Category Archives: murder

Sydney sordor

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 08.04.28Dalrymple writes that the murder scenes in City of Shadows, an exhibition at Sydney’s Justice & Police Museum, are

sordid in the extreme: blood spattered on the sheets of an unmade bed in a low boarding house, that kind of thing. They speak of sordid desperation rather than of cunning, let alone of struggles with conscience. I am afraid that the murders in the trials of whose perpetrators I have given evidence have all been of this kind, as the overwhelming majority of murders are and always have been.

Dalrymple does not think

anyone looking at these pictures, however unrepresentative of their time, would feel much nostalgia for the years in which they were taken. The scale of the raw poverty was unlike anything today.

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Education of a medical student

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 18.49.35A few weeks ago, writes Dalrymple,

I had a medical student attached to me.

The first patient they saw together was

a young man brought to the hospital by the police with the blood of his girlfriend, whom he had just stabbed to death, still on his shoes. She had taunted him, he said, about his inferior performance as a lover compared with her last such, one of many, whom she had then telephoned to ask him to come and ‘sex her up’ because he — the murderer — was not up to it.

The patient, being a man

conditioned to believe by an over-sexualised culture that sexual performance was the only real measure of a human being, resorted to the kitchen knife and stabbed her not once, not twice, but thrice. Thereafter, he had called the police and taken the pills.

As the patient told his story, Dalrymple looked at his medical student,

an intelligent, sheltered young man (as young men ought to be). He learned more about human nature in that 10 minutes than in all the rest of his life put together. He aged, or perhaps I should say matured, visibly as he listened.

In the afternoon, they saw a man

who had strangled his girlfriend in her parents’ house, also in an access of jealousy.

Not for the medical student any longer

the shallow pieties of the sexual revolution.

Best free show in New York

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 10.59.44Dalrymple has the

happy idea of going to the criminal courts on Centre Street. They are the Metropolitan Opera of the criminal-justice system.

By chance

I arrived at a dramatic moment in a dramatic trial of a dramatic crime. A man called Elliot Morales, charged with murder in the second degree, who was representing himself, was about to make his final address to the jury.

Morales put on

a fine performance.

So too did

the assistant district attorney, a young woman who will go far. She presented the case against Morales with clarity and implacable emphasis.

Certain unfortunate consequences of stress

Inactivity; lassitude; moderate activity; tiredness; fatigue; exhaustion;

Stress curve: inactivity; lassitude; collecting social security; moderate activity; drug-dealing; vigorous activity; living off the earnings of kuffar prostitutes; tiredness; drug-taking; fatigue; robbery and violence; exhaustion; breakdown; running amok; mass murder; suicide bombing; 7,000 houris in Jannah

The mother of two of the mass murderers in the 2013 Paris attacks said she was sure that the son who blew himself up with explosives in his vest did not intend to kill anyone and acted in the way he did only because of stress. She thus, writes Dalrymple,

demonstrated how far she had assimilated to contemporary Western culture from her native Algerian, and how well she understood it.

Her statement

combines two important modern tropes: that stress excuses all, and that irrespective of someone’s actual conduct, however terrible it may be, there subsists within him a core of goodness that is more real than the superficial badness, such as taking part in mass murder.

It is true, says Dalrymple, that

most of us are not at our best when we are plagued by anxiety and frustration, when we have a hundred things that claim our attention, when we are worried for our jobs, children, careers, and so forth.

However,

most of us are also aware that if we excuse our ill-behaviour on these grounds (as we all tend to do initially whenever we know that we have behaved badly), there is no end to that ill-behaviour.

Most of us, Dalrymple points out, have, strangely enough,

found it comparatively easy to avoid killing other people.

A stressful life, to be sure, but 7,000 virgins are waiting in Paradise

A stressful life, to be sure, but 7,000 virgins are waiting in Paradise

We have found that we are able, at the end of the day, to avoid

wearing garments full of explosives, however severe our stress.

None of us, Dalrymple surmises, has ever said,

I feel so stressed today that I want to put on a jacket of high explosives and blow myself up near, at, or in a restaurant or a café or a football stadium or a concert venue.

Indeed, says Dalrymple,

most of us would think that to dress up in explosives was a sign of a rather severe moral defect that went quite deeper than a response to the stress of the moment.

Mendacity of the Guardian newspaper

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 09.03.09Dalrymple comes across an article on deportations in the London newspaper the Guardian. He explains that the article‘s

real point (exemplified by calling the migrants ‘undocumented’ rather than illegal) is rhetorical rather than informative: it wants to claim that the United States, or by extension any other country, including Britain, has no right to control who enters it to live there.

