I should begin by saying British banker Rurik Jutting is entirely innocent until proven guilty, but if this morning's news reports are any guide, the same logic can't be applied to the women involved in this horrendous case.
The coverage of this tragedy has been almost exclusively focussed on how the two murdered women found naked and dismembered inside Jutting's flat were purportedly sex workers, with strong hints about the ex-fiancee who "betrayed" the British banker. It is the women, obviously, who are at fault.
Hong Kong police have not said the two women were sex workers, though if they were, they are still human beings first, and no more at fault for being murdered. Friends have said one of the women told them she was going to a "Halloween party" and denied that she was a prostitute.
The killings are immediately characterised as "American Psycho-style", giving them an aura of glamour.
The Times runs a piece on Monday morning on Hong Kong's red light district, a place "where expatriates with money can rapidly and comprehensively lose their moral compasses". Wan Chai, we are told, is just two blocks from Jutting's apartment.
What's implied here? That because Hong Kong "throbs" with so many temptations, because of the ready availability of prostitutes, perhaps men cannot help but murder them?
The agency is given only to the women. "Men are lured from the pavements," we are told. Is that against their will?
The women are "ruthlessly mini-skirted" and the men "frogmarched by the girls past kebab shops and convenience stores to the nearest cash machines." Absent is any mention of personal responsibility of the men involved.
And predictably, within hours of his arrest, there was another woman in Jutting's life to cast blame upon.
The Telegraph headlines a piece with "British suspect 'devastated' by fiancee's betrayal".
Betrayal is not even in quote marks, it is a given.
The piece quotes an associate of Jutting, who says he was upset by a former girlfriend's affair, which he "reacted very badly to".
The Mail runs a similar piece, headlined: 'Did British banker murder two prostitutes after fiancée CHEATED on him? Public schoolboy 'was devastated by her betrayal and became obsessed with money and power', friend claims'.
If Jutting is guilty, he may well have killed the pair AFTER his fiancee was unfaithful, but only in the chronological sense.
But the insinuation here, of course, is a cheating, deceptive woman drove Jutting to commit his alleged crime.
We are not close to knowing the facts of this disturbing case, but before any case is brought against Jutting, judgment on both the murder women and on Jutting's former girlfriend has already been cast.Suggest a correction