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12 December 2006

Five women murdered in Suffolk. It's like the Green River Killer has come to East Anglia. Horrible.
Goddammit. It's sickening that in three windows I currently have open, on unrelated sites, there are big stories about murders of multiple women.

Stop it, sickos in the universe. We don't approve.

posted by occhiblu 12 December | 15:30
That is awful. I hope it does not turn out to be like this.
posted by arse_hat 12 December | 15:43
Anyone else find it terribly odd that the Detective Chief Superintendent on the case is surnamed Gull?
posted by grabbingsand 12 December | 15:47
I thought of you earlier today when I read that article and wondered how close you may be to Ipswich, after telling about your late night tube ride back from London and all...
posted by getoffmylawn 12 December | 15:57
These bodies are being found very quickly. It feels as though someone has been planning this for a while and has just gone crazy. I think on tonight's Channel 4 news they even mentioned that one of the prostitutes that they interviewed a few days ago is either now either confirmed dead or is missing. Her drug addiction was such that, although she was fully aware of the situation, she *had* to keep on working.

posted by TheDonF 12 December | 16:20
Well, this is the odd thing. In the Guardian one prostitute said "neither her or her collegues would heed the warning to stay off the streets... 'With Christmas coming we don't have the choice to stay off the streets', she said. 'The make it sound like it's our fault if we get attacked'"

Which is wrong, because the police have not said that having encouraged all lone women, not only prostitutes, to stay off the local streets, and also terribly sad.
posted by urbanwhaleshark 12 December | 16:34
He's apparently losing control. If we lived in CSI-land, we'd have all this tied in up 48-72 hours. But we don't so we just have to hope that whoever is responsible for this to slip up or that there's a supreme piece of good luck as there was in the Yorkshire Ripper case.
posted by TheDonF 12 December | 16:47
This is what has happened recently in New Jersey. I feel bad about prostitutes. Okay, so they are in a line of work. Okay, so many of them do what they do to support drug habits. Still, they don't deserve to be shot, strangled, poisoned, drowned, or any other horrible ways to die. They are still someone's daughter, sister, mother, wife.
posted by redvixen 12 December | 16:53
How horrible. I hope the murderer is found before he (most likely it's a he) can kill anyone else.
posted by deborah 12 December | 17:05
I'm about 100 miles from Ipswich, goml, I think. It's not close, anyway.
posted by essexjan 12 December | 17:11
deborah - I initially typed "he" in my last post but changed it just on the utterly minute chance that it isn't male that's doing this. The evening news is theorising that it might be someone who uses prostitutes and hates themself for it.
posted by TheDonF 12 December | 17:17
The tragedy aside, I hope this kickstarts some serious debate in this country regarding the decriminalising of prostitution (not the kerb-crawlers tho), and the creation of safe environments for them to a) conduct their business but also b) help them kick any drug habits they might have that put them on the street in the first place.

On preview, DonF, it's someone who hates women and, unfortunately, prostitutes are convenient victims.
posted by urbanwhaleshark 12 December | 17:22
Oh, looking at the faces of these women..

this could be ANY of us.

also, what urbanwhaleshark said.

I hope they catch this fuck soon.
posted by By the Grace of God 12 December | 17:31
UWS - is that what they said on BBC1? I must've not been listening - too much time online... There was something on, I think (it's been a long day), BBC1's breakfast news this morning that was about safe working areas and how, when a council introduced them, attacks on workers dropped massively. For some reason, I think community pressure, the safe working area was removed and violence shot back up.
posted by TheDonF 12 December | 17:31
DonF, its something I adamantly believe in and not something I got off the Beeb. Like you say, in a safer environment (ie not on the streets), the violence toward the women was reduced.

Just googling a moment ago there's (2 year old) an interesting link to a debate about decriminalisation in Berkley. Apart from providing "social services" for prostitutes, it doesnt mention setting up safe areas. Any of you SF mechas know if this went any further?

I find this quote interesting too, and want to know what other people think of it: "There would be no legal sanctions," said Melissa Farley, a psychologist and researcher in San Francisco. "A pimp would become a businessman, just like any other businessman, except that he would be selling people and prostitution and johns would be purchasing people."

