Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Thursday 27 June 2013

Murdering Bastards

I am not an aggressive person, and it is hard to imagine what would drive me to an act of real violence. I have often said, though, that if I were to kill or die for anyone, it would, almost certainly, be for my children.

I think that holds true for many, probably for most, of us... I sort of hope it does.

Ian Brady is in the news again this week. He wants to return to prison, after serving almost the last thirty years of a full-life sentence in a secure psychiatric hospital. He claims no longer to be suffering from the mental health disorders that ensured his move to Ashworth Hospital in 1985. He prefers to serve out the remainder of his sentence, until his death, in a conventional prison in Scotland. Apparently, this is in order that he can choose not to eat, and, hence, hasten his demise. He can be force-fed while in a psychiatric hospital, but not if he is part of the general prison population.

Ian Brady and Myra Hindley  committed their heinous crimes fifty years ago. The murders they committed and their victims will never be forgotten. They don’t just live on in the memories of those who read the papers and followed the case at the time, but in particular, in the community that suffered at their hands. They live on, too, in the minds of all of us who came after, in the children raised since. 

Ian Brady IS the bogie man.

I do not believe in capital punishment. I abhor the notion that the state might kill in cold blood on my behalf. It is an abomination. 

I absolutely uphold the right of those individuals whose lives were touched by this hideous creature and his horrendous crimes to bay for his blood. It is a wonder he escaped the wrath of many... of any... incensed individual brave or foolhardy enough to make an attempt on his life, before he was imprisoned or, indeed, since.

As to his making an appeal of this nature, at this stage in his life, at this juncture in his incarceration? It is his human right to do so, and human rights must be inclusive, but there is a part of me that wonders if this person should have a public voice. I wonder whether this is news, and whether it is in the public interest to debate this subject. We all have opinions, of course, and rightly so, but giving this man a platform seems wrong.

Do we simply cause more pain by reporting this criminal’s words? Or by showing his likeness in sketches made by the artist in the courtroom? Do we somehow humanise the inhuman by comparing psychiatric reports? Or by having caseworkers advocate on his behalf? Do we simply cause more pain by showing all of this in the press?

Of course we do.

Does that make it wrong?

Perhaps... Probably.

However, I don’t honestly believe that this man does garner any sympathy for himself or his cause. I don’t honestly believe that our opinion has changed with time. I don’t believe we have softened, and I don’t believe that we ever will. Those who followed the case in the news media at the time are reminded of how terrible his crimes were, and those who learned about them subsequently are no less horrified by them. Younger people who are reading or hearing about the Moors murders for the first time, because of this new appeal will, I’m sure, be as appalled by Brady’s crimes as the rest of us have been for the past half-century. 

There has been nothing but hatred and vilification for Brady and Hindley in the past, and there is nothing but hatred and vilification for him now. Those feelings don’t go away. That will never change.

Ian Brady claims to want to die, and I doubt whether any of us feels that his life is very much worth preserving, despite the fact that many of us would not choose for the state to end it prematurely.

If he is moved to a prison and he does go on hunger strike, he will not live for long. He is a seventy-five year old man and he has been incarcerated for the better part of fifty years, so what makes any one think he’s going to live for very much longer, in any case?

There’s the irony of all of this.
Keith Bennett

Thirty years ago, Brady convinced the authorities that he was sufficiently mentally ill to require longterm psychiatric treatment in a secure mental health facility, and his life was preserved and very probably extended because of it.

Prisoners don’t live for very long, particularly those incarcerated for decades. They live sedentary existences with high levels of stress, and their general lifestyles do not promote long and healthy lives. The death through natural causes of a man in prison occurs, on average, at the age of 56. For women that average age drops to 47.

Myra Hindley, who was Ian Brady’s partner in crime, and who was incarcerated in a conventional prison, died at the age of sixty from pneumonia, a complication of heart disease. The average age at which a woman dies in the UK is 82. 

This could and probably should have been a moot point, by now, but this man has played the system, and he is still playing the system, and it’s just one more reason to despise him.

