Like the rest of Melbourne, today was a sad day. The dark clouds hung over the city and there was a sombre mood amongst people, a contrast to the usual upbeat nature of a Friday morning in the CBD. The papers and social media had begun to inform everyone what they had hoped to never read. That Jill Meagher was found dead and a suspect had been arrested for her rape and murder. We didnt know Jill, some of my friends did, but I personally didn’t, but I wanted to cry.
Jill had been on the front of the newspapers for a week now and Melbourne, and Australia had become so invested in the news story. An innocent, bubbly and fun woman in the community had mysteriously disappeared on her way home from work drinks, the haunting CCTV footage shown to the public of her last moments. And in those last moments, a mysterious man talking to her. Everyone knew a girl like her, it could have been a sister, a partner or a friend. For me, the fact that several of my friends knew her and adored her, made it hit home even more so. And so many friends had done a similar walk home from a pub. Australia’s heart simply broke today.
I dont even know how to sum up why it is so sad, other than how horrific the tale is. And how real it is. This time last week, Jill was out having drinks and having a laugh with friends, and in a few hours, disappear. And for the next week, have her face across the country’s media. To be then found in a shallow grave 50 km north west of the CBD.
To the beautiful young Irish woman that never should have gone through this, Jill, you will be remembered. And my heart goes out to her family and friends. Because I am a stranger to her, but mourn her loss.