Front Row was quick to point out the run of serial killer based dramas currently doing the rounds at the moment.
Is this a good time to mention I have an excellent script about Jack the Ripper that’s like nothing else you’ve ever read before? I digress….
They reviewed ‘In Plain Sight‘ which starts this week on ITV about Lanarkshire serial killer Peter Manuel who I have to confess I’d never heard of. Already airing at the moment on the BBC is the excellent Rillington Place, starring Tim Roth and Samantha Morton about John Christie. And that followed hot on the heels of Dark Angel starring Joanne Froggatt.
True crime was my obsession when I was young. It’s why I ended up writing about Jack the Ripper. Everyone has a theory on that one. True crime intrigued me. It still does. How does someone end up doing what they do? I’m pretty sure I couldn’t kill someone. But then it takes a special cocktail of circumstances to create individuals like that.
Front Row was quick to discuss the ethics of writing such dramas, especially when the cases are in living memory. The phrase ‘rubber-necking’ came up. It’s true. We are distressed by these cases, but we watch. It’s human nature to be intrigued whilst still reviled by what our fellow man is capable of.
I have no issue with cases like these being visited in a drama sense provided it is handled sensitively and with consideration to those involved. I don’t believe in sensationalising these things for cash. That’s what the press do. When it’s all gone to ground, and the writer picks it up, that’s when the story can be told in a more methodical third party sense and hopefully with accuracy whilst still retaining taste and decency. It should never be gratuitous, but a way of laying down the facts.
Jack the Ripper of course is a case which has garnered all sorts of weird attention. A lot of it is downright gross. Just because it’s a case that’s over 100 years old, it’s like suddenly it’s a jamboree of sick inuendo and stereotypes for comedy. But they were still people. They may be from a bygone era but the descendants still walk the earth. Some of them know they are related to the victims. The years between it shouldn’t mean it becomes a free for all.
My script, for what it is worth, is just another theory. But it’s not like the usual ones. It’s been lying dormant for a while but a small event recently reminded me that it might actually be worth reviving. Maybe there is still a place for it. We’ll see what comes up.
You can read my book ‘A Most Faithful Attendant – The Life of Giovanni Battista Falcieri‘ by purchasing it here.