When I write about mental health or mental illnesses, I write from personal knowledge of a problem which has been with my wife for over 45 years. Over the years which I have lived with this devastating mental illness; namely schizophrenia, I have also encountered great kindness, a depth of understanding of the human condition second to none, and great knowledge of how some people react when faced with the living reality of a person who literally, and mercurially, alters their ‘persona’, to be almost another, stronger, and sometimes more violent individual. In my long life, during the course of my wife’s illness and treatment, I have seen and met dozens, if not hundreds, of people similarly afflicted, and I know of the distress of the families who have had to watch as their relative endures the living hell which can be mental illness. I have watched as a literal giant of a man carefully cradled my infant daughter in his arms, after he asked my wife if he could hold her during a Sunday visit to the hospital where my wife was treated; and I also heard how this same man had to be restrained so tightly because he could smash a human body when his mind was afflicted by the skeins and tendrils of this mental illness.
Mental illness strikes at random; it ranges from a depression to a violence unimaginable; and it is near to most of us, in that most of us know, or are related to, a person who suffers from one or another type of illness. Unless you have experience of; or close and substantial personal contact with a person suffering from such a terrible affliction, you cannot know how such an individual will react under any stimuli or restraint.
Which is why I feel that the only appropriate charge for these three uniformed Nazis is Murder, not the weak charge of manslaughter!