David Bourke Murder Trial

 Posted by on March 29, 2009  Add comments
Mar 292009
 

There’s a trial going on in which David Bourke is accused of murdering his wife, Jean Gilbert.

Now, before anyone jumps up and accuses me of being a misogynist, or of condoning violence, let me be clear about this. I do not in any way condone this killing. It was a crime. It was wrong, and David Bourke had no right to inflict violence or coercion of any sort on his wife.

However, there are interesting aspects to the case that are worth exploring, and I’d like to know what people think about them.

The facts don’t seem to be in question. He did kill his wife and the only decision the jury has to make is whether he should be convicted of murder or manslaughter. It’s also not in question that he carried out the killing after his wife became involved with another man and told Bourke to leave the home. The new man, it seems, was to provide a replacement father-figure for the three children once David Bourke had left the home as requested.

Workmates testified that Bourke used to talk about his wife and family on work nights out and that it was obvious how much he cared for them. The court was told that after June 2007, when his wife informed him about her new lover, he became a different man.

He looked a broken man, one colleague told the court. I just couldn’t believe the difference, just even in appearance. He used to be always clean-shaven. One day he had a lot of stubble. He just seemed to let himself go.

Another colleague testified that He looked like he hadn’t slept in days. He hung his head a lot. His eyes were just sad and teary.

Two months after informing Bourke about the new relationship, his wife returned one morning after spending the night with her new man and David Bourke stabbed her four times in the back, in full view of his children. A brutal killing.

There you have it.

So what do you think was going on in the mind of a man who in June 2007 was an average Joe with three kids but by August had become a wife-killer?

What was the mental process that led to this crime?

_____________________

UPDATE 30th March 2009

The jury has found David Bourke guilty of murder.

_____________________

UPDATE

This comment came from somebody associated with Jean Gilbert, and for balance I think it should be be part of the main post:-

I made the mistake of googling for news aticles this evening on the verdict in this case – I wish I hadn’t as I came across and clicked on this link and, of course, couldn’t help myself reading all of the speculation and opinion from you all. We read about and listen to cases like this dispassionately from the sidelines with no involvement with and no relationships to the victims, the accused and the unfortunate family unwantingly pulled into the public eye virtually every week, but what we all forget is that the people involved in these cases all have long term friends, family and loved ones and these are usually the only people who actually know the true story.

I have known Jean for nearly 20 years and David, by association, since they got married. All I would ask you to do is listen to the family impact statement read outside the court. Jeans brother referenced the story that no one has heard. The portrayal of David, in my opinion, as a loving family man, bore very little relationship to the true character of the man and to how he treated both is wife and children over many years. The portrayal of Jean is also so far off the mark it’s incredibly upsetting – she was one of the most loyal, loving, giving, kind, honest and honourable people you would ever have the good fortune to meet.
Several of you astutely and correctly have asked questions on what their relationship had been like over the previous years and what had driven Jean to seek love and solace with another man. You can use your own imaginations to create answers to that and several references were given in the letter that Robert Campion had sent her. I am simply delighted that David is going to prison as a convicted Murderer, that’s what he is, and for what he put Jean and his kids through for several years prior to the terrible thing he did to her on the 28th August 2007 I hope that a few big men take a very great fancy to him in prison and make his life even more miserable and deliver some poetic justice in something that is very far from being poetic.

This is an excerpt from one of the other stories I found tonight – “The 45-year-old woman had died from blood loss and shock as a result of four stab wounds to her back. The deepest measured 14.2 cm. And, as the knife went through her body on each occasion, it had cut through the aorta, both lungs, the spleen and left kidney. It took the pathologist 45 minutes to list the injuries

As a closing comment there are three fantastic kids who have lost Mum, Dad and their childhood.

I’m not going to do any more googling just remember that when you post opinion on these things remember that there are other people out there who are closer to the truth than you. I hope that none of you have to write from real experience on something like this in the future.

  152 Responses to “David Bourke Murder Trial”

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  1.  

    Can’t condone killing anyone but I don’t believe he murdered his wife, murder is premeditated, this fellow seems to have snapped. Women have killed their spouses in the past, claiming years of abuse and mistreatment, they generally tend to be cleared of murder, is this case any different? Cue the Sisterhoods response.

  2.  

    I could never get to the point of killing someone over something which they have a natural right to do, but I think I can guess how someone can get into a “black rage” where their self-loathing is so narrow-focussed that they latch onto any solution to the current problem, even if that problem is simply not solvable in any way but to walk away.

    The lad should have walked. His wife’s mind was made up, and he was just hurting himself by staying. Naturally, though, I guess he felt the need to take care of the kids, so couldn’t bring himself to go.

    And the fact that she was there every day reminding her that he wasn’t “good enough” any more would have made his vision even more tunnel-like.

    The final stroke would have come when she blatantly stayed out with the new “alpha male”. He would have become enraged, and because he was no longer thinking clearly, his only option would have been to remove this constant reminder of his failure.

    of course, that’s just an opinion.

  3.  

    Obviously he had no right to kill her but there seems to be a double standard in cases like this, it’s not right to put your hands on a woman and that seems to be the defense when a woman finds herself in a situation where she kills her husband, but it seems it’s perfectly ok to mentally abuse a man and expect him to roll over and leave the marital home, his kids, lifestyle his become accustomed to when he hasn’t broken the legal contract of marriage. It’s still not right that he killed her but i can see how the pressure might mount on him mentally and he could make irrational choices.

  4.  

    And when did sub judice go out the window?

  5.  

    What a fucked upo situation. I can only imagine what they all must have been going through. If I was in his shoes, I would have fucked her out on her ear long before it got to this stage, as would my partner had I inflicted such a betrayal on our family.

    If you want a new man then fine, off you go but make sure he knows he’s getting nothing of mine.

  6.  

    He was humiliated, hurt and angry, presumably he wanted to teach her a lesson. I would imagine tho if you stuck a knife in someone’s back out of blind rage, you wouldn’t go back and do it 3 times more. We don’t know why she left him. Perhaps it was for the reason that he possessive, maybe he hurt her, maybe she was cruel. We just don’t know. If anyone stabbed a person 4 times in front of their own children or anyone elses, it is murder and a disgusting act.

  7.  

    Can’t condone killing anyone but I don’t believe he murdered his wife, murder is premeditated, this fellow seems to have snapped. Women have killed their spouses in the past, claiming years of abuse and mistreatment, they generally tend to be cleared of murder, is this case any different?

    Are you really suggesting there’s no difference between a woman who kills a man who routinely and habitually abuses her for years, and a man who has been cuckolded?

    However unpleasant that is, it’s hugely different from the kind of violence and physical abuse that makes a woman, who is afraid, reach the point where she kills her husband/partner.

    And I’m not part of the “sisterhood”.

    This man killed his wife because he couldn’t have her any more, because he couldn’t accept that she was going to have a life with somebody else. It’s depressingly routine stuff.

    All this ‘He just cracked’ shit is excuse making and fairly risible excuse making at that.

  8.  

    How could a system allow a person to stab someone four time and then seek anything less that a murder conviction.

    Manslaughter is an accidental killing of an individual.

    If a person stabs somebody four times, pre-meditated on not, if the victim dies, then its murder.

    State of mind – thats another matter!

  9.  

    No 8 — What he did was pretty brutal. It looks a lot like murder to me.

    Kae — I don’t see why anyone should have to leave their home and children when their partner gets involved with someone else. In those situations, men often choose self-harm.

    Largeladd — That’s what I’m trying to see. What mental process took place?

    Roisin — There’s no dispute about the fact that he did it. The only thing to be decided is if it was manslaughter or murder.

    Dr Orgasm — Bringing the new man into the house and telling the husband to leave isn’t on. In my opinion, the wife should have taken the consequences of her decision and left him with his children.

    Ele — I agree. It was brutal and savage. He damaged the children for life. We do know that the wife had been in a relationship with the other man before meeting the husband.

    Twenty — I think suffering can take many forms, but ultimately all suffering is mental. To tell somebody you intend to replace them in the family with a new father figure could be just as painful as a beating, wouldn’t you think?

    BJJ — State of mind is not another matter. State of mind is what this post is about.

  10.  

    Twenty — I think suffering can take many forms, but ultimately all suffering is mental. To tell somebody you intend to replace them in the family with a new father figure could be just as painful as a beating, wouldn’t you think?

    Yeah, it must awful and painful. But it happens all the time without people sticking a knife into the mother of their children while those children are watching.

  11.  

    Twenty major, I completely agree. He was a bad bastard. When you get humiliated you don’t kill your spouse in front of your children. You get up and you get on with your life. There’s many a person who has done it. Yes he must have been mentally distraught but he should have gone for counselling instead of killing someone.

  12.  

    i wonder how he slept that night? did he sleep soundly, only to awake and find the wife had not returned? and when she arrives home, then he snaps. or perhaps he slept badly if at all. wondering where she is, whose she with, what are they doing? he rings her phone, several times only to reach her voicemail. he recalls her behaviour over the past 3 months.her tales of her new man. slowly he goes from a state of concern and worry to one where he hates her. when she does arrive home, he may be relieved to see her, wanting to talk things over. however maybe she makes a flippant or sarcastic remark to him. perhaps its then that he snaps. all the hurt shame and anger he has repressed inside him for the past 3 months is released with 4 thrusts of a knife blade.

