“Namio Harukawa, born in 1947, in Osaka Prefecture, Japan) is a Japanese artist known for his realistic femdom erotica drawings. Harukawa drawings feature voluptuous women with large breasts, wide hips, round buttocks and thick legs dominating, overpowering and humiliating smaller men. Harukawa women are both Asian and European in appearance, and a few times African.
“Harukawa women usually have an aloof look on their faces as they dominate hopeless men. By far the most common Harukawa theme is the face sitting of the weaker men by the larger, voluptuous women, but his work also includes smothering, urolagnia, bondage, coprophilia and cunnilingus. Other works by Harukawa have a cuckoldry theme.
“Harukawa has developed a worldwide cult following and his works are often displayed on femdom websites.”
Patrick Whitehurst points out that none of the paintings appear to be for sale. He wonders why that is? Maybe they are in private collections -- I don’t know.
The collection is vast: you can see the prolific scale of Namio Harukawa’s work by googling his name.
Friday, 23 May 2014
Thanks for inviting me, billierosie. About writing, it has always been very easy for me, and it certainly helps to grow up in a totally mad and dysfunctional Flemish family: as a child I had to retreat into my own fantasy world in order to cope with the violence and drama around me. The results were my first tales, read aloud by my teachers in the classroom. I also read a lot, every fairy tale I could come across, and then during my adolescence I made a 180° switch to everything horror: I discovered Edgar Allan Poe and subsequently plunged into the world of Dracula, Frankenstein, Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, The Portrait of Dorian Gray and the horror pulp fiction of the seventies.
(BR)Yes, those wonderful tales that fire a writer’s imagination. But what about Jan; tell us a little bit about yourself as an adult.
(JVL)When I was in my early twenties and a student of art history, I met the first love of my life during a holiday in Italy, a Tuscan man. What began as a beach flirt lasted for twenty one years, and Italy and his family became my second home. It is not for nothing that so many plays and gothic novels are set in this country, for if you’re a bit open minded there is colour and drama and comedy and scheming and -especially- lust at every corner of the street.
(BR)What about your first tales and how they were received?
(JVL)My first collection of short stories was published in Dutch in 1988, “A spark of genius”, with very Italianate dark tales featuring cut fingers, skulls, suicide, burying alive, betrayal and murder. It aroused a lot of interest at the Frankfurt book fair from abroad, a Frenchman translated the title tale, but apparently the Flemings didn’t want to invest in an author who didn’t write about lofty subjects such as the Flemish identity and whose tales were “archaic” and set in another country.
(BR)I think it was James Joyce who first broached the concept of a writer being an exile in his own country. It’s sad but true, that writers are often shunned by the very people who should feel proud of their work. A Twitter friend, also a talented writer, has mentioned many times that he “frightens the mainstream.” And this has happened to you. But you continued to write?
(JVL)Since then I have never been able to stop writing, hundreds and hundreds of pages, novels, short stories, plays, screenplays, academic papers. As I said before, writing is easy, but being a writer can be a bit more complicated: you are thrown into a market place where second guessing the tastes of the public in order to gain a lot of money is paramount and where a lot of critics and publishers are apparently brain dead. I don’t want to sound too negative, but when you write -and you know it too!- from your guts and about things that undermine the natural longing for a bit of predictability and security in life, you can get into trouble. It’s a bit of a contradiction: on the one hand sex and violence are the two main ingredients in a lot of books and films, but when you let the devil out and describe how violence and depravity lurk in everyone of us, waiting for the occasion to be released, you can get some nasty reactions. People accused me of being insane having written such a tale as “Epistle of the Sleeping Beauty”, the story of a married man who makes love to a dying boy, while they think nothing about the Stallone and Schwarzenegger films where hundreds of people get - very superficially - killed.
(BR)How does being gay affect and inform your writing?
First of all, I consider myself -and I had never problems with it and never had to hide myself- as a homosexual, or to put it simply as a man who prefers to have sex with another man instead of a woman, although I have had stories with women. As for being gay, I have my doubts; I certainly like Abba and Céline Dion, and yes, I have a tattoo, the signature of Mozart, on my upper arm, but I don’t feel very attracted to our subculture, it seems we have to be gay and being in the spotlight all the time. And oh, I’m very happy to be 54 now, when I was younger the general opinion was that ageing was the most terrible thing to happen to a homosexual, but I’ve come to the conclusion that love and sex -and especially love- aren’t all about being young and handsome.
