I remember being in a car with my family on the way to the snow one year when I was about 7 or 8 and there was an awful accident. We had been stuck in a jam for ages and when traffic finally moved there were people still on the scene covered in blood, about three or four cars with significant damage (the kind where you wonder how people get out) and that general sense of dread as we crawled past. It’s probably not something you would see today (30+ years later) as it would all be cleaned up before traffic flowed once more. Since then though I generally try not to look if there has been an accident that traffic is moving past. Of course, as most people around me tend to want a good view, the traffic slows down so that I am forced to snail past the cars/people involved.
Reading the front page of the Canberra Times today, I can’t help but gain a sense of rubber necking in the purchase of the Chamberlain car for the National Museum.
The yellow Holden Torana hatchback was the Chamberlains’ family car and ultimately became a piece of evidence crucial in the case, stripped to its shell as part of the inquiries. A forensic biologist claimed the car had contained baby’s blood – a claim later overturned by a Royal Commission.
It was a grievous miscarriage of justice that took 32 years to finally settle with a coroner finding that the baby had been taken by a dingo, but I can’t help but wonder if the car is something we should really be gawking at in a Museum.
In some way it feels to me to be intrusive. Like stepping into a story that doesn’t directly involve me. A tragedy that isn’t and wasn’t mine.