  13.  

    “BJJ — State of mind is not another matter. State of mind is what this post is about.”

    I only made comment on my opinion of the murder as there was a previous comment which stated or implied that murder must be pre-meditated in order for the crime to be classified as murder – This is something I strongly disagree with.

    I am not qualified to make comment on the effect of an individuals state of mind and its relation to an his (or her) actions. So I didn’t!

    State of mind is a difficult, maybe even controversial area of law (and life) and I feel it should be left to those that know better.

  14.  

    Guess you’d need to have been in that situation to understand the strain the man was under. In very similar circumstances I didn’t kill my wife..but I could have.. I moved my kid and myself out instead before the red mist overtook me.

  15.  

    You stick a knife in a person, one time, four times, and that person dies, you have killed that person, you have murdered that person. Next question?

  16.  

    There is a difference between Murder and the other categories of Homicide. I just feel that the bar between muder and manslaughter should be moved.

    e.g. (IMHO) I don’t think that somebody who stabs a person to death should be charged with manslaughter because there was no “intent” to kill. But thats another debate for another day!

  17.  

    Twenty — Of course it does. I hope you don’t think I’m trying to justify the crime. This post is about seeking to explore the mental process that led up to it.

    Elle — I’d say the same thing to you. This post is not about the crime but about the mental state of the killer, with a view to understanding it better.

    Gerry — I’m glad to see that you get what I’m asking here.

    BJJ — Fair enough.

    King’s Bard — I think most men in that situation either hurt themselves or retreat into despair. This was an example of an individual committing an appalling crime instead. Prior to that, he seems to have been an unexceptional individual.

    Mapstew — Sorry. Not the question I asked.

  18.  

    whatever the mental process that the man was going through as a result of his wife taking a lover it does not justify him taking a knife to her.

    blind rage or not he reached for a knife. blind rage or not he was not reaching for the knife to cut some cheese for a sandwich. he murdered her.

    i apologise that this doesn’t go to answer your question but i just cannot put myself into the mental shoes of someone who does harm to one he claims to have loved. he could have walked away. he could have put her belongings in bin bags and sent her packing. but he didn’t. he murdered the mother of his children because his ego was bruised.

  19.  

    Death is irreversible. Murder is final too. Irrelevant argument. Death took place, one is gone.

    I have been in the same scenario more or less but I didn’t stab anyone.

    I just left.

  20.  

    Eva — I’m trying to draw a broader understanding from this business. The question is much wider than this particular crime. Try to look beyond the specifics of what happened here and see what I’m asking in a wider sense.

    Unstranger — In that case, why not talk about how you felt?

  21.  

    personally i think we all have a switch – a ”yes/no” switch when it comes to doing wrong. when confronted with a situation where you have the choice to take a life or let that person live, in my opinion if you kill them you are CHOOSING to ignore that switch.

    you CHOOSE to kill.

    it doesn’t just ”happen”.

  22.  

    Eva — Nobody is saying it just happened. David Bourke consciously killed his wife brutally in front of their children.

    This isn’t about his guilt or innocence.

    It’s about looking at how people move to such extreme behaviour and what the mental processes are that bring them to that point.

  23.  

    “….how people move to such extreme behaviour and what the mental processes are that bring them to that point.”

    Very thought provoking Bock (genuinely no pun intended)!

    No doubt there is a dark, deep place in everybodys psyche. How people get there? – Perhaps it is down to the individual.

    I believe that everybody has a breaking point – where ever that may be.

    I also believe that everybodys breaking point is different.

    But its a complex issue – that which leads one person to murder may lead another to suicide? and vice versa?

    What factors negate or eliminate rational thought – in some cases for a short period of time?

    Can we generalise when everybody is an individual and therefore different? – especially in the areas of thought, mentality, morals, ethics etc.

  24.  

    is it the same one that makes a human lock his daughter up for 24 years.
    is it the same one that that lets jack the ripper escape.
    is it evil?

  25.  

    Bock:
    You’re interested in the type of thinking that results in this behaviour: well, I’m no expert, but I think it all goes back to men viewing both their wives and children as ‘possessions’. What stuns me most is this monster stabbing his wife – lots of blood, violence, screaming, pain, resistance, stabbing her violently again and again and again, her children seeing her in agony, seeing and hearing her dying – in FRONT OF THEIR CHILDREN.
    He’s one enormously self-centred patriarchal fuck, that’s what he is. He does not see his wife or his children through the prism of humanity but through the lens of OWNERSHIP.
    XO
    WWW

  26.  

    Twenty — Of course it does. I hope you don’t think I’m trying to justify the crime. This post is about seeking to explore the mental process that led up to it.

    I don’t think you were. Some of the initial comments seemed to be of that ilk though.

    He’s one enormously self-centred patriarchal fuck, that’s what he is. He does not see his wife or his children through the prism of humanity but through the lens of OWNERSHIP.

    Precisely.

  27.  

    That sounds a bit like the “This is what happens when you think you have a birthright to pussy” arguement.

    I don’t know, maybe he did think he OWNED his wife, or maybe he’s just psychotic, or maybe he just din’t give a fuck. Who knows, but I don’t think that women who kill their husbands think they own them.
    Bourke killed his wife because she wanted to leave him and he couldn’t handle it, for any number of reasons, and killed her. I don’t think he did it just because he’s a man and his property was about to walk off on him.

  28.  

    He’s one enormously self-centred patriarchal fuck, that’s what he is. He does not see his wife or his children through the prism of humanity but through the lens of OWNERSHIP.

    Bollox.

    He was treated like a piece of shit by someone he had devoted his life to. Everything he gave was torn up and thrown in his face by someone who felt they had a birthright to cock and her promises didnt matter simply because she changed her mind.

    In any language what his wife was guilty of was abuse. She certainly didnt deserve what she got, and he was most certainly wrong in his actions, but crimes of passion are such and as such a moment of madness leads to a lifetime of misery for all involved.

    He should have just turfed her out. Left her with nothing. Instead he took the despearate road of a murderer.

  29.  

    “Are you really suggesting there’s no difference between a woman who kills a man who routinely and habitually abuses her for years, and a man who has been cuckolded?”

    What I’m suggesting is that some women who are chrged with killing their spouse claim abuse and tend to be cleared of murder. I don’t know what this fellows mental state was when he stabbed his wife, but I’d bet he wasn’t stable or rational nor I’d bet were a lot of the aforementioned women. I don’t condone any killing but I won’t rush in and convict either, you obviously have an insight to this particular tragety.

  30.  

    If i can refer back to your “Monster” post, some time ago.
    Within harmless, broken looking people can lurk the capacity for “monstrous ” acts, the witnesses you mentioned and who testified as to David Bourkes state of being are probably totally right, but its their perception of extreme sadness and a particularly impossible situation imposed upon him, and then the witnesses may imagine what they might do in similar harrowing situation, therefore a certain tolerance for his monstrous action emerges.

    If the reports are true, that his wife dismissed their marriage and moved another man into their family life, then there is no doubt he was handed a convoluted and horrendous situation to deal with, but he had choices and he made a “monstrous” choice and released the “monstor” within thus brutally removing his wife and his childrens mother from any possibility of a future solution.

    Relationships and cuckholding of, are notorious grey areas full of despair, pain and destruction, but murder is black and white, now those children have no parents, so it begs the question, “what did he really feel about his family” ?
    The situation was out of control, so he choose to mete out his version of control ? There were many progressive routes he could have taken but all of them would have entailed him relinquishing all control over his wife, who if she did what is reported in the first place, then he would most likely have been better off without her, so what does that say about him ?
    As you so rightly said in the past Bock, “Monstors” don’t walk in our midst with horns and hair and dripping drool, No, there are “Monstors” walking among us looking sad, broken, harmless, confident, friendly, helpfull, smiling and all the rest of the attributes we accord to the people we allow into our lives.

    A question I ask, He murdered his wife, not the Cuckhold, if it were a primitive and urgent action why was it directed toward her and not the “other man” in question. ?

  31.  

    Dr. Orgasm – “He should have just turfed her out.” Apologies for not being fully up on the detail of this case, but was there a suggestion that HE would have been the one turfed out, as happens to hundreds of husbands in Ireland every year, I believe, under the direction of the State. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding of these cases where a wife moves a boyfriend in and gets an eviction order against the husband, is that the husbands continue to pay through the nose for the roof over their ex-family’s (and the new jockey’s) heads, in return for getting to take the kids to McDonnells on a Saturday (presumably the catering in the bedsit/caravan wouldnt be up to it. Without commenting on the detail of this case, if a few hundred guys a year are treated like this, its only a matter of time before something like this happens.

  32.  

    “A question I ask, He murdered his wife, not the Cuckhold, if it were a primitive and urgent action why was it directed toward her and not the “other man” in question?”

    Because he wasnt married to the other man in question.