The article is accompanied by a photo of a man’s hand in a San Pedro Sula hospital. The man is waiting to be treated for a stab wound. There is a lot of blood. Only trouble is, the man turns out not to be a deportee from the US.

The photo was used only to raise the emotional temperature of the reader.

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 09.05.45Dalrymple points out that since San Pedro Sula

is the city with the world’s highest annual murder rate, it is not difficult to take such photographs. Nor is it difficult to understand why anyone should wish to leave San Pedro Sula.

Dalrymple writes that in Birmingham in the English Midlands, where he used to work, there were

many migrants who had entered the country illegally. The officially accepted reasons for granting asylum—persecution because of race, religion, membership of a social group, or political opinion—didn’t by any means exhaust their reasons for leaving their countries, or even for justifiably fearing to return to them. Governments, alas, are not the only persecutors of people.

Irrespective of their reasons for immigrating illegally,

most of these people had had extremely hard, unenviable lives, and it was difficult not to sympathise with most of them as individuals.

However,

some were criminals pure and simple, seeking a more fertile field in which to sow and reap.

Murderers I have known

Dalrymple speaks at the Property and Freedom Society

Dalrymple speaks at the Property and Freedom Society

Some hangings

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 09.27.27In the prison where he works, a hanging Dalrymple is called to attend turns out to have been a case of murder. The hanged man’s cellmate boasts

that he had intimidated the dead man into hanging himself. He had threatened to cut his throat in his sleep if he did not hang himself first, and the man, who was two weeks from his release, chose the rope—or rather, the bedsheet torn into strips, dampened and braided into a noose. The cellmate helped him up on to the chair and obligingly kicked it away from under him.

Another hanging is

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 09.38.22complicated by the fact that the dead man had on his chest a small puncture wound that penetrated to his heart, inflicted by the thrust of a ballpoint pen, which I had not until then considered a potentially lethal weapon. Even where there is a high illiteracy rate, the pen is as mighty as the sword.

There have been, Dalrymple writes,

many more hangings in my prison since the abolition of the death penalty than there ever were before.

Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 09.29.59Dalrymple is glad that it is not one of his duties to pronounce a man fit for execution.

The last doctor I met who had examined men for fitness for execution—in a former British colony—was an alcoholic, though I cannot positively say that he was driven to the bottle by a disturbed conscience.

Winson Green

Winson Green

 

Revolutionary rehab: the Mao method

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Opium: force-fed by the rapacious, ruthless British maritime superpower: taken away by the merciful, resolute Great Helmsman

Some 20m patients cured

Mao Zedong, says Dalrymple (from 3:10), was

the greatest therapist of drug addiction in world history.

Large numbers of Chinese had become addicted to opium, which had been forced on them, in a vastly lucrative and longstanding racket, by gunboat-backed English traders.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 22.43.47When Mao took power, he did not hesitate to act. He threatened

to execute opium addicts if they did not give up.

Threats to murder

were about the only things Mao said that were believable, and 20m people gave up.

 

Condemned to a world of violence, drugs and familial insecurity

Role model: rapper Vybz Kartel will not be eligible for parole for 35 years

Role model: rapper Vybz Kartel will not be eligible for parole for 35 years

The marked lack of stability in the households of Jamaicans is a cause of their poor achievement at school and elsewhere, Dalrymple writes. But a more important factor is the culture they have adopted for themselves, which is one of

perpetual spontaneity and immediate gratification, whose largely industrialised and passively consumed products are wholly worthless sub specie aeternitatis.

The young Jamaican males

may have been sold a bill of goods by an unscrupulous entertainment industry, purveying drivel to morons, but they have bought it with their eyes open. Seen from the outside, at least, this culture is one upon whose valuelessness no execration could be sufficiently heaped.

Dalrymple’s nurse-poisoner book plan spurned

Victorino Chua: jailed for a minimum of 35 years for murdering and poisoning patients at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport. Two victims suffered agonising deaths and a third was left brain-damaged

Victorino Chua: jailed for a minimum of 35 years for poisoning patients at Stockport’s Stepping Hill Hospital. Two patients suffered agonising deaths while a third was left brain-damaged

Dalrymple, author of So Little Done: The Testament of a Serial Killer (1995), suggests to a number of publishers that he write a book about the trial of Victorino Chua, the poisoner, but

no publisher accepted my kind offer, despite the fact that I had experience of murder trials and understood the complex pharmacological matters at issue.

The main reason given for refusal

was that the accused was a Filipino rather than a son of the soil and therefore there would be no market for such a book.

Does it mean

that the British public is interested only in native and not imported wickedness? That we expect Filipinos to behave in this fashion and therefore there is nothing surprising or interesting about Chua’s behaviour? Or is it that murder trials are interesting only if there is the prospect of the rope at the end of them?

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