ColumnistsVogue Williams

We shouldn’t treat real life tragedy of Molly and Jason like a Netflix documentary

Jason-Corbett and Molly
Jason-Corbett and Molly

I have been gripped by the case of Thomas and Molly Martens, the father and daughter charged with the murder of her husband, Limerick man Jason Corbett.

I think this case is so strange. I don’t understand what really happened, but I don’t think anyone can yet.

But the way the American justice system works, we are now hearing every detail of what is alleged to have happened before a trial has even got underway.

A 911 call from Thomas Martens has him confessing to killing Jason with a baseball bat, claiming he did it in self-defence as his daughter was being attacked at the time.

We’ve known many cases and crimes of passion where people just lose it and kill someone, but I don’t think that this case is as clear-cut as that.

Molly is being painted as a paranoid, aggressive and controlling person, who wanted her husband out of her life but still wanted custody of his children from a previous marriage.

It’s also been claimed he wanted to leave her and return to Ireland, all of which makes it hard for me to believe that her father had to beat him over the head to get him away from his daughter.

After Jason was killed, Molly then kept his children with her in America, refusing to allow them to go home to his family, their blood relations in Ireland. 

I think that move in itself is weird. They should have been sent back to their family straight away, instead of being stuck with a clearly volatile woman who had just been caught up in the investigation into the murder of their father.

I think when cases are so highly publicised, it’s almost impossible for people to get a fair trial and it makes it harder to find out the truth.

When I met Emilia Carr on death row, she  felt that because of the publicity surrounding her case she was unable to get a fair trial. She was a woman pregnant by another woman’s husband who they had killed.

It may explain why she ended up getting sentenced to the death penalty.

It was the same in the Steven Avery case from the hit TV show ‘Making a Murderer’. He was deemed to be guilty and pre-trial publicity was enormous.

But that’s the U.S. justice system. And it seems the nation will now be gripped to the drama as if it is a Netflix boxset.

We should remember these are the lives of real people, especially Jason’s children, who at so young an age are now left without their mother, who died from a severe asthma attack, and now their father too, killed in such brutal circumstances.