    EssoDee- Some good points there. Its a shit state of affairs and a shame that something like this has to happen before people pay attention to it.

  33.  

    I just read the testimoney of the children in the paper, its beyond description of horrendous, those kids might never fully recover from the ordeal
    The wife informed him two months previously she wanted a divorce, yet, as i suppose circumstances/finances/whatever dictated they were still living in the same house, yet, while awaiting the legel process she requested, she was continuing to see the “other man” while nonchalantly alloting the responsibility of care for the children to the husband while she was in a hotel with said “other man” Still, no justification for murder, but that marriage did’nt descend to that level overnight, there was an extremly manipulative woman, looks like she had little regard for the consequences of her actions on the children or her husband, who choose not to await due process, and there was a husband who choose not to accept her behaviour and choices and there were three children on whom the the consequences of their parents actions were visited, and all choices were removed from them via both parents.
    There was very poor choice indicated, once one party initiates divorce request/proceedings, not to revert to logic and patience and proceed through the appropriate channels, therefore showing respect and care for all involved, She must have been rash and blind to have continued the other relationship during the process, probably easy for me to say, but thats how i see it.
    It was drummed into me by my late Father that “power must match virtue” never knew back then what a heavy burden that was, but in the many years since his death I have always found it to be true.
    What a mess, the analysis of both parents mind set is a gross negligence of the consequences of actions, I do think the jury will have difficulty choosing murder/manslaughter.

  34.  

    Dr Orgasm; I posed the question because I don’t think “marriage” necessarily predicates the choice of victim.
    I asked it more because of the murder/manslaughter issue, as in, was it sudden and primitive, lashing out at the closest source of pain, or was there forethought ? As in a thought process possibly identifying “other man” as the primary source..
    I would be in aggreement that there existed an abusive behaviour, but unfortunatly physical abuse is given a much higher creedance than emotional and phycological abuse, Women by their biological make up are rarely physically abusive but can dispense the invisible abusive tactics, Fathers and Mothers are not treated equally under law in separation/divorce in this country and that is archaic and disgraceful.
    I know several “broken” men, castigated and accused of appalling behaviour by manipulative devious women, Its a “people” problem not a man/women problem.

  35.  

    BJJ — I don’t think we can generalise. Do you think David Bourke reached his breaking point or was he just a stone killer in disguise? And if he did reach his breaking point, why did that happen?

    Jerry — Sorry. Too shallow.

    Wisewebwoman — Here’s one we prepared earlier? Working backwards from the answer with the all-purpose, all-explaining patriarchy.

    Twenty — I’m afraid trite off-the-shelf explanations like patriarchy don’t cut it for me.

    Le Craic and Dr Orgasm — Well, if a man told his wife he was screwing another woman, and that he wanted her out of the house in a month so the other woman could become the children’s new mother, I think they’d be shouting from the rooftops about patriarchy then.

    It’s not only too convenient, but dangerous, to have such ready-made answers to complex questions.

    No 8 — I think what you’re suggesting is that women are treated more leniently in our courts when they commit violent domestic crimes.

    Norma — I can’t say why he killed his wife and not the other man as you speculate. Perhaps if the other man had walked into the house that morning, he wold have been stabbed instead. I don’t know. In these situations of pain, betrayal and despair, men often choose the third route and harm or kill themselves.

    My own view is that, while the killing was brutal and appalling, the wife’s treatment of him was callous to the point of contempt and amounted to something like torture. Although that doesn’t excuse what he did, I think it gives us some insight into the state of mind he ended up in.

    Incidentally, violence against men in the home is far more common than the anti-patriarchy lobby would like you to think. This is exacerbated by men’s reluctance to report assault, and police refusal to believe them.

  36.  

    I have been following this case closing for reasons I cannot go into. But I would like to make these points;

    On the morining of the murder why did Mr Bourke take a knife from the kitchen and hide it down the back of his shirt? surley this shows he wanted the element of surprise when he attacked his wife, an element of premeditation.

    He said he stabbed her because she was sitting all ‘smug’. In fact by the time he had seen this he already had the knife, another element of premeditation.

    Mr Bourke also admitted thinking about using a knife hours before his wife arrived home, again premeditation.

    He said he did not mean to kill her, well anyone who lifts a large kitchen knife (bear in mind the deepest wound was 14cm so it was a substancial weapon) and then stabs four times in the back means more than just harming.

    The pathologists report showed his wife had sustained defense wounds to her hands as she tried to grab the blade of the knife, this susjests that it was not a quick stabbing that she had fought for her life, this man had a sustained and brital attack on his wife not a mere quick loss of temper.

    I would have to say that all of the above can only point to a determination to murder.

  37.  

    This post is not about whether David Bourke committed murder.

  38.  

    Surely it is about his state of mind, his state of mind was clear on its objective shown by his actions – murder.

  39.  

    It’s about the mental process that led up to the crime.

  40.  

    The primary question which i am not qualified to answer, but as a lay person my guess is, he may have felt totally emasculated, the degree of despair, hopelessness mixed with anger aggrievement and fear, may have tipped the scales of self control, further added to the mix was possibly extreme anxiety caused by the desire, albeit possibly obsessive thought process as to how to prevent what he may have viewed as the catastrophic disintegration of family life, upon which he felt very dependent as his source of love, solace and nurture in the world, It is a fact that extreme anxiety causes us to over compensate by predicting a catastrophic outcome, this in lesser events can lead to such symptoms as panic attacks, social withdrawel, and phobic content.
    I simply don’t know, but as you stated he does’nt appear to have exhibited violent tendencies in the past, Its all very very sad, and for anyone out there experiencing such extreme pain, I would hope they could seek help without judgement.

  41.  

    “No 8 — I think what you’re suggesting is that women are treated more leniently in our courts when they commit violent domestic crimes.”

    Yes, they certainly seem to be. In my opinion this is because they play the trump of having being married to an ogre for years. An ogre who was a violent drunk, yet when sober a pillar of society. They claim to have finally snapped after years of abuse and were driven to killing the ogre. These stories may well be true. These women may have snapped and may have been driven to extreme violence. But if that defence is allowed to them then it must be allowed to men. Maybe David Bourke snapped and was driven to extreme violence by an ogre. That he is guilty of extreme violence is beyond question. Why he did it is another question. So before we condemn, lets try and understand why. It could happen you and I tomorrow.

  42.  

    “Do you think David Bourke reached his breaking point or was he just a stone killer in disguise? And if he did reach his breaking point, why did that happen?”

    Bock,- based on what little I know about the case – IMHO it appears that he may have reached a breaking point – demonstrated by the visible downward spiral as per the evidence of his collegues.

    As to why? – the human mind can be very fragile. Is fortitude measurable?. The weight of the “loss” of his wife and family could have led to the downward spiral. The process is difficult to establish without a full understanding and knowledge of the facts.

    Only those that have experienced the depths of despair can know how dark those depths are.

  43.  

    OK BOCK, as you ask. I felt probably similar to what this plonker did.
    I felt rejected.
    Let down.
    Depressed.
    Confused.
    Conflicted.
    Angry.
    Useless.
    Disappointed.
    Empty.
    Disillusioned.
    Pain.
    All these came at the same time in one full blown rush and even now, after several years and divorce, I retain remnants of much of the above. That I put down to having loved her so much.
    There is no simple solution to serious emotional sundering. It is a position in which the individual stands truly alone. One’s character strengths are grievously tested by this situation.
    I’m doing o.k. now.

  44.  

    unstranger; I obviously have too much time on my hands to-day.
    I can completly relate to your post, I too felt all of the above, I then faced a tsunami of events complex and convoluted and added to that I went from being very comfortable…..and possibly very naive, to being totally stone broke, a bunch of children to take care of and core values which i was hell bent on hanging onto.
    What you said about “standing alone” has very deep resonance for me, because I think it was my greatest fear but my ultimate destination, yes, I experienced the depths of despair and darkness, but no, i never contemplated murder or suicide, i cried a lot, i got angry a lot, i said things i regret, i did things i regret, but i did learn how to stand alone, i became responsible for my mistakes and learnt about how to forgive, yes i lost a lot materially but i learnt how to survive without bullshit, it was and is a road worth travelling, but one false move could have derailed me, therefore i try to implement a “there but for……” approach, It looks like David Bourke may have prevented himself travelling that journey.
    Were it not for my continued struggle with OCD i’d be flyin it ! but seriously yes, i’m doin ok too.
    Bock you are a terror for extracting the soul searching.

  45.  

    Well one thing seems clear to me. Whatever mental processes lead up to the crime, they were pretty egocentric, as were those of the victim as regards her apparent behaviour up to the crime. Neither one seemed to think of the consequences for the children. She wanted her new man, he couldn’t take the heart break, rage,tristesse or whatever but surely their mutual and unconditional love of their children should have stopped the situation from degrading to this point. In the end they are the ones who have paid the heaviest price.

  46.  

    Twenty — I’m afraid trite off-the-shelf explanations like patriarchy don’t cut it for me.

    It’s fairly obvious, Bock. He saw his wife as ‘his’ and if he couldn’t have her, nobody else could.

    If you want to call it trite, go right ahead, but that’s what happened, and has happened since time immemorial.

