May 26th, 2010

Down the cells everything is normal

Posted in The Job - General by 200

As police sift through more body parts strewn over the land (& rivers) of the nation, senior officers in West Yorkshire must be thinking back to the the last time prostitutes were discarded out in rural England, when one of the smallest forces had to investigate & solve another serial killing around Ipswich.

I’ve bumped into a few murderers in my time & even a serial killer. I exercised him round the police station prison yard, when we had such things. Spent 8 hours a day down the cell block with him, chatting, playing cards, shopping for his Daily Telegraph & the odd takeaway, or heating up a choice of microwaveable ready meals – it’s best to keep them sweet when you want them to tell you everything.

I was struck by how ‘normal’ he was. He wasn’t a particularly big bloke, not one you would readily have thought capable of easily overpowering someone to the point of taking their lives. He was reasonably intelligent, certainly not the usual type of uneducated pond-life you’d normally expect to see down your average police station cell block. There were some that said he had piercing eyes, eyes which reflected the evil within his soul, or something, but I’m not sure I noticed that. It may have been the aura that builds up around certain types of killer. The desire for the human psyche to delineate someone who kills as overtly different from the rest of us.

I suspect there is not much difference. Deep within most of us lies the power to do terrible things. Look at the case of Peter Harvey, the teacher  in the headlines for battering a pupil with a dumbell, who avoided jail for GBH recently. I think it’s just that most of us have not reached the tipping point, yet.

making small talk with a serial killer can be a challenge. Talking about the weather & the football scores only gets you so far when all you really want to know is what was it like to kill someone & the how & why. That was somebody else’s job, so we had to settle for a few hands of ‘nomination’. At which he was particularly good.

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8 comments

  1. shijuro says:

    ‘monsters from the id…’

    May 27th, 2010 at 08:28

  2. rafanon says:

    I respect the proffesionalism required to treat someone normally when you know what abhorent crimes they may have committed. I’m not entirely sure I could be civil to such people.

    Respect to those that can keep their temper in check and judgements to themselves. I couldn’t do it. Probably why I joined the military! :)

    May 27th, 2010 at 10:40

  3. shijuro says:

    My job was (until recently) dealing with child sex offenders. You quickly realise they are not really that different from the rest of us, with one vital difference …

    Also, given that (IMHO) court tend to believe anyone over the word of an officer, it’s better not to create problems by avoiding thoughts like ‘kicking in the nonce’ (Not On Normal Community Exercise).

    Most jobs have tough bits eh?

    May 27th, 2010 at 12:39

  4. upholstered rocking chair says:

    a big salute to all the freedom fighter who died and people don’t even care them or respect their goodness…..

    May 27th, 2010 at 13:07

  5. Ex-RUC says:

    Ordinary people do indeed have the capability to do terrible things. Just look at Nazi Germany when quite normal men – and women – rounded up the “undesirables” and sent them to the camps.

    May 27th, 2010 at 13:50

  6. Paul United Kingdom says:

    Look at the case of Adolph Eichmann the architect of the “Final Solution” every one who met him remarked on how dull and normal he was.

    May 27th, 2010 at 15:07

  7. Hogday says:

    `Met` Nielson @ Parkhurst – just as you’ve described. Do we have a profile on our hands here?

    May 27th, 2010 at 16:45

  8. Civ_In_The_City says:

    Quite right 200. It amazes me the murders that happen through pissed up squabbling, or a ‘lucky’ punch. It isn`t hard to make it through the day without killing someone (if I gave up driving my car the chances would drop much nearer to zero – not that I`m a crap driver you understand).

    I agree about Nazi Germany, I`m reading about the Japanese and the railway in Malaya too. I`m more shocked when people try to deny these things happened. Another example of mental disfunction.

    I`ll never do a lot of things, but never kill someone? The truth is we are all not so very different under the surface.

    (To clarify, for the sake of our more enthusiastic blog readers who take every word they read on the internet as literal facts, I am not planning to murder or in any way harm anyone now or in the future.)

    I`m just saying if I came home, and a burglar was trying to attack a family member, and there was a golf club nearby etc etc…

    May 27th, 2010 at 20:46

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