Friday, December 15, 2006
My previous post on this grim matter concerned the curious emptiness of serial killer stories and the way they act as mirrors, reflecting not the thing itself but the faces of those who aspire to fill this void. Now the television coverage has become intolerable. As I write, Sky News is, a little too enthusiastically, recounting the terrible details of previous serial killings. Anchors have now been relocated to Ipswich and a curiously unsavoury band of 'experts' pass before my gaze, recycling theories about... what? Families of the dead girls are being paraded before the cameras. In the streets of Ipswich, people earnestly confirm that, yes, it is terrible and, yes, they are anxious. Book deals are doubtless being done. Last night I saw a senior policewoman taken to one of the murder sites to confirm that, yes, she too found it all very disturbing. Perhaps they thought she was like Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect, but Jane Tennison would have snarled at any such intrusion. This is a grotesque circus composed of spin, ghoulishness and, if we are honest, some very nasty impulses indeed. And all is justified by a spurious public interest defence. Sometimes it's just better not to know.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:08 pm