Another thing, as a writer I had some of my more depressing moments with the gay community, publishers not paying me and receiving vicious attacks that I write “homophobic stuff”.
I most certainly participate in the battle for equal rights and I’m horrified when I read about how we were and still are considered and treated in many countries, but I also think I have the right to explore the more unusual aspects of sex, in my case sex between men. And I simply refuse to censor myself: if I come up with the idea of a man wanting to eat the excrements of his lover from his arse and stabbing himself afterwards in order to smear the content of his stomach all over his body, I go sit down before my computer and tell the story. It brings me to mind Stephen King who once said: “I ask myself what I can’t write about, and then I write about it.” Before I can ask myself that question, the story has generally already taken form on paper...
(BR)You live in Brussels, Belgium, now, and you have a relationship with an Algerian man of your age...
(JVL)In the last few decades Brussels has become a very interesting city! I remember how in “Plenty”, a film set here during WWII with Meryl Streep, an Englishman spoke about “this most debilitating city”. Well, those times have gone, and the particular thing about Brussels is that there is no majority anymore and that, contrary to other cities where the different nationalities have all more or less their own neighbourhood, some 180 nationalities are thrown together here on a few square miles. It can get edgy and you certainly have to keep your wits about you, but on the other hand it’s very inspiring. I wrote some 70 tales in a year about things happening here, from buildings collapsing due to neglect over being picked up on the street by a married African man to “pub wisdom”.
(BR)A final question: what do you think about being a writer and do you have a specific genre?
(JVL)I more feel like a storyteller. As for genre, I like tales and urban legends, and I like horror and comedy. Many psychiatrists think that horror mainly generates from the suppression of sexual desire, and that’s what certainly explains the incredible power of the 19th century English and American horror novels. In France (and Belgium) however, where there is more flexibility in sexual matters, horror has a more diluted character. When horror appears in my tales, it’s most likely psychological, more the inner demon than torture porn. But even when I think I have written “dead serious” things, some readers tell me they have been laughing to tears. Maybe that’s the one thing about writing: “to elicit emotions”, whether it be tears, laughter, disgust or downright hostility...
(BR) Another final question! The two stories you have on Twitter; the Epistle of the Sleeping Beauty and the Body of Christ have been immensely popular and have now been read by thousands. I know that this pleases you, all writers want their work to be read...but does it surprise you?
(JVL)Thanks to all my readers, it’s a tremendous compliment to know that people like my tales. And yes, it is a very pleasant surprise when you tell me how many people have read my stories. But thanks to you, billierosie, for creating a blog that is original, instructive, sexy, open minded, without at all costs wanting to be shocking or provocative.
BIO: Jan Vander Laenen (° 1960) lives in Brussels, Belgium, where he works as an art historian and translator (Dutch, French and Italian). He is also the author of numerous collections of short stories, plays, and screenplays which have attracted keen interest abroad.
A romantic comedy, "Oscar Divo", and a thriller, “The Card Game”, have been optioned in Hollywood, while his short fiction collections, "The Butler" and "Poète maudit", and his horror play "A Mother's Revenge" are eliciting the requisite accolades in Italy.
Jan’s most recent publication are the tales “A Glass of Cognac” available as a free read here.
“The Epistle of the Sleeping Beauty” in the Bram Stoker Award winning “Unspeakable Horror” is available at my blog here
as is “The Body of Christ.” Here.
“Fire at the Chelsea Hotel” in “Best Gay Love Stories 2009” (Alyson Press) is here
“The Stuffed Turkey” in “Best Gay Erotica 2010 (Cleis Press), here.
“The Corpse Washer” in Best S/M III (Logical Lust), here.
“Lise” in “Strange Tales of Horror” (NorGus Press) here;
The E-Books “Skilfully and Lovingly” is here;
“The Centrefold and other Stories of working Men” is here.
The Dutch and French version of Jan’s novel “The housekeeper and other scabrous tales” may be a little difficult to track down, but try this link.
