What is going on in Wangaratta to cause so many violent deaths?
The discovery of a body believed to be that of Nathan Day makes him the seventh alleged murder victim in Wangaratta in just six years.
For a small city, that is way above average.
The run of deaths started in 2013 when Ian Thomas murdered his parents Bill and Pauline in their Great Alpine Road home.
Then Whorouly’s Karen Chetcuti died at the hands of her neighbour Michael Cardamone in January 2016.
In October that year, Bowe Maddigan raped and killed 11-year-old Zoe Buttigieg in her own home.
The next case occurred on Anzac Day 2017 when Ora Holt was shot by her husband Gregory, who then took his own life.
A month later, Russell Berry died from injuries allegedly inflicted by Jacob Allan, who is due to face a murder trial in January.
Now we have a body buried in a backyard and two men have been charged with Mr Day’s murder.
The crimes are all different, involving either family violence, sexual acts or alcohol.
These are sadly common issues through all of society, but it is very concerning that about once a year, they lead to someone being killed in Wangaratta.
Plenty of people have raised this over the past six years. The Enough is Enough group rallied against sexual offences and founder Tania Maxwell is still pushing for change in the Victorian Parliament.
The high murder rate was raised at a law and order forum hosted by Tim McCurdy in Wangaratta last year.
“The escalation of the violent crime is a surprise to us all and over the past two or three years, in this region alone, we’ve seen murders that we just haven’t seen in the past,” he said at the time.
Yet is has happened again.
Details of this case will be revealed during the court process, but those in Wangaratta will brace to again hear of it in their city.
Whatever the reason why various issues continue to turn into brutal violence and death, it cannot go on.
We cannot keep waiting to hear of the next person being killed.
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