The press have reported Ian Brady is providing his first public explanation for why he murdered five children in the 1960s, in evidence to a mental health review tribunal. Brady, it is reported, has requested the transfer to be allowed to kill himself by starvation. But is he truly bent on suicide, or is this all a charade to get media attention?
Why did you write a novel about her? About Myra Hindley, a woman who killed children? It's the question I'm most frequently asked about my novel, Myra, Beyond Saddleworth, and is both hard and easy to answer. The material was dark and disturbing, and many people can't understand why a writer would persevere with it. But that's the point. Unless we look, really look at the terrible things human beings do to each other, we have no chance of understanding how and why they happen.
In this age of school stabbings and increased violence, we mustn't tolerate cruelty of any kind. Mowgli's suffering can't be erased, but we can prevent more individuals from becoming victims by treating cruelty to animals with the gravitas it deserves and by making training in compassion an integral part of every child's education.