After all this effort.
After all the tears and hopes and dreams.
Yellow ribbons tied on trees, now faded due to the elements that have passed through many times since Alicia went missing.
And, in the midst of the High Holy Days, Alicia Ross was finally laid to rest.
When Daniel Sylvester turned himself in for Alicia's murder, I wanted to tear him apart online for dashing my hopes for her safe return. A piece of human refuse who somehow had mustered some balls to go forward to the police and confess his sin. To take the police to two locations that held whatever was left of Alicia. A poor, pathetic excuse for a human being who should do the rest of us fellow beings a favour and kill himself.
But why should I compound a poor, misbegotten and miguided little fucker's grief and confusion? After all, he threw himself at the mercy of Lady Justice because some other person may be wrongly accused and convicted of such an evil, senseless crime. And he, through his family, showed remorse.
But the worst part was that Alicia's disappearance had left an indelible mark on those she had touched with her presence.
And yes, if it were up to me, I prefer that Daniel pay for that loss with his life, regardless of intent - you either killed the person or not. Too simple.
And during the month prior to the confession, there were people working frantically to rescue or recover Alicia. I have issued 2 separate alerts on this blog, begging her to call home, or at least show up. Because people missed her.
Her mother missed her. Her friends missed her.
And Sean Hine missed her.
You may ask yourself: "Who is this Sean Hine, and what is he doing in the same blog topic as Daniel Sylvester?"
Quite simply, Sean Hine was Alicia's boyfriend. The last person she saw before she disappeared into the night, once and for all.
For the first couple of weeks after Alicia's disappearance, Sean was considered a person of interest to the police. He had been questioned so many times about his relationship to her, his alibis, and it seemed that the pressure was so unbearable. A drunk driving incident didn't make matters any better: it only made the 5-0's a little more suspcious that they have another Scott Peterson situation on their hands.
To make a painfully long story short, the police dropped Hine as a suspect and the trail started going cold.
Until Daniel Sylvester arrived with lawyer in tow.
The press, having painted Hine as a potential suspect, did a mea culpa. The Toronto Sun's Mike Strobel summed it up in his article...
Sean Hine, 29, now mourns his girlfriend, Alicia Ross, 25.
Admit it. You figured he did it. Same for every doughnut shop and newsroom in the GTA.
How many times have we seen it?
The Canada Free Press's Arthur Weinreb praised Strobel's article with this quote...
The media, including Burnett, could not really be faulted for thinking that Hine had been guilty of killing his girlfriend. Most people didn’t need the media to help them think that the boyfriend and last person to see Ross did it. But the immediate apology for Hine for being obviously mistaken was a class act. Too often when the media does get it wrong, they simply go on as if nothing has happened. The mainstream media that salivate at the thought of catching others in mistakes rarely look at themselves when they make a mistake. Burnett’s apology was a refreshing change.After Alicia remains were properly identified, her family made arrangements for her funeral and burial. According to Jewish tradition, she had to be interred within 24 hours of identification.
Sadly, Sean Hine wasn't welcomed to her funeral. According to Alicia's mom, Sharon Fortis, he wasn't very co-operative with the police and didn't do too much to help the family in finding Alicia. Obviously, Sean Hine would stand up and proclaim his love for Alicia, right?
But right about now, he's been silent. He did protest his innocence during Alicia's search, and his sadness over Sharon's snub prior to her funeral, but something is telling me that Sean Hine is trying to hide something.
Why am I still so suspicious about this guy? Imagine the coincidence regarding Alicia's disappearance happening right after Sean said "good-bye" to her.
Consider Daniel's confession about how fast the murder occurred.
Consider Alicia's eventual dismemberment and dispersal.
I was actually amused by this paragraph from the Canada Free Press...
Fortis’ anger at Hine, to the point of refusing to allow him to attend her daughter’s funeral seems to be irrational. Sean Hine was not only forced to deal with the grief that resulted when his girlfriend disappeared without a trace but also had to face the reality that, whether the police used the word or not, he was the prime suspect in a criminal act. Hine told the media that he feared not just being arrested but being wrongly convicted of a crime that he did not commit, a feeling that could hardly be described as exaggerated. Who knows what would have happened had the neighbour not confessed and the police were pressured to solve Alicia’s disappearance. Hine can be excused for not acting in a way that Sharon Fortis and her family thought to be appropriate.Well, either this man was both distraught and paranoid, was really disliked by Sharon Fortis all along, was a complete wuss, was dumber than a bag of bricks or was being very evasive. I wouldn't know what was going through his mind, but he should've gotten his head together, called a lawyer and worked with everyone to find Alicia and clear his name all at once. At this point, my sympathy for Hine had evaporated quite a bit.
So what is going through the heads of Daniel Sylvester, Sharon Fortis and Sean Hine? What kind of future are they thinking right now? Why did Daniel do what he did? Why is Sean staying more silent than what's expected from a grieving lover? What is the real story here?
Maybe Sean Hine should at least speak up and come clean. Nothing more. Nothing less. At least a considerable amount of closure for everyone.
And maybe, I'll finally forgive him, and apologise.