Life after murder

After covering a murder scene on Adelaide Street in late May, I often drive by the home where the victim, Jared McKnight, lived and where he died, four doors down.

There is a memorial to McKnight on the front lawn of the home where he lived near the intersection of Hamilton. Flowers and other items have been placed there.

Recently I saw a man, perhaps his father, down on his hands and knees by the tribute site, tending to it.

McKnight lived in the home with his father and brother. Perry Eggett has been charged with second-degree murder.

Life has gone on for others in the neighbourhood, but has it for the man tending the memorial?

With flowers adorning your front lawn for a mourned son, there is a constant reminder. But surely the flowers help to let the family know others care.

It may be the one thing that keeps them going.

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20 thoughts on “Life after murder

  1. There was a day when mourning was a private matter. If all who had a family
    member die devoted their front lawns to a shrine, there would hardly be a blade
    of grass in sight.
    The mental health aspects of this modern on-going public orientation and imagery
    would be interesting. Does the dead son have no grave for sympathizers to visit?
    Interesting flap in Toronto when a reporter inspected the Ed Mirvish grave in the
    Jewish cemetery and was allowed to print her evaluation that the family had not
    spent enough money on it. Huge complaints, yet the Public Editor thought it was
    fine because the deceased was well known – (but failed to offer financial support
    if the Estate was short of cash…)
    Perhaps in this case the father wants to keep the victim’s identity high profile as
    the courts deal with the accused. Wonder how the neighbouring property owners
    really feel about this constant reminder of violent death on their street..

  2. Remembrance,
    Re: Mirvish. What gives this journalist the right to decide not enough money was spent on the grave? How would one make that evaluation?
    Journalists might interview others to ask their opinions, but really does anyone care about this issue?
    It did get a lot of feedback, you indicate, so perhaps the public is interested. Or is it more outrage?
    In this London case, I think because the young man died on that street, mourners have flocked there to pay respects.
    I don’t know that the father is thinking about how to keep the public profile up. Perhaps he feels he should keep up the memorial as the only connection left to his son.

  3. Well, front lawn memorials will go with the snows and the mourners might be
    strangers – these things do attract sightseers. One sympathizes, but it is not
    a model for memorializing family dead. His keeping the image of a murdered
    son up front for the trial period is not bothersome, but then I don’t live there.
    The young reporter did not mention money – sounds as if she has no idea
    about such things. Just browsing with a grandmother after visiting her long-
    dead husband’s plot and decided to stick her nose in another plot owner’s
    affairs.
    Go to the Toronto Star and pick up the story and responses including PEd’s
    Sure do care about the issue of journalists messing around in cemeteries and
    making remarks about the recent dead and estate management. Wonder if the
    Jewish Cemetery staff complained about the Star’s abuse of privacy..? Would
    a Catholic cemetery be offended ? Suspect a Protestant one would object to
    humiliating a client.

  4. When asking if anyone cares about issue, I meant a reporter arbitrarily deciding to focus on Honest Ed grave. Are we all “dying” to know how the Mirvish family keeps up its deceased member’s tomb?

  5. The issue with readers who themselves would have family plots in Toronto cemeteries
    is that the Toronto Star newspaper chose to publish a story suggested by the reporter –
    and that the Public Editor defended the editorial decision.
    Atkinson Principles?

  6. Not up on Jewish death practices but if the Mirvish Sr. estate had
    established a Tomb, this grandchild of his old friend interred in the
    next row would only have jealousy to attract her attention, unless
    CHUM’s Phil Stone was treated similiarly. What ‘s missing from the
    Star story was a photo of the Stone grave plot, which would shape
    her view of ‘how things are done’ in Toronto branch of fthe amily.
    “Tomb” generally refers to a crypt, an above-ground structure and
    In Toronto Mt. Pleasant these are dramatic structures. (Recently the
    funerary business is including columbarium niches within a mausoleum
    in this old term.)
    Contrary to advertising, the marking of a grave is the responsibility of
    the Executor of the estate – and that could be the ailing aged widow who
    is the decisionmaker, not his child. Billing for a commissioned “monument”,
    the upright master stone on a new plot, goes to the Estate. Failing that,
    kin could decide to fund one themselves. Some allow for future inscriptions,
    where there’s reasonable expectation surviving spouse and offspring will
    want access later. Others just commemorate the original couple, one’s
    name left dateless, leaving future interments, body or ash containers to
    be given a flat marker by their estates.
    This isn’t arcane – anyone who has looked up family funerary traditions
    and given thought to how their own remains should be disposed of has
    seen glitches and found record of graves not marked at all. Practices
    may vary according to religion and rules of the cemeteries. I’m a huge
    fan of gravemarkers as they provide a record of who wass where,when.
    For years Ontario Genealogy volunteers crawled through cemeteries
    transcribing local stone inscriptions by hand and filing them in Green
    Books in their local libraries. Nowadays Genweb volunteers are taking
    photographs and posting them online. Unsung invaluable out-of pocket
    volunteer service to families and the community.
    Ms Stone from her picture online is no young naive thing to excuse her
    embarrassing both Stone and Mirvish families in this sensitive matter.
    PS a quick view of the murder memorial garden on busy Adelaide on TV.
    What is odd is the placement, where he would have to kneel on the public
    sidewalk to weed, and where a snowplow will demolish it. Maybe if they
    can afford it a tree would be a more permanent reminder of the lost life.

