Thursday, July 5, 2012

Remembering Janet, Kelly-Anne and Anne-Marie

Here is an article that I would like to share with you. Brenda O'Farrell  remembers Janet Kuchinsky, Kelly-Anne and Anne-Marie Edward. It is articles like this that help us to continue to remember those who have lost their lives through selfish, senseless acts acts of crime. We need to remember how  these three beautiful talented women died, but equally too how they lived their lives and what contributions they made to their communities. I had the good fortune to have met Janet a few weeks prior to her death. The Grier Park Memorial is a constant reminder to all that pass through the park that violence of any kind cannot be tolerated in our society.

Somewhere in the files of the Montreal Police major crimes division is a folder with Janet Kuchinsky’s name on it. Her dossier is what is referred to as a cold case.

Kuchinsky was a 42-year-old mother of three who was bludgeoned to death just off a bicycle path at the north end of Sources Blvd. in Pierrefonds on July 10, 1999. No one has ever been charged with her murder.

She had left her home just after 6 p.m. July 10 to go out on one of her frequent walks. According to reports, police suspect she was killed soon after. Her body was found the next day.

There was no evidence of sexual assault, and theft was ruled out as a possible motive for the attack. During the course of the investigation, many tips were followed. But all led to dead-ends. A $20,000 reward was posted for information leading to the arrest of a suspect went unclaimed.

So the question remains unanswered: Who killed Janet Kuchinsky?

I was reminded of this case last week by a colleague. The topic came up in the wake of the news of an attack on a female cyclist in Longueuil. The events in these cases seem so random. There is no apparent reason for why they happened. And that is perhaps why these stories stick in our minds.

A park bench in Grier Park in Pierrefonds bears Kuchinsky’s name. It was installed in October 2005 as a memorial. It is one of three benches that pay tribute to other Pierrefonds women who were victims of a violet death: Anne-Marie Edward, one of the 14 victims of the massacre at École Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989; and Kelly-Anne Drummond, a 24-year-old daycare educator who was stabbed in the back during a domestic dispute on Oct. 3, 2004. She died of her injuries two days later in hospital.

When Kuchinsky’s bench was unveiled, the pro-mayor of the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough, Bert Ward, said the memorials provide a place where people can sit, meditate and pray. The best thing these memorials do, I think, is serve as a reminder.

And as the 13th anniversary of Kuchinsky’s death approaches, we need this reminder. As time marches on, we need occasions to pause. We might never know the answers to certain questions. We might never learn the reason behind what appears to us as the randomness of others. But as long as we remember, we continue to mourn a little and heal a little bit more.

I welcome your comments.

Brenda O’Farrell

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