Why vigilantism doesn’t work
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
In an earlier article, I talked about why the Creep Catcher vigilante team’s activities are wrong. Vigilantism is extremely dangerous in many ways, for all parties involved. It was only a matter of time before someone got seriously hurt, or worse.
Unfortunately, the news has proven me right. Less than a month after being showcased on a Creep Catchers video allegedly trying to lure a young girl for sex at her own home, Katelynn McKnight, 27, committed suicide. A family member confirmed that Katelynn thought her death would “be honourable and bring change.”
Katelynn was mentally ill and had many personal problems. It is possible her death was not directly caused by Creep Catchers, but it surely contributed to her depressive state and personal demons. A father-figure to her, who took her in when she needed help, wrote on Facebook: “[…] the unbearable humiliation of being publicly labeled as a pedophile unable to leave the house for fear of being attacked was just one of the many things that pushed her over the edge.”
It is a reminder of the dangers of conflict with strangers. It demonstrates why some things are better left to the proper authorities, who have experience in dealing with the mentally ill. Certainly, mentally ill people are not always treated properly by the police, but they also don’t have their cases posted on the internet, nor are they shamed via public accusations.
The Creep Catchers ruined a mentally ill person’s life to the point that she ended it. One anonymous member of the group has spoken out and left the group after the incident. The Creep Catchers have humiliated and shamed many more people, some of whom are mentally ill and are not being subject to a fair process for their alleged behaviour. Hopefully, no more deaths will result from the ambush. It’s definitely a sign things got out of control, and how serious the Creep Catchers behaviour really is.