Jan loves to hear from his readers -- his email address is email@example.com;
Jan is a member of the Poe Studies Association and the Horror Writers Association. He presented his paper "Hypotheses on Poe's homosexuality" at the Bicentennial Congress in Philadelphia in October 2009, and his paper “The monstrous and the fantastic in the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe and the paintings by Antoine Wiertz” at the 33rd International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts in Orlando, Florida, in March 2012.
Lectures on Poe, Baudelaire, Wiertz, Andersen, Grand Guignol and the guillotine were given in 2013 at the universities of New Orleans, Porto (Portugal) and the Paris Sorbonne. Four more lectures are scheduled in 2014 in Paris, Louisville (Kentucky), Madrid and Milan.
Jan is currently working on a play/screenplay around the life of the Romantic Belgian "horror" painter Antoine Wiertz (1806-1865), a novel called "The Psychomanteum" around the practice of mirror gazing, and a screenplay around the life of Lucida Mansi.
Friday, 16 May 2014
There’s something strangely alluring about the sight of a strong man in ropes and chains, struggling to be free of his bonds. Well, I think so, anyway. All that muscle, straining. His sweat making the bonds slippery, ever tighter. The struggle is hopeless; he sees defeat staring him in the face and still he is spirited enough to fight on.
You’ve only got to type in the word ’bondage’ into any search engine, to be overwhelmed with images, and stories, of men and women, bound and helpless. Mostly, it’s consensual, at least I hope it is. A little piece of BDSM, being acted out by adults involved in a highly charged erotic game.
But bondage is nothing new. The Internet generation cannot claim to have discovered it. Neither can writers of porn and erotica. Bondage is in ancient art and old, old stories.
Laocoon and his sons are bound and helpless by fierce serpents. There’s a statue of Laocoon in his death throes, in the Vatican in Rome. Pliny attributes it to three Rhodian sculptures, Agesander, Athenodoros and Polydorus.
Laocoon’s exotic, erotic punishment is for committing a sacrilegious act; that of procreation in a place holy to the god, Poseidon.
Punishment through bondage, for a sin, real or imagined and often trivial, is the catalyst for many modern bondage stories. A slave forgets to collect his master’s dry cleaning, and is tied to a whipping bar; he is helpless and is whipped. The whipping is secondary; it is the fact that he is bound and helpless, that is the important part of the ritual. In another story, a submissive craves his punishment and will contrive to get it by inventing any misdemeanour. He visits his Mistress in his lunch break and is forced to return to his office, wearing a cock cage beneath his pants. The cage is screwed tightly, pressing painfully against his balls, yet still his cock struggles valiantly for an erection that just cannot happen.
The old stories are even in the Bible. Delilah contrives to discover the secret of Samson’s great strength. This is a man so strong and powerful, he has ripped a lion in two. Eventually, he tells her. His strength is because of his long hair. Delilah tells Samson’s secret to the Philistines, and Samson is shorn of his locks while he sleeps. His strength is gone and Samson is bound and chained. His eyes are put out and Delilah pockets the silver that the Philistines have paid her.
The eroticism, the beauty of bondage, whether in art, or literature give us our images, our stories, our fantasies.
Strength and power are contained, controlled and relinquished. There is beauty in their bonds. The victims suffer in their strength.
This blog post was compiled using sources from the web.
Friday, 9 May 2014
Most mornings I watch a television talk show; The Wright Stuff. It’s hosted by Matthew Wright, a journalist. It’s the usual sort of format; Matthew has three guests and they talk about various topical issues. Then, viewers are invited to phone in. Last week the topic was HIV: Is complacency killing us?
Here’s how Matthew introduced the issue.
“Following a sharp rise in the number of men infected with HIV I’m asking if we’ve become too complacent for our good? Do we need more billboards warning us not to die of ignorance as we had in the 80s? Or is the problem more complicated: maybe medical advances mean we no longer perceive HIV infection as a death sentence? Either way is our complacency bad news?”
Part of our complacency seems to arise from the treatments that are in 2012 available. To be HIV Positive, is no longer a death sentence. Even with such a diagnosis, people with the virus can live well into their 70’s. Thousands of men and women with HIV in the UK, US and across the world are heading into an old age they never expected to see.
