If Hello! did spreads on well-known paramilitaries, then I suppose the photos would look something like the latest set of images of loyalist killer Michael Stone.
Pictured after what the magazine might euphemistically term "a few years away from the media spotlight", Stone is captured, as the blurb would read, "in a series of candid poses that give an intimate glimpse into his new life".
Wearing blue jeans and a black T-shirt, accessorised by a bullet-proof vest and - ever mindful of the public safety message - a Union flag-themed face mask, the 65-year-old takes a stroll by the seaside with wife Karan and their dog. Relaxed and enjoying being reunited, the pair embraced each other in the winter sunshine.
What a strange hybrid of notoriety and celebrity that surrounds our better-known terrorists. It's clear that Stone didn't fall prey to opportunistic paparazzi, but was posing for these pictures in the full knowledge they were being taken.
In PR terms, he's managing his image in the same way a TV star might - he knows there is a public out there interested in him, just as there are victims' families deeply upset at seeing him out and about.
Stone's infamy stems from his caught-on-camera Milltown Cemetery attack on the funerals of the IRA's Gibraltar Three, when he killed civilians Thomas McErlean and John Murray, and IRA man Kevin Brady. He also admitted to three other murders, including that of milkman Patrick Brady, joiner Kevin McPolin and bread delivery driver Dermot Hackett.
Even when people are appalled by the crimes they've committed, Stone and those like him hold a deep and terrible sway over the imagination of some.
Of course, the uncomfortable truth is that there are also those who don't just have a passing curiosity in such paramilitaries, but who hero-worship them. They indulge in a kind of Troubles nostalgia, finding a certain comfort in the "old days".
Nor is it confined to one side or the other. Republican Bobby Storey's funeral was a stage-managed spectacle attended by 2,000 people in defiance of Covid-19 restrictions. The fall-out from the independent report into Belfast City Council's role continues.
Not everyone in the cortege or among the guard of honour can have known the former Maze jail breaker on a personal level, but there was a clear sense that this individual had to be afforded a huge send-off as befitting his status in the IRA. They wanted to be part of the theatre of it.
Because for some, such was the aura around Storey that he had that mix of notoriety and celebrity too.
It's the world of the "hard man". Or rather the "Mad Dog" - the soubriquet shared by the INLA's Dominic McGlinchey and UFF leader Johnny Adair. Or "King Rat", as the LVF's Billy Wright was dubbed. Or the "Border Fox", aka IRA man Dessie O'Hare. Nicknames that aren't put-downs but glorifications.
When anyone high-profile is back in the headlines, it prompts a virtual tit-for-tat conflict in online comment sections. Those defending Stone's release from prison will cite freed Shankill bomber Sean Kelly, also lauded by a section of society here. There's rarely a shout-out for anyone murdered.
It all points to a disturbing psychological truth that routinely the gunman has more glamour than his victims, who often seem merely anonymised extras in the story of the terrorists' lives.
You want evidence? Our bookshop shelves groan under the weight of bestselling accounts of "players" in the Troubles. Though some of this genre makes for lurid reading, much of it offers important insight and context to the circumstances and motivations that catapult lives off on a certain trajectory. It helps us to understand a little better the history of the last half-century.
Martin Dillon's forensic investigation The Shankill Butchers and Patrick Radden Keefe's Say Nothing, examining the murder of widowed mother-of-10 Jean McConville, are formidable pieces of work.
Writer and historian Richard O'Rawe's courageous account Blanketmen, and Anthony McIntyre's blog The Pensive Quill, which features brilliant writing, his own among it, also make valuable contributions.
More recently PUP leader Billy Hutchinson released his memoir My Life in Loyalism, with co-writer Gareth Mulvenna, and it's already an indispensable guide to aspects of the conflict.
Certainly there are those who will turn the pages of these books and shudder at how close they came to following a similar path, but many others will find them avid reading for precisely the opposite reason - they didn't get involved in such horror and never would.
For some, viewing the Troubles through the prism of 2021 can be more complicated, more nuanced. You could say we have institutionalised the glamour of the ex-terrorist because some actually entered government here. Or, at the very least, became recognised community leaders, even if those communities haven't actually appointed them. Under the Good Friday Agreement, hundreds of terrorists were freed, a move essential to the peace process.
The "war" has been embedded into our very politics now. Anyone who feels they had a struggle has been legitimised, if not justified.
Recently I interviewed former paramilitaries on faith journeys. One man told me that if a terrorist didn't walk away from that life in prison, then when released he'd spend the rest of his life justifying his actions as a coping mechanism for having carried out such brutal acts. Locked in still, if you like.
Maybe they're not the only ones. Maybe that's why so many retain a morbid fascination with men - and indeed women - of terror. Even when killers are in their twilight years, so many are drawn to those images of them, no matter how contrived, to see how their lives are unspooling.
Such a preoccupation comes at a terrible cost. Every second spent staring at the killers is a second less for the victims, whose stories are largely ignored. As the perpetrator steps once more into the limelight, those they killed fade further into the past as some sort of homogenous mass, a legacy issue getting in the way of progress, making life awkward.
It's as if there is nothing to see here. Nothing to be probed, examined, analysed. There is no picture of the victim out walking, their face older but still familiar. Because they're dead - and the dead don't get to write their side of the story. They have no image to promote.