Sticking our necks out in pursuit of justice

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At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, we have been sticking our necks out for almost two months now in an effort to see that justice is done in the mysterious shooting death of 23-year-old Katherine Sinclair in Windermere on the night of June 1. Some have said we’re putting our lives on the line. We know we’re putting our livelihood on the line (see Jim’s column on A1).

We didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Katherine. We also don’t know Greg Burroughs, the boyfriend whose house she was at on the night the fatal shot was fired into her head.

There’s nothing personal in our reporting on this case. No one involved in it did anything for us or to us. Our fight is simply for justice and equal treatment in the eyes of the law.

We have been disheartened by the reaction of many to that basic concept that all Americans should share. At least four women Burroughs has been in relationships with — all of whom look strikingly similar — have reported some form of abuse at his hands. Yet only one of them has responded at all to repeated questions from us about him and their relationships, even with our promise to not identify them.

That’s attributable to the power he has to create fear in them and/or their weakness. It’s likely a little of both, considering the history of domestic abuse he has. But something continues to keep them quiet and him free. That’s what we’re up against. Alone, apparently.

His criminal history — the part that hasn’t been whitewashed, that is — won’t be admissible in court, but it would help establish the pattern of abuse and lack of punishment that mark this man’s life. It would serve notice to those involved in law enforcement and the justice system that we are watching and we won’t just let it slide. Doing that for so long has led us to where we are now, it appears.

Our reporting about her being nude from the waist down and the couple’s sex games possibly gone awry upset some people on Sinclair’s side who had been cheerleaders for us. What they need to understand is that all of this and a whole lot more will come out in the trial, if it even makes it that far. They need to be prepared for that. It’s relevant because it gives a plausible theory about what may have happened. Was she so scared that she fled to her car without her bottoms on? And it also again displays how irresponsible the police were to allow his family and friends to clean the scene when what likely led to the shooting was inside the house.

This investigation boils down to who pulled the trigger — Sinclair or Burroughs? We will have to rely on science to tell us that. Only two people know for sure, and one is dead.

We’re motivated by the pursuit of truth and justice. That’s all. We wish more people would understand that and join us.