There are record numbers of Gay men being diagnosed with HIV. 1 in 4 men don’t know that they’ve got the virus. There are over 100,000 people in the UK with HIV.
Some cases were diagnosed years ago. Some are people who have been diagnosed late, having lived for years without knowing they were infected. And many people are now becoming infected later in life.
So people are still being diagnosed as HIV Positive and not only the people in the high risk groups; the black African community and men who have sex with men.
“Laura is a white, heterosexual, divorced mother of two. At the age of 52 she started a new relationship and then suddenly became ill. Because her symptoms were similar to those of a friend who had been diagnosed with HIV, she took a test. When she was told it was positive, she felt numbness and shock, she said. She cannot believe, as a well-educated person, that she stopped using condoms with her partner and allowed it to happen.”
And on The Wright Stuff show, Julie phoned in. She is a woman, in her 40’s and some years previously, had been date raped. She started to experience illnesses, some severe, some not so problematic. Julie was misdiagnosed for 7 years, until finally, she was told that she was HIV Positive. Julie had many blood tests, but was never screened for HIV. She has passed the virus on to a previous male partner, who in turn has passed the virus on to a female partner. I believe that Julia has also infected her current partner. Julie says that ordinary doctors, GP’s in the UK, are clueless about HIV and need to be more aware. Had she been diagnosed earlier, her immune system would be stronger.
This point was picked up by Genevieve Edwards, who was in Matthew Wright’s audience representing the Terrence Higgins Trust.
“Every day someone dies, because they didn’t get diagnosed early enough. Their immune systems are damaged and weakened. Their immune systems pull back but never fully recover.”
Genevieve says that we are missing opportunities. The young should be taught that safe sex isn’t just about pregnancy.
Penny Smith, a TV presenter and journalist, was on Matthew Wright’s panel, she said;
“It is simply that men don’t like using condoms.”
Perhaps she has a point, but women have to take responsibility too. How about telling the guy “No, not without protection!” Difficult in the heady heat of the moment, but it’s better than dying -- isn’t it?
The figures quoted always seem to be about Gay and Bisexual men and the black community -- the perception being, that if you don’t fall into that category, you’re okay.
Genevieve Edwards, from Terrence Higgins, says that we all need to be more aware of what we are doing. Sound advice.
Friday, 2 May 2014
In 1953, the police entered number 10 Rillington Place in London. It was a house of horrors. The scene of 8 horrific murders. The man believed to be responsible for these brutal killings was John Reginald Christie. How was it that a decade of destruction went undetected and how was Christie able to frame one of his neighbours, Timothy Evans, for a murder he didn’t commit?
During the 1940s and 1950s Christie gained the trust of vulnerable women and exploited that trust to sexually abuse, then kill them. He hid their bodies in his house.
How did he get away with it and why wasn’t he brought to justice earlier?
Christie was born in Halifax in 1899. One of 7 children, he was the youngest male in what was a largely female household and he resented the fact that the girls had power over him. It made him crave the opportunity for authority.
As a child, Christie joined the scouts and he sang in the choir. When he joined the scouts, he had a uniform which he wore all the time, even though he wasn’t supposed to. It gave him authority; it gave him a role to play.
Women played an important role in Christie’s life. One of his first teenage sexual experiences is believed to have made a significant impact on the way he viewed the opposite sex. The girl he went with was slightly more experienced and he wasn’t able to have sex with her.
Of course, she told her friends, who told their friends and his name became “can’t do it Christie” or “Reggie no dick.” Christie was humiliated in his small community. These early problems with women were to haunt him all his life and were to play a pivotal role in Christie becoming a serial killer and nechrophiliac. He had impotence problems, certainly when he was with a woman who had power over him; the power that came from her sex, her gender. And that was a pattern for the way that Christie was to behave later with the women that he killed.
On leaving school, Christie worked as a cinema operator and then he found work with the Post Office as a postman. When he was 21 he met Ethel Waddington. She was plain and homely. They married and the marriage appeared to be happy for a while. They were seen as a respectable married couple. But they had their problems. He was to admit later that sex was always sporadic; there was no possibility of children. During his job as a postman, Christie began to steal postal orders. When he was found out, he went to prison for a while. His image of respectability began to crumble.
