Confronting unthinkable horror

There is no way to comprehend the horror of the events at Boschetti’s Steps earlier this year, laid bare in harrowing detail during an inquest this week.

Such mind-numbing tragedy is rare anywhere in the world, let alone here in this peaceful, closely-knit community that prides itself on being a safe place in which to live.

Let us try not to focus on the graphic evidence that emerged during the course of the inquest.

Such details were inevitable as Coroner Charles Pitto went about his unenviable task.

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Yesterday he expressed his admiration for the stoicism of the families of the deceased as they faced up to the “unimaginably painful but necessary” process.

They were helped, in part at least, by the Coroner himself. Mr Pitto handled the inquest with sensitivity and empathy, always centred on his purpose but mindful too of the impact of the process on relatives and others who had dealt directly with the case.

Praise too for the detectives and forensics officers of the Royal Gibraltar Police who, working alongside specialists from the UK, stepped up to this most difficult of challenges. The same goes for everyone who supported them.

The RGP was unfairly criticised by some sections of the UK and Spanish media for taking too long in this investigation.

But that criticism was misguided. This was the largest murder investigation in Gibraltar’s modern history, and no effort was spared as officers followed up on hundreds of lines of inquiry.

To criticise the delay was to ignore the traumatic complexity of the crime scene inside No 2 Boschetti’s Steps.

These were the same media outlets, incidentally, which months ago ran sensational stories naming the mother as the killer, despite repeated appeals for restraint as police worked to untangle the hellish scene they found inside the flat.

Imagine the hurt caused by those baseless headlines to the families involved.

Let us save these publications and their journalists the discomfort of being singled out publicly. They know who they are, as does this community. One would hope they will take a moment to reflect on the impact of their coverage.

Let us focus instead on the professionals.

From the female police officer who was first on the scene to the Coroner who delivered his verdict yesterday, Gibraltar should take pride that it has people of this calibre serving our community.

Now, as the case file is closed, let us try to remember the crime in the flat on Boschetti’s Steps through the prism of humanity.

Let us dwell on a father’s dignity and courage in taking the stand at the inquest to talk about his toddler and the woman he still loved.

Let us reflect on a sister sharing with us her grief for the friend and confidante she lost in circumstances too awful to imagine.

And let us think too about another family’s pain, a family faced with the actions of a son and brother whose delusional mind drove him, and so many others, to the darkest of places.

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Brian Reyes
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