They have accepted the shadow of an evil presence to loom over them, as a trade-off for something that they may consider dear to them. The musician Guiseppe Tartini made a pact with the devil to enable him to play the violin as its uber-master. Faust made his pact with the devil, as did Oscar Wilde's fictional Dorian Gray. The exchange was a diabolical one; giving up one's soul to obtain some earthly aspiration.
Favours sought could range from mastery over a creative Muse, eternal youth, untold wealth, or power, political or occult. And, needless to say, there could be many interpretations of what constitutes one's burning desire, a desire so bereft of reason and soundness of mind that one would willingly bargain with the devil to obtain it, and in the process give up one's rights to one's soul.
Without your soul, what do you become? A spawn of the devil? A helpless naif, but one capable of truly outstanding performances of one kind or another? It's a metaphorical process, this bargaining to gain something otherwise unattainable, one that haunts people, and brings them to the brink of insanity.
And it certainly seems, from the evidence being given at the trial of one, Allen Tehrankari, taking place in Ottawa, for the murder of his sister-in-law, Barbara Galway, that Tehrankari's loving and supportive wife has submitted her soul to damnation, in defence of the indefensible. That she is defending her husband against a murder charge is explicable.
That she has chosen to defend her husband against the mountain of damning evidence that has been assembled in charging him with the brutal murder of her sister, is inexplicable. Other than to assume, from the words and beliefs that spew from her mouth in voluntary testimony, that she has completely taken leave of her senses.
Certainly her sensibilities. Certainly her sense of morality and human dignity. This was her older sister whom her husband brutalized, murdered and consigned to a heap of burning flesh.
Granted, the sister, Barbara Galway, appears to have been the Black Sheep of her family and that's another kind of tragedy altogether. How might it be possible, any sane person might ask incredulously, that a woman presented with what appears to be incontrovertible evidence that her husband committed the most bestial of acts, clumsily, insanely, brutally, against her very own sister, yet she helplessly sees in him a pure and innocent spirit?
Bizarre beyond belief. Sufficiently so that one would have good reason to fear for the safety of her young child. Is the fact that an otherwise-ordinary-seeming person has succumbed to dangerous hallucinations sufficient to have public agencies tasked with the safety of young children look into this? Susan Pearce, sister of Barbara Galway, trusting wife of Allen Tehrankari has testified that he was attacked by some unknown men, who extracted his semen.
Is this a new one in the annals of unlikely occurrences in defence of a murderer whose semen was found in the vagina of a woman he raped, strangled, and whose corpse he burned beyond recognition in an isolated wood? These attackers took her husband's semen after submitting him to the indignity of a sexual attack. "How did the sperm get into your sister's vagina at the body site?" the assistant Crown attorney asked.
"I'm assuming the men who did this were the same ones who killed her" was her response. When asked if it did not raise any suspicion in her mind when her husband cut a large piece of carpeting from their home's upstairs hallway to rid the scene of bloodstains, the response was that the wife hadn't wanted her child to be exposed to the potential of bacterial infection from blood. "It's still not very suspicious to you, is it not?" asked the attorney. "No, not really", she said.
Murder is messy work, to be sure. When the assistant Crown laid out additional compelling evidence, that the presence of blood was discovered on the bathroom vanity, the shower curtain, the bathroom waste basket, the wall, the door frame, a stair railing, and carpet fibres were found in a neighbour's garbage can, Susan Pearce was unfazed. "You actually know that that's the blood of your sister on that mattress", referring to the blood-soaked mattress removed from one of their bedrooms.
"Yes, I know that", Ms. Pearce responded. "At that point, you must have serious concerns that your husband is involved", led the attorney. "Well, there are other ways my sister's blood could have gotten there", Pearce claimed imperturbably. And besides which, she iterated and reiterated, her sister was suffering from some sort of hallucinations around the time of her death, to the extent that she was behaving abnormally, lying, that kind of thing.
There's a heart beating in that woman's chest; her soul appears to have gone the way of the devil.