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Would You Help a Relative Get Away with Murder?

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For some, blood is thicker than water -- even when it's a crime.

Ryan Jenkins, Casey Anthony

How far would you go to protect a loved one? What if they were involved in a crime -- and that crime was murder?

According to Canadian TV, the woman who accompanied accused killer Ryan Jenkins to the hotel where he eventually committed suicide was his 20-year-old half sister.

This woman was undoubtedly aware of the massive manhunt for Jenkins, suspected of killing his ex-wife, Jasmine Fiore, who was found stuffed in a suitcase with her fingers and teeth removed to avoid identification. Yet, even knowing of these horrific acts, family members continue to rally around Jenkins. This brand of family solidarity is not uncommon.

Relatives of criminals offer various levels of help, says Robin Sax, a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney. Sax says the first kind of assistance is a family member who knows about a crime, but does nothing and does not tell authorities -- or anyone -- what they know. Another scenario is someone with information who refuses to cooperate, even though authorities know they have information on a crime. And then there are relatives who actually lie and cover up the crime. Despite the possibilities, Sax says many people do the right thing when it comes to turning in a relative.

If a close member of your immediate family admitted to killing someone, would you help them cover up their crime or turn them in to police? Consider these three scenarios:

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Natalie September 2, 2009, 6:09 AM

I’m sorry, but no matter who it was, I would turn them in. My children, my husband, my mother, my siblings. I would NEVER allow anyone to take the life of another human being, and not get punished for it.

Leeza September 2, 2009, 7:10 AM

If a close relative of mine killed someone, intentionally or by accident,I would have to convince them that they have no choice but to turn themselves in to the police.For a life was taken and the family of the victim deserves justice and answers so they can heal.Any family member that chooses to protect a murderer, will live the rest of their lives in a hellish nightmare of guilt,paranoia,shame and despair.Along with the murderer as well.So,are they really getting away with murder? God gives us our faith.He forgives our sins, if we pray to Him and ask for forgiveness.Casey Anthony definitely hasn’t discovered the power of God’s presence.For she would have confessed along time ago, sparing her family and herself the hell they now live in. Hopefully,one member of Casey’s family will step forward one day and clear their conscience by confessing to the TRUTH!

Sara September 2, 2009, 9:38 AM

You don’t know what he told his half-sister. Maybe he convinced her that he wasn’t the one that murdered his wife, or that he was framed. It’s hard to say what you would have done unless you were in that situation. Hind sight is always 20/20.

John Hagen September 2, 2009, 10:12 AM

For me, I try to consider all things, all instances, all cases, all possible realities. I do not believe that any one of us could truly say what we would or would not do in a given situation. Honestly I wouldn’t know what to say. I should hope that my family members have a bit more sense and control over their emotions.

For the family member who recieves the murderer, they should seek to help them, and no problem can be solved if it is not made known. Therefore, they should ‘turn them in’, but in the spirit of kinship and love, and after processing should not abandon them.

I do not ever want to believe a human cannot be saved, however some through choice, without conscience, do kill. For these I have no words.

Jennifer September 2, 2009, 7:01 PM

I would convince them to turn themselves in… I would give them a chance to do the right thing and seek help from the police. I had a close friend that killed her abusive father when I was 14 yrs old. I talked her into turning herself in, she asked I call the police to turn her in… I did, she did about 10 yrs, she didnt pull the trigger. Some boy helped her. He got life. He is still in prison. She made the right decision in turning herself in or having me do so.

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