Friday, 28 May 2010

Serial Murderer Nicknames

This morning, a Mr Stephen Griffiths referred to himself as the "Crossbow Cannibal" when politely asked for his name by the clerk of Bradford Magistrate's Court. There need be no complicated analysis of his motives for vile murder, then: it was all a calculated attempt to gain the world's attention.

The media, if they have any sense, will restrain themselves and never, ever, call him by the name he has invented for himself. Neither should they refer to him as the "Pathetic Twat" because his kind of oxygen thief is capable of deriving glory even from that.

The only proper and safe way to refer to this man is as "Mr Stephen Griffiths" and with a careful and polite emphasis on the "mister". Anything else will feed the fantasy he inhabited when he allegedly killed three, and possibly many more, defenceless young women.

And when he is in prison, only the parole board needs to remember his name at all. And the fact that "Outraging Public Morals" normally carries a life sentence in its own right and not merely as an aggravating circumstance to murder. If there is even a fragment of substance behind Mr Griffith's self-assumed nickname, then that charge is inevitable.

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