It is unfortunately a story that we are familure with, from crime fiction and true crime. A body is found, an investigation is started, and then it goes... nowhere. It is one of the most poingant of all crime narratives because nobody wants to be in the horrible limbo of waiting to find out if …
There is no where else in the world quite like Glasgow, and no people quite like Glasgow people. The best illustration of this is the fact that when interviewed about Fred West's connection with Glasgow the so-far only funny joke I've heard about a serial killer is told. "People ask me if the Gorbals was …
It is here we get to the truth that underlies and pulses through the story of 112 Ocean Avenue. Not the truth about if DeFeo Jr was possessed by an evil force that compelled him to kill his family, not the truth about if the Lutz's really experienced a haunting by the same spirit.
Marks manages to not just tell the story of Rikki's murder, but delves further into what lay behind the police and press's insistence that it must have been Ruth who was behind the murder. Reports of her harsh punishment of her children, as well as Rikki having to steal from local shops because he was starving was probably enough to make up most people's minds. It is hard to feel sympathy for someone who is willing to so mistreat children, however the laser like focus on Ruth meant that other suspects were ignored.
Through the decades of speculation all the focus has been on the who of the killer, not the who of the women, who were easily dismissed and almost faded into the background while the mysterious Bible John, became bigger than life in the way that unsolved mysteries often do.
It is only when we get to the higher understanding that most people, most organisations, are neither wholly good, or wholly bad, that we can transcend some of these entrenched issues and see things clearly. One thing can be very bad for some people, and positive for others. Neither negates the other, they both just... are.
Mairi rounds up the best true crime podcasts which passed over TCFs desk in 2022.
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.
This is not the only time we see this behaviour, as wherever the cold clamy hand of colonialisim has touched, we find "experiments" of this sort, from the forced assimilation of Australian Aboriginals, to cutting First Nations People from their land and placing their children in residential school, we see this pattern repeated across history and continents.
Where Sirin Kale, the reporter on Can I Tell You A Secret really excells is in her nuanced and sensative treatment of Hardy's autisim. As a nuro-diverse person myself I am often aware of the misconceptions and two dimensional views many nuro-typicals can hold about what a nuro-diverse diagnosis does or does not mean. Kale however goes out of her way to make sure Hardy's autisim is neither an excuse, nor discounted when it comes to his actions, but rather treated as a factor that is worth uderstanding, especially when it comes to rehabilitation.