  7. Life does go on for everyone else, except the family of the murder victim. No one mentions his name anymore, unless it’s a court date. Unless you have walked in the shoes of a bereaved parent, a parent who’s child was taken from them at the hand of another, then you have no right not comment on what the father is thinking. He’s hurting and he will till he end of his life, and so will his mother, his brothers, his sisters, his nieces and nephews. This senseless act of murder ruined alot of people’s lives, but outsiders don’t, and never will understand. I hope you never have to go though this, I wouldn’t wish this on any family.

  8. Bereaved parent,
    I am truly sorry for the loss of your child.
    Thank you for responding to this blog.
    I wrote it because it was heartbreaking to see the relative on the lawn tending the memorial. The pain is still so raw. There are signs that life goes on for others, but as you said not for this young man’s family.
    I wanted others to think about that.
    As I said at the end of the post, the public display of sympathy may be the only thing that keeps him going. I’m sorry if you saw this post as a negative. It certainly was not meant that way. It was meant to say, hey, look at this father and what he is going through. Thankfully there is a memorial for him to see that people do care.

  9. Dear Jared’s Mom,
    What a senseless tragedy your family has to endure.
    I have a friend, who was a friend of Jared’s. He is heartbroken too. He and Jared used to go to dinner once in a while and hang out. I broke the news to him about Jared and he was in shock.
    He said your son had a good heart, was kind and was looking forward to his future with his girlfriend.
    I am so sorry.
    My prayers are with your family.
    Kathy

  10. Online video memorial to Jared Knight , Google listing:.
    ” 05 | June | 2012 | CTV Londonwww.ctvlondon.ca/2012/06/05
    Daily Archives: June 5, 2012. Funeral for Murder Victim. Posted on
    June 5, 2012 by pcopps.,,, ”
    What is special is that the young man lost his life as a victim of crime.
    This makes him of public interest, not just private family tragedy.
    If anyone can decipher the crimes map on the Neighbourhood Watch
    website – is there any roundup of type of crime, not just locations ?

  11. Joe McKnight gave up on his battle with cancer after Jared died. His brother lost his brother and father in 17 months. We are still trying to pick up the pieces. No trial as of yet.

    Jared is buried in his hometown, there was never a matter of not enough money!

    Jared’s mom

  12. hello to all, nobody here knows me, but i know this whole entire situation since the day perry was arrested, i write to perry,.. have been 3 years now, now on that note, i wanna say to jarrods mom, i, too am a mother of 3 children, all in there early 20’s, and i cant possibly imagine what you continue to go thro.. (you truely have my entire heart ) im so so sorry.. i assure you perry is sorry too,(i know that prolly dont help) but he really is. he has said it in letters ive read..there is no excuse for what happened, & he is haunted by what happened and he was sentenced to 8 years.. at 22 he was still a kid, he is now 25, and trying to better himself, everyday.. he had to grow up really fast. he is remorseful. i know that prolly doesnt help, like i said, but i read all the comments and as someone who has been in contact with perry since the day he was arrested..i felt obligated to comment… hes not a bad person, and he made a horrible horrible choice.. he is definatly paying for the consequences of his actions…(that dont change the fact that gerrod is gone, i know!..and im so sorry) i knew perry before this all took place, through a mutual friend.. hes a good kid, becoming a man real fast…im so sorry for all involved… my heart truely does break…
    dont bash perry. please… im not here to be bashed either, i clearly wanted to say what i said…
    Thanks

    • Hi Rita,

      I am Jared’s mom. I know Perry will have friends that will always have his back, which is good for him. As for being remorseful, I beg to differ. He could have manned up and apologized to me for taking my son’s life. He was given the chance to do so, and chose not to. His words were, while staring straight to the judge; “I wish this never happened and I could take that day back”. What part of that says I’m sorry to Jared’s family?

      As for the short sentence, he should have been charged with murder not manslaughter. That was on the books for 2 1/2 years, and because of his lying cousin and cousin’s girlfriend, it was reduced to manslaughter. He comes eligible for unescorted day parole in November, and yes, I will be there to do my best that he doesn’t get it. He needs to owe up with what he did, and a few months in a medium prison doesn’t cut it for me. I hope this will become a positive for him to try and do good for others instead of hurting others, I think he’s done enough of that. He obviously didn’t learn before it happened, now that he’s pretty much messed up his life, maybe he will. If he chooses to apply for it, then yes, he will be facing me. You said he’s paying for his actions. He has just begun. He sat for almost 3 years in dead time, again being his choice when he didn’t change lawyers when he had the chance. I have lived for 3 years in dead time also waiting for this part of my life to be done with.

      In my impact statement I quoted C.R. Strahan
      “Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.”

      I am the survivor, and as Jared’s mom I will do whatever I have to do in order to keep him behind bars as long as I possibly can. He gets to go free, my son will never have that chance. His little boy never had the chance to meet his dad and never will. All that was taken away from him and me, by the hand of your “friend”

      I didn’t bash him, but don’t ever ask a mother of a murder victim to be nice about him/her. You have no idea what you are asking

  13. One more thing……….they repeatedly said this was a case of mistaken identity. The one he was “supposed” to get was my other son. Where do you get off saying that he’s a good hearted person? He was going to hurt/kill one of my boys, all because of a lie that his cousin told him and is walking free to this day

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