I think I’m going to wait until all the episodes of Pembrokeshire Murders have been on the tele before I watch it. I can’t cope with cliffhangers, so I like to binge watch things. Although of course, it’s not like it’s a surprise. I remember the stories well, and remember when they happened.
The programme has certainly caused a stir locally if social media is anything to go by. We usually get to see our county on the tele presented as the wild west landscape of wonderment, or holiday destination extraordinaire, or on Escape to the Freaking Country for the fiftieth time running. I’m looking forward to seeing the parts of Pembs on the tele that are usually hidden. I hear there’s a housing estate in it. That’s gonna be a shock for all the people looking to buy property in the area. They have estates?
The human psyche has long been fascinated by the concepts surrounding all things murder. Is this a residual process whereby they deprived us of the spectacle of public hangings and executions and now we have to get our fix from Midsummer Murders or The Ted Bundy Tapes? Mindhunter on Netflix has resulted in a whole new bunch of fans for Edmund Kemper, the Co-Ed Killer, currently languishing in jail in Sacramento. I say languishing. He actually spends his time reading audio books for the blind. I wonder if they’re aware that the charming voice lulling them to sleep with the latest Agatha Christie is actually the same guy who cut his mother’s head off and threw darts at it, and that’s nowhere near the worst thing he did. Look it up if you don’t know. You’ll be appalled. But this 6’9” terror of a figure, who killed his grandparents when he was 15 and managed to talk his way out of the asylum due to an IQ of 146, outfoxing every psychiatrist they sent to him, comes across as a gentle giant. So gentle in fact, that when he turned himself in, the police who knew him from the local bar refused to believe he was the killer. He had to persuade them and insist that they come and arrest him. They reluctantly picked him up, but still didn’t believe him, leaving him uncuffed in the car.
Is this where the fascination lies? Is this why we can’t get enough of these stories? Is it because the guy next door, walking past you and bidding you good evening, may well have a decapitated head in his bowling bag and you would have no idea?
One of Jeffrey Dahmer’s victims escaped Dahmer, and ran into the road, screaming. He came upon some police, who he begged to help him, but Dahmer turned up, told the cops they’d had a lover’s tiff, and that his boyfriend was just drunk and hysterical, and they gave the victim back to Dahmer, only for him to murder the 14-year-old boy later on. Like, seriously?
Ted Bundy was able to pick up victims by putting his arm in a fake plastercast and asking girls to help him carry his study books to his car. His behaviour was so believable it’s a ruse that worked countless times. Is this why we have such a compulsion to hear every detail of a crime? Are we assessing the possibility of the level of danger around us? Are some of us worried that we may become the danger?
I won’t lie. There have been many times that I have got interested in the fact that a body will burn in three hours if you use dry pine. If you sweep up the teeth and bury them in four different places, then you’ll get away with it. Well. You might not. But they won’t have a body. There is a lot to be learned from these thorough and detailed documentaries. I must also confess, that whenever I watch stuff about the Unabomber, a lot of what he says makes perfect sense. It would have been nice if he could have got his ideas across without the nailbombs. But a mind like that in a society like this is asking for trouble. And that’s the trouble. There are an awful lot of minds like that in this society. But they’re not always making nailbombs.
Most of the hardcore psychopaths, the most controlled ones, the ones with the largest Machiavellian streaks – are the ones running the hedgefunds, and the ones running the country. They’re the ones allowing the insane developments in London along the Thames, where a 1-bedroom flat is a million quid, and they’re purchased as property banks by oligarchs and investors. The last three mayors of London, including our own dear Red Ken, and your own dear Boris, and the other ones’ dear Sadiq Khan. None of them have said, hang on… that’s public land. Why is it being developed by investors into luxury apartments? They just say, oh my, thanks for the donation old chap, and everyone goes home for tea.
So of course, they make wonderful programmes for TV, to get us addicted and setting ourselves up for a nice binge watch with some biscuits, to gawp at the psychopaths, and say, oh my, what a crazy guy. I’m glad he’s locked up, out of harms way. Instead of looking around at all the psychopaths and saying, wait a minute… How come this lot are running the show?