The manager of the café and a barrister are the two hostages who were killed, The Australian reports.
The manager of the Lindt Café, Tori Johnson, 34, was one of the two hostages killed during the 16-hour siege, along with 38-year-old barrister Katrina Dawson.
Reports suggest Mr Johnson died after trying to knock the gun from the hand of Man Haron Monis shortly after 2am this morning.
That is, Monis murdered him.
Mr Johnson had been manager of the Lindt Chocolate Cafe for more than two years, and worked previously in hotel and restaurant jobs around Sydney.
He was a porter and assistant concierge at the five-star Observatory Hotel at The Rocks, before working for hotels overseas in the US and the Maldives.
Mr Johnson returned to Sydney as the food and beverage manager at the Rydges Jamison hotel in the city, and moved to the Adria Rybar and Grill at Darling Harbour before taking on the manager role at the flagship Lindt Cafe in October 2012.
NSW Bar Association president Jane Needham SC announced Ms Dawson’s passing this morning to the NSW Bar.
“Katrina was one of our best and brightest barristers who will be greatly missed by her colleagues and friends at the NSW Bar,” she said.
“She was a devoted mother of three children, and a valued member of her floor and of our bar community. Our thoughts are with her family at this time, including her brother, Sandy Dawson of Banco Chambers.
Bruce Everett says
Gawd it’s horrible. I’m just waiting for the inevitable situation where those claiming that Elliot Rodger was insane, and that his misogynistic politics had nothing to do with this, suddenly declare that Islam is all there is to this situation.
Never mind that Monis was on bail on Murder/multiple sexual assault charges, or that he was long-since rejected by local Muslims, or that there’s no evidence for him being associated with any terrorist organisations. Whether or not religion had anything to do with this violent hatred, in Monis’ case, is yet to be seen, but no doubt we’ll have all manner of prejudicial statements, excluding or including factors on the basis of ideological preference, not evidence. And naturally, many of those motivated by ideological prejudice will project their own reasoning deficiencies.
I don’t look forward to this aspect of the days and weeks ahead.
Eamon Knight says
@1: At present, this seems like another case that falls across the boundary of personal pathology and larger social/political/religious issues (other examples being Rodgers, Marc Lepine, and the recent Canadian terrorist incidents, to mention only the first few that come to mind). The perpetrator is mentally unstable in some way, and the larger issue gives shape to the way they work it out. You can’t ignore either aspect.
Bruce Everett says
Hmmm… my comment above is a bit buggy…
“…those claiming that Elliot Rodger was insane, and that his misogynistic politics had nothing to do with this” should have said “…and that his misogynistic politics had nothing to do with his actions…”.
Bruce Everett says
@2 That seems like a totally reasonable proposition to me (especially since tentatively, it’s more or less my own position). I’m not sure why you’re directing it at me, though, even if I am the only other person commenting on this thread so far.
Blanche Quizno says
If the murderer does, indeed, consider himself a cleric, that indicates a far more intense attachment to religion than someone who is simply a cultural [fill in the religion here] believer. Oftentimes religion masks important signs of mental illness; a believer’s obsession with a leader is interpreted as religious fervor, hearing voices is praised as direct communication from God, being consumed with the religion is described as being “on fire for the Lord” or some such, and being out of control/self-injury might even be regarded as evidence of demonic possession.
This is a problem. It means that a person’s mental problems will have to become everybody else’s problems before the afflicted person can get any help – those closest to him (in this case, his fellow religionists) and his religious leaders are not likely to advise seeking help from a qualified mental health professional, especially in the case of the more conservative, fundamentalist sects that believe that “healing” has to come from faith and supernatural sources.
Conservative, fundamentalist sects tend to isolate their members through “us/them” talk and pressure to limit social interactions to those within the same group (among other control techniques). When someone within the congregation goes off the deep end, the more rational members of the group will distance themselves from him, both because his behavior is disturbing and for their own safety, leaving the disturbed person even more isolated. Because this person was already isolated from society because of the religion, losing those religious social connections is that much more detrimental to the person’s sanity. Without other people, more rational people, to help guide him in a more mainstream direction, the disturbed individual is that much more at risk of going to extremes.
