I came across a very heart wrenching site yesterday. And I don't believe in accidents or coincidences. Someone had signed my guestbook recently at http://www.cherylktardif.com/ and I decided to check out their blog. On the right side I saw a link to A Voice for Tori & Dean. I'm not sure what made me click on it.
There are some things that happen that just make us cringe and ask: How can this possibly happen?
Tori Vienneau (22) and her 10 month baby boy Dean were brutally murdered on July 26, 2006. Tori was found beaten and strangled in one room and her baby Dean was found hanging by a noose in his crib.
I can't shake this imagery from my mind. It is tragic beyond words, beyond belief.
Strangled? Both of them? And one a baby?
What would make someone do something like this? How could any human being hang an innocent baby?
To me, there is only one answer: someone INhuman, someone evil, a monster who has no right to life himself.
There is no defense or excuse for murders such as these.
Thankfully, there was an arrest. Two, actually. Dennis Potts, 23, was charged with two counts of murder and conspiracy to obstruct justice, and Max Corn, 23, was charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice. Reading some of the news reports, I was not surprised to learn that Potts was actually the baby's father. It felt like a case of focused voilent rage, which meant that the victims knew the perpetrator.
Recently, an author friend of mine, Karen Harrington, wrote about mothers who kill their children and the possibility that it could be a hereditary trait. Does this suggest that men could inherit this same deadly trait? We all know men who are prone to voilence, but what kind of man takes a friend with him and performs such a heinous crime? No man at all.
I felt compelled to sign the guestbook, but I admit, I felt somewhat like an intruder. This is such a very deep and personal loss for them. But I haven't been able to forget about Tori and Dean. Surprisingly, I received an email from Deserie, a friend of Tori's. She thanked me for leaving a message in the guestbook, and this reminded me of how I felt to see strangers leave notes in my brother's guestbook after his murder. Strangers and people who knew him but that I didn't know.
I think the real message in all this is that victims of violence need to be remembered, their memories kept alive by everyone and anyone. Survivors of violence need the comfort of knowing that their loved one(s) have reached out beyond the grave and touched even a stranger's heart, as Tori and Dean have touched mine. I know what it's like to lose a baby. I know that Tori's mom and Dean's grandma need to feel still connected, and they are. By love.
My message for Mom/Grandma and all family and friends of Tori and Dean is this:
There is always light at the end of even the darkest tunnel. And with light comes hope. You have been kissed by angels.
So I invite you to visit this humble site with it's tragic story, beautiful pictures and a guestbook filled with love.
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif, author of Whale Song