British heavy-metal rocker Ozzy Osbourne’s musical muse has derived new inspiration from Robert Latimer, a Canadian found guilty of the murder of his disabled daughter, which will feature prominently in a new album entitled “Scream.”
The song, “Latimer’s Mercy,” will feature alongside such death-delighting tracks as “Let it Die” and “Let Me Hear You Scream and Crucify.”
According to CanWest News Service, Osbourne wanted to describe what he thought must have gone through Latimer’s mind in 1993 as Latimer poisoned to death his daughter, 13-year-old Tracy, who had cerebral palsy, in a garage filled with carbon monoxide from a running car engine. Latimer was convicted of murder in 1994 and again in 1997, but only served seven years of a ten year sentence.
“To put your child to death is a big decision. I’m not one to go, ‘You’re wrong, you shouldn’t do that,’ or ‘You did the right thing,’” Osbourne told a CanWest reporter during a news conference.
“I’m in the middle of the road,” he added. “I question myself, thinking ‘How would I deal with that?’ It’s a very big decision to make.”
When Osbourne brought up his thoughts on Latimer to reporters during a Toronto media conference, he said that it must be difficult for anyone to bear “a child that is so messed up, she doesn’t have any quality of life … seeing her go through pain and agony.”
Whatever Latimer’s intentions as fantasized by the hard rocker, the Canadian justice system found the Saskatchewan farmer guilty of second-degree murder, when he deprived Tracy Latimer of life. Latimer, who has never expressed remorse for the killing, maintained that he had acted “out of love” that left him no choice but to kill his daughter. He became a cause célèbre with euthanasia activists who engaged in a media campaign to depict him as a victim of an unjust legal system.
Osbourne’s graphic lyrics also appear to advance the image of Latimer’s “love” as the laudable motive for the murder of his daughter: “The sun shines on this deadly new mourning/The church bells ring an early warning/Your eyes shine as I turn on the motor/The tears fall as the mercy gets closer.”
The song continues: “Another day and another full seizure/Another pill, you spiral down deeper/Another cut by a surgical butcher/It’s just a way of prolonging the torture.” And again, “I won’t say I know what I’m doing/I won’t say I’m sorry/I can’t bring you back but I can’t leave you helpless/I’ll make the pain rest in peace.”
Pro-life advocates have argued that Latimer’s interest lay in relieving his own difficulties with his daughter’s disability.
When Tracy’s death was discovered, Robert Latimer at first told police she had died in her sleep. But he later confessed, after the police had performed an autopsy, that he had killed his daughter by placing her in the cab of his truck and connecting a hose from the cab to the truck’s exhaust pipe. He also admitted having considered other methods of killing his daughter, including overdosing on Valium and “shooting her in the head.”
“Latimer’s Mercy” is the tenth track on the album “Scream,” which will become available on June 22.
Osbourne’s famous promotion of suicide as a morally praiseworthy action in the song “Suicide Solution” was accused of inciting the 1985 death of teenager John McCollum of California.
McCollum suffered from clinical depression and his parents alleged that he killed himself after hearing the words, “Where to hide, suicide is the only way out. Don’t you know what it’s really about?”
Another young man, Michael Waller, son of a Georgia minister, also shot himself to death over five years later, and was said by his parents to have listened to “Suicide Solution” as well. Civil court challenges against Osbourne were ruled in the rocker’s favor.