Monday, June 19, 2006

If your spouse committed murder...

After watching the Society Murders last night I am moved to pose the following question:
If you knew your partner or spouse had committed murder would you tell the police?


B. S. Fairman said...

I spent the whole movie looking for one of the extras who I know.
I know in America you can't be made to testify against a spouse, but I think I might be a bit worried about sleep at night.

Lord Sedgwick said...

Well, only if she topped me.

Errrr, think there's a slight logical inconsistency there. Oh what the hell, I'm a dead man whichever way you look at it.

Anonymous said...

I suppose I should know this, but do you actually have an obligation to?

You can't do anything to assist them, obviously, and you should tell them that they should turn themselves in, of course, but... hmm.

Anyway, if my wife was to kill someone, it'd either be me, in which case the question would be moot, or the irritating kid with the loud music next door, in which case I'd probably be entirely supportive.

Brownie said...

didn't see the program, but you seem to be assuming that committing premeditated murder in order to gain money, would actually be done by anybody like us (nice bloggers).
It is the sort of thing an evil twisted arsehole would do, and they tend to marry evil twisted arseholes (hello Mrs carl Williams?) who would go along with the plan and not see fault in it.
Criminality is a form of mental illness.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I liked the bit where the po-faced cop who wasn't Alex Dimitriades (both of those blokes are lovely actors who weren't given anywhere near enough to do, BTW) said 'We've tested Matthew and he's got an IQ of 83.' Which I think sort of addresses Brownie up to a point, but I still don't agree -- I've spent a little bit of time with crims and they are just like the rest of us, slaves to whatever subculture they dwell in, and full of self-justification and defensiveness and sheer denial about the bad things they've done, except that the bad things they've done are the extreme ones that are actually against the law. But I think there's a spectrum rather than a good/evil divide.

I've always had a lot of sympathy for the wife, and a fair bit even for Matthew, who was and is a product of his family and its values. I thought it was pretty clear where the writers were coming from, and I'm with them.

FXH said...

From memory I think in Victoria an IQ or 82 or less is officially designated Intellectually Disabled.

Whilst the wife wasn't an attractive sort of person hers was the only story that had a ring of truthfulness.

I'm amazed that many seem to be more hostile to her than to the murderer. It seems obvious to me that accessary after the fact is both morally and legally less serious than killing or murder itself.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Except it's not about that, FXH, not really. She's dark, "foreign", sexy, not from Toorak, and not falling over herself to spill her guts to any mic or camera that comes her way. How Other can you get? And in this political climate, it's been made very easy for us to feel righteous hostility towards anyone less orthodox than the white-bread cast of Neighbours and their ilk.

FXH said...

I did a quick lookup and as you would expect it's a bit more nuanced than just the IQ score and involves other factors.

The usual score on IQ tests that is an indicator (cut off point) for Intellectual Disability is 75.

In Victoria 3-4% of prison population have an IQ below 69.

The Paralympic Games used to use 75.

This assumes an average of 100.

This is adjusted regularly and goes up 2 or 3 three points every couple of years. That is, the average score of 100 now is a fair bit higher than 100 say 10 years ago.

FXH said...


It's bit complex to go into here. I was refering to people I bump into prior to the onscreen drama not to her as portrayed on screen.

It's mainly women who have tended to be the harshest on her. Maybe its just the kind of women I know. ;)

As far as the onscreen family there was a thread running through that it was clearly a matriachal power structure within the onscreen portrayal and that the women were strong. Added to this Mathew (as portrayed) was even less individuated than the other men and so "must" have been manipulated, coerced etc by a woman, because all the other stronger men are.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Hmm, interesting take, FXH. You're probably right.

I meant both the real Maritza and the TV version, and reactions both before and after. I've not heard the reaction you describe from anyone -- everyone I've talked to has muttered darkly about the mother and the dopey Toorak value system -- so it may well be the kinds of women you hang out with!

What you say reminds me of, again especially, women's readiness back in 1980-86 to shaft Lindy Chamberlain -- also Other as in dark, reserved, strong, belonging to wacko religion and so on.

I've been pondering Armagnac's question and I think the answer would have to be that I would keep quiet and take the consequences, whatever they were, but would still try desperately hard to persuade the spouse to find himself a lawyer and then get himself down to the station sharpish.

Benno said...

I require more data before I can answer. You know better than to withold data from a Mentat!

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