Joe Cinue's Consolation A True Story of Death Grief and the Law kindle Ä 328 pages ¹ moneyexpresscard

Helen Garner Ë Joe Cinue's Consolation A True Story of Death Grief and the Law doc

Joe Cinue's Consolation A True Story of Death Grief and the Law kindle Ä 328 pages ¹ moneyexpresscard ó A TRUE STORY OF DEATH GRIEF AND THE LAWIn October 1997 a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at Joe Cinue died It probes the gap between ethics and the law; examines the helplessness of the courts in the face of what we think of as evil; and explores conscience culpability and the battered ideal of duty of careIt is a masterwork from one of Australia's greatest writers Garner's 2004 bestseller is a deep and disuieting investigation of an infamous Australian crime In October 1997 26 year old engineer Joe Cinue died in his Canberra townhouse after being heavily drugged with Rohypnol then injected with a fatal dose of heroin by his girlfriend 25 year old law student Anu Singh Singh claimed diminished responsibility for the crime and ultimately served less than 4 years in prison for Cinue's manslaughter As a former lawyer myself I found the story perplexing both from a legal and social standpoint Singh's lesser degree of criminal responsibility for the crime was on the basis that she was found to suffer from a mental illness depression and borderline personality disorder Yet the evidence before the court established that she'd had access to high uality psychiatric care and treatment which she'd chosen not to avail herself of She had voluntarily taken various prescription and illicit drugs which worsened her psychiatric condition She had demonstrably planned the crime over a period of weeks sucessfully duping Cinue as to her intentions had researched extensively the basis upon which mental illness could reduce liability for crime and had chosen not to call for medical assistance for Cinue when she was urged to do so by others and when his life may well have been saved After Cinue's death and her own arrest Singh's primary concerns were about the possible damage to her own career prospects and social image rather than for her dead boyfriend and his devastated familyThe case also brought into uestion the role of bystanders to crime as it transpired that several of Singh's law student friends were aware of her fixation with killing Cinue some having attended the dinner parties where he was drugged with Rohypnol on the first occasion Singh was unable to complete the crime as the heroin she'd purchased had crystallised in the syringe and was uninjectable Yet none warned Cinue of her plans or informed police Singh's closest friend Mahavi Rao who'd helped organise the farewell dinner parties purchased the heroin with Singh and had seen Cinue lying comatose in the townhouse the day prior to his death was charged as an accessory but was later acuitted of all chargesCinue's parents felt largely ignored by the justice system given no status or involvement beyond spectating from the public gallery in Singh or Rao's trials and only the opportunity to make a written statement to be presented in the sentencing stage of proceedings which Rao never reached They are understandably incredulous that despite what she had done to their son Singh was able to walk free from prison at age 30 and set about re establishing her career in criminology It is a paradox of the criminal legal system that regardless of the level of criminal responsibility ascribed to the perpetrator the victim remains just as deadThe case also raises the issue of access to justice One wonders what the outcome might have been for someone in Singh's position had she not had access to the sizeable financial resources together with the family support and connections that she didGarner spent a lot of time gaining the trust of the Cinue family who were understandably devastated by what had happened to their eldest son and also interviewed many of the principal players in the legal process However both Singh and Rao declined to be interviewed for her book Singh lied about this after the book's release and was later forced to retract her statements in the media Conseuently Singh's mental state at the time of the crime and any reflections she may have had on how Cinue's death transpired remain fairly unclearAs previously I found Garner's style of writing fluid and evocative and appreciated her honesty and thoughtfulness as she considered her own responses to the information as she gathered it Joe Cinue's Consolation A True Story of Death Grief and the Law certainly deserves its place as a classic among serious Australian true crime literature

book ´ Joe Cinue's Consolation A True Story of Death Grief and the Law Ë Helen Garner

