The word 'fairness' was today discovered by police buried in a shallow grave off the busy A10 between London and Cambridge. A police spokesman announced the discovery in a sombre news conference, explaining to gathered journalists that it was 'one of the most inhumane and callous crimes' he had ever investigated.
Examination of the body reveals that the death of the word was neither slow nor painless. "We think this word was kidnapped some time ago," said the police spokesman, "By persons unknown - and it was more than one person we are sure. It was then held in captivity for months. There are signs of extreme ill-treatment and torture during that time. Forensic examinations show that the word was repeatedly raped by multiple people. We think it may also have been subjected to being dragged along on a rope behind a fast-moving vehicle, which may have been what killed it. It was finally dumped in this layby when its captors were tired of their sport."
The senior police officer wept as he spoke, and many of the assembled journalists could barely contain their horror at the treatment meted out to the word 'fairness'. Many of them afterwards spoke of the difficulty they would have in covering the story 'objectively'. One journalist who saw the body has taken himself off the story. "The body of 'fairness' is battered and malnourished and its face is...horror," he wrote in an email to his editor. "Such was the degradation it was exposed to that death probably came as sweet relief." He went on to say he could not cover the story "because if I even suspect who did this I will want them hung by the neck until dead, tomorrow, without trial."
The police have launched a massive investigation in an attempt to find the killers, but they are working with few clues and say that people have been reluctant to come forward. "People are scared," said the police spokesman. "They're thinking: if they would do that to an innocent word then god knows what they would do to someone who tried to bring them to book. But I urge you to come forward and not live in fear."
Meanwhile the only lead the police have to go on is 'an address in Westminster'. But they say that lead gives them little hope. "Whoever these people are, they are very clever, cold and calculating, and they are good at covering their tracks." said the spokesman. "We don't have much hope of catching them but we have to try, for the sake of 'fairness' and of justice."