to have the legal power to end the lives of those suffering Alzheimer's -
Sutorius would welcome a court decision on the final treatment of Alzheimer patients. A test case is the obvious choice and of great importance. "Don't forget that our country will have some 400,000 Alzheimer victims within five years' time, an incredibly high number. Right now, however, we stand with our backs against the wall, we cannot move an inch. We have to convince the political parties to take the initiative to update the present regulations."
Watch, look and listen. The enemy of God has spoken, and some bioethicists are taking such discussions very seriously. Money and time can not be wasted. Is the greatest and most valued of human emotion agape love, on the slippery slope that will end at the bottom of that great abyss of greed?
G. Richard Fisher says, "We cannot confuse love and emotionalism or love and feelings. Love is a commitment to truth and the highest good of others." http://www.pfo.org/deceived.htm
Finally, do not dismiss Robert Latimer's comment: "I know the thinking people in this country are on my side . . ." To him, "thinking people" only and always agree with Robert Latimer. It is such subtle phrases that deceive so many. According to him, if you disagree with him, you are closed minded, ignorant, and out of touch. Think about this, murder is murder. Anyone who talks about ending the life of his child for several years, is thinking indeed! It is classified, premeditation.
Think on this, our Creator, our loving God says "Thou shalt not kill." It is not the thinking that makes one smart or good, but what we do with our thoughts. Today, I sat here at my computer and wrote down my thoughts, often stopping to wipe the tears from my eyes. Tracy's death still affects me no less than any holocaust victim, who because of hatred for who they were, were shot, gassed and burned in specially built ovens. Many of the people who planned those atrocities had families, small children. Hatred in man's soul caused him to think how to rid the world of disabled, 'useless eaters' and healthy, very healthy young jewish children. Finally the lives of millions of Jews of every age were destroyed. A great deal of thinking went into those plans. The Nazi's and nurses at the Nuremburg trials insisted they were innocent of all criminal charges. Latimer said, "I have a positive frame of mind in knowing that what I did was right."
I am outraged to learn that Robert Latimer is making money out of death - According to his web page www.Latimer.com
Mr Latimer has collected over $300,000. in contributions from supporters, and has published a book "There has been $301,586.84 put into the 2 accounts set up for us by thinking people all across this country, as well as many other countries over the last 10 years. We are very grateful to the thousands of thinking people that do not agree with the Supreme Court's very flawed decision. Other people have sent money to me in prison, as well as a 4000.00 travel account with Westjet for Laura, and so many others have helped out in so many different ways. The thousands of letters that have been sent to us with so many well-thought out comments have also been very encouraging." [emphasis in bold mine]
I am wanting to protect Tracy at least in death now, as we were not given a chance to in life - I am hoping we can help save a Tracy or Jane or Ashley or ..... Also, I hope if there is a family out there who feels abandoned by society and need help with child or adult with disabilities, they will get the help they deserver.
I am outraged that he is making money while in prison - like a paid hit man. There is no way on earth that man should profit like this from what is a crime, a heinous crime. One friend is calling the Latimer site murder.com I'm very angry and feel I owe Tracy. "If anyone is interested in getting a copy of my now 200+ pages of material it can be ordered for 25 dollars at Robert Latimer Trust Fund Box 487, Wilkie, Sask. S0K 4W0"
There is no way Mr Latimer should be rewarded for his heinous crime. How is it that he can write a book and have it published while he is still in prison? My husband Bryan remarked, "It is amazing how evil prospers you have the Spirit of the Lord, the warriors of the Lord who want to do good, but then you have the enemies of the Lord, who help him to prosper ... but he is really not prospering - for these evil acts will come to the end and righteousness will prevail."
You are invited to write Robert Latimer at his temporary home (prison)
6000 William Head Road
(photo missing, go to new URL to see photo, Cheryl, CHN)
Robert Latimer, shown in a 2001 photo, says he is "grateful" for the support he has received from many Canadians. He is serving a life sentence, with no chance of parole for 10 years, for killing his severely disabled daughter Tracy in 1993. "I know the thinking people in this country are on my side," he said yesterday.