I have chosen a picture of Keith Bennett for this post. His body has still not been recovered from its burial place on the Moors.


  1. Growing up in the shadow of the Pennines in the 1980's, the 'moor murders' were still very fresh in the hearts and minds of the adults around me, and the scars that were made have never healed. That is thanks - at least in part - to the refusal of Ian Brady to reveal the location of the last body. Little Keith Bennett has never been able to be buried by his family. They have never had the opportunity to grieve properly, and his mother died never knowing exactly where her litle boy lies.

    I can't agree with you any more completely on this I think than I have on anything ever. It continues to irritate me that Brady is being given exactly what he needs and craves right now - notoriety. For the little communities shattered by the despicable acts that he carried out, the pain will likely always be there and always be fairly raw - we have long memories up North, doubly so for something as horrific as this. For the rest of the country - I can see that the abduction, torture and murder of small children is an act that will horrify, but the absolute best way to punish this man for what he did would be to forget him utterly. Remember the victims, sure. Remember the families that had to endure the aftermath of his 'existential experience', but do not devote one tiny column inch or second of TV to him or anything that he has to say. Wipe him from the record utterly, and he would be far more hurt than by any elaborate torture such as that inevitably concocted in any mob discussion on the subject.

    And leave him locked up anonymously. He wants to go to a public prison so that he might further his notoriety - to die a martyr. I say keep him alive and isolated from the world and forgotten completely as long as we are able. There is no sympathy in my heart or soul for him or Hindley. Not because she was a woman, or even because they killed children (bad enough) but because they sadistically and calculatedly abducted them, tortured them, recorded their pleas for their mothers for their own edification, and then murdered and disposed of them like things when they tired of their 'sport'.

    No excuses exist for either of them, and I suspect that if there is a hell, they will both have prime places reserved in it.

  2. I think there are crimes where death is the perfectly fitting punishment. I'm not talking about a robbery gone wrong that turns into a murder, or someone getting so enraged that he kills someone. Those are perfectly dealt with with actual life sentences (funnily enough, in too many EU countries "life" equals 20-25 years.)

    I'm talking about serial killers, terrorists, those who willingly give up their status as human beings and become beasts, monsters.

    People like, yes I'm fielding my favorite example, Miyazaki Tsutomu in Japan. The so called "otaku murderer". He is the perfect example as to why the death penalty can be a suitable punishment.

    What did he do?

    Between 1988 and 1989, Miyazaki mutilated and killed four girls, aged between four and seven, and sexually molested their corpses. He drank the blood of one victim and ate a part of her hand. He was finally executed in 2008. Good riddance.

    If you do something like that, you hand in your right to live, simple as that. I know, especially in the EU there's the approach of a "humane penal system", a system that is utterly broken, caters to the criminal and takes a huge dump on the victim and families.

    There's another perfect example. Jack Unterweger in Austria. He was in jail for murder. During his jail time he became acquainted with poetry and that made the Austrian intellectuals groan with glee. He ended up with a reputation of being the "prison poet". So eventually, after a lot of pressure from intellectuals, psychologists and other people who all believed that he was completely rehabilitated he was pardoned and set free. Some of the biggest writers in the German language came out to support him. He was paraded around as the example of how great Austria's humane penal system and rehabilitation worked...

    Beautiful story, isn't it?

    There's only one problem.

    Jack Unterweger was completely unstable (yet none of the psychologists noticed that) and a serial killer. Unterweger killed six prostitutes in Austria in 1990, the first year after his release. In 1991 he was hired to write about crime in LA. While in the US he murdered three more prostitutes. The three women were beaten, sexually assaulted with tree branches, and strangled with their own bras.

    The FBI eventually snatched him in 1992 in Miami, after evidence was gathered across several European countries and the US. The number of his victims is between 10 and 15. After his conviction back in Austria he committed suicide. Good riddance.

    Yes, the penal system in most EU countries is broken. In some countries, like Germany and Austria, criminals can get leave from prison. I wish I was kidding. All it takes is the resident psychologist to be convinced you're mentally ready for it.

