I didn’t get to be a serial killer by accident - it was more a career choice. Not just any old serial killer either but maybe the best of all time. Fuck that false modesty - definitely the best - ever. All the others got caught but not me and I’m still active. The death toll keeps mounting.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking - why confess - why now - and my answer’s simple - why not? A friend of mine, well he used to be a friend but he’s dead now first suggested it a couple years back. He was a pro, more of an assassin or hit man really but he had the numbers. It was a professional pride thing, he was like, how come the public only hear about the ones who get caught there’s lots of us better than that. You should write a memoir - don’t give yourself away but tell it like it is - get us the cred we deserve. I blew him off then but now he’s dead I’m wondering maybe he had a point so here I am. And before you ask yes I did. Nothing personal but then with me there almost never is. As you’ll discover.
Now the thing is I have no idea how to go about it - the writing thing. I mean I don’t know what sort of stuff you want to know so I’m doing it here on the internet so I can get your suggestions about what to cover, what to leave out, your feedback - or not. haha this could be the shortest confession in history. So anyway I thought I’d get the ball rolling so to speak by telling you about my first kill - start at the beginning I guess.
I grew up on a council estate and I was a a quiet kid. The one who didn’t get into trouble but I had a secret - I was different and I knew it. Shit, my whole family was different - everybody respected us but you could tell - well I could tell from a very young age - that they were all a bit scared of us. It wan’t anything overt but that’s how it was. Maybe they knew about my old man but maybe not - he never worked our area. Enough of the background. There was this guy moved in over the road from us, He came to live with his mother-in-law after his wife left him - go figure - funny old set up - the husband moved out soon after. Anyway this guy was from the north, thick Geordie accent and all, and he was bald. He wasn’t old and it was before blokes took to shaving their heads when they started thinning a bit like they do nowadays. He was hard - you could tell - didn’t give a fuck about anybody else’s opinion and didn’t mind telling 'em so. Always nodded to my old man though and respectful to my mum - used to get her shopping sometimes. Well their gaff soon turned into old McDonalds farm - a dog, chickens, even a bloody pig - and nobody said a word. The dog was a fucking great alsatian - lovely thing it was but it’d roam about their front garden looking menacing - didn’t frighten me though, I used to take it the bones from our Sunday roast and it was fine until this one day when it bit me on the forehead over the gate while I was feeding it. Well, I smacked it one on the conk and it backed off pretty sharpish but it drew blood and if you look closely you can see the little scar it left. Didn’t really bother me much but my old man went apeshit. He was gonna go over there and sort things out - whatever - but I talked him down - said it was my fault don’t blame the dog don’t make a fuss, the usual. I didn’t want things kicking off in the street. I liked it quiet and respectful - the way it was. But I started keeping a watch on that dog - Cheetah was its name, funny I thought I’d forgotten that - obviously not. After a while I started to believe it myself - it’d been my fault - and I still took him the bones of Sunday. We both remembered it though, he was a lot more careful, maybe he remembered the smack on the nose and I was careful not to give him another reason to bite me. And so it went on for a while.
But then he bit Micky. Micky was a soft kid who lived down the road from us, same side but about twenty houses down. Micky was a mongol, Down syndrome they call it now but back then he was Micky the mongol and all of us kids used to look after him coz he couldn’t. Nobody messed with Micky - he was such a sweet and happy kid but Cheetah bit him for no reason that I could see. Again, it wasn’t a bad bite and Micky’s mum dressed it and bandaged him up but she wouldn’t say a word to anyone about it - she was on her own - Micky’s dad was a bad ‘un and had fucked off once he discovered Micky wasn’t right so she was careful not to make a fuss having no man behind her and all that. I got it out of Micky what had happened and well that kind of started the ball rolling for me - Cheetah was a problem and I was gonna have to be the solution. I picked up the responsibility. I knew what had to be done. All I had to do was decide if I was up to it. I already knew how to do it. I listened to stuff so I knew exactly how.
