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A murderer among us

Article by: By MICHELE MANDEL
– A murderer among us
‘We seem to be doing back-flips for this kid:’ Cop
By MICHELE MANDEL
Last Updated: 2nd August 2009, 4:45am
Perhaps he was at Caribana yesterday, jumping up and having fun. After all, the young killer has been allowed to do practically everything else he’s wanted to do.
While the mother of the boy he beat to a bloody pulp dies a little more every day.
Six years after her young son was murdered following a Caribana party, Moonie Ali somehow managed to muster the strength to drive the Crime Stoppers vehicle in yesterday’s parade.
“I have to do it,” she explained wearily as to why, as a volunteer director with Crime Stoppers, she felt compelled to be there to raise awareness against violence.
“Do I look forward to it? No, I don’t — knowing that it’s the fateful time and place where my child went. But if this is a way to stop another mother from going through this — it is worse than any bullet, worse than any knife, what parents have to live through.”
This is the hardest time of year for the still-grieving mom, though in truth, no other time is much easier.
As people danced and laughed all around her, all she could think about was her 15-year-old son, Terrence, who was viciously beaten beyond recognition by three young men and then dumped in Lake Ontario to drown near the Rouge Hill GO station on Aug. 4, 2003.
“I have nightmares and flashbacks of what they did to my child,” she whispers, forever haunted by the autopsy report that found her slight, intoxicated son was pummelled with such force that his head was “separated from his skeleton.”
Two of his killers, adults at the time, pleaded guilty and were sentenced to long stretches in prison. But the third, just 17 days shy of his 18th birthday, hit the justice jackpot as a youth offender — and is already home with his dad, under “house arrest” when he’s not working and playing hockey.
Ali has spent the last six years attending dozens upon dozens of court hearings, informing the media of each one, doggedly determined to haunt the youth offender’s every attempt to ease his way home.
And all for naught.
Credited with pre-trial custody, he was to serve just 41/2 years in detention before being released next February under supervision into the community. Instead, at his request, he was allowed to return home last November.
His ever-widening freedom is a dagger in her heart, digging only deeper with every new court decision. A few weeks ago, at the killer’s request, Justice Russell Otter eased his release conditions yet again — instead of studying online at home, now the 23-year-old will be allowed to attend Ryerson University this fall as a mature student.
“We seem to be doing back-flips for this kid,” says homicide Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux, who was on the Ali case and still receives a call from his distraught mother almost every week. “It’s frustrating to see the system continually bend over backwards for the offender and she’s forgotten about.”
And to add further insult, like everything else involved in this murderer’s “rehabilitation,” taxpayers will be footing the bill.
“He will be sitting in a classroom with people who don’t know what he’s done,” Ali says, her voice shaking with an anger that soon gives way to tears.
“My child wasn’t even able to complete high school. Where is my child? Where is my child?” she sobs. “He should have been going to college. He should have been out in the community.”
Instead, her son lies in Duffin Meadows Cemetery in Pickering, where she will hold a public memorial Tuesday to mark the grim anniversary of his death.
“To the community, it feels like a long time ago, but to me, it feels like yesterday,” she says. “We are living the sentence, not the criminal. He’s going to school, playing hockey, going to work. This guy is living it up.”
And maybe even dancing to a calypso beat.