Category Archives: murderers

The tragedy of penological deflation

In 2003, Dalrymple writes, the ‘rock’ exponent Bertrand Cantat

brutally did to death the actress Marie Trintignant, with whom he was having an affair. He beat her so severely that she died not long afterwards of her head injuries. He was under the influence of alcohol and cannabis at the time.

For this terrible crime, in which there were no mitigating circumstances, Cantat

spent four years in prison, a derisory punishment.

Dalrymple asks:

If you have to serve only four years for such a crime, what punishment can a lesser, but nonetheless serious, crime attract, assuming that the principle of proportionality of punishments has still to apply?

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Jargon that passes for science

Dalrymple writes that he has given evidence in cases

in which various psychiatrists have sought to explain (or is it excuse?) murderers because of their difficult childhoods, poor upbringing, bad education, and so forth.

He has watched

relatives of victims foully done to death squirm with pain and disgust as feeble exculpations of the culprits are offered in the language not so much of science as of jargon.

An all-round bad egg

Dalrymple writes that John Donald Merrett, when a young man, shot his mother dead and forged her cheques. He lived to kill another day: his wife and mother-in-law, more than a quarter of a century later. He made a living as a smuggler and swindler.

Why we read and re-read the doctor-essayist

Dalrymple is identified by an acute English journalist (also a skilled and powerful debater), Peter Hitchens, as

one of the greatest men of our age [second item in Hitchens’s 6th August 2017 column in the UK newspaper the Mail on Sunday].

For decades, Hitchens reminds us, Dalrymple

worked in a major British jail, listening to the excuses and self-justifications of people who had done terrible things to others, and to themselves.

Refusing to follow fashion,

and genuinely concerned for these often very sad characters, he treated them as adults, urging them to take responsibility for their actions instead of offering excuses for them. Many, who had come to despise authority, were glad to be up against someone they could not easily fool.

Hitchens’s guess is that many of those Dalrymple treated

benefited greatly from his tough-minded approach. He didn’t fill them with pills or substitute one drug for another. His observations of the way heroin abusers feign terrible discomfort, after arriving in prison and being deprived of their drug, is both funny and a badly needed corrective to conventional wisdom.

All this, Hitchens notes, is to be found in the Dalrymple collection The Knife Went In (2017).

The title, a quotation from an actual murderer, is an example of the way such people refuse to admit they had any part in the crimes they commit. The knife somehow got there and went into the victim, by itself. It is a series of short, gripping real-life stories in which he recounts his experiences with our broken, lying penal system with its fake prison sentences and its ridiculous form-filling as a substitute for action.

The book is mainly about prisons and crime, but, says Hitchens,

it tells a deep truth about the sort of society we have become. It is one in which almost nobody is, or wants to be, responsible for anything.

Hitchens concludes:

A future historian, a century hence, will learn more about 21st-century Britain from this book than from any official document.

Laxity of the criminal justice system

Dalrymple points out that the murder of a policeman by Karim Cheurfi, a Muslim terrorist, on the Champs-Elysées is another illustration of

the laxity of the French (and British) criminal justice system — a laxity which demonstrates a corrosive lack of cultural self-confidence.

An article in the Paris newspaper the Monde, Dalrymple notes,

said that the case of Cheurfi was bound to reignite debate on the ‘laxity’ (sic) of the French criminal justice system. It is symptomatic of the problem that the word laxity appeared as ‘laxity’, as though juridical negligence were a wild allegation, a figment of someone’s febrile imagination.

Dalrymple notes that people like Cheurfi

view themselves as victims rather than as perpetrators. According to an acquaintance, Cheurfi believed that the police had ruined his life because they had been instrumental in the long imprisonment that had left him unable to marry or have children at the usual age. After all, at the time, he had only stolen a car with a gun in his possession, and if the police had left him alone, no one would have been hurt.

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.

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.

Extraterritorial Molenbeek

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.18.29The jihad capital of Europe

Brussels is slightly more than a quarter Muslim, Dalrymple points out, and nearly all Molenbeek residents are Muslims of North African background. The place, he writes, is

virtually extraterritorial as far as the Belgian state is concerned—apart from the collection of social security, of course.

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.16.08

A popular bar in the quarter. Mine host: Ibrahim Abdeslam

Dalrymple lists some of the features of the terrorist haven:

  • all women wear headscarves
  • young men dress like American rap music fans
  • police rarely enter and are far more concerned not to offend Muslim sensibilities—for example, by not being seen to eat during Ramadan—than to find or capture miscreants who make the area dangerously crime-ridden
  • businesses pay no taxes but are not investigated for evasion by the tax authorities: it is the tax authorities who do the evading
  • Islamist preaching and plotting is rife, but nothing is done to stop it, in order to keep the tense and fragile peace going as long as possible
  • sympathy for terrorism is the norm—or, it would be more correct to say, no one dares publicly voice opposition to it

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.18.01Incubator of Islamist evil

Molenbeek, Dalrymple explains, is thus

the perfect place for psychopaths with an illusion of purpose to flourish and make plans undisturbed by the authorities, while being supported by the welfare state.

The Belgian prime minister, Dalrymple reports,

The young people of Molenbeek warmly welcome you

The young people of Molenbeek

has virtually admitted that the area was extraterritorial to Belgium, and out of all control. The time had come ‘to focus more on repression’, he said.

But

whether the determination or sufficient political unity necessary to carry it out will last is doubtful. Repression requires discrimination; we live in a regime in which murderers may come and go, but social security goes on forever.

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 08.58.19

Molenbeek folk

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 08.58.02

Molenbeek: a vibrant community

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.10.58

Molenbeek as it was

Screen Shot 2015-11-21 at 09.10.26

Molenbeek past

Murderers I have known

Dalrymple speaks at the Property and Freedom Society

Dalrymple speaks at the Property and Freedom Society

The doctrine of the Real Him

Lavrentiy Beria

Lavrentiy Beria

This is a watered-down secular version of Christian redemption, writes Dalrymple,

with Man in the place of God. Inside every person there is a core of goodness that is more real, more fundamental, than any evil act he might have committed, and which it is the purpose of punishment to bring to the surface. Punishment is therapeutic, redemptive, in purpose and intention.

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that whole-life sentences to prison are against Man’s fundamental rights

because they eliminate the possibility of repentance and redemption (known in the trade as rehabilitation). The judges of a court that is supreme in matters relating to supposed human rights for a continent on which, within living memory, tens of millions of people have been systematically starved or abused to death or put to death industrially on an unimaginably vast scale, could conceive of no crime so terrible that the person who committed it was beyond earthly redemption.

Heinrich Himmler

Heinrich Himmler

On this basis people like Beria or Himmler

would have been eligible for parole, provided only that they showed themselves reformed characters.

A serial killer once upbraided Dalrymple

for suggesting that he – who had kidnapped at least five children, sexually abused and tortured them to death, then buried them in a remote place in the moors – should never be released from prison, on the grounds that he spent much of his time making Braille books. He had redeemed himself, and cancelled out the torture and murder of five children, by subsequent good works, expressing the Real Him; he had paid his debt to society, as if good and evil were entries in a system of double-entry bookkeeping, so that if one did enough good works in advance, one would have earned the right to torture and murder five children.

Men

can change; this is their glory and their burden, for it is the capacity to change that renders them responsible for their actions; but what they do may be irreparable.