On his release from prison he separated from Ethel and travelled to London. He became addicted to the seedier sides of life. For a 10 year period Christie existed in a twilight zone, where he lived within the criminal world, visiting prostitutes, mixing with low life; having a job here, losing a job there. He had no particular home; he drifted, going into prison 3 or 4 times.
By the end of World War 2, Christie decided he wanted respectability. He persuaded Ethel to return to him and they relocated to London’s Notting Hill. They moved into a small flat at 10 Rillington Place. Here, nobody knew of Christie’s criminal past and he set about to establish himself as a respected member of the community.
He saw an advertisement in the newspaper for the British Reserve. He applied, not mentioning his previous convictions. No one checked and Christie, the criminal was suddenly in uniform; he was the symbol of all that is good and he was on the right side of the law. And being a Special Constable, gave him further opportunities to meet and engage with people; specifically young women. He was so tenacious about his role that the neighbours described him as; “the Himmler of Rillington Place.” Christie’s position gave him power over the community and he exploited it. If prostitutes gave him free entertainment, he turned a blind eye to their soliciting.
Rillington Place was in a poor neighbourhood, but it was in a perfect position for, the now respectable Christie, to continue with his seedier pastime. Prostitution was a big problem. By the end of the war many women had lost husbands and boyfriends, so there were a lot of women with no men to support a family. And the only way they could earn a living was prostitution.
With no contraception and no legal abortion many of the women found themselves with unwanted pregnancies. Christie and Ethel capitalised on this and performed illegal abortions in their kitchen. Ethel would perform the abortion, while Christie would set up the anaesthetec. A rubber tube from the gas stove put the women out with coal gas. The scheme worked well. The Christies became well known in the area for their procedures.
But life changed in 1943, when Ethel went to visit her sister in Sheffield. With his wife away, Christie became involved with Ruth Fuerst, a local prostitute. She was an Austrian émigré. She came to England to train as a nurse, but by the time she met Christie she was selling sexual services to U.S. air force men. Ruth became a regular visitor at 10 Rillington Place.
A telegram arrived from Ethel informed Christie that she was returning to London. Christie was in a difficult position. Would Ruth spread rumours about him? Was she going to turn up and tell Ethel exactly what had been going on? Christie had to dispose of Ruth.
During their final sexual encounter, Christie strangled Ruth. Years later he would tell the police; “she was completely naked. I tried to put her clothes back on her. I wrapped her leopard skin coat around her. I took her from the bedroom and put her under the floorboards.”
In killing Ruth, Christie had found that he could attain the ultimate form of power over women. This was the beginning of a sexual fetish that informed an emerging pattern. His first kill had given him a thrill. He was soon looking for another victim to satisfy his desires.
The year was 1944. Christie had given up his job as a Special Constable and got a job at the Ultra Radio Works in Acton. It was there that he met Muriel Eady. She was from a respectable family; a spinster in her 30’s. They met regularly in the canteen and Muriel told Christie that she had a problem with catarrh. That set Christie’s mind rolling. His wife was away again and Christie offered to cure Muriel of her affliction using a breathing device. When she visited 10 Rillington Place Christie put a mask on her face; it was connected to the gas supply. It rendered Muriel unconscious. Christie liked women unconscious because that way he could control them further, as opposed to a living breathing woman who might have her own views about what might be happening in terms of the relationship.
With his victim unconscious, Christie raped her and then strangled her. Christie is quoted as saying; “I had this wonderful sense of excitement. A wonderful sense of release.” Christie had now taken the lives of 2 young women; he buried their bodies in the garden. Nobody knew that they had been visiting Christie, which meant he was free to continue his murderous spree. It wouldn’t take him long to strike again.
Christie hid behind his established air of respectability. He was now working as a ledger clerk at the Post Office. He and Ethel returned to their system of helping out young women with unwanted pregnancies.
In 1948 a married couple by the name of Evans moved into the flat above the Christies. Timothy and Beryl Evans were expecting their first baby and they quickly attracted the attention of their sinister neighbour. The Evans were from mid-Wales and they were in London for Timothy Evans to seek work. With a very low IQ he could only find work as a van driver. But it was his wife that interested Christie.
