Testimonial trauma

Tyler Murphy

So it was a short weekend and after serving half a day in a church pew getting harassed by defendants about their lives getting ruined in the paper, I thought I’d take half a day off. I’ve got the time so I thought what the heck.

One defendant who particularly liked to harass me in letters to my editor but complimented me while I was at court was Dean Sacco. I’ve been covering his case since its inception. It began amidst an array of usually violent crimes such as the recent homicides. As a result its original coverage was lower than it might have been if the same thing had happened a year or two earlier. If you are unfamiliar with it I suggest you click on the link below.


The Federal government has now accused Sacco and another woman, Linda O’Connor, with an array of sexual depravities that beggar the most perverted of imaginations. Believe when I tell you that the published media can’t even come close to fully disclosing the torment this little girl appears to have endured.

My day off quickly converted into an afternoon of phone calls, record checking and the acquiring of the official felony complaint. I’ve had the unfortunate personal and fortunate professional opportunity of being privy to many testimonies as a reporter. The first hand testimony given by this young child in her interviews with police and social agencies was included in the complaint.

My morality vomited at least a dozen times as I read through the document. I found myself uncharacteristically traumatized by some of the information. All I could think about this morning as I wrote the piece how the little girl would feel if she read the article.

This all ,in a way, tied into the original complaints I had received earlier in the day. For a long time I thought about the gravity of publishing such intimate and disgraceful information in such a small community. What impact does it have on a life?

I don’t know who’s guilty or not, all I know is that I’m angry. If these people, particularly O’Connor are in fact guilty of these crimes….

I’m not an advocate of the death penalty but I hope that someday they burn in hell.