A better police computer system might have prevented the murder of 11-year-old Luke Batty and a better court system might have dealt better with his killer.
But the real issue behind his death, according the Victoria's police commissioner Ken Lay, is a crime that constantly "terrorises" thousands of Australian women and children.
Luke's father Greg Anderson beat him with a cricket bat and then stabbed him to death at cricket practice on Wednesday.
Mr Lay acknowledges a number of issues played a part in the tragedy, but mostly he blames the largely hidden crime of family violence.
"It is my hope that Luke's death will give a very, very strong reminder to the community of the insidious, pervading nature of family violence," Mr Lay said on Friday.
The commissioner confirmed that Anderson, who died after being shot by police at the murder scene, had a history of violence toward the boy's mother Rosie and was the subject of five, outstanding arrest warrants.
"For the last decade Rosie has been living in fear, tormented by the person who supposedly loved her.
"We know there are thousands of Lukes out there, and thousands of Rosies. They are not alone."
Mr Lay's reaction to Luke's murder reflected the dreadful sorrow of all right-thinking people.
It also acknowledged the courage of his mother who, after witnessing her son's death, has spoken openly, even kindly, about the man who killed him and the life he forced her to endure.
An intervention order prevented Anderson from coming into contact with his son, except at cricket and football practice and at matches.
Ms Batty approved of the arrangement.
"I felt the only real avenue was for a child to know his father ... and I still don't regret that," Ms Batty said.
"A child grows up without his father, he grows up with other issues ... what I wanted to achieve was that he knew he was loved."
Until Wednesday evening, when Luke asked to spend five more minutes playing cricket with his father, that wish seemed to have been realised.
"As a sane person, or as a caring parent, you trust the very person who killed him, loved him, and he did love him, he loved him more than anyone else," Ms Batty said.
"Luke loved his dad and he felt pain because his dad ... was struggling. He felt for his dad. He knew he was in a sad place."
A day later on Sydney radio she told with astonishing eloquence of the legal action she had taken against Anderson and of his transient and impoverished lifestyle and of the legal system that offers a solution to victims, but which can't always deliver.
Ms Batty also gave selfless praise to the police who supported her in the hours after her son's death.
"I have to tell you, the police .... the other night, throughout the whole of this were absolutely amazing," she said on Triple M radio.
"Don't ever think that they don't do a bloody good job because Wayne, the policeman that sat in the car with me all night talking to me ... these are beautiful men trying to do a job with humanity, with care, and they showed enormous respect and compassion to me."
And she offered her own support for the officer who fired the shot that killed Anderson.
"That poor man, the poor policeman, is absolutely devastated.
"And you know what? He's put a man at peace, because Greg was tormented and there was no future in his life for him.
"But he shouldn't have taken my little boy with him."
For Ken Lay the emotion has to give way to reality, one of which is the notoriously outdated computer system police rely on to keep people like Anderson off the street.
Police didn't know about the five warrants out against Anderson because of an anomaly in the computer system. Otherwise they would have arrested him on January 27 when called to a house in Melbourne to investigate an assault complaint made by his latest partner.
A better computer system has been on the way for more than 10 years, a period during which men like Arthur Freeman threw his daughter Darcey to her death from Melbourne's Westgate Bridge and Robert Farquharson drove his three sons into a dam in Victoria and left them there to drown.
But Mr Lay says there is room for improvement in other areas.
"There are a number of questions that have to be asked, including does the current system provide sufficient visibility to police ... to make informed decisions that protect our community.
"Should we have been better equipped to predict and pre-empt Luke's violent death? Hopefully it will be a watershed in improving the way we respond to these issues.
"We need to get better at this."