That night I lay in bed asking myself could I do it - could I live with it? And in my book there was no doubt. There would be no going back - some things cant be undone - some choices stick for life and this was one of them. The bald bloke always fed his pigs in the evening and by now he had an allotment where he kept them - even he got sick of the stink eventually and much later than his neighbours did but they had said nothing but a silent cheer went up when he moved them out. In a bloody wheelbarrow for fuck sake. Hog tied them and took them one at a time up to the allotment that was just behind the co-op. So I knew his schedule and I waited for him to go out to feed them and then I got last Sunday’s bone out from where I’d stowed it in dad’s shed, checked nobody was about and fingered the tennis ball in my pocket making sure I could get it quickly. Cheetah heard me coming and as I hoped he could smell the bone - it was a bit niffy by now - and he was at the gate when I got there. I closed my eyes, shit I remember this so vividly, took a deep deep breath and let it out really really slowly. I call that the gathering now but back then it was an instinct I guess. Cool as a `cucumber I slipped the latch and walked straight in and up the path. The dog wasn’t sure what to make of it - I’d never been in there before but he reacted as a I expected. He snarled, bared his teeth and came for me straight on - I closed my first over the tennis ball and as he opened his mouth I plunged the whole thing as deep into his throat as I could - damn near up to the shoulder it felt like. His jaw never closed, I suppose it couldn’t and he died soon after. It was much quicker than I’d imagined it. I’d played it out tens of times in my head but the reality was much easier, much quicker. I was unscathed and Cheetah was left on the path with a tennis ball stuck in his windpipe. I closed the gate behind me and opened a whole new chapter in my life.
So there you are it’s begun. Leave me comments to let me know where you want this to go and I’ll try my best to be perfectly honest.
Well I checked before I started this and so far nobody has left a comment. 115 reads and not a single comment - come on people if you don’t want this to get boring and strictly chronological you’re gonna have to got your fingers out and help me. Rant over - for now. So what I’ll do is just pick up from where I left it yesterday but be warned if I get bored then it’ll be all over - just like that - don’t think I won’t.
So, next kill coming up. Just a few weeks later, after I had choked Cheetah and he had been buried on the bald bloke’s allotment - you know I still can’t bring his name to mind, well I know his surname but not his christian name - he came over to see my dad. I saw him coming and hid in the coal hole just in case he had sussed me out - I didn’t think he would’ve but just to be on the safe side I kept out of the way. They were talking on the doorstep for a while and the bald bloke was obviously asking the old man for a favour of some kind coz his voice was softer than usual and it was all whiny like he was wheedling. I’ve got my ear against the door and am trying to hear what they are saying when I hear dad calling my name. Come out here Becky, I know where you are, just come out, you’re not in any trouble. And when dad called you came. Usually you came running - everybody did, pretty much. It was one of those commanding voices that you didn’t fuck with - not threatening but full of a severe authority. So I did. Stood beside him in the doorway and looked up at the bald bloke. What dad? What’s occurring? This neighbour, sorry mate I don’t know your name, any way this bloke wants one of his pigs killing out. He can do the butchery but he doesn’t have the heart to kill his own beasts - him ex-army and all. It’s not unusual, emotions can get in the way of doing a good job. Wants to know, can we help him? Whadda you think girl, and here he looked directly at me and gave me one of the sorts of wink he usually saved for his pals, can we? Can you? I’ve gotta go see a man about a dog soon and this bloke here needs the beast killing out today. Can you help him? You’ve seen Uncle Billy work, you know what needs doing and how. Whadda you reckon?
Oh yeah I’d seen Uncle Billy work. I’d watched him kill horses and the odd pig and the rumour was that they weren’t the only beasts he sorted out for people. Not that he was my real uncle - not blood - but in those days any close friend of your mum or dad was your aunt or your uncle - it was about respect, it was so you didn’t just call them by their name - and to be honest they behaved like you were blood - would do anything for you. Your side of the bargain, at least while you were a kid, was just respect. And running the odd errand. Later on, when you grew up, it was different but we didn’t know that then. Oh yeah I knew what to do. To be honest I was surprised that dad thought I was ready but if he trusted me then that was everything I needed. Well that and a couple of tools. I nodded up at the old man, I reckon I can help him out if you’re OK with it. I’ll put me dungarees on. Good girl. Go to my shed and open that old chest under the bench. There’s a big old screwdriver in there, make sure to clean it before you put it back mind, and take the little lump hammer, that should do it. And don’t hit your hand. Remember it only takes one blow if you do it right, firm, don’t force it, let the weight of the hammer do the work. Baldy here’ll look after the rest. Sorry mate, you don’t mind me calling you baldy do you? As if he’d object. We were doing him a favour, why would he?
Baldy led the way and he whined the whole bloody way about his poor dog dying. I was just glad when we got there that he’d shut the fuck up and that I could go back on my own. So, he pulled one of the porkers out, it was big bugger - grabbed it by the ring in its nose an held it around the neck and I did what I did, one blow clean, one squeal and it was over. Number two done and dusted. I just left baldy in the blood getting his butchering knives out and didn’t look back. Then or since.
