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A Different Take
on 19 November 2011
This book is different from the norm, in that it sets out to tell the story of British serial killings as opposed to the killers themselves, the aim being to focus on the victims rather than the perpetrators. A laudable attempt is made to achieve this aim, although, as the writer acknowledges, it is much harder to access their life stories than those of their killers.
Where Mr Wilson lets himself down is with a very obvious, and, towards the latter end of the book, rather predictable, anti-police bias, which I found surprising in a former prison governor. Some of the criticism is justified, the nine interviews of Peter Sutcliffe prior to arrest being a case in point. Some, however, is unfair. He finds fault with the failure to search Sutcliffe's garage and car, without redressing the balance by pointing out that there was no power to do so without a warrant. This underlying bias demeans what is otherwise an interesting and enlightening analysis.