I don’t think there’s any way to consider the religion an innocent, unrelated detail. Perhaps an outreach program alerting religious leaders to various signs that should warrant a medical evaluation would be a good first step, but the ones who need it most probably wouldn’t pay any attention.
Remember his religious “affiliation” was a bit more fluid than most Muslims. He recently “converted” from Shia to Sunni once he saw the attractions of Islamic State. No one’s pretending his earlier Shia belief was conventional or benign, see those poison pen letters, not just to families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan but to families of people killed in the attacks on civilians in Bali.
To work out how extreme his conversion and behaviour was, think 20+ years ago and try to imagine a follower of Ian Paisley suddenly becoming Catholic and joining the IRA – because they were representing the real face of christianity. If you remember that far back, you’ll recall that Paisley was very loud in proclaiming that the Pope was the Anti-Christ – famously interrupting a speech by John Paul II to do so.
This bloke was that extreme. From the worst of Shia to the worst of Sunni without needing to take a breath between times. There have been a couple of blokes from Sydney’s Muslim community talking about him and the best summary is that he drove himself to the fringes of any community he tried to attach himself to. I suspect one of the reasons he called himself a “cleric” was because he refused to take advice or guidance from anyone else who was recognised as such by the community.
“I’m just waiting for the inevitable situation where those claiming that Elliot Rodger was insane, and that his misogynistic politics had nothing to do with this, suddenly declare that Islam is all there is to this situation”
Rogers clearly was having mental issues as he was on medication and seeing a therapist for his mental issues….there is NO evidence that Monis had any mental issues…..yes he was a criminal (and out on bail for a charge of accessory to his ex-wife’s murder) as you have pointed out Bruce but this does not mean that he had any mental issues.
Monis was definitely politically motivated but he was also motivated by his religious beliefs. The very first thing he did after taking hostages was to unfurl a black and white flag that read “there is only one God and Mohammad is his messenger” and display it to the public and media.
And one of his demands was to have a ISIS flag delivered to him in exchange for one hostage.
ISIS are fighting to instate a theocracy in Iraq…they made a call to ‘brothers’ in Australia to instigate this sort of attack…it is most likely that Monis has answered their call (the investigation will hopefully uncover the truth).
Monis was motivated by politics but also his zealotry….there is no evidence of Monis having any mental issues unlike Rogers.
Maureen Brian says
C’mon, mofa @ 7,
He’s got a conviction for threatening behaviour or whatever over his letters to bereaved service families, he’s out on bail for involvement in the murder of his ex-wife, he’s a serial sex offender and on bail for some of that, too. Then he claims to be a cleric – not recognised by other clerics – in a religion of peace.
I mean, what does a man have to do to convince you, that’s you personally, that in the immortal words, “This one’s gonna blow, any minute.”
No mental issues? No way!
Way to miss the point completely, mofa.
Bruce was making the point that this was an individual with a long history of violent behaviour, particularly sexual violence against women, that he was on bail for. His religion was quite clearly not the whole story here – but despite this, a xenophobic portion of the population will still use this to bolster their anti-muslim or anti-refugee ideology.
Eamon Knight says
A comment I left last night seems to have vanished (could easily be at my end, as it was hurried and I might have hit the wrong button or shut down too fast afterwards). It was just a reply to @4 indicating that I wasn’t directing my comment at him, that the “you” in my final sentence was meant in the generic sense, and that we are in agreement.
@7 & 8: “Mentally ill” is a specific and rather high bar to set. There are lots of ways to be marginalized, alienated, dysfunctional, volatile, unstable, a crank, and just generally an asshole, that probably wouldn’t qualify for a formal diagnosis. We will likely never know which side of that line Monis fell on as he’s no longer available for psych evaluation, but to my mind it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t change what I said @2.
