From our One Town, Two Different Worlds desk
Today’s Boston dailies bury the needle on the Contrast-O-Meter in the assigning of blame phase of Jared Remy’s first-degree-murder trial. In the wake of Remy’s preemptive guilty plea, local columnists cast their gimlet eye on very different subjects. Start with Yvonne Abraham’s front page piece in the Boston Globe.
Rampager makes one more attack on his victim
WOBURN — What a bizarre mix of contrition and blame-shifting we saw in Middlesex Superior Court Tuesday. What a spectacle of the depths to which people can sink. What a vividly detailed map of the wasteland brutality leaves behind.
Standing in that low-ceilinged, fluorescent lit courtroom, Jared Remy called Jennifer Martel, the woman he murdered with gruesome force at least partly witnessed by their 4-year-old daughter, “an angel.”
He’s the one at fault for killing her, he said. No share of the blame should go to his parents, who his lawyer said had been unfairly maligned, held partly responsible by some for not doing more to rein in a violent son who had been spiralling blatantly out of control for years.
Right – tell that to the Boston Herald, where columnists Margery Eagan and Joe Fitzgerald engage in a slapfight over Jared Remy’s father Jerry, whose career as a Red Sox sportscaster could be – some say should be – collateral damage in this tragic affair.
Count Eagan among the latter.
‘RemDawg’ benefits from a blatant double standard
Jared Remy has spared his daughter Arianna and Jennifer Martel’s family the anguish of a gruesome trial. He has also spared his father Jerry and helped him keep his job behind the NESN microphone broadcasting Red Sox games.
Sox fans are clearly divided over whether the sins of the son should be visited upon the father. But they might feel differently about Jerry Remy’s lighthearted banter if they heard Martel’s murder described in stomach-churning testimony by neighbor Kristina Flickinger Hill.
And they’d definitely feel differently, Eagan writes, “if it were Phoebe Remy’s career on the line. If a mother spent thousands of days on the road while all three of her children were having run-ins with the law, they’d say she abandoned her children, cruelly and selfishly, when they needed her most. She’d also lose her job in a nanosecond.”
Fitzgerald, for his part, decries “armchair quarterbacks who have turned the misery of Jared’s parents into a merciless cottage industry.”
“What kind of parents were they?”
“Were they enablers, thus creators of the monster he became?”
“Should Jerry continue as a Red Sox broadcaster?”
Actually, what’s contemptible, as Abraham points out, is Jared Remy’s explanation of the brutal murder.
“I always told Jen she could leave,” he said. “But do not threaten me with my child. That night, Jen had a knife in her hand and threatened me with my daughter, so I killed her. I don’t think it’s right when women use their kids against their fathers.”
It was chilling, appalling, this matter-of-fact assertion of cause and effect. His twisted invocations of his rights as a father — he mentioned it once on the stand and again in his statement — mocked all of the lofty talk of accepting responsibility that preceded it. Even as he sat in handcuffs and leg chains, admitting he had done something unspeakably awful, he was blaming his victim.
One town, three different worlds, no waiting.