    It’s very basic and really doesn’t deserve much analysis – although it is allowing plenty of soapbox time for the apologists who look to blame it on the woman who got stabbed to death in front of her children.

    She wanted her new man, he couldn’t take the heart break, rage,tristesse or whatever but surely their mutual and unconditional love of their children should have stopped the situation from degrading to this point. In the end they are the ones who have paid the heaviest price.

    Er, no. His wife paid the heaviest price, obviously. She’s DEAD.

  47.  

    Terrible tragedy and no-one deserves to be slaughtered like that but I would imagine that in this case the guy was goaded into it.
    After all, there is his wife on the verge of actually replacing him – what a kick in the primal instincts – the rejection of your self on the basest level – and although we don’t know, one can only imagine that they would have had fights about this, perhaps she was constantly calling his manhood into question or something like that.
    So this time he decided, “right, I’ll show you who’s a man” or something along those lines.

    I’ll not speak ill of the dead and for all we know he was the worst husband in the world, but given the length of time his wife was (to his mind at least) rubbing his nose in it (2 months – that’s 60 times this guy went to sleep wondering was that another day she was with someone else…bound to make cracks appear), I would be inclined to think that maybe she didn’t go about it in a decent way.
    And we all know how cruel people can be. I’ve seen it and I’m sure everyone else has, where the adulterer seems to take a perverse pleasure in the suffering of their besotted other.
    Sure you can make a mistake and marry someone you actually don’t love, but then YOU have to walk away, not them. It would appear that it was her that was being posessive – of her children – don’t forget that paternal instincts can be pretty strong too…
    Seems like she wanted the best of both worlds, and it misfired.

    Tragic. I can only imagine what those kids must be going through.

  48.  

    “standing alone” – and there in, lies the question!

  49.  

    -Twenty
    I’m making no excuses for Bourke. Whatever he may have felt, he committedd the crime. He’s guilty as sin. As you said in a post, he admitted it, it was confirmed by all witnesses and garda forensics and then the prick stands up in court and says No actually, I didn’t. The only point I’m trying to make is that it I don’t think it was motivated by simple dumb male ‘patriarchy’. I think it’ more complex than that, but even if it was as complex as a fucking rubix cube, he did it, and should go to jail for it.
    Anyway, at the end of the day, none of us know what was going through his mind. It may well be that you’re right, but it’s all speculation.

    His wife paid the heaviest price, obviously. She’s DEAD.
    About the only good thing about being dead is that you don’t have to live with it. The dead feel nothing, it’s the living that suffer, and those children will have to live with what has happened for the rest of their lives.

  50.  

    bjj “standing alone” – therein lies the question
    may i ask which question ? there are so many questions.

  51.  

    Unstranger and Norma– Thank you for being so open. That’s the sort of experience cases like this illustrate.

    No 8 — We’re slightly in danger of drifting into a comparison between the different treatment of men and women, and that’s my fault for bringing it up. We might just leave that aspect of it for a little while.

    BJJ — I think despair was certainly part of his outlook. We’ll never know why anyone commits a crime, but we might be able to get a little insight into the context.

    le Craic — I agree. Nobody thought about the consequences of their actions for the children.

    Twenty — What he was thinking is not that obvious to me, but there again, I’m not a mindreader.

    Anyway, I think there are broader insights to be gathered from this case that go well beyond what David Bourke was, or was not, thinking.

    When I say “trite”, I refer to the all-purpose term Patriarchy that ideological feminists use to explain all bad behaviour by men. It’s a substitute for thinking things through, case by case.

    Steve — We won’t speak ill of the dead but we can certainly speak ill of their actions. If Jean Gilbert were still alive, I would have no hesitation in describing her treatment of her husband as cruel, contemptuous and disgraceful. She should have been kicked out of the house.

    That does not alter the fact that David Bourke had no right whatever to lift even a finger in violence against her, and she certainly did not deserve to be killed, although I can understand anyone experiencing a fleeting homicidal urge in such circumstances.

  52.  

    All too true Bock. The problem here seems to be that while the wife had another relationship she was not content to take his marriage away from him but also his family and his home and to set up the other man as a surrogate parent to his family.
    While what he did was obviously wrong I personally can understand the pain and suffering he was going through. When someone is fucking with your mind you can get so deep into the mire that you can see no light at the end of the tunnel except maybe the train coming at you.

  53.  

    When I say “trite”, I refer to the all-purpose term Patriarchy that ideological feminists use to explain all bad behaviour by men. It’s a substitute for thinking things through, case by case.

    Well, I’m hardly an idealogical feminist, Bock.

    If the wife had a relationship with another man that’s difficult for him, but all of you casting aspersions on her behaviour have not the first clue what prompted her to begin a new relationship.

    The underlying inference is that she was some kind of wicked slut who just broke up a happy home for no reason – without any evidence to back that up. Could it not have been his fault that the relationship failed as much as hers? More likely it was failings on both their parts.

    Maybe she didn’t behave very well, but nothing she did warranted the reaction of David Bourke.

    Relationships break down all the time without one of the people involved resorting to stabbing the other four times in front of their children.

    His reaction was borne out of an all too common belief amongst some men that their families, their wives, their children, are their property. He was unwilling to let her live a life without him, so he killed her.

    That’s patriarchal. And I’m referring to this case. Not all men.

  54.  

    Twenty — I didn’t say you were a feminist. I said that I find the all-purpose Patriarchy explanation too trite for my liking. If a man so much as farts, some women blame the Patriarchy, and I think it’s a lazy and dishonest way to approach things. I don’t direct that remark at you, but at people who start from the assumption that the Patriarchy is responsible for everything, and then bend every inconvenient fact to suit the theory.

    I also think there’s nothing wrong with criticising the wife’s behaviour, just as one would criticise it in a case where no murder took place.

    I don’t know what method you use to determine the underlying inferences of what people are saying but I can see nobody calling Jean Gilbert names. The only person who used the word “slut” was you. I also didn’t see anyone saying she did it for no reason.

    Likewise, nobody suggested that David Bourke was in any way justified in doing what he did.

    I don’t know how you found out what Bourke believes and therefore I don’t know how you can deduce that his actions were born from his beliefs. I personally have no idea what his beliefs are and I think I’m probably reading the same reports as you.

    In any case, as I already said, I was hoping to draw wider insights from this case, rather than focussing solely on David Bourke, or dwelling on knee-jerk feminist ideology which gets us nowhere. A number of people here have already set out in painful terms what their own experience was in similar circumstances and I think that’s where wider understanding of these very difficult situations is to be found.

  55.  

    He was found guilty of murder today RTE reports. Jury handed down a majority verdict after eight hours deliberation, 11-1 majority – tragic case all round.

  56.  

    His poor children.

  57.  

    Anyone looking on from the outside, and with hindsight, will logically conclude that David Bourke had choices. Beginning with an early request that his wife leave the home, and much as he may have wanted her to do that, it may well have been the last thing he wanted as it would have meant that he was having to draw a line under things between them.

    My opinion is that he did not, could not see whatever choices may have been available to him, so convulsed was he by hurt and anger. The one choice that he wanted to make was denied him. There was no way that he could reconcile things, no way that he could turn the clock back.

    This is a dilemma as old as time itself. And for every person, male or female, that murders or physically assaults their partner in these circumstances there are thousands that don’t. Thousands who struggle on and survive or don’t survive, because they can’t cope and they harm themselves.

    There are victims aplenty, and ruined lives to match, strewn in the aftermath of the selfishness and dishonesty of people.

    A woman may kill a man in such circumstances, a man may kill a woman in such circumstances, a man may kill a man in such circumstances, a woman may kill a woman in such circumstances – one cannot adequately explain one of these types of murder with a social paradigm which is not equally applicable to all four circumstances.

  58.  

    “So what do you think was going on in the mind of a man who in June 2007 was an average Joe with three kids but by August had become a wife-killer?”

    I know I’m coming late to this, but that statement contains the nub of the problem. How do we know what was going on between him and his wife in the years preceding the break-up? How do we know he hadn’t fantasised about violence? How do we know that his behaviour towards her in the years preceding wasn’t reprehensible, driving her to have an affair? Maybe he was a selfish oaf towards her? It seems that a lot of commenters are jumping to conclusions about his character, and hers, without a lot of objective knowledge. Or do they know something about his family life that I don’t? One thing I do know is that this fucker’s children have a life of traumatic nightmares ahead of them, thanks to his ‘love’.

  59.  

    We have no evidence that he was the way you describe.

    You’re not by any chance jumping to conclusions, are you?

  60.  

    Touche! But that’s why I phrased it as a question rather than a statement…

  61.  

    It just goes to show you can’t be too careful!

  62.  

    My central point was, can we ever really know what goes on between a couple when their front doors are closed, or what goes on in a murderer’s mind? When I read about this case, I feel a terrible sadness; a sadness at lives that were once full of hope and happiness, and that ended in such a bloody tragedy. All we can hope is that he truly feels remorse and can live with his guilt, and that his children can overcome the horror of what they saw and rebuild their lives. And we should give our own loved ones a hug, and remind ourselves that life is precious.

