Okay. So. Not just his favourite holiday destination, but his ashes are actually scattered there.
I mean. Basically, I’d normally not want to be superstitious, but I just read a whole wikipedia page about Fred West, and now I feel more than a little sick inside. I’m not one of these people who can obsess about the details of serial killers activities. I don’t find entertainment in the horrors that people inflict upon each other. I don’t think it even creates a morbid curiosity.
It just makes me fundamentally sad.
I mean. There’s so much horror in that story. Two people growing up with incest (inherently coerced sex, even beyond the understandable cultural taboo) as a norm, and then ratcheting up that immorality on the next generation. Killing and/or raping just about anyone who was close to them. Family members, nannies, wives and children. It’s grotesque to think that in our world, people can live in such distorted and awful worlds. And work so hard to build them.
It happens all the time though. Perhaps not to that extreme. But people’s morality makes them think things are okay. I read recently that one in twenty men will admit to having raped women if the word rape is avoided. We live in a world where one in twenty men think that sexual coercion is okay. Those men have got that idea from somewhere, and we all have to take responsibility for that.
The people we know. The works we create. The jokes we make. The talks we talk. All of it builds up into the grander scheme of our culture. We make the world we live in, and it’s our responsibility to deal with the unacceptable that happens. It’s our responsibility to make sure that, for example, sexual aggression, isn’t okay. Everything we say and do should make that clear.
I’m getting side tracked though.
I’m supposed to be talking about Barry Island.
I have been told I’ve already been. Probably before Fred West hung himself and was scattered there. Possibly (although unlikely) I was there while he was. I can’t remember being there at all, but my dad tells me that we went there after I was born.
I have no functional memory of it. But I love Wales. More for the mountains and valleys than the resorts, but I’d definitely pay a visit. Just to hear the people talk.
I reckon I’d unironically enjoy it.
Provided I could stop thinking about Fred West.
Just imagine panicking about every speck of dust. Is that a bit of him?
When the house on Cromwell street was demolished, every brick was crushed, and every timber was burnt.
Just like him.
It’s amazing the lengths people will go to destroy the physical representations of the evil that has been done. Even though the evil is not within the objects, or even the body.
I’m not sure I even believe in evil. But if it’s somewhere, it’s in our minds.
Not Barry Island.
Illustration by Jaime