A TRUE STORY OF DEATH GRIEF AND THE LAWIn October 1997 a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at their house Some of the dinner guests – most of them university students – had heard rumours of the plan No I can remember at the time that this murder happened that it was such a strange case An attractive Canberra law student Anu Singh killed her boyfriend Joe Cinue after a dinner party by slipping rohypnol into his coffee and then injecting him with heroin He was still alive the next day so she injected him a second time with heroin and he eventually died a horrible death The strange thing about the case was that Anu Singh had no obvious motive for killing Joe Cinue She talked to her friends about killing him and committing suicide herself weeks before it happened even co opting them into acuiring the rohypnol and heroin and teaching her to inject drugs Unfortunately no one thought to tell Joe of her plans After Anu’s first trial was aborted she was eventually tried by judge no jury and given 10 years with a four year non parole period Since this included the time she had already spent in remand she was in prison for a little over 2 yearsHelen Garner sat through Anu Singh’s trial and then the trial of Anu’s closest friend who knew what she planned to do helped acuire the drugs and saw Joe lying in a comatose state not long before he died but did not seek help for him All the way through the book you can feel Helen Garner’s outrage for the sympathy given to Anu the warped analysis of Anu’s personality by the defence psychologists who didn’t even interview her and the judge’s sentence All the way along she keeps saying “But Joe Cinue is dead” as if she is shaking her head with incredulity at this trial where Joe Cinue seems to have been forgotten and it all seems to be about Anu Singh and her personality rather than the fact that she murdered an innocent man She ponders on what it means to have all our acts ascribed by psychiatry What is ‘simple wickedness’? Does such a thing exist? Was there ever such a thing or did it die with the arrival of psychiatry?Deciding to write a book about Joe and his death Garner interviews Anu’s father and Joe’s family who need answers about his needless death and will never recover from the damage done to them She takes us carefully through the events leading up to Joe’s death and the following trials all the time asking uestions about ethics and the law She has no answers for us but has given us much to think about

doc Joe Cinue's Consolation A True Story of Death Grief and the Law

Joe Cinue's Consolation A True Story of Death Grief and the LawBody warned Joe Cinue He died one Sunday in his own bed of a massive dose of Rohypnol and heroin His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murderHelen Garner followed the trials in the ACT Supreme Court Compassionate but unflinching this is a book about how and why The first time I saw Joe Cinue among his friends and family the first time I ever heard his voice was in the living room of his parents' house in Newcastle in the winter of 1999By then of course he had already been dead for nearly two years This book published in 2004 is the second book of nonfiction I have read by Helen Garner the first being This House of Grief which was published in 2014 Two totally different stories but nonetheless shocking in their telling Both true stories relate the circumstances surrounding the horrifically astounding and senseless crimes ofwhat? passion? jealousy? or maybe ego based selfishness? we never find out for surethese young lives were murderously taken seemingly without a trace of concern or remorse from the perpetrators for the conseuences of their despicable deeds or for the young lives they so recklessly erased foreverIn both of these books we are left wanting because in both stories no real resolution was ever really arrived at No reason or logichowever misplacedwas ever found to be the underlying cause for these heartless acts and so the reader is left like the author and the remaining victims in a kind of numb and unbelieving incredulity at the eventual outcomesparticularly in this book as the outcome of the court case seems so astonishingly inadeuate leaving us with a stunned and longingly unreuited need for a fair and just resultI can't begin to imagine what Joe Cinue's parents and his brother went throughare going through This case seems so unbelievable so INcredible No possible rehabilitation for them no sense of justice or retribution are afforded them for their unwitting part in this real life nightmarenothing is put to restno waking up for themAlthough in both cases it appears that these crimes were to some degrees premeditated the confusion of circumstances surrounding each act seems to have caused such bewilderment in the investigating processes as to leave large gaps of uncertainty around the whole of each case and thereby inviting that inconceivable esp in this case notion of reasonable doubt I make these comparisons between these two separate books because even though they are not related in any way shape or form apart from their author I couldn't help but note during the course of reading the obvious to my mind parallels between their stories Is this how scheming control freaks plan a crime with the intention of portraying themselves as the victim?I want to say beware readers who recognize any of the traits of these accused among their own company A fine line it would seem is drawn in the courts between the accountability and culpability of persons perceived to be involved in a crime and what actually constitutes involvementeven remotelyIn both cases the accused's made prior off handed comments to others about their intentions but were not taken seriously In both cases some form of diminished responsibility was claimed by the accused for various reasonsIn both cases prescription and over the counter drugs played an important part in the accused's claims of diminished responsibility In both cases the accused and the witnesses had trouble recalling their versions of the storyIn both cases the accused's were controlling types able to effect the unwitting complicity of their friends and associatesIn both cases the victims were apparently ignorant of their fate until it was way too lateIt is clear throughout that the author was deeply affected by this case and often torn between conflicting loyalties and empathy towards some of the role players not least the family of the victim The years of research and court attendances involved in the writing of this book even in the wake of her own domestic struggles testify to the author's devotion to the authenticity of her work and her keen desire to find some measure of justice and of closure Sadly for all concerned and through no fault of her own I feel she was unable to offer such closure Such was the devastating outcome of this trial that no such comforthowever smallcould be affordedHelen Garner has done a remarkable job of portraying with integrity this story through transcripts and court appearances and interviews over a long period of time This must have been a very difficult case to follow nevermind understand and yet she has managed to relate it to us here so that we might have a better understanding of the complexities of such cases in the courtsand in life Still we are left pondering the effects of such crimes such justices and injustices such senselessness and even our own responsibilities or culpability in the overall scheme of thingsand we must surely wring our hands at our own ineptitude4s