July 24, 2009

Pt 1: Kingston Murders - Until police laid murder charges this week, a Kingston car crash near the end of June was believed to be an accident, although a suspicious one. Investigators were baffled by how a black 4-door Nissan managed to fall -- possibly backwards -- into a shallow part of the Rideau canal. Inside: the bodies of three teenaged sisters and an older female relative.

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Pt 2: The Lost Art of Lost - For more and more of us, the idea of hitting the road without packing a Global Positioning System - a GPS device - strikes fear in our hearts. The ubiquity of GPS in everything from cars, to cameras, to cell phones, means it's becoming increasingly unlikely we'll ever get lost again.

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It's Friday, July 24th.

Some say the ubiquity of GPS technology erodes our national sense of direction, and makes us slaves to the machines.

Currently, up ahead, drive through the stop sign, turn left, and slam your vehicle into the big tree on the corner. Trust me.

This is The Current.


Kingston Murders

Reporter

Until police laid murder charges this week, a Kingston car crash near the end of June was believed to be an accident, although a suspicious one. Investigators were baffled by how a black 4-door Nissan managed to fall -- possibly backwards -- into a shallow part of the Rideau canal. Inside: the bodies of three teenaged sisters and an older female relative.

At the time, the parents said it was a family vacation gone tragically wrong. They added the girls frequently took the car without permission, and said it happened while they were asleep in a hotel room.

But yesterday, police charged the mother, father and an 18-year-old brother of the girls with 1st degree murder, and conspiracy to commit murder.

JC Kenny has been covering this story since the car was discovered last month. She is a reporter for CBC radio in Kingston.

Panel

To be clear. No one has been convicted in this case.

The Kingston Police Chief Stephen Tanner's emphasis of cultural mores as a factor in their investigation does raise the spectre of "honour" killings. And, if that's the case, this is not the first time police have suggested cultural conflict as a motive for homicide in this country.

Aqsa Parvez was a sixteen year-old Brampton teen who, according to friends, had been clashing with her family over her refusal to wear the hijab. Her father now awaits trial, accused of her murder. In May last year, an Ottawa man, Hasibullah Sadiqi, was sentenced to life in prison for killing his sister and her fiancé. He believed they brought dishonour on his family.

Amin Muhammad studies honour killings. He is a Professor of Psychiatry at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He was in our studio in St. John's.

Sherene Razack is a Professor of Sociology and Equity studies at the University of Toronto's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

The Lost Art of Lost

For more and more of us, the idea of hitting the road without packing a Global Positioning System - a GPS device - strikes fear in our hearts. The ubiquity of GPS in everything from cars, to cameras, to cell phones, means it's becoming increasingly unlikely we'll ever get lost again.

But some wonder if the magic of always being found is costing us the rewards of sometimes being lost. That the spirit of adventure and discovery erodes when the GPS is there to tell you where to go. That there is a lost art to getting lost.

So we went on a road trip and charted the limits -- and benefits -- GPS has on our society.

Riding shotgun with Sheila in our Toronto studio is University of Waterloo professor Colin Ellard. He's the author of, Where Am I? Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon but Get Lost in the Mall.

The Current would also like to send out a special thanks to "Audrey", the British voice created by AT&T research, for simulating our GPS interview navigator.


Music


Artist: Steve Dawson
Cut: "An Orange Grove in California"
CD: We Belong to the Gold Coast
Label: Black Hen Music

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