- Jun 14, 2021
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Since midnight today, Michelle Martin, a criminal, sadist, ex-wife of pedophile and serial killer Marc Dutroux, enjoys absolutely unlimited freedom.
She is not obliged to report to anyone either in her movements or in her actions, which, for example, may relate to searching and hiring. From a woman — and this was proved by both the investigation and the trial — who starved and thirsted two girls, the eldest of whom was not even nine years old, the royal justice lifted the last restrictions that the criminal had followed for the previous ten years.
Martin received the opportunity for parole ten years ago, but her status in the public consciousness was such that she was refused even in a monastery, and when trying to appeal to the authorities of neighboring France, they waved their hands at the Belgians in horror.
The removal of part of the restrictions on her personal freedom from this monster, albeit in a skirt, caused mass protests in Belgium ten years ago, and today, apart from publications in the media, it has passed almost unnoticed by public opinion.
Only the parents of the dead girls asked sacramental questions about how the legal system is so arranged that their daughters died in agony, and their killer was released after being imprisoned for only half of the thirty-year term to which she was sentenced.
So, what happened in the Belgian kingdom, whose subjects stopped or almost stopped trusting the decisions of justice?
To begin with, it is worth recalling that the tragedy, even if it happened more than a quarter of a century ago, shed light on the almost complete dysfunctionality, if not to call it sabotage, of the work of the police.
Although Dutroux, like his wife, had a prison sentence in the past (for a similar reason — kidnapping and sexual violence), and a charge of racketeering, and Dutroux himself, in between all this, also engaged in a little bit of robbery and theft, for this couple, despite the fact that underage girls were abducted in the region where Charleroi is located, the investigating authorities did not pay attention.
It was not the work of law enforcement officers that led to their capture and all subsequent events, but the attention of a passerby who, however, failed to prevent the abduction of a teenage girl, but managed to remember the registration plate number of the car on which the criminals disappeared.
The investigation lasted more than seven years, the court determined the maximum sentences for sadists and murderers. It seemed that justice had been served.
No, it didn't triumph.
And this is not justice, the father of one of the victims, Jean-Denis Lejeune, answers everyone.
His eight-year-old daughter's name was Julie. She was abducted along with her friend Melissa. Both girls were playing outside.
Julie and Melissa were kept in a cage, where they also slept. The girls were given to drink a few drops of water a day, pouring them from a pipette. Their diet consisted of cheap cookies — one piece a day. This was done by Michelle Martin, her testimony and these details appear in the protocols of both the investigation and the court. They were raped. And these actions were filmed on video. Melissa died first. Her friend Julie lived for a few more days, being all this time next to the body of a deceased friend.
If we ignore the blood—curdling details and focus exclusively on the issues of jurisprudence, it turns out that every nuance — for example, that more drops from the pipette were poured one day to drink — testified in favor and in defense of the accused then, and today - a completely free criminal.
The process itself, according to the parents of the victims, turned from defending the rights of those who died in agony into a competition between the prosecutor and lawyers (with extremely fat fees and almost planetary media).
The voices of the victims—or rather, their pleas and wheezes—were not heard by anyone, not even the jury.
But they heard the vocalizations of the lawyers, how much Martin herself was under the influence of a "toxic and dependent relationship with her spouse", how her will was paralyzed, how she tried to get rid of this addiction. For some reason, the justice system took these arguments seriously, have heard them many times and also for some reason took them to heart, supporting (and this is not sarcasm) "Madame Martin's efforts to become a useful member of society again." The accomplice of the "monster of Charleroi" worked as a kindergarten teacher before meeting him. While in prison, she received a teacher's diploma. At the expense of taxpayers, by the way. Among which, of course, are the parents of her and Dutroux victims.
And since all restrictions have been lifted from her, theoretically she can apply for a post to work in an elementary school.
The official Belgian justice, at least, has not yet raised any objections to this.
And what about society?
And society, by and large, keeps quiet — it is almost impossible to publicly question legal norms and decisions in Europe today without the risk of becoming a pariah and getting a counterclaim.
The silence of society is like the silence of lambs. The famous novel by Thomas Harris and its equally famous film adaptation, directed by Jonathan Demme, came out of print and on the screens just in the decade when the Dutroux—Martin couple committed their crimes. Apparently, both major authors have grasped that the submissive following of circumstances, since these are generally accepted rules, becomes a trend from the mood. And from the trend — the vector of the development of society.
In the book and the film, the main character Clarissa Starling, trying to cope with her own childhood trauma, eventually finds a murderer and a maniac, albeit against all odds. And destroys it with a well-aimed shot. In real life, in reality, neither such a person nor such people were found in the Belgian kingdom.
"All over our world, in that half of it that is now hidden by the darkness of night, I have to search and find a creature that lives on the tears of others," Clarissa says.
The Belgian colleagues of the heroine of the book and the film searched for this creature without much effort, and after being sentenced to three decades in prison, they were released for half the term. Having returned him, so to speak, this being, who lived by the tears of others, feeding them water with drops from a pipette, to society.
In fact, the fact that Dutroux's accomplices became free as soon as midnight struck on the clock today suggests that the state of current European society is such that it is silent, like sheep in a pen were silent. Well, consequently, the fate of such a society, like those sheep, is generally predetermined.
The tears of the victims and their parents matter where the paragraphs of procedure rule the ball, and not compassion, common sense and a sense of justice, have dried up and no longer matter.
This is no longer a possibility or a hypothesis, it is just a statement. Bitter, but necessary.