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A Dangerous Con Man,
This review is from: Handsome Brute: The True Story of a Ladykiller (Kindle Edition)
Heath was an enigma.He cannot be explained by the school that looks for the roots of criminal behaviour in deprivation and an unloving background.
In this interesting account O'Connor makes clear that Heath was born into a loving middle-class family, educated at a public school and gave no indication as a teenager that he was capable of two terrible crimes-but then this is not all that unique.
Conceited and charming he took advantage of a society that was easilt taken in by a nice accent and good looks.
Obsessed with flying he joined the RAF but was sacked for stealing. He then joined the South African Air Force but was again kicked out. Umbelievably, he was able to rejoin the RAF (they were desparate for flyers) and he took part in Bomber Command's war time exploits. He displayed outstanding bravery on one sortie when he rescued his navigator in their burning aircraft.For this he should have been awarded a medal.
This was the same man that sadistically murdered two women after the war.
He never tried to deny the murders claiming that he had blacked out on each occasion.
Sensibly, the author does not try to explain why Heath committed these gruesome murders. No one will ever know. Those who blame his war time experiences are on very thin ground. I know many ex service personnel who went through every form of hell in battle but lived perfectly normal lives after the fighting ended.
We should also remember that between 1940 and 1945 thousands of 'normal' Germans slaughtered in camps and on the battlefield millions of innocent civilians.
What this book demonstrates is that despite advances in psychiatry we are still a very long way from being able to fathom the workings of the mind.