  63.  

    He was heartbroken and soul ravaged, you treat someone like a dog and they will bite you.She has to know wherever she is that she brought some of this on her children.Just as I am sure he knows what he has done to his kids. Its all very very sad for the kids.

  64.  

    I made the mistake of googling for news articles this evening on the verdict in this case – I wish I hadn’t as I came across and clicked on this link and, of course, couldn’t help myself reading all of the speculation and opinion from you all. We read about and listen to cases like this dispassionately from the sidelines with no involvement with and no relationships to the victims, the accused and the unfortunate family unwantingly pulled into the public eye virtually every week, but what we all forget is that the people involved in these cases all have long term friends, family and loved ones and these are usually the only people who actually know the true story.

    I have known Jean for nearly 20 years and David, by association, since they got married. All I would ask you to do is listen to the family impact statement read outside the court. Jeans brother referenced the story that no one has heard. The portrayal of David, in my opinion, as a loving family man, bore very little relationship to the true character of the man and to how he treated both is wife and children over many years. The portrayal of Jean is also so far off the mark it’s incredibly upsetting – she was one of the most loyal, loving, giving, kind, honest and honourable people you would ever have the good fortune to meet.
    Several of you astutely and correctly have asked questions on what their relationship had been like over the previous years and what had driven Jean to seek love and solace with another man. You can use your own imaginations to create answers to that and several references were given in the letter that Robert Campion had sent her. I am simply delighted that David is going to prison as a convicted Murderer, that’s what he is, and for what he put Jean and his kids through for several years prior to the terrible thing he did to her on the 28th August 2007 I hope that a few big men take a very great fancy to him in prison and make his life even more miserable and deliver some poetic justice in something that is very far from being poetic.

    This is an excerpt from one of the other stories I found tonight – “The 45-year-old woman had died from blood loss and shock as a result of four stab wounds to her back. The deepest measured 14.2 cm. And, as the knife went through her body on each occasion, it had cut through the aorta, both lungs, the spleen and left kidney. It took the pathologist 45 minutes to list the injuries”

    As a closing comment – there are three fantastic kids who have lost Mum, Dad and their childhood.

    I’m not going to do any more googling – just remember that when you post opinion on these things remember that there are other people out there who are closer to the truth than you. I hope that none of you have to write from real experience on something like this in the future.

  65.  

    Thank you for that comment. I hope I have gone out of my way to make sure that nobody here judges either Jean or David. I’m sure this whole event has caused immeasurable suffering to Jean’s family, to their children and also to David’s family.

    The purpose of this post is not to attribute blame but to explore the mental and emotional processes that led to such a murder.

    I’m sorry if it causes you or the families hurt, but ultimately the hurt has been caused by what was done and not by what has been said here.

  66.  

    I hope I have gone out of my way to make sure that nobody here judges either Jean or David.

    Erm …

    If Jean Gilbert were still alive, I would have no hesitation in describing her treatment of her husband as cruel, contemptuous and disgraceful. She should have been kicked out of the house.

  67.  

    That’s not judging Jean Gilbert, Twenty. That’s judging her actions.

    People often fail to make the distinction and that failure can lead to a great deal of unnecessary conflict.

  68.  

    Jesus…

  69.  

    Good. I’m glad you get the distinction. It can come as a bit of a shock.

  70.  

    Bock,

    I think you are asking questions of human nature and society in general and NOT questioning motive of a specific event.

    Correct??????

  71.  

    That’s right. I’m trying to create a wider discussion as a result of this crime.

  72.  

    For whats is worth – I think its a very appropriate subject.

    I commented (last night) that it was “thought provoking”. I stand by that comment.

    Another commentator mentioned her(?)experiences and “standing alone”.

    If a human being reaches the depths of despair and needs to “stand alone” what does that say about society in general?

  73.  

    BJJ:

    We *all* need to be able to stand alone. It’s women who believe that they can’t “stand alone” who end up remaining in violent, abusive, relationships for far longer than they should. We (of my generation) were brought up to believe that marriage was our ultimate destination. This in turn led us to believe that we were not “whole” unless we were married. Unfortunately, that led many women to have no confidence in themselves unless they were in *some* sort of relationship. And that can destroy lives. That’s what it says about society.

  74.  

    Nora – I personally know of men who have remained in abusive relationships for the sake of the children.

  75.  

    As usual, I was foothering around in the comment box, and I was so long at it that I thought it would be wise to refresh the page — instead of doing what I’ve done in the past and appeared to be replying to the wrong person.

    I’m glad I did. I’ve read “easy to judge”. However, I’ll go ahead and post what I was going to say. Without change.

    *Nobody* really knows what goes on in a marriage other than the two people involved. We hear bits of this, and bits of that, and often ascribe “blame” for a break-up to one or the other partner. But the fact is that nobody fully understands a relationship other than those who are, or were, in it. (In my experience, people in very happy, loving, relationships rarely go looking elsewhere.)

    I’ve applied this to all marriage break-ups I’ve known in my adult life. I assume that I don’t know — and will never know — all that happened in that marriage, and I leave it at that.

  76.  

    Our comments seem to have crossed.

  77.  

    “I personally know of men who have remained in abusive relationships for the sake of the children.”

    I’ve no doubt you do, Bock. I’m talking about how women of my generation were reared. That’s all. And the need for all of us to realise that we came into this world alone, and will go out alone.

  78.  

    Can I be so bold as to suggest a move away from marriage problems as it appears to be clouding the subject. “Despair” isn’t exclusive to failed marriages.

    Nora,

    I don’t disagree that we may all “need” to stand alone – the reality is that not ALL can.

    My point is – perhaps if society in general took notice of peoples demeanors then perhaps tradegy can be averted.

  79.  

    Yup, comments crossed here. Never mind.

  80.  

    I appreciate the comment by Jean’s friend. I have never met David but am related and know his family. I cannot judge whether he was a mean or an normalish guy. I would add that his family background is a deeply kind one, that his parents and siblings are lovely people and that there is deep suffering on every side. These situations scar the lives of many and sorrow is all around. Those who can. need most to allow the children the healthiest relationships that can be afforded with all that love them.

  81.  

    Good. I’m glad you get the distinction. It can come as a bit of a shock.

    Pathetic. Like this post and the majority of the comments on it.

  82.  

    Harumph!

  83.  

    It’s disingenuous of you to say the least to claim that this post is fair and balanced.
    Starting out by saying it is murder and you don’t condone it then carrying on to list the reasons he was driven to it does not make a fair and balanced post.
    You may as well start off with ‘He murdered her, blah, blah blah….but listen to how cross she made him’.

  84.  

    Where did you notice me saying it was fair or balanced? A question is just a question, and that’s what this post does. It asks a question. It’s up to others how they respond.

    I didn’t list the reasons he was driven to it. In fact I said nothing about him being driven to anything. I listed things that contributed to his state of mind, but he had free will at all times not to commit murder, and this post does not suggest anything else.

    He was not driven to commit murder. Nobody is ever driven to commit murder. They choose to do so and they are always wrong.

    Too many people are reading things that are not in this post, and that’s dangerous. Read what you see, not what you think you see.

    This post uses the Bourke case as a starting point for a broader discussion and it’s unfortunate that people like Twenty don’t approve of such things, but in the end that’s his weakness, not mine.

  85.  

    God forbid we should speculate as to the reasons people do evil and harm! God forbid we should try to understand instead of shoving news like this into the box marked “evil murderers are obviously nothing like the rest of us”! God forbid we should ponder without the frothing mouth!

    I’m off to watch Jennifer Lopez in “Enough” to make myself feel better.

  86.  

    However, it seems to me that there are certain people in the Irish blogosphere who don’t like being disagreed with, and now they seem to have set their lapdogs on me.

    Who would that be then?

  87.  

    Whoever the hat fits.

  88.  

    Bock, bock bock bock bock…

  89.  

    Twenty, we all know you can’t stand being disagreed with. You’re demonstrating that right now.

    As for the others, I can make a good educated guess who they are.

    Now, let me remind you again: this post is about the mental process that led David Bourke to commit murder. It isn’t about your ego, so whenever you’re ready, we’ll put the toys back in the pram.

  90.  

    Twenty, we all know you can’t stand being disagreed with. You’re demonstrating that right now.

    People disagree with me all the time. Why would it bother me here?

    You asked for people’s opinions on this case, I gave mine. You, and some of the other commentators, are the ones disagreeing. As is your right. But you don’t want debate, or opinion contrary to your own. You’re looking for validation from people who share the same viewpoint as you.

    And your ‘lapdog’ comment is pathetic. Do you honestly think I can tell anybody who has a blog what to write on it? You know, it’s entirely possible that Gimmie can form his own opinion your post. Hard as that might be for you to believe.

    And this is surely not about my ‘ego’ (how can it be?) but seeing as you went there:

    We operate one of the most widely-read current-affairs web sites in Ireland, and we will shortly be running an article ridiculing your pomposity in calling for Cathal Goan’s resignation.

    You have a reasonably popular blog, how that translates into ‘one of the most widely-read current-affairs web sites in Ireland’ is fucking beyond me.

