Sept. 15, 2021

39: The Bourke Street Massacre, Part 02

39: The Bourke Street Massacre, Part 02

On 20 January 2017, during the typically busy lunch hour in the Melbourne CBD, 27 year old James Gargasoulas drove along the footpath of multiple blocks of Bourke Street, killing six unsuspecting people and injuring many more. The aftermath of his rampage left the people of Melbourne stunned and grieving. As details of the lead up to the carnage emerged, the public and victims’ families were outraged.

Police had been tailing James for 12 hours before the massacre, as he taunted them and led law enforcement on a wild goose chase around the suburbs after stabbing his brother. The big question was, why hadn’t he been arrested sooner when numerous opportunities were available? Media reports soon revealed that James was a repeat violent offender who was out on bail when he ploughed through the city crowds, and answers were demanded as to why.

How could the bail system be so fallible as to allow someone so dangerous back onto the streets? But that wasn’t the only concern. As court proceedings commenced, victims and survivors were anxious at the prospect that the man who had destroyed their lives may not even be found fit to stand trial at all.

US National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 (24 hours)

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