Belfast Telegraph

Self-centred Sutcliffe's whining brings some perspective

By Gail Walker

I don't know. You do your crime, you're doing your time, keeping your nose clean and - who knows? - in a few years you might be dropping in for a pint at your local, just like ordinary folk do.

Everything's moving on nicely. And then - who'd believe it? - along comes a hypocritical, disgusting, evil abuser who tries to drag you into his sump of depravity.

Talk about guilt by association!

Briefly, amid all the revelations about Jimmy Savile, police were investigating possible links between the ex-DJ and the Yorkshire Ripper - a figure whose fame in the 70s and 80s far outstripped that of the freaky popster.

For an hysterical moment, it seemed not totally implausible that the Ripper might have been the victim of the most spectacular miscarriage of justice in British history. It was Savile all along! Jim had certainly fixed it for poor innocent Pete.

Nothing would have surprised, because Sutcliffe is as bolstered by the usual cadre of prison-reform junkies and psycho-babble propagandists as is Ian Brady, and the rest of us are bolstered by the confirmation we were strangely right when we thought there was something dodgy about Savile all along. And who'd you rather be living next door to anyway? A wild white-haired, boggly-eyed, cigar-smoking, pink-jumpsuit-wearing toucher-upper with a penchant for teenage girls? Or an ordinary looking bloke no one would suspect of anything untoward. Let alone butchering 13 women and attempting to kill seven others.

Now, The Rip has taken advantage of Savile-gate to promote his own rehabilitation. After all, there's medication to modify his, er, antisocial behaviour. But there's no cure for types like the Groper Extraordinaire that was Savile!

Still, it would be worrying if, while we reel from the Savile revelations and the BBC handing over taxpayers' money in compensation for stitching up an innocent man, that seriously evil people like Sutcliffe, who thrive on misdirection and game-playing, might somehow slip the leash, literally as if nothing had happened.

It doesn't diminish in any way the damage wrought by Savile to be aware that Sutcliffe is one of those truly epic individuals fairy-tales were invented to warn us about. He is also one of those who help us keep what remain lesser crimes and smaller monsters in perspective.


From Belfast Telegraph