OPINION: Let’s let the system, not social media, complete its work

By J.D. Booth
Editor and Publisher

Yes, this past week has been exceptionally disturbing and painful for many people who call 
Sarnia-Lambton their home, not least of which has been the family of Noelle Paquette, the 27-year-old who was first missing, then found murdered and left in a wood lot south of Sarnia.

Within hours of the discovery of her body, Lambton OPP had two suspects in custody and those have been charged with first-degree murder in Noelle Paquette's death.

praying handsNoelle will be remembered by friends and family at funeral services held at Michael's Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday.

Now let's end it—the seemingly endless firestorm of Facebook mentions, comments and speculation on other "social" web platforms that will bring nothing but a river of pain, hurt, and unsubstantiated rumour to flow to the shores of what should be a private time for Noelle's family and friends to grieve and remember a life that was snuffed out too soon.

None of us are served by the re-publication of Facebook "junk" that has been said to foretell or re-tell the circumstances that brought this tragedy into the criminal system.

So let's let it go. Let's let the system that we believe in, we rely on, with people who are pledged to bring justice to those who cross the line, do what it needs to do.

We live in a broken world. Bad things happen. They shouldn't be the source of seemingly endless discussion about what might have happened, how it happened and on and on and on.

What we need now is peace. Pray for the family as they honour their daughter's short life. Pray for healing for those who are working hard to make a wrong if not right at least culminate justice.

And yes, pray for the families of those who are accused of a horrific crime.

It's time we as a community embrace one another, if not metaphorically, in reality.

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  • M Coene

    I agree but look at the garbage your competitors printed today about the private lives of the accused murders. The media needs to set an example as well and stop reporting trash.

  • jd

    That was kind of the point of the opinion piece. thanks. J.D.

  • Donanne Avery

    Totally agree…ket this poor family and their friends have some peace…they have enough to deal with without the ongoing plethra postings and articles in the newspaper. It would all be served much better by putting your money were your mouth/words are and donate to the trust fund or the one helping children…Thanks J.D!

  • Thank-you for writing this. It needed to be said and you hit on every point including the fact that there were 3 families affected by this tragedy.

  • Mabel Higgins

    J.D. Booth – Thank-you – I will post your commentary to the social media as an antidote to the junk. As well, online comments to news articles, should require signatures and verification, as Letters to the Editor have always required. Media outlets across the nation should revisit their standards. This new online comments ‘service’ contributes little to the fabric of our daily lives..

  • Garry

    Well said, J.D. The media and social network actions have taken this event completely beyond the level of what human sensitivity should be. I’m pleased that some of us are still behaving like rational people who care about others.

  • JC

    Well said and thoughtful. While the other press seems to have gone the way of sensationalism, you have stayed true to the facts. No one outside those involved with the case know what actually happened. The poor journalism and speculation involved with some of the stories written are disgusting and completely unjustified.

  • Elaine

    Thank you Mr. Booth. I wouldn’t want to even try and imagine what this family is going through. To publish the story about the killers’ private lives is disgusting. What’s more disgusting is that other evil minds out there will now gain more information on how to perpetrate even more heinous crimes. So sad, so very very sad.

  • jd

    Thank you for your comment.

  • Natalie Frisk

    I’m very impressed by this, Mr. Booth. Well said. There is so much pain in these times, why people inflict further wounds is unimaginable to me.

  • jd

    I appreciate your note. Thanks for being one of the “good guys.:


  • Janis

    Mr. Booth: Thank you for writing this. It is something that has needed to be said and you put it so eloquently. This is the finest piece of local journalism that I have read in a long time.

  • Kerry B

    Im not surprised by your honest opinion JD, you certainly are a breath of fresh air within the local media…please keep doing what you do, I personally appreciate your human touch style of media communication. You are a gem. Thank you!

  • jd

    Thank YOU for your continued support of this enterprise. I hope the late Rt. Hon. A. Mackenzie would be proud. J.D.

  • jd

    Gosh (red face). Thanks for your ongoing support and encouragement. J.D.