First and foremost, I have to start this post by saying that I extend my condolences to the Bosma family. There is nothing in this world more important than family and I simply can not imagine losing my husband and father of my children to such a heinous crime. I have admired Sharlene Bosma’s courage during this whole ordeal and extend my deepest sympathy. I hope that the guilty are punished to the highest extent of the law in order to move forward in your life without your dear husband by your side. This travesty was unnecessary.
I have to openly admit that I’m a sucker for a mystery. I’m almost certain that my destiny was to be a private investigator. I follow most cases that hit close to home. When Tori Stafford disappeared, my daughter and I, on her 15th birthday distributed over 50 flyers to local establishments in hopes of finding Tori safe and sound. I felt it was a goodwill gesture to show my daughter the importance of compassion. Most of all, I cared about the safe return of Tori to her Mother, Father, and Brother. Unfortunately, Tori’s life was short lived and the monsters who took her were still at large. My heart still bleeds for her family.
When Tim Bosma went missing, one could only assume that he was an unhappy man destined to flee into anonymity to find a better life. Why else would a healthy man, who could hold his own weight, go missing? Unfortunately, much like Tori, he met his own demise through evil beings. Tim Bosma was found no less than 10 km from my home burnt beyond recognition. It is at this time where one has to wonder about the power of evil.
Social Media for Good
There is a website called Websleuths.com that invites participants to discuss ongoing cases from around the world and allows an open forum to provide feedback and probable causes. At times, it can be a little too much. However, many of the participants care and want to assist Law Enforcement by doing their own sleuthing online. Sometimes it’s of great assistance as law enforcement secretly watches these forums in hopes for new direction and clues.
The Tim Bosma case has been no different. Many of the clues have been indicated on this forum before it is ever disclosed to the public. I have learned many things about the accused well ahead of time. Call me sick, but I care about finding justice even though I’m not the one doing the sleuthing. It gives me hope that there are good people out there trying to help.
Social Media for Bad
While people scrutinize these sleuths for trying to solve the world problems, another scenario has taken place during the Tim Bosma case. Journalists have moved to websites, like websleuths.com, to expedite more information about the individuals arrested.
The latest arrest of Mark Smich had me raging inside as pictures of his sister’s wedding, that took place the weekend prior, gradually made headlines over the nightly news and the Internet. I know this individual from afar. The “assumed” sister, is a thriving online resource with a career in the public eye. A young beautiful starlet with a bright future. She is not her brother’s keeper and deserves to live the life that she has created for herself. Her anonymity was rightfully deserved……..until the photos started popping up and journalists started publicly tweeting her. It was a country club wedding gone awry within 24 hours. What great memories for her and a new husband. (insert sarcasm)
I was appalled at the behavior and felt compelled to speak up. The last time I checked, our rights as Canadians is that when accused we are innocent until proven guilty. It is my considered opinion that this interaction could provoke unnecessary vigilantism to this innocent party who was accused of nothing besides being the sister of…..
Life is hard enough. Marriage is difficult for the norm. In this case, marriage will be far more difficult for this couple as they try to come to terms with people’s opinions and their very public careers. Did media need to publicly outcast this person when their social media profiles clearly creates a path to a private email address? It is also my opinion that journalists believe that a public inquiry will generate an “exclusive” quicker than taking the moral route of trying to request an interview in a private forum.
I think journalists should step back and ask the question “What if he was your brother?” before tapping on the keyboard. I’m sure most would take the higher moral ground.
With all of this said, there is one person who has suffered the most. Tim Bosma did not deserve to die. This travesty was unnecessary and my heart goes out to his family. I have been in the shoes of this woman who I speak of.
Unlike the family of the deceased, the family of the accused is never given time to digest the information before law enforcement goes public. In fact, the probability that they did not know until the press conference is not surprising as the arrest happened in the day and presumably the house was vacated. The accused would choose to seek legal advise before advising family members. That one call. It is likely that during the press conference, the accused would still be under heavy questioning and the family would be just as shocked as the public. So for journalists to tweet publicly to them, could be the initial slap in the face.
In a case like this, there are many victims. Tim’s family are the ultimate victims who will continually receive support and guidance during their grief. They deserve it. The victims of the accused will receive unbiased love from some, while others will assume the worst and close the doors completely. It is the world we live in. A harsh reality.
The media has made it clear that no one goes unscathed for a news report. I can only pray that those who are innocent gets the respect and privacy that they deserve, and the guilty receives what is coming to them. It’s not too much to ask.