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A letter from Bea Jones

We have received many requests from the media for comments in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s terrible kidnap and murder and rather than engage directly with the media, Bea decided to write a short letter.

Bea’s letter to the media;


This morning I wrote this letter because, as the mother of Moira Jones who was assaulted, abducted, brutally raped and murdered in 2008, I have received many requests from the media for comments in the aftermath of Sarah Everard’s terrible kidnap and murder. We have been very distressed by what has happened to Sarah, similar in many respects to Moira’s ordeal. I really could not face talking about this and thought that perhaps one open letter would suffice. 


 First and last, my concern is for Sarah’s family and loved ones. They are totally devastated and bewildered and vulnerable. They cannot fully take in what has happened and the permanence of what has happened. They have experienced nightmare on top of nightmare as events have unravelled and their beautiful missing daughter became another murder victim. And there seems no end to it. I can fully understand the reaction and response from concerned and frightened women nation-wide. Of course I do.  And it may be that in those first days the family were comforted to think so many were grieving with them. But now it has all escalated and there is a media frenzy which seems more about individual anger than shared grief. I am very concerned that events have developed to such an extent that those who matter most, Sarah and her family are being totally swamped and further traumatised by what is going on around them, adding trauma to trauma. How can they cope at all -there is only so much that a head can absorb and a heart can cope with and they have so much more to find out in the weeks and months ahead as dreadful details of Sarah’s death are revealed to them. They need to be protected from the media, to feel that they can step outside even for just a moment without fear of intrusion. Her mum’s head will be full of Sarah and there will be room for nothing but questions. Why Sarah? Why would anyone hurt Sarah? She was not in the wrong place. She was making her way home. How could anyone want to hurt her when she would never have hurt a soul?  Why was there no-one there for her when she was always there for others? What was her state of mind? What did she have to go through? What did he do to her? How long? O God, what did she have to bear? Why didn’t I know? Why didn’t I feel her pain? Why was it Sarah and not me? Did she know how very much we loved her?


There are no answers to the questions, there never will be, but she will keep on asking them, over and over torturing herself. I ask them still – not so often, but after nearly 13 years, I ask them still. Sarah’s mum needs time and space to ask them too, to run all sorts through her head before an avalanche of other information descends.


Her family have lived with the joy of Sarah for 33 years and the loss of that joy will affect them for the rest of their lives. It will be a long time before they can even get past the trauma, to start processing the awfulness of it all and begin the process of grieving. There really no words to describe that awfulness.


I can fully understand that women everywhere are saying enough is enough and in most of the country that was made evident in a very dignified and respectful way. We have appreciated the many messages of support we have received and, the fact that our darling girl has been remembered by so many this week, has been very moving for us.


The media have since reported on the vigil that went wrong, the demonstrations which have followed but I do know that at the gates of Queen’s Park in Glasgow, folks kept their distance, formed an orderly queue as they waited to attach their ribbons and messages and this kind of respectful approach was evident throughout the city, throughout the country. The press are now reporting details of the perpetrator too and he will no doubt get more media coverage than Sarah as time goes by. That is the norm and all of that will pile more trauma on Sarah’s family.


We frequently read and hear of murder cases in the news but it is rare indeed for us to read of the plight of those left behind, whose lives are changed forever by the violent death of a loved one. Those who will also lose jobs, earnings, friends, their partners, health and more, and be unable to function as they once did, and there will those who have needs which will never be addressed.


At this time all we can do, all of us, is keep Sarah’s loved ones in mind. We must keep them in mind. We send love to them and we wish them all the strength they need to get through all the dark days ahead.


Beatrice Jones.