To say that Monis was mentally ill isn’t saying much, really.
The murder of some 150 innocent school children by The Taliban is equally insane, or is it?
The Taliban would claim that they’re mentally fit as fiddles, and that the murder of 150 school children is a ‘normal’ reaction to their sense of victim hood.
But the Monis style of insanity is bound to continue; ISIS are now saying they’ll randomly behead as many Australians as possible for the killing of Monis.
We could claim, thus, that the members of ISIS are ALL just as insane, but of what use is doing so?
Saying Monis was insane is about as helpful as saying he had two arms and two legs.
Do we have multiple instances of this type of insanity in the Buddhist world? The Jewish world?, The Hindu world? The Christian world? The Atheist world?
The current outbreak of ‘insanity’ is just the latest wave of an ‘insanity’ that goes back centuries.
People have been calling for an Islamic reformation, and so could it be that this is what it looks like?
@1 Bruce Everett,
I generally agree with your comments, except for the implication that a individual has to be a card-carrying member of a recognised terrorist organisation to be classified as a terrorist.
Actually we, as members of the public, have absolutely no idea how Monis’ religion influenced his behaviour.
Maureen @ 8 said “No mental issues? No way!”
Just because a zealot does some crazy stuff does not NECESSARILY mean that he/she has mental issues.
The men who flew planes into the World Trade Center were educated, ‘normal’ family men who just happened to be devoutly religious and politically motivated…do you believe that these men on 9/11 had mental issues Maureen?
@9. Falcon said: “Bruce was making the point that this was an individual with a long history of violent behaviour, particularly sexual violence against women, that he was on bail for. His religion was quite clearly not the whole story here – but despite this, a xenophobic portion of the population will still use this to bolster their anti-muslim or anti-refugee ideology”
Bruce is doing what so many SJW’s do at times such as these….that being to stretch and twist the current narrative to bolster or reinforce a totally unrelated pet agenda.
Monis was clearly a ‘terrorist’ by the contemporary definition of the word….he took hostages and closed down an entire central business district in Australia’s largest city for 24 hours…his first act was to display the message that this act was about Islam…his God…his Messenger…..one of his first demands was to be supplied with an ISIS flag and for the Prime Minister to contact his ‘Brothers’. Monis may have not had ant direct links with ISIS but he most certainly was answering the call by ISIS to all Muslims to commit acts of violence against the West.
Bruce Everett (and some others here) appears to want to play the role of ‘Muslim apologist’ and to turn this whole event into one concerning misogyny!
All I want from the media and the politicians is the whole truth and not this ‘tip toeing on egg shells’ approach to under reporting the importance that religion and blind faith played in all of this.
I understand that the government does not want to see a backlash against the Muslim community… and neither do I….BUT!….I have an equal concern that the truth be told…not half of the truth. This was a political AND a religiously motivated act…that is so obvious that it looks farcical when people like Bruce try to apply their ‘spin’ to this tragic event.
@RJW: Not sure how that invalidates what I said.
@mofa: The fact that Monis was on bail despite being charged with more than 50 sexual and indecent assaults, and being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife, is absolutely a worrying concern, and an important discussion to be had – this tragedy could have been avoided entirely had he not been free.
How the worm turns! Those people who not so long ago with the Rogers case did not want his mental state brought into the equation because his case was obviously pure misogyny…..
and now the very same people want so very much to bring the mental state of Monis into the equation…
double standards that stem from socio political bias? I believe so.
The problem is the use of the term ‘clearly’, misogyny and violent behaviour are completely compatible with some interpretations of Islam.
(Not sure if my first comment got through, sorry if this doubles up!)
@RJW: Yep. That doesn’t contradict what I said.
@mofa: The fact that Monis was on bail despite being charged as an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and a string of more than 50 sexual and indecent assaults is absolutely a worrying concern, and an important discussion to be had…this tragedy would never had occurred if he had not been allowed free.
