On the afternoon of September 16th, 2021 tragedy befell the small town of Hinton, Alberta. 24-year old Mchale Busch and her 16-month old son Noah McConnell had their lives taken at the hands of pure evil. The man charged with both murders and causing indignity to a human remains is a previously convicted sex offender. Despite the fact that when this man was last released the Edmonton Police Service issued a warning to the public advising that they considered him to be “ highly likely to offend again, especially against women and children”, his Court mandated restrictions expired in 2020. He was not required to report his location, changes in address or to keep a distance from children, schools, or playgrounds. He lived in a family apartment complex in Hinton and Mchale and Noah had only moved into the building 10 days prior to the murders. The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) was unaware of his criminal history or whereabouts until after their disappearance. The reintegration of the accused and his rehabilitation was given priority over the protection of the public, including Mchale and Noah if the accused is convicted of their murders. Mchale and Noah cannot be rehabilitated from the dead or reintegrated into their family. As the family mourns and grieves, they are fighting to implement Noah’s Law. Noah's Law would bring sweeping changes to the national sex offender laws.
"Noah's Law is about being proactive and not reactive in order to prevent the next young family from going through what we are right now," family member Verna Sand says. "This won't bring Mchale and Noah back to us but it will most definitely save lives in the future." As of right now, there are no mandatory minimum sentences for repeat sex offenders, something that is at the forefront of the fight to implement Noah's Law. The law also calls for public access to the sex offender registry. Right now, the police are the only ones who have access to it, something that is completely unacceptable if we are to protect the public. Lastly, the law calls for more diligent background checks for landlords to look into prospective tenants. Sand, a landlord herself says "Being a landlord, I only have my gut and my instincts when choosing a tenant. I know for the safety of my home and for our neighbors that I would like to know I am not putting anyone in harm's way by renting out to a convicted sex offender." The law would not only be for landlords but to enlighten the public to be aware of who is in their vicinity.
As the day drew on, I was honored to be given a glimpse into the lives of Mchale and Noah. Brooke Sole, Mchale's best friend, and roommate at nursing school said "Mchale was such a positive, glowing light in my life and any life she touched. Her energy and passion were contagious. She truly lit up the room the minute she walked in. Her caring spirit uplifted anybody she came into contact with. She would give the shirt off her back to anyone who needed it. I know for a fact that if she were here and this had happened to anyone else, she would be fighting for them. It is only right and just that we fight for her and Noah and not let their deaths be in vain." There are more than two victims in this case. Cody McConnell is now mourning the untimely loss of his wife and son. "How many chances do they get? My wife and son were ripped away from me for no reason because the justice system is broken. We must fight to implement this law in my son's name and prevent any more families from feeling this pain that I feel right now."
In the days it took researching Canada's laws and what it would take to change them, I was appalled at what I found. There are many out there who believe that the laws cannot and should not be changed due to the detriment it would be to reintegration and rehabilitation of these individuals. What about the members of society who aren't sex offenders? What about the members of society who you are sworn to protect? Why must more families and children suffer? Honestly, the rights of those individuals were due to be compromised the minute they decided to assault, molest or rape innocent women and children. I can not be the only one who thinks a society with these sexual predators off the streets is better than one where they are free to roam and live right next door with no warning. Why is such evil protected and privatized? Since when did sexual assailants become more important than innocent citizens who shouldn't have to live in fear and wonder if their family is next? These are the questions we need to come together and demand answers and actions for. As a community, we must fight for justice for Mchale and baby Noah so we never have to bury another loved one due to gross injustice ever again.
You can join the fight for Noah's Law at the following places:
Facebook- Noah's Law