Claws For The Weekend:Ripping

This post isn’t a book review, but I will share with you first what I wrote over on Goodreads when I finished Wicked Beyond Belief:


This book is from the perspective of the police force that was hunting the Yorkshire Ripper. In the time before computers, it documents the blunders that allowed Sutcliffe to keep on killing, and their desperation to end his reign as they realised he would just keep on killing. (In five years he was credited with murdering thirteen women and attacking a further seven, though it is suspected he is responsible for many more.) He was actually interviewed nine times without them realising he was their man. Officers’ health and marriages suffered as the force was totally overwhelmed by the biggest criminal manhunt in British history. For five years the north of England was terrorised by this man, when even female police officers were escorted to their cars after work as nowhere was considered safe. I can remember, as a child, the newspaper headlines every time the Ripper struck, and as a ten year old when the killer’s identity was finally revealed. This book reads like a thriller, and is the best crime book I’ve ever read. Appendixes include his confessional statement and interview transcripts.



Anyway.

Much to my wife’s chagrin, for some reason I like to keep her up to date with what’s happening in any book I’m reading. Even though I’m not talking about the grisly parts, I guess I may be a little taxing for her.

Yesterday morning, early yesterday morning, as she was getting ready for work, I knocked on the bathroom door, quietly as not to wake our student or the children. I’m thoughtful like that. She opened the door, half dressed, half awake, hair all tousled.

“Jen, they’ve started a covert operation.”

“What?”

“They’ve started a covert operation. In a world before computers, they have secretly began recording the Reg plates of men who are entering certain areas looking for sex.”

“What are you going on about?”

“They totally underestimated the number of men who were actively looking to pay for the services of a prostitute. They were shocked.”

“You’re talking about that bloody Ripper again aren’t you?!”

“Have a guess how many?”

“No.”

“In West Yorkshire alone-150,000 a month. In Manchester 4,000 a night!”

I let the numbers sink in. She let the door close quietly in my face.

I waited a few minutes. Let her floss. Knocked on the door again. She opened. Still wearing the look.

“Six times he’s been interviewed up to now. Six times! His records misplaced. A file lost for a year. Mistakes are being made.”

“I think I made a big one twelve years ago!”

She left for work. I assured her that I’d let her know how things went.

So, sat with my book in the local coffee shop, I felt sure she would need to be updated with developments. The (short) text conversation went like this:

“They’ve got him.”

“Yippee.”

“I’ll let you know how the interviews go.”

“Can hardly wait.”

“Wait until you hear what he was wearing when they caught him.”

“I’m not coming home.”

I know secretly that she can’t wait to see what book I choose next. But as tomorrow is Saturday I will let her have a lie in first. Maybe leave it until 8.

Speaking of Saturday, have a great weekend, guys.  Give thanks for criminal databases.

See you on the flip side.

London Calling

I am off to London in the morning for three nights, arriving back on Monday evening.

For those of you who are familiar with the whole ‘journey’ theme of my book Heading North, the last time I was in our capital city I wrote three poems for possible inclusion in the book. I was going to publish two that didn’t make the final cut here in this post-but at this late hour I can’t find them!

One was still in early draft form, entitled London Lines, and the other was a completed poem that I didn’t think quite up to scratch (tellingly the title now escapes me).

So, until I do locate them, I will include here the only one of the three that made my collection. It was written in the very same hotel, in Canary Wharf, that I’m staying in this weekend. Maybe inspiration still lingers the corridors, eh? Perhaps my muse is still joyriding the elevators.

We shall see. In the meanwhile, have a great weekend people.

See you next week.

Canary Wharf, Morning

Sunrise over angled skies.
Reflected light on
glass and steel.

Still water shine 
and strengthening hum
of time-fixated 
suited drones,

speed induced and web infused.
See the parade 
of passive martyrs.

One day, maybe, 
just one day,
sit and watch the world go by.


©Andrew James Murray

Claws For The Weekend: Killing

There was shock locally, today, with the news that a pillar of the community had been murdered.

Police said that they were following several leads, but at the moment have nothing concrete to go on.

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Have a great weekend. Avoid the guy with the corny jokes.

See you on the flip side.

The Ooze Of Cool

Preparations are being made for tonight. My children have started a family tradition when it comes to this time of year: Eurovision. I know, our house just oozes cool. I can post this because I have no street cred anyway.

My young daughter is busy creating the charts for us all to vote on, after making this picture of 2014 winner Conchita, who confused the hell out of her at the time:

image.jpeg

 

I helpfully suggested that my wife could make food connected with every country participating:

“What are you going to make for Slovenia?”

“Chips.”