THE abduction and murder of widow Jean McConville was a defining act of savagery during 30 years of savage acts that we know as the Troubles.
A group of 12 IRA men and women bundled her out of her flat and away from her 10 innocent children, ranging in age from one to 14, just before Christmas 1972.
Forensic evidence and the testimony of those who were there would later reveal that the 38-year-old mother was tortured and her bones were broken. Then they finished her off with a bullet in the back of the head as she knelt before them.
Finally they took her body away and buried it in the dead of night on Shelling Beach on the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth.
But what makes this particular outrage stand out among the countless other atrocities committed by the IRA is that 10 innocent little children were left to effectively fend for themselves.
The killers responsible for this act of cowardice compounded their crime by convincing the people of the Divis Flats that Jean McConville had abandoned her children and run away with a man.
It is impossible to even try to comprehend the pain, trauma and confusion that these innocent children endured as they were mocked and abused by the adults and children of West Belfast about their 'whore' of a mother who had walked out on them.
The callous butchers even abducted one of her sons, aged 13, at gunpoint and threatened to kill him and his siblings if he ever revealed the truth of what had really happened to his mother.
What is equally remarkable is that her son is still terrified and too afraid to name those who carried out his mother's killing for fear of being targeted.
Every decent, loving parent in Ireland should look at their own little children today and think about the horror of what these brave republicans did in the name of their community.
This is the one bloodstain that has refused to be washed away despite the best efforts of the IRA propaganda machine.
The reaction of Sinn Fein, which is doing well in the polls, to blame everyone except themselves for this outrage is a remarkable exercise in delusion.
Interviewers yesterday had to drag the word "murder" out of Sinn Fein deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald, herself a mother of young children, when she talked about the "killing, death, disappearance" of Jean McConville.
To further insult the victim of this outrage, we are expected to believe that the arrest of Gerry Adams is the result of a conspiracy by the PSNI, which Sinn Fein claims to support.
On Planet Sinn Fein, any legitimate organisation that questions or challenges it is derided as an attempt to undermine the party which took the gun out of Irish politics.
The ghost of Jean McConville has been joined by those of Adams' former comrades and subordinates Brendan 'Dark' Hughes and Dolours Price to haunt a political party which dearly wants the world to forget the horrors that they have caused.