Dad said I’d done good and I got ten bob pocket money that weekend. Mum put my dungarees in soak that night and they went in the copper the following Monday - came out clean as a whistle.
Shocker huh? You were imagining a young Fred West or a youthful Jeffrey Dahmer or even a baby faced Dennis Nielsen right? If you're a true aficionado maybe you pictured Harold Shipman or Andrei Chikatilo. You didn’t think Aileen Wuornos or Jane Toppan. Perhaps you thought of Myra Hindley but I don’t think so coz serial killers are mostly men, right? Well no, actually, it’s the men who get caught, the women are much much better at it, and getting away with it, so you don’t associate women with mass killing. Men generally, make shit serial killers, Harold Shipman excepted and one or two you’ve never heard of and never will and poor old Harold just got a bit unlucky. OK rant over. Women make great serial killers - I’m living, at large - proof of that statement of fact so get over it.
And Becky? I say Becky - you think sweet kid with bunches and maybe freckles in those dungarees I mentioned. Not too far off apart from the freckles: bunches yeah, dungarees yeah, sweet well not so much. Becky’s not even my given name just what dad called me. Notice I didn’t say christian name. I wasn’t ever christened. Mum wanted to but Dad said no, he didn’t want me indoctrinated, if I wanted a religion I’d get to choose for myself when I was old enough. Nan and Grandad, on mum’s side, were church goers, very hot on their Bible and that’s how I got my given name of Rebekah. Mum called me Reb, Dad called me Becky, Nan and Grandad stuck with Rebekah, of course they did. I say they were church goers but let’s bottom that out they were supposed to be christians but they were what my old man called OTX chirstians - Old Testament Xtians ( the old man always spelt it with an X, when he wrote at all which wasn’t very often, birthday and xmas cards, present labels that sort of thing - oh and betting slips later on when they legalised off course betting. They were long on eye for an eye and not so much on the whole peace love and understanding stuff, gloried more in the crucifixion than the resurrection, you know the sort, two a penny in the states. The kids in the street called me Butch - you work it out. The other thing you should know, and I think this is pretty sick really, is that I was named after Mum’s dead sister. Yeah, no pressure right. A replacement kid, a substitute for a dead one whose flaws are never remembered or mentioned, who died too young to have become a real problem, more than that, a fully fledged fucking angel, no pressure at all. Mum knew she wasn’t an angel but seldom reassured me even when Nan and Grandad were going on and on about how like her I was - apart from being what they liked to call a tomboy. Enough of that, but don’t you think that’s a weird thing to do?
Looks like we’re doing some background here so let’s address that opening line where I describe it as a career choice - me becoming a serial killer. Career choice, family business, maybe a bit of both. I was always drawn to endings rather than beginnings. Like most kids I wanted to know how the story ended but that’s all I was interested in, not what happens before it. When I learned to read I would read the end first and then decide if I could be arsed to read the rest. Most times I didn’t bother. Then one day I decided to see what happened at the ends of my mum’s books - she was a big reader, went to the library twice a week, had 4 library tickets. Dad didn’t seem to read at all apart from The Greyhound Express and The Sporting Life, he did like a bet and always went to the local dog tracks, we had two close by and he never seemed to be working during the daytime. Wonder whether he went to the dogs when Mum went to the library. Anyway I snook a deco at the end of one of Mum’s books this day while she was hanging out the washing and that’s when I discovered a whole new world, turns out mum had a thing for detective stories and thrillers. Not your Agatha Christie shit, stuff that we’d call noir or pulp these days. And she devoured that stuff. Trouble was, or not, most of them had endings that made me want to read the rest, the endings were always intriguing, not like the books I was reading. And I guess that’s when I first realised that people have an interior life that we can never know about - my mum liked crime and murder stories - whoda known it? I mean she was strong, always stood up for herself and us kids, always defended the old man no matter how much in the wrong he might be but never violent, never properly physical, yeah the odd clip around the head for the boys and a slap across the face for me and once she gave me a back hander and her engagement ring left a scratch across my cheek, she cried for days about that but never really violent. She never felt like a threat. She never loomed over us. Not like Dad. But Dad knew she had it in her. I’m sure he did. He could read people - it was a key part of his work. Know your prey. If Mum stood between him and us kids he knew not to touch us. It was understood, she was his brake and he never ever hit her. No matter what. So, she did the mum things, and the wife things - the walls weren't that thick and they did like a bit of afternoon delight - and she had her books. She had a few friends but none too close - the old man didn’t like other people in the house so if anybody got too close they were banished.
