Office of the Chief Coroner of Ontario
26 Grenville St
Toronto Ontario M7A 2G9
RE: Marvin Davids
On, or about February 1, 2001, a man by the name of Marvin Davids committed suicide. My understanding is that he hung himself at his residence in Thornhill, Ontario.
In February of 2000 the Toronto Star wrote articles on so-called “deadbeat dads” including an article praising the continued condemnation and harassment of these people through a website sponsored by a group with less than 10 members operating under the banner of “Families Against Deadbeats.”
The front page article of February 5, 2000 was written about Marvin Davids. From the article we see a man that even in the article certainly gave any indication of being severely depressed, of being, as he was quoted, a ‘ruined man’. This was a man whose “destitute” wife spent a quarter of a million dollars pursuing arrears of less than $130,000 (or $84,000 in the March 30 article) of support and “other payments”. Those arrears were made up by a court who “imputed” an income to Mr. Davids that was not based on an income he was earning, or was able to earn.
I don’t know whether the Mr. Davids was at some moral fault in the family law matters, or the victim of the insensitive injustice being handed down by some family court judges. Although the situation is likely a combination of all these, it does not really matter. Deliquent parents, like Mr. Davids, are not guilty of a capital crime. His punishment was not to be death. He should not have died or have been pressured to the point of seeking this ultimate escape.
The Toronto Star and Families Against Deadbeats (and their then affiliated website at http://www.wantedposters.com), as promoted by the Star [February 6 and 12, 2000], harassed this man and may have contributed to his death. Biased legislation, the threat of debtors' prisons, inappropriate judgements, harassment by government agencies, and a vindictive wife egged on by the court and society may also have contributed to Mr. Davids’s death.
Suicide rates for divorced men are estimated to be at levels 1000% to 1600% higher than for women in the same situation. This is an epidemic of deaths. Are many more of these deaths being caused by the same factors that contributed in Mr. Davids’s case?
This is a case where Ontarians need a coroner who will "speak for the dead to protect the living."
I believe that this case needs a proper coroner's inquest into Mr. Davids’s death, and to identify the factors that tipped this poor man into the ultimate dispair that led him to take his life. I am writing today to encourage you to call an inquest and look into this death.
The inquest may look Mr. David's death in the context of the hundreds of lives lost annually through depression and suicide, or murder-suicide, as the result of the handling of divorce, separation and parenthood in this province.
Certainly Mr. David’s children have lost their father. Most certainly the arrears the courts said he owed will never be paid.
Who gained from Mr. David’s death? Who contributed to his death? Who will die next? Who cares? I can't answer the first three, but we all must care and prevent these tragedies from happening again.
[your name and telephone number]
cc. Solicitor-General of Ontario
Attorney-General of Ontario
Solicitor-General of Ontario
Ministry of the Solicitor General
25 Grosvenor Street
Toronto ON M7A 1Y6
Attorney-General of Ontario
Ministry of Justice
720 Bay St
Toronto ON M5G 2K1