Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sometimes you just get on with life...

There is a news story that is little known outside of Yorkshire that keeps popping up on our local news reports every year or so to get another airing, just like it did on Friday, and like all the other times that it has popped up on our local news reports nothing was added to the story and nothing concluded, all that happens is that the man they interview gets older each year, he is now in his eighties.

In the Leeds Mortuary lies the body of this man's daughter, its been there since 1979, thats 28 years to save you doing the maths, its probably the longest time that a body has remeained in any UK mortuary.

Helen Smith was a nurse working in Saudia Arabia at the time of her death, Saudi was then still a mecca for those foreigners with the necesary skills to build a new country from what had been desert, aided and abetted by the unending wealth created by oil, I had friends who took their trades out to Saudi in the 1970's, they earned in one year what would take me a lifetime to earn even for just ordinary skills like joiners and electricians, one year in which they could not drik alcohol or have out-of-marriage sexual relations, but still, think of the money...

Nurse Helen Smith was invited to a party at an apartment building one night, a night which ended with her and a male falling from the apartment balcony, both died.

An investigation by the Saudi authorities - who were still very much into a very strict muslim controlled way of life and horrified by the western disrespect of their laws - concluded that the couple had fallen from the balcony whilst drunk, possibly "after a sexual encounter", it was an accident, a result of decadent western ways, and the British Foreign Office, keen to win more building and oil contracts in the region, fully endorsed the Saudi conclusion.

The whole sad affair should have ended there, Helen Smith's body should have been repatriated and her father should have arranged for a nice funeral and perhaps a headstone to remember her by - but Ron Smith was an obsessive man, didn't believe the Saudi's, didn't trust the British Foreign Office, claimed that his daughter had been murdered by someone at the party and that the facts had been covered up to avoid embarassment to the Saudi's.

He may be right, he may be wrong, he will never know the truth although every year he finds another three minutes on our local news reports to reiterate his claim that "inside this file" (points to a huge dossier that he's collected over the last 28 years) is the truth and that he knows who murdered his daughter and that he will not rest until an inquest into his "facts" is held - in that respect he is rather like Mohammed Al-Fayed and his "quest" into the "truth" of the death of St Diana and Dodi - except that Ron Smith has no money and no means to force an inquest.

So Ron Smith will not accept the body of his daughter from the Leeds City Mortuary and the relevant authorities do not have the political will power to remove her and bury her at the taxpayers expense, so she lies there now, frozen and preserved until her father, and his obsessive casefile, dies and she can be quietly removed and buried somewhere where even the people of West Yorkshire can finally forget all about the sad case and the father who cannot accept that shit happens sometimes, life is for living not mourning, and you have to eventually move on.

1 comment:

A. said...

Heck.