    As for the ‘we’ … laughable.

  91.  

    If you’ve finished grandstanding, now, Twenty, maybe we could get back to the subject of this post.

    I went out of my way to be fair with you throughout your early comments, and really things only went downhill when you had to resort to meaningless remarks like “pathetic” about the other commenters here.

    As for the “widely-read current affairs” comment, you know full well that it’s a tactic, designed to provoke a reaction from people who probably never heard of Bock the Robber. Please don’t try to misrepresent me on that too. It doesn’t reflect well on you.

  92.  

    I’m disgusted at the tone of many of the comments on this post. Victim blaming is wrong. I don’t know what you hope to gain Bock, by inviting speculation on the state of the murderer’s mind before he decided to slash another person to death.

    Anything we say can only be speculation. So he talked about his family lovingly at work… so what? So the murdered woman had an affair and was going to leave him, again, so what? He had every right to be saddened that his wife loved someone else more than she loved him but that’s all.

    How do you know the victim’s new partner was to become “a father figure” to the children? Even had his wife lived with the other man, Bourke would still have been a father to his children. Not now though.

    My speculation, based on what happened, is that David Bourke was unable to allow his wife to leave him so he decided to end her life. He thought so little of her, that he never considered what an evil thing he was doing. He probably thought he could get away with it, that he’d be able to sell himself as a victim to her heartless affair, and say that he’d been driven to despair and wasn’t fully in control of his actions when he “snapped”.

    All of this is bollocks. The myth that some men abuse/batter/kill women because they “just lost it” is dealt with on various abuse information sites:

    ” Myth: “I just lost it.”

    Fact: Batterers say they could not help themselves from using violence. Most men who batter use other methods of dealing with frustration, anger or “provocation” when it is convenient for them. When the batterer feels angry, he does not beat up his boss, his secretary, the neighbor, a stranger on the street or children playing in the next yard. Only in the privacy of his own home or when he perceives he will receive no negative consequences will he choose to use violence toward his female partner and possibly his children.

    In the vast majority of cases, he will batter no one else (Ewing et al., 1984; Ptacek, 1988; Stordeur & Stille, 1989).

    When the perpetrator uses violence, it is because he has made an assessment of the situation and has determined that:

    * What I am doing is not wrong.
    * If it is wrong, I will not get caught.
    * If I get caught, I can talk my way out.
    * If I cannot talk my way out, the penalties will be minor. I will decide what the penalties are (Lindsey, 1990).

    In these “I just lost it” episodes of violence, batterers say and do things they know will hurt their victim. They yell obscenities and threats. They kick pregnant women in the stomach. They hit the victim in places that will be seen or hidden, depending on the message they want to be delivered by the violence. Batterers use violence because they know they can and no one will stop them or apply negative consequences. ”

    I’m married to a man whom I know speaks about me lovingly to his friends and colleagues and we appear to have a great marriage. But he is very controlling at home. His behaviour, as I learned last year after searching desperately for help as to why I feel so shit so often and why he has to put me down so much, is typical of verbal abusers, who use manipulation to have life arranged as they like it.

    I do not know if this man who chose to kill his wife on front of his children, was abusive previously before that ultimate act of wife abuse. From what I’ve read, leaving abusers can be very dangerous and many are killed when they try to leave.

    To answer your question, the mental process that lead to her murder seems to be, I’ll kill her because I’m far more important than she is and I’ll probably get away with it.

    Thankfully, he has not got away with it.

  93.  

    What I had hoped to gain was a better understanding of the way people feel in these situations, why some men commit murder while others commit suicide, why some become lost in depression while others move on and build new lives for themselves and their children.

    What I got instead were accusations about the sincerity of my motives and a large collection of mindreaders.

  94.  

    I don’t know what else you can get but mind readers when you ask a speculative question.

    Like a few others, I think that those that decide to kill are the kind of men who think they have ownership of others and that their victim’s lives don’t matter. Those who get on with making the best of a bad situation are the decent men who put their children first and do what is best for them no matter how sad they are. I don’t know about self harm and suicide.

    Who has questioned your motives?

  95.  

    Apart from mindreaders, I got a number of people who related their own experiences of infidelity.

    At least one person on another site has accused me of inciting misogyny, which I take as a direct personal insult and a slur on my many good relationships with women, including my own daughter.

  96.  

    I don’t think you incited misogyny. There has been lots of misogyny in the comments here though.

    But while I can see that there may be a case to investigating why some people kill and others don’t, in cases of partner killings like this, the reasons seem to be pretty similar.

    Decent men find it easy enough to just not kill, even when they’re really pissed off.

  97.  

    I’m not trying to investigate solely why people kill, but what range of feelings men go through when their partners find a new man. Very, very few men choose murder. The majority are absolutely devastated and sad.

    To read some of the feminist ideology, you would think all men were violent domineering thugs, and I believe that mindset insults all human beings, both men and women.

    By the way, could you just point out which comments are misogynistic?

  98.  

    And why am I never surprised that the word ‘patriarchy’ or ‘patriarchal’ is classified as ‘trite’ to those that have been victimized by it, such as this unfortunate and lovely woman or myself for that matter?
    I am more saddened than anything else though by your summary dismissal when you were looking for honest analysis, but only when fitted up to your mindset, I guess.

    When all is said and done I am but overjoyed that the patriarchal bastard has been convicted. May he rot.
    And I bless his precious orphaned children. May they heal from his violent atrocities.
    XO
    WWW

  99.  

    I characterise it as trite because it’s the all-purpose feminist explanation for all bad behaviour by men.

    One size fits all.

  100.  

    -WWW
    May he rot indeed.
    But I’ve noticed (and I’m not saying it’s your case) that people seem to think that women are the only ones abused. Granted, women make up the majority of the victims, but not the entirity. If it’s the same type of mentality that drives people to be abusive to their spouse or children (that’s an assumption) then surely a women who abuses there families could not be accused of being ‘patriarchal’.
    And if the word ‘matriarchal’ were used instead many women (and rightly so, in my opinion) would find it offensive and, dare I say it, trite.

  101.  

    comments 1, 2, 3, 5 and 28 for a start. All the comments that go along the line of, he shouldn’t have killed her but…and then go on to list the victim’s culpability and how her behaviour makes her knifing to death just that much easier to understand.

    While our society is patriarchal, yes, it’s only some men who are abusive or thugs. I also think that patriarchy is bad for men and I’m trying to bring my sons and daughters up to be damaged by it as little as possible.

  102.  

    I characterise it as trite because it’s the all-purpose feminist explanation for all bad behaviour by men.

    Yet when it’s put forward here as an example in a specific case you still dismiss it.

    Not one person said all men would behave like David Bourke did, they merely provided their opinion as to WHY David Bourke chose to kill his wife.

    It’s you that’s ignoring the fact this is a specific case, not an all-purpose, all-men-are-bastards explanation.

  103.  

    Can you point out where I accused anyone of suggesting all men would behave like David Bourke?

    Twenty, if you’re going to disagree with me, at least take the trouble to disagree with something I actually said.

    I made the point that every time a man does something bad, the patriarchy is wheeled out as the reason for it, and that includes this case. It saves having to think if you already have the answer in your back pocket.

  104.  

    All this handbags at twenty paces BS is gone beyond stupidity.

    Its obvious some people cannot understand the purpose and nature of the topic in the original post.

    Bock why don’t you close this topic off and start a new one without making reference to a specific occurance!

  105.  

    Hen — In what sense do you consider those comments misogynistic? Let’s go through them.

    Comment 1 suggests that women are treated more leniently in the courts. Is that a misogynistic thing to say?

    Comment 2 was an attempt to look into Bourke’s thought process. What was misogynistic about that?

    Comment 3 talked about double standards but emphasised that he was wrong to murder his wife.

    Comment 5 says he would have kicked his wife out of the house if she tried to bring in a new man. Should he not have said that?

    Comment 28 says Bourke was wrong to do what he did, but that he was treated badly and should have thrown his wife out for cheating on him. What was misogynistic about that?

  106.  

    Bock ain’t no Rihanna beating Chris Brown misogynist and Gimme is no-one’s lapdog. Don’t understand how it got to that but those two statements are as true as Spandau Ballet’s classic.
    All the stories here are current, that’s why I read these pages. Also, his journalistic curiosity, his talent and his stamina. This tragedy is current, very tender and sensitive, but personally I’m okay with the question about the murderer’s mindset.
    I think in time we’ll find out more details about this family and the internet detectives can mull over motivations and all that other mens rea stuff. For the moment I’m content to wait. There is more information out there. Already, there is one commenter here who mentions knowing the family’s circumstance.
    Nothing about this murder is obvious or simple to understand. Can’t see why bloggers are rushing in with fists flaying. Really can’t.
    Now, go figure.

  107.  

    Sniffle — I can’t understand their behaviour either. It’s as if some questions aren’t permitted.

    There seems to be a deeply authoritarian streak among some people who might like to be seen as right-on liberal. You can stir the shit as long as it’s in the approved, orthodox, right-on manner, but don’t dare stray outside the prescribed limits or you’ll be misrepresented, you’ll have your words twisted, and you’ll have one or more bullies spraying saliva in your face. You’ll also be insulted personally by gobshites.

