A woman is left for dead and the media are quiet

Edit May 8, 2014: An update is posted HERE.

Maybe there are police reasons for this, but having looked at the video of the police appealing for help, I don’t think so.

If you haven’t heard of the case, Shey Webber was found in her home beaten and left to die. Her injuries are described by her sister as life-changing. I don’t know if this means horrifically scarred or brain-damaged, or possibly both.

I first learned of this case several days ago, yet Shey was found on November 6. When Jill Meagher was murdered there was media coverage almost 24/7, or at least that is my recollection. Yet in this case the media published a few articles and Shey made the cover of The Herald Sun on one day only that I can recall.

The difference between the two women? Jill was married and snatched off the street, raped and murdered. Shey was beaten in her own home and left to die. Beaten so badly her own sister walked past her in the emergency room and didn’t recognise her. Shey was single and active on dating web sites. Is this why there doesn’t seem to be the same media coverage? I am reminded of The King’s Tribune terrific article by Jane Gilmore analysing the public reaction to the murder of Tracy Connelly and can’t help wondering if this is a similar reaction. Tracy disappeared off the front page in a day. There have been a couple of follow-up articles about Shey, but nothing major. Social media hasn’t been alive with her name.

I noticed today Sarah Cafferkey’s killer is appealing his sentence.

The two-time killer pleaded guilty to the crime, committed 11 days after his parole ended for kidnapping and assaulting a man.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/sarah-cafferkeys-killer-steven-james-hunter-to-appeal-life-jail-term-20131121-2xwia.html#ixzz2lGHFzwqk

Jill, Tracy and Sarah are all dead. Shey’s life will, according to reports, never be the same again. Will she recover from the horrendous injuries?

As the policeman says in the video, on-line dating is no different to meeting a man at a social event, yet I do wonder if, as with Tracy’s case, there is an element of “oh, but she was using dating sites”. The poor woman is lucky to be alive. She is a daughter, sister, co-worker. Just like Jill, she is a person. I’d like to quote Gilmore from the above-mentioned article about Tracy:

… she wasn’t a person, she was a “prostitute”. No one wants to feel a sense of community or sameness with her. She was something other than us and therefore we don’t need to feel fear or grief at the fact or the manner of her death.

Just as we should have felt a sense of community or sameness with Tracy so we should with Shey. Because next time it could be our wife, daughter, sister, aunt or even our mother.

As a community, we need to care. We need to catch the person responsible.

Update December 17: It has been reported by several media outlets that Shey has been brought out of the induced coma, but is still unable to communicate (3AW report). Forensic experts have also indicated the injuries may have been sustained by a fall, however investigations are ongoing.

“The investigation remains ongoing, with detectives still attempting to determine whether Ms Webber was assaulted or whether it was a terrible accident,” she (police spokesperson) said.

“She was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she remains with serious injuries and unable to communicate.”


22 comments on “A woman is left for dead and the media are quiet

  1. […] six months of following the case of Shey Webber, I still hadn’t given up hope there would be news.  News of a recovery for Shey first and […]


  2. […] “A woman is left for dead and the media are quiet” at Love versus Goliath […]


  3. Such horrific stories and yet with insufficient coverage for all of them. With all the online exposure we get/give, I bet stalkers have also taken advantage of the situation… Terribly sad.


    • Very sad and also very infuriating Elizabeth. You know each day I do a google search to see if there are any updates. Nothing.

      I suppose it is possible Shey or her family have asked for media silence but that is unlikely given earlier pleas for help.

      It is as if it never happened. A sound bite then consigned to history, let’s move on to the next story.


  4. Jill was in the media daily as there was film of her walking home. No film or pictures then it didn’t happen.What about the mother murdered in her own home in Pakenham. We haven’t heard a bit about it since day 2.


  5. Thank you for keeping this alive and out there in some sort of public forum. What happened to Shey is just horrible and will affect people who know and love her forever…. I just can’t grasp how one human being can do this to another…I just can’t fathom it. He must be caught and brought to justice, and whilst we know our justice system isn’t fabulous or even consistent, finding him might at least provide some sort of explanation as to the events leading to Shey’s brutal assualt.


    • Thank you Lisa. I could have written a much longer article, but tried to keep it short and to the point. Now I worry perhaps it is a little TOO short, but hopefully people understand where I am coming from.

      I hope we find out more details in due course. I haven’t seen any news of her progress yet and am hoping there IS improvement. Such a very sad and inhuman thing to do. I am surprised Shey was found on the 6th of November, but the news stories were some eight days later – I wonder what leads the public may have had if the news had been broken earlier. But then there can be other reasons not to go public early too, so we have to trust the professionals on that score.

      I just hope they find the culprit and lock him up for a long time.


  6. I hope the Police catch Shey’s assailant. Violence against women is so pervasive. Such violence has no place in a civilised society..thanks Robyn for sharing


  7. I have noticed too, that the media has gone strangely quiet on Shey’s case, and wonder why.
    Gilmore’s quote about Tracy is despicable to say the least – whatever these women’s backgrounds were, or their way of life, they are still human beings and ANY death matters.


    • Gilmore’s article is great, I hope you read it. I have edited my article to clarify any confusion that may have arisen by my taking her quotation out of the context of her article. Truly wonderful piece on the case she was discussing.

      The situation is very sad.


  8. We are all equal and anyone who tries to tell us otherwise is entirely wrong!. sorry I’ve been so quiet lately Robyn…


  9. I hadn’t even heard of this tragic news! Some news make it from East to West, but others less relevant don’t make it. At best I find the TV news very brief and kept to local news, not much is transmitted from around the world, unless there is a disaster!
    This was certainly a very relevant one, but as you say it didn’t get much media coverage on your side of Australia either. It’s scary when you aren’t safe in your own home!


  10. I do so hope they catch this evil person who did this and very shortly. No person has a right to do this horrible thing to another person ever.

    We all have the right to feel and to be safe in our homes, walking the streets or being anywhere else we want to be without any repercussions at all.

    I hope and pray for Beautiful Shey’s recovery.


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