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The Boy in the Attic – Crimes against our Children

Writing.ie | Guest Bloggers | Crime Scene

Louise Phillips

Writing about crime, fictional or real-life, carries with it a responsibility. A responsibility which is inherent in all good writing, the search to write a truth. Violent crimes are emotive and disturbing, especially when the innocent victim is a young adult, or a child. We ask ourselves why and how this can happen? But the questions multiply again, when the person, or persons, who committed the crime, are little more than children themselves.

During the first post on this crime scene site, I spoke about how when I first began writing six years ago, I never thought that one day, I would write crime fiction.  I aligned the process to that well known belief, that you don’t always find a story, but rather the story finds you.

Last week, like many, I was shocked  by the brutal shooting of five-year-old Thusha Kamaleswaran in her uncles’s South London store.  Thusha wanted to be a dancer when she grew up.  In horror, I watched the CCTV footage of three young men, cycling in symmetry, dressed in black, with huddies up, fire randomly into the small family shop – young Thusha dancing up and down the aisles.  Thusha, became the victim, her young body lying flat like a red paper doll on the ground, paralysed for life.  Her dreams of becoming a dancer, trapped in that moment when everything changed by one random act of violence, perpetrated by the young on the very young.

The evening I watched the news, I was also reading a book of non-fiction called ‘The Boy in the Attic’, recently published by Mainstream Publishing and written by David Malone.  In it, David writes about the chilling real-life story of a satanic murder which happened in Dublin in 1973. The extract from the back of the book reads, ‘On a bright and sunny June afternoon, a seven-year-old boy was left in the care of his teenage neighbour.  No one knew, or would even have dreamed of suspecting, that the teenager was a satanist. The two went out to the fields to look for rabbits.  The child was never seen alive again.’

David Malone, has agreed to be interviewed for Crime Scene about this story.  A story, which was easily one of the most shocking and horrific in living memory, but yet at the time, was barely reported at all.  I will ask David many questions, one of which will be, why most of us have never heard of the boy in the attic until now?  The interview will be featured in a few weeks time, but as I know some followers of Crime Scene, have already read this book, let me know if there are any questions you would like me to put to David.  You can email me at crimescenewriter@gmail.com  I will also be featuring, ‘The Boy in the Attic’ in the next Crime Scene book club, and having read it myself, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Finally, I began this post by referencing how you don’t always find a story, but rather a story finds you. Next week, I will publish my short story‘Another Road’, which formed part of an Anthology for New Island back in 2006, shortly after I first started to write. In it, I write about a murder which happened around the corner from where we used to live in Templeogue.  The murder of Brian Mulvaney, by Brian Willoughby, another killing of one young man, by the hands of another.  A brief extract is below:-

‘In the early hours of 11th March 2000, a young man, Brian Mulvaney from Firhouse, was killed, his death the result of a vicious beating by another young man, Brian Willoughby from Tempelogue.  Others too, were involved, one a fifteen-year-old.  It is believed that Brian Mulvaney, having been lured to a quiet spot, was set upon.  Breaking free, he ran one hundred yards before being caught, at which point he was repeatedly kicked and beaten.  Brian Mulvaney was found lying unconscious in the middle of the roadway at The Watercourse, his upper clothing having been torn off by the assailants.  In such a tight-knit community it was inevitable that many people knew someone involved….’

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