Colleen Figg

Murder becomes suicide

2007-08-31 10:19

Colleen Figg

I read in recent news stories that Dina Rodrigues, convicted of killing baby Jordan, has allegedly made an attempt on her life whilst behind bars.

Despite the practice of removing shoelaces, belts and other sharp objects from prisoners once they are ensconced in jail, Rodrigues managed to attempt a hanging by using laces, as well as slitting her wrists with an unnamed object before resorting to using the elastic from her panties to choke herself. Not sure where she buys her underwear but I am sure mine would not withstand any attempts to remove me from this earthly plane.

The people in the Rodrigues camp have apparently indicated that she has fallen victim to depression at the idea that she will be viewing life through vertical steel bars for the rest of her time on Earth.

Efforts are being made, via counselling, to help Dina Rodrigues process the turn her life has apparently unexpectedly taken.

In assessing the above snippets of information, I can only conclude that she cannot have considered that she might be called to account for her role in the death of another person. I can't help noticing that she never seemed particularly inclined towards suicide before she found herself an unwilling guest of the Department of Correctional Services.

It's becoming increasingly apparent to me - a long-time amateur student of crime - that these bouts of depression and remorse seem in general to be manufactured for the purpose of making life easier for the accused or convicted.

Icy level-headed approach

While the investigation is underway, most criminals of this ilk maintain an icy level-headed approach and constantly stonewall detectives attempting to get to the bottom of the matter. This suggests a degree of control that would tax a lesser individual.

Stories are invented, stuck to and repeated at length, even when remorselessly picked apart by well trained policemen. Polygraph machines are sent in for checking when it's found that the needles hardly move during tests conducted on such suspects.

Even through the court case, many murderers remain self-contained and emotionally inaccessible, and barely flinch when sentencing is handed down. Journalists are left to speculate wildly as to the character of their subjects, and their columns have to be beefed up by quotes from people who were once in Grade One with the prisoners, since the prisoners themselves say naught.

This stoic, quite relentless approach seems to be lost at the final hurdle, though, once the key is turned in the lock.

Suddenly these masters of cold calculation and almost impeccable logistical talents fall prey to a crippling depression and a complete disinclination to take up macramé or learn the intricacies of Batik in the prison Crafts Workshop.

Most odd, I always think.

Send your comments to Colleen.

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