Catching a Serial Killer: My hunt for murderer Christopher Halliwell – By Stephen Fulcher

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On the evening of Saturday, 19 March 2011, D.S. Stephen Fulcher receives a life-changing call that thrusts him into a race against the clock to save missing 22-year-old Sian O’Callaghan, who was last seen at a nightclub in Swindon. Steve knows from experience that he has a small window of time to find Sian alive, but his hopes are quickly dashed when his investigation leads him to Christopher Halliwell, a cabbie with sick obsessions. – GoodReads

I have just finished reading this book by former police officer Stephen Fulcher about his hunt for serial killer Christopher Halliwell. After obtaining a confession from Halliwell and discovering 2 bodies Fulcher was discredited and made into a pariah for breaching PACE guidelines. PACE sets out the correct procedure when it comes to questioning criminals. Some, including Fulcher, argue that it favours the criminal over the victim. After 2 trials over 5 years Halliwell was eventually convicted of both murders. In the final trial it was revealed that the police and forensics believed Haliwell returned to the body of his final victim up to 4 times in order to have sex with her corpse. Halliwell claimed to have killed as many as 6 when speaking to another inmate, but when the police found Halliwell’ss trophy stash they discovered 60 items of woman’s clothing, leading some to believe he may have committed many more murders. It seems like Halliwell may well be one of the UK’s most prolific killers, the UK version of Ted Bundy maybe?

The book raises some serious questions about who’s rights the law favours in cases such as this. While everyone agrees that the police should not ride roughshod over suspects and the law, surely the chance of possibly finding the victims alive and securing a conviction should prompt a review of the regulations.

4/5 Stars – A very thought provoking read.

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Review – Lamy Safari 2015 Special Edition Fountain Pen

I purchased this item from an online auction site and thus this review is my own personal opinion on the product / company, given in good faith and has not be sponsored or endorsed. The photography unless otherwise stated / credited is also my own. None of the links are affiliate links.

 

Lamy Safari 2015 SE

 

Unless you have been living under a stationary rock i would think it’s safe to say that you will have heard of the Lamy range of pens. With its bright selection of colours and its easy grip, it appeals to the novice and seasoned fountain pen user. Utilitarian in design with form following function it screams German engineering and quality.

 

I decided to finally give in and try a Safari pen, so i opted for the Lime Green 2015 Special Edition from eBay priced at a reasonable £15.95. Within two days i was holding my new pen.

 

My Safari came packaged in a standard blister pack along with a pack of 5 Lime green Lamy T10 cartridges and a carry pouch that seems a bit too large to be truly useful. The pen is light but not small by any stretch of the imagination (weighing in at 17g and 167mm posted). The nib is chrome (i opted for the medium) and the body is ABS with a chrome clip. The Safari comes equipped with 2 ink windows on the side, although i would have prefered them to have clear plastic coverings rather than be open. The nibs are interchangeable and come in the standard sizes like extra fine, fine, medium, plus unique nibs like obliques and stub italics in sizes up to 1.9mm.

 

Lamy Safari 2015 SE

 

So far this seems like a great pen and i cant wait to get writing my TMA’s with it!!

Also if Lamy would like to send me some of their other ranges i would love to review them 😉

The Pusher – Real?

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The Pusher

For a long time i have been hearing rumors about a serial killer at large in Manchester, UK. Reports state that between 60 and 65 bodies have been recovered from the cities canals in the last 6 years. More then twice the amount who have died in Birmingham, a similar sized city with twice the amount of canal miles.

Nicknamed ‘The Pusher’, reports of this claimed canal killer have been published as far afield as Scandinavia, America and Australia, while stories of near-misses and eerie experiences have been shared under the hashtag #thepusher on Twitter.

Getting his information from FOI requests to the police force, Prof. Craig Jackson pieced together the idea of a unsub prowling the towpaths of Manchester’s waterways.

One misconception seems to be that there is a Dennis Nilsen style suspect is targeting gay men, looking at the stats this looks not to be the case, although the majority of bodies are male.

Canadian tourist Anthony Muise, 53, was found in the Manchester Ship Canal with a puncture wound to his chest in February 2010. Police said “very little” was known about his final movements and his death was treated as unexplained.

