This is the twentieth part of a fiction serial, in 865 words.
“So why Edna? What had she ever done to you, Jeffrey?
“You think this was about what people had done to me? I don’t think you are getting this at all, doctor. It was about what they were, what they represented, and how little they offered to society. Take Edna. Nosey and interfering, bitter, lonely, and intrusive. Her life was completely pointless, and she only lived for gossip, and the business of others. But it was quick and painless for her. She invited me in for a cup of tea, no idea what was going on. I broke her neck in the kitchen, as she was filling the kettle. One quick twist, and it snapped like a cracker”.
“Did you see that as some kind of mercy killing then?”
“Not at all. Mercy killing is when you finish off a bird with a broken wing, or a cat that has been run over by a car. In Edna’s case, I was merely putting an end to what she had become. She might well have thanked me for that, if she had known about it”.
“Then you went across the hall, and entered Flat One. What had that man ever done to you, or to anyone?”
“I had been in Market Boy’s flat a few times. It was always a mess, and there was a really bad smell in there too. I don’t think he ever washed his clothes or changed his bed. But his spare room was full of printed-off photos of kids. Hundreds of them, on copier paper. In some of them the kids were nude in the bath, or running around naked in a garden. And others showed two schoolgirls in uniform, sitting in provocative poses. I knew what he was up to”.
Is that why you killed him so brutally? I note from the records that you stabbed him twenty-six times as he slept in bed. Then you removed his penis with a carpet knife and threw it in his waste bin”.
“Well, I wanted the punishment to fit the crime in his case, naturally”.
“Then tell me how you felt when you were later told that they were family photos of his own four children, taken before he spilt with his wife, and nothing remotely to do with his being a paedophile, as you suspected”.
“I remember thinking he looked too young to have four kids already, and he must have had the oldest one when he was in his teens”.
“And no remorse for what you did, based on your own incorrect assumptions?”
“Well we all make mistakes. They hanged Timothy Evans for murders he didn’t commit, didn’t they?”
” That is flats one and two dealt with. Would you like a break, Jeffrey? Tea or coffee perhaps?”
“No thanks, carry on if you want to”.
“So Flat Four, above Edna. You did nothing to the woman there, except to break her door lock so she couldn’t get out of the flat. Why was that? Were you attracted to her?”
“Oh, the woman of The Loud Couple? No, she was far too skinny for me. But there was no reason to hurt her. Her young boyfriend had dumped her, and she was struggling financially. I read her post a few times. Unpaid gym memberships, defaulting on her council tax, and in the process of having her car reposssessed. She had a good job, but had got too deep in debt. She worked for a bank you know, and they had warned her about a disciplinary hearing over failure to perform and excessive debt. She was heading for ruin anyway, and far worse things than I could have done to her. She would probably sooner have been dead than face losing her job, home, and car. Life was going to punish her enough, save me a job.
“Then after breaking her lock from the outside, you entered Flat Three with your lock-pick?”
“Oh yes. Burger Babs had it coming, and the fact that Gym Guy was in bed with her saved me time later”.
“Looking at the photos taken later inside that flat, it seems to me that you were in there a long time. Why was that?”
“Well, I wanted Babs to see what happened to her boyfriend, so she would know what was going to happen to her after. I stayed longer than I planned to, but it worked out really well, so was worth the risk”.
“You tied them both up with plumber’s tape after rendering the man unconscious. Then you battered him to death with a six-pound hammer while she watched. After killing him you did the same thing to her, is that about right? Did you hate her that much? What had he ever done?”
“I didn’t hate her at all. In fact I liked her at first, even took her out on a date once. But she was just a criminal. It was in her DNA. Father, brother, ex-boyfriends. All she had known was hanging around with low-life gangsters and scum. As for Gym Guy, he was unlucky. If he hadn’t have been in bed with her, I might have given him a pass”.
“Okay, that’s enough for this time. See you at our next session, Jeffrey”.