Fed up with all the stories of paedophiles, murderers and rapists?

Are you, like me, fed up with this media obsession which seems to have got worse recently? Here is my take on this difficult subject:

Outside in, inside out.

Night after night the top story is back,
knocking from the inside of TV screens,
then breaking suddenly out to invade the living room,
staining the carpet with the inner world of
paedophiles, murderers, rapists…

This monster led a double life.
A secret predator.
He stalked, he groomed,
enticed, then preyed upon.
Oh what pictures they found,
what implements, what method.
But the body has gone.

And we hear from the relatives,
whose private parts have become public property.
Overnight reporters, staking out their gardens,
press gang them to expose
the violent dungeon world of their grief.

She was so sweet, such fun, her whole life ahead.
She was so young,
is so young…
How can she be dead?
There isn’t a body…
Yes we’ve heard they found
her blood under his finger nails.

His blood must be reptile-cold.

Oh how could this happen?
How could this be?
He planned the whole thing.
He knew what he was doing.
Charming on the outside,
ruthless from the start.

The death penalty’s too kind.

And the nodding TV diners
masticate over the news-bites,
picking through the mug-shots
with vulture eyes,
baring down to the bones,
until they split apart,
lifeless with over-familiar.

But what did he do with the body?
No peace until we know,
until we know
every last,
meat-sliver of detail…
until we know
it all.


5 thoughts on “Fed up with all the stories of paedophiles, murderers and rapists?

  1. I agree 100% with the premise of this piece. Sometimes I wonder if our very fascination feeds the perpetrators. There are several poems and short stories written based on the same theme (sorry, I am traveling and away from my sources)
    I loved some of your imagery especially:
    – staining the carpet
    – violent dungeon world
    – Meat-sliver
    – Vulture eyes
    – Masticate over
    ‘Nice’ piece, I should use a more descriptive adjective but one doesn’t come to mind and I know that ‘nice’ is the wrong word!
    Big hug

  2. thanks Jane, appreciated. As well as feeding the perpetrators my fear is that viewers also get infected – e.g. become merciless themselves (death penalty too kind) and develop a prurient interest in the detail of the abuse – which then associates them with the perpetrators. The piece is therefore partly about hypocricy. It was tough to write though – I had to immerse myself in it too, which was unpleasant.

  3. This makes me think of the C&I channel. Trouble is, I’m one of those who watch avidly. You’re right about our gruesome fascination with evil. Perhaps its because we can’t quite conceive that such things occur, that such ideas exist in human minds.

    • thanks for your honesty Yaz, I think that almost all of us, unless we are very diligent about screening, end up listening to this stuff. I think this is very unfortunate, given how much there is that is so much more positive to report. The cynic in me thinks that reporters find it easiest to go for stories that self-generate at the courts – rather than making the effort to find more interesting material. But this is also a tendency we share if we don’t change channel. I guess ultimately I am keen to admit hypocrisy where possible.

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