Latimer 10 years on: No regrets
Says he killed daughter to end her pain
Has now spent three years in prison
WESTERN CANADA BUREAU
VICTORIA A decade after killing his disabled daughter, Tracy, and igniting a national debate on euthanasia, Robert Latimer offers no regrets, no excuses and no apologies.
"It was the right thing to do," Latimer said yesterday in a rare interview, at the minimum-security William Head Institution, 30 kilometres west of here.
Overlooking the Pacific Ocean on a dreary winter's day, Latimer, 50, spent two hours reiterating what he has said from the outset of this intensely emotional case: He ended Tracy's life a month short of her 13th birthday to stop the excruciating pain that ruled it.
It's a belief that he insists has never wavered since Oct. 24, 1993. That day, while the rest of his family was at church, Latimer wrapped his 38-pound daughter, who suffered from severe cerebral palsy, in a blanket, put her in the front seat of his pickup truck at their farm in Wilkie, Sask., attached a hose from the exhaust to the cab and started the ignition.
It's a belief that has prevailed despite his having been found guilty of second-degree murder at two trials and despite the upholding of the verdict at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, a final loss at the Supreme Court of Canada and, as of last Sunday, three years in the federal prison system.
And it's a belief that allows him what he calls "a feeling of contentment" even as he denounces the courts, politicians and those he insists are among the minority of Canadians who feel his conviction and 10-year minimum sentence are just.
"I have a positive frame of mind in knowing that what I did was right," Latimer said. "That's certainly not something that all their rulings would ever darken."
Clad in a white T-shirt and blue jeans, Latimer looked more relaxed than the pictures shot as he made his way to prison three years ago. His face has thinned and his gray hair has turned grayer. But the handshake is still the firm grip of a Saskatchewan farmer. And even though he's somewhat shy at the outset, he quickly warms up, punctuating his comments with nods of his head and comfortable laughter.
Even though his blue eyes harden as the subject turns to his anger and frustration at a verdict he considers unjust, his tone of voice remains soft, reasoned, thoughtful.
"I just have some real problems with their decision, as does much of the country," he said of the Supreme Court's 2001 ruling and its refusal a year later to reopen it.
There have been calls for clemency and the top court even referred to the federal cabinet's ability to exercise a so-called royal prerogative of mercy on Latimer. But Latimer said it's "pointless" for him to apply for one as long as there's a belief, as the ruling concluded, that he could and should have done more to ease Tracy's pain.
"To our opponents, Tracy's pain was a side issue, something they are very capable of ignoring," he said. "But to us, it was a very real situation confronting us every day."
Tracy Latimer was born in North Battleford, Sask., in 1980. Brain-damaged at birth, she was soon diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, a condition that typically causes the body to be wracked by painful seizures. She did not walk or talk and was unable to feed herself.
Tracy, whose mental age was estimated at about three months, had four operations by age 11 in an attempt to increase mobility and alleviate pain, including back surgery in August, 1992, in which two stainless steel rods were put on either side of her backbone.
"When you held her, her back was as stiff as three-quarter-inch plywood," Robert Latimer said yesterday. In the final months of her life, Tracy had up to eight seizures a day, no longer slept and frequently cried out in pain, he said.
Asked about trial testimony and comments from others who knew Tracy and said she enjoyed music and loved lying in front of the television to listen to the roars of Hockey Night in Canada telecasts, he smiled at the memories but said that had stopped much earlier.
"That was from a very different time in her life," Latimer said softly.
Tracy was due to have a fifth operation, in which a feeding tube would be inserted to try to strengthen her for surgery on a permanently dislocated hip that was to include removing a part of her upper leg.
It was a pain her father decided she could not be asked to endure.
"Ultimately, I've always believed this case should have been decided by a jury, but that wasn't allowed to happen," Latimer said. "That's just wrong."
Actually, juries did convict Latimer. But his anger arises from the fact that in the second trial, the 12 members wanted him sentenced to one year in jail and another under house arrest. The judge obliged but was overruled at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, which imposed a 10-year minimum jail sentence. His defence of a necessity to kill was also rejected.
"I certainly have my opponents but I know the thinking people in this country are on my side and for that I am ever grateful," he said. "Their support is amazing."
