One of the main curiosities I find in death is the fact that it reduces to a raw form what we used to be in life. There is nothing else that so perfectly illustrates what we truly are in essence, which is nothing more than an organism that somehow managed to develop a highly complex brain. Apart from that, we are still not that different from all other animals, from bacteria even, driven by an uncontrollable reproductive urge, perpetuating a never ending cycle, regardless of how ruthless it may be to most. If anything, those of us here know that humanity is as savage as a pack of Hyenas, subduing all of those who are weaker, and removing by any cost those of the same species who pose a threat. Thinking we stand much above these animalistic instincts is ignoring humanity’s true, vile nature, one that only grants survival to the strongest. Granted, many humans can be magnanimous, but is it accurate to assume it is done by pure altruism, or as an attempt to inflate one’s ego due to the attention he/she receives? Have we really evolved to a point of acting truly selflessly, or do we pretend to act as such?
When I read this article, considering the drastic before and after changes the girl who was killed underwent, I saw how much we put too much emphasis on beauty, considering that it is purely temporary. Unlike the Metamorphosis the Butterfly goes through, starting out as an ugly larva but ending it’s short life as a beautiful Butterfly, humans may have a “good-looking” stage, but most always meet their ending years in an ugly way. Biologically speaking, we are driven to feel attracted to the most beautiful members of the opposite sex, as they make us believe such person is the carrier of good genes, but are we exaggerating when we prioritize beauty over personality? Thing is, one tends to end with time, while the other might improve with it.
That is something we’ll never know in regards to Paola.
Here’s what happened to her.
On the 5th of June of 2015, 20 year old Paola Bulgarelli, who lived in Araçatuba, a municipality of the state of São Paulo, Brazil, disappeared. On the 12th of June, her body was found by some fishermen on a small river by the name of Baguaçu, not that far from where she lived. Her body was bloated and practically unrecognizable, but after DNA tests, it was conclusively determined that it was indeed Paola’s body.
Two days later, an anonymous report arrived at Araçatuba’s police department, which pointed 18 year old Emerson da Silva Lins as the perpetrador of the crime. He was located about 120 kms (74 miles) from the city, in a family member’s house. He was arrested at a party.
While under detention, he still tried to run away, but with no success. He then confessed the crime, to both police and journalists.
Emerson claimed to know the victim, since they lived in the same neighborhood, and to convince her to follow him to a deserted bush area, he said a friend of his had killed a large snake, which he wanted to show her. After arriving at the scene, Emerson hit her and asked her to remove her underwear. She resisted, so he forced himself on her. After raping her, he killed her with a log he found nearby, hitting her multiple times in the head and face. He then proceeded to dump her body on the river. Emerson, or “Miojo”, as he was known for, said he was drunk and under the influence of demons (of course, like always). Before dumping her body, he made sure he grabbed her cellphone, which he sold to a fellow ex-con of his for $30 reais, about 8 US dollars.
After being transferred to Araçatuba’s jail, 600 people awaited him (could you imagine if, for some reason, the cops surrendered him to the locals?). Her sister, Mariah Bulgarelli, had this to say: “My sister didn’t deserve to die like this. We want justice, and I forgive him, but we want the police to arrest him and throw him in jail, where he’ll know what justice truly is like. They have to send him to a jail where he’ll suffer (I thought she had forgiven him). He cried, they showed a photo of him crying, but it was not out of regret, but out of fear of what would happen to him.” Emerson can face up to 30 years in prison, but we all know he’ll only serve a fraction of that.
She was buried on the 13th of June.
Facebook now provides the possibility for a family to manage the personal profile of a diseased loved one. Above the name, it reads “remembering”. Paola’s Facebook profile is still active and run by her family, and can easily be found, but I will not post the link here.
I feel no empathy for criminals who meet brutal ends, but it is disturbing when we’re talking about innocent people. A life cut short in the worst of ways. From beauty to horrid decay; its what awaits us all. If anything, it shows us how the present is unmeasurably valuable, for what happens to us after we perish, is anyone’s guess.