Mum never had a job job. She liked to say she never had to do a days work after she married Dad but in those days nobody counted all that housework and cooking and raising the kids as work but if you’d seen her up to her elbows in the copper of a Monday doing the weekly wash or of a Tuesday doing huge piles of ironing, everything had to be ironed all the way down to our school socks, you might have disagreed. I surely did, it looked enough like work to convince me. Before she met the old man, and here’s a funny story for you, always put some humour in they say - though all those bloody misery memoirs that are so popular nowadays don’t follow that rule, she used to work at Tate and Lyle so when they got married the old man’s idea of a wedding present was to have all her teeth pulled out, they were only shells by then on account of the sugar in the air, pulled out without anaesthetic and a set of shiny new false ones made so she wouldn’t ever have toothache again - what a fucking gent huh? All her teeth out without gas? That sounded fucking brutal to me, back then, I’ve since learned that we are capable of taking a lot of pain for a small gain. But like I say, she never had a job job and that was a bit odd, most of the women in our street seemed to have some sort of paid work, machinists, assembly work, letter stuffing, seamstressing, hairdressing - all piece work - all exploiting their poverty. Women whose husband hadn’t come back after the war, women whose feckless husbands had just fucked off, husbands doing a stretch, husbands taken by TB or dip or flu or the big C. Then there were the twins, spinsters both, who did all the laying out. We had kids that played out in bare feet coz their shoes were kept for school and best and we had one or two went to school barefoot. So don’t talk to me, ever, about the good old days. They were simpler but they were fucking grinding. Not for us though we never seemed to go short. The old man was a good provider and Mum knew that - and valued it. She got her housekeeping money of a Friday regular as clockwork and if she needed a bit extra she only had to ask. Funny old days, funny old ways.
She smoked like a chimney - twenty weights one and eightpence hapenny, keep the hapenny for some sweets - and she had this magic teapot, at least us kids thought it was magic coz it was never empty. It used to sit on the pilot light of the gas stove, cream enamel with a thin green border the colour of green shield stamps, it was a bit battered and the enamel was chipped but it was never, ever, empty and she never wanted another one. We knew that coz one year us kids bought her a new china one for her birthday but that went in the sideboard, "for best" she’d say if you asked. That teapot always used to make me think of Ali Baba and the genie or is that Aladin? No matter. Most times if you wanted to find mum you didn’t have to go far she seldom left the scullery. It was her domain and you know what, I don’t remember seeing her sit down, can’t even remember if she even had a chair in there but she must have done. There was a table though, definitely, I cleaned it every week and to this day I remember what was on it, permanently, and exactly where everything went and in what order:
sugar bowl - cut glass always full of Tate and Lyle in remembrance of her paid job,
tea caddy, Judge, matching the magic tea pot - always full of 99 tea - mum was big on the co-op and us kids all had to memorise her number, ten four ought two, so we’d always get her divvy credited, if you went for her fags you always went to the co-op never the sweet shop she used to joke about even getting the co-op to bury family so's you’d get “divvy on your dead”, in the tea caddy a spotless special spoon for measuring the tea - EPNS with a crest of some kind - that Dad had knocked when he was a bootboy in a big house
white pottery butter dish - cover on, facing forward, Anchor butter, bright yellow and also from the co-op - butter knife in the top kitchen sink cutlery drawer.
two dripping bowls, both white, both pottery - one for beef dripping one for chicken, rag cover on them
tea strainer in it’s own little holder - EPNS, also stolen
and when you took all these things off the table you got to the red gingham oilcloth that covered the mean utility pine table itself with its distinctive CC mark underneath, like two cartoon mouths pointing right and the year of manufacture - 1942
OK that’s enough for today. I didn’t know this would be so tiring and I do have work to do - oh no I’ve not retired, not by a long chalk.
And all you budding V I Warshawskis and Rebuses can stand down coz although that coop number is real those LCS numbers were withdrawn when the London coop merged with CRS in the eighties. I’m not stupid. CRS numbers started with a sixteen. By the way we did use the coop to bury mum, well cremate her to be accurate and no we didn’t get any divvy.
Don’t forget if there’s anything you want to know leave it in the comments section and I’ll get to it.