Their son wasn’t so lucky. The loving, warm father described in the obituary stabbed his son to death. He stabbed his wife repeatedly, then left her for dead. As the police were about to catch him, the scumbag killed himself.
Now… I KNOW clerks at newspapers can’t be omniscient. When I die, friends can call the newspaper and tell them almost ANYTHING about me, however implausible (“Astorian was a devout Scientologist, a devoted Kenny G fan, and loved watching paint dry”), and clerks will probably just transcribe it without question.
Still, the Amaya murder case was the #1 story in Austin, the front page story in the Statesman, the lead story on all local TV news shows. Wouldn’t you think SOMEBODY would question this obituary???
Should a family be denied the right to write a simple, decent obituary for their son just because he was an asshole? Or perhaps (and probably likely) mentally ill? Should they just up and forget him because his life ended in such a tragic way?
I’m not saying I’m a fan of this dude, but really. Leave his family alone.
I work at the paper, and this is not an obituary. Obits are written by the funeral home (and not checked for accuracy at the paper), but this is what we call a “paid notice.” People can run them for whoever they want and say whatever they want. Usually they’re along the lines of “Dad, you’ve been gone ten years, we miss you.”
Once I was posting these (I work on the Web site), and noticed that I was posting a paid notice for my college roommate. I hadn’t even known he’d died, five years earlier.
I think that perhaps somebody who would do what this guy did may have been mentally disturbed. In that case, both the killing he committed and his own death by suicide are truly tragic. It’s perhaps a little eerie to see something like that obit/ad/whatever-it-was, but you can’t begrudge the guy’s family for seeing the whole thing as one big tragedy that, in the end, took the life of their own son along with his victims.
The disgusting part is that it’s a glowing depiction of a “wonderful and loving father, son, brother, cousin, nephew, and friend, who was always ready to help others”, when the man tried to kill his wife, killed his son, and then killed himself. Apparently it was a big local headline, and his parents wrote an all-positive memorial in the paper for him that completely glosses over the tragedy.
The obit I can understand, but I thought the picture of the father and son on the funeral home memorial page was a bit… distasteful. Interesting that the son’s book has four pages of comments, and the father’s only has one. Another vote here for a moderated forum.
I used to write obituaries for a local radio station. None of it is checked out. I just got the details from the mortuary and jazzed it up a little bit. I’ve got to say, though…this family is in total denial. Maybe that’s the only way they can keep from going nuts!
Bobkitty beat me to it. I can’t believe they put a picture of him with his son on that page. That’s just disgusting. Why not include the mother in the photo as well? I mean, sure, she’s not dead, but it would help strengthen the fact that they were a nice, happy family. I mean, before the whole divorce, restraining order, mureder/suicide thing. GOD, that’s horrible.
I can see where the family is coming from. None of us know what the guy was like before all of this, he could have been a great guy, and as people who loved him, you want others to know that he did some decent things with his life. That’s understandible. If my child were every to die doing something vicious like this, I’d want others to know that they weren’t just some scum that didn’t contribute anything to society, they just fucked up bigtime, but there’s more to them than this. On the flipside though, no amount of flowery words could make up for such a horrible act.
With regard to the picture, I’m astonished- The backdrop that is used makes it appear as though the child is being struck by lightning - a rather bizarre choice.
I’m not so sure that the guest-book is moderated – I noticed that there’s a blank entry there, where someone had just hit the “submit” button without filling anything in. (Lazy scripting, but never mind.)
I think that folks are relying on basic human decency to keep ranting or other abuse off the guest-book: With one or two regrettable exceptions, (I’m thinking of the Phelps mutation,) human beings are pretty sensitive about what’s appropriate behaviour around grieving families.
I’m working on genealogy records for my family and I’ve come across relatives and situations that are less than desireable, shall we say. You still put down the date of birth, christening, marriage (if any) and death, and you put little comments in (even snide sometimes) in the comments section. The program I use allows for pictures, newspaper notices (obits), etc. Anyone reading just the dry dates is certainly going to miss a lot.