There are some people who become much more than who they were as a phsyical living, breathing, person. Instead they appear to grow into something bigger, and symbolise something greater than who they ever were in life. One example of such is King Arthur. Originally a pagan war lord of the Britons, he has …
There are many different ways to look at truecrime. One can chose to take a feminist perspective, or look at it through the lens of any of the professionals surrounding a case, the police, the psycologists, the lawyers, the press. Sometimes the lens of those who were victims, or their families. It's fair to say …
It is in the public interest to get to the bottom of what happened during the investigation and trial. In a country who's government has declared it wants to be the "best country in the world for children to grow up," we appear to have easily forgotten who is a child, when their rights don't fit the narrative we have chosen, before all the evidence is in.
The Coombs case indeed throws up a mirror to our apparently more modern age, where we consider ourselves to have more understanding. The Wicked Boy however does not lead one to the satisfactory conclusion that we would react differently now-a-days because we are so much more knowledgeable and clever. Instead it shows us that despite the great advances we've made both socially and in technology, once you scratch the surface the human reaction to children committing murder is the same tumultuous mix of shock, horror, pity, and disbelief, accompanied by the kind of wild blame seeking and judgement that speaks more of calming anxiety than the search for true understanding.
The human centre Sounes gives us is much needed to provide depth, tone and heart. If we take only one approach, analysis without heart, or heart without analysis, we risk losing something important, the je ne sais quo, of what was happening in Gloucester and the terrible chemistry between Fred and Rose.
In Britain however the crimes that we are often most gripped by tends to be those that happen to ordinary people, who live quiet lives. Perhapse that is to do with the fact that despite seeing ourselves as a modern state, in the UK we still live with the hangovers of the feudal system, with such regressive concepts as the "deserving poor," and moralisitic phrases like "hard working people," still finidng currancy in our politics, which has been overrun recently with those for whom even their privilage comes gold plated. We've never admired our rich and powerful as much as tolerate them, and get on with our own lives.
Motherhood is an idea that permeates If You Tell by Greg Olsen by it's absence. Olsen recounts the life of Shelly Knotek, who killed three, and abused countless others, including her own children. Knotek could easily be cast in the role of femme fatal, her good looks attracting many unsuspecting men into her orbit, but that would be too surface a reading of what is a clearly aberant pshycology. Instead Olsen makes his readers the proverbial frog in water slowly begining to boil, as he trace the development of Knotek from a troubled and difficult child and teen into a fully fledged murderer.
It does not appear to matter how many family annihilators wipe out of existance the people they are meant to love the most, shocked colleagues or neighbours still talk about what a nice, quiet man he was. We still do not believe that if we as individuals have judged a person to be safe - that maybe we are not seeing everything - so majesticly omnipresent we consider ourselves to be.
It will not be a surprise to many that the News of The World would be tangled up in this most shady episode as they became a by-word for the absolute worst of tabloid journalism, souring countless lives, with it's underhand tactics.
When Laura Van Whye's body was found close to a highway some people assumed she had been hit by a truck, and some people have choosen to believe that over the last twenty five years. Laura however had friends and family who were willing to continue looking for answers, her mother has spent years trying …