Saturday, 2 October 2010


Tonight, probably like a good deal of New Zealand, we watched TV1 and TV3 news with tremendous sadness as the body of a beautiful young woman was found in a state that is the stuff of nightmares.

Carmen Thomas, lest we forget was a mother, a sister and a daughter. She was loved. She was murdered and the family suffered the indescribable anguish of knowing she was dead but that her body had been hidden.

One of the country's most senior journalists remarked the other day that she was disturbed by the images of Carmen that media outlets were running. Its clear that Carmen lived her life on the edge but the photos were the tackiest of those taken of this striking young woman.

Tonight, the place where her remains were discarded like some unwanted rubbish, was finally found.

And tonight the country also witnessed a rare glimpse of the real humanity that flows through the veins of our police. The image of Detective Inspector Mark Benefield showing the impact the Carmen's death had on him was profound. It was a stark reminder to the nation that this was not the death of a woman with bad morals but the death of a young vibrant mum who lived life as she chose, a woman who was loved. In both life and death, people cared about her.

It was also a moment that the nation could feel proud of the police force. This is a death that has had a huge impact on those who have been closest to it. The police honour guard for the hearse that took the body of that beautiful young mum back to her family was extremely moving.
It gave Carmen back the one thing that the media, over the last few weeks had stripped from her - her diginity and respect.

On one hand we can only reel in horror over the nature of this crime but in a brief moment, the crumpled face of Det Inspector Mark Benefield showed us something else -that we have a policeman who is not detached from the community but is indeed a very real part of it. As a policeman Benefield has shown incredible doggedness in solving this crime and bringing Carmen home. As a husband, a father and a son he was moved by the death of a young woman.

It is a good thing that we have men like Mark Benefield in our police force.


MikeySmokes said...

Good post

Farmer Baby Boomer said...

Very well said Brunette.
I confess to being a little choked up myself as I watched this good policeman confirm the the horrific details of Carmen's murder.
At this time there is fresh publicity about the police corruption which lead to the framing of Arthur Allan Thomas. So it good to have this balanced by hearing the words and seeing the actions of Mark Benefeld and others like him in our police force.
Brunette, you have produced a moving post in paying tribute to these boys in Blue. In the process you have also honoured Carmen Thomas. Even when your post count matches that of Busted Blonde "HUMANITY ON THE SIX O'CLOCK NEWS" will,I think, be one of your best.

kehua said...

Well scripted. amene.

Anonymous said...

OK are we over the fact that the victim was attractive? Would you have given even half a fuck if she was a tattooed up Maori? Take a deep breath and then blog sensibly on this matter.

Farmer Baby Boomer said...

Anon, are you suggesting that Brunette would have would have put a lot less effort and care into composing this post if the slain and dismembered woman was a "tattooed up Maori."? And in the same way are you saying that Detective Insp. Benefeld would have shown less emotion or that there would have no Police Guard of Honour?
Because if you are, this aging Kiwi farmer (with Scottish blood) finds your comment more offensive than that made by Paul Henry.

Anonymous said...

Farmer Baby Boomer, I'm pretty sure Brunette would not have mentioned three times the victims physical attractiveness and yes, I'm pretty sure there would have been no guard of honour. As for Police showing emotion, there has definitely an element of Oprah Winfreyism creeping into the force over the past decade or so where senior officers investigating crimes have been given to publicly airing personal views and emotion. In all I am answering yes to all your questions. I have a good chunk of Scots blood myself.