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My favourite murderers

Features | October 2017

Jane Corry worked in jails as a writer-in-residence, alongside all sorts of crooks. Male killers were much nicer than female ones

  Murderers are the best sort. Generally speaking, they only do it once – and then it’s to their wives. They’re not usually a threat after that.’ That was the advice I received from a senior member of staff when I started work as a writer-in-residence at a high-security male prison. Looking back, I have to say that, in my experience, it proved dead accurate. The first male killer I met was a quiet, sad man who had – according to jail gossip – stabbed his wife outside a police station after an argument and then walked inside to report himself. He certainly didn’t seem the violent sort when I helped him write a poem. When he was put on suicide watch, I even found myself feeling sorry for him. But why? He’d killed the mother of his children. It was a stark lesson in how prisons stir up...

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