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Too much truth?

By johnboy 29 March 2010 87

Tonight Media Watch had a go at the Canberra Times for informing the public that Narrabundah car crash victim Scott Oppelaar was himself a thieving shitbag with a life spent bringing misery to the wider community.

According to the Media Watch headline this front page news was “too much truth”.

His grandmother, the Anglican Reverend Ruth Dudley is excerpted saying the article:

…caused pain to the family. Scott’s lifestyle gave them heartache when they were alive. His death was devastating. They did not need to see his misdemeanours spread across the front page of The Canberra Times.

So should the feelings of the family which spawned the career criminal be given primary concern? Or should a community grappling with a tragedy be informed of the full nature?

Me? I don’t think there’s ever such a thing as “Too Much Truth”. But what do you think?

When the subject of news has an extensive criminal record

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87 Responses to
Too much truth?
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James-T-Kirk 4:44 pm 07 Apr 10

CT – Grand ??? (giggle)

DavoDavo 1:17 pm 06 Apr 10

Jerry Atric said :

The broadsheet will be the next to go.

Speaking for my wife and myself, I’d love to see the broadsheet format revert back to a more manageable size, they make our bloody arms ache holding them up when reading!

The size of the page has nothing to do with what’s printed on it. The format the CT uses is an attempt to be grander than they are IMHO.

DavoDavo 1:12 pm 06 Apr 10

Clown Killer said :

How the hell could Oppelaar’s criminality NOT be directly relevant to the story?

He was committing a crime at the very moment his car was involved in the collision. He was aided in that criminal behaviour by Ford who was complicit in his flagrant breach of his bail conditions.

the liklihood of Oppelaar, Ford and their child killed that night would be almost nill if he was not behind the wheel of a car and was not in the company of Ford.

Yep, that just about sums it up, if he hadn’t been a naughty boy (again) by driving his partner and their child it’s very likely he wouldn’t have been at that place at that time – and if he had been it would have been his death only, not the three of them.

cb60 9:19 pm 03 Apr 10

“Too Much Truth” is it true the police didn’t have their sirens on during the chase? if not , why?

OpenYourMind 10:52 am 03 Apr 10

A final note on this story. Lots of people have said all sorts of ridiculous things on Facebook regading this accident, but this is a fairly level headed comment:

“The dust has settled, the dead are buried and life goes on. It’s a tragedy all round. No one deserved to die, not even Justin. I feel for his family and friends because they have lost a loved one. I mean them no disrespect but there are some things that need to be said.

Justin wasn’t speeding because the police were chasing him. The police were chasing him because he was already speeding, posing a danger to himself and to every other road user. The police called off the chase at the corner of Hindmarsh Drive and Canberra Avenue, when Justin ran the red light at the DFO intersection. Nevertheless, he continued on at high speed and with no headlights on, running another red light and killing three other people. The people in front of Scott Olenaar’s car never saw or heard anything. No lights (because Justin had the headlights off) and no police lights or sirens because the pursuit had already been called off 2km further up the road.

I sympathise for his family and freinds. He was someone’s Son, someone’s Brother, someone’s Father and they don’t deserve to be criticised or condemned. I’m sure that they loved Justin and that he loved them. I’m sure that he loved his children, was a good mate and probably even liked furry little animals … but that doesn’t mean he was a good person. Good people don’t do what he did…. See more

Good people don’t break into other people’s houses, violate the sanctity of their homes, steal the possessions that they worked hard and saved for. Good people don’t rummage through other peoples’ cupboards and drawers to steal irreplaceable personal effects that have sentimental value. They don’t trash someone’s home, pissing on their sofa, crapping on their floor or wanking on their bed. They don’t do those sorts of things out of spite or because it’s “fun” … or “funny”.

Good people don’t steal other people’s cars and take them joyriding. Good people don’t go speeding and hooning on public streets, endangering the lives of other, innocent motorists. Good people don’t recklessly endanger the life and safety of their passengers, especially if it is someone they are supposed to love. Good people don’t go hooning around in cars when they should be looking after their kids and helping to raise them to be decent people.

Regardless of their background, regardless of their upbringing, regardless of any previous “disadvantage”, regardless of where they were raised, “good” people simply do not do such things. The fact that Justin did such things (and did them repeatedly) means that he wasn’t a “good” person … no matter how much his family loved him and no matter how good a mate he might have been to his friends.

His friends say it was an accident but it was much more than that. It was a crime … a series of reckless, irresponsible, stupid, needless and unnecessary crimes and people are dead because of his “mistakes”. Frankly, what other people would call “mistakes” seem to have been pretty much a lifestyle for Justin.

His mates and family are going on about “Karma”. Well, it seems that Karma certainly caught up with Justin. It’s too tragic to bring anyone any joy and the worst thing is that it was all so unnecessary and preventable.

I feel for his family and I understand their pain and anger. For what it’s worth, I think that the only good that could come from this is for his family and friends to seriously consider why this tragedy really occurred … and make changes in their lives to ensure that it never happens again. If you really loved Justin, be positive role models and do your best to ensure that his kids don’t turn out the same way. Don’t let his death be in vain.

I’m sorry that Justin is dead. I really am. However, I must admit that I feel as though my home, car and property are safer now that he is gone. The real pity is that he will not be remembered for the person he might have been but for the many terrible “mistakes” he made and for all the bad things he did.

Anyway, Rest In Peace.”

Special G 9:20 pm 01 Apr 10

dvaey said :

Special G said :

Who goes to visit someone at 10pm at night with a 2 month old baby anyway?

Maybe you were living under a rock, but there was a big fireworks display in Canberra that night, which happened (obviously) after dark. It may surprise you to learn that over 100,000 people attend this event, and it may also surprise you to learn that young children and families have also be known to attend this event on occasion.

Deckard said :

I think the fact the family criticised police warranted some mention of his history as well as the association with the Williams family. This shows that the critical comments towards the police may in fact be a little biased.

Honestly, the only things Id heard about ‘the police’ in this whole affair, was how they were cleared of any wrongdoing less than 24hrs after the accident (isnt it funny how police are always rapidly cleared while an individual has to prove their innocence in a court of law). I notice there were no figures about the number of pursuits or arrests either of the police officers had been involved in, and/or what they were doing in the days leading upto this event.

Im more than happy to take sides once all the evidence comes out, but it seems the bodies had hardly even cooled down, before the police were cleared and the media turned on the victims, so I can well understand a lot of the negative feelings towards those involved in investigating/clearing the authority figures on-the-scene in this whole unfortunate incident.

The fireworks were done and dusted before 9pm. I was there, with my young kids. Then I took them home to bed, most likely like most of the other parents of young kids I saw down there.

Lets look at the Police involved then:
Criminal record – nil
Updstanding members of the community – check
Prepared to put themselves in harms way to apprehend pieces of crap like the people in the cars involved in the collision (baby excluded) – every shift.
People they had arrested – probably plenty.
Pursuits involved in – too many – while trying to apprehend said pieces of crap.

And if you missed how our legal system works people are considered innocent until proven to be guilty.

Thumper 12:06 pm 01 Apr 10

Hottie- hot car- stolen vehicle.


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