Why. What happened to make him do such a crime. How could he be so thoughtless. So cruel to his family. Those are the questions everyone asked all those years, ago. His actions took the lives of two innocent people. Then he took his own life. His actions seemed senseless. Shock of what he'd done stunned the communities for miles around.
A couple of day before. Ray had called at our house to sell us some of his vegetables. And fruit. On his way to town where he'd take his crops to sell to the markets. He seemed so happy. Not a worry in the world. We used to buy a lot of his produce from his family because that is how they made their living. Some times, we'd visit the farm to buy fruit, and vegetables. Their place was a lot closer than driving hours to town for fresh supplies.
Early one morning. The baker arrived with the sad news of what had happened the day before. We were shocked. The baker told of the story of what Ray had done to his family. The news was sad. Sad like the bread delivered to our door. Providing you received the bread while still hot, you couldn't eat the bread. Once it was cooled you nearly needed an axe to cut the bread to pieces. But that day. The story he brought to our house was worse than his bread.
The story was of shocking proportions. Three people had lost their lives at the hands of one of them. Leaving behind other small, grieving children. They no longer had parents to guide them through the rest of their lives. They were orphaned by one savage moment in time.
Each child went off to school in the morning to return home to the disaster, which their lives had become in such a short time. Something had gone radically wrong at the family home once the children had left for school. Some spark had ignited a fuse. Had caused the father to damage all their lives. He didn't stop to think of what he was about to do. The fear. The terror. He'd have caused his wife, and stepdaughter before he'd taken their lives. The life of a beautiful, young girl, who had not yet had a chance to live her life. To grow into adulthood. She was such a beautiful person who didn't need make-up. Or any other artificial wear to bring out her beauty. Her beauty came from within to shine out. A young woman who never had a chance to explore the world outside of the farm. Except when all the family went out together.
So what happened that fatal day? What caused him to blow into such a fit of rage? Did he have designs on his stepdaughter? Was her beauty such an encumbrance he couldn't stand to see other males with an interest in her? There were rumours there had been a guy she had an interest in. Ray didn't want her to see him. Had he banned her from seeing this person. Did they go against his wishes to keep seeing each other? Or had Ray hoped he'd be able to trade-in his wife for the step-daughter? This sort of thing had been done before where the granddaughter ran away with the grandfather.
What sort of mind was Ray in when he loaded his shotgun to kill his wife, and stepdaughter? What altercation had issued moments before he went in search of the gun? Surely, nothing was so bad to take the lives in a fit of frustration. Passion. To cause so much destruction to a family. Couldn't they have talked out the problem? What was the problem that pushed him over the edge. To be able to commit such mayhem. To forget the other children who'd be left without parents. The stigma which would be attached to them for the rest of their lives. He didn't think of the horror for the police. Or neighbours. Or family. Or the children to come home from school to find the bodies.
Happiness of a few days ago turned to a macabre crime of passion. Stunned communities tried to rally around to help the remaining children. To come to terms with what had happened to their happy home life in a country area near a river. An area. Which always seemed peaceful. Quiet. The peace destroyed by the explosions from a shotgun.