England, November 1986
Come into my parlour, said the spider to the fly – Mary Howitt (adaptation)
The UK Government led by Margaret Thatcher oversees a UK police force, some of which include police officers seeking financial reward through supporting illegal activities and engaging with major criminals. Bridleton Elite Crimes Squad (BECS) is one of those.
In the summer of 1986 a series of complaints directed at some Bridleton officers prompted an independent investigation. The ensuing report, which was never made public, criticised the squad's interviewing techniques, failure to properly use pocketbooks, and their cynical approach and lack of sympathy towards crime victims.
Up until December 1986 members of the 20-strong squad would write out false confessions and coerce the suspects to sign them. Officers were working "totally unrealistic" hours, abusing the overtime system, with some working 100 hours overtime a month, mostly for visits to licensed premises to "meet contacts".
The report made no mention of the "veiled threats" and other persecution techniques referred to by some victims of the squad. Nor did it mention the inappropriate use of newly issued pocket-phones, the first squad in the UK to embrace mobile technology.
By December 1986 there was also a shift in the government’s awareness of the threat of AIDS, a disease that has no cure. A few BECS officers took advantage of AIDS victims to pervert the course of justice and to further their careers, while nonchalantly hunting a murderer on their patch…
…A repugnant, immoral killer who would reap havoc across the region…
Serena Naringa thought she was in control. ‘Put this on,’ she said, lobbing a condom pack at him.
‘Fuck that … it’s not natural.’
‘You want sex or not?’
‘Look Serena, I’ve paid, okay? I’m not wearing one.’
‘Well you can go and get fucked elsewhere.’ She glared at him, hands on hips instead of removing her g-string, and then picking up her lacy bra from his chair instead. He was watching her coffee-coloured breasts pout tantalisingly in front of his face.
‘Serena, c’mon ... I need it.’
She hesitated. It was a risk. Should she tell him? He was old enough to be her father, except he was white, with wavy black hair greying at the temples. Muscular, looked like a ‘brickie’, with a horny hard-on lusting after her body. Much like the others. Only this one wore decent clothes and didn’t smell quite as bad. Not down to the sewerage plant for a quickie, but back to his grimy bed-sit in Bridleton with a leaky shower, dirt rimmed sink and blocked–up toilet.
‘Ten quid extra … and you don’t cum inside, okay?’
He nodded: ‘Come here baby.’
‘You want to play with this?’ she teased, pulling at her g-string. But not for long. Just enough to get him aroused and it would be over sooner. It was business and she had other customers waiting. She hoped. God, he was strong. Pumping like a run-away steam-engine, faster and faster, hot breath whistling into her ears.
And then he blew.
She struggled to get out from under him. Slapped him across his face; left a red mark. ‘Fucking asshole … I told you.’ That seemed to goad him. She could see his expression change. ‘Look, I’m sorry…’
But he flipped her over and forced her legs apart. ‘Fucking bitch,’ he spat. ‘Asshole, eh? Is that what you want? I’ll show you who’s an asshole.'
She’d had worse. At least it wasn’t his ham of a fist. Just bury your head in the pillow. Breathe deeply, and think of her next holiday in some exotic place with Carol, her sister. Maybe Benidorm or Costa del Sol. Blue bikini, red-striped deckchair and a Sangria cocktail, ice cubes crackling in the glass. Foursomes at night. She heard him grunt and withdraw. Turned her over.
‘Lick it off, bitch.’
Her dream faded away. ‘Fuck you, Mister. I hope you get AIDS.’
He looked startled, but dismissed it as an idle threat. ‘Oh, so you ain’t finished bad mouthing me, eh?’
She saw him clamber off the bed, and over to the small sink unit, which doubled up as a kitchen drainer. Utensils, cups and plates strewn across the metal tray. Leftovers congealing on greasy plates. Something glittered under the glow of the naked light-bulb and circling flies. He moved towards her, a grin on his face. Showed her the blade: touched her body with the tip. Running it up and down. Not saying anything.
She flinched and tried to shy away, feeling vulnerable. ‘Look, forget about the ten quid extra. Just let me go, ok?’
He shook his head. Pinned her down. ‘Too late for that, bitch.’
She felt a sharp pain deep inside, and then a dull ache. She dreamily watched her blood oozing onto the sheet. Carol giggling, asking for another cocktail. It wasn’t meant to be like this. He was too strong, she couldn’t struggle.
At the end, she sighed and let the darkness take her...