Chris Brahney, 22, was discovered in the same stretch of water 10 days after going missing in June 2012 – and an inquest returned an open verdict. The following January, the body of local student Souvik Pal was pulled from the Bridgewater Canal after he disappeared on New Year’s Eve. He was seen walking away from a club with another man, who was never traced, and another open verdict was recorded.

 

The Telegraph

One thing i came to realize while watching the TV documentary is that how in this day and age do we have phones with 20 megapixel cameras but yet the CCTV footage still looks like it was taken with a potato?

 

EDIT:

As i come across any updates or possible information i will include them below:

13/06/2016 – Body Found in Canal in Ashton

"The Boy in the River" by Richard Hoskins – Review

On 21st September 2001 the mutilated torso of a small child was found floating beside London’s Tower Bridge, one tide away from being swept into the North Sea.
Unable to identify the victim, the Murder Squad turned to Richard Hoskins, a young professor of theology with a profound understanding of African tribal religion, whose own past was scarred by a heart-breaking tragedy. Thus began a journey into the tangled undergrowth of one of the most notorious murder cases of recent years; a journey which would reveal not only the identity of the boy they called Adam but the horrific truth that a succession of innocent children have been ritually sacrificed in our capital city.
Having quickly drawn you into a world of ritual killing and human trafficking, Hoskins keeps you on your toes by mixing in the harrowing tale of his own time in Africa. Vividly descriptive, you can almost smell the jungle and feel the heat, one cannot help but be drawn into his world. Richard than drags you back into the current grey capital, where children are being ritually abused and tortured. To think this is/was happening in a country like ours is scary and deeply upsetting.
What really impressed, and touched me, was the lengths both Richard and the police went through to find out what happened to poor Adam and the others like him. Putting his marriage and sanity under pressure to help these children, we see the almost self-destruction of a man who never dreamed of becoming a criminologist.   
 My only criticism is that sometimes it can be hard to switch from one narrative to another.

Overall I give it a 4/5

Oh Look its… Zombie Sigmund Freud

If you could have anything right now, what would it be?

That’s right… a zombie Sigmund Freud!

Well now you can!

Thanks to the awesomeness that is Brian Gubicza and Matt Hawkins you can now own your very own paper craft psychologist.

Make your own zombie Freud! Go here –> http://goobeetsa.com/papertoys/ZFreud.pdf for template and instructions.

How To Organise A Pickle

Life has been super busy and un-organised recently which has lead to a large amount of stress. Being a self confessed geek i thought the best way of resolving this would be to get myself more organised using a personal organiser. But how would i approach this? Would i use a digital system that utilises my mobile phone and apps or would i be better with a more traditional Filofax type system?

Liking the idea of having everything in the palm of my hand, first i thought i would try to use my phone. Having a relatively powerful phone (HTC One M8) i thought this would be ideal, and i was sort of right. There is more then enough apps out there to help you organise your life. The key to a digital system is syncing, my calendar, email, contacts and other apps all sync with my PC via the internet. That allowed me to update and control my life from the bigger and more accessible screen of my laptop. As i mentioned earlier, there are a lot of apps out there and here i will list a few that i used and what i used them for:

  • Gmail – For viewing and writing emails for my googlemail account (other email providers have their own apps).
  • Android Calendar – This syncs with my Google calendar to show me any upcoming events.
  • Evernote -Write notes of all types, from short lists to lengthy research, and access them on any device. Collect web articles, handwritten notes, and photos to keep all the details in one place. This is literally the heart of your digital planning, Think of this as your inbox.
  • Any.do – Useful to-do list app.
  • CamScanner – Allows you to scan documents using your mobiles camera function.
  • Office Mobile – The mobile version of Microsoft’s famous office software.

* Although i obviously use Android most of these apps will be available for the Apple IOS system.

Having used this system for a while and seeing that it performs really well and is highly customisable, i decided that it wasn’t for me. I think i needed that tactile feel of real paper and pen, of something i can hold and manipulate. So having said that i have now move on to a Filofax, more specifically a black personal sized Domino series. I like this model as it includes an elastic band to secure the planner which holds in all of my notes and pieces of paper.

As of yet i am still exploring this bad boy and i am not 100% sure how to use it. One thing i did not like is the limited binders you get with the organiser. I have made my own simple ones from A4 file dividers cut to size and punched to fit.

I guess i will see how this system works out and hope that it is a bit more appealing to me. 
Either way though, i have an awesome Filofax to appease my stationery geek soul 🙂