Particularly because giving women (and some men i guess) the opportunity to work in a safe environment would allow the women to work more for themselves reducing the need for a pimp (tho, in practical terms, I appreciate it wouldnt be as easy as that), but also, in my mind, the quote is misleading in that it refers to the selling of people, rather than the selling of their time which is what what johns are really paying for, regardless of how they spend it. Given my first point I think psychologist Melissa Farley is being a little disingenuous. Tho, as ever, i'm happy to be corrected.
posted by urbanwhaleshark 12 December | 17:52
If I was an investigator..and this is purely the work of a mind who reads too much...I would wonder about the recent prostitute murders in New Jersey, and a link to the England murders. Now, just follow me for a second...The murders in Jersey apparantly took place over a couple of months. The bodies were all located in close proximity. So what if the murderer took a flight from Atlantic City airport to England to escape the investigations? And could not help his mania, and killed the English girls in quick time before he returns to the USA? Sound plausible?

Just to make a point - I have nothing against prostitutes, I don't live that close to Atlantic City, and I have alibis.
posted by redvixen 12 December | 17:59
uws, these women aren't just selling their time, though, they *are* selling their bodies. Or maybe renting their bodies, but I think it does go deeper than just selling their time.

I don't think SF has safe areas, but I could be wrong. I know the SF District Attorney made a stir when she was elected a few years ago when she promised she would not pursue any charges against prostitutes.

There's certainly a whole feminist debate about sex workers, and what they need, and how that should be pursued. I actually try to stay out of it a bit because it's so contentious; my general view being that we need to support the people who need to earn a living this way (by keeping them safe, which does require reducing the stigma at least some) and at the same time work to reduce the need for anyone to earn a living this way. But I don't know what the proposals for going about achieving that are.
posted by occhiblu 12 December | 18:50
I was reading an article the other day about the theory that there are several serial killers operating within the USA at any given time. I had heard that before, but it listed a handful of crimes that were thought to be the work of an experienced killer, none of which they had any leads on, and went into a bit of detail about why they think a killer could operate for years with possibly dozens of victims without the connection being made.

One was the killing of a woman at a rest stop in Arkansas, it was huge news around here for years and they never got any leads. It was thought that the killer might be a traveling serial killer, possibly a truck driver. Because the killings are spread out and probably not committed rapid-fire as is the case with this killer in the UK, the connections are harder to make unless there is something really telling. Zodiac-style taunting or a killer that just does the same thing over and over, etc.

I don't think prostitution should be outright illegal, especially not as long as other sex-related work such as hardcore pornography is not illegal. Despite the differences in the two things it is still a double standard in my opinion.

But a lot of people seem to think making it legal would just get rid of all the problems, as though all prostitution would magically be in nice brothels with good working conditions or something. Totally ignoring the fact that the girls working in Nevada in brothels and making good money have often made outright career choices, like the porn stars that are getting huge bucks from dumb fans. The drug addicts, the desperately poor and homeless that are just trying to survive or feed an uncontrollable addiction would need more than the public saying "okay, okay you can do that" and turning a blind eye to the profession. Legalizing it does not magically get them off the street or off drugs or out of the easy reach of the random crazy
posted by weretable and the undead chairs 12 December | 19:22
I appreciate your answer Occhiblu, as ever. It's made me consider more about what what I was talking about. I'm might take this to email at some point if you don't mind, when i've some more time to spend on it, but also, due to the speed of metachat, it's probably not the best forum to discuss it because it'll just get lost in the noise. I agree, the issue is contentious, but I think there are a lot of positive things to come from dialogue, from both a political and community point of view, both men and women.
posted by urbanwhaleshark 12 December | 19:35
Email's always good. Like I said, I tend to stay out of the debate, so I don't really consider myself particularly well informed on a lot of this, but I'm happy to talk things through with you (or anyone). Or go through my usual sources and cobble together a reading list for further info. :)
posted by occhiblu 12 December | 19:37
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