by Andru McCracken, Editor

I have always had a funny feeling about the assault on truck driver Alex Fraser who pulled his rig over to aid two men he thought were stranded travellers in 2010. Fraser was knocked unconscious and beaten terribly.

What were those ruffians doing there?

It makes me queasy.

Queasy because the attack was so brutal and random – something from a horror film. Queasy because it wasn’t solved. So horrific, and yet, it feels familiar somehow. It feels like something that could be pulled off by a few bad apples too high to know what they were doing. By Fraser’s account there were three people present yet no one has ever shared what happened. The mounties have a hunch the actors were local, but never had enough to go on. Were they local?

It makes me queasy because you can’t come home late in this town without everybody knowing; how can the collective intelligence of an entire community be somehow wiped out. Is it fear? Clearly fear is warranted, but there are ways of sharing information without anyone knowing, namely CrimeStoppers.

My guess is that there are many people who know what happened, wish as they may that they did not.

I’ve got a queasy feeling we’re complicit as a community.

It’s hard to square with the facts of local living, that I can identify each of my neighbours vehicles by sound alone.

I love our cosy community. I love knowing almost everyone in town. I love the way we acknowledge each other, care for each other… cover for each other.

But if we refuse to help the authorities solve it, are we doing the communities a favour, or are we consigning ourselves to live in a lawless backwater?

The murder of a local 60-year-old man brought this up for me again. Unimaginably, it seems like the suspect is local. It makes me wonder about the nature of these cosy communities we live in. Is this a place where murder is possible? Is this a community where justice matters?