The Evans had their first baby, Geraldine. But family life wasn’t all that they had hoped it would be. The cramped and squalid conditions at 10 Rillington Place were not the ideal conditions to raise a child. With a second child on the way their problems were magnified. Timothy Evans’ wage of £7 a week was not enough. Unknown to Beryl, Christie knew of their situation and he had a solution; an abortion. Beryl agreed, but her husband was against it. Beryl tried to terminate her pregnancy herself with medication and a douche. It didn’t work. While Evans was at work, Beryl was in Christie’s hands.
When Timothy Evans returned from work, he returned to a tragedy. Christie told him that he had tried to carry out an abortion on Beryl, be she had died during the procedure. Christie told him that he, Timothy Evans, was to blame for his wife’s death. With his low IQ, Evans was no match for Christie’s manipulative sophistry. Christie told Evans that both of them would go to jail; Christie for the botched abortion and Timothy Evans for knowing about it. Timothy Evans would be found guilty as an accessory. They decided that the whole mess should be covered up. Beryl’s body was dumped in an empty room at 10 Rillington Place. Christie told Evans that he would get rid of her in a drainage manhole outside. Evans was now left with a small child and having to explain the disappearance to Beryl’s family. And he was susceptible to another idea from Christie. Christie suggested to Evans that he let a couple he knew in Acton have Geraldine. There she would be safe and Evans would be able to visit her.
No such couple existed.
Timothy Evans was a young, unworldly man. He was stressed and he couldn’t have known how to react. He must have thought that Christie was looking after his best interests, so he simply did as he was told. With his wife dead, Evan’s decided to return to Wales. Both his relatives, and Beryl’s asked questions about her death and the whereabouts of Geraldine. On the 30th of November 1948 Evans was unable to maintain the pretense any longer. Racked with guilt he went to the police station in Merthyr Tydfil. He made 2 statements. In the first statement, he said that Beryl had died in a botched abortion and he had put her body into a manhole. The police in London searched the manhole but found nothing. If they had searched the house and garden they would have found Beryl and the bodies of the other 2 victims.
Evans then made a second statement implicating Christie. The police went again to 10 Rillington Place and this time knocked on Christie’s door. The Christies’ presented a united front and denied any wrong doing. The word of a respectable married couple was worth more than the word of working class Evans. Christie told the police that Evans was an abusive alcoholic. When he told the police that he hadn’t seen Beryl for weeks the police carried out a full scale search of the house. They found the bodies of Beryl and little Geraldine behind a woodpile in the wash house. Both had been beaten and strangled. Beryl’s corpse showed signs of sexual interference.
But the suspicion of guilt didn’t fall on Christie. Evans was taken to see the bodies and was of course shocked that Geraldine was dead. He’d believed Christie’s lie about her being safe with a loving family in Acton. At an interrogation at Notting Hill police station the easily led Evans changed his story again. He confessed to murdering his wife and child.
On the 11th of January 1950 Evans was on trial at London’s Old Bailey charged with the murders of his wife and child. By this time he had changed his statement again and he accused Christie of the murders. Evans’ plea was not guilty, but the evidence against him was overwhelming. Christie stood as a key witness against him. The trial lasted 3 days and after just 40 minutes of deliberation the jury found Evans guilty of the double murder and he was sentenced to death. Christie’s evidence had been instrumental in convicting him.
The bodies of Ruth Fuerst and Muriel Eady lay undiscovered; Christie was still free from suspicion. As the Christies left the court Evans’ mother shouted “murderer”. Ethel leapt to his defense. “Don’t you dare call my husband a murderer! He’s a good man!”
Evans’ legal team appealed to the Home Secretary, James Chuter Ede. His appeal was denied and Timothy Evans was hanged at Pentonville prison by the famous hangman Albert Pierrepoint on the 9th of March 1950. Evans protested his innocence to the end.
Relations between Christie and Ethel began to break down. She had caught Christie fondling the genitalia of one of their victims. On the 14th of December 1952 Christie strangled his wife in their bed with a stocking. Unlike his other victims Christie did not have sex with her. He buried Ethel under the floorboards.
A robbery occurred at 10 Rillington Place and the police were called. They paid Christie a visit and were invited in to the killer’s home. One police officer remarked later on the strange smell in the flat.