While Latimer and his wife, Laura, remain "overwhelmed" by the support they've received in letters, pleas for clemency, candlelight vigils, $250,000 in donations to a family trust fund and other acts of generosity, he said that it would not surprise him if he stays in prison until Dec. 8, 2007, when he's eligible for day parole.
"It's their game and you have to play by their rules," he said of the law.
Latimer has been jailed since Jan. 18, 2001, the day the Supreme Court of Canada ended his judicial appeals in the case. The top court, which had earlier ordered a new trial after revelations of jury tampering at the first one, upheld both his 1997 conviction for second-degree murder and a 1998 ruling from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal that he must serve a mandatory life term with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.
While acknowledging that Latimer "faced challenges of the sort most Canadians can only imagine" and his care of Tracy "for many years was admirable," the seven justices nevertheless concluded killing her was wrong, even if he called it an act of mercy.
"His decision to end his daughter's life was an error in judgment," they ruled. "The taking of another life represents the most serious crime in our criminal law."
The decision of the Supreme Court justices was unanimous.
The judgment of the rest of Canadians has been anything but.
Latimer's many critics believe that far from being an act of compassion by a loving father, killing Tracy was playing God and wiping out a precious life. They believe, in the words of prosecutor Randy Kirkham at the first trial in 1994, that condoning such an act would be tantamount to declaring it "open season on the disabled."
But to a legion of supporters, including hundreds who offered to serve one month of his sentence and thousands who wrote letters on his behalf to the Supreme Court and federal and provincial politicians, Latimer did nothing more than end the agony of a beloved child. Jailing him prolongs the pain and, they argue, represents cruel and unusual punishment.
Since early October, Latimer has been serving time at William Head, a 160-inmate facility on 34 hectares of prime waterfront real estate in the suburban community of Metchosin. Prisoners live in groups of five in residential-style, two-storey duplexes. Each has his own bedroom and can order groceries they cook themselves in their kitchen.
Latimer, who spent nearly two years at the medium-security Bowden Institution in central Alberta, is enrolled in an electrician's course William Head. He also spends time taking long walks along the shoreline of the sprawling grounds, the main exercise he now uses to keep his weight at about 200 pounds, 35 pounds lighter than when he was jailed.
Although it's a much longer journey for his family than the four-hour drive from the farm to Bowden, Latimer's wife, Laura, and their youngest son, 10, visited recently, staying with him in a separate house for a few days. His oldest son, 20, and 18-year-old daughter may come over Easter, he said. Other family members who live nearby also drop by.
"It's probably one of the nicer surroundings if you have to be in prison," Latimer said with a laugh in a room that looked down on to a beachside playground, a swing set, teeter-totters, picnic tables and a couple of big yellow toy trucks left sitting in a sandbox.
But also within view are stark reminders that this is no West Coast bed and breakfast ? a tall chain-link fence topped with razor wire and, further off in the distance, a watchtower.
Source Latimer 10 years on: No regrets
Says he killed daughter to end her pain
Has now spent three years in prison
Jan. 24, 2004. 01:00 AM
Quotes from http://www.lexum.umontreal.ca/csc-scc/en/rec/html/latimer2.en.html
15 On October 12, 1993, after learning that the doctors wished to perform this additional surgery, the appellant decided to take his daughter's life. On Sunday, October 24, 1993, while his wife and Tracy's siblings were at church, Robert Latimer carried Tracy to his pickup truck, seated her in the cab, and inserted a hose from the truck's exhaust pipe into the cab. She died from the carbon monoxide. (ED., emphasis mine, note several men overhead him talking about killing her two years before he murdered her. However that statement was not entered into evidence due to the fact the man had not provided the 'hearsay' evidence to prosecutors but he did tell me he told this to "some policeman")
16 The police conducted an autopsy and discovered carbon monoxide in her blood. The appellant at first maintained that Tracy simply passed away in her sleep. He later confessed to having taken her life, and gave a statement to the investigating police and partially re-enacted his actions on videotape. Mr. Latimer also told police that he had considered giving Tracy an overdose of Valium, or "shooting her in the head".
Editor, Cheryl Eckstein, CHN
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