For those of you who have read Sugar & Spice, you will already be familiar with the content.
Although a work of fiction, the original idea (albeit not my own) for the book was based on the notorious serial killer, Robert Black – one of the UK’s most prolific and well-publicised child killer/rapist.
Black’s reign of terror began way back in 1959 at the age of 12, when he first attempted rape, and continued until his arrest in 1990. During that time he is known to have molested and sexually abused dozens of young girls and murdered at least three. There are probably more.
In the UK, the heart-breakingly familiar list of names is thankfully quite short, although one-too-many long: Mary Bell, Ian Brady & Myra Hindley, Ian Huntley, Ronald Jebson, John Straffen, Robert Thompson & Jon Venables, Roy Whiting.
America has its very own list… which I will leave for another day.
Robert Black was known to the authorities for over two decades before he finally murdered. He was charged and released and sent to Borstal. His background was known and yet he was allowed to go on, to continue to abuse and eventually, murder.
Sugar & Spice looks at these types of crimes from various angles and asks some serious questions:
Are potential abusers/rapists/killers let down by the authorities?
Do they receive intervention early enough to prevent their fantasies becoming reality?
Would it make a difference if they did?
Are they all dangerous monsters; beyond help with fragmented childhoods and sexual deviances or are they simply abused children who grow into abusive adults?
Is there even (successful) treatment available?
Sugar & Spice is simply fiction, although based on real-life events…but it happens, we know it happens.
So what do we do to stop it happening again?
- ‘Girlfriend’ of Soham murderer Ian Huntley is stabbed in her home on Boxing Day (dailymail.co.uk)
- Youngest Serial Killer Mary Bell (socyberty.com)