Christie explained Ethel’s disappearance by saying she’d gone to visit her sick sister in Birmingham. With his wife gone, Christie was free to indulge himself and he actively went looking for new victims.
Rita Nelson worked at a local tea shop and found herself with an unwanted pregnancy. She turned to Christie for a solution. She had gone to Christie for help, but she became the 6th victim at 10 Rillington Place. Kathleen Maloney appealed to Christie’s skills as an abortionist. Christie strangled her and buried her body beneath the floor boards – alongside Ethel.
With Ethel alive Christie had to exercise some sort of control over his behaviour. With Ethel dead the serial killer was out of control. The bodies increased and the time gap between his victims narrowed. Christie was operating in a world that made sense to him as a killer rather than to approach his behaviour in a cognitive way. He was murdering vulnerable women that he knew would not be missed.
Hectorina McGlellan was in need of somewhere to live. Christie heard about her plight and offered her his flat. But Hectorina wasn’t alone. Her boyfriend, Alex Baker moved in with her. After 3 days they decided to leave. Christie asked her to pay a final visit before she moved on; it would be her fatal mistake. He strangled her, before having sex with her. Alex Baker came to Christie’s flat looking for her. Christie let him search the whole house, but he couldn’t find her.
Christie was becoming nervous. The bodies of his victims were beginning to stack up. He decided to move away from the scene of his crimes, but he had no money. He decided to sub-let the flat to a couple from whom he took about £7 – the equivalent of £181 in today’s money. This was fraud. Christie did not own the house. But he took their money anyway and moved away leaving behind him the house that had seen 8 murders and still contained 6 of the bodies.
The landlord visited 10 Rillington Place that same evening and finding people in his house that had no right to be there demanded that the couple leave the next morning. The tenant of the top floor flat, Beresford-Brown asked the landlord if he could use Christie’s kitchen. On the 24th of March 1953 Beresford-Brown was fixing a bracket to the wall at 10 Rillington Place. He noticed that there was wallpaper covering an alcove. He removed it and discovered 3 bodies. The police were called and a citywide search for Christie began. The manhunt was one of the biggest ever seen.
The police left no stone unturned. All 6 bodies were discovered in the house and the 2 bodies buried in the garden. 10 Rillington Place had turned into a real house of horrors.
On the 31st of March a man was stopped by the police on the Thames embankment near Putney Bridge. He told them his name was John Waddington. On further examination they discovered that the man was John Reginald Christie. He was taken to Putney police station. Christie described his killings as acts of mercy, self-defense, or accidents of suicide.
On the 22nd June 1953 it was standing room only at Court number 1 at the Old Bailey. Journalists and the public crammed into the court, keen to see the man whose crimes had shocked Britain. Christie was charged with Ethel’s murder; the trial lasted 4 days. When asked if he’d committed more murders, he said. “I can’t say exactly. I might have done. (He was pleading insanity) He showed little emotion, only bursting into tears at the mention of Ethel’s name. He refused to take responsibility for the murder of Geraldine, the Evans’ baby; the crime that Timothy Evans had been hanged for.
In his summing up, the Judge said; “That just because a man behaved like a monster, it did not mean he was insane.”
After just 1 hour and 20 minutes of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict of guilty. Christie was sentenced to death for the murder of his wife. Whilst awaiting his fate at Pentonville Prison Christie received a letter from Timothy Evans’ mother. She wanted him to confess to the murder of baby Geraldine, the crime for which her son had been hanged. Christie not only refused, he retracted his confession of killing Beryl Evans.
It seems that Christie was controlling women, in one way or another, right up to the bitter end.
On the 15th of July 1953 Christie was hanged at Pentonville Prison. He was 54 years old.
But even after his death his crimes and confessions left questions unanswered. In 1966 Timothy Evans received a posthumous pardon but attempts to formally quash his conviction have failed. A judicial review in 2004 described Evans’ fate as an historic and unique injustice. He had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and inadvertently moved into a murderer’s lair.
A year later Rillington Place changed its name to Ruston Close; number 10 continued to be rented out to tenants. In the early 1970’s, after the film 10 Rillington Place was filmed, the whole street was demolished. It has been removed from the London map.