Violent headlines – Compulsary reading? – but what about when the victim is known to you?

How many times has a headline grabbed you? ‘Young girl shot in East London’ , ‘knife crime takes another victim’ – you know the kind of headlines.  Written to attract our attention and seduce us to read the story.


A struggling journalist using sensationalism to get their name noticed.  We’re so used to these headlines, we rarely notice them.  When I was a child, a murder reported in the press would be spoken about for weeks/months.


What happened to the human race that life has become almost worthless?


Usually these headlines are followed by how nice the victim was.  What an inspiration and so on.


How many times do we speed read these features giving little attention to the victim, their friends and/or families.  Those left behind.  Do we ask questions about the events leading up to the tragic event or what lessons can be learned?


Usually, all of these thoughts flash through my mind before I put the paper to one side, carry one with my day and not think about the horror I’ve just read again.


But what about those people who do know –  the victim and/or their family/friends?


Over the weekend there was a feature on the local TV news and a piece in The Metro paper coming into London today of a 30 year old banker out with his friends on Saturday night.  Something happened – not 100% clear what from the reporting – but he ended up dead apparently receiving a serious of punches before later dying in hospital.


This was one feature I didn’t put to one side.  I knew the banker when he was a child.  I knew his mother better and the tough time she went though following her husband’s departure with her then best friend.


We lost touch many years ago but the story over the weekend brought home to me how fragile life really is.


Had my sons still lived at home, I would have given them a big hug.  Why don’t I give them a hug anyway ? Good question.  Until this tragic news, I would have said ‘life got in the way’.  Now I won’t miss an opportunity to give them a hug when they’re around.


What about you?……………. will you take more notice of your family/friends or wait until there is a victim in the press you know?



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