    As BJJ suggests, it’s clear that some people can’t understand the purpose and nature of the topic in the original post, or maybe just can’t read. Perhaps I should close off comments on this thread as he suggests, and start again, but would that be giving in to the loudmouths at the back of the class?

  108.  

    I understood this post just fine and responded appropriately.

    Got nothing more to say on it now.

  109.  

    Two harrumphs in one day?

  110.  

    Throwing ‘misogynist’ around is as easy as throwing ‘patriarchy’ around. Boil-in-the-bag judgements.

    Condescending smart-alecs will always exist in the blogosphere and they will always be ready to judge others on next-to-no info.

    I’m tempted to go with BJJ.

    “would that be giving in to the loudmouths at the back of the class?”

    No. Fuck ’em.

  111.  

    Well, Nora, as I said in my latest post on the subject:

    I have a daughter. I have many close female friends. Women inhabit every facet of my life, and this sort of mindless comment is a personal insult not just to me but to all the women in my life whom I love dearly and who, I hope, love me in return.

    And that’s why stupid accusations of misogyny can’t go unchallenged.

    As you said, boil-in-the-bag judgements. Anti-thought.

  112.  

    “I understood this post just fine and responded appropriately.”

    Twenty I have re-read you comments. Sorry to tell you but you haven’t understood the post at all and your responses are completely in-appropriate,

    Kindly accept this comment coming from a neutral corner (no malice intended!!!!!!!!)

    Bock you won’t be giving in to “loudmouths”. The topic has lost its original meaning and intention.

  113.  

    Twenty decides what people were thinking. Twenty decides what they meant, and Twenty decides what’s appropriate.

    It has nothing to do with what was actually said.

    Didn’t you realise that?

  114.  

    Bock

    I like to think I bring some valid comment to a debate. Maybe I do – maybe I don’t.

    I try very much to remain neutral. Maybe I do – Maybe I don’t.

    I don’t seek to stir things up or put people down. Maybe I do – Maybe I don’t.

    That Said

    I just had a look at Twenty’s Flickr photos – via the link in his blog!

    Enough said!

  115.  

    I haven’t seen them.

  116.  

    Just read some of Twenty’s blog.

    It speaks for itself.

    Bock – ban him, or at the very least – ignore him!

  117.  

    -BJJ
    What’s wrong with the photos? I though they were funny enough,in a tongue in cheek kind of way.

  118.  

    “I hope I have gone out of my way to make sure that nobody here judges either Jean or David.”
    Erm …
    “If Jean Gilbert were still alive, I would have no hesitation in describing her treatment of her husband as cruel, contemptuous and disgraceful. She should have been kicked out of the house.”

    “That’s not judging Jean Gilbert, Twenty. That’s judging her actions.”

    But Bock you judge people mainly by their actions!
    What else would you judge Jean Gilbert by? her appearance?

  119.  

    When I first read your (original) post, it seemed quite clear what you meant, but also very clear that it might be misunderstood. Part of being an influential blogger is realizing the impact of your words (which you do great for consumer purposes, for example). It’s reasonable to assume that most people will understand what you meant without having extraneous disclaimers all around (as it is now). It’s OK for most topics, where the risk of some people not fully understanding the real intent has no serious implications.

    I think the debate is stirred by an underlying assumption that this was not the case, that this is one of those topics that do require an explicit explanation. We’re conditioned (by media reporting style on court stories) to translate “trying to understand what goes on in a murderer’s mind” into “he had reason to do it” then to “it’s somehow justified” and on to “he’s not really guilty”. So when contrasted with the specific actual act, that raises an outrage, if any of these righteous souls thinks you really hint that (and yes, I realize you were talking about the general case, but again, that’s an implicit, unpublished disclaimer…). If I’d write the exact same post in my own blog of 10 readers, that would not become an issue at all; but that’s the influence factor.

  120.  

    Morgor — You can judge someone’s actions without going on to judge the person.

    I could say, for instance, that what you did was a bad thing without saying that you are a bad person.

    Ofer — It’s interesting that a man in Israel understands the thrust of this post and yet some people in Ireland can’t grasp it.

  121.  

    I could say, for instance, that what you did was a bad thing without saying that you are a bad person.

    Hmm, i see what you are getting at, but if you have described a persons actions as bad, and you don’t know anything else about that person, you are effectively describing them as a bad person.

    ie, if I say, Fred beat his dog.

    You are going to judge from the information available that fred is not a very nice person.

    Everyone fills in the blanks themselves, it’s just the way things work.

  122.  

    I have no control over what blanks people fill in. All I can tell you is that while I personally condemn somebody’s behaviour, I don’t automatically condemn the person as well.

    I can’t speak for other people.

  123.  

    Bock, I’m curious about one thing. You say that “You can judge someone’s actions without going on to judge the person.”

    This is a distinction you have drawn throughout the debate. You judgement of the murder victim’s actions as “cruel, contemptuous and disgraceful”, for example, is “not judging Jean Gilbert, [it’s] judging her actions.”

    This is a clear moral stance – and a brave one, in that it leaves you open to accusations of jaw-dropping insensitivity or worse.

    But when Gimme says that your article is an incitement to misogyny, why do you not make the same distinction? Why do you insist (over his denial) that he has called you a misogynist?

  124.  

    In my opinion, someone who incites misogyny is a misogynist. That means I would be inciting hatred against my own flesh and blood. I find that suggestion deeply insulting.

  125.  

    Bock, I agree that throwing around terms like misogynistic and patriarchy is lazy-minded and simplistic but I think you may have been unfair to Hen regarding some of her comments. Your initial question was

    “So what do you think was going on in the mind of a man who in June 2007 was an average Joe with three kids but by August had become a wife-killer?

    What was the mental process that led to this crime?”

    Part of Hen’s reply was
    “…the mental process that lead to her murder seems to be, I’ll kill her because I’m far more important than she is and I’ll probably get away with it.”

    and

    “…………I think that those that decide to kill are the kind of men who think they have ownership of others and that their victim’s lives don’t matter.”

    Now you may or may not agree with this analysis but you cannot say that she was refusing to address questions raised in the original post, regardless of the other comments she made.

  126.  

    I don’t remember saying that Hen refused to address questions. If you could point out where I said that, it would be helpful.

  127.  

    “In my opinion, someone who [writes an article which] incites misogyny is a misogynist.”

    I agree that’s one reasonable explanation. Another is that the person is being deliberately provocative to stir up trouble or debate. I believe this, rather than misogyny, is what you are being accused of.

    I don’t know if you’ll find that more or less upsetting, but I’m sure you’ve heard worse.

  128.  

    Bock part of your response to Hen:

    “What I got instead were accusations about the sincerity of my motives and a large collection of mindreaders.”

    and

    “Apart from mindreaders, I got a number of people who related their own experiences of infidelity.”

    Seeing as Hen had referred to her own experience I took it these comment related to her.

  129.  

    Inkwit seems to lack wits. Jumps to wide conclusions, and lacks subtlety. I challenge all on here to examine his/her own behaviour the next time you are tired beyond the norm with life’s stresses, feeling rundown by your work environment, lacking sleep and you snap angrily in what is an out of character way for “you”. It might give considerable insight into your own humanity.

  130.  

    Deb, your pun on “wit” and “wit” aside, what exactly are you talking about?

  131.  

    By the way, I forgot to answer one of Twenty’s sneers.

    The “we” refers to Dickler (tech, sport and pictures), Gerry and Craic (photoshopping), Stephen (emails), James (occasional politics), and myself.

    Any other sneers or swaggering should be referred to Joe Duffy who speaks Twenty’s language fluently.

  132.  

    Hi Inkwit,

    I’m discussing the post…”the processes that led a seemingly average guy to commit murder”… perhaps muddled as I responded to your raising misogyny as operating, in even having the discussion.

    To reiterate, regarding the original post topic: we don’t know our own potentialities to snap or react in unforeseen ways until we experience bone wearying emotional stress. It’s easy to be judgmental of people’s shocking acts until we tune in and recognize we all have hidden anger that can erupt in ways that surprise ourselves. Just wait for it, …someday you might find some empathy for this man. .

  133.  

    Deb, do you mean that I suggested it was misogynistic even to have a discussion about the murder? I don’t think I did, but you are welcome to correct me. It would be a stupid point, and certainly not what I intended.

    As to my witlessness, conclusion-jumps, unsubtlety and the rest: without an example, it just looks like a list of insults. That doesn’t bother me, but it’s hard to engage with in an illuminating way.

    (Inkwit: Unoffended by everyone since 2009.)

  134.  

    Well done Inkwit. Maybe I misunderstood your comments. Touche.

  135.  

    In my opinion, someone who incites misogyny is a misogynist.

    wouldn’t that be judging someone on their actions?

  136.  

    Do you think a non-misogynist would incite misogyny?

  137.  

    If Jean Gilbert were still alive, I would have no hesitation in describing her treatment of her husband as cruel, contemptuous and disgraceful. She should have been kicked out of the house.

