By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Abandoned: The Sad Death of Dianne Brimble
By Geesche Jacobsen (Allen & Unwin, $22.99, softcover, 379 pages)
This remarkable case transfixed Australians, but at the heart of it is a clear message about how easy it is for situations to get out of hand when due diligence is discarded.
Abandoned also highlights the definitive lines between criminal and ethical accountability.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Queensland mother Dianne Brimble was, without doubt, a sorrowful time for everyone. What was meant to be the holiday of a lifetime, turned to tragedy on the cruise ship Pacific Sky on 24 September 2002.
Geesche Jacobsen has compiled this book based on recollections of dozens of people, pointing out that differences may exist in their “memory of events or of their sequence”.
“The passage of time, intoxication, failings of memory or self-interest can account for this.”
Some questions may never be answered, but Jacobsen believes this version is the “most credible”—even though they evoke the deepest sense of unease.
Dianne was found dead in a cabin on the ship, less than 24 hours into her holiday. It belonged to four men from Adelaide who were among a group of eight interesting characters, who were described in press reports as “the most hated men in Australia”.
Quite disturbing was what emerged within hours of Dianne’s death: she had been showered and dressed before medical help was called. Soon there were rumours and allegations involving drug use, group sex, rape and murder. It was even more difficult to evaluate the truth as the ship’s personnel failed to secure the cabin, enabling the men to collect their belongings.
A grieving family, intensive police investigation, a high-profile inquest, grim reality of some legal variances and a criminal trial examined what happened in the few crucial early morning hours ending in her death.
It was ‘cruise ship horror’ that no one should have to endure.
Edition 400, 11 March 2014
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.