Letters: Defending 'Bonsai Bob'
Please allow me to clarify some points in the journalistic train wreck you published in your editorial ‘On guilt and innocence’ which should read ‘On innocence and guilt’, Feb. 27, 2013.
“How much do we really know anyone?” You are about to be exposed for how little you knew about Bob DeRyk and yet you have freely held public court on him. First of all, you sink and link a Catholic priest, guilty on one count of touching a young person, to support your opinions in this editorial on Bonsai Bob.
“Bob was a hermit?” If you mean he lived alone, in seclusion, then you are confused. Bob’s cabin and gardens have been full of visitors daily for almost 20 years. No one was turned away.A ‘hermit’ who also had an education from Holland that dwarfs the educational standards for most people in our society.
You are correct on one count. He has been ‘judged in the court of public opinion’.
Your editorial goes on to say ‘charges of sexual assault are never easily laid and are rarely retaliatory.’Maybe you have information about a ‘cause’ for retaliation that no one else is aware of? Are you kidding? “For kids to come forward and tell what happened is ...”, what? A fact? Come on. I know my kids never fib, and I know your kids never fib, but if you want to use that argument I can find you 100 adults today who were children in Bob’s presence, and privately, for decades, who find this whole scenario ‘unbelievable’ and we go back 20, 30, 40yrs with him. Are you saying he waited until he was 73 to become a child molester and the boys’ parents were within hearing distance at all times? Do you have these facts?
You state, and I quote ‘sexual predators are master manipulators and they choose their victims very carefully’. You mean he waited 20 years in Sooke until he was 73 to become a deviant? He didn’t swear, drink, smoke, read porn, watch porn and never lured children or teens to the potholes for 20 years and then one day, a family visits, one family in dozens, and he decides to touch a 12 and 13 year old with the parents present. Was he that bold one day?
You comment that Bob ‘left a big question mark among his friends.’ No he did not. If so then find us one ‘friend’, of the hundreds, that questions his innocence. Please have that friend write publicly and contradict what I am saying. Bob’s friends are not ‘refusing to believe what he had been accused of’. We are refusing to believe the accusations. There is a huge difference there.
You state ‘the police and prosecutors would never put out a request for assistance if they didn’t think there were other victims – kids.’ Really? You mean their evidence wasn’t so weak in this case that they didn’t go on a very public fishing expedition, desperate to find more accusations? You mean when he was charged in September and released that they found nothing new for five months to support the poor police work by the lead investigator so they went public?
‘But we do have to believe the children’ as you finish your editorial. And why not? It makes for great news but contributes to a death, and crushing pain for hundreds of his friends and admirers.
I’ll end on this. You have shared your opinion, and I have shared mine.