    No, I don’t think a non-misogynist would incite misogyny, but by the same reasoning the above comment would mean that she was a cruel, contemptuous person.
    I’m not getting involved in the overall arguement and I think things got a bit heated for no good reason. However you can’t make the above comment and then say you haven’t judged her. You’ve clearly judged her and I’m not saying you’re right or wrong but at least have the courage to admit it

  138.  

    Peadar — You’re leading us down the same blind alley that derailed this discussion in the first place.

    Even a murdered person’s actions can be wrong, though it doesn’t justify the murder.

  139.  

    I imagine at some point David Bourke might have been wondering at his wifes happiness, so happy with her new man that she wasn’t bothered trying to hide it. He might have wondered how could someone who loved him enough to marry him at one time be so happy when he was clearly so miserable. Might be cause for despair (but not murder of course, not condoning etc.).
    Just a thought.

  140.  

    All I can say about the David Bourke case is: But for the grace of god go I. haven’t you ever felt like killing someone?

    Picture the scene:
    Man informs wife he is tossing the marriage in. Man informs wife he never loved her it’s a myth, god where did the kids come from. Wife finds a letter that shows a new woman intends to be the new mom. She will live with your children and your husband. Wife arrives home to have perfume of his new woman in the marital home. Wife looses it and knifes husband while children running about the house.

    Wife is up for murder. The jury says hold on a minute she was pushed to it, and no one bar the devil incarnate would plot to kill their spouse in front of their kids. Signs for the devil incarnate do not surface from the wife’s past life. Wife is done for manslaughter. End of story.

    Now reverse the gender roles and the verdict. You have David Bourke’s case.

    The jury decides 11 to one that it’s not manslaughter its murder.
    Woman slaughter that’s what he did. It’s a terrible crime, nearly the worst in the world. Isn’t it enough to condemn him with such?

    He/ she goes prancing off saying I never loved you or I hated you whatever is the going excuse you can be left devastated for years not because you’re a looser with no life but because with a knife someone has removed a core of your heart’s life.

    The desire to inflict physical pain on the perpetrator of betrayal is common. The logic is the other person won’t listen wont come out of this ‘insane’ reality back to our family one believes the pain will stop if they feel pain too. That this will make them think and soon a mutual stable reality will return to you both. Obviously their souls don’t hurt so there is no alternative to the physical to make them feel.
    You go about wishing car crashes on them anything to make them immobile to keep crucifying you by what they do. The pain you desire for them is to get their attention. You imagine it will make them awake from the nightmare they are nonchalant about. Its not that you want to control them, but it is that you feel they have lost control.

    People who react violently when their families are under threat we treat them like Taliban hit men, as if they were infected by some sort of fundamentalism, why can’t you be passive like everyone else. It is as though our western souls have become cauterised. All we can see is a man killing his wife in front of their kids and we are not counting the calamity before this.
    She basically butchered her family.
    As for the children what have we condemned them to via the jury’s decision? Now mammy’s dead and daddy’s a murderer.

    We have belittled marital breakdown. We tend not to recognise it for the flippant destroyer it is. Well here is a side effect life imprisonment for one and death for the other.
    And if you don’t kill someone on the outside you’re still going to die on the inside.

  141.  

    I have looked at all that has been written about this David Bourke and Jean Gilbert
    I know them both for many years.

    David Bouke was rightly convicted of Murder.

    There were 4 people in this world that knew if David was the good Father and Husband that he claimed in the court. Those same four were not allowed speak in the trial. The first and obvious was Jean herself. The other three were her children, too young to speak.

    Jean did tell her Story to her Friends and Family 2-3 months before she was tragically taken by a man that that had for ten years previously taken advantage of her. He was also not a very good to his children.

    Jean constantly had a struggle on her hands. She would regualarly say to Her Husband, no David no that is not the way to treat the children.

    He was very controlling and calculated, he would always come a cross as a gentle soul that would not hurt a fly, he was totally different behind closed doors.

    You must ask yoursleves why would a woman who was a very loyal person feel the need to abandon a 12 year marriage leave the house to her Husband and 3 children, the House that she bought and paid for. I know why, life got so unbareable with this man, she just had to get out. She asked David to go in June, but he would not so she thought she had better go, but she was not allowed. This man moved in to her House before he married her, He had no job when the moved in. He was so poor he was on State Butter vouchers.
    He moved in got married got her to. Took her life her house and her car and left her children with no mother.

    Why did she have to go to the pub to tell David she wanted a seperation. The question was asked by Isobel Kennedy Senior Council for the State. He could not answer that. I know why. The reason was there were too many Knives in the house.

    Let end by saying Jean Gilbert should have gone the The Gardai in 1997 when she first experienced the unsavoury behaviour of this so called man who that thought he could murder his wife the cowards way(back stabbing)and get away with Manslaugher.

  142.  

    people leave wives/husbands all the time..he needed to deal with it and not kill. what happens the next time his heart is broken? or a tragedy struck him again? I’m sure he loved his wife but did he ever consider what it would do his children?
    If it wasn’t his wife’s new lover, something else may have triggered him..

    ps bock what you said wasn’t offensive..very diplomatic

  143.  

    Thanks. However, it doesn’t matter if people found my question offensive. That’s their problem.

    The world is full of people looking to be offended, and if we all kept silent for fear of giving offence, we’d be in deep trouble.

    I asked a question in this post. Nothing more.

    David Bourke commited murder and for that he deserves to be in jail. Some people don’t seem to understand that you can try to figure out why a crime was committed without condoning it. I suspect that’s because people don’t know how to think. It’s easier to shout slogans than to work things out.

  144.  

    His wife rubbed that affair in his face. Told him she was leaving then changed her mind and told him he was leaving. She wrote adolescent crap like ‘I wont burden you with my kids’ to her waster of a boyfriend. She didn’t bother making the bed after bringing said boyfriend to their home. She mentally abused that man, as surely as abusive husbands have abused their wives. He snapped and stabbed her four times. How long did that take? 6 seconds? 7? Then immediately called for help and tried to keep her alive until the ambulance got there. He did not commit murder, that’s manslaughter, he did not have the necessary mens rea (guilty mind) for murder. The trial judge all but said as much.

    Ask yourself this, was his attack on his adultress wife any different any different from Elin Woods attack on her husband? The one everyone thought was so funny? How long did Elin Woods’ assault last? The biggest difference I can see is that Elin Woods didnt manage to inflict as much damage, despite her best efforts.

  145.  

    Wanna clarify that to say that my description of what happened that morning is based entirely on press reports, albeit a lot of them which were in full agreement with one another.

  146.  

    Mk,

    ‘He snapped’? So what about the emails that the defendant printed off in order to decide what he would do?

    You come out with a string of assertions and you weren’t even present in the courtroom

  147.  

    So you have to be in the courtroom now? That’s the benchmark for having an opinion?

    Do you have to be in the courtroom every day? Or is there a certain per centage? Id love to know.

  148.  

    Many people choose to take one side or the other. that is short-sighted. But very easy and convenient when a conviction is obtained. We are good, we choose with the good, and the bad guy is bad, see, he got convicted. Let’s demonise him, make him less than human. That’s not civilised.

    The thing is this. His mental state did not start that morning. It did not start when she told him about the other man months before. It started in his childhood. What it was does not matter, but it was clearly played out in an abusive marriage and abused children for years. The two of them were in a power struggle, she blamed him for her misery; after she found another man, he blamed her for his misery. Anyone with half a brain would have left with the kids.

    Whether she felt she had a legal right to the house (in most countries, the wife with three kids would get the house, dad has to leave) or not does not matter; after all that she had seen of his behaviour, she should have left (a) for her own safety (b) for the kids safety. She didn’t. I am not saying she was twisting the knife (ouch). But by staying, she was participating in a power struggle every day.

    Most people would leave the husband first, then get into a new relationship second. She didn’t, She stayed and played it out with a person who was known to be abusive and violent. She may well have been a wonderful person, but she was also stupid.

    I have personally experienced power struggles like this, and seen other go through it (without the murder bit). Suddenly the other person “snaps”, and they can never return to what life was like before they “snapped”. afterward, it was easy to see that we were caught in a power struggle, that had built up to that point over years; and that once the point of no return had passed, there was no going back to the “way we were”. The only difference here is, the point of no return included a stabbing, which from the detail, he had probably dreamt about a few times, and executed quite successfully, with an awful lot of power. There is no going back for either of them.

    On the analytical side, he was a typical fragile ego, unable to accept his failure. He did not “kill his wife whom he ‘loved’ “; he didn’t snap; he killed the thing that reminded him of his failure as a man every day. With that level of fragility and weakness, e has no hope in gaol, unless he takes on a permanent lover. Which is in fact a high probability for someone with that demonstrated level of ego, in order to survive. Very sad.

    Now the kids have lost both parents. Both stupid parents.

  149.  

    Fat & Ugly, where you getting the domestic abuse angle from?

  150.  

    but it was clearly played out in an abusive marriage and abused children for years.

    ??

  151.  

    Are you connected with the people involved? Do have personal experience of what you claim?

    Or are you just repeating something you were told?

    Which is it?

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