Wednesday, November 2, 2011

“Aiming a Bit High”

In this chapter, Ronson introduces Paul Britton, the disgraced father of criminal profiling in the UK. Britton was one of the fathers of criminal profiling and became famous from his amazing ability to catch sexual psychopaths. That being said, he made very similar diagnoses of sexual predators, the late teen or early twenty loner who loves violent pornography. Nevertheless, he received rave after rave from the police and media. When Rachel Nickell was brutally raped and murdered in front of her son, Britton was called to catch the sexual sadist who did her in. Britton created the usual profile and the police apprehended Colin Stagg. He was released but, so convinced he had done it, they created a honey pot between him and “Lizzie James” in order for him to confess. The letters became increasingly darker and more violent, but Stagg maintained his innocence all the while. However, Robert Napper was found to be the actual murder after killing once again; afterwards, Britton was shunned away. He still maintains he never crossed the line and there are people out there to corroborate his story, although no one has.
I really enjoyed both chapters, but for different reasons. Chapter 8 introduced David Shayler, a character of both interest and pity. I really love conspiracy theories and Shayler’s take the cake. Each new theory was more misguided and he kept building his crazy cake higher and higher until no one wanted it anymore. The sad part is he believes it himself and appears more mentally ill than psychopathic. Chapter 9 showed the shady lengths the police will go to in order to prove their theories correct. The honey pot they ran on Stagg was so explicit and entrapping and the poor boy only played into to have sex.

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