When I first heard this story, I was overwhelmed with compassion and sympathy for the poor child and her family. The old Catholic in me, even lit a candle. However, my inner manic depressive occasionally self regulates, and kicks in with a shut off point. Handy really or I would spend 90% of my time with my head in the gas oven - not cleaning it, as my friends will confirm. In a nutshell, I have to detach from some news items, or I would go insane.
For those of us who have watched this saga unfold for 6+ years, it is now reaching a crescendo, of sorts, with one hearing suspended and another one due next week.
I know the above sounds appallingly voyeuristic, but I became detached from the tragedy long ago. I cannot empathise with the parents, and ultimately, that was what it boiled down to. As a parent, I know for a fact, it is impossible to get one, let alone 3 toddlers to sleep by 7.30 without divine intervention.
As an ex-convent girl and now writer, aw shucks, I didn't turn turn to academia until later in life, and its left me playing a constant game of catch up. In my heart I am still the working class kid, giggling with the bawdy Big Lynn, whose got no right to use big words. And occasionally I am thrown - especially if it is a word that has anything to do with money or the lack thereof.
I claim no expertise, suffice to say, I have spent a lifetime studying human behaviour, and my research goes on. Having spent part of my childhood in a place that I can only describe as Belmarsh for Kids, I feel qualified, I believed I had seen the worst.
I knew nothing. Following the Savile revelations, we are hearing of acts of unspeakable horror that even I, could not imagine. My heart and best wishes go out to my fellow author Theresa Cooper, whose story will break your heart. A very brave lady.
I have seen and described human behaviour at its most bizarre and have spent a lifetime trying to understand it. I could be a diva and say that is why I became a writer, but the truth is, I believe, we all have a writer within us.
That is my background. Nothing sinister or untoward. I strive to treat everyone around me with respect, it is part of my Budhist thingy. I do however, talk about them behind their backs, which is probably the Oirish part of me. I jest, of course.
Anyway, hungry for knowledge, (and justice everywhere) I was drawn into this case, and in discussing it, I encountered many like minded thinkers along the way. Such is our interest, I am sure, all these years later, those of us who have stuck with it, could probably achieve Masters, in media studies, marketing, photography, body language and forensic linguistics, and of course Law, I'm sure.
At the beginning, I was not without sympathy, Like everyone on the planet, I was reeling with shock, when the news broke early on that May morning in 2007. I was staying with my mother, and she was an early riser and had been watching every update and re-run on the Sky News square since Dawn. My immediate sympathy was with the parents, my mother was, shall we say, sceptical. She was Irish, and mad, so I had better not repeat her verbatim.
As the weeks went by, we watched intently, as details of the story began to unfold - there was plenty to read, as the media battle began. I was still scolding my mother for her terrible thoughts, but inwardly, I began to wonder. I couldn't get past the question, why on earth would a group of intelligent people, leave toddlers and babies alone? On googling the distance between the Tapas and the apartment, the 'like eating in your back garden' made no sense. It would only apply if you lived in somewhere like Buck House, and had rottweilers patrolling the perimeter fence.
Google was my downfall. Once, I started to read and enquire about it, I couldn't stop. There, I said it. This case intrigues me. I would love to see the re-emergence of Maddie just as anyone would, and I sympathise with those still traumatised all these years later, (also the Diana and Elvis* ones) and I urge them to keep lighting their candles. Whatever gets you through the night and all that. If, it happens, I have my Rosary on standby. Meanwhile, for some of us, the inquisitive parts of our brain just won't shut up.
*luvs ya really x