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Guardian report on Geraldine Newman murder

(84 Posts)
IShouldBeSoLurky Wed 03-Feb-16 21:25:32

So this report confirms that Geraldine's estranged husband is believed to have killed her and their two children, and that a body has been found that's believed to be his. It also confirms that he was jailed in 2013 for assaulting her.

And then they've got the Samaritans' details at the end.

Now I'm sure it's editorial policy to include that in any article about suicide, and I'd normally support that 100%, but it's wrong in a story of this nature, surely?

"Murdered your wife and kids? About to jump off a cliff so you won't have to face justice? There are people who care about you and are here to listen."

Just me?

Grimarse Wed 03-Feb-16 21:31:14

Yes, just you hmm

crappymummy Wed 03-Feb-16 21:32:42

Quite helpfully, it also has a quote from someone who knew him through the children's school, who said

"You don’t know the circumstances of what happened – I’m not going to slate him. Just rest in peace to them all.”


there are probably excellent reasons why you murder your children, then their mother who you've already been violent against. Let's not be hasty in the rush to condemn

Oh fuck off, Guardian

IShouldBeSoLurky Wed 03-Feb-16 21:34:19

Okay. I would have thought that if they were going to include a call to action to anything, Women's Aid would be more appropriate.

Helmetbymidnight Wed 03-Feb-16 21:38:16

Read the article- yes, it's weird.

'Im not going to slate him'?

And then the Samaritans - and two other numbers about suicide prevention?!

Somehow it turns it into a story about a poor fella who committed suicide.

Grimarse Wed 03-Feb-16 21:39:08

Or perhaps the Samaritans could be there to speak to someone who was suffering with thoughts of harming someone close to them. Perhaps a call to them might prevent another horrific family murder in the future.

crappymummy Wed 03-Feb-16 21:41:30

Or perhaps there are women reading it who recognise their own abuse by a partner in the mention of how he had already been convicted for attacking his wife, and they would benefit from having the number for women's aid

Oh well

Grimarse Wed 03-Feb-16 21:44:19

Ah, point scoring over the death of a family. Gotta love this board sometimes.

PalmerViolet Wed 03-Feb-16 21:45:39

Oddly, you don't find helpline numbers to help criminals at the bottom of most articles about murder. Just family annihilators it seems.

Helmetbymidnight Wed 03-Feb-16 21:46:33

What points have been scored? Are we not allowed to discuss news stories now?

crappymummy Wed 03-Feb-16 21:48:37


I found the tone of the article odd

It seemed to paint events as some sort of catastrophic event, like a storm which just blew destruction in its wake, rather than actually quite predictable, given that he had form

The quote from an acquaintance about not wanting to slate him was unnecessary, and contributes to the impression that this was a bizarre unpredictable event

I find it strange that you respond to this as point scoring- I found the whole tone of article disturbing, and am not sure why you think it wrong to say so

RoseDeGambrinus Wed 03-Feb-16 21:51:41

Why not write to the Guardian and suggest they should have included the Women's Aid details? That's a positive change they can easily make and it might prompt a more general rethink.

PalmerViolet Wed 03-Feb-16 21:52:22

Good suggestion Rose.

Already done smile

Helmetbymidnight Wed 03-Feb-16 21:54:40

They've put American and Australian suicide prevention numbers too.

I imagine they also put them at the bottom of articles about terrible high school/office shootings-"suicides" in USA.

Oh but no they don't.

Cerseirys Wed 03-Feb-16 21:56:38

Ah so it is the husband then? Sadly that was my first thought when I heard of the case. And it's really disturbing how so many men who do this are described as nice guys or everyday blokes by their neighbours and friends.

CocktailQueen Wed 03-Feb-16 22:07:21

That is really weird. I can't think that I've ever seen that in any other news stories.

His poor wife and children. Him? Not so much sympathy.

And the schhol run guy 'you don't know the circumstances of what happened?' With a previous jail sentence for beating her? Oh, I think we do know what happened.

What a tragedy. Those poor children - their future, their potential taken away.

Grimarse Wed 03-Feb-16 22:08:32

If there is an error in the article, it is one of omission. They could and should have included one for anyone worried about a violent or unhinged partner. There is no reason to leave out the Samaritans though. They are there for everyone. They could also advise anyone worried about their partner being violent or threatening violence. The Samaritans are not only there for suicide prevention.

And yes, the people who carry out these acts are mostly men. And yes, they don't have 'unhinged murderer' tatooed on their forehead. They seem normal. Otherwise, we would stop it happening, wouldn't we?

NewLife4Me Wed 03-Feb-16 22:10:33

There could be somebody contemplating suicide/ having suicidal thoughts who just happened to read the article.
Of course it should be there for all to see, however, Women's Aid should also be there.

Helmetbymidnight Wed 03-Feb-16 22:12:41

I wonder if they put it after reports about the Paris terror attacks?

Loraline Wed 03-Feb-16 22:13:14

The Samaritans actually have very strong guidelines on how suicide should be reported in the press, largely to discourage copycats. I'd imagine having the link at the bottom relates to that

crappymummy Wed 03-Feb-16 22:14:17

I don't know how helpful or useful quotes about the apparent niceness or normalcy of a family annihilator is

it adds nothing to the understanding of the facts of the events, and at worst seems to excuse or validate the actions of the murderer

the man who does this is not some guy who suddenly snaps for no reason after a life of blameless connubial bliss, or whose bitch of a wife drove him to it

rather it comes after a long, usually well documented trail of violence and intimidation against his partner

If it wasn't so in this case, it would certainly be a first

venusinscorpio Wed 03-Feb-16 22:15:16

Articles about family annihilators often take this odd, inappropriate tone.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Wed 03-Feb-16 22:55:06

Anytime a newspaper prints details of anybody killing themselves, they "have to" include the details of the Samaritans phoneline (ok it's not law, but there are agreed guidelines).

Agree that they could have included Women's Aid also.

IShouldBeSoLurky Wed 03-Feb-16 23:10:37

I just had a chat to DP about this, and I do totally see the point about encouraging someone who is feeling desperate and vengeful enough to consider killing their family to seek help instead. But to be honest, I'm not sure the mindset of someone wanting to annihilate their family and someone wanting to harm themselves is really comparable.

I'll email the Graun about it too. They have v strict guidelines about this sort of thing, and rightly so - I just think they've been applied inappropriately/inadequately here.

PalmerViolet Wed 03-Feb-16 23:36:56

It is interesting when viewed as a corpus with other reporting about male violence against women and children.

One of the things I've had to do recently is to collate a portfolio of crime news about such violence and the lack of links between cases, the difference in language used for perpetrators and victims and the general consensus that these cases are all stand alone is haunting.

There seems to be little will to analyse in any depth what might be causing these incidents, especially as they are happening at an increased rate now.

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