    ((curse you character limit, curse you!))

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. ((continued))

      2009, I think it was, this was done in Vienna for a 30 year old man who was in prison for raping a seven year old girl. Yes, he was deemed rehabilitated enough to get leave from prison. What did he do when he was out there? He quickly raped a six year old girl. He was later sentenced to six years in a special facility for criminals with mental health problems. Reasoning? He had a horrible childhood. Everybody else is responsible for someone turning into a monster except hthe monster itself. The tax payer pays for his therapy. His victims? Those in charge don't care about them, they rather cuddle with monsters.

      I should probably add that, no matter how many children you rape, the penalty doesn't stack, like in the US. If you rape ten children, you still get only five years in Germany at maximum, just like in Austria.

      Around the same time Germany released an RAF terrorist, who had been in jail for murdering nine people. He was in jail for 27 years. Three years per murder. Justice? I don't think so. And, just like in the Unterweger case, intellectuals, artists, etc, they all came out in support of him...

      Now, Germany and Austria, together with some Scandinavian countries, have a system in place where extremely dangerous criminals are kept in high security lockup after they are through with their "life sentence", which, as I said, tends to vary around 20-25 years. Now the problem with this system is that...

      According to the European human rights court it violates the prisoner's human rights. The German prisoner filed such a suit and the European criminal rights court made this verdict. Germany was ordered to pay several tens of thousands of Euro compensation to this criminal.

      What does that mean for the future? First of, the high security lockup will be a thing of the past. Mass murderers, terrorists, they will all be set free. That includes the complete lunatic known as Breivik. He will be free after 20-25 years. Locking him up in high security until he dies would violate his human rights. The European human rights kangaroo court created this precedence.

      Lovely, isn't it?

      A society that caters to monsters and beasts deserves all the problems that stem from it.

      I stick to the Japanese approach. Death penalty for really heinous crimes (Breivik would already be on death row there.) Strict penalties for breaking the law (raping children there nets you easily 30 years in jail, even driving without license can cost you up to $5,000 and 3 years in jail, I once got a ticket for speeding when I was there, my most expensive ticket ever, and the LEOs were so friendly that I said "thank you" when they were done.) Prisons that aren't hotels like in far too many EU countries (for example, you don't have a right to a TV there, you have to earn the privilege to watch TV in jail.) A justice system that doesn't buy into the psychological BS around "he had such a horrible childhood."

      As I said, there are cases where the death penalty is 100% justified and, yes, where vengeance and justice are the same.

      Maybe I'm jaded and see things differently, because, you see, my work puts me into very close contact such such scum beasts and monsters. When you're wearing blue, when you're a LEO, you see it all live, not filtered by newspapers, the TV and other media.

  3. I wish I could say that things like this won't happen in the future. if anything, crime is the symptom of a failing, a failing that civilisation is not interested in truly acknowledging because it is lost in the afterglow of it's own self-perceived success. like the futility of war, some reason the reduction of crime and misery to "acceptable numbers" is as stupid as "acceptable losses" but really shows how civilised we really aren't.

    all we've done is made death profitable, and acceptable in state dictated circumstances, while even the unacceptable has it's place. while we abhor tragedy the closer it happens, we abhor it less the further away it happens, and in some cases believe it is just, in specific places and circumstances.

    so how fucking civilised are we really? let's parade these local crimes through the news, past the victims. let's have people gossip about it. let's spin as many dollars from it as possible. but hey, if our troops in an 'enemy' country perform similar crimes, let's keep it under wraps, write it off as 'less'. aren't their people killing us? fuck 'em, right?.

    better still, let's admit that we knew it was going to happen because it always fucking happens every time the governments make a war happen. A society that caters to monsters and beasts deserves all the problems that stem from it, too bloody true!

    the biggest tragedy to me, is that the same two crimes can be considered acceptable or abhorrent, depending on who they happened to, and where they happened. as a species I think we have far too much pride, and far too much of a high opinion of ourselves as a species. especially when the overwhelming evidence continues to suggest we need a lot more time being raised correctly.