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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