I was a young teenager when my mother received a phonecall from her mother, my grandmother. It was quite a disturbing conversation.
Her cousin, who had recently divorced, was found dead. Murdered.
I’m not sure if her ex-husband simply wasn’t a suspect at first or what else the reason may have been that he was allowed to visit the funeral, but I do recall my mother speaking highly emotional about it.
‘Why wasn’t he told to bugger off?!’ she sobbed.
After this tragedy, the daughter of this cousin came to visit us quite regularly. My mother wanted her to feel like she had some family left to lean on. Not a bad place to be. It’s just unfortunate that I even remember now, my mother could speak very ill of this girl’s father in our presence. As I soon noticed, even though the girl didn’t protest to this, the girl didn’t care for it much either.
In all honesty, my mother had a point as the father had killed the mother by slapping her over with a bat several times while she was walking the dogs. He had just lost the custody battle over the children, all four of them.
The place the girl and some more siblings were staying at was the new girlfriend of her father’s. At one afternoon, when my mother had taken the girl, one of her siblings and me out to the beach, upon our return, the phone rang. My mother answered it, talked for a while, then gestured the girl and her sibling to come to the phone.
‘It’s ridiculous, he’s only gonna get 8 years for it!!’ my mother said quite loud.
Some time after that, the girl and her sibling appeared again.
‘We’ve just received bad news. Dad has 8 years to do. We hope he can get out earlier because of good behaviour or something’. Against the words my mother just used, I took it the girl much rather would be around her father, despite what had happened.
Soon after this, the contact between the girl and our part of the family became less and less. The girl knew far too well what my mother thought of all of this. It did not help for healing.
So when a detective in a tv-show says: ‘would a child want to be with a murdering parent?’ the answer isn’t just ‘no!’, it could be the kid wants to out of loyalness or simply because the child does not wish to stay behind alone.