An interesting contrast in today's Guardian between those who have sufficient standing to comment and those who earn a living playing to prejudices from afar.
In a piece about discoverers of bodies, we have the quote from Trevor Saunders, the man who found Gemma Adams, murdered by Steve Wright:
It was an unusually sunny morning in December 2006 and I was on my rounds as a volunteer fisheries warden. I was checking for blockages in Belstead Brook, a gully that runs into the river Orwell, and remember thinking how pleasant it was to hear the birds singing after days of rain.
Then I noticed something alien protruding from the water. Moving closer, I brushed some dirt away and thought it may be a mannequin. I touched the shape; it was freezing cold. I wondered if it was a human being, but I couldn't see a head because it was covered with debris. When I shifted it, I realised I had found a dead body.
I now think of her as Gemma The body was face down, with the arms outstretched and bent at the elbows. It had been in the water for at least two weeks, which had slowed down decomposition, and I am grateful for that. Her face was on its side, her eyes were half open. She just looked like a normal person...[...]
Then the circus started. There must have been at least half a dozen police cars, plus motorbikes and the press. They set up a portable toilet and a catering van. I was there all day. I was the only member of the public allowed at the spot, because I had to show people around the lakes and the area. They used my caravan as an office. It was comforting to be part of the investigation, and it was night-time before they took Gemma away. It was a relief to me that she was now safe and dry.
I am glad I found her because it kick-started the police to finding the other women. And also I feel that from that moment Gemma was at peace. The following night I had a dream. I was at the brook and Gemma was there. She turned to me and said, "Thank you." In fact, for the first few nights afterwards I couldn't sleep without having a flashback to the moment I'd found her. I'm a very emotional person, even more so since this happened. I couldn't help thinking over and over, "What makes a person do something like that?"
When it came close to the first anniversary, I bought Gemma a buddleia and planted it in her name by the brook. I visit every day. I feel like I know her; she's part of my life. It's as though she is a friend, a very strong bond. As soon as a photo of Gemma comes on the TV, I find myself crying.
Contrast the feelings Trevor Saunders, a chance onlooker, has towards someone he never knew in life to the more-than-willing voyeur, Richard Littlejohn of the Odious Daily Mail:
- The five women murdered in Ipswich were tragic, lost souls who met a grisly end.
No one with a shred of humanity would wish upon them their ghastly lives and horrible deaths. But Mother Teresa, they weren't.
That doesn't make it justifiable homicide, but in the scheme of things the deaths of these five women is no great loss.
They weren't going to discover a cure for cancer or embark on missionary work in Darfur. The only kind of missionary position they undertook was in the back seat of a car.
- The men who used them were either too mean to fork out whatever a massage parlour charges, or simply weren't fussy. Some men are actually turned on by disgusting, drug-addled street whores. Where there's demand, there'll always be supply.