(Speaking of pet agendas, personally attacking people as “SJWs” isn’t doing you any favours.)
Aaand yep, there we go, it did indeed double up – despite me refreshing the page to see if there were new comments (for some reason they didn’t appear).
RJW: I don’t think it’s very likely that his history of violence, particularly sexual violence towards women, comes down solely to being a muslim. There a wide range of reasons why people commit this kind of violence, including patriarchal social values (which to be sure religion can play into, or more accurately the broader culture that someone has been exposed to and immersed in), insecurity, jealousy, emotional instability, etc.
However, a big question to be asked is WHY someone with that history was allowed on bail in our current justice system – why was that pattern of violence not taken seriously enough?
“I don’t think it’s very likely that his history of violence, particularly sexual violence towards women, comes down solely to being a muslim.”
You’re building a straw man, I did not make any comments that suggested that misogyny is an exclusively Muslim attitude, there are other misogynistic cultures which use religion to enforce such attitudes.
“… including patriarchal social values (which to be sure religion can play into,”
I can’t see how these can be separated, religion is a part of culture.
“However, a big question to be asked is WHY someone with that history was allowed on bail in our current justice system – why was that pattern of violence not taken seriously enough?”
Yes, I agree, however it’s easy to criticise the magistrate who released that psycho out on bail and the state’s justice system in general, with the benefit of hindsight. One thing is certain, the public will demand answers.
Bruce Everett says
You really don’t have a problem with being petty in public, do you Mark?
It’s a particularly funny thing to say, that I’m an apologist for religion, when in my original comment, I didn’t actually exclude religion as a factor in the case of Monis. The non-prejudicial nature of my statement, I thought, would have been understandable considering what data are available to the public to work with.
Hanlon’s Razor and all that, I’m still trying to decide if you’re deliberately misconstruing what I say, or if you just can’t read properly.
At any rate, there’s little here in the way of data for you or anyone else to adduce my general take on Islam, so it takes a special kind of convolution to arrive from that, to the conclusion that I’m an apologist. Though this breed of mental gymnastics is the kind of thing one could reasonably expect from a grown man prone to tantrums when reminded that he failed to sue someone.
Oh, and Mark, a reminder: You failed to sue me. Have fun with that.
RJW, I didn’t say that you think misogyny is exclusively an Islam attitude – you did, however, seem to imply that his being a muslim was enough to account for all of his sexual violence (why else would you take issue with my statement that there’s a great more deal to the story here than just his religion?).
Personally, I would have said that this man should not have been released on bail even without the benefit of hindsight. Sexual violence does not seem to be taken seriously enough by this country’s magistrates.
No I didn’t sue you Bruce…you have gone missing since your ‘hissy fit’ after the HSSA didn’t warm to your draft harassment policy (taken from a FtB/Atheism+ pro forma no doubt).
Bruce Everett says
My ‘hissy fit’ following the HSSA not warming to the draft harassment policy (adapted from elements of the American Atheists and CFI policies)? My what? As fact challenged as ever I see, Mark! I have it on good authority that the harassment policy I drafted was adopted by the committee as a policy of the association, as originally written.
Verification really isn’t your thing at all, is it? Pure speculation is as good as evidence for TrueSkeptics(tm) it seems.
You do realise of course, that the policy passing unmodified means that the committee regards the entirety of your ridiculous objections to it, and your allegations that through it I was scheming against you, as complete rubbish? If you do decide to actually start checking facts one of these days, you really ought to start investigating what kinds of things Janette and Justin say about you behind your back – things that like announcing the passing of a policy, they don’t say to your face because they’re too afraid.
I guess that’s as close to one of the many reasons I’ve left the HSSA that your fevered speculations are ever going to get; the president and secretary saying one thing, and then doing another. Admittedly, I’m probably leaving all of this open to speculation on account of having not authored a piece on why I left the HSSA. Perhaps I should offer Ophelia precisely that as a guest-post.